Archive for the ‘WWII History’ Category

Aug 12

World War II Today: August 12

1940 The Luftwaffe attacks Portsmouth, Isle of Wight and all along Kent and Sussex coast. They also attack forward RAF airfields and radar stations in preparation for ‘Eagle Day’. British claims are high as they report 62 Luftwaffe planes shot down against the RAF’s 13, while in reality it was just 26 Luftwaffe and 22 RAF planes lost.

The Dortmund-Ems canal in Germany is blocked by low flying British bomber, the pilot is later awarded VC.

Wasting food becomes illegal in Britain.

1941 The draft extension passes in the House by only one vote.

US Navy takes over patrolling convoy routes in the North Atlantic and tracking German submarines for the Royal Navy in violation of Neutrality Act.

Churchill and Roosevelt sign the Atlantic Charter an eight-point declaration of peace aims.

French Marshal Henri Philippe Petain announces full French collaboration with Nazi Germany.

Hitler issues Directive No.34 which temporarily abandons Moscow as an objective in favour of the Ukraine.

Soviet forces counterattack at Staraya Russa south of Lake Ilmen.

1942 Himmler is made responsible for order in Belgium, Holland, Denmark and Norway.

In their advance south toward the Grozny oilfields, units of Army Group A capture Elista near the Caspian Sea.

Churchill arrives in Moscow for talks with Sralin. During 4 days of often acrimonious talks, Stalin was eventually forced to accept that there would be no ‘second front’ during 1942.

Light cruiser USS Cleveland performs successful test of VT proximity-fuzed antiaircraft shells in Chesapeake Bay.

Actor Clark Gable enlists in US Army Air Force.

1943 The Heaviest RAF attack so far on northern Italy, with more than 1,000 tons dropped on Milan in under 30 minutes.

Hitler orders the construction of a fortified defensive line (Panther Line)

1944 Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. (brother of the future president) is killed in a top-secret Aphrodite mission from England, in which planes loaded with bombs are guided by remote control to the target after the pilots bail out.

First PLUTO (Pipeline under the Ocean) becomes operational, taking fuel from Isle of Wight to Cherbourg.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: July 15 WWII Today: June 6 D-Day Quote WWII Today: August 14

Aug 11

World War II Today: August 11

1940: The Battle of Britain begins in earnest with 400 German planes attacking channel convoys and the coastal areas of Britain including Dover, Weymouth and Portland.

The British claim 65 Luftwaffe planes down for the loss of 26 RAF fighters. It actuality, only 35 Luftwaffe planes were shot down, while the RAF had lost 29.

(NOTE: British historians regard the battle as running from 9 July to 31 October 1940, which represented the most intense period of daylight air raiding. German historians begin the battle in mid-August 1940 and end it in May 1941, on the withdrawal of the bomber units in preparation for Operation Barbarossa, the attack on the USSR.)

In Paris, Nazis form Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg to loot art from Jews.

1941 Soviet bombers raid Berlin but cause little damage.

1942 The ‘Pedestal’ convoy is spotted by a German U-boat. The German submarine U-73 attacks the Malta-bound British convoy and sinks HMS Eagle, one of the world’s first aircraft carriers. Over the coming days 21 German and Italian submarines, nearly 800 aircraft, 23 torpedo boats, and units of the Italian fleet move in to intercept the convoy.

US War Production Board orders entire crop of wine grapes be made into raisins for the military.

Actress Hedy Lamarr applies for a patent for a frequency-hopping system to prevent interception and jamming of radio communications; although not used in WWII, the technology made cellular phones possible.

1943 German night evacuation of Sicily begins, using 134 small craft covered by 500 AA guns.

1944 U.S. troops capture Nantes and Angers and drive South across the Loire.

The Russians renew their offensive towards the Estonian border at Pskov, breaking through the Mavlenburg Line. The Germans assault the old town area of Warsaw from three sides.

1945 General Douglas MacArthur is declared Allied Supreme Commander, with the authority to accept Japanese surrender.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: August 3 WWII Today: June 27 WWII Today: May 23

Aug 10

World War II Today: August 10

1940 Due to poor weather conditions, the Luftwaffe delays ‘Eagle Day’ until the 13th

U-56 sinks armed merchant-cruiser HMS Transylvania off Northern Ireland.

Germans ban speaking of French in Luxembourg and listening to BBC in Belgium.

In Luxembourg, Germans ban speaking French.

British agree to withdraw from Shanghai and northern China to appease Japan and to reinforce Singapore and India.

1941 Great Britain and the Soviet Union promise aid to Turkey if it is attacked by the Axis Powers.

1942 The British convoy ‘Pedestal’ (14 merchants, 2 battleships, 3 aircraft-carriers, 14 destroyers and 3 anti-aircraft cruisers), which had left Britain on the 2nd August en-route to Malta, reaches the Straits of Gibraltar, where it is reinforced with 3 heavy cruisers (Manchester, Nigeria, and Kenya) and 11 more destroyers. For a time, the aircraft-carrier HMS Furious joins the convoy with a complement of 38 Supermarine Spitfires which are to be flown off towards the embattled island.

With the support of von Richthofen’s 4th Air Fleet, which had been transferred from Army Group A, the 6th Army crosses the Don and reaches the outskirts of Stalingrad.

1944 The U.S. 5th Armored and 2nd French Armored Divisions cover 15 miles to Alencon.

Organized Japanese resistance on Guam finally ends with them suffering 18,250 killed and the U.S. more than 1,744 killed.

1945 The Japanese sue for peace after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. To date nearly 55 million people have died in the Second World War.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: April 2 WWII Today: April 29 WWII Today: June 11

Aug 09

World War II Today: August 9

1940 Italian ground forces make slow progress in British Somaliland. Both the Italians and the British conduct air raids against each other.

British troops to be withdrawn from Shanghai and North China.

1941 President Franklin Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill meet at Placentia Bay, Newfoundland. The meeting produces the Atlantic Charter, an agreement between the two countries on war aims, even though the United States is still a neutral country.

German Army Group South resumes its offensive to the east, along the river Bug, with 11th and 17th Armies.

1942 Convoy SC-94 lose 7 British, U.S. and Dutch ships, torpedoed by German U-boats in the North Atlantic.

The 1st Panzer Army captures the Maikop oilfields, which were left burning furiously by the Red Army, so little refined fuel was found. German 17th Army which was advancing behind the 1st Panzer Army reaches Krasnodar, on the river Kuban.

Gandhi is arrested.

Battle of Savo Island begins as 7 Japanese cruisers and a destroyer approach undetected west of Savo Island, Solomon Islands and sinks the U.S. heavy cruisers, Quincey, Vincennes and Astoria and the Australian cruiser Canberra. They also damage 1 cruiser and 2 destroyers. The allied ships depart leaving the Guadalcanal area is in the control of the Japanese forces.

1944 German Panzers fight viciously with the Canadians and Poles who make only slow progress towards Caen. The U.S. 5th Armored Division take Le Mans. Eisenhower sets up a HQ in France.

1945 U.S. B-29 “Bocks Car” drops atomic bomb “Fat Man” on Nagasaki, Japan. Two-thirds of the city of 250,000 inhabitants is destroyed and 113,000 people die.

Soviet Army massed at the Manchurian border sweeps into northern China and northern Korea overwhelming the Japanese defense.

Truman broadcasts from Washington about Potsdam conference and the atom bomb.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: August 6 WWII Today: July 25 WWII Today: December 17

Aug 08

World War II Today: August 8

1940 The Luftwaffe renews its attacks against Channel convoys and its escorts, with heavy air battles occurring over the Channel. The Germans lose 31 aircraft against the RAF’s 16.

The Home Secretary announces July civilian air raid casualty figures as 258 killed and 320 seriously injured.

British forces pay increased by 6d per day; privates’ pay up to 17s 6d a week.

Romania introduces anti-Jewish measures restricting education and employment, then later begins “Romanianization” of Jewish businesses.

1941 Uman pocket eliminated. 103,000 Russian prisoners taken by the Germans.

1942 Six convicted Nazi saboteurs who had landed in the United States were executed in Washington, D.C.

The commander of US ground forces, Eisenhower establishes a HQ in the UK.

U.S. Marines take the unfinished airfield on Guadalcanal and name it Henderson Field after Maj. Lofton Henderson, a hero of Midway.

Japanese naval counter-attack beaten off in Solomon Islands.

1943 A Royal decree places Italy under a state of siege.

Lt. John F. Kennedy and PT-109 crew rescued from island in the Solomons by Navy patrol boat.

The US Seventh Army lands at Sant’ Agata on Sicily’s north coast to outflank Axis, takes San Fratello Ridge and Sant’ Agata, but fails to cut off German retreat.

1944 3,462 tons of bombs are dropped on the German lines South of Caen by 1,020 RAF planes.

Patton’s Third Army takes Le Mans.

The Canadians launch Operation ‘Totalize’ South of Caen, with 600 tanks and 720 guns. Canadians take the Falaise Road.

American troops complete the capture of the Mariana Islands.

Eight German officers are hanged in Berlin for their role in the July 20 Hitler assassination plot; by February 3, 1945, 4,980 will be executed.

1945 President Harry S. Truman signed the United Nations Charter.

Soviets declares war on Japan.

 

Take a look at these other WWII Posts:

WWII Today: October 24 WWII Today: July 5 WWII Pin Up Anne Gwynne

Aug 07

World War II Today: August 7

1941 Mussolini’s son Bruno killed in test-flight crash of P-108 bomber near Pisa.

The United States Senate extends National Service to 18 months.

Joseph Stalin appoints himself Generalissimo of the Red Army.

Konoye asks FDR for summit meeting. He also proposes a Chinese police corps with Japanese officers and a timetable for a withdrawal of troops from China.

1942 Units of the 6th Army cross the Don river at Kalach during their advance toward Stalingrad.

The creation of Palestine Regiment of the British Army is announced. General Gott, the Eighth Army’s commander designate, is shot down while en route for Cairo. Montgomery is chosen instead.

The U.S. 1st Marine Division under General A. A. Vandegrift lands on the islands of Guadalcanal and Tulagi in the Solomon islands. This is the first American amphibious landing of the war.

1944 The German 2nd, 116th, 1st SS and 2nd SS Panzer divisions, with 145 tanks to the East of Mortain launch ‘Operation Luttich’, to counter-attack against the U.S. 3rd Army’s sweep to the South. The Germans move against Avranches and achieve some success at Mortain. Assisted by RAF Typhoons, the Americans are able to stop the Germans by the atfernoon. U.S. 15th Corps is turned north to meet the Canadians in Falaise.

Allied air patrols over Paris prevent Axis fighters from reaching Mortain.

The Russians advance into the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains, near the Slovak, Hungarian, Russian borders.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: August 3 WWII Today: June 16 WWII Today: August 1

Aug 06

World War II Today: August 6

1940 Goering sets the 10th August 1940 as ‘Eagle day’, the start of the Luftwaffe major offensive against the RAF and its Airfields.

Italian forces reach Odweina in British Somaliland. Battles at Tug Argan and at Hargeisa.

1941 The Japanese foreign minister, Admiral Nomura, proposes to the USA a meeting between Roosevelt and Prime Minister Konoye.

1942 General Dwight D. Eisenhower is appointed as commander-in-chief of allied forces preparing to invade North Africa.

The British section of the ‘World Jewish Congress’, claims that 1,000,000 Jews are already dead in occupied Europe.

German 1st Panzer Army crosses the Kuban river at Armavir.

1943 A partial evacuation of Berlin is announced in order to avoid another Hamburg.

German troops pour into Italy as Axis foreign ministers meet at Treviso.

Battle of Vella Gulf: 4 Japanese destroyers attempt to bring troops and supplies to Kolombangara, Solomon Is. and are attacked by 6 U.S. destroyers. 3 Japanese destroyers are sunk and 1 damaged. U.S. destroyers suffer no damage.

The Japanese air base at Munda is in the hands of the U.S. Marines. Control of the site, in the center of the Solomon archipelago, gives the Marines a base for bombing Japanese positions in the Philippines.

1944 The U.S. XX Corps enters Laval and continues south-east. The U.S. 4th Armoured Division advances to Vannes and Lorient, while the U.S. 6th Armoured Division, on their right flank, is headed for the westernmost point of the Brittany Peninsula and the ports of Brest. North of them, 8th U.S. Infantry Division is passing along the northern coastline of the peninsula.

The Russians seize the Polish oil centre of Drohobyez.

The German Rahmel aircraft factory near Gdynia in Poland, is attacked by allied bombers.

The last Jewish ghetto in Poland, Lodz, is liquidated with 60,000 Jews sent to Auschwitz.

1945 At 8;15 am the B-29 Enola Gay, piloted by Paul Tibbets, dropped the first Atomic bomb, Little Boy, on the city of Hirosima, Japan.

The Belgians announce that 2,117 collaborators have been sentenced to death, out of 16,000 found guilty.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: June 13 WWII Today: June 1 WWII Today: November 27

Aug 05

World War II Today: August 5

1940 U.S. and Vichy France reach Green-Slade-Robert Agreement, an understanding on the status of French warships and aircraft in the French West Indies.

Montreal mayor Camillien Houde is arrested, and charged under the Defence of Canada Regulations. He is imprisoned at Camp Petawawa in Ontario until the end of the war.

Anglo-Polish military agreement signed. Churchill and de Gaulle agree over organization of free French forces. German government announces that in future all citizens will need an Ahnenpass (Certificate of Ancestry) proving their racial purity back to 1800.

The Italian air force raids Berbera, Aden, Burao and Zeila. Italian troops In Italian Somaliland then occupy Zeila, thereby sealing the border between French and British Somaliland and opening up the coastal track to Berbera.

1941 British and Soviet troops invade Iran from south and north to forestall any German incursions in the wake of the failed coup by anti-British elements in Iraq that was supported by German special forces flown in from Greece.

Vichy limits wine consumption to two litres per person per week.

20 Soviet divisions encircled at Uman, in the Ukraine. German troops conclude the battle of encirclement at Smolensk and take 310,000 Red Army prisoners as the remnants of 16th and 20th Armies surrender.

Romanians begin a 73-day siege of the Black Sea port of Odessa.

1942 Allied convoy SC-94 is sighted by German U-boat in the Atlantic, when a group of 6 ships with 2 escorts get lost from the convoy due to the fog. One ship is sunk, but two U-boats are driven off.

1st Panzer Army captures Voroshilovsk, over 200 miles to the south east of Rostov. The 4th Panzer Army moving northeast runs straight into the Soviet 64th and 57th Armies. Stalin creates the new Southwest Front out of a part of the forces assigned to Stalingrad Front.

Churchill visits the Eighth Army at El Alamein and decides to replace Auchinleck.

1943 The Russians take Belgorod and now threaten Kharkov.

Germans evacuate Troina in Sicily after a six-day defense. The Eighth Army takes Catania.

US forces capture Munda airfield in New Georgia.

1944 The U.S. XV Corps makes 50kms in about 7 hours, crossing the Mayenne river at Mayenne, while further south the river is reached at Laval.

The Polish Home Army goes onto the defensive in Warsaw, as 60 per cent of city now in its control. The 4th Ukrainian Front is inserted in the Russian line in southern Poland and northern Hungary.

The British capture Tamu, across the Burmese border.

U.S. Aircraft from two carrier task groups, cruisers and destroyers bombard Japanese installations on Chichi Jima and Haha Jima, Bonin Is.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: June 18 WWII Today: July 18 WWII Today: July 28

Aug 04

World War II Today: August 4

1940 The Italians begin their invasion of British Somaliland, East Africa. Using some 25,000 troops, they push the small British garrison back towards the port of Berbera.

1941 Stimson shows Hull the Magic intercept of Toyoda’s “encirclement” message to Berlin, that Japan and Germany will encircle their enemies, Russia and India.

The US Far East Air Force (Philippines) activated under Major General Lewis Brereton.

The United States commits to send arms to USSR

1942 Advance units of 4th Panzer Army cross the Aksay river in their drive toward Stalingrad.

The British government charges that Mohandas Gandhi and his All-Indian Congress Party favor “appeasement” with Japan.

1943 U.S. bombers drop 153 tons of bombs on Kiska, Aleutian Is., a new one-day record.

U.S. troops are halted by fierce opposition at Furiano River and at Troina, Sicily.

The Red Army retakes Orel, as German 9th Army withdraws towards Bryansk, to avoid encirclement.

1944 An RAF Gloster Meteor pilot T. D. Dean becomes the first pilot to destroy a V-1 flying bomb, when he tips the pilotless craft’s wing, sending it off course.

A purge of the German Army is announced. In northern France, the allies take Rennes, Evrecy and Esqutsy.

The 19th Panzer Division crosses Poniatowski Bridge in Warsaw, as the fighting ceases in the suburb of Praga. The Red Army forces a bridgehead across the Vistula at Baranov.

Florence is evacuated by German forces.

Anne Frank and family arrested by Gestapo in Amsterdam, then sent to Auschwitz. Anne and her sister Margot are later sent to Bergen-Belsen where Anne dies of typhus on March 15, 1945.

Aircraft from a U.S. carrier task group, cruisers and destroyers attack a Japanese convoy and other shipping in the Chichi Jima area, Bonin Is. Simultaneously, aircraft from a second carrier task group bomb airfield facilities on Iwo Jima.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: July 7 WWII Today: December 8 WWII Pin Up Anne Gwynne

Aug 03

World War II Today: August 3

1940 Churchill warns nation against believing rumours that invasion threat is over.

Italian troops under General Guglielmo Nasi invade British Somaliland from Italian Ethiopia.

1941 The Archbishop of Munster gives a sermon in which he calls the Nazi euthanasia program murder. The archbishop is imprisoned in a German concentration camp until the end of the war.

Army Group Centre takes 38,000 Soviet prisoners after the Roslavl battle of encirclement.

1942 Lieutenant Commander Mildred McAfee is named the first director of the WAVES, becomes the first female officer in the US Naval Reserve.

The FBI arrests 89 ‘dangerous aliens’ in USA.

1943 The Red Army launches an offensive from Belgorod area toward Poltava after the failure of Operation Citadel. The Soviet Voronezh and Steppe Fronts penetrate into Army Group South’s left flank forcing the Germans are to retreat.

Gen. George S. Patton slapped a private at an army hospital in Sicily, accusing him of cowardice.

The Italians begin evacuating Sicily.

1944 Hitler orders a counter-attack against the U.S. troops from east of Avranches, in order to re-establish positions on the coast.

General Stilwell’s troops, the NCAC, with the help of reinforcements, succeed in securing the town of Myitkyina in North Eastern Burma, but the 600 surviving Japanese are evacuated after holding out for 79 days.

Soviet spearheads in the area to the east of Warsaw, are destroyed by German counter attacks.

1945 The USN announce on Guam, that the complete blockade of the Japanese homeland has now been achieved.

Czechoslovakia denies citizenship to ethnic Germans and Hungarians.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: May 23 WWII Today: June 27 Yamamoto Quote