Archive for the ‘WWII History’ Category

Oct 07

World War II Today: October 7

1939 Heinrich Himmler made Commissioner for Consolidation of the German Race—to eliminate “inferior” people from the German Reich.

1940 German troops enter Romania, at the request of Fascist Gen. Ion Antonescu, to ‘help restrain the Army’.

Beaverbrook announces gifts received for aircraft purchases now total £6,098,826.

Finland rejects a British demand to cease fighting the Soviet Union.

German advance on Moscow continues with the capture of Vyasma. Stalin lifts ban on religion in Russia to boost morale.

Curtin becomes the Prime Minister of Australia.

Japanese protest US embargo on vital materials as “unfriendly act.”

1943 The RAF bombs Stuttgart making use of the Airborne ‘Cigar’ jamming device, killing 1,700 and making 18,000 homeless.

The U.S. Fifth Army is halted by German defenses along River Volturno, 20 miles North of Naples.

Japanese execute approximately 100 American POWs on Wake Island.

1944 The 20th Gebirgsjeager Army retreats towards northern Norway in the face of strong Soviet attacks.

A revolt by Jewish slave laborers at Auschwitz-Birkenau results in complete destruction of Crematory IV.

The Eighth Army resumes its attacks on the Gothic Line. The British reach Corinth, land at Nauplion and take the island of Samos.

The US Third Army completes liberation of Luxembourg. First German V-2 rocket hits Antwerp, Belgium.

1945 General Lucian Truscott assumes command of US Third Army, replacing Gen. George Patton, who has been transferred to command US Fifteenth Army due to his criticism of US “de-Nazification” program for German officers.

1949 Iva Toguri D’Aquino, better known as Tokyo Rose, is sentenced to 10 years in prison for treason.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: August 9 WWII Today: July 27 WWII Today: May 2

Oct 06

World War II Today: October 6

1939 After a 2 day battle against Soviet tanks and planes and then a 5-day fight against the Germans.

The last remaining Polish troops (17,000 men) surrender to German forces at Kock and Lublin.

Hitler in a speech to the Reichstag announces the victorious conclusion of the Polish campaign and calls upon Britain and France to cease hostilities and come to terms with Germany. This is rejected by both the British and French government’s.

The Japanese abandon Changsha after stiff Chinese defense.

Proclamation by Hitler on the isolation of Jews.

1941 Churchill gives a personal undertaking to Stalin to send a convoy every ten days to Russia’s northern ports.

1942 The setting up of a UN commission to investigate war crimes is announced in Washington.

The III Panzer Corps captures Malgobek at the bend of the Terek river in the Caucasus.

Montgomery issues the final plan to senior commanders for the Second battle of El Alamein.

1943 The U.S. Fifth Army takes Capua and Caserta.

Two Russian armies take Nevel on the boundary between Army Groups North and Centre.

1944 The Canadian 3rd Division attacks the Breskena Pocket, South of the Scheldt.

A Russian offensive by 64 divisions, 750 tanks and 1,100 aircraft commences near Arad in Hungary, with the aim of destroying Army Group South.

US General Joseph Stilwell recalled from position as Chiang Kai-shek’s chief of staff, maintains command over troops in Burma.

1945 General George Patton prepares to turn over command of the Third Army to General Lucian K. Truscott. Patton is relieved of the command because he is believed to be favorably inclined toward the Germans, as well as anti-Semitic. Patton later claims he was “done to death by slanderous tongues”.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: March 30 WWII Today: July 10 WWII Today: June 5

Oct 05

World War II Today: October 5

1938 The German government orders all German Jews to have red J’s printed on their passports, in order to more easily identify and track them in the future.

1939 Hitler enters Warsaw in triumph.

The Soviet Union forces a treaty on Latvia that allows the Red Navy to establish bases in her Baltic harbors

The US Navy Hawaiian Detachment opens at Pearl Harbor.

1940 US Naval Reserve and US Marine Corps reserve divisions and aviation squadrons are placed on call for active duty.

1941 Advancing in the southern Ukraine, Panzer Group 1 reaches the Sea of Azov.

Field Marshal Paul von Kleist named commander of German First Panzer Army; Gen. Heinz Guderian over Second Panzer Army.

Marshal Georgi Zhukov ordered to replace Ivan Konev over Soviet Western Front.

1942 Himmler orders all Jews in concentration camps in Germany to be sent to Auschwitz and Majdanek.

1943 German troops complete the evacuation of the island of Corsica.

The first of two heavy raids by a US Navy Task Force against Wake Island, with 61 Japanese aircraft being reported as destroyed.

1944 Canadian troops cross Belgian-Dutch border north of Antwerp.

Germany begins conscription of sixteen-year-olds. Germans lose 36 “Linsen” explosive-packed motorboats in raid off the Scheldt Estuary.

The First Baltic Front begins an offensive South of Riga to cut off Army Group North in Lithuania.

1945 Lt. Louis Zamperini (Unbroken) returns home, over two years after his plane ditched in the Pacific. 

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: June 21 WWII Today: August 27 WWII Today: June 12

Oct 04

World War II Today: October 4

1939 Nazis begin euthanasia on sick and disabled in Germany.

1940 Mussolini and Hitler meet at the Brenner Pass.

Admiralty announces recent sinking of seven German and two Italian submarines.

1942 A Commando raid on Occupied Sark, in Channel Islands capture’s one German soldier.

The fourth German offensive begins in Stalingrad as the XIV Panzer Corps launches an attack in force to capture the Tractor Factory in the northern part of the city.

1943 Organised British resistance ends on Kos. The French complete their take over of Corsica.

Himmler talks openly about the Final Solution at Posen.

In the only US carrier action in north Atlantic: USS Ranger aircraft attack two German convoys at Bodo, Norway, sink 5 ships.

The Free French secure Corsica.

The first Liberty ship docks at Naples’s wrecked harbor.

1944 German minister of propaganda Joseph Goebbels tells the German public that the Allies are launching an offensive in an attempt to end the war before the November election. The Germans, he says, must use guerrilla tactics, if necessary, to resist their enemies.

The Russian 46th Army is within 10 miles of Belgrade.

The British launch Operation ‘Manna’, and intervene in Greece, with 2nd Airborne Brigade landing at Patras. Other landings take on Crete and other Islands in the Aegean.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: September 15 WWII Today: September 9 WWII Today: February 3

Oct 03

World War II Today: October 3

1940 U.S. Army adopts airborne, or parachute, soldiers. Airborne troops were later used in World War II for landing troops in combat and infiltrating agents into enemy territory.

Chamberlain resigns as Lord President of the Council through ill health, and cabinet is reshuffled with Sir Kingsley Wood, the Chancellor, and Ernie Bevin, Minister of Labour joining War Cabinet.

Vichy France passes its own version of the anti-Jewish Nuremberg Laws.

1941 Charles Lindbergh warns an America First audience that President Roosevelt wants to “prevent freedom of speech” and might go so far as to cancel congressional elections in 1942.

British road deaths in the second year of war up 65% on the pre-war figure.

Hitler tells the German people that Russian ‘has already been broken and will never rise again’. Troops of Army Group Centre capture Orel.

General Cunningham’s plan for ‘Operation Crusader’ is approved by General Auchinleck to be launched on the 11th November. The aim is for XXX Corps, which includes the bulk of the British Armour to draw the 15th and 21st Panzer Division into combat and destroy their tank strength.

Then, XIII Corps, having contained the axis forces on the frontier, would envelop them from the south and advance on Tobruk, whose garrison would break out at an opportune moment and link up. While all this was happening, a smaller element called ‘Oasis Force’ would advance further west in to Libya than the main force, in order to deceive Rommel as to where the main effort was to be made. Further smaller operations were to be mounted by the SAS on Axis airfields in Libya in an attempt to destroy aircraft on the ground.

Australian Independents vote with the Labour to defeat McFadden government.

1942 Germany conducts the first successful test flight of a V-2 missile, which flies perfectly over a 118-mile course.

The 6th Army continues to push the decimated Soviet 62nd Army back toward the Volga, but with heavy losses to both sides.

1943 The Germans invade Kos with the assistance of massive air support.

Japanese forces launch the successful ‘rice’ offensive in Central China.

1944 The allies begin a 60-hour truce at Dunkirk to allow the evacuation of civilians.

The U.S. Third Army resumes its attack on Fort Driant, Metz for the next 10 days.

Germans evacuate Athens, Greece.

Off Morotai, Japanese sub RO-41sinks US destroyer escort Shelton; in counterattack, US destroyer escort Richard M. Rowell accidentally sinks sub USS Seawolf.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: Paratrooper Cricket Yank Magazine Pin Up: Carole Landis  WWII Today: August 12

Oct 02

World War II Today: October 2

1938 Winston Churchill comments to Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain about the Munich Agreement; “You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You have chosen dishonor and you will have war.”

1939 The first Poles are imprisoned in Pawiak Prison in Warsaw. Some 100,000 people will undergo Nazi interrogations here, of whom 37,000 will be executed and 60,000 sent to concentration camps.

Act of Panama signed by US and other western hemisphere nations, declaring Pan-American Security Zone, a 300-mile zone of neutrality off coast of Americas (at about 60˚ W).

1941 Army Group Centre launches operation ‘Typhoon’, the main offensive towards Moscow. Hitler tells his troops: ‘Today is the beginning of the last great battle of the year’. Army Group South begins an advance against Kursk and Kharkov.

1943 The RAF launches a very heavy air raid on Munich, which lasts 25 minutes.

The British 2nd Special Service Brigade lands at Termoli on East coast of Italy and links up with troops moving North from Foggia.

The Australian 9th Division captures Finschhafen on New Guinea.

1944 Warsaw falls to the Germans after 63-day siege, with the Polish Home Army surrendering only after all its food and ammunition had run out. The Germans recognize their valor and treat the survivors not as partisans, but as regular POWs.

Martial law is lifted in Hawaii.

The WASP (Women’s Auxiliary Service Pilots) notified of discontinuation of WASP program in December.

1945 General Patton is removed from command for remarks that were allegedly sympathetic to former Nazis.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: August 26 WWII Today: August 7 WWII Today: September 5

Oct 01

World War II Today: October 1

1939 In Germany, Karl Dönitz promoted to rear admiral and commander of the submarines.

British men between 20 and 22 are now liable for conscription.

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill during a radio broadcast described the Soviet Union as ”a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma”.

German troops enter the devastated city of Warsaw. The Polish garrison on the Hel Peninsula surrenders to the Germans after repeated attacks.

1940 Japanese occupy British concessionary island off Wei-hai-wei, China.

Petrol rationing is introduced in Australia.

1941 The House of Commons votes for the third £1,000M war credit of year.

The Soviet-British-US conference in Moscow concludes with a protocol being signed committing Britain and the USA to supply Russia with 400 aircraft immediately and 500 aircraft per month until the 30th June 1942. There-after the protocol would be renewable annually. Further, both countries undertook to deliver 41,000 tons of Aluminium immediately and 6,000 tons of rubber and 1,500 tons of tin per month. Food and medical supply’s were also included.

1943 The allies capture Naples, although the Germans thoroughly demolish its harbour facilities. Hitler orders a defense of Italy to the South of Rome.

The Australian Government releases men from the army and munitions industry for reallocation within the Australian war effort.

1944 The U.S. First Army begins the siege Aachen, Germany.

The Finnish Army makes an assault landing against German held Tornio, in Gulf of Bothnia.

Monte Battaglia in the Gothic Line is captured by the U.S. Fifth Army after a 4-day battle. The Red Army crosses the Danube into Yugoslavia.

A Secret Hungarian delegation arrives in Moscow to sign an armistice with the Russians.

Canadian forces open campaign to clear the Scheldt Estuary around port of Antwerp, Belgium.

1946 Twelve Nazi war criminals are sentenced to be hanged at Nuremberg trials—Karl Donitz, Hermann Goring, Alfred Jodl, Hans Frank, Wilhelm Frick, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Wilhelm Keitel, Joachin von Ribbentrop, Fritz Saukel, Arthur Seyss-Inquart, Julius Streicher, and Alfred Rosenberg.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: Captain Ben Dix – October 3, 1943 WWII Today: September 19 Yank Magazine Pin Up: Ramsey Ames Words At War: The Road To Serfdom

Sep 30

World War II Today: September 30

1938 Under German threats of war, Britain, France, Germany and Italy sign an accord permitting Germany to take control of Sudetenland–a region of Czechoslovakia inhabited by a German-speaking minority. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain boasts, “I believe it is peace in our time.”

1939 Graf Spee sinks the British steamship Clement off Pernambuco, Brazil.

Polish government-in-exile set up in Paris.

The French Army is called back into France from its invasion of Germany. The attack, code named Operation Saar, only penetrated five miles.

French troops withdraw from German Saar Region.

Gen. Wladyslaw Sikorski named first prime minister of Polish government-in-exile.

1940 British civilian casualties for the month September announced: 6,954 dead, 10,615 injured.

1941 Newcastle bombed, but only the second serious raid on Britain in a month with Septemberís casualties listed as 217 killed.

The guard at a detention centre in Peel on the Isle of Man is strengthened after disturbances, which results with 20 British fascists being moved to Liverpool.

As part of operation ‘Typhoon’ Guderian’s Panzer Group 2 opens its offensive against Moscow, 2 days ahead of the rest of Army Group Centre and makes 50-miles in its advance towards Orel.

1942 Top-scoring Luftwaffe ace and Nights Cross with Diamonds winner Hans-Joachim Marseille (158 British aircraft) of 3./JG 27 is killed in a flying accident.

1943 The Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps becomes the Women’s Army Corps, a regular contingent of the U.S. Army with the same status as other army service corps.

The British announce that 5,211 casualties were suffered at Salerno.

The Russians make Dnieper River crossings on a 300-mile front.

On the eve of the Jewish New Year, the Gestapo and Danish Nazis begin rounding up all Danish Jews.

1944 Rejoicing in the streets of Dover at the announcement that the last of the German cross-channel guns, which have pounded the southeast coast of Britain for three years, have been silenced.

The 7,500 strong Calais garrison surrenders to the Canadians.

*1946 An international military tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany, found 22 top Nazi leaders guilty of war crimes.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: Words at War: White Brigade WWII Today: September 1 WWII Today: August 11

Sep 29

World War II Today: September 29

1938 Hitler and Mussolini sign a treaty creating the Rome-Berlin Axis. Mussolini agrees to let Hitler do what he pleases in Europe, while Hitler agrees to assist Italy if war breaks out.

1939 Poland formally surrenders, relieving the 35,000 besieged Polish troops who are defending the fortress of Modlin of their obligations thereby enabling them to surrender.

Nazis and Soviets divide up Poland.

Over two million Jews reside in Nazi controlled areas, leaving 1.3 million in the Soviet area.

1940 A British convoy, under heavy escort, sets sail for Malta from Alexandria. Admiral Cunningham hopes to provoke the Italians into a fleet action. The Italian fleet puts out to sea, only to return to port at Taranto prematurely without seeing action.

1941 Germans troops advance in strength, down in to the Crimea, forcing the Russians to fall back in to Sevastopol.

The SS Einsatzgruppen operating in the Ukraine massacres between 50,000 and 96,000 Ukranians (of which 33,771 are Jews), at Babi Yar, a ravine about 30 miles outside of Kiev.

Brazil allows US Navy to use ports of Bahia and Recife for provisioning, refueling, and upkeep.

1942 German pressure in Stalingrad is again stepped up the 6th Army struggles desperately to clear Stalingrad.

RAF Eagle Squadrons (American volunteers) are officially converted into the US 4th Fighter Group of the Eighth Air Force, flying Spitfires; the group will soon fly P-47s, then P-51s.

Seaplane from Japanese submarine I-25drops incendiary bombs in southern coastal Oregon, in an unsuccessful attempt to start forest fires, the second and last bombing of the US in WWII.

Liberty ship Booker T. Washington is launched at Wilmington, DE, the first US merchant ship named after an African-American and the first commanded by a black captain (Hugh Mulzac); the crew was integrated.

1943 The allies take Pompeii, between Salerno and Naples.

Marshal Badoglio and Eisenhower meet aboard HMS Nelson, where a full armistice signed and also discuss war plans.

Adolf Hitler’s book Mein Kampf is published in the United States.

1944 The Canadians take Cape Gris Nez, Southwest of Calais and grant a 24-hour truce for Germans to evacuate civilians.

1945 British troops land in Java to combat Indonesian nationalists.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: June 18 WWII Today: August 23 WWII Today: August 6

Sep 28

World War II Today: September 28

1937 In a speech given during a visit to Berlin, Mussolini assures the world;”There are no secret intentions in my visit. Nothing is being plotted”.

1939 The last Polish resistance, the fortress of Modlin, falls after 18-day siege.

German and Soviet troops meet at Brest-Litovsk and together stage a military review. An agreement is signed affirming their common border lines in eastern Poland.

1940 The 26th night attack in succession on London.

The first of the recently purchased US destroyers arrive in Britain.

Britain renews call to evacuate mothers and children from London (489,000 evacuated by October 17).

Uruguay cracks down on Nazi infiltrators, expels 13 German spies.

1941 A Soviet-British-US conference opens in Moscow to discuss western aid to Russia. Lord Beaverbrook represents Britain and Averell Harriman the USA.

Free French declare independence of Syria and Lebanon.

Japanese assault city of Changsha, China, beginning Second Battle of Changsha.

Ted Williams of Boston Red Sox earns .406 batting average for season; record still stands.

1942 The US Navy Department claim 42 Japanese aircraft shot down in the Solomon Islands in last three days, with no US losses.

1943 Germans anti-partisan forces retake Split from Tito’s partisans.

1944 An agreement between Tito and Stalin is reached in Moscow, which allows the Red Army to enter Yugoslavia.

The Red Army begin an offensive towards the Yugoslav border from Romania.

Greek Resistance groups agree to unite under Allied leadership.

1945 The United States Office of Censorship is disbanded.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: August 5 WWII Today: June 5 WWII Today: August 15 Words at War: Wartime Racketeers