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.
After breaking off diplomatic relations, the Soviet Union attacks Finland by land and air without declaring war. During the Red Air Forces first raid on the Helsinki, only 91 civilians are killed due the capitals excellent air defence system. Stalin alleges provocation.
The Admiralty announces theÂ completion of a 300 square mile minefield from Thames Estuary to the Netherlands.
British civilian casualty figures for November: 4,588 killed, 6,202 injured.
Near Riga, a mass shooting of Latvian and German Jews.
Japan finally resolves itself to attack the USA, although portions of the governments are still unsure.
An Italian radio broadcast,Â reports of large-scale evacuations of Turin, Genoa and Milan.
Rudolph Hess causes consternation at the Nuremberg trials by announcing that he has been shamming insanity and amnesia all this
The USSR forces Soviet citizenship on all residents of Polish territory under their control.
German High Command issues draft plan for invasion of Russia.
British and New Zealand troops under General Freyberg occupy the whole of the Greek island of Crete in the Mediterranean.
Depleted by continuous savage fighting, blizzards and sub-zero temperatures, Army Group Centre’s offensive begins to grind to a halt as German units find it increasingly difficult to make ground. The Russians launch a counter-attack at Rostov-on-Don, forcing the German to evacuate the city and withdraw west towards the river Mius.
Prime Minister Churchill warns the Italian government that RAF bombing of Italian cities will continue until Italy abandons the war.
British paratroops drop south of Tunis.
The Australians chase the retreating Japanese towards Wareo in New Guinea.
Russian troops cross Danube into southwest Hungary, making large gains.
Films of concentration camp atrocities are shown at the Nuremberg trials.
The Soviet Union scraps its nonaggression pact with Finland.
The Australian Cabinet agrees to the sending of Australian troops overseas.
Overextended and short of supplies, the III Panzerkorps evacuates Rostov and withdraws to the Mius river, 30 miles to the West.
The aircraft carrier USS Enterprise departs from Pearl Harbor to deliver F4F Wildcat fighters to Wake Island. This mission saves the carrier from destruction when the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor.
The Teheran summit conference opens with Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin, who discuss the future of post-war Germany and Poland.
The Eighth Army offensive on Sangro continues, with a second bridgehead being established.
The U.S. Ninth Army reaches the Roer from Julich to Linnich. The French First Army closes its pincers at Bumhaupt, but only part of German 63rd Corps is trapped, 17,000 prisoners and 120 guns have been taken since 14th October.
The first shipment of supplies reach Antwerp by convoy, a new route for the Allies.
British actor Arthur Treacher agrees to be raffled off at a series of bond rallies to the person buying the largest number of War Bonds.
Treacher, who has made a career of playing the perfect butler, will work as a butler at an occasion of the winner’s choosing.
The official Hiroshima and Nagasaki casualty figures are announced as between 110,000 and 165,00 dead.
The Scharnhorst and Gneisenau put in to Wilhelmshaven after returning from their successful sortie in to the North Atlantic.
Australia and Britain establish the Empire Air Training Scheme.
Romanian extremists, “Iron Guard”, begin a murder campaign with 64 executions.
The British Admiralty decides to send the Battleship Ramillies and 2 Cruisers from the Mediterranean fleet to reinforce the Atlantic fleet. They are to sail to Malta with a supply convoy, link up with Force H and then sail onto Gibraltar. Just as the reach the rendezvous point, Ramillies, the 2 Cruisers, the Aircraft Carrier Ark Royal and 10 Destroyers are intercepted by Admiral Campioni’s squadron of 2 Battleships, 7 Cruisers and 16 Destroyers. However, as soon as the Battleship Renown from Force H joined in, the Italians withdrew with 1 Cruiser and 2 Destroyers damaged, while the British suffered damage to the heavy cruiser HMS Berwick.
German Panzer’s only 19 miles from Moscow. Some armed patrols have penetrated in to the western suburbs of the city and managed to get a good look at the Kremlin.
The Tobruk garrison links up the New Zealand Division of the Eighth Army at El Duda. Rommel forces, now under constant attack by the RAF are forced to turn his forces around in order to deal with this new development. Gondar, the last Italian held town in East Africa surrenders to British forces after a tough battle. The Italian commander, General Nasi surrenders 23,500 men, while the British suffer 500 casualties.
Japan rejects the USA’s demand for their withdrawal of forces from China.
US Pacific forces put on war alert.
Continuing their occupation of Vichy France, German troops take the naval base of Toulon.
Army Group Don under Manstein is formed to relieve Stalingrad.
The French scuttle 79 warships docked at Toulon as German troops enter the City, but four submarines manage to escape.
British troops are only 22 miles from Tunis.
The British 8th Army begins an offensive across the Sangro river.
The Red Army breaks through the German-Hungarian defensive lines and captures Mohacs.
The German ship €˜Rigel’ is sunk. Over 2,570 are drowned, most of them prisoners of war.
B29 bombers from Saipan again pound Tokyo, but this time the Japanese reply with raids against the U.S. airbases on Saipan.
Poland renews nonaggression pact with the Soviet Union to protect against a German invasion.
The Soviet Union charges Finland with artillery attack on border.
The Western Desert Force, begins Training Exercise No.1. This was a dress rehearsal for ‘Operation Compass’. Surprise was vital and so not even the troops involved were told of the rehearsals significance.
The half-million Jews of Warsaw, Poland, were forced by the Nazis to live within a walled ghetto.
Due to Rommel’s bold move, General Cunningham wants to halt the offensive and fall back to the frontier. General Auchinleck overrides him on this and replaces him as commander of the Eighth Army with General Ritchie.
U.S. secretary of state puts his final proposal to the Japanese.
Japanese 1st Air Fleet sets sail for Pearl Harbor, from its anchorage in the Kurile Islands. Commanded by Admiral Chuichi Nagumo, its consists of 6 aircraft carriers, 2 battleships, 3 cruisers, 9 destroyers and 8 oil tankers and has strict orders to observe strict radio silence. They await the signal “Climb Mount Nitaka”, the order to attack Pearl Harbor.
President Roosevelt ordered nationwide gasoline rationing, beginning December 1.
The Germans make the first large deportation of Jews from Norway.
The Russians throw Germans rearguards back across the Don.
The largest USAAF raid so far on Bremen. A fifth consecutive night raid on Berlin by RAF.
German forces of Army Group Centre evacuate Gomel in Byelorussia.
The HMT Rohna, a British troop transport, is attacked in the eastern Mediterranean by a Luftwaffe plane using a radio-guided bomb, sinking the ship and killing 1,015 American GIs and 135 British and Australian service men. It is the largest loss of U.S. servicemen at sea in the war. The disaster is kept secret, as the Allies did not wish to disclose that the Germans possessed such an intimidating weapon. Consequently, the destruction of the Rohna will remain virtually unknown to the public for many years after the war.
The Russians advance in Slovakia.