Archive for the ‘June’ Category

Jun 03

World War II Today: June 3

1940 All aliens and stateless persons living in Britain are forbidden to leave home between 10:30 pm and 6 am.

Churchill orders the setting up of commando forces to be used for raiding occupied Europe.

The last night of the Dunkirk evacuation sees 26,700 French soldiers lifted from the beaches. This brings the total rescued to 224,686 British, 121,445 French and Belgian troops. Most of the French opt to return to France to continue the fight. During the evacuation, 177 aircraft were lost (Germans lost 140 aircraft).

Admiralty announce the loss of six destroyers, 24 small warships and participation of 222 British naval vessels and 665 other craft in Dunkirk operation. 226 vessels are sunk altogether.

300 German planes bomb Paris inflicting around 900 casualties.

British and French forces start to evacuate from Narvik in northern Norway.

1941 Attlee memorandum approved 2,430,000 to 19,000 at Labour Party conference: ‘A necessary prelude to a just peace is a total victory.’

Ex-Kaiser Wilhelm II, dies in exile in Holland.

New Iraqi government is formed.

1942 Task Force 16 (Spruance) and 17 (Fletcher) meet 350 miles north-east of Midway. Admiral Fletcher takes overall command of the joint task force, although the two would act separately. US land based aircraft from Midway spot the Japanese Transport Force about 600 miles from Midway. They launch attacks against this force, but without success. US reconnaissance aircraft spot the 2 carriers of the Japanese 2nd Carrier Striking Force, which were about 400 miles from Kiska in the Aleutians.

1943 The first fruits of victory reach British shops, Algerian wine.

1944 Hitler allows Kesselring to withdraw from Rome, which has now been declared an ‘Open City’.

The Japanese rearguard at Kohima retreats, ending a 64 day battle.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: October 24 WWII Today: September 22 WWII Today: April 12

Jun 02

World War II Today: June 2

1940 26,200 British and French troops are evacuated from the beaches at Dunkirk. Virtually all British soldiers have now been evacuated and so the remaining French troops have taken over the defense of the perimeter.

1941 US statement of policy respecting French possessions in the Western Hemisphere.

Hitler and Mussolini meet at the Brenner Pass on the German-Italian border to discuss the progress of the war.

Goring tells the Luftwaffe ‘There is no unconquerable island’. The Ruhr industrial area bombed by RAF.

Vichy publishes anti-Semitic legislation based on German laws. Jews banned from public office.

A Greek government-in-exile is formed in Egypt.

1942 The RAF’ launches it’s second 1,000 bomber raid (although only 956 took off) and hits Essen, but due to the haze over the city, the results were minimal and the RAF lost 31 aircraft. Nevertheless, Churchill was highly impressed and sanctioned further raids on this scale.

The Germans begin a five day bombardment, using all the artillery at their disposal, including super heavy siege artillery, against Sevastopol in order to soften up the defenses ready for the main assault.

1943 Combat debut of the 99th Fighter Squadron (Tuskegee Airmen) with the US 12th Air Force in North Africa, the first African-American squadron.

The Red Air Force bombs Kiev and Roslavl, while the Luftwaffe bombs Kursk.

Japanese forces are reported to be in full retreat on Yangtze.

1944 U.S. troops are now only 20 miles from Rome.

The Bulgarian government seeks terms of surrender from the western allies.

The first shuttle raid, operation ‘Frantic’ is made by 130 B-17s of the US 15th Air Force based at Tripoli. The raid attacks rail yards at Debrecen in Hungary and then flies on to Soviet airfields at Poltava in the Ukraine.

Secret negotiations between the Romanian government of Marshal Antonescu and representatives of the Soviet Union begin in Stockholm, Sweden.

The British 2nd Division begins its advance to relieve Imphal as the Japanese renew attacks on Bishenpur. The Chinese besiege Myitkyina, near the Chinese border in northern Burma.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: September 25 WWII Today: April 2 WWII Today: December 9


Jun 01

World War II Today: June 1

1940 All signposts which might be helpful to parachutists landing in Britain taken down. Unemployment in Britain falls 92,000 in May to 881,000, giving a total fall of 611,000 in a year.

German onslaught continues at Dunkirk. General Lord Gort, C-in-C BEF, returns from Flander’s with another 64,400 troops who were evacuated off the beaches this day. However, in future, the evacuation will only continue during the hours of darkness due to the high losses of warships to daylight air attacks.

British forces evacuate the Bodo area of Norway, 120 miles S-W of Narvik.

The British destroyers Keith, Basilisk and Havant and the transport Scotia are sunk by Luftwaffe dive bombers, near Dunkirk.

Luftwaffe raids industrial centres in the Rhone Valley from Lyons to Marseilles.

1941 Clothes rationing introduced in Britain.

The Luftwaffe carries out a night raid (110 bombers) on Manchester.

The heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen arrives in Brest.

The German’s secure Crete and the British evacuation is completed, with 17,000 British, Commonwealth and Greek troops being rescued, although the Australians lose more than half their contingent. Final figures for the British are 16,500 killed,  wounded or captured, along with a large number of warships sunk or damaged, while the Germans lose about 6,200 men.

Stukas sink the British cruiser Calcutta off Alexandria.

British forces enter Baghdad and reinstate the Regent.

1942 America begins sending Lend-Lease materials to the Soviet Union. Convoy PQ-17.

Mexico declares war on Germany, Italy and Japan.

Himmler is put in charge of the German ARP system.

The siege of Sevastopol by the 11th Army continues with a round-the-clock bombardment by heavy artillery and Luftwaffe bombers.

Hitler arrives at Poltava, the HQ of Army Group South to approve Field Marshal von Bocks plan for the main offensive. A high level plan had been prepared to make the Russians believe that Moscow was still the objective,  Goebbels organised leaks to this effect to the foreign press while Army Group Centre made overt preparations for an offensive under the cover-name of ‘Kremlin’.

Jews in Belgium, Croatia, Slovakia, Romania ordered to wear yellow stars.

Rommel takes the fortified ‘box’ that is held by the British 150th Brigade in the Gazala defensive line and secures the ‘Cauldron’. This enables him to get much needed supplies flowing. Rommel now turns the German 90th Light Division and the Italian Ariete Armoured Division against Bir Hacheim in an attempt to wipe out the Free French garrison which still holds out. He also distracts the British by sending the 21st Panzer Division northeast to operate nearer to Tobruk.

1943 Eden announces that Empire casualties in first three years of war are 92,089 killed, 226,719 missing, 88,294 wounded and 107,891 captured.

The British actor Leslie Howard, flying back to Britain from a five-week lecture tour in Spain and Portugal boosting the Allied cause, is killed when his DC-3 airliner is shot down by German fighter planes over the Bay of Biscay. Although it came to be believed that the real target was Howard’s manager, Alfred Chenhalls, who bore a passing resemblance to Winston Churchill, it now appears certain that Howard was the actual target. Alerted to Howard’s presence in the Iberian Peninsula by German agents, Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels had ordered the plane shot down in order to silence the outspoken anti-Nazi actor.

The allied 2nd Tactical Air Force is formed in UK.

BdU (C-in-C U-boats) adopts a new policy of fighting back at Allied sub-hunting aircraft with the U-boats’ own AA guns while crossing the Bay of Biscay on the surface. This tactic proves to be largely unsuccessful and is soon abandoned.

The Red Air Force attacks German rear communications and airfields at Smolensk, Orel and Bryansk.

1944 The British Eighth Army captures Frosinone to the South East of Rome.

1945 Byrnes and Committee advise the President to drop the bomb.

U.S. troops make new landings on Okinawa as forces from the East and West coasts link up South of Shuri.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: October 6 WWII Today: August 17 WWII Today: October 31