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8 November 1939

8 November 1939

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8 November 1939




An attempt is made to assassinate Hitler during his speech commemorating the beer hall putsch. The bomb detonates after Hitler had left.

Western Front

Three minor German attacks repulsed

Important Events From This day in History November 8th

A debate was started in Vatican City, an independent city-state located in the vicinity of Rome, Italy. The initiator of this verbal conflict was Joseph Frings, a German cardinal from Cologne (Germany's fourth largest city). Frings spoke out regarding the matter of Congregation of the Holy Office Procedures during a formal council meeting. He believed that this church's procedures were unjust. Upon Frings' revelation of injustices, a roar of forbidden applause echoed throughout the meeting place. Normally clapping and cheering was not allowed during Holy Office council meetings. However, this was a very progressive day-as quite a bit needed to change at this time.

2003 : Native to non-native cigarette taxing was schedule to take place soon in the state of New York. However, a print announcement was made this day in 2003 regarding the delay of this decision, as discussed on the day before. This tax change collection delay was initiated by the Governor George E. Pataki administration. However, this governing body seemed serious about implementing this state tax collection legislation as of March 1st, 2004.

Walmart expands it's supercenters into Canada opening the first three in Ancaster, London and Stouffville, Ontario.

The "Banana War" ended after twenty years after the European Union and ten Latin American countries came to an agreement that would end eight different WTO cases. The disagreements had been over tariffs placed on Latin American bananas that the Latin American countries believed favored former European colonies.

8th November, 2013 : The mayor of Santa Ana Maya, Ygnacio Lopez Mendoza, was found dead in his car after authorities reported that local drug cartels had been threatening him. He had been speaking out against a cartel in the area and had staged a hunger strike. Mexico's president, Felipe Calderon, called for a full investigation into his death.

POD: Hitler is Assassinated (Nov. 8th 1939)

On 8 November 1939, there was less fog over Berlin than in our timeline. This allowed Hitler to deliver his speech at the Beer Hall Putsch as scheduled because the Munich airport would still be open later. He is thus killed mid-sentence along with 23 other Nazis when a time bomb set by Georg Elser explodes at 9:20pm. On the 9th of November, Hermann Goering becomes Fuhrer as per the succession plans outlined by Hitler to the Reichstag on September 1st. [1]

Goering linked the assassination of Hitler to the United Kingdom after the capture of two SIS agents during the Venlo Incident on the day of his ascension. The Nazis were outraged, and many high-ranking officials called for the immediate invasion of western Europe. Goering wished to prove his loyalty to the party while demonstrating that he was an effective leader, so he yielded to their demands. Due to the butterfly effect the Mechelen Incident never occurred , and thus on January 15th 1940, the German military invaded Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Luxembourg was quickly occupied, but the terrible winter weather slowed the German offensive in Belgium and the Netherlands. However, a complete Nazi occupation of the Low Countries was achieved by February 21st, as they closed in on France and began the Battle of Britain. Meanwhile, Denmark in just two days (February 22nd-February 23rd) was taken over.

The beginning of the bombing in Britain provoked an intense debate in Parliament that resulted in Chamberlain being ousted and Winston Churchill becoming the new Prime Minister on February 29th. Churchill called for the invasion of Norway to obstruct the shipment of iron ore from Sweden (Plan R 4) while securing a base in the Atlantic away from Germany in Iceland. The Allied land invasion of Norway was thus carried out on March 9th, simultaneously with the invasion of Iceland. The Norse and Icelandic governments were initially outraged, but Britain assuaged them by promising that the occupation would end after the Nazi German threat was quelled, that domestic affairs would not be interfered with , and that compensation for any damages would be provided if Norway or Iceland were to be invaded by Germany. Under these conditions, Norway and Iceland de facto consented to their occupation.

Meanwhile, the Battle of Britain was going poorly for the Luftwaffe, who had already sustained heavy causalities in the winter invasion of the Low Countries and France. However, after the decisive Battle of France on April 17th, the Second Armistice at Compiègne was signed between Germany and France, which created the nominally independent Vichy French state in the south and designated the north and western territory to be occupied by Germany. Italy never became a belligerent because their armies weren’t prepared when Germany launched its invasions, and King Victor Emmanuel III wasn’t reassured about Germany’s ability to win the war soon after the Battle of Britain.

In light of the Anti-Comintern Pact being nullified by the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Goering was able to reconsider Germany’s tentative alliance with Japan. Goering ultimately led the Nazi government to rekindle its alliance with Nationalist China instead of Imperialist Japan, because he believed that Japan was a “Far East Italy”- untrustworthy and liable to switch sides in the middle of the war. Goering held that China would be a mighty power, and that the German friendship with it was valuable. [2] The Nazis thus provided extensive training and equipment to the infantries of the Kuomintang (KMT), which the Japanese government, especially Yosuke Matsuoka Minister of Foreign Affairs, considered to be a massive betrayal.

To avoid geopolitical isolation, Mamoru Shigemitsu (the Japanese ambassador to the UK) began to hold talks with Robert Craigie (the British ambassador to Japan) with overtures of an alliance. Craigie expressed concern about the Tientsin Incident, where a war between the two empires seemed inevitable. Shigemitsu held that Japan had a common enemy with Britain in Nazi Germany, and that they would readily support the British war effort in lieu of the United States. Craigie promised mutual support in return, as the Nationalist Chinese government was disadvantageous to the UK because it could set its own tariffs without British influence among other things, but he was still concerned that Britain would be dragged into a war with the United States if it allied with Japan. Kichisaburo Nomura, Foreign Minister of Japan, wished to avoid a war with the United States as well, and opened negotiations with them through Joseph Grew (the U.S. ambassador to Japan).

Joseph Grew believed that the U.S. Senate wouldn’t approve a treaty with Japan due to the atrocities committed in the Second Sino-Japanese War, which was the cause of the “moral embargos” passed since 1938. Nomura then petitioned his native government to ratify the Geneva Convention to assuage the American public’s fear of further war crimes and to secure the alliance. This was accomplished on the part of the Diet, and by February 11th 1940, the Second Anglo-Japanese Alliance Treaty was ratified by Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. The Second Anglo-Japanese Alliance secured the support of the United Kingdom by Japan and Japan by the United Kingdom unless either power were engaged in a war of aggression against the United States. The immediate consequence of this alliance was the granting of many visas to Jews in occupied Nazi territory to Japan, foremost in Kobe and Shanghai.

With massive financial and military aid from the United Kingdom, Japan was able to defeat the National Revolutionary Army in the Battle of Zayoi by June 14th 1940, and from there they attacked the provisional capital of the Republic of China in the Battle of Chongqin (August 3rd 1940), and it continued onto the Battle of Changsha (September-November 1940) as well as the Battle of South Guangxi (October 29th 1940). This all cumulated in the surrender of the National Revolutionary Army and the dissolution of the KMT.

The Hundred Regimes Offensive was similarly curtailed, with the Eight Route Army and the New Fourth Army being wiped out in the fighting while communist strongholds in Shaanxi were systematically eliminated along with its military leadership (although this took years of battling against guerrillas). During this conflict the Franco-Thai War broke out in August 1940 shortly after the Nazi occupation of France between Thailand and the Vichy French colonial government of Indochina.

Meanwhile, Goering had allowed Rudolf Hess to join the Luftwaffe as a pilot at the latter’s behest so that Hess would be unable to undermine his leadership in the Nazi Party. As indirectly planned, Hess died during the Battle of Britain on March 2nd 1940. There was thus no attempted peace mission to Britain on his part, and therefore Stalin had no lingering doubts of an Anglo-German reconciliation to hinder his designs for an invasion. As well, Goering wished to conquer the United Kingdom before opening up the Eastern Theater, and didn’t divert any divisions there. On the 10th of June on 1941, the Soviet military seized the opportunity and launched a massive surprise attack on the Eastern front through a bombing campaign carried out by the Soviet Air Force on Eastern Prussia, Poland and Romania followed by two major Red Army deployments in the east and in the south. Simple logistical superiority was the biggest factor in the USSR’s successful opening of the Eastern Theater. [3]

The Red Army was soon making headway in eastern Poland, as Goering was facing a chilly reception by the public and his own party members. The Nazi leadership believed that Goering was an incompetent fool who had fumbled the gains of Hitler, the genius whose insight would’ve saved the day according to them. Heinrich Himmler thus had Goering secretly assassinated by Josef Dietrich from the SS-Verfügungstruppe on July 16th 1941. Himmler used forged documents of Goering’s to ascend to power, and claimed that Goering was actually a Communist that was actively subverting the war effort by engaging Germany in a ruinous total war. The German public applauded the removal of Goering , as well as Himmler’s opening of peace talks with the Soviet Union. However, Joseph Stalin was uninterested in negotiating with Himmler because he wanted to make Germany a Soviet satellite state. Thus the fighting wore on in the borders of Germany in Austria, Poland and East Prussia.

[Above: The flag of the Chinese Empire as of December 13th 1941.]

By January 8th 1941, the Reorganized National Government of China ruled the mainland with de facto control of the western interior. Although the Second Sino-Japanese War was over, there was still problems afoot for the Japanese Empire. Mao Zedong and other Chinese Communist Party members taking refuge in the Mongolian People’s Republic, a nation decisively protected by the Soviet Union during the Battle of Khalkhin Gol against the Japanese military. Worse for the Japanese Empire was the formation of the Korean Liberation Army on the anniversary of the March 1st movement in 1941 and the increased support from the Soviet Union for the Northeast Anti-Japanese United Army to continue to wage guerrilla warfare in Manchuria. Taiwan lacked similar widespread resistance, but other independence agitators hoped it would be subsumed by one, as Comintern dispatched agents there to foster a rebellion (which never came to bear any fruit).

On May 1941, Japan mediated a treaty between Thailand and the newly liberated France’s colonial government in Indochina that resulted in the ceding of several territories from French Inodchina to the Thai government, concluding the Franco-Thai War. This coincided with the founding of the Viet Minh, an Indochinese communist independence movement targeted at the French Empire, although lacking the military element at its founding. The Korean Liberation Army had some minor victories, such as the assassination of the Governor-General Jiro Minami in August 7th, while clandestine Maoists were able to carry out an elaborate conspiracy to assassinate a few of the Reorganized Republic of China’s Yuan members, but for the most part the resistance groups had very little way of establishing communications with each other while remaining hidden. Hoping to assuage the restless public, the Greater East Asia Conference was held on September 21st to the 23rd in Tokyo, wherein the presiding heads of states of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere met to furnish a propaganda showpiece of harmonious relations between the countries.

Qing Emperor Puyi, who was sent along with Prime Minister Zhang Jinghui as representatives of the Manchukuo government, suggested that he should be restored to his throne in China. Fumimaro Konoe was partially receptive of this plan (as Japan had tried to install Kung Te-cheng, heir of the Confucius lineage, as the puppet emperor of China in 1937) [4], but he realized that there was still a large anti-Qing sentiment in China. However, Konoe was inspired by the conversation to install a descendant of the Ming Dynasty as ruler, which he believe would be received well or at least better. The Ming Dynasty Genealogical Commission was thus created to find the last living descendant of the Ming Emperors, utilizing a network of pre-existing data on the topic. In November, they found a poor orphan in Changsha named Zhu Rongji who seemed to fit the bill for lineage, but was only thirteen years old with no older siblings or immediate relatives. This was not completely unprecedented (e.g. Qing Emperor Puyi ascended the throne at two years old Emperor Shang of the Han Dynasty was crowned before he was even one, etc.), but the age issue still frustrated the Japanese officials who wanted to project the image of an independent Chinese government.

Nonetheless, on November 24th 1941 the legislatures of the Reorganized Republic of China and Manchukuo met to adopt the Constitution of the Empire of China, modeled off of the Meiji constitution. Then, in a meticulously crafted ceremony held in the Forbidden City, Zhu Rongji ascended the long vacant Ming Dynastic throne of China, with the state-controlled media reporting an end to the Qing’s legacy in Chinese government, who were blamed for China’s troubles in the previous centuries along with “anarchy” (republicanism). Beijing was also made the new capital by the constitution, with a historical flag of the Ming Dynasty flown in Chinese governmental buildings by December 13th 1941.

Emperor Zhu Rongji’s age was deliberately misreported as “sixteen” by the Japanese controlled media. However, this didn’t become a very strong point of contention because Emperor Zhu Rongji’s simple yet sincere speeches about living in poverty before being found as the last Ming descendant were well received by the Chinese public, and helped to foster a sense of legitimacy and respectability not present for the preceding heads of state. To complicate the on-going assassination of collaborationist officials by the resistance movement, murdering a “sixteen” year old child who represented the last of the Ming Dynasty was something that even the CCP didn’t think would go over well.

The privy council (and functional national Diet) of the Emperor Zhu Rongji was the Grand Council, whose ten members were appointed based on test scores from imperial examinations, which any citizen in the Chinese Empire could take. Of course, the exam guidelines were prepared by Japanese officials in Beijing from the Imperial Examination Bureau, and scores were determined by their degree of adherence to a political philosophy favorable to the Japanese government, but the sense of political liberation was still present for the Chinese people. Indeed, the Grand Council was the real locus of power in the Chinese Empire, because any proposed imperial decrees had to be passed with the consent of a majority of the Grand Council.

The first major actions of the Chinese Emperor Zhu Rongji was the formation of the Imperial Chinese Armed Forces, formed from collaborationist armed groups throughout China and divided into an Imperial Chinese Army and an Imperial Chinese Navy. On January 27th 1942, Emperor Zhu Rongji led a march of 125,000 Chinese military officers through the streets of Beijing to demonstrate the solidity and independence of the Chinese Empire. This was further cemented when the Treaty of the Grand Canal, between the ten Grand Councilors, the Prime Minister of Japan, and the Prime Minister of Manchukuo, formally ended the Second Sino-Japanese War with the Japanese Empire ceding the Matsu Islands, Kinmen, etc. to the Chinese Empire.

[1] Page 599 of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer
[2] Volume 13 of Tien-Fong Cheng’s memoir.
[3] Most of the Soviet Union's strategy and outcomes are based on the thesis of "Stalin's Missed Chance" by Mikhail Meltyukhov.
[4] http://books.google.com/books?id=O. ok_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCkQ6AEwAA

I hope you all enjoy the beginning of my first alternate history timeline, and I'm looking forward to any feedback. I wasn't sure if these images were considered 'large' enough to bog down servers, and I'll happily edit my post to accommodate to guidelines.

Will Kürlich Kerl

Sabot Cat

I plan on moving the stage farther out as the timeline grows more distant from ours (in Africa and the United States especially), kind of like Decades of Darkness.

Also, would this be the timeline: https://www.alternatehistory.com/discussion/showthread.php?t=157875?
I'm kind of disappointed that Eurofed was banned before he could do more with it but. more timeline for me I guess!

Side note: updates will probably be a little less than weekly.

Will Kürlich Kerl

I plan on moving the stage farther out as the timeline grows more distant from ours (in Africa and the United States especially), kind of like Decades of Darkness.

Also, would this be the timeline: https://www.alternatehistory.com/discussion/showthread.php?t=157875?
I'm kind of disappointed that Eurofed was banned before he could do more with it but. more timeline for me I guess!

Side note: updates will probably be a little less than weekly.


I always felt like there was a good chance an early death of Hitler between the fall of Poland and the offensive against France could lead to an early peace. In late August 39 Ciano was told by the British that the problem wasn't Danzig or the Corridor but the fact that Hitler couldn't be trusted anymore. Even on Sept.3rd British diplomats were still saying there was a chance for peace if Hitler just apologized. Everyone wanted a way out.

IMO as long as the phony war lasts, this whole thing can fizzle out if Hitler dies and his successor agrees to pull out of most of Poland, could probably even keep Danzig. The stomach for real war only came after the battle for France. It would be an interesting story but everytime I see this POD it tends to be about how Goering would fight the war. That's definitely a plausible outcome too, but eh. Maybe I should write the other facet one of these days

This rambling aside, I do like your story, please carry on!


Sabot Cat

I always felt like there was a good chance an early death of Hitler between the fall of Poland and the offensive against France could lead to an early peace. In late August 39 Ciano was told by the British that the problem wasn't Danzig or the Corridor but the fact that Hitler couldn't be trusted anymore. Even on Sept.3rd British diplomats were still saying there was a chance for peace if Hitler just apologized. Everyone wanted a way out.

IMO as long as the phony war lasts, this whole thing can fizzle out if Hitler dies and his successor agrees to pull out of most of Poland, could probably even keep Danzig. The stomach for real war only came after the battle for France. It would be an interesting story but everytime I see this POD it tends to be about how Goering would fight the war. That's definitely a plausible outcome too, but eh. Maybe I should write the other facet one of these days

That would be interesting, but I'm not sure what PoD could produce a peaceful Nazi Germany after the invasion of Poland. One without the Venlo Incident, certainly. I'd be interesting in seeing that timeline regardless, maybe from you!

I hope you all enjoy the next installments too


Did you (I hate self promotion, as much as the next guy but. ) per chance read my timeline? It has exactly what you say in bolded part. Enjoy.

On a side note, glad to see people referring to my timeline. I'll write an update soon. In fact, I am writing one now, but do not expect to be able to post it before Monday. And yeha, nice timeline AMB. Subbed.

Sabot Cat


[Europe as of May 14th 1944, with template credit going to Morgan Hauser, Chris S, and others from here: http://wiki.alternatehistory.com/doku.php/resources/europe_wwii_map_series]​

Although the initial Soviet offensive was successful, there ability to sustain an invasion of all Nazi German territory was frustrated by numerous organizational problems in their military. They lacked the majority of the rifles they needed, and most of their tanks were outdated. Furthermore, the Red Army lacked any tractors and were forced to stooping to seizing civilian's tractors or even their horses. As well, many of their officers lacked the proper training or disposition to maintain the momentum earned from the surprise attack. All of these factors contributed to the war grinding down to a stalemate for the rest of 1941 and 1942.

Little territory shifted hands during this time, and some observers noted that this seemed to resemble the situation in World War I, with both sides regularly loosing troops but neither making headway. One positive side effect was the end of the Battle of Britain in June 17th 1941 due to Himmler's ascension as Fuhrer. Churchill prepared the British military for a counterattack by fielding massive aid from the United States. Franklin Delano Roosevelt also ordered thousands of U.S. troops to replace the British troops in Iceland from August to November of 1941. With U.S. assets and troops in hand, the United Kingdom launched a surprise invasion of German-occupied northern France through Normandy on April 26th 1943.

The 77th Congress sharply criticized Roosevelt for dispatching U.S. troops in combat without a declaration of war. President pro tempore Carter Class was the most damning in his critique saying, "Roosevelt's overreach of executive authority cannot be endured. They endured it in Germany, and now look where they are. They endured it in Italy, and now look where they are. Will we allow American democracy to be slaughtered before our very eyes?"

Franklin Delano Roosevelt defended himself, saying that as commander-in-chief of the U.S. Armed Forces, he had the power to dispatch the American military abroad without a declaration of war or similar consent from Congress.

By June 29th 1943, Paris was under the control of the United Kingdom and by August, the Low Countries and Denmark had been liberated. The Nazi diversion of troops to the western front finally gave the Soviet Union the leeway necessary to press on into their borders. By May 4th 1943, Berlin was seized by the Red Army, and the Third Reich was ended.

Although Paris had been liberated, France wasn’t entirely occupied by British forces. Only the northern section saw a significant military presence, while the southern free zone (Vichy France) was left relatively untouched and unprotected by either Germany or the United Kingdom. In light of that situation, Bento Mussolini invaded the ally deprived and exhausted puppet regime of Vichy France on May 4th 1943, and just eleven days later (May 15th 1943), Vichy was captured. This was not the end of the assault however, as Mussolini led an invasion into southern Germany through Austria in an attempt to take it over, an invasion met with very little resistance (Munich was taken on May 19th) until the Italian forces met with the Red Army on May 20th. They agreed to not attack one another, as Mussolini joined the table of the Berlin Conference (which had begun on May 6th with the attendance of Churchill, Stalin, and Polish Prime Minister Władysław Eugeniusz Sikorski).

The primary point of contention at the conference were the borders of Poland. Sikorski pushed for the inclusion of the cities of Lwow and Wilno in Polish territory, while Stalin wished to incorporate those into nearby Soviet republics. Also contrary to Stalin’s wishes, Sikorski wished to form a Polish-Czechoslovak Federation while with pushing the borders of Poland westward, incorporating the Free City of Danzig and West Prussia with some minor concessions to the Soviet Union such as East Prussia. Sikorski and Stalin refused to see eye to eye on the issue, and thus a frustrated Churchill called for the borders to be drawn status quo ante bellum, in direct contrast to the uti possidetis borders being argued by all of the other heads of state present.

Churchill believed that the Berlin Conference would be a violation of the ex injuria jus non oritur principle if territory was awarded to conquering nations by the principle of uti possideti. He believed that France should be reunified and that Germany was to remain divided and dependent yet largely self-governing, while the USSR-Polish borders were to remain as they were in 1938. Mussolini was opposed to a complete French reunification, while Stalin believed that if Italy could keep their war-gained territories, so should the Soviet Union.

Eventually, it was decided that Poland would have its borders status quo ante bellum as of 1937, with no German concessions in the west or unification with Czechoslovakia. Czechoslovakia, along with Hungary, Austria, Romania, et. al. were to be restored as nation states. However, the USSR would remain in control of the Baltic republics, while retaining the responsibility of establishing an independent government in its portion of Germany. As well, Mussolini's demand for France's colonies were refused vehemently by almost everyone present, as the Italian Empire was similarly tasked to restore the independence of the territories they had under its control (e.g. South France and South Germany). The United Kingdom was to also restore North France, the Low Countries, Norway and Iceland to their prior conditions. Plans for the persecution of war crimes weren’t extensively discussed, but all present agreed that denazification was a priority. Berlin itself was given completely to the Soviet Union, because Churchill feared that Mussolini would want to claim a quadrant of it if it were to be divided between the liberating parties and for the simple reason that almost all of northern Germany was occupied by the Red Army. The Berlin Conference was thus adjourned on May 24th 1943.

Initially, it seemed as though everyone would adhere to their commitments because Norway and Iceland were relieved of a foreign military presence mere days after the conference. But in July, the military administration of South France was replaced by that of a client state headed by Pierre Laval, where Italian soldiers remained and enforced the laws of the Italian Empire regardless of what the South French government did. This was also the situation in South Germany and Austria, which were soon within Italy’s sphere of influence.

The independent governments of Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands were restored with little incident, in contrast to the Third Republic of Poland’s auspicious establishment on August 15th 1943, celebrated with a solemn yet jubilant military march in Warsaw led by Prime Minister Sikorski to coincide with the twenty-first anniversary of the Miracle at Vistula. Meanwhile Romania, Hungary and Czechoslovakia were still occupied by the Red Army, who showed no signs of leaving and helped furnish the institution of nominally independent authoritarian governments in the Soviet Union’s sphere of influence. On February 9th 1944, the “self-governing” German Socialist Republic was formed, along with the Konigsberg Oblast of East Prussia (as a part of the Russian SSFR) which constituted the westernmost holding of the Soviet Union. All of this was a flagrant violation of the USSR’s commitment to create a self-governing state in Germany (as well Romania, Hungary and Czechoslovakia) laid out in the Berlin Conference, and it caused the already frosty relations of the UK and the USSR to grow even colder.

In March 1944, the Constitution of the French Forth Republic (North France) was approved by a referendum among the French public, while Paul Reynaud (chairman of the Provisional French Government) became Prime Minister. Reynaud was faced with a public resentful of the presence of British soldiers, who were also posted in Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Soldiers from the United States remained in Europe as well, with most critics of Roosevelt being silenced by the relatively quick and massively successful campaign waged in western Europe. Regardless, many Europeans believed that Britain had opportunistically taken possession of these countries like Italy or the Soviet Union, and had acted as belligerently as Nazi Germany. They vilified Churchill as a warmonger, and frequently pointed to the unprovoked invasions of Norway, Iceland and northern France as evidence. This was in contrast to his favorable domestic reception which won him the office of Prime Minister by a comfortable margin on May 14th 1944, held due to the end of World War II (which had previously been the cause of the parliamentary elections to be suspended in the United Kingdom). Churchill maintained the British military presence in Europe due to the rather transparent expansionist tendencies of Italy and the Soviet Union. To him as well as many others in the United Kingdom and abroad, it seemed as though World War II wasn't over yet.

November 8 Deaths



Died November 8, 2020 b. 1940

Canadian-American Emmy-winning game show host. TV: The $128,000 Question (1977-78) and Jeopardy! (1984-2020).

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Bil Keane (William Aloysius Keane)

Died November 8, 2011 b. 1922

American cartoonist. Creator of The Family Circus (1960) and Channel Chuckles (1954). Quote: "Yesterday's the past, tomorrow's the future, but today is a gift. That's why it's called the present."

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Died November 8, 1978 b. 1894

American illustrator, known for his covers on the Saturday Evening Post.

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Pennsylvania oil well c1862

Pennsylvania oil well c1862

Pioneered Oil Well Drilling

Died November 8, 1880 b. 1819

American oil industry pioneer. He pioneered the use pipes to drill oil and drilled the first successful U.S. oil well (1859, near Titusville, Pennsylvania). He devised the idea to drive a pipe into the ground to prevent the drill hole from collapsing. Until then, oil production was limited to collecting surface oil. The ability to drill for oil launched the oil industry. The drilling of Drake's first well was slow, only progressing about three feet per day. Crowds would gather and jeer at his well, calling it "Drake's Folly." He drilled down to a depth of 69.5 feet (21 m) before striking oil, which was then hand pumped out of the well.
Unfortunately, while others grew rich from the oil industry he started, he died broke.

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Died November 8, 1990 b. 1904

American author of historical romances. Writings: Dragonwyck and Foxfire. Her father, Ernest Thompson Seton, was a founding pioneer of the Boy Scouts of America.

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Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov (V.M. Skryabin)

Died November 8, 1986 b. 1890

Soviet Communist leader, Soviet foreign minister (1939-49, 1953-56), and for whom the Molotov cocktail is named. He and Joseph Stalin founded the party newspaper Pravda (1912).
The term "Molotov cocktail" was coined by the Finns during the Winter War as pejorative reference to Molotov. Molotov declared on Soviet state radio that bombing missions over Finland were actually airborne humanitarian food deliveries for their starving neighbors. The Finns then called the Soviet cluster bombs "Molotov bread baskets". When the hand-held bottle firebomb was developed to attack Soviet tanks, the Finns called it the "Molotov cocktail", as "a drink to go with his food parcels".

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Died November 8, 1674 b. 1608

English poet. Writings: Paradise Lost (1667) and Paradise Regained (1671).

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Died November 8, 1308 b. circa 1265

Scottish philosopher, one of the most influential theologians of medieval Europe. His followers, called "dunces," were known for their closed mindedness.

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Died November 8, 1226 b. 1187

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Italian religious leader, 68th Pope (615-618). Also known as Adeodatus I. He authorized the celebration of more than one mass by a church on Sunday. The term "Papal Bull" originated from his use of a leaden seal, known as a "Bulla."

November 8th 1939

On November 8th 1939, a bomb went off inside a packed Munich Beer Hall where the NSDAP was celebrating the anniversary of the 1923 Putsch, with many prominent party officials attending. While the shockwave did not directly kill anyone, it did cause part of the structure to collapse onto the crowd, causing the deaths of 27 people, including Joseph Goebbels (Minister of Propaganda), Alfred Rosenberg (NSDAP theoretician), Rudolf Hess (Hitler's chief deputy), Heinrich Himmler (chief of the SS), Reinhard Heydrich (Chief of the Reich main security office, Himmler's second in command) and many others. At least 90 other people suffered wounds, half of them critical- one of these was none other than Adolf Hitler, who surprisingly managed to survive despite suffering a collapsed lung and multiple shattered ribs. Hitler never fully recovered from there on he would make limited public appearances and Air Marshal Goering would slowly take over the government, becoming his new Chief Deputy.

With both Himmler and Heydrich gone, the SS was left leaderless Hitler would remain in intensive care until December 10th, during which his chances of survival were, according to his physicians, "no better than a coin toss" and could not appoint a replacement. During this time Himmler's personal adjutant Karl Wolff temporarily took over his day-to-day duties as he retained Himmler and Heydrich's network of personal contacts. Among the dozens of candidates for the job were Kurt Daluege (chief of police, one of Heydrich's former rivals), Oswald Pohl (SS functionary in charge of the organization's finances), August Heissmeyer (Head of the SS Main Office in Berlin), Heinrich Muller (Chief of the Gestapo) and Wilhelm Stuckart (SS legal secretary) Hitler, however, was not satisfied with any of them and offered the position to his close friend Josef Dietrich, commander of the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler (a Waffen-SS unit that had recently taken part in the invasion of Poland) who politely declined the invitation, arguing that he preferred to stay with his unit. In the end, Wolff was allowed to continue serving as an informal chief of the SS and the position of "Reichsfuhrer-SS" remained vacant, while Heydrich's office was taken by Heiz Jost, his former chief of foreign intelligence. There was a good reason for this: Hitler at the time was convinced that the attack had been orchestrated by a foreign intelligence agency, and thought that Jost's international connections could be useful in tracking down the perpetrators. Muller opposed this and lobbied for the job: according to him. a traitor within the NSDAP had been responsible and his Gestapo was in a better position to solve the case (he did have a point- whoever planted the explosive must have had unrestricted access to the Beer Hall, and no one had seen or heard of any foreign visitors in the area before the attack) but he was ultimately passed over due to "trust issues" as he was a latecomer to the NSDAP, having joined the party late in 1939. Jost, in turn, ceded his position as Chief of Foreign Intelligence to his subordinate Walter Schellenberg. As a side note, Hermann Hesser would become Germany's new Minister of Propaganda.

There was much infighting within the Reich Main Security Office over the next few years. Jost failed to develop a good working relationship with Muller (who was still bitter over his rejection) and became paranoid of the Gestapo, going as far as destroying his furniture and ripping the walls of his office multiple times looking for hidden recording devices.

The authors of the Beer Hall Bombing were never found, becoming the subject of intense speculation. Up to his death, Hitler remained convinced that British agents had tried to kill him, but the SS never found any evidence even after arresting and interrogating over 45,000 people (many of which died in custody) Frustrated at the lack of results, Muller developed suspicions over Goering and started a three-month-long clandestine surveillance operation, installing dozens of recording devices in Luftwaffe offices and intercepting his private correspondence. When the operation was uncovered in March 1940 (see Luftwaffe wiretapping scandal) Muller along with many of his subordinates (including Adolf Eichmann) were arrested and accused of treason. Walter Huppenkothen, a close associate of Schellenberg, was named the new chief of the Gestapo though many within the organization saw their new boss as an "intruder" and resisted his efforts to control them. Ironically, Goering was appreciative of Muller and lobbied to have him pardoned, as the operation had failed to reveal anything useful, proving that the Luftwaffe had nothing to do with the bombing.

Later in 1939, during new year celebrations at a Parisian bar, witnesses reported having met a strange man named Georg, who claimed to have planned and executed the attack by himself. He also cited certain details of the bombing that at the time had not been published in any newspaper. Parisian police put a detective on the case and a few days later managed to find the room he was renting, where they recovered wire cutters and technical sketches of explosive devices the mysterious stranger, however, was long gone. Since all the files pertaining to the "Georg" investigation went missing during the German invasion in May 1940 the story became impossible to verify and was later dismissed as a fabrication. When asked about it by a reporter in 1948, Sir Colin Gubbins (chief of the United Kingdom's Special Operations Executive during the war) replied that an operation of such a scale would have needed "at least four well-trained and highly motivated agents". Since then, more plausible explanations have emerged. For almost two decades the dominant theory in academic circles was that the bombing was most likely organized by Polish resistance operatives, but new testimonies emerged in the mid 1960s connecting the attack to the German communist resistance group known as the "rotte kapelle" (red orchestra) affiliated with the USSR's GRU service. The "lone bomber" theory would gain new traction in 2018 with the release of "the man who almost killed Hitler", a Youtube documentary that quickly went viral and gained half a million views. According to the filmmaker, "Georg" later escaped to Britain and then the USA, where he died peacefully in the 1970s.

Hitler in Munich, Nov. 8, 1939

Post by jeffhan373 » 03 Feb 2014, 17:16

The attached photo shows Hitler addressing the Old Fighters at the Buergerbraeukeller on November 8, 1939. Unbeknownst to all present, Georg Elser's bomb would go off later that night. Many of the men we see seated here would have been hurt or killed had they been in the immediate vicinity of the podium.

I'm trying to identify as many of these men as I can. So far, from left to right, I have:

Rosenberg (bottom left corner), Goebbels, Frick, Fiehler, Huehnlein, Kriebel, Hierl, Epp, Hess, Schaub, Adolf Wagner, Martin Bormann, Brueckner, Himmler, Graf, Christian Weber, Heinrich Hoffmann, Rudolf Schmundt, Max Wuensche. Dr. Todt might be between Kriebel and Epp. Max Amann might be right below Frick. Karl Wolff might be behind Schmundt. The camera seems to have missed many other Prominente, like Goering, Schwarz, Ley.

I'm surprised by how close relative unknowns could get to Hitler, like the men between Goebbels and Huehnlein. Can anyone put names to any others here?

Re: Hitler in Munich, Nov. 8, 1939

Post by Pitino » 03 Feb 2014, 17:31

Great picture and it looks like if Hitler had talked a little longer the entire NSDAP-Reichsleitung would have been decapitated.

Re: Hitler in Munich, Nov. 8, 1939

Post by Pitino » 03 Feb 2014, 17:33

jeffhan373 wrote: The attached photo shows Hitler addressing the Old Fighters at the Buergerbraeukeller on November 8, 1939. Unbeknownst to all present, Georg Elser's bomb would go off later that night. Many of the men we see seated here would have been hurt or killed had they been in the immediate vicinity of the podium.

I'm trying to identify as many of these men as I can. So far, from left to right, I have:

Rosenberg (bottom left corner), Goebbels, Frick, Fiehler, Huehnlein, Kriebel, Hierl, Epp, Hess, Schaub, Adolf Wagner, Martin Bormann, Brueckner, Himmler, Graf, Christian Weber, Heinrich Hoffmann, Rudolf Schmundt, Max Wuensche. Dr. Todt might be between Kriebel and Epp. Max Amann might be right below Frick. Karl Wolff might be behind Schmundt. The camera seems to have missed many other Prominente, like Goering, Schwarz, Ley.

I'm surprised by how close relative unknowns could get to Hitler, like the men between Goebbels and Huehnlein. Can anyone put names to any others here?

The man between Goebbels and Huhnlein could be RL Wilhelm Grimm. Also, the man stooped down behind v. Epp looks a little like Goring. However, that could be Goring setting directly underneath Hitler and the podium with his back to the camera. Finally, I do not see RL Bouhler or RL Buch in the picture either.

Europe 1942: El Alamein and Operation Torch

In late October 1942 the British Eighth Army under General Bernard Montgomery launched an all-out attack on Axis forces west of El Alamein, Egypt. After several days of heated battle, the Allies mounted Operation Supercharge early on the morning of 2 November, breaking through the Italo-German defenses and sending them into flight. However, despite suffering up to 59,000 casualties to the Allies’ 13,560, the Axis managed an orderly retreat under Field Marshal Erwin Rommel. in wikipedia

8–16 Nov 1942 Operation Torch▲

On 8 November 1942 some 100,000 American, British, and Free French troops landed in Vichy French North Africa in Operation Torch. The landings were conducted simultaneously around Casablanca in French Morocco and around the French Algerian cities of Oran and Algiers. After a few days of Vichy French resistance, Admiral François Darlan—the commander of all Vichy French forces and who happened to be in Algiers at the time—agreed to cooperate with the Allies. in wikipedia

Zygmunt’s Notes

July 27, 1942 Lt. Albert Battel of the Wehrmacht takes an unusual stand against the deportation of Jews from Przemysl. He uses Army trucks to rescue up to 100 Jewish armament workers, along with their families, sheltering them from deportation to the Belzec death camp.

July 27, 1942

It’s done! First of all, dear diary, please forgive me for wandering into your pages and trying to carry on the work of somebody I’m not worthy of. Let me tell you that Renuska didn’t get the work permit stamp she needed to avoid being deported, so she has to stay in hiding. My dear parents have also been refused work permit stamps. I swear to God and history that I will save the three people who are dearest to me, even if it costs me my own life. You will help me, God!

July 28, 1942

My parents were lucky to get into the city. They’re hiding at the cemetery. Renia had to leave the factory. I had to find her a hiding place at any cost. I was in the city until 8 o’clock. I have finally succeeded.

July 29, 1942

The Aktion [mass deportation] was prevented because of a dispute between the army and the Gestapo. I cannot describe everything that has gone on for the last three days. I have no energy for that after 12 hours of running around the city. These events have shaken me to my core, but they haven’t broken me. I have a terribly difficult task. I have to save so many people without having any protection for myself, or any help from others. This burden rests on my shoulders alone. I have taken Ariana to the other side.

July 30, 1942

Today everything will be decided. I will gather all my mental and physical strength and I will achieve my goals. Or I will die trying.

At midday they took away our cards for stamping (along with wives’ cards). I decided to risk my document, because I thought it was my last chance to save Renuska. No luck! They threatened to send me to the Gestapo. After a lot of begging, they finally withdrew that threat. But that forgery cost me my job managing military quarters. At 8 o’clock, I’ll find out whether or not I’m going to stay.

In the night

Oh, gods! Such horror! It was all for nothing! The drama lasted one hour. I didn’t get my card. Have I just slaughtered myself?! Now I am on my own. What will happen to me? I wanted to save my parents and Renia, but instead I just got into more trouble myself. It looks like the end of the world is here. I still have hope.

July 31, 1942

Three shots! Three lives lost! It happened last night at 10:30 p.m. Fate decided to take my dearest ones away from me. My life is over. All I can hear are shots, shots shots. My dearest Renusia, the last chapter of your diary is complete.

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This article is a selection from the November issue of Smithsonian magazine


Inside the Red Baron's Mind

The Immutable Nature of War

Spy Factory: Expert Q&A

Researchers knew that they could manufacture significant amounts of uranium 235 only by means of isotope separation. At first German scientists led by the physical chemist Paul Harteck tried thermal diffusion in a separation column. In this process, a liquid compound rises as it heats, falls as it cools, and tends to separate into its lighter and heavier components as it cycles around the column. But by 1941 they gave up on this method and started building centrifuges. These devices use centripetal force to accumulate the heavier isotopes on the outside of the tube, where they can be separated out. Although the war hampered their work, by the fall of the Third Reich in 1945 they had achieved a significant enrichment in small samples of uranium. Not enough for an atomic bomb, but uranium 235 enrichment nonetheless.

Heisenberg used this diagram during a secret lecture in February 1942. On the left is a schematic diagram of a "uranium machine" (nuclear reactor) on the right is a schematic of a nuclear explosive, either uranium 235 or plutonium.

Nearing a Nazi bomb

Uranium machines needed a moderator, a substance that would slow down the neutrons liberated by chain reactions. In the end, the project decided to use heavy water—oxygen combined with the rare heavy isotope of hydrogen—instead of water or graphite. This was not (as one of the many myths associated with the German nuclear weapons effort had it) because of a mistake the physicist Walther Bothe made when he measured the neutron absorption of graphite. Rather, it appeared that the Norsk Hydro plant in occupied Norway could provide the amounts of heavy water they needed in the first stage of development at a relatively low cost.

The Norwegian resistance and Allied bombers eventually put a stop to Norwegian production of heavy water (see Norwegian Resistance Coup and See the Spy Messages. But by that time it was not possible to begin the production of either pure graphite or pure heavy water in Germany. In the end, the German scientists had only enough heavy water to conduct one or two large-scale nuclear reactor experiments at a time.

By the very end of the war, the Germans had progressed from horizontal and spherical layer designs to three-dimensional lattices of uranium cubes immersed in heavy water. They had also developed a nuclear reactor design that almost, but not quite, achieved a controlled and sustained nuclear fission chain reaction. During the last months of the war, a small group of scientists working in secret under Diebner and with the strong support of the physicist Walther Gerlach, who was by that time head of the uranium project, built and tested a nuclear device.

At best this would have been far less destructive than the atomic bombs dropped on Japan. Rather it is an example of scientists trying to make any sort of weapon they could in order to help stave off defeat. No one knows the exact form of the device tested. But apparently the German scientists had designed it to use chemical high explosives configured in a hollow shell in order to provoke both nuclear fission and nuclear fusion reactions. It is not clear whether this test generated nuclear reactions, but it does appear as if this is what the scientists had intended to occur.

A diagram of the final lattice design of a nuclear reactor developed by two different research groups in Nazi Germany, one led by Kurt Diebner and the other by Werner Heisenberg

Time runs out

All of this begs the question, why did they not get further? Why did they not beat the Americans in the race for atomic bombs? The short answer is that whereas the Americans tried to create atomic bombs, and succeeded, the Germans did not succeed, but also did not really try.

This can best be explained by focusing on the winter of 1941-1942. From the start of the war until the late fall of 1941, the German "lightning war" had marched from one victory to another, subjugating most of Europe. During this period, the Germans needed no wonder weapons. After the Soviet counterattack, Pearl Harbor, and the German declaration of war against the United States, the war had become one of attrition. For the first time, German Army Ordnance asked its scientists when it could expect nuclear weapons. The German scientists were cautious: while it was clear that they could build atomic bombs in principle, they would require a great deal of resources to do so and could not realize such weapons any time soon.

Army Ordnance came to the reasonable conclusion that the uranium work was important enough to continue at the laboratory scale, but that a massive shift to the industrial scale, something required in any serious attempt to build an atomic bomb, would not be done. This contrasts with the commitment the German leadership made throughout the war to the effort to build a rocket. They sunk enormous resources into this project, indeed, on the scale of what the Americans invested in the Manhattan Project.

Thus Heisenberg and his colleagues did not slow down or divert their research they did not resist Hitler by denying him nuclear weapons. With the exception of the scientists working on Diebner's nuclear device, however, they also clearly did not push as hard as they could have to make atomic bombs. They were neither heroes nor villains, just scientists working on weapons of mass destruction for Hitler's Germany.

Celebrating the Veterans Day Holiday

If the Nov. 11 holiday falls on a non-workday -- Saturday or Sunday -- the holiday is observed by the federal government on Monday (if the holiday falls on Sunday) or Friday (if the holiday falls on Saturday). Federal government closings are established by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. State and local government closings are determined locally, and non- government businesses can close or remain open as they see fit, regardless of federal, state or local government operation determinations.

United States Senate Resolution 143, which was passed on Aug. 4, 2001, designated the week of Nov. 11 through Nov. 17, 2001, as "National Veterans Awareness Week." The resolution calls for educational efforts directed at elementary and secondary school students concerning the contributions and sacrifices of veterans.

A handout (post card) advertising exhibit which included a playbill from Kentucky Library MSS collection (not mentioned in this handout) MSS 701, C1-D1, 17. Also includes a letter from Spencer Welch of IBM who sponsored the exhibit at the Kennedy Center.

This collection contains documentation on projects and grants sponsored by the Kentucky Folklife Program and the Kentucky Arts Council from 1992-2012. Grants and projects included in the collection are the Folk Arts Project and Tour of Kentucky Folk Music Grants, Folk Arts Projects Grants, Folk and Traditional Art Apprenticeship Grants, Performing Arts on Tour Grants, and Community Scholar Survey Grants. It is important to note that grant and project grant names have changed over the years and may vary from the original titles. Some items in this collection contain sensitive materials such as personal identifying information like names, addresses, phone numbers, possibly social security nu