October 1941

Oct

21

1941

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.

Oct

20

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.

Oct

19

1941

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.

Oct

18

1941

‘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 …

Oct

17

1941

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.

Oct

16

1941

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.

Oct

15

1941

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.

Oct

14

1941

Bomb disposal in the north of England

Bomb disposal crew with defused bomb on the 14th October 1941

There were many different bomb types, for instance, they started coming down by parachute, hanging from trees, and even church spires, and because they weighed over a ton, they were quite a problem to get down. The butterfly bombs were the most dangerous, being so sensitive that they could not be disarmed, and had to be blown up.

Oct

13

1941

Welcome to Tobruk Hospital

The coastal town of Tobruk had been shattered by constant artillery bombardment and bombing, August 1941.

Get back to your work’ shouted the Colonel, ‘look at me, I am not hurrying’. A voice from the trenches rang out ‘Neither would we if we were your age, you silly old b—. What have you got to live for anyway’. No action was taken, all the Colonel said as we pursued our leisurely way was ‘High spirited lads aren’t they!!’

Oct

12

1941

Only a few incidents of bombing this week

Clearing up after a relatively random bombing raid hit Bolton on the 12th october 1941.

Apart from slight interference with railway and utility services, damage has been confined to private property. The most serious incidents occurred on the night of the 12th/13th, when several houses were demolished in Manchester, Clayton, Denton and Oldham. Casualties for the week ending 0600 the 15th October are estimated at 61 killed and 69 seriously injured.