Archive for the ‘WWII History’ Category

Jan 28

World War II Today: January 28

1932 The Japanese attack Shanghai, China, and declare martial law.

1940 King George of Britain announces court will not be held this year due to the war.

1941 French General Charles DeGaulle’s Free French forces sack south Libya oasis.

Thai bombers hit Sisophon, French Indochina, final combat in Franco-Thai war.

1942 Timoshenko’s offensive in the Ukraine slows down after a 60-mile thrust.

German forces recapture Benghazi.

US Navy pilot claims to sink U-boat, radios “Sighted sub—sank same,” but no U-boat was sunk, an honest error.

US Eighth Air Force activated in Savannah, Georgia under Brig. Gen. Asa Duncan; originally intended for North Africa but will serve in Britain.

US Naval Magazine at Port Chicago CA established as subcommand of Naval Ammunition Depot at Mare Island.

1943 The whole of the German workforce is mobilized for ‘total war’. All men aged 16-65 and women aged 17- 50 to be registered.

Japanese attempt final drive for Port Moresby, New Guinea.

US military begins accepting Nisei (Japanese-American) volunteers.

1944 To make clear their displeasure about ongoing assistance to the Nazi war effort by Francisco Franco’s Spain, the United States and Britain announce a total oil embargo of the country. With Spanish life grinding to a virtual standstill, Franco agrees finally to cease supplying the Germans with critical war materials and to withdraw the last Spanish troops fighting with the Germans in Russia. By May, the embargo is lifted.

The Red Army succeeds in encircling several German divisions in the area of Cherkassy.

Over Anzio, the US 99th Fighter Squadron (Tuskegee Airmen) in 16 P-40s shoots down 4 German Fw 190s—the previous day they shot down 8 Fw 190s.

1945 The Ardennes salient is finally eradicated.

The first convoy for three years reaches China through Burma.

Ledo-Burma Road reopens as first Allied convoy crosses into China; in the ceremony, Chiang Kai-shek renames it the Stilwell Road, in honor of General Joseph Stilwell.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: January 17 WWII Today: February 1 Words at War: Battle Hymn of China


Jan 27

World War II Today: January 27

1939 President Franklin D. Roosevelt approves the sale of U.S. war planes to France.

1940 Hitler personally takes over planning for the invasion of Norway, ’Plan Weser’.

1941 The 7th Armoured Division captures Mechili. Meanwhile the Australians have bumped into strong Italian defences at Derna and so Wavell decides to halt further offensive action until reinforcements and supply can be brought up.

1942 German troops launch a feint attack from Msus, towards Mechili. This successfully deceives the British in to believing that the Germans will attempt cut the coast road far to the east of Benghazi and so they begin to hurriedly evacuate the 4th Indian Division from Benghazi along the coast road.

Japanese troops land at Pemangkat on the west coast of Dutch Borneo.

The Irish Premier, de Valera protests at the arrival of US troops in Ulster. President Roosevelt is said to be amazed by this.

First Japanese warship sunk by a U.S. submarine, when the USS Gudgeon sinks the IJN submarine I-173.

USS Gudgeon

1943 The USAAF makes its first raid on Germany with a force of B-17’s and B-24’s hitting Emden and Wilhelmshaven in daylight.

1944 The thirteenth heavy raid on Berlin inflicts an estimated 6,000 dead.

The Germans counter-attack the French at Cassino.

Leningraders are told that the blockade has been lifted after 900 days. The Soviet 1st Ukrainian Front launches an offensive against Luzk and Rovno. Hitler lectures all his eastern front army commanders on National Socialism as the Russians cut off 60,000 men in Korsun Pocket, 100 miles to the southeast of Kiev. Army Group North’s commander, Von Küchler orders the eighteenth army to pull back to the river Luga.

1945 Russians troops capture Memel on Baltic Coast after the German evacuation, which now leaves the whole of Lithuania in Russian hands. German forces begin evacuating the vital coal mining and industrial region of Upper Silesia.

Soviet troops liberate Auschwitz. By this time, an estimated 2,000,000 persons, including 1,500,000 Jews, have been murdered there.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: April 12 WWII Today: January 8 WWII Today: February 9 J.R.R. Tolkien Quote

Jan 26

World War II Today: January 26

1940 US-Japan Trade Treaty of 1911 lapses—US refuses to negotiate while Japanese troops are in China.

Brooms in Britain to be made with square handles to save timber.

1941 The Italians evacuate Mechiliduring the night.

1942 The US-Filipino withdrawal to the Bagac-Orion line is successfully completed. The Japanese quickly followed up the withdrawal and made several penetrations in to the defensive new line, although these were all contained and thrown back.

First US Army troops arrive in Britain: Convoy AT-10 carrying the 34th Infantry Division arrives in Belfast to relieve British troops.

WWII First troops of the American Expeditionary Force lands in Northern Ireland.

1943 The Stalingrad pocket is split in two. Voronezh is captured.

The Eighth Army takes Zaula in Libya, less than 100 miles from Tunisian frontier.

1944 The British launch their main attack on the Japanese ‘Golden Fortress’ in the Arakan, Burma.

Landing ship LST-422 damaged by a mine off Anzio; of 700 aboard, 454 US soldiers & 29 British sailors killed.

Allied ships are ordered to withdraw from the Anzio beachhead to reduce risk from air raid.

Argentina severs relations with Germany & Japan after a vast Axis spy ring is uncovered in the country.

1945 Himmler is put in command of Army Group Vistula by Hitler. The Russians isolate three German armies in East Prussia. The Red Army captures Kattowitz in Upper Silesia. Auschwitz concentration camp is captured by the Russians, but they find fewer than 3,000 survivors as the SS has moved most of the remaining prisoners to camps inside Germany.

Soviets reach the Prussian coast at Elbing, cutting East Prussia off from Germany.

Sandakan Death March begins: Japanese march 470 Indonesian civilians and Australian POWs across North Borneo, only 6 will survive war.

Lt. Audie Murphy is awarded the Medal of Honor.

Lt. Audie Murphy is awarded the Medal of Honor.

Audie Murphy Reproduction Dog Tags

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: December 6 WWII Today: December 10 WWII Today: November 23

Jan 25

World War II Today: January 25

1940 Nazis choose the town of Oswiecim (Auschwitz) in Poland near Krakow as site of new concentration camp.

Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King dissolves Parliament; new elections to be held.

US auxiliary ship Bear reaches deepest penetration by any ship yet into Antarctica.

1942 Thailand declares war on Britain and the US.

Japanese troops begin landing at Lae in New Guinea.

Australia begins full mobilization of all assets at its disposal.

The US enquiry in to the disaster at Pearl Harbor finds Admiral Kimmel, then the C-in-C of the US Fleet, guilty of dereliction of duty. A court martial is announced later.

German troops capture Msus, which threatens the 4th Indian Divisions position at Benghazi. Lieutenant General Ritchie, orders the 4th Indian Division to withdraw to a line running from Derna to Mechili, but this order is countermanded by General Auchinleck who wanted the 8th Army to counter-attack. However, the 8th Army was to widely dispersed and Rommel’s forces were advancing to quickly.

1943 Prime Minister Churchill and President Roosevelt end the Casablanca Conference with their announcement of the demand for the unconditional surrender of Germany and Italy.

The Red Army succeeds in splitting the remnants of 6th Army into a northern and a southern pocket. German forces evacuate Armavir and Voronezh.

Stalin’s Order of the day says that the Red Army has routed 102 German divisions in the last two months.

The Pentagon opens—the largest office building in the world. 

Guadalcanal Diary by Richard Tregaskis is published.

1944 Night-fighter ace, Major Prinz zu SaynWittgenstein who claimed 83 victories is killed.

Diary entry by Hans Frank, Gauleiter of Poland, concerning the fate of 2.5 million Jews originally under his jurisdiction – “At the present time we still have in the General Government perhaps 100,000 Jews.”

Australian advances in New Guinea are announced, with the Japanese cleared from the ‘Shaggy Line’.

Japanese destroyer Suzukaze was torpedoed and sunk northwest of Ponape by the American submarine Skipjack.

1945 Zhukov cuts off the Fortress city of Posen which holds 66,000 Germans and continues his 50-mile a day advance.

The Battle of The Bulge ends.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: February 8 WWII Today: February 9 Words at War: Fair Stood the Wind for France

Jan 24

World War II Today: January 24

1940 Chinese take Dongyangyuan Pass, Shanxi Province, China in war with Japan.

1941 General Cunningham’s ‘Southern Force’ invades Italian Somaliland from Garissa and Bura in Kenya.

1942 More reinforcements arrive at Singapore to boost its defenses as the British 18th Division is landed.

Japanese troops land at Balikpapan in Dutch Borneo.

Four US destroyers and some submarines attack a Japanese convoy in theMakassar Strait between Borneo and Celebes, sinking 1 destroyer and four transports, while only suffering damage to one of their destroyers. This action delays the impending Japanese invasion of Java.

US Flying Tigers P-40s shoot down 12 planes over Rangoon, Burma.

German troops of Army Group Centre, recapture Sukhinichi near Kaluga.

1943 Russians take Starobelskiy, near the Donets River in the eastern Ukraine, more than 250 miles to the West of Stalingrad. Hitler orders no surrender in Stalingrad. The offensive by the Soviet Trans-Caucasian Front toward the Kuban bridgehead is stopped at Novorossiysk and Krasnodar.

Fighting in Papua is officially reported as over.

1944 In response to political pressure to help Jews under Nazi control, Roosevelt creates the War Refugee Board.

Chinese forces make further advances in the Hukawng Valley.

German bombers sink British hospital ship St. David off Anzio with Hs-293 guided missile; 96 killed, including 2 British nurses.

The US 93rdEvacuation Hospital opens in Anzio and is hit by German shells, injuring a sergeant, the first of many casualties in the Anzio hospitals.

1945 U.S. troops capture Clark Field, the main Japanese airbase on Luzon.

The Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm carrier planes destroy the Japanese oil refinery near Palembang, on Sumatra.

German forces begin evacuating Slovakia.

The 1st Ukrainian Front captures Oppeln and Gleiwitz in Upper Silesia.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: April 2 WWII Today: March 18 WWII Today: January 13

Jan 23

World War II Today: January 23

1940 Britain and France say they will not honor 200-mile Pan-American neutrality zone and will attack German ships there.

Animals in Berlin Zoo placed on war rations—less meat, no bananas or peanuts.

1941 Before Congress, Charles Lindbergh suggests the US negotiate a neutrality pact with Hitler.

HMS Illustrious, heavily damaged, leaves Malta for repairs in Alexandria.

1942 Japanese land at crucial British naval and air base of Rabaul, New Britain and take it.

Japanese land at Kavieng, New Ireland and Kieta, Bougainville, and secure both.

Lt. Gen. Joseph Stilwell placed in command of US Army forces in China-Burma-India Theater.

Australia sends an urgent request for assistance from the Allies after a series of conquests in the Southwest Pacific brings the Japanese within a thousand miles of Australian territory.


1943 British take Tripoli, Libya. US takes last Japanese landing beach on Guadalcanal, cutting their supply route.

Japanese continue their fight in western Guadalcanal; they now seem to have given up completely on the New Guinea campaign.

The first Japanese attack on the U.S. mainland as a submarine shells an oil refinery near Santa Barbara, California.

1944 Australians secure Shaggy Ridge in Finisterre Mountains, New Guinea, securing Huon Peninsula.

Off the Anzio landing beaches, the Luftwaffe sinks British destroyer HMS Janus, 159 killed.

U.S. Aircraft Carrier-based planes attack the Mariana Islands.

1945 US Ninth Army retakes St. Vith in Belgium from Germans.

Nazis execute Count Helmuth von Moltke, leader of the German Kreisau Circle resistance group.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: November 10 WWII Today: February 18 WWII Today: August 11

Jan 22

World War II Today: January 22

1940 Destroyer Exmouth torpedoed off Wick, Scotland by U-22; all hands killed.

British Ministry of Information begins censoring newsreels.

1941 The Destroyer HMS Hyperion sunk by mine off Cape Bon.

Tobruk surrenders to British and Australian troops who capture 25,000 Italians, along with 208 guns and 87 tanks. Combined British and Australian losses were about 450. The British government now orders Wavell’s XIII Corps to capture Benghazi.


Rommel’s command is redesignated as Panzer Army Afrika. German panzers capture Agedabia and trap part of the British 1st Armored Division in the Antelat – Sannu area, destroying about 70 of its tanks.

General MacArthur orders the withdrawal of US and Filipino troops to the Bagac-Orion line, which is the final defensive position in Bataan. After dark the Japanese make two Battalion sized landings at Quinauan Point and Longoskawayan Point to the rear of the US-Filipino positions in Bataan. However, U.S. and Filipino reserves successfully contain these beachheads.

1943 Japanese forces are routed at Sanananda, putting paid to their resistance in Papua. On Guadalcanal, the Americans make important gains in the battle round Henderson field.

1944 The Battle of Anzio begins with an Allied amphibious landing in the region of Anzio and Nettuno, with the objective of outflanking German forces at the Winter Line and setting up a drive on Rome.

The Battle of Rapido River ends in German defensive victory.

Walter Model replaces Georg von Küchler as commander of Army Group North.

1945 The land route from India to China through Burma is declared free of Japanese and now open to convoys.

The Red Army captures Insterburg and Allenstein in East Prussia.

Four squadrons of RAF Spitfires destroy a factory in Alblasserdam that manufactured liquid oxygen for German rockets.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts:

WW2 Ad: Positive Identification – Why Two Dog Tags WWII Today: August 26 WWII Today: February 11

Jan 21

World War II Today: January 21

1940 Admiralty announce sinking of the Grenville, 8 dead, 73 missing, presumed dead.

The Russian 8th Army launches an attack against the Finnish forces of Group Talvela, without success. The Finnish 9th Division is transferred from Suomussalmi to Kuhmo.

1941 Communist newspaper, The Daily Worker is suppressed in Britain.

The US informs the Soviet Union that the “moral embargo” imposed on it after its 1939 attack on Finland no longer applies.

British and Australian forces breach the defenses at Tobruk.

1942 The Luftwaffe, with 400 aircraft available, begins a series of raids against London and ports in southern England.

Without consulting higher authority, Rommel launches a counter-offensive against the 8th Army. The 21st Panzer Division quickly seizes Mersa Brega, while the 15th Panzer Division advances to Wadi Faregh and swings north towards Agedabia, brushing aside the attempts by the 1st Armoured Division to stop them.

General Joseph W. Stillwell is appointed as Chief of Staff to Chiang Kai-shek.

First Japanese bombing of New Guinea.

1943 The Combined Chiefs of Staff issue the Casablanca Directive. Its principal aim was to weld RAF and USAAF strategic bomber forces into one mighty air arm able to crush the German industrial, military and economic system. It was also decided that to defer the cross-channel invasion until 1944.

The Russians claim the capture of the Caucasian railway town of Voroshilovskiy and say that 500,000 Germans have been killed and 200,000 captured in the last two months of fighting.

1944 The largest Luftwaffe raid on Britain for some time, with 90 planes being spotted over Southeast England during the ‘Little Blitz’. Mosquito night-fighters equipped with radar account for 129 of the 329 aircraft shot down during the 5 month Little Blitz.

The RAF sends 648 bombers to Magdeburg, but loses 55 for just 4 Luftwaffe fighters.

1945 Tannenburg is taken by Red Army, but only after the Germans blow up the memorial.

British forces enter Monywa, 60 miles to the West of Mandalay.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: December 15 WWII Today: June 17 WWII Today: April 4

Jan 20

World War II Today: January 20

1939 Adolf Hitler dismissed Hjalmar Schacht as President of the Reichsbank and appointed Walther Funk to replace him.

1940 Britain and France agree to send troops and supplies to aid Finland, but they do not arrive in time.

1941 Compulsory fire watching duty introduced in Great Britain.

With Hitler’s tacit support, Marshal Antonescu suppresses a rebellion by the Iron Guard in Romania.

Emperor Haile Selassie crosses the Abyssinian border at Um Idla.

President Roosevelt inaugurated for his third term.

1942 In the Wannsee suburb of Berlin, the formal adoption of the ‘Final Solution to the Jewish Problem’ takes place. In practice this meant that all

Jews in occupied Europe were to be transported to the east. The able bodied were worked until they died, while the remainder were put to death.

British troops capture Benghazi.

The Japanese 55th Division crosses the Thai-Burmese border from Raheng. They quickly threaten Moulmein in Burma, using the same tactics as in

Malaya of outflanking British forces through the Jungle.

1943 Daylight raid by the Luftwaffe hits a school in London, killing 44 children and one teacher.

Russian progress continues in the Caucasus.

First destroyer escort type ship, Brennan (DE-13), commissioned at Mare Island CA.

1944 The RAF makes its heaviest raid on Berlin, with 700 bombers dropping more than 2,300 tons during the 11th raid of the ‘Battle of Berlin’.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder is appointed Deputy Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force.

Allied forces in Italy begin unsuccessful operations to cross the Rapido River and seize Cassino.

The Red Army recaptures Novgorod.

1945 The French First Army under de Lattre attacks against the Colmar Pocket in Alsace.

Franklin D. Roosevelt is inaugurated for his fourth term.

The Allies sign a truce with the Hungarians.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: February 12 WWII Today: February 15 WWII Today: July 12


Jan 19

World War II Today: January 19

1941 Hitler and Mussolini meet at Berchtesgaden, with Mussolini accepting German military help in North Africa, but not Albania.

British troops under General Platt, re-occupy Kassala in the Sudan and advance into Eritrea.

1942 British North Borneo surrenders to Japanese at Sandakan.

Actor James Stewart receives his wings and commission in the US Army Air Forces.

Off Cape Hatteras, NC, German U-boat U-123sinks Latvian freighter Ciltvaira and US freighters City of Atlanta and Norvana.

Two Axis transports, the Mongevino and Ankara land 45 German tanks at Benghazi as reinforcement, while axis forces evacuate the city.

General Wavell warns Churchill that Singapore cannot be held as little had been done to prepare the landward facing defences. Churchill replies that Singapore must be defended and that ‘no question of surrender be entertained until after protracted fighting among the ruins of Singapore city’. General Wavell orders General Percival to prepare Singapore Island for a siege.

Japanese troop capture Tavoy as their advance continues in Burma.

1943 Russians claim further victories during a 75-mile advance towards Kharkov on the Voronezh front, with the Russians claiming 52,000 axis prisoners on this front alone.

The Eighth Army captures Homs and Tarhuna, near Tripoli.

US launches final offensive on Guadalcanal.

1944 The Eire government announces the arrest of two ‘Quisling’ Irishmen, parachuted into County Clare by German planes.

Germans forces are surrounded in Novgorod, 100 miles to the South of Leningrad, but manage to break out.

ANZAC Conference begins in Canberra, Australia: Prime Ministers of Australia & New Zealand discuss postwar relations with US & UK.

1945 Hitler orders that all divisional sized and larger attacks or retreats must have his approval.

The Russians cross 1939 Poland-Silesia frontier taking Kracow. East Prussia is also entered from south by Russian troops. Red Army forces capture Lodz.

USAAF B29 bombers destroy the Kawasaki aircraft works near Kobe, in Japan.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: Rosie the Riveter WWII Today: March 17 WWII Today: February 24