Archive for the ‘July’ Category

Jul 31

World War II Today: July 31

1940 Hitler appraised the Army plan for the invasion of Britain at a conference of his top Military chiefs. The Navy criticize the plan for being on a too broad a front, requiring 2,500 barges in order to transport the invading forces, which cant be concentrated before the 15th of September at the earliest. The Army refute these arguments, saying that too narrow a front would allow the British to concentrate what forces they posses.

Hitler formally announces to his military commanders that he has decided to invade Russia.

In Lithuania, Japanese Consul Chiune Sugihara begins writing thousands of visas for Jews to flee through the USSR into Japanese-controlled China.

First Mitsubishi Zero is delivered to the Japanese navy.

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

During July, 501 British civilians died in air raids.

Goering instructs Heydrich to prepare for Final Solution.

Joseph Terboven declares a state of emergency in Norway.

Army Group North, which is slowly advancing toward Leningrad, reaches Lake Ilmen, to the south of Novgorod. However, its troops are very fatigued due to the marshes and heavily wooded terrain.

1942 Heavy RAF night raid on Düsseldorf.

The German advance into the Northern Caucasus continues.

1944 The British VIII Corps begins ‘Operation Bluecoat’, an assault towards the river Vire. The U.S. 4th Armoured Division captures Avranches, having advanced 35 miles and taken 20,000 prisoners since the 25th July.

The Soviet army takes Kovno, the capital of Lithuania.

The last Japanese counter-attack on Tinian is annihilated. U.S. forces make further landings on the North West coast of Dutch New Guinea and begin a jungle push from Aitape.

1945 The French collaboration trials have so far resulted in 1,629 death sentences, 757 hard labour for life, 5,328 other hard labour, 1,136 solitary confinement, 11,073 prison sentences, 22,137 to suffer national degradation and 3,564 acquitted.

Former head of Vichy French government, Pierre Laval, is sent from Spain to Austria under pressure from France; he is immediately arrested by the Americans and turned over to the French. He will be executed October 15 for collaborating with the Nazis.

A British midget submarine attack on Singapore sinks the Japanese heavy cruiser Takao.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts:WWII Today: November 18 Words at War: The Curtain Rises WWII Today: May 22

Jul 30

World War II Today: July 30

1940 The Luftwaffe ceases major raids over Britain as it builds up strength for it forth coming onslaught.

Act of Havana signed to prevent German takeover of colonies.

First Free Polish fighter squadron is formed in Britain.

1941 Polish-Soviet agreement of cooperation signed at London.

US gunboat Tutiula damaged by Japanese planes near Chungking.

British planes from carriers bomb Petsamo.

17 Japanese ‘spy’ fishing boats seized by US in Hawaiian waters.

1942 The Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Services (WAVES) is authorized by the U.S. Congress.

The Red Army launches a counter-offensive at Rzhev, which leads to the temporary encirclement of six German divisions, although these are successfully supplied by massive air drops from the Luftwaffe. Army Group A consolidates its bridgehead over the Manych River, while Army Group B struggles to reduce the Soviet bridgehead at Kalach in the Don Estuary west of Stalingrad.

Chinese recapture Tsingtien in Eastern Chekiang, cutting off the Japanese at Wenchow.

Japanese capture crucial islands en route to New Guinea.

1943 Hamburg is bombed for a third time.

Army Group A losses the initiative in its attack to secure its positions along the Mius River.

Six British divisions attack at Caumont, 15 miles East of St. Lo.

1945 British, U.S. and French troops enter Vienna.

The Japanese reject the Potsdam ultimatum, so the Joint Chiefs order the plans for Japanese surrender to be drawn up.

After delivering parts of the first atomic bomb to the island of Tinian, a Japanese submarine sinks the Cruiser U.S.S. Indianapolis resulting in the loss of 881 crewmen. The ship sinks before a radio message can be sent out leaving survivors adrift for two days.

US War Relocation Authority announces all but one internment camp for Japanese (Tule Lake) to close by December 15.

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Jul 29

World War II Today: July 29

1940 Eighty (80) German planes attack Dover harbour; British claim 17 down; Air Ministry accuses Germans of using Red Cross planes for reconnaissance. Germany apologizes to Eire for Wexford bombing. Intense dogfights over London and Home Counties. Britain refuses German proposal to use 64 Red Cross ships to rescue airmen from the English Channel.

A German memorandum issued by the OKM states that an invasion of Great Britain will not be possible until the second half of September 1940 and that the prospects for such an invasion seem doubtful.

Germany annexes Belgian provinces of Eupen, Malmédy, and Moresnet; bans speaking of French and Flemish.

James Melville ‘Jimmy’ Cox, the Reuters’ correspondent in Tokyo was arrested on 27th July by the Kempeitai on the usual non-specific charge of espionage. Two days later he was seen falling from an open window on the third floor of the Kempeitai Headquarters. They claimed that he had committed suicide because he was guilty of espionage.

1941 Marshal Zhukov resigns as Russian Chief of Staff.

Dutch freeze Japanese assets; now Japan has lost 75% of foreign trade and 90% of its oil supply.

1942 German troops take Proletarskaya and establish a bridgehead over the Manych River in the Caucasus region.

As Australians retreat, Japanese take Kokoda and its airfield in Papua New Guinea.

1943 The mass evacuation of a million civilians from Hamburg is ordered after the recent heavy bombings.

Army Group A launches counter attacks to improve its positions along the Mius River.

As Blitz Week continues, US Eighth Air Force bombs Kiel and Warnemünde, while RAF returns to battered Hamburg.

1944 The last of a series of RAF bombing raids on Stuttgart that kill 900 and leave 100,000 homeless takes place.

The Red Army reaches to the Baltic coast to the West of Riga, thereby cutting Army Group North off in Estonia and Eastern Latvia.

The Orote Peninsula is secured on Guam.

1945 After having delivered the atomic bomb to Tinian, cruiser USS Indianapolis is sunk by Japanese sub I-58 off Leyte, and is not missed for days. Only 316 of 1196 men will survive the shark-infested waters.

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Jul 28

World War II Today: July 28

1940 All road and rail links between occupied France and Vichy cut by the Germans.

Slovak President and Premier meet Hitler and von Ribbentrop at Berchtesgarden.

Act of Havana is signed by the US and twenty Latin American countries, agreeing to help any country threatened by the Axis in the Americas.

1941 Finland ends diplomatic relations with Great Britain.

German troops begin to clear Soviet forces trapped in the Smolensk pocket.

Forty thousand Japanese troops land in southern French Indochina.

Japan freezes American assets.

1942 The effect of the fall of Rostov spreads panic and terror in the Soviet Union, prompting harsh counter-measures by the Soviet High Command.

Young Jews in Warsaw ghetto form Jewish Fighting Organization (ZOB).

1943 The second mass raid on Hamburg by 722 RAF bombers results in nine square miles of city being set alight.

The Japanese garrison of 6,000 troops are secretly evacuated from Kiska in the Aleutians.

President Roosevelt announces end of coffee rationing.

In Sicily, Palermo Harbor opens for Allied shipping.

1944 U.S. troops take Coutances, thereby meeting the objectives laid down for ‘Operation Cobra’.

Brest-Litovsk, on the Polish frontier is taken by the Russians. More crossings over the Vistula are also made.

1945 A B-25 bomber crashes into the Empire State Building at 79th floor in fog, killing 14 people.

Japanese “choose to ignore” Potsdam Declaration requiring unconditional surrender.

The remnants of Japanese battle fleet are destroyed in three days of attacks over the Japanese Inland Sea, as the Americans deploy 2,000 carrier-planes and bombers in action.

Destroyer USS Callaghan is sunk, the last Allied ship to be sunk by kamikaze.

US Senate ratifies UN Charter.

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Jul 27

World War II Today: July 27

1940 German aircraft sink destroyers Codrington at Dover and Wren off the Suffolk coast.

Japan announces its plans for the creation of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.

1941 London is severely bombed by the Luftwaffe, in its first air raid for 10 weeks.

German troops liberate Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. Guderian’s Panzer Group 2 is removed from its subordination to von Kluge’s 4th Army and put directly under the control of Army Group Centre. This is due to severe disagreements between the von Kluge and Guderian, which are disabling operations. Fierce battles rage 25 miles to the east of Smolensk.

General Douglas MacArthur enjoys his first full day in command of all U.S. armed forces in the Far East. President Roosevelt later explains MacArthur’s success; “Never underestimate a man who overestimates himself.”

Peru takes Puerto Bolivar, Ecuador in first paratroop combat in western hemisphere.

1942 German troops take Bataysk, and 6th Army launches an attack to destroy the soviet bridgehead west at Kalach.

British press attack at El Alamein, but fail to make gains against Germans.

Australian Women’s Land Army formed for agricultural workers.

1943 The liberation of Mussolini, the occupation of Rome and Italy, plus the capture of the Italian fleet is decided upon by the German High Command. Mussolini himself is transferred from Rome to the Island of Ponza. Heavy fighting continues in Sicily, leading Kesselring to order preparations for the evacuation of the island.

1944 U.S. troops breakthrough at St. Lo, forcing a general German withdrawal from Normandy toward the river Seine.

The Russians take Lvov, Dunaburg and Bialystok and secure a major bridgehead over the Magnuszew River. Further gains are also made in Baltic States.

U.S. troops complete the liberation of Guam.

1945 Chinese retake Kweilin from Japanese in southeast China.

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Jul 26

World War II Today: July 26

1940 Secretary-General of League of Nations, Joseph Avenol, resigns.

1941 Three Soviet armies are encircled and destroyed in the Mogilev area.

3,800 Jews killed during a pogrom by Lithuanians in Kovno.

Italian motorboats attack Valetta harbour in Malta. All eight boats are sunk.

General Sir Claude Auchinleck flies to London for talks about future offensive operations to relieve Tobruk.

By Presidential order, all Japanese assets in the US are frozen, and all shipments of metal and petroleum are stopped.

British notice of denunciation of commercial agreements with Japan.

The Flying Tigers: the  First American Volunteer Group (AVG) of the Chinese Air Force in China under Chennault with 100 planes.

Proposal made for a neutral Indochina.

New Philippine command under MacArthur.

1942 An Australian attack at Alamein fails and the Eighth Army goes over to the defensive after taking 7,000 Axis prisoners. This concludes the first battle of El Alamein.

Army Group A begins its advance from Rostov and the lower Don toward the Caucasus region.

1943 Marshal Badoglio is appointed head of Italy by the Italian King after the arrest of Benito Mussolini. The Marshal immediately excludes all Fascists from his new cabinet and dissolves the Fascist Party.

A number of Waffen SS divisions are ordered to be transferred from Russia to Italy, but only the 1st SS Panzer Division is actually redeployed.

1944 Narva is finally captured by the Red Army. The Russians reach the Estonian border.

President Roosevelt arrives in Hawaii for a conference on Pacific strategy with Gen. Douglas MacArthur and Admiral Chester Nimitz. FDR authorizes MacArthur’s plan to liberate the Philippines instead of bypassing them, as desired by the Navy and Nimitz.

1945 Components of the Atomic Bomb “Little Boy” are unloaded at Tinian Island in the South Pacific.

Winston Churchill resigned as Britain’s prime minister after his Conservatives were soundly defeated by the Labor Party. Clement Attlee became the new prime minister.

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Jul 25

World War II Today: July 25

1940 British claim 25 German planes downed in a day, the highest total so far.

Reich Minster of Economics Funk outlines ‘New Order’ for Europe, with forced labor from occupied countries.

Compulsory evacuation of women and children ordered from Gibraltar.

Swiss Gen. Henri Guisan, commander of all Swiss forces, reacts to an appeasement-oriented speech by Federal President Marcel Pilet-Golaz by assembling 650 Swiss military officers in the Field of Rutli – the birthplace of Swiss independence – to make it clear the Swiss Army would resist any German or Italian invasion. “As long as in Europe millions stand under arms, and as long as important forces are able to attack us at any time, this army has to remain at its post.” Pilet-Golaz and Berlin react with outrage, but Switzerland remains independent.

Italy bombs the British naval base at Alexandria and the base at Haifa.

1941 Italian motorboats with 33 Italian naval assault troops attempt to enter Valletta harbor on the island of Malta to attack British ships, but are discovered. All eight boats are sunk with 15 men being killed and 18 taken prisoner.

Finnish forces stop at the Tuulos River in Soviet Carelia because their flank is exposed.

Japan announces Indochina protectorate. It begins military occupation of bases July 28 to prepare for attack on Malay.

United States, UK and Dominions freeze all Japanese assets.

In the Ukraine, largest tank battle of the war so far begins; Germans will prevail after 4-day battle.

1942 Army Group A breaks out of its bridgeheads on the lower Don, along with the 4th Panzer Army which holds the eastern most of these. Army Group A drives south, whilst 4th Panzer Army attacks east and then north-east to link up with the rest of Army Group B as its advances towards Stalingrad. The South Front under General Malinovsky is being quickly shattered and the remnants are absorbed in to the North Caucasus Front, which is commanded by Marshal Budenny. Despite the lack of supplies are intense heat, the Germans make rapid progress. Further north, the 6th Army attempts to bounce its way across the river Don, but is initially repulsed and so waits for the 4th Panzer Army to arrive.

1943 German radio says that Hamburg is still burning (8am), leaving 100,000 homeless. The USAAF bomb the city again in daylight. The allies blitz Essen with 2,000 tons of bombs being dropped.

Benito Mussolini is arrested by order of the Italian King. Marshal Badoglio, a First World War hero becomes Prime Minister, introduces martial law and incorporates the Fascist militia into the ordinary armed forces, thus ending the Fascist regime in Italy. Hitler orders German divisions rushed South in to Italy to disarm their former allies. Allied forces begin to face stiff resistance as they approach Messina.

1944 2,500 USAAF aircraft drop 4,150 tons of bombs on German and American positions near St. Lo, which kill 601 Americans.

The US VII Corps launches ‘Operation Cobra’ in an attempt to breakout from the southern end of the Cherbourg peninsula, near St. Lo. The Canadians attack South of Caen. Goebbels becomes the ‘Reich Plenipotentiary for Total War’.

Narva is evacuated by the Germans, who take up position along the Tannenberg position to the West. Soviet forces cut the road between Dvinsk and Riga in Latvia. The Second Tank Army reaches the Vistula, 40 miles West of Lublin.

Lvov is surrounded and Soviet forces converge on Brest-Litovsk.

1,246 Japanese are killed in a Banzai charge on Tinian, another 3,000 die on Guam.

The British Eastern Fleet pounds the Japanese airfields and port at Sabang on Sumatra.

1945 A Proclamation to the Japanese people is issued by UK, U.S and China from Potsdam, which warns of devastation from the ‘final blows’ and calls for Japans unconditional surrender.

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Jul 24

World War II Today: July 24

1940 Reports of Lancastria disaster released in London after Churchill’s ban on the news lifted.

Neutral French liner Meknes, taking 1,100 French sailors back to France, sunk by German E-boat 572: 400 killed.

Red Cross estimates 5.5 million refugees in Vichy France.

1941 The U.S. government denounces Japanese actions in Indochina.

US imposes a crude oil embargo on Japan.

Nazis massacre Jewish population of Grodz, Lithuania.

Japan begins to occupy northern French Indochina, enters Hanoi and Saigon.

1942 Roosevelt agrees with Churchill that operation ‘Gymnast’ should proceed, whilst operation ‘Sledgehammer’ should be canceled.

Rostov-on-Don is captured by the 1st Panzer Army, thus clearing the way for the advance of Army Group A toward the Caucasus and Kuban region. Large numbers of Russian troops are liquidated in and around Rostov after German troops have secured the city.

Finland approaches the United States, seeking its protection from the Soviets should Finland switch sides and join the allies.

1943 Operation ‘Gomorrah’ takes place when 746 RAF bombers drop 2,300 tons of bombs on Hamburg in 48 minutes, during which only 12 aircraft are lost. This tonnage is as much as Germans dropped in the five heaviest raids on London.

Fires are visible for 200 miles. This is the first operational use of ‘Window’, (radar-jamming foil strips dropped by aircraft).

A battle-damaged USAAF B-17 Flying Fortress crash-lands in Sweden. Its ten-man crew becomes the first of nearly 1,000 American and other Allied airmen to be granted refuge in neutral Sweden during World War 2.

A 10-hour meeting of fascist grand council passes a motion, 19 votes to 7, asking that the King of Italy takes over command of all Italian forces from Mussolini.

The U.S. submarine Tinosa fires 15 torpedoes at a lone Japanese merchant ship, none detonate.

1944 The River San is crossed by the Soviets to the northwest of Lvov. The Germans start evacuating Lvov.

1944 The Russians liberate Maidanek Concentration Camp near Lublin, where 360,000 people perished.

The U.S. 4th Marine Division (15,000 men) lands on Tinian.

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Jul 22

World War II Today: July 23

1940 Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir Kingsley Wood announces third War Budget: income lax up 1d to 8s 6d in the £, beer up 1d a pint, purchase tax introduced for first time at 33% on luxuries, war expenditure for the next year estimated at £3,470,000,000.

Secretary of War announces that Local Defense Volunteers to be called the Home Guard, more than 1,300,000 now enrolled.

The Soviets officially absorbs Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia into the Soviet union, as per the Soviet-German non-aggression pact.

1941 Vital convoy reaches Malta after two-day battle; HMS Fearless is sunk.

Brest-Litovsk is taken by German troops after a month-long siege.

The Japanese extend their occupation across the whole of Indochina, as agreed with Vichy France.

1942 Fierce fighting continues along the El Alamein front.

Hitler, dissatisfied by what he viewed as von Bocks tardiness since the beginning of the summer offensive, dismisses him from command of Army Group B, dissolves his command HQ and gives command of Army Group B to von Weichs. Hitler also issues Directive No. 45 for Operation ‘Brunswick’, the capture of the Caucasus. Army Group A, once having destroyed the enemy in the Rostov area, was to secure the entire eastern coastline of the Black Sea, simultaneously capturing Maikop and Grozny and the advance to Baku. Army Group B would continue east to seize Stalingrad and the advance down the Volga to Astrakhan. This meant that the two would advance on diverging axes and a large gap would develop between them. This was aggravated by the return of Hoth’s 4th Panzer Army to Army Group B. Marshal Timoshenko is removed from command of the Stalingrad Front and replaced by General Gordov.

Treblinka extermination camp opened in occupied Poland, east of Warsaw. The camp is fitted with two buildings containing 10 gas chambers, each holding 200 persons. Carbon monoxide gas is piped in from engines placed outside the chamber, but Zyklon-B will later be substituted. Bodies are burned in open pits.

1943 Soviet forces continue their advance into the Orel salient.

1944 “Deutsche Gruss”, the Nazi form of salute, is introduced in to the Wehrmacht in the wake of the July 20th bomb plot against Adolf Hitler.

The U.S. 34th Division takes Pisa.

The Russians take Pskov, 150 miles to the South West of Leningrad on Estonian border. Heavy street fighting is reported from Lublin in Poland.

1945 The Allies launch a massive 36-hour air and sea bombardment of Kure naval base and other ports on the Japanese coast from Osaka to Nagoya, sinking and escort carrier and 12 other warships, as well as 84 cargo vessels sunk or damaged and over 200 planes destroyed or damaged.

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Jul 22

World War II Today: July 22

1939 Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini sign “Pact of Steel” forming the Axis powers.

1940 British cipher experts at Bletchley Park break the Luftwaffe Enigma code.

Britain officially rejects Hitler’s “peace offer.”

Britain establishes Special Operations Executive (SOE) under Hugh Dalton to support resistance groups in Nazi-occupied Europe.

The XIX Panzerkorps (Guderian) strikes from Abbeville toward Boulogne, Calais and Dunkirk along the Channel coast.

New Japanese cabinet formed with Prince Fumimaro Konoe as Prime Minister.

1941 Himmler establishes Norwegian SS on German lines.

British blockade of Vichy France made complete.

Heavy German air attacks on Crete sink the cruisers Fiji, Gloucester and the destroyer Greyhound. The Battleships Warspite and Valiant are damaged, but the Royal Navy breaks up German supply convoy.

Fierce fighting continues as British troops begin to pull back from Maleme airfield towards Suda Bay in order to regroup and protect their main point of supply.

British forces capture the last Italian stronghold in southern Abyssinia.

1942 The 6th Army and Kleist’s Panzer’s meets thereby pinching of the Russian salient Southeast of Kharkov.

In US, gasoline rationing coupons are issued in 17 Eastern states and rationing begins

Japanese take Buna and Giruwa, New Guinea, beginning battle for Kokoda Trail.

1943 US Seventh Army takes Palermo, Sicily without opposition.

The Battle of Kursk ends after Hitler withdraws troops to reinforce Sicily.

1944 German SS troops destroy town of St. Gingolph, France.

1945 Montgomery is appointed as C-in-C of the British force of occupation in Germany and a British member of the allied control commission.

‘Sugar Loaf Hill’ on Okinawa is finally taken by U.S. troops after changing hands 11 times in the last few days.

First US troops transferred from Europe arrive in the Philippines.

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