June 22 – On this day

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The King opens the NI Parliament in 1921, the French surrender in 1940 and the Germans invade Russia in 1941 in the largest troop movement

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1921
King George V opened the Northern Ireland parliament, saying: “May this historic gathering be the prelude of a day in which the Irish people, North and South, under one Parliament or two… shall work together in common love for Ireland.”

1923

The amalgamation of the Royal Marine Artillery and the Royal Marine Light Infantry into a single unit had been under consideration since the end of the Great War. #OTD in 1923, the decision was announced to combine them and ranks of Gunner and Private were replaced by that of Marine.

1940

France capitulates to Hitler at Compiègne, the spot of Germany’s surrender in 1918. To add insult to injury, the Führer holds the ceremony in the very same railway car used for the First World War Armistice. Germans troops cross the River Loire in strength as an armistice between France and Germany is signed at Compiegne. Its terms are read out loud to the French delegation by Generaloberst Keitel and provide for the occupation of the entire Channel and Atlantic coastlines, all major industrial areas, Alsace-Lorraine is to be returned to Germany. Most of southern France will remain unoccupied, with a French administrative centre at Vichy. The French Army and Navy is to be demobilized and disarmed and France is to bear the cost of the German occupation. All French prisoners of war are to remain in Germany until a peace treaty is signed.
French representatives fly to Rome to negotiate with Mussolini.

Report in Belfast WeeklyTelegraph – Archibald Ferguson, RN. Stoker in HMS Glorious. Son of Mrs. Annie Ferguson, Abington St., Belfast, who was notified that he was missing and was probably a prisoner of war. He joined up 17/07/1939. Previously an iron turner in Harland and Wolfs. He had three uncles who served in WW1. One was killed and two wounded. (Belfast Weekly Telegraph 22/06/1940).

Second London County Council evacuation scheme completed, with 100,000 children moved to the West Country and Wales.
Italians bomb Alexandria, Egypt.
Marshal Pétain closes Indochina route to China. Churchill closes Burma Road to avoid war with Japan.

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1941

Nazi Germany invades the Soviet Union with the largest invasion force in the history of warfare, called Operation Barbarossa. Churchill calls the German invasion of Russia, ‘the fourth turning point of the war’ and offers to give whatever help we can. Italy declares war on Soviet Union. Romanians enter Bessarabia to regain it. Slovakia severs diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union.

German troops crossing the Soviet border, 22 June 1941

Just after midnight the Red Army is given orders to come to combat readiness, although they were still not allowed to occupy battle positions. At 3:15am, Operation ‘Barbarossa’ (MAP) begins with German and Axis forces comprising 183 divisions (3,500,000 men), 3,350 tanks, 7,184 guns and 1,945 aircraft launching the biggest military operation in history on an 1,800-mile front from ‘Finland to the Black Sea’. Three Army Groups supported by powerful Panzer armies and Luftwaffe bomber fleets, Army Group South (von Rundstedt) with Panzer Group 1 (von Kleist), Army Group Centre (von Bock) with Panzer Groups 2 (Guderian) and 3 (Hoth), and Army Group North (von Leeb) with Panzer Group 4 (Hoepner), go into action against 132 Soviet divisions (2,500,000 men), 20,000 tanks and 7,700 aircraft. The overall objective of the campaign is to destroy the Soviet forces in western Russia by the Autumn and to occupy the European part of the Soviet Union up to the line Archangel – Urals – Volga – Astrakhan. By the end of the first day, the Luftwaffe had destroyed 800 Soviet aircraft on the ground at 60 airfields and 400 in the air. The Red Army along the border seemed unprepared for the assault and offered only limited resistance, which allows the Panzer divisions to advance up to 50 miles and maul 12 Soviet divisions.

Japan proposes 120-day plan to conquer South by March 1942.

1942
A Japanese submarine shells Fort Stevens at the mouth of the Columbia River.

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1944

38 (Irish) Brigade – west of Lake Trasimene:
Situation. 2 LIR were counter attacked twice during the night by parties of about 30 enemy. All were repulsed.
6 Inniskillings was counter attacked at dawn by a coy of the enemy on the outskirts of Pucciarelli, which was successfully dealt

President Roosevelt signs the GI Bill of Rights which promises generous benefits for returning US servicemen.
Allied planes drop 1,100 tons of bombs on Cherbourg.
An all-out ground attack begins against Cherbourg.
The communist organized sabotage group BOPA, attacks the Danish arms factory “Riffelsyndikatet” (“the Rifle Syndicate”) in Copenhagen.

No understanding of the campaign in #Normandy is complete without the connection to Operation Bagration which began #OTD in 1944, symbolically 3 years to the day after the invasion of USSR. Crushing Germany from East & West is what brought the Nazi regime to an end.The Russian summer offensive, operation ‘Bagration’ begins against Army Group Centre in Byelorussia with assaults by the Soviet 1st Baltic, 3rd Belorussian 2nd and 1st Belorussian Fronts against Army Group Centre on a 450 mile front between Polotsk and Bobruysk. Soviet forces amount to 124 divisions, 1,200,000 men, 5,200 tanks, 30,000 guns and 6,000 aircraft. Against this, the German can field just 63 divisions, including 900 tanks and 10,000 guns. The Luftwaffe launches a surprise night raid (60 aircraft) on the US 8th Air Force’s shuttle base at Poltava in the Ukraine, destroying 44 B-17s and 500,000 gallons of fuel.

The end of the Battle of Kohima – after over 11 week’s fighting, troops of Slim’s 14th Army fought back the Japanese and laid the ground from defeat into victory. The British 2nd Division and 5th Indian Division meet on the Kohima-Imphal road, which is now completely clear of Japanese, lifting the 88-day siege of Imphal. The ‘Chindits’ begin an offensive on Mogaung in northern Burma. ‘For your tomorrows we gave our today’

1945

Japanese resistance ends on Okinawa as the U.S. Tenth Army completes its capture.

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