World War II Today: September 12

First Anglo-French Supreme War Council convenes under Chamberlain and Daladier and  agrees to postpone military operations.

In response to the invasion of Poland, the French Army advances into Germany. On this day they reach their furthest penetration-five miles.

The battle of the Vistula bend flares up near Kutno, the last major engagement of the Polish campaign. The Luftwaffe bombs Krzemieniec.

Convoys for merchant shipping are established to counter the U-boats.

Canada’s cabinet introduces Order In Council P.C. 4751, giving Canadian authorities power to imprison disobedient foreign seamen from non-Canadian ships in Canadian ports.

Co-ordination of searchlights and AA guns improves protection of London from air attack. Germans claim that RAF are dropping Colorado beetles over German potato crops.

Italian forces begin an offensive into Egypt from Libya.

Nazis confine 500,000 Jews in the Warsaw ghetto.

German U-boats sink twenty-two ships in a U.S. convoy headed toward England. The previous day, President Roosevelt ordered U.S. ships to shoot on sight any German subs.

The first snow reported on Russian Front. German forces in the Kremenchug bridgehead across the Dnieper in the Ukraine and advance north to aid in the encirclement of Kiev.

US Fifth Air Force parachute fragmentation bombs falling on docks at Rabaul, New Britain, 2 November 1943 (Library of Congress)Convoy PQ-18 consisting of 41 merchants sets sail from Loch Ewe in Scotland bound for Murmansk. Since the slaughter of PQ-17 in July the escort system had been radically overhauled, meaning that this convoy had among others and the escort carrier HMS Avenger and 16 destroyers to protect it.

US Fifth Air Force A-20 light bombers first use parachute fragmentation bombs (“parafrags”)—at Buna, New Guinea.

Battle of Bloody Ridge on Guadalcanal begins.
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Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Dekanozov arrives in Stockholm on an ill-defined mission. Tipped off that the Russians were open to discussing possible peace terms with the Third Reich, German Foreign Minister Von Ribbentrop pleads with Hitler that he be allowed to dispatch an envoy to at least hear what terms Stalin might be willing to offer. Hitler, however, refuses the request and Dekanozov departs for Moscow after waiting four days.

Mussolini, held prisoner by the Badoglio government on the Gran Sasso, is rescued by German paratroopers who land in gliders on top of the mountain. SS major Otto Skorzeny, leads a daring glider attack on the hotel where Mussolini is being held. The Duce is freed and taken to Germany. Hitler signs decrees appropriating Italian industry for German uses as well as annexing the German-speaking regions of northern Italy to the Greater German Reich. The latter violates the undertaking Hitler gave to Mussolini in 1940 that Germany had no territorial ambitions south of the Brenner Pass.

U.S. Army troops entered Germany for the first time during World War II, near Trier.

The German garrison at Le Havre surrenders after very heavy fighting.

German troops evacuate Rhodes and other Greek islands in the eastern Mediterranean.

A German-Hungarian counter-offensive grinds toward Arad and Temesvar in Hungary.

Mountbatten accepts the surrender of all Japanese troops in Southeast Asia.

French troops land in Indochina.

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