POLISH GREATNESS TRAFFIC

June 3, 2018

JUNE 3 - DAILY CHRONCILES OF HISTORY

JUNE 3

1937

The Duke of Windsor married Wallis Warfield Simpson in Monts, France. As King Edward VIII, he had abdicated the British throne in December of 1936 amid tumultuous uproar, to marry Simpson, an American who had been divorced. (Note: Despite the advice of the British government, the Duke and Duchess visited Hitler at his Berghof retreat in Bavaria, Germany. The German media had a heyday with this event and photographed the Duke giving Nazi salutes. According to the Duke of Windsor, he claimed to support appeasement, in the wake of the horrors of World War I.  Hitler considered Edward to be friendly towards Nazi Germany and anticipated that Anglo-German relations could have been improved were it not for Edward's abdication. Albert Speer quoted Hitler directly: "I am certain through him (Edward) permanent friendly relations could have been achieved. If he had stayed, everything would have been different. His abdication was a severe loss for us." (Note:  Nazi Germany made overtures to Britain, because the British royal family's blood line came from the German descent and was originally House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, until it was changed to House of Windsor in 1917 because of anti-German sentiment in the British Empire during World War I.)


1940

Germans bombed Paris:  The Nazi Germans bombed a suburb of Paris, targeting the Citroën automobile factory. 254 persons were killed, including 195 civilians. Many other suburbs of Paris were bombed resulting in countless civilian deaths and injuries. French Prime Minister Reynaud dismissed his commander, Maurice Gamelin, and appointed Maxime Weygand to take his place. He also named the 84-year-old Philippe Pétain as deputy prime minister. Both Weygand and Petain knew that they could not defeat the Germans and began to look for ways out of the war. By June 8,  Parisians could hear the sound of artillery in the distance. Refugees fled in droves, and within a few days the more affluent arrondissements were nearly vacant. Meanwhile the working class 14th arrondissement decreased from 178,000 to 49,000. The British General Staff urged the French to defend Paris street-by-street, but Pétain dismissed the suggestion: "To make Paris into a city of ruins will not affect the issue." By June 12, the French government declared Paris to be an open city and that there would be no resistance. On June 14, the German armies marched in and occupied the city, raising the swastika flag atop the Arc de Triomphe.


Battle of Dunkirk ended with German victory.   The Battle of Dunkirk was part of the Battle of France, as well as that of Operation Dynamo - the emergency evacuation of British and French soldiers from the beaches and harbour of Dunkirk, who were cut off and surrounded by German troops.  In Churchill's speech to the House of Commons, he referred to this as "a colossal military disaster....(that)...the whole root and core and brain of the British Army" was stranded at Dunkirk and in danger of annihilation.  The evacuation began on May 27, and by June 3rd,  338,226 soldiers had been rescued by a fleet of over 800 boats. Subsequently, Churchill referred to the successful evacuation as a "miracle", and the British press reported it as a "disaster turned to triumph". However, Churchill gave another speech on June 4, to remind the country that "we must be very careful not to assign to this deliverance the attributes of a victory. Wars are not won by evacuations."   From May 10 until the armistice with France on June 22, BEF suffered casualties of 68,000 soldiers (dead, wounded, missing, or captured). All the heavy equipment had to be abandoned; 2,472 guns, 20,000 motorcycles, about 65,000 other vehicles; 416,000 short tons (377,000 t) of stores, more than 75,000 short tons (68,000 t) of ammunition and 162,000 short tons (147,000 t) of fuel and almost all of the 445 British tanks sent to France.  Six British and three French destroyers were sunk, as well as nine major vessels, 19 destroyers damaged; over 200 British and Allied sea craft  sunk, with a similar number damaged;  145 aircraft lost   ( of which at least 42 were Spitfires)  while the Luftwaffe lost 156 aircraft in operations in the nine days of Operation Dynamo, including 35 destroyed by Royal Navy ships (plus 21 damaged) during the six days from May 27 to 1 June 1.



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