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This Day in WWII 30 June 1940 - 1945 *1934


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Buick-June1943.jpgBuick Ad - June 1943


1940: Germans troops land on Guernsey in the Channel Islands.


1940: The last French defenders of the Maginot Line surrender.


1940: Governor General of Hong Kong orders evacuation of women and children to the Philippines as Japanese blockade colony.


JoanLeslie1.jpg **Joan Leslie


1941: Vichy France breaks off diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union.


1941: Army Group Centre continues to constrict the Bialystok pocket to the west of Minsk. Pilots of Luftwaffe fighter wing JG-51 down 100 Soviet bombers attacking German panzer forces east of Minsk, with its CO, Oberst Mölders, accounting for 5 of them. German forces of Army Group South capture Lemberg (Lvov).


JoanLeslie2.jpg Joan Leslie


1942: The costliest fiscal year in U.S. history comes to a close. More that $32 billion has been spent, $26 billion on war expenditures alone. The total exceeds the amount on WWI in its entirety.


1942: Returning from a successful patrol in the Gulf of Mexico (12 ships sunk), U-158 (Kptlt. Rostin) is destroyed by a US Mariner flying boat off Bermuda.


JoanLeslie3.jpg Joan Leslie


1942: As the Panzer's roll eastward in Russia, they haul in hordes of Russian POW's. With five German armies (two panzer), two Romanian, one Italian (including a number of mountain divisions) and one Hungarian Army in the van, all tolled 89 divisions on the offensive. While the Panzer's are fully motorized, the bulk of the remaining forces depend on horses for transport and supply. As the advance lengthens, so do the supply lines, and shortages soon begin to appear at the sharp end. The Russian garrison at Sevastopol begins to evacuate itself by night. Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, chief of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, telegraphs his troops, "In line with the prestige and dignity of the German Army, every German soldier must maintain distance and such an attitude with regard to Russian POW's as takes account of the bitterness and inhuman brutality of the Russians in battle." Prestige and dignity will be maintained, Keitel continues, as follows "Fleeing prisoners of war are to be shot without preliminary warning to stop. All resistance of POW's, even passive, must be entirely eliminated immediately by the use of arms." Russian POW's are placed into camps where the dead lie undisturbed for weeks on end. German guards periodically enter the camps to get rid of bodies with flame-throwers.


1942: At Auschwitz, a second gas chamber, Bunker II (the white farmhouse), is made operational at Birkenau due to the number of Jews arriving.


JoanLeslie4.jpg Joan Leslie


1942: U-372 sinks the British submarine depot ship Medway. The loss of the torpedo's she was carrying put a severe brake on British submarine operations in the Mediterranean. The Mediterranean Fleet evacuates Alexandria for Haifa, Port Said and Beirut. The port facilities are also prepared for demolition incase axis forces reach the city.


1942: Rommel spearheads reaches El Alamein. The port facilities at Alexandria are prepared for demolition, should the axis forces not be stopped at El Alamein. In what became known as 'Ash Wednesday', British HQ is Cairo begins to destroy classified papers and prepares for evacuation to Palestine. A brave but disorganized Eighth Army is addressed by General Auchinleck, who tells them, that 'He (Rommel) hopes to take Egypt by bluff. Lets show him where to get off.' This comes as 'Ultra' interceptions told them that Rommel would attack their positions at El Alamein the following day.


Oldsmobile-June1943.jpg Oldsmobile Ad - June 1943


1943: The British publish aircraft losses incurred to date, with Axis losses of 18,031 aircraft and RAF losses of 9,906 aircraft.


1943: Operation 'Cartwheel' continues with the occupation of Rendova, north west of Guadalcanal. The Trobriand and Woodlark islands between Solomon's and New Guinea are also occupied.


JoanLeslie5.jpg Joan Leslie


1944: The United States breaks off diplomatic relations with Finland.


1944: The remaining 6,000 Germans in the Cherbourg peninsula surrender. The Germans forces retake Hill 112 from the British 2nd Army.


JoanLeslie6.jpg Joan Leslie


1945: The Chinese take Liuchow and capture towns on the Indo-Chinese border.


*1934: Adolf Hitler began his ''blood purge'' of political and military leaders in Germany. Among those killed was one-time Hitler ally Ernst Roehm, leader of the Nazi stormtroopers.


JoanLeslie7.jpg Joan Leslie


**Born in Detroit as Joan Agnes Theresa Sadie Brodel on January 26, 1925, she began working at the age of three, as a model and also as part of a Vaudeville act with her two sisters, The Brodel Sisters. Eventually she found her way to Hollywood as a very young teen. Performing under her real name or in uncredited parts, she appeared in "Camille" in 1936 and more than a dozen other films.


The pretty redheaded actress finally got her first meaty role in 1941 for Warner Brothers, as the crippled girl in "High Sierra" with Humphrey Bogart, her first billing under her new name, "Joan Leslie". That same year she played Gary Cooper's girl in "Sergeant York" and appeared once again with Bogie in "The Wagons Roll at Night" (1941). Later she played James Cagney's wife in "Yankee Doodle Dandy" (1942) and danced with Fred Astaire in "The Sky's the Limit" (1943). She was only 18.


During the early 1940s she appeared in many other WB movies, including "The Male Animal" (1942), "The Hard Way" (1942), "This Is the Army" (1943), "Thank Your Lucky Stars" (1943), "Hollywood Canteen" (1944, as herself), "Where Do We Go From Here?" (1945 - 20th Century-Fox), "Rhapsody in Blue" (1945), "Too Young to Know" (1945), "Cinderella Jones" (1946), "Janie Gets Married" (1946) and "Two Guys From Milwaukee" (1946).


A contract dispute with WB resulted in a switch to Republic, where she finally got some parts that didn't call for her to play the girl next door, including "The Woman They Almost Lynched" (1953), "Born to Be Bad" (1950), "Hellgate" (1952), "Jubilee Trail" (1954), "Flight Nurse" (1954), and "The Revolt of Mamie Stover" (1956). She married Dr. William Caldwell in 1950, and she retired from acting altogether to look after her identical twin daughters Patrice and Ellen after their birth.


Eventually, she did work in TV commercials, and appeared in made-for-TV movies such "Turn Back the Clock" (1989) -- a remake of "Repeat Performance", a film she made during the period between WB and Republic -- "Fire in the Dark" (1991), and as herself in Let Freedom Sing! The Story of "Yankee Doodle Dandy" (2003). She also appeared in TV shows such as Murder, She Wrote and Charlie's Angels. She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1560 Vine Street. Leslie died on October 12, 2015, in Los Angeles, California. She was 90.



Height: 5' 4" (1.63 m)

Mentioned in The Andrews Sisters' song "Corns for My Country": "We're not petite like Joan Leslie".



Pontiac-June1944-Navy.jpg Pontiac Motors Ad - June 1944

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