Archive for WWII History

Today in World War II History. On these pages you will find of some of the most important events that shaped World War 2.

1939
The Luftwaffe starts attacks against North Atlantic convoys.

As war heats up with Germany, the British war cabinet holds its first meeting in the underground war room in London.

The Germans start deporting Poles from Posen (Poznan), largest city of western Poland (250,000 people), in their attempt at establishing “pure and Germanic provinces” in Poland.

1940
Churchill broadcasts to France, ‘Frenchmen rearm your spirits before it is too late.’

1941
Units of 6th Army capture Stalino in the industrial Donets Basin.

1942
The South Africa Premier, Field-Marshal Smuts, makes a historic speech to both Houses of Parliament saying, ‘The stage is set for the last, the offensive stage’.

Eight American and British officers land from a submarine on an Algerian beach to take measure of Vichy French to the Operation Torch landings.

1944
Aachen finally falls to the U.S. First Army, earning the distinction of being the first German city to be captured. 12,000 German prisoners have been taken since the 2nd October. Breskens is captured by the Canadians, but fighting continues for 10 more days in the pocket.

1945
The U-boat pens in Hamburg are blown up by British Engineers using German explosives.

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1943
An allied agreement to set up UN commission on war crimes is announced in London.

A delayed-detonation bomb explodes at the central post office in Naples, Italy, injuring seventy-two people. When they retreated three weeks earlier, the Germans left behind scores of booby traps.

The Russian attacks from Bukrin bridgehead are bloodily repulsed.

1944
The Red Army captures Belgrade, while Yugoslav partisans capture Dubrovnik.

The U.S. Sixth Army landings in the Philippines begin on the East Coast of Leyte, but the 60,000 men sent ashore encounter stiff Japanese resistance.

Gen. Douglas MacArthur stepped ashore at Leyte in the Philippines, 2 1/2 years after he’d said, “I shall return.”

General Douglas MacArthur wades ashore at Leyte Gulf

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1939
Germany officially incorporates western Poland into the Reich.

1940
Convoy HX-79 (49 ships), sailing from Halifax in Canada to Britain, is attacked by 5 U-boats between the 19th and 20th October in the North Atlantic. The British lost 12 ships for 75,063 gross tons, while not a single U-boat was lost. The destroyer Venetia sinks after hitting mine in Thames Estuary.

The Australian 7th Division sets sail for the Middle East.

1941
Army Group Centre finally clears the Vyazma pocket capturing 670,000 Russians, 1,000 tanks and 4,000 guns. Stalin declares state of siege in Moscow and orders its defense to the last.

U.S. freighter “Lehigh” sunk in South Atlantic.

1942
General Friedrich von Paulus pleads with the Fuhrer and the German High Command for supplies and reinforcements for his army, under seige at Stalingrad. He receives nothing but the order to fight to the last man.

The Japanese submarine I-36 launches a floatplane for a reconnaissance flight over Pearl Harbor. The pilot and crew report on the ships in the harbor, after which the aircraft is lost at sea.

1943
The offensive by the US 5th Army along the Volturno river bogs down due to bad weather and a skillful German defense.

1944
Field Marshal Model gives up the attempts to relieve Aachen.

The Germans evacuate Belgrade.

Hitler orders the total destruction of Warsaw. The German 4th Army withdraws from the Tilsit area.

The British capture an important Japanese supply depot at Mohnyin in Burma.

The U.S. Navy announced that black women would be allowed into the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES).

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1939
The Russians prepare to hand over 30,000 Polish soldiers and refugees to the Nazis who respond with their own prisoner exchange.

The first Jewish ghetto is established in Lublin.

1940
Britain reopens the Burma road, which had been closed for three months on the condition of progress being made towards peace between Japan and China. No progress had been made towards peace at the time of reopening.

1941
German units are now only 80 miles west of Moscow.

Raids began against sub pens on Bay of Biscay, to protect North Africa invasion, but pens survived with 12-foot concrete roofs, defended by Luftwaffe’s Me109 and FW190 fighters.

1942
Hitler orders German troops to shoot all captured allied commandos, ‘to the last man’.

An advance party of four Norwegian Special Operations Executive (SOE) Commandos are dropped by parachute to reconnoitre the area around the German ‘heavy water’ (atomic weapons development) plant at Telemark, Norway.

The advance by Army Group A toward the Black Sea port of Tuapse is halted due to difficult terrain and stubborn Soviet resistance.
After intensifying their raids during the early part of the October, German and Italian daylight bombing raids over Malta are finally suspended.

The drain on aircraft being sent to other fronts has left little alternative.

Vice Admiral William F. Halsey named as the new commander of the South Pacific Area, in charge of the Solomons-New Guinea campaign.

1943
Japanese troops go on a murderous rampage in China, burning to death the populations of several villages and forcing peasants to jump blindfolded off cliffs.

1944
The call up for the Volksturm begins in Germany, with all able-bodied men from 16 to 60 to be conscripted. German radio says 50,000 officers have been killed so far in war. Himmler becomes Commander-in-Chief, Forces of Interior.

German forces thrust into Slovakia.

Russian troops cross the Norwegian frontier.

Lt. General Joseph Stilwell is recalled from China by president Franklin Roosevelt.

Fourteen B-29s based on the Marianas attack the Japanese base at Truk.

1945
The first open session of the International Military War Crimes Tribunal indicts 21 top Nazis.

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1939
French troops are pushed back in the Saar region.

President Roosevelt prepares to sign an executive order closing all U.S. ports to submarines from belligerent nations.

1941
Destroyer USS Kearny damaged by German torpedo off Iceland;11 Americans are killed.

US House of Representatives allow merchantmen to be armed.

Taganrog on the Sea of Azov is captured by Army Group South.

Kimmel improves naval reconnaissance at Pearl Harbor but not 360-degree nor 24-hour patrols.

1943
The US and Japan exchange 3,000 civilian prisoners in Goa.

1944
German forces successfully repulse heavy Soviet attacks near Debrecen.

Eichmann returns to Hungary.

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