October 2

1847 Birth: Paul von Hindenburg:

Paul von Hindenburg was born in Posen in 1847. After being educated at the cadet schools at Wahlstatt and Berlin he fought at the Battle of Koniggratz (1866) and in the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71). Promoted to the rank of general in 1903, Hindenburg retired from the army in 1911.

On the outbreak of the First World War Hindenburg was recalled to the German Army and after being sent to the Eastern Front won decisive victories over the Russians at Tannenberg (1914) and the Masaurian Lakes (1915). Seen as the saviour of East Prussia, he was promoted to field marshal and on the 29th August 1916 became Chief of Staff of the German Army.

With the support of senior military officers and right-wing industrialists, Hindenburg and his quartermaster general, Erich von Ludendorff, formed what became known as the Third Supreme Command. This military-industrial dictatorship held power until 29th September 1918, when with defeat inevitable, the government of Germany was returned to the Reichstag.

Hindenburg retired from the German Army in October, 1918, but continued to take an active interest in politics. In 1925 Hindenburg replaced Friedrich Ebert as President of Germany. Re-elected in 1932 he did not oppose the rise of Adolf Hitler and in January 1933, appointed him Chancellor. Paul von Hindenburg was so popular with the German people that Hitler was unable to overthrow constitutional government until his death in 1934. [Officially—although Hitler had effectively by-passed Hindenburg and constitutional government on coming to power in 1933.—Ed.] (Spartacus)

1851 Birth: Ferdinand Foch:

Ferdinand Foch, the son of a civil servant, was born in Tarbes in 1851. After fighting in the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71) he became an artillery specialist on the French General Staff. Between 1907 and 1911 Foch was commandant of the Ecole de Guerre.

On the outbreak of the First World War Foch used part of the French Second army to block the German advance on Nancy. Promoted to commander of the Ninth Army, he led the French counter-attack at the Marne. His success led to further promotion and in October he was placed in charge of the French Northern Army on the Western Front. He held this post during the Battle of the Somme in the summer of 1916. When Robert Nivelle replaced Joseph Joffre as Commander-in-Chief of the French Army, Foch was recalled to Army Headquarters.

In 1918 during the German Spring Offensive Foch was promoted to Allied Supreme Commander on the West Front. Despite clashing with General John Pershing over the deployment of US forces, Foch managed to make a success of his role as allied coordinator. Foch therefore received the credit for masterminding the victory over Germany.

Foch headed Armistice negotiations and played an important role at the Paris Peace Conference. Foch took the view that it was vitality important that the terms made German military recovery impossible. Ferdinand Foch died in 1929. (Spartacus)

1870 Italy: The Papal States vote in favor of union with Italy. The capital is moved from Florence to Rome.

1871 Birth: Cordell Hull: Secretary of State (1933-44) for FDR, (Nobel 1945).

1879 Austria & Germany: An alliance is formed between the two countries, in which they agree to come to the other's aid in the event of aggression.

[See: Austria: The Other Germany.]

1901 Royal Navy: The first submarine commissioned by the British Navy is launched from Barrow.

1906 (Exact Date Unknown): Klara Hitler buys her son, Adolf, a grand piano. He will take lessons for the next four months with Kubizek's piano teacher, Josef Prevatzki, for a 5 kronen a month fee.

Mayor Mayrhofer, Adolf's guardian, joining the chorus of those encouraging Klara to compel Adolf to seek honest work, arranges for him to be apprenticed to a baker, but he refuses any such suggestion. The downstairs neighbors at the family’s Humboldtstrasse apartment are a postmaster and his wife. When the postmaster once suggested that Adolf should consider joining the postal service, he replied that he was intent on becoming a "great artist" someday. The postmaster's wife would later testify: "When it was pointed out that he lacked the necessary means and connections for this, he replied briefly: 'Makat and Rubens worked themselves up from poor circumstances.'"

Paula Hitler: Of those last years we lived together with my mother I especially remember the cheerfulness of my brother and his extraordinary interest for history, geography, architecture, painting and music. At school he was nothing less than a show boy, came home with bad school reports and admonitions. At home every day he was sitting for hours on the beautiful Heitzmann grand piano, my mother had given him. This extraordinary interest for music, especially for Wagner and Liszt, remained with him for all his life. Particularly strong was even at that time already his interest for the theatre and especially for the opera. I can remember that he was visiting the opera house 13 times to hear Die Gotterdammerung. His Christmas present for his mother has always been a theatre ticket. [For further details, Click here.]

1907 Volkishness: Guido von List tells the magistrates investigating his alleged nobility that his family was descended from Lower Austrian and Styrian aristocracy. List claims his great-grandfather had abandoned the title after entering a burgher trade (inn keeper), but that he had resumed the title after leaving commerce for a literary career in 1878. (THP)

1914 World War I: Various

The Siege of Antwerp:

Churchill: The project of sending a relieving army to the aid of Antwerp did not originate with me. It originated with Lord Kitchener and the French Government. I was not concerned or consulted in the arrangements until they had advanced a long way; and until large bodies of troops were actually moving or under orders to move. On the night of October 2, 1914, at midnight I was summoned to a conference at Lord Kitchener's house. I then learned, what to some extent I knew from the telegrams first, that plans for sending a relieving army to the aid of Antwerp were already far advanced and were being concerted between Lord Kitchener and the French Government, that they had not yet reached a point where definite offers and promises could be made to the Belgian Government, and that, meanwhile, that afternoon the Belgian Government had telegraphed its decision to evacuate the city with the field army and to withdraw from the fort and practically to abandon the defence. We were all extremely distressed at this.

List Regiment (Sep 1-Oct 7): Infantry recruit Adolf Hitler's regiment continues a short but intensive basic training program, which is held in the premises of a large public school on the Elizabeth Platz in Munich. Hitler receives the first uniform of his life; basic greenish-grey with an "RIR 16" sown in red unto the epaulettes and a red stripe down the side of the trousers. The trousers are tucked into new leather boots, topped by a thick leather belt around the waist of the uniform jacket. [For further details, Click here.]

1915 World War I: List Regiment:

Fromelles Watercolor, 1915, by Hitler

Gefreiter Adolf Hitler's 16 Reserve Infantry Regiment continues to occupy a position at Fromelles, on a level field with water channels, willow trees and willow stalks; in the distance towards the enemy lines lies an insignificant wood with barbed wire entanglements. Under the direction of their defense-minded commander, Lieutenant General Gustav Scanzoni von Lichtenfels, the regiment works ceaselessly day and night to further fortify their position at Fromelles while fighting off repeated assaults by the enemy. [For further details, Click here.]

1916 List Regiment The 16th RIR relieves RIR 21 in trenches that are little better than connected shell holes. Balthaser Brandmayer, will later write:

Dead and buried everywhere . . . . We fell from shell hole to shell hole. Multicolored flares arched heavenwards and burst into countless streams. This was always the moment after which we leapt for another freshly turned-up crater in which to disappear . . . . Shrapnel, filth and iron rained mercilessly down on us. The blood almost stagnated in my arteries ... it could only be a few seconds longer - then, yes, then an armored-steel force ripped at bodies already scratched and torn . . . . My nerve failed. I just wanted to lie where I was, I sank hopelessly into insupportable apathy . . . . Then Hitler spoke kindly to me, gave me words of encouragement, said that someday all our heroism would be rewarded a thousand fold in the Fatherland . . . . We returned ... uninjured. Our faces were no longer recognizable. 31

Schmidt, Amann, Hitler, Fuchsl]

At some point during this long battle, Hans Mend had been transferred to the rear for duty as a translator at a POW camp. Westenkirchner and Schmidt remain as Hitler's closest comrades, along with his little white fox terrier, Fuchsl. Twenty-five years later, Hitler will recall: "How many times at Fromelles, during the First World War, I studied my dog Fuchsl . . . . I used to watch [Fuchsl] as if he'd been a man—the progressive stages of his anger [while chasing a fly], of the bile that took possession of him . . . . It was crazy how fond I was of that beast." 32 [For further details, Click here.]

1917 World War I (Sep 30-Oct 17):

Hitler takes an eighteen-day furlough to accompany Schmidt [above] on a visit to his sister in Dresden with him. After sightseeing stops at Brussels and Cologne, they hit Leipzig, a city Hitler especially enjoys. He is impressed by the 300-foot tall monument, Battle of the Nations, honoring the war-dead of 1812. "This has nothing to do with art," he tells Schmidt (above), "but it is enormous and beautiful." After spending some time with Schmidt in Dresden, Hitler goes off by himself to Berlin to spend a few days with yet another front-line comrade. In a postcard to Schmidt, he writes: "The city is marvelous. A real world capital. Traffic is still tremendous. Am gone almost all day. Now finally have opportunity to study the museums a little better. In short: there is nothing lacking." [For further details, Click here.]

1918 World War I: Various:

List Regiment (Sep 28-Oct 15): Gefreiter Adolf Hitler participates in defensive operations in Flanders with 3 Company, 16 Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment. [For further details, Click here.]

German High Command Recommends Peace:

In the wake of the Allied resurgence in the summer and autumn of 1918—with the breaking of the Hindenburg Line in Flanders and in the Argonne - and with the sudden collapse of its own allies—the German High Command came to the conclusion that the war could not be won.

Consequently it recommended to a stunned Reichstag on 2 October 1918 that a peace with the Entente powers be negotiated, a message that was reiterated by Army Chief of Staff Paul von Hindenburg on the following day. Kaiser Wilhelm II, sensing defeat, appealed on 6 October to the army to maintain their resolve in their "grave" hour, a call he subsequently repeated with greater urgency four days later.

As the month drew to a close and with the German public growing increasingly restless - revolution was less than two weeks away - the Kaiser appointed a new, reformist Chancellor, Prince Max von Baden, along with a more representative government. He also freed numerous political prisoners, including Dr Karl Liebknecht who promptly called for a revolution.

Hindenburg—now without Erich Ludendorff who had resigned his position—contacted the Allied Supreme Commander Ferdinand Foch to open armistice negotiations on 7 November; the armistice was agreed four days later, by which time the Kaiser had been obliged to abdicate.(firstworldwar.com)

Middle East: General Allenby takes Beirut.

1919 Woodrow Wilson suffers a stroke:

On this day in 1919, President Woodrow Wilson, who had just cut short a tour of the country to promote the formation of the League of Nations, suffers a stroke.

The tour's intense schedule—8,000 miles in 22 days—cost Wilson his health. He suffered constant headaches during the tour, finally collapsing from exhaustion in Pueblo, Colorado, in late September. He managed to return to Washington, only to suffer a near-fatal stroke on October 2.

Wilson's wife Edith blamed Republican opponents in Congress for her husband's stroke, as their vehement opposition to the League of Nations often took the form of character assassination. Edith, who was even suspicious of the political motives of Vice President Thomas Marshall, closely guarded access to her husband. She kept the true extent of Wilson's incapacitation from the press and his opponents. While Wilson lay in bed, unable to speak or move, Edith purportedly insisted that she screen all of Wilson's paperwork, in some cases signing Wilson's name to documents without consulting the convalescing president. Edith, however, denied usurping her husband's position during his recovery and in her memoirs insisted she acted only as a "steward."

Wilson slowly regained his health, but the lasting effects of the stroke—he remained partially paralyzed on one side—limited his ability to continue to campaign in favor of the League. In 1921, Republican Warren Harding's election to the presidency effectively ended efforts by the League's supporters to get it ratified. Wilson died in 1924.

1924 League of Nations: Delegates meeting in Geneva adopt a protocol aimed at resolving all international disputes by arbitration.

1932: The Lytton Report is made public. Japanese ambassador to the League of Nations, Yosuke Matsuoka, walks out on a meeting of the General Assembly when a motion is raised to condemn Japan as an aggressor. The long length of time it had taken for the Lytton Commission to prepare its report allowed Japan the time to firmly secure its control over Manchuria, putting them in a position to be able to reject the condemnation of the League with impunity. (Kennedy II)

[See: Countdown to Infamy: Timeline to Pearl Harbor.]

1935 Holocaust: German banks are prohibited from issuing loans and giving credit to Jews.

1938 Holocaust: Watch Tower Society (Jehovah's Witnesses) President J. F. Rutherford, speaking over a network of 60 radio stations, denounces Nazi persecution of the Jews.

1938 Czechoslovakia: Polish troops occupy Teschen.

1939 World War II: Various:

From the Reich Foreign Minister (Ribbentrop) to the German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg):

For the Ambassador: Please inform Molotov at once that according to reports I have received the Turkish Government would hesitate to conclude an assistance pact with France and England, if the Soviet Union emphatically opposed it. In my opinion, as already stated several times, it would also be in the Russian interest, on account of the question of the Straits, to forestall a tie-up of Turkey with England and France. I was therefore particularly anxious for the Russian Government to proceed in that direction, in order to dissuade Turkey from the final conclusion of assistance pacts with the Western powers and to settle this at once in Moscow. No doubt, the best solution at the moment would be the return of Turkey to a policy of absolute neutrality while confirming existing Russian-Turkish agreements. Prompt and final diversion of Turkey from the projected Anglo-French treaty, said to have been recently initialed, would also clearly be in keeping with the peace offensive agreed upon in Moscow, as thereby another country would withdraw from the Anglo-French camp.

From the Reich Foreign Minister (Ribbentrop) to the German Ambassador in Turkey (Papen):

Ambassador Schulenburg received the following instructions: Insert text of [preceding telegram]. End of instruction. I request that you, for your part, likewise do your best to forestall the final conclusion of the assistance pact between Turkey and the Western powers. In this matter you also might point to the strong Russian aversion to a unilateral commitment of Turkey and explain that the conclusion of the assistance pact under present war conditions would necessarily be viewed differently by Germany than before the outbreak of the war.

Memorandum by the State Secretary in the German Foreign Office (Weizsaecker):

The Finnish Minister today requested me to clarify the significance of the arrangement of spheres of influence between Germany and Russia; he was particularly interested in knowing what effect the Moscow agreements might have on Finland. I reminded the Minister that a short time ago Finland, as is well known, had rejected our proposal to conclude a non-aggression pact. Perhaps this was now regretted in Helsinki. For the rest, now as then it is the wish of Germany to live with Finland on the best and most friendly terms and, particularly in the economic sphere, to effect as extensive an exchange of goods as possible. If Herr Wuorimaa felt uneasy about Finland because of the Estonian incident and Herr Munters' trip to Moscow, announced today, I would have to tell him that I was not informed as to Moscow's policies vis-a-vis Finland. But I felt that worries over Finland at this time are not warranted. The Minister then spoke of the Ciano visit. In this connection I remarked that after the completion of the Polish campaign we had undoubtedly arrived at an important juncture in the war. The announced convocation of the Reichstag pointed to a statement from the Government in which the idea would surely be expressed that we regarded as senseless any opening of real hostilities in the West. Of course, should the Western powers fail to seize the opportunity for peace, one would probably have to resign oneself to a bitter struggle.

Poland: The first Poles are imprisoned by the Nazis in Pawiak Prison in Warsaw:

After the German invasion of Poland in 1939 [Pawiak] was turned into a German Gestapo prison and then part of the Warsaw concentration camp. Approximately 100 000 men and 20 000 women passed through the prison, mostly members of the Armia Krajowa, political prisoners and civilians taken as hostages in lapankas. Approximately 37 000 of them were shot to death while further 60 000 were sent to German death and concentration camps..."

The Pan-American conference decides on the establishment of a sea safety zone around the Western Hemisphere.

1940 Various:

From notes made by Bormann:

On 2 October 1940, after dinner at the Fuehrer's apartment, a conversation arose on the nature of the Government General, the treatment of the Poles and the incorporation, already approved by the Fuehrer, of the Districts of Piotrokow and Tomassov into the Warthegau. The conversation began when the Reich Minister, Dr. Frank, informed the Fuehrer that the activities in the Government General could be termed very successful. The Jews in Warsaw and other cities had been locked up in the ghetto; Krakow would very shortly be cleared of them . . . . 

The Fuehrer further emphasized that the Poles, in direct contrast to our German workmen, are specially born for labor; we must give every possibility of advancement to our German workers; as to the Poles there can be no question of improvement for them. On the contrary, it is necessary to keep the standard of life low in Poland and it must not be permitted to rise. The Government General must, under no condition whatsoever, be an isolated and uniform economic region; it must not produce independently, even in part, any manufactured goods necessary for its subsistence; the Government General should be used by us merely as a source of unskilled labor (in industries such as brick manufacturing, road construction, et cetera). One cannot change the nature of a Slav, as the Fuehrer has already emphasized.

While as a rule our German workers are by nature assiduous and diligent, the Poles are lazy and it is necessary to use compulsion to make them work. However, there is no reason to expect that the Government General will become an independent economic region, as there are no mineral resources, and even should such be available the Poles are not capable of utilizing them. The Fuehrer has explained that the Reich needs large estates to provide food for our large cities; these large estates, as well as other agricultural enterprises, are in need of labor, and cheap labor in particular, for the cultivation of the soil and for harvesting. As soon as the harvest time is over, the laborers can go back to Poland because should they be employed in agriculture the whole year round they themselves would use up an important part of the crops. The best solution would thus be to import from Poland temporary laborers for the duration of the sowing and for the harvesting.

Our industrial districts are overpopulated, while at the same time there is a lack of manpower in agriculture. That is where we can make use of the Polish laborers. For this reason, it would be quite right to have a surplus of manpower in the Government General, so that every year the laborers needed by the Reich could be procured from there. It is indispensable to bear in mind that the Polish gentry must cease to exist; however cruel this may sound, wherever they are, they must be exterminated. There must, of course, be no sexual intercourse with Poles. It would consequently be a correct procedure if Polish harvesters, both men and women, came together to the Reich. Whatever the mutual relationships were in their camps would not be a matter of our concern-no zealous Protestant should poke his nose into these affairs. The Fuehrer stressed once more that there should be one master only for the Poles-the German; two masters, side by side, cannot and must not exist; therefore, all representatives of the Polish intelligentsia are to be exterminated. This sounds cruel, but such is the law of life.

The Government General represents a Polish reserve of manpower-a vast Polish labor camp. The Poles will also benefit from this, as we look after their health and see to it that they do not starve, et cetera, but they must never be raised to a higher level, for they will then become anarchists and Communists. It will therefore be proper for the Poles to remain Roman Catholics; Polish priests will receive food from us and will, for that very reason, direct their little sheep along the path we favor. The priests will be paid by us and will, in return, preach what we wish them to preach. If any priest acts differently, we shall make short work of him. The task of the priest is to keep the Poles quiet, stupid, and dull-witted. This is entirely in our interests.

Should the Poles rise to a higher level of development, they will cease to be that manpower of which we are in need. In other respects it will suffice for a Pole to possess a small holding in the Government General-a large farm is not at all necessary; he will have to earn the money he requires in Germany. It is precisely this cheap labor we need; every German and every German worker will benefit by this cheap labor. A strict German administration must exist in the Government General to keep order in the labor reservations. These reservations mean for us the maintenance of agriculture, particularly of our large estates, and they are, besides, a source of supply of labor . . . . To sum up, the Fuehrer wants to state once more:

1. The lowest German workman and the lowest German peasant must always stand economically 10 percent above any Pole . . . . 

3. I do not wish that a German workman should, as a rule work more than 8 hours when we return to normal conditions; if a Pole, however, works 14 hours, he is still, in spite of that, to earn less than a German workman.

4. The ideal picture is this: A Pole must possess a small holding in the Government General which will, to a certain extent, provide him and his family with food. The money required by him for clothes, supplementary foods, et cetera, et cetera, he must earn by working in Germany. The Government General must become a center for supplying seasonal unskilled labor, particularly agricultural laborers. The existence of these workmen will be fully guaranteed, because they will always be used as cheap labor.

1940 Holocaust: Various:

Regulations for the establishment of a Ghetto in Warsaw are posted:

The Appointed Mayor of the Polish City Hall and the Jewish Elders are responsible for the orderly move of the Jews to the Jewish quarter, and the punctual move of the Poles away from the Jewish quarter, in accordance with a plan yet to be worked out, which will provide for the evacuation by stages.

From the Warsaw Ghetto Diary of Chaim A. Kaplan:

The wonder is that despite all this we go on living. Our life may be one of scorn and debasement as it is seen from outside, but our human emotions have become so numbed that we no longer feel, and the awareness of insult that is concealed within every human being no longer rises up in protest against even the most barbarous and cruel of such insults. To what can this matter be compared? To a vicious dog who does not treat you with respect; would you, then, be insulted? Is not that why he is a dog..

From a Memorandum regarding a conversation between Secretary of State Hull and Japanese Ambassador Nomura:

The Ambassador referred to a press report that he had seen yesterday of a speech by a member of the American Cabinet in which there was a reference to bringing about the defeat of Japan. His comment implied that such statements would have a bad effect in Japan as it would be assumed that what a member of the Cabinet said represented the views of the administration. He said that certain persons in Japan might have made unfortunate statements, but he did not think that such persons were members of the Cabinet and that anything a member of the Japanese Cabinet might say would be taken as representing the views of the Japanese Government. The Secretary referred to the fact that all the time the Ambassador and he were holding conversations in regard to our proposed understanding Mr. Matsuoka was making public statements of a character inconsistent with the spirit of those conversations. He noted that the Ambassador had continued their conversations despite those statements.

From the Diary of Rear Admiral Giichi Nakahara:

The Moscow talks came to an end, according to which England and the United States will entirely cooperate with each other in aiding the Soviet by sending materials. In that talk Soviet Russia asked England to land on the western coast of Europe, but it was denounced by the British...Internal Situation in Japan: People say that the only alternative left for us is to choose war, now that the situation stands thus, and adds that irresoluteness—neither war nor peace—cannot be borne any longer. But, on the other hand, those who have property and assets are likely to stick to life. As the nation has not gone through a severe ordeal since its establishment, it is very difficult to hope that they will devote themselves to unselfish service to their mother country, service to the public good or service to one's job. (Dillon)

1941 World War II: Various:

Operation Typhoon is launched:

On this day in 1941, the Germans begin their surge to Moscow, led by the 1st Army Group and Gen. Fedor von Bock. Russian peasants in the path of Hitler's army employ a "scorched-earth" policy.

Hitler's forces had invaded the Soviet Union in June, and early on it had become one relentless push inside Russian territory. The first setback came in August, when the Red Army's tanks drove the Germans back from the Yelnya salient. Hitler confided to General Bock at the time: "Had I known they had as many tanks as that, I'd have thought twice before invading." But there was no turning back for Hitler:he believed he was destined to succeed where others had failed, and capture Moscow.

Although some German generals had warned Hitler against launching Operation Typhoon as the harsh Russian winter was just beginning, remembering the fate that befell Napoleon—who got bogged down in horrendous conditions, losing serious numbers of men and horses—Bock urged him on. This encouragement, coupled with the fact that the Germany army had taken the city of Kiev in late September, caused Hitler to declare, "The enemy is broken and will never be in a position to rise again." So for 10 days, starting October 2, the 1st Army Group drove east, drawing closer to the Soviet capital each day. But the Russians also remembered Napoleon and began destroying everything as they fled their villages, fields, and farms. Harvested crops were burned, livestock were driven away, and buildings were blown up, leaving nothing of value behind to support exhausted troops. Hitler's army inherited nothing but ruins.

Holocaust: Himmler arrives in Kiev, which he believes is an ancient German city known as Kiroffo. While Himmler is in the Ukraine, Heydrich informs Hitler of the scheduled deportations of all German Jews to specific locations in the Ostland. (THP)

Barbarossa: Units of Heeresgruppe Mitte capture Orel.

Aviation: An operational rocket-powered fighter aircraft, the Me 163 A V4 piloted by Heini Dittmar, sets a new world speed record of 623.8 MPH. This record will not be surpassed until an American Douglas Skystreak turbojet-powered research aircraft does so on August 20, 1947.

[See: Wunderwaffen: Hitler's Deception and the History of Rocketry.]

1942 World War II: In the center of Stalingrad, units of 6th Armee continue to push the decimated Soviet 62nd Army further back toward the Volga, with heavy losses on both sides.

[See: What Were Adolf Hitler's Major Blunders?]

1944 World War II: Warsaw Uprising ends:

The Warsaw Uprising ends with the surrender of the surviving Polish rebels to German forces.

Two months earlier, the approach of the Red Army to Warsaw prompted Polish resistance forces to launch a rebellion against the Nazi occupation. The rebels, who supported the democratic Polish government-in-exile in London, hoped to gain control of the city before the Soviets "liberated" it. The Poles feared that if they failed to take the city the Soviet conquerors would forcibly set up a pro-Soviet communist regime in Poland.

The poorly supplied Poles made early gains against the Germans, but Nazi leader Adolf Hitler sent reinforcements. In brutal street fighting, the Poles were gradually overcome by superior German weaponry. Meanwhile, the Red Army occupied a suburb of Warsaw but made no efforts to aid the Polish rebels. The Soviets also rejected a request by the British to use Soviet air bases to airlift supplies to the beleaguered Poles.

After 63 days, the Poles--out of arms, supplies, food, and water--were forced to surrender. In the aftermath, the Nazis deported much of Warsaw's population and destroyed the city. With protestors in Warsaw out of the way, the Soviets faced little organized opposition in establishing a communist government in Poland. (History.com)

1945 Cold War:

Pope Pius XII declares that totalitarianism cannot satisfy "the vital exigencies of any human community" since "it allows the state power to assume an undue extension" and forces "all legitimate manifestations of life—personal, local and professional—into a mechanical unity or collectivity under the stamp of nation, race or class." (THP)

1945 Having acquired a number of intact V-2s, the British attempt to test-fire one near the town of Cuxhaven, Germany. The test is a complete failure due to ignition problems, the rocket never leaving the ground. (Piszkiewicz)

1958 The Cold War comes to Africa, as Guinea gains its independence:

The former French colony of Guinea declares its independence on October 2, 1958, with Sekou Toure as the new nation's first leader. Guinea was the sole French West African colony to opt for complete independence, rather than membership in the French Community, and soon thereafter France withdrew all aid to the new republic.

It soon became apparent that Toure would pose a problem for the United States. He was fiercely nationalistic and anti-imperialist, and much of his wrath and indignation was aimed at the United States for its alliances with colonial powers such as Great Britain and France and its refusal to openly condemn the white minority government of South Africa. More troubling for U.S. officials, however, was Guinea's open courting of Soviet aid and money and signing of a military assistance agreement with the Soviet Union. By 1960, nearly half of Guinea's exports were going to eastern bloc nations and the Soviets had committed millions of dollars of aid to the African republic. Toure was also intrigued by Mao's communist experiments in China.
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