Archive for the ‘WWII History’ Category

1939 Hans Frank appointed Nazi Gauleiter (governor) of Poland.

Jews evacuate Vienna.

1940 President Roosevelt in a fireside chat suggests the drafting of 18 and 19 year old men.

Night raids on London continue.

Hitler postpones invasion of Britain until the spring 1941.

U-101 torpedoes and sinks the merchant ship Saint-Malo south of Iceland. The ship was a former French vessel requisitioned by the Canadian government. 28 are killed.

A German military mission is set up in Bucharest, Romania, for the purpose of aiding in the training of the Romanian Army.

1941 Army Group Centre captures Kaluga and Bryansk. Women and children evacuated from Moscow.

1942 Attorney General Francis Biddle announced that Italian nationals in the United States would no longer be considered enemy aliens.

1943 The Heaviest RAF attack so far on northern Italy, with more than 1,000 tons dropped on Milan in under 30 minutes.

350 allied bombers hit the Japanese base at Rabaul in New Britain. The damage reported includes 120 planes destroyed and three destroyers sunk.

The U.S. Fifth Army begins an offensive along the Volturno river in Italy.

1944 The Germans fall back across the Lower Rhine, west of Arnhem.

The Germans evacuate Athens.

The Germans manage to hold line of the Niemen to cover East Prussia.

1939 British Expeditionary Force on continent reaches strength of 158,000 in five weeks.

The Soviet Union and Finland begin negotiations concerning the establishment of Soviet air bases on Finnish soil. The Soviet Union also requires Finland to cede territory around lake Ladoga and the Gulf of Finland, plus the Petsamo area in northern Finland. In return the Soviet Union offers to give Finland a chunk of desolate land in central Karelia. The Finns reject the Soviet demands fearing that to accept will only encourage further Soviet demands.

1941 Rumours of an impending capture of Moscow by the German Army cause thousands of civilians to flee the city.

Erich Koch, Reich commisar in Ukraine, announces the closing of all schools there. According to Koch, “Ukraine children need no schools. What they’ll have to learn will be taught to them later by their German masters.”

1942 The first night raid on Britain by Luftwaffe for 15 days.

The US Navy surprises a Japanese naval squadron in the night ‘Battle of Cape Esperance’, off Savo Island in the Solomons. The Japanese lose one cruiser and a destroyer, while the US Navy loses just a single destroyer.

1944 The RAF complete the flooding of Walcheren with a 102-bomber raid near Veete.

The Red Army captures Klausenburg in Romania as Hungary and the Soviet Union begin negotiations for a ceasefire.

U.S. air raids against Okinawa begin.

1945 Negotiations between Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek and Communist leader Mao Tse-tung break down. Nationalist and Communist troops are soon engaged in a civil war.

1938 The Hungarian army, with the sanction of its German allies, retakes territory in Czechoslovakia that was stripped from the Austro-Hungarian Empire after WWI.

1939 The Soviet Union signs and agreement with Lithuania that allows the Soviets to establish military bases in the country.

1941 The 250th ‘Blue’ Division, made up of Spanish volunteers and formed within days of the German attack on the Soviet Union, goes into action against the Russians for the first time in the sector between Lake Illmen and the west bank of the Volkhov river. General Zhukov is put in charge of the West Front for the defence of Moscow. Army Group South concludes the battle along the Sea of Azov and takes 100,000 prisoners.

1942 German and Italian bomber forces begin a major offensive against the British island of Malta in the Mediterranean.

1943 With the war’s tide turning, the Franco government orders the Spanish 250th ‘Blue’ Division home. A few thousand volunteers, however, refuse to abandon the struggle against Communism and enlist in a so-called “Blue Legion” that is attached to the German 121st Infantry Division.

Chiang Kai-shek took the oath of office as president of China.

1944 The American 24-hour surrender ultimatum to Germans at Aachen is rejected. The Canadians enter the Breskens Pocket along the Scheldt with amphibians.

The British take Corinth as Army Group E begins its final retreat from Greece.

The Red Army breaks through the German lines in Serbia as it moves towards Belgrade.

The Russians reach the Baltic at Memel and cut off Army Group North (26 divisions) in the Kurland for the rest of the war. The rebellion against the Tiso government in Slovakia is put down by the German Army.

U.S. B-29 Superfortresses pound Formosa and Okinawa. The Formosa bombardment lasts seven days, during which over 650 Japanese planes are reported as destroyed.

1939 Chamberlain announces committee of ministers to co-ordinate the economy.

Hitler issues orders for the invasion of France and the Low Countries. This first plan called for the German Army to wheel through Belgium as they had done during World War One, although this time they were to invade Holland as well. Only the start date wasn’t specified, although Hitler was thinking of November. However, bad weather and demands by his generals for more preparation time caused postponement until the following year.

1940 Churchill is unanimously elected leader of the Conservative Party.

Dutch decree, bans Jews and ‘half-Jews’ from public employment.

1941 President Roosevelt in a message to Congress urges the repeal of Section 6 of the Neutrality Act which would allow the arming of U.S. merchant ships against “the modern pirates of the sea”, the U-boats.

Hitler announces that the war in the East, for all intents and purposes, has already been decided in favour of the Reich.

1942 The Red Army ends its system of dual leadership by abolishing the position of the Communist political commissar in favor of a single military commander in its various units.

Nazi leader Martin Bormann rules that “the permanent elimination of the Jews….can no longer be carried out by emigration” but must proceed “by the use of ruthless force in the special camps of the east”.

1943 The Russians now control the Kuban peninsula on the Black Sea, after the successful evacuation of all German and Romanian troops into the Crimea.

1944 The 1st Bulgarian Army attacks towards Nis in Yugoslavia.

Admiral Nimitz decides to invade the island of Iwo Jima, 700 miles to the South of Japan.

1939 RAF reconnaissance planes shoots down a German flying boat over the North Sea.

The American cargo ship “City of Flint” and its crew are captured by a German warship, despite the fact that the United States and Germany are not at war. The American sailors are eventually freed when the Germans are forced to dock in Norway.

An SS unit executes 20 Poles in the Jewish cemetery in Swiecie.

1940 The RAF attacks Berlin. Churchill makes statement to Commons claiming that bombing casualties are falling.

Churchill makes statement to Commons and claims that the Germans have the capability to ‘throw 500,000 men onto salt water or into it’.

Another heavily escorted supply convoy sets sail for Malta from Alexandria. However, bad weather stops the Italian fleet from putting to sea and the convoy arrives safely. Only the escorts return trip to Alexandria, they are attacked by a force of Italian Destroyers and Torpedo boats.

No casualties are suffered by the Royal Navy, but the Italians lose 2 destroyers and 2 Torpedo boats sunk and 1 Destroyer damaged.

Churchill makes statement to Commons that the Burma Road is to be reopened.

1941 In a letter to Stalin, President Roosevelt promises U.S. military aid to the Soviet Union.

1942 The final plans for the invasion of Northwest Africa (‘Operation Torch’) are issued.

Strong Japanese rearguard action against the Australians at Templeton Crossing on the Kokoda Trail in New Guinea.

1944 Units of the U.S. Ninth Army reach the outskirts of Aachen on the German border.

1945 Rudolph Hess is flown from England to Germany to stand trial.

President Harry S. Truman announced that the secret of the atomic bomb would be shared only with Britain and Canada.

1940 German troops enter Romania to ‘help restrain the Army’.

Beaverbrook announces gifts received for aircraft purchases now total £6,098,826.

Finland rejects a British demand to cease fighting the Soviet Union.

German advance on Moscow continues with the capture of Vyasma. Stalin lifts ban on religion in Russia to boost morale.

Curtin becomes the Prime Minister of Australia.

1943 The RAF bombs Stuttgart making use of the Airborne ‘Cigar’ jamming device, killing 1,700 and making 18,000 homeless.

The U.S. Fifth Army is halted by German defenses along River Volturno, 20 miles North of Naples.

Japanese execute approximately 100 American POWs on Wake Island.

1944 The 20th Gebirgsjäger Army retreats towards northern Norway in the face of strong Soviet attacks.

A revolt by Jewish slave laborers at Auschwitz-Birkenau results in complete destruction of Crematory IV.

The Eighth Army resumes its attacks on the Gothic Line. The British reach Corinth, land at Nauplion and take the island of Samos.

1949 Iva Toguri D’Aquino, better known as Tokyo Rose, is sentenced to 10 years in prison for treason.

1939 After a 2 day battle against Soviet tanks and planes and then a 5-day fight against the Germans.

The last remaining Polish troops (17,000 men) surrender to German forces at Kock and Lublin.

Hitler in a speech to the Reichstag announces the victorious conclusion of the Polish campaign and calls upon Britain and France to cease hostilities and come to terms with Germany. This is rejected by both the British and French government’s.

Proclamation by Hitler on the isolation of Jews.

1941 Churchill gives a personal undertaking to Stalin to send a convoy every ten days to Russia’s northern ports.

1942 The setting up of a UN commission to investigate war crimes is announced in Washington.

The III Panzer Corps captures Malgobek at the bend of the Terek river in the Caucasus.

Montgomery issues the final plan to senior commanders for the Second battle of El Alamein.

1943 The U.S. Fifth Army takes Capua and Caserta.

Two Russian armies take Nevel on the boundary between Army Groups North and Centre.

1944 The Canadian 3rd Division attacks the Breskena Pocket, South of the Scheldt.

A Russian offensive by 64 divisions, 750 tanks and 1,100 aircraft commences near Arad in Hungary, with the aim of destroying Army Group South.

1945 General George Patton prepares to turn over command of the Third Army to General Lucian K. Truscott. Patton is relieved of the command because he is believed to be favorably inclined toward the Germans, as well as anti-Semitic. Patton later claims he was “done to death by slanderous tongues”.

1938 The German government orders all German Jews to have red J’s printed on their passports, in order to more easily identify and track them in the future.

1939 Hitler enters Warsaw in triumph. The Soviet Union forces a treaty on Latvia that allows the Red Navy to establish bases in her Baltic harbors.

1941 Advancing in the southern Ukraine, Panzer Group 1 reaches the Sea of Azov.

1942 Himmler orders all Jews in concentration camps in Germany to be sent to Auschwitz and Majdanek.

1943 German troops complete the evacuation of the island of Corsica.

The first of two heavy raids by a US Navy Task Force against Wake Island, with 61 Japanese aircraft being reported as destroyed.

1944 The Canadians enter Holland.

The First Baltic Front begins an offensive South of Riga to cut off Army Group North in Lithuania.

1939 Nazis begin euthanasia on sick and disabled in Germany.

1940 Mussolini and Hitler meet at the Brenner Pass.

Admiralty announces recent sinking of seven German and two Italian submarines.

1942 A Commando raid on Occupied Sark, in Channel Islands capture’s one German soldier.

The fourth German offensive begins in Stalingrad as the XIV Panzer Corps launches an attack in force to capture the Tractor Factory in the northern part of the city.

1943 Organised British resistance ends on Kos. The French complete their take over of Corsica.

Himmler talks openly about the Final Solution at Posen.

1944 German minister of propaganda Joseph Goebbels tells the German public that the Allies are launching an offensive in an attempt to end the war before the November election. The Germans, he says, must use guerrilla tactics, if necessary, to resist their enemies.

The Russian 46th Army is within 10 miles of Belgrade.

The British launch Operation ‘Manna’, and intervene in Greece, with 2nd Airborne Brigade landing at Patras. Other landings take on Crete and other Islands in the Aegean.

1940 U.S. Army adopts airborne, or parachute, soldiers. Airborne troops were later used in World War II for landing troops in combat and infiltrating agents into enemy territory.

Chamberlain resigns as Lord President of the Council through ill health, and cabinet is reshuffled with Sir Kingsley Wood, the Chancellor, and Ernie Bevin, Minister of Labour joining War Cabinet.

Vichy France passes its own version of the anti-Jewish Nuremberg Laws.

1941 Charles Lindbergh warns an America First audience that President Roosevelt wants to “prevent freedom of speech” and might go so far as to cancel congressional elections in 1942.

British road deaths in the second year of war up 65% on the pre-war figure.

Hitler tells the German people that Russian ‘has already been broken and will never rise again’. Troops of Army Group Centre capture Orel.

General Cunningham’s plan for ‘Operation Crusader’ is approved by General Auchinleck to be launched on the 11th November. The aim is for XXX Corps, which includes the bulk of the British Armour to draw the 15th and 21st Panzer Division into combat and destroy their tank strength.

Then, XIII Corps, having contained the axis forces on the frontier, would envelop them from the south and advance on Tobruk, whose garrison would break out at an opportune moment and link up. While all this was happening, a smaller element called ‘Oasis Force’ would advance further west in to Libya than the main force, in order to deceive Rommel as to where the main effort was to be made. Further smaller operations were to be mounted by the SAS on Axis airfields in Libya in an attempt to destroy aircraft on the ground.

Australian Independents vote with the Labour to defeat McFadden government.

1942 Germany conducts the first successful test flight of a V-2 missile, which flies perfectly over a 118-mile course.

The 6th Army continues to push the decimated Soviet 62nd Army back toward the Volga, but with heavy losses to both sides.

1943 The Germans invade Kos with the assistance of massive air support.

Japanese forces launch the successful ‘rice’ offensive in Central China.

1944 The allies begin a 60-hour truce at Dunkirk to allow the evacuation of civilians. The U.S. Third Army resumes its attack on Fort Driant, Metz for the next 10 days.