Archive for the ‘WWII History’ Category
1940 Germany apologizes to Eire for Wexford bombing. Intense dogfights over London and Home Counties. Britain refuses German proposal to use 64 Red Cross ships to rescue airmen from the English Channel.
Vichy France agree to Japanese demands that they be allowed to station forces in northern Indochina.
First mass jump by US paratroopers, at Fort Benning, GA.
1941 Despite protests, Vichy parliament moves to holiday resort in the hills.
Germany and the Soviet Union suffer heavy casualties at Leningrad. Public opinion in the United States is summed up by Missouri senator Harry Truman, who says, “If we see that Germany is winning, we ought to help Russia, and if we see that Russia is winning, we ought to help Germany.”
Russians evacuate Karelian Isthmus to Leningrad. The Finnish troops capture Vyborg and are now only 30 miles North of Leningrad.
Cease-fire in Iran—USSR & Britain occupy.
1942 Japanese warships begin to evacuate Milne Bay.
The American Red Cross announces that Japan has refused to allow safe conduct for the passage of ships with supplies for American prisoners of war.
1943 Martial law is declared in Denmark and the Danish Royal Family are ‘isolated’ by the Germans.
1944 American troops marched down the Champs Elysees in Paris as the French capital continued to celebrate its liberation from the Nazis.
The British begin the ‘Race for Amiens’. U.S. troops liberate Soissons, 60 miles Northeast of Paris. Montelimar is taken by the French who also cross the Rhone in several places. The Canadians enter Rouen.
The Russians capture the Romanian oilfields at Ploiesti and enter Hungarian occupied Transylvania. An uprising begins in Slovakia against the pro-German government of Dr. Tiso.
1945 The lists of the first war criminals to be tried at Nuremberg are drawn up by a ‘Four Power’ Commission of Prosecutors in London. Goring, Hess, von Ribbentrop, Dr Ley, Rosenberg, Dr Frank, Streicher, Keitel, Dr Funk, von Shirach, Dr Schacht, Sauckel, Prof Speer, Bormann, von Papen, Jodl, Krupp, Raeder, Donitz, Baron von Neurath, Seyss-Inquart and Frische are all named.
The Russians announce the capture of 513,000 prisoners in the Manchurian campaign.
The Soviets shoot down a B29 dropping supplies to POWs in Korea.
U.S. airborne troops are landed in transport planes at Atsugi airfield, southwest of Tokyo, beginning the occupation of Japan.
First Allied POWs in Japan are liberated, from Camp Omori, by US Navy forces.
The United States ends military draft.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: Irene Manning Yank Magazine Pin Up Color photographs of Rosie the Riveter WWII Today: July 28
1940 Vichy French radio announces that laws protecting Jews in France have been dropped.
Alter the ‘voluntary dissolution of all political parties’, President Konoye of Japan announces structure to ‘unite the total energies of the state and people.’
Luftwaffe makes first night bombing raid over Britain. RAF bombs
Berlin, killing ten, the first Germans killed by bombing in Berlin.
USS American Legion arrives in New York carrying Crown Princess Martha of Norway and a Swedish Bofors 40-mm naval antiaircraft gun to be considered by the US Navy.
1941 The German U-boat U-570 is captured by the British and renamed Graph.
German occupation forces in France round up and imprison hundreds of French citizens after an assassination attempt on pro-German politician Pierre Laval. Laval has been shot at a rally in Versailles, where he is recruiting Frenchmen to fight alongside Germans on the Russian front.
Menzies resigns as Prime Minister of Australia and is replaced McFadden, who under pressure from his political opposition demands from the British, the relief of the 9th Australian Division from Tobruk in Libya.
After demands from the Australian Prime Minister, the British agree to relieve the remainder of the 9th Australian Division from Tobruk.
1942 A massive RAF raid against Nuremberg is launched, killing 4,000 civilians and destroying over 10,000 houses.
Germans break through South west of Stalingrad but are held to the north.
A Japanese seaplane catapulted from submarine I-25 and drops firebombs on forests in Oregon, USA.
Japanese daylight attempt to reinforce Guadalcanal fails due to US air attack; they turn to nighttime missions, dubbed the “Tokyo Express” by the Americans.
First school for WAVES officers opens at Smith College in Northampton, MA (USS Northampton); 125 women are commissioned in “fast-track” one-month course.
Off Haiti, US PBY Catalina and Canadian corvette Oakville capture German sub U-94, but sub sinks; this loss will lead the Germans to withdraw Type VII U-boats from Caribbean and Gulf.
1943 The Danish government refuse a German ultimatum, as the sabotage campaign reaches a crescendo.
The Bulgarian King, Boris III dies under mysterious circumstances.
1944 U.S. troops cross the Marne and take Meaux, 30 miles East of Paris. The last German garrison at Marseilles surrenders to the French, who take 37,000 prisoners for 4,000 French casualties.
The British 36th Division takes Pinbaw, in northern Burma, during a monsoon advance from Mogaung.
1945 The Japanese sign the surrender agreement in Rangoon.
B29s drop supplies to Allied POWs in China.
Chinese communist leader Mao Tse-Tung arrives in Chunking to confer with Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-Shek in a futile effort to avert civil war.
First US troops arrive in Japan: 24 C-47 cargo planes land unopposed at Atsugi Field outside Tokyo with 150 troops of the US 11th Airborne to establish an air base.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: May 27 WWII Today: August 3
1939 Britain and France try to persuade Poland to negotiate with Germany, but she refuses.
1940 Raids continue on London, Midlands, Southwest England and Wales.
Armed merchant-cruiser Dunvegan Castle sunk by U46 off Ireland.
President Roosevelt authorizes call into service of Army Reserve and National Guard for 12 months.
1941 British government takes over railways for the duration of the war, paying Â£43m per annum in compensation to private operators.
Army Group North captures Tallinn, the capital of Estonia.
The Iranian government under Ali Furughi orders a cease-fire.
The Prime Minister of Japan, Fumimaro Konoye, issues an invitation for a meeting with President Roosevelt.
American volunteer William Dunn with RAF No. 71 Squadron becomes first US ace.
1942 The Red Army launches counterattacks from the Leningrad pocket against Schluesselburg and the Volkhov front, while the Red Army’s offensive on the Moscow front continues. Zhukov is appointed Stalin’s First Deputy Commissar for defense.
1943 Brenden Bracken, the British Minister of Information, makes the first ministerial statement on Hess since
May 1941 and says ‘Hess came to find British Quislings to overthrow Churchill’, ‘a Nazi of very low mentality’ who ‘babbled like an excited schoolboy’.
1944 The Canadians cross the Seine around Rouen. The remaining 1,800 Germans at Toulon surrender as the French claim a total of 17,000 captured for just 2,700 French casualties.
The British 8th Army renews its offensive North on Italy’s eastern coast. Slowed by rain and mud, the British attack toward the Gothic Line at Pesaro, just north of the Foglia river.
Russians take Galati in eastern Romania.
The RAF pounds the Ruhr oil refineries, their first large-scale daylight action over Germany. More than
1,000 U.S. B-17s and B-24s attack airdromes at Anklam, Grossenbrode, Neubrandenburg and Parow, Luftwaffe experimental facilities at Peenemunde and Rechlin, aircraft components factories at Lubeck, Rostock, Schwerin, and Wismar, an oil-industry target at Politz and several targets of opportunity in Germany. 18 heavy bombers are lost.
The last Chindits are evacuated from behind Japanese lines in Burma.
1945 One of the greatest international armadas ever assembled, enters the Bay of Sagami, Tokyo.
B-29 Superfortress bombers begin to drop supplies into Allied prisoner of war camps in China.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: May 13 WWII Today: August 17 WWII Today: March 30
1939 Hitler cancels the order for the invasion of Poland on this day. He sets a new date of the 1st September.
1940 First Canadian fighter pilot in RCAF squadron is killed in combat in the Battle of Britain.
Eire government protests to Berlin over bombs dropped in County Wexford, killing three girls. London raided by Luftwaffe for six hours.
Hitler orders an initial redeployment of two Panzer and ten Infantry divisions from western Europe to Poland in preparation for the invasion of Russia.
1941 Anglo-Canadian and Norwegian commandos land on Spitzbergen, 370 miles north of Norway, to deny the coalÂ mines to the Germans. They destroy installations and mining equipment and evacuate the NorwegianÂ population.
Pierre Laval is shot and wounded by Paul Colette who is arrested.
German losses on Russian Front reach 440,000, more than in the entire war before the 22nd June 1941. ArmyÂ Group North surrounds and destroys the Soviet forces in the area of Velikije Luki.
The Hungarian Army rounds up 18,000 Jews at Kamenets-Podolsk.
British troops complete the occupation of the vital Abadan oilfields in Iran.
1942 The Russians announce that their offensive along the Moscow front has pushed the Germans back 15-20 miles in a fortnight. German successes continue in Caucasus.
7,000 Jews arrested in unoccupied France.
Two thousand Japanese land at Milne Bay, South East of Port Moresby and advance up Kokoda Trail.
1943 US bombers hit Hong Kong.
1944 After a delirious day of celebrating their city’s liberation from the Germans, Parisians are brought back to reality shortly before midnight when the Luftwaffe stages a vindictive raid that destroys a substantialÂ part of the city’s working class neighborhoods in the northeast.
Allied troops pour across Seine and drive East. The French liberate Tarascon and Avignon in the South of France.
Hitler orders a withdrawal from Greece. Bulgaria, Germany’s ally, withdraws from the war against Russia and declares its neutrality.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: July 31 WWII Today: July 23 WWII Today: June 6 D-Day
1939 A mutual assistance treaty is signed by Poland and Britain. Mussolini complains to Hitler that he is not yet ready for war.
1940 Luftwaffe attacks continue against the RAF’s airfields in southeast England.
The first night-attack by RAF on Berlin’s industrial targets is made by 43 aircraft from RAF Bomber Command in retaliation for the accidental attack on London the night before.
German U-boats sink 5 more British ships from the convoys HX-65 and HX-65A near Hebrides, Scotland.
1941 Panzer Group 2, along with the 2nd Army, attack southeast from their positions around Gomel and Bryansk, in an attempt to link up with units of Army Group South and encircle Kiev. Panzer Group 1 begins a breakout towards the north from its bridgeheads across the Dnieper, with the aim of linking up with units of Army Group Centre east of Kiev. The German 6th Army engages the bulk of the Soviet forces gathered around Kiev to stop them from retreating.
British and Soviet forces enter Iran, opening up a route to supply the Soviet Union.
1942 RAF officer Prince George, Duke of Kent, brother of King George VI, is killed in a plane crash in Scotland, age 39, the first death of a member of the Royal family in military service in 450 years.
The 4th Panzer Army breaks off attacks south of Stalingrad. Communist Party Committee of Stalingrad proclaims a state of siege.
According to some sources Japanese succeed in landing troops on Guadalcanal in the night from destroyers. Nauru, Gilbert Is. and Goodenough, off the SE coast of New Guinea are occupied by Japanese. Battle of Milne Bay, Papua, begins. Japanese Special Naval Landing Force of 1,200 men come ashore.
Battle of Eastern Solomon’s continues with a Japanese destroyer being sunk off Santa Isabel.
1943 140 Allied fighters and 136 bombers strafe and bomb the airfield at Foggia, as part of the preparations for the invasion of the Italian mainland. Many axis aircraft are destroyed in these raids.
The Russians continue their advance to the West of Kharkov.
Lord Mountbatten becomes the supreme allied commander in South East Asia Command. US forces complete the capture of New Georgia in the Pacific. Japanese fall back to Francisco River where it runs into Bayern Bay on New Guinea while being pursued by Australian and American troops.
1944 Allied troops led by French General Jacques Leclerc march into Paris as the 5,000-strong German garrison surrenders.
Finland enters secret negotiations with the Russians to agree a cease-fire.
Russian 3rd Baltic Front reaches Tartu in Estonia. Romania declares war on Germany.
1945 7 U-boat men are executed at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas for the murder of a fellow U-Boat man, Werner Drechsler who they had judged as a traitor.
Chinese troops are reported to have entered the Republican capital of Nanking.
Tokyo radio reports large numbers of people committing Hari-kiri in front of the Imperial Palace.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: Words at War: Faith of Our Fighters: The Bid Was Four Hearts WWII Today: January 25 WWII Today: August 17
1940 USS Constitution named symbolic flagship of US Fleet at Boston.
Medical journalLancet publishes first study by Howard Florey and Ernest Chain about penicillin.
The Luftwaffe begins a new phase in its offensive by sending over a higher proportion of fighters to bombers, in an effort to keep losses down.
The unofficial start of the Blitz on London begins with a lost formation of German bombers mistakenly dropping their bombs over the capital, damaging St. Giles and Cripplegate.
The German battleship Bismarck is commissioned.
1941 Russians counter-attack in the Gomel sector. Heavy Romanian losses around Odessa.
Churchill broadcasts and warns Japan that its aggression must stop.
The U.S. government declares the cosmetics industry nonessential, and the metal and plastic used for lipstick containers and compacts are earmarked for military use.
1942 The Russians launch a new offensive in Leningrad area. Stalin orders that the city of Stalingrad is to beÂ held at all costs and sends Marshal Zhukov to supervise its defense.
Battle joined in the Eastern Solomons with the Japanese trying to land reinforcements on Guadalcanal. USÂ forces beat off the Japanese Combined Fleet sinking the carrier Ryujo, but suffering damage to the carrier Enterprise.
1943 A blanket of smoke covers Berlin to a height of 20,000ft. The first estimates put German dead at 5,860 after the over night raid.
Himmler, becomes the Minister of the Interior.
1944 The Germans stage comeback in Paris, with fierce fighting reported. Bordeaux is evacuated by German troops who occupy fortified bunker positions on the Gironde west of the city.
Malinovsky and Tolbuklin link up to encircle 20 divisions of the German 6th and 8th Army’s in the area of Kishinevin in Romania.
1945 The Japanese news agency says that all Japanese troops are to be out of the U.S. landing area by tomorrow.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: June 26 WWII Today: August 21 WWII Today: June 25
1939 Joseph Stalin and German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop sign a non-aggression pact between the Soviet Union and Germany, freeing Hitler to invade Poland and Stalin to invade Finland.
1940 RAF cuts pilot training period from 1 month to 2 weeks.
1942 Hitlers orders that Leningrad should finally be captured after a siege which has last a year. The Luftwaffe begins a 48 hours long air raid on Stalingrad, that involves over 4,000 sorties into the city. The city erupts into a sea of flames along its 40 km length as oil storage tanks pour their flaming contents into the Volga. Thousands of civilians perish in the flames. The 6th Army punches a hole in Soviet 62nd Army’s defense’s as the 14th Panzer Corps crosses the Don River at Vertyachiy and reaches the Volga at Rynok, north of Stalingrad. An 8 km wide gap is torn between Vertyachiy and Peskovatka that allows the 6th Army to reach Volga. Hoths 4th Panzer Army is held up by stiff Red Army resistance south of Stalingrad at Tinguta. The Germans make further progress on the Kuban peninsula on the Black Sea. A platoon of 1st GebirgsjÃ¤ger Division hoists the Swastika flag on the top of Mt. Elbrus, the highest peak in the Caucasus. This marks the ‘high water’ mark in the German attempts to secure the Black Sea coastline. Matters for Army Group A were not helped by the increased priority given to Army Group B in its fight for Stalingrad.
1943 The heaviest raid to date on Berlin, when 727 RAF bombers drop more than 1,700 tons of bombs on the City.
The Soviet Steppe Front, occupies Kharkov, while the 5th Guards Tank Army beats off the consequent German counter-attack.
1944 German SS engineers begin placing explosive charges around the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
U.S. armor is now at Melun, 35 miles Southeast of Paris. U.S. and Free French forces meet outside Bordeaux.
A Liberator bomber crashes in a storm on a school near Preston in England, killing 38 children and 22 adults.
King Michael I of Romania dismisses Marshall Antonescu, his head of state and brings his country over to the Soviet side.
U.S. destroyer and smaller naval vessels start a bombardment, repeated daily for 4 days, on Japanese installations and positions on Aguijan Island, Northern Mariana Islands.
1945 The Japanese in Burma say they are now ready to surrender having ‘clarified the position’.
The Japanese official casualty figures from air raids including A-bombs are 260,000 killed, 412,000 injured, 9.2 million homeless, along with 44 cities being completely wiped out.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: July 9 WWII Today: August 10 WWII Today: September 20
1940 Churchill dispatches a heavily armed convoy with 150 tanks to reinforce the middle east.
The first cross-Channel artillery duel—Germans bombard Dover and British reply.
1942 Brazil declares war on Germany and Italy after 16 ships lost to German U-boats, opening airbases to cover Allied shipping and opening the South Atlantic air route; Brazil will be the only South American country to send troops to fight overseas—Brazilian troops will serve with distinction in Italy.
The Admiralty announces the loss of the famous submarine Upholder.
The advance of 17th Army toward the Black Sea port of Suchumi west of the Caucasus bogs down.
Germans reach northern suburbs of Stalingrad.
1943 The Germans evacuate Kharkov.
German Tenth Army activated in southern Italy under General Heinrich von Vietinghoff.
In the Mediterranean, all fighter groups and medium bomb groups in US Ninth Air Force transferred to Twelfth Air Force (Ninth Air Force is to transfer to England).
1944 The Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm begins four days of attacks on the German Battleship Tirpitz and other shipping in the Alten Fjord, Norway.
The Red Army captures Jassy on the Prut river in the southern Ukraine.
French resistance controls all public buildings in Paris.
US flight nurses arrive in southern France and begin air evacuation of casualties to Italy.
1945 U.S. War Office estimates that there are a quarter of a million POW’s and civilian internees in Japanese hands at present.
Soviet troops land at Port Arthur and Dairen on the Kwantung Peninsula in China.
MacArthur says the surrender will be signed in the Tokyo area on the 31st August.
In Manchuria, Japanese surrender to Soviets, and the Soviets seize Port Arthur.
Japanese forces at Mille Atoll, Marshalls surrender aboard destroyer escort USS Levy, the first voluntary handover of an island.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: August 16 WWII Today: December 14 Admiral Yamamoto Quote
1940 Commons allows nationalist forces of Poland, Norway, Belgium, Holland, France and Czechoslovakia to train in Britain under their own flags.
Leon Trotsky is assassinated by a Stalinist agent while in exile in Mexico City.
1941 French resistance member Pierre “Fabien” Georges commits the first violent act of resistance against the Germans in Paris when he assassinates a German naval cadet in the Barches-Rochechouart Metro station. More than 150 Parisians would be shot by the Germans in reprisal.
First Arctic convoy leaves Iceland for Russia.
Marshal Voroshilov tells the people of Leningrad to defend their city to the last. Hitler orders the investment, not capture, of Leningrad, and the transfer of several divisions from the North and Centre to capture the Crimea and the Donets basin, an industrial region vital to the Soviet war effort.
1942 Roosevelt says the perpetrators of barbarism in occupied countries ‘will have to stand in courts of law, in the very countries which they are now oppressing and answer for their acts’.
Japanese attack on Guadalcanal at the Ilu (Tenaru) River, but are soundly defeated by US Marines.
In Hartford, CT, five German spies are convicted of espionage, including Gerhard Kunze, the former leader of the German-American Bund (a Nazi group).
1943 The Labour Party wins the Australian elections.
1944 Representatives from the U.K., U.S. and USSR meet at Dumbarton Oaks in the U.S.A, to discuss post-war international security.
The French First Army surrounds Toulon. The U.S. Third Army reaches Troyes and Reims.
The German Sixth Army is separated from the Romanian 3rd Army on Black Sea coast. Colonel General Friessner orders all German units to withdraw as the Romanians fail to fight and change sides. The Germans, with naval support, open a coastal corridor 10 to 12 miles wide to Army Group North, but Hitler refuses to order the evacuation of Baltic States.
1945 President Harry S. Truman ended the Lend-Lease program that had shipped some $50 billion in aid to America’s allies during World War II.
As the Red Army now hold much of Manchuria, the Japanese Kwantung Army surrenders formally to Major General Shelakor at Harbin.
The Japanese announce that the first U.S. landings will be on the 26th August. A non-fraternization rule with the Japanese is to be enforced by the U.S.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: June 16 WWII Today: September 9 WWII Today: March 19
1940 Churchill reviews the progress of air war in Commons and says ‘Never in the field of human conflict, was so much owed by so many, to so few’.
The Luftwaffe withdraws the Ju-87 Stuka dive bomber from strategic operations against England after losing 20 per cent of their Stuka force to the RAF.
Mao Tse-Tung launches ‘100 regiments’ guerrilla offensive against the Japanese in China.
1941 Adolf Hitler authorizes the development of the V-2 missile.
German 11th Army captures Kherson on the Black Sea and opens the gate to the Crimea. German 11th Army captures Kherson on the Black Sea and opens the gate to the Crimea.
1942 The Russians counter-attack to the north of Stalingrad, but elsewhere German troops reach the Volga. The German 48th Panzer Corps, attacks northeast from Abganerovo, but can not break clear of the Russian defences in the hills of Tundutovo. On their northern flank, 4th Corps is also facing resolute Russian resistance.
31 U.S. aircraft touchdown on the newly completed Henderson Field airstrip on Guadalcanal to help the Marines fighting over the control of the island.
1944 The allies seal the Falaise gap, with blocking forces taking 4,000 prisoners. However, the Germans in the Falaise pocket break out along a single road and stream out of the pocket for six hours before the pocket is resealed. The Allies estimate that 10,000 Germans have died in the pocket and 50,000 prisoners taken. Although one German division (77th Infantry Division) is annihilated, 26 extremely weak divisions do escape the pocket. The U.S. 79th Division reaches the west bank of the Seine above Paris. Free French forces rise in Paris, while de Gaulle is reported in France.
The Russians launch an offensive into Romania with 900,000 men (96 divisions), 1,400 tanks and 1,700 aircraft. Advances up to 12 miles are reported as the Russian plan to surround 23 German divisions (360,000 men) takes shape.
1945 Further negotiations in Manila. The Japanese leave at 1pm. MacArthur says that U.S. troops will land on the Japanese mainland within 10 days of signing the surrender.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: March 28 WWII Today: April 15 WWII Today: May 8