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This Day in WWII 24 May 1940 - 1945


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AmericanMeatInstiute-May1943.jpg American Meat Institute Ad - May 1943

1940: The first British civilian bomb casualties are reported.

1940: Hitler halts Panzer drive on Dunkirk. Infantry units of XIX.Panzerkorps storm the citadel of Boulogne and take 5,000 British and French prisoners. The French fortress of Maubeuge surrenders, while 6th Army captures Ghent and Tournai in Belgium and St Omer in North-eastern France.

1940: Luftwaffe sink destroyer Wessex off Calais.

FlorenceMarly1.jpg *Florence Marly

1941: War Weapon Week ends in towns and cities, with £124m collected.

1941: The German battleship Bismarck, supported by the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, sinks the British battle cruiser Hood after firing only three salvoes. There are only 3 survivors out of a crew of 1,421. The Prince of Wales is also damaged and forced to break off the action.

FlorenceMarly2.jpg Florence Marly

1941: Heavy German bombing of Crete. King of Greece leaves for Cairo.

1941: King George VI makes South African Premier, General Smuts a Field Marshal, the first man born in an overseas dominion to attain that rank.

1941: The Australian Prime Minister, R.G. Menzies arrives back in Australia after his trip to Britain.

FlorenceMarly3.jpg Florence Marly

1942: General Stilwell arrives in Delhi after a 20-day jungle trek out of Burma.

1942: The Germans decide they've had quite enough of the partisan harassment in Russia and launch operation 'Hanover', to clear the Bryansk-Vyazma railway. For six days, 45,000 German troops, including panzer and SS-police units, search for an estimated 20,000 partisans, catching or killing many of them. In the Barvenkovo salient, General Ewald von Kleist's Panzer's start to chop up the Russian 6th and 9th Armies. Moscow admits the loss of 5,000 dead, 70,000 missing, and 300 tanks destroyed, but the Germans claim 24,000 POW's and 1,200 tanks.

CamelCigaretteAd-May1943.jpg Camel Cigarette Ad - May 1943

1943: 'Bomber Harris' congratulates RAF Bomber Command for passing the 100,000 ton mark in raids against Germany.

1943: The battle of the Atlantic is officially concluded as won by Allies, due to the withdrawal of virtually all U-boats from the Atlantic by Admiral Dönitz, C-in-C of the Kriegsmarine after the loss of 56 boats in April and May.

FlorenceMarly4.jpg Florence Marly

1944: Prime Minister Winston Churchill takes to the floor of the House of Commons to announce that Spain will not be a target in the forthcoming Allied invasion of mainland Europe and Spain's internal affairs are no business of the Allies. He expresses the hope that a post-war Francoist Spain will be "a strong influence for the peace of the Mediterranean after the war."

1944: U.S. troops take Terracina in Italy. The retreating Germans are subjected to heavy air-attacks.

1944: It is estimated that 100,000 have been gassed at Auschwitz. Between May 16 and May 31, the SS report collecting 88 pounds of gold and white metal from the teeth of those gassed. By the end of June, 381,661 persons, which is half of the Jews in Hungary have arrived at Auschwitz.

FlorenceMarly5.jpg Florence Marly

1945: The exchange of Russian POW's for U.S. and British POW's begins at pre-arranged points in Germany.

1945: Japanese paratroops drop on the US airbases on both Okinawa and Ie.

FlorenceMarly6.jpg Florence Marly

*Born June 2, 1919, in Obrnice, Czechoslovakia, alluring Czech-born actress Florence Marly, of Slavic descent, initially expressed interest in becoming an opera singer. At age 18, however, she was discovered by the 33-year-old renown French director Pierre Chenal while a student of art and literature at the Sorbonne. He put her almost immediately into his film "L'alibi" (1937), and her film career was born. They married the following year and she continued to figure in many of his subsequent films including "The Lafarge Case" (1937), "Sirocco" (1938), "The Last Turn" (1939), "The Postman Always Rings Twice" (1939), "The Idol" (1952)" and "Confession at Dawn" (1953)". In 1940, she managed to flee Paris prior to the Nazi occupation and spent her war years in Argentina where she appeared in a couple of films. She returned to France in the post-war years and was nominated for a Cannes Film Festival award for "Les Maudits" (1947), (The Damned) which was directed by Chenal, then decided to chance it with Hollywood and Paramount Studios in 1948 as an exotic foreign import. When not appearing in the typical intrigue and espionage movies expected of her opposite such stars as Ray Milland in "Sealed Verdict" (1948) and Humphrey Bogart in "Tokyo Joe" (1949), she entertained American troops in Korea.

FlorenceMarly7.jpg Florence Marly

Branded a Communist and blacklisted in the early '50s, Florence left America but was eventually cleared and returned when it was found her name was confused with the Russian club singer Anna Marly who was on the "subversive" list. Divorced from Chenal in 1955, she married an Austrian count the following year, but their marriage, too, would not survive. By this time, her film career was practically finished, but in subsequent years she would go into another direction as a writer and composer. She died November 9, 1978 in the Los Angeles area at age 60 of a heart attack.

GeneralMotors-May1944.jpg General Motors Ad - May 1944

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