Archive for the ‘WWII History’ Category

Feb 05

World War II Today: February 5

1940 British and French governments agree to land an expeditionary force in northern Norway without regard for Norway’s neutrality in order to aide Finland, although it was never carried out.

First sinking of a U-boat by a lone British destroyer: in convoy OA-84 off Land’s End, HMS Antelope sinks U-41.

1941 An advanced column of armoured cars from the 7th Armoured Division intercept the Italian retreat about 70 miles south of Benghazi.

Battle of Beda Fomm begins: British and Australian troops encircle bulk of Italian army in Libya.

US Navy designates new class of ship—the auxiliary aircraft vessel (AVG), later known as escort carriers—able to be constructed quickly on merchant ship hulls.

1942 First US C-47 cargo plane lost in combat, strafed by Zeros on Bathurst Island, Australia.

Japanese begin bombarding Singapore from Malaya.

US National Naval Medical Center is established in Bethesda, MD.

US Far East Air Force renamed Fifth Air Force; Caribbean AF renamed Sixth AF; Hawaiian AF renamed Seventh AF; Alaskan AF renamed Eleventh AF.

1943 Mussolini sacks his son-in-law, Count Ciano from Foreign Ministry and takes control himself.

1944 U.S. troops reach the outskirts of Cassino, but are repulsed.

The ‘Chindits’ begin moving towards Indaw, 100 miles behind the Japanese lines in Burma.

1945 Red Army troops approach Elbing and Marienburg in East Prussia.

RAF balloon command to be disbanded as the air raid threat lessens. 278 V1’s have been claimed by balloons.

US Seventh and French Armies link, splitting the Colmar pocket in France.

MacArthur orders a containment in the northern Philippines, as the main effort is directed to the capture of Manila. The Australians land on the Japanese stronghold of New Britain, East of New Guinea.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: February 17 WWII Today: April 8 WWII Today: April 12

Dec 24

World War II Today: December 24

1939 Pope Pius XII makes a Christmas appeal for peace.

1940 US refuses to admit Jewish refugees, believing it will lead to expulsion of all Jews from Europe.

Bonus Christmas ration is distributed in Germany—26 oz rice & vegetables, 1 lb sugar, coffee, and jam.

1941 Japanese troops make further landings on Luzon to the southeast of Manila in Lamon Bay. The Japanese 16th Division starts its drive north towards Manila in an attempt to link up with the North Luzon Force. General MacArthur announces his decision to withdraw his forces to Bataan. A supply base is to be setup on Corregidor with sufficient stock to carry on the fight for 6 months.

British Eighth Army takes Benghazi, Libya.

White House tree-lighting ceremony moved to south end of grounds to be easily seen, the last tree-lighting until 1945.

1942 US bomb Wake Island.

Following the suspension of ‘Operation Winter Tempest’, the relief of Stalingrad, the Red Army begins an offensive against Army Group Don toward Kotelnikovo, breaking through the lines of 4th Romanian Army.

Soviets take 1 of 2 airfields used in Luftwaffe supply of Stalingrad.

In Algiers, Admiral Jean-François Darlan, French commander in North Africa, is assassinated by Ferdinand Bonnier de la Chapelle, a French royalist.

1943 Commanders of the ‘Second Front’ are announced as Eisenhower, Supreme Commander Allied Expeditionary Force; Montgomery to be C in C of 21st Army Group.

Sir Henry Maitland Wilson is made Supreme Commander in the Mediterranean and Alexander is C in C Allied Armies, Italy.

The Russians commence a third winter offensive, with Vatutin’s 63 divisions in the Ukraine and capture Berdichev.

Roosevelt broadcasts about the Cairo and Teheran conferences and says plans have been laid for the invasion of Europe and its post-war reconstruction.

1944 In the English Channel, U-486 (Oblt.z.S. Gerhard Meyer) sinks the allied troop carrier SS Leopoldville with the loss of 763 men of the US 66th Infantry Division. All news and information on this incident is suppressed by orders of SHAEF headquarters.

In the largest mission to date, 2034 bombers of the US Eighth Air Force bomb German targets in the Ardennes.

Brigadier General Frederick Castle, commander of 4th Combat Bombardment Wing and former commander of US 94th Bomb Group, dies in crash after giving his crew time to bail out from his damaged B-17, receives Medal of Honor

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: December 25 – Christmas Day WWII Today: July 2 WWII Today: February 7

Dec 16

World War II Today: December 16

1939 Finnish ski troops fight Soviets with first use of homemade “Molotov Cocktails.”

1940 134 RAF bombers attack Mannheim in revenge for German attacks against British cities. This is the RAF’s largest attack on a single target thus far in the war. 115 German civilian’s were killed or injured and 1,266 made homeless. It is also the first reprisal raid, approved by the War Cabinet, for German attacks on British towns.

British troops carry out an air raid on Italian Somalia.The British begin winning battle after battle, Italian tanks were no match to the British Matilda’s and British naval bombardments. Within 2 weeks of combat, The Italians are forced back 200 miles to Tobruk and lose 139,000 Italian and African colonials who had surrendered or been captured.

1941 During a cabinet meeting, Hans Frank, Gauleiter of Poland, states – “Gentlemen, I must ask you to rid yourselves of all feeling of pity. We must annihilate the Jews wherever we find them and wherever it is possible in order to maintain the structure of the Reich as a whole…”

Japanese troops land on Penang Island off the eastern coast of of Malaya.

Japanese forces land in Sarawak and Brunei in Borneo.

1942 The Red Army begins another offensive in the direction of Rostov-on-Don to cut off the German forces in the Caucasus. The Italian 8th Army’s precarious position on the Don threatens Stalingrad relief attempt.

1943 A Further blitz of Berlin brings the allied total to 18,500 tons of explosive dropped on the city.

The chief surgeon at Auschwitz reports that 106 castration operations have been performed.

1944 The German Army in the West begins ‘Operation Wacht am Rhein’ (The Battle of the Bulge), with the objective of splitting the allied forces and capturing the strategic port of Antwerp. Under the control of Heeresgruppe B, the attacking forces pouring forth from the Ardennes forest comprise of the 6th SS Panzer Armee, 5th Panzer Armee and the 7th Armee providing flank support to the south of the line of advance. The German offensive manages to breakthrough the American front on a 70-mile front.As the center of the Allied line falls back, it creates a bulge, leading to the name–the Battle of the Bulge.

Betsie ten Boom, sister of Corrie ten Boom (author of The Hiding Place) dies at Ravensbrück concentration camp, age 59.

German V-2 rocket hits Rex Cinema in Antwerp, killing 567, including 296 Allied servicemen, the largest death toll ever from a V-weapon.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: February 16 WWII Today: August 16 Words at War: Silence of the Sea Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade WWII