November 22, 2018




German Raider Cruiser Sunk.  On the morning of November 22,  1941, the German auxiliary cruiser, the Atlantis was intercepted by HMS Devonshire. The German submarine U-126 dived, leaving her captain Rogge, aboard the Atlantis.  At 08:40, Atlantis transmitted a report posing as the Dutch ship Polyphemus, but by 09:34, the Devonshire obtained confirmation that this report was false.  From a distance of 14–15 km (8.7–9.3 mi), far enough outside the range of Atlantis's guns, the Devonshire opened fire with her 8 in (200 mm) battery.  The second and third salvos hit the Atlantis killing seven sailors, as the remainder of the crew abandoned ship. Its commander, Bernhard Rogge was the last one off. Ammunition exploded, the bow rose into the air, and the ship sank.  The Atlantis was referred to by the Germans as Schiff 16, while the Brits called it Raider-C.  The Atlantis was a merchant raider whose only aim was to attack enemy merchant shipping (and not to engage warships). Success was measured in terms of total tonnage destroyed,  making the Atlantis second to Pinguinand for the longest raiding career in the Kriegsmarine during the war. She also captured highly secret documents from SS Automedon.  From May 3, 1940 to September 10, 1941 the Atlantis destroyed 145,960 of Allied tonnage, comprising mostly freighters and tankers from the United Kingdom and Norway.  The firepower of the Atlantis was impressive.  All the ships guns were hidden, mostly behind pivotable false deck or side structures. There was even a fake crane and deckhouse on the aft section which concealed two of the 150 mm (5.9 in) guns;  the other four guns were hidden by flaps in the side that were raised whenever action was imminent.  In addition there were four waterline torpedo tubes, a 92-mine compartment. and two Heinkel He-114C seaplanes in one of its holds (one of these was fully assembled while the other one was packed away in crates.)   ( A version of the story of Atlantis was told in the film, "Under Ten Flags" with Van Heflin appearing as Captain Rogge. )


U.S. President John F. Kennedy Was Assassinated.  John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, was assassinated on Friday, November 22, 1963, at 12:30 p.m. in Dallas, Texas, while riding in a presidential motorcade through Dealey Plaza.  Kennedy was riding with his wife Jacqueline, Texas Governor John Connally, and Connally's wife, Nellie, when Kennedy was fatally shot. Governor Connally was seriously wounded but survived the attack. The motorcade rushed to Parkland Memorial Hospital where President Kennedy was pronounced dead about thirty minutes after the shooting.  Former U.S. Marine Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested by the Dallas Police Department 70 minutes after the initial shooting. Oswald was charged under Texas state law with the murder of Kennedy as well as that of Dallas policeman J. D. Tippit, who had been fatally shot a short time after the assassination. At 11:21 a.m. Sunday, November 24, 1963, as live television cameras covered his transfer to the Dallas County Jail, Oswald was fatally shot in the basement of Dallas Police Headquarters by Dallas nightclub operator Jack Ruby. Oswald was taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital where he soon died. Ruby was convicted of Oswald's murder, though it was later overturned on appeal, and Ruby died in prison in 1967 while awaiting a new trial.  After a ten-month investigation, the Warren Commission concluded that Oswald assassinated Kennedy, that Oswald had acted entirely alone, and that Ruby had acted alone in killing Oswald. Conspiracy theories have circulated for decades, proposing that other parties were complicit in the assassination, such as the CIA, the Mafia, and Fidel Castro, among others. Public opinion polls have shown that a vast majority of American citizens believe that there was  a conspiracy and a coverup.


Stalin's daughter Svetlana Iosifovna Alliluyeva died on November 22, 2011. She was the youngest child and only daughter of Joseph Stalin and Nadezhda Alliluyeva, Stalin's second wife.  On November 9, 1932, her mother, Nadezhda, at the age of 31, shot herself in the head following a public spat with Stalin at a dinner party over the effects of the government's collectivization policies on the peasantry. The official announcement was that Nadezhda died from appendicitis In 1967.  When Alliluyeva was 16 years of age, she fell in love with Aleksei Kapler, a Jewish Soviet filmmaker who was 38 years old. Her father vehemently disapproved of the romance and ordered Kapler sentenced to ten years in labor camps near Vorkuta and Inta. She was beset by a series of failed marriages and romances after that.   After her father's death in 1953, Alliluyeva worked as a lecturer and translator in Moscow.  Though her training was in history and political thought, topics which Stalin forced her to study, her passion was literature and writing.  In 1963, she wrote her memoirs, the manuscript which was smuggled out of the country by Ambassador T. N. Kaul, who returned it to her in New Delhi.  She later handed the memoirs to Robert Rayle, a CIA agent, at the time that she defected to the United States. The book was titled, "Twenty Letters to a Friend" and was described as Alliluyeva's attempt to blame Stalinist crimes onto Laventiy Beria, and whitewash her own father.

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