Archive for the ‘June’ Category

Jun 30

World War II Today: June 30

*1934 Adolf Hitler began his ”blood purge” of political and military leaders in Germany. Among those killed was one-time Hitler ally Ernst Roehm, leader of the Nazi stormtroopers.

1940 Germans troops land on Guernsey in the Channel Islands.

The last French defenders of the Maginot Line surrender.

Governor General of Hong Kong orders evacuation of women and children to the Philippines as Japanese blockade colony.

1941 Vichy France breaks off diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union.

Army Group Centre continues to constrict the Bialystok pocket to the west of Minsk. Pilots of Luftwaffe fighter wing JG-51 down 100 Soviet bombers attacking German panzer forces east of Minsk, with its CO, Oberst Mˆlders, accounting for 5 of them. German forces of Army Group South capture Lemberg (Lvov).

1942 The costliest fiscal year in U.S. history comes to a close. More that $32 billion has been spent, $26 billion on war expenditures alone. The total exceeds the amount on WWI in its entirety.

Returning from a successful patrol in the Gulf of Mexico (12 ships sunk), U-158 (Kptlt. Rostin) is destroyed by a US Mariner flying boat off Bermuda.

As the Panzer’s roll eastward in Russia, they haul in hordes of Russian POW’s. With five German armies (two panzer), two Romanian, one Italian (including a number of mountain divisions) and one Hungarian Army in the van, all tolled 89 divisions on the offensive. While the Panzer’s are fully motorized, the bulk of the remaining forces depend on horses for transport and supply. As the advance lengthens, so do the supply lines, and shortages soon begin to appear at the sharp end. The Russian garrison at Sevastopol begins to evacuate itself by night. Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, chief of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, telegraphs his troops, “In line with the prestige and dignity of the German Army, every German soldier must maintain distance and such an attitude with regard to Russian POW’s as takes account of the bitterness and inhuman brutality of the Russians in battle.” Prestige and dignity will be maintained, Keitel continues, as follows “Fleeing prisoners of war are to be shot without preliminary warning to stop. All resistance of POW’s, even passive, must be entirely eliminated immediately by the use of arms.” Russian POW’s are placed into camps where the dead lie undisturbed for weeks on end. German guards periodically enter the camps to get rid of bodies with flame-throwers.

At Auschwitz, a second gas chamber, Bunker II (the white farmhouse), is made operational at Birkenau due to the number of Jews arriving.

U-372 sinks the British submarine depot ship Medway. The loss of the torpedo’s she was carrying put a severe brake on British submarine operations in the Mediterranean. The Mediterranean Fleet evacuates Alexandria for Haifa, Port Said and Beirut. The port facilities are also prepared for demolition incase axis forces reach the city.

Rommel spearheads reaches El Alamein. The port facilities at Alexandria are prepared for demolition, should the axis forces not be stopped at El Alamein. In what became known as ‘Ash Wednesday’, British HQ is Cairo begins to destroy classified papers and prepares for evacuation to Palestine. A brave but disorganized Eighth Army is addressed by General Auchinleck, who tells them, that ‘He (Rommel) hopes to take Egypt by bluff. Lets show him where to get off.’ This comes as ‘Ultra’ interceptions told them that Rommel would attack their positions at El Alamein the following day.

1943 The British publish aircraft losses incurred to date, with Axis losses of 18,031 aircraft and RAF losses of 9,906 aircraft.

Operation ‘Cartwheel’ continues with the occupation of Rendova, north west of Guadalcanal. The Trobriand and Woodlark islands between Solomon’s and New Guinea are also occupied.

1944 The United States breaks off diplomatic relations with Finland.

The remaining 6,000 Germans in the Cherbourg peninsula surrender. The Germans forces retake Hill 112 from the British 2nd Army.

1945 The Chinese take Liuchow and capture towns on the Indo-Chinese border.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts:WWII Today: March 13 WWII Today: December 2 WWII Today: February 24

Jun 29

World War II Today: June 29

1940 Japan declares the South Seas to be in its sphere of influence.

President Roosevelt signs the Alien Registration Act; 5 million foreigners will register and be fingerprinted.

1941 Lord Beaverbrook becomes Minister of Supply in Cabinet reshuffle.

Goering is named Hitler’­s successor.

Russian defense Committee is formed with Stalin, Molotov, Voroshilov, Malenkov and Beria.

The German 20th Mountain Army launches Operation ‘Silver Fox’, an offensive to capture the Soviet port of Murmansk, while the Finnish Karelian Army activates its offensive towards Leningrad.

Local Finnish forces attack along the border in southern Finland.

Romanian troops conduct a pogrom against Jews in the town of Jassy, killing 10,000.

Germany demands that Japan launches an attack against Russia. The Japanese consider this, but in the end only agree to strengthen their forces in this area.

1942 The drive on the Caucasus roars on as German columns kick up dust clouds that can be seen 40 miles away and leave behind burning villages and town. “It is the formation of the Roman Legions, now brought up to date in the 20th century to tame the Mongol-Slav horde,” exults German propaganda. In Sevastopol, German troops attack from their bridgehead, while more forces blast in across the Fedyukhin Heights, forcing the Russians back.

Rommel takes Mersa Matruh after heavy fighting and captures 6,000 prisoners along with large quantities of supplies. British disarray increases as German advance units mix with British rear units which are reatreating as fast as possible for the relative safety of the El Alamein defensive position. Mussolini arrives at Derna in Libya to prepare for the triumphal entry into Cairo. Alexandria is bombed.

Two ships leave the port of Shanghai carrying more than four hundred North and South American Diplomats and their dependents. The passengers are to exchanged for and equal number of Japanese nationals being held in the Western Hemisphere.

1943 US Marines land on Nassau beach near Lae in New Guinea during Operation ‘Cartwheel.

The US Army Air Force insignia changed to “stars and bars,” with a red border around bar.

1944 The RAF carries out a saturation raid (250 Lancasters) against the 2nd and 9th SS Panzer Divisions at Villers-Bocage near Caen.

The US VII Corps captures the last harbor fort at Cherbourg, but the port rendered completely useless for three weeks.

70,000 troops of Army Group Centre that are encircled near Bobruisk surrender to the Red Army. The Russians report that 16,000 Germans have been killed and 18,000 captured near Minsk.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts:WWII Today: November 6 WWII Today: June 23 WWII Quote: FDR

Jun 28

World War II Today: June 28

1940 The Alien Registration Act (the Smith Act) passed by the US Congress requires aliens to register and be fingerprinted. The Act makes it illegal to advocate the overthrow of the US government.

German aircraft bomb Jersey.

British government recognizes de Gaulle as leader of ëFree Frenchí. Channel Islands demilitarized and partially evacuated.

The Pope offers to mediate between Britain, Germany and Italy.

Following an ultimatum to the Romanian government, the Red Army occupies Bessarabia and the northern part of Bukovina.

Marshal Balbo, the Governor-General of Libya is killed when his plane is shot down by another Italian aircraft.

1941 In the Arctic, British light cruiser Nigeria and British destroyers Bedouin, Jupiter, and Tartar capture German weather ship Lauenburg; crew of Tartarcaptures Enigma code books and machine.

Vannevar Bush is named as director of the Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD), which has just been created by President Roosevelt.

Army Group Centre’s Panzer Groups meet to the east of Minsk, capturing the city and trapping 27 Red Army divisions in a pocket to the west. Army Group South meets tougher than expected resistance in its drive through the southern Ukraine.

Albania declares war on the Soviet Union.

1942 FBI captures eight German agents that have landed by U-boat on Long Island.

Low clouds cover the skies over the Ukraine, providing a suitably ominous overture to Operation ‘Blau’, the German summer offensive. Field Marshal Fedor von Bock (“The Preacher of Death”) hurls three armies and 11 Panzer divisions East in a massive assault whose objective is nothing short of the Caucasus mountains and oilfields. In classic blitzkrieg style, the Germans fan out across open steppe and grassland, crushing the 40th Army, folding the 13th Army northward and disintegrating the reeling 21st and 28th Armies. Russian troop command crumbles under the drive. Russian logistics, exhausted by the Moscow counteroffensive, cannot keep up with the demand. A German sergeant tells Propaganda Kompanie men “It’s quite different from last year, it’s more like Poland. The Russians aren’t nearly so thick on the ground. They fire their guns like madmen, but they don’t hurt us!”. That evening, in Sevastopol, German troops cross North Bay under a smoke screen and seize the southern shore, capturing Inkerman in the process.

2 freighters and 1 tanker from convoy PQ-17 suffer accidental damage and are forced to abort.

German advance units capture Fuqa and report increasing confusion in the retreating British units.

1943 Cologne Cathedral is badly damaged in a raid.

1944 The British 2nd Army’s ëOperation Epsomí, designed to break through the German defenses near Caen is halted by the fierce resistance of the I and II SS Panzer Korps.

The Russians take Mogilev and cross the Berezina river surrounding most of German Ninth Army.

1945 The Japanese casualty figures on Luzon are 113,593 killed and U.S. loses are just 3,793.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts:WWII Today: May 28 WWII Today: May 1 WWII Today: January 30

Jun 27

World War II Today: June 27

1940 All French ships in British ports are seized by the Royal Navy.

German troops reach Franco-Spanish border.

Romania agrees to cede Bessarabia to the USSR.

French C-in-C in Syria accepts armistice terms.

Japanese troops occupy part of the Hong Kong peninsula.

1941 German forces capture Bobruisk and Przemysl. Hungary declares war on the Soviet Union and agrees to send troops to help Army Group South.

Denmark severs diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union.

1942 The FBI announced the capture of eight Nazi saboteurs who had been put ashore from a submarine on New York’s Long Island.

Convoy PQ-17 sets sail from Iceland. It consists of 35 merchants, 3 rescue ships and 2 tankers for refueling and is heavily loaded with 297 aircraft, 594 tanks, 4246 lorries and gun carriers, plus an additional 156,000 tons of cargo. The convoy is to be guarded by 21 close escorts, 7 warships from a cruiser covering force and a further 19 warships in a distant covering force. All told 1 aircraft-carrier, 2 battleships, 6 heavy cruisers, 23 destroyers, 4 corvettes, 3 minesweepers, 2 AA ships, 4 ASW trawlers are to protect the convoy. Additionally, 15 submarines, six of them Russian are placed ahead of the the convoy.

Dr. Heinisch, the German administrator in the Przemysl area, issues a public instruction. “Every Ukrainian or Pole who attempts by any means whatsoever to impede the campaign for the deportation of Jews, will be shot. Every Ukrainian or Pole found in a Jewish quarter looting Jewish homes will be shot. Every Ukrainian or Pole attempting to conceal a Jew will be shot.” In the next month, 24,000 Jews from western Galicia, Heinisch’s district, pass through Przemysl. All are taken to Belzec and killed.

German troops begin to outflank the British positions at Mersa Matruh. As this happens the British start to withdraw towards the El Alamein line, confirming radio intercepts that had indicated they would.

1944 The British gain Hill 112 in Normandy.

The Red Army recaptures Orsha on the Dnieper and destroys the trapped German 53rd Korps near Vitebsk. Further gains are reported by the Russians at Mogilev to the South of Vitebsk.

The American Army captures the port city of Cherbourg, France.

1945 The U.S. Sixth Army reaches Aparri, effectively ending the campaign on Luzon.

In a sure sign the war is winding down, the Ford company lays off workers at its Willow Run airplane factory near Detroit. The employee force is reduced to 4,000, from a peak of 42,000 workers making B-24 bombers.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts:WWII Today: March 7 Slapton Sands Disaster Combat America by Clark Gable

Jun 26

World War II Today: June 26

1940 British blockade of war materials and food extended to whole of France.

De Gaulle forms French Volunteer Legion in Britain.

Turkey announces that she will stay out of the war.

1941 German forces of Army Group North capture Donaburg in Latvia. The Luftwaffe carries out raids on Leningrad. Heavy fighting in the Bialystok area as the German Panzer’s units close the pocket.

Finland declares war on the Soviet Union.

Spanish volunteers organized to fight with Germany against USSR.

1942 German troops capture Kupyansk over the river Oskel, for use as a launch pad for their summer offensive.

At Rastenberg, Adolf Hitler decorates SS General Eicke, Commanding Officer of the SS Totenkopf Division, with the Oak Leaves for the Knight’s Cross, for his Divisions bravery in holding out in the Demyansk pocket the previous winter. Eleven of Eicke’s officers and men also receive the Knight’s Cross. After the ceremony, Hitler and Eicke chat and Eicke tells the Fuhrer that his Division is pretty well worn out, short of vehicles and wishes it to be transferred to France. Instead, Hitler gives Eicke home leave.

Italian aircraft strength is increased on Sicily by withdrawing aircraft from Libya. This allows the Italians to step up their air attacks against Malta.

Rommel is made a Field Marshal and launches attacks against Mersa Matruh. Meanwhile, Kesselring, Cavallero (Italian Chief of Staff in Rome) and Bastico (Italian C-in-C in Libya) arrive at Rommel’s HQ and give permission for him to continue his advance in to Egypt.

The Grumman F6F Hellcat fighter flies for the first time.

1944 US troops enter Cherbourg taking the German garrison commander prisoner. The British launch Operation ‘Epsom’ in the Odon Valley West of Caen.

The Russians take Vitebsk.

In response to recent communist sabotage, the Germans introduce a curfew in the Copenhagen area, making it illegal to be out in the streets between 8pm in the evening and 5am in the morning. As a result, the citizens of Copenhagen begin a massive general strike. Hundreds of thousands of Danes take part.

The Chindits take Mogaung, with Chinese help.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts:WWII Today: April 3 WWII Today: July 22 WWII Today: December 17

Jun 25

World War II Today: June 25

1940 First early morning air-raid alarm is heard in London.

At 1:35am, all acts of war between the French and German armed forces officially cease. Churchill says France is not freed of her obligations. The German army has moved thru France even faster than expected. As Field Marshal Erwin Rommel puts it, “The war has become practically a lightning Tour de France.”

1941 Major Russian forces are close to being surrounded in the Bialystok area by Panzer units of Army Group Centre. Panzer Group 1 captures Lutsk and Dubno, in what was before September 1939 eastern Poland.

The Red Air force launches an a number of air attacks against Finland’s airfields, in the hope of destroying German aircraft which were believed to be stationed in Finland.

1942 The RAF launches its third 1,000-bomber raid, with 1,006 aircraft against Bremen. This time Coastal Command provided 102 Hudson bombers, after Churchill’s insistence that they take part. As with the previous 1,000 bomber raids, a full moon had been selected to aid in finding the target. The raid caused heavy damage to the Focke-Wulf plant and devastated 27 acres of the inner city. The RAF lost 49 aircraft, a high proportion of them being manned by trainee crews.

German troops drive a wedge into Sevastopol’s defenses. The Russians are running out of men, space and time. Surviving fighter aircraft are sent to the Caucasus, conceding the skies to the Luftwaffe. Soon the Russian AA guns are out of ammunition and the defenders face Stukas with rifles and machine guns. Artillery shells are running low too.

The Germans capture Sidi Barrani, Sollum and the Halfaya Pass in Libya as the Eighth Army retreats to Mersa Matruh in Egypt. General Auchinleck relieves Lieutenant General Ritchie and takes personal command of the Eighth Army, with plans to hold Rommel if he could at Mersa Matruh, but more definitely at the El Alamein line, or if that failed the Suez Canal.

General Sir Claude Auchinleck replaces Lt. Gen. Neil Ritchie over British Eighth Army in Egypt.

1943 Newly built gas chamber/crematory III opens at Auschwitz. With its completion, the four new crematories at Auschwitz have a daily capacity of 4,756 bodies.

1944 The British Second Army begins a major offensive in the area of Caen ‘Operation Epsom’. After a naval bombardment, street fighting is reported in Cherbourg. General Koenig is appointed C-in-C of the Free French forces.

1945 The allies announce the division of Austria into four administrative zones. British Second Army in Germany is to be disbanded and sent back to Britain.

The UN Charter is signed by representatives at San Francisco.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts:WWII Today: September 15 WWII Today: March 31 WWII Today: June 29

Jun 24

World War II Today: June 24

1940 An armistice is signed between France and Italy at Villa Indusa near Rome.

China protests to France over closure of Indo-Chinese border; Japanese request closure of Burma Road controlled by Britain and used to supply Chinese forces.

British government sends gold bullion and securities to Canada for safekeeping.

1941 House of Commons votes for £1,000 million war credit as war expenditure now exceeds £10,250,000 per day.

Germans sweep west into Lithuania and White Russia, taking Vilna and Kaunas. Hungary breaks off diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union.

President Franklin Roosevelt pledges all possible support to the Soviet Union.

1942 Major General Eisenhower arrives in Britain to assume command of US European Theater of Operations (ETOUSA), including North Africa.

The German, Italian and Croatian forces in Yugoslavia, begin another offensive against Tito’s partisan army.

The RAF launches its third 1,000 bomber raid, this time on Bremen. The Luftwaffe launches the first in a series of night raids against Birmingham.

The Germans advance into Egypt as the British retreat continues. Sollum and Sidi Barrani are evacuated by the Eighth Army.

Allied POWs begin work on 294-mile extension of Burma-Thailand Railway under brutal conditions.

1943 The RAF conducts a heavy raid on Elberfeld in the Ruhr.

LTC WR Lovelace makes record parachute jump from 42,200 feet.

From Japan, Subhas Chandra Bose, leader of Indian National Army, implores Indians to turn against British.

1944 The Russians report major advances against Army Group Centre. Hitler orders all but one of the five German divisions of the 53rd Corps that are encircled at Vitebsk to fight their way out.

French Resistance blows up hydroelectric plant near Limoges.

French forces begin to leave Italy to prepare for Operation Anvil, the invasion of Southern France.

1945 A Great Victory Parade in Moscow’s Red Square, sees Zhukov takes the salute in Stalin’s presence.

In a bombing raid, British destroy the infamous bridge over the River Kwai in Thailand, built at great cost by slaves and prisoners of the Japanese.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts:WWII Today: February 9 WWII Today: March 8 WWII Today: June 29

Jun 23

World War II Today: June 23

1940 The German advance continues down west coast of France.

Pierre Laval is appointed as Vice-Premier, while de Gaulle is cashiered by Weygand for announcing the formation of French National Committee in London.

First British commando raid on France is made at Le Touquet.

Hitler makes a brief sightseeing visit to Paris. Driving through nearly empty streets, he makes a special point of viewing Napoleon’s tomb, ending his tour at the Eiffel tower.

1941 US Under-Secretary of State, backs Churchill’s aid-for-Russia policy.

The Red Army launches an armored counter-attack near Tilsit in Lithuania, but this is repulsed with heavy losses. German forces cross the River Bug, bypassing Brest-Litovsk from the North and South and penetrating 50 miles into Russian occupied Poland. Slovakia declares war on the Soviet Union.

1942 The Russians withdraw to the South side of Sevastopol’s bay, preserving their front, as the bombardment and German attacks increase.

German advanced elements reach the Egyptian border. Rommel signals Kesselring for permission to continue the advance in to Egypt, pointing out that at Tobruk his forces has captured large quantities of fuel and supplies.

1943 A coal strike is Appalachia is finally settled. President Roosevelt warns the miners that if they strike again, he will draft them into the army so that they will be forced to work.

1944 Eden tells the Commons ‘ the facts’ about the killing of 50 ‘escaping’ RAF officers at Stalag Luft III, saying ‘These prisoners of war were murdered’.

Generaloberst Dietl, C-in-C of 20th Gebirgs Army on the Arctic front in northern Finland, is killed in an air crash.

In one of the largest air strikes of the war, the U.S. Fifteenth Air Force sends 761 bombers against the oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania.

1945 The San Francisco Conference Co-ordination Committee, completes the text of the UN Charter.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts:WWII Today: November 1 WWII Today: June 6 Yank Magazine Pin Up Girls1940 The German advance continues down west coast of France. Pierre Laval is appointed as Vice-Premier, while de Gaulle is cashiered by Weygand for announcing the formation of French National Committee in London. First British commando raid on France is made at Le Touquet. Hitler makes a brief sightseeing visit to Paris. Driving through nearly empty streets, he makes a special point of viewing Napoleon’s tomb, ending his tour at the Eiffel tower.1941 US Under-Secretary of State, backs Churchill’s aid-for-Russia policy.The Red Army launches an armored counter-attack near Tilsit in Lithuania, but this is repulsed with heavy losses. German forces cross the River Bug, bypassing Brest-Litovsk from the North and South and penetrating 50 miles into Russian occupied Poland. Slovakia declares war on the Soviet Union.1942 The Russians withdraw to the South side of Sevastopol’s bay, preserving their front, as the bombardment and German attacks increase.German advanced elements reach the Egyptian border. Rommel signals Kesselring for permission to continue the advance in to Egypt, pointing out that at Tobruk his forces has captured large quantities of fuel and supplies.1943 A coal strike is Appalachia is finally settled. President Roosevelt warns the miners that if they strike again, he will draft them into the army so that they will be forced to work.1944 Eden tells the Commons ‘ the facts’ about the killing of 50 ‘escaping’ RAF officers at Stalag Luft III, saying ‘These prisoners of war were murdered’.Generaloberst Dietl, C-in-C of 20th Gebirgs Army on the Arctic front in northern Finland, is killed in an air crash.In one of the largest air strikes of the war, the U.S. Fifteenth Air Force sends 761 bombers against the oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania.1945 The San Francisco Conference Co-ordination Committee, completes the text of the UN Charter.

Jun 22

World War II Today: June 22

1940 Second London County Council evacuation scheme completed, with 100,000 children moved to the West Country and Wales.

Germans troops cross the River Loire in strength as an armistice between France and Germany is signed at Compiegne. Its terms are read out loud to the French delegation by Generaloberst Keitel and provide for the occupation of the entire Channel and Atlantic coastlines, all major industrial areas, Alsace-Lorraine is to be returned to Germany. Most of southern France will remain unoccupied, with a French administrative centre at Vichy. The French Army and Navy is to be demobilized and disarmed and France is to bear the cost of the German occupation. All French prisoners of war are to remain in Germany until a peace treaty is signed.

French representatives fly to Rome to negotiate with Mussolini.

Italians bomb Alexandria, Egypt.

Marshal Pétain closes Indochina route to China. Churchill closes Burma Road to avoid war with Japan.

1941 Just after midnight the Red Army is given orders to come to combat readiness, although they were still not allowed to occupy battle positions. At 3:15am, Operation ‘Barbarossa’ (MAP) begins with German and Axis forces comprising 183 divisions (3,500,000 men), 3,350 tanks, 7,184 guns and 1,945 aircraft launching the biggest military operation in history on an 1,800-mile front from ‘Finland to the Black Sea’. Three Army Groups supported by powerful Panzer armies and Luftwaffe bomber fleets, Army Group South (von Rundstedt) with Panzer Group 1 (von Kleist), Army Group Centre (von Bock) with Panzer Groups 2 (Guderian) and 3 (Hoth), and Army Group North (von Leeb) with Panzer Group 4 (Hoepner), go into action against 132 Soviet divisions (2,500,000 men), 20,000 tanks and 7,700 aircraft. The overall objective of the campaign is to destroy the Soviet forces in western Russia by the Autumn and to occupy the European part of the Soviet Union up to the line Archangel – Urals – Volga – Astrakhan. By the end of the first day, the Luftwaffe had destroyed 800 Soviet aircraft on the ground at 60 airfields and 400 in the air. The Red Army along the border seemed unprepared for the assault and offered only limited resistance, which allows the Panzer divisions to advance up to 50 miles and maul 12 Soviet divisions.

Churchill calls the German invasion of Russia, ‘the fourth turning point of the war’ and offers to give whatever help we can.

Italy declares war on Soviet Union. Romanians enter Bessarabia to regain it. Slovakia severs diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union.

Japan proposes 120-day plan to conquer South by March 1942.

1942 A Japanese submarine shells Fort Stevens at the mouth of the Columbia River.

1944 President Roosevelt signs the GI Bill of Rights which promises generous benefits for returning US servicemen.

Allied planes drop 1,100 tons of bombs on Cherbourg.

An all-out ground attack begins against Cherbourg.

The communist organized sabotage group BOPA, attacks the Danish arms factory “Riffelsyndikatet” (“the Rifle Syndicate”) in Copenhagen.

The Russian summer offensive, operation ‘Bagration’ begins against Army Group Centre in Byelorussia with assaults by the Soviet 1st Baltic, 3rd Belorussian 2nd and 1st Belorussian Fronts against Army Group Centre on a 450 mile front between Polotsk and Bobruysk. Soviet forces amount to 124 divisions, 1,200,000 men, 5,200 tanks, 30,000 guns and 6,000 aircraft. Against this, the German can field just 63 divisions, including 900 tanks and 10,000 guns. The Luftwaffe launches a surprise night raid (60 aircraft) on the US 8th Air Force’s shuttle base at Poltava in the Ukraine, destroying 44 B-17s and 500,000 gallons of fuel.

The British 2nd Division and 5th Indian Division meet on the Kohima-Imphal road, which is now completely clear of Japanese, lifting the 88-day siege of Imphal. The ‘Chindits’ begin an offensive on Mogaung in northern Burma.

1945 Japanese resistance ends on Okinawa as the U.S. Tenth Army completes its capture.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts:WWII Today: November 8 WWII Today: November 6 WWII Today: June 24

Jun 21

World War II Today: June 21

1940 Franco-German armistice negotiations begin at Compiegne, during which Hitler informs the French representatives of his terms in the same railway carriage as the German surrender was signed in 1918.

Hitler issues a proclamation announcing the end of the war in the West and orders flags to be flown throughout Germany for ten days.

The Polish government-in-exile arrives in London.

1941 Hitler orders German subs not to attack US warships.

Prime Minister Churchill comments on the possibility of an alliance with the Soviet Union: “If Hitler invaded Hell, I would make at least a favorable reference to the Devil in the House of Commons.”

British forces occupy Damascus, while another British column invades Syria from Iraq.

Vichy France excludes Jews from schools.

British General Sir Claude Auchinleck replaces General Archibald Wavell as C in C forces Middle East Command; while Wavell takes Auchinleck’s place over Indian Army.

Free French occupy Damascus, Syria.

US State Department orders closure of all Italian consulates in US by July 15.

1942 The Luftwaffe carries out a night raid against Southampton.

German infantry and combat engineers of 11th Army are gaining ground slowly in their assault on Sevastopol, but the ferocious Russian defense at Sevastopol forces Adolf Hitler do something he doesn’t like to do, namely delay the German Summer offensive.

General Erwin Rommel captures the port city of Tobruk in North Africa. The Germans capture 32,000 prisoners, 2,000 tons of fuel, 5,000 tons of food and 2,000 vehicles.

1943 The RAF launches a heavy raid on Krefeld in the Ruhr, but lose 44 aircraft.

Allies advance to New Georgia, Solomon Islands.

1944 The US 8th Air Force carries out raids on Berlin and the synthetic fuel plants at Leuna-Merseburg, which then continue on to Russia.

A further Russians assault against the Finns opens in eastern Karelia. The Red Army begins an offensive between lakes Ladoga and Onega on the northern front.

1945 Organized resistance on Okinawa ends after 82 days of the bloodiest fighting in the Pacific, during which 98,654 Japanese have been killed and 6,922 captured. U.S. loses were 6,990 killed and 29,598 wounded.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts:WWII Today: March 27 Words at War: Barriers Down WWII Today: December 17