Wehrmacht History 1935 to 1945


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June 1937

WWII Timeline

Events On This Day

Wallis Simpson marries The Duke of Windsor on 3 June 1937 at the Château de Candé, lent to them by French millionaire Charles Bedaux. The date would have been King George V's 72nd birthday; Queen Mary thought the wedding had been scheduled for then as a deliberate slight. No member of Edward's family attended.

On 6 June 1937, The Basque Army loses the last of its air force the last Basque air fighters are shot down, the culmination of a suicidal resistance against the Condor Legion. Totally outnumbered, the pilots were flying day by day to relieve the soldiers in the trenches, and being destroyed one after the other by the enemy.

Blücher Heavy cruiser
Launched 8 June 1937

On 11 June 1937, Dornier Do 18F Zyklon flying boat took its maiden flight.

On 11 June 1937, General Paul Lukacs, also known as Zalka Mate, born Bela Fankl, dies during an inspection of the Republican lines at Huesca. His car is hit by an artillery shell, the driver dies immediately. General Lukacs himself is mortally wounded on his right temple and dies several hours later. The Iron Ring, el cinturón de hierro, is a vast, labyrinthine fortification around Bilbao, consisting of bunkers, tunnels, and fortified trenches in several rings, protected by artillery. The Basque Army had hoped to position themselves in the Iron Ring to resist constant air raids and prevent the enemy from reaching the Basque capital. However, the layout of the Ring was betrayed to the Nationalist army, and since the first days of June the Condor Legion have been able to target so accurately that the Ring is bombed to pieces. Basque President Aquirre comes to the front he witnesses a horrible event at Mount Urcullu: A dried out forest just behind part of the Iron Ring is shelled with fire bombs from enemy aeroplanes and artillery. Along a length of three kilometres, the defenders on this part of the Ring are overcome by the smoke. The attackers break through and occupy the heights near Bilbao, around 10 kilometres from the city. Basque General Gamir and the Basque government decide to organise a slow retreat to Santander.

On 19 June 1937, The Nationalists enter Bilbao without opposition and begin immediately to distribute food to thousands of women lining the streets. Around 200,000 people flee the city. Thousands try to reach the French coast by sea, but the Nationalist navy is waiting for them in the Bay of Biscay. The bay is full of fugitive's overcrowded boats, some sinking. The ships from the Nonintervention Committee in the Bay of Biscay, mostly British are watching the scene. Franco concedes two thirds of the production from the mines and steel factories of the Basque country to his German ally. Adolf Hitler needs these resources for his own war preparations.

Birka Hospital ship
Launched 23 June 1937

Z5 Paul Jakobi Destroyer
Commissioned 29 June 1937

Go To: July


Blücher Heavy cruiser

Dornier Do 18

Z5 Paul Jakobi Destroyer

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The Second Great War.
Edited by Sir John Hamilton

The War Illustrated.
Edited by Sir John Hamilton

2194 Days Of War.
ISBN-10: 086136614X

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