Archive for the ‘WWII History’ Category
1889 Adolf Hitler, the Nazi dictator of Germany who led his country into World War II and was responsible for persecuting millions of Jews, was born.
1940 Danish Army demobilized.
1941 British forces in Greece retreat from Mt. Olympus. King George II heads new Greek government.
Greek forces in Albania surrender.
Luftwaffe launches raid on Athens and Piraeus, sinking five ships—heavy raids will continue for next three days. Riot between Sikhs and Muslims in Bombay, India leads to 400 casualties.
1942 An assassination attempt on Doriol, head of the French Fascists fails. Pierre Laval, the premier of Vichy France, in a radio broadcast, establishes a policy of “true reconciliation with Germany.”
In a reprisal for Resistance sabotage of German troop trains, the Germans execute thirty French hostages at Rouen. The next day, twenty more hostages are killed at St. Nazaire.
Adolf Hitler plans the German summer offensive, but the first priority is to remove the Barvenkovo salient in the Ukraine, which is gives the Russian a springboard to retake Kharkov, or turn South and retake the Ukraine. General Friedrich Paulus, a tall, ascetic Prussian staff officer, draws up the plans for an panzer offensive to pinch out this salient. Amazingly, the Russian are simultaneously planning their own offensive out of the salient.
The US aircraft-carrier Wasp delivers 46 Spitfires to Malta as reinforcement, although such is the intensity of the axis air onslaught (9,599 sorties in April), that almost all these aircraft had been destroyed on the ground within 3 days.
German Jews are banned from using public transportation.
As a result of the Doolittle raid on Japan, the Japanese decide that Operation ‘Mi’ must take place as soon as possible, while plans to capture Samoa, Fiji and New Caledonia are to be postponed.
1943 The limited recruitment of women into the Home Guard is announced in Britain.
The Jewish uprising in Warsaw triggers a massive German response and initiates a month long massacre of the 60,000 Jews in the ghetto.
The Americans announce that their airmen captured in the ‘Doolittle Raid’ on Tokyo were beheaded by Japanese.
1944 Colonel General Hans V. Hube, whose hard-charging aggressiveness on the Eastern Front had made him one of Hitler’s favorites, is killed when his plane crashes on takeoff from Berchtesgaden on the return trip to his command after offering the Fuhrer birthday greetings. Grief-stricken at losing such an outstanding commander, Hitler orders a state funeral for Hube in the Reich Chancellery in Berlin.
1945 The British Home Secretary says that 60,585 British civilians have died and 86,175 have been seriously injured in air attacks since outbreak of war.
The U.S. Seventh Army takes Nuremberg.
The U.S. Fifth Army reaches the Po river Plain in northern Italy as a German retreat to river ordered.
Russian artillery begins to shell Berlin. The Germans desperately counterattack both North and South of Frankfurt an der Oder. A Furious battles takes place at Sternbeck and Protzel.
In Czechoslovakia the Russian pressure increases at Moravska-Ostrava and Brno.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: January 13 WWII Today: December 30 WWII Today: October 6
1940 ‘State of Siege’ is extended to the whole of Netherlands.
The first clash between British and German troops in Norway, at Verdal north of Trondheim
1941 Luftwaffe sends 712 bombers to London, 449 killed, including 34 firemen, the largest single loss of firefighters in British history.
British women ages 20-30 are conscripted for war work; mothers of children under 14 are exempt.
A Brigade from the British 10th Indian Division land at Basra in southern Iraq.
The Germans attack south through Greece on a wide front. The Greek Government agrees that British forces should be evacuated. General Wilson plans to make a strong stand at Thermopylae, to cover the withdrawal of his troops to ports in the Peloponnese.
1942 Resistance on Cebu Island ends as the US-Filipino garrison surrenders to the Japanese.
1943 During World War II, tens of thousands of Jews living in the Warsaw Ghetto began a valiant but futile battle against Nazi forces.
1945 The British Second Army reaches the Elbe and launches an attack on Bremen. The U.S. First Army captures Leipzig and Halle, 50 miles South of Magdeburg. On the eve of Hitler’s 56th birthday, Dr. Goebbels exhorts the nation and predicts that in spite of all misfortunes Germany will yet prevail, that the “perverse coalition between Bolshevism and Plutocracy” is about to break up, and that it is Adolf Hitler (“Our Hitler!”) who will still turn back the tide and save Europe, as he has thus far, from falling into the clutches of the Kremlin.
The 1st Belorussian Front finally breaks through the German defenses on the Seelow heights, despite heavy losses in men and tanks (over 400 in two days) and races towards Berlin.
U.S. troops encounter very stiff resistance by the Japanese at ‘Bloody Ridge’ on Ie Island.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: June 1 Capt Ben Dix WWII Cartoon WWII Today: September 14
In the months following the Japanese on Pearl Harbor and America’s entry into World War II, the nation direly needed a morale boost. The idea for a retaliatory strike on Tokyo itself arose in January 1942, aimed to both lift spirits at home and shatter the Japanese belief that their Home Islands are safe from attack. This became known as the Doolittle Raid. The U.S. had no airbases from which long-range heavy bombers could have reached Japan. Although not designed for naval use, several medium bombers were considered for a special mission in which they would take off from a carrier. Most of these planes could not take off from the short flight deck or they were too large to be carried in adequate numbers. However, the new, unproven B-25 Mitchell seemed to be just what was needed.
Lt. Col. James Doolittle, a noted aviator, planned the attack. A pioneer of blind flying, in 1929 Doolittle became the first pilot to take off, fly and land using only instruments.
Even the B-25 could not land on a carrier once airborne, so the raid had to take off from a ship, attack Japan, and then land at an airbase. The Soviet Union was approached but refused to cooperate. The Red Army put all its strength into stopping Hitler’s invasion in the western part of the country, leaving the Soviet Far East unguarded. Helping the Americans could have provoked a Japanese invasion, a risk the country could not take. Nationalist China, already fighting Japan, stepped up to the plate and offered to receive the bombers after their flight.
The B-25s had to be modified to carry additional fuel for the long mission. Unnecessary equipment and armaments were removed and auxiliary fuel tanks were installed. The famous Norden bombsight did not work well at the low altitudes from which the raid was supposed to attack from, so a makeshift replacement was invented. Named “Mark Twain,” the device could be built out of 20 cents’ worth of material.
The planes did not have tail machine guns. Doolittle had dummy gun barrels fashioned from broomsticks and installed on the planes to deter Japanese fighters from attacking from behind.
Admiral “Bull” Halsey led the naval force for the raid. The force comprised the USS Hornet carrying the B-25s, the USS Enterprise providing air cover and a few attendant ships. Having no chance against the Japanese in a straight fight, the small fleet had to rely on stealth.
On the morning of April 18, 1942, the fleet was 650 nautical miles (750 mi) from Japan when a Japanese picket ship spotted it. The vessel was quickly sunk, but not before it could alert Tokyo on the radio. The task force was supposed to travel another 170 nautical miles before launching the bombers, but a decision was made to bring the timetable forward.
The 16 bombers, of the Doolittle Raid, took off immediately and reached Japan six hours later. The Japanese did not expect ship-based planes to be launched from so far away, and the anti-air defense was light. The raid successfully dropped its bombs and strafed targets over Tokyo and several other cities, but at four bombs per plane, the damage was light.
Since the raid launched from farther away than initially planned, the planes were now low on fuel. One plane headed for Soviet territory and landed there. The crew was interned but treated well. In 1943, they “escaped” with help from the Russian NKVD secret police and made it back home. The other 15 planes flew on to China. Several landing fields along the coast were equipped with radio transponders and held fuel for the planes. The U.S. Navy, however, did not signal the Chinese in time, so the transponders were left off, and the Doolittle Raiders could not find the fields. Running on fumes and with night approaching, the crews either bailed out or crash-landed one by one.
Three men died bailing out. The Japanese captured eight, executing three of them, and one died in captivity. Everyone else, however, made it out safely. The Chinese received them warmly and helped them return to U.S. forces.
The Japanese knew that the bombers that hit the Home Islands must have landed in China and exacted a terrible revenge. A military campaign was launched to destroy airfields and the Chinese forces that might assist similar raids in the future. Any Chinese civilians found in possession of American items (the crews left behind many souvenirs) were killed. The operation included germ warfare and resulted in the death of 70,000 Chinese soldiers and 250,000 civilians.
Though the Doolittle Raid caused little material damage, it was a tremendous morale boost to America and a psychological blow to Japan. Having lost all his bombers, Doolittle considered the mission a failure and expected a court martial on his return home. Instead, he received a hero’s welcome, the Medal of Honor and a two-rank promotion, going from lieutenant colonel to brigadier general in one step.
A medal attached to one of the bombs dropped in the raid. Several “medals of friendship,” awarded to American military personnel by the Japanese government before the war, were returned in this way during Doolittle’s flight.
The Doolittle Raid or Tokyo Raid, had far-reaching consequences that went unrecognized at the time. Japan expanded the empire’s perimeter in the Pacific after the small fleet, which got so close yet unnoticed, had shattered their feelings of security. This expansion included invading the American base at Midway Atoll. This attempt, culminated in the Battle of Midway, which was the turning point of the Pacific war. The shift of initiative that resulted from the battle led to the eventual Allied victory.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: April 18 WWII Today: July 20 WWII Today: August 4
1940 British submarine Starlet sunk off Norway.
Germans advance further north of Oslo. More British troops are landed at Aandalesnes in Norway with the plan of co-operating with the British and French troops already at Namsos to surround and then retake Trondheim. However, the Norwegian commander, General Ruge persuaded the Aandalesnes force, to move south in order to give support to his troops still holding out at Lillehammer.
1941 Britain warns that if Cairo is bombed, then the RAF will attack Rome.
The German 12th Army forces a crossing of the river Aliakmon between the Greek First Army and the British forces. Athens is placed under martial law. Greek Prime Minister, Alexandros Korizis commits suicide.
1942 The entire US eastern seaboard is ordered to black-out its lights at night, in an attempt to reduce the success of the U-boats at night.
Colonel James H. Doolittle leads 16 US Army B25 bombers from the carrier Hornet in first ever air raid on Japan. They took of from the carrier Hornet, about 750 miles east of Tokyo. Escort fighters were provided by the carrier Enterprise. Bombs were dropped on Tokyo, Kobe, Yokohama, Nagoya and Yokosuka. Only one aircraft was damaged during the raid, although all 16 were lost on crash landings in China. The material damage inflicted by the raid was minimal, although the damage to Japanese prestige was considerable and gave the allies a boost when their fortunes in the Pacific were at a low ebb. of the southwest Pacific theatre are established in Melbourne.
1943 The German 17th Army begins its attacks to eliminate the Russian beachhead at Novorossiysk, but fails and gives up on the 23rd April.
U.S. code breakers pinpoint the location of Japanese Admiral Yamamoto flying in a Japanese bomber near Bougainville in the Solomon Islands. “Operation Vengeance” is conceived to locate and shoot down Yamamoto. Eighteen P-38 fighters from the U.S. Army’s 339th Fighter Squadron of the 347th Fighter Group, Thirteenth Air Force, was given the mission. Their P-38G aircraft, equipped with drop tanks, would have the range to intercept and engage and shoot him down. >
1944 The Foreign Office bans all coded messages from foreign embassies and says that diplomatic bags are to be censored. Only the fighting allies are to be excluded from the ban.
The Russians take Balaclava.
The first reinforcements for the British garrison at Kohima begin to arrive. Japanese forces launch a new offensive in central China.
1945 Famed American war correspondent Ernie Pyle, 44, was killed by Japanese gunfire on the Pacific island of Ie Shima, off Okinawa.
The Ruhr pocket is finally annihilated, with 317,000 Germans being captured, including 29 generals. The U.S. Ninth Army takes Magdeburg. The U.S. First Army enters DÃ¼sseldorf. General De Lattre’s French troops link up at Freudenstadt behind the Black Forest. The British Second Army captures Ãœlzen and LÃ¼neburg. The US Third Army captures NÃ¼rnberg advancing units across the German/Czechoslovakian frontier.
Between Stettin and Schwedt the 2nd Belorussian front breaks through the Oder defenses, pressuring Army Group Weichsel even more. The 1st Ukrainian Front captures Forst on the Neisse river. North of Frankfurt, while the 1st Belorussian Front continues its attack to take the Seelow Heights, gradually wearing down the vastly outnumbered German defenders.
The British Fourteenth Army in central Burma captures the Chaulk oil centre on the Irrawaddy.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: Doolittle Raid WWII Today: April 14 WWII Today: May 17 WWII Today: March 7 1940 British submarine Starlet sunk off Norway.Germans advance further north of Oslo. More British troops are landed at Aandalesnes in Norway with the plan of co-operating with the British and French troops already at Namsos to surround and then retake Trondheim. However, the Norwegian commander, General Ruge persuaded the Aandalesnes force, to move south in order to give support to his troops still holding out at Lillehammer.1941 Britain warns that if Cairo is bombed, then the RAF will attack Rome.The German 12th Army forces a crossing of the river Aliakmon between the Greek First Army and the British forces. Athens is placed under martial law. Greek Prime Minister, Alexandros Korizis commits suicide.1942 The entire US eastern seaboard is ordered to black-out its lights at night, in an attempt to reduce the success of the U-boats at night.Colonel James H. Doolittle leads 16 US Army B25 bombers from the carrier Hornet in first ever air raid on Japan. They took of from the carrier Hornet, about 750 miles east of Tokyo. Escort fighters were provided by the carrier Enterprise. Bombs were dropped on Tokyo, Kobe, Yokohama, Nagoya and Yokosuka. Only one aircraft was damaged during the raid, although all 16 were lost on crash landings in China. The material damage inflicted by the raid was minimal, although the damage to Japanese prestige was considerable and gave the allies a boost when their fortunes in the Pacific were at a low ebb.The Headquarters of the southwest Pacific theatre are established in Melbourne.1943 The German 17th Army begins its attacks to eliminate the Russian beachhead at Novorossiysk, but fails and gives up on the 23rd April.U.S. code breakers pinpoint the location of Japanese Admiral Yamamoto flying in a Japanese bomber near Bougainville in the Solomon Islands. “Operation Vengeance” is conceived to locate and shoot down Yamamoto. Eighteen P-38 fighters from the U.S. Army’s 339th Fighter Squadron of the 347th Fighter Group, Thirteenth Air Force, was given the mission. Their P-38G aircraft, equipped with drop tanks, would have the range to intercept and engage and shoot him down.1944 The Foreign Office bans all coded messages from foreign embassies and says that diplomatic bags are to be censored. Only the fighting allies are to be excluded from the ban.The Russians take Balaclava.The first reinforcements for the British garrison at Kohima begin to arrive. Japanese forces launch a new offensive in central China.1945 The Ruhr pocket is finally annihilated, with 317,000 Germans being captured, including 29 generals. The U.S. Ninth Army takes Magdeburg. The U.S. First Army enters DÃ¼sseldorf. General De Lattre’s French troops link up at Freudenstadt behind the Black Forest. The British Second Army captures Ãœlzen and LÃ¼neburg. The US Third Army captures NÃ¼rnberg advancing units across the German/Czechoslovakian frontier.Between Stettin and Schwedt the 2nd Belorussian front breaks through the Oder defenses, pressuring Army Group Weichsel even more. The 1st Ukrainian Front captures Forst on the Neisse river. North of Frankfurt, while the 1st Belorussian Front continues its attack to take the Seelow Heights, gradually wearing down the vastly outnumbered German defenders.The British Fourteenth Army in central Burma captures the Chaulk oil centre on the Irrawaddy.Famed American war correspondent Ernie Pyle, 44, was killed by Japanese gunfire on the Pacific island of Ie Shima, off Okinawa.
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