World War II Today: August 11

World War II Today: August 11 - The Battle of BritainThe Battle of Britain begins in earnest with 400 German planes attacking channel convoys and the coastal areas of Britain including Dover, Weymouth and Portland.

The British claim 65 Luftwaffe planes down for the loss of 26 RAF fighters. It actuality, only 35 Luftwaffe planes were shot down, while the RAF had lost 29.

(NOTE: British historians regard the battle as running from 9 July to 31 October 1940, which represented the most intense period of daylight air raiding. German historians begin the battle in mid-August 1940 and end it in May 1941, on the withdrawal of the bomber units in preparation for Operation Barbarossa, the attack on the USSR.)

In Paris, Nazis form Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg to loot art from Jews.

Soviet bombers raid Berlin but cause little damage.

The ‘Pedestal’ convoy is spotted by a German U-boat. The German submarine U-73 attacks the Malta-bound British convoy and sinks HMS Eagle, one of the world’s first aircraft carriers. Over the coming days 21 German and Italian submarines, nearly 800 aircraft, 23 torpedo boats, and units of the Italian fleet move in to intercept the convoy.

US War Production Board orders entire crop of wine grapes be made into raisins for the military.

Hedy LamarrActress Hedy Lamarr applies for a patent for a frequency-hopping system to prevent interception and jamming of radio communications; although not used in WWII, the technology made cellular phones possible.

German night evacuation of Sicily begins, using 134 small craft covered by 500 AA guns.

U.S. troops capture Nantes and Angers and drive South across the Loire.

The Russians renew their offensive towards the Estonian border at Pskov, breaking through the Mavlenburg Line. The Germans assault the old town area of Warsaw from three sides.

General Douglas MacArthur is declared Allied Supreme Commander, with the authority to accept Japanese surrender.

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