World War II Today: September 8

Polish defenders of the Westerplatte at Danzig surrender after a week of continuous bombardment.

World War II Today: September 8 - Girl holding her dog in devastated Warsaw, Poland, 5 September 1939 (US Holocaust Museum)The Polish government leaves Warsaw for Lublin, while its forces surrounded at Radom face a hopeless situation.

At Bedzin, 200 Jews are burned alive in a synagogue by the Germans who charge Poles with the crime, and then execute 30 of them in a public square.

Australia passes the National Security act. Earl Page steps down as Australia’s Country Party Leader, to be replaced by Archie Cameron.

RAF Bomber Command attacks concentrate on disrupting the German invasion effort. The Luftwaffe attacks London between dusk-to-dawn. 20 people are killed as an aerial torpedo hits an East End block of flats. Total casualties are estimated at 286 killed and 1,400 seriously injured.

National ‘day of prayer’ proclaimed in Britain.

Leningrad is now completely surrounded after German troops close the land bridge at Schluesselburg. The Russians announce gains near Smolensk and claim eight German divisions have been beaten.

Twelve British merchant seamen are awarded Russian decorations.

Japanese advance from Kokoda to Owen Stanley Ridge in an overland drive for Port Moresby, New Guinea.

Eisenhower announces the Italian unconditional surrender. German reserves are rushed to Italy in the wake of the cease-fire between the Badoglio government and the Allies.

The first V2 rockets hit London and Paris from mobile bases in Holland.

Canadians take Ostend, while the U.S. First Army take Liege, just 20 miles from the German border.

Russian troops enter Bulgaria unopposed as the Bulgarian’s declare war on Germany.

The U.S. Fifth Army launches an assault against the Gothic Line.

The first American troops enter Tokyo itself. MacArthur enters Tokyo.

Korea is partitioned by the Soviet Union and the United States.

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