Archive for the ‘September’ Category

Sep 04

World War II Today: September 4

1939 The RAF attacks German shipping at Wilhelmshaven, Cuxhaven and Schillig Roads, with negligible results (7 out of 30 Wellington bombers are shot down by German fighters and Anti-Aircraft).

The German 3rd Army and 4th Army join in the Corridor and re-establish the land connection between East Prussia and the Reich that was severed in 1919 as a result of the Versailles Treaty. German troops cross the River Pilica in southern Poland. The German successes in Poland are beginning to wear down the Polish armies, which are now becoming isolated from one another, making the mounting of coordinated counter-attacks increasingly difficult. At Bydgoszcz, a thousand Poles are murdered, including several dozen Boy Scouts who are shot against a wall by German troops.

1940 Hitler opens Winter Relief Campaign with a speech claiming that ‘the last island in Europe will be broken’.

Hitler vows to eradicate British cities.

The commander at the RAF field at Biggin Hill blows up his own hangars to stop Luftwaffe raids.

America First Committee (isolationist) is established in Chicago, originating with Yale students, for the purpose of keeping the United States out of World War II.

1941 U-652 attacks the US destroyer Greer off Iceland after being tracked and harassed by it. As a result of U652’s attack on the US destroyer Greer, President Roosevelt warns German and Italian vessels that from now on, if they enter the Pan-American security zone, they do so at there own risk.

Finns refuse to advance on Leningrad.

1942 Soviet planes bomb Budapest in the war’s first air raid on the Hungarian capital.

1943 The Australians land in force to the East of Lae on North coast of New Guinea.

1944 The British 11th Armored Division takes Antwerp and the docks undamaged.

Allied air forces start operation ‘Ratweek’ to hinder the German retreat from Balkans.

The Russian and Finnish governments agree on and implement a cease-fire. The Germans have to leave Finland by the 15th September.

1945 Emperor Hirohito asks his people to co-operate in setting up a peaceful state.

Japanese troops on Wake Island surrender to a detachment of the United States Marine Corps.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: December 23 WWII Advertisement: Allison Airplane Engine  World War II Today: December 8

Sep 03

World War II Today: September 3

1939 The official beginning of World War 2: After Germany rejects the Anglo-French ultimatum of September 1st, which called for the withdrawal of all German forces from Poland, Britain and France declare war on Germany at 11am.

The Kriegsmarine begins its campaign against British merchant shipping with 17 U-boats putting to sea out of a total of about 57 operational boats, far fewer than the 300 Dönitz had felt he needed to succeed against Britain.

The British passenger ship Athenia is sunk by a German submarine in the Atlantic, with 30 Americans among those killed. American Secretary of State Cordell Hull warns Americans to avoid travel to Europe unless absolutely necessary.

An RAF Blenheim bomber of 139 Squadron conducts the RAF’s first operational sortie of the war when it flew over to Germany to check shipping in the Schillig Roads. With a frozen radio, it was unable to transmit any information back to base and by the time it landed it was too late to mount an attack that day. Later that night, Whitley bombers conduct an number of leaflet dropping sorties over Germany.

55 Polish peasants are rounded up and shot at Truskolasy by the Nazis.

The Australian Prime Minister, R.G. Menzies broadcasts that Australia is now at war with Germany.

1940 The US Congress finally agrees to the handing over of 50 old destroyers in return for 99 year leases of British Naval bases in Antigua, St. Lucia, Trinidad, British Guiana the Bahamas, Jamaica and Argentia.

German invasion of Britain, Operation Sealion, is set for the 21st September.

Romania is forced to cede Transylvania to Hungary and Dobrudja to Bulgaria under the Vienna award.

Dutch government-in-exile forms in London under Pieter Gerbrandy.

1941 Gas chambers at Auschwitz in Poland are used for first time, using Zyklon B, which was basically Hydrogen Cyanide.

1942 The defenders of Leningrad launch an attack in a vain attempt to meet the relief forces. The pincers of the 6th Army and 4th Panzer Army finally meet up to the west of Stalingrad at Pitomnik. The Germans now attempted to break into Stalingrad from the west, but were unable to do so because of limited Red Army counter-attacks against his flanks, which diverted a significant proportion of his forces. Luftflotte 4 continues its round-the-clock air attacks against Stalingrad.

The RAF makes a record number of sorties in North Africa as desert battle rages. Rommel’s withdrawal is speeded up by heavy New Zealand pressure.

1943 The new Italian government under Marshal Badoglio signs an armistice with the allies in secret. This allows the allies to launch Operation ‘Baytown’, the invasion of mainland Italy. The British Eighth Army crosses the Strait of Messina unmolested.

1944 A National Day of Prayer is declared in Britain on fifth anniversary of outbreak of war.

British Empire casualties are revealed as 242,995 killed, 80,603 missing, 311,500 wounded and 290,381 captured.

The British Second Army liberates Brussels.

The U.S. First Army takes Tournai. French and U.S. forces enter Lyons.

Field Marshal von Rundstedt assumes command of the German armies in the West.

Wake Island and other strategic targets in Pacific are strafed by U.S. Navy aircraft for two days, during which 13 Japanese ships are reported sunk.

Anne Frank and family are deported from Amsterdam to concentration camps.

1945 General Tomoyuki Yamashita, the Japanese commander of the Philippines, surrenders to Lieutenant General Jonathan Wainwright at Baguio.

The famous Van Eyck altarpiece is returned to Ghent, Belgium.

Japanese forces on Wake and in the Caroline and Bonin Islands surrender.

ETO World Series opens in the old Hitler Youth stadium in Nuremberg, with racially integrated American teams.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: August 4 WWII Today: September 1 WWII Today: July 4

Sep 02

World War II Today: September 2

1939 National Service Act passed in Britain.

Hitler indicates to the Britain and France that he would withdraw from Poland provided that he was allowed to retain Danzig and the Polish Corridor. This was dismissed and a joint ultimatum was given to Germany to withdraw her troops from Poland within twelve hours or find herself at war with Britain and France.

Sweden issues a declaration of neutrality. German Ministers at Stockholm, Sweden, and Oslo, Norway, give a declaration that Germany would respect the integrity of Sweden and Norway.

Failure of a last-minute effort by Mussolini to find a peaceful solution of the German-Polish conflict.

The Luftwaffe raids Warsaw. German troops capture the Jablunka pass in the Tatra mountains. Fighting continued for the strategic island of Westerplatte at the mouth of the Vistula River. A massive attack was launched by 60 Stuka divebombers of the II and III Stukageschwader Immelmann directed at crushing the island garrison. The air assault was not directly followed up by a German attack from the ground and the Poles were able to reorganize their defenses. German aircraft bomb railway station at Kolo, killing 111 refugees.

The Germans start construction of Stutthof concentration camp in which 65,000 Polish Christians will ultimately perish.

1940 Air attacks continue on London.

“Destroyers for Bases”: Roosevelt and Churchill agree to trade 50 old US destroyers for 99-year leases on British bases in Bahamas, Antigua, Trinidad, Jamaica, British Guiana, St. Lucia, as well as land in Bermuda and Newfoundland; Roosevelt bypasses Congress in the deal.

1941 RAF daylight raids on Occupied Europe miss only 19 days in August and September.

General Sir Claude Auchinleck issues his first directive in respect to the forthcoming British Offensive, ‘Operation Crusader’, by ordering General Sir Alan Cunningham to produce a plan for the relief of Tobruk and the re-conquest of Cyrenaica.

1943 A special order of the day from Stalin announces the Russian victories on Voronezh, Bryansk, Donets and Sea of Azov fronts.

1944 The launching of V1’s from France ceases.

The allies cross into Belgium.

The Germans begin to evacuate the Aegean Islands.

1945 The formal Japanese surrender takes place aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts:

WWII Today: July 17 WWII Today: May 26 WWII Today: June 13

Sep 01

World War II Today: September 1 – Germany Invades Poland


World War II Begins

Three German Army Groups begin the invasion of Poland at 4:45am. Massive strikes by the Luftwaffe destroy vital communications and assembly areas, decimating the Polish air force on the ground. Panzer and motorised divisions make deep penetrations into the Polish defences, using tactics soon to be known as the Blitzkrieg. Officially, the first shots of the war are fired from the 280mm deck guns of the vintage First World War Battleship Schleswig-Holstein. Under the guise of honoring the anniversary of the Battle of Tannenburg, the German Battleship, complete with a hidden cargo of Marine assault troops, was allowed by the Poles to anchor directly off the strategic island of Westerplatte, located at the mouth of the Vistula River in Danzig. At 4:47am, permission was given to the ship to open fire on the island, a strategic point on the Baltic Coast needed to support the troops advancing to the south. Shortly after 4:47am, the ship opened up its massive main guns, firing at near-point-blank range and zero elevation. Needless-to-say, the shells literally pounded the small island, but although the ships guns devastated the target, they inflicted minimal casualties on the Poles stationed within. When the Assault Marines hidden within the Battleship disembarked and launched their main assault on the island, they were repulsed after taking heavy casualties. Another assault was launched later in the morning, again by the Assault Marines, after more shelling from the Schleswig-Holstein, but this attack also ended in heavy German casualties. The Westerplatte would prove impossible to take on the first day of World War 2.

Britain and France, instead of immediately declaring war against Germany look to Mussolini who had proposed an international conference to revise the Versailles treaty terms. In Britain and France general mobilization declared.

Norway’s King Haakon VI proclaims the neutrality of his country. Finland declares strict neutrality.

Denmark issues a declaration of neutrality.

Lieutenant Wladyslaw Gnys of 2 Krakow Air Regiment shoots down two Dornier 17 Bombers. These were to be the first German airplanes to be shot down in World War 2.

Jews in Germany are forbidden to be outdoors after 8 p.m. in winter and 9 p.m. in summer.

1940 Destroyer Ivanhoe hits mine and sinks off Dutch coast, second to go down there in two days.

1941 German Jews ordered to wear yellow stars.

1942 A federal judge in Sacramento, Calif., upheld the wartime detention of Japanese-Americans as well as Japanese nationals.

The Germans claim to have reached the Black Sea in the Caucasus, while units of the 1st Panzer Army form a bridgehead across the Terek river at Mozdok.

The war enters its fourth year. Four-fifths of the world’s population is actively involved in the fighting or under the occupation of the axis powers.

1944 The British XII Corps crosses the Somme and the Canadians liberate Dieppe. American troops of Patton’s Third Army take Verdun. American troops start their attack to capture the strategic port city of Brest which the Germans have turned into a fortress.

The British government announces that Gen. Bernard L. Montgomery has been appointed field marshal. While nominally a promotion, the new rank is meant to salve the blow to Montgomery’s pride at being superseded by Eisenhower as commander of the land battle in Western Europe.

Gurkha units from the British Eighth Army storm Tavoleto.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: July 3 WWII Today: November 27 Words at War Episode 27 “Mother America”

Sep 30

World War II Today: September 30

1938 Under German threats of war, Britain, France, Germany and Italy sign an accord permitting Germany to take control of Sudetenland–a region of Czechoslovakia inhabited by a German-speaking minority. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain boasts, “I believe it is peace in our time.”

1939 Graf Spee sinks the British steamship Clement off Pernambuco, Brazil.

Polish government-in-exile set up in Paris.

The French Army is called back into France from its invasion of Germany. The attack, code named Operation Saar, only penetrated five miles.

French troops withdraw from German Saar Region.

Gen. Wladyslaw Sikorski named first prime minister of Polish government-in-exile.

1940 British civilian casualties for the month September announced: 6,954 dead, 10,615 injured.

1941 Newcastle bombed, but only the second serious raid on Britain in a month with Septemberís casualties listed as 217 killed.

The guard at a detention centre in Peel on the Isle of Man is strengthened after disturbances, which results with 20 British fascists being moved to Liverpool.

As part of operation ‘Typhoon’ Guderian’s Panzer Group 2 opens its offensive against Moscow, 2 days ahead of the rest of Army Group Centre and makes 50-miles in its advance towards Orel.

1942 Top-scoring Luftwaffe ace and Nights Cross with Diamonds winner Hans-Joachim Marseille (158 British aircraft) of 3./JG 27 is killed in a flying accident.

1943 The Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps becomes the Women’s Army Corps, a regular contingent of the U.S. Army with the same status as other army service corps.

The British announce that 5,211 casualties were suffered at Salerno.

The Russians make Dnieper River crossings on a 300-mile front.

On the eve of the Jewish New Year, the Gestapo and Danish Nazis begin rounding up all Danish Jews.

1944 Rejoicing in the streets of Dover at the announcement that the last of the German cross-channel guns, which have pounded the southeast coast of Britain for three years, have been silenced.

The 7,500 strong Calais garrison surrenders to the Canadians.

*1946 An international military tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany, found 22 top Nazi leaders guilty of war crimes.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: Words at War: White Brigade WWII Today: September 1 WWII Today: August 11

Sep 29

World War II Today: September 29

1938 Hitler and Mussolini sign a treaty creating the Rome-Berlin Axis. Mussolini agrees to let Hitler do what he pleases in Europe, while Hitler agrees to assist Italy if war breaks out.

1939 Poland formally surrenders, relieving the 35,000 besieged Polish troops who are defending the fortress of Modlin of their obligations thereby enabling them to surrender.

Nazis and Soviets divide up Poland.

Over two million Jews reside in Nazi controlled areas, leaving 1.3 million in the Soviet area.

1940 A British convoy, under heavy escort, sets sail for Malta from Alexandria. Admiral Cunningham hopes to provoke the Italians into a fleet action. The Italian fleet puts out to sea, only to return to port at Taranto prematurely without seeing action.

1941 Germans troops advance in strength, down in to the Crimea, forcing the Russians to fall back in to Sevastopol.

The SS Einsatzgruppen operating in the Ukraine massacres between 50,000 and 96,000 Ukranians (of which 33,771 are Jews), at Babi Yar, a ravine about 30 miles outside of Kiev.

Brazil allows US Navy to use ports of Bahia and Recife for provisioning, refueling, and upkeep.

1942 German pressure in Stalingrad is again stepped up the 6th Army struggles desperately to clear Stalingrad.

RAF Eagle Squadrons (American volunteers) are officially converted into the US 4th Fighter Group of the Eighth Air Force, flying Spitfires; the group will soon fly P-47s, then P-51s.

Seaplane from Japanese submarine I-25drops incendiary bombs in southern coastal Oregon, in an unsuccessful attempt to start forest fires, the second and last bombing of the US in WWII.

Liberty ship Booker T. Washington is launched at Wilmington, DE, the first US merchant ship named after an African-American and the first commanded by a black captain (Hugh Mulzac); the crew was integrated.

1943 The allies take Pompeii, between Salerno and Naples.

Marshal Badoglio and Eisenhower meet aboard HMS Nelson, where a full armistice signed and also discuss war plans.

Adolf Hitler’s book Mein Kampf is published in the United States.

1944 The Canadians take Cape Gris Nez, Southwest of Calais and grant a 24-hour truce for Germans to evacuate civilians.

1945 British troops land in Java to combat Indonesian nationalists.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: June 18 WWII Today: August 23 WWII Today: August 6

Sep 28

World War II Today: September 28

1937 In a speech given during a visit to Berlin, Mussolini assures the world;”There are no secret intentions in my visit. Nothing is being plotted”.

1939 The last Polish resistance, the fortress of Modlin, falls after 18-day siege.

German and Soviet troops meet at Brest-Litovsk and together stage a military review. An agreement is signed affirming their common border lines in eastern Poland.

1940 The 26th night attack in succession on London.

The first of the recently purchased US destroyers arrive in Britain.

Britain renews call to evacuate mothers and children from London (489,000 evacuated by October 17).

Uruguay cracks down on Nazi infiltrators, expels 13 German spies.

1941 A Soviet-British-US conference opens in Moscow to discuss western aid to Russia. Lord Beaverbrook represents Britain and Averell Harriman the USA.

Free French declare independence of Syria and Lebanon.

Japanese assault city of Changsha, China, beginning Second Battle of Changsha.

Ted Williams of Boston Red Sox earns .406 batting average for season; record still stands.

1942 The US Navy Department claim 42 Japanese aircraft shot down in the Solomon Islands in last three days, with no US losses.

1943 Germans anti-partisan forces retake Split from Tito’s partisans.

1944 An agreement between Tito and Stalin is reached in Moscow, which allows the Red Army to enter Yugoslavia.

The Red Army begin an offensive towards the Yugoslav border from Romania.

Greek Resistance groups agree to unite under Allied leadership.

1945 The United States Office of Censorship is disbanded.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: August 5 WWII Today: June 5 WWII Today: August 15 Words at War: Wartime Racketeers

Sep 27

World War II Today: September 27

1939 The German pocket Battleships, Graf Spee and Deutschland, which had sailed from Germany in August, are given orders to attack allied shipping in the Atlantic.

Sir John Simon’s first war budget, income tax up to 7s 6d in the £.

Polish government-in-exile set up in Paris.

Warsaw, besieged for more than two weeks, surrenders after continuous air and artillery bombardments. Near Grabowiec, 150 Polish policemen, 4 NCOs and 6 officers among 5,000 taken prisoner, are executed by the Soviets.

1940 Heavy daytime attacks on Britain. British claim 133 German planes shot down, later revised to 52, with the RAF losing 28.

Japan signs the tripartite pact with Germany and Italy, hoping to deter the USA from interfering in its affairs. However, this step had the opposite affect as the USA now saw Japan as siding with the aggressors.

1941 The first liberty ship, the ‘Patrick Henry’ is launched at Baltimore naval dockyard.

The first of the autumn rains fall and quickly turns the Russian ground to mud.

23,000 Jews killed at Kamenets-Podolsk, in the Ukraine.

After more than 3 months of fighting, British forces in Abyssinia capture the Wolchefit Pass, thereby opening the route to Gondar, the last Italian held town in East Africa.

1942 The 6th Army succeed in capturing most of the strategic Mamayev Kurgan hill and penetrates the heavily defended Red October and Barricades housing estates.

Australian forces defeat the Japanese on New Guinea in the South Pacific.

1943 The Germans begin a General withdrawal of all forces in the Ukraine to positions on the west bank of the Dnieper river. Russians take the last German held port on the Black Sea, at Temyruk.

The first of two heavy air raids against Wewak is conducted by the 5th AAF, with 64 Japanese planes and seven ships destroyed.

1944 Thousands of British troops are killed as German forces rebuff their massive effort to capture the Arnhem Bridge across the Rhine River in Holland.

After nine days of heavy fighting, the British are able to rescue their “lost division”–the first airborne paratroopers who have been trapped behind enemy lines. Their German opponents praise the paratroopers, calling them “the highest-qualified men we have met during the entire invasion campaign”.

It is announced that the first British jet fighter, the ‘Gloster Meteor’ was successfully used in action on the 4th August.

German forces of Army Group E evacuate western Greece.

2,000 Poles of the Home Army surrender in Mokotow district of Warsaw.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: June 27 WWII Today: April 7 WWII Today: August 22

Sep 26

World War II Today: September 26

1938 Chancellor Adolf Hitler announces in a speech; “The Sudetenland is the last territorial claim I have to make in Europe.”

1939 Polish Home Army (Armia Krajowa – AK) is formed in Warsaw.

The British first use naval air warning radar, in Luftwaffe attack on carrier HMS Ark Royal.

1940 During the London Blitz, the underground Cabinet War Room suffers a hit when a bomb explodes on the Clive Steps.

US President Franklin Roosevelt imposes an embargo on the export of aviation fuel, scrap iron, and steel to Japan, citing American defence needs.

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

The Free French government in London under General de Gaulle signs an alliance with the Soviet Union.

German High Command records capture of 665,000 prisoners in the Kiev operations.

The first Arctic Convoy bound for Russia leaves Britain for Hvalfiord, Iceland. It consists of ten merchantmen with escorts and was designated as PQ1. The convoy arrived in Archangel without incident on 11 October thereby inaugurating a regular service to North Russia. (The letters PQ and QP were chosen because the first convoy planning officer was Cmdr. P.Q. Edwards.)

The British Eighth Army is formed in Egypt in preparation for ‘Operation Crusader’ and now includes both XIII and XXX Corps. At the same time the British Ninth Army is created in Palestine and the Tenth Army in Iraq and Iran to guard against Turkey entering the war on the Axis side.

1942 The ‘Final’ German offensive begins at Stalingrad.

The SS begin to take profit from the possessions and valuables of Jews from Auschwitz and Majdanek.

German banknotes are sent to the Reichs Bank. Foreign currency, gold, jewels and other valuables are sent to SS Headquarters of the Economic Administration. Watches, clocks and pens are distributed to troops at the front. Clothing is distributed to German families.

1944 The Eighth Army crosses the Rubicon in north-eastern Italy.

The US 20th Bomber Command B-29 Superfortresses bomb Manchuria, the command’s first mission with over 100 planes.

1945 The first US casualty in Vietnam (French Indochina): OSS officer Lt. Col. Peter Dewey is killed by Viet Minh in Saigon, he was mistaken for a Frenchman.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: September 8 WWII Today: August 10 WWII Today: August 4

Sep 25

World War II Today: September 25

1938 President Franklin Roosevelt urges negotiations between Hitler and Czech President Benes over the Sudetenland.

1939 Heavy artillery duels flare on Western Front.

Churchill claims the U-boat menace has been overcome, but U-48 sinks the steamer Royal Sceptre and casts its crew adrift 300 miles from land.

The Luftwaffe bomb Warsaw with 420 planes. Casualties in the city since the start of the war have now reached 40,000 dead.

Germany begins rationing of bread and flour.

1940 Royal Canadian Navy armed merchant cruiser Prince Robert captures German merchant ship Weser off Manzillo, Mexico.

Court martial body set up in Vichy France for crimes against the state; no appeal allowed executions within 24 hours of sentencing.

Reich-Commissioner in Norway deposes King Haakon and the Administrative Council, declaring the government illegal. All political parties are dissolved except for Quisling’s pro-Nazi party, the Nasjonal Samling, which is installed as the government of Norway.

An attack by Free French forces landed by ships of the Royal Navy against the west African port of Dakar is repulsed by Vichy French troops.

The US cryptanalyst, Harry L Clark, discovers the key to the Japanese top secret codes, allowing the US to read Japanese diplomatic, naval and military to top secret coded traffic.

1941 Hitler orders all attacks by Army Group North on Leningrad stopped and the city to be besieged and starved-out. After its foreseen surrender, the city is to be leveled.

Rommel, having discovered that their wasn’t a British fuel dump at Sidi Barrani and believing that that British had taken up a purely defensive posture, withdrew the 21st Panzer Division back to the Libyan-Egyptian border.

1942 The War Labor Board orders equal pay for women in the United States.

RAF Mosquitoes make a successful low level daylight raid on Gestapo HQ in Oslo. (MORE INFO)

Tokyo and Berlin announce that German U-boats and Japanese submarines will be working together in the Atlantic Ocean.

1943 The Russians capture Smolensk and Roslavl, over 200 miles to the West of Moscow.

1944 The Canadians begin all-out attack on the German stronghold at Calais.

Hitler orders the formation of the Volksturm, the German home guard.

Operation Market Garden ends as British troops withdraw from Arnhem, Holland.

Free French launch assault toward Belfort Gap in France.

Vidkun Quisling’s Ministers urge the Germans to end the occupation of Norway.

1945 The Nazi party is officially declared illegal in Germany.

The last Russian soldier leaves Norwegian territory near Storskog at 20:55.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: August 15 WWII Today: February 6 WWII Today: April 12