Kharkov falls

Street fighting in Kharkov , the city fell on the 24th Ocober.

The important industrial center of Kharkov was captured by the Germans on the 24th October. The Soviets were now dismantling whole factories and shipping them east to resume production far away from the front line. It was a close run thing in Kharkov where the evacuation of a tank factory was completed with only a few days to spare. There was fierce fighting to protect the rail lines as the Germans came within seven miles of the railhead where the industrial equipment was loading.

German support troops make their way into the burning town of Kharkov.

The German occupiers dealt ruthlessly with anyone associated with the Soviet state and made sure the rest of the population knew what was happening. Sumskaya Street, Kharkov, 25th October 1941.





HMS Cossack torpedoed

The Tribal class destroyer HMS Cossack pictured before the war.

It wasn’t terribly late, shortly before midnight in fact, and I walked over to the guard rail and stood looking out over the port side. Another moonless night, but there was a phosphorescence in our wake and I watched the wave that we sent out from the break in the fo’c’sle; and then from out in the darkness the wave broke and started to run in towards the ship, except this wash was wiggling and wash didn’t wiggle!




Coastal Command continue offensive

Sunderland flying boat in flight

Two Spitfires attacked a ship off Havre, leaving her listing. Eight Blenheims, escorted by fighters, sighted a convoy of seven vessels and four Flakships off Ijmuiden. Four of the merchant ships were attacked but with unobserved results, and two others of 3,000 and 1,000 tons respectively had smoke, issuing from them when last seen.




French Hostages shot in German reprisals

France was one of the best postings for any German unit, where these German officers were training in 1941.

As expiation for this crime I have ordered that 50 hostages be shot, to begin with. Because of the gravity of the crime, 50 more hostages will be shot in the case of the guilty not being arrested between now and midnight of 23 October 1941.




Wehrmacht massacre civilians in Serbia

German troops escort citizens of Kragujevac out of the town to their execution.

The cowardly and treacherous surprise attacks on German soldiers during the previous week, on which occasion 10 German soldiers were killed and 26 wounded, had to be punished. For that reason 100 people were shot for each killed German soldier, and for each wounded 50, mainly communists, bandits and their siders, 2300 altogether.




The first German Jews arrive in the Ghetto

Jews deported from Prague, Czechoslovakia, move their belongings through the streets. Lodz ghetto, Poland, November 20, 1941.

Today 1,000 deportees from Vienna arrived in the ghetto. Among the new arrivals are physicians, engineers, professors, famous chemists, dental technicians, once prominent merchants, several priests from converted families, and twenty Christian women, who have come along with their husbands and children.




‘Target for Tonight’ released in USA

The poster depicts the rather unsuccessful Boulton Paul Defiants although the film portrays a raid by the famously robust Wellington bombers.

The true, thrilling quality of it lies in the remarkable human detail which Mr Watt has worked into it — the quiet, efficient way in which each man goes about his job; the interjection of humor which even the grimmest task and danger cannot suppress, and finally the tremendous suspense of the routine bombing attack …




The USS Kearney torpedoed in mid Atlantic

Eleven men died when the USS Kearny was torpedoed by U-568 whilst assisting with convoy duties .

About 0010 torpedo struck the ship on starboard side at about the turn of the bilge between frames seventy and seventy four, in latitude 57-04 North, 23-00 West. At this time a second torpedo ran past the starboard side of ship on slightly converging coure and a third was noted crossing astern close abroad from starboard to port.




The advance on Moscow begins to stall

German troops examine a Russian T-34 tank that they did mange to capture in October 1941.

A large proportion of our heavy artillery was soon stuck fast and was therefore unavailable for the Moscow battle. The quality of the mud may be understood when it is realized that even tanks and other tracked vehicles could only just get along and were frequently and repeatedly mired. The strain that all this caused our already exhausted troops can perhaps be imagined.




Einsatzgruppe A reports on its work

Einsatzgruppe A had become practised at mass murder as it  followed the German Army through the Baltic countries

The arrest of all male Jews over the age of sixteen is almost completed. With the exception of the doctors and the Jewish Elders appointed by the Sonderkommando they [the remaining Jews] are being executed by the Estonian Self-Defense Force under the supervision of Sonderkommando Ia.