Skip to comments.WON’T YIELD SEAS, ROOSEVELT SAYS, BRANDING GERMANY AS AN OUTLAW (6/21/41)
Posted on 06/21/2011 4:55:17 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
#1 - Daddy - Sammy Kaye, with the Kaye Choir
#2 - Maria Elena - Jimmy Dorsey, with Bob Eberly
#3 The Hut-Sut Song Freddy Martin, With Eddie Stone
#4 - My Sister And I - Jimmy Dorsey, with Bob Eberly
#5 - Intermezzo Wayne King
#6 - The Hut-Sut Song Horace Heidt, with Donna & her Don Juans
#7 - Maria Elena Wayne King
#8 Green Eyes - Jimmy Dorsey, with Bob Eberly and Helen OConnell
#9 - Dolores Bing Crosby and the Merry Macs
#10 - GBye Now Horace Heidt, with Ronnie Kemper
Allies capture Damascus
Saturday, June 21, 1941 www.onwar.com
In Syria... Damascus falls to the Allied forces after the Vichy French garrison has been evacuated. Habforce begins to advance into Syria from Iraq.
In East Africa... British forces take Jimma, southwest of Addis Ababa. About 15,000 prisoners are taken. Although Jimma has been General Gazzera’s main base, he escapes capture with a small part of his force. A further 4000 prisoners were taken earlier after an action at crossings of the Omo River, and many more were rounded up in smaller groups.
June 21st, 1941
ASW trawler HMS Minuet commissioned.
Destroyer HMS Heythrop commissioned. (DS)
NORTH SEA: Bombardier Henry Herbert Reed (b. 1911), Royal Artillery, was hit in an attack on the SS Cormount, but only stopped firing to carry another wounded man to safety before falling dead from his wounds. (George Cross)
GERMANY: Rastenburg, East Prussia: Hitler and his staff arrive at the Wolfsschanze [Wolf’s Lair], Hitler’s eastern headquarters.
In response to the failed attack on the US battleship Texas Doenitz instructs his U-boats thus:
Fuhrer orders avoidance any incident with USA during next few weeks. Orders will be rigidly obeyed in all circumstances. In addition attacks till further orders will be restricted to cruisers, battleships and aircraft carriers and then only when identified beyond doubt as hostile. Fact that warship is sailing without lights will not be regarded as proof of enemy identity.
U-264 laid down.
U-87, U-158, U-436, U-455, U-456 launched.
U-374, U-434 commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)
U.S.S.R.: Fighter pilots are ordered not to fire on a German plane which flies over Soviet airspace. The border guard is put on alert, but is forbidden to take any “provocative” action.
Soviet submarine M-120 launched. (Dave Shirlaw)
ETHIOPIA: The Italian garrison at Jimma surrenders to Ethiopian troops under British command.
General Gazzera escapes capture when the British forces take Jimma, sw of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
SYRIA: Australian and Free French troops occupy Damascus, and the “Habforce” Commonwealth army advances from Syria into Iraq. Habforce is three British and Indian brigades including the British 4 Cav Bde. They are still subject to persistent French air attack on the approaches to Palmyra. (Michael Alexander)
Damascus: General Legentilhomme’s Free French forces have taken Damascus, 15 days after Allied troops invaded Vichy Syria. The city, which Vichy troops evacuated yesterday, surrendered to Colonel Cateau and the Australians. It has been a bloody triumph; the bodies of 200 Punjabis in the Damascus suburb of Mezze - not to mention French, Australian and British ones on the line of advance - are testament to that.
CANADA: Corvette HMCS Oakville launched Port Arthur, Ontario. (Dave Shirlaw)
U.S.A. : The U.S. State Department informs the Italian Ambassador that all Italian consulates in U.S. territory are to be closed by 15 July 1941 at which point all Italian diplomats will have to leave. (Jack McKillop)
In baseball, the Detroit Tigers play the second game of a three game series against the New York Yankees in Yankee Stadium in New York City. Yankee centre fielder Joe DiMaggio manages to hit one single off Tiger pitcher Dizzy Trout thus extending his hitting streak to 34-games. (Jack McKillop)
ATLANTIC OCEAN: Royal Navy prize SS CRITON is returning to Freetown is intercepted by by Vichy warships AIR FRANCE 4 and EDITH GERMAINE. After refusing to stop and go into Conakry, she is fired upon by AIR FRANCE 4 from a range of about 50 yards. AIR FRANCE 4 fires 45 shells into CRITON along her waterline, some shells narrowly missing Peter de Neumann’s boat, which is being launched on the far-side (and therefore invisible) from AIR FRANCE 4. Captain Dobeson is the last to leave CRITON, but fell into de Neumann’s boat and badly injured himself. Apart from this no one suffered more than bruising and shock.
SS CRITON sinks off Conakry, French Guinea.
The crew are taken prisoner by the Vichy French and charged with piracy. They will be imprisoned successively in Conakry, Timbuctoo and Kankan. They are eventually released when Vichy West Africa changes allegiance to the Allies in December 1942. Four of the crew will die whilst prisoners and are buried in west Africa. Captain Gerald Dobeson, CRITON’s Master, received the King’s Commendation for Brave Conduct. (Bernard de Neumann)
Tamerlane was NOT a descendant of Chinghiss Quan. He was a Turk of stock descended from the peoples of the Khwaresm Empire, conquered by the Mongols in the period around 1215-1222. On his own march to power, Tamerlane [actually Timur I Ling (”the lame”)] initially worked through a ruler who WAS descended from the Quan. Tamerlane acted as his vizier. It was only much later that Tamerlane ruled in his own name.
There was supposedly a curse on Tamerlane’s tomb, that anyone despoiling it, and opening the coffin would unleash a terrible catastrophe. And tomorrow is June 22d.
Today the Luftwaffe’s Air Corps VIII of Air Fleet 2 reports that they are still short 600 vehicles, 40% of its aircraft, and vital communications equipment.
This is an example of just how depleted the Luftwaffe really is after the ongoing air war with the British. There is a myth that the Germans had air superiority over the Russian front. This is true only in the very short term. It won’t be very long before German after action reports would be filled with reports of Russian aircraft menacing their formations.
That was the first thing that entered my mind when I saw the article.
According to the caption on this picture, this photo was supposedly taken on June 21, 1941 and while I have my doubts I'll post it anyway.
The guys in the front [including, probaly, the guy with the range finder] are Luftwaffe [AA crew?]. Can’t figure the panzer’s unit [no visible markings].
Since they’re ranging targets, I’d say it may be June 21st, probably AM from the glare and direction of the shadows.
Second Lieutenant Weidner, the troop commander, was standing outside the company tent when Sergeant Sarge trotted past with his men of No. 2 Troop. "Nice spot for a holiday, Oberfeldwebel," he said with a chuckle.
Sergeant Sarge stopped and grimaced.
"I don't believe in holidays, Herr Leutnant." And more softly he added: "What's it all about, Herr Leutnant? Are we having a go at Ivan? Or is it true that we are only waiting for Stalin's leave to drive through Russia in order to get at the Tommies through their Persian back door and let the air out of their beautiful Empire?"
The question did not surprise Weidner. He knew as well as Sarge the many rumors and stories which had been going the rounds ever since their tank training battalion had been reorganized as the 3rd Battalion, 39th Panzer Regiment, which formed part of 17th Panzer Division, and had been moved first to Central Poland and then brought here into the woods of Pratulin. Here they were, less than three miles from the river Bug, which formed the frontier, almost exactly opposite the huge old fortress of Brest-Litovsk, occupied by the Russians since the partition of Poland in the autumn of 1939.
The regiment was bivouacking in the forest in full battle order. Each tank, moreover, carried ten jerricans of petrol strapped to its turret and had a trailer in tow with a further three drums. These were the preparations for a long journey, not for swift battle. "You don't go into battle with jerricans on your tank," the experienced tankmen were saying.
This was an argument against the stubborn ones who kept talking about imminent war with Russia.
"Russia? Nonsense! We've got quite enough on our hands already. Why start another war? Ivan isn't doing us any harm, he's our ally, he's sending us grain, and he's against the British."
That was what most of them were saying. It therefore followed that if they were not going into battle and not driving into Persia either, then the whole thing must be one huge diversionary maneuver.
A diversionary maneuverbut against whom? Surely, to bluff the British. All this build-up in the East might well be a blind for the invasion of Britain on the other side of Europe. This was an argument that was passed on in a whisper and with a knowing wink nearly everywhere. Those who spread it, and who believed in it, could not know of an entry in the diary of the Naval High Command, dated 18th February: "The build-up against Russia is to be presented as the greatest camouflage operation in military history, allegedly designed to divert attention from final preparations for the invasion of Britain."
Yet another story, breathtaking in its beauty and simplicity, was confidently bandied about by the old corporals, those old soldiers who, as is only too well known, can hear the grass growing, know all the secrets of the company office, and represent not only the soul but also the eyes and ears of each unit: Stalin, they patiently explained while washing up their mess-tins, playing "Skat," or polishing their boots, Stalin had leased the Ukraine to Hitler, and they were moving in merely as an army of occupation. In a war people will believe anything. And Sergeant Sarge was only too glad to believe in peace. He believed in the pact which Hitler had concluded with Stalin in August 1939. He believed in it, together with the rest of the German people, who regarded this pact as Hitler's greatest diplomatic achievement.
Second Lieutenant Weidner stepped up close to Sarge. "Do you believe in fairy-tales, Oberfeldwebel?" he asked. Sarge looked puzzled. The lieutenant glanced at his watch. "Be patient for another hour," he said significantly, and walked back to his tent.
In the dense pinewoods of Pratulin the hot day was drawing to its end. The pleasant smell of resin and the stench of petrol hung in the air. At 2110 hours an order was shouted softly from the company headquarters tent to tank No. 924: "Companies will fall in at 2200 hours. 4th Company, Panzer Lehr Regiment, in the large clearing." Wireless Operator Westphal called the order across to No. 925, and from there it was passed on from tank to tank.
Dusk had fallen by the time the company was lined up. First Lieutenant von Abendroth reported to the captain. The captain's eyes swept along the ranks of his men. Their faces beneath their field caps were unrecognizable in the twilight. The men were a grey-black wall, a tank companywithout faces. "4th Company!" Captain Streit shouted. "I shall read to you an order of the Fuehrer."
There was dead silence in the forest near Brest-Litovsk. The captain switched on the flashlight he had hanging from the second button of his tunic. The sheet of paper in his hand shone white. With his voice slightly hoarse with excitement he began to read:
"Soldiers of the Eastern Front!"
Did he say Eastern Front?
This was the first time the term had been used. So this was it, after all. The captain read on. "Weighed down for many months by grave anxieties, compelled to keep silent, I can at last speak openly to you, my soldiers. . . ." Eagerly the men listened to what had been worrying the Fuehrer for many months: "About 160 Russian divisions are lined up along our frontier. For weeks this frontier has been violated continuallynot only the frontier of Germany but also that in the far north and in Rumania."
The men hear of Russian patrols penetrating into Reich territory and being driven back only after prolonged exchanges of fire. And they hear the conclusion: "At this moment, soldiers of the Eastern Front, a build-up is in progress which has no equal in world history, either in extent or in number. Allied with Finnish divisions, our comrades are standing side by side with the victor of Narvik on the Arctic Sea in the North. . . . "You are standing on the Eastern Front. In Rumania, on the banks of the Prut, on the Danube, down to the shores of the Black Sea, German and Rumanian troops are standing side by side, united under Head of State Antonescu. If this greatest front in world history is now going into action, then it does so not only in order to create the necessary conditions for the final conclusion of this great war, or to protect the countries threatened at this moment, but in order to save the whole of European civilization and culture. "German soldiers! You are about to join battle, a hard and crucial battle. The destiny of Europe, the future of the German Reich, the existence of our nation, now lie in your hands alone."
For a moment the captain stood silent. The beam of his flashlight flickered over the paper in his hand. Then he added softly, almost as if these were his own words and not the conclusion of the Order of the Day: "May the Almighty help us all in this struggle." After the men were dismissed there was a buzzing as of a swarm of bees. So they were going to fight Russia after all. First thing tomorrow morning. It was quite a thought. The men ran back to their tanks on the double.
Sergeant Fritz Ebert passed Sarge. "Extra comforts to be issued at once for each vehicle," he announced. He let down the tailboard of his lorry and opened a large crate: spirits, cigarettes, and chocolate. Thirty cigarettes per head. One bottle of brandy gratis for every four men. Drink and tobacco were the troops' traditional requirements. There was feverish activity everywhere: tents were being taken down, tanks were being made ready. After that the men waited. They smoked. Very few touched the brandy. The spectre of a stomach wound still terrified themin spite of sulfonamide. Only the very toughest slept that night. It was a night of clock-watching. Slowly the hours ticked away, like eternity. It was the same all along the long frontier between Germany and the Soviet Union. Everywhere, strung out across an entire continent, the troops lay awake, from the Baltic to the Black Sea, a distance of 930 miles. And along these 930 miles three million troops were waiting. Hidden in forests, pastures, and cornfields. Shrouded by the night, waiting.
The time was 0300 hours. It was still dark. The summer night lay heavy over the banks of the Bug. Silence, only occasionally broken by the clank of a gas-mask case. From down by the river came the croaking of the frogs. No man who lay in the deep grass by the Bug that night of 21st/22nd June, with an assault troop or some advance detachment, will ever forget the plaintive croaking mating-call of the frogs on the Bug.
0311 hours. In the tent of the operations staff the telephone jangled. Lieutenant-Colonel Bayerlein, the 1A, or chief of operations, picked up the receiver. Lieutenant-Colonel Brücker, the chief of operations of XXIV Panzer Corpsor XXIV Motorized Army Corps, as it then waswas on the line. Without greetings or formality he said, "Bayerlein, the Koden bridge was all right." Bayerlein glanced across to Freiherr von Liebenstein, the chief of staff, and nodded. Then he said, "That's fine, Brücker. So long. Good luck." He replaced the receiver. The bridge at Koden was the kingpin in the rapid tank thrust across the Bug to Brest. An assault troop of 3rd Panzer Division had orders to capture it by surprise a few minutes before the start of operations, to eliminate the Russian bridge guard on the far side, and to remove the explosive charges. The coup had succeeded.
A sigh of relief was heaved at Guderian's headquarters even though provision had been made for the event that the surprise would not come off. Fourth Army had made preparations for bridging the Bug both above and below Brest. About fifty miles north of Brest, at Drohiczyn, Engineers Battalion 178 had crept up quietly to the intended spot, in laborious and lengthy secret marches, in order to build a pontoon bridge for the heavy weapons and equipment of 292nd and 78th Infantry Divisions. It was 0312 hours. Everybody was watching the time. Everybody had a lump in his throat. Every one's heart was thumping.
The silence was unbearable.
0313 hours. It was still not too late to change the course of events. Nothing irrevocable had yet happened. But as the minute hands crept over the watch dials the war against the Soviet Union, which was lying ahead plunged in peaceful darkness, was drawing rapidly nearer.
The time was 0314.
Like a spectre the wooden tower of Volka Dobrynska stood out against the sky. The first pale daylight appeared on the horizon. Deathly silence still reigned throughout the area of Army Group Centre. The forests were sleeping. The fields were quiet. Had the Russians not noticed that the woods and villages were bristling with assembled armies? Armies ready to spring? Division after divisionall along the endless frontier.
The hands of the carefully synchronized watches jumped to 0315
Hitler Moves East by Paul Carell
Napoleon crossed what was then the Russian Empire’s frontier on June 22. Very few crossed back.
Brest Fortress - An excellent movie from the Russian Point of View of the day’s events:
great posts today. thanks all
Asked the man who justified - or lied, as circumstances required - to the world the crimes committed by his own regime. Invasions. Intentional starvation. Enslavement. Murder.
Molotov wants to know "did we deserve that". There is nothing more twisted than a communist expressing surprise that he is under attack.
Day 660 June 21, 1941
Free French troops (Gentforce) capture Damascus, the capital of Syria, although there is still fighting in the surrounding villages and the country does not surrender. 5th Indian Infantry Brigade is annihilated in the village of Mezze, 3 miles West of Damascus; at 1.20 PM, 50 hours after being surrounded, they run out of ammunition and surrender. Vichy French then retreat West along the road to Beirut allowing Australian troops to capture Mezze.