1941

Jul

17

1941

Minister for Occupied Eastern Territories appointed

This German photograph of the ' deportation of the Jews in Russia' is dated 17th July 1941 and shows barefoot peasants being escorted by Romanian troops.

Hitler stated that they were faced with the task of “cutting up the giant cake according to our needs, in order to be able: first, to dominate it, second, to administer it, and third, to exploit it,” and he indicated that ruthless action was contemplated …

Jul

16

1941

Low level attack on Rotterdam

The view from the dorsal turret of a Blenheim bomber as bombs explode in the docks of Rotterdam during the raid on 16th July 1941.

The Blenheims passed over Rotterdam, where two warehouses and a factory were set alight, so low that one aircraft severed the cable of a derrick. Heavy anti-aircraft fire was encountered and four of our bombers were lost, two of these having scored direct hits before being shot down.

Jul

15

1941

A Uranium bomb is possible

The MAUD committee produced two reports - one on the production of power from Uranium, the other on its potential as a military weapon as an explosive.

We have now reached the conclusion that it will be possible to make an effective uranium bomb which, containing some 25 lb of active material, would be equivalent as regards destructive effect to 1,800 tons of T.N.T. and would also release large quantities of radioactive substance, which would make places near to where the bomb exploded dangerous to human life for a long period.

Jul

14

1941

“Do your worst …and we will do our best”

The end of the most intense period of the Blitz in June 1941 provided an opportunity for restoring essential services.  In many bombed out residential areas there was no rebuilding, just  the removal of debris.

But there was one thing about which there was never any doubt. The courage, the unconquerable grit and stamina of our people, showed itself from the very outset. Without that all would have failed. Upon that rock, all stood unshakable.

Jul

13

1941

The march into Russia continues

A German transport column in Russia, summer 1941. Some argue that it was the condition of the roads that saved Russia - because they slowed the German advance so much.

A vivid picture which remains of these weeks is the great clouds of yellow dust kicked up by the Russian columns attempting to retreat and by our infantry hastening in pursuit. The heat was tremendous, though interspersed with sudden showers which quickly turned the roads to mud before the sun reappeared and as quickly baked them into crumbling clay once again.

Jul

12

1941

Britain and Soviet Russia form an alliance

A familiar scene in the Kremlin but this time it is British Ambassador Stafford Cripps being watched by Molotov and Stalin, 12th July 1941.

The two Governments mutually undertake to render each other assistance and support of all kinds in the present war against Hitlerite Germany. They further undertake that during this war they will neither negotiate nor conclude an armistice or treaty of peace except by mutual agreement.

Jul

11

1941

Shots heard in a Lithuanian pine forest

Jews detained by Lithuanian nationalists shortly after the German invasion.

Quite nice weather, warm, white clouds, windy, some shots from the forest. Probably exercises, because in the forest there is an ammunition dump on the way to the village of Nowosiolki. It’s about 4 p.m.; the shots last an hour or two.

Jul

10

1941

Bayonet attack on a machine gun post

Australian James Gordon won the Victoria Cross for an attack on a French machine gun post .

Pte Gordon, noting the situation, and on his own initiative, crept forward under fire, including grenades, and succeeded in approaching close to the post. He then charged it from the front and with the bayonet killed the four enemy machine gunners. His action completely demoralised the enemy in the area and was a magnificent inspiration to his comrades.

Jul

9

1941

Air attacks on Britain much reduced

Pilots from No. 611 Squadron based at Hornchurch  in July 1941. From left - Flight Lieutenant Eric Lock, a Battle of Britain ace with 24 confirmed kills, lost on operations on 3rd August,

Fighter Command flew 1,119 patrols, involving 4,513 sorties, by day, and 691 patrols, involving 912 sorties, by night. The latter total includes dusk and dawn patrols. The bulk of our fighter effort by day is accounted for by offensive sweeps and bomber escorts over Northern France, and by shipping protection patrols.

Jul

8

1941

Baling out of a tank in Russia

The Czech built 38(t) tank advancing through a Russian village during the early part of Operation Barbarossa

My smashed teeth soon found their way into the trash can at the aid station. The shrapnel embedded in my face remained there until it saw the light of day all by itself as had been correctly predicted. I hitch-hiked my way back to the front.