June 13 – On this day

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Events on this day – In 1944, German Tiger tank commander Wittmann stops the entire British 7th Armoured Division advance to Caen, “single-handedly”, at Villers-Bocage. Wittmann destroyed in less than fifteen minutes 13 tanks, 2 anti-tank guns and 14 transport vehicles.

1940

Germans troops advance on both sides of Paris. General Weygand declares the French capital an open city.
Armed merchant-cruiser Scotstown is torpedoed by U-25 off Ireland, 6 crew lost. The first US arms ship, ‘Eastern Prince’, sets sail for Britain.
Italian bombers attack the French naval base at Toulon.
The British submarine Odin is sunk by the Italian destroyer Strale in Gulf of Taranto.
The German raider Orion lays mines off Auckland, New Zealand.

1941

The Luftwaffe carries out a raid on the British naval base at Chatham, but with little success.
Twenty Nine people are killed, when German dive-bombers sink the Great Western Railway Steamer St. Patrick.
Russian news agency Tass, denies German threat on its borders and calls rumors ëabsurd and obviously sheer hostile propaganda.í The Russians begin to arrest those in the Baltic States who might support a German occupation. In all, about 50,000 are rounded up, with the majority never to be seen alive again.
Russo-Japanese trade agreement announced in Tokyo.

1942

A train containing 746 Jews departed Platform 17 at Berlin’s Grunewald Railway Station for an unknown destination. More than 48,000 Jews made this same journey during WW2 – today the platform is preserved as a memorial

President Roosevelt authorizes the creation of the U.S. Office on War Information (OWI). The first director is Elmer Holmes Davis, a CBS commentator and novelist.

German tanks and anti-tank batteries destroy 138 British tanks in and around the Knightsbridge pocket. This left the Eighth Army with only 75 armoured vehicles operational and threatened the main British supply route along the Trigh Capuzzo, which in turn threatened the 1st South African and British 50th Division which were still defending the northern part of the Gazala line. Lieutenant General Ritchie, without informing General Auchinleck, who wanted to hold west of Tobruk, ordered these two divisions to pull back towards Tobruk.

Shortly after midnight on the morning of June 13, four men landed on a beach near Amagansett, Long Island, New York, from a German submarine, clad in German uniforms and bringing ashore enough explosives, primers, and incendiaries to support an expected two-year career in the sabotage of American defense-related production. On June 17, a similar group landed on Ponte Vedra Beach, near Jacksonville, Florida, equipped for a similar career in industrial disruption. However, all are captured within days and six are executed after a trial.

1943

Night fighter ace Wing Commander John Cunningham, brings down his 16th victim over southern England.

1944

The first V1 flying bomb is launched against Britain during Operation ‘Rumpelkammer’ and hits Swanscombe in Kent at 0418, causing shock and near panic among the civilian population.

German Tiger tank commander Michael Wittmann of 12th SS Panzer Division stops the entire British 7th Armoured Division advance to Caen, “single-handedly”, at Villers-Bocage. Wittmann destroyed in less than fifteen minutes 13 tanks, 2 anti-tank guns and 14 transport vehicles.

1945

U.S. and Australian troops enter Brunei, in Borneo.

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