6 September - 12 September 1941

6 September 1941

Rastenburg : Hitler issued Directive 35 for Operation Typhoon, which he intended should destroy in a swift blow any remaining Soviet resistance

USSR : The Red Army newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda (“Red Star”) noted that it was a shame to become captured by the enemy. Meanwhile Soviet troops recapture Yelna , east of Smolensk on Moscow Front

Japan : Emperor Showa of Japan agreed with goverment proposal that, unless peace could be achieved by 10 Oct 1941, Japan was to prepare for war.

Lithuania : The Vilna Ghetto was established in Lithuania, containing 40,000 Jews.

Paris , France : A German non commisioned officer was shot and killed in Gare del’Est

7 September 1941

USSR : Two squadrons of RAF Hurricane fighters arrived Archangel , Northern Russia via Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Argus.

Ukraine : The German Sixth Army broke through near Konotop, Ukraine.

English Channel : German motor torpedo boats S.48, S.49, S.50, S.52, and S.107 attacked an Allied convoy off the coast of Norfolk, England, United Kingdom, sinking British ship Duncarron (9 killed) and Norwegian ship Eikhaug (15 killed, 4 survived)

Mediterranean Sea : British submarine HMS Thunderbolt attacked an Axis convoy and sank Italian cargo ship Sirena 50 miles west of Benghazi, Libya.

Norway : British cruisers HMS Nigeria and HMS Aurora attacked a German convoy in Hammerfjord in northern Norway at 0130 hours, sinking German gunnery ship Bremse.

UK : Luftwaffe DO-217 aircraft bombed and sunk British cargo ship Marcrest off Great Yarmaouth , North Sea and British cargo ship Trsat off Aberdeenshire

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8th September 1941

Leningrad Front : Leningrad in northern Russia , second largest city of USSR (modern St. Petersburg) became completely surrounded as German troops reached Lake Ladoga at Orekhovets. German Army Group North captured Schlüsselburg, on Lake Ladoga. At the same time, the Finns cut the Leningrad—Murmansk railway at Lodeinoye Polye , encirclement of Leningrad was complate. General Hoeppner’s 4th Panzer Group (1st and 6th Panzer Divisions) was halted on outskirts of the Leningrad though with hastily built barricades , entrenchments and militia forces reinforcing Red Army garrison. Heavy gunfire from Soviet Baltic Fleet battleships on German panzer forces along Neva also checked German advance. Same day Luftwaffe aircraft attacked the city en masse with primary targets being Bedeyev warehouses that was holding vast amounts of food , destroying vast quantity of butter , sugar , grain and other vital food supplies.

Paris , France : German occupation authorities arrested 120 Jews as hostages for murder of a German officer last week.

South Atlantic : Royal Navy destroyer HMS Croome forced Italian submarine Maggiore Baracca to surface 275 miles northeast of the Azores islands, then proceeded to ram the submarine, resulting in her sinking. 23 Italian sailors were killed; 34 survived. HMS Croome was damaged in the stern and was ordered to Gibraltar for repairs.

North Sea : Royal Navy minesweeper HMS Corfield struck a mine and sunk

9 September 1941

UK / Leningrad : On September 9, British cryptologists at Bletchley decrypted the German orders for Operation Typhoon, the planned attack on Moscow. That same day, Field Marshal von Leeb launched his attack on Leningrad. As the Germans drew closer to the city’s suburbs, the naval guns of the cruiser Maxim Gorky , the battleship October Revolution and the battleship Marat sent a massive barrage of shells on to the German forward positions. An SS division, which had participated in May in the German parachute landing on Crete, was ordered to cross the River Neva north-west of Mga, and to attack Leningrad from the north. Lacking sufficient pontoons, it was unable to do so.

Mediterranean Sea : Free Dutch Navy submarine O.24 sank Italian ship Italo Balbo 2 miles east of Corsica, France. Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal delivered 14 Hurricane fighters to reinforce Malta.

Atlantic Ocean : German submarine U-81 torpedoed and sank British cargo ship Empire Springbuck 50 miles east of Greenland at 0655 hours, killing all 42 on board.

English Channel : German cargo ship Trifels was torpedoed and sunk by Royal Navy MTB (Motor Torpedoboat) 54

Tehran , Iran : The Iranian Government accepted the Soviet and British terms, which included the closure of Axis legations and the surrender of German nationals.

Czechslovakia : Vojtech Tuka, with the guidance of German SS-Hauptstrumführer Dieter Wisliceny, enacted the Ordinance Judenkodex which required Slovakian Jews to wear the yellow Stars of David, annulled all debts owed to Jews, confiscated Jewish property, and deported all Jews from the capital Bratis.

Honolulu , Hawaii : Joseph Rochefort’s cryptanalytic team in US Territory of Hawaii noticed carrier Akagi was using new call signs in her radio communications.

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10 September 1941

North Atlantic : Battle of convoy SC42 started. German submarines U-81, U-82, U-85, U-432, and U-652 attacked Allied convoy SC-42 100 miles east of Greenland, sinking six merchant vessels and damaging two more. In exchange Royal Canadian Navy corvette HMCS Moosejaw and another Flower-class corvette HMCS Chambly shared the sinking of the German submarine U-501 by depth charges and ramming; 11 German sailors were killed along with 1 Canadian sailor who boarded the sinking submarine; 37 German sailors survived.

South Atlantic : German submarine U-111 torpedoed and sank Dutch merchant ship Marken 300 miles north of Brazil

Mediterranean Sea : Royal Navy submarine HMS Thunderbolt sank Italian boat Svam I off Sirte, Libya. Royal Navy submarine HMS Torbay torpedoed and badly damaged German cargo ship Norbung

Baltic Sea : German cargo ship Hugo Stinnes 27 struck a mine and sunk off Kolberg

Ukraine : German Panzer Group 1 and Panzer Group 2 completed the crossing of the Dnieper River in southern and northern Ukraine, respectively, and were both heading toward Kiev to complate encirclement of Soviet Southern Front.

Leningrad : General Gregory Zhukov , on orders from Stalin left Moscow to Leningrad. German bombers again raided Leningrad. The city’s creamery was hit, destroying tons of butter. The principal shipyard was badly damaged, and eighty fires started. By morning, more than two hundred of Leningrad’s citizens were dead. Not only ordinary bombs, but delayed-action bombs dropped by parachute, had added to the city’s torment.

Norway : German occupation forces declared martial law in Oslo , Norway , arresting and executing two trade union leaders.

Marienburg , East Prussia : On September 10, the day of his order to switch priority from Moscow to the Ukraine, Hitler took the Hungarian Regent, Admiral Horthy, to the East Prussian town of Marienburg. ‘We don’t have your Jewish problem,’ Hitler told the Hungarian leader. What he did not tell him was the specific fate of the Jews under German rule. On the following day, the Operational Situation Report No. 80 of the SS Einsatzgruppen Special Task Forces noted that, in the town of Korosten, 238 Jews ‘who were rounded up and driven to a special building by the Ukrainian militia, were shot’. In nearby Fastov, ‘all the Jewish inhabitants’ between the ages of twelve and sixty were shot, ‘making a total of 262 heads’, bringing the ‘total executions’ of that particular Special Task Force during August to ‘7,152 persons’.

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11 September 1941

Leningrad : German artillery bombarded Leningrad, Russia throughout the day.

Ukraine : On September 11, Marshal Budyenny again appealed to Stalin to to be allowed to begin ‘a general withdrawal’ from Kiev. His appeal was also signed by the senior Party official in the city, Nikita Khrushchev. Within hours, Budyenny was dismissed. Telephoning to General Kirponos in Kiev, Stalin told his commanders: ‘Cease, after all, searching for new lines to retreat to, and search for ways to resist, and only resist.’

Stalin and his generals were struggling to find some means of holding on to what remained of western Russia, more than a third of which was now in German hands. In the United States, Major Albert C. Wedemeyer, who had been the American soldier—student at the German Staff College in Berlin from 1936 to 1938, estimated, on September 11, that Germany would have occupied all of Russia west of the ‘general line: White Sea, Moscow, Volga River (all inclusive) by 1 July 1942, and that militarily Russia will be substantially impotent subsequent to that date’.

North Atlantic : Battle of convoy SC42 concluded. German submarines U-82, U-202, U-207, U-432, and U-433 attacked Allied convoy SC-42, sinking seven more merchant ships 100 miles east of Greenland before reinforcements from Iceland arrived to defend the convoy. In exchange though , Royal Navy destroyers HMS Leamington and HMS Veteran escorting the convoy hunted down a second U-Boat , located , depth charged and sank German submarine U-207, killing all 41 aboard.

USA : President Roosevelt announced that American warships will attack German and Italian submarines on sight during his “fireside chat” radio address, equating the attacks to piracy.

Mediterranean Sea : Royal Navy submarine HMS Thunderbolt sank Italian cargo ship Livorno 65 miles southwest of Benghazi, Libya. Italian cargo ship Alfredo Oriani was bombed and sunk by RAF Bristol Bleinheim bombers off Benghazi , Libya.

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12 September 1941

North Atlantic : United States Coast Guard cutters intercepted and boarded Norwegian trawler Buskoe in Mackenzie Bay, Greenland; the trawler was operated by Germans, attempting to establish weather stations in the North Atlantic.

Mediterranean Sea : Italian cargo ship Caffaro was torpedoped and sunk by Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Swordfish torpedo bombers off Tripoli , Libya

Leningrad : The daily bread ration in Leningrad, Russia was cut to 500 grams for manual workers and 300 grams for office workers and children under 12. General Zhukov arrived Leningrad by air to take command of Leningrad Front. Meanwhile German troops reported the first snowfall on the Russia.

Norway : In Operation EGV2, Albacore aircraft from Royal Navy carrier HMS Victorious damaged the Glomfjord hydroelectric power plant and the ships at anchor at Bodo in Norway.

Ukraine : German and Roumanian troops launched a renewed offensive against Odessa, Ukraine.

USSR : 2nd and 3rd German Panzer Group scouts met up at Lokhvitsa , near Rovno , achieving encirclement of entire Soviet Southern Front before Kiev (appox 700.000 Red Army troops trapped in Kiev pocket)

Rastenburg , East Prussia : Hitler ordered a halt to the advance into Leningrad. Instead, the city was to be starved into submission. Five German tank divisions, two motorized divisions and much of the air support of von Leeb’s army, were to leave the Leningrad front within a week. Von Leeb protested. The thirty Soviet divisions trapped in the city were on the brink of destruction. The German tank crews nearest the city could see the golden spires of the Admiralty building. Hitler refused to change his decision. East of Kiev, his troops under von Kleist and Guderian had successfully trapped fifty Russian divisions in an enormous pocket. First Kiev, and then Moscow, were the prizes he now sought. This change of plan was passed on to Stalin by his ‘Red Orchestra’ agents in Paris, headed by Leopold Trepper. The Soviet High Command could therefore adjust its defensive plans to meet the reinforced thrusts. The day on which Hitler ordered the transfer of his armoured forces from the Leningrad to the Moscow front, a briefing was held in his headquarters at Rastenburg which began: ‘High-ranking political figures and leaders are to be eliminated.’ The ‘struggle against Bolshevism’, Field Marshal Keitel explained to his commanders that day, ‘demands ruthless and energetic measures, above all against the Jews, the main carriers of Bolshevism’.

Murmansk , Russia : RAF Fighter Wing was first in action in Northern Russia. That day from its base at Vianga, seventeen miles north-east of Murmansk, it shot down three German aircraft for the loss of one of its own. For their activities in Russia at so desperate a time, the unit’s commander, Wing Commander H. N. G. Ramsbottom-Isherwood, and three of his airmen, were each awarded the Order of Lenin, the only members of the Allied forces to be honoured in this way.

Baltics : SS Special Task Force Report (issued on 1 Dec 1941) noted that 993 adult male, 1,670 adult female, and 771 children, all Jews, were killed in Vilnius, Lithuania for a total of 3,334 people

Paris , France : Germans shot eight Jewish hostages out of twelve taken on 8th September.

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