June 14 – On this day

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In 1690 William of Orange arrived at Carrickfergus, in 1940 Germans marched into Paris, in 1944 King George I visited Normandy and in 1982 the Falkland Islands were retaken from Argentina… and much more on this day…

1645

Oliver Gromwell’s New Model Army wins the Battle of Naseby.

1690

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William of Orange arrived at Carrickfergus, later travelling to Belfast.

1905

Sailors aboard Russia’s battleship Potemkin mutiny after being served maggoty rations. The incident will go on to inspire one of the most highly acclaimed films in the history of cinema.

1940

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Auschwitz concentration camp opens in Nazi controlled Poland with Polish POWs (approx. 3 million would die within its walls). Out of 728 prisoners of the first transport of Poles to Auschwitz 298 survived, 272 were killed and fate of 158 is unknown.

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German troops enter and capture the city of Paris without any Allied resistance as Rommel’s 7th Panzer Division takes Le Havre. The French government leaves Tours for Bordeaux. Army Group C, with 24 divisions, prepares to cross the upper Rhine to attack the Maginot Line in Alsace. All remaining British troops in France are ordered to return to England.
Spanish troops enter Tangier. British troops capture Fort Capuzzo and Maddalena, destroy the fixed guns and emplacements and then retire back to Egypt.

1941

President Roosevelt orders the freezing of all German and Italian assets, as well as those of occupied countries.
The RAF begins fighter sweeps over Northern France.
Croatia joins the Tripartite Pact.
Hitler meets with his top generals to discuss matters concerning the upcoming campaign against the Soviet Union. The ‘Lucy’ spy ring passes information to the Soviet Union, detailing the start date for a German attack as the 22nd June.
Estonia loses 11,000 inhabitants as a consequence of mass deportations into Siberia

1942

Air Marshal Harris is recognized for his achievements with the recent 1,000 bomber raids with a knight-hood.
German troops of the 16th Regiment of the 22nd Airlanding Division take Fort Stalin in Sevastopol.
Auchinleck tells Ritchie that Tobruk must be held, a fact that Churchill reiterates to him. The Eighth Army now holds a line directly in front of Tobruk, running from the coast to Acroma, then southeast to El Adem and then directly south to Bir El Gobi.
The first axis attacks are made against the ‘Harpoon’ and ‘Vigorous’ convoys. ‘Harpoon’ loses a freighter and receives damage to a cruiser from an axis air attack off the Tunisian coast. ‘Harpoons’ escorting aircraft carriers turn back at this point. In the late afternoon, the ‘Vigorous’ convoy passes out of air cover range and promptly losses two freighters to axis air attacks. Another freighter is forced to return to Alexandria as it is deemed to slow.

1943

RAF Coastal Command begins daily patrols over the Bay of Biscay with aircraft equipped with new detection devices to locate and destroy German U-boats leaving and entering their bases on the French coast.
A German report shows that 100,000 cases of typhus were reported on the Russian front during 1942, with a fatality rate of 15%.

1944

His Majesty the King and de Gaulle visit the Normandy front (separately). Carentan is finally in U.S. hands after a week’s fighting in Normandy.

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General de Gaulle (right) landed in France to establish the Free French Command & provisional new government. He is seen here with his Chief of Staff, General Bethourt (centre) & Admiral D’Argenlieu (left) on the bridge of La Combattante. Photo IWM

The allies take Orvieto, 65 miles Northwest of Rome.

RAF BOMBER COMMAND OPERATIONS
Night Ops, June 13/14th, Tuesday night and early Wednesday.
Minor Ops only (not surprising after the previous nights 1,083 sorties!)
8 LNSF Mosquitoes to Monchengladbach and 3 to Duren.
100 Group put up 15 Serrate patrols.
8 Stirlings and 4 Lancasters (yes, Lancasters! Surprised me too!) gardening off Brest and St-Nazaire.
2 Halifaxes on Resistance ops.
All of our aircraft returned safely.

578 Sqdn – were stood down this night. Everyone down to the pub!

1982

The guns fell silent in the Falklands after a brief but bitter conflict to liberate from illegal Argentine invasion. The Argentine Army marched into captivity, beaten by around 27,000 men and women deployed on Operation Corporate between early April and June 14.

A battle which began with the sinking of the cruiser Belgrano ended in the islands’ capital with the Argentine commandant Mario Menéndez putting pen to paper on the act of surrender long after nightfall that Monday.

In the Falklands, memorials would be erected in time at remote spots to those who gave their lives for the islanders’ freedom: at Sealion Island (HMS Sheffield), Pebble Island (Coventry), San Carlos (the landings of May 21) and more.

And today, as on every Liberation Day, islanders will give thanks to the men and women of 1982 with a parade and act of thanksgiving at the monument in the capital Stanley.

Key Facts:
▪️ Las Islas Malvinas became the Falkland Islands once more and British rule was restored
▪️ Royal Marines of Naval Party 8901 raised the Falklands flag outside Government House
▪️ Victory in the Falklands cost Britain the lives of 252 men
▪️ Nearly 13,000 Argentinians fell into British hands; 655 of their comrades never came home
▪️ The campaign cost the Royal Navy two destroyers (HMS Sheffield and Coventry) two frigates (Ardent and Antelope), amphibious support ship RFA Sir Galahad, Landing Craft Utility Foxtrot 4 and the merchantman Atlantic Conveyor

The enemy was in an even worse state – “totally demoralised,” Colonel Nick Vaux, leading 42 Commando observed. Defeat brought about the collapse of the junta ruling in Buenos Aires.

British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, would seize upon triumph in the Falklands – “Britain found herself again in the South Atlantic and will not look back from the victory she has won.” she declared.

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11,000 Argentine troops surrender to the British army at Port Stanley. The 74-day war for the Falkland Islands is over.

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