Project 60 - "The First Fight Against Fascism" - Archives

August, 1941

August 1, 1941

The US announces the embargo of all aviation fuel to Japan. Japan responds by halting all silk to the US.

Guderian's attacks meet and defeat the Soviet 4 Airborne Corp, but those troops buy the Russians enough time to bring up reinforcements.

August 2, 1941

Harry Hopkins, representing FDR in Moscow, announces that the US and the USSR have come to agreement on an aide package which will assist the Soviets in recouping some of their material losses to date.  

Russian forces launch massive counter-attacks against German troops defending the "Yelna salient", east of Smolensk. Guedarian, further to the south is stopped in his attacks and ordered to withdraw his panzer forces from the front in preparations for redeployment.

Tanks from 1st Panzer Group and Infantry from 17th Army make contact in their advance against Uman. The Soviet 6th and 12th Armies are nearly surrounded.

August 3, 1941

Tanks from Panzer Group I (Army Group South) break through Russian defenses and threaten to surround a large body of Russian defenders in the Uman area.

The Bishop of Munster, Count Clemens von Galen, delivers a scathing sermon, denouncing the German euthanasia program.

August 4, 1941

While visiting Army Group Center's HQ, Hitler was told that his armies had destroyed of captured 12,000 tanks since the start of the invasion (actually a fairly accurate number). He was stunned and said, "Had I known they had as many tanks as that, I'd have thought twice before invading."

August 5, 1941

Rumanian forces and elements of the German 11 Army close on the Black Sea port of Odessa and begin a 73 day siege of the city.

Russian resistance in the Smolensk pocket ends with the surrender of the remaining troops.

The Soviet 5th Army launches attacks from the Korsun area to relieve the beleaguered forces of the 6th and 12th Armies trapped south of Uman. The attacks meet heavy resistance.

August 6, 1941

German infantry forces from 16 Army captures the town of Staryya Russa on the south shore of Lake Illmen.

August 7, 1941

British bombers continue their nightly bombing raids over the continent hitting Frankfurt, Mannheim, Karlsruhe, Calais, Hamm, Dortmund and Essen

August 8, 1941

The Red Airforce targets Berlin for the first time in the war. Five Ilyushin Il-4 heavy bombers took off from bases in Estonia. Two bombers were shot down, two failed to find Berlin and one dropped its bombs just outside the city. 

Army Group North opens a major offensive against the Soviet Luga River defenses southwest of Leningrad. Extremely heavy fighting occurs between the German 1st and 6th Panzer Divisions attack the Soviet 125 and 111 Rifle Divisions.

Russian resistance in the Uman Pocket collapse as 100,000 survivors from the Soviet 6 and 12th Armies surrender. Some 15 Rifle and 5 Tank divisions are destroyed leaving very little to defend the Ukraine south of Kiev. 

Elements of the 18th Army reach the Gulf of Finland, cutting off the Estonian capital and massive naval base at Tallinn.

August 9, 1941

Roosevelt and Churchill meet face to face at Placentia Bay in Newfoundland. The result of this historic conference would be the Atlantic Charter which outlined the broad goals for resolving the war.

The German 16th Army (part of Army Group North) begins its offensive toward Novgorod on Lake Illmen.

August 10, 1941

Local officials in Chile, Argentina and Cuba uncover attempts by the Germans to subvert those governments. These nations were ably assisted by the US FBI.

Manstein's 56 Panzer Corp (element of Army Group North) is committed to the attack on the cities of Luga and toward Novgorod. The Germans are considering abandoning this axis of attack as casualties mount for very little gain.

August 11, 1941

Soviet resistance crumbles under the intense pressure on the Luga River Line. The German 1st Panzer Division breaks through the Soviet lines at Opolye and advances 30 miles into the Soviet rear area.

August 12, 1941

The Soviet counterattack at Staraya Russa by the 34th Army succeeds in caving in the flank of the German 10th Corp. Three German divisions are threatened with encirclement on the south bank of Lake Illmen. North of Lake Illmen, German armored formations break into the clear and advance toward Leningrad.

Churchill and Roosevelt conclude their conference in Newfoundland by announcing the ?Atlantic Charter?. The eight points agreed upon include: 

 General Petain declares that the Vichy government will cooperate completely with the Nazi Germany.

August 13, 1941

The German 10th Corps retreats in the face of the counterattack in the Staraya Russa area.

Fighting breaks out in Paris between demonstrators and French and German police.

August 14, 1941

RAF bomber command continues its nightly raids on German targets. Tonight the British bombers hit railway yards in Hannover, Brunswick and Magdeburg.

August 15, 1941

Master spy Richard Sorge informed his Soviet masters that the Japanese would not assist the Germans by invading Siberia.

Two days of rioting at Roskiskis on the Lithuannian-Latvian border begin. 3200 Jews would be killed.

In Minsk, German authorities prohibit Jews from most public places including busses, trams, trains, parks, playgrounds, theaters, libraries or museums. The only food delivered to the ghetto would be that in excess of the needs of non-Jews.

August 16, 1941

German panzer forces reach the Volkov River. 

Stalin agrees to an Anglo-US request for a conference to determine the best means to assist the Soviet Union. This would lead to the massive assistance to the Russians from the west.

Manstein's panzer forces are redirected from their attacks on Leningrad to restore the deteriorating situation south of Lake Illmen where the Soviet 34th Army continues its successful attacks.

August 17, 1941

German forces capture Novgorod, the first time the city has fallen to an invader in its thousand year history. 

Roosevelt, after discussions with the Japanese ambassador, agrees to informal talks to see if a peaceful resolution to the differences between their two countries would be possible.

August 18, 1941

German troops capture Kingisepp. Fighting is very serious in the Novgorod area.

Italian troop transports are sunk in the en route to North Africa as the battle for the Mediterranean Sea begins to heat up.

August 19, 1941

56th Panzer Corp launches its attack against the Soviet 34th Army west of Staraya Russa. The Russians crumble quickly having exhausted themselves in their offensive and the German 10th Corp is saved from destruction. However, the redirection of the Panzer Corp against the Russian attack also may have saved Leningrad from direct assault.

Polish troops begin the relief of Tobruk. The Australian and Indian troops are scheduled for rest in Egypt.

August 20, 1941

Hitler, in discussion with chief architect Albert Speer, orders the inclusion of captured booty from the Russian front be included as decorations for Berlin buildings in recognition of his victory over the Bolsheviks (maybe a bit premature).

Italian troops in Yougoslavia occupy the island of Pag. There they discover evidence of mass murder of Serbs and Jews by local Ustachi fascists. The mass grave was exhumed to find 791 bodies including 293 women and 91 children.

August 21, 1941

German armored formations of Army Group North cut the Moscow-Leningrad railroad at Chudovo and take Gatchina, 25 miles from Leningrad.

Pierre Georges, a French communist who would become ?Favien? in the underground, kills Lt. Moser, a German naval attach?, in the Paris subway. This was the first German military casualty in occupied France since the armistice was signed over a year ago.

August 22, 1941

Geuderian and the rest of the commanders in Army Group Center, after weeks of attempting to subvert Hitler?s orders to suspend offensive action toward Moscow, relent, obey orders. Geuderian drives his 2nd Panzer Group south to encircle Kiev.

August 23, 1941

Italian troops from their 2nd Army begin relieving German forces from their garrison duties in Yugoslavia. The Germans thus relieved are earmarked to make up for the massive losses in Russia.

Vichy French officials begin a concerted campaign to crack down on anti-Nazi activities

August 24, 1941

Soviet forces counterattack the Germans at Gomel.

Rumanian forces attack at Odessa, taking heavy losses and making little headway against the Soviet defenders.

Hitler orders the suspension of the euthanasia program in Germany due to internal protests.

August 25, 1941

British and Indian troops from the south and Soviet forces from the north invade Iran occupying the oil fields and securing lines of communications to Russia.

Churchill is quoted in the Times as saying that Britain would offer unhesitating aid to the US if a peaceful settlement with Japan could not be reached.

British, Canadian and Norwegian commando units attack Spitzbergen, a Norwegian island in the Artic Ocean, destroying fuel bunkers and machinery as well as freeing some 2000 Soviet citizens who would be evacuated to Murmansk.

Hitler and Mussolini meet in East Prussia. Hitler requests that more Italian troops take over garrison duties in the Balkans in order to free German troops for fighting in the east. Maybe Hitler is starting to figure out that the Russians aren?t done yet.

August 26, 1941

German tanks from 1st Panzer Group (Army Group South) capture the major industrial city of Dnepropetrovsk. Most of the important industries had already been moved east. 

The United States sends a military mission to China to determine what materials are needed to defend their nation from Japanese aggression. 

Soviet forces at Velikiye Luki launch a counter attack. Local German forces contain the offensive, so the advance to encircle Leningrad is not effected.

August 27, 1941

The Baltic naval base at Tallinn begins its evacuation. 190 ships would attempt to traverse 150 miles of mine infested water with the airspace dominated by the Luftwaffe. In the end, 5000 soldiers and civilians would be killed before reaching the relative safety of Leningrad.

In the North Atlantic, the German submarine U-570, on it?s first combat mission, is attacked by an RAF patrol plane. The submarine is disabled and forced to surface. Her inexperienced crew surrendered the vessel intact. The next day, the German crew was removed and the captured vessel returned to a British port. Eventually, the ship was brought into the Royal Navy as HMS Graph.

Prince Konoye, leader of the Japanese government, personally invites Roosevelt to meet with him to discuss resolving the outstanding issues between his country and the United States in hopes of ?saving the situation?.

August 28, 1941

The great Zaporozhe Dam complex, which provided power to much of the industrial cities of the lower Dnepr, is blown up by the Soviets. One of the great symbols of Soviet modernization is utterly destroyed to prevent the Germans from using it.

The killing of 23,600 Hungarian Jews begins at Kamenets Podolsk (southwest of Kiev) as their nation refuses German demands to repatriate the deported citizens.

The Iranian Premier, Ali Furanghi, orders his forces to stop their resistance to the Anglo-Soviet invasion.

Japan requests talks with the US, indicating its desire for peace, they declared Japan ?[offers] broad assurances of its peaceful intent, including a comprehensive assurance that the Japanese Government has no intention of using without provocations military force against any neighboring nation?. (yah, right)

August 29, 1941

Finnish troops capture Terioki, 30 miles north of Leningrad, recovering all of the territory they were forced to surrender to the Soviets in the Winter War. Despite the prodding of the Germans, the Finns refused to advance on Leningrad.

General Milan Nedic establishes a government in Serbia. He, of course, is a puppet to the Nazis. The partition of Yugoslavia by the Germans is now complete.

August 30, 1941

German forces take Mga, 10 miles from Leningrad, cutting the last rail line into the city. Food and fuel would no longer reach the city in quantities needed for basic survival.

August 31, 1941

Soviet counter-attacks at Mga succeed in driving the Germans out of the city, but the vital rail line into Leningrad remains blocked.

According to German records of the ?action? at Vilnia, 3700 Jews (2019 women, 864 men and 817 children) were trucked out to the mass graves at Ponar and shot.

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