Archive for the ‘WWII History’ Category
1939 Norway, Denmark and Sweden declare their neutrality. The Soviet Ninth Army launches an offensive in central Karelia. Britain and France agree to send troops and material to help Finland fight against the Soviet Union. However, there is virtually no way to get these forces to Finland and so the promises mean little.
Italy reaffirms her neutrality.
1940 The Admiral Hipper leaves Kiel for an anti-shipping sortie into the Atlantic.
1941 At 6:15 Honolulu time, the first wave of Japanese aircraft take of from their carriers which are located about 200 miles north of Hawaii. At 7:50, 43 fighters, 51 dive-bombers, 70 torpedo-bombers and 50 ordinary bombers arrive over Hawaii. They launch attacks against the airfields at Wheeler, Kaneohe, Ewa and Hickham and against the American warships anchored at ‘Battleship Row’. Surprise was complete and within a few minutes 5 battleships and 2 light cruisers had been sunk and a large number of aircraft (180) destroyed on the ground. Within an hour, the second wave of Japanese strike aircraft (36 fighters, 80 dive-bombers, 54 bombers) had arrived over the target, sinking a further 3 destroyers and damaging another battleship. By 10:00 the attack was over and the casualties could be accounted for. The Americans lost 2,729 killed and 1,178 wounded, while the Japanese losses amounted to just 29 aircraft (59 airmen) and five mini-submarines. The Japanese launch air attacks against Manila.
Japan declares war on Britain and the USA.
The US begins mobilization.
Field Marshal von Brauchitsch after suffering a recent heart attack tenders his resignation to Hitler, although this is not accepted immediately. Zhukov issues orders to the left flank armies of his West Front to begin offensive operations against Panzer Group 2, which is attempting to withdraw out of a salient near Tula. The aim of this offensive would be to cut off Panzer Group 2 and destroy it in the area of Stalinogorsk.
Panzer Army Afrika retreats westwards through Libya, completing its withdrawal to the Gazala line.
1942 The US Navy launches the Battleship New Jersey, one of the four “Iowa Class” battleships, the largest ever built for the US Navy, and 11 other ships on the anniversary of Pearl harbor.
British Commandos make daring raid on Bordeaux harbor, rowing 50 miles up the River Gironde and attaching limpet mines to German shipping.
US make a beachhead South of Buna, cutting off Japanese forces there.
1943 The Cairo conference ends.
1944 Nazi women’s leader Gertrud Scholtz-Klink asks all German women over 18 to volunteer to serve in army or Luftwaffe to release men to the front.
1945 Japanese Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita is sentenced to death for his role in atrocities in the Philippines.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: November 19 WWII Today: October 1 WWII Today: November 15
1938 France and Germany sign a treaty of friendship.
1939 Soviet attacks against the Mannerheim line are beaten back by the Finns with heavy Red Army casualties.
Germany warns neutral ships to resist the British blockade.
1940 The Western Desert Force begins Training Exercise No.2. This was a 60 mile approach march to their concentration point, designated Piccadilly, approximately 20 miles south of Maktila.
War Guilt trial in Vichy France indicts MM Blum, Daladier, La Chambre and Gen. Gamelin.
Greeks occupy Santi Quaranta, Albania. Italian Supreme Commander Badoglio resigns ˜at his own request; replaced by Gen. Cavallero.
SS executes mentally ill inmates in Stralsund and Chelm, Poland, including Hitler’s second cousin, Aloisia Veit.
General Ugo Cavallero assumes command of Italian army (Comando Supremo) after Marshal Badoglio resigns.
1941 Zhukov extends the Red Army’s counter-offensive along the whole Moscow axis in an attempt to prevent Panzer Groups 3 and 4 from outflanking Moscow from the northeast. To launch this offensive, Zhukov uses 4 armies on the right flank of his own West Front.
An RAF Hudson aircraft spots Japanese transports sailing west off Cape Cambodia towards Malaya. The British, having feared a surprise Japanese attack for a number of months now, had developed a plan codenamed ‘Matador’, to advance forces into southern Thailand should the Japanese attack, in order to deny the Japanese use of the airfields and ports at Patani and Singora. However, the implications of violating Thai neutrality and more importantly the possible US reactions, dissuaded the British from launching ‘Matador’.
Battleships USS Oklahoma and USS Nevada arrive at Pearl Harbor.
Roosevelt makes a personal appeal to the Japanese Emperor Hirohito for peace.
1942 Germans victorious in tank battle at Djebel el Guessa, Tunisia.
1943 Monte Casino is finally taken by U.S. Fifth Army.
Soviets take Yeysk on Sea of Rostov, cutting off German Army Group A.
1944 The Japanese capture Tushan, south of the Nationalist capital of Chungking.
1945 The United States extends a $3 billion loan to Great Britain to help compensate for the termination of the Lend-Lease agreement.
USASTAF (USA Strategic Air Forces) based in the Pacific, is inactivated.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: September 2 WWII Today: March 3 WWII Today: December 9
1939 Heavy fighting in Karelia, Finland.
Two Polish submarines escape from the Baltic Sea to join Royal Navy.
1940 McGovern’s ILP peace amendment is rejected by House of Commons, 341 votes to 4.
The German draft plan for the Invasion of Russia Operation ‘Otto’ is presented to Hitler.
Admiral William Leahy takes oath of office as US Ambassador to Vichy France.
1941 The Battleship USS Arizona arrives at Pearl Harbor.
USS Lexington departs with Marine aircraft for Midway, leaving no carriers at Pearl Harbor.
James J. Kilroy of Boston hired at Fore River Shipyard, Quincy MA to check work of riveters; his “Kilroy Was Here” mark on ships becomes legendary.
Britain declares war on Finland, Hungary and Rumania.
With the main forces of Army Group Centre just 19 miles from Moscow, Hitler abandons the offensive for winter and agrees to some local withdrawals to more defensive terrain.Â Zhukov launches a counter-offensive across the frozen upper Volga in the area of Kalinin, to the northwest of Moscow. He uses Konev’s Kalinin Front for the purpose, but despite the severe cold and exhaustion of the German troops, his forces meet severe resistance, with only the 31st Army enjoying any success as it pushed towards Turginovo. Hungary declares war on Britain. Romania declares war on Britain.
In order to mount a final attack on the British forces around Bir El Gobi, Rommel orders the evacuation of the eastern part of the Tobruk perimeter, but the attack fails.
Japanese fleet is officially reported moving south.
1943 The first Japanese daylight raid on Calcutta is mounted with many reported killed.
P-51 Mustang fighter planes first escort US Eighth Air Force on bombing missions, extending range of raids.
Japanese planes bomb Calcutta (350 killed), including US Tenth Air Force airfields (500 casualties).
1944 The U.S. Third Army advances into Germany along a 30-mile front.
The British Eighth Army takes Ravenna in and cuts the rail link to Bologna.
Malinovsky attacks with two armies from North East of Budapest and makes a 60-mile advance in eight days.
US launches final offensive on Leyte in the Philippines, driving into the Ormoc Valley.
Victory ship SS Red Oak Victory commissioned into US Navy as ammunition ship at Richmond, CA (currently at Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Park, Richmond, CA).
1945 Six US Navy planes disappear in the “Bermuda Triangle,” creating its reputation.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: November 3 WWII Today: April 7 WWII Today: November 1
1939 The German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee sinks the liner Doric Star off the western coast of South Africa.
1940 Greeks capture Premeti, Pogradec and the Albanian port of Sarande.
F4F-3 Wildcat fighter enters service with US Navy.
1941 Temperature falls to -31°F (-37°C) on Russian Front.
The Japanese Embassy in Washington begins to leave, destroying code books and personal files in the process.
Chicago Tribune and Washington Times-Herald publish news of classified unapproved US Victory Program war plans, leaked to the papers by isolationist Sen. Burton Wheeler, creating cries of warmongering among isolationists.
In Libya, the German army under General Rommel retreats to Gazala
1942 The U.S.A 5th Air Force launches its first raid against the Italian port of Naples.
German forces in Tunisia capture Tebourba.
President Roosevelt cancels Depression-era Works Progress Administration (WPA).
US Ninth Air Force, based in Egypt, bombs Naples (Rommel’s supply port) in first US attack on Italy
1943 Tito’s Partisans set up a provisional government in the liberated part of Yugoslavia.
Units of the German 11th Army begin an offensive to eliminate the Soviet bridgehead at Kerch in the eastern Crimea.
The second Cairo conference opens with Churchill, Roosevelt and the Turkish President Inonu.
Bolivia declares war on all the Axis powers.
US submarine Sailfish sinks Japanese escort carrier Chuyo off Japan, 1250 killed.
1944 Athens is now under martial law.
Italian partisans liberate Ravenna in first major planned partisan attack in Italy.
British Fourteenth Army begins major offensive in Burma, crossing Chindwin River.
1945 The U.S. Senate votes to allow the USA to join the UN and to permit the UN to use American forces to preserve peace and security.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: October 29 WWII Today: October 28 WWII Today: August 22
1939 The RAF scores a number of direct hits on German warships at the Heligoland Bight naval base.
Finnish troops withdraw in good order towards the Mannerheim line defensive position.
1940 Britain allots each person an extra 4 oz of sugar and 2 oz of tea for Christmas.
1941 Hitler issues Rationalization Decree, urging modern efficient mass production.
In South Atlantic, U-124 sinks unarmed US freighter Sagadahoc (1 killed), sixth US ship sunk in the Atlantic while the US remained neutral.
1942 Several German divisions ordered to be transferred from Western Europe begin arriving in the area of Army Group Don southwest of Stalingrad in preparation of ‘Operation Winter Tempest’, the relief of the encircled 6th Army.
Germans reoccupy Tebourba, Tunisia, using Mark VI Tiger tanks for the first time in combat.
1943 The RAF conduct a heavy attack against Leipzig killing 1,500 and making 40,000 homeless.
US Fifth Army launches main ground attack on Winter Line in Italy after artillery barrage and infantry assault at night.
1944 Britain’s Home Guard, the civilian force assigned to the defense of Britain in the event of German invasion, is stood down after five years. King George VI declares the “You have fulfilled your charge”.
Armored units of the US 3rd Army succeed in penetrating the fortified German lines of the Westwall near Saarlautern.
Civil war breaks out in Greece between Communists and Royalists; British intervene.
British Eighth Army opens drive for Bologna, Italy.
Col. Elliott Roosevelt, son of the president, marries actress Faye Emerson in a highly publicized wedding at the Grand Canyon.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: August 2 WWII Today: August 19 WWII Today: October 8
1939 Russian troops capture Petsamo in the extreme north of the Finland.
The German liner Watussi is scuttled after her interception by South African Defence Force bombers.
1941 Churchill introduces a new National Service Bill, including compulsory service for women.
Germans patrols are just five miles from the Kremlin.
Soviet troops evacuate the last territory in Karelia, taken from Finland in the 1939-1940 war.
Hitler issues Directive No.38 which tasks Kesselring as C-in-C South, with gaining air superiority and naval supremacy over the area between southern Italy and Libya in order to deny British supplies to Malta and Libya. To assist with this, he was reinforced by Fleiger Korps II, which was transferred from Russia. This, together with the existing air units of Fleigerkorps X were to form Luftflotte 2 and give the axis a significant numerical superiority over the RAF.
The Battleship Prince of Wales and the Battle Cruiser Repulse arrive in Singapore.
1942 At the University of Chicago the first controlled, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction is realized by Professor Fermi and a team of scientists working under the name of the “Manhattan Engineering District.”
The Allies repel a strong Axis attack in Tunisia, North Africa.
1943 Allied bombers resume the ‘Battle of Berlin’ dropping 1,500 tons, but losing 41 aircraft.
A Luftwaffe raid against the Allied naval base at Bari in Italy, hits an ammunition ship which explodes, sinking 17 other ships.
Ernie Bevin announces the conscription to mines as coal output continues to flag in Britain.
Hitler orders the conscription of German Youth for active service.
German forces in Yugoslavia begin a major operation against Tito’s partisan’s.
The first transport of Jews from Vienna arrives at Auschwitz.
1944 General George S. Patton’s troops enter the Saar Valley.
The British 11th East African Division takes Kalewa and advance to the Chindwin from India.
1945 59 Japanese are arrested on suspicion of war crimes.
1946 The United States and Great Britain merge their German occupation zones.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: October 9 WWII Today: August 6 WWII Today: October 7
1939 The Soviet Union creates a puppet Finnish government in Moscow under the leadership of a Finnish communist, Otto Kuusinen, who immediately accedes to the Soviets territorial demands. Finnish coastal guns at Russar engage the Russian cruiser Kirov and its screen of destroyers. The Kirov and one destroyer damaged.
1940 The Italian submarine Argo torpedoes Royal Canadian Navy destroyer Saguenay, killing 21, but not sinking the ship. Saguenay had been escorting anÂ eastbound convoy 300 miles west of Ireland.
First attack by British Long Range Desert Group, a commando group based in Egypt.
Joseph Kennedy resigns from position as US ambassador to Britain, wanting to keep US out of war.
1941 State of Emergency is declared in Malaya and Hong Kong is put on ‘stand by’.
Japan fixes the date of its attack against Pearl Harbour as the 7th December 1941.
US-Japanese talks continue and Roosevelt curtails holiday.
US forms Civil Air Patrol for civilian pilots to aid in Civil Defense.
Japanese Navy changes its communications code, blinding the US to its movements.
1942 Coffee joins the list of rationed items in the US.
The Australians take Gona in New Guinea.
1943 The British 10th Corps opens the U.S. Fifth Army’s offensive on the Garigliano.
Russian forces isolate the Germans in Crimea and control the northern half of the Dnieper bend.
The Conclusion of the Tehran Conference, with the three Allies in substantial agreement on the division ofÂ post-war Germany, the westward movement of the Polish eastern and western frontiers and theÂ summary execution of 50,000 German officers.
First use of US P-51 Mustang fighter planes in Europe, as US Ninth Air Force flies a sweep over France.
Mussolini orders arrest of all Jews in Italy, but Italians shelter many.
1944 Princess Elizabeth launches HMS Vanguard, the last and biggest battleship ever built in Britain.
Germans evacuate most of Crete
1945 Seventy-six German industrialists who helped Hitler are arrested.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: October 4 WWII Today: October 24 WWII Today: November 20
1939 The USSR forces Soviet citizenship on all residents of Polish territory under their control.
1940 German High Command issues draft plan for invasion of Russia.
British and New Zealand troops under General Freyberg occupy the whole of the Greek island of Crete in the Mediterranean.
1941 Depleted by continuous savage fighting, blizzards and sub-zero temperatures, Army Group Centre’s offensive begins to grind to a halt as German units find it increasingly difficult to make ground. The Russians launch a counter-attack at Rostov-on-Don, forcing the German to evacuate the city and withdraw west towards the river Mius.
Italians counterattack near Sidi Rezegh, Libya, and almost destroy New Zealand unit.
1942 Prime Minister Churchill warns the Italian government that RAF bombing of Italian cities will continue until Italy abandons the war.
British paratroops drop south of Tunis.
Coffee rationing begins in the United States.
1943 The Australians chase the retreating Japanese towards Wareo in New Guinea.
US VI Corps launches assault north of Mignano Gap in Italy.
1944 Russian troops cross Danube into southwest Hungary, making large gains.
The submarine USS Archerfish sinks Japanese carrier Shinano on her maiden voyage.
1945 Films of concentration camp atrocities are shown at the Nuremberg trials.
US War Department demobilizes enlisted men with three or more children under the age of eighteen.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Yank Pin Up: Frances Vorne WWII Today: October 7 WWII Yank Pin Up: Gloria DeHaven
1939 The Soviet Union denounces 1932 non-aggression pact with Finland.
The Australian Cabinet agrees to the sending of Australian troops overseas.
1940 Anti-Semitic film Der Ewige Jude (The Eternal Jew) is released in Germany.
1941 Overextended and short of supplies, the III Panzerkorps evacuates Rostov and withdraws to the Mius river, 30 miles to the West.
The aircraft carrier USS Enterprise departs from Pearl Harbor to deliver F4F Wildcat fighters to Wake Island. This mission saves the carrier from destruction when the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor.
1943 The Teheran summit conference opens with Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin, who discuss the future of post-war Germany and Poland.
The Eighth Army offensive on Sangro continues, with a second bridgehead being established.
1944 The U.S. Ninth Army reaches the Roer from Julich to Linnich. The French First Army closes its pincers at Bumhaupt, but only part of German 63rd Corps is trapped, 17,000 prisoners and 120 guns have been taken since 14th October.
Allies open port of Antwerp, Belgium as first convoy of supply ships arrives. Albania is secured by partisans as Germans evacuate.
British actor Arthur Treacher agrees to be raffled off at a series of bond rallies to the person buying the largest number of War Bonds. Treacher, who has made a career of playing the perfect butler, will work as a butler at an occasion of the winner’s choosing.
1945 The official Hiroshima and Nagasaki casualty figures are announced as between 110,000 and 165,00 dead.
Japanese relocation center at Poston, AZ closes.Take a look at these other posts: WWII Today: January 22 WWII Today: August 5 WWII Today: August 10
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