Archive for the ‘January’ Category

Jan 04

World War II Today: January 4

1940 The 16th Australian Brigade marches through the streets of Sydney.

Britain requisitions all merchant ships for war effort.

1941 Free French lead Tuareg and Tibesti tribesmen from Chad to destroy Italian air base at Murzuk, Libya, having crossed 468km of desert.

German-born singer-actress Marlene Dietrich becomes US citizen.

1942 The Red Army captures Kaluga to the southwest of Moscow.

Chiang Kai-shek is appointed as Supreme allied commander in China.

Japanese begin pre-invasion air attacks on the major British naval and air base of Rabaul in the Bismarcks in the South Pacific.

1943 The Japanese Navy orders the evacuation of Guadalcanal by the end of the month.

Polish resistance attacks Germans in Czestochowa but fail, 251 killed.

Earl Warren inaugurated for first of three terms as California governor, but declines to have ceremony due to war.

1944 The Germans announce the mobilization of school children for war work.

Church authorities at the Abbey of Monte Cassino give Luftwaffe permission to remove artwork to Germany.

Fascist northern Italy seizes Jewish assets and forbids Jews from owning land or stock.

The Soviet 27th Army took Bila Tserkva southwest of Kiev.

The Soviet 1st Ukrainian Front pushed Erich von Manstein’s Army Group South back beyond the pre-war Polish border at Sarny.

The U.S. Fifth Army attacked the southern end of the Gustav Line along a 10-mile front.

1945 The USA issue’s its casualty figures to 21st December 1944 as 135,323 killed, 362,824 wounded, 75,844 missing and 64,148 captured.

In Burma, British secure Akyab Island; Burma is now secured from Akyab to Mandalay, and north of the Irrawaddy River.

The American escort carrier USS Ommaney Bay was severely damaged in the Sulu Sea by a Japanese kamikaze attack. The ship was abandoned and then scuttled by a torpedo from the destroyer USS Burns.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Yank Pin Up: Diana Mumby WWII Today: February 22 WWII Today: June 11

Jan 03

World War II Today: January 3

1940 President Roosevelt calls for $1.8 billion in defense appropriations.

1941 The Luftwaffe’s X Fliegerkorps arrives in Italy.

In their first major action in WWII the Australian 6th Division breaks through the Italian defences around Bardia,

After suffering heavy losses, the Italian Air Force withdraws its aircraft from supporting the German Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain.

1942 At the U.S. Army Air Forces Headquarters James H. Doolittle begins planning an air raid against Japan

Churchill and Roosevelt announce the unified ABDA (American, British, Dutch and Australian) Command in the Southwest Pacific, under General Wavell, with Lieutenant General Brett as his deputy.

Japanese land at Brunei on Borneo in Netherlands East Indies.

Gen. Chiang Kai-shek named Commander in Chief of Allied Forces in China.

1943 Army Group A begins a general withdrawal from the Caucasus.

Convoy JW-51B arrives without loss at Murmansk.

Soviets take Mozdok and Malgobek in Caucasus.

Germans defeat French and take Fondouk Pass in Tunisia.

1944 Monty is reported to be back in Britain in order to take command of the British contingent of the Allied Expeditionary Force.

The US Fifth Army begins an offensive against the German forces in Italy who are entrenched in the Gustav Line along the Rapido river, with its centre at Cassino.

Top US Marine ace, Maj. Gregory “Pappy” Boyington, shot down by Japanese Zero near Rabaul, but he survives the war as a POW.

In the Solomons, US launches offensive on New Britain from Cape Gloucester.

1945 The U.S. First Army counter-attacks on the northern side of the Ardennes salient.

British troops take Akyab in western Burma, unopposed.

The fighting ends in Manila.

US Navy organizes hunter-killer group to intercept U-boat believed to be bound for New York with V-weapons.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: February 3 WWII Today: February 6 WWII Today: April 27

Jan 02

World War II Today: January 2

1932 Japanese forces in Manchuria set up a puppet government known as Manchukuo.

1936 In Berlin, Nazi officials claim that their treatment of Jews is not the business of the League of Nations.

1940 Charles Edison (son of Thomas) becomes US Secretary of the Navy.

1941 Royal Navy bombards Bardia in North Africa day and night.

1942 The Red Army achieves a breakthrough at Rzhev.

British troops are outflanked by the Japanese at Kampar in Malaya and begin to withdraw to the river Slim.

Japanese troops enter Manila and the U.S. Naval base at Cavite falls as US-Filipino forces retreat into the Bataan Peninsula.

British and South African troops take Bardia, Libya after a long siege.

Thirty-three members of a German spy ring under Fritz Duquesne are convicted in the largest espionage case in US history.

US Army orders 300,000 D-ration chocolate bars from Hershey, designed to melt at higher temperatures and not taste too good, so

1943

Romanian dictator Ion Antonescu meets with Hitler and expresses concern about the unfolding disaster at Stalingrad.

Germans begin a withdrawal from the Caucasus.

The allies take Buna in New Guinea.

The Libian port of Tripoli is closed to Axis ships due to Allied bombing.

1944 Hitler’s Chancellery is reported 75 per cent destroyed with many trapped in the shelters below after a direct hit during an RAF raid on Berlin.

Wing Commander John Cunningham makes it 19-all with Wing Commander J. R. Braham in night-fighter air-ace’s ‘league’.

US Marines land at Saidor in northern New Guinea.

1945 Danish saboteurs wreck a V2 factory in Copenhagen.

Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsey dies in plane crash near Paris and becomes the fourth prominent allied leader to die like this.

American Sikorsky helicopter is used in convoy escort for first time.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: December 21 WWII Today: November 21 Words at War: D-Day 5th War Bond Drive Special

Jan 01

World War II Today: January 1

1940 Conscription extended to 20 – 27 in Britain.

1941 Hitler, in his New Year’s order of the day to the German armed forces, promises “…completion, on the Western Front, of the greatest victory in our history…”

The Western Desert Force is renamed as the XIII Corps.

Arcadia Conference, Washington DC, 1 Jan 1942 (US Government photo)

1942 British forces take Bardia, along with 8,000 Axis prisoners.

Roosevelt and Churchill sign the “Declaration by the United Nations” at the Arcadia Conference in Washington; 24 other Allied nations will sign it, promising not to seek a separate peace.

US discontinues automobile manufacturing for civilian sale for the duration; 500,000 remain in stock.

The Rose Bowl held at Duke in Durham NC due to ban on large gatherings on the West Coast (Oregon State defeats Duke 20-16).

1943 The 1st Panzer Army in the Caucasus begin withdrawing from the Terek front to avoid being cut off by Soviet forces attacking from the northeast toward Rostov-on-Don.

In Rose Bowl, Georgia beats UCLA 9-0 in both schools’ first appearance in Rose Bowl and UCLA’s first bowl game.

1944 Field Marshal Rommel is appointed C-in-C of Army Group B, the German forces in France north of the Loire river.

General Mark Clark takes over the U.S. Seventh Army in addition to the command of the U.S. Fifth Army.

Gen. Alexander Vandegrift replaces Gen. Thomas Holcomb as commandant, US Marine Corps.

The US penny production switched from steel to an alloy with copper from used shell casings.

1945 Germans launch Nordwind offensive against US Seventh and French Armies into Alsace toward Strasbourg, and 900 Luftwaffe aircraft strafe Allied air bases in France and Belgium, destroying 200 aircraft but losing 300.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Winchester Ad WWII Today: November 23 WWII Today: August 5

Jan 31

World War II Today: January 31

1940 Sir John Simon announces food subsidies are running at £1,000,000 per week.

1941 The new recruits of the ‘Nordland’ Regiment give their oath to SS Reichsführer Himmler in Oslo.

The Italian garrison at Metemma in northern Abyssinia, having been under increasing pressure for the past 3 weeks, begins to withdraw towards Gondar, allowing the 9th Indian Brigade to occupy the town.

The Japanese intervene in the conflict between Vichy France and Thailand, imposing an armistice on the French, which they are powerless to refuse.

1942 SS Einsatzgruppe A reports a tally of 229,052 Jews killed.

British and Commonwealth forces complete their evacuation of Malaya and withdraw to Singapore Island across the causeway with the Japanese only 8 miles away. Singapore now has the equivalent of four divisions to defend it, but morale is low and there are serious shortages of weapons. An additional Indian Brigade is landed at Rangoon and sent to join the 17th Indian Division.

1943 RAF Bomber Command makes first operational use of H2S radar.

Vichy France creates the Milice (Militia), under the command of Joseph Darnand, an extreme right-wing World War 1 veteran, to combat the Resistance. The Milice effectively becomes an arm of the German Occupation and reaches a strength of more than 20,000 by mid-1944.

The exhausted troops of 6th Army’s southern pocket, having expended their last ammunition, surrender to the Red Army. The Russians capture Field Marshal Paulus and 16 generals.

Eighth Army takes Zuara, near the Tunisian frontier.

1944 The U.S. 34th Division crosses the Rapido.

US forces attack the Marshall Islands, landing on Kwajalein, Roi and Namur. Land fighting begins in the Dutch New Guinea.

1945 Private Eddie Slovik became the only U.S. soldier since the Civil War to be executed for desertion.

Pvt Eddie Slovik

Two of Zhukov’s armies establish a bridgehead on the Oder, to the North of Küstrin and less than 40 miles from Berlin.

U.S. planes sink the Japanese floating dock at Singapore.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: January 4 WWII Today: February 20 WWII Today: January 25

Jan 30

World War II Today: January 30

1933 Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany

1939 Hitler threatens Jews during Reichstag speech.

1941 Australian troops capture Derna as the Italians begin to withdraw towards Benghazi. The 1st South African Division launches a feint attack against Mega in southern Abyssinia, in order to prevent the Italians from sending troops to reinforce their hard pressed forces in Somaliland.

Hitler, speaking at the Berlin Sports Palace, reaffirms his prewar prophecy concerning the Jews; once again telling an audience that “the result of this war will be the complete annihilation of the Jews.”

The 4th Indian Division continues to withdraw along the coast road towards Derna.

The Japanese capture Moulmein and its airfield in Burma as the British forces evacuate and withdraw across the river Salween.

The British withdraw to Singapore Island with the Japanese only 8 miles away.

Japanese forces capture the important naval base of Amboina between Celebes and New Guinea.

US Army awards contract to Northrop to develop a night fighter. Resulting in the Northrop P-61C Black Widow.

1943 With the German Sixth Army in its death throes at Stalingrad, Hitler does the seemingly unthinkable and allows the 10th anniversary of the Nazi seizure of power to pass without speaking to the nation. It is the first unmistakable evidence of Hitler’s retreat from public appearances as the tide of the war turns.

Ernst Kaltenbrunner succeeds Heydrich as head of RSHA.

1944 The Russians attack towards Nikopol on the southern Dnieper.

A U.S. Ranger battalion is wiped out at Anzio.

British attacks on the ‘Golden Fortress’ in the Arakan, Burma cease.

1945 In the Baltic Sea, 7000 refugees drown when the Soviet submarine S-13 sinks the German liner Wilhelm Gustloff. The incident the largest single naval disaster in history.

On the twelfth anniversary of his coming to power, Hitler, calls for fanatical resistance by soldiers and civilians and predicts that “…in this struggle for survival it will not be inner Asia that will conquer, but the people that has defended Europe for centuries against the onslaughts from the East, the German nation…”

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: April 21 WWII Today: February 6 WWII Today: March 2

Jan 29

World War II Today: January 29

1940 The Soviet Union reopens negotiations with Finland through Sweden and indicates that it may withdraw its support for Otto Kuusinen’s puppet government should the Finns come to terms. The Finnish 9th Division launches an attack with the aim of destroying the Russian 54th Division in Kuhmo.

Luftwaffe attacks British shipping in Channel, sinking four ships.

1941  US and Britain begin secret joint discussions in Washington which will lead to ABC-1 Plan in case of America entering war against Germany.

1942 RAF Bomber Command mounts an attack to sink the Tirpitz, while she is at anchor in Trondheim. The raid is unsuccessful as the Tirpitz survives unscathed

German forces capture Benghazi, along with a large quantity of supplies.

Iran signs treaty of alliance with Britain and USSR, which promise to depart Iran 6 months after Axis defeat.

German troops under Gen. Erwin Rommel retake Benghazi, Libya from British.

1943 Dr. Ernst Kaltenbrunner is appointed the successor to Heydrich.

The Nazi party’s 10th Anniversary celebrations are disrupted by the RAF’s first low-level daylight Mosquito air attack on Berlin.

Nazis order all Gypsies arrested and sent to extermination camps.

Admiral Donitz takes over from Admiral Raeder as C-in-C of the German Navy.

Advance units of the Eighth Army cross the Tunisian frontier from Libya.

Japanese aircraft attack Wau airfield.

1944 The Luftwaffe bombs London, while 800 USAAF bombers drop 1,800 tons of bombs on Frankfurt am Main and Ludwigshafen. The RAF hit Berlin for the 14th time.

USS Missouri launched at New York Navy Yard, the US Navy’s last battleship.

1945 The allied thrust into Rhineland continues with the capture of Oberhausen, 10 miles Northeast of Duisberg. Quisling meets Hitler in Berlin for the last time.

US Eighth Army lands in Subic Bay, Luzon; takes San Marcelino airfields.

Seaman Leon LeRoy, returning home to Antioch, California to comfort his recently widowed mother, is bumped off his flight by the dog of Col. Elliott Roosevelt, son of the president.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: March 24 WWII Today: February 4 WWII Today: January 23

Jan 28

World War II Today: January 28

1932 The Japanese attack Shanghai, China, and declare martial law.

1940 King George of Britain announces court will not be held this year due to the war.

1941 French General Charles DeGaulle’s Free French forces sack south Libya oasis.

Thai bombers hit Sisophon, French Indochina, final combat in Franco-Thai war.

1942 Timoshenko’s offensive in the Ukraine slows down after a 60-mile thrust.

German forces recapture Benghazi.

US Navy pilot claims to sink U-boat, radios “Sighted sub—sank same,” but no U-boat was sunk, an honest error.

US Eighth Air Force activated in Savannah, Georgia under Brig. Gen. Asa Duncan; originally intended for North Africa but will serve in Britain.

US Naval Magazine at Port Chicago CA established as subcommand of Naval Ammunition Depot at Mare Island.

1943 The whole of the German workforce is mobilized for ‘total war’. All men aged 16-65 and women aged 17- 50 to be registered.

Japanese attempt final drive for Port Moresby, New Guinea.

US military begins accepting Nisei (Japanese-American) volunteers.

1944 To make clear their displeasure about ongoing assistance to the Nazi war effort by Francisco Franco’s Spain, the United States and Britain announce a total oil embargo of the country. With Spanish life grinding to a virtual standstill, Franco agrees finally to cease supplying the Germans with critical war materials and to withdraw the last Spanish troops fighting with the Germans in Russia. By May, the embargo is lifted.

The Red Army succeeds in encircling several German divisions in the area of Cherkassy.

Over Anzio, the US 99th Fighter Squadron (Tuskegee Airmen) in 16 P-40s shoots down 4 German Fw 190s—the previous day they shot down 8 Fw 190s.

1945 The Ardennes salient is finally eradicated.

The first convoy for three years reaches China through Burma.

Ledo-Burma Road reopens as first Allied convoy crosses into China; in the ceremony, Chiang Kai-shek renames it the Stilwell Road, in honor of General Joseph Stilwell.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: January 17 WWII Today: February 1 Words at War: Battle Hymn of China

Jan 27

World War II Today: January 27

1939 President Franklin D. Roosevelt approves the sale of U.S. war planes to France.

1940 Hitler personally takes over planning for the invasion of Norway, ’Plan Weser’.

1941 The 7th Armoured Division captures Mechili. Meanwhile the Australians have bumped into strong Italian defences at Derna and so Wavell decides to halt further offensive action until reinforcements and supply can be brought up.

1942 German troops launch a feint attack from Msus, towards Mechili. This successfully deceives the British in to believing that the Germans will attempt cut the coast road far to the east of Benghazi and so they begin to hurriedly evacuate the 4th Indian Division from Benghazi along the coast road.

Japanese troops land at Pemangkat on the west coast of Dutch Borneo.

The Irish Premier, de Valera protests at the arrival of US troops in Ulster. President Roosevelt is said to be amazed by this.

First Japanese warship sunk by a U.S. submarine, when the USS Gudgeon sinks the IJN submarine I-173.

USS Gudgeon

1943 The USAAF makes its first raid on Germany with a force of B-17’s and B-24’s hitting Emden and Wilhelmshaven in daylight.

1944 The thirteenth heavy raid on Berlin inflicts an estimated 6,000 dead.

The Germans counter-attack the French at Cassino.

Leningraders are told that the blockade has been lifted after 900 days. The Soviet 1st Ukrainian Front launches an offensive against Luzk and Rovno. Hitler lectures all his eastern front army commanders on National Socialism as the Russians cut off 60,000 men in Korsun Pocket, 100 miles to the southeast of Kiev. Army Group North’s commander, Von Küchler orders the eighteenth army to pull back to the river Luga.

1945 Russians troops capture Memel on Baltic Coast after the German evacuation, which now leaves the whole of Lithuania in Russian hands. German forces begin evacuating the vital coal mining and industrial region of Upper Silesia.

Soviet troops liberate Auschwitz. By this time, an estimated 2,000,000 persons, including 1,500,000 Jews, have been murdered there.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: April 12 WWII Today: January 8 WWII Today: February 9 J.R.R. Tolkien Quote

Jan 26

World War II Today: January 26

1940 US-Japan Trade Treaty of 1911 lapses—US refuses to negotiate while Japanese troops are in China.

Brooms in Britain to be made with square handles to save timber.

1941 The Italians evacuate Mechiliduring the night.

1942 The US-Filipino withdrawal to the Bagac-Orion line is successfully completed. The Japanese quickly followed up the withdrawal and made several penetrations in to the defensive new line, although these were all contained and thrown back.

First US Army troops arrive in Britain: Convoy AT-10 carrying the 34th Infantry Division arrives in Belfast to relieve British troops.

WWII First troops of the American Expeditionary Force lands in Northern Ireland.

1943 The Stalingrad pocket is split in two. Voronezh is captured.

The Eighth Army takes Zaula in Libya, less than 100 miles from Tunisian frontier.

1944 The British launch their main attack on the Japanese ‘Golden Fortress’ in the Arakan, Burma.

Landing ship LST-422 damaged by a mine off Anzio; of 700 aboard, 454 US soldiers & 29 British sailors killed.

Allied ships are ordered to withdraw from the Anzio beachhead to reduce risk from air raid.

Argentina severs relations with Germany & Japan after a vast Axis spy ring is uncovered in the country.

1945 Himmler is put in command of Army Group Vistula by Hitler. The Russians isolate three German armies in East Prussia. The Red Army captures Kattowitz in Upper Silesia. Auschwitz concentration camp is captured by the Russians, but they find fewer than 3,000 survivors as the SS has moved most of the remaining prisoners to camps inside Germany.

Soviets reach the Prussian coast at Elbing, cutting East Prussia off from Germany.

Sandakan Death March begins: Japanese march 470 Indonesian civilians and Australian POWs across North Borneo, only 6 will survive war.

Lt. Audie Murphy is awarded the Medal of Honor.

Lt. Audie Murphy is awarded the Medal of Honor.

Audie Murphy Reproduction Dog Tags

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: December 6 WWII Today: December 10 WWII Today: November 23