1939 The Scharnhorst and Gneisenau put in to Wilhelmshaven after returning from their successful sortie in to the North Atlantic.
Australia and Britain establish the Empire Air Training Scheme.
1940 Romanian extremists, “Iron Guard”, begin a murder campaign with 64 executions.
The British Admiralty decides to send the Battleship Ramillies and 2 Cruisers from the Mediterranean fleet to reinforce the Atlantic fleet. They are to sail to Malta with a supply convoy, link up with Force H and then sail onto Gibraltar. Just as the reach the rendezvous point, Ramillies, the 2 Cruisers, the Aircraft Carrier Ark Royal and 10 Destroyers are intercepted by Admiral Campioni’s squadron of 2 Battleships, 7 Cruisers and 16 Destroyers. However, as soon as the Battleship Renown from Force H joined in, the Italians withdrew with 1 Cruiser and 2 Destroyers damaged, while the British suffered damage to the heavy cruiser HMS Berwick.
1941 German Panzer’s only 19 miles from Moscow. Some armed patrols have penetrated in to the western suburbs of the city and managed to get a good look at the Kremlin.
The Tobruk garrison links up the New Zealand Division of the Eighth Army at El Duda. Rommel forces, now under constant attack by the RAF are forced to turn his forces around in order to deal with this new development. Gondar, the last Italian held town in East Africa surrenders to British forces after a tough battle. The Italian commander, General Nasi surrenders 23,500 men, while the British suffer 500 casualties.
Japan rejects the USA’s demand for their withdrawal of forces from China.
US Pacific forces put on war alert.
1942 Continuing their occupation of Vichy France, German troops take the naval base of Toulon.
Army Group Don under Manstein is formed to relieve Stalingrad.
The French scuttle 79 warships docked at Toulon as German troops enter the City, but four submarines manage to escape.
British troops are only 22 miles from Tunis.
1943 The British 8th Army begins an offensive across the Sangro river.
1944 The Red Army breaks through the German-Hungarian defensive lines and captures Mohacs.
The German ship ˜Rigel’ is sunk. Over 2,570 are drowned, most of them prisoners of war.
B29 bombers from Saipan again pound Tokyo, but this time the Japanese reply with raids against the U.S. airbases on Saipan.
1945 UN Charter is now ratified by twenty-nine nations.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: August 8 WWII Today: May 11 WWII Today: March 12
Douglas MacArthur (January 26, 1880 – April 5, 1964) was an American general and a field marshal of the Philippine Army. He was a Chief of Staff of the US Army during the 1930s and played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II.
Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: August 7 WWII Today: August 16 WWII Today: October 3
1938 Poland renews nonaggression pact with the Soviet Union to protect against a German invasion.
1939 The Soviet Union charges Finland with artillery attack on border.
1940 The Western Desert Force, begins Training Exercise No.1. This was a dress rehearsal for ‘Operation Compass’. Surprise was vital and so not even the troops involved were told of the rehearsals significance.
The half-million Jews of Warsaw, Poland, were forced by the Nazis to live within a walled ghetto.
Britain announces that after Christmas, bananas will no longer be imported.
1941 Due to Rommel’s bold move, General Cunningham wants to halt the offensive and fall back to the frontier. General Auchinleck overrides him on this and replaces him as commander of the Eighth Army with General Ritchie.
U.S. secretary of state puts his final proposal to the Japanese.
Japanese 1st Air Fleet sets sail for Pearl Harbor, from its anchorage in the Kurile Islands. Commanded by Admiral Chuichi Nagumo, its consists of 6 aircraft carriers, 2 battleships, 3 cruisers, 9 destroyers and 8 oil tankers and has strict orders to observe strict radio silence. They await the signal “Climb Mount Nitaka”, the order to attack Pearl Harbor.
The Germans make the first large deportation of Jews from Norway.
The Russians throw Germans rearguards back across the Don.
1943 The largest USAAF raid so far on Bremen. A fifth consecutive night raid on Berlin by RAF.
German forces of Army Group Centre evacuate Gomel in Byelorussia.
The HMT Rohna, a British troop transport, is attacked in the eastern Mediterranean by a Luftwaffe plane using a radio-guided bomb, sinking the ship and killing 1,015 American GIs and 135 British and Australian service men. It is the largest loss of U.S. servicemen at sea in the war. The disaster is kept secret, as the Allies did not wish to disclose that the Germans possessed such an intimidating weapon. Consequently, the destruction of the Rohna will remain virtually unknown to the public for many years after the war.
1944 The Russians advance in Slovakia.
US 491st Bombardment Group loses 16 of 28 B-24 Liberators over Misburg, Germany in only 15 minutes.
1945 Gen. Douglas MacArthur confirms that Japan’s emperor will not be required to abdicate.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: June 26 WWII Today: July 27 WWII Today: June 16
1939 Germany reports four British ships sunk in the North Sea, but London denies the claim.
1940 Zionist group Irgun blows up British liner Patria at Haifa to prevent removal of Eastern European Jewish refugees from Palestine to Mauritius (213/1771 refugees killed, 50/130 crew).
First flight of British De Havilland Mosquito bomber.
First flight of US Martin B-26 Marauder medium bomber.
1941 Hitler takes time out from monitoring the assault on Moscow to meet with Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem in Berlin. While the Fuhrer refrains from giving an unqualified endorsement of Arab nationalist aims in the Middle East (he did not wish to upset Vichy France), the two agree on the need for the “destruction” of the “Jewish element.”
The Germans continue their advance against Moscow, throwing all their available strength in to the attack in a final attempt to capture the Russian capital.
Rommel continues his attacks at the rear of the Eighth Army.
U-331 (Kplt. Tiesenhausen) sinks the British battleship Barham in the Mediterranean.
1943 The US Navy Department announces that very few Japanese are left alive in the Gilbert Islands. On Tarawa, 1,090 Marines were killed and 2,193 wounded, with only 100 Japanese out of garrison of 4,836 being taken prisoner, with only 17 of them being soldiers. Sattelberg in New Guinea falls to the 9th Australian Division.
A Destroyer action off Cape St. George results in the Japanese being routed to the north west of Bougainville and losing three destroyers out of five in the process.
1944 The French take Belfort.
Himmler orders the destruction of the crematories at Auschwitz.
The last Japanese resistance in Peleliu ends. 14,000 Japanese are killed or captured for 9,300 U.S. casualties.
German V-2 rocket hits Woolworth department store in London, killing 168.
Nazis demolish crematoria and gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Gen. Mark Clark named to command 15th Army Group (Allied Armies in Italy); Gen. Lucian Truscott to replace him over US Fifth Army.
1945 British begin Operation Deadlight, the sinking of captured German U-boats off the Hebrides.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: August 15 WWII Today: August 19 Words at War: The Log Book
1939 Germany warns all neutral shipping to stay clear of British and French coasts, or risk being sunk. This had already happened to a number of neutral ships, particularly at night when it was difficult to identify them. U-boat skippers were now given the go ahead to sink any ship not showing lights at night.
Gestapo execute 120 Czech students accused of participating in anti-Nazi conspiracy.
1940 Treasury cancels Boxing Day Bank Holiday.
Slovakian Prime Minister joins the Tripartite pact in Berlin.
The Luftwaffe bomb Bristol.
1941 Two Luftwaffe officers, make the war’s most audacious attempt to escape from a British POW camp. Lt. Heinz Schnabel and Oblt. Harry Wappler were prisoners in CampÂ No.15 near Penrith, Northumbria. Forging papers that identified them as Dutch officers serving in the RAF, they made their way to the RAF airfield at Kingstown near Carlisle and started the engine of a Miles Magister. Taking off, they soon realized they did not have the fuel to make it to Nazi-occupied Holland reluctantly they turned back, landing in a field about five miles north of Great Yarmouth. Recaptured, they were sent back to Camp No.15 again and sentenced to 28 days solitary confinement.
Theresienstadt Ghetto is established near Prague, Czechoslovakia. The Nazis will use it as a model ghetto for propaganda purposes.
Rommel gives orders for his tanks to cut off the British supply routes by thrusting towards the Egyptian frontier, or as it became known, the ‘dash for the wire’. By the end of the day Rommel’s tanks had reached the frontier and caused complete confusion in the rear of the Eighth Army.
US Army commanders across the Pacific are warned of the possible imminence of war.
The United States, while remaining neutral, expands the Lend-Lease program to include Charles de Gaulle’s Free French troops.
1942 Laval sets up Phalange Africaine, to fight allies in Africa.
1943 Berlin reported as a ‘sea of flames’ this morning with casualty estimates put at 8 to 10,000 killed.
Laval sets up Phalange Africaine, to fight allies in Africa.
1944 The allies cross the Saar near the Franco-German border. Troops of the French First Army capture Mühlhausen in Alsace, while the French 2nd Armored Division takes Strasbourg.
In controversial decision, Gen. Eisenhower orders 6th Army Group not to cross Rhine but to drive north and assist Patton’s Third Army.
Japanese capture Nanning, completing a land corridor between occupied China and Indo-China.
USAAF B29s from Saipan Island in Pacific, bomb Tokyo for first time, but to little effect.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: August 7 WWII Today: December 1 Thanksgiving in WW2
Actual meat meals from the new 5-in-1 Ration carried by U.S. Armored Forces operation in enemy territory
When U.S. tanks smash their way through enemy lines our men are often in the thick of fighting for days at a team. That’s when food is a No. 1 munition — when time is lost preparing meals can turn victory to defeat.
Yet, even during active fighting, U.S. soldiers get three well-ballanbded meals, their round of nourishing meat per man per day– through this new 5-in-1 ration. Developed by U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps for mechanized units, landing parties, all mobile operations — this ration is mainly composed of canned and dehydrated foods.
Armour and Company, largest product of canned meats in America, is supplying millions of tins of meat for Army rations. And Armour, with the other packers, is also providing millions of pounds of fresh meat and air products every day for America’s war needs.3 Hearty Meals for 5 Men
This new 5-in-1 ration in a single package feeds five men for one day. It’s a nutritious, well-balanced, amazingly compact ration. Three different units give variety in menus–provide each man 4200 calories daily.
Unit 2 (meals shown above) contains: Canned bacon, roast beef, meat and vegetable stew…canned milk…biscuits… army spread 9preserved butter)…soluble coffee…lemon juice powder…sugar, salt…hard candy…cigarettes.
For finest quality and flavor ask for Armour’s Branded Products Star Canned Meats – Star Ham and Bacon, Star Beef, Veal and Lamb – Star Sausage – Coverbloom Poultry and Dairy ProductsArmour and Company
Checkout out these other WW2 Posts Pennsylvania Rail Road Ad Brecourt Manor WWII Today: November 18
1939 RAF shoots down seven German aircraft over France.
The Nazis in control of Poland issue a decree requiring all Polish Jews over the age of twelve to wear white armbands emblazoned with a blue Star of David.
The Scharnhorst and Gneisenau intercept a convoy, which is escorted by the merchant cruiser Rawalpindi. The Scharnhorst sinks the Rawalpindi (killing 265 crew), which sacrificed itself in order that the convoy could escape. The British Home Fleet puts to sea in an attempt to engage the two German ships. However, both the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau have already headed for home. The Royal Navy recovers its first intact German Magnetic mine. These types of mines have been causing an increasing number of casualties to shipping, in and around the UK.
Britain begins rationing bacon and butter.
US celebrates Thanksgiving after Roosevelt moved holiday from last to second-to-last Thursday to extend the Christmas shopping season.
Macy’s parade first features Superman balloon.
1940 The Romanian leader Antonescu agrees to joins the Tripartite pact.
Seven Italian Caproni BR20m bombers, flying from bases in Belgium, are shot down by Fighter Command during an air attack on the UK.
Southampton is hit badly by the Luftwaffe.
German submarine U-100 sinks seven Allied cargo ships in convoy SC-11 off the coast ofIreland
1941 German troops are now only 35 miles north-west of Moscow.
Axis forces destroy the 5th South African Brigade after days of tank battles round Tobruk.
U.S. troops move into Dutch Guiana to guard the bauxite mines.
1942 The Russians claim 24,000 prisoners have been taken since the start of their counter offensive.
Retreating before the British 8th Army (Montgomery), Panzer Army Afrika reaches El Agheila.
Japanese air raid on Darwin, Australia.
1943 The allies cross the Sangro in strength.
Berlin hit again by the RAF, making it the worst bombed city in Germany with 12,000 tons dropped on it this year alone.
United States forces seized control of the Tarawa and Makin atolls from the Japanese.
1944 The allies declare Macedonia on Greek Yugoslav border, free of Germans.
French First Army takes Strasbourg, France.
1945 Butter rationing comes to an end, leaving sugar as the only item that continues to be rationed in the USA.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: March 30 WWII Today: March 3 Yank Pin Up: Colleen Townsend
1939 German aircraft parachute mines into the Thames Estuary.
1940 The Luftwaffe’s heaviest raid on Birmingham; 11-hr raid causes 600 fires.
1941 All operational U-boats ordered to proceed to the Mediterranean or its approach.
A confused battle continues around Sidi Rezegh, with XXX Corps being forced to stop it advance towards Tobruk after the loss of many tanks and for the Tobruk break-out to be halted. Better news for XIII Corps though as it captures Sidi Omar and Capuzzo.
German auxiliary cruiser Atlantis is sunk in the South Atlantic by heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire after having sunk 22 Allied merchant ships.
Luftwaffe ace Werner Mölders killed in landing accident while a passenger on a German He 111 bomber, the first pilot in the world to achieve over 100 victories.
1942 The Soviet 4th Mechanized Corps from the south and the 4th Tank Corps from the north, join hands at Kalach on the Don, thus establishing the complete encirclement of the 300,000 men of 6th and 4th Panzer Army’s. The Russians report gains of up to 50 mites south of Stalingrad.
1943 German troops complete the occupation of the islands of the Dodecanese in the eastern Mediterranean.
The RAF give Berlin the worst pounding so far, with more than 2,300 tons of bombs dropped in less than 30 minutes for the loss of just 26 planes.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek met in Cairo to discuss measures for defeating Japan.
1944 Fighting in Metz is over but seven forts still hold out.
The RAF makes a second breach in the Dortmund-Ems Canal
US Third Army takes crucial town of Metz, France
1945 Thanksgiving is celebrated in America; Macy’s parade resumes after being cancelled 1942-44.
The Hollywood Canteen closes after having entertained 4 million servicemen; 3000 volunteers included many movie stars.
Take a look at these other WWII posts:WWII Today: June 13 WWII Today: August 13 WWII Today: June 14
1937 The first stretch of the German Autobahn is opened for use. The main purpose of the road is to deploy and supply its forces throughout the country. Eventually, 4,500 miles of four-lane highway will cover Germany.
1939 Prime Minister Chamberlain imposes an embargo on all German trade, with goods currently in Britain, but destined for shipment to Germany to be confiscated.
Prime Minister Chamberlain announces the seizure of German merchant shipping in retaliation for the sinking of neutral ships and indiscriminate mine warfare. The German Battlecruiser’s Scharnhorst and Gneisenau set off from Germany on a mission to harry British sea routes in the North Atlantic.
1940 Greeks capture Koritza, defeating Italian IX Army.
The United States government announces that Nazi agents are active in eight American cities for sabotage, propaganda, espionage, and fomenting strife.
1942 The situation for the 6th Army is deteriorating fast, not least owing to the fact that Army HQ is being relocated which leads to serious disruptions in communications with theÂ troops in and outside the city.
1943 Field Marshal Kesselring isÂ appointed commander-in-chief of all German forces in Italy, while Rommel leaves hisÂ command to organize the Atlantic wall.
1944 Albanian patriots free the capital, Tirana.
The US 8th Air Force launches heavy attacks against Hamburg and the synthetic fuel producing plants of Leuna at Merseburg.
1945 All the top ranking Nazis at Nuremberg plead innocent.
Manzanar Relocation Center closes.
Lt. Gen. Alexander Patch dies of pneumonia at Fort Sam Houston TX, age 55.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: August 25 WWII Today: March 11 WWII Today: September 9
1940 Hungarian Premier and Foreign Minister in Vienna agree to join Tripartite.
1941 The exiled Norwegian Government in London officially backs ‘Milorg’, the largest resistance organization in Norway.
The British garrison is ordered toÂ break out and link up with XXX Corps. However, Rommel, now realizing theÂ threat sent the Afrika Korps to attack at Sidi Rezegh.
Japanese issue attack orders, although no action is to be taken until the results of the latest diplomatic negotiations are known.
1942 Northeast and southwest of Stalingrad, the attacking Soviet armies are making rapid progress in the direction of Kalach on the Don, the chosen meeting point of the two pincers. The 6th and 4th Panzer Army’s hurriedly dispatch mobileÂ units to bolster the unprepared and crumbling Romanian defenses west andÂ south of the Don. Hitler relinquishes his command of Army Group A to Kleist.
The Eighth Army reaches Benghazi.
1943 The Eighth Army crosses the Sangro River for first time. 4,800 British prisoners are taken at Samos in the Aegean.
The Red Army achieves a breakthrough near Kremenchug in the Ukraine and advances toward Kirovograd. Hitler does not allow ArmyÂ Group North to withdraw to Panther line. Russian POW losses for war now total over five million.
US Marines land on Makin and Tarawa atolls in Gilbert Islands, with fierce fighting reported.
1944 With artillery audible in the distance, Hitler departs for Berlin from the Wolfschanze (Wolf’s Lair), his headquarters near Rastenburg in East Prussia that he has occupied since the beginning of the war with the Soviet Union in June 1941. Although construction work continues on the headquarters, Hitler never returns.
1945 The Nuremberg trials begin, with Goring, Ribbentrop, Hess, Keitel, Jodl, Raeder, Doenitz, Streicher and other top Nazis on trial.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: September 27 WWII Today: October 12 WWII Today: September 3 WWII Today: November 21