6 July – Today in German WWII History

1908

  • Schleswig-Holstein was commissioned into service.

1940

  • The first German U-boat base in France was opened at Lorient.
  • German aircraft and minesweepers sank four British submarines being the Narwhal, Spearfish, Shark, and Thames.
  • British submarine HMS Shark, damaged by attacks from German auxiliary minesweepers M1803 – Trawler Spitzbergen, M1806 – Trawler Cuxhaven, and M1807 -Trawler Mulsum in Boknafjord near Stavanger, Norway on the previous day, became captured by the Germans. She was in the process of being towed by the German ships when she suddenly sank, killing 3. The remaining 32 crew members were rescued and became prisoners of war.
  • German radio stations played the song “Denn wir fahren gegen Engeland” for the first time.
  • German U-34 sank Estonian collier Vapper south of Cape Clear, Ireland with 1 was killed and 32 took to lifeboats. German U-99, which had chased Vapper for the past 90 minutes, observed the sinking.
  • U-30 sank Egyptian ship Angele Mabro west of Brest, France, killing all aboard.

1941

  • After sundown, German bombers conducted a light attack on Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, United Kingdom.

1942

  • Tirpitz arrived at Bogen near Narvik, Norway.
  • Anne Frank and her family went into hiding in the “Secret Annexe” above her father’s office in an Amsterdam warehouse.
  • German submarine U-154 sank Panamanian fishing boat Lalita with shellfire 20 miles off the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico at 1837 hours.
  • U-67 sank Norwegian ship Bayard 45 miles south of Pascagoula, Mississippi, United States at 1857 hours with 11 killed and 21 survivors.
  • German U-255 sank US ship John Witherspoon with 1 killed and 49 survivors. German aircraft sank US ship Pan Atlantic. Both ships were of Allied convoy PQ-17, traveling in the Barents Sea.
  • German U-201 sank British ship Avila Star 90 miles east of the Azores islands at 0036 hours; 84 were killed, 112 survived.
  • German U-502 was sunk on the surface by a British RAF Wellington bomber with depth charges 250 miles west of France before dawn; all 52 aboard were killed.
  • The 1,376-ton Norwegian merchant steamer Hero en route from Beirut in Syria-Lebanon to Port Said in Egypt in ballast was struck by two torpedoes from German U-375 led by Kapitänleutnant Jürgen Köenenkamp at 0526 hours. The first hit the bow of the ship and was followed 30 seconds later by the next at the stern. The vessel disintegrated and was gone to the bottom within 40 seconds 10 miles west of the coast of Palestine. Fourteen men who had been on the deck at the time of the attack survived, either being blown over the side or jumping into the sea. Four Norwegians, two British and 24 Chinese crewmen died for a total of 30.
  • German  U-132 attacked Allied convoy QS-15 at the mouth of the Saint Lawrence River in Quebec, Canada, sinking Belgian ship Hainaut at 0521 hours; 1 was killed, 44 survived, sinking Greek ship Anastassios Pateras at 0521 hours; 3 were killed, 26 survived, and fatally damaging British ship Dinaric at 0646 hours; 4 were killed; Canadian minesweeper HMCS Drummondville rammed and missed U-132 then dropped depth charges, causing minor damage to U-132.
  • 20 survivors from the Norwegian merchant steamer Cadmus, torpedoed by German U-129 five days prior, made landfall near Túxpam, Mexico in two lifeboats.

  • German 4th Panzer Army reached the outskirts of Voronezh, Russia, and the German 6th Army reached Ostrogozhsky 70 miles south of Voronezh, making the Soviets realize that the Germans were heading Caucasus region to the south rather than Moscow to the north. Joseph Stalin ordered Voronezh to be held at all costs in order to main control of the rail network linking the Caucasus region with the areas to the north. Stalin also allowed Semyon Timoshenko to withdraw east of the Don River.

1943

  • Troops of German 1st Mountain Division enacted reprisals against 107 people of the village of Borova in Albania
  • French and Belgian prisoners of war began to be transferred out of the Oflag IV-C camp at Colditz Castle in Germany for the Oflag X-C camp in Lübeck. The transfer would continue until 12 Jul when the last French and Belgian prisoners were transferred out.
  • In Russia, in the north of the Kursk salient, on Central Front, Konstantin Rokossovsky launched a counter-attack, throwing in three tank corps. But it foundered on former Soviet minefields which the Germans had reinforced, and the Soviets instead took up fixed positions to act as a breakwater against a renewed German assault.

1944

  • Soviet troops captured Kovel, Ukraine.
  • Baron Hiroshi Oshima, the Japanese ambassador to Berlin, unaware that his reports were being read by the cryptanalysts in Bletchley Park in Britain, told Tokyo that the German high command was still awaiting for George Patton’s army group to land in the Pas de Calais, France. A month after D-Day the Fortitude deception plan was still misleading the German generals.
  • Wing Commander Leonard Cheshire led a Tallboy attack on the V-3 gun structure at Mimoyecque.
  • The construction for Z52 thru Z56 was canceled.
  • British Eighth Army captured Osimo, Italy.
  • The Heinkel aircraft of German III/KG3 launched 8 V-1 flying bombs into England, the United Kingdom during the night.
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