June 1942

Jun

9

1942

Taken prisoner out in the Desert

25-pdr field guns in action in the Western Desert, 22 March 1942.

Soon shouting and gestures from the German non-commissioned officer made us collect in a bunch to our right, and while doing so, I was able to whisper to one or two of our men, who started to commiserate with such remarks as ‘Bad luck, Sir ‘, not to call me Sir or to let on that I was an officer, and to remind them that Name, Rank, Number was all they should say.

Jun

8

1942

Malta – ‘you never have time to be scared’

Vertical aerial photograph of Ta Kali airfield, Malta, following the heavy enemy bombing raids of April 1942.

You’ve seen our fellows up there fighting and you’ve seen some of them shot down while they were protecting you, coming in. Tomorrow you may be up there and you may get it. Day after tomorrow some of you may be attending your own funerals if you don’t keep your eyes peeled. That’s all. Good luck and good hunting!

Jun

7

1942

Hope and Despair in the Warsaw ghetto

Warsaw Ghetto, June 1942: Chl‚odna Street (looking West) from the intersection with Żelazna Street. The street was Aryan and above the street one can see a wooden bridge connecting Small and Big Ghetto. In the back the Chl‚odna 25 building.

What hope do we have that it will not be carried out? Over half a million Jews who used to live in Poland have already been murdered; some by hunger, some by disease, some by the Nazi sword. Jews have been deported from hundreds of small communities, and no one knows their whereabouts, simply because they were killed along the way and never reached a new destination.

Jun

6

1942

Japanese cruiser Mikuma sunk, USS Yorktown torpedoed

Japanese heavy cruiser Mikuma, photographed from a USS Enterprise (CV-6) SBD aircraft during the afternoon of 6 June 1942, after she had been bombed by planes from Enterprise and USS Hornet (CV-8). Note her shattered midships structure, torpedo dangling from the after port side tubes and wreckage atop her number four eight-inch gun turret.

He led the second division of his squadron in a coordinated glide-bombing and dive-bombing assault upon a Japanese battleship. Undeterred by a fateful approach glide, during which his ship was struck and set afire, he grimly pressed home his attack to an altitude of five hundred feet, released his bomb to score a near-miss on the stern of his target, then crashed to the sea in flames.

Jun

5

1942

The battle for the Gazala Line continues

A British infantryman takes the surrender of the crew of an enemy supply truck in the Western Desert, 2 June 1942.

Very soon we were joined by seven or eight Tanks which took up position immediately to our front, everything was now moving forward at a steady pace, soon we came under shell fire, high explosive anti tank and air bursts, trucks were being hit and taking fire, the soilders who had been on board were picked up by another truck. Soon we were ordered off the trucks and were to advance on foot, each company now operating individually.

Jun

4

1942

U.S. and Japanese clash at Battle of Midway

The USS Yorktown on fire after being hit by Japanese bombers on the 4th June 1942.

If these planes have failed in their mission or fought a draw or left the Japanese carriers usable we may expect a quick and vicious attack in return. If by some remote juju we have put all four carriers out of commission we have just about gained mastery of the Pacific …

Jun

3

1942

The Eastern front settles down to trench warfare

'Red Army men on the offensive near Bryansk' - the Soviet authorities kept especial control over their propaganda images and many of them appear to have been staged.

Then, all of a sudden, a hissing comes across from the other side, crashing with a thunder beyond our cover. The same thing occurs every day at noon. Regardless, we’re still startled from our dreams every time. The images of home and all our longing thoughts are abruptly torn apart ….

Jun

2

1942

The restrictions on Jews in Germany

Jews in Germany had been forced to wear the Jewish Star whenever in public since  September 1941

The choker is being pulled ever tighter; they are wearing us down with ever new tricks. All the things, great and small, that have accumulated in the last few years! And a pinprick is sometimes more agonizing than a blow with a club. I shall list the decrees once and for all …

Jun

1

1942

The assault on Bir Hacheim resumes

A Bren gun carrier crew take the surrender of a survivor from a burning enemy tank, 1 June 1942.

The German and Italian losses were great in those early days, with legionnaires and colonials attacking their tanks with grenades and Molotov cocktails. Men would stumble from their burning vehicles in flames, desperately rolling in the sand. The suffering was appalling, and as all of us had the most enormous respect for those we were fighting we found it very difficult to watch helplessly.