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This Day in WWII 09-03-1939 - 1945


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This Day in WWII 09-03-1939 - 1945

1939: The official beginning of World War 2: After Germany rejects the Anglo-French ultimatum of 1st September, which called for the withdrawal of all German forces from Poland, Britain and France declare war on Germany at 11am.

1939: An RAF Blenheim bomber of 139 Squadron conducts the RAF's first operational sortie of the war when it flew over to Germany to check shipping in the Schillig Roads. With a frozen radio, it was unable to transmit any information back to base and by the time it landed it was too late to mount an attack that day. Later that night, Whitley bombers conduct an number of leaflet dropping sorties over Germany.

1939: The Kriegsmarine begins its campaign against British merchant shipping with 17 U-boats putting to sea out of a total of about 57 operational boats, far fewer than the 300 Dönitz had felt he needed to succeed against Britain.

1939: 55 Polish peasants are rounded up and shot at Truskolasy by the Nazis.

1939: The Australian Prime Minister, R.G. Menzies broadcasts that Australia is now at war with Germany.

1940: German invasion of Britain, Operation Sealion, is set for the 21st September.

1940: The US Congress finally agrees to the handing over of 50 old destroyers in return for 99 year leases of British Naval bases in Antigua, St. Lucia, Trinidad, British Guiana the Bahamas, Jamaica and Argentia.

1940: Romania is forced to cede Transylvania to Hungary and Dobrudja to Bulgaria under the Vienna award.

1941: Gas chambers at Auschwitz in Poland are used for first time, using Zyklon B, which was basically Hydrogen Cyanide.

1942: The defenders of Leningrad launch an attack in a vain attempt to meet the relief forces. The pincers of the 6th Army and 4th Panzer Army finally meet up to the west of Stalingrad at Pitomnik. The Germans now attempted to break into Stalingrad from the west, but were unable to do so because of limited Red Army counter-attacks against his flanks, which diverted a significant proportion of his forces. Luftflotte 4 continues its round-the-clock air attacks against Stalingrad.

1942: The RAF makes a record number of sorties in North Africa as desert battle rages. Rommel’s withdrawal is speeded up by heavy New Zealand pressure.

anncorio.jpg Ann Corio

1943: The new Italian government under Marshal Badoglio signs an armistice with the allies in secret. This allows the allies to launch Operation 'Baytown', the invasion of mainland Italy. The British Eighth Army crosses the Strait of Messina unmolested.

1944: The British Second Army liberates Brussels. The U.S. First Army takes Tournai. French and U.S. forces enter Lyons. Field Marshal von Rundstedt assumes command of the German armies in the West.

1944: A National Day of Prayer is declared in Britain on fifth anniversary of outbreak of war. British Empire casualties are revealed as 242,995 killed, 80,603 missing, 311,500 wounded and 290,381 captured.

1944: Wake Island and other strategic targets in Pacific are strafed by U.S. Navy aircraft for two days, during which 13 Japanese ships are reported sunk.

1945: The Japanese commander in the Philippines, Gen. Yamashita, surrenders to Gen. Wainwright at Baguio.

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1940: The US Congress finally agrees to the handing over of 50 old destroyers in return for 99 year leases of British Naval bases in Antigua, St. Lucia, Trinidad, British Guiana the Bahamas, Jamaica and Argentia

There were actually a number of bases in Newfoudnland under lend lease. They were: USN Argentia, USAAF Harmon Field (in Stephenville), USAAF Goose Bay Labrador and US Army and Airforce Fort Pepperel here in St. John's where my dad worked :) During the cold way we had a bunch of DEW Line installations as well.

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