1940 RAF bomb Krupp works at Essen.
British Order in Council declares the start of the grouse shooting season to be August 5 instead of the 12th.
Hitler signs Directive No.17, requiring the Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine to increase their attacks against Britain and her shipping, in preparation for ‘Operation Sealion’.
Russian Foreign Minister Molotov reaffirms Soviet neutrality and Russo-German pact and verbally attacks Britain and US.
1941 Roosevelt stops US oil supplies to the ‘aggressors’.
Fighting flares up around the perimeter of Tobruk.
The Grumman TBF Avenger torpedo plane makes its first flight.
Army Group Centre continues its liquidation of the Smolensk pocket. Soviet troops put up fierce resistance near Orsha and Vitebsk west of Smolensk. A powerful counter-offensive is launched at Gomel south of Mogilev against German bridgeheads over the Dnieper River.
First convoy to Murmansk.
1942 Ensign Henry C. White, while flying a J4F Widgeon plane, sinks U-166 as it approaches the Mississippi River, the first U-boat sunk by the U.S. Coast Guard.
An interlocking convoy system is introduced along the entire US eastern seaboard, as well as the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.
The 15th Panzer Division fails to break through the British 8th Army’s lines in the battle of Alam Halfa and advance toward Alexandria, 120km away. The German lose about 30 tanks and are forced to withdraw.
Army Group A continues to fan out into the Caucasus region, while advance units reach the Kuban River. Army Group B continues its fight to cut off the Soviet defenders near Kalach in the Don bend near Stalingrad.
Japanese establish puppet government in Burma.
1943 The USAAF loses 54 B24s out of 178 in a disastrous raid (the longest yet attempted) on the Ploesti oil fields in Romania while inflicting only superficial damage.
Increasingly heavy fighting continues on Sicily, with some of the fiercest fighting yet seen.
Hitler orders the immediate evacuation of the Orel salient.
Lydia Litvak, the top scoring Russian female fighter pilot of the war (12 kills), is shot down and killed.
The Japanese destroyer Amagiri sinks USN PT-109 in the Solomon’s, which is commanded by Lieutenant John F. Kennedy.
1944 Patton’s U.S. Third Army is activated.
The Russians take Kaunas and cut all roads from Germany to Baltic States. Bor-Komorowski leads the Warsaw Uprising by the 38,000 strong Polish underground Army. They receive no support from Soviet forces who are already on the eastern bank of the Vistula opposite the city.
The Finnish President Risto Ryti resigns, with his place is taken by Marshal Karl Gustav Mannerheim.
U.S. Marines complete the capture of Tinian Island losing 389 killed for 9,000 Japanese.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: May 24 WWII Today: March 11 WWII Today: March 1
1940 Hitler appraised the Army plan for the invasion of Britain at a conference of his top Military chiefs. The Navy criticize the plan for being on a too broad a front, requiring 2,500 barges in order to transport the invading forces, which cant be concentrated before the 15th of September at the earliest. The Army refute these arguments, saying that too narrow a front would allow the British to concentrate what forces they posses.
Hitler formally announces to his military commanders that he has decided to invade Russia.
In Lithuania, Japanese Consul Chiune Sugihara begins writing thousands of visas for Jews to flee through the USSR into Japanese-controlled China.
First Mitsubishi Zero is delivered to the Japanese navy.
1941 The U.S. Army establishes the Military Police Corps.
During July, 501 British civilians died in air raids.
Goering instructs Heydrich to prepare for Final Solution.
Joseph Terboven declares a state of emergency in Norway.
Army Group North, which is slowly advancing toward Leningrad, reaches Lake Ilmen, to the south of Novgorod. However, its troops are very fatigued due to the marshes and heavily wooded terrain.
1942 Heavy RAF night raid on DÃ¼sseldorf.
The German advance into the Northern Caucasus continues.
1944 The British VIII Corps begins ‘Operation Bluecoat’, an assault towards the river Vire. The U.S. 4th Armoured Division captures Avranches, having advanced 35 miles and taken 20,000 prisoners since the 25th July.
The Soviet army takes Kovno, the capital of Lithuania.
The last Japanese counter-attack on Tinian is annihilated. U.S. forces make further landings on the North West coast of Dutch New Guinea and begin a jungle push from Aitape.
1945 The French collaboration trials have so far resulted in 1,629 death sentences, 757 hard labour for life, 5,328 other hard labour, 1,136 solitary confinement, 11,073 prison sentences, 22,137 to suffer national degradation and 3,564 acquitted.
Former head of Vichy French government, Pierre Laval, is sent from Spain to Austria under pressure from France; he is immediately arrested by the Americans and turned over to the French. He will be executed October 15 for collaborating with the Nazis.
A British midget submarine attack on Singapore sinks the Japanese heavy cruiser Takao.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: November 18 Words at War: The Curtain Rises WWII Today: May 22
1940 The Luftwaffe ceases major raids over Britain as it builds up strength for it forth coming onslaught.
Act of Havana signed to prevent German takeover of colonies.
First Free Polish fighter squadron is formed in Britain.
1941 Polish-Soviet agreement of cooperation signed at London.
US gunboat Tutiula damaged by Japanese planes near Chungking.
British planes from carriers bomb Petsamo.
17 Japanese ‘spy’ fishing boats seized by US in Hawaiian waters.
1942 The Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Services (WAVES) is authorized by the U.S. Congress.
The Red Army launches a counter-offensive at Rzhev, which leads to the temporary encirclement of six GermanÂ divisions, although these are successfully supplied by massive air drops from the Luftwaffe. Army Group AÂ consolidates its bridgehead over the Manych River, while Army Group B struggles to reduce the Soviet bridgehead atÂ Kalach in the Don Estuary west of Stalingrad.
Chinese recapture Tsingtien in Eastern Chekiang, cutting off the Japanese at Wenchow.
Japanese capture crucial islands en route to New Guinea.
1943 Hamburg is bombed for a third time.
Army Group A losses the initiative in its attack to secure its positions along the Mius River.
Six British divisions attack at Caumont, 15 miles East of St. Lo.
1945 British, U.S. and French troops enter Vienna.
The Japanese reject the Potsdam ultimatum, so the Joint Chiefs order the plans for Japanese surrender to be drawn up.
After delivering parts of the first atomic bomb to the island of Tinian, a Japanese submarine sinks the Cruiser U.S.S. Indianapolis resulting in the loss of 881 crewmen. The ship sinks before a radio message can be sent outÂ leaving survivors adrift for two days.
US War Relocation Authority announces all but one internment camp for Japanese (Tule Lake) to close by December 15.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: February 25 WWII Today: May 9 Words at War: Wild River
1940 Eighty (80) German planes attack Dover harbour; British claim 17 down; Air Ministry accuses Germans of using Red Cross planes for reconnaissance. Germany apologizes to Eire for Wexford bombing. Intense dogfights over London and Home Counties. Britain refuses German proposal to use 64 Red Cross ships to rescue airmen from the English Channel.
A German memorandum issued by the OKM states that an invasion of Great Britain will not be possible until the second half of September 1940 and that the prospects for such an invasion seem doubtful.
Germany annexes Belgian provinces of Eupen, Malmédy, and Moresnet; bans speaking of French and Flemish.
James Melville ‘Jimmy’ Cox, the Reuters’ correspondent in Tokyo was arrested on 27th July by the Kempeitai on the usual non-specific charge of espionage. Two days later he was seen falling from an open window on the third floor of the Kempeitai Headquarters. They claimed that he had committed suicide because he was guilty of espionage.
1941 Marshal Zhukov resigns as Russian Chief of Staff.
Dutch freeze Japanese assets; now Japan has lost 75% of foreign trade and 90% of its oil supply.
1942 German troops take Proletarskaya and establish a bridgehead over the Manych River in the Caucasus region.
As Australians retreat, Japanese take Kokoda and its airfield in Papua New Guinea.
1943 The mass evacuation of a million civilians from Hamburg is ordered after the recent heavy bombings.
Army Group A launches counter attacks to improve its positions along the Mius River.
As Blitz Week continues, US Eighth Air Force bombs Kiel and Warnemünde, while RAF returns to battered Hamburg.
1944 The last of a series of RAF bombing raids on Stuttgart that kill 900 and leave 100,000 homeless takes place.
The Red Army reaches to the Baltic coast to the West of Riga, thereby cutting Army Group North off in Estonia and Eastern Latvia.
The Orote Peninsula is secured on Guam.
1945 After having delivered the atomic bomb to Tinian, cruiser USS Indianapolis is sunk by Japanese sub I-58 off Leyte, and is not missed for days. Only 316 of 1196 men will survive the shark-infested waters.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: February 27 WWII Today: May 27 Words at War: Your School, Your Children
1940 All road and rail links between occupied France and Vichy cut by the Germans.
Slovak President and Premier meet Hitler and von Ribbentrop at Berchtesgarden.
Act of Havana is signed by the US and twenty Latin American countries, agreeing to help any country threatened by the Axis in the Americas.
1941 Finland ends diplomatic relations with Great Britain.
German troops begin to clear Soviet forces trapped in the Smolensk pocket.
Forty thousand Japanese troops land in southern French Indochina.
Japan freezes American assets.
1942 The effect of the fall of Rostov spreads panic and terror in the Soviet Union, prompting harsh counter-measures byÂ the Soviet High Command.
Young Jews in Warsaw ghetto form Jewish Fighting Organization (ZOB).
1943 The second mass raid on Hamburg by 722 RAF bombers results in nine square miles of city being set alight.
The Japanese garrison of 6,000 troops are secretly evacuated from Kiska in the Aleutians.
President Roosevelt announces end of coffee rationing.
In Sicily, Palermo Harbor opens for Allied shipping.
1944 U.S. troops take Coutances, thereby meeting the objectives laid down for ‘Operation Cobra’.
Brest-Litovsk, on the Polish frontier is taken by the Russians. More crossings over the Vistula are also made.
1945 A B-25 bomber crashes into the Empire State Building at 79th floor in fog, killing 14 people.
Japanese “choose to ignore” Potsdam Declaration requiring unconditional surrender.
The remnants of Japanese battle fleet are destroyed in three days of attacks over the Japanese Inland Sea, as the Americans deploy 2,000 carrier-planes and bombers in action.
Destroyer USS Callaghan is sunk, the last Allied ship to be sunk by kamikaze.
US Senate ratifies UN Charter.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: September 17 WWII Today: September 19 WWII Today: August 6
1940 German aircraft sink destroyers Codrington at Dover and Wren off the Suffolk coast.
Japan announces its plans for the creation of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.
1941 London is severely bombed by the Luftwaffe, in its first air raid for 10 weeks.
German troops liberate Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. Guderian’s Panzer Group 2 is removed from its subordination to von Kluge’s 4th Army and put directly under the control of Army Group Centre. This is due to severe disagreements between the von Kluge and Guderian, which are disabling operations. Fierce battles rage 25 miles to the east of Smolensk.
General Douglas MacArthur enjoys his first full day in command of all U.S. armed forces in the Far East. President Roosevelt later explains MacArthur’s success; “Never underestimate a man who overestimates himself.”
Peru takes Puerto Bolivar, Ecuador in first paratroop combat in western hemisphere.
1942 German troops take Bataysk, and 6th Army launches an attack to destroy the soviet bridgehead west at Kalach.
British press attack at El Alamein, but fail to make gains against Germans.
Australian Women’s Land Army formed for agricultural workers.
1943 The liberation of Mussolini, the occupation of Rome and Italy, plus the capture of the Italian fleet is decided upon by the German High Command. Mussolini himself is transferred from Rome to the Island of Ponza. Heavy fighting continues in Sicily, leading Kesselring to order preparations for the evacuation of the island.
1944 U.S. troops breakthrough at St. Lo, forcing a general German withdrawal from Normandy toward the river Seine.
The Russians take Lvov, Dunaburg and Bialystok and secure a major bridgehead over the Magnuszew River. FurtherÂ gains are also made in Baltic States.
U.S. troops complete the liberation of Guam.
1945 Chinese retake Kweilin from Japanese in southeast China.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: Words at War: Story of a Secret State WWII Today: March 27 Words at War: September 29
World War II Today: July 26: The following events occurred on this date during the course of World War 2.
1940 Secretary-General of League of Nations, Joseph Avenol, resigns.
1941 Three Soviet armies are encircled and destroyed in the Mogilev area.
3,800 Jews killed during a pogrom by Lithuanians in Kovno.
Italian motorboats attack Valetta harbour in Malta. All eight boats are sunk.
General Sir Claude Auchinleck flies to London for talks about future offensive operations to relieve Tobruk.
By Presidential order, all Japanese assets in the US are frozen, and all shipments of metal and petroleum are stopped.
British notice of denunciation of commercial agreements with Japan.
The Flying Tigers: the First American Volunteer Group (AVG) of the Chinese Air Force in China under Chennault with 100 planes.
Proposal made for a neutral Indochina.
New Philippine command under MacArthur.
1942 An Australian attack at Alamein fails and the Eighth Army goes over to the defensive after taking 7,000 Axis prisoners. This concludes the first battle of El Alamein.
Army Group A begins its advance from Rostov and the lower Don toward the Caucasus region.
1943 Marshal Badoglio is appointed head of Italy by the Italian King after the arrest of Benito Mussolini. The Marshal immediately excludes all Fascists from his new cabinet and dissolves the Fascist Party.
A number of Waffen SS divisions are ordered to be transferred from Russia to Italy, but only the 1st SS Panzer Division is actually redeployed.
1944 Narva is finally captured by the Red Army. The Russians reach the Estonian border.
President Roosevelt arrives in Hawaii for a conference on Pacific strategy with Gen. Douglas MacArthur and Admiral Chester Nimitz. FDR authorizes MacArthur’s plan to liberate the Philippines instead of bypassing them, as desired by the Navy and Nimitz.
1945 Components of the Atomic Bomb “Little Boy” are unloaded at Tinian Island in the South Pacific.
Winston Churchill resigned as Britain’s prime minister after his Conservatives were soundly defeated by the Labor Party. Clement Attlee became the new prime minister.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: June 15 WWII Today: June 16 WWII Today: June 30
1940 British claim 25 German planes downed in a day, the highest total so far.
Reich Minster of Economics Funk outlines ‘New Order’ for Europe, with forced labor from occupied countries.
Compulsory evacuation of women and children ordered from Gibraltar.
Swiss Gen. Henri Guisan, commander of allÂ Swiss forces, reacts to an appeasement-oriented speech by Federal President Marcel Pilet-Golaz by assembling 650Â Swiss military officers in the Field of Rutli – the birthplace of Swiss independence – to make it clear the SwissÂ Army would resist any German or Italian invasion. “As long as in Europe millions stand under arms, and as long as important forces are able to attack us at any time, this army has to remain at its post.” Pilet-Golaz and BerlinÂ react with outrage, but Switzerland remains independent.
Italy bombs the British naval base at Alexandria and the base at Haifa.
1941 Italian motorboats with 33 Italian naval assault troops attempt to enter Valletta harbor on the island of Malta to attack British ships, but are discovered. All eight boats are sunk with 15 men being killed and 18 taken prisoner.
Finnish forces stop at the Tuulos River in Soviet Carelia because their flank is exposed.
Japan announces Indochina protectorate. It begins military occupation of bases July 28 to prepare for attack on Malay.
United States, UK and Dominions freeze all Japanese assets.
In the Ukraine, largest tank battle of the war so far begins; Germans will prevail after 4-day battle.
1942 Army Group A breaks out of its bridgeheads on the lower Don, along with the 4th Panzer Army which holds theÂ eastern most of these. Army Group A drives south, whilst 4th Panzer Army attacks east and then north-east to linkÂ up with the rest of Army Group B as its advances towards Stalingrad. The South Front under General Malinovsky isÂ being quickly shattered and the remnants are absorbed in to the North Caucasus Front, which is commanded byÂ Marshal Budenny. Despite the lack of supplies are intense heat, the Germans make rapid progress. Further north,Â the 6th Army attempts to bounce its way across the river Don, but is initially repulsed and so waits for the 4th Panzer Army to arrive.
1943 German radio says that Hamburg is still burning (8am), leaving 100,000 homeless. The USAAF bomb the city again in daylight. The allies blitz Essen with 2,000 tons of bombs being dropped.
Benito Mussolini is arrested by order of the Italian King. Marshal Badoglio, a First World War hero becomes Prime Minister, introduces martial law and incorporates the Fascist militia into the ordinary armed forces, thus ending the Fascist regime in Italy. Hitler orders German divisions rushed South in to Italy to disarm their former allies. Allied forces begin to face stiff resistance as they approach Messina.
1944 2,500 USAAF aircraft drop 4,150 tons of bombs on German and American positions near St. Lo, which kill 601 Americans.
The US VII Corps launches ‘Operation Cobra’ in an attempt to breakout from the southern end of the CherbourgÂ peninsula, near St. Lo. The Canadians attack South of Caen. Goebbels becomes the ‘Reich Plenipotentiary for Total War’.
Narva is evacuated by the Germans, who take up position along the Tannenberg position to the West. Soviet forcesÂ cut the road between Dvinsk and Riga in Latvia. The Second Tank Army reaches the Vistula, 40 miles West of Lublin.
Lvov is surrounded and Soviet forces converge on Brest-Litovsk.
1,246 Japanese are killed in a Banzai charge on Tinian, another 3,000 die on Guam.
The British Eastern Fleet pounds the Japanese airfields and port at Sabang on Sumatra.
1945 A Proclamation to the Japanese people is issued by UK, U.S and China from Potsdam, which warns of devastation from the ‘final blows’ and calls for Japans unconditional surrender.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: May 10 WWII Today: February 11 WWII Today: May 19