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Selected: August 7
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1932 — , August 7

  • USSR: A new decree declares that all state property is "sacred and inviolable" and thieves are therefore "enemies of the people." The maximum penalty is death by shooting while the minimum is ten years in a camp.

1936 — , August 7

  • Germany: American distance runner Louis Zamperini places 8th in the 5,000 meter run at the Berlin Olympics. But his final lap of 56 seconds makes him a worldwide star and he is invited to personally meet Adolf Hitler.
    Spotlight...

    Distance runner Louis "Louie" Zamperini,
    while at the University of Southern California

    Louis Zamperini was born in 1917 in New York to Italian immigrants. Growing up in Torrance, California, he joined the track team at Torrance High School where he developed a competitive streak a mile wide in long-distance running.

    In 1934, Zamperini set the national high school mile record, and his time of 4 minutes and 21.2 seconds would stand for 20 years. His track prowess caught the attention of the University of Southern California, and he earned a scholarship to attend. But first, he would take his love of track to the Olympic level.

    Zamperini headed to New York City in 1936 for the 5,000-meter Olympic trials, where he qualified for the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. At 19 years, 178 days, Zamperini remains the youngest American qualifier ever in the 5,000-meter event.

    During the overwhelming Olympic pageant, the 19-year-old stood near Adolf Hitler's box with his fellow athletes, seeking a photo of the Nazi leader. Looking back on the event, Zamperini said, "I was pretty naive about world politics, and I thought he looked funny, like something out of a Laurel and Hardy film."

    Although he ran well in the 5,000 meter run, he did not medal, coming in eighth. But his astonishing final lap of only 56 seconds was exhilarating enough to catch the world's attention including that of Adolf Hitler, who insisted on a personal meeting. As Zamperini told the story, Hitler shook his hand, and said simply "Ah, you're the boy with the fast finish."

    In 1938, Zamperini was back setting records at the collegiate level at the University of Southern California, this time breaking the mile record of 4:08.3, a new mark that would hold for 15 years.Zamperini graduated from USC in 1940, a year that would have been the speedster's next shot at Olympic gold, but WWII would intervene.

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  • Spain: Day 22 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.

1937 — , August 7

  • Spain: Day 387 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War. Falangist artillery units bombard Madrid.
  • CBI - China: Day 32 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 32 of 33 of the 2nd Battle of Hebei.
    • Day 7 of 12 of the Battle of Chahar.

1938 — , August 7

  • Spain: Day 752 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • CBI - China: Day 397 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 58 of 139 of the Battle of Wuhan. Japanese troops capture Dengjiahe.
  • CBI - Russia: Day 10 of 14 of the Battle of Lake Khasan, a border dispute between the Soviet Union and Japan.

1939 — , August 7

  • CBI - China: Day 762 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 55 of 68 of the Battle of Tianjin.
  • CBI - Mongolia: Day 89 of 129 of the Battle of Khalkhin Gol, a border dispute between the Soviet Union and Japan.

1940 — , August 7

  • Atlantic: German sub U-38 sinks the British troopship MOHAMED ALI EL KEBIR 160 miles off Ireland.
  • ETO - UK: Day 29 of 114 of the Battle of Britain. The Luftwaffe attacks just one convoy in the Channel during the day. At night they bomb various coastal cities.
  • East Africa: Day 59 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt. Indian troops arrive in British Somaliland to reinforce against the Italian invasion.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,128 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 267 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.

1941 — , August 7

  • USA: The Senate extends National Military Service to 18 months.
  • ETO - Germany: The RAF night bombs the Krupp coke oven batteries in Essen and hit targets in Hamm, Dortmund and Kiel.
  • USSR: Stalin promotes himself to Generalissimo of the Soviet Army.
  • Russian Front - Finland: Day 40 of 142 of Operation SILVER FOX, a joint German-Finnish campaign to capture the Russian port of Murmansk in the Arctic.
  • Russian Front - Finland: Day 38 of 140 of Operation ARCTIC FOX, a joint German-Finnish campaign against Soviet Northern Front defenses at Salla, Finland.
  • Russian Front - Finland: Day 47 of 164 of the Battle of Hanko.
  • Russian Front: Day 47 of 167 of Germany's Operation BARBAROSSA, the invasion of the USSR.
  • Russian Front - North: Army Group North continues their slow advance toward Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 15 of 38 of the Battle of Gomel, Belarus. Heavy fighting continues at Gomel.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 24 of 25 of the Battle of Uman, Ukraine. Romanian troops continue advancing into the Ukraine pushing the Soviets out.
  • Russian Front - South: German and Romanian troops keep pushing toward Vinnitsa and the Black Sea port of Odessa, Ukraine.
  • MTO - Italy: Bruno Mussolini, Benito Mussolini's second son, is killed in a plane crash.
  • MTO - Libya: Day 120 of 256 of the Siege of Tobruk.
  • East Africa: Day 424 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,493 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.

1942 — , August 7

  • Russian Front - North: Day 334 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 95 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 9 of 64 of the 1st Battle of Rzhev-Sychevka, Russia. German troops near Rzhev continue their attempts to break their encirclement.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 41 of 150 of Germany's CASE BLUE, the failed offensive to take the Caucasus oil fields. The German 6th Army crosses the Don River at Kalach as they head toward Stalingrad.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 16 of 20 of Germany's Operation EDELWEISS. The Germans and Soviets clash near Armavir in southern Russia.
  • MTO - Libya: British General Bernard Montgomery takes command of the British 8th Army in North Africa.
  • East Africa: Day 95 of 186 of the Battle of Madagascar.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,858 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 85 of 124 of Japan's Zhejiang-Jiangxi Campaign, launched to punish anyone suspected of aiding the Doolittle raiders in China. Roughly 250,000 Chinese will be killed.
  • PTO: The Australian merchant ship MAMUTU, sailing from Port Moresby in New Guinea for Australia, is sunk by a Japanese submarine which then machine guns the survivors in the water. Only one person is rescued.
  • PTO - Alaska: Day 62 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands. US cruisers bombard Japanese positions at Kiska Island.
  • PTO - Malaya: Day 170 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 18 of 119 of the Battle of the Kokoda Track. US 5th and 13th Air Forces provide air support.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 1 of 187 of the Battle of Guadalcanal. US 5th Army Air Force provides air support. US Marines make an amphibious landing on the island, the first of many stepping stones on the road to Japan.

1943 — , August 7

  • Russian Front - North: Day 699 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 460 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 34 of 50 of the Battle of Kursk, Russia. Soviet troops reach the area northeast of Poltava and Akhtyrka, Russia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 27 of 38 of the Battle of Orel, Russia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 1 of 57 of the 2nd Battle of Smolensk, Russia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 1 of 14 of the Battle of Spas-Demensk, Russia.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 16 of 23 of the Battle of Belgorod, Russia. The Soviets capture Belgorod and now threaten to take Kharkov.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 26 of 48 of the USSR's Lvov-Sandomierz Offensive. The outflanked German Army Group South continues retreating in order not to become encircled.
  • MTO - Italy: Otto Skorzeny thinks Benito Mussolini is being kept in La Spezia and is about to launch a rescue attempt when he learns that he had been moved hours prior. In fact, his intelligence is flawed as Mussolini never was transferred to La Spezia. Currently Mussolini is being transferred out of the island of Ponza, Italy, via a destroyer.
  • MTO - Italy: Day 30 of 40 of the Battle of Sicily. RAF and US Air Forces provide air support. US troops improve their positions in the San Fratello area. During the night, the US makes a small amphibious landing on the coast to outflank the Germans.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,223 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • PTO - Alaska: Day 427 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 108 of 148 of the 2nd Battle of Lae-Salamaua. US 5th and 13th Air Forces provide air support.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 49 of 67 of the Battle of New Georgia. US 5th and 13th Air Forces provide air support.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 2 of 2 of the Naval Battle of Vella Gulf, Kolombangara. The battle results in a decisive US victory.

1944 — , August 7

  • USA: IBM dedicates the first program-controlled calculator, the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator, or ASCC, known best as the Harvard Mark I, the pioneering computer notable for producing reliable results and its ability to run 24/7. It soon will be used to help the US Navy produce tables for aiming artillery shells and bombs.
    Spotlight...

    A small section of the ASCC Mark I in 1944

    It was 55 ft long and 8 ft high, weighed in at 5 tons and contained 760,000 components and 500 miles of wire. Its clickety-clack sounded like a "roomful of ladies knitting."

    Harvard electrical engineer Howard Aiken first dreamt up a large-scale calculator in 1937. Aiken came up with a proposal that convinced IBM, whose big product at the time was a punch-card processor, to develop it. A big plus in the proposal was that it used so many existing IBM components in a new way.

    The Mark I could handle 23 decimal place numbers and perform addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. It was also programmed with subroutines for logarithms and trigonometry. It was slow, taking three to five seconds to do a multiplication, far slower than the simplest hand-held calculator of today. It gave results through two outputs: teletypewriter and punch card.

    Mathematician Grace Hopper of the US Naval Reserve joined Aiken's team at Harvard and was instrumental in keeping the Mark I running. She repaired it one day by removing a moth that had fouled the Mark I's electromechanical innards, becoming the first person to literally debug a computer. The term itself was already in use for other mechanical devices, and Hopper noted the irony.

    When World War II began, all IBM facilities were placed at the disposal of the US government. IBM's product line expanded to include bombsights, rifles and engine parts - in all, more than three dozen major ordnance items. A nominal one percent profit on those products and the money was used to establish a fund for widows and orphans of IBM war casualties.

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  • ETO - UK: Day 56 of 86 of the V-1 "Buzz Bomb" offensive on Britain.
  • ETO: US 8th Air Force: After 89 days of combat operation, the "Hard Luck" 492nd Bomb Group flies its final mission and is disbanded due to high casualties.
  • ETO - Germany: Under threat of Allied bombing, production of military variants of the Volkswagen is halted.
  • ETO - France: Day 14 of 29 of the Breakout Battle of Normandy. Allied Air Forces provide air support. The First Canadian Army starts its advance toward Caen under fierce German resistance.
  • ETO - France: Day 7 of 284 of the Battle of Brittany.
  • Russian Front - Finland: Day 13 of 19 of the Battle of Ilomantsi, North Karelia.
  • Russian Front - Finland: Day 48 of 50 of the Battle of Karelia. Soviet troops continue their offensive against the Finns in eastern Karelia between Lake Ladoga and Lake Onega in northern Russia.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 188 of 191 of the Battle of the Narva Isthmus, Estonia. Day 14 of 19 of the Battle of Tannenberg Line, Estonia. The Germans continue holding the Sinimaed Hills west of Narva.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 11 of 32 of the Battle of Kaunas, Lithuania.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 2 of 9 of the Battle of Osovets, Poland.
  • Russian Front - South: The Soviets advance into the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains, near the Slovak, Hungarian and Russian borders.
  • MTO - Yugoslavia: US 15th Air Force bombs oil refineries in Yugoslavia.
  • MTO - Italy: Allied troops continue pressing the German line holding the Po Valley. Allied Air Forces provide air support.
  • MTO - France: US 12th and 15th Air Forces bomb targets in southern France.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 156 of 166 of the UK's Operation THURSDAY. US 10th Air Force provides air support. The Indian 36th Division becomes the last Chindit unit to engage in combat in Burma.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 129 of 302 of the Chinese Salween Offensive. US 14th Air Force provides air support.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,589 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 113 of 259 of Japan's Operation ICHI-GO.
    • Day 47 of 48 of the Battle of Hengyang. US 14th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Caroline Islands: US planes hits targets on Yap Island.
  • PTO - Dutch New Guinea: Day 37 of 61 of the Battle of Noemfoor. Although the island has been declared secured, bitter fighting from Japanese continues.
  • PTO - Mariana Islands: Day 18 of 21 of the 2nd Battle of Guam. US 7th Air Force provides air support. Although this battle is declared as completed, it'll be a while before it's really over.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 73 of 83 of the Battle of Biak. There are still 3,000 Japanese soldiers on the island who won't give up.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 237 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 108 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 55 of 80 of the Battle of Lone Tree Hill.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 29 of 47 of the Battle of Driniumor River, a failed Japanese offense on US troops near Aitape.
  • PTO - Philippines: The USS GUITARRO attacks a Japanese convoy off Luzon, sinking the frigate KUSAKAKI.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 281 of 295 of the Battle of the Bougainville Islands. US 13th Air Force provides air support.

1945 — , August 7

  • CBI - China: Day 2,954 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • CBI - Thailand: The USS RAY sinks 17 small vessels off Saponnoi. Several hours later, she boards and scuttles seven junks found north of Lem Chong Pra.
  • PTO - Alaska: US 11th Air Force bombs the Kataoka Airfield on Shimushu Island.
  • PTO - Borneo: Day 59 of 67 of the Battle of North Borneo. US 5th and 13th Air Forces provide air support.
  • PTO - Japan: US 20th Air Force B-29s bomb the naval arsenal at Toyokawa.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 589 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 473 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 291 of 299 of the 2nd Battle of the Philippines, aka the Liberation of the Philippines or the Philippines Campaign.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 236 of 244 of the Battle of Luzon. The battle is said to over but hold-outs will continue fighting until the end of the war.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 151 of 159 of the Battle of Mindanao Island. The battle is said to over but hold-outs will continue fighting until the end of the war.

Day-By-Day listings for August 7 were last modified on Sunday, January 31, 2016
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