Archive for the ‘WWII History’ Category

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

Sep 27

World War II Today: September 27

1939 The German pocket Battleships, Graf Spee and Deutschland, which had sailed from Germany in August, are given orders to attack allied shipping in the Atlantic.

Sir John Simon’s first war budget, income tax up to 7s 6d in the £.

Polish government-in-exile set up in Paris.

Warsaw, besieged for more than two weeks, surrenders after continuous air and artillery bombardments. Near Grabowiec, 150 Polish policemen, 4 NCOs and 6 officers among 5,000 taken prisoner, are executed by the Soviets.

1940 Heavy daytime attacks on Britain. British claim 133 German planes shot down, later revised to 52, with the RAF losing 28.

Japan signs the tripartite pact with Germany and Italy, hoping to deter the USA from interfering in its affairs. However, this step had the opposite affect as the USA now saw Japan as siding with the aggressors.

1941 The first liberty ship, the ‘Patrick Henry’ is launched at Baltimore naval dockyard.

The first of the autumn rains fall and quickly turns the Russian ground to mud.

23,000 Jews killed at Kamenets-Podolsk, in the Ukraine.

After more than 3 months of fighting, British forces in Abyssinia capture the Wolchefit Pass, thereby opening the route to Gondar, the last Italian held town in East Africa.

1942 The 6th Army succeed in capturing most of the strategic Mamayev Kurgan hill and penetrates the heavily defended Red October and Barricades housing estates.

Australian forces defeat the Japanese on New Guinea in the South Pacific.

1943 The Germans begin a General withdrawal of all forces in the Ukraine to positions on the west bank of the Dnieper river. Russians take the last German held port on the Black Sea, at Temyruk.

The first of two heavy air raids against Wewak is conducted by the 5th AAF, with 64 Japanese planes and seven ships destroyed.

1944 Thousands of British troops are killed as German forces rebuff their massive effort to capture the Arnhem Bridge across the Rhine River in Holland.

After nine days of heavy fighting, the British are able to rescue their “lost division”–the first airborne paratroopers who have been trapped behind enemy lines. Their German opponents praise the paratroopers, calling them “the highest-qualified men we have met during the entire invasion campaign”.

It is announced that the first British jet fighter, the ‘Gloster Meteor’ was successfully used in action on the 4th August.

German forces of Army Group E evacuate western Greece.

2,000 Poles of the Home Army surrender in Mokotow district of Warsaw.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: June 27 WWII Today: April 7 WWII Today: August 22

Sep 26

World War II Today: September 26

1938 Chancellor Adolf Hitler announces in a speech; “The Sudetenland is the last territorial claim I have to make in Europe.”

1939 Polish Home Army (Armia Krajowa – AK) is formed in Warsaw.

The British first use naval air warning radar, in Luftwaffe attack on carrier HMS Ark Royal.

1940 During the London Blitz, the underground Cabinet War Room suffers a hit when a bomb explodes on the Clive Steps.

US President Franklin Roosevelt imposes an embargo on the export of aviation fuel, scrap iron, and steel to Japan, citing American defence needs.

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

The Free French government in London under General de Gaulle signs an alliance with the Soviet Union.

German High Command records capture of 665,000 prisoners in the Kiev operations.

The first Arctic Convoy bound for Russia leaves Britain for Hvalfiord, Iceland. It consists of ten merchantmen with escorts and was designated as PQ1. The convoy arrived in Archangel without incident on 11 October thereby inaugurating a regular service to North Russia. (The letters PQ and QP were chosen because the first convoy planning officer was Cmdr. P.Q. Edwards.)

The British Eighth Army is formed in Egypt in preparation for ‘Operation Crusader’ and now includes both XIII and XXX Corps. At the same time the British Ninth Army is created in Palestine and the Tenth Army in Iraq and Iran to guard against Turkey entering the war on the Axis side.

1942 The ‘Final’ German offensive begins at Stalingrad.

The SS begin to take profit from the possessions and valuables of Jews from Auschwitz and Majdanek.

German banknotes are sent to the Reichs Bank. Foreign currency, gold, jewels and other valuables are sent to SS Headquarters of the Economic Administration. Watches, clocks and pens are distributed to troops at the front. Clothing is distributed to German families.

1944 The Eighth Army crosses the Rubicon in north-eastern Italy.

The US 20th Bomber Command B-29 Superfortresses bomb Manchuria, the command’s first mission with over 100 planes.

1945 The first US casualty in Vietnam (French Indochina): OSS officer Lt. Col. Peter Dewey is killed by Viet Minh in Saigon, he was mistaken for a Frenchman.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: September 8 WWII Today: August 10 WWII Today: August 4

Sep 25

World War II Today: September 25

1938 President Franklin Roosevelt urges negotiations between Hitler and Czech President Benes over the Sudetenland.

1939 Heavy artillery duels flare on Western Front.

Churchill claims the U-boat menace has been overcome, but U-48 sinks the steamer Royal Sceptre and casts its crew adrift 300 miles from land.

The Luftwaffe bomb Warsaw with 420 planes. Casualties in the city since the start of the war have now reached 40,000 dead.

Germany begins rationing of bread and flour.

1940 Royal Canadian Navy armed merchant cruiser Prince Robert captures German merchant ship Weser off Manzillo, Mexico.

Court martial body set up in Vichy France for crimes against the state; no appeal allowed executions within 24 hours of sentencing.

Reich-Commissioner in Norway deposes King Haakon and the Administrative Council, declaring the government illegal. All political parties are dissolved except for Quisling’s pro-Nazi party, the Nasjonal Samling, which is installed as the government of Norway.

An attack by Free French forces landed by ships of the Royal Navy against the west African port of Dakar is repulsed by Vichy French troops.

The US cryptanalyst, Harry L Clark, discovers the key to the Japanese top secret codes, allowing the US to read Japanese diplomatic, naval and military to top secret coded traffic.

1941 Hitler orders all attacks by Army Group North on Leningrad stopped and the city to be besieged and starved-out. After its foreseen surrender, the city is to be leveled.

Rommel, having discovered that their wasn’t a British fuel dump at Sidi Barrani and believing that that British had taken up a purely defensive posture, withdrew the 21st Panzer Division back to the Libyan-Egyptian border.

1942 The War Labor Board orders equal pay for women in the United States.

RAF Mosquitoes make a successful low level daylight raid on Gestapo HQ in Oslo. (MORE INFO)

Tokyo and Berlin announce that German U-boats and Japanese submarines will be working together in the Atlantic Ocean.

1943 The Russians capture Smolensk and Roslavl, over 200 miles to the West of Moscow.

1944 The Canadians begin all-out attack on the German stronghold at Calais.

Hitler orders the formation of the Volksturm, the German home guard.

Operation Market Garden ends as British troops withdraw from Arnhem, Holland.

Free French launch assault toward Belfort Gap in France.

Vidkun Quisling’s Ministers urge the Germans to end the occupation of Norway.

1945 The Nazi party is officially declared illegal in Germany.

The last Russian soldier leaves Norwegian territory near Storskog at 20:55.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: August 15 WWII Today: February 6 WWII Today: April 12