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This Day in WWII 24 March 1941 - 1945 *1938


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1024.jpg?md=1332584461000 Mennen Ad - March 1942

1941: Berlin suffers its first raid of the year by the RAF.

1941: German troops on parade in the city of Cherbourg have their show spoiled when British bombers hit the parade ground in the middle of the event.

1941: Rommel, conducts a limited offensive to recapture El Agheila from the British, which succeeds with startling ease. This encourages Rommel to push forward towards Mersa Brega. British Somaliland is now clear of Italians.

1024.jpg?md=1332583880000 **Sherry Britton

1942: The British Government refuses to hold an inquiry into the loss of Singapore during a Lords debate.

1942: The start of deportation of Slovak Jews to Auschwitz.

1024.jpg?md=1332583869000 Sherry Britton

1942: Admiral Chester Nimitz appointed as Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific theater.

1942: The Japanese begin an intensive bombing campaign of Bataan and Corregidor. General Homma's 14th Army receives reinforcement ready for its final offensive against the Bataan and Corregidor. This takes the form of the Japanese 4th Division, which has been shipped from Shanghai.

1024.jpg?md=1332584455000 Chevrolet Ad - March 1943

1944: President Roosevelt issues a statement condemning German and Japanese ongoing "crimes against humanity."

1944: The Luftwaffe attacks London with 90 medium bombers (He-111s and Ju-88s), while the RAF bombs Berlin with 810 heavy Lancaster bombers. The RAF lose 72 bombers in this, the 16th and heaviest raid of war on Berlin. The 'Battle of Berlin' is now over.

1024.jpg?md=1332583894000 Sherry Britton

1944: Fifty RAF and Dominion Air Force personnel are murdered by the Gestapo after a mass breakout by Prisoners of War (POWs) from Stalag Luft III POW Camp in Germany.

1944: The US Fifth Army's bridgehead at Anzio is bombarded by German heavy long-range guns and Luftwaffe aircraft using guided bombs, causing severe casualties in men, ships and equipment. Persistent US and British attacks against the Gustav Line at Cassino are repulsed by the German defenders.

1944: In response to the killing of 35 German soldiers in Rome by the Italian resistance, SS Colonel Herbert Kappler orders the execution of 335 Italians, at least 255 of whom are civilians in reprisal. All are shot by German troops in the Fosse Ardeantine caves outside of Rome.

1024.jpg?md=1332583884000 Sherry Britton

1944: A Russian tank army crosses the Dnieper near Czech border. Malinovsky makes crossings of the Bug near the Black Sea.

1944: Wingate, leader of the Chindits is killed in plane crash.

1944: The Japanese counter-attack on Bougainville is decisively beaten.

1024.jpg?md=1332583889000 Sherry Britton

1945: Montgomery's 21st Army Group attacks across the Rhine, 15 miles North of Duisberg in the Wesel area, after 3,500-gun barrage. 16,870 paratroops land across the river Rhine in Operation 'Plunder' and succeed in linking up with advancing British troops and establishing four bridgeheads. The US Third Army captures Speyer and Ludwigshafen on the upper Rhine.

1945: The 1st Ukrainian Front captures Neisse in Upper Silesia.

1024.jpg?md=1332584968000 Sherry Britton

1945: Chinese forces link up on the Burma Road.

1945: U.S. Marines seize islands off coast of Okinawa in Pacific.

*1938: The United States asks that all powers help refugees fleeing from the Nazis.

1024.jpg?md=1332583875000 Sherry Britton

**Sherry Britton was born Edith Zack on July 28, 1918 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. She was a burlesque performer of the 1930's and early 1940's. The 5'3" (160 cm) Britton had an 18" (46cm) waist, and was once said to have a "figure to die for".

When burlesque went by the wayside due to the NYC ban in 1940, Britton turned to plays, eventually appearing in almost 40 of them. Dubbed 'Great Britton', she also spent much time during WWII working USO shows entertaining the troops, for which she was made an honorary Brigadier General by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Britton was performing in Washington, D.C. clubs as late as 1958 (at or near age 40). She was barred from appearing at the 1964 New York World's Fair, because she was too risque. She instead became a cabaret singer and appeared in many theater productions.

In 1971, Britton, who had been married twice previously, and who once said she'd been engaged "14 times", married wealthy businessman Robert Gross (no relation to aviator Robert E. Gross). Gross urged her to attend Fordham University. Although Britton had never attended high school, she was said to have a very high IQ. She attended Fordham and graduated pre-law in 1982, magna cum laude, at the age of 63.

After Gross died in 1990, Britton lived a life of retirement, stepping back into the limelight in 1993 on her 75th birthday performing at the Marriott Marquis Hotel on Broadway in NYC.

Britton died of natural causes on April 1, 2008. "She had an IQ of 165, lived on Gramercy Park and aged gracefully," said a cousin, Karen Britton.

Trivia

Measurements: 38"-18"-33"

Personal Quotes

In an unpublished memoir that she titled "The Stripper, by the Hon. Brigadier General Sherry Britton," Ms. Britton wrote: "There seemed to be two of me. One, onstage, undressing. The other saying, 'What are you doing, taking your clothes off for those morons?' "

1024.jpg?md=1332584466000 Stromberg - Carlson Ad - March 1943

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