Operation Barbarossa, Nazi Germany’s attempted invasion of the Soviet Union, was launched 75 years ago today with an air and ground attack at several locations on what became the Eastern Front. More than three million Axis soldiers faced off against a similar number of Soviet soldiers.
Ultimately, it did not work. The USSR withstood and eventually repelled the invasion, but Nazi Germany’s invasion set a record which still stands: it was the largest invasion force ever mounted, the single largest military operation ever mounted, with four million total soldiers on one side alone, along the longest front line: 1800 miles. When it was all over, the invasion led to the fight over the Eastern Front, a years-long fight which saw more death and destruction than was seen in the entire rest of World War II: 26 million individuals lost their lives in the fight for the Eastern Front.
Adolph Hitler thought the Soviet Union would fall in three months. He was wrong.
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The Beatles (above, with Pete Best) participated in the group’s first-ever studio recording session 55 years ago today in Hamburg, Germany. Among the songs recorded were “My Bonnie” and “Cry for a Shadow,” an instrumental that remains the only song credited to the songwriting pair of George Harrison and John Lennon. “Cry for a Shadow” (after the jump):
The recording session took place in a school theater in Hamburg, the Friedrick Ebert Halle school. The band had been the backing group behind singer Tony Sheridan, and as such, the recordings were to be credited to “Tony Sheridan and the Beat Brothers.” The recordings they made 55 years ago today are the only Beatles studio recordings with Pete Best on drums.
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After 16 years as a fugitive, James “Whitey” Bulger was arrested on this date five years ago. For 12 of those 16 years, he had been included on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted Fugitives list.
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Judy Garland died on this date in 1969. Fred Astaire died on this date in 1987.
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Joseph Papp was born 95 years ago today. Ralph Waite was born on this date in 1928. Ed Bradley was born 75 years ago on this date. Pete Maravich was born on this date in 1947. Freddie Prinze was born on this date in 1954. (A clip from when he was 20):
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Prunella Scales is 84 today. Senator Dianne Feinstein is 83. Kris Kristofferson is 80 today. He has a new album out. “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down” by Kris Krisofferson, sung with Johnny Cash:
Michael Lerner is 75 today. Howard Kaylan is 69 today. David Lander is 69 today. Todd Rundgren is 68. Lindsay Wagner is 67 today. Meryl Streep is 67. Senator Elizabeth Warren is 67 today. Cyndi Lauper is 63 today. Chris Lemmon is 62. Bruce Campbell is 58 today. Erin Brockovich is 56 today.
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