June 1941

Jun

30

1941

Some Germans are welcomed

A German motorised column advancing along a Russian road during the early stages of Barbarossa.

My eyes ache from looking at so many vehicles, one after the other as far as you can see. We arrive about 15.00, after travelling along these impossible roads, in Busk, where there’s still fighting going on. The western entrance of the town is jammed full of our vehicles, and all you can see there is dust, but the Russian guns are still barking away at the eastern end.

Jun

29

1941

The interrogation of a U Boat crew

Some of the U-boat men felt that fraternisation with the French was not good for security.

Nevertheless, some officer and Chief Petty Officer prisoners suspected a hidden subtle and organised opposition on the part of the French, which they feared as likely to become dangerous. It was noted by the Germans that in spite of the polite and obliging attitude of the French officials and workmen, something important always went wrong with the German arrangements in which any reliance had been placed on French co-operation.

Jun

28

1941

‘Circus’ raids are stepped up

A daylight raid on Comines power station in north east France by Blenheim bombers on 28th June scored a direct hit on but killed six workers.

We lost 11 bombers and 24 fighters, but the pilots of 2 Spitfires were rescued. Ten aircraft were destroyed by our bombers, who probably destroyed 3 more and damaged 7. Our fighters shot down a total of 39 Messerschmitts, including a number of Me. 109 Fs, probably destroyed 15 more and damaged 18.

Jun

27

1941

The Lietukis Garage massacre

Crowd views the aftermath of a massacre at Lietukis Garage, where pro-German Lithuanian nationalists killed more than 50 Jewish men. The victims were beaten, hosed, and then murdered with iron bars. Kovno, Lithuania, June 27, 1941.

In the middle of the yard, in broad daylight and in full view of the assembled crowd, a group of well dressed, spruce intelligent looking people held iron bars which they used to viciously beat another group of similarly well dressed, spruce, intelligent people.

Jun

26

1941

The Germans arrive in town

The last image in the sequence shows the Soviet officials as prisoners under armed guard.

Here we see German troops arrive in a small Russian town for the first time. We do not know what town, we do not know the exact date. We can have a pretty good idea of the fate of the Soviet officials who have been arrested, following the Commissar order.

Jun

25

1941

The Blitz on Britain continues

The above ground blast from parachute mines caused extensive damage, as here in Southampton.

Bombing throughout the week was on a minor scale except on the nights of the 21st/22nd and 25th/26th June, when slightly heavier bombing occurred at Southampton and the surrounding district. The feature of these two nights was the greater number of parachute mines dropped.

Jun

24

1941

Tobruk – the siege goes on

A British 25-pounder in action on the perimeter of Tobruk.

We found several German propaganda leaflets which had been dropped by plane. They bore an amusing resemblance – both in type and context – to the British leaflets dropped on Tobruch for the benefit of Iti [the Italians], last January.

Jun

23

1941

The Germans encounter the KV1

The Soviet KV1 heavy tank was more than a match for any German tank in 1941.

They hit the steel monsters from the three sides, but the attempts to destroy them were unsuccessful. By the contrary, it was our tanks who were knocked-out. After a long struggle with the Soviet giants, the German armoured units began to withdraw trying to avoid the annihilation.

Jun

22

1941

Barbarossa – The invasion of Russia begins

A Soviet BT7 tank - a 'cavalry' or fast tank - burns as the Germans approach. Soviet resistance was often determined but was very badly co-ordinated at a strategic level.

The noise and sight were indescribable, the earth seemed to tremble, all the batteries came alive out of the darkness of the pine trees. Flames shot towards the border followed by the explosion of the shells on the other side. All around us were what appeared to be great sheets of lightning, torn through by flames while thunder crashed and boomed.

Jun

21

1941

Guderian makes some final checks

Heinz Guderian during the invasion of France, May 1940, in a command vehicle equipped with the 'Enigma' encryption machines.

I visited the forward units of my corps to make sure that all preparations for the attack were satisfactorily completed. Detailed study of the behaviour of the Russians convinced me that they knew nothing of our intentions. We had observation of the courtyard of Brest-Litovsk citadel and could see them drilling by platoons to the music of a military band.