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.

Jul
29

World War II Today: July 29

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1940
80 German planes attack Dover harbour; British claim 17 down; Air Ministry accuses Germans of using Red Cross planes for reconnaissance. Germany apologizes to Eire for Wexford bombing. Intense dogfights over London and Home Counties. Britain refuses German proposal to use 64 Red Cross ships to rescue airmen from the English Channel.

A German memorandum issued by the OKM states that an invasion of Great Britain will not be possible until the second half of September 1940 and that the prospects for such an invasion seem doubtful.

James Melville ‘Jimmy’ Cox, the Reuters’ correspondent in Tokyo was arrested on 27th July by the Kempeitai on the usual non-specific charge of espionage. Two days later he was seen falling from an open window on the third floor of the Kempeitai Headquarters. They claimed that he had committed suicide because he was guilty of espionage.

1941
Marshal Zhukov resigns as Russian Chief of Staff.

1942
German troops take Proletarskaya and establish a bridgehead over the Manych River in the Caucasus region.

1943
The mass evacuation of a million civilians from Hamburg is ordered after the recent heavy bombings.

Army Group A launches counter attacks to improve its positions along the Mius River.

1944
The last of a series of RAF bombing raids on Stuttgart that kill 900 and leave 100,000 homeless takes place.

The Red Army reaches to the Baltic coast to the West of Riga, thereby cutting Army Group North off in Estonia and Eastern Latvia.

The Orote Peninsula is secured on Guam.

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Jul
28

World War II This Day: July 28

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1940
All road and rail links between occupied France and Vichy cut by the Germans.

Slovak President and Premier meet Hitler and von Ribbentrop at Berchtesgarden.

1941
Finland ends diplomatic relations with Great Britain.

German troops begin to clear Soviet forces trapped in the Smolensk pocket.

40,000 Japanese troops land on the coast of Cochin, China (modern day Vietnam).

1942
The effect of the fall of Rostov spreads panic and terror in the Soviet Union, prompting harsh counter-measures by the Soviet High Command.

1943
The second mass raid on Hamburg by 722 RAF bombers results in nine square miles of city being set alight.

The Japanese garrison of 6,000 troops are secretly evacuated from Kiska in the Aleutians.

1944
U.S. troops take Coutances, thereby meeting the objectives laid down for ‘Operation Cobra’.

Brest-Litovsk, on the Polish frontier is taken by the Russians. More crossings over the Vistula are also made.

1945
A B-25 bomber crashes into the Empire State Building in New York City, killing 14 people.

The remnants of Japanese battle fleet are destroyed in three days of attacks over the Japanese Inland Sea, as the Americans deploy 2,000 carrier-planes and bombers in action.

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Jul
27

World War II On This Day Today: July 27

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1940
German aircraft sink destroyers Codrington at Dover and Wren off the Suffolk coast.

Japan announces its plans for the creation of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.

1941
London is severely bombed by the Luftwaffe, in its first air raid for 10 weeks.

German troops liberate Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. Guderian’s Panzer Group 2 is removed from its subordination to von Kluge’s 4th Army and put directly under the control of Army Group Centre. This is due to severe disagreements between the von Kluge and Guderian, which are disabling operations. Fierce battles rage 25 miles to the east of Smolensk.

General Douglas MacArthur enjoys his first full day in command of all U.S. armed forces in the Far East. President Roosevelt later explains MacArthur’s success; “Never underestimate a man who overestimates himself.”

1942
German troops take Bataysk, and 6th Army launches an attack to destroy the soviet bridgehead west at Kalach.

1943
The liberation of Mussolini, the occupation of Rome and Italy, plus the capture of the Italian fleet is decided upon by the German High Command. Mussolini himself is transferred from Rome to the Island of Ponza. Heavy fighting continues in Sicily, leading Kesselring to order preparations for the evacuation of the island.

1944
U.S. troops breakthrough at St. Lo, forcing a general German withdrawal from Normandy toward the river Seine.

The Russians take Lvov, Dunaburg and Bialystok and secure a major bridgehead over the Magnuszew River. Further gains are also made in Baltic States.

U.S. troops complete the liberation of Guam.

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Jul
26

World War II On This Day: July 26

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1940
Secretary-General of League of Nations, Joseph Avenol, resigns.

1941
Three Soviet armies are encircled and destroyed in the Mogilev area.

3,800 Jews killed during a pogrom by Lithuanians in Kovno.

Italian motorboats attack Valetta harbour in Malta. All eight boats are sunk.

General Sir Claude Auchinleck flies to London for talks about future offensive operations to relieve Tobruk.

By Presidential order, all Japanese assets in the US are frozen, and all shipments of metal and petroleum are stopped.

British notice of denunciation of commercial agreements with Japan.

AVG in China under Chennault with 100 planes.

Proposal made for a neutral Indochina.

New Philippine command under MacArthur.

1942
An Australian attack at Alamein fails and the Eighth Army goes over to the defensive after taking 7,000 Axis prisoners. This concludes the first battle of El Alamein.

Army Group A begins its advance from Rostov and the lower Don toward the Caucasus region.

1943
Marshal Badoglio is appointed head of Italy by the Italian King after the arrest of Benito Mussolini. The Marshal immediately excludes all Fascists from his new cabinet and dissolves the Fascist Party.

A number of Waffen SS divisions are ordered to be transferred from Russia to Italy, but only the 1st SS Panzer Division is actually redeployed.

1944
Narva is finally captured by the Red Army. The Russians reach the Estonian border.

President Roosevelt arrives in Hawaii for a conference on Pacific strategy with Gen. Douglas MacArthur and Admiral Chester Nimitz. FDR authorizes MacArthur’s plan to liberate the Philippines instead of bypassing them, as desired by the Navy and Nimitz.

1945
Components of the Atomic Bomb “Little Boy” are unloaded at Tinian Island in the South Pacific.

Winston Churchill resigned as Britain’s prime minister after his Conservatives were soundly defeated by the Labor Party. Clement Attlee became the new prime minister.

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Jul
25

World War II On This Day: July 25

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1940
British claim 25 German planes downed in a day, the highest total so far.

Reich Minster of Economics Funk outlines ‘New Order’ for Europe, with forced labor from occupied countries.

Compulsory evacuation of women and children ordered from Gibraltar.

Swiss Gen. Henri Guisan, commander of all Swiss forces, reacts to an appeasement-oriented speech by Federal President Marcel Pilet-Golaz by assembling 650 Swiss military officers in the Field of Rutli – the birthplace of Swiss independence – to make it clear the Swiss Army would resist any German or Italian invasion. “As long as in Europe millions stand under arms, and as long as important forces are able to attack us at any time, this army has to remain at its post.” Pilet-Golaz and Berlin react with outrage, but Switzerland remains independent.

Italy bombs the British naval base at Alexandria and the base at Haifa.

1941
Italian motorboats with 33 Italian naval assault troops attempt to enter Valletta harbor on the island of Malta to attack British ships, but are discovered. All eight boats are sunk with 15 men being killed and 18 taken prisoner.

Finnish forces stop at the Tuulos River in Soviet Carelia because their flank is exposed.

Japan announces Indochina protectorate. It begins military occupation of bases July 28 to prepare for attack on Malay.

United States, UK and Dominions freeze all Japanese assets.

1942
Army Group A breaks out of its bridgeheads on the lower Don, along with the 4th Panzer Army which holds the eastern most of these. Army Group A drives south, whilst 4th Panzer Army attacks east and then north-east to link up with the rest of Army Group B as its advances towards Stalingrad. The South Front under General Malinovsky is being quickly shattered and the remnants are absorbed in to the North Caucasus Front, which is commanded by Marshal Budenny. Despite the lack of supplies are intense heat, the Germans make rapid progress. Further north, the 6th Army attempts to bounce its way across the river Don, but is initially repulsed and so waits for the 4th Panzer Army to arrive.

1943
German radio says that Hamburg is still burning (8am), leaving 100,000 homeless. The USAAF bomb the city again in daylight. The allies blitz Essen with 2,000 tons of bombs being dropped.

Benito Mussolini is arrested by order of the Italian King. Marshal Badoglio, a First World War hero becomes Prime Minister, introduces martial law and incorporates the Fascist militia into the ordinary armed forces, thus ending the Fascist regime in Italy. Hitler orders German divisions rushed South in to Italy to disarm their former allies. Allied forces begin to face stiff resistance as they approach Messina.

1944
2,500 USAAF aircraft drop 4,150 tons of bombs on German and American positions near St. Lo, which kill 601 Americans.

The US VII Corps launches ‘Operation Cobra’ in an attempt to breakout from the southern end of the Cherbourg peninsula, near St. Lo. The Canadians attack South of Caen. Goebbels becomes the ‘Reich Plenipotentiary for Total War’.

Narva is evacuated by the Germans, who take up position along the Tannenberg position to the West. Soviet forces cut the road between Dvinsk and Riga in Latvia. The Second Tank Army reaches the Vistula, 40 miles West of Lublin.

Lvov is surrounded and Soviet forces converge on Brest-Litovsk.

1,246 Japanese are killed in a Banzai charge on Tinian, another 3,000 die on Guam.

The British Eastern Fleet pounds the Japanese airfields and port at Sabang on Sumatra.

1945
A Proclamation to the Japanese people is issued by UK, U.S and China from Potsdam, which warns of devastation from the ‘final blows’ and calls for Japans unconditional surrender.

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