Sep 17

World War II Today: September 17

1939 American aviation hero Charles A. Lindbergh makes his first anti-intervention radio speech. The U.S. non-intervention movement is supported not just by Lindbergh, but by former president Herbert Hoover, Theodore Roosevelt Jr., Henry Ford and a number of senators and congressmen as well.

The Aircraft Carrier HMS Courageous is torpedoed by U29 (Kapitanleutnant Schuhart) south-west of Ireland, killing 515, but 687 sailors survive.

Kutno and Brest-Litovsk are captured by German troops.

The Red Army invades Poland from the East with a million troops on the pretext of “protecting Poland’s Byelorussian and Ukrainian population.” The Polish government seeks asylum in Romania, where it is interned.

The Polish Air Force scores its last kills during the battle for Poland, by shooting down a German Dornier bomber and a Soviet fighter.

1940 Churchill announces in the Commons that in first half of September 2,000 civilians have been killed and 8,000 seriously injured in air raids; the figure for service casualties, for the same period was 250.

Liner City of Benares, evacuating children to Canada, is sunk by U48; 77 out of 99 children lost, total killed 260.

Hitler postpones Operation Sealion, the plan to invade Britain, until further notice.

1941 The US allocates $100,000,000 to the Soviet Union for the purchase of war materials.

British and Russian troops occupy Teheran, after Iran failed to comply with their demand to expel all Axis nationals.

Beginning of general deportation of German Jews.

1942 British Prime Minister Winston Churchill meets with Soviet Premier Josef Stalin in Moscow as the German Army rams into Stalingrad.

Bitter street fighting in the north west suburbs of Stalingrad.

Peace talks in Madagascar break down.

1943 Stalin announces the capture of Bryansk.

The Germans begin a withdrawal from Salerno as the British 8th Army joins forces with British and U.S. troops in the Salerno bridgehead.

1944 Operation ‘Market Garden’ begins with First Allied Airborne Army drops at Eindhoven, Nijmegen and Arnhem to secure bridgeheads, as the British Second Army pushes north into Holland from Belgium, to link up. Canadians launch all-out assault on the Boulogne garrison.

Monte Altuzzo finally falls to the U.S. 85th Division.

Russian forces push towards Baltic through Estonia.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: The Road To a Bridge Too Far WWII Today: August 28 WWII Today: August 10

Sep 16

World War II Today: September 16

1939 Convoy OB-4, sailing from Liverpool to North America, is attacked by U-31 (Johannes Habekost), becoming the first “clear” convoy contact in British waters of the war. U-31 sinks 1 ship, the 4,060-ton British freighter Aviemore.

Germans take Brest-Litovsk and surround Warsaw.

1940 President Roosevelt signs the Selective Service Training and Service Act: men aged 20-36 are required to register for the draft.

First flight of Lockheed YP-38 Lightning fighter plane, in Burbank, CA.

Piccadilly, Park Lane, Bond St. hit in night raids.

Italian advance in Egypt continues with occupation of Sidi Barrani, 60 miles from frontier. At this point the Italians halt their offensive and begin to construct a number of fortified camps.

1941 The US announce that it will provide escort for ships carrying Lend-Lease material up to 26°W, which meant that clashes with U-boats would become more likely.

Guderian’s Panzer Group 2 and Kleist’s Panzer Group 1 meet east of Kiev, trapping five Red Armies.

The Shah of Iran abdicates and his son, Crown Prince ‘Mohammad Reza Pahlavi’ takes over.

1942 The Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASPS) are established in the U.S.. The armed forces will be supplied with more than 1000 auxiliary pilots through this organization.

Stalingrad railway station changes hands several times.

The Governor General of Madagascar asks for an armistice.

The Japanese base at Kiska in the Aleutian Islands is raided by American bombers.

1943 The Dambuster squadron makes a disastrous first use of 12,000lb ‘Tall Boy’ bombs with a raid on the Dortmund-Ems canal.

In a sign of the increasing confidence and audacity of the French Resistance, Julius Ritter, an aide to Nazi Labour Minister Fritz Sauckel, is shot to death in broad daylight on the Etoile in Paris. Fifty Frenchmen are taken hostage and executed by the Nazis in reprisal.

British occupy Leros in Aegean. German counterattacks against the U.S. bridgehead at Salerno are halted.

Tito’s partisans are reported to have captured Split on Yugoslavia coast.

The Black Sea port of Novorossiysk is captured by the Russians after a week of amphibious and land operations.

1944 Conclusion of the Quebec meeting between Roosevelt and Churchill who sign off on the Morgenthau Plan for the treatment of post-war Germany.

Dr. Goebbels exhorts all Germans to resist with the utmost fanaticism.

Over objections from his top generals, Hitler decides to launch a counteroffensive through the Ardennes region of Belgium in an attempt to stop the Allied advance on the western front. The result will be the Battle of the Bulge.

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

1945 Japan surrenders Hong Kong to Britain.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: August 2 WWII Today: January 27 December 7: Pearl Harbor Day

Sep 15

World War II Today: September 15

1935 In Berlin, the Reich under Adolf Hitler adopts the swastika as the national flag.

1937 Prime Minister of England Neville Chamberlain flies to Germany to discuss the future of Czechoslovakia with Adolf Hitler.

1939 The Polish submarine Orzel arrives in Tallinn, Estonia, after escaping the German invasion of Poland.

Gdynia is captured by German forces. A Polish breakout attempt from the Kutno pocket fails.

The Australian Government announces the creation of a 20,000 strong defense force.

Aviator Charles Lindbergh makes his first radio broadcast opposing US involvement in the war.

1940 The climax of the Luftwaffe’s daylight raids against the London docks is reached with the Luftwaffe’s biggest raid on London so far. The British originally claim 185 Germans aircraft shot down, but later revise this to 56 German and 26 RAF planes lost.

In the mid-Atlantic, south-east of Iceland, the Canadian merchant ship Kenordoc is sunk en route to Bristol, England.

1941 The US Navy begins to take over the convoying of British ships as far as Iceland, which seen as an un-neutral act by the German government.

German soldiers attacked in the Champs Elysees in Paris.

Siege of Leningrad begins.

1942 Fierce fighting between German and Soviet forces erupts for possession of Mamayev Kurgan, the strategic hill overlooking Stalingrad.

A Japanese submarine torpedo attack near the Solomon Islands results in the sinking of the Carrier WASP, and damage to the Destroyer O’BRIEN and Battleship NORTH CAROLINA.

1943 Mussolini proclaims his return to power and re-establishes fascism in northern Italy. The Axis is resumed and the death penalty introduced for all Italians carrying arms in German occupied areas.

The Chinese government announces that the Japanese have offered to pull out of China, except for Manchuria and Formosa, but only if the Chinese will switch their support to the axis.

The Australian 7th and 9th Divisions capture Lae in New Guinea after very heavy fighting.

1944 Twenty-seven RAF Lancaster bombers from an airfield in Northern Russia pound the Battleship Tirpitz with 12,000lb Tall Boy’ bombs in Kaa Fjord, Norway, scoring a direct hit through the Tirpitz’s forecastle and burst deep in her hull.

The U.S. First Army reaches the Siegfried Line, to the East of Aachen and less than 40 miles west of Bonn. Maastricht and Eysden in southern Holland liberated. The US First Army occupies Nancy.

All the V bomb launch sites are neutralized is southern Holland.

The Germans start a new flying bomb campaign, launching them from aircraft over Holland.

The Red Army achieves a breakthrough at Narva.

US Marines land on Peleliu Island in the Pacific, but suffer 1,100 casualties trying to establish aÂ\ shallow beachhead.

Allied forces from Operation Dragoon (landings in southern France) transferred from Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO) to European Theater of Operations (ETO).

1945 The fifth anniversary of the Battle of Britain, sees 300 RAF aircraft fly over London.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: December 29 WWII Today: September 1 WWII Today: March 28

Sep 14

Andrea King WWII Yank Pin Up – September 14, 1945

Andrea King was born Georgette Andre Barry in Paris, France, however she lived there only two months before her mother, Belle Hart, brought her back to the United States.→ Read more

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.

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