Archive for the ‘WWII History’ Category

Sep 27

World War II Today: September 27

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 £.

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

Sep 26

World War II Today: September 26

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

Sep 25

World War II Today: September 25

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