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On this day in history

  • On This Day In History: 11/09/1938

    It was on this day in 1938 that Nazi forces launched their vicious campaign of terror against the Jewish population in Austria and Germany. Set in motion by the murder of Ernst vom Rath, a low-level German diplomat by a teenage Polish Jew as revenge for the sudden deportation of his parents and ten thousand others, the Nazis used this incident as an excuse to carry out their heinous tirade later came to be known as ‘Kristallnacht’. A direct translation of ‘Night of Broken Glass’, this bench mark for horror was named so because of the countless number of windows smashed during the two day attack leaving over 100 Jews dead along with 7,500 Jewish  businesses, hundreds of homes, schools, graveyards and synagogues sabotaged. A precursor to the Holocaust and a terrifying indication of the lengths to which Adolf Hitler was willing and able to go to in his plans of annihilating Germany of its Jewish population, Kristallnacht is a truly dark day in the history of WWII.

  • On This Day in WWII: Battle of Cape Esperance

    It was on this day in 1942 that the second of four major sea encounters in the Guadalcanal campaign took place. Known as the Battle of Cape Esperance, the naval clash saw the Imperial Japanese Navy and the United States Navy embroiled in a two day fight under the command of Gunichi Mikawa and Norman Scott respectively. Commencing on the eve of the 11th October, a convoy of two seaplane tenders and six destroyers and separately three heavy cruisers and two destroyers from the Japanese side set off with the objective of destroying the Allied aircraft and airfield facilities on Guadalcanal. In the ensuing action, the U.S. launched four cruisers and five destroyers intercepting one line of opposition in a surprise attack, but did not stop the stealthy separate hit in which the Japanese successfully unloaded at Guadalcanal. Following this action, four enemy destroyers came back to the rescue their defeated forces only to be sunk by U.S. air attacks. Although the waters of Guadalcanal were not secured by either side in the end, this proved to be a breakthrough victory for the U.S. against the Japanese, providing an invaluable boost of morale to the USN. As a heritage brand inspired by our military forces and its brave servicemen and women, it is with pride and honor that Cockpit USA remembers this day in history.

  • On This Day: 17th August 1943

    It was on this pivotal day in 1943 that the very first Quebec Conference was held. Codenamed 'Quadrant', the meeting brought together the British, Canadian and United States governments for top secret military discussions and decisions about WWII. Held in Quebec City at the Citadelle and Château Frontenac, the conference began on August 17 and came to a close a week later on August 24. With Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and William Lyon Mackenzie King in attendance, the three allies discussed the invasion of France, upping the bombing offensive against Germany and the removal of Italy from the alliance of Axis Powers followed by a subsequent occupation amongst many other points which were to change the course of the war drastically. In addition, Churchill and Roosevelt also put their minds together and secretly signed the Quebec Agreement to share nuclear technology and knowledge making this a particularly historic day never to be forgotten.

  • Blast from the Past: July 26 1941

    In retaliation to Japan’s taking of French-Indo China, then American naval base Cam Ranh followed by a British base in Singapore, President Franklin Roosevelt made a bold move of pay back by seizing all Japanese assets in the U.S. transferring all financial, import and export trade operations to do with the opposition to the control of the government with criminal penalties for anyone violating this order. With Britain hot in Roosevelt’s footsteps, only three years worth of oil reserves and a gigantic loss of 88% of its imported oil, these actions led to a debilitating aftershock to Japan and became another momentous twist in the proceedings of WWII, making today yet another historic day in the Cockpit USA calendar!


  • Blast From The Past: Luftwaffe launches Battle of Britain

    It was on this day at dawn, 62 years ago in 1940 that what was later to be announced by Prime Minister Winston Churchill as the beginning of the Battle of Britain commenced. Triggered by the first major air attack at dawn by the German Air Force on the south and east coasts of England, the big onslaught began later in the day when two shipping convoys were targeted. Outnumbered and unprepared, British fighter pilots retaliated with a vengeance taking out 14 enemy planes and wreaking havoc with 23 more leaving English skies calm and clear of German bombers.

  • Blast From The Past: The Battle of Kursk

    It was Germany's last ditch offensive and what came to be the biggest tank battle ever to take place. A battle of epic proportions, it was on this day in 1943 that the Battle of Kursk took place between German and Soviet forces. With 3000 German tanks and even more on the side of the Russians in addition to the fleets of aircraft involved, the sheer metal made this one fight destined for the record books. Although less technologically advanced, the larger numbers of Russian machinery and the operational reserves at hand resulted in the Red Army's surprise victory over the Nazis. Despite coming at a great cost of both lives and weaponry, this win entirely changed proceedings on the Eastern Front and is still to this day, recognized as the largest armored clash involving tanks in history. And there you have Cockpit USA's blast from the past for this week!

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