World War II Today: August 16

World War II Today: August 16 - Airborne Test PlatoonTest platoon of 48 volunteers from 29thInfantry Regiment makes first US Army parachute jump from an aircraft.

Luftwaffe again raids southern England.

Death of Hector Bywater, author of 1925 Great Pacific War.

Stalin acknowledges UK and US aid plan and agrees to the ‘apportionment of our joint resources’.

Anglo-Soviet exchange agreement signed. 56th Panzer Korps of Panzer Group 4 takes Novgorod on the road to Leningrad. German and Romanian forces of Army Group South captures Nikolaev, an important Soviet naval base on the Black Sea.

U.S. troops enter Messina in North eastern Sicily in a final push to clear the island. Axis evacuation of 100,000 troops has been completed.

The Red Army launches an offensive against the Mius line toward Stalino.

The Bialystok Ghetto is liquidated.

Radio Paris, the German-controlled collaborationist radio station, goes off the air. General de Lattre de Tassigny’s French First Army begins to land in force in southern France. Hitler orders the withdrawal of all German forces in southern France. The French Resistance steps up its attacks on German posts along the Swiss border, assaulting Machilly, Saint-Julien and Valleiry. The first two surrender with minimal bloodshed, but the 20 German customs officers at Valleiry are shot out of hand by resistants following their surrender, along with two French women who were with them. A German relief column arrives too late, shooting seven civilians and burning 20 houses in retaliation.

World War II Today: August 16 - Me 163 KometUS Eighth Air Force suffers first attack by Luftwaffe jet fighters (Me 163s), has first loss to a jet, and also destroys a German jet for first time.

Organized Japanese resistance ends on Burma-India border.

Lieutenant General Jonathan Wainwright, who was taken prisoner by the Japanese on Corregidor on May 6, 1942, is released from a POW camp in Manchuria by U.S. troops.

Japanese parliament resigns.

Soviets land on Sakhalin Island.

Churchill first uses term “iron curtain” in speech to House of Commons: “the iron curtain which at the moment divides Europe in twain.”

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