October 1941

Oct

11

1941

Morrison Shelter saves lives in Whitstable

The Morrison shelter was an indoor cage that was designed to protect the occupants from the debris if the house was hit by a bomb.

Almost immediately the whole house seemed to crash on top of us. We were choked with dust and in pitch darkness, but we found that we were not hurt. I groped round and managed to find the torch. We started to push away the rubbish round the shelter. We then heard voices and my father, who was out when the bomb fell, called to us. We shouted back and the rescue men dug down to us and got us out. We owe our lives to that shelter. It was really splendid.

Oct

10

1941

‘Conduct of Troops in the Eastern Territories’

The men are lined up in front of a prepared ditch as the firing squad takes aim.

Therefore the soldier must have full understanding for the necessity of a severe but just revenge on subhuman Jewry. The Army has to aim at another purpose, i. e., the annihilation of revolts in hinterland which, as experience proves, have always been caused by Jews.
The combating of the enemy behind the front line is still not being taken seriously enough.

Oct

9

1941

Army Group South continues the blitzkrieg

Panzer IV tanks advance through southern Russia, probably 1941.

Explosive rounds from Bugelsack’s armored car ripped the vehicles apart. The machine-gun fire from the Kradschutzen echoed gruesomely over the square. Burning soldiers leapt from the ladder truck and ran across the broad plaza like torches. A fuel drum had been hit and the explosion had set dozens of men on fire.

Oct

8

1941

Army Group Centre grinds to a halt

The swift mobile assault on Moscow by Army Group Centre suddenly found itself halted by the weather. First came the 'season without roads', worse was to come.'

it began to rain, and mud started to become a problem for us. Wind whipped the rain into our faces and soaked our uniforms as we marched. Snow came in early October, but it was not cold enough for the ground to freeze and everything turned to mud. By October 8, the earth was simply a quagmire of mud. Great clumps of mud clung to our boots and every step produced a smacking suction noise.

Oct

7

1941

Army Group North digs in

Russian troops on the Leningrad Front where conditions had now settled down into Trench warfare not much different from the First War. Image coutesyRIAN 58228

If it was quiet at the front, I normally made the short trip back to my rear bunker a couple of times a day. Furnished with only a dirt floor and walls, bunks, a table, and a wood-burning stove, the rear bunkers were primitive but made a comfortable dwelling for four to six men.

Oct

6

1941

SS Thistlegorm bombed in the Red Sea

Launched in April 1940 the SS Thistlegorm was on her fourth voyage, carrying military supplies to Egypt, when she was bombed and sunk on the 6th October.

I was on watch at twelve o’clock and about one o’clock we heard the sound of aircraft. We looked across to the Carlisle and there was nothing indicating from her and the sound of the aircraft got nearer and the first thing that we realised was that he was planting a few bombs on us, which, unfortunately, dropped in number four hold …

Oct

5

1941

Russian POWs marched through Poland

Soviet prisoners of war after their arrival in Mauthausen concentration camp in October 1941.

This afternoon another” group of Soviet POWs was moved through town. Because today is Sunday, many watched. Bread, apples, and other goods were placed on the sidewalks on both sides of the street. Even though the soldiers from the convoy started shooting at them while they fought for food, the prisoners did not pay any attention to the Germans.

Oct

4

1941

U-111 sunk and crew captured

The captured crew of a U-boat are brought ashore. Naval Intelligence interviewed suvh men in some depth

The petty officer manning “U 111′s” machine gun on the bridge had fired fifty rounds at this juncture, and was firing the second clip of ammunition handed to him by Kleinschmidt himself, when the latter, together with Rösing and Fuchs, was killed by a direct hit on the conning tower; the above petty officer was the only man left alive on the bridge out of the eight who had been there.

Oct

3

1941

Hitler broadcasts to the German people

Hitler meets German troops on the Eastern Front during late August 1941.

The number of prisoners has now risen to roughly 2,500,000 Russians. The number of captured or destroyed guns in our hands is, in round figures, 22,000. The number of captured or destroyed tanks in our hands amounts to over 18,000. The number of destroyed and shot-down planes is over 14,500. Behind our front line is a Russian area twice as large as the German Reich when I took over leadership in 1933, or four times as large as England.

Oct

2

1941

South Shields bombed

The remains of the Woolworths Store, South Shields  bombed on 2nd October 1941

Last night’s do was much worse than Tuesday’s. St Bede’s junior school (South Shields) got a direct hit, Laygate school is also wrecked, Croftons, Woolworths and Black’s Regal are done for and Binns is badly damaged. The patrons of Black’s Regal rushed to the public shelter in the market place and shortly afterwards the shelter got a direct hit. I was told there were 80 killed in there alone….. One of the jerries shot down three barrage balloons. He got the three in line and pumped tracer bullets into them.