Archive for the ‘March’ Category

Mar 11

World War II Today: March 11

1940 A coal strike in New South Wales begins.

1941 Japanese Foreign Minister to visit Rome and Berlin. The US House of Representatives passes the ‘Lend Lease’ Bill by 317 votes to 71, where upon it is immediately signed by President Roosevelt. Initial priority for war supplies was to be given to Britain and Greece.

British diplomats from Bulgaria reach Istanbul, although 2 people are killed when a bomb in their luggage explodes.

The German 5th Light Division has now completely arrived in Libya and is ordered to prepare for an attack on El Agheila. Meanwhile, Rommel has flown back to Germany for further orders and has been told that when the 15th Panzer Division has arrived in Libya at the end of May he is to recapture Benghazi.

1942 General MacArthur leaves Corregidor and the Philippines for Australia, after being ordered to assume command of the new South-West Pacific area, which in effect meant all Allied forces in the Pacific. MacArthur’s last words before leaving were “I shall return!” General M. Wainwright takes over command in the Philippines.

1943 The north Atlantic convoy ONS-169 is attacked by wolfpack ‘Raubgraf’ between the 11th and 12th March losing 2 ships for 10,531 gross tons. Atlantic convoys SC121 and HX228 are also attacked by other wolfpacks and lose 17 ships for the loss of just U-444 and U-432.

1944 Zhukov is stopped on River Bug after a 60-mile advance.

Some 12,000 Chindits are now behind Japanese lines in Burma. British forces capture Buthiduang on the Arakan front.

1945 The US third Army captures Kochem on the lower Moselle river.

The Red Army advances towards Gotenhafen, a vital port of embarkation for tens of thousands of refugees from East Prussia.

An RAF Bomber Command record for the largest tonnage dropped on a single target in single day is achieved at Essen when 4,661 tons are dropped.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: Words at War: The Nazi’s Go Underground WWII Today: January 24 WWII Today: January 3

Mar 10

World War II Today: March 10

1941 Vice Admiral Adolphus Andrews assumes command of US Navy’s new North Atlantic Naval Coast Frontier (Eastern Sea Frontier)

The RAF attacks Le Havre and at the same time gives the new 4-engine Halifax bomber it debut, although one of the six Halifax’s involved is shot down on its return flight by an RAF night fighter.

Vichy France threatens to use its navy unless Britain allows food to reach France.

1942 Japanese troops make landings at Finschhafen in New Guinea. They also occupy Buka in the Solomon Islands. Japanese aircraft attack Port Moresby in Papua.

Aircraft from the American Aircraft Carriers Lexington and Yorktown make attacks against the Japanese at Lae and Salamaua.

Britain reports that spending for WWII has surpassed spending for WWI.

Based on FBI intercepts the Brazilian police arrest a German spy whose message to Hamburg contained sailing information for the Queen Mary, carrying 10,000 US troops.

1943 P-47 Thunderbolts fly first mission with US Eighth Air Force.

The United States retakes Sbeïtla, Tunisia.

The United States Fourteenth Air Force activated under Maj. Gen. Claire Chennault, based in Kunming, China

1944 Uman is taken as the Russians drive towards the Bug and Dnieper rivers.

The Irish refuse to oust all Axis envoys and deny the accusation of spying on Allied troops.

1945 The 2nd Belorussian Front captures Zoppot, during its attack towards Danzig. The Kriegsmarine evacuates 25,000 civilian refugees from the besieged Baltic fortress of Kolberg in Pomerania.

Field Marshal Kesselring replaces Field Marshal von Rundstedt as C-in-C of German forces in the West. German troops evacuate Wesel on the lower Rhine. The US Third Army captures Bonn.

U.S. Eighth Army invades Zamboanga Peninsula on Mindanao in the Philippines.

1949 Nazi wartime broadcaster Mildred E. Gillars, also known as “Axis Sally,” was convicted in Washington D.C. of treason. She served 12 years in prison.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts:

WWII Today: February 8 WWII Today: October 24 WWII Today: October 29

Mar 09

World War II Today: March 9

1936 The German press warns that all Jews who vote in the upcoming elections will be arrested.

1939 Czech President Emil Hacha ousts pro-German Joseph Tiso as the Premier of Slovakia in order to preserve Czech unity.

1940 Italian-Anglo agreement on coal, Britain to release Italian collier ships, Italy to import no more German coal.

1941 The Italians launch another offensive against the Greek 1st Army in Albania, but it makes very little progress.

1942 The RAF returns to bomb Essen once more, but again are unable to inflict much damage due to the constant industrial haze over the city and the lack of landmarks, which made the city notoriously difficult to find.

US General Stilwell becomes Chiang Kai-shek’s Chief of Staff.

The Government of the Dutch East Indies reaches Adelaide in Australia as all resistance on Java ceases and the island surrenders to the Japanese.

1943

U-510 torpedoes eight ships in three hours off the coast of Brazil, in what is the most successful single U-boat action of the war.

Von Arnim replaces Field Marshal Rommel as C-in-C of the Axis forces in Tunisia and Rommel is ordered by Hitler to leave Africa, never to return.

1945 The U.S. First Army widens the Remagen bridgehead. The US Third Army captures Andernach on the Rhine.

German light naval vessels from the still German-occupied British Channel Islands enter the allied supply port of Granville in Bretagne, sinking five ships.

USAAF B29’s begin the firebombing of Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka and Kobe. 16 and a half acres of Tokyo is burnt out in attacks which continue for 10 days.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: Words at War: The Curtain Rises D-Day: The 6th of June WWII Today: March 16

Mar 08

World War II Today: March 8

1940 Heavy fighting is reported at the outskirts to Viipuri, as the Red Army continues its attempt to capture the city. This prompts the Finns to seek an immediate armistice, which the Russians refuse. Therefore the Finnish delegation in Moscow is instructed to sue for peace.

1941 The US Senate passes the ‘Lend Lease’ bill by 60 votes to 31.

Martial law is proclaimed in Holland in order to extinguish any anti-Nazi protests.

1942 The RAF use GEE for the first time for target marking during a raid on Essen. The technique was known as ‘Shaker’ and consisted of aircraft marking the target with flares, allowing aircraft further behind to see the target more clearly. However the results of the raid were disappointing.

Rangoon falls to the Japanese as the British forces escape to the north. The 17th Indian Division was now holding the Irrawaddy area and the 1st Burma Division the upper Sittang valley. The Chinese Expeditionary Force were farther north, with the Fifth Chinese Army defending Mandalay and the 6th Chinese Army was at Toungoo and defending the Burmese province of Shan.

Japanese make unopposed landings at Lae and Salamaua on New Guinea.

The Dutch on Java surrender to Japanese.

1943 Over 1,000 Germans wives of Jewish men deported to concentrations camps are now protesting in Berlin. To prevent this kind of protest from spreading, Joseph Goebbels orders the release of the 1,500 Jewish men.

Japanese forces attack American troops on Hill 700 in Bougainville. The battle will last five days.

1944 The US 8th Air Force carries out a heavy attack against Berlin. The primary target is the ball bearing plant at Erkner, a suburb of Berlin; enemy opposition is fierce and 37 bombers and 16 fighters are lost.

1945 British and Canadian troops involved in Operation ‘Blockbuster’ enter Xanten on the Rhine after several days of heavy fighting further to the South U.S. troops enter Bonn.

Beginning of secret negotiations at Bern, Switzerland, between representatives of the American OSS (Allan Dulles) and the German High Command in Italy (General von Vietinghoff and SS General Wolff) for an early surrender of German forces in Italy.

The Red Army penetrates into the ssouthern suburbs of Breslau.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: September 20 WWII Today: December 23 WWII Today: May 31

Mar 07

World War II Today: March 7

1936 Hitler sends German troops into the Rhineland, breaking the Treaty of Versailles and the Locarno Pact.

1941 British and Commonwealth troops begin to arrive in Greece.

German Jews ordered into forced labour.

U-47, commanded by top ace Gunther Prien, hero of Scapa Flow, is sunk by the British Destroyer HMS Wolverine.

In convoy OB-293 off Iceland, U-99 and U-47 sink British whaling factory ship Terje Viken, one of the largest ships sunk in war at 20,000 tons.

Actor James Stewart is inducted into US Army.

1942 Force H, consisting of HMS Argus and HMS Eagle and supported by a number of destroyers, sets sail for Malta with a number of Spitfires on board. Fifteen Spitfires were flown off when Force H came within range of the Island.

The Government of the Dutch East Indies flees Java for Australia.

The Japanese occupy Rangoon, Burma.

1943 A new wolfpack, codenamed ‘Raubgraf’ (Robber Baron), is created in the central North Atlantic. It will operate between the 7th and 20th March 1943 and includes U-84, U-89, U-91, U-435, U-468, U-600, U-603, U-615, U-621, U-638, U-653, U-664, U-758. Immediately the wolfpack attacks convoy ON-168 which is traveling between North America and the UK. One ship is damaged and abandoned on the 7th March, to be finally sunk on the 12th March for 6,537 gross tons.

1944 The Japanese begin the Imphal-Kohima offensive from northern Burma into Assam, India.

U.S. Marines secure Los Negros.

In reply to Arab protests, the U.S. says that the idea of a Jewish state has no official sanction.

1945 The U.S. 9th Armored Division makes a surprise dash across the undestroyed Rhine bridge at Remagen, establishing a crucial bridgehead on the East bank.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Dog Tag Number Maker WWII Today: March 16 WWII Today: April 29

Mar 06

World War II Today: March 6

1940 Hitler changes his plans for the invasion of the west. At a military conference in Berlin, he decides to adopt the plan put forward by Gerd von Rundstedt and his former chief of staff, Erich von Manstein, for the Ardennes option. Code-named ‘Fall Sichelschnitt’, it called for the attack against the Low Countries to go ahead, but with slightly fewer forces, in order to draw the allies forward, while the decisive thrust would be mounted through the Ardennes. Holding attacks would be made against the Maginot line.

1941 German aircraft mine the Suez canal, blocking it for 3 weeks.

1942 Having received permission from Hitler, the Battleship Tirpitz and 3 destroyers set sail from Trondheim to intercept convoy PQ-12, but is spotted by a British submarine which relays the information onto the British Admiralty. However, bad weather means that the Tirpitz is unable to locate PQ-12 and so heads back to base. Enroute to Trondheim the Tirpitz is spotted and attacked by aircraft from HMS Victorious, but is not damaged.

Japanese cut all roads north of Rangoon, trapping the British at Pegu.

Japanese occupy Batavia in Java.

1944 Bomber Command begins a large-scale offensive over northern France in preparation for D-Day.

The USAAF send 730 bombers and 796 fighters to Berlin, during which 69 bombers and 11 escorts are shot down.

Another ‘Chindit’ stronghold is established South of the Irrawaddy

U.S. Marines land at Talasea in New Britain.

1945 The U.S. Third Army reaches the Rhine Northwest of Koblenz, as Cologne falls to U.S. First Army.

The 2nd Panzer and 6th SS Panzer Armies launch a major counter-attack from Lake Balaton towards Budapest.

The US 8th Air Force launches a heavy attack against Chemnitz in Saxony.

The new Chinese First Army takes Lashio in north-eastern Burma.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: January 31 WWII Today: March 3 WWII Today: February 5

Mar 05

World War II Today: March 5

1940 Italian collier ship seized by Allies.

1941 The Royal Navy begins escorting British and Commonwealth troop convoys from Egypt to Greece.

1942 German reconnaissance planes locate the British convoy PQ-12 bound for Murmansk.

General Sir Harold Alexander arrives at Rangoon to take over command of Burma Army from Lieutenant General Hutton. Wavell had given Alexander orders to hold Rangoon at all costs. Immediately, orders were issue for the 1st Burma Division to counter-attack the Japanese from the north and 17th Indian Division which had be reinforced was to attack east of Pegu. Both attacks failed and Alexander realized that Rangoon could not be held. He ordered that Rangoon be evacuated and his troops withdraw north to the Irrawaddy Valley to regroup.

1943 Bomber Command reports the ‘first effective attack on Essen’ due primarily to the use of a new navigational aid ‘Oboe’. The ‘Battle of the Ruhr’ begins

1944 Koniev’s 2nd Ukrainian Front launches an attack towards Uman.

Gliders and air-transport-borne ‘Chindits’ set up ‘Broadway’ a stronghold behind Japanese lines, North East of Indaw.

1945 Advance patrols of the U.S. First Army reaches Cologne. Germany is now conscripting 15 and 16-year-olds into the regular army.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: June 6 Words at War: The Veteran Comes Back WWII Ad: Cadillac 1940 Italian collier ship seized by Allies.1941 The Royal Navy begins escorting British and Commonwealth troop convoys from Egypt to Greece.1942 German reconnaissance planes locate the British convoy PQ-12 bound for Murmansk.General Sir Harold Alexander arrives at Rangoon to take over command of Burma Army from Lieutenant General Hutton. Wavell had given Alexander orders to hold Rangoon at all costs. Immediately, orders were issue for the 1st Burma Division to counter-attack the Japanese from the north and 17th Indian Division which had be reinforced was to attack east of Pegu. Both attacks failed and Alexander realized that Rangoon could not be held. He ordered that Rangoon be evacuated and his troops withdraw north to the Irrawaddy Valley to regroup.1943 Bomber Command reports the ‘first effective attack on Essen’ due primarily to the use of a new navigational aid ‘Oboe’. The ‘Battle of the Ruhr’ begins1944 Koniev’s 2nd Ukrainian Front launches an attack towards Uman.Gliders and air-transport-borne ‘Chindits’ set up ‘Broadway’ a stronghold behind Japanese lines, North East of Indaw.1945 Advance patrols of the U.S. First Army reaches Cologne. Germany is now conscripting 15 and 16-year-olds into the regular army.

Mar 04

World War II Today: March 4

1941 Hitler increases the pressure on Yugoslavia to join the Tripartite pact by inviting Prince Paul, the regent, to Berchtesgaden. Hitler demands that he allows German troops to pass through Yugoslavia for an attack on Greece. In return, the port of Salonika and part of Macedonia will be ceded to Yugoslavia.

On the northern Norwegian coast,British & Norwegian commandos raid Lofoten Islands, Norway; destroy oil plants, sink 8 ships (confiscating two Enigma machines and code books), take 314 Norwegian volunteers to England and take 285 German prisoners.

The British start to transfer the first contingent of troops from Egypt to Greece. These are to be under the command of General Maitland Wilson.

1942 Two Japanese flying boats bomb Pearl Harbor—no damage. Aircraft from USS Enterprise group strike Marcus Island.

Aircraft from USS Enterprise group strike Marcus Island in South Pacific.

1944 Zhukov renews his attacks against the forces of Manstein’s Army Group South in the Ukraine.

The USAAF launch, but then cancel the first daylight heavy bomber raid on Berlin. However 29 aircraft fail to receive the counter-order and bomb the capital.

Convoy RA-57 (31 ships) sailing the Arctic route from the Kola Peninsula to Loch Ewe, is attacked off Norway. The steam merchant Empire Tourist is sunk by U-703 for 7,062 gross tons lost. However, the convoy’s escorts sink 3 U-boats en-route.

Merrill’s ‘Marauders’ fight their first major action in Burma.

1945 The First Belorussian Front breaks through at Stargard and drives towards Stettin and also establishes a new bridgehead across the Oder to the South of Frankfurt.

US B-29 Superfortresses first land on Iwo Jima as an emergency field.

The British Fourteenth Army takes Meiktila, Burma.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: December 7: Attack on Pearl Harbor WWII Today: December 20 WWII Today: December 30

Mar 03

World War II Today: March 3

1940 The Russian launch a massive offensive and bring Viipuri under direct attack. This brings home to the Finns the fact that they cannot resist for must longer against the overwhelming force that the Russians are now deploying.

Italy protests to Britain over proposed ban on Italian imports of German coal.

1941 Moscow denounces the Axis rule in Bulgaria.

1942 RAF Bomber Command, under its new C-in-C, Air Vice Marshal Harris, attacks the Renault plant in the Paris suburb of Billancourt. Of the 235 RAF planes that took off, only 1 failed to return. The new navigation device, GEE wasn’t used, although the target was marked with flares for the first time and serious damage done to production facilities with many French workers killed. This successful raid was a much needed morale boost for the bomber crews.

The Lancaster bomber makes its operational debut, laying mines of the French port of Brest.

Vichy announces that ‘official’ German figures put the number of French arrested in 1941 at 5,390 and executions at more than 250.

General Chiang Kai-shek meets General Wavell in Burma.

1943 173 Londoners are killed in panic crush at Bethnal Green tube station when a new Anti-Aircraft weapon noise is heard for the first time.

Russians take Rzhev, over 100 miles to the west of Moscow.

1944 German attacks cease at Anzio after losing 3,500 men and 30 Panzer’s in four days.

For the war to date British civilian casualties total 50,324 dead, with military deaths at 50,103.

Under pressure from the Western Allies to withdraw all remaining Spanish troops from the Eastern front, the Franco government orders members of the so-called “Blue Legion,” attached to the German 121st Infantry Division, to return home and outlaws service by Spanish citizens with the Axis forces. Nevertheless, a handful of fanatically anti-Communist Spaniards defy orders and volunteer for service with the Waffen SS, some of them fighting suicidally to the end in the ruins of Berlin.

The allies announce that Russia is to get a third of Italian fleet, or equivalent in British and American warships.

Japanese counter-attacks on Los Negros fail.

1945 Units of the Canadian First Army capture Xanten on the lower Rhine in the battle of the Reichswald.

The US First Army captures Krefeld.

100 Luftwaffe night-fighters attack 27 RAF airfields, in what is the last night intrusion raid of the war. 22 RAF aircraft were destroyed for 6 German.

The fighting ends in Manila. Japanese resistance ends in Meiktila.

Finland declares war on the Axis.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: February 18 WWII Today: February 14 Words at War: The Curtain Rises

Mar 02

World War II Today: March 2

1940 British India liner Domala bombed in English Channel, killing 100 people.

1941 The German Twelfth Army moves into Bulgaria.

Great Britain breaks off diplomatic relations with Bulgaria.

Germans occupy Bulgaria on way to invade Greece.

The RAF launches a heavy raid against Cologne.

1942 Churchill declares that the Tirpitz is ‘the most important naval vessel in the situation today’ and believes her destruction would ‘profoundly affect the course of the war’.

General Wavell reassumes post as C-in-C India and Burma. Burma is now cut off from the Southwest Pacific.

The Dutch take supreme command of all allied forces in Southwest Pacific.

In Australia, all adult civilians are liable for compulsory war service.

US Army reorganizes into three autonomous commands—Ground Forces, Army Air Forces, and Services of Supply.

The Stage Door Canteen opens on Broadway in 44th St. Theater, where stars entertain and serve servicemen.

1943 The battle of the Bismarck Sea opens Northeast of New Guinea.

US Fifth Air Force (SW Pacific) B-25s use skip-bombing to attack a Japanese convoy sinking 12 ships.

Germans begin a withdrawal from Tunisia, Africa.

The center of Berlin is bombed by the RAF. Some 900 tons of bombs are dropped in a half hour.

1945 US Ninth Army crosses into Germany and reaches the Rhine near Düsseldorf.

The U.S. Third Army captures Trier on the Moselle.

The RAF launches a heavy attack (300 bombers) against Mannheim, causing a devastating firestorm.

After 14 days of fierce fighting, the 503rd Regimental Combat Team – the “Rock Force” – raised the American Flag in the presence of General MacArthur at the Topside Barracks on Corregidor in the Philippines.

In the United States, strikes close ten Chrysler and Briggs plants

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: December 3 Words at War: Headquarters Budapest WWII Today: November 22