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Eastern position. The Nazis struck suddenly (May | friendship pact with Germany four days before.
In Iraq pro-Axis Ali Al Gailani had seized power. The British tried diplomacy to win him over and when it failed sent an army into the country and restored the pro-British Government. German planes had landed in Syria on the way to Iraq in the brief fighting against the British. The British accused the Vichy Government of permitting the infiltration of German tourists, a familiar German Trojan horse trick. The British and Free French drove into Syria and were forcing the campaign to a successful close when Germany attacked Russia. Later, in August, while fighting was progressing between Germany and Russia, Iran agreed to cooperate with Russia and Great Britain as their armed forces moved into the country. Britain rallied quickly to the aid of the U. S. S. R., and the United States pledged material assistance. Turkey, which had signed a ten-year
remained neutral. Rumania, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia and Finland aligned themselves with Germany against Russia.
Berlin hopes for a quick victory were dashed. Fatalistic Red Army men died by the thousands in resisting just as their fathers had done in the 1914-1917 war. The Germans conquered Russian territory bigger than pre-war Germany but the conflict continued. In some places the Germans followed the route of Napoleon with offensives against Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev, the Ukraine and Odessa. In two weeks the Germans were 355 miles into Russia. Then the battle slowed against the tough resistance of the Russians, was renewed and Kiev and Odessa fell with the Ukraine, the granary of Russia. When the Germans reached the Rostov district (late in October) their forces were 1,000 miles inside Russia. The Germans continued their drive into Crimea, with the rich oil fields of the Caucasus their apparent goal.
Casualties in the War
Casualties in the first two years of the war are estimated at more than 10,000,000, of whom probably one-fourth have been killed and of the dead 250,000 are believed to be civilians. The wounded, captured and missing make up the rest of the list. Estimated casualties have ranged as high as 16,000,000 and as low as 7,000,000, but none of these figures included the heavy losses in the Russian campaign late in 1941. Military specialists were inclined to accept the higher figures in view of the Russian and German losses.
The losses by campaigns are gathered from official statements and from neutrals and military experts where official figures are lacking. These experts also have suggested changes in official figures.
Poland-Germany admitted casualties of 44,303 in the Polish campaign which lasted three weeks. Polish losses ranged from 1,500,000 to 1,675,000. Neutral estimates place the Polish dead at 250,000, wounded 675,000 and missing and prisoners at 500,000, of whom 300,000 surrendered to Germans. Civilian casualties are lumped at 300,000, Warsaw alone contributing 60,000. Neutral experts add 150,000 to the Polish civilian losses. Germany classified her losses in Poland as 10,572 dead, 30,322 wounded and 3.409 missing. Military experts appraised Germany's losses at probably 100,000 with at least 20,000 of these killed.
Norway-In the four weeks campaign in Norway Germany admitted losses of 5,296, but once more military experts added to the figures, rating the casualties much higher. Norwegian losses are set at not more than 5,000 and the British at 1,579. Civilian casualties in Norway approached 5,000. Norwegians also dispute the Berlin figure of the German losses and say that at least 38,000 Nazis were killed and 30,000 more drowned in the 62 days of fighting. Military men incline to acceptance of the Norwegian figures. The Germans divided their losses as 1,317 dead, 1,604 wounded and 2,375 missing and prisoners.
France The big loser in the campaign in Flanders which lasted 39 days was France with admitted casualties of 1,975.000, but military men elevate the figure to 2,750,000. Vichy counted the French dead at 125,000, wounded 250,000, missing and prisoners (mostly prisoners) 1,500,000. Vichy also gave its civilian casualties as 80,000 but milltary men scaled this total down to 50,000. Conservative estimates placed the losses at 190,000 dead. 675,000 wounded, 1,500,000 prisoners and missing for a total of 2,365,000, not including civilian casualties of 65,000. Belgian losses were lumped as 7,500 dead, 15,853 wounded and 200,000 missing and prisoners-a total count of 226.803. Military men accept the figure as accurate. The Belgian civilian dead are placed at 13,505. The escape of 224,585 of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk kept the Empire losses down. London reported 6,449 killed, 14,051 wounded and 46,639 prisoners or wounded-a total of 67,139. This makes a total of 2.692,139 Allied casualties, of which 244,449 are dead. Germany gave its losses as 156,492, divided into 27,074 killed, 111,034 wounded and 18,384 missing and prisoners, figures accepted by military men.
Africa and the Balkans-Italy suffered the heaviest losses of the five countries engaged in the Albanian, African and Balkan campaigns. Rome announced its losses as 257,708, but London raised the figure to 582,000. Neutral experts figure the Italian losses in the three campaigns at 252,479, classified as 22,219 dead, 54,312 wounded, 175.948
prisoners and missing. To these figures are added 1,000 civilians killed and wounded in air raids. Greece said her soldiers killed 125,000 Italians and captured 30,000. The rest of the Italian casualties are credited to the British in the Libyan campaign. The German High Command said its losses were 6,456-2,006 killed, 3,902 wounded and 548 missing or prisoners. Military men raise the German Balkan casualties to 20,000 with at least 5,000 killed.
Yugoslav losses in the 12-day campaign are fixed by military men at 225,000, including 10,000 dead, 15,000 wounded and 200,000 missing and prisoners. Civilian casualties are placed at 9,000 but the figure is criticized as too low. The Yugoslav Government said the civilian casualties were 30,000.
Greeks figured their losses at 60,000 killed and wounded, but boasted that they had killed 15,000 Italians. Military men approximate the Greek casualties at 20,000 killed, 45,000 wounded and 30,000 prisoners and missing-a total of 95,000. To this figure are added 200 civilian dead and wounded, while the Greeks say that these casualties were at least 15,000, of whom 4,000 alone were children.
The British losses reached 12,982 killed, captured and missing in Greece and 12,790 in Crete. Half of these losses were suffered by the Australians, who counted 1,194 dead, and 11,345 missing and wounded. Of the Australian losses 3,560 were listed in Greece with 423 wounded being safely evacuated. Australian losses in Libya were approximately 800 with 300 at Tobruk. Fighting continued in this sector after this appraisal. In addition to the Greek and Cretan losses the British suffered 3,578 casualties in Egypt, listed as 700 killed, 1,958 wounded and 1,920 captured.
In the East African fighting the British losses ranged to 1,030 killed and wounded.
The Ethiopian campaign against the Italians did not cost the South Africans more than 300 casualties, of whom perhaps 50 were killed. This gives a total British casualty list of 32,542, of whom 6,227 were killed. Germany sets its losses in the campaign in Crete at 5,893-1,353 killed, 1,919 wounded and 2,621 missing. British said the German losses in Crete were 17,000-4,000 killed, 2,000 drowned. and 11,000 wounded-out of an army of 35,000. The Axis total losses are computed at approximately 278,372 with 28,752 killed, while the Allied casualties were 352,542 with 36,227 of that figure as dead. Russia-The heaviest casualties of the war have been incurred in the fighting on the Russian front. Fantastic and exaggerated claims have been issued by Berlin and Moscow and military experts say that it would be impossible for armies to have suffered the losses as reported by their foes. Berlin reported (Aug. 7) that the Russian casualties had reached 4,000,000 and of these that 3,000,000 had been killed. This total was boosted to 4,626,000 two weeks later, coupled with the assertion that 3,500,000 were dead or wounded and that 1,126,000 Russians were prisoners. The figure was hiked once more by Berlin to 5,000,000 Russians lost in two months of fighting and another million was added (Oct. 14, 1941) to swell the total to 6,000,000 of whom half were said to be prisoners. Moscow was equally extravagant with the lives of the Germans for it countered with a claim (Sept. 2) that 2,000,000 Germans had been killed or wounded. Thereafter Moscow kept pace with German reports of Russian losses with additions to its list of German casualties.
Germany admitted that in two months of fighting casualties had been 402,865, divided into 85,896 dead, 296,670 wounded and 20,299 missing. Early
in August Russia admitted losses of 600,000. A Turkish report at that time placed the Soviet losses at 700,000 while London said that 1,000,000 was nearer the correct figure. Neutral experts estimate Russian losses at 2,500,000 with 405,000 killed, 820,000 wounded and 1,360.000 prisoners or missing. These figures do not include the October fighting around Leningrad, Moscow, Kiev, Odessa and in the south or the Russian losses (1939-1940) in Finland.
Moscow reported (Oct. 24) that the German losses in four months of fighting exceeded the entire German losses in the World War which were 1,773,700 killed, 4,216,058 wounded and 1,152,000 prisoners and missing, a grand total of 7,142,558. It is estimated by neutral experts that 36,000 Russian civilians have been killed and 48,000 wounded.
Berlin revised its casualty figures again (Nov. 7, 1941) and placed the Russian losses at between 7,000,000 and 8,000,000 killed, captured or otherwise put out of action. Premier Stalin admitted (Nov. 6, 1941) that the Russian losses were 1,748,000, divided into 350,000 killed, 378,000 missing and 1,020,000 wounded. Reichschancellor Hitler elevated the Russian losses to between 8,000,000 and 10,000,000, while Premier Stalin said the German casualties in four months were 4,500,000.
The Soviet Information Bureau acknowledged (Nov. 25, 1941) Russian losses of 2,122,000 in killed. wounded and missing in five months of fighting. The losses were divided 490,000 killed, 1,112,000 wounded, and more than 520,000 missing. The Bureau at the same time put the German losses at 6,000,000. The Bureau also acknowledged Russian losses of 7,900 tanks, 6,400 planes, and 12,900 guns. Against these were placed German losses of more than 15,000 tanks about 13,000 planes and 79,000 guns.
A week earlier Germany had set Russian casualties at 10,000,000, including 4,000,000 prisoners.
The German military losses are placed by Berlin at 619,355 to which must be added 13,338 civilian casualties in air raids. The Germans listed 128,218 killed, 445,451 wounded and 67,596 prisoners or missing. To this are added 3,853 civilian dead and 9,445 wounded in air raids. The military casualty figures include the campaigns on all fronts with the exception of Africa where the German losses were slight. The figures, however, do not include
The British Navy entered the third year of the war holding a comfortable edge in the Battle of the Atlantic, and still dominating the Mediterranean and other ocean battle zones. The widened zone of milltary operations extended the Navy's front from the Arctic throughout the North and South Atlantic, through the Mediterranean and around the Cape of Good Hope to the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific. The Navy was compelled to concentrate its main strength on the "lifeline" in the Atlantic to carry to Britain American supplies and food.
The U-boats intensified their attacks early in 1941 but were forced to alter their strategy by the combined action of the British and American fleets. The submarines were forced to prowl in packs of four and five bobbing up in the midst of convoys and discharging their torpedoes.
The toll of Allied and British shipping falling prey to the U-boats showed a decrease in the second half of the year. President Roosevelt ordered the Atlantic Fleet to patrol the vital ocean traffic lanes and report the presence of German air and sea marauders to British warships and planes. Much of the danger to Atlantic convoys from German surface raiders was minimized when the two pocket_battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau went to Brest for refitting and refueling late in March and were trapped by the ceaseless bombing of the British air force. These attacks put these ships out of action indefinitely. A third Nazi cruiser was trapped in Brest after fleeing the full strength of the Atlantic fleet in pursuit of the ill-fated Bismarck.
The British Navy in two years of war lost 260 vessels, including two battleships, the Hood and the Royal Oak, two aircraft carriers, the Courageous and the Glorious, nine cruisers, 51 destroyers, 29 submarines. 14 armed merchant cruisers, including the Jervis Bay, whose gallant battle against an enemy raider saved all but four vessels of a convoy of 38, and 153 mine sweepers, trawlers and drifters.
At sea the major German losses have been the Graf Spee and the battleship Bismarck, one aircraft carrier, two 8-inch gun cruisers, 15 destroyers and many submarines.
the October fighting in Russia where the German losses by all accounts were heavy.
Neutral observers and military experts increase the German casualties to 2,637,000, including only a portion of the losses in the Russian campaign. Finland-The losses of the Finns in their campaign against Russia are estimated at 100,000. perhaps slightly more; in the Army and civilian casualties are grouped at 6,000. The milltary casualties are divided into 28,500 killed, 65,000 wounded and 6,750 prisoners or missing. Casualty lists put the Estonian military losses at 39,000: Latvian 54,000 and Lithuanian 44,000. Civilian losses in Estonia are estimated at 11,000, Latvia 17,000 and Lithuania 8,000. Estonian military casualties are divided dead 8,000; wounded 10,000 and missing 21,000; Latvian dead 12,000, wounded 14,000 and missing 28,000; Lithuanian killed 9,000, wounded 12,000 and missing 23,000.
Air Bombing-The bombing of cities has caused thousands of civilian casualties, especially in London, Warsaw, Rotterdam, Belgrade, Coventry. Berlin and Bremen. The foregoing civilian lists contain these losses, but the British, Russian and German raids have caused thousands more. The British Government announced civilian casualties as 94,830 dead, wounded and missing of whom 14,281 were killed and 20.325 injured (between Aug. 8 and Oct. 1, 1940). Neutral experts figure British casualties (to Sept. 1, 1941) at 84,000. Histing 36,000 dead and 48,000 wounded. The same authority estimated 3,900 civilians killed and 9,500 wounded in Germany. Other sources place the German losses as high as 15,000 killed. Berlin admitted 3,853 dead and 9,445 wounded (to Aug. 29, 1941).
British Empire-British military losses reported (to Aug. 1, 1941) were 133,598 of whom 32,787 were dead. The Australians lost 13.729 of these, of whom 1,194 were dead. Canadian losses were placed (Oct. 9, 1941) at 1,661 dead and missing. including deaths from natural causes. South Arfican losses were 300, of whom 50 were dead. It is estimated that the Royal Air Force has suffered casualties of 10,996, divided into 6,326 dead, 1,338 wounded and 498 prisoners. Of the dead 1,045 are recorded as natural as a result of service connection. British naval casualties are recorded at 15,896, classified as 5,747 killed, 7,323 missing. 3,566 wounded, 517 captured and 81 deaths laid to natural causes.
on the Seas
The British Navy also has been effective against the Italian Navy in the Mediterranean. Italian losses are listed as four 8-inch gun cruisers sunk, one doubtful: one damaged; three 6-inch gun cruisers sunk and two to six damaged; 30, possibly more, destroyers and torpedo boats sunk, and an undisclosed number of submarines. No Italian battleship is listed as sunk, but one was damaged in the battle of Calabria early in the war, three were torpedoed at Taranto, one in the battle off Cape Matapan and one salvaged, but out of commission.
The British report that more than 50 per cent of Italy's torpedo boats and destroyers are gone, all the 10,000 8-inch gun cruisers are out of action or sunk. British sources also let it be known that Italy has lost a third of her merchant fleet, more than 850,000 tons having been sent to the bottom of the Mediterranean and Red Seas in two years of war.
It is estimated that more than 7,000,000 tons of British and Allied shipping have been sunk in two years. The British stopped giving out figures on merchant losses in July, but at the time admitted that approximately 6,000,000 tons had gone down since the outbreak of the war. The number of Allied ships sunk by the Axis through the end of July, 1941, was put at 1.753 of which 1,078 were British, 334 Allied and 326 neutral with a combined tonnage of 7,118,122. Berlin asserted that 13,088,283 tons of shipping had been destroyed in two years by the German Navy and Air Force. The tonnage lost by Germany, Italy and other countries allied to the Axis was estimated at more than 4,000,000.
The records of the Associated Press showed that the number of ships lost crossed the 2,000 mark (Oct. 25, 1941). These records showed that 2,004 vessels-an average of about two-and-a-half ships a day-had been lost by 31 nations. The total lost tonnage, according to this record, reached 7,548,894. Accompanying the high toll to that date was a loss of 18,108 lives and 9.318 persons missing. Submarines, planes and warships accounted for 1,075 ships, the records revealed: mines for 252 and other or unknown causes for 677.
Britain has been the big loser, 875 of her naval
and merchant vessels having been sent to the bottom. Her allies, Norway and Greece, have lost 225 and 155, respectively, while the conflict has cost her enemies, Germany and Italy, 145 and 105 ships, respectively.
Sweden has been the hardest hit neutral, losing 118. While 11 United States-owned ships have gone down, only four have flown the American flag, the rest sailing under the colors of Panama. Fifteen ships of the latter registery have been sunk.
Official figures published in Vichy showed that the French merchant marine had lost about half of its prewar tonnage since the beginning of the war. The losses were presented: sunk during the war, 300,00 tons; sunk since the armistice, 57,000 tons; seized by the British, 598,000 tons; blocked in foreign ports, '400,000 tons; a total of 1,355,000 tons. The commercial fleet operating at the time (Sept. 21, 1941) represented 1,516,000 with the French shipyards turning out new vessels.
The War in the Air
The opening of the third year of the war found a complete change-about in the war in the air compared with the year before. The Battle of Great Britain was nearing its peak in 1940 with Luftwaffe hordes hurling themselves against a numerically inferior R. A. F. in almost incessant night and day attacks. In 1941 the initiative had passed almost entirely to the British. With June the air battle shifted some 60 miles or so to the eastward from Britain to Northern France and Germany with heavy night and day raids, sometimes with 400 or more planes participating.
Some experts predict Britain will have numerical superiority in the air in 1942. One of the chief factors in the rise in British planes is American aid. From a trickle in 1940 the flow of planes has become a steady and increasing stream, with indications that the flood of contracts placed in May and June, 1940, will begin arriving before Spring.
The fighting in Russia drew large numbers of German planes to the eastward. This left the R. A. F. in practically uninterrupted possession of the Western skies, able to attack German plane factories and other military objectives with slight. if any, opposition. The Russian air force inflicted heavy damage on the Luftwaffe. Neutral experts estimated the German losses at from 30 to 40 planes daily. Some experts doubt that Germany can maintain a production of 1,000 planes monthly after the factory damage caused by British raids. The two heaviest blitz attacks on England were made in April and May of 1940. After the May raids, these attacks ceased, the Luftwaffe apparently assembling its planes for the Russian cam
Great Britain-In the 1941-1942 fiscal year (March to March) expenditures in October ranged to $64,000,000 a day. These figures are taken from Exchequer returns (Oct. 8, 1941). Expenditures, including defense in the first two years of the war, reached £5,668,000,000. (The value of the pound is estimated at $4). The war service budgets were (1939-1940) £1,049,189,000; (1940-1941) £1.408,867,000; (1941-1942) £1,636,000,000.
Germany-According to an official statement by the Ministry of Finance and analyzed in the Foreign Commerce Weekly (Nov. 15, 1941) of the United States Department of Commerce, the Reich's non-military expenditures amounted to 17,800,000.000 marks in the fiscal year (1939-1940) and now totals about 20,000,000,000 reichmarks a year. (The last available quotation on the mark (1940) put its value at approximately 40 cents. Since then quotations have not been available). This amount compares with a civilian expenditure of 5.500,000,000 reichmarks (1933-1934) the first year of the National Socialist regime. The figure of 20,000,000,000 reichmarks includes, according to the Ministry, "several billions of reichmarks" of expenditures in territories that have been incorporated since 1933.
The only specific reference to the Reich's wartime expenditure made by the Ministry was a statement to the effect that the payment of allowances to wives and families of mobilized soldiers would require a sum of approximately 5,000,000,000 reichmarks during the 1941-1942 fiscal year.
Inasmuch the Reich will probably obtain 85,000,000,000 to 90,000,000,000 reichmarks from various revenues, including levies to cover cost of occupation, and borrowing during the current year, the figure for non-military expenditures of 20,000,000.000 reichmarks leaves the implication that the actual cost of the war itself at present is at the
paign. And by mid-June the R. A. F. began an offensive against the invasion ports by day and the industrial sections of the Ruhr by night.
A heavy British raid at one time was assumed to mean anything up to 300 planes participating. but 1942 probably will see 500 or even 600 of the long distance bombers, many of them of American manufacture, strafing the Reich in a single attack. At the same time Britain has been warned to expect a renewal of German attacks.
The air correspondent of the London Daily Telegraph estimated (Oct. 1, 1941) that Germany had lost 16,000 planes which he estimated to be about equal to German production for the last year. British losses were put at 3,100. This expert figures that the R. A. F. will achieve actual parity if not superiority in the air by the Summer of 1942. The London Times (July 17, 1941) puts German pilot losses at 18,750.
The Economist, the British financial journal, put the value of property destroyed by German air raids against England in the first two years of the war at $480,000,000. The estimate was based on the figures of a prominent insurance company which revealed its losses to be 32 per cent on extensive real estate holdings in Greater London. Since the damage in London had been more extensive than elsewhere The Economist set the percentage for the entire country at 2 per cent of the estimated real estate values of $24,000,000,000.
Herbert Morrison, secretary of Home Affairs, told Commons (Oct. 23, 1941) that British civilian casualties in the first six months, ending Sept. 30, 1941, were 13,381 killed, 13,182 wounded as compared with 8,180 killed and missing and 10,408 wounded during the same period in 1940.
of the War
rate of 65,000,000,000 to 70,000,000,000 reichmarks per year, including the 5,000,000,000 reichmarks being spent for allowances to soldiers' families.
The many types of currency in Germany do not permit an accurate transition from marks into dollars and therefore it is impossible to get more than an approximation of war expenditures. One financial specialist figured that the war bill of Germany was running at the rate of $38,000,000 a day and rising.
France The German Army of Occupation costs France approximately 280,000,000 francs a day. (The franc is valued at two-and-one-half cents). The occupation cost levied against France was cut 100,000,000 francs a day (Nov. 23, 1941) and made retroactive to May 10. The Petain regime allotted the Army (1941) 13,000,000,000 francs and the Navy 5,500,000,000 francs, and aviation 4,500,000,000 francs.
Japan-The authorized military expenditures (April 1, 1937 to March 1, 1940) were 24,245,500,000 yen. (The last available quotation on the yen (1939) put its value at approximately 25 cents). The percentage of national income devoted to military expenditures was estimated at 26.1 (1939) and is said to have increased in 1940 and 1941.
Russia-The 1941 defense fund amounted to 54,000,000,000 rubles. (The ruble was valued at 19 cents).
Italy-The Navy allottment (1941) was 5,500,000.000 lire; Army, 13,000,000,000 lire: aviation, 4,500,000,000 lire. (The lira was valued at approximately 20 cents).
The combined annual defensive and offensive armament expenditures of the United States and the powers actually in the war are estimated at (1933-1937) $50,000,000,000; (1938) $20,000,000,000; (1939) $30,000,000,000; (1940) $45,000,000,000: (1941) $65,000,000,000.
U. S. Built Bomber Flies Atlantic in 72 Hours
The Brtish Ministry of Aircraft Production announced (Aug. 27, 1941) that a British Liberator bomber had made a flight across the Atlantic in seven and a half hours, averaging more than 300 miles an hour in subzero weather
The four-motor land bomber made the 2,350-mile trip at such high altitude that the crew oxygen masks. The outside temperature was 32 degrees below zero, but the navigator reported that the heated cabin was warm.
War Chronology, Dec. 1, 1940 Nov. 30, 1941
Dec. 1-German planes made another mass raid
-In the Atlantic, west of Ireland, German sub-
-Rome announced that Italian raids on the British
Dec. 4 Athens reported that Greek troops occupied
-British planes raided Dusseldorf and Turin. -The German Prison Camp Administration announced that Germany had 1,410,000 war prisoners, mostly French, British and Belgian, who were captured in the West, in 120 camps. Of this number 87 per cent were working and receiving wages equal to those of German workmen after taxes and contributions. Most Polish prisoners had been released, but several hundred thousand remained in civil employment.
-The Commissariat for Reconstruction in Belgium
Dec. 6-The British auxiliary cruiser (recon-
Dec. 7-The Germans have completed a second
-The German freighter Idarwald, which left
Dec. 9-Britain, including London, passed a raid-
-In Egypt, in the Sidi Barrani area, the Italian camp was attacked by the British by land and air. -A Dutch submarine has been sunk and
Canadian destroyer damaged by German sub-
Dec. 10-Hungary and Yugoslavia signed an amity
Dec. 12-The Marquess of Lothian (Philip Henry
Dec. 13-Greek forces occupied Palermo on the
Dec. 14-Marshal Petain dismissed Pierre Laval as
--The 10,000-ton British freighter Western Prince
-British planes raided Italian warships at Naples.
Dec. 16-The British occupied Solum in Egypt, and
-In Albania, Greeks and Italians fought in a
-British planes bombed Berlin for the first time
Dec. 18-Italian planes raided Port Sudan, on the
-German submarines sank three merchant ships
-German planes attacked Chelmsford, England,
off Casablanca, Morocco, by unidentified submarines. -In the Mediterranean, the Italian submarine, Serpente, sank the British light cruiser Archeron with 149 missing, five killed, 15 wounded. Dec. 21-British planes damaged the Protestant Cathedral in Berlin. German aviators again bombed Liverpool at the rate of one every two minutes. They also ranged along the Mersey River and South Wales.
-An official spokesman of the German Foreign Office stated that Britain's Minister of Shipping was "inciting America to commit a warlike act' against the Axis in having suggested, in a press conference, that the United States assign to Britain the German and Italian ships tied up in U. S. harbors.
-The U. S. tanker, Charles Pratt, laden with 5,000,000 gallons of oil, was sunk in the Atlantic, off Africa, by a German submarine. Dec. 22-King George appointed Viscount Halifax as British Ambassador to the United States. Anthony Eden was made Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and Capt. David Margesson became Secretary of State for War. -British planes raided oil stores and port facilities at Wilhelmshaven, Cologne, Mannheim, Brest, Ostend, Calais, Flushing, Antwerp, Rotterdam and Lorient; the Bergen-Oslo railway was hit and one squadron crossed the Alps to bomb Porto Malghera, near Venice.
-Marshal Graziani reported to Premier Mussolini that the Italian offensive against the Suez Canal had been delayed at the beginning of December by a lack of water and that the later reverses were caused by lack of mechanized equipment. -Two spies found responsible for revealing to Britain the presence of the Italian warships at Taranto on the night of Nov. 11 were shot to death in Rome; 22 others went to prison. Dec. 23-From London (where his own Parliament office recently had narrowly missed destruction by a German explosive bomb that wrecked Cloister Court) Prime Minister Winston Churchill appealed by radio to the Italian people and their King to get rid of Premier Mussolini, the "one man" who had arrayed the heirs of ancient Rome upon the side of "the ferocious pagan barbarians."
-Manchester was bombed again by German planes, also the aluminum foundry in Ft. William in North Scotland. Deaths total 500 in the series of Manchester raids.
-The civil administration of Alsace, in Germanoccupied France, announced completion of expulsion of persons regarded as unsuited for incorporation in the region's new order. Dec. 24-The million Londoners who live underground, in the subways and in the basements of lofts and office buildings, had Christmas Eve celebrations. No theatres were open. In downtown London these signs were displayed at eventide: "Christmas is 1,940 years old, and Hitler is only 51. He can't spoil our Christmas". Dec. 25-Christmas Day was free from air raids by German and British planes in Western Europe, but planes were active as usual in Albania and Northeast Africa. British planes dropped Christmas gifts to the children on the Island of Corfu.
Dec. 26-The unofficial air truce between Germany and Britain continued. Mists covered the English Channel and the North Sea.
-The British beef-refrigerator, 12,823-ton merchant motorship Waistiro wirelessed that she had been torpedoed by a submarine several hundred miles off the Irish coast.
Dec. 27-Air attacks by British and German planes were renewed.
-A cruiser shelled the Island of Nauru, former German colony now under British mandate. is between Australia and Hawaii. Dec. 28-A law decreeing death penalties for extreme cases of food hoarding or destruction of prime materials and agricultural products became effective in Italy.
-The British submarine Seal, captured by the Germans last May, has put to sea, this time with a German crew against the British. Dec. 29-President Roosevelt in a world-wide radio broadcast urged the American people, including labor and Congress, to stand by him in his proposal to furnish Britain with arms, planes and ships. He declared that the Axis would attack the United States if Britain were defeated. -Italy established a food dictatorship. Dec. 30-German planes made the severest attack to date in the war on London. Among the historic buildings wrecked in the square-mile area of the City Proper were the Guildhall, the Churches of St. Bride's in Fleet st., St. Lawrence
Jury, St. Andrew, near the Gundnan; St. Andrew by the Wardrobe, in Queen Victoria st.; St. Mary Aldermary, St. Stephen's, in Coleman st.; St. Vedest's, in Foster Lane; St. Anne and St. Agnes, Gresham st.; Christ Church, Greyfriars and St. Mary Woolnoth, Lombard st. The building housing the Associated Press, in Tudor st., was burned out by incendiary bombs. The Old Bailey Central Criminal Court was damaged, and the roof was blown off the home of Dr. Samuel Johnson in Gough Square, off Fleet st., and the garret in which he finished his dictionary was burned. Dec. 31-In a radio broadcast from Berlin, Chancellor Hitler prophesied Germany would win the war in 1941. He said: "The war must be continued as a result of the will of democratic warmongers and Jewish capitalists. The representatives of a breaking world believe that they may achieve in 1941 what they were unable to do in 1940." He declared it was "a dumb and infamous lie" to maintain that Germany and Italy wanted to conquer the world "while the actually existing world conquerors require war in order to realize higher interest on their capital." -There were no reprisal raids on New Year's Eve.
Jan. 1-British and German planes made reconnaissance flights but there was a minimum of bombing.
Jan. 2-Rome announced that a large unit of the German air force had been transferred to Italy, and that virtually all Italian air force units previously stationed in France to aid in the bombing of Britain had been recalled. -Lord Beaverbrook, British Minister of Aircraft Production, stated that U. S. bombers were being flown across the Atlantic "in a steady stream.' -Dublin announced that bombs were dropped in the eastern counties of Ireland (Eire) and that "an incendiary bomb picked up near Curragh was identified as German."
-German planes bombed the coal region in South Wales. British planes again attacked Bremen, Emden and Amsterdam.
Jan. 3-British, Australian and French (deGaulle) forces in Libya attacked the Italian Mediterranean port of Bardia and got a quarter of the defenders. The rest, in all exceeding over 20,000 men, surrendered after 20 days of siege. -In Vichy, former Foreign Minister Paul Baudoin resigned as adviser to Marshal Petain. -German planes showered Bristol, England, with thousands of incendiary and explosive bombs. -By a German decree, Jews in Czechoslovakia must sell all jewels, gold and plate ware to a public purchasing agency. They also must deposit all securities with the Division Bank within a week. The order applies also to jewels and holdings left by Jews now living elsewhere. Jan. 5-German planes dropped incendiary bombs on London, but as they fell the newly organized civilian "spotters" snuffed them out and shouted in defiance at the planes overhead, "We want more!"
Jan. 6-President Roosevelt, in his annual message to Congress on the state of the Union, delivered in person, reminded the members that "a dictator's peace" would bring "no security" to the United States, and that "those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Jan. 7--Australian and British forces captured the Italian airdrome at El Adem, 15 miles south of Tobruk in Libya, and began a siege of the latter Mediterranean port. The British say they have taken in their Libyan campaign 70,000 prisoners. -German planes have damaged the British broadcasting headquarters in London and the Westminster headquarters of the Church of England. The first explosion shattering Broadcasting House brought death to "several women" but failed to interrupt news broadcasts, including one in German, then going out.
President Roosevelt set up a four-man Office of Production Management-William S. Knudsen, Sidney Hillman, Secretary of War Stimson, and Secretary of the Navy Knox. They are to supervise the rearmament program. The Executive Odrer stated that the Director General and Associate Director General, Knudsen and Hillman, would serve "under the direction and supervision of the President."
Jan. 8-The U. S. Navy was reorganized (effective Feb. 1) by Secretary Knox into three fleetsAtlantic, Pacific, Asiatic-with the Commanderin-Chief of the Pacific Fleet also acting as Commander-in-Chief of the U. S. Fleet and prescribing standards and methods of training for all