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This Day in WWII 25 July 1940 - 1945


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ChevroletAd-July1943.jpg Chevrolet Ad - July 1943

1940: British claim 25 German planes downed in a day, the highest total so far.

1940: Reich Minster of Economics Funk outlines 'New Order' for Europe, with forced labor from occupied countries. Compulsory evacuation of women and children ordered from Gibraltar. Swiss Gen. Henri Guisan, commander of all Swiss forces, reacts to an appeasement-oriented speech by Federal President Marcel Pilet-Golaz by assembling 650 Swiss military officers in the Field of Rutli - the birthplace of Swiss independence - to make it clear the Swiss Army would resist any German or Italian invasion. "As long as in Europe millions stand under arms, and as long as important forces are able to attack us at any time, this army has to remain at its post." Pilet-Golaz and Berlin react with outrage, but Switzerland remains independent.

1940: Italy bombs the British naval base at Alexandria and the base at Haifa.

Vera%20Zorina1.jpg *Vera Zorina

1941: Italian motorboats with 33 Italian naval assault troops attempt to enter Valletta harbor on the island of Malta to attack British ships, but are discovered. All eight boats are sunk with 15 men being killed and 18 taken prisoner.

1941: Finnish forces stop at the Tuulos River in Soviet Carelia because their flank is exposed.

Vera%20Zorina2.jpg Vera Zorina

1941: Japan announces Indochina protectorate. It begins military occupation of bases July 28 to prepare for attack on Malay.

1941: United States, UK and Dominions freeze all Japanese assets.

Vera%20Zorina3.jpg Vera Zorina

1942: Army Group A breaks out of its bridgeheads on the lower Don, along with the 4th Panzer Army which holds the eastern most of these. Army Group A drives south, whilst 4th Panzer Army attacks east and then north-east to link up with the rest of Army Group B as its advances towards Stalingrad. The South Front under General Malinovsky is being quickly shattered and the remnants are absorbed in to the North Caucasus Front, which is commanded by Marshal Budenny. Despite the lack of supplies are intense heat, the Germans make rapid progress. Further north, the 6th Army attempts to bounce its way across the river Don, but is initially repulsed and so waits for the 4th Panzer Army to arrive.


Featured in the "HUMP EXPRESS", the official weekly newspaper of the India-China Division (ICD) of the Air Transport Command (ATC) of the U.S. Army Air Force in the China-Burma-India (CBI) Theater of World War II - March 15, 1945

1943: German radio says that Hamburg is still burning (8am), leaving 100,000 homeless. The USAAF bomb the city again in daylight. The allies blitz Essen with 2,000 tons of bombs being dropped.

1943: Benito Mussolini is arrested by order of the Italian King. Marshal Badoglio, a First World War hero becomes Prime Minister, introduces martial law and incorporates the Fascist militia into the ordinary armed forces, thus ending the Fascist regime in Italy. Hitler orders German divisions rushed South in to Italy to disarm their former allies. Allied forces begin to face stiff resistance as they approach Messina.

AutocarTrucksAd-July1944.jpg Autocar Truck Ad - July 1944

1944: 2,500 USAAF aircraft drop 4,150 tons of bombs on German and American positions near St. Lo, which kill 601 Americans.

1944: The US VII Corps launches 'Operation Cobra' in an attempt to breakout from the southern end of the Cherbourg peninsula, near St. Lo. The Canadians attack South of Caen. Goebbels becomes the 'Reich Plenipotentiary for Total War'.

Vera%20Zorina4.jpg Vera Zorina

1944: Narva is evacuated by the Germans, who take up position along the Tannenberg position to the West. Soviet forces cut the road between Dvinsk and Riga in Latvia. The Second Tank Army reaches the Vistula, 40 miles West of Lublin. Lvov is surrounded and Soviet forces converge on Brest-Litovsk.

1944: 1,246 Japanese are killed in a Banzai charge on Tinian, another 3,000 die on Guam.

Vera%20Zorina5.jpg Vera Zorina

1944: The British Eastern Fleet pounds the Japanese airfields and port at Sabang on Sumatra.

1945: A Proclamation to the Japanese people is issued by UK, U.S and China from Potsdam, which warns of devastation from the 'final blows' and calls for Japans unconditional surrender.

Vera%20Zorina6.jpg Vera Zorina

*Vera Zorina was born Eva Brigitta Hartwig in Berlin, Germany on January 2, 1917. Her father Fritz was a German and her mother Billie Hartwig was Norwegian. Both were professional singers. Zorina was brought up in Kristiansund where she debuted as a dancer at the Festiviteten, the oldest opera house in Norway. She received her education at the Lyceum for Girls in Berlin but was trained in dance by Olga Preobrajenska and Nicholas Legat.

She was presented to Max Reinhardt at age 12 who cast her in his "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (1929) and "Tales of Hoffman" (1931). A performance at London's Gaiety Theatre led to her entrance into the company of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in 1933. She changed her stage name to Vera Zorina when she joined the Ballet Russe. She won a lead role in the London company of "On Your Toes" (1937) and was seen by American film producer Samuel Goldwyn, who signed her to a seven year film contract. Between 1938 and 1946, she would appear in a number of Hollywood movie productions.

She made her official debut with the musical "The Goldwyn Follies" (1938). That same year she increased her visibility ten-fold by marrying noted choreographer/director George Balanchine. She followed her film debut successfully recreating her role in the movie version of "On Your Toes" (1939) and then played the role of a faux countess in the comedy crime caper "I Was an Adventuress" (1940). She impressed on Broadway with "I Married an Angel" and even more so in the 1940 musical "Louisiana Purchase" before returning to Hollywood once again to perform in the movie version of "Louisiana Purchase" (1941) opposite Bob Hope. She was cast as Maria in what could have been the beginning of a dramatic career in the Oscar-winning "For Whom the Bell Tolls" (1943), but was abruptly replaced after only two weeks of shooting by Ingrid Bergman, an action that proved detrimental to her movie career. When the sudden surge of film offers began to wane after the releases of "Follow the Boys" (1944) with George Raft and "Lover Come Back" (1946) co-starring Lucille Ball and George Brent, she bade Hollywood a prompt goodbye.

Vera%20Zorina7.jpg Vera Zorina

Following her divorce from Ballanchine in 1946, she married Goddard Lieberson, president of Columiba Records and a social whirlwind ensued. The prominent couple went on to have two sons, Peter and Jonathan. In later years her lilting accent was used for narrations (in several different languages, including English, German and French) on several records and in tandem with numerous classical symphony orchestras and opera houses. She also directed a production of "Herod" for Norwegian TV. Vera was active with the Lincoln Center as an adviser and director and for several seasons directed operas at the Santa Fe Opera Company in New Mexico.

Starting in 1948, Zorina was associated with Arthur Honegger's "Joan of Arc at the Stake", in which she played the title role in the first American performance with the New York Philharmonic under Charles Münch. She subsequently played the role many times, notably in the recorded performance from the Royal Festival Hall in June 1966 with the London Symphony Orchestra under Seiji Ozawa.

In the 1970s, Vera Zorina was appointed director with the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet (Den Norske Opera & Ballet). In later years, she was active with the Lincoln Center as an adviser and director and for several seasons directed operas at the Santa Fe Opera in New Mexico. In 1986, Vera Zorina completed her autobiography entitled Zorina (New York: Farrar Straus & Giroux.

She died on April 9, 2003 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, of a cerebral hemorrhage, predeceased by her second husband and son Jonathan.

NationalDairyProductsCorporation-July194 National Dairy Products Corporation - July 1945

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