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This Day in WWII 6 August 1940 - 1945


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ChampionSparkPlugsAd-August1943.jpg Champion Spark Plugs Ad - August 1943

1940: Goering sets the 10th August 1940 as 'Eagle day', the start of the Luftwaffe major offensive against the RAF and its Airfields.

1940: Italian forces reach Odweina in British Somaliland. Battles at Tug Argan and at Hargeisa.

Hedy%20Lamarr1.jpg *Hedy Lamarr

1941: The Japanese foreign minister, Admiral Nomura, proposes to the USA a meeting between Roosevelt and Prime Minister Konoye.

1942: General Dwight D. Eisenhower is appointed as commander-in-chief of allied forces preparing to invade North Africa.

Hedy%20Lamarr2.jpg Hedy Lamarr

1942: The British section of the 'World Jewish Congress', claims that 1,000,000 Jews are already dead in occupied Europe.

1942: German 1st Panzer Army crosses the Kuban river at Armavir.

Hedy%20Lamarr3.jpg Hedy Lamarr

1943: A partial evacuation of Berlin is announced in order to avoid another Hamburg.

1943: German troops pour into Italy as Axis foreign ministers meet at Treviso.

Hedy%20Lamarr4.jpg Hedy Lamarr

1943: Battle of Vella Gulf: 4 Japanese destroyers attempt to bring troops and supplies to Kolombangara, Solomon Is. and are attacked by 6 U.S. destroyers. 3 Japanese destroyers are sunk and 1 damaged. U.S. destroyers suffer no damage.

1943: The Japanese air base at Munda is in the hands of the U.S. Marines. Control of the site, in the center of the Solomon archipelago, gives the Marines a base for bombing Japanese positions in the Philippines.

BoeingAd-August1944.jpg Boeing Ad - August 1944

1944: The U.S. XX Corps enters Laval and continues south-east. The U.S. 4th Armoured Division advances to Vannes and Lorient, while the U.S. 6th Armoured Division, on their right flank, is headed for the westernmost point of the Brittany Peninsula and the ports of Brest. North of them, 8th U.S. Infantry Division is passing along the northern coastline of the peninsula.

1944: The Russians seize the Polish oil centre of Drohobyez.

Hedy%20Lamarr5.jpg Hedy Lamarr

1944: The German Rahmel aircraft factory near Gdynia in Poland, is attacked by allied bombers.

1944: The last Jewish ghetto in Poland, Lodz, is liquidated with 60,000 Jews sent to Auschwitz.

Hedy%20Lamarr6.jpg Hedy Lamarr

1945: The Belgians announce that 2,117 collaborators have been sentenced to death, out of 16,000 found guilty.


1945: U.S. B-29 "Enola Gay" drops a 3 m long atomic bomb "Little Boy" on Hiroshima, Japan, killing an estimated 140,000 people in the first use of a nuclear weapon in warfare and wiping out 10 square kms. (WATCH VIDEO)

ColonelPaulWTibbets.jpg Colonel Paul W. Tibbets

1945: U.S. carrier aircraft from a naval task group strike Japanese shipping in Tinghai Harbour, China.

1945: U.S. carrier aircraft bomb Wake Island, Micronesia.

1945: The U.S. First Army arrives on Luzon to prepare for final assault on Japan.

Hedy%20Lamarr7.jpg Hedy Lamarr

*Lamarr was born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler in Vienna, Austria-Hungary on November 9, 1914, to Jewish parents Gertrud (née Lichtwitz), a pianist and Budapest native who came from the "Jewish haute bourgeoisie", and Lemberg-born Emil Kiesler, a successful bank director. She studied ballet and piano at age 10. When she worked with Max Reinhardt in Berlin, he called her the "most beautiful woman in Europe". Soon the teenage girl played major roles in German movies, alongside stars like Heinz Rühmann and Hans Moser.

In early 1933 she starred in Gustav Machatý's notorious film "Ecstasy", a Czechoslovak film made in Prague, in which she played the love-hungry young wife of an indifferent old husband. Closeups of her face in orgasm, and long shots of her running nude through the woods, gave the film notoriety.

On 10 August 1933 she married Friedrich Mandl, a Vienna-based arms manufacturer 13 years her senior. In her autobiography "Ecstasy and Me", Lamarr described Mandl as an extremely controlling man who sometimes tried to keep her shut up in their mansion. The Austrian fascist bought up as many copies of the film as he could possibly find, as he objected to her nudity and "the expression on her face". (Lamarr later claimed the looks of passion were the result of the director poking her in the bottom with a safety pin.)

Mandl prevented her from pursuing her acting career, and instead took her to meetings with technicians and business partners. In these meetings, the mathematically-talented Lamarr learned about military technology. Otherwise she had to stay at Castle Schwarzenau. She later related that, even though Mandl was part-Jewish, he was consorting with Nazi industrialists, which infuriated her. In "Ecstasy and Me", Lamarr wrote that fascist dictators Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler both attended Mandl's grand parties. She related that in 1937 she disguised herself as one of her maids and fled to Paris, where she obtained a divorce, then moved on to London. According to another version of the episode, she persuaded Mandl to allow her to attend a party wearing all her expensive jewelry, later drugged him with the help of her maid, and made her escape out of the country with the jewelry.

First she went to Paris, then met Louis B. Mayer in London. After he hired her, at his insistence, she changed her name to Hedy Lamarr, choosing the surname in homage to a beautiful film star of the silent era, Barbara La Marr, who had died in 1926 from a drug overdose.

She made 18 films from 1940 to 1949 even though she had two children during that time (in 1945 and 1947). Hedy made her American film debut as Gaby in "Algiers" (1938). This was followed a year later by "Lady of the Tropics" (1939). In 1942 she landed the plum role of Tondelayo in the classic "White Cargo" (1942). After World War II her career began to decline and MGM decided it would be in the interest of all concerned if her contract were not renewed. Unfortunately for Hedy, she turned down the leads in both "The Murder in Thornton Square" (1940) and "Casablanca" (1942), both of which would have cemented her standing in the minds of the American public. She left MGM in 1945; Lamarr enjoyed her biggest success as Delilah in Cecil B. DeMille's "Samson and Delilah" (1949), the highest-grossing film of 1949, with Victor Mature as the Biblical strongman. However, following her comedic turn opposite Bob Hope in "My Favorite Spy" (1951), her career went into decline. She appeared only sporadically in films after 1950, one of her last roles being that of Joan of Arc in Irwin Allen's critically panned epic "The Story of Mankind" (1957).

Hedy%20Lamarr8.jpg Hedy Lamarr

The publication of her autobiography "Ecstasy and Me" (1967) took place about a year after accusations of shoplifting, and a year after Andy Warhol's short film "Hedy" (1966), also known as "The Shoplifter". The controversy surrounding the shoplifting charges coincided with an aborted return to the screen in "Picture Mommy Dead" (1966). The role was ultimately filled by Zsa Zsa Gabor.

In the ensuing years, Lamarr retreated from public life, and settled in Florida. She returned to the headlines in 1991 when the 78 year old former actress was again accused of shoplifting, although charges were eventually dropped.

Lamarr became a naturalized citizen of the United States on April 10, 1953.

For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Hedy Lamarr has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6247 Hollywood Blvd.

Lamarr died in Altamonte Springs, Florida (near Orlando) on January 19, 2000. Her son Anthony Loder took her ashes back to Austria and spread them in the Wienerwald forest, in accordance with her wishes.

Frequency-hopping Spread-spectrum Invention

Avant garde composer George Antheil, a son of German immigrants and neighbor of Lamarr, had experimented with automated control of musical instruments, including his music for Ballet Mecanique, originally written for Fernand Léger's 1924 abstract film. This score involved multiple player pianos playing simultaneously.

Together, Antheil and Lamarr submitted the idea of a secret communication system in June 1941. On August 11, 1942, U.S. Patent 2,292,387 was granted to Antheil and "Hedy Kiesler Markey", Lamarr's married name at the time. This early version of frequency hopping used a piano roll to change between 88 frequencies and was intended to make radio-guided torpedoes harder for enemies to detect or jam.

The idea was ahead of its time, and not feasible owing to the state of mechanical technology in 1942. It was not implemented in the USA until 1962, when it was used by U.S. military ships during a blockade of Cuba after the patent had expired. Perhaps owing to this lag in development, the patent was little-known until 1997, when the Electronic Frontier Foundation gave Lamarr an award for this contribution. In 1998, Ottawa wireless technology developer Wi-LAN, Inc. "acquired a 49 percent claim to the patent from Lamarr for an undisclosed amount of stock" (Eliza Schmidkunz, Inside GNSS); Antheil had died in 1959.

Lamarr's and Antheil's frequency-hopping idea serves as a basis for modern spread-spectrum communication technology, such as COFDM used in Wi-Fi network connections and CDMA used in some cordless and wireless telephones. Similar patents had been granted to others earlier, such as in Germany in 1935 to Telefunken engineers Paul Kotowski and Kurt Dannehl who also received U.S. Patent 2,158,662 and U.S. Patent 2,211,132 in 1939 and 1940. Blackwell, Martin and Vernam's Secrecy Communication System patent from 1920 (1598673) does seem to lay the communications groundwork for Kiesler and Antheil's patent which employed the techniques in the autonomous control of torpedoes.

Lamarr wanted to join the National Inventors Council, but she was told that she could better help the war effort by using her celebrity status to sell War Bonds. She once raised $7,000,000 at just one event.


Measurements: 33-22-34 (1933 in Ecstasy (1933) ), 33B-23-35 (1940s starlet), 34B-26-37 (later career), (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)

Height: 5' 7" (1.70 m)


Lewis J. Boies (4 March 1963 - 21 June 1965) (divorced; separated 15 October 1964)

W. Howard Lee (22 December 1953 - 1960) (divorced)

Teddy Stauffer (12 June 1951 - 1952) (divorced)

John Loder (27 May 1943 - 17 July 1947) (divorced) 2 children

Gene Markey (5 March 1939 - 3 October 1941) (divorced) 1 child

Fritz Mandl (10 August 1933 - 1937) (divorced)

Children: Antony Loder (b. 01 March 1947), Denise Loder (b. 29 May 1945), James (b. 06 March 1939 - father John Loder; adopted 16 October 1939 as James Markey Lamarr).

Sued Mel Brooks for mocking her name in his film Blazing Saddles (1974) (they settled out of court)

The mansion used in The Sound of Music (1965) belonged to her at the time.

BoeingAd-August1945.jpg Boeing Ad - August 1945

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