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Jul 25

World War II Today: July 25

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 all Swiss forces, reacts to an appeasement-oriented speech by Federal President Marcel Pilet-Golaz by assembling 650 Swiss military officers in the Field of Rutli – the birthplace of Swiss independence – to make it clear the Swiss 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 Berlin react with outrage, but Switzerland remains independent.

Italy bombs the British naval base at Alexandria and the base at Haifa.

1941
World War II Today: July 25 -  In Ukraine, largest tank battle of the war so far begins; Germans will prevail after 4-day battle.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 the eastern most of these. Army Group A drives south, whilst 4th Panzer Army attacks east and then north-east to link up with the rest of Army Group B as its advances towards Stalingrad. The South Front under General Malinovsky is being quickly shattered and the remnants are absorbed in to the North Caucasus Front, which is commanded by Marshal Budenny. Despite the lack of supplies are intense heat, the Germans make rapid progress. Further north, 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 Cherbourg 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 forces 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.

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