Archive for the ‘WWII History’ Category

Jul 18

World War II Today: July 18

1940 Prince Konoye forms new Japanese Cabinet with Army and Navy nominees.

1941 The Japanese foreign minister, Yosuke Matsuoka is replaced by a moderate. New Japanese Cabinet has four generals and three admirals.

US Army Air Force opens bases in Iceland to patrol convoy routes in North Atlantic.

US Secretary of Navy Frank Knox approves plan to build 100 destroyer escorts for Britain.

1942 The German Me-262, the first jet-propelled aircraft to fly in combat, makes its first flight.

Hitler changes his mind and orders Army Group B to resume its offensive towards Stalingrad. However, as almost all the German Army had be transferred to Army Group A, the advance was left to Paulus’s 6th Army which had been reinforced by a panzer and an infantry Corps. The remaining panzers with Army Group A were ordered to thrust south over the lower Don on a broad front.

1943 The U.S. Navy airship K-74 is shot down by anti-aircraft fire from a German U-boat.

The Germans say Cologne is in a state of chaos after allied raids.

1944 4,500 Allied aircraft pound the German positions with 7,000 tons of bombs.

The U.S. XIX Corps capture St. Lo, but has suffered 6,000 casualties since the 11th July. Montgomery launches Operation ‘Goodwood’ 40 miles east of Caen. However, VIII Corps is stopped with loss of 200 tanks and 1,500 men after the ‘death ride of the armored divisions’, which also destroys 109 Panzer’s.

The Polish II Corps takes Antona in Italy.

U.S. troops capture Saint-Lo, France, ending the battle of the hedgerows.

The First Belorussian front attacks, with six armies and 1,600 aircraft from Kovel across the Bug towards Lublin.

Buffeted by more than two years of military and naval defeats, Gen. Hideki Tojo is forced to resign his offices of prime minister, war minister and chief of the Imperial General Staff. While Tojo’s removal strengthens somewhat the elements of the Japanese government inclined to seek peace, Tokyo’s official policy of fighting to the end remains unchanged.

1945 Honda’s attempt to break out in Burma begins in earnest.

Allied carrier planes hit Japanese naval forces in Tokyo Bay, sinking 12 ships and damaging nine, including the battleship Nagato.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts:Words at War: Ten Escape From Tojo WWII Today: September 30 WWII Today: June 18

Jul 17

World War II Today: July 17

1940 The German Army presents its plan for the invasion of Britain. Six divisions are to land between Ramsgate and Bexhill in the southeast corner of England, four will land between Brighton and the Isle of Wight and three on the Dorset coast. Two Airborne division’s will also be deployed, with follow up forces including six Panzer and three Motorised divisions.

The first anti-Jewish measures are taken in Vichy France.

Under extreme diplomatic pressure, Britain agrees to close the Burma Road, a vital supply route for the Chinese army.

1941 FDR wants to double the 7 night baseball games to keep war workers on the job.

In Finland the old 1939 border is crossed by Finnish forces at Käsnäselkä.

1942 Italians repulse British attack at Miteirya Ridge at El Alamein.

Himmler visits Auschwitz-Birkenau for two days, inspecting all ongoing construction and expansion, then observes the extermination process from start to finish as two trainloads of Jews arrive from Holland. Kommandant Hess is then promoted. Construction includes four large gas chamber/crematories.

 

1943 An allied military government (Amgot) is set up in Sicily.

1944 Two ammunition-laden transport ships explode whilst docked at Port Chicago, California. 320 sailors and other military personnel are killed in what is the worst stateside disaster of the war. Most of the sailors were African-Americans, who had received no training in ammunition handling. Many of the survivors refused to load any more ships until proper safety procedures were put in place. The so-called “Port Chicago Mutiny” resulted in numerous court martials and imprisonments, but the publicity surrounding the event led directly to the end of racially segregated assignments in the Navy two years later.

Rommel is severely wounded by a Spitfire attack after his inspection of defenses Southeast of Caen.

The Germans say they will hold Baltic States ‘at all costs’, as the Russian advance approaches the Latvian border.

Admiral Shimada, the Japanese Navy Minister is sacked, Nomura takes over.

1945 President Harry S. Truman, Soviet leader Josef Stalin and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill began meeting at Potsdam in the final Allied summit of World War II.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts:

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Jul 16

World War II Today: July 16

1940 Hitler issues Directive No.16, orders for the planning of ‘Operation Sealion‘, the invasion of Britain. Twenty divisions are earmarked for the invasion, but the Luftwaffe must gain air superiority first. All plans are to be ready by mid-August.

Destroyer Imogen sinks in Pentland Firth after collision in fog by the British light cruiser HMS Glasgow.

Japanese Cabinet resigns under army pressure.

Vichy France revokes citizenship of naturalized Jewish citizens.

1941 Army Group South traps 20 Russians divisions in a pocket at Uman.

Vichy France bans Jews from practicing as lawyers.

Lt. Yakov Dzhugashvili, Stalin’s son, is taken prisoner by Germans—he will die as POW in April 1943.

1942 Nazi’s round up 2,887 Jews of Paris are rounded up and sent to Drancy Internment Camp at the Vélodrome d’Hiver for deportation to concentration camps.

US Navy forms Task Force 61, Solomons Expeditionary Force, under Vice Adm. Frank Fletcher, and Task Force 63 over all Allied land-based planes in Southwest Pacific, under Rear Adm. John McCain.

1943 Canadians forces take Caltagirone, 40 miles inland from Syracuse. The Americans take Agringento, before beginning their drive for Palermo. The British finally secure Primosole bridge and Montgomery advances on Catania.

t Kursk, Russia, Germans halt offensive on Hitler’s order.

Theophil Wurm, bishop of Württemburg, writes Hitler to protest deaths in camps.

1944 The Brody pocket begins to form in the northern Ukraine, trapping 40,000 German troops.

The Eighth Army captures Arezzo and reaches the Arno river.

Sixth Army Group (US Seventh Army & French First Army) formed under Lt. Gen. Jacob Devers for Operation Anvil, the invasion of Southern France (later named Operation Dragoon).

Lt. Cdr. Goodwin of New Zealand escapes Japanese POW camp in Hong Kong, swims to mainland China, the only man to escape from Hong Kong.

1945 At 5.30 am, the first atomic bomb is exploded at a test site in Los Alamos, USA.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts:WWII Today: November 23 WWII Today: November 22 WWII Today: September 13

Jul 15

World War II Today: July 15

1940 Unemployment in Britain up 60,431 in June to 827,266, but still down half a million on June 1939. Home Office bans fireworks, kite and balloon flying.

RAF reduces pilot training from three months to one month.

The rector of Old Bolingbroke, England, is sentenced to 4 weeks prison for ringing a church bell. Britain bans fireworks, kites, and balloons.

1941 British MAUD report recommends low yield U-235 bombs by 1943.

British forces enter Beirut.

Double agent Juan Garcia (“Garbo”), working for Britain, sends his first fake communiqué to Berlin.

Germans encircle 300,000 Soviets in Smolensk pocket, which delays the drive on Moscow.

US extends Security Zone from 26˚ W to 22˚ W, including Iceland within western hemisphere defense zone.

A US airbase is established at Argentia in Newfoundland.

1942 Final losses for convoy PQ-17 are 24 ships sunk for 141,721 tons. 8 ships were sunk by the Luftwaffe, 7 by U-boats and another 9 were combined Luftwaffe/U-boat kills. The loss of material was likewise very heavy with 210 aircraft, 430 tanks, 3350 lorries, and 99,316 tons of general cargo going to the bottom of the Arctic Ocean. The Germans lost only 5 planes and no U-boats.

The Germans take Boguchar and Millerovo, less than 200 miles from Stalingrad. However, they have only captured 80,000 Russian’s since the 28th June.

New Zealander troops attack ‘Kidney’ Ridge in three days of fighting, which costs Rommel 2,600 prisoners and 115 guns captured.

The first supply flight from India to China over the ‘Hump’ is flown.

1944 Two Soviet armies from Crimea join the Baltic front so that it can continue its offensive. Russian tank penetrations are only 25 miles from Lvov.

1945 The U.S. Third Fleet shells the steel center on Hokkaido Island in the Japanese homeland. It is reported that 108,000 tons of shipping has been sunk in last two days attacks.

The Australians take Prince Alexander Range in Borneo after an eight-week struggle.

Italy declares war on Japan.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts:WWII Today: January 16 WWII Today: November 16 WWII Today: June 1

Jul 14

World War II Today: July 14

1940 Bastille Day in France declared ‘day of meditation’, de Gaulle and Free French lay wreaths at Cenotaph in London.

Churchill broadcasts that Hitler must recast his invasion plans.

British commandos launch a raid against Guernsey in the Channel Islands, with negligible results.

A force of German bombers attacks Suez, Egypt, from bases in Crete.

1941 Believing the campaign in the East soon to be concluded in Germany’s favor, Hitler orders the German war industry to shift production away from guns and armored vehicles to U-boats and planes.

Army Group North is now only 80 miles from Leningrad.

An armistice is signed at Acre between Vichy and British/Free French forces. This requires all French material to be handed over to the British and gives the Vichy French the choice of joining the Free French or returning to France. Most opt for the latter. During the campaign the Vichy French suffered 3,350 killed or wounded, while the

British and Free French lost about 2,400 men.

1942 A program in occupied France begins. In 3 days 15,000-18,000 Jews are arrested and sent to concentration camps.

Beginning of deportation of Dutch Jews to Auschwitz.

Final losses for PQ17 are 24 out of 35 ships sunk.

The advance by Army Group A towards Rostov continues against minimal Soviet resistance.

A British attack against axis positions to the South of El Alamein is repulsed.

1943 RAF Coastal Command begins daily patrols over the Bay of Biscay with aircraft equipped with new detection devices

to locate and destroy German U-boats leaving and entering their bases on the French coast.

Joining in the counter-offensive by the Central, Bryansk and Western Fronts, the Soviet Voronezh Front launches

attacks against the 4th Panzer Army and Army Detachment Kempf in the southern sector of the Kursk salient.

British and German paratroops fight for key Primosole bridge in Sicily.

1944 Hitler leaves Berchtesgaden for the last time.

A new Russian offensive begins in the northern Ukraine opens with massive support from the Red Air Force and gains up to 10 miles and recaptures Pinsk.

1945 The first Bastille Day for five years is celebrated enthusiastically by the French.

The U.S. Third Fleet shells Kamaishi, 275 miles north of Tokyo.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts:WWII Today: May 1 WWII Today: May 18 WWII Today: December 17

Jul 13

World War II Today: July 13

1940 Hitler issues Directive No. 15 outlining the details of ‘Operation Sea Lion’, the German invasion of the British Isles. In advance of the landings, the Luftwaffe is to begin operations against British defensive positions, airfields and radar installations along the southern coast of England on the 15th August 15 with 2.600 aircraft having been earmarked for this purpose. Hitler declines an Italian offer to participate in the invasion of Britain.

Italians attack British garrison at Moyale in Abyssinia.

1941 Troops of Army Group North continue their advance from Pskov toward Luga, 75 miles from Leningrad.

1942 President Roosevelt orders the establishment of the OSS (Office of Strategic Services), with Colonel Donovan as director.

Hitler switches forces from Army Group B’s drive against Stalingrad, to Army Group A in the Donets Basin, as he was convinced that strong Russian forces were still west of the river Don and was determined to trap them in the Rostov area. This move reduced Army Group B to that of flank protection for Army Group A.

1943 Despite the maximum efforts by the German forces to break through the Soviet defenses at Kursk, no further gains can be made, so Hitler orders the suspension of Operation ‘Citadel’ and orders the transfer of various divisions to the West. The outcome of this battle represents a tremendous victory for the Red Army and ends hopes of any major German offensive operations on the Eastern front in the future.

The British advance into Sicily continues with the capture of Augusta and Ragusa.

The Japanese sink the US destroyer Gwin and severely damage three cruisers for loss of cruiser Jintsu in Kula Gulf.

1944 A Junkers 88, equipped with secret SN-2 radar, lands by mistake on am RAF airfield in Suffolk.

The Russians announce the capture of Vilna and continue their advance into eastern Galicia.

1945 Chifley is elected leader of Labour Party and becomes Prime Minister of Australia.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts:WWII Today: July 25 Words at War: The 9th Commandment WWII Today: March 31

Jul 12

World War II Today: July 12

1940 The Luftwaffe carries out raids on Aberdeen in Scotland and Cardiff in Wales.

Britain and Russia sign mutual assistance agreement in Moscow, pledging ‘no separate peace’.

Britain launches “Pots into Planes” campaign to collect aluminum for military use.

The last Vichy French troops in Syria surrender to British and Free French forces.

1941 Britain and USSR sign mutual assistance pact, pledging not to seek separate peace.

German Luftwaffe bombs Moscow for the first time.

1942 Troops of Army Group North complete the reduction of the Volkhov pocket, taking 30,000 Soviet prisoners, including General Vlasov, CO of the Second Guards Army and later to become C-in-C of the anti-Bolshevik Russian Liberation Army.

The STAVKA establishes the Stalingrad Front under Marshal Timoshenko, from the remnants of the South-West front.

The Australians reach Kokoda, New Guinea, having marched from Port Moresby over Owen Stanley Mountains.

First 49 civilian Coastal Picket Patrol craft go on patrol in Eastern Sea Frontier (off US East Coast).

1943 The greatest tank battle in history’ takes place near Prokhorovka, as the Soviet Central, Bryansk and West Fronts begin a massive counter offensive in the area of Orel, Bryansk and Kursk.

At Krasnograd near Moscow, a group of captured German officers, including Field Marshal Paulus and General von Seydlitz, and exiled German communists form the ‘National Committee for a Free Germany’ that calls for the overthrow of Hitler and the cessation of hostilities against the Soviet Union.

President Roosevelt signs bill establishing the Army Pharmacy Corps; 72 officers authorized, but most pharmacists remained enlisted men.

1944 The US VIII Corps slowly gains ground in its offensive towards St. Lo, against fierce resistance by units of the German 7th Army.

General Theodore Roosevelt Jr., son of the former president, dies of a heart attack in Normandy.

The Nazis close Theresienstadt concentration camp after murdering last 4000 Jews.

1945 Further allied landings are reported on Borneo. The Australians capture Maradi in the west of the island.

On Mindanao in Philippines, US Eighth Army lands at Sarangani Bay to crush final resistance.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts:WWII Today: February 11 WWII Today: January 28 WWII Today: June 3

Jul 11

World War II Today: July 11

1940 Lord Beaverbrook, Minister for Aircraft Production, says ‘the sky is the limit’ for plane purchases from US, with spending running at £2.5 million per day on aircraft.

Marshal Henri Pétain assumes position as Chief of State of Vichy France, with Pierre Laval as Prime Minister

Admiral Raeder, C-in-C of the German Navy expresses his reservations about any invasion of Britain.

1941 Stalin replaces 3 major Soviet commanders appointing Voroshilov for the northern, Timoshenko for the central and Budjenny for the southern fronts. Armored units of Panzer Group 1 advance within 10 miles of Kiev.

Vichy government rejects Syrian armistice terms but Dentz accepts.

US establishes Office of Coordinator of Information under William Donovan to coordinate intelligence and propaganda.

1943 The attacking German forces at Kursk have been depleted by heavy losses in men and armor and have nearly spent their momentum, even though the 4th Panzer Army and Army Detachment Kempf in the southern sector have succeeded in capturing the pivotal town of Prokhorovka. To prevent further attrition, especially of the vital armored forces, Field Marshals von Kluge and von Manstein urge Hitler to call off the operation, but Hitler refuses.

Allied transport planes fired on by US Navy ships in the Sicily invasion-reform of Army Air Force and Navy coordination results.

1944 The US VIII Corps continues its attacks from the Carentan area toward St. Lo, but is meeting with strong German resistance.

The United States formally recognizes the provisional French government of General de Gaulle in London as the de facto government of France.

The Red Army captures the remnants (35,000) of the encircled 4th Army.

1945 At Waw, Burma, British repel attack by remnant of Japanese army.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts:Words at War: It’s Always Tomorrow WWII Today: January 2 WWII Today: January 29

Jul 10

World War II Today: July 10

1940 Birthday Honors list includes only service recipients. British Union Party (Fascists) banned.

Preliminary phase of Battle of Britain begins with German air attacks on Channel convoys with the aim of tempting the RAF in to battle. The Luftwaffe launches its first large scale attack on Britain as 70 aircraft attack the dock facilities at Swansea and the Royal Ordnance Factory at Pembrey in Wales.

1941 Panzer Group 1 repulses a violent Soviet counter-attack in the area of Korosten to the west of Kiev.

The Finnish Karelian Army begins an offensive toward Lake Ladoga to the Northeast of Leningrad.

Germans urge Japan to enter war.

1942 General Carl Spaatz becomes the head of the U.S. Air Force in Europe.

The first two ships of the ill-fated Arctic convoy PQI7, arrive at Archangel.

Germans admit substantial Russian forces are east of the Don. Panzer units of 4th Panzer Army and 6th Army of Army Group B join up just North of Kalach on the Don, while 17th Army and 1st Panzer Army of Army Group A continue their advance toward Rostov.

Admiral Chester Nimitz is awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for meritorious service, with special attention focused on the battles of the Coral Sea and Midway.

1943 Operation ‘Husky’, the Allied invasion of Sicily, is now fully underway with 12 divisions (160,000 men and 600 tanks) of the British Eighth and U.S. Seventh Armies being brought ashore by 3,000 landing craft (200 sunk by rough seas) on the south-east coast of Sicily. While the British approaching Syracuse meet with little German resistance, the U.S. forces are held back by strong counter-attacks of the Hermann Goring and the Italian Livorno Divisions.

1945 The USSR, U.K. and U.S. agree on the administration of greater Berlin and decide that France is to be included.

U.S. carrier-based aircraft begin airstrikes against Japan in preparation for invasion.

1000 bomber raids against Japan begin.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts:WWII Today: February 21 Words at War: Scapegoats In History Combat America Movie by Clark Gable

Jul 09

World War II Today: July 9

1940 Commons passed War Credits of £1,000,000,000. Tea rationing of 2oz per head per week introduced in Britain.

RAF begins night bombing of Germany.

The British submarine Salmon is lost south-west of Stavanger, Norway. The German raider Komet leaves Bergen in Norway for operations in the Pacific via the Northwest Passage in the Arctic Ocean assisted by Russian icebreakers.

The British and Italian fleets make contact at Battle of Cape Spartivento.

The British force includes 1 Aircraft Carrier and 3 Battleships, while the Italian squadron under Admiral Campioni consists of 2 Battleships, 6 heavy and 12 light cruisers. The Italians brake off contact after their flag ship Giulio Cesare is hit and damaged, although they still claim a naval victory.

1941 Panzer Group 3 defeats Russian blocking forces and capture Vitebsk.

General Dentz sues for peace in the Middle East.

1942 Anne Frank and her family go into hiding in the attic above her father’s office in an Amsterdam warehouse.

Renewed German attacks against the British defenses at El Alamein bog down in the face of stubborn British resistance.

1943 Operation ‘Husky’ begins, with the US 82nd and the British 1st Airborne Divisions making the first landings on Sicily at night. However, due to navigational errors, hundreds of U.S. paratroopers are dropped in the sea and are drowned, while many others are widely scattered and miss their assigned targets.

The Russians say that the German attack at Kursk has been held and claim that 2,000 tanks have been destroyed in four days.

At least 12 die as a German hit and run bomber hits East Grinstead cinema during an afternoon performance.

1944 Units of the British Second Army enter Caen which has been reduced to a heap of rubble due to the preceding heavy aerial and artillery bombardments by the British. U.S. XIX Corps begins its push for St. Lo.

A major Russian offensive begins towards Rezekne, to the East of Riga in order to cut off Army Group North in Baltic States. The 2nd Belorussian Front attacks northwest from Vitebsk, the 3rd Belorussian Front attacks West from Psovsk and the Leningrad Front attacks southwest toward Narva.

All Japanese resistance in the Ukhrul area on India-Burma border crushed by the British.

U.S. Marines defeat the Japanese on Saipan after a final Banzai charge. 27,000 Japanese and 3,116 Americans were killed on Saipan.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts:WWII Today: May 29 WWII Today: December 1 WWII Today: January 3