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This Day in WWII 1 September 1939 - 1944


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VegaAircraftAd-Sept1943.jpg Vega Aircraft Ad - September 1943

1939: Three German Army Groups begin the invasion of Poland at 4:45am. Massive strikes by the Luftwaffe destroy vital communications and assembly areas, decimating the Polish air force on the ground. Panzer and motorised divisions make deep penetrations into the Polish defences, using tactics soon to be known as the Blitzkrieg. Officially, the first shots of the war are fired from the 280mm deck guns of the vintage First World War Battleship Schleswig-Holstein. Under the guise of honouring the anniversary of the Battle of Tannenburg, the German Battleship, complete with a hidden cargo of Marine assault troops, was allowed by the Poles to anchor directly off the strategic island of Westerplatte, located at the mouth of the Vistula River in Danzig. At 4:47am, permission was given to the ship to open fire on the island, a strategic point on the Baltic Coast needed to support the troops advancing to the south. Shortly after 4:47am, the ship opened up its massive main guns, firing at near-point-blank range and zero elevation. Needless-to-say, the shells literally pounded the small island, but although the ships guns devastated the target, they inflicted minimal casualties on the Poles stationed within. When the Assault Marines hidden within the Battleship disembarked and launched their main assault on the island, they were repulsed after taking heavy casualties. Another assault was launched later in the morning, again by the Assault Marines, after more shelling from the Schleswig-Holstein, but this attack also ended in heavy German casualties. The Westerplatte would prove impossible to take on the first day of World War 2.

990901_big.gif(READ NY TIMES ARTICLE)

1939: Britain and France, instead of immediately declaring war against Germany look to Mussolini who had proposed an international conference to revise the Versailles treaty terms. In Britain and France general mobilisation declared.

1939: Norway's King Haakon VI proclaims the neutrality of his country. Finland declares strict neutrality. Denmark issues a declaration of neutrality.

Lila%20Leeds1.jpg *Lila Leeds

1939: Lieutenant Wladyslaw Gnys of 2 Krakow Air Regiment shoots down two Dornier 17 Bombers. These were to be the first German airplanes to be shot down in World War 2.

1939: Jews in Germany are forbidden to be outdoors after 8 p.m. in winter and 9 p.m. in summer.

Lila%20Leeds2.jpg Lila Leeds

1940: Destroyer Ivanhoe hits mine and sinks off Dutch coast, second to go down there in two days.

1941: German Jews ordered to wear yellow stars.

Lila%20Leeds3.jpg Lila Leeds

1942: A federal judge in Sacramento, Calif., upheld the wartime detention of Japanese-Americans as well as Japanese nationals.

1942: The Germans claim to have reached the Black Sea in the Caucasus, while units of the 1st Panzer Army form a bridgehead across the Terek river at Mozdok.

1942: The war enters its fourth year. Four-fifths of the world's population is activly involved in the fighting or under the occupation of the axis powers.

ArmyAirForceAd-Sept1944.jpg Army Air Force Ad - September 1944

1944: The British XII Corps crosses the Somme and the Canadians liberate Dieppe. American troops of Patton's Third Army take Verdun. American troops start their attack to capture the strategic port city of Brest which the Germans have turned into a fortress.

Lila%20Leeds4.jpg Lila Leeds

1944: The British government announces that Gen. Bernard L. Montgomery has been appointed field marshal. While nominally a promotion, the new rank is meant to salve the blow to Montgomery's pride at being superseded by Eisenhower as commander of the land battle in Western Europe.

1944: Gurkha units from the British Eighth Army storm Tavoleto.

Lila%20Leeds5.jpg Lila Leeds

*Lila Leeds was born Lila Lee Wilkinson on January 28, 1928 in Lola, Kansas. Leeds ran away from home as a teen. She worked as a dancer in St. Louis before moving to Los Angeles. While working as a hatcheck girl at Ciro's, she met and married actor, composer, singer and conductor Jack Little. The marriage was annulled when Leeds discovered that Little was still married. After taking an acting course at the Bliss-Hayden School of Acting, Leeds signed with MGM and began appearing in film roles.

She appeared in a handful of films, though many were uncredited, including "I Love My Husband, But!" (1946), "The Show-Off" (1946), Lady in the Lake (1947), "Green Dolphin Street" (1947), "Always Together" (1947), "April Showers" (1948), "So You Want to Be a Detective" (1948), "Moonrise" (1948), "City Across the River" (1949), "The House Across the Street" (1949).

Lila%20Leeds6.jpg Lila Leeds

She gained notoriety for being arrested together with actor Robert Mitchum on charges of marijuana possession in August, 1948. She subsequently spent sixty days in jail. Although she starred in "She Shoulda Said No!" (1949) following her release from prison, her acting career never really recovered from the episode.

Leeds left California in 1949, moving throughout the Midwest where she worked in nightclubs, married and divorced twice, and began using heroin. She eventually traveled back to Los Angeles in 1966 where she began studying religion and volunteered at local missions.

Cheryl Crane, daughter of Lana Turner, in her autobiography, stated that Leeds was introduced to heroin use while in jail and became a full-blown addict afterwards, and was last heard from working in a drug rehabilitation facility in the mid-1970s.

According to the Social Security Death Index Lila W. Leeds died September 15, 1999. Cause of death unknown.

CamelCigaretteAd-Sept1945.jpg Camel Cigarette Ad - September 1945

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