Sep 14

World War II Today: September 14

1939 U39 attacks a battle group led by the Aircraft Carrier, HMS Ark Royal. She fires torpedo’s at the carrier, but these miss. 3 Destroyer’s of the Ark Royal’s escort, launch an immediate counter-attack against U39 and sink her with depth charges. U39 gains the dubious honour of becoming the first U-boat to be sunk in the war.

Off the Hebrides, U-39 attacks carrier HMS Ark Royalbut misses and is sunk by British destroyers Faulknor, Foxhound, and Firedrake, the first U-boat sunk in WWII.

1940 Congress passed the Selective Training and Service Act, providing for the first peacetime draft in U.S. history.

Hitler again postpones operations ‘Sea-lion’. This time till the 27th September, the last day of the month with suitable tides.

1941 Army Group Centre completes the encirclement of two Soviet armies at Kiev.

Rommel launches a probing operation with the 21st Panzer Division towards Sidi Barrani in the belief that a British fuel dump was located there. The British forces begin to fall back.

1942 Counter-attacks by the Soviet 62nd Army in Stalingrad fails as the 6th Army renews its attack against Stalingrad. The Soviet 62nd Army is hemmed into a narrow strip of land no more than 10 miles at its widest and 4 miles as its narrowest. However, a shortage of troops meant that the 6th Army could only attack on very narrow frontages. Couple this to the fact that the 6th Army was fighting in built-up areas, meant that progress was slow and losses high. Even so, the 51st Corps advanced toward the inner city and the Central Station.

1943 Heavy fighting continues in the Salerno bridgehead, with another German counter-attack. A U.S. paratroop battalion is dropped behind German lines. French commandos land in Corsica to help patriots fighting the Germans. British Special Boat Squadron occupies Kos in Aegean.

The Germans begin to evacuate Bryansk, some 200 miles Southwest of Moscow.

1944 Russian troops reach the Vistula river in the Praga suburb of Warsaw, as planes drop supplies to the Polish Home Army which is trapped inside the city. Three Russian Baltic fronts launch an offensive with 900,000 men, 3,000 tanks and 2,600 aircraft against Army Group North which is forced to fall back to defensive positions around Riga.

The French battle fleet enters Toulon.

Operation Dragoon, the Allied “Champagne Campaign” in southern France, concludes: 131,000 German POWs have been taken, 40% of Army Group G.

Mutiny trial begins for 50 Port Chicago sailors at Treasure Island, CA.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: August 23 WWII Today: March 14 WWII Today: June 5

Sep 13

World War II Today: September 13

1939 HMAS Hobart and five RAN destroyers leave Australia, bound for Britain.

60,000 Polish troops who are trapped in the Radom pocket surrender.

Germans resume offensive on Warsaw, Poland.

Stained glass in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is removed for safekeeping.

1940 Buckingham Palace again bombed; Royal Chapel wrecked.

5 Italian divisions and 200 tanks in Cyrenaica under Marshal Graziani, cross the Libyan/Egyptian border and advance toward Sidi Barrani in Egypt. The 7th Armoured and 4th Indian Divisions have orders to withdraw as far as Mersa Matruh and then stand and fight.

1941 German High Command announces that Russian POWs will get less rations than other nationalities.

Japanese war games planning the Pearl Harbor raid conclude.

1942 Sixth Army begins its final effort to take Stalingrad.

British desert raids reach Benghazi and Barer. A combined forces attack on Tobruk is also made.

On Guadalcanal, Japanese try to seize Henderson Field, but fail.

In Arctic convoy PQ-18, German aircraft and U-boats sink nine Allied cargo ships.

Nazi-occupied France establishes National Work Service: men 18-50 & single women 21-35 may be conscripted for labor in Germany.

1943 Heavy German counter-attacks by six divisions round Salerno, forces the Fifth Army back to within five miles of beaches. The allies consider an evacuation. The battle for supremacy in the Aegean begins with an Allied raid on Rhodes. WATCH VIDEO

The Chinese Parliament at Kuomingtang, elects General Chiang Kai-shek as President of Chinese Republic.

1944 The U.S. Ninth Army is engaged in heavy fighting as the German garrison keeps up its resistance at Brest.

The Canadians take Coriano Ridge in the Gothic Line.

In Belgium, Canadians cross Leopold Canal and Canal de Derivation, while British cross Meuse-Escaut Canal.

The Russians reach the Polish-Czechoslovak border. The Romanians sign an Armistice with the Russians.

1945 Iran demands the withdrawal of Allied forces.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: September 2 WWII Today: August 5 WWII Today: September 1

Sep 12

World War II Today: September 12

1939 First Anglo-French Supreme War Council convenes under Chamberlain and Daladier and  agrees to postpone military operations.

In response to the invasion of Poland, the French Army advances into Germany. On this day they reach their furthest penetration-five miles.

The battle of the Vistula bend flares up near Kutno, the last major engagement of the Polish campaign. The Luftwaffe bombs Krzemieniec.

Convoys for merchant shipping are established to counter the U-boats.

1940 Canada’s cabinet introduces Order In Council P.C. 4751, giving Canadian authorities power to imprison disobedient foreign seamen from non-Canadian ships in Canadian ports.

Co-ordination of searchlights and AA guns improves protection of London from air attack. Germans claim that RAF are dropping Colorado beetles over German potato crops.

Italian forces begin an offensive into Egypt from Libya.

Nazis confine 500,000 Jews in the Warsaw ghetto.

1941 German U-boats sink twenty-two ships in a U.S. convoy headed toward England. The previous day, President Roosevelt ordered U.S. ships to shoot on sight any German subs.

The first snow reported on Russian Front. German forces in the Kremenchug bridgehead across the Dnieper in the Ukraine and advance north to aid in the encirclement of Kiev.

1942 Convoy PQ-18 consisting of 41 merchants sets sail from Loch Ewe in Scotland bound for Murmansk. Since the slaughter of PQ-17 in July the escort system had been radically overhauled, meaning that this convoy had among others and the escort carrier HMS Avenger and 16 destroyers to protect it.

US Fifth Air Force A-20 light bombers first use parachute fragmentation bombs (“parafrags”)—at Buna, New Guinea.

Battle of Bloody Ridge on Guadalcanal begins.

1943 Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Dekanozov arrives in Stockholm on an ill-defined mission. Tipped off that the Russians were open to discussing possible peace terms with the Third Reich, German Foreign Minister Von Ribbentrop pleads with Hitler that he be allowed to dispatch an envoy to at least hear what terms Stalin might be willing to offer. Hitler, however, refuses the request and Dekanozov departs for Moscow after waiting four days.

Mussolini, held prisoner by the Badoglio government on the Gran Sasso, is rescued by German paratroopers who land in gliders on top of the mountain. SS major Otto Skorzeny, leads a daring glider attack on the hotel where Mussolini is being held. The Duce is freed and taken to Germany. Hitler signs decrees appropriating Italian industry for German uses as well as annexing the German-speaking regions of northern Italy to the Greater German Reich. The latter violates the undertaking Hitler gave to Mussolini in 1940 that Germany had no territorial ambitions south of the Brenner Pass.

1944 U.S. Army troops entered Germany for the first time during World War II, near Trier.

The German garrison at Le Havre surrenders after very heavy fighting.

German troops evacuate Rhodes and other Greek islands in the eastern Mediterranean.

A German-Hungarian counter-offensive grinds toward Arad and Temesvar in Hungary.

1945 Mountbatten accepts the surrender of all Japanese troops in Southeast Asia.

French troops land in Indochina.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: September 29 WWII Pin Up: Diana Lewis Words at War: War Tide

Sep 11

World War II Today: September 11

1939 Arrival of first British troops in France officially announced.

Polish submarines ordered to break through to Britain or to be interned in Sweden.

1940 Afternoon attacks on London: 110 killed and 260 injured; Dover suffers worst attack of war.

Dutch SS formed under Dutch Nazi collaborationist Anton Mussert.

1941 Charles A. Lindbergh sparked charges of anti-Semitism with a speech in which he blamed ”the British, the Jewish and the Roosevelt administration” for trying to draw the United States into World War II.

German order of the day says Leningrad must be taken quickly, regardless of cost. Zhukov takes command of city.

US freighter “Montana” sunk en route to Iceland, none killed.

1942 Heavy RAF raid on Dusseldorf.

Japanese drive halted by Australians at loribaiwa, just 32 miles from Port Moresby.

1943 British 8th Army occupies Brindisi in southern Italy.

German officers captured by the Red Army since the start of the war, form an anti-Hitler association, called the “Bund Deutscher Offiziere”.

1944 American troops enter Luxembourg.

The 15th Scottish Division crosses the Dutch border, east of Antwerp. A bridgehead is established across MeuseEscaut canal.

The U.S. Third Army captures a large part of Maginot Line intact and reach the German border at Trier on the Moselle river.

The 1st French Division occupies Dijon.

US First Army reaches Siegfried Line at German border. At Saulieu, France, official contact is made between Overlord forces (landed in Normandy 6/6/44) and Dragoon forces (landed in southern France 8/15/44); Allied front now runs from the English Channel to the Swiss border to the Mediterranean.

1945 Forty prominent Japanese are arrested for war crimes. Tojo, who ordered the raid on Pearl Harbor attempts suicide.

Take a look at these other WWII Articles: WWII Today: January 20 WWII Today: June 26 WWII Today: August 10

Sep 10

World War II Today: September 10

1939 After a formal parliamentary debate, Canada declares war on Germany.

German troops achieve a breakthrough at Kutno and Sandomir and reach the Vistula.

1940 Another heavy night attack (September 10/11) on London, 18 killed; Buckingham Palace damaged.

Hitler decides to postpone Operation Sealion until the 24th September.

1941 British convoy SC-42 (64 ships), sailing from Sydney to the Britain is attacked by a wolf pack of 19 U-boats just south of Greenland between the 10th and 14th September. SC-42 loses 17 merchant ships for 69,813-tons. 2 U-boats, U-207 and U-510 are sunk in return.

The British and Russians demand that Iran expels all Axis nationals with 48 hours.

Japanese begin war games at the naval college in Tokyo in order to develop their strategy for the Pacific.

1942 The Red Army forces attacking from besieged Leningrad fail to break the German lines.

1943 After weeks of prodding by Goebbels, Hitler consents to make a short radio broadcast to the German people on the dramatic events of the summer, particularly in Italy. After paying tribute to his fallen partner Mussolini, Hitler warns his enemies that getting rid of him will not be nearly so simple.

Soviet marines supported by naval units of the Red Fleet recapture the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk.

German troops occupy Rome and disarm all Italian troops in Italy and Greece.

1944 Eisenhower agrees to Monty’s airborne plan Operation ‘Market Garden’.

The first allied patrol crosses German frontier east of Liege, near Aachen.

The US First Army occupies Luxembourg.

The British make an unopposed landing on the Greek Island of Kythera off the Peloponnese. The Russians enter Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.

In Italy, US Fifth Army launches offensive on Gothic Line toward Bologna.

The U.S. Navy begins a two-day bombardment of the Palau Islands in the Pacific.

1945 Vidkun Quisling, the Norwegian Nazi leader, is sentenced to death in Oslo.

1948 American-born Mildred Gillars, the Nazi wartime radio broadcaster known as ”Axis Sally,” was indicted in Washington, D.C., for treason.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: August 15 WWII Today: June 27 WWII Today: June 30

Sep 09

World War II Today: September 9

1939 Chamberlain’s Cabinet plans for a 3 year war.

Advance elements of the BEF begin to a arrive in France.

Hermann Goering boasts that Berlin will never be bombed by the enemy.

The 4th Army (von Kluge) captures Lodz and Radom, as the 4th Panzer Division reaches the outskirts of Warsaw. Further penetrations in to the suburbs of Warsaw by the 4th Panzer Divisions are repulsed by the cities defenders.

1940 350 German planes attack London causing fires near St. Paul’s and the Guildhall; heavy casualties in bombed East End school housing homeless Blitz victims.

German guns shell Dover.

Italians bomb Tel Avis, killing 111 people.

1942 Hitler sacks Field Marshal List and takes personal command of Army Group A in the Caucasus, which having been foiled by the Red Army in the western Caucasus, was now meeting increased resistance in its drive towards Astrakhan and Baku.

Open pit burning of bodies begins at Auschwitz in place of burial. The decision is made to dig up and burn those already buried, 107,000 corpses, to prevent fouling of ground water.

A Japanese float plane, launched from a submarine, makes its first bombing run on a U.S. forest near Brookings, Oregon, in retaliation for the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo. Newspapers in the U.S. voluntarily withhold this information.

1943 The U.S.Major League Baseball commissioner announces that the 1943 World Series will be filmed and a twenty-two minute highlights film will be distributed to the armed forces in the European and Pacific theaters.

All Italian forces within the German-controlled areas of Italy, southern France, Yugoslavia, Albania and Greece are disarmed without opposition and made prisoners of war. Operation ‘Avalanche’ sees the U.S.

Fifth Army land at Salerno, South East of Naples. Taranto is occupied by the British without resistance.

Formation of an anti-Badoglio, Republican Fascist Government is formed in northern Italy.

The Italian fleet leaves Spezia in Northern Italy, en route for Malta, where it surrenders to the Royal Navy.

Iran, under pressure from the allies who occupy the country, declares war on Germany.

1944 General de Gaulle forms a provisional French government that includes Communists.

After being hit by 133 RAF bombs and rockets the day before, the Italian pre-war luxury liner Rex capsizes and sinks off Trieste, where it had been mothballed for much of the war. The Rex was the only Italian ship ever to hold the North Atlantic “Blue Ribbon” for the fastest trans-Atlantic crossing.

1945 Japanese in Korea surrender.

Take a look a these other WW2 Posts: WWII Today: July 2 WWII Today: April 5 WWII Today: April 8

Sep 08

World War II Today: September 8

1939 Polish defenders of the Westerplatte at Danzig surrender after a week of continuous bombardment.

The Polish government leaves Warsaw for Lublin, while its forces surrounded at Radom face a hopeless situation.

At Bedzin, 200 Jews are burned alive in a synagogue by the Germans who charge Poles with the crime, and then execute 30 of them in a public square.

Australia passes the National Security act. Earl Page steps down as Australia’s Country Party Leader, to be replaced by Archie Cameron.

1940 RAF Bomber Command attacks concentrate on disrupting the German invasion effort. The Luftwaffe attacks London between dusk-to-dawn. 20 people are killed as an aerial torpedo hits an East End block of flats. Total casualties are estimated at 286 killed and 1,400 seriously injured.

National ‘day of prayer’ proclaimed in Britain.

1941 Leningrad is now completely surrounded after German troops close the land bridge at Schluesselburg. The Russians announce gains near Smolensk and claim eight German divisions have been beaten. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2_JDehgVVA

1942 Twelve British merchant seamen are awarded Russian decorations.

Japanese advance from Kokoda to Owen Stanley Ridge in an overland drive for Port Moresby, New Guinea.

1943 Eisenhower announces the Italian unconditional surrender. German reserves are rushed to Italy in the wake of the cease-fire between the Badoglio government and the Allies.

1944 The first V2 rockets hit London and Paris from mobile bases in Holland.

Canadians take Ostend, while the U.S. First Army take Liege, just 20 miles from the German border.

Russian troops enter Bulgaria unopposed as the Bulgarian’s declare war on Germany.

The U.S. Fifth Army launches an assault against the Gothic Line.

1945 The first American troops enter Tokyo itself. MacArthur enters Tokyo.

Korea is partitioned by the Soviet Union and the United States.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: December 29 WWII Today: June 11 Words at War: Banshee Harvest

 

Sep 07

World War II Today: September 7

1939 King George VI gives assent to National Registration Bill, providing government control over labour and introducing identity cards.

Nine divisions of the French Army penetrate in to the Saarland, but their advance is very slow and no effort is made to attack the ‘Westwall’ itself.

Polish forces trying to hold the line at the Narew River, start to collapse. Krakow surrenders to German troops. The German 10th Army closes ever nearer to Warsaw. A deeper defensive line is prepared by the Poles at the Bug River, as their battered armies begin a withdrawal toward that line. The BBC commences daily radio broadcasts in Polish.

1940 The codeword “Cromwell” is passed nation-wide, and church bells ring out in warning that a German invasion may be underway.

Eastern and Southern England Commands are on full invasion alert, when at 16.56 London’s air-raid sirens announce the arrival of 375 German bombers and supporting fighters. They come up the Thames to London from the sea and set the London docks ablaze. The day-light raiders are gone by 18.00, but the fires are still burning when the night raiders arrive to inflict more damage at 20.10 during which 306 are killed and 1,337 seriously injured. The British make extravagant claims that 347 German aircraft have been lost in past week against just 128 British.

1941 The offensive of the German 20th Mountain Army in northern Finland to capture the vital Lend-Lease port of Murmansk, Russia, comes to a halt.

The German 6th Army achieves a breakthrough at Konotop in the Ukraine.

1942 Roosevelt threatens to override Congress unless they take action to curb inflation.

The Sixth Army begins a four-mile advance through Stalingrad to the Volga.

The Eighth Army stabilizes its line at Alam el Haifa, after Montgomery suspends the battle.

US Marines launch a surprise raid on the Japanese base at Talou, Guadalcanal.

1943 The RAF bomb V1 (flying bomb) launch sites on the North French coastline.

The German 17th Army begins the evacuation of the Kuban bridgehead across the Strait of Kerch to the Crimea. Himmler and Goring order an evacuation of their rear area forces from the eastern Ukraine.

Japanese aircraft bomb Nanumea, Ellice Is.

1944 Romania declares war on Hungary.

The British 11th Armoured Division crosses the Albert Canal, to the East of Antwerp. The U.S. Third Army crosses the Moselle. U.S. 9th Air Force fighters, supporting elements of the U.S. 7th Army in southern France, destroy an estimated 500 German vehicles along a 25km section of road. Germany’s armored forces have been shattered along the western front. German Army Group B has only about a hundred operational tanks.

U.S. Army forces supported by naval vessels land on Soepiori Island in the Schouten Is. off New Guinea.

 

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: December 16 Words at War: Tomorrow Will Sing Attack on Pearl Harbor: December 7

Sep 06

World War II Today: September 6

1939 General Smuts wins cabinet battle in South Africa and declares war on Germany.

German troops advancing through Poland occupy the former German industrial area of Upper Silesia.

German troops take Krakow, Poland.

1940 The Luftwaffe bring to a close the third phase of their air offensive, having lost 308 aircraft in the last 2 weeks. However, the RAF have suffered 273 fighter losses and suffered extensive damage to their airfields and ground control systems. The official start of the London Blitz is initiated by the Germans, as they intentionally bomb the capital.

British naval blockade lifted on all French colonies supporting General de Gaulle.

King Carol of Romania abdicates the throne to his son, Michael and appoints Marshal Antonescu head of state.

1941 Germany announces that all Jews living in the country will have to begin wearing a Star of David.

Hitler’s War Directive No. 35 orders the capture of Moscow after the Ukraine operation has been completed.

The Vilna Ghetto is established containing 40,000 Jews.

The Japanese decide to be fully prepared for war by the end of October.

1942 The 4th Gebirgsjeager division of the 17th Army captures the Black Sea naval base of Novorossiysk, while six Axis divisions cross the Straits of Kerch to Taman. Heavy house-to-house fighting continues in the centre of Stalingrad.

Rommel is back to the positions held on the 31st August, having lost 51 tanks (out of 515), 70 guns, 400 trucks and 2,865 men. The Eighth Army losses were 1,640 men and 68 tanks.

Australians force total Japanese evacuation of Milne Bay, with just 1,000 troops surviving to be evacuated.

1943 A conference of 48 Republican governors, senators and congressmen convene at the Mackinac Island resort between the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan under the chairmanship of Sen. Arthur Vandenberg to hammer out a post-war foreign policy for the party. The meeting discards the isolationist stance that Republicans adopted following World War I and adopts a cautious internationalism.

The Red Army succeeds in separating Army Group Centre from Army Group South.

The United States asks the Chinese Nationals to join with the Communists to present a common front to the Japanese.

1944 Victory in the ‘Battle of London’ is proclaimed after 80 days of V1 bombardment with over 8,000 flying-bombs launched, with approximately 2,300 reaching London.

Germany launches first V-2 in combat, toward the Paris suburbs. The V-2 is the world’s first true ballistic missile.

The Canadians surround Calais, trapping the German garrison. Liege falls to British troops, while the U.S. First Army pushes East through Belgium, crossing Meuse. Ghent and Courtrai are liberated.

The Russians occupy Turnu-Severin on the Danube in Romania and advance to the Yugoslav border. They also reach the eastern Carpathians.

1945 Japanese forces in Southwest Pacific surrender aboard HMS Glory.

Take a look at these other WWII posts: WWII Today: July 25 WWII Today: December 1 WWII Today: May 1

Sep 05

World War II Today: September 5

1939 President Roosevelt declares US neutrality and upholds ban on export of weapons.

The US establishes Neutrality Patrol to monitor military operations in western hemisphere and declares Neutrality Zone 300 miles off east coast.

French forces begin a limited offensive towards Saarbrucken.

Under the relentless pressure by the Wehrmacht, the Polish Army withdraws behind the Vistula river, but the German troops gain bridgeheads on the opposite bank.

1940 An irate Hitler orders a new offensive by the Luftwaffe against Britain with no regard for the civilian population.

London is set as the primary target, after the RAF for the first time makes several night raids on Berlin, causing many civilian casualties. Air raids continue over Southeast England with a hospital in Kent being hit, killing 23 patients and two nurses.

August civilian casualty figures announced at 1,075 killed and 1.261 seriously injured.

King Carol II of Romania is forced to give full powers to Fascist General Ion Antonescu. Rioting by fascists in Romania destroys Jewish businesses.

Japanese troops enter French Indochina without permission; Vichy France suspends talks.

1941 British release General Dentz, after Vichy releases British POWs in Syria.

1943 The Eighth Army captures San Stefano, 10 miles inland in Calabria, Italy.

US paratroops land behind the Japanese positions at Lae, surrounding about 20,000 Japanese troops.

1944 The US Ninth Army activated in France under Lieutenant General William Simpson.

The  First use of Douglas A-26 Invader light bomber in combat (by US Ninth Air Force in England).

Germany launches its first V-2 missile at Paris, France.

The U.S. 3rd Army crosses the Meuse as the British reach Ghent.

The Russians declare war on Bulgaria.

A German-Hungarian counterattack in the area of Klausenburg in Romania fails.

1945 British land in Singapore.

“Tokyo Rose,” Japanese-American Iva Toguri D’Aquino, is arrested in Yokohama for her radio broadcasts meant to demoralize US troops.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: July 12 WWII Today: July 3 WWII Yank Pin Up: Evelyn Ankers