September 1941

Sep

20

1941

Escape from occupied Europe

I turned, leading my three comrades. I was surprised to see men on board it. There were five of them, all on their feet, at the risk of upsetting the frail skiff waving everything they had, handkerchieves, coats, etc. One whom I saw distinctly was wearing a mackintosh and waving a soft hat as high as he could.

Sep

19

1941

German pincers meet around Kiev

All around, wherever you look there are German tanks, sub-machine guns or machine gun nests. Our unit has already been defending on all sides by the fourth day, within this circle of fire. At night the surrounding ring is clear to see, illuminated by fires that light up the horizon, which here and there give the sky a wonderful yellow hue.

Sep

18

1941

Siege of Leningrad consolidated

Petersburg — the poisonous nest from which, for so long, Asiatic venom has spewed forth into the Baltic — must vanish from the earth’s surface. The city is already cut off. It only remains for us to bomb and bombard it, destroy its sources of water and power and then deny the population everything it needs to survive.

Sep

17

1941

Another suicidal Soviet assault

We allowed the enemy infantry to get within about two hundred meters of us before our machine guns reaped a bloody harvest. The result was horrific. Within minutes countless brown dots covered the sparsely grassed area whilst others staggered toward our positions with arms raised.

Sep

16

1941

The trap closes on Kiev

In August Hitler had decided to break off the main thrust towards Moscow and divert forced from Army Group Centre to assist with operations in the North and South. Army Group North now almost completely encircled Leningrad in the north. In the south a vast encirclement of huge numbers of Soviet troops was now taking place.

Sep

15

1941

‘Jewish Star’ introduced

From 19th September Jews in Germany and occupied countries were required to wear the Star of David in public.

The newspaper justification: after the army had got to know; through Bolshevism, the cruelty etc, of the jew; all possibility of camouflage must be removed from the Jews here, to spare the comrades of the people all contact with them. – The true reason: fear of Jewish criticism because things look bad in the East or at least are at a standstill.

Sep

14

1941

Hurricat attack on a Focke Wolfe

12:00 – The aircraft turned towards the convoy and appeared to be coming in for attack, so a Hurricane was flown off. The pilot, Sub Lt. C. Walker, R.N.V.R. saw the enemy immediately as he left the ship and went straight to meet it, carrying out a head-on attack until at point blank range. He saw that his ammunition entered the nose of the German aircraft.

Sep

13

1941

Russian POWs arrive in camps in Austria

They were reduced to eating grass and weeds at the side of the line. At the stops the guards had just thrown the bodies of those who had died out on to the side of the railway. When they arrived at Wolfsberg station scores of dead bodies were still in the wagons and these were left there, when the survivors were marched off to the Stalag.

Sep

12

1941

Constant bombing of Tobruk

During the day we invariably receive warning of approaching raiders by the firing of the ever watchful long-range anti-aircraft batteries. Soon the uneven throb of a twin engined diesel becomes distinctly audible and the tiny shell puffs incredibly high in the heavens unerringly locate a gnat far above the clouds. Suddenly between the dogged banging of the guns am unmistakable sound becomes audible and rapidly increases, the sound of rushing wind as of a rapidly approaching express train – probably the most dreaded sound of all the varied repertoire of battle noises, the sound of descending bombs.

Sep

11

1941

Roosevelt attacks Nazi ‘piracy’ in the Atlantic

If the destroyer was visible to the submarine when the torpedo was fired, then the attack was a deliberate attempt by the Nazis to sink a clearly identified American warship. On the other hand, if the submarine was beneath the surface and, with the aid of its listening devices, fired in the direction of the sound of the American destroyer without even taking the trouble to learn its identity – as the official German communique would indicate – then the attack was even more outrageous. For it indicates a policy of indiscriminate violence against any vessel sailing the seas, belligerent or non-belligerent.