Archive for the ‘WWII History’ Category
1940 Hitler again delays X-Day, this time till the 10th May.
Francis Sayre is sent to Tokyo for talks with Foreign Minister Arita.
1941 Bob Hope gives his first USO show at California’s March Field.
US Secretary for War advocates US Navy protection for British supply convoys.
Stalin declares himself ‘Chairman of the Council of Peoples Commissars’.
The last Brigade of the British 10th Indian Division arrives at Basra with its commander Major General Bill Slim. Axis aircraft begin to land at the Mosul airfield in northern Iraq.
1942 Corregidor surrenders after five months resistance, with 15,000 prisoners taken by 1,000 Japanese.
B-17’s from Australia spot the Port Moresby Invasion Fleet south of Bougainville. They attack the Japanese Carrier Shoho but miss. Admiral Fletcher is now convinced that the main Japanese force would make for the Jomard Passage between Papua and the Louisiade Archipelago and so organizes his forces for the coming battle.
1943 Hitler makes one of his increasingly rare visits to Berlin for Viktor Lutze’s funeral.
1945 The last U-boats of the war sunk with all hands: U-853 and U-881 in the North Atlantic by US destroyer escorts, and U-3523 in the Baltic by the RAF.
Axis Sally makes her final propaganda broadcast to Allied troops.
The U.S. Fifth Army enters Austria from Italy.
Breslau surrenders after an 82-day siege, during which the Russians inflicted 29,000 civilian and military casualties and took more than 40,000 prisoners.
1940 Germans advance north to Trondheim.
Norwegian government-in-exile established in London.
1941 Major General Bernard Freyberg VC, is appointed by General Wavell to command approximately 40,000 British, New Zealand, Australian and Greek troops which are stationed on Crete. While a strong force on paper, these troops have virtually no artillery or tanks and are very disorganised after their hurried evacuation from Greece.
Emperor Haile Selassie returns to Addis Ababa 5 years after his country was occupied by the Italians.
1942 Convoy PQ-15 arrives at Murmansk.
British forces land at Diego Suarez and Antsirene on Vichy French held Madagascar in an pre-emptive strike to stop the Japanese from using it as an advanced base.
The Japanese advance into China along the Burma Road.
Japanese troops make amphibious landings against the US-Filipino garrison on Corregidor.
The main Japanese striking force which is built around the carriers Shokaku and Zuikaku, enters the Coral Sea and bombs Port Moresby.
Japanese begin preporations to invade Midway and the Aleutian Islands.
1943 British forces break through the defenses of the 5th Panzerarmee to the South of Tunis.
1944 The Russians launch their attack the fortress city of Sevastopol in the Crimea.
1945 The U.S. Third Army prepares to drive on to Prague.
German troops in Holland surrender to Canadian army.
German forces in Denmark surrender.
A civilian uprising begins in Prague and is aided by defecting units of the anti-Bolshevist Vlasov Army.
Admiral von Friedeburg arrives at General Eisenhower’s HQ in Rheims. General Blaskowitz, the German C-in-C of the Netherlands, surrenders at a ceremony in the small Dutch town of Wagenungen in the presence of Prince Bernhard. The first British victory salvo of war is fired at 3pm from Montgomery’s HQ. Amsterdam is liberated. Eisenhower announces the capitulation of German Army Group ‘C’, which was covering the front from Linz to Swiss frontier. The U.S. Third Army takes Pilsen, Karlsbad and prepares to drive towards Prague.
Mauthausen concentration camp is liberated.
Reverend Archie Mitchell and his wife and five children discover a deflated Japanese balloon containing a bomb that had been let loose in the West Winds traveling over the pacific to land in Oregon. It killed the wife and children, the only civilian casualties of the war on the continental United States.
1942 The United States begins food rationing.
Akyab on the Burmese coast is abandoned by the British.
The Japanese Port Moresby invasion force leaves Rabaul, in New Britain.
With its naval support stripped away, the Japanese invasion fleet at Tulagi is attacked by aircraft from the American carrier Yorktown. 1 destroyer is disabled, while 3 minesweepers and 4 landing barges are sunk for the loss of just 3 US aircraft. Admiral Fletcher, now doubled back to meet up with the Lexington in the Coral Sea.
1943 Italian Torpedo Boat Perseo is sunk off the coast of Tunisia by British destroyers
Hitler decides to postpone Operation ‘Citadel’ in order that more Tiger and Panther tanks can be deployed in the offensive. This is against the advice of a number of leading Generals who fear that the Russian defenses will become too strong if the offensive is delayed any further.
1944 The RAF carries out a night raid against Budapest.
The British counter-attacks at Kohima, are repulsed by the Japanese.
1945 The last day of air operations in north-west Europe; 2nd TAF aircraft claim to have shot down 141 enemy aircraft during anti-shipping operations in the Baltic.
Grand Admiral DÃ¶nitz, now the newly designated leader of the Reich, orders all U-boats to cease offensive operations and return to their bases (to go into effect fully at 0800 on 5th May): “You have fought like lions!”
Admiral von Friedeburg arrives at Montgomery’s HQ on LÃ¼neburg Heath with German plenipotentiaries. At 8.15pm SHAEF announce that ‘Field Marshal Montgomery has reported to the supreme allied command that all enemy forces in Holland, Northwest Germany and Denmark, have surrendered. The U.S. Ninth Army breaks up the German Ninth and Twelfth Armies. The U.S. Seventh Army takes Innsbruck, Salzburg and Berchtesgarten, which is still smoking after an RAF raid. Field-Marshal von Kleist gives himself up to the U.S. Third Army near Straubing.
The U.S. Fifth Army reaches the Brenner Pass.
SEAC announces that Rangoon was taken so quickly that the Japanese had no time to destroy the installations there.
Kamikaze flyers sink 17 U.S. ships in 24 hours off Okinawa.
1940 War Office announces withdrawal from Namsos; Allies remain only in Narvik to stop the supply of iron ore to Germany.
Destroyer Afridi sunk by German bombers off Norway.
Hitler postpones X-Day to the 6th May due to bad weather.
1942 Off the northern coast of Norway, German destroyers sink the British cruiser Edinburgh which was escorting Convoy PQ-15.
The Japanese make landings on Tulagi in the Solomon Islands.
The Japanese covering force at Tulagi, which consisted of the carrier Shoho and escorts leaves to act as cover for the Port Moresby landings.
The submarine USS Spearfish (SS-190) evacuates 12 Army nurses from the Philippines.
1943 The U.S. commander in Europe, Lieutenant General Frank M. Andrews is killed in air crash in Iceland.
The Russians report the ‘smashing’ of a German counter attack in the Kuban, to the South of Rostov.
US troops take Mateur, less than 50 miles Northwest of Tunis.
1944 The rationing of all meat, except for steak, is canceled. Supplies of pork and beef are judged to be sufficient for both military and civilian consumption.
1945 Typhoons and Tempests of 2nd TAF carry out devastating attacks on enemy shipping in the Baltic. Large numbers of flying boats and transport aircraft, attempting a massed evacuation to Norway, are also destroyed.
German envoys meet Montgomery at his HQ on LÃ¼neburg Heath, South of Hamburg to discuss peace. The envoys return to Donitz and recommend unconditional surrender of all forces facing the 21st Army Group. The German defence system in NW Germany is now in chaos as troops, civilians and refugees pour west to escape the Russian advance. General Wolz surrenders Hamburg to the British Second Army and declares Hamburg an open city. The U.S. Ninth Army makes contact with the Russians in the Wismar area. The U.S. Third Army crosses the river Inn, while the U.S. Seventh Army captures Innsbruck and reaches the Brenner Pass.
The Russians make contact with the U.S. 9th Army in the Wismar area.
SEAC announces the liberation of Rangoon in Burma.
1940 Germans troops reach Aandalesnes. Allied forces are evacuated from Namsos. Chamberlain announces British forces are to withdraw from southern Norway.
1941 British Evacuation of Greece complete.
Hostilities break out between British forces in Iraq and that country’s pro-German faction. Iraqis attack the British base at Habbaniya, but are repulsed.
1942 Admiral Chester J. Nimitz, convinced that the Japanese will attack Midway Island, visits the island to review its readiness.
Admiral Fletcher, leaves the Lexington and her escorts to refuel, taking the Yorktown and her escorts and steamed north towards Tulagi.
American bombers take time out from fighting the Japanese to fight Mother Nature; they bomb Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano in order to divert a lava flow from the city of Hilo.
The Australian garrison on Tulagi is evacuated.
1943 SA Chief of Staff Viktor Lutze is killed. The actual cause of his death remains mysterious. Officially, he died in a automobile accident, although rumours persist that he was killed when German partisans ambushed his car. He is succeeded by Wilhelm Scheppmann.
1945 RAF Bomber Command, launch its last major action of war against Kiel.
The British Second Army reaches LÃ¼beck. The first lorry convoys carrying relief supplies to occupied Holland are allowed through German lines.
The German Army in Italy abides by the Caserta agreement and surrenders to the allies, with hostilities ceasing at 12 noon GMT.
General Weidling, the commander of Berlins Garrison meets with General Chuikov and accepts his terms of unconditional surrender of Berlin. The garrison in Berlin surrenders to 1st Belorussian and 1st Ukrainian Armies at 3pm local time. During the 2 week battle for the German Capital, the Russians suffer more than 300,000 casualties and while it is hard to estimate German casualties, the figure of 480,000 German prisoners says a lot.
1940 Amalgamated Engineering Union agrees to allow women workers in munitions factories.
German mine-carrying bomber crashes on Clacton, Essex; two civilians and four Germans killed, 156 people injured.
Norwegians surrender in Lillehammer.
Rudolf HÃ¶ss is chosen to be kommandant of Auschwitz.
1941 The Luftwaffe begins a series of 8 consecutive night raids against Liverpool.
Dissident forces in Iraq, led by Raschid Ali, surround the RAF airfield at Habbaniya and order the RAF to cease flying. Meanwhile in Greece, the evacuation of some 43,000 troops and civilians to Crete is completed. A total of 14 Hurricanes and 7 Royal Navy aircraft are available to defend the island against the enemy onslaught.
German attack on Tobruk is repulsed.
1942 Heavy fighting also continues on the front around besieged Leningrad whose inhabitants are suffering from bombing, disease and starvation. The siege of the Crimean fortress of Sevastopol by the 11th Army continues with a ceaseless bombardment by batteries of heavy guns (up to 800mm) and hundreds of bombers (up to 1,000 sorties a day) of Luftflotte 7.
The Japanese capture Monywa and Mandalay. The fall of Monywa was especially serious as this threatened to cut off the British withdrawal towards India. This turned a reasonably well organized withdrawal, in to a headlong retreat as British troops tried to avoid being cut off.
The Lexington and Yorktown, link up 250 miles south-west of Espiritu Santo, and begin to refuel.
1944 The Messerschmitt Me 262, the first combat jet, makes it’s first flight.
The Imperial Conference opens in London. A military mission from Tito arrives in London, his 60,000-strong army is now the recognized force in Yugoslavia.
1945 Martin Bormann, private secretary to Adolf Hitler, escapes the Fuehrerbunker as the Red Army advances on Berlin.
Grossadmiral DÃ¶nitz, following the death of Hitler, assumes his duties as the new German head of state. The U.S. Ninth and British Second Armies link bridgeheads over the Elbe. General Walther Wenck’s Twelfth Army falls back to Elbe with wounded and refugees and try’s to negotiate with U.S. forces. The U.S. Third Army reaches the German/Austrian border at Braunan, 70 miles East of Munich. DÃ¶nitz orders the utmost resistance in the East where tens of thousands of German civilians are still trying to escape from the stampeding Red Army.
Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s master of Propaganda, orders his 6 children killed with poison. He then orders his SS guard to shoot both himself and his wife.
The Cessation of hostilities and surrender of all German forces in Italy is announced. This is as a result of unauthorized and secret negotiations with the allies by the German C-in-C, General von Vietinghoff. and SS General Wolff. New Zealand troops capture Udine, 60 miles Northeast of Venice and makes contact with Tito’s partisans in the Trieste area. The situation is now desperate for the surrounded Germans of Army Group E in Yugoslavia as Titos partisans reach the river Isonzo near Monfalcone.
Indian paratroops land to the South of Rangoon, as the Fourteenth Army captures Pegu.
The Australians land on Tarakan Island off Borneo.
1940 Germans announce they have established communication between Trondheim and Oslo. RAF attack Oslo airfield.
The Lodz Ghetto in occupied Poland is sealed off from the outside world with 230,000 Jews locked inside.
1941 British air raid casualty figures in April: 6,065 killed, 6,926 injured. Bristol, Coventry, Birmingham, Belfast, London and Portsmouth all badly hit. In retaliation the RAF attacks Emden, Kiel, Berlin, Bremen and Mannheim.
All of Greece is under German and Italian occupation. During the campaign, the Greeks lose 15,700 killed and 300,000 prisoners. The British lose 2,000 killed and 10,000 made prisoner, while the Germans only suffer about 2,000 killed and missing.
The Afrika Korps second attempt to capture Tobruk is again repulsed by the Australians.
1942 Hitler and Mussolini meet at Berchtesgaden to discuss future axis strategy in North Africa and the Mediterranean, the main objectives being the reduction of Malta and the seizure of the Suez Canal.
Hitler and Mussolini agree that the capture of Malta (Operation Herakles) should take place on the 10th July 1942.
The British 1st Burma Corps completes its withdrawal over the Irrawaddy at Mandalay in Burma.
The US aircraft carriers, Hornet and Enterprise set sail from Pearl Harbor for the Corel Sea under the command of Admiral William ‘Bull’ Halsey.
1943 The British submarine HMS Seraph drops ‘the man who never was,’ a dead man the British planted with false invasion plans, into the Mediterranean off the coast of Spain. The ‘man who never was’ pulled off one of the greatest deceptions in military history–after his death.
1945 The U.S. Third Army liberates 110,000 POW’s in the Moosburg area, Northeast of Munich. The U.S. Seventh Army clears Munich and the French takes Friedrichshafen and cross into Austria. The U.S. First Army meet the Russians at Ellenburg, South of Berlin. The British Second Army liberates 20,000 prisoners (two third POW’s and one third political prisoners) from Sandbostel camp in northern Germany.
Allied Norwegian forces capture Finnmark.
With the Red Army only a few hundred yards away, Hitler commits suicide with Eva Braun in the Reich Chancellery bunker at 1530hrs and their bodies immediately incinerated with gasoline by SS bodyguards
A Sergeant of the Russian Army plant the Red Flag on top of the Reichstag building at 2.30 pm. As the final Russian assault on Tiergarten begins, Goebbels and Bormann send General Krebs, Chief of the General Staff to the headquarters of Marshal Zhukov with a permit to make an armistice, but Zhukov refuses and demands an unconditional surrender. Troops of the 4th Ukrainian front capture Moravska Ostrava. Fighting continues in Breslau, as the German garrison refuses to surrender.
The U.S. Fifth Army in Northwest Italy, links up with French troops on the French/Italian border.
The Mexican Air Force’s 201 Squadron arrives at Manila. In operations from 4 June, 1945 to the end of the war, the 201 flies 96 combat missions, mostly in support of ground troops. The 201 will be the only Mexican unit to see overseas combat in the country’s history.
1940 King Haakon VII and his government are evacuated from Molde and taken to Tromso in northern Norway, from where they can continue the fight.
1941 British intelligence ‘Ultra’, intercept numerous messages giving a positive indication that the Germans plan to attack Crete.
Another Brigade from the British 10th Indian Division lands at Basra, ignoring Iraqi’s protests. The Iraqi Army lays siege to The RAF base at Habbaniyh, although RAF planes fly numerous air strikes against them.
1942 The Belgian resistance destroys Tenderloo chemical works, killing more that 250. Executions by the Germans reported to be running at 25-30 a month in Belgium.
Japanese troops capture Lashio, thereby cutting the vital ‘Burma Road’ supply route into China.
The Japanese continue to land reinforcements on Mindanao Island as the step up attacks against the Filipino garrison. The shelling of Corregidor increases as the Japanese prepare to invade the Island.
1943 A series of minor attacks in near Novorossiysk drive the Germans back slowly.
U-boats begin a six-day attack on Convoy ONS5, during which 13 allied ships are finally sunk for the loss of six U-boats.
1944 Curtin, the Australian Prime Minister arrives in London.
The US Navy pounds the Japanese base at Truk, destroying 120 planes.
1945 The RAF begin Operation ‘Manna’, supply drops into Holland.
Convoy RA-66 sailing from the Kola Peninsula to Loch Ewe is attacked by at least 2 U-boats north of Kola. The British destroyer HMS Goodall, which was lend-leased by the US in 1943 is sunk by U-286 (Oblt.z.S. Willi Dietrich), for 1,150 tons, marking this as the last convoy to come under attack in the war.
The British Second Army crosses the Elbe near Hamburg, less than 100 miles west of the Russian forces in Mecklenburg. The U.S. Seventh Army reaches Munich. The French First Army captures Friedrichshafen on Lake Constance.
The 2nd Belorussian front advances fast in the Stralsund direction and seizes Anklam. In Berlin furious fighting takes place around the Reichstag, Chancellery and along Potsdamer Strasse. In Kottbus South of Berlin, German troops are still holding the Russians back.
The Germans armies in Italy sign surrender terms at The Royal Palace, Caserta, but German officers do not guarantee acceptance, the ceremony takes only 17 minutes. The British Eighth Army secures Venice and advances towards Trieste. The U.S. Fifth Army enters Milan and makes contact with the Eighth Army at Padua.
The bodies of Mussolini and Clara Petacci are brought to Milan and hung upside down from lamp-posts in the square where 15 Partisans were executed a year ago. The bodies are shot and spat upon.
U.S. 7th Army liberates Dachau Concentration Camp.
1940 Allied reinforcements arrive in Andalsnes, Norway.
1941 The British evacuation of Greece is completed
A clampdown is made in Norway against degenerate literature, with large-scale book burnings being held.
1942 Coastal “dimouts” go into effect along a fifteen-mile strip on the Eastern Seaboard, in response to German U-boat activity of the U.S. Atlantic coast.
At what turns out to be its last meeting, the puppet Nazi Reichstag passes legislation proclaiming Hitler “Supreme Judge of the German People,” formalising the Fuhrer’s position as being above the reach of the law.
1943 British forces repulse a last, desperate Panzer counter blow in Tunisia.
1944 The South African and Rhodesian Prime Ministers arrive for the imperial Conference.
Chinese forces retreat in central China.
1945 German U-boats sink 8 Allied ships, 3 destroyers and 2 corvettes in the English channel.
The Canadian First Army captures Emden and Wilhelmshaven, while the U.S. Seventh Army takes Augsburg and reaches the Austrian border to the South. Hitler marries his mistress, Eva Braun, and dictates his political testament in which he justifies the political and military actions of his 12-year-rule, blaming the war on international Jewry and exhorting the German people even after defeat to adhere to the principles of National Socialism, especially its racial laws. Grossadmiral DÃ¶nitz is appointed as his successor.
The U.S. Fifth Army take Brescia, 30 miles East of Milan. The British Eighth Army reaches Venice.
Italian Partisans capture Mussolini, his mistress Clara Petacci and 12 of his cabinet members in a German convoy trying to reach Switzerland. All are shot in nearby village.
Russian forces are fighting in the Wilhelmstrasse and reach the Anhalt Station which is just half a mile of the FÃ¼hrerbunker.
1946 The Allies indict Tojo with 55 counts of war crimes.
1940 Himmler signs the order that initiates construction of Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.
1941 German troops cross the Egyptian border and capture the Halfaya Pass, forcing the British to pull back to defensive a line running from Buq Buq on the coast to Sofafi, some 50km in to the desert. The British also begin construction of a major defensive line in front of Mersa Matruh.
German troops occupy Athens.
1942 The RAF use 107 aircraft in another raid against Rostok. Norwich is attacked by the Luftwaffe.
RAF Bomber Command again attack the Tirpitz at Trondheim, without success. Wing Commander Bennett who led the raid crashes in Norway, but manages to escape to Sweden.
1943 A report that Soviet troops have executed thousands of Polish officers near Smolensk causes a rift between the Polish government-in-exile and Moscow, jeopardizing their alliance.
1944 Both the Canadian and New Zealand Prime Ministers arrive in London for the Imperial Conference.
German planes spot an Allied convoy west of Start Point along the Channel Coast. The convoy is actually making a practice run (‘Operation Tiger’) for the planned invasion of Normandy on a stretch of coast very much like that found in the Normandy region of France. The 5th and 9th Schnellbootflottillers are directed to attack at night, which they do with the following boats: S100, S130, S138, S138, S140, S142, S143, S145, S150. They engage the convoy, consisting of 8 landing craft and protected by the lone English Corvette Azeala at Lyme Bay. The result is that LST 507 was set on fire and had to be given up, LST 531 was sunk and LST 289 received a torpedo hit which killed many soldiers. Total Allied losses were 197 seaman and 441 soldiers lost.
Merrill’s ‘Marauders’ begin a march on Myitkyina.
The U.S. Army complete their capture of Hollandia’s airfields and isolate 200,000 Japanese for the duration of war.
1945 Total V-weapon casualties in Britain are announced as 2,754 killed and 6,523 seriously injured.
The U.S. First Army captures Straubing and Kempten in Bavaria.
The Russians take Wittemberge on Elbe. Russian troops reach the Alexanderplatz in Berlin and Spandau is taken. The 2nd Belorussian front advances in Pomerania seizes Prenzlau and Angermunde, 70 miles northwest of Berlin. The German 9th Army tries to reach Berlin from the southeast and even counterattacks at Zossen. The German 20th Army does the same Southeast of Belzig. The German High command confesses that the last German forces in Pillau, East Prussia have surrendered.
The U.S. Fifth Army enters Genoa.