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5 March 1941
Weygand announces that French North Africa will be defended against any attack
We've highlighted the parts of the document which appear in the transcription below.
Message from the Minister of Defence
The Battle of the Atlantic has clearly begun. In the next few months we must defeat the Germans’ effort to strangle us and cut us off from the USA. To achieve this aim:
1 Attack German U-boats and aircraft whenever we can.
2 Put catapults on ships which can launch specially adapted aeroplanes.
3 Concentrate our Coastal Command aircraft on the North West approaches to Britain.
4 We have some old American destroyers and they need modernising in docks, but perhaps we should wait to do this because we’re short of ships to protect against U-boats.
5 We’ll experiment with letting faster ships travel without convoys to see whether this makes them safer from U-boats.
6 The Navy has first claim on all the Anti-Aircraft and similar guns being produced at the moment. We’ve placed orders.
THIS DOCUMENT IS THE PROPERTY OF HIS BRITANNIC MAJESTY’S GOVERNMENT
THE BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC
DIRECTIVE BY THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE
IN view of various German statements, we must assume that the Battle of the Atlantic has begun.
The next four months should enable us to defeat the attempt to strangle our food supplies and our connections with the United States. For this purpose-
1. We must take the offensive against the U-boat and the Fokke Wulf wherever we can and whenever we can. The U-boat at sea must be hunted, the U-boat in the building yard or in dock must be bombed. The Fokke Wulf, and other bombers employed against our shipping, must be attacked in the air and in their nests.
2. Extreme priority will be given to fitting out ships to catapult, or otherwise launch, fighter aircraft against bombers attacking our shipping. Proposals should be made within a week.
3. All the measures approved and now in train for the concentrations of the main strength of the Coastal Command upon the North-Western Approaches, and their assistance on the east coast by Fighter and Bomber Commands, will be pressed forward. It may be hoped that, with the growing daylight and the new routes to be followed, the U-boat menace will soon be reduced. All the more important is it that the Fokke Wulf, and, if it comes, the Ju.88, should be effectively grappled with.
4. In view of the great need for larger numbers of escorting destroyers, it is for consideration whether the American destroyers now in service should go into dock for their second scale of improvements until the critical period of this new battle has been passed.
5. The Admiralty will re-examine, in conjunction with the Ministry of Shipping, the question of liberating from convoy ships between 13 and 12 knots, and also whether this might not be tried experimentally for a while.
6. The Admiralty will have the first claim on all the short-range A.A guns, U.P. weapons and P.A.Cs. that they can mount upon suitable merchant ships plying in the danger zone. Already 200 Bofors or their equivalents have been ordered to be made available by A.D.G.B. and the factories. But these should be
followed by a constant flow of guns, together with crews, or nucleus crews, as and when they can be taken over by the Admiralty. A programme for three months should be made .
What is this source?
A directive [official instruction] from the Prime Minister (who also held the position of the Minister of Defence)] - giving orders, in this case, on the Battle of the Atlantic.
Background to this source
Between January and March 1941 German battleships ‘Scharnhorst’ and ‘Gneisenau’ attempted to attack convoys in the Atlantic. Heavy losses were caused by U-boats in the so-called ‘happy time’ against poorly-defended convoys. Government concerns about losses were increasing.
In this relatively early stage of the war the British government was short of equipment. Much heavy equipment had been left by the army at Dunkirk. Replacement material was shipped in from the US and Canada but of course it was targeted by U-boats. At this stage the US hadn’t entered the war, and President Roosevelt passed the Lend-Lease Act to allow the US to help Britain in the war against Germany by providing military and defence equipment. The US also gave Britain fifty destroyers in return for naval bases in various parts of the world.
How can we use this source in the investigation?
Remember, we’re hoping that this source can be useful to us in investigating why Churchill was so worried about the Battle of the Atlantic. Sources usually help historians in two ways:
- What does Churchill order be done to counter the U-boats?
- What was the Fokke Wulf and what was the Ju.88?
- Compile a list of all the measures Churchill demands be taken against German actions in the Atlantic.
- What is the dilemma facing the British over the American destroyers?
Which of the inferences below can be made from this source?
|On a scale of 1-5 how far do you agree that this source supports this inference?||Which extract(s) from the source support your argument?|
|Churchill is really worried about losses to U-boats. |
|Churchill is confident that the losses can be stopped. |
|Churchill puts most emphasis in this plan of action on letting faster ships travel without convoys.|
|These measures enabled ‘us to defeat the attempt to strangle our food supplies and our connections with the United States’.|
Need help interpreting the source?
- Churchill was Prime Minister at this time but he also adopted the title of Minister of Defence.
- Fokke Wulf and Ju.88 were types of German aircraft. Do you get the impression the minister (Churchill) was more concerned with these or with U-boats?
- ‘ADGB’ stands for ‘Air Defence of Great Britain’. Essentially the navy was taking anti-aircraft weapons to protect ships.
- The North Western Approaches refers to the part of the Atlantic to the North West of Britain and Ireland. This was the main route for shipping from North America to Britain.
- The issue of the American destroyers presents an interesting issue for historians. Is this strong evidence about how serious the U-boat threat was?
Records of the office of the Provost Marshal General, 1941-
Established: In the War Department, under the Chief of Staff, by War Department memorandum, July 3, 1941.
Transfers: To the Chief of Administrative Services, Services of Supply (SOS), effective March 9, 1942, by War Department Circular 59, March 2, 1942, as part of an army reorganization under EO 9082, February 28, 1942 to Army Service Forces (ASF, formerly SOS), by General Order 14, War Department, March 12, 1943 to Deputy Chief of Staff for Service Commands, ASF, by Circular 118, ASF, November 12, 1943 to Chief of Staff, ASF, by Circular 238, ASF, June 25, 1945 to Office of the Director of Personnel and Administration, War Department General Staff (WDGS), as an administrative staff and service, upon abolishment of ASF, effective June 11, 1946, by Circular 138, War Department, May 14, 1946, in the War Department reorganization pursuant to EO 9722, May 13, 1946 with WDGS to the Department of the Army (formerly the War Department) in the newly established National Military Establishment (NME) by the National Security Act of 1947 (61 Stat. 495), July 26, 1947 to General Staff, U.S. Army (formerly WDGS) by Circular 1, Department of the Army, September 18, 1947 with Department of the Army to the Department of Defense (formerly NME) by National Security Act Amendments of 1949 (63 Stat. 579), August 10, 1949 to Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1, Personnel (formerly Office of the Director of Personnel and Administration), effective March 1, 1950, by Circular 12, Department of the Army, February 28, 1950, as confirmed by Special Regulation 10-5-1, Department of the Army, April 11, 1950 with G-1 and other general, special, administrative, and technical staff units to Army Staff, new collective designation for all organizations responsible to the Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, by the Army Organization Act of 1950 (64 Stat. 263), June 28, 1950, as confirmed by General Order 97, November 13, 1951 to newly established Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, effective January 3, 1956, by General Order 70, Department of the Army, December 27, 1955, as confirmed by Change 13 to Special Regulation 10-5-1 (April 11, 1950), Department of the Army, December 27, 1955 with other administrative staffs to special staff status by Army Regulation 10-5, Department of the Army, January 2, 1963.
Functions: Administered army-wide programs relating to protective services, law enforcement, traffic control, and prisoners of war. Directed the military police. Maintained security in privately owned industrial facilities important to national defense.
Abolished: Effective May 20, 1974, by General Order 10, Department of the Army, May 8, 1974.
Successor Agencies: Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel.
Finding Aids: Records of the Office of the Provost Marshal General in Helene L. Bowen, Mary Joe Head, Olive Liebman, and Jessie T. Midkiff, comps., "Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Army Staff, 1939- ," NM 3 (1962), pp. 38-42 supplement in National Archives microfiche edition of preliminary inventories.
Security-Classified Records: This record group may include material that is security-classified.
389.2 General Records
389.2.1 Records of the Administrative Division
Textual Records: Security-classified and formerly security- classified central decimal correspondence, 1941-62 (136 ft.), with indexes. Unclassified central decimal correspondence, 1941- 62 (211 ft.), with indexes. Personnel requirements and workload reports, 1943-52. Historical file, 1941-58. Military police training course theses, 1958-63. Records of the Provost Marshal's School, Fort Gordon, GA, 1951-62.
389.2.2 Records of the Legal Office
Textual Records: Correspondence relating to the care and treatment of American and enemy prisoners of war, 1943-45. Correspondence relating to the maintenance of internal security, 1942-45. Records relating to the Provost Marshal General's participation in the preparation of the Geneva Conventions, 1946- 49.
389.2.3 Records of the Technical Information Office
Textual Records: Radio scripts, press releases, and newspaper clippings relating to publicity activities, 1942-45.
389.2.4 Records of the Budget and Fiscal Branch
Textual Records: Budget estimates and justifications, 1944-46.
389.2.5 Records of the Budget and Statistical Section
Textual Records: Records relating to the military justice system, 1945-58. Statistical reports of general prisoners, 1945-58. Monthly recidivism reports, 1949-55. Reports of parole violations, 1947-58.
389.2.6 Records of the Information Branch
Textual Records: Records of the Alien Enemy Information Bureau, consisting of records relating to Japanese, German, Italian, and other alien civilian internees during World War II, 1941-46.
389.3 Records of the Military Government Division
Textual Records: General decimal correspondence, 1942-46. Records of the Training Branch relating to training of personnel in civil administration at selected universities, 1942-48. Correspondence of the School of Military Government, Charlottesville, VA, and its successor, the School of Government of Occupied Areas, Carlisle Barracks, PA, 1942-46. Microfilm copy of German-language textbooks for schools in Germany, 1944 (24 rolls). Publications and background papers relating to civil affairs and military government in occupied areas, 1942-46, including History of Military Government Training, 5 vols., 1945, and an unpublished manuscript history, "American Military Government of Occupied Germany, 1918-20," with a microfilm library card index, n.d. (1 roll).
389.4 Records of the Prisoner of War Division
389.4.1 Records of the Operations Branch
Textual Records: Security-classified and formerly security-classified general correspondence, 1942-57, with an index. Messages, 1942-47. Microfilm copy of International Red Cross lists (3 rolls), and cables relating to Americans captured or interned by Germany and Japan, 1943-45.
389.4.2 Records of the Legal Branch
Textual Records: Correspondence relating to the internment, care, and labor of prisoners of war, 1942-46.
389.4.3 Records of the Labor and Liaison Branch
Textual Records: Detention lists and correspondence, 1942-46.
389.4.4 Records of the Special Projects Branch
Textual Records: School training records of German prisoners of war, 1943-46. Special projects file, 1943-46, with an index.
389.4.5 Records of the Italian Service Units
Textual Records: Correspondence and rosters, 1944-45.
389.4.6 Records of the Prisoner of War Information Bureau
Textual Records: Policy and subject files concerning supervision of prisoner-of-war camps, 1942-45. General correspondence, 1942- 57. Miscellaneous records, 1941-57.
389.4.7 Records of the Enemy Prisoner of War Information Bureau
Textual Records: General correspondence, 1942-46. General orders, 1953-57. Enemy prisoner of war/civilian internee general information files, 1952-53 complaint and investigation files, 1951-53 strength reporting files, 1950-53 and roster files, 1951-53. Strength returns on German prisoners of war, 1945-46. Rosters of German and other foreign nationals in U.S. custody during World War II, 1956-57. Rosters of deceased Japanese and Italian prisoners of war, 1952. Records relating to Japanese, German, Italian, and enemy prisoners of war during World War II, 1942-52.
Motion Pictures (1 reel): Ko je-do Prisoners of War, a film of the Korean War prisoner of war camp, 1952.
389.4.8 Records of the American Prisoner of War Information Branch
Textual Records: Civilian alien internee case files, 1941-45. Prisoner-of-war rosters, 1949-57. General correspondence, 1942- 49. Credit certificates and records relating to impounded and lost property, 1947-55. Card file of Americans interned by Germany and Japan during World War II, 1942-46. Subject files of Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 22d U.S. Army Prisoner of War/Civilian Internee Information Center (Fort George G. Meade, MD), 1949-74. Records of the U.S. Army Office of Prisoner of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA) Affairs, consisting of documents released by the Task Force 250 POW/MIA Documentation Project, 1991-92.
389.5 Records of the Military Police Division
Textual Records: General correspondence relating to military police and Provost Marshal General schools, 1942-50. Records of the Organization Branch relating to the Corps of Military Police, 1942-48. Decimal correspondence of the Training Branch, 1942-46. Correspondence and reports of the Doctrine and Equipment Branch, 1942-47. Military Police Board correspondence and reports, 1942-54, and project files, 1952-62. Records of Military Police Schools at Camp Williams, Lehi, UT, 1942 Carlisle Barracks, PA, 1947-48 and Fort Gordon, GA, 1963-65. Records of the Military Police School, 1947-48.
389.6 Records of the Provost Division
Textual Records: Records relating to criminal investigations in the army, 1945-51. Statistical reports of criminal investigations, 1944-54. Rosters and other records relating to residents of relocation centers, 1942-46. Repatriation lists, 1942-46. Hesse crown jewels investigative case files, 1944-52. Tokyo Rose investigative files, 1947-49.
389.7 Records of the Internal Security Division
Textual Records: Reports of race riots and strikes, 1942-45. Correspondence relating to auxiliary military police, 1942-45. Correspondence of the Safety Branch, 1942-45. Correspondence of the Fire Prevention Branch, 1942-46. Correspondence of the Confinement Branch, 1947-50. Records of the Coordination Branch, including general correspondence, 1941-46 internal security program correspondence, 1941-46 internal security interagency coordination files, 1942-45 reports of security inspections of commercial firms, 1941-44 and a library collection, 1937-46 (bulk 1941-46).
389.8 Records of the Correction Division
Textual Records: History file, including records of the Correction Division, Adjutant General's Office, 1920-63.
389.9 Machine Readable Records (General)
13 data sets
Converted World War II prisoners of war (POW) punchcards including records of U.S. military POWs returned alive from the European and Pacific Theaters, U.S. civilian POWs interned by the Japanese, deceased U.S. military POWs interned by the Germans and Japanese, U.S. military POWs interned by the Japanese who died in ship sinkings (1944), U.S. military personnel interned in a neutral country, U.S. military personnel missing in action and returned to military control, non-U.S. civilian internees, and unofficial civilian Japanese internees, 1942-46, with supporting documentation.
Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States. Compiled by Robert B. Matchette et al. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1995.
3 volumes, 2428 pages.
This Web version is updated from time to time to include records processed since 1995.
5 March 1941 - History
Just in time for the start of spring, the fourth nor'easter to hit Philadelphia this month threatens to drop more than a foot of snow on Philadelphia and the surrounding region before the storm is expected to taper off Wednesday evening.
According to the latest forecast from the National Weather Service, the storm "threatens heavy accumulations of wind-driven sleet and snow which may cause widespread power outages." As much as 18 inches could fall in Philadelphia and points north After repeatedly upping its projected snowfall totals, meteorologists at the National Weather Service told my colleague Tony Wood that shifting computer models have created "an absolute nightmare" for forecasters.
If Philadelphia does end up with more than a foot of snow, this latest storm (which the Weather Channel has dubbed "Toby") would end up in the history books, replacing the dreaded blizzard of 1993 (the so-called "Storm of the Century") as the biggest March snowfall in the history of the city.
It would take 16.8 inches of snow for this latest storm to eke its way on to the list of the top 10 snowstorms in the history of Philadelphia, which would be an impressive feat considering how late in the season we find ourselves.
Here's a list of the five biggest snowstorms to blanket Philadelphia during the month of March. All measurements after 1940 took place at the airport.
5 March 1941 - History
The 5. Leichte-Division was formed around a cadre from 3. Panzer-Division with additional manpower from Sperrverband Libyen in January 1941 and was soon transferred to Africa with the first troops arriving in Tripoli on 14 February. It had 25 Panzer Ib, 45 Panzer II, 75 Panzer III and 20 Panzer IV when it arrived on African soil.
It was formed into 21. Panzer-Division on 1 August 1941 with some elements being transferred to 15. Panzer-Division.
General der Panzertruppen Hans Freiherr von Funck (1 Jan 1941 - 7 Feb 1941)
Generalleutnant Johannes Streich (7 Feb 1941 - 16 May 1941)
Generalleutnant Karl Böttcher (16 May 1941 - 1 Aug 1941)
Operations Officers (Ia)
Major Wolf-Rüdiger Hauser (18 Feb 1941 - 1 Aug 1941)
Area of operations
Germany (Jan 1941 - Feb 1941)
North Africa (Feb 1941 - Aug 1941)
Holders of high awards
Holders of the Honor Roll Clasp of the Heer(1)
- Schunck, Walther, 09.09.1941, Major, Pi.Btl. zbV 200
Holders of the Knight's Cross (12)
Order of battle
Stab zbv 200
1. / Panzerjäger-Abteilung (mot) 33
Panzerjäger-Abteilung (mot) 36
Machinengewehr-Bataillon (mot) 2
Machinengewehr-Bataillon (mot) 8
I. / Artillerei-Regiment (mot) 75
Flak-Abteilung (mot) 605
Flak-Abteilung (mot) 606
Aufklärungsstab 2 / 14. Panzer-Division
Aufklärungsstab (mot) 3
Feldsprech-Kompanie / Nachrichten-Abteilung Libyen
Kompanie / Pioneier-Bataillon (mot) 39
Nachschubstab zbV (mot) 668
Nachschub-Bataillon (mot) 532
Nachschub-Bataillon (mot) 533
3. / Nachschub-Bataillon (mot) 39
Wasserkolonne (mot) 797
Wasserkolonne (mot) 801
Wasserkolonne (mot) 803
Wasserkolonne (mot) 822
Filterkolonne (mot) 800
Filterkolonne (mot) 804
Grosse Wasserkolonne (mot) 641
Grosse Wasserkolonne (mot) 645
Reifenstaffel (mot) 13
Reifenstaffel (mot) 210
Kraftwagenwerkstatt-Kompanie (mot) 122
Kraftwagenwerkstatt-Kompanie (mot) 129
1. / Sanitäts-Kompanie (mot) 83
4. / Kriegslazarett (mot) 572
Krankenkraftwagen-Zug (mot) 631
Krankenkraftwagen-Zug (mot) 633
Bäckerei-Kompanie (mot) 531
Feldgendarmerie-Trupp (mot) 309
Feldpostamt zbV (mot) 735
Panzer III of Panzer-Regiment 5 in Tripoli, it is still displaying the markings of 3. Panzer-Division
(Courtesy of John)
Panzer III of 5. Leichte-Division (still displaying the markings of 3. Panzer-Division) passing through the Arco dei Fileni (Marble Arch)
(Courtesy of Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Germany)
Pier Paolo Battistelli - Rommel's Afrika Korps: Tobruk to El Alamein
François de Lannoy & Josef Charita - Panzertruppen: German armored troops 1935-1945
Chris Ellis - 21st Panzer Division: Rommel's Africa Korps Spearhead
George F. Nafziger - The Afrika Korps: An organizational history 1941-1943
Georg Tessin - Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht 1933-1945
5 March 1941 - History
Eisenhower Military Chronology
Eisenhower leaves his hometown, Abilene, Kansas to enter the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.
World War I erupts in Europe.
Eisenhower graduates from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, 61st in a class of 164. In mid-September he reports to the 19th Infantry Regiment at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
On April 6, the United States declares war on Germany. Eisenhower is promoted to captain and in September he is sent to Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia to train officer candidates. In December he is sent to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas to serve as an instructor.
Eisenhower is appointed to his first independent command at Camp Colt, an Army Tank Corps training center in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He receives a temporary promotion to major, and then to lt. colonel on Oct. 14. World War I ends November 11.
Eisenhower is assigned to Camp Meade, Maryland. He volunteers for an Army convoy that spends the summer traveling across the U.S. along the Lincoln Highway (U.S. Highway 30) to study the time it takes to move military equipment from coast to coast.
Eisenhower is returned to the permanent rank of captain in a post-war reduction in rank. In August he is promoted to the rank of major.
Eisenhower graduates from Infantry Tank School and is assigned command of the 301st Tank Battalion.
Eisenhower joins the 20th Infantry Brigade at Camp Gaillard, Panama under General Fox Connor. He receives the Distinguished Service Medal for his work in World War I.
Eisenhower returns to Camp Meade, Maryland to coach football. He is temporarily assigned to Ft. Logan, Colorado as a recruiter.
Eisenhower attends Command and General Staff School, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, graduating first in a class of 275.
Eisenhower serves as executive officer, 24th Infantry, Fort Benning, Georgia and coaches football. In December he reports to Washington, D.C. to work for the Battle Monuments Commission under General Pershing.
Eisenhower writes a battlefield guide to American involvement in World War I. In September Eisenhower enters the Army War College, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.
Eisenhower graduates from the War College in June. In August he travels to Paris, France, as a member of the Battle Monuments Commission to revise the battlefield guidebook and gain first-hand familiarity with the battlefields of World War I.
In November Eisenhower is assigned to the Office of Assistant Secretary of War to prepare plans for the mobilization of American industry and manpower in case of future war.
Eisenhower becomes General MacArthur's personal assistant in February.
Eisenhower is sent to the Philippines with MacArthur to prepare the Filipino Army for independence.
Eisenhower is promoted to lieutenant colonel with the rest of his West Point class.
Germany invades Poland on September 1 beginning World War II. Eisenhower leaves the Philippines for San Francisco in December.
Eisenhower becomes Chief of Staff of the Third Division at Fort Lewis, Washington and conducts field maneuvers.
Eisenhower is transferred to Fort Sam Houston, Texas, as Chief of Staff, Third Army. He participates in the Louisiana Maneuvers in August and receives a temporary promotion to brigadier general. The Japanese attack Pearl Harbor on December 7 and the United States enters World War II. General Marshall calls Eisenhower to Washington, D.C. to review the Philippines situation and work in the War Department.
Eisenhower is named Assistant Chief of Staff in charge of War Plans. He receives a temporary promotion to major general in March and is named Assistant Chief of Staff of the New Operations Division. Eisenhower arrives in London in May to study joint defense and is appointed Commander of the European Theatre of Operations on June 15. He receives a temporary promotion to lieutenant general in July. On November 8 Eisenhower commands the Allied invasion of North Africa.
Eisenhower is promoted to temporary rank of full general in February. He completes the invasion of North Africa in May and directs the invasion of Sicily in July and August. Eisenhower receives permanent promotion to brigadier general and major general on August 30. Eisenhower commands the invasion of Italy in September and attends the Cairo Conference in November. In December Eisenhower is appointed Supreme Commander of Allied Expeditionary Forces to command Operation Overlord, the invasion of Europe.
Eisenhower arrives in London in January to set up Supreme Headquarters. He directs the invasion of Normandy on June 6, D-day. On December 20 Eisenhower is promoted to General of the Army and receives his fifth star.
Eisenhower accepts Germany's unconditional surrender on May 7 and is appointed commander of the United States occupation zone in Germany. In November Eisenhower returns to the United States to become Chief of Staff, United States Army.
Eisenhower retires from active service in February and writes Crusade in Europe. While serving as President of Columbia University, in December, Eisenhower begins three months service as a military consultant to the first Secretary of Defense, James Forrestal.
In an informal capacity, Eisenhower serves as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under the newly created defense department.
The Korean War begins on June 25. On December 18, at the request of President Truman and the 12 NATO nations, Eisenhower accepts the position of Supreme Commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
In January Eisenhower leaves for NATO headquarters in Paris.
Eisenhower resigns as Supreme Commander in June to return to the United States to campaign for the presidency. After the election, Eisenhower visits Korea. He resigns his commission as General of the Army to assume the presidency.
On completion of his second term, Congress re-instates his five-star rank.
Eisenhower dies March 28 and is buried with full military honors in Abilene, Kansas.
5 March 1941 - History
ABH Site Index
Timeline - The 1940s
The world was at war as the decade began, all within the confines of a great depression that was affecting the lives of all Americans, but when Pearl Harbor was attacked, the United States could no longer be on the sidelines. Through the courage and dedication of the soldiers who fought in the European or South Pacfic theaters, they spent much of this decade in a battle for a way of life that the country and western powers had spent two centuries building. By the end of the decade, that war would be won and the build back on the front burner.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt, circa 1940.
Manzanar War Relocation camp of Japanese detainees during World War II. Photo: Department of the Interior, July 1942.
Troops from the United States and other Allied nations land on the beach at Normandy, France in 1944, beginning the western European invasion that would lead to defeat of Nazi Germany.
U.S. Timeline - The 1940s
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March 11, 1941 - The George Washington Carver Museum is dedicated at the Tuskegee Institute with the participation of such luminaries as Henry Ford. The museum is now part of the Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site.
By the date of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the founding of the Tuskegee Institute in 1881, the school had one hundred and fifty-six teachers, including one professor, George Washington Carver, whose legacy, which began at Tuskegee in 1896, would continue for decades in the fields of education, science, and invention.
George Washington Carver was thirty-two years old when he started teaching at the Institute. Born into slavery and kidnapped by raiders as an infant, Carver was raised, after gaining freedom after the Civil War, by the Missouri family who had previously owned him, and was urged toward education. He graduated from Iowa State College in 1894 with a degree in Agriculture, staying on as a faculty member while continuing his studies, and two years later received a Master's Degree, the first African American to achieve a Master's in Agricultural Science. On October 8, 1896, Carver joined the staff at the Tuskegee Institute as Head of Agriculture, recruited by Booker T. Washington.
During his years at Tuskegee, Carver was an inspired teacher, botanist, researcher, and artist, a man of diversified interests. Carver had won an award for his painting at the Chicago World's Fair of 1893. His goal as an educator was to instruct the children of former slaves as well as the poor farmers of the region in a land where cotton had exhausted the soil. He would devise the Jesup Wagon with T.M. Campbell on May 24, 1906, a Movable School Bus, to travel to poor regions of the state to conduct classes about agriculture with farmers. Carver pushed the local farmer to diversify their crops to protein rich crops such as peanuts and soybeans.
His research led to the establishment of three hundred products from peanuts, including peanut butter, salted peanuts, and peanut flour. Carver invented one hundred products from other southern crops, including sweet potatoes. George Washington Carver was also an environmentalist, devising techniques to replenish soils, that could assist in the profitability of farming.
By 1938, his life had been immortalized in the 1938 film, "Life of George Washington Carver," by the Pete Smith Specialty Company.
The Museum Opens
The George Washington Carver Museum would open on March 11, 1941. Dignitaries from around the nation, including Henry Ford, Sr., who had funded part of the museum, attended to honor Carver and his accomplishments. The museum contained paintings, experiments, and crops telling the story of the educator, agriculturist, and scientist.
The museum was established in a remodeled building that had been constructed in 1915.
Newspaper report from June 1, 1941, The Journal Herald, Ohio, by Irving A. Williamson
George Washington Carver Praised as Foremost Scientist By Irving A. Williamson
Late last month in Atlantic City 1,100 people witnessed the presentation of the 1940 Humanitarian award by the Variety Clubs of America to Dr. George Washington Carver, born of slave parents and once traded for a horse and who today is praised by many as the world's foremost scientist.
Modest Dr. Carver has heard many mean speak of his deeds and standing in the world of science. Henry Ford, in reply to a recent question as to whom he thought was the greatest living scientist, said: "George Washington Carver, of Tuskegee. He tops all men I know." Christy Borth in "Pioneers of Plenty," writes: "George Washington Carver, the first and greatest chemurgist."
The scientist was born a slave in Diamond Grove, Missouri, where when a child he and his mother were stolen and taken to Arkansas. He was ransomed from his captors with a horse valued at $300. His mother was never heard of again.
As a gangling boy, determined to better his lot, he worked his way through public schools, received the degree of bachelor of science of agriculture from Iowa State college in 1894 and got his master's degree from the college in 1896. He was a member of the Iowa faculty a short while before going to Tuskegee Institute at Tuskegee, Ala., founded by the famed Booker T, Washington. At Tuskegee he is director of research and experiment and as such during, more than 40 years of research has given the south a new meaning of chemistry, agriculture a new outlook and industry a new alliance.
In 1896 Dr. Carver laid down his plan of attack on the farmers' problems of the south by five approaches to solution of them: Soil conservation, diversification of crops, live-at-home, finding new uses for farm crops and the utilization of native plants and farm crops.
Through his creative research Dr. Carver has found numerous uses that can be made of southern products and waste materials. From the clays of Alabama he has developed face powder, pigments, paints, stains, and has also demonstrated their value in ceramic work.
He has made the peanut yield over 300 products, including milk, cream, buttermilk, cheese, condiments, coffee, plastics, paper, stains and insulating boards.
The sweet potato has been productive of 118 products among which are starch, tapioca, mock cocanut, syrup, breakfast food and satins.
He has made paving blocks, insulating boards, cordage, paper and rugs from cotton. From plants generally regarded as weeds, many products have been created, as well as hundreds of dyes. Over 5,000 letters seeking information or expressing gratitude have been received by Dr. Carver In connection with his peanut oil treatment for the aftereffects of infantile paralysis.
Although Dr. Carver has a world-wide reputation as a scientist, he has received much recognition for his paintings. One of his paintings, "Three Peaches," was hung in the Luxembury gallery in Europe. He used pigments which he got from the clays of Alabama.
Many honors have come to Dr. Carver, including the Spingarn medal in 1923 for distinguished achievement, the unveiling of a bust of him at Tuskegee in 1937, but the greatest is probably the creation of the George Washington Carver foundation to carry on extensive research begun by Dr, Carver on the use of native southern plants, waste materials and the formulating of solutions of agriculture problems. Dr. Carver himself gave his life savings of $33,000 to the foundation for research and many others are expected to swell the endowment.
Visiting Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site and the George Washington Carver Museum Today
For those that wish to visit, the Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site is located at 1212 West Montgomery Road, Tuskegee Institute, AL 36088. It is free to visit. Besides the beautiful red brick building that houses the George Washington Carver Museum with the bust of Carver between its doors, the Tuskegee NHS includes Booker T. Washington's home, the Oaks, with ranger tours, as well as other buildings on campus that were built by original Tuskegee students and more.
The campus, a historic district in itself, holds Emery Halls, Millbank Hall (site of the original Carver agricultural experiments), the Food Science Building, Margaret Murray Washington Hall, Dorothy Hall, Tantum Hall, the Carver Research Foundation, among others. A stroll past these historic buildings provides great context to just how important the establishment of the university was in the progress of the United States and the education of minority students after the Civil War. And yes, its founding was established by those with good motives and imperfect pasts.
Several miles from campus, a National Historic Site dedicated to the Tuskegee Airman is located at Moton Field.
For another site devoted to the life of George Washington Carver, this in his home state of Missouri, is the George Washington Carver National Monument, located in Diamond, Missouri. It was founded in 1943 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the first monument established to an African American and to a person that had not been a president.
On this day, In 1941 Ben Hogan & Gene Sarazen team up during the final round to win the Miami Four Ball Tournament
In the third round Hogan and Sarazen defeated Craig Wood and Billy Burke, the defending champions, 2 and 1. In the other semifinal match Guldahl and Snead defeated Smith and Runyan 1-up.
The final match pitted Hogan and Sarazen vs. Snead and Guldahl. Sarazen’s philosophy was for him to play steady par golf while Hogan would take the chances, “I’m par. Hogan is the flag man. I’ll be steady and Ben will be going for the birdies. And if Hogan’s putts start dropping we’ll be around there in 59.” That is exactly what happened. It was on the third nine that Ben birdied every odd hole to give his team from a one up lead to four up and insure the victory on the final nine. Hogan birdied the first hole, but Snead tied him. Ben birdied the third hole with a 40-foot putt, the fifth with a 15-footer, the seventh with a seven footer and the ninth with a second shot that spun back to the cup, three feet away. Snead gave his team some hope by winning the 10th hole but that was the end of their comeback. Hogan played some of his best iron shots on the 13th and 14th holes. He had a good drive on the 445-yard 13th and stuck a seven-iron less than a foot from the pin, but was matched by Guldahl’s 18-foot birdie putt. On the 145-yard 14th hole, Ben hit his seven-iron three feet past the hole. Hogan and Sarazen were dormie-four on the 15th hole. Snead and Hogan were on the green some 15 feet from the pin in three, and Sarazen was over the green in back. With over 3,000 people watching Sarazen confidently stepped up, said to the caddy who was tending the pin, “Well, take it out, boy”, hit it crisply just far enough to land on the green and curled the balled down the slope into the hole to win the match.
It was 13 years previous that at age 26, Gene Sarazen teamed with Johnny Farrell to win this event. At that time Johnny Farrell was a young up-and-comer. In 1941 Ben was just 28 years old and at the threshold of his most extraordinary golfing career. Comparing the two victories, Gene said, “There’s no comparison. It’s far tougher to win now. The competition is much stiffer all the way through and scoring is much lower, so it is bound to be much harder to win holes.
After two months of hearings and debate, the House of Representatives passed this bill, H.R. 1776, “An Act to Promote the Defense of the United States,” which became known as the Lend–Lease Act.
Embroiled in war with Nazi Germany, Great Britain sustained heavy military and financial losses during the early years of World War II. The United States furnished Great Britain and other allies with military supplies and equipment through a “cash and carry” system permitted by the Neutrality Act of 1939. This arrangement required the purchasers to pay in cash and transport the goods themselves, allowing the United States to maintain the appearance of neutrality in the conflict. Concerned that his country would soon be unable to pay for supplies, Prime Minister Winston Churchill appealed to the United States for additional assistance for Great Britain. President Franklin Roosevelt proposed a lend–lease system that distributed military aid to “the government of any country whose defense the President deems vital to the defense of the United States.” The President also determined the appropriate repayment. This plan allowed the United States to continue to support the war against the Axis powers without involving American troops in a foreign war.
Roosevelt reasoned that, “We cannot, and we will not, tell them that they must surrender, merely because of present inability to pay for the weapons which we know they must have.” Congressional isolationists, who opposed intervention in the war, asserted that a lend–lease policy disregarded American neutrality and gave the President “practically unlimited” authority. After much debate, the House and the Senate passed the act, and President Roosevelt quickly signed it into law on March 11, 1941.
James Stewart Goes to WarUS #4197 – Stewart was the 13th honoree in the Legends of Hollywood Series. Click image to order.
On March 22, 1941, James Stewart was inducted into the US Army, making him the first major US movie star to don a military uniform during World War II.
James Stewart developed an early interest in flying and got his pilot’s license in 1938. Around that same time, he worked with other celebrities to establish Thunderbird Field, a pilot training school in Arizona.
Although he was a big Hollywood star, Stewart felt an obligation to join the war effort. In October 1940, he first tried to enlist in the US Army but was rejected because he was five pounds underweight. He then enlisted the help of a trainer to gain the weight and tried again, this time with the Air Corps. Though he failed his first attempt, he convinced the enlistment officer to try again, and he managed to pass the weigh-in. Stewart was then inducted into the Army on March 22, 1941, several months before the US officially entered the war.
US #4197 – Fleetwood First Day Cover. Click image to order.
After undergoing service pilot training, Stewart’s first assignment was an appearance at a March of Dimes rally. He would also participate in several radio broadcasts promoting the war effort and the Winning Your Wings recruitment video, which helped bring in 150,000 new recruits. Stewart didn’t want to spend the war as a recruiter or trainer, he wanted to go to Europe and fight.
Item #M12217 honors stars who went to war. The top right stamp honors Stewart. Click image to order.
Eventually, Stewart appealed to his commander to recommend he be entered into combat. He succeeded, and Stewart was assigned to the 703rd Bombardment Squadron. Within three weeks, he was promoted to its commander. Stewart finally went on his first combat mission on December 13, 1943, a bombing run over U-boat facilities in Kiel, Germany. Stewart led two more missions in December and January before being promoted to major. Then in February, he earned the Distinguished Flying Cross.
US #C49 was issued to honor the 50th anniversary of the United States Air Force as a part of our National Defense System. Click image to order.
Exactly three years after his induction into the Army, Stewart flew his 12th combat mission in an attack on Berlin. He was then made group operations officer of the 453rd Bombardment Group, leading missions into Nazi-occupied Europe. He went on to earn another Distinguished Flying Cross, the French Croix de Guerre, and the Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters. He was promoted to full colonel in March 1945, making him one of just a few Americans to rise from private to colonel in just four years during the war.
US #3167 was issued for the 50th anniversary of the Department of the Air Force. Click image to order.
After the war, Stewart remained in service of the Army Air Forces and later the US Air Force Reserve. He served as an Air Force Reserve commander at Dobbins Air Force Base in Georgia and flew as a non-duty observer on an Arc Light bombing mission during the Vietnam War. Stewart retired from the Air Force on May 31, 1968, having served for 27 years. He received a number of awards as well as the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal and Presidential Medal of Freedom.