World War II Today: July 19

General Sir Alan Brooke takes over from Ironside as C-in-C, Home Forces. Ironside becomes a Field Marshal.

Hitler makes triumphant speech to Reichstag: accuses Allies of war mongering and appeals ‘for the last time to reason’.

The Italian Cruiser, Bartolomeo Colleoni is sunk off Cape Spada, near Crete by HMAS Sydney.

BBC announces the ‘V Army’, the resistance movement in Occupied Europe.

George Armstrong executed at Wandsworth prison for spying.

Hitler issues Directive No.33. This states that Moscow is no longer the priority, but that once the Smolensk pocket has been reduced, then Army Group Centre is to hand over Panzer Group 3 to Army Group North and Panzer Group 2 to Army Group South. This will enable the flanks to be secured by capturing Leningrad in the North and overrunning the Ukraine in the South.

German U-boats are withdrawn from positions off the U.S. Atlantic coast due to effective American anti-submarine countermeasures.

Himmler orders Operation Reinhard, mass deportations of Jews in Poland to extermination camps.

Japanese invasion fleet leaves Rabaul for Buna, New Guinea.

USAAF planes bomb Rome for the first time, using carefully drawn maps in an attempt to avoid hitting the city’s numerous historic churches. The effort is deemed nearly perfect; only one church is damaged, Basilica at San Lorenzo.

The British 3rd Division is repulsed from Emiville four times as the Canadians clear the southern suburbs of Caen. The British 11th Armoured Division takes Bras and Hubert-Follie.

The U.S. 34th Division captures Livorno on the Italian coast.

The Russians claim to have crossed into Latvia.

U.S. Marines invade Guam in the Marianas.

World War II Today: July 19Lt. General James Doolittle establishes the US Eighth Air Force on Okinawa, having transferred from England.




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