Archive for the ‘WWII History’ Category
1940 Royal Navy Heavy cruiser “Suffolk” bombards installations at Stavanger, but on her return is badly damaged by Ju-88 bombers and barely makes Scapa Flow with her stern awash.
Admiral Karl Dönitz withdraws U-boats from Norwegian waters to study torpedo failures.
1941 Yugoslavia surrenders, with the Wehrmacht taking 334,000 prisoners. King Peter of Yugoslavia is flown to Athens and then on to London by the RAF.
1942 The RAF makes a daylight raid against Augsburg in southern Germany with 14 Lancaster bombers. The raid is pressed home with great gallantry, with squadron leader J.D. Nettleton being awarded the VC. However, 7 aircraft are lost, which convinces Air Marshal Harris that daylight raids by heavy bombers were too costly.
1943 Germans find buried polish officers at Katyn Wood.
The U.S. War Manpower Commission orders 27 million workers in industries deemed essential to the war effort not to leave their positions for any reason.
1944 Amid rumors in the allied press that he is dead or is locked in an insane asylum, Hitler appears, but does not speak at the funeral in Munich of Gauleiter Adolf Wagner. It is the first time Hitler has shown himself publicly since his speech to the “Old Fighters” the previous November.
1945 The battle for Berlin escalates a breakthrough is made by the 1st Ukrainian front. However, the 1st Belorussian Fronts offensive against Berlin is stalled by tenacious German resistance on the Seelow Heights, 2 miles West of the Oder, with great losses of troops and tanks for the Russians. The situation for the German 6th SS Panzer Army in Austria is now critical at St.Polten. The Russians occupies Wilhelmsburg.
The US Eighth Army lands on Mindanao in the Philippines.Take a look at these other WWII Posts:WWII Today: May1 WWII Today: December 2 WWII Today: February 8
1940 British and French troops make landings at Namsos.
British troops are landed in the Faeroe Islands.
1941 London suffers through the heaviest blitz of the war. Parliament buildings and St. Paul’s Cathedral suffer damage, and more than 2,250 fires are touched off by incendiary bombs.
First US Lend-Lease food arrives in Britain.
British destroyers sink all eight ships in an Axis convoy off Tunisia; 1800 killed.
1942 An official inquiry into British bombing policy is setup under Mr. Justice Singleton. This was the result of a debate between Churchill’s two top scientific advisors, Lord Cherwell and Sir Henry Tizard. Cherwell, supported by the Air Ministry, drew up a list of 58 German cities and towns whose destruction would knock Germany out of the war. Tizard argued that less emphasis should be put on the bombing of Germany and more on using the aircraft in the Battle of the Atlantic.
King George VI awards the George Cross to Malta, after more than 2,000 air raids.
Japanese Imperial GHQ Naval Order No.18 is issued. This orders Admiral Yamamoto, C-in-C of the Japanese Combined Fleet to draw up plans for Operation ‘Mi’, the capture of Midway and the Aleutian Island, a plan that had originally been suggested by Admiral Yamamoto during March. The Japanese make landings on Panay Island. The US aircraft carrier Lexington, sets sail from Pearl Harbor, with orders to link up with the Yorktown in the Tonga Islands and then head, under the command of Admiral Fletcher to the Coral Sea.
German Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt appointed commander of the Atlantik Wall defenses.
1943 The Royal Navy’s Destroyer Pakenham and two Italian destroyers are sunk in naval engagements in Sicilian Channel.
1944 Yalta in the Crimea is captured by the Russians.
The battleship USS Wisconsin (BB-64), is commissioned at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Three Japanese blow up a 300ft suspension bridge on the Silchar track.
The destroyer USS Laffey survives horrific damage from attacks by 22 Japanese aircraft off Okinawa.
1945 In northern Holland the Canadians take Harlingen, 50 miles Northeast of Amsterdam and occupies Leeuwarden and Groningen. The US First Army captures Solingen and Wuppertal.
The US 7th Army reaches Nuremburg.
General Carl Spaatz of the US Strategic Air Forces in Europe declares the strategic air war is over—only tactical targets remain.
Soviet troopscross Oder river begin their final attack on Berlin.
Hitler issues the last Order of the Day to the Eastern Front, saying ‘He who gives orders to retreat . . . is to be shot on the spot’ as the 1st Belorussian Front and the 1st Ukrainian Front start the final offensive on Berlin from along the Oder-Neisse line.
Off the Hela peninsula in the Baltic, the German liner Goya is torpedoed by a Russian submarine, killing 6,500 wounded soldiers and refugees.
The British take Taungup in Southwest Burma, thereby depriving the Japanese of their last coastal supply base.
U.S. landings begin on Ie-shima Island and three airfields are taken.Take a look at these other WWII Posts:WWII Today: March 3 WWII Today: August 26 Words at War: Lost Island
1940 British unemployment falls to 973,000, lowest figure since 1920.
British troops land at Harstad in the Lofoten Islands, opposite Narvik.
Quisling government resigns in Oslo and a ‘Administrative Council’ takes control.
Germans appoint a council to run the Norwegian government.
Off Narvik, British destroyers Brazen and Fearless sink U-49; documents about the Enigma machine float to the surface and are captured by the British
1941 The Germans take Sarajevo, Yugoslavia.
The Luftwaffe bombs Belfast, Northern Ireland, killing 758.
Igor Sikorsky flies first official rotor helicopter flight, of a Vought-Sikorsky VS-300 in Stratford, CT; flight lasts over one hour.
1942 During its darkest hours, the Malta is awarded the George Cross for “heroism and devotion” by King George VI. This was in recognition of the way in which the Maltese people had stood up to more than 2,000 bombing raids and constant shortages over the past twelve month
The French resistance attacks the German HQ at Arras with hand grenades.
1943 General Omar Bradley takes command of US II Corps; Patton relieved to prepare for invasion of Sicily.
1944 The Red Army recaptures Tarnopol in the southern Ukraine.
1945 The 3rd Ukrainian front occupies Radkesburg during its offensive against the industrial area of Mahrisch-Ostrau in Moravia. The 2nd Ukrainian front attacks towards Brno in Czechoslovakia.
British troops liberate Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp and free approximately 40,000 prisoners. It is reported that “both inside and outside the huts was a carpet of dead bodies, human excreta, rags and filth.”
The Canadian First Army reaches the coast in northern Holland and captures Arnhem in the South. The US First Army captures Leuna and Merseburg in Saxony, while the French First Army captures Kehl and Offenburg on the upper Rhine.
Take a look at these other WWII Posts:Words at War: WWII Radio Anthology WWII Today: April 7 WWII Today: March 18
1940 The German Minesweeper M6 sinks Royal Navy submarine Tarpon.
British and French troops land at Namsos near Narvik to assist Norwegians against German invasion.
1941 Germans break through the new Greek frontline. The Greek Army of Epirus withdraws from Albania.
Yugoslavian government escape to Athens.
Kaiser shipyards in Richmond, California lay keel for its first liberty ship, the Ocean Vanguard; 747 ships will be built in Richmond.
1942 Laval returns to power in Vichy as the ‘Chief of Government with special powers’. Thirty five hostages shot in Paris.
Off North Carolina, destroyer USS Roper sinks U-85 in first US naval victory over a German U-boat, all 46 on board killed.
British destroy Yenangyaung oil fields in Burma as Japanese advance.
1943 Stalin’s son, Yakov Dzhugashvili, dies as a prisoner of war of the Germans.
The Russian 14th Army repulses a German attack to the Southeast of Leningrad.
Lieutenant General William J. Slim takes over command in Arakan.
1944 First transports of Jews from Athens to Auschwitz, totaling 5,200 persons.
At Bombay, India, British ammunition ship Fort Stikineexplodes, killing 1300, and destroying 27 ships.
Chinese launch offensive across border into Burma.
1945 U.S. troops split the Ruhr Pocket in two at Hagen.
US Fifth Army launches final offensive in Italy, toward the Po Valley.
US Third Army takes Bayreuth, Germany.
Glider troops capture the ex-German Chancellor von Papen at a hunting-lodge near Stockhausen along with three generals.
The French launch a final assault on the trapped German garrison at Bordeaux.
The British Second Army reaches the outskirts of Bremen, while the US Third Army captures Gera and Bayreuth.
The Canadian First Army assumes military control of the Netherlands where German forces are now trapped in the Atlantic wall fortifications along the coastline.Take a look at these other WWII Posts:WWII Today: March 12 WWII Today: February 5 Words at War: Pacific Victory, 1945
1940 A fierce engagement between German and British naval forces in the second battle of Narvik at Jassing Fjord, which results in the sinking of 8 German destroyers and a U-Boat whose surviving crews join Gebirgsjager units defending isolated Narvik.
1941 British Naval forces, this time supported by the Battleship HMS Warspite, again engage the German naval forces located at Narvik in the Jassing Fjord. This, the 2nd Battle of Narvik, results in the sinking of 7 German destroyers and a U-boat whose surviving crews join Gebirgsjager Â units that are defending isolated Narvik.
German forces launch an attack against the Greek and British positions near Mt. Olympus. The Italian 11th Army in Albania begins to push the Greek Army back.
German troops capture Belgrade, Yugoslavia.
German advance spearheads capture Sollum. Rommel receives orders from Berlin that he is to consolidate on the Egyptian frontier and concentrate of capturing Tobruk. Only then will he be allowed to push into Egypt. The result of this order is that Rommel decides to rest his exhausted troops and wait until the 15th Panzer Division arrives at the end of May before making a major assault against Tobruk.
Japan and Russia sign a 5 year non-aggression pact, which all but removes any military threat to its northern borders.
1942 The US destroyer USN Roper, sinks U-85 south of Norfolk, Virginia. This is the first success of the war by a US warship against a U-boat.
Fighting continues on Cebu Island, as the US-Filipino garrison withdraws in to the hills.
1944 Simferopol, Feodosiya and Eupatoria in the Crimea fall to Red Army.
British troops retake Nanshigum Hill.
1945 A local truce is declared near Celle so that the British Second Army can take over the notorious Belsen concentration camp. The U.S. NinthÂ Army clears the Duisberg Pocket. The US Third Army captures Erfurt and Weimar.
Troops of the Russian 2nd and 3rd Ukrainian front capture Vienna.
The Chinese launch a new offensive in Honan and Hupeh provinces of Central China.
The U.S. Fleet begins the pre-invasion bombardment of Ie Island in the Pacific.Take a look at these other WWII Posts:WWII Today: November 20 WWII Today: March 27 General MacArthur Retreating Quote
1940 Norway announces German control of Kristiansand, Stavanger, Bergen and Trondheim in the south, Narvik in the north.
1941 The Yugoslav capital Belgrade, surrenders.
Greek and British forces fall back to the Mount Olympus line in Greece.
German armored units complete the encirclement of Tobruk and push on up the coast road towards the Egyptian frontier.
US troops land in Greenland.
1942 Both German and Russian forces pause for breath after an extremely difficult winter (temperatures dropped to a nippy Minus 30C). The Russians have outrun their supply lines and exhausted their supply store of tanks and guns, which has allowed the initiative to slip back to the Germans. However, the Germans are aware that they can no longer take MoscowÂ with a knockout blow and so choose another alternative. They intend to drive southward as part of a “grand pincer” movement through the Caucasus to link up with Rommel’s Afrika Corps, which will solve their oil problems, disable the Russian economy, and menace the Middle East.
Japanese troops capture Migyaungyein Burma, which exposes the western flank of 1st Burma Corps at put the oilfields at Yenangyuang under threat.
1943 German radio announces that 4,150 Polish officers that were deported by the Russian authorities in 1940 have been found in mass graves near Smolensk.
The Eighth Army takes Sousse, to the East of Kairan and claim that 20,000 axis prisoners have been taken in Tunisia since the 20th March.
1944 Hitler authorizes a withdrawal of 230,000 German and Romanian troops to the fortress of Sevastopol. However, this is four days too late and the delay results in many unnecessary losses.
Finland rejects the heavy Russian demands for the ending of the war.
1945 The U.S. Ninth Army crosses the Elbe, taking Brunswick.
The U.S. Third Army takes Erfurt.
French troops take Baden-Baden on the southern flank. The U.S.6th Armoured Division overruns Buchenwald concentration camp. The British Second Army captures Celle 60 miles to the South of Hamburg.
The Germans evacuates Zenica, Yugoslavia.
A German war communique confesses that Konigsberg did surrender and announces the death penalty for the fortresses commander, General Lasch.
After suffering a massive cerebral hemorrhage, President Roosevelt dies at Warm Springs in Georgia, aged 63. Harry Truman is sworn in as 32nd President of the United States.Take a look at these other WWII Posts:WWII Today: October 19 WWII Today: January 14 WWII Winchester Ad
1940 King Haakon VII of Norway appeals to all Norwegians to fight. The first British troop’s sets sail for Norway, although they have been mistakenly embarked without much of their heavy equipment.
Royal Navy submarine Spearfish puts pocket battleship Lutzow out of action for a year.
1941 Rommel makes an attempt to capture Tobruk off the march. However, the 9th Australian Division repulses the attack, forcing the Germans to think again. By now the Germans are pretty exhausted after 3 weeks of continuous action and their vehicles in serious need of an overhaul.
Roosevelt extends the Pan-American security zone in the Atlantic from 60Â°W to 26Â°W.
Bristol is bombed by the Luftwaffe.
Italian forces begin their effort to push down the Yugoslav coast in order to link up with their forces in Albania.
1942 Progress continues as German relieve forces push nearer the surrounded Kholm garrison. The Russians try to land troops near Eupatoria in the Crimea, but are stopped dead by the Germans.
1943 The British First Army takes Kalrouan, 100 miles South of Tunis.
1944 The majority of New Britain is now held by the Allies.
A U.S. Delegate hands the Swiss a cheque for $1m as reparations for the accidental bombing of Schaffhausen.
Russian troops capture Kerch in the Crimea. While units of the 4th Ukrainian Front liberate Dsjankoi.
1945 The Russians now reaches the centre of Vienna, capturing the parliament and town hall buildings.
The U.S. Third Army takes the historic town of Weimar.
The British Second Army takes Celle, 30 miles Northeast of Hanover, cutting the road to Hamburg.
The U.S. Ninth Army captures Essen, Bochum and Goslar in the Harz Mountains.
The U.S. Seventh Army reaches Schweinfurt, 80 miles to the East of Frankfurt.Take a look at these other WWII Posts:WWII Today: January 10 WWII Today: January 27 WWII Today: January 21
1940 Denmark surrenders to the Germans.
Bitter fighting as Germans advance north from Oslo.
Six British destroyers surprise ten German Destroyers in Narvik Fiord, in what becomes known as the 1st Battle of Narvik. Two German and two British Destroyers are sunk and the British Flotilla commander, Captain Warburton-Lee is killed. He is later awarded the Victoria Cross, posthumously.
1941 Germans enter Zagreb, allowing Ante Pavelic, the Croatian Fascist leader, to return from Italian exile and proclaim the independent state of Croatia, with him as Poglavnik (leader). British forces under General Wilson withdraw from the Aliakmon line.
The 9th Australian Division withdraws into Tobruk.
1942 British negotiations in India break down.
The 78,000 captured men from Bataan begin a 65 mile march under the hot sun from Mariveles to San Fernando, with little food or water. This was to become known as the ‘Bataan Death March’.
The Japanese begin landing troops on Cebu Island, which has a combined US-Filipino garrison of 4,500 troops.
The Soviet Ambassador to the USA gives a speech in Philadelphia demanding an immediate second front in Europe.
1943 USAAF bombers sink the Italian cruiser Trieste in raid on Sardinia.
1944 The Russians enter Odessa on Black Sea as German forces withdraw from the city to the west bank of the Dniester river.
The RAF drops a record 3,600 tons over northern France.
1945 Churchill reveals British Empire casualty figures up to this point as 306,984 killed. Total casualties are 1,126,802, merchant navy losing 34,161 dead or captured. Civilians casualties are 59,793 killed and 84,749 injured.
The Canadian First Army continues its push North into Holland, taking Deventer, 30 miles North of Nijmegen. The British Second Army takes Wildenhausen, 20Â miles Southwest of Bremen. The U.S. Ninth Army takes Hanover.
With the battle of Vienna ongoing, the German 6th SS Panzer Army succeeds in defeating fierce Russian attacks into the districts of Wiener Neustadt and to the West of Baden. The besieged Germans in Breslau continue to repel the repeated Russian attacks. A German war communique now declares that the resistance in Konigsberg has ceased, but that no surrender has occurred.
The RAF attack Kiel, while the US 8th Air ForceÂ launches its heaviest raid to date (1,232 bombers) against Berlin.
Buchenwald Concentration Camp is liberated by the Allies.
The German heavy cruiser Admiral Scheer is sunk during a massive RAF raid on Kiel.Take a look at these other WWII Posts:WWII Today: January 28 WWII Today: June 8 WWII Today: September 8
1940 German troops invade Denmark and Norway simultaneously. There is very little opposition by the surprised Danes, with Copenhagen being captured within 12 hours. The Germans make sea-borne landings in Norway at Oslo, Kristiansand, Bergen, Trondheim and Narvik. An airborne landing is also made against the airfield at Stavanger. Norwegian defenders move inland. Major Quisling sets up ‘National Government’ in Oslo.
The Kriegsmarine loses the cruisers Blacher, which is sunk by Norwegian coastal batteries, plus Koenigsberg and Karlsruhe to British naval and air attack.
1941 Rommel’s forces take Bardia.
German forces capture Nis and Monastir in Yugoslavia. German tanks enter Thessalonika, trapping the Greek 2nd Army in the Metaxas line, forcing them to surrender.
The RAF attack Kiel in an attempt to knock out the port facilities.
1942 The Germans make some limited advances towards their surrounded units at Kholm-Staraya Russa. Russian troops attack furiously at Kerch in the Crimea, but there have no success because of the stubborn German defense.
Mahatma Gandhi arrested in India.
US-Filipino forces on Bataan Peninsula in the Philippines surrender. 78,000 troops are captured, including 12,000 Americans, but 2,000 escape to Corregidor. This is the largest capitulation in US History. Japanese aircraft sink the British carrier Hermes, the destroyer Vampire and three other warships in Indian Ocean.
1943 Exterminations at Chelmno cease. The camp will be reactivated in the spring of 1944 to liquidate ghettos. In all, Chelmno will total 300,000 deaths.
1944 The remains of the 1st Panzer Army regain the German lines after a 150-mile forced march. The Red Army breaks through the German lines at Kerch in the eastern Crimea.
Fierce fighting across the District Commissioner’s tennis court at Kohima. The Japanese renew their struggle with the 17th Indian Division, South West of Imphal.
1945 The British Eighth Army launches its final offensive in Italy with a 1,800-plane and 1,500-gun bombardment of the German positions East of Bologna. The U.S. Fifth Army begins its offensive toward Bologna and the Po river valley. Army Group E is now completely isolated from the main German forces, but continues its struggle against Tito’s partisan forces in Yugoslavia.
Russians secure Koenigsberg, after the commander of “fortress Koenigsberg” General Lasch surrenders.Take a look at these other WWII Posts:WWII Today: November 25 WWII Today: February 22 WWII Today: December 19
1939 Italy invades Albania.
1940 British submarines torpedo three German ships. Destroyer Glowworm is sunk after reporting German fleet movements and ramming cruiser Hipper.
British minelayers arrive off Norway and are surprised by German navy preparing to invade Norway. In heavy fighting, the destroyer HMS Glowworm is sunk while ramming German heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper.
The Polish submarine ‘Orzel’ sinks the German transport ship ‘Rio de Janeiro’ at 11:50.
1941 After a temporary lull, the Luftwaffe launches a heavy attack against Coventry.
The British ‘Northern Force’ captures Massawa, the last Italian stronghold in Eritrea. This removes any remaining threat to British convoys sailing through the Red Sea.
1942 A US delegation led by special presidential advisor Harry L. Hopkins and joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General George C. Marshall arrive in Britain to discuss US and British strategy on the Second Front. The proposal they brought from Roosevelt, was for major landings on the French coast in the summer of 1943, with Antwerp as the initial objective, and for a similar but smaller operation in 1942 to take advantage of a sudden German disintegration or to stave off an imminent Russian collapse.
The badly damaged cruiser HMS Penelope limps in to Gibraltar.
1944 The Russians reach the Slovakian border. The also continue their advance into Romania. The final Russian offensive to destroy the German 17th Army in Crimea begins.
1945 The 2nd Ukrainian front continues its advance into northern Czechoslovakia and establishes a bridgehead across the rivers Morava and Donau (East and Northeast of Vienna). Heavy fighting in the centre of Vienna. The Red Air Force drops 1,500 tons of bombs on Konigsberg.
British SAS Brigade paratroops into eastern Holland, to clear the way for Canadians troops who are moving North. The British Second Army reaches Hildesheim, while the US Seventh Army captures Pforzheim near the upper Rhine.Take a look at these other WWII Posts:WWII Today: December 1 WWII Today: January 19 WWII Today: October 3