3 February – Today in German History

1721

  • Birth of Friedrich Freiherr von Seydlitz (1721-1773) in Kalkar, Germany. Von Seydlitz was the commander who built the Prussian cavalry of Friedrich II into the best in Europe.

1859

  • Birth of Hugo Junkers (1859-1935) in Rheydt, Germany. Junkers founded an aircraft factory in Dessau in 1910. His J-1 Blechesel of 1915 was the world’s first functional all-metal airplane. The Junkers company supplied Germany in World War II with the Ju 52 troop transport and the Ju 87 Stuka which is a shortened form of Sturzkampfflugzeug. Junkers died on his birthday in 1935.

1917

  • The United States breaks off diplomatic relations with Germany in reaction to the German resumption of unlimited submarine warfare. President Wilson had just been reelected with the campaign slogan, “He kept us out of war!”.

1941

  • In Vichy, France, German authorities used force to restore Pierre Laval to office.
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