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.
Allied reinforcements arrive in Andalsnes, Norway.
The British evacuation of Greece is completed
A clampdown is made in Norway against degenerate literature, with large-scale book burnings being held.
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.
British forces repulse a last, desperate Panzer counter blow in Tunisia.
The South African and Rhodesian Prime Ministers arrive for the imperial Conference.
Chinese forces retreat in central China.
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.
The Allies indict Tojo with 55 counts of war crimes.
Himmler signs the order that initiates construction of Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The British stun the French and Norwegians by deciding to evacuate southern Norway.
The Italian fortress of Dessie, south of Amba Alagi is captured by South African forces.
The RAF again attacks Rostok, this time with 128 aircraft. The Luftwaffe again raid Bath.
Cunningham is forced to order the withdrawal of the 10th Submarine Flotilla from Malta as a result of the intense bombing and because of the mines laid by aircraft and German E-boats.
Axis losses in Africa for first 3Â½ months of 1943 are 66,000 killed, wounded and captured.
In marked contrast to earlier USAAF efforts, Bomber Command makes a hugely successful attack on the German ball-bearing factories at Schweinfurt.
The Greek PM resigns and George Papandreou forms a new government.
The ‘Chindits’ occupy Indaw.
Japanese fighters attack their first B-29, one fighter is shot down.
Australians troops occupy Alexishafen in New Guinea.
The Army seizes a Montgomery Ward plant in Chicago and reopens it for war production after its board of directors refuses to negotiate with the CIO labor union. Chairman Sewell Avery refuses to leave his office, and still seated in his chair, is carried out to the parking lot, where he bows to workers and enters a waiting limousine.
The first of some 75,000 ex-prisoners of war are flown back to the UK by aircraft of Bomber Command.
German troops at Bremen surrender to the British and Canadians. Allied troops now line the Swiss border from Basle to Lake Constance. The U.S. Third Army takes Regensburg on the Danube. Goering’s fall from grace announced in Germany, General Ritter von Greim is to replace him.
Marshal Henri Philippe Petain, the head of France’s Vichy government during World War II, was arrested.
Italian Partisans take Genoa and stage revolt in Milan. The U.S. Fifth Army captures Verona, 20 miles Northeast of Mantua.
The 2nd Belorussian front captures Stettin on the river Oder, while the 3rd Belorussian Front captures the Baltic port of Pillau, 20 miles West of KÃ¶nigsberg. General Wenck embarks on the last German offensive to relieve Berlin, but only manages to reach Ferch on the 27th April, before the offensive grinds to a halt. The remnants of 9th Army are cut off and surrounded in the Halbe pocket 30 miles southwest of Frankfurt am der Oder. The 2nd Ukrainian Front captures Brno, in Czechoslovakia.
Allied forces withdraw from Lillehammer in central Norway.
New evacuation scheme introduced in Britain as a Ministry of Health survey shows that only 8% of eligible children have been registered; 19% of parents refused to do so; 73% did not bother to reply.
Roosevelt announces an indefinite extension of US Atlantic patrols.
German paratroops seize Corinth and cross the Corinth Canal to the Peloponnese. Hitler issues Directive No.28, ordering the preparation of plans to capture Crete. The basic plan is to involve 22,750 paratroops, 650 combat aircraft and is to be launched on the 18th May 1941, although this is put back to the 20th May 1941.
The Luftwaffe attack Bath as the ‘Baedeker’ raids continue.
On his last patrol aboard U-404, KapitÃ¤nleutnant Otto von BÃ¼low fires two FAT and two G7e torpedoes at British aircraft carrier HMS Biter. All detonate prematurely and HMS Biter escapes without damage. Von BÃ¼low is later decorated by Hitler with Oak leaves to his Knights Cross for his Atlantic successes and German newspapers report the recent sinking of the American carrier USS Ranger as well. Later, USS Ranger commander Gordon Rowe, is photographed aboard his carrier smiling at a photograph of von BÃ¼low and the German report of his vessel’s demise.
With Allied control of the skies over Germany now virtually complete, Goebbels strongly objects to Hitler’s plan to fly to Berlin for one of his rare visits to attend Colonel General Hube’s funeral. Hitler insists on going anyway. It will be the last time the increasingly reclusive Fuhrer will show himself at a large public gathering in the Third Reich.
The British right hook South of Kohima begins.
Beginning of the San Francisco Conference convened to discuss the founding of the United Nations.
German U-boats sink 5 allied supply ships in the English Channel.
The U.S. Third Army crosses the Danube, 70 miles Northeast of Munich.
The RAF attacks the ‘Eagle’s Nest’, Hitler’s chalet and the SS barracks at Berchtesgarten.
Troops of the U.S. Ninth Army and the Soviet 1st Ukrainian Front meet on the Elbe at Torgau, 100 miles Southwest of Berlin.
The U.S. Fifth Army enters Mantua, 60 miles Northwest of Bologna and continues its drive up coast, while the British Eighth Army crosses the Po river and captures Parma.
Russian units of the 1st Belorussian and 1st Ukrainian Fronts meet at Kietzen west of Berlin, meaning that eight Russian armies have now surrounded Berlin in a vice like grip. The suburbs Tegel and Reinickendorf fall into Russian hands. A relief attack by the III Panzer Korps from the area of Eberswalde 50 miles northeast of Berlin fails.
U.S. Marines seize islands off coast of Okinawa in Pacific.
Commons approves trade agreement with Spain, first since Spanish Civil War.
French reinforcements arrive at Aandalesnes. British troops forced to withdraw north of Trondheim after sharp fighting. Norwegian troops attack the Germans south of Narvik, but are beaten back.
German forces in Greece break through British positions at Thermopylae and land paratroops on Greek islands in the north-eastern Aegean. The British expeditionary force begins the evacuation of its troops to Egypt and Crete.
The Luftwaffe raids Exeter in the first of Hitler’s retaliatory raids, which were soon to become known as the ‘Baedeker’ raids after the famous guidebook series of that name. A second raid employing 91 aircraft is made against Rostok.
All overseas travel is banned in Britain.
The first B-29 arrives in China, over the Hump of the Himalayas.
The British force the road to Kohima open.
U.S. troops secure Hollandia and Aitape in New Guinea inflicting 9,000 Japanese casualties, while only suffering 450 dead themselves. Australians troops enter Madang in New Guinea.
The British Second and Canadian First Armies enter Bremen.
The U.S. First Army liberates Dachau concentration camp.
The US Seventh Army crosses the Danube at Dillingen and captures Ulm.
The Eighth Army captures Ferrara, 30 miles to the Northeast of Bologna and crosses the Po after fierce fighting. The U.S. Fifth Army takes Spezia on the Gulf of Genoa and Modern.
The Japanese Burma Area Army C-in-C leaves Rangoon. The British Fourteenth Army takes Pyinmana in central Burma.