Archive for the ‘WWII History’ Category

Jul 26

World War II Today: July 26

1940 Secretary-General of League of Nations, Joseph Avenol, resigns.

1941 Three Soviet armies are encircled and destroyed in the Mogilev area.

3,800 Jews killed during a pogrom by Lithuanians in Kovno.

Italian motorboats attack Valetta harbour in Malta. All eight boats are sunk.

General Sir Claude Auchinleck flies to London for talks about future offensive operations to relieve Tobruk.

By Presidential order, all Japanese assets in the US are frozen, and all shipments of metal and petroleum are stopped.

British notice of denunciation of commercial agreements with Japan.

The Flying Tigers: the  First American Volunteer Group (AVG) of the Chinese Air Force in China under Chennault with 100 planes.

Proposal made for a neutral Indochina.

New Philippine command under MacArthur.

1942 An Australian attack at Alamein fails and the Eighth Army goes over to the defensive after taking 7,000 Axis prisoners. This concludes the first battle of El Alamein.

Army Group A begins its advance from Rostov and the lower Don toward the Caucasus region.

1943 Marshal Badoglio is appointed head of Italy by the Italian King after the arrest of Benito Mussolini. The Marshal immediately excludes all Fascists from his new cabinet and dissolves the Fascist Party.

A number of Waffen SS divisions are ordered to be transferred from Russia to Italy, but only the 1st SS Panzer Division is actually redeployed.

1944 Narva is finally captured by the Red Army. The Russians reach the Estonian border.

President Roosevelt arrives in Hawaii for a conference on Pacific strategy with Gen. Douglas MacArthur and Admiral Chester Nimitz. FDR authorizes MacArthur’s plan to liberate the Philippines instead of bypassing them, as desired by the Navy and Nimitz.

1945 Components of the Atomic Bomb “Little Boy” are unloaded at Tinian Island in the South Pacific.

Winston Churchill resigned as Britain’s prime minister after his Conservatives were soundly defeated by the Labor Party. Clement Attlee became the new prime minister.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts:WWII Today: June 15 WWII Today: June 16 WWII Today: June 30

Jul 25

World War II Today: July 25

1940 British claim 25 German planes downed in a day, the highest total so far.

Reich Minster of Economics Funk outlines ‘New Order’ for Europe, with forced labor from occupied countries.

Compulsory evacuation of women and children ordered from Gibraltar.

Swiss Gen. Henri Guisan, commander of all Swiss forces, reacts to an appeasement-oriented speech by Federal President Marcel Pilet-Golaz by assembling 650 Swiss military officers in the Field of Rutli – the birthplace of Swiss independence – to make it clear the Swiss Army would resist any German or Italian invasion. “As long as in Europe millions stand under arms, and as long as important forces are able to attack us at any time, this army has to remain at its post.” Pilet-Golaz and Berlin react with outrage, but Switzerland remains independent.

Italy bombs the British naval base at Alexandria and the base at Haifa.

1941 Italian motorboats with 33 Italian naval assault troops attempt to enter Valletta harbor on the island of Malta to attack British ships, but are discovered. All eight boats are sunk with 15 men being killed and 18 taken prisoner.

Finnish forces stop at the Tuulos River in Soviet Carelia because their flank is exposed.

Japan announces Indochina protectorate. It begins military occupation of bases July 28 to prepare for attack on Malay.

United States, UK and Dominions freeze all Japanese assets.

In the Ukraine, largest tank battle of the war so far begins; Germans will prevail after 4-day battle.

1942 Army Group A breaks out of its bridgeheads on the lower Don, along with the 4th Panzer Army which holds the eastern most of these. Army Group A drives south, whilst 4th Panzer Army attacks east and then north-east to link up with the rest of Army Group B as its advances towards Stalingrad. The South Front under General Malinovsky is being quickly shattered and the remnants are absorbed in to the North Caucasus Front, which is commanded by Marshal Budenny. Despite the lack of supplies are intense heat, the Germans make rapid progress. Further north, the 6th Army attempts to bounce its way across the river Don, but is initially repulsed and so waits for the 4th Panzer Army to arrive.

1943 German radio says that Hamburg is still burning (8am), leaving 100,000 homeless. The USAAF bomb the city again in daylight. The allies blitz Essen with 2,000 tons of bombs being dropped.

Benito Mussolini is arrested by order of the Italian King. Marshal Badoglio, a First World War hero becomes Prime Minister, introduces martial law and incorporates the Fascist militia into the ordinary armed forces, thus ending the Fascist regime in Italy. Hitler orders German divisions rushed South in to Italy to disarm their former allies. Allied forces begin to face stiff resistance as they approach Messina.

1944 2,500 USAAF aircraft drop 4,150 tons of bombs on German and American positions near St. Lo, which kill 601 Americans.

The US VII Corps launches ‘Operation Cobra’ in an attempt to breakout from the southern end of the Cherbourg peninsula, near St. Lo. The Canadians attack South of Caen. Goebbels becomes the ‘Reich Plenipotentiary for Total War’.

Narva is evacuated by the Germans, who take up position along the Tannenberg position to the West. Soviet forces cut the road between Dvinsk and Riga in Latvia. The Second Tank Army reaches the Vistula, 40 miles West of Lublin.

Lvov is surrounded and Soviet forces converge on Brest-Litovsk.

1,246 Japanese are killed in a Banzai charge on Tinian, another 3,000 die on Guam.

The British Eastern Fleet pounds the Japanese airfields and port at Sabang on Sumatra.

1945 A Proclamation to the Japanese people is issued by UK, U.S and China from Potsdam, which warns of devastation from the ‘final blows’ and calls for Japans unconditional surrender.

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Jul 24

World War II Today: July 24

1940 Reports of Lancastria disaster released in London after Churchill’s ban on the news lifted.

Neutral French liner Meknes, taking 1,100 French sailors back to France, sunk by German E-boat 572: 400 killed.

Red Cross estimates 5.5 million refugees in Vichy France.

1941 The U.S. government denounces Japanese actions in Indochina.

US imposes a crude oil embargo on Japan.

Nazis massacre Jewish population of Grodz, Lithuania.

Japan begins to occupy northern French Indochina, enters Hanoi and Saigon.

1942 Roosevelt agrees with Churchill that operation ‘Gymnast’ should proceed, whilst operation ‘Sledgehammer’ should be canceled.

Rostov-on-Don is captured by the 1st Panzer Army, thus clearing the way for the advance of Army Group A toward the Caucasus and Kuban region. Large numbers of Russian troops are liquidated in and around Rostov after German troops have secured the city.

Finland approaches the United States, seeking its protection from the Soviets should Finland switch sides and join the allies.

1943 Operation ‘Gomorrah’ takes place when 746 RAF bombers drop 2,300 tons of bombs on Hamburg in 48 minutes, during which only 12 aircraft are lost. This tonnage is as much as Germans dropped in the five heaviest raids on London.

Fires are visible for 200 miles. This is the first operational use of ‘Window’, (radar-jamming foil strips dropped by aircraft).

A battle-damaged USAAF B-17 Flying Fortress crash-lands in Sweden. Its ten-man crew becomes the first of nearly 1,000 American and other Allied airmen to be granted refuge in neutral Sweden during World War 2.

A 10-hour meeting of fascist grand council passes a motion, 19 votes to 7, asking that the King of Italy takes over command of all Italian forces from Mussolini.

The U.S. submarine Tinosa fires 15 torpedoes at a lone Japanese merchant ship, none detonate.

1944 The River San is crossed by the Soviets to the northwest of Lvov. The Germans start evacuating Lvov.

1944 The Russians liberate Maidanek Concentration Camp near Lublin, where 360,000 people perished.

The U.S. 4th Marine Division (15,000 men) lands on Tinian.

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Jul 22

World War II Today: July 23

1940 Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir Kingsley Wood announces third War Budget: income lax up 1d to 8s 6d in the £, beer up 1d a pint, purchase tax introduced for first time at 33% on luxuries, war expenditure for the next year estimated at £3,470,000,000.

Secretary of War announces that Local Defense Volunteers to be called the Home Guard, more than 1,300,000 now enrolled.

The Soviets officially absorbs Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia into the Soviet union, as per the Soviet-German non-aggression pact.

1941 Vital convoy reaches Malta after two-day battle; HMS Fearless is sunk.

Brest-Litovsk is taken by German troops after a month-long siege.

The Japanese extend their occupation across the whole of Indochina, as agreed with Vichy France.

1942 Fierce fighting continues along the El Alamein front.

Hitler, dissatisfied by what he viewed as von Bocks tardiness since the beginning of the summer offensive, dismisses him from command of Army Group B, dissolves his command HQ and gives command of Army Group B to von Weichs. Hitler also issues Directive No. 45 for Operation ‘Brunswick’, the capture of the Caucasus. Army Group A, once having destroyed the enemy in the Rostov area, was to secure the entire eastern coastline of the Black Sea, simultaneously capturing Maikop and Grozny and the advance to Baku. Army Group B would continue east to seize Stalingrad and the advance down the Volga to Astrakhan. This meant that the two would advance on diverging axes and a large gap would develop between them. This was aggravated by the return of Hoth’s 4th Panzer Army to Army Group B. Marshal Timoshenko is removed from command of the Stalingrad Front and replaced by General Gordov.

Treblinka extermination camp opened in occupied Poland, east of Warsaw. The camp is fitted with two buildings containing 10 gas chambers, each holding 200 persons. Carbon monoxide gas is piped in from engines placed outside the chamber, but Zyklon-B will later be substituted. Bodies are burned in open pits.

1943 Soviet forces continue their advance into the Orel salient.

1944 “Deutsche Gruss”, the Nazi form of salute, is introduced in to the Wehrmacht in the wake of the July 20th bomb plot against Adolf Hitler.

The U.S. 34th Division takes Pisa.

The Russians take Pskov, 150 miles to the South West of Leningrad on Estonian border. Heavy street fighting is reported from Lublin in Poland.

1945 The Allies launch a massive 36-hour air and sea bombardment of Kure naval base and other ports on the Japanese coast from Osaka to Nagoya, sinking and escort carrier and 12 other warships, as well as 84 cargo vessels sunk or damaged and over 200 planes destroyed or damaged.

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