Project 60 - "The First Fight Against Fascism" - Archives
October 1, 1941
2nd Panzer Army under Guederian scores a clean breakthrough of the Soviet lines around Bryansk, driving 50 miles closer to Orel. The Soviet 13th Army is nearly surroundedAfter driving east toward Kharkov and paving the way for the infantry units, the 1st Panzer Army turns south toward Rostov.
October 2, 1941
the German assault on Moscow, begins in earnest as the 3rd and 4th
Panzer Armies in the north join with 2nd Panzer in attacks against
the Soviets. 3rd Panzer Army, in heavy fighting advances 5 miles
splitting the defenses of the Soviet 19th and 30th Armies.
4th Panzer Army breaks the Soviet 43rd Army and advances
25 miles, making contact with the second line of Soviet defenses.
The Soviet’s begin
the evacuation of Odessa, not because of Rumanian attacks on the city, but
because the Germans now threatened Sevastopol.
In response to the
Japanese government’s multiple requests for peace talks, the US reiterates
it’s requirement that Japan withdraw its forces from China and Indo-China
before any such talks can take place. This would lead directly to the fall of
the “moderate” Konoye government.
October 3, 1941
Operation Typhoon continues as the forces of Army Group
Center advance on several axis toward Moscow. The Soviet West, Bryansk and
Reserve Fronts are all showing signs of breaking apart in the face of the
relentless German attacks. Guederian’s 2nd Panzer Army has advanced
120 miles toward Orel, 3rd Panzer Army has reached the Dnepr east of
Kholm. Soviet counterattacks have been ordered but only I.V. Boldin’s
mechanized group is able to launch anything like a concerted attack..
At a rally in Germany, Hitler announces to the crowd that
the attack on Moscow has begun and “The enemy has been broken and will never
October 4, 1941
Army, stung by the attacks of Boldin’s tanks, slows the Russian, and continues
their advance on a less difficult axis. 4th Panzer Army completes the
destruction of the soviet 43rd army and shatters the 33 Army as it
advances east. These attacks created a 90 mile gap in the Soviet lines between
the Bryansk and Reserve Fronts. The 10th Panzer Division, in the van
of the attack, reached Viasma. Once again, vast numbers of Soviet troops are
threatened with encirclement and Stalin refuses to allow a retreat.
In the occupied town of Kovno, doctors, nurses and patients in the Jewish ghetto hospital are locked in the building and it is set on fire. Several people attempted to escape and were shot down.
October 5, 1941
Konev, against Stalin’s orders, begins the withdrawal of his West Front at Viazma. Later in the day, Stalin would order all three fronts guarding Moscow to withdraw.
October 6, 1941
Panzer Group and 11th Army succeed in surrounding the Soviet 9th
and parts of the 18th Armies north of the Sea Azov. Nearly 100,000
Red Army soldiers are cut off.
October 7, 1941
Driving out of Viazma, the Germans complete the encirclement of the Soviet West Front. Four armies (16, 19, 20 and 24) are caught in the trap. The weather turns cold, thwarting the attempts by the Soviets to break out.
to diplomatic queries from Britain and the US indicates that it is fighting a
defensive war to regain territories lost to the Soviets in the 1940 and,
although it may seem they are fighting at the side of the Germans, they are
fighting for Finland against the aggression of Russia.
October 8, 1941
In Army Group Center,
elements of 2nd Panzer Army captures Orel as heavy rain slows the
attacks around Moscow. 17th Panzer Division captures Bryansk. 18th
Panzer Division meets elements of the 113 Infantry Division (2nd
Army), completing the encirclement of the Soviet 3, 13 and 50 Armies.
The encirclement is not strong and the Soviets order withdrawls. 3 and 50 Army
move back in good order while 13 Army fights its way east.
In Army Group South,
1st Panzer Army captures Malitpol on the Sea of Azoz, surrounding the
9th and 18th Soviet Armies. They continue their drive
October 9, 1941
Congress to amend the Neutrality act to allow US flag merchants to be armed for
self defense stating, “We cannot permit the affirmative defense of our
rights to be annulled and diluted by sections of the Neutrality Act which have
no realism in the light of unscrupulous ambition of madmen."
Man, that guy had a way with words.
Soviet reserves move
into defensive positions on the direct approaches to Moscow. The 1st
Guard Rifle Corp is committed at Mtsensk and temporarily stops Guederian’s
tanks from moving closer to Moscow.
October 10, 1941
withdrawal, 3 and 50 Armies are once again surrounded in the Bryansk area. This
time the encirclement would hold. The trapped soldiers would fight on for two
more weeks, but in the end, only 30,000 of the 600,000 would escape.
The German 4th
Army, straddling the Minsk-Moscow highway, begins its advance on Moscow after a
week of regrouping. All of Army Group Center is now moving in on Moscow.
In Moscow, orders are
given to prepare 1119 factories, schools and public buildings for demolition
before the Germans can capture them.
With the success of
Zhukov’s measures to save Leningrad in hand, Stalin recalls the general back
to Moscow to restore the situation there by taking command of West Front.
October 11, 1941
The remnants of the old West Front and the Reserve Front are combined to form the new West Front under General Zhukov’s command. The Soviets order the forces encircled at Viazma to break out. Only the 91st Rifle division is successful.
October 12, 1941
citizens, mostly women, children and old men, are mobilized to build defenses in
and around Moscow. In four days they would dig 60 miles of anti-tank ditches,
5000 miles of troop trenches and lay 177 miles of barbed wire.
On the northern flank
of Army Group Center, 1st Panzer Division takes Rhzev and moves on to
the outskirts of the vital communications hub of Kalinn. On the southern flank,
Kaluga, less than 100 miles southwest of Moscow is captured by the Germans.
Heavy rain and the
subsequent mud forces the Army Group South to call a temporary halt in their
Remnants of the
Soviet forces still encircled at Viazma continue to attack east in feeble
attempts to escape the German encirclement.
October 13, 1941
Group, advancing along the north coast of the Sea of Azoz, reaches the Mius
River opposite Taganrog.
October 14, 1941
The Germans capture the vital transportation and
communications hub of Kalinn, 90 miles northwest of Moscow. Rzhev is also
Operation Karlsbad begins in the area between Smolensk and
Minsk. This would be the first of many operations by the Germans against
partisans in Russia.
The first substantial snow of the season falls at
Leningrad. Temperatures in the Moscow area fall hover around freezing. Rain and
the subsequent mud slow the German advance toward Moscow.
Hitler orders that Moscow is to be surrounded and starved out rather than assaulted directly.\
October 15, 1941
Extremely heavy fighting is reported in the Kalinn area as
Soviet forces launch massive and desperate attacks against the city. The attacks
do stop the advance of the 3rd Panzer Army.
Orders are issued to government leaders, Red Army staff and
other critical personnel to prepare for the evacuation of Moscow.
Ten inches of snow falls in the Moscow area.
In Moscow, all diplomatic missions were ordered to prepare to evacuate Moscow
October 16, 1941
The Japanese Government of Prime Minister Konoye collapses.
The Soviets, evacuation of Odessa is completed. The
evacuated troops are to be landed at Sevastopol, which will also soon be cut
off. German and Rumanian troops move into the empty city.
In Moscow, panic breaks out in the citizenry as they learn
that Lenin’s tomb has been moved out of the city to prevent it’s capture by
the Germans. Stalin decides to stay in the city and this show of confidence
steadies the uneasy citizens.
The Japanese arrest Richard
Sorge, ending the carrier of
one of the most successful and productive Soviet spies in history. He would be
hanged three years later.
October 17, 1941
The destroyer USS Kearney is attacked by an unknown,
presumed German, submarine. In the attack, ten sailors are killed and scores
injured. America suffers it’s first war casualties in World War II. Pearl
Harbor is still seven weeks away.
October 18, 1941
General Hideki Tojo becomes the Prime Minister of Japan.
With the ascension of the military to the head of the national government of
Japan, the road to war is now set.
Guederian’s 2nd Panzer Army captures
Maloyaroslavets and Tarusa on the southern approaches to Moscow.
October 19, 1941
President Roosevelt decided to go forward with the
development of the atomic bomb.
At the request of the joint occupation forces of the Soviet
Union and Britain, the Afghan government ejects all Axis nationals from their
Soviet resistance in the Vyazma pocket collapses as the
last remnants of the outer defenses to Moscow are destroyed.
Soviet forces from the Far East command (facing the
Japanese in China), begin to arrive in the Moscow area.
October 20, 1941
The Germans capture Borodino and are now 60 miles from
October 21, 1941
Stalin names General
Zhukov, the savior of Leningrad,
commander of all military forces in the Moscow area.
October 22, 1941
Rumania denounces the Vienna pact with Hungary, opening the road for the reoccupation of Transylvania.
October 23, 1941
The German 39th Panzer Corp captures Malaia Vishera in heavy fighting southeast of Leningrad.
October 24, 1941
The German 6th Army occupies Kharkov after five days of heavy
fighting. The Soviet 28th Army withdraws in good order. This city
would change hands four times during the course of the war. Belgorod is also
October 25, 1941
Assistant Secretary Berle spoke on the Nazi plan for a
Church of Germany. Seems there was some consternation on our part that God was
on Germany’s side.
The British Cruiser-minelayer Latona is bombed and sunk north of Bardia. Lybia.
October 26, 1941
The relief of the Australians at Tobruk begins as the British 70th Division, the Polish Carpathian Brigade and supporting armored units begin to arrive.
October 27, 1941
At a Navy Day speech, President Roosevelt, in reference to
the torpedoing of the USS Kearney, said, “Hitler’s torpedo was
directed at every American”.
October 28, 1941
Elements of the 11th Army break into the Crimean peninsula sending the Soviet 51st Army in retreat toward Sevastopol and Kerch.
October 29, 1941
The destroyer USS Reuben James becomes the first American warship lost in action. She was torpedoed and sunk while escorting convoy HX156 . Of the 160 man crew, 115 died.
October 30, 1941
Army Group Center reports heavy fighting in the
Mozhaisk and Kaluga areas. Although successful in these battles, the Germans
call a temporary halt in their advance on Moscow as Soviet counter attacks,
depleted supply levels, and the worsening weather conditions make attack
Elements of the German 11th Army close on
Sevastopol, beginning a siege, which would last for 9 months.
President Roosevelt extends $1,000,000,000 in credits and
interest free loans to the Soviet Union so they can “purchase” Lend Lease
supplies and equipment.
The US Navy oiler Salinas is torpedoed off Newfoundland but makes it back to port with no losses
October 31, 1941
The Luftwaffe launches 45 separate attacks on Moscow
In Leningrad, the air evacuation of 17,614 factory
specialists and 8,590 wounded Red Army soldiers is completed.
In the Baltic States, SS General von dem Bach Zelewski
reports that “Today, there are no more Jews in Estonia.”