Although the promised larger 60-inch cyclotron was completed, the vacuum tubes used were of inferior quality due to the war situation. As a result in the summer of 1944 Nishina's team was only able to produce 170 grams of uranium hexafluoride. By this time his counterparts in the United States had already produced it by the ton. The Japanese research was ultimately fruitless.
The Manhattan Project was by then far advanced. On 2 Dec 1942, the team led by Enrico Fermi at the University of Chicago successfully initiated the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction in a reactor code named Chicago Pile-1, The test of the first implosion-style plutonium weapon “Gadget” was carried out on 16 Jul 1945 in the northern sector of the Alamogordo Bombing Range (now the White Sands Missile Range) New Mexico.
3 July 1940 Vice Admiral James Somerville and his Royal Navy Force H arrived off Mers-el-Kébir, Algeria where a fleet under French Admiral Marcel Gensoul was docked. After Gensoul refused to surrender, the British fleet opened fire. The magazine of French battleship Bretagne was hit, sinking her. Battleship Provence, battleship Dunkerque, and destroyer Mogador were damaged. In total, 1,297 French sailors were killed and 350 were wounded. After the battle French battleship Strasbourg, carrier Commandant Teste, and four destroyers were able to escape to Toulon. At dawn, the Royal Navy boarded two French battleships, nine destroyers, and a number of other smaller warships that were docked at Plymouth and Portsmouth. Vice Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham demanded that the French warships docked at Alexandria be surrendered. Negotiations would continue until 7 July. The British founded the Long Range Desert Group under the command of Acting Brigadier Ralph Bagnold with the purpose of reconnaissance patrols behind the Italian lines into Libya.
3 July 1941 In his first public speech of the new war, Stalin ordered a scorched earth policy to be put into effect as German troops were pushed back. Meanwhile, the Bialystok pocket in Poland was eliminated by German troops, taking 300,000 prisoners.
3 July 1942 German pocket battleship Lützow, pocket battleship Admiral Scheer, and six destroyers departed from Narvik, Norway to intercept Allied convoy PQ-17 in the Barents Sea. En route Lützow and three destroyers ran aground. The group was detected by the Allies, leading to the dispatching of 9 British and 7 Soviet submarines to intercept them. En route Soviet submarines D-3 and M-176 hit German naval mines and sank. German 15th Panzer Division, 21st Panzer Division, and Italian XX Motorized Corps attacked Ruweisat Ridge near El Alamein, making little progress. British aircraft flew 780 sorties on this day against the Axis offensive.
3 July 1944 Soviet forces recaptured Minsk, Byelorussia, trapping over 100,000 Germans in the pocket.
4 July 1776 The Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Second Continental Congress meeting at the Pennsylvania State House (Independence Hall) in Philadelphia. It was announced that the thirteen American colonies then at war with the Kingdom of Great Britain, regarded themselves as a newly independent nation - The United States of America.
4 July 1940 Vichy French government broke off all relations with the United Kingdom. The French Navy ordered submarines, armed merchant cruisers, and destroyers based in Dakar to sortie to attack British shipping. French bombers attacked the British fleet at Gibraltar, causing no damage.
4 July 1942 Allied convoy PQ-17 was attacked by 24 He 111 aircraft about 60 miles north of Bear Island (Bjørnøya), Norway. Damaged US freighter Christopher Newport would later be scuttled by a British submarine. Another attack by 25 aircraft sank British freighter Navarino and US freighter William Hooper and damaged Soviet tanker Azerbaijan. At 2100 hours, believing that German battleships might be in the area, PQ-17 was ordered to scatter and the convoy escorts were withdrawn. Sailing in the opposite direction, QP-13 split up into two convoys, one of which ran into a minefield. Several ships struck mines and sank; British minesweeper HMS Niger, freighter Hybert, freighter Heffron, freighter Massmar and Soviet passenger ship Rodina. Others were damaged; civilian commodore's ship American Robin, freighter Exterminator, and freighter John Randolph. HMS Hussar was able to lead the survivors out of the minefield. The American Volunteer Group of the Chinese Air Force was disbanded. It's aircraft were transferred to USAAF 23rd Fighter Group, which succeeded it.
4 July 1943 The Battle of Kursk began and would become the largest tank battle in history.
4 July 1944 The Soviet 1st Baltic Front captured Polotsk, Byelorussia on its way towards Riga, Latvia, moving to cut off German Armeegruppe Nord as it retreated from Estonia. The Soviet troops were rapidly advancing on what had been the 1939 German-Soviet border.
Post by Dave Homewood on Jul 4, 2017 22:50:11 GMT 12
I interviewed a Kiwi sailor who was onboard one of the Royal Navy destroyers (from memory) in PQ-17. It was an absolute nightmare by all accounts, and when they finally got to Archangel no-one was even allowed off the wharf to go into town, the Russians treated them Allied sailors really poorly, and with great suspicion and disdain, he said.
PQ-17 got off to disastrous start and things only got worse during the following week. Only nine of the 33 merchant ships that set out made it through. The long daylight hours of arctic summer meant that they were under almost constant attack by bombers. Stalin was disbelieving of the casualty rate and suspected his allies were holding out on critical supplies instead. The merchant convoy program to Russia was cancelled for the remainder of summer and resumed in early September.
5 July 1940 Nine Royal Navy Swordfish aircraft of 813 Squadron from HMS Eagle flew 100 miles west from Sidi Barrani, Egypt to attack the Italian naval base at Tobruk, Libya. Destroyer Zeffiro was sunk, destroyer Euro's bow was blown off, troop transport Liguria was damaged and was beached to prevent sinking, merchant vessel Manzoni was sunk, and merchant vessel Serenitas was damaged.
Operation Fish: British battleship HMS Revenge, cruiser HMS Bonaventure, destroyer HMS Garth, and troop transports Monarch of Bermuda, Sobieski, and Batory departed Greenock, Scotland. The cargo of US$1,750,000,000 worth of gold and securities from the Bank of England was destined for the Bank of Canada's vault in Ottawa. They would arrive safely at Halifax, Nova Scotia on 12 Jul.
5 July 1942 The scattered Allied convoy PQ-17 was hunted down by German submarines and aircraft piecemeal throughout the day. British freighter Empire Byron, civilian commodore J. C. K. Dowding's ship River Afton, British ship Earlston, Washington, Bolton Castle, Paulus Potter, Pan Kraft, US ship Carlton, Fairfield City, Daniel Morgan, Peter Kerr, British fleet oiler Aldersdale (fatally damaged by aircraft and abandoned), British rescue ship Zaafaran, and Honomu were all destroyed. Meanwhile Allied convoy QP-13 was sailing in the opposite direction, British minesweeper HMS Niger, in escort, entered a British minefield due to navigation error, struck a mine, and sank 10 miles north of Iceland. The 36 merchant ships of the convoy, following Niger's lead, also entered the minefield. 5 merchant ships would sink, 1 would sustain damage.
5 July 1943 The US Northern Landing Group under Colonel Harry Liversedge landed at Rice Anchorage on the northern coast of New Georgia, Solomon Islands. The torpedoed Fletcher-class destroyer USS Strong was sunk by a Japanese shore batteries in Rice Anchorage. On the same day US cruisers and destroyers bombarded Japanese positions at Vila, Kolombangara, and Bairoko Harbour.
6 July 1911 Henry “Hap” Arnold received Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) pilot certificate No. 29.
6 July 1940 Operation Lever: Royal Navy Force H under Vice Admiral James Somerville returned to Mers-el-Kébir, Algeria. At dawn, Swordfish aircraft from carrier HMS Ark Royal scored several torpedo hits on French battleship Dunkerque. One torpedo hit patrol boat Terre Neuve, detonating depth charges, shock waves from the explosion further damaged Dunkerque. British cruisers HMS Capetown and HMS Caledon with destroyers HMS Janus, HMS Juno, HMS Ilex, and HMS Imperial shelled Bardia, Libya near the Egyptian border sinking Italian ship Axum and damaged another merchant ship. German radio stations played the song "Denn wir fahren gegen Engeland" for the first time.
6 July 1942 German submarine U-255 sank US ship John Witherspoon, German aircraft sank US ship Pan Atlantic, both ships were part of Allied convoy PQ-17, travelling in the Barents Sea. Kinryu Maru, another transport, and five destroyers arrived at Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands from Truk, Caroline Islands, disembarking Japanese 11th Establishment Unit, 13th Establishment Unit, 100 trucks, 4 heavy tractors, 6 steam rollers, 2 generators, 2 locomotives with cars, and other equipment necessary for building an airfield.
6 July 1943 During Battle of Kula Gulf northwest of New Georgia, cruiser USS Helena and destroyer task force ambushed an incoming Japanese convoy, but in the return fire Helena was struck by 3 Japanese Type 93 torpedoes and sank 20 minutes later. Japanese destroyer Niizuki was also sunk and destroyer Nagatsuki ran aground and destroyed by subsequent bombing.
6 July 1944 Wing Commander Leonard Cheshire led a "Tallboy" attack on the V-3 supergun structure at Mimoyecque. After this mission, the last of his fourth tour, he was ordered to rest (he never flew operations again) and two months later he was awarded the Victoria Cross.
Post by Dave Homewood on Jul 6, 2017 23:33:06 GMT 12
I believe Cheshire was the first man awarded the Victoria Cross for not just one specific act of bravery, but for leading a whole series of incredibly brave operations without any concern for himself. At one point when he was marking the target for No. 617 Squadron using his Mustang they could not see the markers for cloud so he told them to aim at him!! He circled right over the target while the bomb aimers lined him up and dropped their eggs bang on. A most remarkable man.
6 July 1911 Henry “Hap” Arnold received Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) pilot certificate No. 29.
Arnold was issued his Aviator's Certificate (not 'Pilot Certificate') by the Aero Club of America. It should not be confused with those issued by the Aero Club de France, who by July 1911 had already issued over 400. Most US fliers tended not to bother with securing the Certificate.
Author: Swift to the Sky – New Zealand’s Military Aviation History Author/publisher: For Your Tomorrow - A record of New Zealanders who have died while serving with the RNZAF and Allied Air Services since 1915 & A Passion For Flight - New Zealand aviation before the Great War. Publisher of Gp Capt C M Hanson’s By Such Deeds - Honours and Awards in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, 1923-1999
Thanks for the clarification Errol. The Army had only recently adopted the FAI regulations for pilot training. Hap Arnold and his fellow trainee Thomas Milling became the first two US Army pilots to qualify. Milling received certificate No.30 issued by the Aero Club of America. The Army inaugurated their Military Aviator's Badge qualification the following year.
7 July 1940 René-Émile Godfroy agreed to British demands to keep the French Navy Force X at Alexandria, Egypt, which included the battleship Lorraine and four cruisers. Godfroy secured Andrew Cunningham's pledge that the ships would remain under Godfroy's command and that the sailors would be repatriated. Operation Catapult: British Swordfish torpedo bombers from carrier HMS Hermes attacked the French battleship Richelieu in dock at Dakar, French West Africa. A torpedo hit caused a 40-foot hole and Richelieu sank in shallow water, but was able to be refloated later.
7 July 1941 Returning from a raid on Munster, 75 (NZ) Squadron Wellington L7818 'AA-R' was attacked by a night fighter and badly damaged. Second pilot Sergeant James Ward tied a rope around himself and climbed out onto the wing of his bomber to extinguish a fuel fire burning near the starboard engine. He smothered the flames with the use of an engine cover. The aircraft was saved from further serious damage and was able make it home. The New Zealander was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions, but sadly never received the medal, being killed on a raid two months later.
7 July 1943 At the Wolfsschanze headquarters in Rastenburg, Germany, Werhner von Braun and Walter Dornberger presented Adolf Hitler to a film of a V-2 rocket launch.
8 July 1937 Four Japanese mountain gun crews and a machine gun company were ordered to prepare for an invasion of China. At 0500 hours the Japanese opened fire at Lugou Bridge on the Chinese border with Manchukuo, thus starting the Second Sino-Japanese War.
8 July 1940 British bombers attacked German heavy cruiser Lützow in dock at Kiel, Germany. Lützow, under repair for extensive torpedo damage to her stern caused by HMS Spearfish on 11 Apr 1940, was hit by a bomb that failed to detonate. In England, General Charles de Gaulle denounced the ongoing British attacks on Vichy French forces.
8 July 1941 British B-17 bombers were deployed on a combat mission for the first time as three of them were ordered to attack Wilhelmshaven, Germany.
8 July 1942 Wing Commander (Acting) Guy Gibson, at 23 the youngest Squadron commanding officer in RAF Bomber Command and a man already marked out for great things, flew a newly issued Lancaster bomber on operations for the first time, during a raid on Wilhelmshaven, Germany. A young Australian pilot officer, Dave Shannon, went with him to gain experience. Shannon, like Gibson, was later to find fame in 617 Squadron. The aircraft they flew was lost a month later over Essen, flown by a different crew.
8 July 1944 As Baranovichi, Byelorussia fell to the Soviets, German XII Corps surrendered its last 57,000 men. The German Armeegruppe Mitte alone had lost nearly 30 divisions in less than a month.
8 July 1945 9 US carriers, organized into 3 task groups each complete with battleship and cruiser screens, refueled east of Iwo Jima in preparation for operations against the main islands of Japan.
9 July 1940 Battle of Calabria: 50 miles south of Italy, a heavily escorted Italian convoy for Benghazi, Libya approached an equally powerful British convoy for Malta. A shell from British battleship HMS Warspite, fired from a range of 24 kilometres, struck Italian battleship Giulio Cesare, making it one of the longest naval gun hits of the war. Although Italian ships withdrew first, Italian aircraft forced the British ships to also turn back by 1700 hours.
9 July 1944 British and Canadian forces entered the rubble that was Caen, France. Meanwhile, US XIX Corps began advancing toward Saint-Lô.
10 July 1940 Kanalkampf: A large German aerial formation attacked one of the eight British convoys in the English Channel. The target convoy (code named Bread) was escorted by 6 Hurricane fighters. Upon detecting the incoming aircraft, four squadrons of British fighters were launched to counter them. At the end of the battle seven British aircraft were destroyed and one of the ships was sunk. The Germans had lost 13 aircraft. This surprising result led the British to announce that 10 July was the start of the Battle of Britain. Elsewhere, the German Luftwaffe's first major targets on land included the Swansea docks and the Royal Ordnance Factory in Pembrey. The British tanker Tascalusa was sunk during one of the attacks.
10 July 1941 Five French D.520 fighters intercepted a flight of Blenheim bombers of 45 Squadron RAF escorted by 7 Tomahawk fighters of 3 Squadron RAAF over Syria. 3 British bombers and 4 French fighters were destroyed in the engagement. On the ground, troops of Australian 21st Brigade neared Beirut, Lebanon.
10 July 1942 Near El Alamein, Australian 26th Brigade captured Tel el Eisa ridge and South African troops captured Tel el Makh Khad. Elements of the German 15th Panzer Division counterattacked the Australian positions in the afternoon without success. Meanwhile, New Zealand troops overran and destroyed the German 621 Radio Interception Company, thereby depriving Erwin Rommel of an essential means of gathering important intelligence on British 8th Army movements.
10 July 1943 The Allies began Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily, with an airborne assault before dawn. Amphibious elements landed to join the fight later in the day. Out at sea, hospital ship Tampala and LST-313 were sunk by German air attack. Picket ship USS Sentinel was sunk by a bomb delivered by a Fw 190 aircraft off Molla. Destroyer USS Maddox was also lost after being attacked by dive bombers and sunk within two minutes.
11 July 1940 The US Army approached 135 American automotive manufacturers to submit designs to replace its existing, aging light motor vehicle fleet. They were told that they must submit their first prototypes within 49 days and have 70 test vehicles prepared 75 days later.
11 July 1942 The US Marines headquarters unit arrived in New Zealand. Japanese leadership abandoned the plans to capture New Caledonia, Fiji, and Samoa. Allied convoy PQ-17, after losing 24 of the 33 vessels, finally arrived at ports in northern Russia, delivering 64,000 tons of war goods. It was the worst convoy loss of the war, with some 430 tanks, 210 aircraft, 3,350 lorries and jeeps and 100,000 tons of material lost at the hands of repeated German attacks. Joseph Stalin, suspicious of the western powers, believed that the British were unwilling to provide the Soviets with large amounts of goods and had made up the heavy losses.
11 July 1943 British 8th Army captured Syracuse, Sicily, and its harbour.
Ironically the other Convoy QP-13 had survived relatively unscathed until a terrible navigation mistake. Sailing in the opposite direction Convoy QP-13 was made up of returning merchant ships from Arkhangelsk, with some ships leaving Murmansk. It consisted of 35 ships and was escorted by five destroyers, three corvettes, one anti-aircraft ship, three minesweepers, two trawlers.It was not attacked, since the German tactic was to concentrate on eastbound (laden) convoys, rather than westbound convoys in ballast. However Convoy QP 13 encountered fog on 5 July 1942. In poor visibility escorting minesweeper Niger mistook an iceberg for Iceland’s North Western Cape and six merchant ships followed her into Northern Barrage minefield SN72, laid one month earlier at the entrance to the Denmark Strait. All seven ships detonated naval mines and there were only eight survivors of the 127 men aboard Niger. Only Exterminator could be salvaged. No crewmen were lost from Exterminator, Hybert and Rodina but one crewman died abandoning Hefron, five drowned when John Randolph broke in two, and Massmar sank with 17 merchant seamen, 5 Naval Armed Guards and 26 survivors she was carrying from the sinking of Alamar in convoy PQ-16.
12 July 1941 French Lieutenant-General Joseph-Antoine-Sylvain-Raoul de Verdillac attended the French-British negotiations for a ceasefire in the French Mandate of Syria and the Lebanon. Meanwhile French naval vessels and aircraft were ordered to go to neutral Turkey where they were interned.
12 July 1942 Allied convoy OS-33 was attacked by a German submarine wolfpack 500 kilometres west of Madeira archipelago. Among the five vessels sunk was British ship Port Hunter which was carrying HDML patrol craft ML-1090 in transit to New Zealand. 88 crew were killed, 3 survived. Japanese armed merchant cruisers Aikoku Maru and Hokoku Maru captured New Zealand freighter MV Hauraki in the Mozambique Channel, Indian Ocean. She sailed under armed guard to Singapore where passengers and crew were imprisoned.
12 July 1943 Soviet forces launched a massive offensive along their Bryansk, Central, and West Fronts in Russia, toward Bryansk, Kursk, and Orel. Prokhorovka became the site of what would be hailed as the largest armour battle in history. British 8th Army captured Augusta, Sicily adding yet another useful harbour for the Allied invasion force In the Solomon Islands, a Japanese force consisted of light cruiser Jintsu and destroyer-transports ran into a group of Allied light cruisers. The ensuing Battle of Kolombangara, which lasted into the next morning, saw the sinking of Jintsu and USS Gwin. NZ cruiser HMNZS Leander was seriously damaged by torpedo and 26 crew members died. The Japanese were able to land 1,200 men on New Georgia.
12 July 1944 Lieutenant-General Omar Bradley, his staff, and his generals met and created a preliminary plan for what was to become the Operation Cobra offensive in France.