June 1941

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The following events occurred in June 1941:

June 1, 1941 (Sunday)[edit]

June 2, 1941 (Monday)[edit]

June 3, 1941 (Tuesday)[edit]

  • Razing of Kandanos: German occupying forces in Crete completely destroyed the village of Kandanos in retaliation for the resistance of the local population during the Battle of Crete.
  • The Finnish High Command granted the German General Staff permission to use northern Finland as a staging area for the planned attack on the Soviet Union.[8]
  • Hitler received Japanese ambassador Hiroshi Ōshima at the Berghof and informed him of the plan to attack the Soviet Union.[5]

June 4, 1941 (Wednesday)[edit]

  • British forces seized control of Mosul and set up a pro-British government.[9]
  • The Luftwaffe bombed Alexandria.[10]
  • British intelligence intercepted Ambassador Ōshima's coded message which included considerable details of Germany's plan to attack the USSR. However, due to a lack of either translators or interest, the report was not delivered to the Joint Intelligence Committee for eight days.[5]
  • The British ocean liner Zealandic struck a sunken wreck off Cromer while trying to evade a Luftwaffe attack and ran aground. Zealandic was then torpedoed by German E-boats before she could be salvaged.
  • Died: Morris Michael Edelstein, 53, Polish-born American Congressional Representative; Wilhelm II, 82, Emperor of Germany from 1888 to 1918

June 5, 1941 (Thursday)[edit]

June 6, 1941 (Friday)[edit]

  • President Roosevelt signed a bill authorizing the requisitioning of all foreign merchant ships idling in American ports. He then issued an executive order authorizing the Maritime Commission to operate or dispose of the ships in the interest of national defense. 84 vessels were affected by the order.[16]
  • German troops arrived in Finland.[11]
  • Commissar Order: Hitler ordered that commissars of the Red Army captured in battle or in resistance were "to be disposed of by gunshot immediately."[17]
  • President Roosevelt said during a press conference that many Americans were being duped by German propaganda into believing that Britain was on the verge of collapse and would soon be suing for peace.[18]
  • The 1941 Birthday Honours of King George VI were published.
  • Died: Louis Chevrolet, 62, Swiss-born American race car driver and co-founder of the Chevrolet automobile company

June 7, 1941 (Saturday)[edit]

June 8, 1941 (Sunday)[edit]

June 9, 1941 (Monday)[edit]

  • The Battle of the Litani River was fought in French Lebanon, resulting in Allied victory.
  • President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8773, authorizing the Secretary of War to take over the striking North American Aviation plant in Inglewood, California. The president explained in a statement that the work stoppage could not be allowed to continue because it had created a situation that was "seriously detrimental to the defense of the United States."[21]
  • Luftwaffe units began deploying near the Soviet border.[22]
  • Hitler issued Directive No. 31, German Military Organisation in the Balkans.
  • The funeral of ex-kaiser Wilhelm II was held in Doorn. Although Hitler had wanted a state funeral in Berlin with himself in a prominent role, Wilhelm's family insisted on respecting instructions he'd given in 1933 that he was to be buried in Doorn if Germany was not a monarchy at the time of his death. However, a delegation of Nazi officials led by Arthur Seyss-Inquart was allowed to attend as well as a Wehrmacht guard of honour, and Wilhelm's wishes that Nazi regalia not be displayed at his funeral were ignored.[23][24][25]
  • Born: Jon Lord, composer and rock keyboardist for Deep Purple, in Leicester, England (d. 2012)

June 10, 1941 (Tuesday)[edit]

  • Vichy Vice-Premier François Darlan made a speech to the French people warning of those who were "trying to darken the nation's understanding." Darlan said that "de Gaullist and Communist propaganda" both had "the same goal - to create disorder in the country, to increase the misery of the population, to prevent the rebirth of the nation ... Frenchmen, beware and help the government in its heavy, very heavy task. This task of the government is triple: to ameliorate the French people's situation, to prepare for peace in that measure a conquered nation can, and to prepare France's future in a new Europe."[26]
  • On the first anniversary of Italy's entry into the war, Mussolini said in a speech to the Grand Council of Fascism that the United States was already in a de facto state of war with the Axis, but that "America's attitude does not bother us excessively ... American intervention would merely lengthen the war and would not save England."[27]
  • The British troops of 3rd battalion of 15th Punjab Regiment have captured Assab in Ethiopia from Italian garrison by surprise (see Operation Chronometer).[2]
  • Born: Mickey Jones, musician and actor, in Houston, Texas (d. 2018); James A. Paul, writer and executive, in New York City; Jürgen Prochnow, actor, in Berlin, Germany

June 11, 1941 (Wednesday)[edit]

June 12, 1941 (Thursday)[edit]

June 13, 1941 (Friday)[edit]

June 14, 1941 (Saturday)[edit]

June 15, 1941 (Sunday)[edit]

June 16, 1941 (Monday)[edit]

  • President Roosevelt ordered the closing of all German consulates in the United States and expulsion of their German employees no later than July 10, on the grounds of improper activities "inimical to the welfare of this country."[36]
  • Winston Churchill gave a radio speech from London accepting an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of Rochester in New York. Churchill told his American listeners that it gave him "comfort and inspiration to feel that I think as you do, that our hands are joined across the oceans, and that our pulses throb and beat as one ... A wonderful story is unfolding before our eyes. How it will end we are not allowed to know. But on both sides of the Atlantic we all feel, I repeat, all, that we are a part of it, that our future and that of many generations is at stake."[37]

June 17, 1941 (Tuesday)[edit]

June 18, 1941 (Wednesday)[edit]

June 19, 1941 (Thursday)[edit]

June 20, 1941 (Friday)[edit]

June 21, 1941 (Saturday)[edit]

  • The Battle of Damascus ended in Allied victory.
  • Hitler sent Benito Mussolini a secret message informing him of the German invasion of the Soviet Union. "I waited until this moment, Duce, to send you this information, it is because the final decision itself will not be made until 7 o'clock tonight," Hitler wrote. "I earnestly beg you, therefore, to refrain, above all, from making any explanation to your Ambassador at Moscow, for there is no absolute guarantee that our coded reports cannot be decoded. I, too, shall wait until the last moment to have my own Ambassador informed of the decisions reached."[46]
  • A law in Vichy France limited Jews to only 3 percent of university students.[47]
  • Churchill decided to dismiss Archibald Wavell as Commander-in-Chief, Middle East and replace him with Claude Auchinleck.[48] Wavell took Auchinleck's old post of Commander-in-Chief, India.
  • Peter II of Yugoslavia arrived in exile in London.[49]
  • The United States completed the tit-for-tat exchange of consulate closings with Germany and Italy by ordering all Italian consulates to close before July 15.[48]
  • The British steam collier Gasfire struck a mine in the North Sea and sank. All 26 crew were rescued.
  • German submarines U-374, U-434, U-455 and U-456 were commissioned.
  • "Daddy" by Sammy Kaye and His Orchestra hit #1 on the Billboard singles charts.
  • Born: Joe Flaherty, actor and comedian, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Valeri Zolotukhin, theatrical and cinema actor, in Altai Krai, USSR
  • Died: Elliott Dexter, 71, American film and stage actor

June 22, 1941 (Sunday)[edit]

  • German forces launched Operation Barbarossa, the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union. At 3:25 a.m. Georgy Zhukov woke up Joseph Stalin by phone to inform him of the invasion, but Stalin initially believed it to only be a German provocation and refused to give Zhukov permission to strike back. Only three hours later did he realize it was a full-scale invasion and authorize the Red Army to resist.[6]
  • The Defense of Brest Fortress, Battle of Hanko and Battle of Białystok–Minsk began on the Eastern Front.
  • The Germans executed Operation Renntier to secure the nickel mines around Petsamo in Finland.
  • The June Uprising in Lithuania began when a segment of the Lithuanian population rose up and declared the restoration of the country's independence.
  • Hitler issued a lengthy proclamation of war with the Soviet Union presenting his justification for the German invasion. As usual, Hitler presented himself as doing everything he could to preserve peace and only turning to force as a last resort.[50]
  • Italy and Romania also declared war on the Soviet Union.[51]
  • Vyacheslav Molotov gave a broadcast authorized by Stalin to the citizens of the Soviet Union. "This war has been forced upon us, not by the German people, not by German workers, peasants and intellectuals, whose sufferings we well understand, but by the clique of bloodthirsty Fascist rulers of Germany who have enslaved Frenchmen, Czechs, Poles, Serbians, Norway, Belgium, Denmark, Holland, Greece and other nations," Molotov said. "The government of the Soviet Union expresses its unshakable confidence that our valiant army and navy and brave falcons of the Soviet Air Force will acquit themselves with honor in performing their duty to the fatherland and to the Soviet people, and will inflict a crushing blow upon the aggressor."[52]
  • Winston Churchill gave a speech announcing the German invasion of the Soviet Union and explaining Britain's new alliance with Russia. "No one has been a more consistent opponent of Communism than I have for the last twenty-five years," Churchill said. "I will unsay no word that I have spoken about it. But all this fades away before the spectacle which is now unfolding ... Any man or state who fights on against Nazidom will have our aid. Any man or state who marches with Hitler is our foe ... It follows, therefore, that we shall give whatever help we can to Russia and the Russian people. We shall appeal to all our friends and allies in every part of the world to take the same course and pursue it, as we shall, faithfully and steadfastly to the end."[53]
  • Born: Ed Bradley, broadcast journalist, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 2006); Michael Lerner, actor, in Brooklyn, New York; Terttu Savola, politician, in Vimpeli, Finland

June 23, 1941 (Monday)[edit]

June 24, 1941 (Tuesday)[edit]

June 25, 1941 (Wednesday)[edit]

June 26, 1941 (Thursday)[edit]

June 27, 1941 (Friday)[edit]

June 28, 1941 (Saturday)[edit]

June 29, 1941 (Sunday)[edit]

June 30, 1941 (Monday)[edit]


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