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.

Dec
31

World War II Today: December 31

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1939
Allied merchant shipping sunk by U-boats, world-wide from the out break of war to year’s end 1939 is 165 ships, equaling 693,557 gross tons. 9 U-boats were lost worldwide in the same period.

Finnish troops destroy yet another Russian division.

1940
British civilian casualties figures for the month: 3,793 killed, 5,244 injured.

Allied merchant shipping sunk by U-boats, world-wide from January to year’s end 1940 is 567 ships, equaling 2,771,483 gross tons. 24 U-boats were lost worldwide in the same period.

1941
All further German attacks against the Crimean fortress of Sevastopol are halted for the winter.

Allied merchant shipping sunk by U-boats, world-wide from January to year’s end 1941 is 503 ships, equaling 2,530,011 gross tons. 35 U-boats were lost worldwide in the same period.

Lieutenant General George H. Brett takes command of US forces in Australia.

Admiral Chester W. Nimitz is appointed to command the US Asiatic Fleet.

1942
In what is to become known as the ‘Battle of the Barents Sea’, the German pocket battleship Lützow, cruiser Admiral Hipper and 6 escorting destroyers are intercepted at 9.30am by the British cruisers HMS Jamaica, HMS Sheffield and five destroyers before they can reach convoy JW-51B.

During the naval exchanges that follow, the British lose 1 destroyer and a minesweeper, which had been searching for stragglers from the convoy,

whilst the Germans lose a destroyer. By Midday the Germans have decided to withdraw and the battle is over.

Allied merchant shipping sunk by U-boats, world-wide from January to year’s end 1942 is 1,323 ships, equaling 7,047,744 gross tons. 87 U-boats were lost worldwide in the same period.

The Red Cross are now spending £375,000 per month on food parcels for allied POWs.

After five months of battle, Emperor Hirohito allows the Japanese commanders at Guadalcanal to retreat.

1943
Allied merchant shipping sunk by U-boats, world-wide from January to year’s end 1943 is 588 ships, equaling 3,042,371 gross tons. 242 U-boats were lost worldwide in the same period.

Russians retake Zhitomir, 80 miles East of Kiev.

The Battle for Razabil in the Arakan begins between British and Japanese forces.

1944
Allied merchant shipping sunk by U-boats, world-wide from January to year’s end 1944 is 251 ships, equaling 978,892 gross tons. 252 U-boats were lost worldwide in the same period.

Rochefort is back in U.S. hands. Third Army launch new counter-offensive near Bastogne. At about 11pm the Germans launch their ‘Nordwind’ offensive towards Strasbourg.

Hungary declares war on Germany.

1946
President Truman officially proclaimed the end of hostilities in World War II.

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Dec
30

World War II Today: December 30

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1939
Finnish troops at Suomussalmi, completely destroy the Russian 163rd Infantry Division.

1941
The Russian success in the Crimea continues as the Germans make a hurried evacuation of Kerch.

The Congress Party in India supports the British war effort, while Gandhi resigns his leadership in protest.

1942
The allies cut Japanese forces in two at Buna.

The German pocket battleship Lützow, cruiser Admiral Hipper and 6 destroyers leave Altenfjord and head north to intercept convoy JW-51B.

1943
The Russians report 30-60 mile advances from the Kiev salient along a 180-mile front.

1944
The Germans launch a heavy attack on the Bastogne corridor in the Ardennes. The British attack on Houffalize is halted by bitter German resistance.

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Dec
29

World War II Today: December 29

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1939
Finnish forces launch a successful counter attack to the North of Lake Ladoga.

1940
In a radio broadcast Roosevelt tells Americans: “We must be the great arsenal of the democracy.”

The Luftwaffe launches a major incendiary raid against London, destroying or badly damaging a number of historic buildings.

1941
Soviet troops make an amphibious landing at Feodosiya on the south coast of the Crimea in order to relive pressure against Sevastopol and hopefully clear the Germans from the Crimea.

1942
The British cruisers HMS Jamaica and HMS Sheffield join convoy JW-51B south of Bear Island as its makes the dangerous passage through the Barents Sea.

1943
The Eighth 2,000-ton air raid is flown against Berlin by the RAF on the third anniversary of the fire bombing of London.

US Marines secure Cape Gloucester airfield on New Britain.

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Dec
28

World War II History Today: December 28

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1940
Mussolini asks Hitler for support, to help the bogged down Italian forces with their offensive against the Greeks in Albania.

As food becomes scarce in Italy, the Italian government announces that in extreme cases people caught hoarding food might be executed.

1941
General Wavell takes over command of the British forces defending Burma and India.

1942
The Japanese withdrawal from Buna ordered.

In the face of the continuing Soviet offensive toward Rostov-on-Don, Army Group A is ordered to withdraw its forces from the Caucasus.

Sterilization experiments on women at Birkenau begin.

General De Gaulle welcomes Giraud’s appointment and calls for French unity.

1943
The British military mission arrives in Turkey to discuss the supply of arms and troops as agreed at Cairo. However, the Turks make surprising new demands, which cannot be met.

The Eighth Army finally clears Ontona after bitter street fighting.

The Royal Navy cruisers Enterprise and Glasgow sink the German destroyers T25, T26 and Z27 which were escorting blockade runners in Bay of Biscay.

1944
U.S. troops gain ground against the Ardennes salient.

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Dec
27

WWII Today: December 27

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1939
The Finnish 9th Division attacks towards Suomussalmi, recapturing the village and forcing the Russian 163rd Division to retreat in panic.

1941
A combined services commando raid on German occupied islands off Norway results in 200 Germans killed and 16,000 tons of shipping destroyed.

The Australian Prime Minister, Curtin, announces, “Australia looks to America”.

The Red Army continues its counter-offensive in the Kalinin
area.

1942
Hitler agrees to allow the retreat by Army Groups A and Don to a line 150 miles west of Stalingrad.

General Giraud becomes the leader of French Africa.

1944
British troops reach Foul Point in Arakan.

The Russians capture Gran, this cutting all communications with Budapest and trapping five German and Hungarian divisions.

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