Archive for the ‘WWII History’ Category
1938 Under German threats of war, Britain, France, Germany and Italy sign an accord permitting Germany to take control of Sudetenland–a region of Czechoslovakia inhabited by a German-speaking minority. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain boasts, “I believe it is peace in our time.”
1939 Graf Spee sinks the British steamship Clement off Pernambuco, Brazil.
Polish government-in-exile set up in Paris.
The French Army is called back into France from its invasion of Germany. The attack, code named Operation Saar, only penetrated five miles.
French troops withdraw from German Saar Region.
Gen. Wladyslaw Sikorski named first prime minister of Polish government-in-exile.
1940 British civilian casualties for the month September announced: 6,954 dead, 10,615 injured.
1941 Newcastle bombed, but only the second serious raid on Britain in a month with SeptemberÃs casualties listed as 217 killed.
The guard at a detention centre in Peel on the Isle of Man is strengthened after disturbances, which results with 20 British fascists being moved to Liverpool.
As part of operation ‘Typhoon’ Guderian’s Panzer Group 2 opens its offensive against Moscow, 2 days ahead of the rest of Army Group Centre and makes 50-miles in its advance towards Orel.
1942 Top-scoring Luftwaffe ace and Nights Cross with Diamonds winner Hans-Joachim Marseille (158 British aircraft) of 3./JG 27 is killed in a flying accident.
1943 The Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps becomes the Women’s Army Corps, a regular contingent of the U.S. Army with the same status as other army service corps.
The British announce that 5,211 casualties were suffered at Salerno.
The Russians make Dnieper River crossings on a 300-mile front.
On the eve of the Jewish New Year, the Gestapo and Danish Nazis begin rounding up all Danish Jews.
1944 Rejoicing in the streets of Dover at the announcement that the last of the German cross-channel guns, which have pounded the southeast coast of Britain for three years, have been silenced.
The 7,500 strong Calais garrison surrenders to the Canadians.
*1946 An international military tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany, found 22 top Nazi leaders guilty of war crimes.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: Words at War: White Brigade WWII Today: September 1 WWII Today: August 11
1938 Hitler and Mussolini sign a treaty creating the Rome-Berlin Axis. Mussolini agrees to let Hitler do what he pleases in Europe, while Hitler agrees to assist Italy if war breaks out.
1939 Poland formally surrenders, relieving the 35,000 besieged Polish troops who are defending the fortress of Modlin of their obligations thereby enabling them to surrender.
Nazis and Soviets divide up Poland.
Over two million Jews reside in Nazi controlled areas, leaving 1.3 million in the Soviet area.
1940 A British convoy, under heavy escort, sets sail for Malta from Alexandria. Admiral Cunningham hopes to provoke the Italians into a fleet action. The Italian fleet puts out to sea, only to return to port at Taranto prematurely without seeing action.
1941 Germans troops advance in strength, down in to the Crimea, forcing the Russians to fall back in to Sevastopol.
The SS Einsatzgruppen operating in the Ukraine massacres between 50,000 and 96,000 Ukranians (of which 33,771 are Jews), at Babi Yar, a ravine about 30 miles outside of Kiev.
Brazil allows US Navy to use ports of Bahia and Recife for provisioning, refueling, and upkeep.
1942 German pressure in Stalingrad is again stepped up the 6th Army struggles desperately to clear Stalingrad.
RAF Eagle Squadrons (American volunteers) are officially converted into the US 4th Fighter Group of the Eighth Air Force, flying Spitfires; the group will soon fly P-47s, then P-51s.
Seaplane from Japanese submarine I-25drops incendiary bombs in southern coastal Oregon, in an unsuccessful attempt to start forest fires, the second and last bombing of the US in WWII.
Liberty ship Booker T. Washington is launched at Wilmington, DE, the first US merchant ship named after an African-American and the first commanded by a black captain (Hugh Mulzac); the crew was integrated.
1943 The allies take Pompeii, between Salerno and Naples.
Marshal Badoglio and Eisenhower meet aboard HMS Nelson, where a full armistice signed and also discuss war plans.
Adolf Hitler’s book Mein Kampf is published in the United States.
1944 The Canadians take Cape Gris Nez, Southwest of Calais and grant a 24-hour truce for Germans to evacuate civilians.
1945 British troops land in Java to combat Indonesian nationalists.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: June 18 WWII Today: August 23 WWII Today: August 6
1937 In a speech given during a visit to Berlin, Mussolini assures the world;”There are no secret intentions in my visit. Nothing is being plotted”.
1939 The last Polish resistance, the fortress of Modlin, falls after 18-day siege.
German and Soviet troops meet at Brest-Litovsk and together stage a military review. An agreement is signed affirming their common border lines in eastern Poland.
1940 The 26th night attack in succession on London.
The first of the recently purchased US destroyers arrive in Britain.
Britain renews call to evacuate mothers and children from London (489,000 evacuated by October 17).
Uruguay cracks down on Nazi infiltrators, expels 13 German spies.
1941 A Soviet-British-US conference opens in Moscow to discuss western aid to Russia. Lord Beaverbrook represents Britain and Averell Harriman the USA.
Free French declare independence of Syria and Lebanon.
Japanese assault city of Changsha, China, beginning Second Battle of Changsha.
Ted Williams of Boston Red Sox earns .406 batting average for season; record still stands.
1942 The US Navy Department claim 42 Japanese aircraft shot down in the Solomon Islands in last three days, with no US losses.
1943 Germans anti-partisan forces retake Split from Tito’s partisans.
1944 An agreement between Tito and Stalin is reached in Moscow, which allows the Red Army to enter Yugoslavia.
The Red Army begin an offensive towards the Yugoslav border from Romania.
Greek Resistance groups agree to unite under Allied leadership.
1945 The United States Office of Censorship is disbanded.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: August 5 WWII Today: June 5 WWII Today: August 15 Words at War: Wartime Racketeers
1939 The German pocket Battleships, Graf Spee and Deutschland, which had sailed from Germany in August, are given orders to attack allied shipping in the Atlantic.
Sir John Simon’s first war budget, income tax up to 7s 6d in the Â£.
Polish government-in-exile set up in Paris.
Warsaw, besieged for more than two weeks, surrenders after continuous air and artillery bombardments. Near Grabowiec, 150 Polish policemen, 4 NCOs and 6 officers among 5,000 taken prisoner, are executed by the Soviets.
1940 Heavy daytime attacks on Britain. British claim 133 German planes shot down, later revised to 52, with the RAF losing 28.
Japan signs the tripartite pact with Germany and Italy, hoping to deter the USA from interfering in its affairs. However, this step had the opposite affect as the USA now saw Japan as siding with the aggressors.
1941 The first liberty ship, the ‘Patrick Henry’ is launched at Baltimore naval dockyard.
The first of the autumn rains fall and quickly turns the Russian ground to mud.
23,000 Jews killed at Kamenets-Podolsk, in the Ukraine.
After more than 3 months of fighting, British forces in Abyssinia capture the Wolchefit Pass, thereby opening the route to Gondar, the last Italian held town in East Africa.
1942 The 6th Army succeed in capturing most of the strategic Mamayev Kurgan hill and penetrates the heavily defended Red October and Barricades housing estates.
Australian forces defeat the Japanese on New Guinea in the South Pacific.
1943 The Germans begin a General withdrawal of all forces in the Ukraine to positions on the west bank of the Dnieper river. Russians take the last German held port on the Black Sea, at Temyruk.
The first of two heavy air raids against Wewak is conducted by the 5th AAF, with 64 Japanese planes and seven ships destroyed.
1944 Thousands of British troops are killed as German forces rebuff their massive effort to capture the Arnhem Bridge across the Rhine River in Holland.
After nine days of heavy fighting, the British are able to rescue their “lost division”–the first airborne paratroopers who have been trapped behind enemy lines. Their German opponents praise the paratroopers, calling them “the highest-qualified men we have met during the entire invasion campaign”.
It is announced that the first British jet fighter, the ‘Gloster Meteor’ was successfully used in action on the 4th August.
German forces of Army Group E evacuate western Greece.
2,000 Poles of the Home Army surrender in Mokotow district of Warsaw.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: June 27 WWII Today: April 7 WWII Today: August 22
1938 Chancellor Adolf Hitler announces in a speech; “The Sudetenland is the last territorial claim I have to make in Europe.”
1939 Polish Home Army (Armia Krajowa – AK) is formed in Warsaw.
The British first use naval air warning radar, in Luftwaffe attack on carrier HMS Ark Royal.
1940 During the London Blitz, the underground Cabinet War Room suffers a hit when a bomb explodes on the Clive Steps.
US President Franklin Roosevelt imposes an embargo on the export of aviation fuel, scrap iron, and steel to Japan, citing American defence needs.
1941 The U.S. Army establishes the Military Police Corps
The Free French government in London under General de Gaulle signs an alliance with the Soviet Union.
German High Command records capture of 665,000 prisoners in the Kiev operations.
The first Arctic Convoy bound for Russia leaves Britain for Hvalfiord, Iceland. It consists of ten merchantmen with escorts and was designated as PQ1. The convoy arrived in Archangel without incident on 11 October thereby inaugurating a regular service to North Russia. (The letters PQ and QP were chosen because the first convoy planning officer was Cmdr. P.Q. Edwards.)
The British Eighth Army is formed in Egypt in preparation for ‘Operation Crusader’ and now includes both XIII and XXX Corps. At the same time the British Ninth Army is created in Palestine and the Tenth Army in Iraq and Iran to guard against Turkey entering the war on the Axis side.
1942 The ‘Final’ German offensive begins at Stalingrad.
The SS begin to take profit from the possessions and valuables of Jews from Auschwitz and Majdanek.
German banknotes are sent to the Reichs Bank. Foreign currency, gold, jewels and other valuables are sent to SS Headquarters of the Economic Administration. Watches, clocks and pens are distributed to troops at the front. Clothing is distributed to German families.
1944 The Eighth Army crosses the Rubicon in north-eastern Italy.
The US 20th Bomber Command B-29 Superfortresses bomb Manchuria, the command’s first mission with over 100 planes.
1945 The first US casualty in Vietnam (French Indochina): OSS officer Lt. Col. Peter Dewey is killed by Viet Minh in Saigon, he was mistaken for a Frenchman.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: September 8 WWII Today: August 10 WWII Today: August 4
1938 President Franklin Roosevelt urges negotiations between Hitler and Czech President Benes over the Sudetenland.
1939 Heavy artillery duels flare on Western Front.
Churchill claims the U-boat menace has been overcome, but U-48 sinks the steamer Royal Sceptre and casts its crew adrift 300 miles from land.
The Luftwaffe bomb Warsaw with 420 planes. Casualties in the city since the start of the war have now reached 40,000 dead.
Germany begins rationing of bread and flour.
1940 Royal Canadian Navy armed merchant cruiser Prince Robert captures German merchant ship Weser off Manzillo, Mexico.
Court martial body set up in Vichy France for crimes against the state; no appeal allowed executions within 24 hours of sentencing.
Reich-Commissioner in Norway deposes King Haakon and the Administrative Council, declaring the government illegal. All political parties are dissolved except for Quisling’s pro-Nazi party, the Nasjonal Samling, which is installed as the government of Norway.
An attack by Free French forces landed by ships of the Royal Navy against the west African port of Dakar is repulsed by Vichy French troops.
The US cryptanalyst, Harry L Clark, discovers the key to the Japanese top secret codes, allowing the US to read Japanese diplomatic, naval and military to top secret coded traffic.
1941 Hitler orders all attacks by Army Group North on Leningrad stopped and the city to be besieged and starved-out. After its foreseen surrender, the city is to be leveled.
Rommel, having discovered that their wasn’t a British fuel dump at Sidi Barrani and believing that that British had taken up a purely defensive posture, withdrew the 21st Panzer Division back to the Libyan-Egyptian border.
1942 The War Labor Board orders equal pay for women in the United States.
RAF Mosquitoes make a successful low level daylight raid on Gestapo HQ in Oslo. (MORE INFO)
Tokyo and Berlin announce that German U-boats and Japanese submarines will be working together in the Atlantic Ocean.
1943 The Russians capture Smolensk and Roslavl, over 200 miles to the West of Moscow.
1944 The Canadians begin all-out attack on the German stronghold at Calais.
Hitler orders the formation of the Volksturm, the German home guard.
Operation Market Garden ends as British troops withdraw from Arnhem, Holland.
Free French launch assault toward Belfort Gap in France.
Vidkun Quisling’s Ministers urge the Germans to end the occupation of Norway.
1945 The Nazi party is officially declared illegal in Germany.
The last Russian soldier leaves Norwegian territory near Storskog at 20:55.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: August 15 WWII Today: February 6 WWII Today: April 12
1939 U-boats sink three UK-bound neutral merchant ships.
Food rationing introduced in Germany on small scale.
Warsaw, Poland surrenders to Germany; Polish government-in-exile established in Paris.
German Special Task Force troops execute 800 Polish intellectuals and leaders in Bydgoszcz.
1940 18th successive night raid on London. Southampton and Brighton also attacked.
Plans to evacuate mothers as well as children from Blitz areas announced; 444,000 children already evacuated from London area. Petrol goes up to 2s U 2d per gallon.
The convoy of 150 tanks dispatched by Churchill on the 22nd August, arrives at Port Said in Egypt.
1941 Tobacco ration in Paris reduced to four cigarettes per day for men and zero for women.
Army Group South begins an offensive against the vital land bridge to the Crimea at Perekop.
1942 Units of Army Group A launch an attack against the Black Sea port of Tuapse. The German Chief of Staff, General Halder is sacked by Hitler and is replaced by General Zeitzler.
1944 The British Second Army reaches the Lower Rhine in force. The British paratroops at Arnhem are now under severe pressure. British troops cross the German border to the Southeast of Nijmegen. The U.S.
Third Army’s Moselle bridgeheads to the South of Metz are sealed off by the Germans.
The British XIII Corps captures Marradi in Italy.
The Russian offensive in Baltic States ceases.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: Words at War: They Shall Inherit the Earth WWII Today: August 4 Yank Magazine Pin Up: Esther Williams
1939 German Jews are forbidden to own wireless (radio) sets.
1940 The design for the jeep is submitted to the US Army by Bantam, originally called the Pilot.
New rations announced in Vichy France as 350g of bread, 300g of sugar, 50g of cheese, 360g of meat per day and 100g of fat per week.
129 RAF bombers attack industrial targets in Berlin this night, but are mostly ineffectual.
A British/Free French attempt to capture Dakar in Vichy French West Africa fails when the staunchly pro Vichy garrison fights back, inflicting damage on the invasion fleet, causing it to abort.
1942 Field Marshal Rommel takes a medical leave and hands over command to General von Thoma. British troops occupy the capital of Madagascar.
Wendell Willkie, 1940 Republican presidential candidate, confers with Stalin and calls for a second front at the earliest possible moment.
Soviet counterattacks to dislodge German advance units near the Volga landing stage are unsuccessful.
1943 The Red Army captures Poltava.
1944 An RAF precision bombing raid using 12,000lb bombs, breach the crucial Dortmund-Ems Canal.
The Canadians win a bridgehead over the Escaut Canal.
Russian and Romanian troops enter Hungary at Arad.
Soviets reach Gulf of Riga on the Baltic.
1945 General Dwight Eisenhower decrees that any German citizen caught helping the Nazis or deliberately hindering the Allies will face the death penalty if convicted. Eisenhower also bans the Nazi Party and voids most Nazi laws throughout occupied Germany.
The first American dies in Vietnam during the fall of Saigon to French forces.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: September 12 WWII Today: August 10 WWII Today: September 9
1939 Germany and Russia agree on partition of Poland. 217,000 Polish troops who are fighting against the Red Army surrender at Lvov. The NKVD begins rounding up thousands of Polish officers and deporting them to Russia where they will be executed a year later in the forest of Katyn near Smolensk. A Polish regiment repels attacks by forty Soviet tanks and infantry units at the Battle of Kodziowce. Soviet losses amount to hundreds killed and twenty tanks destroyed.
1940 Moscow Radio reports that RAF bombing has largely destroyed the German invasion fleet along the Channel.
Vichy regime accepts Japanese ultimatum: Japanese troops enter French Indo-China.
1941 Italian one-man submarines, sometimes called suicide subs because they seldom survive their mission, sneak into the harbor at Gibraltar and sink three British Ships.
1942 The 6th Army and 4th Panzer Army split the Soviet 62nd Army in two and capture nearly the entire southern part of the city, including the huge grain elevator which was successfully defended by 40 Soviet marines for over a week.
1943 Six British midget submarines attack and damage the Tirpitz in Alten Fjord, northern Norway.
The British 78th Division begins landings at Bari on the South East coast of Italy.
Troops of the 9th Australian Division land near Finschhafen in New Guinea.
1944 The British Second Army is now five miles North of Nijmegen, but still six miles from Arnhem. The U.S. First Army halts its offensive West of Aachen. German troops holding out in the port city of Boulogne finally surrender to Canadian forces.
The Russians occupy Tallinn and Reval in Estonia.
1945 President Truman accepts U.S. Secretary of War Stimson’s recommendation to designate the war World War II.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: September 4 WWII Today: August 16 WWII Today: September 3
1939 60,000 Poles, all that remains of the Polish Southern Army surrender at Zamosz and Tomaszov.
Romanian premier Armand Calinescu assassinated by Fascist Iron Guard for supporting Poles.
Heydrich issues instructions to SS Einsatzgruppen (special action squads) in Poland regarding treatment of Jews, stating they are to be gathered into ghettos near railroads for the future “final goal.” He also orders a census and the establishment of Jewish administrative councils within the ghettos to implement Nazi policies and decrees.
1940 Over the past 17 days, British aircraft have sunk 12.5% of 1865 German transport vessels preparing for an invasion of England.
Wavell, orders planning to begin for a British counter-attack against the Italians, with the aim of driving them out of eastern Libya and capturing Tobruk.
1941 The German Army cuts off the Crimean Peninsula from the rest of the Soviet Union.
1942 RAF raids are conducted against Munich and the Saar valley.
The inter-allied information committee estimates that the Germans have so far, executed 207,373 people in occupied Europe.
British forces begin their first land counter-offensive against the Japanese in Arakan, Western Burma.
1943 The Red Army forces a crossing of the Dnieper at Dnepropetrovsk, thereby breaking into the German Panther line.
Molotov insists on the resumption of Arctic convoys.
1944 U.S. troops of the 7th Army, invading Southern France, cross the Meuse River.
In Operation Market Garden, Germans retake bridge in Arnhem from British paratroopers.
Polish paratrooper’s land between Arnhem and Nijmegen as the British force at Arnhem bridge is overwhelmed. Autumn rains impede the allied advance as the U.S. 85th Division takes Firenzwold.
The Eighth Army’s Greek Mountain Brigade take Rimini on the Adriatic coast. German forces of Army Group E evacuates the Peloponnes peninsula in Greece.
U.S. planes hit Manila in the Philippines, sinking 40 ships, damaging 35 destroying 357 aircraft.
1945 Ghandi, Nehru, and the all-India Congress Party demands that all Southeast Asia should be free of imperialist domination.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: August 17 WWII Today: August 25 WWII Today: October 22