Archive for the ‘WWII History’ Category

Aug 07

World War II Today: August 7

1941 Mussolini’s son Bruno killed in test-flight crash of P-108 bomber near Pisa.

The United States Senate extends National Service to 18 months.

Joseph Stalin appoints himself Generalissimo of the Red Army.

Konoye asks FDR for summit meeting. He also proposes a Chinese police corps with Japanese officers and a timetable for a withdrawal of troops from China.

1942 Units of the 6th Army cross the Don river at Kalach during their advance toward Stalingrad.

The creation of Palestine Regiment of the British Army is announced. General Gott, the Eighth Army’s commander designate, is shot down while en route for Cairo. Montgomery is chosen instead.

The U.S. 1st Marine Division under General A. A. Vandegrift lands on the islands of Guadalcanal and Tulagi in the Solomon islands. This is the first American amphibious landing of the war.

1944 The German 2nd, 116th, 1st SS and 2nd SS Panzer divisions, with 145 tanks to the East of Mortain launch ‘Operation Luttich’, to counter-attack against the U.S. 3rd Army’s sweep to the South. The Germans move against Avranches and achieve some success at Mortain. Assisted by RAF Typhoons, the Americans are able to stop the Germans by the atfernoon. U.S. 15th Corps is turned north to meet the Canadians in Falaise.

Allied air patrols over Paris prevent Axis fighters from reaching Mortain.

The Russians advance into the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains, near the Slovak, Hungarian, Russian borders.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts:WWII Today: August 3 WWII Today: June 16 WWII Today: August 1

Aug 06

World War II Today: August 6

1940 Goering sets the 10th August 1940 as ‘Eagle day’, the start of the Luftwaffe major offensive against the RAF and its Airfields.

Italian forces reach Odweina in British Somaliland. Battles at Tug Argan and at Hargeisa.

1941 The Japanese foreign minister, Admiral Nomura, proposes to the USA a meeting between Roosevelt and Prime Minister Konoye.

1942 General Dwight D. Eisenhower is appointed as commander-in-chief of allied forces preparing to invade North Africa.

The British section of the ‘World Jewish Congress’, claims that 1,000,000 Jews are already dead in occupied Europe.

German 1st Panzer Army crosses the Kuban river at Armavir.

1943 A partial evacuation of Berlin is announced in order to avoid another Hamburg.

German troops pour into Italy as Axis foreign ministers meet at Treviso.

Battle of Vella Gulf: 4 Japanese destroyers attempt to bring troops and supplies to Kolombangara, Solomon Is. and are attacked by 6 U.S. destroyers. 3 Japanese destroyers are sunk and 1 damaged. U.S. destroyers suffer no damage.

The Japanese air base at Munda is in the hands of the U.S. Marines. Control of the site, in the center of the Solomon archipelago, gives the Marines a base for bombing Japanese positions in the Philippines.

1944 The U.S. XX Corps enters Laval and continues south-east. The U.S. 4th Armoured Division advances to Vannes and Lorient, while the U.S. 6th Armoured Division, on their right flank, is headed for the westernmost point of the Brittany Peninsula and the ports of Brest. North of them, 8th U.S. Infantry Division is passing along the northern coastline of the peninsula.

The Russians seize the Polish oil centre of Drohobyez.

The German Rahmel aircraft factory near Gdynia in Poland, is attacked by allied bombers.

The last Jewish ghetto in Poland, Lodz, is liquidated with 60,000 Jews sent to Auschwitz.

1945 At 8;15 am the B-29 Enola Gay, piloted by Paul Tibbets, dropped the first Atomic bomb, Little Boy, on the city of Hirosima, Japan.

The Belgians announce that 2,117 collaborators have been sentenced to death, out of 16,000 found guilty.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts:WWII Today: June 13 WWII Today: June 1 WWII Today: November 27

Aug 05

World War II Today: August 5

1940 U.S. and Vichy France reach Green-Slade-Robert Agreement, an understanding on the status of French warships and aircraft in the French West Indies.

Montreal mayor Camillien Houde is arrested, and charged under the Defence of Canada Regulations. He is imprisoned at Camp Petawawa in Ontario until the end of the war.

Anglo-Polish military agreement signed. Churchill and de Gaulle agree over organization of free French forces. German government announces that in future all citizens will need an Ahnenpass (Certificate of Ancestry) proving their racial purity back to 1800.

The Italian air force raids Berbera, Aden, Burao and Zeila. Italian troops In Italian Somaliland then occupy Zeila, thereby sealing the border between French and British Somaliland and opening up the coastal track to Berbera.

1941 British and Soviet troops invade Iran from south and north to forestall any German incursions in the wake of the failed coup by anti-British elements in Iraq that was supported by German special forces flown in from Greece.

Vichy limits wine consumption to two litres per person per week.

20 Soviet divisions encircled at Uman, in the Ukraine. German troops conclude the battle of encirclement at Smolensk and take 310,000 Red Army prisoners as the remnants of 16th and 20th Armies surrender.

Romanians begin a 73-day siege of the Black Sea port of Odessa.

1942 Allied convoy SC-94 is sighted by German U-boat in the Atlantic, when a group of 6 ships with 2 escorts get lost from the convoy due to the fog. One ship is sunk, but two U-boats are driven off.

1st Panzer Army captures Voroshilovsk, over 200 miles to the south east of Rostov. The 4th Panzer Army moving northeast runs straight into the Soviet 64th and 57th Armies. Stalin creates the new Southwest Front out of a part of the forces assigned to Stalingrad Front.

Churchill visits the Eighth Army at El Alamein and decides to replace Auchinleck.

1943 The Russians take Belgorod and now threaten Kharkov.

Germans evacuate Troina in Sicily after a six-day defense. The Eighth Army takes Catania.

US forces capture Munda airfield in New Georgia.

1944 The U.S. XV Corps makes 50kms in about 7 hours, crossing the Mayenne river at Mayenne, while further south the river is reached at Laval.

The Polish Home Army goes onto the defensive in Warsaw, as 60 per cent of city now in its control. The 4th Ukrainian Front is inserted in the Russian line in southern Poland and northern Hungary.

The British capture Tamu, across the Burmese border.

U.S. Aircraft from two carrier task groups, cruisers and destroyers bombard Japanese installations on Chichi Jima and Haha Jima, Bonin Is.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts:WWII Today: June 18 WWII Today: July 18 WWII Today: July 28

Aug 04

World War II Today: August 4

1940 The Italians begin their invasion of British Somaliland, East Africa. Using some 25,000 troops, they push the small British garrison back towards the port of Berbera.

1941 Stimson shows Hull the Magic intercept of Toyoda’s “encirclement” message to Berlin, that Japan and Germany will encircle their enemies, Russia and India.

The US Far East Air Force (Philippines) activated under Major General Lewis Brereton.

The United States commits to send arms to USSR

1942 Advance units of 4th Panzer Army cross the Aksay river in their drive toward Stalingrad.

The British government charges that Mohandas Gandhi and his All-Indian Congress Party favor “appeasement” with Japan.

1943 U.S. bombers drop 153 tons of bombs on Kiska, Aleutian Is., a new one-day record.

U.S. troops are halted by fierce opposition at Furiano River and at Troina, Sicily.

The Red Army retakes Orel, as German 9th Army withdraws towards Bryansk, to avoid encirclement.

1944 An RAF Gloster Meteor pilot T. D. Dean becomes the first pilot to destroy a V-1 flying bomb, when he tips the pilotless craft’s wing, sending it off course.

A purge of the German Army is announced. In northern France, the allies take Rennes, Evrecy and Esqutsy.

The 19th Panzer Division crosses Poniatowski Bridge in Warsaw, as the fighting ceases in the suburb of Praga. The Red Army forces a bridgehead across the Vistula at Baranov.

Florence is evacuated by German forces.

Anne Frank and family arrested by Gestapo in Amsterdam, then sent to Auschwitz. Anne and her sister Margot are later sent to Bergen-Belsen where Anne dies of typhus on March 15, 1945.

Aircraft from a U.S. carrier task group, cruisers and destroyers attack a Japanese convoy and other shipping in the Chichi Jima area, Bonin Is. Simultaneously, aircraft from a second carrier task group bomb airfield facilities on Iwo Jima.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts:WWII Today: July 7 WWII Today: December 8 WWII Pin Up Anne Gwynne

Aug 03

World War II Today: August 3

1940 Churchill warns nation against believing rumours that invasion threat is over.

Italian troops under General Guglielmo Nasi invade British Somaliland from Italian Ethiopia.

1941 The Archbishop of Munster gives a sermon in which he calls the Nazi euthanasia program murder. The archbishop is imprisoned in a German concentration camp until the end of the war.

Army Group Centre takes 38,000 Soviet prisoners after the Roslavl battle of encirclement.

1942 Lieutenant Commander Mildred McAfee is named the first director of the WAVES, becomes the first female officer in the US Naval Reserve.

The FBI arrests 89 ‘dangerous aliens’ in USA.

1943 The Red Army launches an offensive from Belgorod area toward Poltava after the failure of Operation Citadel. The Soviet Voronezh and Steppe Fronts penetrate into Army Group South’s left flank forcing the Germans are to retreat.

Gen. George S. Patton slapped a private at an army hospital in Sicily, accusing him of cowardice.

The Italians begin evacuating Sicily.

1944 Hitler orders a counter-attack against the U.S. troops from east of Avranches, in order to re-establish positions on the coast.

General Stilwell’s troops, the NCAC, with the help of reinforcements, succeed in securing the town of Myitkyina in North Eastern Burma, but the 600 surviving Japanese are evacuated after holding out for 79 days.

Soviet spearheads in the area to the east of Warsaw, are destroyed by German counter attacks.

1945 The USN announce on Guam, that the complete blockade of the Japanese homeland has now been achieved.

Czechoslovakia denies citizenship to ethnic Germans and Hungarians.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts:WWII Today: May 23 WWII Today: June 27 Yamamoto Quote

Aug 02

World War II Today: August 2

1940 Montreal mayor Camillien Houde publicly urges Quebecers to not sign up for national registration for war duty.

Lord Beaverbrook appointed to War Cabinet.

French military court sentences de Gaulle to death in absentia.

Italy reported to be massing troops on Libya-Egypt border.

British Royal Navy bombards Italian naval base on Sardinia.

1941 US and USSR agree on US aid.

All radios in Norway are confiscated.

Soviets blow up a huge Japanese fuel and ammunition dump at Tatutzuchuan in Eastern Manchuria.

US Office of Production Management seizes silk supply and takes control of silk industry, restricts use of rayon, reserves steel for government use only.

1942 The British convoy, code-named ‘Pedestal’ leaves Britain for the strategically-important island of Malta in the Mediterranean. The convoy consists of 14 fast merchant ships loaded with fuel, food, and ammunition. The convoy is accompanied by 2 battleships (Nelson and Rodney), 3 aircraft carriers (Victorious, Indomitable, and Eagle), 14 destroyers, and 3 anti-aircraft cruisers.

1943 PT-109, commanded by future president Lt. John F. Kennedy, sunk off Solomons by Japanese destroyer Amagiri; the survivors swim 4 hrs to a deserted island.

The ninth attack on Hamburg in eight days. More bombs have now been dropped on Hamburg than on London during the whole of the Blitz. Estimated 50.000 killed, equal to Britain’s entire civilian losses by bombing in the war so far.

Hitler orders that German armies are to hold fast in Russia, but Manstein ignores him and uses a flexible defense in the Kharkov sector. The Russian gains around Orel continue., but German forces repel massive Soviet attacks at Izyum and the Mius river line.

The US Army drafts Sicilian mules into service to carry supplies to soldiers fighting in the mountains of Italy. The mule train commander reports that few of the draftees “seem to like army life.”

Two hundred Jews escape from Treblinka extermination camp during a revolt.

1944 Churchill makes a statement to the House of Commons and says after seven weeks of non-stop V1 attacks, 5,340 having being launched, that 4,735 have been killed, 14,000 injured and 17,000 houses completely destroyed.

The U.S. VIII Corps moves West from the Avranches area along the Brittany coast, but the main force drives eastward. Turkey ends diplomatic relations with Germany.

The First Polish Army gains a Vistula bridgehead, 40 miles to the south of Warsaw.

1945 Potsdam conference ends after more than two weeks of deliberations. Allied leaders have been discussing what should become of Germany.

US B-29s drop 6000 tons of bombs on Nagasaki and Toyama, Japan. Japanese suffocate 387 Allied POWs in mine on Sado off Honshu.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts:WWII Today: January 3 General Eisenhower Quote “Acclaim Earned in Blood” WWII Today: July 18

Aug 01

World War II Today: August 1

1940 RAF bomb Krupp works at Essen.

British Order in Council declares the start of the grouse shooting season to be August 5 instead of the 12th.

Hitler signs Directive No.17, requiring the Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine to increase their attacks against Britain and her shipping, in preparation for ‘Operation Sealion’.

Russian Foreign Minister Molotov reaffirms Soviet neutrality and Russo-German pact and verbally attacks Britain and US.

1941 Roosevelt stops US oil supplies to the ‘aggressors’.

Fighting flares up around the perimeter of Tobruk.

The Grumman TBF Avenger torpedo plane makes its first flight.

Army Group Centre continues its liquidation of the Smolensk pocket. Soviet troops put up fierce resistance near Orsha and Vitebsk west of Smolensk. A powerful counter-offensive is launched at Gomel south of Mogilev against German bridgeheads over the Dnieper River.

First convoy to Murmansk.

1942 Ensign Henry C. White, while flying a J4F Widgeon plane, sinks U-166 as it approaches the Mississippi River, the first U-boat sunk by the U.S. Coast Guard.

An interlocking convoy system is introduced along the entire US eastern seaboard, as well as the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.

The 15th Panzer Division fails to break through the British 8th Army’s lines in the battle of Alam Halfa and advance toward Alexandria, 120km away. The German lose about 30 tanks and are forced to withdraw.

Army Group A continues to fan out into the Caucasus region, while advance units reach the Kuban River. Army Group B continues its fight to cut off the Soviet defenders near Kalach in the Don bend near Stalingrad.

Japanese establish puppet government in Burma.

1943 The USAAF loses 54 B24s out of 178 in a disastrous raid (the longest yet attempted) on the Ploesti oil fields in Romania while inflicting only superficial damage.

Increasingly heavy fighting continues on Sicily, with some of the fiercest fighting yet seen.

Hitler orders the immediate evacuation of the Orel salient.

Lydia Litvak, the top scoring Russian female fighter pilot of the war (12 kills), is shot down and killed.

The Japanese destroyer Amagiri sinks USN PT-109 in the Solomon’s, which is commanded by Lieutenant John F. Kennedy.

1944 Patton’s U.S. Third Army is activated.

The Russians take Kaunas and cut all roads from Germany to Baltic States. Bor-Komorowski leads the Warsaw Uprising by the 38,000 strong Polish underground Army. They receive no support from Soviet forces who are already on the eastern bank of the Vistula opposite the city.

The Finnish President Risto Ryti resigns, with his place is taken by Marshal Karl Gustav Mannerheim.

U.S. Marines complete the capture of Tinian Island losing 389 killed for 9,000 Japanese.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts:WWII Today: May 24 WWII Today: March 11 WWII Today: March 1

Jul 31

World War II Today: July 31

1940 Hitler appraised the Army plan for the invasion of Britain at a conference of his top Military chiefs. The Navy criticize the plan for being on a too broad a front, requiring 2,500 barges in order to transport the invading forces, which cant be concentrated before the 15th of September at the earliest. The Army refute these arguments, saying that too narrow a front would allow the British to concentrate what forces they posses.

Hitler formally announces to his military commanders that he has decided to invade Russia.

In Lithuania, Japanese Consul Chiune Sugihara begins writing thousands of visas for Jews to flee through the USSR into Japanese-controlled China.

First Mitsubishi Zero is delivered to the Japanese navy.

1941 The U.S. Army establishes the Military Police Corps.

During July, 501 British civilians died in air raids.

Goering instructs Heydrich to prepare for Final Solution.

Joseph Terboven declares a state of emergency in Norway.

Army Group North, which is slowly advancing toward Leningrad, reaches Lake Ilmen, to the south of Novgorod. However, its troops are very fatigued due to the marshes and heavily wooded terrain.

1942 Heavy RAF night raid on Düsseldorf.

The German advance into the Northern Caucasus continues.

1944 The British VIII Corps begins ‘Operation Bluecoat’, an assault towards the river Vire. The U.S. 4th Armoured Division captures Avranches, having advanced 35 miles and taken 20,000 prisoners since the 25th July.

The Soviet army takes Kovno, the capital of Lithuania.

The last Japanese counter-attack on Tinian is annihilated. U.S. forces make further landings on the North West coast of Dutch New Guinea and begin a jungle push from Aitape.

1945 The French collaboration trials have so far resulted in 1,629 death sentences, 757 hard labour for life, 5,328 other hard labour, 1,136 solitary confinement, 11,073 prison sentences, 22,137 to suffer national degradation and 3,564 acquitted.

Former head of Vichy French government, Pierre Laval, is sent from Spain to Austria under pressure from France; he is immediately arrested by the Americans and turned over to the French. He will be executed October 15 for collaborating with the Nazis.

A British midget submarine attack on Singapore sinks the Japanese heavy cruiser Takao.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts:WWII Today: November 18 Words at War: The Curtain Rises WWII Today: May 22

Jul 30

World War II Today: July 30

1940 The Luftwaffe ceases major raids over Britain as it builds up strength for it forth coming onslaught.

Act of Havana signed to prevent German takeover of colonies.

First Free Polish fighter squadron is formed in Britain.

1941 Polish-Soviet agreement of cooperation signed at London.

US gunboat Tutiula damaged by Japanese planes near Chungking.

British planes from carriers bomb Petsamo.

17 Japanese ‘spy’ fishing boats seized by US in Hawaiian waters.

1942 The Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Services (WAVES) is authorized by the U.S. Congress.

The Red Army launches a counter-offensive at Rzhev, which leads to the temporary encirclement of six German divisions, although these are successfully supplied by massive air drops from the Luftwaffe. Army Group A consolidates its bridgehead over the Manych River, while Army Group B struggles to reduce the Soviet bridgehead at Kalach in the Don Estuary west of Stalingrad.

Chinese recapture Tsingtien in Eastern Chekiang, cutting off the Japanese at Wenchow.

Japanese capture crucial islands en route to New Guinea.

1943 Hamburg is bombed for a third time.

Army Group A losses the initiative in its attack to secure its positions along the Mius River.

Six British divisions attack at Caumont, 15 miles East of St. Lo.

1945 British, U.S. and French troops enter Vienna.

The Japanese reject the Potsdam ultimatum, so the Joint Chiefs order the plans for Japanese surrender to be drawn up.

After delivering parts of the first atomic bomb to the island of Tinian, a Japanese submarine sinks the Cruiser U.S.S. Indianapolis resulting in the loss of 881 crewmen. The ship sinks before a radio message can be sent out leaving survivors adrift for two days.

US War Relocation Authority announces all but one internment camp for Japanese (Tule Lake) to close by December 15.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts:WWII Today: February 25 WWII Today: May 9 Words at War: Wild River

Jul 29

World War II Today: July 29

1940 Eighty (80) German planes attack Dover harbour; British claim 17 down; Air Ministry accuses Germans of using Red Cross planes for reconnaissance. 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.

A German memorandum issued by the OKM states that an invasion of Great Britain will not be possible until the second half of September 1940 and that the prospects for such an invasion seem doubtful.

Germany annexes Belgian provinces of Eupen, Malmédy, and Moresnet; bans speaking of French and Flemish.

James Melville ‘Jimmy’ Cox, the Reuters’ correspondent in Tokyo was arrested on 27th July by the Kempeitai on the usual non-specific charge of espionage. Two days later he was seen falling from an open window on the third floor of the Kempeitai Headquarters. They claimed that he had committed suicide because he was guilty of espionage.

1941 Marshal Zhukov resigns as Russian Chief of Staff.

Dutch freeze Japanese assets; now Japan has lost 75% of foreign trade and 90% of its oil supply.

1942 German troops take Proletarskaya and establish a bridgehead over the Manych River in the Caucasus region.

As Australians retreat, Japanese take Kokoda and its airfield in Papua New Guinea.

1943 The mass evacuation of a million civilians from Hamburg is ordered after the recent heavy bombings.

Army Group A launches counter attacks to improve its positions along the Mius River.

As Blitz Week continues, US Eighth Air Force bombs Kiel and Warnemünde, while RAF returns to battered Hamburg.

1944 The last of a series of RAF bombing raids on Stuttgart that kill 900 and leave 100,000 homeless takes place.

The Red Army reaches to the Baltic coast to the West of Riga, thereby cutting Army Group North off in Estonia and Eastern Latvia.

The Orote Peninsula is secured on Guam.

1945 After having delivered the atomic bomb to Tinian, cruiser USS Indianapolis is sunk by Japanese sub I-58 off Leyte, and is not missed for days. Only 316 of 1196 men will survive the shark-infested waters.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts:WWII Today: February 27 WWII Today: May 27 Words at War: Your School, Your Children