26 July - 1 August 1941

NOTE : Due to non sensical internet social media censorship in my country , I will write (and maybe from now on continue to write) my weekly World War II update here instead of Youtube comments section where I usually do. Youtube comments due to some reason , do not accept my entries to this weeks video comments anymore

26 July 1941 , US Army recalled Douglas MacArthur to active service as the commander of units in the Far East; Philippine troops already under MacArthur’s command were integrated into the US Army.

26 July 1941 , Russia , Three full Soviet armies were trapped and destroyed near Mogilev, Byelorussia.

26 July 1941 , US President Franklin Roosevelt passed executive orders to freeze all Japanese and Chinese assets, forbade the export of oil, iron, and rubber to Japan, as well as marking the Panama Canal off-limits to Japanese shipping. UK and the Netherlands followed suit.

26 July 1941 , US Navy Admiral Husband Kimmel ordered long range air patrols to be conducted from various Pacific Ocean bases in case Japan reacted aggressively against US President Franklin Roosevelt’s executive order to freeze Japanese assets.

26 July 1941 , Lithuania , 3,800 Lithuanian Jews were killed during a pogrom in Kovno. SS Einsatzgruppen arrest Vilnius Jewish ghetto elders and held them hostage , demanding five million roubles for their release from Jewish community

26 July 1941 , Malta , Eight Italian motorboats packed by explosives and driven by elite Italian Decima MAS frogmen attempted to attack shipping in Valletta’s Grand Harbour at Malta. The whole Italian attack was botched though. British defences in Malta were alerted by radar and as soon as Italian motor boats packed with explosives enter , shore batteries open fire under illumanation of starshells and projectors , six Italian motorboats sunk , two were captured , twelve Italian frogmen from Decima MAS special forces were killed , four captured

26 July 1941 , Atlantic Ocean , German submarine U-141 torpedoed and sunk British cargo ships Atlantic City and Botway from convoy OS 1 off Ireland

27 July 1941 , General Wilhelm Keitel ordered all copies of the 13 May 1941 order, which effectively allowed German military personnel to murder Soviet civilians, destroyed. Several copies would remain, however, and surface during the Nuremberg Trials

27 July 1941 , Adolf Hitler requested Romanian leader Ion Antonescu to conquer and occupy the Ukrainian territory between Dniester and Bug Rivers

27 July 1941 , Estonia , Baltics , German troops from Amy Group North captured Tallinn, Estonia

27 July 1941 , London , UK , Luftwaffe bombers attack Brtitish capital first time after fifteen weeks.

27 July 1941 , The Reich Commissar for the Baltic States and White Russia, Hinrich Lohse, was told that the inmates of the ghettos under his authority were to receive ‘only the amount of food that the rest of the population could spare, and in no case more than was sufficient to sustain life’. These minimal food rations were to continue ‘until such time as the more intensive measures for the “Final Solution” can be put into effect’. SS Einsatzgruppen murder Jewish ghetto elders in Vilnius when their ransom were not paid in time

27 July 1941 , Atlantic Ocean , German submarines gather for a wolfpack attack on convoy OG69. German submarine U-126 torpedoed and sunk cargo ships Ereto and Inga I. U-203 torpedoed and sunk cargo ship Hawkinge. U-79 torpedoped and sunk cargo ship Kelwyn.

27 July 1941 , Black Sea , Soviet cargo liner Lenin hits a miner and sunk with heavy loss of life while sailing between Odessa and Sevastapol. More than 4.000 passangers en route to Sevastapol perished

27 July 1941 , Baltic Sea , Soviet destroyer Smelyi was torpedoed and sunk by German fast torpedoboat S-54 in Gulf of Riga.


28 July 1941 , Russia , German Army Group Center began to smash Smolensk pocket

28 July 1941 , Finland severed diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom

28 July 1941 , Moscow , USSR , Harry Hopkins arrived Soviet capital to meet up Stalin and consultations about Soviet military needs

28 July 1941 , Poland , A special commission created on Heinrich Himmler’s orders arrived at Auschwitz Concentration Camp to select prisoners within the framework of the “Euthanasia Program” for the incurably ill, extended in 1940 to Jews and in the middle of 1941 to prisoners of concentration camps. The 573 selected, most were sick Polish prisoners from Block 15, were told that they were to be transferred to other camps for easier work because of their conditions. At last moment, two German criminals Johann Siegruth and Ernst Krankemann were added to the list. The 575 were sent to Sonnenstein Castle under the supervision of Franz Hössler and were killed by carbon monoxide poisoning in a gas chamber disguised as a shower room.

28 July 1941 , Russia , Red Army was forced to abandon Kingisepp, less than seventy miles from Leningrad. To build defence works, 30,000 Leningrad citizens were taken with spades, picks and shovels under the slogan ‘At Kingisepp—to the trenches’. Nearly 100,000 were sent to the area around Gatchina, known since the Revolution as Krasnogvardeisk. At the same time, plans were made to meet the German occupation with partisan activity; on July 28, the Soviet authorities in Vyazma issued ‘Assignment No. 1’, the creation of a partisan unit of 350 men who would deliberately be left behind when the Red Army retreated. Its task would be to destroy German food, fuel and supply dumps, to destroy the Smolensk—Vyazma and Vyazma—Bryansk railway lines, and to derail trains; to prevent the use of Vyazma airport by the Germans by destroying planes and fuel; to kill ‘higher and lower level German war staffs’, to capture ‘high German officers’; to hand over to the Red Army any documents containing ‘valuable information about the enemy’; and to set up two or three ‘diversionist groups’ to perform ‘special tasks.

28 July 1941 , Mediterranean Sea , Italian cargo ship Federico C. was torpedoed and sunk by Royal Navy submarine HMS Utmost off Calabria

28 July 1941 , Mediterranean Sea , Italian coaster Monteponi was torpedoed and sunk by Royal Navy submarine HMS Olympus off Sardinia

28 July 1941 , Atlantic Ocean , Battle of convoy OG69 continues. German submarine U-203 torpedoed and sunk British cargo ship Lapland and Swedish cargo ship Norita. German submarine U-561 also torpedoed and sunk British cargo ship Wrotham

29 July 1941 , Moscow , Stalin sacks General Gregori Zhukov as Chief of Staff and appoints Boris Shaposhnikov as Chief of Staff instead. With orders from STAVKA (Soviet High Command) a new Soviet defence line was created, between Rzhev and Vyazma, guarding Moscow.

29 July 1941 , North Sea , British cargo ship Adam’s Beck was bombed and sunk by Luftwaffe bombers off Tyne

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30th July 1941 , Moscow , USSR , That day, in Moscow, Harry Hopkins spoke to Stalin about the American aid that was on its way: two hundred American fighter planes were being sent by ship to Archangel, and, Hopkins explained, ‘an outstanding expert in the operation of these planes’, Lieutenant Alison, was already in Moscow.

The despatch of aid to Russia by sea was only made feasible because, by the end of July, all German submarine instructions were being read by the British cryptographers at Bletchley ‘continuously and with little or no delay’; that month the number of Allied merchant ships sunk, which had been more than ninety in May, fell to below thirty, because it was now possible to route Atlantic convoys around German submarine concentrations. A month earlier, a secret message system similar to the Enigma, the key to the Italian Navy’s high grade cypher machine, C 38m, had also been broken, giving the British details of the sailings of all Italian troop and supply ships from Italy to North Africa.

The setbacks to the Italians were eventually to draw Germany more and more deeply into the Western Desert struggle; but at the end of July 1941 it was Germany’s triumph in the East which was predominant. By July 30, noted a senior German Staff Officer, General von Waldau, the Germans in Russia had taken 799,910 prisoners, and destroyed or captured 12,025 tanks. At the same time, the carrying out the Commissar Decree, and also the killing of Jews, had continued without respite, the killers following the German armies as they advanced more and more deeply into the Ukraine. On July 30, Himmler’s Special Task Forces compiled their fortieth Operation Situation Report USSR. In Zhitomir, 180 ‘Communists and Jews’ had been shot, in Proskurov, 146 Jews; in Vinnitsa, 146; in Berdichev, 148; in Shepetovka, 17; in Chorostkow, 30. The report added: ‘In this last place, 110 Jews were slain by the local population.’ At Ponar, outside Vilna, the Polish journalist Sakowicz wrote in his diary that day: ‘About 150 persons shot. Most of them were elderly people. The executioners complained of being very tired of their “work”, of having aching shoulders from shooting. That is the reason for not finishing the wounded off, so that they are buried half alive.’

30th July 1941 , Scandinavia , German shipping comes under attack from Royal Navy carrier borne aircraft launched from HMS Victorious and HMS Furious. Very little damage was done and 13 Fleet Air Arm Bombers shot down.

30th July 1941 , Rastenburg , Hitler orders advancing on Leningrad on north and Caucaus on south rather than a frontal attack on Moscow. In his Directive No. 34, issued from Rastenburg on 30 July, Hitler ordered that the Soviet troops fighting north-west of Kiev ‘must be brought to battle west of the Dnieper and annihilated’. In this same directive, however, he urged caution and retrenchment elsewhere, in an attempt to focus his military efforts more effectively. Army Group Centre was ‘to go over to the defensive’. Armoured units were to be withdrawn from the front line ‘for quick rehabilitiation’. On the Finnish front, only such forces were to be left ‘as are necessary for defence and to give the impression of further offensive operations’.

30th July 1941 , London , Russo-Polish Pact and Friendship Agreement was signed between Soviet Ambassador Ivan Maisky and leader of Polish goverment in exile General Sikorski. Accordingly Soviet goverment agreed to ship Polish prisoners and exiles in Russia back to British territory so a Polish army in exile can be formed , trained and equipped to fight in Allied ranks.

30th July 1941 , Mediterranean Sea , Royal Navy submarine HMS Cachalot en route to Malta was sunk by Italian torpedo boat Generale Achille Papa

30th July 1941 , Atlantic Ocean , German submarine U-371 torpedoed and sunk British cargo ship Shahristan and Dutch cargo ship Siteobondo from convoy OS1

30th July 1941 , Baltic Sea , Soviet submarine S-6 was bombed and sunk by Luftwaffe bombers off Estonia

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31 July 1941 , Reinhard Heydrich received instructions from Hermann Göring to prepare the implementation of the Final Solution to the Jewish question, Endlösung.

31 July 1941 , Occupied Norway , Reichskommissar Josef Terboven declared Norway under a state of emergency.

31 July 1941 , Romanian leader Ion Antonescu formally accepted German leader Adolf Hitler’s request for Romanian troops to conquer and occupy the Ukrainian territory between Dniester and Bug Rivers.

31 July 1941 , Soviet destroyer Sokrushitelny made rendezvous with British minelayer HMS Adventure near the Gorodetski lighthouse at the entrance to the White Sea in northern Russia.

31 July 1941 , Baltics , German Army Group North reaches Lake Ilmen and Finnish Army starts an attack aimed Viipuri.

31 July 1941 , Besserabia , in the Bessarabian city of Kishinev, the first ‘five-figure’ civilian massacre of the war came to its end; after fourteen days of uninterrupted slaughter by SS Einsatzgruppen and local anti semite militias , ten thousand Jews had been murdered.

1st August 1941 , Naval Battle of Cape Domesness off Latvia , Three Soviet torpedoboats attack three German minelayers. Two German minelayers RA-53 and RA-55 and one Soviet torpedoboat TK-122 sunk

1st August 1941 , North Sea , British cargo ship Trident was bombed by Luftwaffe Condor aircraft and sunk off Tyne

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