Timeline of World War II

As I have read various books on the World War II period, I have wondered how various events relate to one another chronologically. I decided to start this timeline to help visualize those events. I consider this for now at least a work in progress as I will be adding entries from time to time.

If you are interested in this page, you may also find these other pages of interest:

The  “World War II Resources” page is a collection of more than 560 links to museums, memorials, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and other sources with information on the World War II-era in history. 

The “About WWII” page is a collection of links to posts that I have made over the years that are relevant to WWII.

Last updated 22 November 2021

Pacific TheaterDateEuropean Theater
Jan 18War-weary and starving German civilians take to the streets to demand “peace and bread.” The country is just days away from surrender. [4]
Jan 15The Freikorps, or German volunteer units, quell an uprising by the Marxist Spartacus League in Berlin, Germany, killing ~150 civilians and #executing their leaders Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg [116]
Jan 18The Paris Peace Conference begins to negotiate treaties after World War I
FebThe Polish-Soviet War begins. The war would last until 1920. The Treaty of Riga was signed on March 18, 1921, giving Poland control of present-day western Ukraine and West Belarus. Poland would lose this territory after World War II. [116]
JlyThe then-unknown Corporal Adolf Hitler is given the mission of infiltrating the Nazi party for German Army Intelligence.
Jan 13Workers from main Berlin industries left their posts & marched to Königsplatz. By 3.30pm in this highly combustible atmosphere shots were fired. SIPO troops (most of them Freikorps soldiers) protecting Reichstag used MGs to hold back the crowds. some 150k people gathered before Berlin’s parliament building, the Reichstag, to demonstrate against a bill limiting the power of Works Committees set up after WW1. Betriebsräte gave workers bigger influence on their companies’ policies: an important improvement.[141]
Jan 21The Paris Peace Conference ends
Apr 28Azerbaijan is incorporated into the USSR after the Soviet Red Army invades the country. Lenin justifies the invasion stating that the USSR couldn’t live without Baku’s oil. [116]
Aug 8The German Workers’ Party (DAP) was officially renamed the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP), aka the Nazi Party. [116]
Aug 19The Second Silesian Uprising brakes out. The main postulate of those fighting under Alfons Zgrzebniok was to get rid of the German Sicherheitpolizei police and its replacement with a Polish-German formation. [55]
Aug 26The 19th Amendment is adopted into the US Constitution, guaranteeing women the right to vote. [214]
Mar 21The Peace of Riga is signed ending the Polish-Soviet War
Mar 23Benito Mussolini establishes what would become the National Fascist Party in Milan, Italy. At first, the group consisted of just 200 members. [116]
Mar 30The first Soviet tank unit is created. It numbered 4 tanks and had extensive support structures including a train, as the British-supplied Mark V tanks captured from the White Army are quite slow and unreliable [22]
Jne 8Harold Ross Harris was the first to fly a pressurized aircraft, a Dayton-Wright USD-9A with an experimental pressurized cockpit. [8]
Jly 11During the Russian Revolution, the communist Red #Army captures Mongolia from the anti-communist White Army, creating the Mongolian People’s Republic. [116]
Jly 29Hitler becomes the leader of the Nazi party
Aug 10The Treaty of Sèvres between the Allies and the Ottman Empire is signed in the exhibition hall of a porcelain factory – as the Greco-Turkish War rages on.
Aug 29The U.S.–Hungarian Peace Treaty is signed. The treaty ends World War I between the two countries. It was signed in Budapest and was required because the U.S. Senate refused to ratify the multilateral Treaty of Trianon. [116]
Nov 4The Nazi Party’s paramilitary Sturmabteilung or ‘SA’ is founded. They become known as the “brown-shirts” [4]
The Washington Naval Treaty is signed by the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan, France, and Italy. They agree to limit the size of their naval forces.Feb 6
Jly 24The draft of the British Mandate of Palestine is formally confirmed by the Council of the League of Nations; it came into effect on 26 September 1923. [167]
OctThe Russian Civil War ends with the communists in power.
With LT Virgil Griffin at the controls, a Vought VE-7 became the first aircraft to launch from USS Langley (CV 1), the U.S. Navy’s first aircraft carrier. [121]Oct 17
Oct 20Harold Ross Harris makes history as the first pilot to bail out of a stricken aircraft using a free-fall parachute. [8]
Oct 29Benito Mussolini is appointed the Prime Minister of Italy by the king
Oct 30Italian Fascist Benito Mussolini threatens violence if he is not allowed to form a government. King Victor Emmanuel III agrees to his demands [116]
Nov 5The Treaty of Rapallo was formally signed in Berlin. Germany and Russia would renounce all territorial and monetary claims against each other as the result of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk at the end of WW1, and the two nations were to engage in friendly relations. Russia was to provide heavy weapons and facilities for German military training, which was prohibited by the Treaty of Versailles; meanwhile, Germany was to conduct training for the Russian military and to provide Russia with an annual payment.
Dec 30Soviet Russia, Belorussia, Ukraine, and the Transcaucasian Federation, are renamed the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics by Vladimir I. Lenin [116]
Jan 11French and Belgium troops occupy the German Ruhr valley in response to the Weimar Republic missing reparation payments due as part of the Treaty of #Versailles, which ended WWI. The occupation ended on August 25, 1925.  [116]
Jan 31Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve (RCNVR) created to augment RCNR, with units in Calgary, Charlottetown, Edmonton, Halifax, Hamilton, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City, Regina, Saint John, Saskatoon, Toronto, Vancouver & Winnipeg. [61]
Feb 16WWI allies give Memelland, formerly part of Prussia, Germany, to Lithuania where a large Lithuanian population lived. Lithuania took control of Memelland on January 23 when the allies and Germany decided to turn it into a free state. [116]
Crown Prince Hirohito began a two-week tour of Taiwan [2]Apr 12
Jne 20The French government announceds it will seize the Rhineland to force Germany to pay treaty debts owed (reparations) under the terms of the Versailles Treaty. This will lead to a huge rise in prices called the “great inflation” that led to the collapse of the German Mark. [154] — Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve Half Company is formed in St John, NB. The unit will late be named HMCS BRUNSWICKER in 1941 [61]
Jne 26Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve Half Company, is formed in Regina, SK. The Naval Reserve Unit would be renamed HMCS QUEEN in 1942. [61]
Jly 24The Treaty of Lausanne, which set the boundaries of Turkey, is signed in Switzerland by Greece, Bulgaria and others that fought in WWI. [116]
Sep 26The British Mandate of Palestine goes into effect after being confirmed by the Council of the League of Nations on July 24, 1922. [167]
Oct 23German communists in Hamburg, Germany begins an unsuccessful insurrection during the Weimar Republic. The uprising was encouraged by leaders of the Soviet Union [116]
Nov 8The Beer Hall Putsch takes place, in which Adolf Hitler unsuccessfully leads the Nazis in an attempt to overthrow the German government. Hitler was arrested on 11 Nov 1923. He would be imprisoned for his action. While in prison he will write Mein Kampf [2, 49, 116]
May 30A lecture by Russian space advocate and engineer Mikhail Lapirov-Skoblo requires police assistance when unruly crowds clamor to learn more about recent rocketry developments. Thus begins the world’s first space fad, followed shortly by a similar frenzy in Germany. [117]
Apr 1Adolf Hitler is sentenced to five years in prison for leading the Nazis’ unsuccessful Beer Hall Putsch. The attempted coup had amounted to an act of treason and caused the death of 4 police officers. Hitler received a 5-year prison sentence with a chance of parole in 6 months. Ludendorff was acquitted.He serves nine months and will write Mein Kampf while in #prison. [116, 146]
Japanese aircraft sink a ship for the first time, when Imperial Japanese Navy bombers used level bombing from an average height of 3,281 feet over the course of four hours to sink the retired coast defence battleship Iwami off Yokosuka [8]Jly 10
Jly 24The Treaty of Lausanne, which set the boundaries of Turkey, is signed in Switzerland by Greece, Bulgaria and others that fought in WWI. [116]
Aug 8The US Navy airship USS Shenandoah ZR-1 successfully docked in the open sea on the support ship USS Patoka AO-9 en route. It thus demonstrated the ability of airships to operate far on the high seas from this type of vessel. [9]
Dec 20Adolf Hitler is released from Landsberg Prison. Following his release, Hitler convinced the Chancellor of Bavaria to remove the ban on the Nazi Party [49]
Jan 3Benito Mussolini dissolves parliament and becomes dictator of Italy [116]
Jne 3First flight of the Marinens Flyvebaatfabrikk M.F.9 Høverjager (“Høver fighter” also known as the Høver M.F.9), Norwegian biplane fighter seaplane. Also the first flight of the Parnall Peto, (N-181). British small seaplane prototype of mixed wood, fabric, aluminium and steel construction, unequal span, folding wings, for use as a submarine-carried reconnaissance aircraft. [8]
Jly 18Adolf Hitler’s philosophical autobiography, Mein Kampf, is published. It outlines his antisemitism, his political ideology, and future plans for Germany. It will become the blueprint of his agenda for a Third Reich. It is a clear exposition of the nightmare that would envelope Europe from 1939 to 1945. It will be published in English in 1933. He started writing it while in prison after his failed putsch. [39, 116].
Jne 19Following severe fighting by No. 1 and No. 30 Squadrons against his stronghold, Kurdish Sheikh Mahmud retires into Persia, taking with him a pilot and gunner from No. 30 Squadron who had been captured. The men are eventually released unharmed in October 1926. [60]
Jne 28The German car company Daimler-Benz (which would later become Mercedes-Benz) is formed. It was a merger of two car companies owned by Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz. [154]
Jly 19First flight of the Fiat CR.20, Italian biplane fighter. A traditional sesquiplane configuration, the engine was a water-cooled 410 hp Fiat A.20 V-12. [8]
Chinese Nationalists establish a government in Nanjing [2]Apr 18
Jne 5The Verein für Raumschiffahrt, or “VfR” (Society for Space Travel) an influential amateur organization to promote rocketry, is founded in Breslau, Germany. Bureaucratic complications occur as the court doesn’t recognize the validity of the word “Raumschiffahrt”. [117]
Aug 8First flight of the Bristol 101. British two-seat biplane fighter prototype. Powered by a 450 hp Bristol Jupiter VI engine. [8]
Mar 29The first direct elections for German President are held as Friedrich Ebert had died in office. The campaign was fiercely faught by all sides, but there were too many candidates, none achieved an absolute majority. Riots broke out on election day. [146]
Japanese and Chinese troops clash in Shandong, China [2]May 3
Zhang Jinghui seriously wounded during assassination of Zhang Zuolin [2]Jne 4
Aug 27The Kellogg–Briand Pact is signed by Germany, France and the U.S. (others signed later). Signatories promised not to use war to resolve “disputes or conflicts of whatever nature or of whatever origin they may be, which may arise among them.” [116]
Oct 1Joseph Stalin implements the first Five Year Plan in Soviet Russia. The Plan is a series of revolutionary economic reforms that, on the one hand, resulted in industrial growth. Yet the agricultural collectivisation policy causes mass famine. [39]
Michinomiya Hirohito is enthroned as the 124th Japanese monarch. He serves until his death on January 7, 1989, becoming the longest serving monarch in Japanese history. [116]Nov 10
Mar 28Henry Stimson becomes the United States Secretary of State [2]
Apr 8Communist USSR passes a law limiting religious activities to those within religious buildings only and prohibited those under 18 from participating. [116]
Jne 7The Italian parliament ratifies the Lateran Treaty with the Holy See, creating #Vatican City as an independent state. [116]
Jly 10First flight of the Blériot Bl-127/4. French twin engine 5 seat bomber prototype. Single conversion of the Blériot Bl-127 with revised undercarriage. Powered by two 550 hp Hispano-Suiza 12Hb V-12 water-cooled piston engines. [8]
Jly 24The Kellogg-Briand Pact goes into effect. Countries that signed the agreement promised not to use war to resolve “disputes or conflicts of whatever nature or of whatever origin they may be, which may arise among them.” [116]
Aug 8The airship Graf Zeppelin, LZ 127 departs Lakehurst Naval Air Station, New Jersey, heading east across the Atlantic Ocean on the first world circumnavigation by air. [8]
Twenty-six submariners make a test escape from an intentionally-bottomed submarine using Momsen lungs. The wearable breathing device, known after its inventor Lt. Charles Momsen, was the first means of escaping a sunken submarine. [68]Aug 30
Sep 24Lieutenant James H. Doolittle, U.S. Army Air Corps, makes the first completely blind aeroplane takeoff flight and landing solely by reference to instruments in the rear cockpit of his two-seat civil-registered Consolidated NY-2 Husky trainer NX7918. [8]
Oct 29Stock prices collapsed on the New York Stock Exchange amid panic selling that precipitated the Great Depression.
Nov 17The MS-1 tank was first used in battle during the East China Railway conflict. The Red Army found many deficiencies with the tank, but its role in the conflict was decisive and a ceasefire was signed just a few days later. [22]
Dec 27Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin orders the liquidation of the kulaks, the affluent peasants/independent farmers, as a class. An estimated 3 million #kulaks were killed during the purge [116]
Apr 6James Dewar, a baker for the Continental Baking Co. in Illinois, invents the Twinkie. It was filled with banana cream, but during WWII bananas were rationed so they were filled with vanilla cream. Banana cream resumed after the war. [116]
Apr 7Tthe Soviet trade delegation in the US and Christie signed a contract for two tanks, technical documentation, and rights to build three types of Christie tanks 22]
May 24Amy Johnson lands in Darwin, Northern Territory, becoming the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia (she left on May 5 for the 11,000 mile flight). [167]
Jly 28The first welded MS-1 hull was finished at the Izhora factory. Joining armor by welding was preferable to rivets, but this technology was not mastered until the T-26 and BT tanks were already in production. [22]
The first flight of the B-17 Flying Fortress.
Jan 26Production of T-26 light tanks begins in Bolshevik Factory in Leningrad [2]
Jan 31The career of the Russian Renault in the Red Army as a fighting tank is over. Their guns were removed and the tanks were relegated to tanker schools having never seen battle. [22]
The Gandhi–Irwin Pact signed by Mahatma Gandhi and India Viceroy Lord Irwin. It led to the second Round Table Conference, discussing constitutional reforms and marked the end of the civil disobedience movement in India [116]Mar 5
May 27Swiss professor Auguste Piccard and his assistant Paul Kipfer flew a stratosphere-balloon to 51,775 ft., from Augsburg, landing on a glacier in Austria. The first men to enter the stratosphere, they are considered the first to observe the Earth’s curvature. [8]
Jly 1Lufthansa airline opened regular flight service Berlin-London, carrying up to 13 (soon 19) passengers. The service was halted in October 1931 to retrofit the aircraft: D-2000 (largest plane worldwide!). It got a second deck so 30 passengers could fly. [141]
Jly 3The first warships authorized by and built for the Canadian government, destroyers HMCS SAGUENAY (H01/D79/I79/I89) and SKEENA (H03/H43/D59/I59), arrive at Halifax, Nova Scotia. [61]
Aug 20The Red Army begins a large scale exercise that includes 61 MS-1 tanks. These exercises prove once more that the MS-1 is too slow to meet the requirements for a modern tank [22]
The Japanese stage an attack against a Japanese-owned railroad in Manchuria. The Japanese blamed Chinese dissidents for the attack, which is known as the Mukden Incident. Many claim this as the start of WW2.Japan invades Manchuria [116]Sep 18
Sep 23LTGEN Xi Qia begains talks with Japanese occupation representatives in Mukden, China [2]
Sep 26Keel to USS Ranger (CV 4) laid @ Newport News, VA. She is 1st ship designed & constructed as an aircraftcarrier [107]
Pro-Japanese Zhang Jinghui plotts secession of Heilongjiang from China [2]Sep 27
Oct 1The British Air Ministry issues Specification F.7/30. This will lead to the Gloster Gladiator. [9]
Oct 14First flight of the Hawker Nimrod (HN1). British carrier-based single engine, single seat biplane fighter aircraft [8]
Ma Zhanshan launches a failed attack on Japanese troops in northeastern China [2]Nov 4
General Ma Zhanshan rejects the Japanese ultimatum [2]Nov 15
Japanese Kwantung Army launches an offensive from Mukden toward Jinzhou in China [2]Dec 21
Japanese troops reach the Taling River in northeastern China [2]Dec 31
Japanese troops capture Jinzhou, Liaoning Province, China [2]Jan 3
Jan 24HMCS Skeena and Vancouver, of the Royal Canadian Navy, landed armed parties at Acajutla, El Salvador to protect British subjects threatened in a revolution [31]
Chinese and Japanese troops clash in Shanghai [2]Jan 28
In the first major aircraft carrier action in the Far East, Japanese carrier aircraft bomb Shanghai, China causing 1,000 mostly civilian deaths [2]Jan 29
Japanese troops capture Harbin, ChinaFeb 4
The Japanese carrier Hosho launchs sorties against Chinese positions in ShanghaiFeb 5
Ma Zhanshan surrenders to the Japanese in Heilongjiang, China [2]Feb 14
The Chinese naval commander in Harbin surrenders 5 river gunboats to Japan [2]Feb 15
Feb 16First flight of the Martin B-10, first all-metal monoplane bomber. It was the first all-metal monoplane bomber to go into regular use by the United States Army Air Corps and the first mass-produced bomber
League of Nations reviews the Japanese violation of Chinese sovereignty [2]Feb 19
Chinese troops launch a failed counterattack in ShanghaiMar 1
Chinese 19th Route Army and the 5th Army withdrew from Shanghai, China. [2]Mar 3
The League of Nations demand a ceasefire between Japanese and Chinese forces in China [2]Mar 4
The Chinese back down at Shanghai per League of Nations request; Japanese attacks continue [2]Mar 6
Mar 7First flight of the German Junkers Ju 52/3m, 3 engine transport aircraft [8]
Li Haiching defeats pro-Japanese Xi Qia 35 miles north of capital of puppet Manchukuo state [2]Mar 29
Apr 10Paul von Hindenburg is reelected as President of the Weimar Republic. He gained 53% of votes, while Hitler received 36.8% and the communist Ernst Thälmann 10.2%. Hindenburg ran to prevent Hitler from winning. Hitler wqs then appointed chancellor by Hindenburg on January 30, 1933. [116, 146]
May 21Fives years to the day after Charles Lindbergh became the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to accomplish the feat. Bad weather forced her to land in a pasture in Derry, Northern Ireland. [44, 116]
Jne 3Crowds swarm to Berlin’s Müggelsee to C the largest flying boat worldwide, 12-engine Dornier DO X, which landed on the lake May 26. After DO X “parked” later before “Rübezahl”, a popular lake café, on Jun 1 visitors were let on board. 20k people have taken a tour. [141]
Jly 8First flight of the Supermarine Scapa (Nanuk / Solent / Southampton X), British general reconnaissance biplane twin engine flying boat. Developed from the Southampton, it formed the basis of the later Stranraer flying boat. [8]
Jly 31The National Socialist party in Germany wins 37.4% of the vote in parliamentary elections. They become the largest party in the Reichstag with 230 seats. By 1945, the Nazis had murdered 6 million Jewish people in the Holocaust. A stark reminder that democracy is fragile. [118]
Aug 20The T-35-1 prototype tank is completed. This 5-turreted colossus is the first step to the Soviet Union’s first mass produced heavy tank: the T-35A (later just T-35) [22]
Japanese troops capture the Shanhai Gate of the Great Wall of China [2]Sep 18
China appeals to the League of Nations over Japanese invasion [2]Sep 21
Japanese troops attack Qiqihar, Nenjiang Province, China [2]Nov 17
Jan 30Adolf Hitler becomes chancellor of Germany after German President Paul von Hindenburg appoints him to the position. [2, 26, 116]
Feb 3A few days after becoming German’s chancellor, Adolf Hitler tells his generals the purpose of the Wehrmacht was for “Conquering new Lebensraum in the East and ruthlessly Germanizing it.” [116]
Japanese and Manchukuo troops attack Rehe Province in ChinaFeb 21
Japanese troops capture Chaoyang, Rehe Province, ChinaFebruary 25
Feb 27Germany’s Reichstag burns. Hitler blames communist terrorists for the blaze and declares a state of emergency. In the coming days, the Nazis will crack down on all political opposition and silence the press [2]
Chinese 620th and 621st Regiments ambush Japanese troops near the Great Wall [2]Mar 6
Chinese troops repulse Japanese attack on Gubeikou Pass of the Great Wall [2]Mar 7
Japanese and Chinese troops clash at Gubeikou Pass of the Great Wall. [2]Mar 10
Chinese 25th Division is ordered to fall back from Gubeikou Pass of the Great Wall. [2]Mar 12
Mar 20The Dachau Concentration camp is established outside of Munich, Germany. Political opponents of Nazis (Communists, Social Democrats, trade unionists) are the first prisoners. [116]
Japanese troops capture Yiyuankou Pass of the Great Wall. [2]Mar 21
Mar 22The first purpose-built SS Nazi concentration camp at Dachau is established. The camp located near Munich opened with 200 prisoners. Initially intended for political prisoners, conditions in the camp were deplorable with inmates subjected to horrific physical and verbal abuse. The camp operated until the end of WWII. More than 200,000 people were incarcerated there, including Jewish men like Joseph Landman and his son Henry in 1938. Both were released and immigrated to America. [49, 126, 150]
Mar 24The Enabling Act is proclaimed, which allows Hitler to pass laws, including ones that violated the Weimar Constitution, without the approval of the Reichstag or Reich President Paul von Hindenburg. This law established the necessary conditions for dictatorial rule. [49, 116]
Mar 26Adolf Hitler calls for a boycott of all Jewish businesses. [126]
Mar 27The Enabling Act comes into effect, giving Hitler near-dictatorial powers. [2]
Mar 29Nazi film censors ban FritzLang’s “Das Testament des Dr Mabuse”. “Very exciting. Can’t be released. Ready manual for crime,” wrote Goebbels in his diary. It’s a story of an evil, mind controlling freak hypnotist making people commit crimes from his mental asylum cell. [141]
Apr 1The Nazis carry out a nationwide planned action against Jews of Germany: economic boycott targeting Jewish businesses and professionals. It was a reprisal & revenge against “atrocity stories” that Jews were allegedly circulating in the international press.[6, 118]
Apr 4The airship USS Akron (ZRS 4) crashes in the Atlantic, off NJ coast. 73 of 76 crewmen & passengers are killed. [107]
Japanese troops capture Lengkou of the Great Wall of China [2]April 11
May 2Adolf Hitler’s government bans trade unions in Germany. They are replaced by a Nazi controlled sham organisation called the Labour Front. It was supposed to bring harmony between employers and employees but removed key employment rights such as the right to strike. [154]
May 6The Nazis led the first physical attack on homosexuals following their rise to power. Students, led by members of the SA, attacked and looted the Institute of Sexual Research [49]
Japanese carrier Ryujo is commissioned into service [2]May 9
Truce negotiations ended the First Battle of Hebei, China [2]May 22
Jne 23Germany’s Dictator Adolf Hitler outlaws the German Social Democratic Party. It had been the largest political party in Germany for roughly four decades. [116]
Jly 14Just a few months after the Nazi Party’s rise to power, the German Reichstag issued a series of laws targeting “non-Aryans” and consolidating Nazi power. The first law was the “Law against the Founding of New Parties,” which dissolved or disbanded all other political organizations and formally made Germany a one party state. [116, 214] — The Nazi eugenics program begins with the Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring. The law allowed for the forced sterilization of Germans with physical or mental health conditions. This included those with conditions such as deafness, schizophrenia and epilepsy. By the end of the Nazi regime, over 200 “Genetic Health Courts” were created, and under their rulings over 400,000 people were sterilized against their will. [44, 131]
Wiley Post becomes the first person to fly solo around the world. He did it in 7 days, 18 hours and 45 minutes. On Aug. 15 Post and actor Will Rogers were killed when a plane that Post was flying crashed near Point Barrow, Alaska. [116]Jly 22
Sep 13The Nazis make racial science compulsory in all German schools. The Nazis indoctrinated the younger population through education by changing the core curriculum to emphasize sports, history and racial science [49]
Oct 14Nazi Germany announces that it is withdrawing from the League of Nations [116]
Dec 30First flight of The Polikarpov I-16, (TsKB-12) Soviet fighter aircraft of revolutionary design; it was the world’s first cantilever-winged monoplane fighter with retractable landing gear. [8]
Mar 6Harry Knox patents his revolutionary composite track link. The combination of rubber and metal in one allowed the Americans to create a track link that was both long lasting and soft on the wheels and idler at the same time [22]
Soviet troops capture Korla, Xinjiang, China [2]March 16
Japanese troops capture Yiyuankou Pass of the Great Wall [2]March 21
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Tydings–McDuffie Act, aka the Philippines Independence Act, establishing the process for the Philippines to gain its independence. [116]Mar 24
Mar 26The automobile driving test is introduced to the UK. [160]
Chinese 36th Div captures Yangi Hissar, Xinjiang Area, China [2]April 16
Apr 17The Fairey Swordfish biplane, that would become famous for its WW2 Royal Navy service, made its first flight. It would be involved in many FAA actions against enemy units including the Bismarck and Taranto, destroying more enemy tonnage than any allied aircraft. [9, 87]
The Japanese carrier Ryujo was commissioned into service [2]May 9
Jne 8First flight of the Bloch MB-130. French 3 seat bomber prototype flown by André Curvale and René Vaudequin. Powered by two 760 hp Gnome-Rhône 14Kdrs engines. All-metal, low-wing monoplane armed with 3 machine guns, one in the nose, dorsal turret, and ventral gondola. The first flight of the Bristol Type 133 occured on this day. Tje Type 133 was a prototype single-seat, single-engine monoplane fighter armed with four guns, metal-skinned and with a retractable undercarriage. [8]
Jly 1Ernst Röhm (aged 46), leader of the violent Nazi Storm Troopers, was shot dead by the SS in a Munich prison cell on the order of Adolf Hitler. Hundreds of the SA (nicknamed the ‘Brownshirts’) were arrested or shot across Germany as part of Operation Hummingbird during the blood purge known as the Night of the Long Knives. [26, 154]
Jly 12The Germans ordered 1000 units of the La.S.100, a variant of their so called “agricultural tractor” with a 100 hp engine. This tank evolved into the Pz.Kpfw.II, a very different tank from its predecessor. [22]
Jly 26The SS becomes an independent organization of the Nazi party with Heinrich Himmler at its leader [2]
Jly 31Stefan Starzynski is appointed the president of Warsaw. He plays a crucial role during the city’s defence in September1939 – his speeches to Warsaw inhabitants broadcast by the radio boosted morale in the bombarded capital. He was later killed by the Germans. [55]
Aug 2Adolf Hitler becomes Führer of Germany following the death of President Paul von Hindenburg, who died at the age of 86. [116]
Aug 8First flight of the Tupolev ANT-22 (also known as the MK-1). Soviet large flying boat consisting of two hulls and powered by six engines in three nacelles in a push-pull configuration. [8]
Aug 19The German public votes 90 percent in favor of Chancellor Adolf Hitler becoming Führer und Reichskanzler (“leader and chancellor”), a new title created after the death of President Paul von Hindenburg earlier in the month. Hitler abolishes the office of president and declares himself Führer of the German Reich and People. [49]
Oct 7First flight of the Tupolev ANT-40.1, a Soviet high speed twin-engine three-seat monoplane bomber [8]
Nov 4First flight of the Junkers Ju 86. German twin engine monoplane bomber and civilian airliner. The first prototype Ju 86, the Ju 86abi in bomber configuration, was fitted with Siemens SAM 22 radial engines. [8]
Dec 18First flight of the Northrop XFT. American prototype fighter aircraft, single engine low-wing monoplane powered by a Wright Whirlwind radial [8]
Japan renounces the Naval Treaties of 1922 and 1930 [2]December 29
Jan 3Specification F.37/34 is issued by the Air Ministry for a Spitfire prototype [9]
Feb 182 German noble women, Benita von Falkenhayn & Renate von Natzmer, are sentenced for high treason, beheaded in Berlin Ploetzensee prison. They spied for Polish secret service: both had an affair with a POL spy, Baron Jerzy Sosnowski (sought info on GER rearmament & airplanes) [141]
Feb 24First flight of the twin engine German Heinkel He 111
March 10In a blatant violation of the Treaty of Versailles, Hermann Goering announces the existence of the Luftwaffe. [116]
Mar 16German dictator Adolf Hitler violates the Treaty of Versailles and orders a general military conscription. Versailles had limited Germany’s peacetime #military forces to 100,000. [116]
Mar 17In 1934, the Confessing Church was founded by Martin Niemöller. The Confessing Church openly opposed the Nazis & stressed the church’s autonomy. On March 17, 1935, 700 pastors, including Niemöller, were imprisoned in concentration camps [49]
Mar 221st regular TV broadcast in history began in Berlin: Fernsehsender Paul Nipkow, named after the GER inventor of a vital element necessary for TV broadcast, the Nipkow-disc, debuted with its scheduled programme. First TV presenter? Elsa Elster. [141]
Apr 12The Type 142, flying from Filton, makes its maiden flight. This would be developed into the Bristol Blenheim, a British light bomber [9]
Apr 15First flight of the Douglas TBD Devastator, torpedo bomber of the US Navy and Navy’s first all-metal monoplane. [8]
May 1The German government issues a ban on all organisations of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. By 1939 over 6,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses were in camps across the Third Reich. At the end WWII over 1,400 had been murdered. [49]
May 6First flight of the Curtiss P-36 Hawk, also known as the Curtiss Hawk Model 75, American fighter aircraft. The P-36 was flown by the US Army Air Corp and allies in both theaters
Zhang Jinghui is named Prime Minister of Manchukuo puppet state [2]May 21
Jne 4First flight of the Armstrong Whitworth AW.23. British prototype bomber/transport aircraft used for inflight refuelling development by Flight Refuelling Ltd. [8]
Jne 26Specification F.9/35 is issued by the British Air Ministry. This will lead to the Boulton Paul Defiant [9]
Jne 28The Nazis revised paragraph 175, a section of the German Criminal Code. This banned homosexual contact. It extended the persecution of gay men in Nazi Germany. Many who were found guilty were sent to Auschwitz. [49, 118]
Jly 1Gloster’s SS.37 aircraft is given the name Gladiator. [9]
Jly 5DH88 Comet F-ANPY broke the London to Paris speed record, reducing it to 52 minutes. F-ANPY, was G-ACSR refurbished and sold to the French Government. [208]
Jly 25The Austrian Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuß (aged 41) is assassinated by Nazis during a failed pro-Nazi coup. Germany had incited Austrian Nazis to attempt the coup. They raided the chancellery and shot Dollfuß. He had himself been a dictator but promoted Austrofascism modelled on Mussolini’s Italy. Their goal had been to install a German-friendly government. Hitler, unconvincingly, denies any knowledge or involvement. Italian dictator Mussolini is outraged and offers public support for Austrian independence. [116, 146, 154]
Jly 28The B-17 Flying Fortress prototype makes its maiden flight. [9]
Aug 8First flight of the Morane-Saulnier MS 405N-1. French fighter prototype which led to the MS 406. [8]
Sep 10The Iranian government expands their order with ČKD to 50 TNH tanks and 50 AH-IV tankettes. This might not seem like much, but this was a significant purchase that made up for losing the LT vz.35 contract to Škoda. [22]
Sep 15The Nuremberg Laws are pass in Nazi Germany by the Reichstag. The laws institutionalized discrimination against Jews and provided the legal framework for their persecution in Germany. [116]
Sep 17The first flight of the German Junkers 87, better known as the Stuka, one of the most feared aircraft of WW2. Although unsuccessful during the Battle of Britain, it remained in German service until the end of WW2 [60]
Sep 27First flight of the Loire 250. French fighter built to meet a requirement for a single-seat fighter prototype to undergo a fly-off competition with the Dewoitine D.513 and Morane-Saulnier MS.405. Powered by a 1,000 hp Hispano-Suiza 14Ha-7a radial engine. [8]
Oct 3Italian forces attack Abyssinia in the Second Italo-Ethiopian War. The last battle of the war, which Italy won, occurred on February 19, 1937. The Ethiopian Empire then became part of the Italian colony of Italian East Africa [116]
Nov 6Flying from Brooklands the Hurricane prototype makes its first flight. It was powered by a Rolls-Royce ‘C’ engine and George Bulman, chief test pilot at Hawker, was at the controls. [9]
Chiang Kaishek is made the Premier of Republic of China [2]December 9
Dec 12Lebensborn organization is founded within the SS in Germany. Its goal is to stop falling birth rates & promote Nazi eugenics. It provided welfare & encouraged births by unmarried women. These kids were adopted to SS members and others. [116]
Dec 17The DC-3 Dakota is first flown. Over 16,000 were built and 300+ still fly 85 years later. [134]
Mar 5First flight of the Supermarine Spitfire. The Supermarine Spitfire is a British single-seat fighter aircraft used by the Royal Air Force and other Allied countries before, during, and after World War II [151]
Mar 7in a major advance of Adolf Hitler’s foreign policy, he launches his first military operation as German forces enter the Rhineland unopposed. This invasion violated the Pact of Locarno but was met without any significant reaction by the major powers. Under the Treaty of Versailles it was supposed to be demilitarized. German troops have orders to retreat if there are signs of French opposition. neither Britain nor France responded militarily [35, 116, 126]
Mar 10First flight of the Fairey Battle (K4303). British single-engine light bomber. Fitted with a Merlin I engine capable of generating 1,030 hp, it performed its maiden flight at Hayes, Middlesex. [8]
Mongolian separatists and Manchu separatists clash at village of Tauran [2]Mar 11
Mar 17The British Armstrong Whitworth Whitley prototype makes its first flight. Alan Campbell-Orde was the pilot and it was powered by two Armstrong Siddeley Tiger X engines. [9]
Mar 26The Spitfire prototype arrives at the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment at Martlesham Heath for trials. [9]
Mar 27The Junkers Ju 87 V3 (Stuka) prototype makes its maiden flight. [9]
Kenkichi Ueda is made ambassador to Manchukuo puppet state. [2] Chinese attack Japanese troops at Taierzhuang, China but it ended in failure. [2]Mar 28
Mar 29Adolf Hitler receives 99% of the votes in a referendum to either ratify or reject Germany’s illegal military reoccupation of the Rhineland. The vote showed the German people overwhelmingly approved of Hitler’s unilateral breach of the Treaty of Versailles. [146, 154]
May 1RAF Training Command is formed, pooling all the RAF flying and ground training assets in one organisation. RAF Fighter Command and Bomber Command were formed a few weeks later. [60]
May 2Emperor Haile Selassie of Abyssinia goes into exile [2]
May 6First flight of the Latécoère 298, French seaplane, single-engine, mid-wing cantilever monoplane, designed as a torpedo bomber, but also served as a dive bomber against land and naval targets, and as a maritime reconnaissance aircraft [9]
Chiang Kaishek proclaims that Japan is waging a undeclared war in China [2]May 9Italy formally annexes Ethiopia after taking Addis Ababa, the capital, on May 5, during the Second Italo-Ethiopian War. [116]
May 27First flight of the Fairey Seafox K-4304 from Hamble. British single engine reconnaissance floatplane. Powered by a 395 hp Napier Rapier 16-cylinder H-shaped air-cooled engine. [8]
May 28Alan Turing submits “On Computable Numbers” for publication, in which he set out the theoretical basis for modern computers. [44]
Jne 3An order for 310 Spitfire Mk Is is placed. These will cost £6,033 each, not including the cost of the Merlin engine. 600 Hawker Hurricanes are also ordered. These are stipulated to have the Rolls-Royce Merlin II engine [9]
Jne 26Hawker’s new monoplane fighter is officially named the Hurricane. [9]
Jne 27The Spitfire and Fairey Battle appear at the RAF Hendon airshow. [9]
Jne 28The British Bristol Blenheim prototype makes its maiden flight. [9]
Jly 17A failed coup by Nationalist forces marks the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. Military officers attempted to overthrow the left-wing Popular Front government in a military coup. The Popular Front had been elected 5 months earlier. [116]
Jly 18The second day of the uprising against the legitimately elected Spanish government of the 2nd Republic. General Francisco Franco issues a manifesto and leads an uprising in the Spanish army stationed in Morocco. Hundreds of Spaniards fight in the Spanish Civil War & ended up continuing the fight in the British Army during WW2. They left behind families & loved ones. [44, 219]
Jly 24The Westland Lysander prototype is sent to the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment for trials. [9]
The United States Navy orders a Grumman XF4F-2 Wildcat prototype. [9]Jly 28
Aug 1Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler opens the summer Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany. The political climate is of heightening political and racial persecution. Hitler sees the Olympics as a huge propaganda opportunity to promote Nazi ideals. The games brought a lull in the harassment of Jews, with Germany removing antisemitic graffiti, relaxing propaganda, and exerting strict control over the press. The Nazis use the event to showcase their regime and the response is overwhelmingly positive. A total of 49 nations attend, up from 37 in 1932. A notable absentee was the communist Soviet Union. It will be the last Olympics games until after the war when London hosts the 1948 games. [49, 116, 131, 154, 214]
Aug 14U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Social Security Act, providing government pensions for the elderly. [116]
The United States Navy orders 83 Curtiss SBC-3 Helldivers [9]Aug 19
Oct 1During Spanish Civil War, General Francisco Franco is publicly proclaimed as Generalísimo of the National army and Head of State. He would remain dictator of Spain until his death on November 20, 1975 [116]
Oct 3First flight of the Italian Fiat BR.20 Cicogna (Stork) low-wing twin-engine medium bomber
Japanese-backed Mongolian troops march into Suiyuan, China [2]Oct 20
Oct 30The Pz.Kpfw.I tank went into battle for the first time. Early reports indicated that its armour was insufficient even against rifle bullets, let alone Soviet 45 mm tank guns [22]
Nov 1Nazi Germany and Italy, reflecting their common interest in destabilizing the European order, announce a Rome-Berlin Axis one week after signing a treaty of friendship. [49]
Nov 25Signing of the Anti-Comintern Pact in Berlin [2]
Mengjiang-sponsored irregulars attack Bailingmiao, China [2]Dec 3
Dec 13First flight of the PZL.37 Łoś. Polish twin-engine medium bomber. Extensively used in the defense of Poland during the rapid invasion of Poland by Germany in September 1939. [2]
First flight of the Mitsubishi Ki-21 ‘Sally’. Japanese twin engine bomber [8]Dec 18
Jan 30German Chancellor Adolf Hitler withdraws Germany’s signature from the Treaty of Versailles. The treaty that basically brought an end to World War I. [116]
Feb 26First flight of the Fiat G.50 Freccia (“Arrow”), MM334, WWII Italian fighter aircraft. Italy’s first single-seat, all-metal monoplane with an enclosed cockpit and retractable landing gear to go into production
The first flight of the Japanese Mitsubishi Ki-30 “Ann” light bomberFeb 27
Mar 1The first British Bristol Blenheims enter service with the RAF 114 Squadron in Wyton
Mar 9The Armstrong Whitworth Whitley enters RAF service when No. 10 Squadron, RAF Dishforth receive the Whitley Mk I. [9]
Japanese 10th Div advances into Jiangsu Province, China [2]Mar 14Pope Pius’ XI issues encyclical With Burning Concern. It was written in German and not the usual Latin. He condemned pantheistic confusion, neopaganism, the so-called myth of race and blood, and the idolizing of the State. [116]
Mar 18Mussolini receives a ceremonial sword from Arab leaders of Italian Libya [2]
Mar 26Robert Goddard achieves the highest altitude for any of his experimental liquid-fuel rocket launches. The flight reaches a height of approx. 9,000 ft. [117]
Apr 11First flight of the Junkers Ju 89 German four-engine heavy bomber prototype
Apr 12Sir Frank Whittle ground-tests the first jet engine designed to power an aircraft, at Rugby, England. [167]
Apr 14The first production version of the Fairey Battle is built. This was powered by the 1,030-hp Rolls-Royce Merlin I engine. [9]
Apr 19The prototype Vickers Wellington crashes, this was a result of elevator overbalance in a high-speed dive. [9]
Apr 30Claire Chennault retires from the US Army Air Corps out of frustration [2]
May 6After an Atlantic crossing, the German passenger airship LZ129 Hindenburg caught fire and was destroyed. This occurred during its attempt to dock with its mooring mast at the Naval Air Station in Lakehurst, New Jersey, USA. Of the 97 passengers, 35 died. The fatalities were 13 passengers and 22 crewmen. One person on the ground perished. [9, 13, 116, 154, 181]
May 19The Fairey Battle entered into service with 63 Squadron, Royal Air Force. The first flight of the first production Battle, K7558, had been conducted by Duncan Menzies at Ringway on 14 April. [8, 183]
May 28Neville Chamberlain becomes Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He will serve in that capacity until May 10, 1940 when he resigns after a disastrous start to World War II for Britain and the Allies. [116]
1,500 Uyghur troops capture Old City district of Kashgar, China [2]May 30
Nationalist Chinese 36th Division captures Kashgar, China [2]Jne 2
Jne 26The Blackburn Skua appears at the RAF Display at Hendon. [9]
Jly 1An order for 200 Avro Manchesters for the RAF is placed. [9]
Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan dissapear whilst circumnavigating the globe above the Pacific Ocean. Her fate remains unknown. [39]Jly 2
The Marco Polo Bridge Incident renewed hostilities between Japan and ChinaJly 7-9
Some Japanese units are pulled from China as some politicians attempted to de-escalate [2]Jly 11
Jly 15The construction of KL Buchenwald, one of the first German Concentration Camps, begins. The Inspectorate of Concentration Camps and other SS authorities open the Buchenwald concentration camp. The first Poles were imprisoned in Buchenwald in September 1939. The Buchenwalk camp is located near Weimar, Germany. In 1945 a Polish engineer radioed the approaching US Army with a message about imminent camp evacuation. Buchenwald was in operation until it was liberated by the 6th Armored Division of the US Army in April 1945. Approximately 280,000 prisoners passed through Buchenwald and its 139 sub-camps. Most prisoners were never registered by camp officials, but at least 56,000 male prisoners were murdered. [55, 214].
Carrier Hosho launches aircraft in support of invasion of China [2]Jly 16
30 I-15 fighters were delivered to the Chinese Air Force at Lanzhou. [2]Jly 18The British Union of Fascists leader Oswald Mosley holds a rally on Southampton Common. “We don’t want Mosley!” That was the shout as the police struggled to get him away to safety on a barricaded tram. Mosley was hit by a stone and a tram window was smashed. [218]
The Curtiss SBC Helldiver enters service when United States Navy Squadron VS-5 on the USS Yorktown (CV-5) receives the first examples. [9]Jly 17
The Japanese 20th Division clashes with Chinese troops at the city of Langfang. [2]Jly 25
The Japanese 20th Division clashes with Chinese troops at the city of Langfang [2]Jly 25
A Japanese brigade attacks the Guanghua Gate of the Beiping, China city wall [2]Jly 26
Japanese troops besiege the city of Tongzhou (Tungchow), China. [2]Jly 27
The Japanese 20th Division attacks Beiping, China [2]Jly 28
Japanese troops attack Tianjin, China [2]Jly 29
Defending troops in Tianjin, China are ordered to withdraw from the city [2]Jly 30Head of the Soviet NKVD Nikolai Yezhov signs Order No. 00447, leading to the imprisonment of ~400,000 and execution of ~400,000 Soviet citizens. Known as the Great Purge, it was one of many purges in the former Soviet Union. [116]
Hideki Tojo leads Japanese troops at Battle of Chahar in China [2]Aug 1The German Fieseler Storch aircraft is shown to the public for the first time at an international flying meeting in Zurich, Switzerland. [9]
Chinese 29th Brigade under General Liu Ruzhen withdraws from Beiping, China [2]Aug 4
Emperor Showa allows Chinese POWs to be deprived of treatment demanded by international law [2]Aug 5
He Yingqin is made the commanding officer of the 4th War Area [2]Aug 6
The Chinese Navy begins planning for the blockade of the mouth of the Yangtze River [2]Aug 7
Japan declares Beiping and Tianjin secure [2]Aug 8
Lt Oyama attempted to enter Hongqiao Airport without authorization and was killed by Chinese police [2]Aug 9
Japanese warships bombard Shanghai, China [2]Aug 13
The Chinese capital of Nanjing is subjected to bombing for the first time [2]Aug 15
Japanese light tanks halt a Chinese counter attack at Shanghai [2]Aug 17
Yue Yiqin, in Hawk III biplane, shot down Shegeru Yano floatplane over Shanghai [2]Aug 21
Japanese aircraft attack the cruiser Pinghai repeatedly near Shanghai [2]Aug 22
Japanese aircraft sink cruiser Ninghai near Shanghai [2]Aug 23
Kaga carrier aircraft sank Chinese cruiser Yixian off Shanghai. [2]Aug 25
Japanese aircraft damage the Chinese gunboat Chuyou at Jiangyin, Jiangsu Province, China [2]Aug 29
Sep 3Two Handley Page Halifax prototypes are ordered. [9]
Japanese troops capture Datong, Shanxi, China and its large supply of coal [2]Sep 13
The Yubari engages with the Chinese cruiser Zhaohe off Guangdong, China [2]Sep 14
Japanese troops capture Luodian near Shanghai after fierce 4-day battle [2]Sep 15
Carrier aircraft from Ryujo attack Guangzhou, Guangdong, China [2]Sep 21
Japanese bombing kills 600 civilians in Nanjing [2]Sep 25
Chinese Cruiser Zhaohe is sunk by Japanese aircraft off Guangdong, China [2]Sep 28
Japanese aircraft bombard the Chinese coastal batteries overlooking Pearl River Delta [2]Sep 30
The Japanese Chahar Expeditionary Force attacks Gouxian, Shanxi, China [2]Oct 2
Jiang Dingwen is named the commanding officer of the Chinese 4th Army [2]Oct 4
Japanese troops capture Gouxian, Shanxi, China [2]Oct 12The first production Hawker Hurricane Mk I flies [9]
The Guanxi Army arrives in Shanghai, China to reinforce the Chinese forces [2]Oct 17
The Chinese 120th Div destroys 24 Japanese aircraft at Yangmingbao airfield [2]Oct 19
Yingrui is sunk by Japanese carrier aircraft from Kaga off Jiangyin, China [2]Oct 23
Chinese 524th Regiment withdraws into Sihang Warehouse in Shanghai [2]Oct 26
The Chinese recently escaped from the Sihang Warehouse in Shanghai into the international zone are interned [2]Nov 1
The keel of Battleship No. 1 is laid down at the Kure Naval Arsenal. [2]Nov 4
The Japanese 10th Army lands at Jinshanwei in the south of Shanghai [2]Nov 5Hitler conducts the Hossbach Conference, a secret conference held in the Reich Chancellery, where Hitler announces his intention to conduct war in Europe. Colonel Friedrich Hossbach took the minutes at the conference, hence the name. [116]
Nov 6Italy joins the Anti-Comintern Pact [2]
Japanese troops begin the occupation of Shanghai, China [2]Nov 9
Chuichi Nagumo was named the commandant of the mine warfare school [2]Nov 15
Chiang Kaishek orders government agencies to evacuate Nanjing, China [2]Nov 16
The Wufu defensive line between Shanghai and Nanjing is overrun by Japanese troops [2]Nov 19
Chinese government agencies begin to evacuate Nanjing for Hankou. [2]Nov 20
The Japanese Central China Area Army requests Tokyo for permission to assault Nanjing [2]Nov 22
German businessman Rabe in Nanjing voices concerns of Japanese atrocities to Hitler [2]Nov 25
Xicheng defensive line between Shanghai and Nanjing is overrun by Japanese troops [2]Nov 26
General Tang Shengzhi advised foreign residents in Nanjing to depart [2]Nov 27
Japanese troops reach outskirts of Nanjing and demand surrender of the cityDec 2Delegates from Russia and Germany meet at Brest-Litovsk to sign an armistice and open negotiations for a formal peace treaty. Berlin is hoping to end its two-front war so it can concentrate its forces for a decisive victory in the West. [4]
Japanese 9th and 16th Divs attacked Chinese 66th and 83rd Corps east of Nanjing [2]Dec 3
Japanese troops reach the outskirts of Nanjing and demanded surrender [2]Dec 9
Japanese troops began the assault on Nanjing, China [2]Dec 10First flight of the Lockheed Hudson B-14L (Mk.1) N7205. American-built light twin engine bomber & coastal reconnaissance aircraft built initially for the RAF. [8]
Japanese atrocities at Nanjing begin with the execution of 1500 Chinese POWs [2]During the Sino-Japanese War at the Battle of Nanking, Japan sinks the neutral U.S. ship, the USS Panay. It was escorting evacuees and three oil tankers when it was sunk. Japan agreed to pay $2 million in reparations as a result [116]Dec 12
Japanese forces take Nanking, China during the Sino-Japanese War. Some estimate that as many as 300,000 soldiers and citizens were massacred by the Japanese in what is known as the Rape of Nanking [2, 116]Dec 13
Japanese 6th Div troops massacre 2000 Chinese outside of Hanzhong Gate of Nanjing [2]Dec 15
The 20th Company of Japanese 16th Division kills 7000 Chinese east of Zijin Mtn near Nanjing [2]Dec 16
Japanese 13th Div began to burn remains of their thousands of victims in Nanjing [2]Dec 19
Japanese Domei News Agency reports Nanjing returning to normalcy [2]Dec 20
Dec 23The first production version of the Vickers Wellington Mk I flies, this was powered by two Bristol Pegasus X engines [9]
Japanese occupation forces begin registering men in Nanjing [2]Dec 28
Japanese occupation forces begin registering men in Nanjing [2]Dec 29
Japanese occupation forces in Nanjing, China begin registering women [2]Dec 31
Jan 14In Berlin, AdolfHitler received Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs JózefBeck. He assured him that the Third Reich did not intend to infringe the rights of Poland in Gdańsk while making clear that Germany is planning Anschluss – the annexation of Austria. [55]
Koki Hirota messaged other diplomats about Japanese brutality in Nanjing [2]Jan 17
George Fitch departed Nanjing with film containing scenes of Japanese atrocities [2]Jan 19
The cruiser Kuma supports the Japanese landing at Yantai, China [2]Feb 2
Japanese troops take 20 Chinese women from Ginling College for comfort houses [2]Feb 4The Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW) is formed under Wilhelm Keitel [2]
The International Committee in Nanjing makes 450 complaints of rape and murder to Japanese embassy [2]Feb 5
The Japanese begin a 6-month-long aerial bombardment campaign against Chongqing [2]Feb 18
The Chinese Air Force attacked Matsuyama Airfield on Taiwan [2]Feb 23
Dr. Robert Wilson estimates that 100k Chinese have been killed in Nanjing [2]Mar 7
Kaga arrives off Guangdong Province, China [2]Mar 3
Dr. Robert Wilson estimates 100k Chinese killed in Nanjing. [2]Mar 7
Mar 11Hitler formally issues a directive for the invasion of Austria [2]
Mar 12German troops march into Austria to complete the “Anschluss” (the union between Austria & Nazi Germany). The Anschluss was a significant moment: changing Nazi Germany’s geography & in development of/escalation in pre-war persecution. Huge crowds enthusiastically greeted German troops, even though the occupation was a clear breach of the Treaty of Versailles. The idea of a united #Austria and Germany goes back to as early as 1871. Hitler visits Linz that same day. [2, 116, 126, 154]
Mar 14The Japanese 10th Division advances into Jiangsu Province, China [2]
Chinese troops form a defensive line 75 miles north of Xuzhou [2]Mar 15
The Japanese attack on Tengxian, Jiangsu Province, China is repulsed [2]Mar 16
Chinese troops fall back from Tengxian to Xuzhou. [2]Mar 17
Japanese troops capture Tengxian, China [2]Mar 18
Chinese troops stop a Japanese offensive south of Hanzhuang, China [2]Mar 20
The Chinese 31st Division arrives at Jiangsu Province in response to a Japanese attack [2]Mar 21
Japanese troops begin to march toward Taierzhuang, Jiangsu Province, China [2]Mar 22
Chiang Kaishek inspects troops at Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province, China. [2]Mar 24
Chinese stumble upon Japanese rear artillery position at Taierzhuang, China [2]Mar 25
Arthur Clouston and Victor Ricketts land their de Havilland DH88 Comet named ‘Australian Anniversary’ at Gravesend in Kent, England to complete a 26,500-mile flight from England to New Zealand and back in a record 10 days 21 hours. [60]Mar 26
House-to-house fighting begins in Taierzhuang, Jiangsu, China [2]Mar 27
Chinese attack on Japanese troops at Taierzhuang, China ends in failure [2]Mar 29
Chinese guerrilla fighters destroy a Japanese field supply dump at Zaozhuang. [2]Apr 1
Major fighting in Taierzhuang, Jiangsu, China causes hundreds of civilian deaths [2]Apr 3
Chinese troops mount attacks against Japanese positions in Taierzhuang [2]Apr 4
Troops from the Chinese First War Area arrive at Xuzhou [2]Apr 5
Chinese victorious at Battle of Taierzhuang but failed to pursue retreating Japanese. [2]Apr 9
Zhu Jiaxun in an I-15bis shot down a Ki-27 over Shandong. [2]Apr 10Reichstag elections in Germany required all voters to approve union with Austria.[2] 99.73 per cent of Austrians voted to endorse Hitler uniting Austria with Germany after a national referendum. The union was known as the Anschluss. Voter turn out was 99.71 per cent. German troops had already occupied Austria one month earlier, on 12 March 1938.[154]
Chief of Army General Staff Prince Kotohito authorized use of poison gas in Inner Mongolia [2]Apr 11The A12E1 was sent to the Mechanical Warfare Experimental Establishment for trials. This tank evolved into the Infantry Tank Mk.II or Matilda. [22]
Apr 19The first of four pre-production Messerschmitt Bf 110B-01 fighters took flight [2]
Apr 24Nazi agitators in Sudetenland demanded autonomy with the Carlsbad Decrees [2]
Chinese fighters shot down 21 Japanese aircraft over Wuhan [2]Apr 29
Japanese captured Xuzhou, China [2]Apr 30The FA Cup Final between Preston North End and Huddersfield Town was televised on BBC TV for the first time. The TV audience was estimated at 10,000 as very few people owned a TV. [154]
May 3Construction begins on the Flossenburg Concentration Camp [2]
Zhu Jiaxun, in an I-15bis fighter, attacked the Japanese airfield in Guangdong [2]May 6
2,000 SNLF naval infantry troops land near Xiamen, China [2]May 10
Japanese troops capture the Hulishan and Baishi forts at Xiamen, China [2]May 11
Chinese troops abandon Xiamen, China for nearby Songyu [2]May 12
May 14The first Supermarine Spitfire Mk I flies. [9]
May 16German generals tell Hitler 12 divisions are ready to move into Czechoslovakia on command. [2]
May 20German military leaders update the Case Green military scenario [2]
May 23Herbert von Dirksen noted Germany had no intention over Czechoslovakia [2]
Japanese bombers attack Guangzhou, killing 750 and wounding 1,350 [2]May 28Hitler orders the military to prepare for an invasion of Czechoslovakia [2]
May 29Hungary adopta the first in a series of comprehensive anti-Jewish laws and measures. These measures excluded Jews from many professions and conscripted Jewish men, like George Pick’s father, Istvan, into forced labor battalions. [150]
Japanese bombers attack Guangzhou, kill 700 civilians [2]Jne 4The second prototype German 4 engine heavy bomber, Junkers Ju-89 (D-ALAT), sets a new payload/altitude world record with 11,000 lb payload at an altitude of 30,500 ft. [8]
Japanese troops begin to march for Wuhan [2]Jne 11
The Japanese 11th Army captures the airfield outside of Anqing, Anhui, China [2]Jne 12
Jne 14The ground-breaking ceremony for Hitler’s humongous Volkshalle aka “Monsterbau” (Monster Building), giant assembly hall planned for Hitler’s World Capital, Germania, took place at the Spreebogen in Berlin-Mitte. If built, it’d have had 2nd largest dome in GER. [141]
Japanese troops reach Madang, Jiangxi Province, China [2]Jne 16
Jne 23The RAF places an order for 200 Lockheed Hudsons. [9]
Arthur Chin and John Wong, in Gladiators, shoot down G3M bombers over Guangdong [2] — Japanese troops reach Madang, Jiangxi Province, China [2]Jne 24Viscountess Hampden officially christens Handley Page’s two-engined bomber. [9]
Japanese Special Naval Landing Force troops landed behind Chinese lines at Madang [2]Jne 26
Jly 3The LNER locomotive No.4468 “Mallard” achieved the world rail speed record for a steam locomotive of 126 MPH: a record that still stands. Built in Doncaster in March 1938, Mallard was designed by Sir Nigel Gresley, the Chief Engineer for LNER. [154]
Japanese troops capture Hukou, Jiangxi Province, China [2]Jly 4
The Japanese minelayer Kamome strikes a mine in the Yangtze River [2]Jly 6First flight of two French aircraft. The Caudron 710 (714) is a light fighter powered by a 450 hp Renault 12R-01 supercharged inverted and air-cooled V-12 engine. The Loire-Nieuport LN.401 is a dive bomber aircraft. [8]
The Japanese Navy orders the sunken Chinese cruiser Pinghai to be raised [2]Jly 11
Japanese diplomats demand that Soviet troops withdraw from Lake Khasan area [2] — Howard Hughes and crew completed an around-the-world flight in Hughes’ Lockheed Super Electra. The flight broke Wiley Post’s record, clocking in at 3 days, 19 hours, 8 minutes, and 10 seconds. [195]Jly 14The SOMUA S 35 tank was first shown to the public. This tank had some weaknesses, but it was very competitive for its time and could easily be called the best pre-war French tank. [22]
Crown Prince Yi Un was promoted to the rank of major general in the Japanese Army. [2]Jly 15
30 I-15 fighters are delivered to the Chinese Air Force at Lanzhou [2]Jly 18
The 6th Division of the Japanese 11th Army Group attacks Taihu County, Anhui, China [2]Jly 24
Japanese troops capture Jiujiang, Jiangxi, China [2]Jly 26
The Japanese 106th Division marches south from Jiujiang, Jiangxi Province, China [2]Jly 27
The Battle of Lake Khasan begins between Japan and the Soviets. Manchukuo, a Japanese puppet state, takes territory claimed by the Soviets under the Treaty of Peking, a treaty between Imperial #Russia and the #Qing Dynasty China. [116]Jly 29
Japanese and Manchukuo units defeat the Soviet 39th Rifle Corps during the Lake Khasan battle [2]Jly 31
Xue Yue takes command of the Chinese 1st Army [2]Aug 1
Aug 2Soviet reinforcements arrive in the Lake Khasan region [2]
Japanese and Chinese troops clash south of Jiujiang, Jiangxi, China [2]Aug 4
Japanese troops capture Huangdanao in Jiangxi Province, China [2]Aug 5
Japanese and Chinese troops clash at Jinjiashan, Jiangxi, China [2]Aug 6
Japanese troops capture Dengjiahe in Jiangxi Province, China [2]Aug 7
The Chinese 90th Division repulses Japanese assaults at Shizishan, Jiangxi, China [2]Aug 8
Soviet troops drive the Japanese out of the Lake Khasan region, northeastern China [2]Aug 9
Hitler Youth members arrive at Yokohama, Japan [77]Aug 16
Aug 17All Jews who have ‘non-Jewish’ first names are forced to adopt the middle name ‘Sara’ or ‘Israel’. These antisemitic measures are just a small part of the Nazi campaign to isolate and exclude the Jewish population. [49]
The Japanese 106th Div and Japanese 101st Div launch an offensive in Jiangxi, China [2]Aug 20
The Japanese 10th Division captures Luoshan, Hubei Province, China. [2]Aug 21
Aug 24Two tanks and seven drivers are secretly sent from Czechoslovakia to the USSR to demonstrate the LT vz. 35 tank to the Red Army. The tank proves superior to the T-26, but not good enough to purchase a license. [22]
Japanese troops capture Tianjia, Anhui, China [2]Aug 29
Elements of the Japanese 2nd Army Group capture Liuan, Hubei, China [2]Sep 6Opening of a Nazi party rally, Nürnberg, Germany [77]
Sep 9A delegation left Czechoslovakia for Moscow in secret, aiming to showcase the LT vz. 35 tank to the USSR. Skoda wanted to sell a production license, but the USSR had no desire to produce this tank. [22]
Sep 15Chamberlain and Hitler meet at Berchtesgaden to discuss the Czechoslovakia issue [2]
Japanese troops capture the city of Shang, Hubei Province, China [2]Sep 16
Sep 19The UK and France recommend that Czechoslovakia cede Sudetenland to Germany [2] — Flying from Rochester a half scale research version of the Short Stirling made of wood flies. It would be used until 1943 and made over 100 flights. [9]
Sep 20DuPont receives a patent for nylon, the first wholly synthetic fabric, discovered by organic chemist Wallace Carothers in 1935. [29]No. 49 Squadron based at RAF Scampton receives the first Handley Page Hampdens to enter RAF service. It replaces the Hawker Hinds they were using [9]
Japanese bombing kills 600 civilians in Nanjing [2]Sep 25
Sep 27British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain calls the Czech crisis in a broadcast on BBC Radio as “a quarrel in a far-away country between people of whom we know nothing” thus indicating he still favored acceding to Hitler’s demands in the Sudetenland
Sep 29German, Italian, French, British leaders meet at Munich to decide on Czechoslovakia [2]
Sep 30The Munich Agreement giving the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia to Germany is signed by Germany, Italy, Britain and France. Afterwards the UK PM Chamberlain declares ‘peace for our time’ after Sudetenland appeasement [2, 116]
Oct 1Hitler annexes Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland. “It is the last territorial claim which I have to make in Europe,” the Nazi leader assures the world [4, 116]Germans begin arresting those opposing the Nazis in Sudetenland [2]
Oct 4First flight of the Dornier Do 217 V-1, German WWII twin engine bomber prototype, more powerful version of the Dornier Do 17 [8]
Oct 5A law is passed in Germany that decrees that all Jews have to have the letter ‘J’ stamped on their passport. These measures are just a small part of the Nazi campaign to completely isolate and exclude the Jewish population [49]
Japanese troops resume the offensive in the Dabie Mountains region of Hubei, China [2]Oct 6
Chinese troops envelope elements of the Japanese 101st and 106th Divisions in Jiangxi, China [2]Oct 7
The Japanese 106th Div is largely wiped out by Chinese troops at Battle of Wanjialing [2]Oct 10The Czech Sudetenland is ceded to Hitler after the Munich Agreement, in a move now regarded as one of the worst cases of appeasement. There was to be no peace in their time. It was signed by Germany, France, Great Britain and Italy on September 30. [39,116]
Japanese troops land at Daya Bay near Guangzhou, China [2]Oct 12
Chinese troops withdrew from the Wanjialing area in Jiangxi, China [2]Oct 13
Oct 14First flight of the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk. American single-engine, single-seat, all-metal fighter and ground attack aircraft, modification of the previous Curtiss P-36 Hawk [8]
Japanese troops capture the city of Guangzhou in Southern China [2]Oct 21
Japanese troops reach the southern borders of Wuhan, Hubei, China [2]Oct 22
Japanese troops capture Humen, Guangdong Province, China [2]Oct 23
Japanese troops capture Huangpo, Anhui, China [2]Oct 24von Ribbentrop meets with Józef Lipski, a Polish Ambassador to Germany. Ribbentrop demands the Polish permission for the German annexation of the Free City of Gdańsk. Lipski fefuses. The Danzig crisis was one of the reasons of the German aggression on Poland in 1939. [55]
Japanese troops capture Sanshui, Guangdong, China [2]Oct 25
Japanese forces finally capture Wuchang and Hankou, China. The Battle of Wuhan had begun with air raids in February, though the ground offensive did not begin until June.Oct 26
oct 28Germany expells 15,000 to 17,000 Jews of Polish origin across Polish border [2]
Oct 31Poland rejects German invite to join the Anti-Comintern Pact [2]
Nov 2Arbitration of Vienna gives Hungary southeastern Slovakia and Ruthenia [2]
Nov 9Jewish shops and synagogues were smashed throughout Germany in Kristallnacht or the Night of the Broken Glass, begins. Nazis in #Germany burned and vandalized synagogues, Jewish homes, schools and businesses, killing ~100 Jews. ~30,000 Jewish men were arrested and sent to concentration camps. [2, 116]
Nov 21Prompted by Kristallnacht, a refugee crisis debate takes place in the House of Commons. This led to the creation of the Kindertransport, which helped 10,000 child refugees escape to the UK. [131]
Japanese carrier Kaga launches strikes against Chinese positions near Guangzhou [2]Chinese troops capture Bailingmiao, Suiyuan, China [2]Nov 24Adolf Hitler orders generals to plan an invasion of Danzig, but avoid Poland [2]
Dec 2First flight of the Brewster F2A Buffalo, US Navy’s first monoplane fighter aircraft and one of the first US WWII monoplanes with an arrester hook and other modifications for aircraft carriers.a [8]
Chinese troops launch an attack on Henglingguan Pass in northern China [2]Dec 10
Dec 12First flight of the Fairey Albacore, British single-engine carrier-borne biplane torpedo bomber. The Albacore was a three-seat biplane, with fixed taildragger landing gear, and three crew consisting of pilot, navigator, and radio operator/rear gunner [8]
Japanese bombers make the first daylight attack on Chongqing, China [2]Dec 26
Japanese bombers attack Chongqing, China during the day [2]Jan 10
Jan 24Hermann Göring creates the Central Office for Jewish Emigration. Reinhard Heydrich is appointed Head of the Office, charged with the job of forcing Jewish people to leave Nazi Germany. [126]
First flight of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning, it became operational on May 29, 1942. The P-38 was the primary long-range fighter of United States Army Air Forces until the appearance of large numbers of P-51D Mustangs.Jan 27
Jan 30Hitler delivers a speech at the Reichstag where he tells the German public and the world that should another war occur, it will mean the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe. 9 months later the first ghetto is established in Piotrków Trybunalski in occupied Poland. [55, 118]
Japanese Special Naval Landing Forces land at Haikou, Hainan [2]Feb 10
Japanese troops land at Sanya on the southern coast of Hainan island [2]Feb 11
Feb 14The Bismarck is launched – the biggest battleship ever made by Germany, only matched by her sister ship, the Tirpitz [146]
40 Chinese fighters shoot down 9 Japanese bombers near Lanzhou [2]Feb 20A German-American Bund rally is held in Madison Square Garden in New York City. Some 22,000 American Nazis meet in support of Nazi Germany. Less than three years later the US would be at war with Germany. [116]
Mar 3Flying from Brooklands, the Vickers Wellington Mk II prototype makes its first flight. [9]
Mar 7First flight of the SAI-Ambrosini SS.4. Italian fighter prototype featuring canard-style wing and ‘pusher’ propeller. The SS.4 experienced aileron malfunction the following day and crashed after a flight of 45 minutes, killing pilot Ambrogio Colombo. [8]
Mar 11Hitler issues an ultimatum for Czechoslovakia to hand over Bohemia and Moravia [2]
Chinese troops begin advancing toward Nanchang, China [2]Mar 12Germans demand that Tiso declare Slovakian independence to weaken Czechoslovakia [2]
Mar 13Germany threatens, with force, the Slovakians to declare independence [2]
Mar 14Slovakia and Ruthenia declare independence from Czechoslovakia [2]
Chinese troops report Japanese usage of chemical weapons at Jiangxi Province [2]Mar 20
The Japanese 6th Division crosses the Xuishui River and march towards Wuning, China [2]Mar 21
Mar 23Lithuania is forced to sign over Klaipeda (Memel) to Germany. [2]
Japanese troops defeat the Chinese 102nd Division west of Nanchang, China [2]Mar 25
Japanese troops capture Wucheng, Jiangxi Province, China [2]Mar 26Slovakian forces gather on the Hungarian border [2]
The Japanese 101st Division captures Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, China [2]Mar 27
The Japanese 101st Division secures Nanchang in Jiangxi Province, China [2]Mar 28Madrid falls to Francisco Franco’s Nazi-backed Nationalists ending three years of civil war in Spain. The defenders surrendered unconditionally after a bitter siege, thereby handing victory to Nationalist forces in the bitter three-year Spanish Civil War. [4, 154]
The Japanese 6th Division captures Wuning, Jiangxi Province, China [2]Mar 29
Mar 31France and Britain guarantee the integrity of the borders of Poland only months before Nazi Germany invades. Chamberlain pledges that Britain will use force to protect Polish borders. The Germans invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, sparking the outbreak of World War II. [2, 116]
First flight of Mitsubishi A6M1 Zero (Zeke), long range fighter aircraft operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service. The prototype A6M Zero fighter took its maiden flight at Kagamigahara airfield [2]Apr 1Following the surrender of the last Republican forces, General Francisco Franco uses a radio speech to proclaim victory in the Spanish Civil War, after nearly three years of fighting. [35] The Admiralty reforms the Women’s Royal Naval Service. During the Second World War there were new opportunities for women as radio & air mechanics, torpedo women & boat’s crew providing vital support to the fleet. [163]
Apr 3The last UK built Supermarine Stranraer is delivered to the Royal Air Force. [9]
Bob Fausel in CW-21 prototype fighter shot down 1 Japanese bomber over China [2]Apr 4
Apr 7The fascist Italian army led by General Alfredo Guzzoni invades Albania. Italy overruns the country quickly and then on April 12, the Albanian parliament voted to unite with Italy. [116]
Apr 14Roosevelt writes to Hitler and Mussolini in an attempt to maintain peace [2]
Chiang Kaishek cables Bai Chongxi his plans for a counter offensive toward Nanchang [2]Apr 17The first Hawker Henley prototype flies with a new engine, the Rolls-Royce Vulture II. [9]
Apr 19Italian ambassador in Berlin reports the likeliness of war [2]
The Chinese 32th Army crosses the Fu River near Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, China [2]Apr 23
The Chinese counter offensive toward Nanchang, reaches the outskirts of the city [2]Apr 25
The Troops of the Chinese 3rd and 9th War Areas breach into southern Nanchang, China [2]Apr 26The USAAF places an order for 524 P-40 fighters [2]
Chiang Kaishek orders Nanchang to be taken by 5 May 1939. [2]May 1
Chinese troops launch a second counterattack on Nanchang [2]May 2
Chinese 4th Air Group shoots down 7 Japanese bombers over Chongqing [2]May 3Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin replaces his Foreign Minister Maxim Litvinov, who is identified as being anti-German and who wants a closer relationship with Britain and France. His dismissal helped lead to a rapprochement with Germany. [116] — The British battleship HMS Prince of Wales is launched [224]
Chinese troops attack Japanese positions at Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, ChinaMay 4
Chinese 26th Division breakes through to the Xinlong airfield at Nanchang [2]May 5
Zhu Jiaxun, in I-15bis fighter, attacks Japanese airfield in Guangdong [2]May 6Ribbentrop tells Ciano that Hitler did not yet have desire for war over Danzig [2] — Anti-Nazi German Carl Goerdeler tells the British that Germany and Russia were secretly negotiating the division of Eastern Europe between them. Goerdeler would have become Germany’s Chancellor had Operation Valkyrie succeed in 1944. [116]
Chinese call off the offensive toward Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, China [2]May 9
Mongolian and Manchukuoan cavalry units enter into a dispute [2]May 11
Japanese 23rd Division drives off Mongolian troops in Mongolia Area of China [2]May 14The Short Stirling prototype, powered by four 1,375-hp Bristol Hercules II engines, makes its first flight. The landing gear collapses on landing writing off the aircraft. [9]
Chinese counterattack in Hubei Province began to wear down the Japanese [2]May 15
May 16Raeder presents Hitler naval plans against Poland, France, and Britain [2]
May 17The first production version of the Handley Page Hereford flies [9]
Chinese troops capture Zaoyang, Hubei Province, China [2]May 19
May 21The Nazis awarded the first Cross of Honour of the German Mother. Recipients needed 4 children for bronze, 6 for silver, 8 for gold. To what extent this worked is debated. Some women wore it with pride, others called it the ‘rabbit cross’. [146]
Myoko arrived off Xiamen, China in response to UK-FR-US troops arrivals nearby. [2]May 22
Chinese troops capture Suixian, Hubei Province, China. [2]May 23The submarine USS Squalus (SS 192) sinks off the New Hampshire coast leaving 26 dead and 33 survivors trapped. For the first and only time in US Navy history, a submarine rescue chamber is used for a real submarine rescue. All 33 survivors were safely raised to the surface. The submarine was salvaged later in the year. [68]
Jne 1The FW-190 fighter makes its maiden flight at Bremen, Germany [2]
Jne 4The MS St. Louis, a ship carrying 963 Jewish refugees, is denied permission to dock in Florida, USA, after having already been denied entry into Cuba. The ship is then forced to return to Europe, and 264 of its passengers will later die in the Holocaust. [154]
4,400 civilians die of asphyxiation in Chongqing air raid shelter during Japanese bombing [2]Jne 5
Jne 12The Germans sign the first contract with BMM for the “tschechische Pz.Kpfw.III” tanks, later known as Pz.Kpfw.38(t). The Germans quite liked this light tank and kept it in production until 1942. [22]
The Japanese blockade the British concession in Tianjin, China [2]Jne 14
Jne 19The German Army reported that thus far 168 officers had been infiltrated into Danzig [2]
Jne 26The German Gestapo begins to put undesired Czechs in concentration camps [2]
The Japanese Army 2nd Air Brigade attacks the Soviet airfield at Tamsagbulag, Mongolia [2]Jne 27The B-17B Flying Fortress makes its first flight. [9]
Korean Crown Prince Yi Un inspects Japanese troops in China. [2]Jly 2
The Japanese Carrier Hiryu is commissioned into service [2]Jly 5
Jly 6The last remaining Jewish enterprises in Germany are closed [2]
Jly 7First flight of the Latécoère 299, French 3 seat reconnaissance-torpedo bomber prototype derived from the Late 298 [8]
Soviet forces counterattack Japanese forces in the Mongolia Area of Chin [2]Jly 9
Jly 10First flight of the SNCAC NC-410. French twin engine torpedo bomber prototype, piloted by Lucian Coupet. Powered by a pair of 890 hp Gnome-Rhône 14Knrs/ors 14-cylinder radials, mounted on the upper wing surface. Initially as a landplane, later converted to floats. [8]
Japanese bombers attack Chongqing, China [2]Jly 11
Jly 14Royal Romanian Air Force begins operating He 112 fighters [2]
Jly 17The Bristol Beaufighter prototype makes its maiden flight. This was powered by two Hercules I-SM engines with Captain Cyril F Unwin at the controls. [9]
Jly 22First flight of the Bloch MB-134 with René Le Bail and Jean Lapeyre at the controls. French four seat low wing monoplane twin engine medium bomber prototype powered by two 1,015 hp Gnome & Rhône 14 N48/49 engines [8]
Japanese bombers attack Chongqing, China. [2]Jly 24
Jly 25First flight of prototype Avro Manchester takes place. Poor reliability of RR Vulture engines doomed the type. It was redesigned with 4 RR Merlin engines and became the Lancaster. [2, 9, 198] — Polish cryptologists, Marian Rejewski, Henryk Zygalski and Jerzy Rozycki passed the deciphered Enigma code to the Allies. Further analysis of the code continued until the end of WWII in Bletchley Park, but that Polish success saved millions of lives. [55]
Jly 26Adolf Eichmann is charged with deporting Czech Jews [2] — Polish cryptologists reveal their methods of breaking the Enigma code, which they had achieved as first in 1932, to British and French intelligence. This aided Bletchley Park’s mass-scale codebreaking effort, which shortened WW2 by about 2 years. [23]
Crown Prince Yi Un is made the commanding officer of the Japanese 2nd Brigade [2]Aug 1
Prince Morihiro is transferred from China back to Japan [2]Aug 2Albert Einstein and Leo Szilard write a letter to President Franklin Roosevelt, urging him to start what would become the Manhattan Project to develop nuclear weapons. [116]
Aug 4Polish customs officials on the Danzig border begin carrying arms [2]
Japanese troops attack Ruichang, Jiangxi, China [2]Aug 10
Aug 17The German military is ordered to supply the SS with 150 Polish Army uniforms [2]
Aug 19Joseph Stalin announces to the Politburo his intention to befriend Germany [2] — The Allied raid on Dieppe, France ended in major failure [2]
Aug 23Berlin and Moscow surprise the world by announcing a treaty of non-aggression. A secret protocol hidden within the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact clears the way for a joint German and Soviet invasion of Poland. [2,4,49]
Aug 25The UK and Poland renew their mutual defense agreement to counter the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Britain states it will defend Poland if Poland is attacked. The news delays Hitler’s plans to invade Poland, which was to occur the next day, but was delayed until Sept 1. [2, 116]
Aug 26NYC TV station W2XBS broadcasts the first baseball game, a doubleheader between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Cincinnati Reds from Ebbets Field in Brooklyn. The Reds won the first game and the Dodgers the second. [116] — The British Admiralty signals “FUNNEL” to Commonwealth & British navies. With this message all Commonwealth merchant ships are placed under naval control in anticipation of hostilities with Germany. [61]
Japanese troops are defeated at the Battle of Khalkhin Gol [2]Aug 27
Aug 29The British Admiralty orders the mobilisation of the Fleet for war [90]A Polish destroyer squadron departs for Britain as an invasion seems imminent [2]
Aug 30Commanders of the Polish destroyers ORP “Błyskawica”, ORP “Grom” and ORP “Burza” receive an order of immediate, rescue transfer to Great Britain. The command of the Polish Navy identified a huge risk of the vessels being captured by the Germans. [2, 55] — Germany’s von Ribbentrop tells British Ambassador Henderson that to ensure peace with Poland, Danzig would return to Germany and a plebiscite in the Polish Corridor would occur but Poles born/settled there since 1919 couldn’t vote. [116]
Aug 31Hitler gives the formal order for the invasion of Poland [2] — Operation Himmler, a series of false flag attacks near the Polish borders, are put into motion. One of them was the faked “Polish attack” on the radio station in Gliwice. [55]
Sep 1Germany invades Poland. This begins WWII in Europe. [2, 4, 39] — The Polish Navy launches Operation Worek – the defence of Poland’s Baltic coast with its five submarines. The plan is to defend the coast from naval bombardment and prevent German troops from landing [93]The 1st and 2 divisions are authorized as the Canadian Active Service Force of the Canadian Army. The Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Canadian Navy Reserve, and Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve are placed on active service. [31]
Sep 3UK Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain addresses the nation in a public broadcast, saying that Adolf Hitler had ignored Britain’s ultimatum to withdraw German troops from Poland, and so consequently a state of war exists between Britain and Germany. Chamberlain stated ‘going to the aid of Poland’ was way of fulfilling our treaty obligations & defending her. France follows with a declaration of war on Germany. New Zealand & Australia also declare war on Germany. These four form the beginning of the Allied nations. They take this action in response to the German invasion of Poland. The UK & France begin a naval blockade of Germany that lasts until the end of the war. This also marks the beginning of the Battle of the Atlantic. The ‘Phoney War‘ begins. [18, 39, 55, 116, 126, 167, 229] — The first attempted raid by the RAF. Within a minute of the war being declared at 11:01 am on 3 September 1939, a Bristol Blenheim IV flown by F/O MacPherson of 139 squadron is ordered to commence operations. It undertakes a reconnaissance flight over Wilhelmshaven, Germany where the German Fleet is based. Ten Armstrong Whitworth Whitleys drop leaflets over Bremen, Hamburg and the Rhur. [9, 159] — Within hours U-30 torpedoes & sinks passenger liner SS ATHENA, killing 118. Fifty-four Canadians are amongst the dead including, crew member Hannah Baird & she is the 1st Canadian merchant sailor killed in WWII. [2, 39, 61] — Winston Churchill is named First Lord of the Admiralty. [167]
Sep 4The Polish submarine, Orzel, leaves its patrol area in the Gulf of Gdańsk under the instructions of Commander Henryk Kłoczkowski. It faces attack from the air and braves minefields to reach the deeper waters of the Baltic [93]British air force bombs German warships at Kiel [11] — The first Bomber Command raid to engage the enemy takes place when a force of 10 Blenheims and 9 Wellingtons attack German warships in the Heligoland Bight. Minimal damage was done and 7 aircraft were lost. At this time, fewer than 300 bombers were available. [9, 162] — Alan Turing reports to Bletchley Park. [2] — Polish 7TP tanks of the 301st Light Tank Battalion deliver a bloody nose to the German 4th Panzer Division in the Battle of Borowska Góra, west of Piotrków Trybunalski, destroying 15 enemy tanks, for the loss of 7 of their own. [105]
Sep 5South African Prime Minister Barry Hertzog tries but doesn’t get support for South African neutrality during World War II. Deputy Prime Minister Jan Smuts then becomes Prime Minister and declares war on Germany on September 6. [116]
Sep 6German troops capture the Upper Silesian industrial area in Poland [2]The first British troops arrive in France [11] — Britain suffers its first fighter pilot casualty of the war at the Battle of Barking Creek as a result of friendly fire. [167]
Sep 7The British Ministry of Supply appeals to fishermen, their wives and other volunteers to make camouflage nets for the war effort. [21]
Sep 9The first troops of the British Expeditionary Force sails in convoy to France [1] — The Polish Army makes its sole major offensive of the war, forcing the Germans to withdraw from Warsaw in the battle of Bzura. This was the largest battle in the invasion of Poland [1, 2]Around 300 soldiers of the Polish 74th Infantry Regiment are murdered in cold blood by their German captors, near Ciepielów. The man who ordered the massacre, Colonel Walter Wessel, was never brought to justice [105]
Sep 10Canada declares war on Nazi Germany. More than 1 million of the country’s 11 million citizens will serve in the Second World War; 44,000 will be killed. 1st time Canadian Parliament declares war independently from Britain. Naval Service HQ in Ottawa signals all RCN commands, “Grapnel Germany repetition Grapnel Germany,” authorizing offensive operations against Germany. [4, 31, 51, 61] — The German terror in Bydgoszcz reaches its bloody apogee with the “pacification” of the suburb of Szwederowo. By the end of the day, some 120 Poles had been executed and a further 900 are taken prisoner. [105]
Sep 11Polish submarines are ordered to break through to Britain or to be interned in Sweden; many will fight for the Allies [1] — “Lord Haw Haw” (US-born British subject William Joyce) begins broadcasting anti-British propaganda to Britain on “Germany Calling” radio show on Radio Hamburg [1]
Sep 12The Anglo-French Supreme War Council agrees to postpone military operations [1]
Sep 13The 60,000 survivors in the Radom Pocket in Poland surrenders. [2] — British civilians are allowed to carry torches (flashlights) in blackout if screened with tissue paper [1]
Sep 14The Germans take Gdynia, the only remaining Polish port [1] — Off the Hebrides, the German submarine U-39 attacks carrier HMS Ark Royal but misses and is sunk by British destroyers Faulknor, Foxhound, and Firedrake, making it the first U-boat sunk in WWII [1]
The USSR and Japan sign a ceasefire in Moscow, officially ending Battle of Khalkhin Gol [2]Sep 15
Sep 16Polish troops destroy 22 tanks of Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler regiment [2] — In Poland, the Germans take Brest-Litovsk and surround Warsaw [1] — The French army completes its retreat from just inside Germany, ending the Saar Offensive. It was an attempt by the French government to take pressure off Poland in the first two weeks of World War II. [116] — The first German U-boat attack on an Allied North Atlantic convoy; U-31 sinks British freighter Aviemore in convoy OB-4 off Land’s End [1] — The first ‘fast’ transatlantic convoy, HX-1, sails from Halifax for Britain with an escort from the Royal Canadian Navy ships HMCS St. Laurent and Saguenay and Royal Navy cruisers HMS Berwick and York. The convoy arrived in Liverpool without loss on Sept 30. [11, 31]
Japanese 101st and 106th Divisions march for Changsha, China [2]Sep 17Lublin is occupied by the Nazis. Immediately Jews are seized for forced labour, their property confiscated. Jews are ordered to wear the yellow star. Synagogue services are outlawed & several synagogues destroyed. A ghetto is established. [126] — The Soviet Union invades war-torn Poland. Soviet troops (allied with Germany) surround Polish troops. Moscow’s plan is all part of a secret deal worked out between Hitler and Stalin in the infamous Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. 150 Polish military and civilian planes fly to Romania; the pilots will make their way to Britain to fight again. [1,2, 4, 11, 55, 105]
Sep 18German and Soviet troops link at Brest-Litovsk, Poland. A Soviet-German joint victory parade is held [1, 2] — Roman Orlik stages his famous ambush, knocking out three German tanks with his TKS tankette. Even German medium tanks are relatively lightly armoured and vulnerable to his 20 mm cannon. [22] — The British aircraft carrier Courageous is torpedoed [11] — Polish cryptographers flee to Paris with vital information on the German Enigma codes [1]
The Japanese use poison gas against Chinese troops along Sinchiang River in drive to Changsha, China [1, 2]Sep 19The German and Soviet armies link up at Brest Litovsk in what was then Poland. Nazi Germany had invaded Poland on Sept 1, starting World War II in Europe, while the USSR invaded Poland on September 17. [116]
Sep 20Germany announces that Jews must surrender their radios [1] — The first aerial engagement of the war between the RAF and the Luftwaffe takes place over France [1] — German troops withdrew west to the Soviet-German demarcation line [2] — A Fairey Battle of No. 88 Squadron scores the first RAF aerial victory of the Second World War, shooting down a Messerschmitt Bf 109. Gunner Sergeant F. Letchard of 88 Squadron is credited with the victory during a patrol near Aachen. [8, 9]
Sep 21German SS Gen. Reinhard Heydrich produces a plan to remove Polish Jews, intelligentsia, clergy, and nobility to ghettos [1] — Romanian Prime Minister Armand Călinescu is assassinated by six members of the pro-Nazi group the Iron Guard for supporting Poland. They were attempting a coup. Romania would join the axis on Nov. 23, 1940 when it signed the Tripartite Pact. [1, 116] — The Polish Southern Army surrenders at Tomaszov and Zamosz, Poland [2] — Most of the foreigners, including diplomats, are evacuated from Warsaw. [55]
Sep 22Britain begins rationing of petrol (20 gallons/month for automobiles) [1] — London officials report car accidents have tripled since the blackout started [1]
Japanese Navy Shanghai Special Naval Landing Force lands east of Changsha, China [2]Sep 23The Polish cavalry retakes Krasnobrod, one of the last battles in military history between opposing cavalry [1]
Sep 24The German Einsatzgruppen murders 800 members of Polish intelligentsia at Bydgoszcz, Poland [2]
Sep 25Soviet troops capture Bialystok, Poland [2] — Germany issues new ration cards: 1 lb. meat, 5 lb. bread, ¾ lb. fats, ¾ lb. sugar, and 1 lb. coffee or ersatz coffee per week [1] — Germany launches a massive aerial attack, including incendiaries, on Poland’s capital of Warsaw. Frustrated by stubborn resistance of the Polish defenders, the Luftwaffe launches a relentless bombing raid comprised of 1150 sorties. It became known as Black Monday. [1, 113]
Sep 26Blackburn Skuas of No. 803 Naval Air Squadron from HMS Ark Royal score first confirmed kill against Germany. They shoot down a Dornier Do 18. [2, 9]
Sep 28Merkulov reports to Stalin that his NKVD group has arrested 923 in Poland thus far [2] — The last Polish stronghold, the fortress of Modlin, falls after an 18-day siege [1] — The Soviets and Germans divide control of Poland along the River Bug [1] — The “German–Soviet Treaty of Friendship” is signed. An addendum to the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact this agreement entailed joint co-operation in both sides continuing to stamp out “Polish agitation.” Both parties also agreed to initiate population transfers. [114]
Sep 29Poland officially surrenders to Germany and the USSR as the “Soviet-German Boundary & Friendship Treaty” is signed [1] — Estonia signs mutual assistance pact with Soviet Union [11]
Sep 30French troops withdraw from German Saar region [1] — Gen. Władysław Sikorski becomes prime minister of the Polish government-in-exile in Paris [1]
The Japanese 6th Division begins to fall back from Changsha, Hunan Province, China [2]Oct 1
Chinese aircraft bomb the Japanese airfield at Wuhan, Hubei Province, China [2]Oct 2The Germans order ruthless exploitation of occupied Poland [1]
Chinese troops capture Miluo and Xinshi near Changsha, Hunan Province, China [2]Oct 4
The Chinese 23rd Division attacks the Japanese Navy anchorage (now Miluo) [2] — The US Navy Hawaiian Detachment opens at Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii [1]Oct 5Latvia signs mutual assistance treaty with Soviet Union. The USSR forces Latvia to allow Soviet troop bases [1, 11] — Hitler watched his victorious 6th Army parade through the streets of Warsaw. 100 miles away, at Kock, the Polish Army was still fighting. [105]
Oct 6Last of the Polish military surrenders to Germany
Oct 7Daladier rejects a proposal from Hitler for a multi-power conference for peace [2]
The Chinese 195th Division pursues retreating Japanese troops in Hunan, China [2]Oct 8The Nazis establish their first Jewish ghetto—in Piotrkow, Poland [1] — First RAF victory of WWII from an aircraft based in Britain. A Lockheed Hudson of 224 Squadron operating out of RAF Leuchars shot down a German Dornier Do18 flying boat of 2/Küstenfliegergruppe over Jutland. [8]
Oct 9The German battleship Deutschland captures neutral US freighter City of Flint, creating an international incident [1]
Chinese troops recapture all territory in Hubei, Hunan, and Jiangxi Provinces [1]Oct 10Lithuania signs mutual assistance pact with Soviet Union. Daladier rejects Hitler peace basis [11] — The Annual German Winter Relief drive begins, with forced charitable contributions from German civilians [1]
Chinese troops recapture all territory in Hubei, Hunan, and Jiangxi Provinces [1]Oct 12Hans Frank is appointed Gauleiter of the General Government in occupied Poland [2] — British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain rejects Hitler’s “peace offer.” [1]
Oct 13In skirmishes along the Maginot Line, the French destroy three bridges over the Rhine [1]
Oct 14In a daring raid to Britain’s naval base at Scapa Flow, German U-boat U-47 sinks the British battleship HMS Royal Oak killing 833 [1, 11]
Oct 16Raeder announces that all enemy merchant ships could be attacked without warning [2]
Oct 17German aircraft damage HMS Iron Duke at Scapa Flow [2]
Oct 18President Roosevelt declares US waters off-limits to submarines of warring nations [1] — General Blaskowitz sends a message to Hitler, complaining of SS atrocities in Poland [2]
Oct 19Turkey signs mutual assistance pacts with Britain and France [11]
Oct 20Pope Pius XII’s first encyclical is released in which he condemns racism and dictatorships [116]
Oct 22Soviets clamp down on occupied Poland, closing schools and churches, banning the Polish language and typewriters, and replacing Polish currency with Soviet rubles [1] — Gallup poll: 62% of Americans want to aid the Allies, but 95% want to stay out of the war [1] — Goebbels accuses Churchill of sinking British liner Athenia to bring US into war [2]
First flight of the land-based Japanese Mitsubishi G4M (long designation: Mitsubishi Navy Type 1 attack bomber), known as a “Betty” to the Allies. It saw service from June of 1941 until the end of the war.Oct 23HMCS SAGUENAY intercepts German tanker Emmy Friederich in the Yucatan Channel, the merchant crew scuttles their ship to avoid having it captured as a prize. The tanker was en route to supply German cruiser Admiral Hipper. [31, 61] — The German seizure of the American freighter City of Flint is revealed [11]
Mitsubishi delivers the second Zero fighter prototype to the Japanese Navy for testing [2]Oct 25The prototype of the Handley Page Halifax makes its first flight [9]
Oct 26Germany annexes former Polish areas of Upper Silesia, West Prussia, Pomerania, Poznan, Ciechanow, Danzig, part of Lódz; the rest of German-occupied Poland comes under the “General Government.” [1] — Hitler Youth parade in Posen, Germany [2]
Oct 28Admiral Graf Spee transferrs POWs to tanker Altmark in the South Atlantic [2]
Oct 30Switzerland begins rationing sugar, pasta, rice, wheat, butter, and oil [1]
Nov 1Heinkel demonstrates the first jet aircraft He 178 to the German Air Ministry [2] — Polish POW’s captured by the Soviets during the September 1939 defensive war, are placed in Kozielsk and Starobielsk camps. In 1940 those held in Kozielsk are killed in Katyn and those detained in Starobielsk are murdered in Charkov. [55]
Nov 4The US Neutrality Act of 1939 becomes law, repealing the arms embargo in Neutrality Acts of 1935 & 1937 and renewing the expired “cash & carry” clause to allow the sale of arms to Britain & France. [1, 11]
Shigeru Fukudome is named the chief of staff of the Japanese Navy Combined Fleet [2]Nov 5The plot by senior German officers under Gen. Franz Halder to arrest or kill Hitler collapses; the officers are appalled at Hitler’s decision to invade Belgium, the Netherlands, and France [1]
Nov 6The Germans deceitfully lure 183 Cracow academics to the CollegiumNovum of the JagiellonianUniversity, then arrested and eventually took them to KLSachsenhausen. [55]
Nov 7Czechoslovakian govt-in-exile receives German plans for the invasion of France [2]
Nov 8Finland refused a Russian demand for territorial exchange [2] — Hitler escapes bomb attempt in Munich beer hall. Georg Elser fails in his attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler at the celebration of the 16th anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch in Munich, Germany. [11, 116] — The German Sicherheitsdienst captures two British Secret Intelligence Service agents in Venlo, five meters from the German border. Germany used this to link Britain to a failed assassination attempt on Hitler and to help justify Germany’s invasion of Holland. [127]
Nov 9Adolf Hitler survives assassination attempt at the anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch in Munich; bomb planted by communist Georg Elser [1] — Adolf Hitler issues directive No. 9 against British ports [2] — Lodz (renamed Litzmannstadt under German occupation) is incorporated into the German Reich. Later that month, Jews are ordered to wear a yellow armband &, later still, a star, & between 15-17 Nov the cities main synagogues were torched [126]
Nov 12Germany begins stricting point-based clothing rationing, with no clothing ration cards issued to Jews [1]
Nov 13Finnish diplomats depart Moscow as all negotiation attempts fail [2]
Nov 16In Prague, Czechoslovakia, Germans counteract anti-Nazi student protests with arrests and gunfire, and they declare martial law [1]
Nov 17After uprising in Prague, Germans close Czechoslovakian universities, execute 9 students, and send 1200 to concentration camps [1] — Nine Czech students are executed as a response to anti-Nazi demonstrations prompted by the death of Jan Opletal. All Czech universities are shut down and more than 1,200 students sent to concentration camps. [44]
Nov 19The German He 177 heavy bomber took its first flight [2]
Nov 20U-33 sinks three small British trawlers off Tory Island [2]
Nov 21The German Do 18L flying boat took its first flight [2]
Nov 23German Gov. of Poland General Hans Frank orders all Jews over the age of 10 to wear a Jewish Star. It consists of a white armband affixed with a blue six-sided star, worn over the right upper sleeve of one’s outer garments [2, 116] — Britain begins rationing bacon and butter [1] — The US celebrates Thanksgiving after President Roosevelt moved the holiday to extend the Christmas shopping season—although 22 states retain the original date. [1]
Nov 24The German secret police, the Gestapo, executes 120 Czech students accused of anti-Nazi propaganda. [2, 116]
Nov 25The 1940 Winter Olympic Games, originally scheduled to be held in Sapporo, Japan, then St. Moritz, Switzerland, and then Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, are cancelled due to the war [1]
Nov 26The Soviets stage a false attack on Mainila, Russia and use it as an excuse to invade Finland [1,2]
The Japanese capture Nanning, China, an important railhead [1]Nov 27Finland makes efforts to de-escalate, asking the USSR to do the same [2]The USSR denounces 1932 non-aggression pact with Finland [1]Nobel Committee announces cancellation of 1939 Peace Prize. [1]
Nov 30The Winter War begins when Russia invades Finland. The League of Nations expells Russia for the attack.
The Chinese 81st Division attacks Kaifeng, Henan Province, China [2]Dec 1After previous day’s Soviet invasion of Finland, Risto Ryti replaces Aimo Cajander as Prime Minister of Finland [1] — The first Canadian troop convoy (TC-1) sails from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Britain with 7400 men [1]
Dec 2Finnish troops destroyed the Suvilathi power station to prevent Soviet capture [2]
Dec 3As Soviets advance in Finland, Finnish troops drop back to the Mannerheim Line [1,2]
Dec 5Heavy fighting takes place between Soviet Army and Finnish Army in Karelia [2] — Fritz Kuhn, leader of the pro-Nazi German-American Bund, is convicted of embezzlement of Bund funds and is sent to Sing Sing; Gerhard Kunze replaces him over the Bund [1]
Dec 7The Soviet 9th Army attacks in central Karelia, Finland while Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Italy declare their neutrality [1, 2]
Dec 8In a Gallup poll, 96.5% of Americans oppose the US entering World War II [1]
Chinese troops launch an attack on Henglingguan Pass in northern China [2]Dec 10France bans sale of meat on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays [1] — The first convoy of Canadian Army troops bound for Britain sailed out of Halifax. The convoy was escorted by Royal Canadian Navy ships HMCS Ottawa, Restigouche, Fraser, and St. Laurent. [31]
Dec 11Finnish ski troops attack Soviet supply line on Raate Road while the Finnish government protests the Soviet invasion at the League of Nations [1, 2]
Dec 12Finnish forces defeat the Soviets in the Battle of Tolvajärvi during the Winter War. It was the first major victory for Finland during the conflict. [116]
Dec 13British cruisers damage Admiral Graf Spee, forcing her to sail for Montevideo [2]
Dec 14The Soviet Union is expelled from the League of Nations after invading Finland on October 30 and starting what would be known as the Winter War. [1, 2, 11, 116]
Dec 15The Red Army assaults Taipale, Finland [2]
Chinese 81st Division captures the city of Kaifeng, Henan, China [2]Dec 16Finnish ski troops fight Soviets with first use of homemade “Molotov Cocktails.” [1]
Dec 17Hans Langsdorff, captain of the Graf Spee, orders his men to scuttle the ship in Montevideo harbour, believing they faced annihilation against a British armada. The armada rumour was part of a great deception by the British – WW2 ‘fake news’ [18]
Dec 18What later is known as the Battle of Heligoland Bight takes place. 22 RAF Wellingtons are attacked by 44 Bf109s and Bf110s. 10 are shot down, 2 ditched near the English coast and 3 crashed on landing. The RAF then began to move primarily to night bombing. [162]
Dec 19Finnish troops destroyed 20 Soviet tanks at Summa, Finland [2]
Dec 22First flight of the Petlyakov VI-100 (Pe-2). Soviet twin engine dive bomber prototype aircraft, later developed as the Pe-2. Regarded as one of the best ground attack aircraft of the war, successful in heavy fighter, reconnaissance and night fighter roles. [8] — First flight of the Caproni Ca.313. (Prototype MM.402). Italian twin-engine reconnaissance bomber, development of the Ca.310. [8]
Dec 23A major Finnish counterattack is repulsed by Soviet tanks [2]
Dec 25Red Army resumes attacking the Taipale sector in Finland [2]
Dec 26Finns continue to put pressure on Soviets trapped at Suomussalmi, Finland [2]
Dec 27Finns wipe out all Soviet bridgeheads on the Suvanto River [2] — The US State Department protests British removal and censorship of US mail from neutral ships [2]
Dec 28First flight of the XB-24 Liberator, at Lindbergh Field, San Diego, CA, the prototype for what will be America’s most-produced four-engine bomber of the war [1]
Dec 30Soviet 163rd Division is wiped out by Finns at Suomussalmi, Finland [2]
Chinese troops at Kunlun Pass, Guangxi, China [2] Dec 31Finnish 9th Division secures the village of Suomussalmi [2]
Japanese launched major counterattack in Shanxi Province, China [2]Jan 1Britain expands conscription to men aged 20-27, adding two million potential draftees [1]
Jan 2Finns attack Soviet troops along the Raate Road in Finland [2]
Jan 3The Finnish 9th Div continued attacks the Soviets along Raate Road [2]
Jan 4First flight of the Fairey Fulmar. British carrier-born fighter aircraft. [8]
Jan 6The Soviet 44th Div begins to retreat from Raate Road region in Finland [2] — Britain declares German ships may not use Norwegian waters; Sweden and Norway deny a British request to operate in their waters [1] — Norway and Sweden forbid Allied troops from crossing their territory to aid Finland [1]
Jan 7Semyon Timoshenko takes command of Soviet Army forces in Finland [2] — In Britain, “BBC Forces Programme” premieres, a second nationwide service (radio channel) with dance music and variety shows meant to appeal to servicemen [1] — In the US, “Gene Autry’s Melody Ranch” premieres on CBS radio and runs through 1956 [1] — Battle of Raate Road ends in Finnish victory; over 10,000 have been killed in the Soviet 44th Division [1]
Jan 8Food rationing is introduced to the UK. During the war food was rationed to ensure that everyone received the same amount regardless of income or class. Bacon, butter and sugar were the first to be rationed from 8 January 1940 [1,21] — Finnish 9th Div takes control of Raate Road. [2]
Australian Comforts Fund is reestablished, for women to send care packages to soldiers [1]Jan 9
Jan 10Unofficial peace talks begin between the Soviet Union and Finland [2] — A German plane crashes in Belgium with Germany’s plans to invade France through Belgium, much like the Schlieffen plan from WWI. The Allies found the plan so the Germans changed the it and invaded through the Ardennes. [116] — Luftwaffe begins operations from Sicily, limiting British sea traffic in the Mediterranean [1]
Jan 11The Finnish IV Corps pins the Soviet 168th Division north of Lake Lagoda in Finland [2] — The British Women’s Section Air Transport Auxiliary ferries their first plane; during WWII, 166 women fly for ATA, 1/8 of all ATA pilots; 15 will die in service [1]
Jan 12The Germans shoot 440 patients of the psychiatric hospital in Chełm in Occupied Poland. The murder was part of the German extermination programme AktionT4 – the mass murder by involuntary euthanasia. [55]
Jan 13The Russian YA-26 prototype fighter, future Yak-1, took its first flight [2]
Jan 14The Enigma code is broken at Bletchley Park in Britain [2] — British chemists (pharmacists) are granted an exemption to sugar rationing in order to coat pills [1] — The FBI raids in New York City uncovering guns, bomb-making material, and a plot to sabotage & overthrow the government; 17 members of anti-Semitic “Christian Front” are arrested (later acquitted) [1]
Jan 15Belgium denies British and French troops the right to cross its territory [1] — Britain announces twice as many people have been killed on blacked-out roads than in enemy action [1]
Kichisaburo Nomura steps down as Foreign Minister of Japan [2]Jan 16Tanker INVERDARGLE. Trinidad to Avonmouth with aviation spirit, struck a mine and sank in the Bristol Channel…of the 44 crew, there were no survivors [142]
Jan 17Polish cryptologist Marian Rejewski brakes the Enigma code in the presence of Alan Turing during their meeting in Paris [1,23]
Jan 18The Finnish 9th Division is ordered to attack the Soviet 54th Division [2]
Chinese troops capture Licheng, Shanxi Province, China [2]Jan 20Britain and France agree to send troops and supplies to aid Finland, but they will not arrive in time [1]
The British light cruiser HMS Liverpool stops Japanese liner Asamu Maru off Japan and captures 21 Germans—12 naval reservists are detained, 9 civilians are released [1]Jan 21The Soviet 8th Army launches an unsuccessful attack on Finnish Group Talvela [2] — Off Scotland, the German U-boat U-22 sinks destroyer HMS Exmouth (all 189 killed) [1]
Jan 22British Ministry of Information begins censoring newsreels [1]
Jan 23Britain and France say they will not honor 200-mile Pan-American neutrality zone and will attack German ships in that zone [1] — Animals in the Berlin Zoo are placed on war rations—less meat, no bananas or peanuts [1]
In their war with Japan, the Chinese take Dongyangyuan Pass, Shanxi Province, China [1]Jan 24The Finnish Army Force Talvela and the Soviet 8th Army exchange attacks at Kolla, Finland [2]
Jan 25The US Coast Guard establishes the Atlantic Weather Observation Service in cooperation with US Weather Service; cutters patrol and transmit weather observations [1]
Jan 27The US freighter City of Flint returns to US; Capt. Joseph Gainard (merchant marine) receives 1st Navy Cross of WWII. The Germans had captured the neutral freighter, creating an international incident. [1]
Chinese troops capture Lucheng, Shanxi Province, China [2]Jan 28Soviet artillery continues to bombard the Mannerheim Line [2]
Jan 29Soviets began negotiating with Finland [2] — The German Luftwaffe attacks British shipping in the English Channel, sinking four ships. [1]
Jan 30The first British aircraft victory against a German submarine in WW2 is scored [2]
Jan 31Soviet strength in the Summa sector of Finland grows to 12 divisions [2]
The Japanese 26th Division captures Wuyuan, Suiyuan Province, China [2]Feb 3
The Japanese 26th Division captures Linhe, Suiyuan Province, China [2]Feb 4The Soviets execute Nikolai Yezhov, the head of the NKVD during the Great Purge in 1937-38; his execution remained secret until 1948. [1]
Feb 5The Allies decide to send 2 British divisions to Finland via Norway despite Norwegian neutrality [2] — First sinking of a U-boat by a lone British destroyer: in convoy OA-84 off Land’s End, HMS Antelope sinks U-41 [1]
Feb 6The Finnish 9th Div completes its encirclement of the Soviet 54th Div at Kuhmo
Feb 8Several Finnish pockets are wiped out by the Soviets near Lake Ladoga [2]
Feb 10Over 4000 members of the American Youth Congress march in Washington to protest US being drawn into imperialistic war; President Roosevelt angrily confronts them [1] — Soviet troops penetrate the Finnish defensive Mannerheim Line on Karelian Isthmus [1, 2]
Feb 11Finnish troops fell back from the Mannerheim Line [2] — The Soviet Union and Germany sign a treaty to exchange Soviet raw materials for German manufactured goods [1]
Feb 12The Finnish government decides to seek peace with the USSR [2]Erwin Rommel is named the commanding officer of the 7. Panzer-Division [2] — The British minesweeper HMS Gleaner sinks the German U-boat U-33 in the Firth of Forth, capturing Enigma machine rotors [1] — Britain institutes paper rationing: newspapers, businesses, and government to decrease use by 40% [1]
Feb 13Mannerheim ordered the Finnish II Army Corps to abandon the Mannerheim Line [2] — Germany declares that all British merchant ships will be regarded as warships [1]
Feb 16The HMS Cossack captures German freighter Altmark and frees POWs [2]
Feb 17Norway protests British violation (Altmark incident) of Norwegian waters [1, 2] — German commander Erich von Manstein gives the Manstein Plan to Hitler, calling for invading France via the Ardennes Forest. Hitler didn’t like original plan by others, which call for invading France through Belgium like during WWI [116]
Chinese forces drive the Japanese out of Nanning, China [1]Feb 18Soviet troops begin to break the Finnish V-Line [2]
Feb 19The Soviet 18th Div attacks across frozen Lake Suvanto, suffering many casualties [2] — Secretary of State Cordell Hull extends a U.S. “moral” embargo to the Soviet Union for attacking Finland. [116]
Feb 20Nikolaus von Falkenhorst is appointed to command the German invasion of Norway [2]
Feb 22The Soviet 43rd Division captures Lasisaari and Koivisto, Finland [2] — A Luftwaffe He 111s accidentally damages the German destroyer Leberecht Maass, which is then sunk by a mine; the destroyer Max Schultz is sunk by a mine during rescue (588 killed) [1]
Feb 23Britain announces wool shortage due to enthusiastic knitters knitting for the troops [1]
Feb 24British Hawker Typhoon prototype P5212 fighter made her first flight in EnglandChamberlain condemns German aggression but is still open to talks [2] — British Summer Time begins (daylight savings time moved up for wartime) [1]
Feb 26The US War Department activates Air Defense Command under Brig. Gen. James Chaney [1]
Feb 27Finland requests assistance from Norway and Sweden for the war against Russia [2]
Mar 3In the Soviet-Finnish war, the Soviets launch a final major offensive at Viipuri, Finland [1] — Stalin approves the execution of captured Polish officers and land owners [2]
Mar 4Soviet and Finnish troops clash near the Vuoksi River in Viipuri [2] — The Soviets launch an offensive towards Viipuri, Finland. [1]
Mar 5The USSR declares Polish officers are enemies and sentences them to death; this will lead to the Katyn Massacre [1] — NKVD chief Lavrentiy Beria’s proposal to execute all Polish officer corps captives is approved by the Soviet Union Politburo, including Joseph Stalin. It led to the Katyn Massacre during the early years of World War II. [116]
Mar 7Soviet troops begin to break through the final defense line at Viipuri, Finland [2]
Mar 8Off the Dominican Republic, the light cruiser HMS Dunedin & destroyer HMCS Assiniboine capture the German freighter Hannover, violating Pan-American Neutrality. They escort her to Kingston, Jamaica.[1, 61] — Soviet diplomats dragged on negotiations as troops entered Viipuri [2]
Mar 9French military intelligence takes possession of a supply of heavy water at the Norsk Hydro plant in Telemark, Norway with permission of the Norwegians [1]
Mar 11Off Wilhelmshaven, British Blenheim bombers sink German U-boat U-31, which will be refloated only to be sunk again, the only U-boat to be sunk twice in WWII [1] — 5 Soviet tanks reached Tammisuo Station in northeast Viipuri, Finland [2] — Britain begins meat rationing — each person to receive 1 shilling, 10 pence worth per week (about one pound); chicken, game, sausage, and meat pies are not rationed [1]
Mar 12Finnish President Kallio authorizes his delegates in Moscow full powers to negotiate. The Finnish government signs the Treaty of Moscow ending the Winter War with the Soviet Union. Finland loses 10% of its territory. [2, 116]
Mar 13The Winter War ends with the Moscow Peace Treaty. Finnish and Soviet representatives signed the Moscow Peace Treaty at 0200 hours [2] — 25,000 Finnish soldiers were killed; 200,000 Soviets [1]Canada forms the Inventions Board to process weapon suggestions from civilians. Canada discontinues manufacture of civilian-use trucks. [1]
Mar 14The Finnish Parliament meets and debates the ratification of the Moscow Peace Treaty [2] — Germans are required to turn in copper, bronze, brass, lead, tin, nickel, and other metals for the war effort [1]
Mar 15The Finnish parliament ratifies the Moscow Peace Treaty 145 to 3 [2] — The Fairey Albacore enters Fleet Air Arm service when No. 826 Naval Air Squadron at RNAS Ford receive the first examples. [9] — The only Spitfire Mk III prototype flies. Powered by a 1,240-hp Rolls-Royce Merlin XX engine this was a converted Mk I.  [9]
Mar 1614 German Ju 88 dive bombers attack the Royal Navy Home Fleet base at Scapa Flow . The first British civilian of WWII is killed. [2, 116]
Mar 17German submarines U-57, U-19, U-21, and U-22 begin to move toward Scapa Flow [2] — Two A-34 tanks arrive in Moscow after driving from Kharkov for a demonstration to the Soviet government. As a result of the lengthy drive and trials at Kubinka, the tank was approved for production. [22]
Mar 18At a meeting between German Führer Adolf Hitler and Italian Duce Benito Mussolini, at the Brenner Pass, the Italian leader promised that Italy would join the Second World War as Germany’s ally in the near future. In June 1940, his promise was kept. [116, 154]
Mar 19The Royal Air Force bombs a seaplane base at Hörnum on Sylt Island, the first bombs to land on German soil during the war. [1]
Mar 20Beria dispatches 11 NKVD squads to Ukraine and Byelorussia to deal with resistance [2]
Mar 21Édouard Daladier resigns as Prime Minister of France after vote of no confidence from Parliament, replaced by Paul Reynaud. [1] — Semyon Timoshenko is made a Hero of the Soviet Union for the first time [2] — The first German merchant ship is sunk by a British submarine: HMS Ursula sinks German freighter Heddernheim north of Denmark [1]
The Chinese secure major roads leading into Wuyuan, Suiyuan Province, China [2]Mar 22The Royal Navy increases patrols off Norway as tensions rise between Britain, Norway, and Germany. [1]
Mar 23Germany requires car owners to donate batteries and requires church bells to be melted down [1]
Mar 24Sunspots temporarily disrupt shortwave radios, telephones, and telegraphs in the Western Hemisphere [1]
Mar 25The neutral US allows sale of military aircraft to the Allies [1] — Britain doubles the butter ration to ½ pound per week [1]
Chinese troops evacuate Wuyuan, Suiyuan Province, China [2]Mar 26First flight of Curtiss C-46 Commando cargo plane in St. Louis, MO. [1]
Japanese spy Takeo Yoshikawa arrives in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii to begin getting information on the U.S. naval movements and to gather other intelligence. The Japanese would attack Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. [116]Mar 27Sixteen hundred Jewish refugees arrive in Palestine, but are interned by the British for illegal entry [1] — France requests the removal of the Soviet ambassador in Paris, Yakov Suritz, as diplomatic relations between the Allies and the Soviet Union become strained as the Soviets give aid to Germany.[116]
Mar 28Britain and France agree not to make separate peace treaties with Germany [1]
The Japanese establish the puppet Reorganized National Government of the Republic of China in Nanjing under president Wang Jingwei [1]Mar 30
Mar 31Mussolini informs King Vittorio Emanuele III that Italy would soon enter the war [2] — The German auxiliary cruiser Atlantis sets sail; it will sink 22 ships before being sunk on 22 November 1941 [1]
Chinese troops capture Wuyuan, Suiyuan Province, China [2]Apr 1The British Ministry of Food announced Dig for Victory campaign to encourage growing food at home [1] — The wall separating the area inhabited by Jews from the rest of Warsaw began construction. It was built on express orders from Governor Fischer, and the Judenrat was forced to pay for it. [55] — German Dictator Adolf Hitler approves April 9, 1940 as the date for the beginning of Operation Weserübung, the invasion of Norway and Denmark. [116]
Apr 320,000+ Polish police, military officers, & intellectuals are massacred by the Russian NKVD in the Katyn Forest [1, 2]
Apr 4Aktion 14 F 13 began in Germany, exterminating the handicapped. [2]
Apr 5Chamberlain announces that a German invasion of W. Europe would not be successful [2] — The Norwegian ambassador in Berlin, Germany warns his government and the government of Denmark of a possible German invasion. On April 9, Operation Weserübung began, as Nazi Germany indeed invaded Norway and Denmark. [116] — The liquidation of the Special NKVD POW camp in Starobelsk in the Ukrainian SSR begins. The first transport of Polish prisoners, of up to 260 POWs, left here on this day for Kharkiv, where they were later executed and buried in Piatichatki, just outside the city. [165]
In the US, two prototypes are ordered from Grumman. These will become the TBF Avenger. [9]Apr 8Polish submarine Orzel sinks German transport ship Rio de Janeiro in the Skagerrak [2] — The Allies announce the laying of minefields at three points in Norwegian waters [11] — Gallup poll: 84% of Americans want Allies to win, 2% want German victory, and only 23% want US to join the war [1] — The German invasion fleet arrives off of Norway; two German troop transports are sunk by a Norwegian destroyer and by a Polish submarine. In heavy fighting, British destroyer HMS Glowworm is sunk while ramming German heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper [1]
Apr 9Operation Weserübung begins. German forces land at six key locations in Norway. The German government claims the invasion is made to forestall a British invasion. Germans take Oslo, Kristiansand, Stavanger, Bergen, Trondheim, and Narvik. Germany invades Denmark at 0500 hours. This is the first use of combat paratroopers in history. Denmark falls in less than six hours, with 16 Danish soldiers killed and 20 German soldiers killed. [1, 2, 30, 116]
Apr 102 German and 2 British destroyers are sunk at First Battle of Narvik [2] — The Icelandic parliament grants full powers to Icelandic cabinet, effectively declaring independence from German-occupied Denmark [1] — Destroyer HMS Gurkha was sunk off Stavanger by German aircraft during the Norway Campaign with the loss of 16 of her crew. [137] — 16 British Blackburn Skuas from Nos. 800 and 803 Naval Air Squadron attack and sink the German cruiser Konigsberg. [9] — Destroyer HMS Hardy was beached after fighting to her last torpedo and shell against German destroyers off Narvik. Heavily damaged, she later capsized. 32 of her crew died including her CO Capt B A W Warburton-Lee, who was awarded a posthumous VC. Destroyer HMS Hunter was sunk at Narvik as a result of damage received while attacking German destroyers and being accidentally rammed by HMS Hotspur. 107 of her crew were lost and a further 5 later died of wounds. Submarine HMS Tarpon was lost with all 53 crew on or soon after this date, probably sunk by depth charges while attacking a German A/S vessel in the North Sea. Her wreck was found off Thyborøn, Jutland, in 2016. HM Submarine Thistle was torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-4 off Stavanger when caught on the surface recharging her batteries, following an earlier unsuccessful attack on U-4 by Thistle. There were no survivors from Thistle’s 59 crew. [137]
Apr 12General Otto Ruge takes over as commander of Norwegian Army [2] — British bomb air base at Kristiansand [11] — The British occupy the Danish-controlled and important Faroe Islands shortly after the Germans invade Denmark. The British left shortly after the end of World War II and the island reverted back to Danish control. [116]
Apr 13Second battle of Narvik [11]
Apr 14King Haakon of Norway appeals to his people to resist [2] — In Norway, British and French troops land near Narvik. Royal Marines land at Namsos to assist Norwegians against German invasion. This was in preparation for a larger force to arrive two days later. [1,11, 167]
Apr 15British troops land in the Lofoten Islands in northern Norway [2] — Germans occupy Kongsvinger [11] — The Germans appoint a council to run the Norwegian government [1] — Off Narvik, Norway, British destroyers Brazen and Fearless sink German submarine U-49; documents about the Enigma machine float to the surface and are captured by the British [1]
Apr 16Iceland declares independence from Denmark and askes the United States for recognition. [2]
Ocean liner RMS Queen Mary arrives in Australia to be refitted as a troopship [1]Apr 17British War Cabinet approves direct troop landings at Trondheim, Norway [2] — British forces land at Andalsnes [11] — Adm. Karl Dönitz withdraws German U-boats from Norwegian waters to study torpedo failures [1]
Apr 18German troops advance past Oslo but are held up at the village of Bagn [2] — British troops land at Åndalsnes, Norway [1] — The Canadian contingent, 1300 troops from the 1st Division, assigned to the aborted attack against Trondheim, Norway leave from Aldershot for Dunfermline, Scotland [31]
Apr 19Neubaufahrzeug prototype heavy tanks arrive in Oslo to intimidate Norwegians [2] — First clash between British and German troops in Norway, at Verdal, north of Trondheim [1]
Apr 20Keith Park takes command of the 11 Group of the Royal Air Force Fighter Command [2] — Hitler authorizes formation of Norwegian-Danish “Viking” SS regiment [1]
Apr 21Danish air base at Aalborg bombed [11] — First US military casualty of WWII—Army Air Force observer Captain Robert Losey is killed in German bombing at Dombås, Norway. He was trying to evacuate U.S. diplomats from Norway to Sweden. [1, 116] — British and German troops engage in heavy fighting at Lillehammer, Norway [1]
Apr 22Trade agreement between Germany and Rumania signed [11] — In Norway, British troops begin retreat at Namsos and Lillehammer [1]
Apr 23The British 146th Brigade retreats to Namsos, Norway [2]
Apr 24German troops repel a British attack near Trondheim, Norway [2] — Germany takes direct control of the occupied area in Norway [11] — The Germans appoint Josef Terboven as Reichskommissar of Norway [1] — US Naval Attaché Lt. Cdr. Ole Hagen escorts American civilians from Oslo, Norway into neutral Sweden [1]
Apr 25British troops hold against a German attack at Kvam, NorwayGermans claim control of railway from Trondheim to Sweden [11]
Troops of the Chinese 3rd and 9th War Areas breach into southern Nanchang, ChinaApr 26Satisfied with Norway progress, Hitler ordered the resumption of French invasion planning [2] — The Allies announce withdrawals north of Lillehammer [11]
Apr 29Italian protests on Allied blockade [11] — The Royal Air Force establishes Commonwealth Air Training Plan to train air crews in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand [1]
Apr 30The first guarded Jewish ghetto was established at Lodz, Poland when the Łódź Ghetto was sealed. This effectively trapped 164,000 people in and cut them off from the rest of the city. [2, 49]
The prototype of the Douglas SBD Dauntless makes its maiden flightMay 1Norwegian troops in Lillehammer surrendered [2] —In Norway, German troops from Oslo and Bergen link, and the British evacuate Åndalsnes [1] — British pass union trade agreement allowing women to work in munitions factories [1]
May 3Norwegian troops south of Trondheim surrendered to the Germans [2] — Evacuation of Namsos and southern Norway revealed [11] — Junkers Ju 87 Stukas attack and sink the French Guepard-class destroyer Bison and the Destroyer HMS Afridi (F07) during ‘Operation Weserubung’. 53 crew from the HMS Afridi (F07) are lost. It was attempting to evacuate troops from Namsos. 13 soldiers are also lost — the only casualties among the whole force evacuated from Åndalsnes & Namsos. The 35 sailers from French destroyer Bison she had just picked up also go down with the Afridi. 30 Frenchmen are rescued. [9, 137, 167]
May 4Germany begins rationing gasoline; many of the remaining civilian cars and trucks still in circulation are ordered off the roads [1]
May 5After a 25-day battle, the Norwegian fortress of Hegra surrenders [2] — Norwegian government-in-exile is established in London [1] — Off Denmark, the damaged submarine HMS Seal surrenders to German seaplanes and a patrol vessel, the only British vessel surrendered by her commander during the war [1]
May 6First flight of the Dewoitine D-750, French low-winged monoplane twin-engine 3 seat torpedo bomber prototype
President Roosevelt orders the US Pacific Fleet to stay at Pearl Harbor indefinitely as a deterrent to Japan [1]May 7British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain faces criticism during the Norway Debate [2]
Japanese 3rd Division crosses the Bai River in Hubei, China [2]Amy 8Chamberlain secures majority of 81 in debate on Norway. Yugoslavia opens trade negotiations with Russia [11] — British Labour Party calls for vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s government [1] — Gen. Semyon Timoshenko replaces Marshal Kliment Voroshilov as Soviet defense commissar [1]
May 9The last day of the ‘Phoney War‘. At 2100 hours, the codeword Danzig is relayed to the German Wehrmacht, beginning the Nazi invasion of Western Europe. At dawn on May 10, #Germany attacked. [116] — Four Polish battalions arrived at Narvik, Norway. [2] — British troops occupy Iceland [11] — In Nazi-occupied Poland, Jews are banned from parks, museums, restaurants, trains, and from land ownership [1] — French scientist Maurice Ponte flies one of his improved cavity magnetrons to Britain, which will lead to British E1189, essential for radar. [1]
May 10Germany declares war on Belgium and the Netherlands as they roll through them and into France. During the German invasion of the Netherlands the Fallschirmjäger were used to capture key points such as airfields, but they suffered heavily. 224 Ju 52s were lost from 440 used and Dutch counterattacks killed, wounded or captured many This begins the invasion of France and the Low Countries, thus officially ending the Phoney War. [11, 30, 162] — Winston Churchill becomes Prime Minister of the UK.The port of #Calais became a target for the Luftwaffe and the docks in particular were badly damaged in a succession of air raids [30]
May 111940 New York World’s Fair opens with theme “The World of Tomorrow.” [1] — The German offensive continues. The advance in Holland is very rapid and even more of the Dutch army is put out of action. [43] — Churchill names Lord Beaverbrook the head of Ministry of Aircraft Production [2] — Germans capture Maastricht and Eben Emael. Allied forces occupy Netherlands West Indies. [11] — The Germans complete occupation of Luxembourg [1] — Switzerland mobilizes its army, while Swiss citizens living on the German border flee [1] — British & French land in Dutch West Indies (Aruba & Curaçao) to protect oil installations; US President Roosevelt states these actions do not violate the Monroe Doctrine [1] — British & French armies join Belgians on River Dyle in Belgium [1]
May 12French tanks defeat their German counterparts at Hannut, Belgium in first tank battle of the western front[1,2] — Britain begins internment of male German and Austrian nationals ages 16-60 in military areas (eastern & southern coasts) [1] — German troops enter France via the Ardennes Forest, reaching the Meuse River at Sedan, Monthermé, and Dinant. [1]
May 13The German panzer divisions cross the Meuse River in two places at Sedan and Dinant [43] — Germans cross Moerdijk bridge. Netherlands government flees to England. [11] — Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, her family, and her government flee to Britain [1] — In main attack in France, German troops cross the Meuse at Sedan to trap Allies in the Low Countries. [1] — British Prime Minister Winston Churchill gives his “Blood, toil, tears, and sweat” speech in the House of Commons during the bleakest days of World War II. It was Churchill’s first speech in the Commons since becoming PM on May 10. [116]
May 14First flight of the Yermolayev Yer-2, DB240, long-range Soviet medium bomber. Britain forms Local Defence Volunteers (later called the Home Guard); more than 250,000 men aged 17-65 enroll in the first 24 hours. [1] — From Sedan, France, German tanks under Gen. Heinz Guderian drive west to trap Allied forces in Belgium. [1] — The #Dutch defeat the Germans at the Battle of the Afsluitdijk during World War II. Despite the Dutch success at the battle, the Netherlands surrendered to the Germans the next day on May 15. [116]
May 15Dutch General Winkelman signs the Dutch surrender document. The Battle of the Netherlands began on May 10 when Germany invaded the neutral country. The province of Zeeland was not included in the surrender. [1, 2, 116] — Germans cross Meuse line at three points, penetrate extension of Maginot Line. [11] — At Gembloux, Belgium, Germans lose 250 tanks to French artillery, but the French are forced to fall back as Belgian troops retreat [1] — Britain reduces weekly butter ration from 8 ounces to 4 ounces per person [1] — In the US, nylon stockings first go on the market, made by DuPont [1]
May 16Having become Britain’s Prime Minister on May 10, Winston Churchill visits Paris, He is told by Gamelin that the French have no reserves and that France is defeated. Their war with Germany will be over soon. The French will sign an armistice with Germany on June 22 [116] — As the Germans are ravaging Belgium the Belgian government leaves for Bordeaux, France. It would later move to London. [116] — Hans Frank held a conference in Cracow in which he outlined the “Ausserordentliche Befriedungsaktion”, (Extraordinary Pacification Action) – a plan to decapitate the Polish nation by murdering its elites. In all, the “AB-Aktion” claimed over 6,000 lives [55]
May 17French 4th Armored Division attacks the German southern flank at Laon Colonel Charles de Gaulle launches the 200-tank counterattack at Montcornet but fails [1,2] — Dutch abandon resistance in Zeeland. Germans take Brussels. Belgian government moves to Ostend. French line broken south of Sedan. [11] — Germans take Brussels, Belgium [1] — Paris is declared a military zone, martial law is declared, and police begin carrying rifles [1]
May 18German troops captures Antwerp, Belgium [1,2] — In a radio address, aviator and isolationist Charles Lindbergh accuses President Roosevelt of creating “a defense hysteria” and states, “If we desire peace, we have only to stop asking for war.” [1]
May 17Weygand replaced Gamelin as Chief of the General Staff and Commander-in-Chief of French forces [1,2] — Marshal Henri Pétain is named Vice Premier of France [1] — Germans annex districts of Eupen and Malmedy from Belgium [11]
May 20Guderian captures Amiens at 0900. The Germans reach Abbeville, France, at 1900 cutting off communication between the British Expeditionary Force in the north and the French army in the south, leading to the evacuation of British and French forces from Dunkirk, beginning on May 27. [2, 116]
May 2120th Guards Brigade, consisting of the 2nd Irish Guards, the 2nd Welsh Guards and the 69th Anti-Tank Regiment, are despatched from Dover, arriving in Boulogne at dawn on the 22nd [30] — Erwin Rommel is awarded the 1939 clasp to his Iron Cross First Class medal [2] — Germans break through on Somme, capture Arras and Amiens, reach channel at Abbeville. [11] — The British Infantry Tank Mk.II first sees battle. The tank’s powerful armour was resistant to anti-tank artillery, but the tanks could still be knocked out by high caliber field guns and AA guns. [22] — Britain adopts national conscription of property and labour [11] — A Nazi “special unit” began murdering more than 1,500 hospital patients in East Prussia. The operation of killing the “unfit” mentally ill patients took 18 days. After the murders, the unit reported back to in Berlin that the patients had been “successfully evacuated.” [7]
May 22Belgians retreat as German forces move along the French coast. Churchill is in France to arrange another offensive but there just aren’t the men available to make it work! [43] — German panzers strike north from Abbeville, France toward Dunkirk [1] — British codebreakers at Bletchley Park decode new German Luftwaffe Enigma code [1] — Britain passes Emergency Powers Act, giving government authority over persons & property [1] — Former British Member of Parliament with the Conservatives and Labour parties, Sir Oswald Mosley, is imprisoned for leading the British Union of Fascists. He was interned under Defense Regulation 18b and released in 1943. [116] — Rommel halted at Arras after receiving bad intelligence that inflated Allied strength. [2]
May 23British No 92 Squadron Leader Roger Bushell is leading his 2nd offensive patrol of the day over France when he and his 12 Spitfires engage over 40 enemy aircraft. In the ensuing dogfight, Roger manages to shoot down two Me 110s [186] — The German 6th Army crosses the Scheldt River in Belgium. [2] — The BEF completes the withdrawal to the Gort Line in the Battle of France and Flanders. German patrols made contact with the line and their artillery began ranging on the forward blockhouses and pillboxes. [188]
May 24The 10th Panzer Division attacks the British and French at Calais, France during the Siege of Calais. The siege lasted four days and helped keeps Germans away from Dunkirk so the British could evacuate Allied troops. [116] — The HMS Wessex is sunk by German Stuka dive bombers off the coast of Calais. The first HMS Wessex (D43) was a W-class destroyer of the British Royal Navy that saw service in the final months of World War I & the early months of World War II. [167]
May 25The 1st transport of Jews arrive at Mauthausen-Gusen Concentration Camp in Austria — Large numbers of the British Expeditionary Force as well as the remaining French troops find themselves perilously surrounded by the encroaching German army. [18]
May 26The Siege of Calais ends with the surrender of British and French forces to the Germans. British Gen. Sir John Dill is named Chief of Imperial General Staff [1] — Gort gives order to evacuate the BEF. [30] — Just before 7pm, Churchill gives the green light for – Operation Dynamo. At 6.57pm Vice-Admiral Ramsey receives his orders to commence Operation Dynamo, with the 129 ferries, coasters, Schuyts (scoots) and small craft at his disposal. It was initially estimated that 45,000 would be the most they could save. Operation Dynamo begins sees 338,000 British & French troops evacuated from French beaches by everything from destroyers to civilian fishing boats It lasted through June 4. 11874 Allied personnel are evacuated from Dunkerque harbor and 5930 from nearby beaches over eight days. The 2nd Battalion Royal Ulster Rifles held off enemy attacks in the rearguard of the BEF as the force retreated to Dunkirk [1, 2, 3, 4, 30, 53, 82, 116] — Hawker Hectors of 613 Squadron dive bombed enemy positions around Calais. The following day, unaware that the defenders had surrendered, they attempted to drop supplies, but 2 aircraft are lost. The reminder of the Hector fleet were used as target and glider tugs. [162]
May 27The first 7,669 British troops were evacuated from Dunkerque [2] — King Leopold III of Belgium offered surrender terms to Germany [2] — Germans take Calais, France [1] — The German 3rd Company SS Totenkopf Division commanded by SS-Hauptsturmführer Fritz Knöchlein captures 99 British soldiers at Le Paradis, France. The British troops surrendered to the Germans only to be marched against a wall and shot. Only two, who were able to play dead, survive. [18, 116, 167, 175] — British weekly sugar ration cut from 12 oz to 8 oz per person [1] — The FBI receives 2900 reports of espionage and sabotage after President Roosevelt’s Fireside Chat warning about “fifth columnists” the night before. [1]
May 2811874 Allied personnel were evacuated from Dunkerque harbor and 5930 from nearby beaches [2] — Paddle minesweeper HMS Brighton Belle (launched 1900 as Lady Evelyn, renamed Brighton Belle 1923, requisitioned 1940) strikes a wreck and sinks while returning from Dunkirk with ~800 rescued soldiers. Everyone on board is safely rescued [137] — The Battle of Belgium, aka the 18 Days’ Campaign, ends. King Leopold surrenders the Belgian army [1, 11, 116] — Some soldiers of the 2nd Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment are murdered in a barn on the outskirts of Wormhoudt by the SS. — Norwegian, French, Polish & British forces recapture Narvik in Norway. This is the first Allied infantry victory of the War. The Polish Independent Highland Brigade contributed to this Allied victory. Although the success couldn’t save the doomed campaign, it provided a serious morale boost not only for the Poles but also for the Allies. [1, 55, 116, 167] — This marks the end of the British War Cabinet Crisis. Viscount Halifax and former Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain try to get Prime Minister Winston Churchill to accept a negotiated peace with Nazi Germany. [116]
The Vought F4U Corsair prototype flies for the first time [9]May 29Allies announce capture of Narvik. [11] — Off Dunkirk, German torpedo boats and the Luftwaffe sink British destroyers Wakeful, Grafton, and Grenade, and many other ships, killing over 1000 Allied troops. Destroyer HMS Wakeful was torpedoed and sunk by German E-boat S-30 while evacuating soldiers from Dunkirk. Loss of life was tragically heavy: 638 of the 640 soldiers on board and 25 of Wakeful’s crew were killed. Only 2 of the 640 Allied troops – Mr Stanley Patrick & Mr H.F.R. Ruddell of the Royal Army Service Corps plus 25 of Wakeful’s crew survived. Destroyer HMS Grafton (H89) was torpedoed by German submarine U-62 off Nieuwpoort while rescuing survivors from HMS Wakeful. She was severely damaged and 13 of her crew were killed. Grafton was later scuttled by gunfire from HMS Ivanhoe. HMS Grenade (H86) was attacked and set ablaze by German Stuka dive-bombers while in Dunkirk harbour and was destroyed when her magazines exploded. 14 of her crew were killed. Paddle steamer HMS Crested Eagle, requisitioned by the Royal Navy in 1940 as a minesweeper, was set ablaze by German air attack off Dunkirk and run ashore. Over 300 on board lost their lives. Her wreck, at Zuydcoote, is visible at low tide. Another paddle steamer HMS Waverley, requisitioned by the Royal Navy in 1939 as a minesweeper, was attacked by German aircraft off Dunkirk while carrying ~600 soldiers. She downed two of the twelve aircraft attacking her but was crippled by bombs and sank. 350 on board died. [1, 137, 167]
May 30Benito Mussolini advised Adolf Hitler that Italy was ready to enter the war [2] — Canada bans the Communist Party and the National Unity Party (Nazi) [1] — Germany increases food rations due to increased supplies from newly conquered countries [1] — First French troops are evacuated from Dunkirk. The French destroyer Bourrasque sinks off Dunkirk loaded with troops. In the wake of the previous day’s losses, the British Admiralty orders all modern destroyers to depart Dunkirk. A total of 53,823 troops were evacuated on this day. [1, 194]
May 31Italy breaks off commercial negotiations with Britain [11] — In Italy, civilians are banned from driving private cars, and a gasoline conservation plan is announced [1] — The most successful day in Operation Dynamo. Gen. Bernard Montgomery, British commander Lord Gort, and Gen. Oliver Leese are evacuated from Dunkirk, along with 68,014 troops [1,43] — Churchill flies to Paris again for a meeting of the Supreme War Council. Meetings are held at the French Ministry of War on the deteriorating situation in France. [116] — Britain has road signs removed and railway signs obscured to confuse potential invaders [1] — US Ambassador to Argentina Norman Armour and US Minister in Uruguay Edwin Wilson meet in Montevideo, requesting Sec of State Hull ask FDR to send warships to South America as a show of force to prevent Uruguay from joining Germany. [116] — Without regard to her safety, WAAF Cpl Daphne Pearson pulls PO Bond, from his crashed Anson moments before the 120lb bombs still on board explode. She is awarded the British Empire Medal for gallantry (later exchanged for the George Cross the first awarded to a woman) [7]
Jne 1Heinz Guderian is named the commander of Panzer Group Guderian [2] — British troops withdraw from Dunkirk perimeter, leaving defense to the French [1] — Three 500 Squadron Ansons are attacked by 9 Bf 109s near Dunkirk. The aircraft of P/O Philip Peters was singled out, but through skilful flying it was undamaged and his gunners shot down 2 fighters and damaged a third. Peters was awarded the DFC and his 2 crew DFMs. [162] — The USS Washington is launched at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, America’s first new battleship since 1921 [1]
Jne 2Polish and French troops countattack at Narvik while British are troops evacuated. [2] — The requisitioned ferry ROYAL DAFFODIL heading back to England from Dunkirk is attacked by 6 aircraft. Badly damaged, she is subsequently beached at Dover, repaired and taken to London 9th June. [142]
Jne 3The last group of British troops at Dunkirk are evacuated before the break of dawn. Royal Navy Captain William Tennant tells Admiral Bertram Ramsay that “Operation (Dynamo ) completed. Returning to Dover”, noting the evacuation of forces from Dunkirk. Churchill insists on coming back for French troops and they did on June 4. The last of the 338,226 Allied soldiers evacuated from Dunkirk boarded ships bound for the UK. The evacuation proved near-miraculous, allowing Britain to live to fight another day, and return to France four years later, nearly to the day, on D-Day. [2, 47, 116] — Two hundred Luftwaffe bombers bomb Paris, France, & its suburbs was bombed for the 1st time, targeting in particular the Citroën automobile factory. 254 persons were killed. Most were civilians & school children. [1, 7] — The British establish night curfew for foreigners [1] — British Prime Minister Winston Churchill orders the formation of commando units to raid Nazi-occupied Europe [1]
Jne 4To rally the morale of the country, British Prime Minister Churchill gives his famous “We shall fight on the beaches” speech in the Commons. It was the second of three major speeches given during the Battle of France. The other two were “Blood, toil, tears, and sweat” and “This was their finest hour”. The effect on MPs, used to great oratory, was electric. Several cried with emotion. “Worth 1,000” guns, thought one. [1, 2, 116, 153, 167, 172] — Konstantin Rokossovsky is promoted to the rank of major general [2] — Operation Dynamo, the evacuation of British troops from Dunkirk ends. 2 Royal Ulster Rifles had the unenviable task of perimeter defence while the evacuation took place. They lost nearly 200 men. Roughly 338,000 troops got off the beach. The Germans take Dunkirk and 40,000 French POWs. [1, 63]
Jne 5The Germans launch attack on Somme-Aisne front [11] — The Battle of France begins: Germans launch offensive south in France [1] — Britain announces new emergency measures: strikes are banned, holidays discouraged, and miners and farmers are not to leave jobs without government permission [1]
Jne 6Germans advance seventeen miles below Abbeville [11]
Jne 75,200 British troops embarked transports at Narvik for evacuation [2] — In the longest bombing mission to date French bomber (Farman 223.4 “Jules Verne”) is the first allied plane of the 2nd World War to bomb Berlin…alone and without escort [1,30] — King Haakon VII of Norway, his family and government, evacuate from Norway to Britain as Germans advance [1] — The RAF’s first ace of WWII, Flying Officer Edgar “Cobber” Kain of New Zealand (17 victories) is killed when buzzing an airfield in his Hurricane [1]
Jne 8German 5th and 7th Panzer Divisions cross the Seine River in France [2] — Off Norway, German battlecruisers Gneisenau & Scharnhorst sink British carrier Glorious and destroyers Ardent & Acasta (1537 killed on 3 ships) [1]
Jne 9The Norwegian 6th Div surrenders to the Germans; a formal armistice is planned for midnight [2] — The German battleship Scharnhorst scored one of the longest-range naval gunfire hits in history when a shell struck the carrier HMS Glorious from almost 15 miles away. Scharnhorst and sister ship Gneisenau then moved closer and fired several salvos that sank Glorious. [66] — The USSR issues the order for the invasion of the Baltic States [2]
Jne 10The Kingdom of Italy enters WWII when Italian dictator Benito Mussolini declares war on France and the United Kingdom. The Allies had been made aware of this on May 28, during what is known as the British War Cabinet Crisis. [1, 11, 22, 116, 167] — Tanks under Guderian advanced toward Chalons-sur-Marne, France [2] — In France, German troops cross the Seine, and British troops begin to evacuate from Le Havre and St. Valéry [1] — Norway surrenders to Nazi Germany. Germany invaded on April 9. After the Soviet Union, Norway held out longer, 62 days, than any other nation that was invaded by Germany during World War II. This began an occupation that would last until the end of the war. King Haakon VII and his heir fled to Britain. [35, 116] — President Roosevelt makes first speech pledging aid to Britain, in his commencement speech at the University of Virginia, where his son, Franklin Jr., is receiving his degree [1]
Jne 11German troops capture Le Havre, France [2] — Gen. Maxime Weygand decides to declare Paris an open city, although civilians aren’t informed for another two days. [1] — The Italian Air Force bombed the British fortress at Malta. Ten Italian Z.1007 Alcione bombers attacked Grand Harbour, RAF Hal Far, and Kalafrana killing 1 civilian & 6 soldiers. RAF Hal Far was the first of the three major Malta airfields to be attacked during the war. It was also the first of 3340 Axis air raids to the island over the next three years. This begins the Siege of Malta. [1, 7, 167] — Britain orders the internment of all male Italians ages 17-70 who have resided in Britain under 20 years, including those who fled Mussolini’s regime. [1] — Italian troops invade France along the Riviera and in the Alps, but do not advance. [1] — British Armstrong Whitworth Whitleys take part in raids on Genoa and Turin in Italy. [8] — The prototype of the Hawker Hurricane Mk II flies for the first time. [8]
The Japanese bomb Chongqing, China with 154 aircraft [1]Jne 12The British 51st Highland Infantry Division surrenders in Normandy, France, ending, from the British viewpoint, Allied operations during the Battle of France. [116] — Gen. Maxime Weygand orders a general retreat to the Loire River, abandoning Paris [1] — The military governor of Paris Gen. Pierre Héring evacuates, leaving US Ambassador William Bullitt as provisional governor in charge of the city [1] — The The Soviet Baltic Fleet receives orders to blockade Estonia. [2] — HMS Calypso (D61) is sunk by the Italian submarine Alpino Attilio Bagnolini. Thirty nine sailors from Calypso perished in the sinking. The majority of her survivors were rescued by the destroyer Dainty & taken to Alexandria. [167] — The WILLOWBANK, Durban to Hull via Freetown. Part of Convoy SL34, was torpedoed and sunk by U46. All of the crew survived and were picked up by SWEDRU. [142]
Jne 13Soviet troops began massing on the borders of the Baltic States [2] — Allies decide not to defend Paris [11] — The North Carolina-class battleship USS North Carolina BB-55 is launched at the New York Navy Yard [52] — Churchill meets Reynaud for the last time as the French retreat outside Paris, Spain declares itself a non-belligerent and Roosevelt plays the system to get arms to Britain. [43] — Germans take Le Havre, France, and enter Paris suburbs [1] — First naval skirmish in the Mediterranean in WWII: the British submarine Odin attacks Italian cruisers Fiume and Gorizia [1]
Jne 14The Nazis send first prisoners to Auschwitz – political prisoners from Poland. 728 Polish political prisoners, including Catholics, Jews and resistance members become the first non-German prisoners at Auschwitz concentration camp. [1, 116] — The first immates of Theresienstadt Concentration Camp arrive [2] — Britain bans the ringing of church bells, which is reserved for invasion alerts [1] — Germans troops occupy Paris, attack Maginot Line. The French government moves to Bordeaux. Spanish forces occupy international zone at Tangier. [1, 11]
Jne 15Soviet troops engage Latvian border guards at Maslenki, Latvia [2] — USSR occupies Lithuania [1] — The German 1st Army crosses the Maginot Line in the Saar; German 7th Army crosses the Rhine at Colmar [1] — Bread and flour are rationed in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands [1]
Jne 16The Soviet invasion of Latvia and Estonia begins. A communist government is installed in Lithuania after the Soviet Union occupied the country the previous day. [2, 116] [2] — French Prime Minister Paul Reynaud resigns, is replaced by Marshal Philippe Pétain [1] — The Curie Laboratory in France transfers 410 lb of Norwegian heavy water to the British [1] — With Germany about to defeat France, Prime Minister Churchill and French undersecretary of defense Charles de Gaulle discuss a “Franco-British Union” so the French could continue fighting in North Africa after Germany occupied France. [116] — Armed merchant cruiser HMS Andania (formerly Cunard RMS Andania, requisitioned 1939) sinks in the early hours of the morning after being torpedoed by German submarine UA south of Iceland late the previous night. All her crew were rescued. Minelaying submarine HMS Grampus disappears on or around this date east of Sicily. It is likely she was sunk by Italian torpedo boats. All 59 crew were lost. [137]
Jne 17During Operation Aerial, liner RMS Lancastria is attacked by the Luftwaffe. The ship sinks in 20 mins near St. Nazaire, France. This was Britain’s worst maritime disaster with 3,000 to 5,800 fatalities – greater than Titanic & Lusitania combined. There were only 2,477 survivors. Churchill imposed a media blackout on news of the sinking.The ship was involved in the evacuation of British nationals and troops. This occurred only two weeks after the Dunkirk evacuation. Read more about this in the book The Lancastria Tragedy: Sinking and Cover-up. [1, 53, 116, 120, 167] — As German troops cross the Loire near Orléans, French Prime Minister Philippe Pétain offers the surrender of France and orders French troops to stop fighting [1, 11] — Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov sends German Ambassador Friedrich Werner von der Schulenburg a message congratulating the Germans on their victory over France. [116] — The Germans occupy Paris with about 175,000 Jews residing in the city. By the end of WWII, at least 50,000 Parisian Jews, most of them foreign-born, had been deported and murdered. [49]— German Gen. Erwin Rommel’s 7th Panzer Division advances 240 km in one day, a world record, as Panzers move to trap the French 10th Army in Normandy [1] — Soviets occupy Estonia and Latvia [1] — Winston Churchill proposes a full political union with France. ‘France and Great Britain shall no longer be two nations, but one Franco-British Union.’ The French rejected it. [204] — BBC News – Winston Churchill makes speech “This was their finest hour” [167]
Jne 18 Hitler and Mussolini confer at Munich [11] — In a speech to Parliament, Churchill declares: “The Battle of France is over…the Battle of Britain is about to begin,” and “This was their finest hour.” [1] — From London, Gen. Charles de Gaulle makes radio appeal for French to fight under him and not surrender, but few in France hear this broadcast [1]
Jne 19Beaverbrook reports that British aircraft production is exceeding the rate of loss [2] — The British Jockey Club announces that there would be no more horse racing until further notice. The Grand National had been allowed to go ahead that year in April. BOGSKAR was the winning horse ridden by a Sgt Mervyn Jones in the RAF. [173]
Jne 20German troops capture Brest and Lyons [2] — France asks Italy for armistice [11]
Jne 21The Polish government-in-exile arrives in London from France [1] — Canada introduces military conscription, but overseas service is voluntary [1]
In Japan, Prince Konoye Fumimora forms a new cabinet with Hideki Tojo as Minister of War [1]Jne 22France Surrenders to Germany. Armistice signed between France and Germany at Compiègne, splitting into a Nazi-occupied zone and a “free” zone based in Vichy [1,11]
Jne 23Maxime Weygand expells Charles de Gaulle from the French Army. de Gaulle forms the French National Committee [2, 11]
Jne 24The Franco-Italian armistice is signed at Villa Olgiata near Rome. This ends the brief conflict between France and Italy. Italy had declared war on France on June 10 as it was on the verge of defeat by the Germans. [2, 11, 116]
Jne 25The UK declares war on Vichy France
Jne 26The Packard Motor Car Company received a license to build Merlin engines for P-51 fighters [2] — Russian ultimatum to Rumania demands the return of Bessarabia [11] — The USSR orders a 56-hr work week, imprisonment for quitting jobs, and fines for tardiness [1]— French General Charles De Gaulle forms the French Volunteer Legion in London [1] — Britain reduces the meat ration due to shipping losses from German U-boats [1]
Jne 27The British War Cabinet orders the Royal Navy to seize or destroy all French warships [2] — British and Australians appeal to America for help in relation to the Japanese and the British government make plans to stop the French fleet returning to French ports. [43] — Romania agrees to Soviet demands and evacuates Bessarabia and northern Bukovina. Soviets invade the territories. The fall of France on June 22 is thought to have played a role in the Soviet action, as France guaranteed Romania’s border. [11, 116] — President Roosevelt declares a national emergency and invokes the Espionage Act of 1917 to control shipping in territorial waters and the Panama Canal and to take measures against sabotage. The President also forms the National Defense Research Committee under Dr. Vannevar Bush to coordinate civilian and military scientific and medical research [1]
Jne 28Luftwaffe bombs Jersey and Guernsey in the Channel Islands. Britain announces that the Channel Islands will be evacuated. [1, 11] — Italo Balbo, Governor-General of Italian Libya and Commander-in-Chief of Italian North Africa, is shot down & killed by Italian antiaircraft fire during RAF raid on Tobruk [1] — General Charles de Gaulle, having set up headquarters in Britain after a puppet government is formed in his native France, is recognized as the leader of the Free French Forces. He is dedicated to the defeat of Germany and the liberation of all France. [116, 148] — Soviet Union occupied Bessarabia and the Northern Bukovina, ceded by Romania [2]
Jne 29The USSR begins the third wave of deportations from Polish eastern borderlands occupied by the Soviets on Sept. 17, 1939. This deportation targets Polish civilians who fled from western to eastern Poland following the German invasion of Poland on Sept. 1, 1939 [50]
Jly 1Darlan ensures that French warships would be scuttled should German capture be imminent. [2] — The first Polish bomber squadron in Britain is formed: No 300 (Mazowiecki) Squadron. All its operational existence was based in Lincolnshire & it was the only Polish squadron equiped with Lancasters. [71] — The Nazis begin their invasion of the Channel Islands. Following the defeat of France, Winston Churchill had reluctantly withdrawn British troops from the Channel Islands. Around 25,000 occupants were evacuated to Britain. [131] — No. 808 Naval Air Squadron is formed. It is equipped with the Fairey Fulmar. This squadron would be loaned to Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain. [9]
The first evacuation ship – the Empress of Japan – leaves Hong Kong. [207]Jly 2US Congress passes the Export Control Act, giving the president the power to control or ban exports of munitions and critical materials. [1] — Off Ireland, German U-boat U-47 sinks British ocean liner Arandora Star. It had been headed to St John’s NF. 805/1673 killed, mostly Axis POWs, civilian internees, and Jewish refugees bound for Canada. HMCS ST. LAURENT (1st) rescues 857 survivors. For several hours ST. LAURENT remains in the area with its sea boats rescuing survivors. [1, 61, 167] — The German High Command (OKW) instructs the military services to start planning for an invasion of the United Kingdom. The operation, which is never carried out, is codenamed Operation Sea Lion. [116]
Jly 3British seize French warships in British ports [11] — During Operation Catapult, the Royal Navy squadron under Vice Admiral Somerville surrounds the French Fleet at the port of Mers-el-Kebir right outside Oran, Algeria. They destroyed 3 French battleships: Dunkerque, Provence and Bretagne. One battleship escaped to return to France. The Navy also damaged 5 other ships. Nearly 1300 French sailors died. Britain had asked the French to join forces or to move to a neutral port. They refused. The attack was made to stop the vessels from falling into German hands. This showed the world, especially US, that Britain would carry on war. [11, 43, 116, 120, 154, 167] — In East Africa, the Italians are attacked at Metema in Ethiopia. [43]
Jly 4German naval and air forces sink five merchant ships of convoy OA178 [2] — Italians capture Kassala and Galabat [11]
Jly 5Romania announces that it had joined the Axis Powers [2] — France decides to break off diplomatic relations with Britain after the naval attack on Mers El Kebirr, French Algeria. In retaliation planes from Vichy France bomb the British territory of Gibraltar causing minor damage. Germany vows to use what remains of the French Navy against the British. [11, 43, 116] — An order is given to develop a tank destroyer armed with a 50 mm gun on the VK 9.01 chassis. Two prototypes are built, but as both the gun and chassis became obsolete quickly, mass production never began. [22] — A sucessor to the Light Tank M2A1 is designated: the Light Tank M3. This was a tremendously successful light tank, the first in a family of vehicles that would remain in use into the 21st century. [22] — HMS Whirlwind (D30), a Royal Navy W-class destroyer is sunk by the German submarine U-34 in the North Atlantic Ocean about 120 nautical miles west of Land’s End. She sank with the loss of 57 lives. Her bow section sank immediately but her stern had to be scuttled by gunfire from HMS Westcott. [137, 167]
Jly 6The first German U-boat base opens in France, at Lorient[1]
Jly 8During the afternoon the first German fighter is shot down over the UK. It crash lands on UK soil near Elham, Kent. The Bf 109 of 4/JG51 had been damaged by a Spitfire of 74 Sqn, flown by Sgt Mould. Its pilot, Lt Böhm, was taken prisoner unhurt and the aircraft was closely examined. [162]
The Japanese deploy the new A6M Zero fighters against Chinese forces [2]Jly 10National Assembly of the Third Republic of France votes to ban the Third Republic. It grants Marshal Philippe Pétain dictatorial powers and the ability to alter the constitution. French motto “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité” is replaced with “Travail, Famille, Patrie” (work, family, fatherland). The French had signed the armistice with Germany on June 22. [1, 11, 116] — Six days before Adolf Hitler issues his Directive 16 to the combined Wehrmacht armed forces for Operation Sea Lion, the Kanalkampf shipping attacks against British maritime convoys begins. These attacks, as well as those on Southern England, marks the beginning of the Battle of Britain. British news cameras atop the Cliffs of Dover captured a Luftwaffe strike on shipping in the English Channel. The raids, were known as the Kanalkampf. The aerial battle was fought until 1941 between the RAF and the Luftwaffe. Over 1,500 Commonwealth service personnel would die during the three month campaign. Many are buried in locations around the UK – like at Whyteleafe (St Luke’s) Churchyard in Surrey. Several of those involved had connections to Northern Ireland, serving in the Royal Air Force as both pilots and ground crew.Britain would ultimately win the battle. [1, 3, 4, 49, 116, 167, 179]. — The Jewish Affairs Office in Berlin proposes to move as many as four million European Jews to Madagascar. [116]
Jly 11Bernard Montgomery is made a Companion of the Order of the Bath [2] — Petain draws up new basic laws for France [11]
Communist Mao Zedong orders attacks against Nationalist positions in Jiangsu Province [2]Jly 12
Jly 14Vichy French bombers attack Gibraltar, causing no damage [2] — Submarine HMS Salmon is lost off south-west Norway on or around this date with all hands (39 men). Cause of loss unknown, but the likelihood is that she struck a mine after entering a German minefield of which the Admiralty were unaware. [137]
Jly 15The YO-49 Vigilant (US Stinson L-1 Vigilant) prototype observation aircraft took its first flight with pilot Al Schramm [2] — British withdraw from Moyale [11]
Jly 16Hitler issues Directive No. 16, calling for preparations to be made for the #invasion of Britain, known as Operation Sea Lion. Hitler demanded the British air force be defeated before the invasion, neither of which ever occurred. [116] — Naturalized Jews are stripped of their French citizenship by France’s Vichy government. [116] — Italians claim occupation of Dolo Salient [11]
Jly 17In England, pub owner Percy Tibble captures 4 downed German airmen with a toy pistol [1] — The HMCS Skeena rescues the master and 64 crewmen from the British cargo ship SS Manipur. It had been torpedoed by U-57 while in convoy HX-55A north of Scotland. 14 merchant sailors are killed [61] — The British submarine HMS Phoenix is depth-charged and sunk with all hands (53 men) by Italian anti-submarine vessel Albatros off the east coast of Sicily. The Albatros launched her counter-attack after a failed torpedo attack by Phoenix. [137]
Jly 18Royal Air Force sinks German invasion barges in Rotterdam, Holland and St. Omer, France [1] — In a response to the British attack on Vichy France’s navy at Mers-el-Kébir, Algeria, the Vichy French Air Force bombs British-held Gibraltar. [116] — The first pitch for an Italian heavy tank is made. This 26 ton tank is comparable to medium tanks in other nations at the time, but was largely obsolete by the time production began in 1943. [22] — At Democratic convention in Chicago, Franklin Roosevelt is nominated for a third term as president with vice presidential candidate Henry A. Wallace. [1]
Jly 19Hitler in Reichstag speech demands that Britain stop fighting [11] — Germany holds a victory parade in Berlin [1] — Hitler appoints twelve field marshals and promotes Hermann Göring to the new rank of Reichsmarschall [1] — Hitler orders Britain to settle for peace; BBC replies unofficially in the negative within one hour. [1] — Battle of Cape Spada: The Royal Navy and the Regia Marina clash; the Italian light cruiser Bartolomeo Colleoni is sunk with 121 casualties. [167] — British Army order 112 forms the Intelligence Corps of the British Army. [167]
The New Hebrides becomes the first French territory to ally with the Free French rather than Vichy. [1]Jly 20 Luftwaffe night-fighters (Messerschmitt 110s) first shoot down a British plane [1]
Jly 22A Blenheim Mk IF of the Fighter Interception Unit, RAF Tangmere shoots down a Do 17. The first enemy aircraft shot down using Airborne Interception radar. [9]
Jly 23The S.O.E. is formed. One of its members was Anthony Quayle, who later became a famous actor. [220] — A provisional Czechoslovakian government is formed in London, the UK buys up 40% of US planes being produced and the LDV change their name to the Home Guard! [43] — Minelaying submarine HMS Narwhal disappeared in the North Sea, probably sunk by a German aircraft which reported attacking a submarine 125 miles east of Aberdeen. All 59 crew were lost. [137] — Acting Sec. of State Sumner Welles issues the Welles Declaration, condemning the June 1940 Soviet occupation of the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The U.S. refused to recognize their annexation as Soviet Republics. [116]
Jly 24Luftwaffe attacks on convoys, Weybridge/Walton-on-Thames & Hillington Estate in Glasgow between 15.15 & 18.20, resulting in 4 injuries. The Luftwaffe attack on the Rolls Royce factory at Glasgow only damaged neighboring buildings. The convoys saw the most action with 15 German aircraft lost & 3 damaged during combat over the Thames Estuary and Dover Straits. [2, 221] — A French ship is sunk as it repatriates French forces, the Italians bomb Palestine, and the Romanian oilfields are closed off from the British after the Astra Romano oil company is seized by the Romanian government. [11,43]
Jly 25Luftwaffe attacks started at 12.20 and finished by 23.45, which concentrated on convoys, resulting in 1 person injured. Stukas were deployed with considerable fighter cover against ships in convoys travelling through the Dover Straits. Over the next few days, British convoy CW-8 off Dover is the first to be attacked by the Germans from land, sea, and air. German aircraft also attacked Dover, Portsmouth, and Portland. [1, 2, 221] — Women and children are evacuated from the British territory of Gibraltar [1] — Swiss General Henri Guisan delivers an address to the Officer Corps where he instructs them to resist any potential Nazi German invasion, though an invasion never occurred. [116]
Jly 26German submarine U-34 attacks convoy OB-188 [2] — The British detain Rumanian tankers at Port Said. Rumanian delagates confer with Ribbentrop and Hitler at Salzburg [11] — The final large scale use of the Ju 87 over England. 3 airfields (which had been misidentified as being used by fighters) and a radar station were hard hit, but 15 Stukas were lost, with a further 2 written off. The Ju 87 force was now put into reserve. [162]
Jly 27The first 5 Beaufighter IF fighters were handed over to the RAF for eval [1,2] — Hitler receives Bulgarian delegates [11]
More than 100 Japanese bombers attack Chongqing, China [2]Jly 28Mussolini receives Rumanian delegates [11] — Road and rail links between Vichy France and Nazi-occupied France are severed [1]
Jly 2940 Stukas attack Dover, England [2] — Early in the morning morning the crew of a Ju 88 from 3/KG51 becomes totally lost during a mission to bomb Crewe after a nav equipment failure. They force landed near Bexhill, around 250 miles from their target. The aircraft was later repaired and test flown by the RAF [162]— Pan-American Conference adopts Act of Havana [11] — Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s cabinet meets in the underground Cabinet War Rooms for the first time (now called Churchill War Rooms) [1]
Jly 30Five German air raids target the northeastern British coast in the morning [2]
Mitsubishi delivers the first production A6M Zero fighters to the Japanese Navy. [1,2]Jly 31In Lithuania, Japanese Consul Chiune Sugihara begins writing thousands of visas for Jews to flee through the USSR into Japanese-controlled China [1] — The HMCS PRINCE ROBERT is commissioned. She is the first of three Canadian National Steamship liners converted as Armed Merchant Cruisers for the RCN. [61]
Aug 1Hitler publishes his Directive 17 to attack Britain by air and sea ahead of an invasion. The Luftwaffe during the day attacka Norwich through bombing and machine gunning of the train station. This resulted in 6 killed and 54 injured. [221] — Adolf Galland is awarded the Knights Cross for achieving 17 kills [2] — A flight of Gloster Gladiators biplanes of the Fighter Flight, RAF Sumburgh become part of No. 247 Squadron which was re-formed. [9] — The Duke of Windsor (former King Edward VIII) sails from Portugal to the Bahamas, foiling a German kidnapping attempt [1]
Aug 3Italian troops under Gen. Guglielmo Nasi invade British Somaliland from Italian Ethiopia [1] — First flight of the Focke-Achgelis Fa 223-V1 Drache. German WWII single engine helicopter. The motor powered two three-bladed 39 ft rotors mounted on twin booms on either side of the 40 ft long cylindrical fuselage. [8]
Aug 4Italian troops march in three columns toward Berbera, British Somaliland [2] — US journalist Varian Fry of the Emergency Rescue Committee arrives in Lisbon; in Marseille, he will help 2000 German refugees & Jews escape [1]
Aug 5The Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic was officially incorporated into the Soviet Union [2] — Germany requires citizens to carry Ahnenpass, proving “racial purity” back to 1800. [1] — Art “Donny” Donahue becomes the first American pilot to engage enemy aircraft in WWII (flying with the RAF in a Spitfire) [1] — German Fw 200 Condor long-range bombers begin patrols over convoy routes around Britain [1] — A Polish-British military agreement is signed. It covers various aspects of both countries’ military co-operation under British command. It formed an independent Polish Air Force that was operationally subordinate to the RAF but retained PL markings, ranks, inspectorate. Battle of Britain Poles were obliged to swear loyalty to the Polish Republic in Exile. When WWII ended, Polish Forces in the West numbered 194,460 soldiers. They’d lost 7,698 KIAs & 10,605 wounded. [23, 55]
Aug 6 Italian troops under Brigadier General Bertello capture Odweina, British Somaliland [2] — In Luxembourg, Germans ban the speaking of French [1] — The first meeting of the US National Inventors Council, to screen ideas from scientists & amateur inventors that might have military use—200,000 ideas screened during the war; 560 were deemed valuable. [1]
 Lord Halifax and Joseph Grew voice concerns over Japanese demands for Indochina [2]Aug 7Germany annexes Alsace and Lorraine in France [1]
 Aug 8The first operational Bombe installed in Hut 1 at Bletchley Park comes into operation  [59] — South Africa commences its Air Training Scheme. Eventually, 38 South African–based air schools are employed to train RAF, South African, and other allied air and ground crews, turning out a total of 33,347 aircrewmen. [60] — The 20th (Minelaying) Destroyer Flotilla lays minefields around the Falls Bank (North Sea) over the next two nights  [62] — The 2nd Battalion, UK (Scottish) Black Watch arrives in British Somaliland [2] — Beginning of large daylight air raids on Britain. [11] — The Luftwaffe intensifies bombing of British ports; 450 aircraft attack British convoy CW-9 off Sussex, the largest attack so far [1] — Romania signs an economic treaty with Germany, ceding most of its oil and grain production to Germany [1]
 Aug 9Italian destroyers MAESTRALE, GRECALE, LIBECCIO, SCIROCCO (pic) lay more mines off Pantelleria. Each could carry between 50 – 60 mines. [62] — Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic is officially incorporated into the Soviet Union [2] — Rumania reports to have agreed to cede southern Dobruja to Bulgaria [11]
 The British agree to withdraw from Shanghai and northern China to appease Japan and to reinforce Singapore and India [1]Aug 10In occupied Belgium, Germany bans listening to the BBC on the radio [1]
 Aug 11Major General Reade Godwin-Austen takes over the defense of Berbera, British Somaliland [2] — 25 Battle of Britain Pilots are killed. [67] — German Messerschmitt Me 109s first operates as fighter-bombers, against British ships [1] — In Paris, Nazis form the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg to loot art from Jews [1]
 Aug 12The Fighter Interception Unit at RAF Tangmere receives the Bristol Beaufighter Mk IF. [9] — The second phase of the Battle of Britain begins as the Luftwaffe attacks switch from shipping to RAF airfields and aircraft plants to prepare for invasion—the first true strategic air operation in history. The Luftwaffe first attacks British radar stations; disruption to the Ventnor radar station on the Isle of Wight leaves a hole in radar [1] — The first German artillery shells land on British soil, destroying four homes in Dover [1] — Britain declares wasting food to be illegal [1]
 Aug 13Luftwaffe head Hermann Göring orders the start of a two week assault on British airfields in preparation for the invasion of Britain. The attack is the first day of “Operation Eagle Attack” known as Eagle Day or Adlertag. The operation’s aim is to destroy RAF Fighter Command. Around 500 aircraft attack airfields and radar stations, inflicting significant casualties and damage, but not enough to achieve what they wanted. They mount a total of 1,485 sorties with Fighter Command flying 727 sorties in response. Destroyed are 47 RAF aircraft on the ground & 13 in combat. The Germans lose 47 aircraft. Three British pilots are killed, while the Luftwaffe lose almost 90. This is considered by most historians as the start of the Battle of britain. [1, 2, 71, 72, 116] — Italy pressures Greece to renounce British guarantee [11]
 A Hudson bomber crashes in Canberra, Australia, killing top Army officers and government ministers, leading to the fall of the Menzies government [1]Aug 14Mines claim an Italian merchant vessel off Libya and a German Auxiliary Minesweeper in the German Bight [62] — British, Commonwealth,  and Italian troops clash near Berbera [2] — British begin air raids on northern Italy [11] — As Italians advance in British Somaliland, British evacuate Berbera, the capital [1] — IRA Chief of Staff Sean Russell dies of a perforated ulcer on a German U-boat en route to Ireland to ignite a coup [1]
 Aug 15Italian troops continue the attack at Tug Argan, British Somaliland [2] — The Germans bomb Croydon and Tilbury.  [11] — Off Greece, the Italian sub Delfino sinks the WWI-era Greek cruiser Helli to try to provoke Greece into the war. [1,11] — ‘The Greatest Day’, saw the heaviest fighting of the Battle of Britain so far. The Luftwaffe deploys over 2,000 sorties. The Luftwaffe sends 520 bombers & 1270 fighters against Britain, the highest number of the Battle of Britain, for the first time sending bombers from bases in Norway. It turns out to be the Luftwaffe’s “Black Thursday”: Germany loses 76 aircraft. RAF Fighter Command flies 974 sorties losing 34 aircraft, plus 75 destroyed on the ground. [1] — The first edition of the Belgian underground resistance newspaper La Libre Belgique, a bi-monthly paper with a circulation of 70,000, which runs through September 1944 [1] — The first transport from Warsaw arrived at Auschwitz. The transport was made up of 513 male prisoners from Pawiak (mainly Polish intelligentsia) and 1,153 men caught in street round ups. [227]
 Aug 16Hungary and Romania begin negotiating over Transylvania [2] — Greek ships are bombed by Italian planes [11] — The German air force lays 2 mines inland from Portsmouth & Portland specifically designed to kill disposal teams. North of Portsmouth the booby trap detonates prematurely & exposes the workings. [62] — Test platoon of 48 volunteers from the 29th Infantry Regiment makes the first US Army parachute jump from an aircraft at Fort Benning, GA [1] — Minesweeping trawler HMT REGARDO is damaged by German bombing off the Isle of Wight. She is towed to Cowes by minesweeping trawler HMT CAPE SPARTEL for repair [62]
 Aug 17The first flight of the Douglas A-20/DB-7 Havoc (Boston). French variant of the American light bomber and night fighter. [2] — Adolf Hitler declares a total blockade of the British Isles [1,2,11,30] — No. 1 RAF Squadron becomes operational at RAF Northolt in west London. They fight in the Battle of Britain for nearly two months, suffering the loss of 3 pilots killed and 13 wounded. [80] — The first US pilot volunteering with the RAF dies (crash-landed 8/16)—former Olympic bobsled gold medalist P/O William Fiske, the only American killed in the Battle of Britain [1] — Republican presidential nominee Wendell Willkie makes a speech in favor of establishing a military draft (which Roosevelt favors), removing pressure on GOP congress members to oppose the draft [1]
 Aug 18The Luftwaffe launches a brutal offensive during the Battle of Britain, in what became known as the “Hardest Day”. They tried to destroy the RAF by flying over 850 fighter & bomber aircraft. To counter, RAF Fighter Command launches 927 aircraft to defend from the incoming enemy attacks. Both sides suffer their highest casualties thus far. German aircraft attack Kenley and Biggin Hill airfields in southern England. Nine Dornier 17s of 9/KG76 mounted a low-level attack on the vital RAF airfield at Kenley. This was supposed to be the final part of a co-ordinated 3 wave assault but actually went in first. Multiple bomb hits caused serious damage, but 2 Do 17s were lost. [1, 2, 10, 82, 162] — Canada and the U.S. agree to establish a joint defense board [11] — The German-American Bund (pro-Nazi) and Ku Klux Klan hold an anti-war rally for 1000 at Camp Nordland, New Jersey, while 1000 protest against the Bund and Klan outside [1]
 Zero fighters see their first combat over Chongqing, China. [2]Aug 19 Italians occupy Berbera, capital of British Somaliland, and Mussolini annexes British Somaliland to Italian Empire, the only Italian victory achieved in WWII without German assistance [1, 2] — The North American B-25 Mitchell takes its maiden flight. By the end of its production, nearly 10,000 B-25s in numerous models had been built. The  medium bomber was an important piece in the Allies’ arsenal through the end of the war [1]
 Aug 20Minesweeping trawler HMT RESPARKO is bombed and sunk in the River Fal at Falmouth by German aircraft. All crew are rescued.  [62] — Winston Churchill praises the RAF to the House of Commons—“Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” [1,2] — Churchill announces a readiness to cede bases to the U.S [11] — Germans withdraw Ju 87 Stuka dive bombers from combat over Britain after heavy losses. [1]
 Aug 21The first RAF unit is established to support the activities of the Special Operations Executive and other clandestine operations dedicated to Special Duties operations, No. 419 (Special Duties) Flight, is officially formed at RAF North Weald. [60] — Russian #Marxist Leon #Trotsky is assassinated on order of #USSR dictator Joseph Stalin in #Mexico City. He was 62 at the time of his death. [116] — 13 German bombers are shot down during attacks on Britain [2]
 Aug 22SS Thorold (Quebec & Ontario Transportation Ltd)(ex-SS Chicago Tribune) bombed/sunk by German aircraft, Irish Sea off Milford Haven, 10 killed. The Great Lakes ship had been pressed into ocean service during WWII. [61] — First cross-Channel artillery duel—Germans bombard Dover. German long-range guns also shell convoys. The British reply with their guns. First air raid on metropolitan London [1,11]
 Aug 23James Lacey is awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal [2]
 Aug 24Sgt Antoni Glowacki shoots down three Bf 109s and two Ju 88 bombers. He is the only Pole to shoot down five aircraft on one day, a feat that earns him the title of One-day Ace.German bombers mistakenly bomb civilian facilities in London [1,2] — Deadlock in Hungarian-Rumanian negotiations on Transylvania [11] — Medical journal Lancet publishes the first study by Howard Florey and Ernest Chain about penicillin [1] — The USS Constitution is named the symbolic flagship of the US Fleet at Boston, MA [1] — Edward R. Murrow and several other CBS reporters broadcast “London after Dark” live from multiple locations throughout the city as air raid begins. [1] — The third phase of the Battle of Britain begins: Luftwaffe begins the intense bombing of RAF fields, supplies, and plants. [1]
 Aug 25The Admiralty issues a warning that Germany is about to introduce an acoustic mine into its mining orbat [62] — Czech pilot Manfred Czernin flying with the RAF shoots down 3 Bf 110 fighters in 1 minute over Britain [2] — 501 Squadron’s Antoni Głowacki shoots down five enemy planes, becoming the first and one of only three pilots to achieve the ‘ace-in-a-day‘ status during the Battle of Britain. [23] — During the night Luftwaffe Heinkel He 111s of Kampfgeschwader 1 erroneously make the first bombing attack on London due to a navigational error. The next night, in retaliation, 81 RAF bombers stage their first attack on Berlin, infuriating Hitler. Britain used 95 aircraft to bomb Tempelhof Airport and Siemensstadt. Vickers Wellingtons are among the aircraft that take part in the bombing raid. This is the first of many night-time raids. [1, 9, 11, 60, 116, 167]
 Aug 26Five German bombs are dropped on County Wexford, Ireland, killing three people. Ireland protests the accidental German bombing. As a result in 1943, the German government paid £9,000 in compensation. Ireland was neutral throughout the war. [1, 116] — The Luftwaffe mount attacks largely aimed at airfields in the South of England. German aircraft hit Biggin Hill, Kenley, and other targets in Kent, England. An initial substantial raid of over 100 aircraft was dispersed by strong RAF fighter opposition before reaching its intended targets of Kenley and Biggin Hill. [2, 162] — The first Canadian fighter pilot in an RCAF squadron is killed in combat in the Battle of Britain. [1]
 Aug 27Keitel reveals an invasion plan for UK that features 4 separate landing sites [2] — Free French troops under Philippe de Hauteclocque (who has adopted the name Leclerc to protect his family in France), take Duala, French Cameroon. French Cameroon switches allegiance from Vichy France to Free French [1] — President Roosevelt authorizes call into service of Army Reserve and National Guard for 12 months. [1]
 Aug 29No. 312 (Czechoslovak) Squadron is formed. Most are escaped Czechoslovak pilots although it is initially led by a British RAF squadron leader. They fly Hawker Hurricanes until October 1941. [60] — German bombers attack Portsmouth, England overnight [2] — Vienna conference on Transylvania question [11] — First mass jump by US paratroopers, at Fort Benning, GA [1]
 Aug 31Ludwig Paszkiewicz brakes the rules and shoots down a German fighter during a training flight. The legendary Polish 303 Squadron scores its first victory!. The next day the unit achieves its combat readiness. [1,55] — 8,000 British and French troops depart from Britain for West Africa [2] — The RAF’s worst day in the Battle of Britain: most bases are out of action and Fighter Command suffers its highest losses (41 aircraft). [1]
 Sep 2“Destroyers for Bases”: Roosevelt & Churchill agree to trade 50 old US destroyers for 99-yr leases on British bases in Western Hemisphere [1,2]
 He Yingqin orders Nationalist 18th Army to counter Communist advance along Yangtze [2]Sep 3Vojtech Tuka convinces the Slovak assembly to enact Constitutional Law 210 [2]
 Sep 4Speech by Hitler asserting readiness for long war, threatens retaliation for bombing of German cities, promising invasion of Britain. He vows to eradicate British cities [1, 2, 11] — General Antonescu becomes premier of Rumania with plenary powers [11] — The commander at the RAF field at Biggin Hill blows up his own hangars to stop Luftwaffe raids [1] — The Fighter Interception Unit at RAF Tangmere undertakes their first operational sortie with the Bristol Beaufighter. [9] — The Rolls-Royce Merlin XX powered Hawker Hurricane Mk II enters service. [9] — The Irish ship LUIMNEACH, Huelva to Drogheda with iron pyrites, is shelled and sunk by U-46 in Bay of Biscay. [142] — America First Committee, an isolationist group dedicated to keeping the US out of WWII, is established in Chicago, originating with Yale students. [1]
 Japanese troops enter French Indochina without permission; Vichy France suspends talks [1,2]Sep 5King Carol II of Romania is forced to give powers to fascist Gen. Ion Antonescu. Rioting by fascists in Romania destroys Jewish businesses [1] — Bomber Command sends 85 aircraft over Berlin overnight on 5/6 Sep 1940, a move sure to further infuriate Hitler.  [94]
 Sep 6The Luftwaffe increases the pressure on the RAF in the shape of three main attacks. Losses were high on both sides, but especially No. 303 (Polish) Squadron took heavy losses. German ace Adolf Galland shot down his 30th victim, a Hawker Hurricane. [60] — German raids against the Hawker facility at Brooklands are repelled, as are several waves of attacks against Fighter Command’s airfields. The factories at Brooklands suffer only minor damage. Britain suffers minor damage from German bombers. [2, 94] — Over the coming night German minelayers TOGO (ex Norwegian vessel OTRA – pic) , KAISER and torpedo boats GREIF (2nd pic) FALKE, ILTIS, and JAGUAR of the 5th Flotilla lay a minefield in the southwest North Sea. [62] — Caorl of Rumania abdicates to his eighteen-year-old son, Michael, and he flees the next day. Antonescu declares for full cooperation with Axis [1, 11] — German Adm. Erich Raeder permits greater warfare on Allied convoys, scrapping previous restrictions, but still honors the Pan-American Neutrality Zone [1]
 Sep 7Vichy French rations coffee — The Luftwaffe’s focus switched to London & attacks on fighter airfields eased. The “Blitz” began. London was systematically bombed by the Luftwaffe for 56 out of the following 57 days and nights. Fighter Command was hard pressed by large-scale, round-the-clock German attacks which started with raids against the docks of East London, using large formations of bombers with single and twin-engined fighter escorts. Civilian bombing right across the United Kingdom became one of the defining experiences of Home Front Britain during WW2. The 337 tons of bombs dropped throughout the day killed 448 civilians. [1, 2, 13, 30, 60, 67, 97, 100, 101] — P/O Bunny Currant flies ⁦Hurricane R4118⁩ to ⁦Croydon Airport⁩ where she and 605 Sqn would be based for the remainder of the Battle of Britain.  From there, she flew 49 sorties, destroying or damaging 5 enemy aircraft. [98] — The first use of the ‘Big Wing’ tactic occurs. This sees the Duxford Wing, which consists of Nos. 242, 312 and 19 Squadrons sent to patrol RAF North Weald. [9] — Germans extend Nuremberg Laws to Luxembourg; Jews lose citizenship and can’t marry Gentiles [1] — As East London is reeling from a major Luftwaffe attack, a single word was transmitted by GHQ to Home Forces: CROMWELL. This was the code to indicate that a German invasion was considered to be ‘imminent’ and could happen at any time. Church bells are rung, bridges are blown, and mines are laid. [1, 162]
 Sep 8Goering announces that he has taken personal direction of air attack on England [11] — In a Luftwaffe raid on London, a direct hit on the air-raid shelter at Peabody Estate Whitechapel kills 78; St. Thomas’s hospital is hit and 5 nurses are killed [1]
 Sep 9Rudolfo Graziani orders troops in Libya to march toward British positions in Egypt [2] — RAF bombs Berlin in the first of 57 nights of bombing [1] — Imperial War Museum in London closes due to bomb damage [1] — Hermann Göring, head of the Luftwaffe, orders the destruction of London and abandons attacks on RAF airfields [1] — The first NA-73X Mustang (prototype for P-51) comes off the assembly line at North American Aviation in Inglewood, CA, 127 days after the initial sketch. [1]
 Sep 10The CAI or Corpo Aereo Italiano is formed. A part of the Italian Royal Air Force, the CAI was involved in the Battle of Britain and the Blitz as Mussolini wanted to help support  Italy’s German alliesItalian troops cross the Libyan-Egyptian border. [2] — In a London bombing raid, the Luftwaffe hits Victoria Station and Buckingham Palace [1]
 Sep 12The Italian 10th Army advances slowly toward the Libyan-Egyptian border [2, 11] — The Nazis confine 500,000 Jews in the Warsaw ghetto [1]
 Sep 13The Italian 1st Blackshirt Division captures Fort Capuzzo in Libya [2] — Bombs fall on Buckingham Palace, Downing Street, House of Lords [11]
 Sep 14Adolf Hitler postpones Operation Sea Lion once again, this time to 17 Sep 1940. His last chance for favourable tides would be the 21st. In the meantime Bomber Command, Coastal Command and the Fleet Air Arm were bombarding the German invasion barges in their ports [2, 94] — The French liner FLANDRE, requisitioned by Germany, is sunk by a magnetic mine whilst exiting the Gironde [62]Italians occupy Sollum [11]
 Japanese bombers attack Chongqing, China [2]Sep 15The Luftwaffe launches its largest and most concentrated attack against London in the hope of drawing out the RAF into a battle of annihilation. Around 1,500 aircraft took part in the air battles which lasted until dusk. 60 German aircraft are shot down. 14 of THE FEW are killed. [18, 67, 167]
 Sep 16The Luftwaffe launches one significant raid at 08.00 targeting London but is repulsed before reaching the City. There are also scattered raids through the day which included London but damage was limited. [221] — The Vichy French government under Philippe Pétain demands the Belgium government, which is in exile in France under Hubert Pierlot, disband. The Belgium government then moves to London. Belgium surrenders to Nazi Germany on May 28, 1940. [116] — The Italian 1st Blackshirt Division captures Sidi Barrani, Egypt [2, 167] — First flight of Lockheed YP-38 Lightning fighter plane, in Burbank, CA. [1] — President Roosevelt signs the Selective Training and Service Act. This is the first peacetime conscription in U.S. history. Men aged 21-30 are required to register with their local draft board. [1, 116]
 Sep 17During attacks on the port of Benghazi, six Fairey Swordfish aircraft from 819 Squadron (HMS ILLUSTRIOUS) lay mines off the harbour. Italian destroyer AQUILONE falls victim to these mines [62] — Operation Sea Lion (Nazi plan to invade Britain) is postponed indefinitely after the RAF denies the Luftwaffe air superiority during the Battle of Britain. [18, 49] — Spitfires turn back Ju 88 bombers over Bristol, England [2]
 Sep 19The first of the ‘Eagle Squadrons’, No. 71 Squadron, was formed. The aircrew was predominantly drawn from United States citizens enrolled in the RAF [60] — HMS SOMALI destroys 5 stray British mines by rifle fire off the E coast of Scotland, whilst HMS TEVIOTBANK extends the minefields laid previously off the Faroes [62] — Ribbentrop in Rome for conference with Mussolini and Ciano [11] — Secret Polish Army (TAP) leader Witold Pilecki voluntarily has himself sent to Auschwitz so he can report on activities and organize resistance in the camp; he escapes in 1943 [1] — In a raid on London, the Luftwaffe first uses parachute mines with timed fuses. [1]
 Jean Decoux allows Japanese forces to enter Haiphong harbor, French Indochina [2]Sep 20U-48 sinks Children’s Overseas Reception Board ship SS City of Benares bound for Canada (260 killed, including 77 of 90 children) [1, 11] — US correspondent Edward R. Murrow makes his first live radio broadcast for CBS from London rooftops [1] — In Britain, the patent is filed for the Morrison indoor air raid shelter. [1]
 Sep 21The UK government sanctions the use of Tube stations as air raid shelters [2] — British Museum artifacts, including the Elgin Marbles, are hidden in the Aldwych tube station. [1]
 Sep 23British and Free French forces clash with Vichy French forces at Dakar [1, 2, 11] — The design for the jeep is submitted to the US Army by Bantam, originally called the Pilot [1]
 Japanese troops occupy Lang Son, Indochina [2]Sep 24Vichy governor of Dakar, French West Africa refuses to surrender to Free French and British; French West Africa will stay loyal to Vichy until November 1942 [1] — French coastal artillery at Dakar scored four hits on HMS Barham [2] — French bombers attack the British base at Gibraltar in retaliation for the British attack on the French Fleet at Mers-el-Kébir [1, 11] — Under the Lend/Lease agreement, six USN destroyers are transferred to Canada as Town class destroyers. HMCShips ANNAPOLIS, COLUMBIA, NIAGARA, ST CLAIR, ST CROIX & ST FRANCIS are commissioned into the RCN at Halifax. [61] — King George of England institutes the George Cross and George Medal for civilian valor. [1]
 France surrenders Indochina to Japan, but fighting continues. Nouméa, New Caledonia sides with the Free French [1, 2]Sep 25HMCS Prince Robert intercepts and captures German passenger freighter Weser off Mexico. This is the first ship taken as a prize by RCN forces in WWII & is renamed MS Vancouver Island, enters service with the Canadian Government Merchant Marine [61] — In Norway, Nazis ban the constitution and depose the king, and Reichskommissar Josef Terboven is installed as head of government [1]
 Due to Japanese occupation of French Indochina, US extends embargo to ban export of all scrap iron and steel to Japan [1]Sep 26
 Sep 27Italy, Japan and Nazi Germany sign the Tripartite Pact. The signatories declare that the ultimate objective of their alliance is “world peace.” The pact authorised mutual assistance should any of the signatories suffer attack by nations not yet involved in the war. [1, 2, 4, 11, 35] — Germans begin census of Jews in occupied France, conducted by French police; Jews must register with police by Oct. 20 and Jewish-owned shops must post yellow “Entreprise Juive” signs by Oct. 31. [1]
 Sep 28Uruguay cracks down on Nazi infiltrators and expels 13 German spies. [1] — First of 50 WWI-era US destroyers traded to Britain arrives in the UK. [1] — Britain renews call to evacuate mothers and children from London (489,000 will be evacuated by October 17) [1]
 Oct 1Uranium from the Belgian Congo arrives at Staten Island, NY, for safekeeping; it will be used in the Manhattan Project [1] — German submarine U-32 sinks Dutch ship Haulerwijk 400 miles west of Ireland [2]
 Oct 2Hitler orders the Polish gentry to be exterminated [2] — Due to U-boat danger, UK suspends Children’s Overseas Reception Board, which had evacuated children to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the US—but private evacuations continue. [1]
 Oct 3Vichy France passes its first antisemitic law (applies to all France)—defines Jewishness, bans Jews from the military, from working in the press, entertainment, civil service, and as professors [1, 2] — Former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain resigns from Parliament due to poor health. Bevin and Wood admitted to War Cabinet [1, 11] — Jews in Warsaw, Poland are instructed by the Germans to move into the Warsaw ghetto. [116]
 US Navy and US Marine Corps place reserve divisions and aviation squadrons on call for active duty. [1]Oct 5French police conduct mass arrests of communists in Paris [1]
 American citizens in Far East advised by State Department to come home [11]Oct 8British Mediterranean Fleet departs Alexandria, Egypt to escort a supply convoy to Malta [2] — RAF forms Eagle Squadrons for volunteer American fighter pilots [1] — First Indian Air Force pilots arrive in Britain [1]
 Oct 9German troops begin to securing oil fields in Romaniad [2] — Winston Churchill becomes the head of the British Conservative Party [2, 116]
 Oct 10Hitler starts Führer-Sofortprogram to build air-raid shelters in German cities [1] — The National Gallery in London begins holding lunchtime concerts in the Octagonal Room every weekday for the duration [1]
 Oct 12British and Italian warships clash at the Battle of Cape Passero [2] — British cruiser Ajax sinks two Italian destroyers, cripple a third which is sunk by cruiser York [11] — SS St. Malo ( ex-French transferred to Canadian Government), torpedoed by U-101 in the mid-Atlantic, south of Iceland while in convoy HX-77, 29 killed. She was one of six merchant ships lost in the convoy. [61]
 US passes Nationality Act of 1940, the first attempt to codify nationality and naturalization in the US since its founding. [1]Oct 14Luftwaffe bomb falls on Balham Tube station in London, killing 66 [1]
 Oct 15Russia denies that she received previous notice of German occupation of Rumania [11] — The Fairey Battle performs its last combat sortie in the UK in the bomber role [9] — Italy demobilizes 300,000 soldiers for the harvest, leaving only 100,000 for the upcoming invasion of Greece [1] — Heavy Luftwaffe raid on London starts 900 fires, with raids also to Birmingham and Bristol [1]
 Oct 16SS Trevisa (Canadian Lake Carriers Ltd) torpedoed by U-124 mid-North Atlantic, south of Iceland while in convoy SC-7, seven merchant sailors killed. Pressed into ocean service, this was the first Atlantic Convoy for this Great Lakes merchant ship. [61] — German authorities order the establishment of Warsaw ghettos for Polish Jews [2]
 Britain reopens Burma Road [11]Oct 17German Luftwaffe mount four raids against southern England during daylight hours [2] — Clash between German and British destroyers off Brest [11] — In North Atlantic convoy SC-7, U-boats sink three Allied ships; 20 of 30 ships in the convoy will be lost in three days [1]
 Oct 18German submarines attack Allied convoy SC-7 all day, sinking 2 ships [2] — Nazis announce death penalty for civilians in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Norway who harbor downed British airmen [1]
 Oct 19Returning from a patrol in the Dover Straits, destroyer HMS VENETIA is mined & sunk off Margate with the loss of 34 crew including the CO. Mines in the Thames Estuary also claim HM Trawler VELIA & coaster ARIDITY [62] — Italians launch air raid on Bahrein Island [11] — A British Lysander aircraft lands near Montigny, France at night and picks up a British agent, the first of 180 such landings [1] — In 48 hours, U-boats sink 28 ships in various convoys, the worst Allied losses of the war [1]
 Oct 21Heavy fog prevents British fighters from taking off to defend London [2] — Italian destroyer lost in attack on Red Sea convoy. [11] — Churchill broadcasts on BBC to France: “The morning will come, a glorious dawn. Vive la France!” Appeals to France not to aid Germany. [1, 11] — Conference between Hitler and Laval [11]
 Oct 23Adolf Hitler met with Francisco Franco on the Franco-Spanish border at Hendaye but fails to convince him to lead Spain into the war. Hitler thought that Franco’s territorial and supply demands were too great and the talks end after seven hours. [1, 2, 11, 116]
 Oct 24The Italian Air Corps sees its first action during the Battle of Britain during World War II [116] — RAF night raids on Berlin and Hamburg inflict serious civilian casualties for the first time [1] — British Summer Time is extended year-round [1] — Hitler meets with Marshal Philippe Pétain, Head of the French State, in Montoire, and Pétain agrees to Vichy French collaboration with Germany [1, 77]
 Oct 2516 Italian BR20M bombers attack Felixstowe and Harwich in Britain [2] — The first flight of the North American P-51 Mustang! [124]
 Japanese aircraft raid the CAMCO factory at Loiwing (Leiyun), China [2]Oct 26Mines claim British tanker DOSINIA (sunk) and Swedish tanker PEGASUS (damaged) off Liverpool, whilst Norwegian tanker STROMBUS – formerly a whale factory ship – is sunk on a mine in the Bristol Channel off Swansea [62]
 Oct 28Greek leader Ioannis Metaxas rejects the Italian ultimatum [2] — Italians invade Greece from Albania [1] — Off Ireland, German U-boat U-32 sinks British troopship Empress of Britain, the largest U-boat victim of the war at 42,000 tons (45/623 killed). [1]
 Oct 30British naval detachments land on Crete [11] — In presidential campaign speech in Boston, President Roosevelt promises, “Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars.” [1] — In a radio broadcast to France, Head of the French State Marshal Philippe Pétain advocates collaboration with Germany. [1] — RAF Bomber Command directive shifts focus of bombing to industrial targets in highly populated areas, a step closer to area bombing. [1] — Germans begin collecting art looted from Jewish homes and from the Louvre and other museums at the Jeu de Paume in Paris [1]
 Oct 31British forces land on the islands of Lemnos and Crete in southern Greece [2] — Official end of Battle of Britain, although air raids continue. Losses so far—RAF: 828 aircraft & 1007 men; Luftwaffe: 1733 aircraft & 3893 men; British civilians: 40,000. [1] — Antibiotic sulfaguanidine is introduced as a cure for bacterial dysentery. [1]
 Chuichi Nagumo is named the commandant of the Japanese naval war college [2]Nov 1Battle of Britain air war endsGreek troops trap a large Italian force at the mountain pass at Metsovo, Greece [2] — Minesweeping Trawler HMT TILBURYNESS is sunk by German bombing in the Thames Estuary. 10 crew are killed, survivors being rescued by AA Trawler ROYAL EAGLE (which shoots down 1 a/c) and tug SALVO. In the Dover Straits, German mines claim steamer HUNDVAAG [62]
 Nov 2Off Ireland, British destroyer Antelope sinks U-31, the only German submarine sunk twice in the war (originally sunk March 11, 1940 and raised). Unsuccessful attempts were made to board her shortly before she sank. Forty-three of the forty-five members of the complement were rescued, two Petty Officers being the only casualties. [1, 125] — Italian aircraft bomb Piraeus, Greece, burning port and killing 300 [1] — Italian troops reach the main Greek defensive line on the Kalamas River [2]
 Nov 3Bad weather brings the first night of no London air raids after 57 straight nights of Luftwaffe bombing [1] — Greeks defeat Italians in the Pindus Mountains [1]
 Nov 4Italian troops establish a weak bridgehead across the Kalamas River in Greece. [2] — Spain takes full control in Tangier. [11]
 Nov 5U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt becomes the first and only president to win a third term, as he beats Republican Wendell Willkie 27 million votes to 22 million in the closest vote in 25 years in the largest turnout in US history. Roosevelt would win a fourth term as well. [1,116] — SS Beaverford (Canadian Pacific Steamships) sunk by ADMIRAL SCHEER while in convoy HX-84 in the North Atlantic. Beaverford in a heroic effort, engaged the German pocket battleship after HMS JERVIS BAY had been sunk. heroism of merchant cruiser Jervis Bay saves 34 out of 38. [1, 11, 61]
 Nov 6HMCS OTTAWA (1st) shares in sinking Italian submarine Faa di Bruno in the N. Atlantic. Credit for attack not given until re-assessment in the 1980’s. First enemy vessel to be sunk in the history of the @RoyalCanNavy & 1st submarine sunk by RCN during WWII. [61] — Greek 2nd Army Corps mounts another attack on the enveloped Italian Julia Division [2]
 Large freighter CAMBRIDGE is mined & sunk in the Bass Strait en route from Melbourne to Sydney. 1 crewman dies after returning to his cabin to save £30 won at the Melbourne Cup. Minesweepers are sent to respond [62]Nov 7Free French troops land near Libreville, Gabon, in Vichy French-held French Equatorial Africa [1]
 Nov 8Free French and Vichy French troops clash near Libreville, French Equitorial Africa [2]
 Nov 9Conservative British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain dies of bowel cancer at the age of 71 in Hampshire, England. He had resigned as Prime Minister on May 10 [1, 2, 116] — The Free French patrol vessel ‘Savorgnan de Brazza’ met the Vichy craft ‘Bougainville’ off Libreville, Gabon. They were, in fact, sister ships but the Free French vessel was supporting an operation to occupy the Vichy-held colony and sank her opponent. [162]
 Nov 10Occupying Nazi authorities in Belgium ban the observance of Armistice DayGermans start expelling 180,000 French from Alsace-Lorraine in violation of the armistice with France [1]
 Nov 11British Aircraft from  carriers Illustrious & Eagle attack the Italian fleet anchored at Taranto, Italy with aircraft. Half of the Italian Fleet’s capital ships were put out of action. This was the first all-aircraft ship-to-ship naval attack in history. [1] — First jeep is delivered to the US Army [1] — On Armistice Day, several thousand Parisians march on the Champs Élysées in the first illegal demonstration during the occupation; 123 students & veterans are arrested [1]
 Nov 12Vichy French forces in Gabon surrender to the Free French [2]Molotoff arrives in Berlin for 3-day conference with Hitler [11]
 Nov 13Ribbentrop fails to convince Molotov to form a Germany-Italy-Japan-USSR alliance [2]
 Nov 14Greek troops began to cross the Albanian border [2] — Luftwaffe bombers destroy Coventry, England, including the 14th-century cathedral, in operation Mondlicht Sonate (Moonlight Sonata); 568 killed. [1]
 Nov 15The Warsaw Ghetto is sealed. 400,000 people are segregated from the rest of the population and incarcerated behind a wall. Living conditions inside the ghetto are extremely poor, with limited sanitation, medicine & space. [49] — A heavy British air raid on Hamburg, Germany causes extensive damage [2]
 Nov 16Heinz Guderian is named commander of Panzer Group 2 [2]
 Nov 17 In Germany, Jews are banned from using the same air raid shelters as Aryans.  [1] — Correspondent Ralph Barnes of the New York Herald Tribune is killed in an RAF plane crash in Yugoslavia, the first US war correspondent to die in WWII [1]
 Nov 18First time a U-boat is located by airborne radar—by an RAF Sunderland flying boat [1] — Greeks force Italians back into Albania in the first Axis land defeat of the war. [1]
 Nov 19The Air Cadet League of Canada is established. The league’s initial goal was to train teenage boys for possible future employment in the @RCAF_ARC. Its goal today is to promote Canadian youths’ interest in aviation, leadership, and citizenship. [31] — Luftwaffe bombs Birmingham, spreading the Blitz to industrial targets in the British Midlands. [1]
 Australian minesweeping trawler HMAS GOORANGAI is lost in a collision off Port Phillip with British troopship DUNTROON. She had been clearing mines laid in Bass Strait. The entire crew are lost in the RAN’s first ship loss of WW2 [62]Nov 20Hungarian Prime Minister Teleki signs the Tripartite Pact in Vienna [2]
 Nov 21Greek troops defeat the Italian IX Army and captured Koritza, Albania [2]
 Nov 22Italian 9th Army is defeated in Greece [2] — Greeks take Koritza. Turks declare martial law in Thrace. [11] — Luftwaffe’s heaviest raid on Birmingham, England—the 11-hour raid causes 600 fires. [1, 11] — In Delft, the Netherlands, 500 students demonstrate against the Nazis after Jewish professors are dismissed. [1]
 Japanese 11th Army begins to prepare for an offensive in Hubei Province, China [2]Nov 23HMCS SKEENA rescues five survivors from SS Bruse (Norway), torpedoed by U-100 while in convoy SC-11. Sixteen Merchant Sailors were killed. [61] — Romania joins the Tripartite Pact, joining the Axis powers of Germany, Italy, Japan, and Hungary. It was pro-British and allied with Poland but found itself isolated after Poland, France and the Low Countries were defeated [1, 11, 116] — Adm. William Leahy is appointed US ambassador to Vichy France [1]
 The Japanese 11th Army launches an offensive in Hubei Province, China [2]Nov 24Winston Churchill sends a secret telegram to US President Roosevelt: “Spain is near starvation point”, advises the USA “dole out food” to keep Franco out of war & German hands off the Straits of Gibraltar — The First Slovak Republic becomes the sixth member of the Tripartite Pact, officially joining the Axis powers of Germany, Italy, Japan, Hungary and Romania during World War II [116]
 The Japanese 11th Army launches an offensive in Hubei Province, ChinaNov 25First flight of the de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito, E0234/W4050, British multi-role twin engine combat aircraft originally conceived as unarmed fast bomber. Piloted by Geoffrey de Havilland Jr., accompanied by John E. Walker, Chief Engine Installation Designer. [8] — First flight of the Martin B-26 Marauder (B-26-MA 40-1361) at Middle River, Maryland. American twin-engine medium bomber. Glenn L. Martin Company’s test pilot William K. (“Ken”) Ebel, co-pilot Ed Fenimore and flight engineer Al Malewski. [8]
 Nov 27British and Italian naval forces engage in the Battle of Spartivento [2]
 In Hubei, China, Chinese troops halt Japanese 11th Army offensive [2]Nov 30
 The F4F-3 Wildcat fighter enters service with the US Navy [2]Dec 4
 Dec 5Hitler proposes a timetable for the invasion of the USSR in May of the following year [2]
 Japanese and British troops clash at the airfield at Kota Bharu, British Malaya [2]Dec 9British and Indian trops capture Nibeiwa, Egypt [2] — Allied forces launch Operation Compass in North Africa, the first large military operation of the Western Desert Campaign. British and Indian trops capture Nibeiwa, Egypt. British troops advance against a larger Italian force at Sidi Barrani, and take three forts. The British took over 138,000 Italian and Libyan prisoners, hundreds of tanks, guns and aircraft. [1]
 Dec 11British troops take Sidi Barrani and push Italians out of Egypt [1, 11] — Libyan 1st Division withdraws from Maktila, Egypt [2]
 Dec 11Battleship HMS King George V is commissioned [1] — The British 7th Armored Brigade attacks Buq Buq, Egypt [2]
 Dec 12The British 7th Armored Brigade moves to cut the road into Bardia, Libya [2] — Britain begins “Potato Pete” potato promotion drive and begins opening government-run fish & chips shops. [1]
 Dec 13Pétain forces Vichy French prime minister Pierre Laval to resign, then has him arrested (he’s released two days later and will return to power in April 1942). [1]
 Dec 14Plutonium-238 is first produced and isolated at the University of California, Berkeley, but not identified until February 1941 [1] — Australian troops relieve Indian troops in Egypt; Indian troops are sent to the Sudan. [1]
 Dec 16The British 4th Armoured Brigade captures Sidi Omar, Egypt [2] — SS Bic Island (Canadian Government) damaged by bombs from German aircraft in the North Atlantic. Originally Italian passenger/freighter Cape Noli, captured by HMCS BRAS D’OR on 10 June 1940 and renamed Bic Island. [61] — RAF conducts first deliberate area bombing, to Mannheim, Germany [1]
 Dec 17President Roosevelt proposes the Lend-Lease Plan to aid Britain, saying that if your neighbor’s house is on fire, you lend him a garden hose.  [1] — US establishes Civilian Public Service camps for conscientious objectors [1] — The American Eagle Club is established in London for servicemen; it will later be taken over by the American Red Cross. [1]
 Maiden flight of Curtiss SB2C Helldiver (US Navy scout-bomber). [1]Dec 18Hitler authorizes Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union by signing Directive 21. The German High Command began planning for July 1940 under the codename Operation Otto, but the invasion began on June 22, 1941. [116]
 Dec 19Ten thousand civilians evacuated from Malta arrive in Britain [1] — Kyösti Kallio, President of Finland, dies at his own resignation ceremony; replaced by Risto Ryti. [1]
 Dec 20Soviet military officially adopts the PPSh-41 submachine gun [2] — Two RAF Spitfires strafe Breck and Le Touquet, France, in first RAF “Rhubarb” daytime offensive fighter operation [1]
 Dec 23Destroyer HMS HYPERION strikes a mine in the Med off Pantelleria, east of Cape Bon in the Strait of Sicily & is badly damaged. She is taken in tow by HMS ILEX but has to be scuttled. Two crew lost [62] — Greeks push back Italians another 20 miles up the Ionian coast in Albania [2] — First Parisian civilian is executed by the Nazis—23 year-old engineer Jacques Bonsergent, accused of punching a German soldier in a brawl [1] — Churchill appoints Anthony Eden as British Foreign Secretary [1]
 Dec 24US refuses to admit Jewish refugees, believing it will lead to expulsion of all Jews from Europe [1] — Bonus Christmas ration is distributed in Germany—26 ounces of rice & vegetables, 1 pound of sugar, coffee, and jam [1]
 Dec 25Martlet fighters shoot down a Ju 88; first victory of US-built aircraft in Britain [2]
 Dec 26HMAS Waterhen captures Italian schooner Tireremo Diritto in Mediterranean Sea [2]
Carrier Zuiho is commissioned into service [2] Dec 27Cargo vessel ARABY & coaster KINNAIRD HEAD are mined & sunk in the Thames Estuary, each with the loss of 6 crew. The latter was the latest victim of an aerial minelay which eventually claimed 16 ships off Sheerness [62]
Dec 28Mussolini requested German aid against the Greeks in Albania [2]
Dec 31RAF bombers attack the bridge over the Rhine River at Emmerich, Germany [2]
Jan 1Nazis require all radios in the Netherlands to be registered and taxed [1] — BBC first broadcasts “The Brains Trust” radio program. At urging of the BBC, many French stay indoors from 3-4 pm in a silent act of resistance against the Germans [1]
Jan 2The Andrews Sisters record “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.” [1] — President Roosevelt announces plan to build Liberty Ships, cargo ships designed to be produced quickly and efficiently. [1]
Jan 36th Australian Division, supported by 24 tanks of 7 RTR, begin their attack into Bardia, Libya. Sappers blow gaps in the wire, the Australians secure a bridgehead across the ditch with crossing places for tanks; and nearly 100 mines are removed. [1, 2, 99] — After suffering heavy losses, the Italian Air Force withdraws its aircraft from supporting the German Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain [1]
Jan 4Allied troops reach Bardia, Libya
Jan 6Free French troops attack Murzuk airfield in southwestern Libya [2] — FDR uses his State of the Union address to blast the world’s dictatorships and their “new order of tyranny.” Roosevelt also lays out his vision of “four freedoms” for all peoples: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear. [1, 4]
Jan 7Australian and British troops nearly surrounded at Tobruk, Libya [2] — British occupy airport of El Adem outside Tobruk. [11]
The Royal Thai Air Force aircraft attack French positions at Cambodia [2]Jan 8The Australian 6th Division begins reconnaissance patrols around Tobruk, Libya [2]
Jan 9Australians and British troops encircle Tobruk, Libya [2] — A prototype of the Avro Lancaster Bomber, Britain’s predominant bomber aircraft during World War Two (1939-1945), flew for the first time. Lancasters entered service the following year. 7377 were ultimately built, but only 17 survive and only two of those are airworthy. [9, 18, 139, 140]
Thailand invades French Indochina (under Vichy control). [1]Jan 10Greek troops capture Klisura Pass in Albania [2] — Heavy attack by dive-bombers on British convoy in Sicilian channel results in loss of Southampton and damage to Illustrious [11]
Jan 11Italian troops fail to retake Klisura Pass in Albania [2]
Japanese invaders of Hong Kong taking no prisoners – they roped together 20 British medical staff who surrendered, & bayoneted them to death [16, 20]Jan 12British armored divisions rush repairs of tanks for the upcoming attack on Tobruk [2] — A communist “People’s Convention” is held in London (since the USSR is allied with Germany at this time, British communists oppose the war effort). [1]
Jan 13German bombers drop 106 high explosive bombs on Plymouth, England [2] — General Cavallero succeeds General Soddu as commander of Italian forces in Albania [11]
Jan 14Alexandros Papagos rejects the inadequate British military offer. [2] — Off Antarctica, German auxiliary cruiser Pinguin captures 14 Norwegian whaling ships without firing a single shot or causing a single casualty [1] — “V for Victory” is suggested by former Belgian Minister of Justice Victor de Lavelaye, in a BBC broadcast from London to Nazi-occupied Belgium, Holland, and France. [1]
French Groupe Occasionnel squadron moves toward Thai-Cambodian border [2]Jan 15Norwegian ship BRASK is torpedoed and sinks in 3 minutes, 20 survivors in 1 lifeboat spotted another shi. They boarded the Greek ship NEMEA, which had also been torpedoed and abandoned, and later were joined by 18 Greek survivors [142] — No. 880 Naval Air Squadron is formed, they will be equipped with the Hawker Sea Hurricane. [9]
French troops launch a successful counterattack against Thai troops in Cambodia [2]Jan 1680 German Stuka dive bombers attack Valletta Harbor, Malta [2] — Minelaying cruiser HMS ADVENTURE, entering Liverpool Bay to commence AA Guardship duties, strikes a mine and is badly damaged. Repairs will last until late June. In the Thames Estuary, minesweeping trawler HMT DESIREE is also mined & sunk [62] — The ESSEX ia bombed and damaged in Malta Harbour killing 16 and 23 injured….having arrived on the 10th as part of Convoy “Excess”….she was not to leave Malta until August 1943 [142 — ]Britain forms Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) [1]
The Vichy France navy defeats the Thai navy at the Battle of Koh Chang during the Franco-Thai War. [2, 116]Jan 17The German U-boat U-96 sinks British troopship the SS Almeda Star. The ship went down North of Rockall in the North Atlantic Ocean.  [124]
Jan 18Stuka dive bombers attacked Malta for the third consecutive day [2]
Japanese troops land at Sandakan, British North Borneo [2]Jan 19Indian troops capture the rail junction Kassala, Sudan [2]
Jan 21The Allies began attacking Tobruk, Libya [2]
Jan 22Registration for the US draft is held in the Territory of Alaska [1] — In Libya, Australians take Tobruk—and 25,000 Italian prisoners [1]
Jan 23Noted American aviator Charles Lindbergh appears before Congress to urge the U.S. government to negotiate a non-aggression treaty with Adolf Hitler. [1, 4] — Bulgaria passes law that bans Jews from public service, professions, and commerce, and bans marriage between Jews and Gentiles [1]
Thai aircraft bomb an airfield in Cambodia; the final action of Franco-Thai War [2]Jan 24All Italian outposts surrounding Tobruk, Libya are captured by the Allies [2] — Romanian army crushes the fascist Iron Guard uprising, and the Iron Guard’s leader flees to Germany [1] — In Libya British armored forces divide Italian forces at Mechili [1]
Jan 25British colonial troops march into Italian Somaliland [2]
Jan 26Italian troops evacuate Mechili, Libya [2]
Jan 27The troopship Ulster Prince becomes the first Allied ship to dock at newly-captured Tobruk [2] — U.S. ambassador to Japan Joseph Grew wires Washington that Japan is planning a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor; he is not believed. Most senior U.S. military officials believe Japan will attack the Philippines in the event of war. [116]
B-10 medium bombers of the Thai 50th Bomber Sq attack Sisophon, French Cambodia [2]Jan 28The British 7th Armoured Division outflanks the Italian artillery overlooking Derna, Libya [2] — In the Mediterranean, Greek merchant vessel KATE (5197grt) is sunk on a mine off the Greek coast with 2 crew killed. Meanwhile, submarine HMS RORQUAL lays 29 mines off Sansego Island (modern Croatia) and 21 mines off Ancona, Italy [62]
Jan 29US and Britain begin secret joint discussions in Washington, which will lead to the ABC-1 Plan in case of America entering war against Germany [1, 116]
Jan 30Germany announces any ship bringing goods to Britain will be torpedoed. [1] — Australians take Derna, Libya. [1]
An armistice is signed between Thailand and French Indo-China [11]Jan 31Free French forces from Chad attack Kufra, Libya [2] — ‘Smokey Joe’ HMS HUNTLEY is bombed and sunk in the Mediterranean Sea 30 nautical miles (56 km) west of Mersa Matruh, Egypt. 18 crew are killed, including the CO [62] — Naval collier BOTUSK & Dutch steamer EMMAPLEIN are sunk in a British minefield off North Rona Is. Corvette HMS VERBENA & cable ship ARIEL help rescue survivors. Further south, Dutch balloon barrage vessel SATURNUS is damaged off the Isle of Man [62] — SPEYBANK, captured by the German Raider ATLANTIS and renamed DOGGERBANK. 60 crew taken POW 4 died in captivity [142]
Japan begins rice rationing to save shipping space: 330 grams per day [1] — US Marine Corps forms its first divisions, the 1st and 2nd Marine Divisions for the East and West Coasts, respectively [1]Feb 1 Indian 4th Division captures Agordat, Eritrea, Italian East Africa [2] — German heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper leaves Brest, France to raid shipping in North Atlantic for the next 4 months [1]
Feb 2Australian troops advance west from Derna, Libya [2]
US Navy establishes Pacific Fleet under Adm. Husband Kimmel, Atlantic Fleet under Adm. Ernest King, and Asiatic Fleet under Adm. Thomas Hart [1]Feb 3German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau start raids on British shipping in the Atlantic, will sink 22 ships by March 22 [1]
Feb 4The Italians begin evacuating Benghazi, Libya [2] — Ocean boarding vessel HMS Crispin (ex Booth Line cargo steamer SS Crispin, requisitioned 1940) sank with the loss of 20 lives off Rockall. She had been hit in the engine room by one torpedo from German submarine U-107 just before midnight on 3 Feb. [137]
Feb 5British 7th Armoured Div set up roadblocks near Benghazi, cutting off the Italian retreat [2]
Feb 8The newly formed German Afrika Korps begins departing Naples, Italy for North Africa [2]
Feb 9Operation Compass endsAllied troops capture El Agheila, Libya [2]
Feb 10222 British aircraft attack Hannover, Germany [2]
Feb 11The first German troops arrive at Tripoli, Libya [2]
Feb 13There are riots in Amsterdam, with rival gangs of Dutch Fascists & Jewish self-defence leagues & other anti-Nazis fighting in the streets. The HMS Formidable launches aircraft against Italian ships at Massawa, Italian East AfricaVichy France temporarily bans the sales of clothes due to severe shortages- northern France, occupied by Germany, is no longer exporting any textiles.
Feb 14Hitler pressures Yugoslavia to join the Tripartite Pact [2]
Feb 15General Platt suspended attacks near Keren to organize a larger effort [2]
Feb 17An Italian Auto-Saharan Company detachment counterattacks the French and British near Kufra [2] — Off Ireland, U-101 sinks British freighter Gairsoppa (85 killed) carrying 2800 bars of silver to fund the war (110 tons recovered in 2011) [1]
First Australian troops arrive in Singapore. [1]Feb 18Free French forces besiege El Tag fort at Kufra, Libya [2] — The South African 1st Division captures Mega, Abyssinia [2] — A meeting is held to discuss the armament of German tanks. Nearly everyone present spoke out against lengthening the 50 mm gun on the Pz.Kpfw.III, but Hitler overruled his advisors and put this tank into production. [22]
Feb 19German bombers begin a 3-day campaign against Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom [2] — Luftwaffe switches focus from attacking London to attacking shipping centers, such as Portsmouth, Plymouth, Bristol, and Cardiff. [1] — US Coast Guard Auxiliary (non-military) and Reserve (military) are established. [1]
Feb 20Minesweeping trawler HMT OUSE is sunk by an influence mine whilst sweeping in Tobruk Harbour. 12 crew are lost. [62] — Africa Korps makes contact with British for the first time in North Africa near El Agheila, Libya. [1, 2]
Feb 21Albacore aircraft from the HMS Formidable raid Massawa, Eritrea, causing little damage [2]
Feb 22The British 11th and 12th African Divisions wipe out Italian positions at Jilib, Somaliland [2]
Feb 23Greek and British leadership debate on a defensive strategy [2]
Feb 24The British Avro Manchester bomber makes its combat debut in a Royal Air Force Bomber Command night raid on Brest, France. First flight of the British Bristol Bisley, British light bomber, Modified Bristol Blenheim which finally became the Blenheim V.
Feb 25The British 11th African Division captures Mogadishu, Italian Somaliland [2[
Feb 26Francisco Franco refuses request from Hitler for Spain to enter the war
Feb 27Yosuke Matsuoka arrives in Berlin, Germany [2]
Feb 28German troops enter into Bulgaria
Mar 1Free French forces from Chad capture Kufra in southeastern Libya
Mar 3German 5th Light Division establishes positions to block Allied advance toward Tripoli [2] — German authorities establish the Krakow ghetto. Nearly 20,000 Jews were imprisoned behind barbed wire and stone. In the next two years, almost all ghetto residents were shot en masse or deported to killing centers. [150]
Mar 4Hitler offers Yugoslavia Salonika and part of Macedonia [2] — Canada orders Japanese-Canadians 16 and older to register with Mounted Police as “suspicious aliens.” [1] — British Commandos conduct Operation Claymore, a raid on the Lofoten Islands in Norway. The goal is to destroy production of fish oil and glycerine. They destroy oil plants and sink 8 ships. Importantly, Brits captured rotor wheels for two Enigma machines and their code books. They take 314 Norwegian volunteers to England, and capture 285 German prisoners. [1, 116]
Mar 5British reinforcements from North Africa arrive in Greece [2] — US 33rd Infantry Division becomes the first unit activated at Camp Forrest in Tullahoma, TN. [1]
Mar 6Two British convoys departed from Alexandria for Greece. [2] — German Luftwaffe begins dropping mines in the Suez Canal to disrupt British shipping. [1]
Mar 7HMS York, HMS Bonaventure, and HMS Gloucester arrive at Piraeus, Greece [2] — First British troops land in Greece to aid the Greeks against the Italians [1] — In Allied convoy OB-293 off Iceland, German U-boats U-99 and U-47 sink British whaling factory ship Terje Viken, one of the largest ships sunk in war at 20,000 tons. U-47 is lost to an unknown cause (45 killed, including captain Günther Prien, famous for his raid on Scapa Flow on 14 October 1939) [1] — Actor James Stewart is inducted into the US Army. [1]
Mar 8German 5th Light Division begins to depart Naples for North Africa [2]
Mar 10The British Nigerian Brigade engages Italian units at Degehabur, Abyssinia [2] — No. 2 Canadian Tunnelling Company, Royal Canadian Engineers, arrive at Gibraltar. They excavate a bombproof hospital in the Rock of Gibraltar, along with ammunition magazines. The tunnellers remained in the colony until December 1942. [31] — RAF Handley Page Halifax heavy bomber makes combat debut in raid to Le Havre in occupied France [1] — Portsmouth suffers its heaviest air raid of the war. VERNON is struck repeatedly. 7 officers & 24 ratings are killed, including AB Thomas Hulme GM (awarded for gallantry & undaunted devotion to duty during mine render-safe ops). Decision taken to vacate VERNON. [62] — Vice Adm. Adolphus Andrews assumes command of US Navy’s new North Atlantic Naval Coast Frontier (later called the Eastern Sea Frontier). [1]
Japan dictates that France return parts of Cambodia and Laos to Thailand [2]Mar 11MEMNON is torpedoed/sunk off West Africa by U106. 4 crew are lost on the ship and one later dies in a lifeboat [142]
Mar 12Winston Churchill thanks the US for the Lend-Lease Act [2] — With the Suez Canal once again closed due to mining, damaged aircraft carrier is forced to wait at Port Said before finally escaping from the Med for repairs.  [62]
Two Japanese-American men are sworn in to US Army Corps of Intelligence Police, Fort Shafter, HI, to conduct surveillance into Japanese community in Manila [1]Mar 13Franklin Roosevelt establishes President’s Committee on War Relief Agencies. [1] — 15 members of the illegal Geuzen movement and three participants in the February strike are executed on the Waalsdorpervlakte in The Hague. It was the inspiration for Jan Campert’s poem “The 18 dead”.  [155]
Women’s Auxiliary Australian Air Force is established. [1]Mar 15The Indian 4th and 5th Divisions attack Italian positions near Keren, Eritrea [2] — The first flight of the Hawker Sea Hurricane takes place. [9] — United Press correspondent Richard Hottelet (American) is arrested by the Gestapo in Berlin on suspicion of espionage (released in July and exchanged for German prisoners). [1] — German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau sink 15 Allied ships in the North Atlantic over the next two days. [1] — RCN -SS J.B. White (Atlantic Transportation Ltd, Montreal) torpedoed by U99, North Atlantic southwest of Faroes Islands while in convoy HX112, two killed and 38 survivors. [61]
Mar 16British and Indian troops capture Fort Dologorodoc, Eritrea [2]
Mar 17In convoy HX-112,  U-boat U-99 is scuttled after being rammed by the British destroyer HMS Vanoc (40/43 captured, including famous captain Otto Kretschmer). The U-99 had been detected by the first use of primitive radar against U-boats by surface vessels. This marked the turn of the tide against “Germany’s First Happy Time”. [1, 124] — British 11th African Division captures Jijiga, Abyssinia unopposed [2 — ]Luftwaffe bombers attack Cardiff, Wales [2] — British begin to ration jam, marmalade, syrup, and treacle (8 oz per month). [1]
Mar 18Armed boarding vessel HMS Rosaura strikes a mine and sinks off Tobruk, Libya: 78 lives lost. Rosaura was a private yacht when requisitioned 1940; she had been built for the LBSCR as SS Dieppe and had served in the First World War as a hospital ship. [137] — US and Canada sign joint defense pact [1] — German spy Capt. Ulrich von der Oster is struck and killed by a car in New York City, and his briefcase is swiped by fellow spy Kurt Ludwig; FBI launches investigation [1]
Mar 20U.S. Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles meets with the Soviet Ambassador to the U.S., Konstantin A. Umansky, to warn the USSR of Nazi Germany’s plans to invade the communist country. [116] — British and Indian troops take Hargeisa in Italian-occupied British Somaliland. [1] — German Luftwaffe bombs Plymouth, England right after a visit by King George and Queen Elizabeth. [1] — Erwin Rommel receives Oak Leaves to his Knights Cross [2]
Mar 21The Nigerian Brigade of British 11th African Division captures Marda Pass, Abyssinia [2] — Minesweeping trawler HMT ASAMA is destroyed during bombing attacks on Plymouth.  [62]
Mar 22Italian troops declare Harar, Abyssinia an open city [2] — The Medium Tank M3 arrives at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds for trials. Many laugh at this oddly shaped tank, but for its time it was well armoured, well armed, and could be produced in enormous numbers. [22] — US 99th Pursuit Squadron is activated at Chanute Field, IL; will become the all-Black Tuskegee Airmen. [1]
Mar 23Australian troops capture Giarabub in southeastern Libya [2] — Heavy Luftwaffe attack on Malta leads the RAF to withdraw bombers and flying boats. [1]
Mar 24German and Italian ships continu to leave Massawa, Eritrea ahead of Allied advances. [2] — German Gen. Erwin Rommel launches the first major attack of the Afrikakorps against the British, taking El Agheila, Libya. [1 ]
Mar 25Yugoslavia signs the Tripartite Pact and secretly allows German troops passage [2]
Mar 26The British Nigerian Brigade captures Harar, Abyssinia unopposed [2] — British Military Intelligence launches program to send maps to POWs in board games. [1] — Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg’s Institute for Research on the Jewish Question opens in Frankfurt, Germany; by 1943, the library will have half a million looted books. [1] — In the first use of manned torpedoes with a detachable warhead in history, Italians damage heavy cruiser HMS York at Suda Bay, Crete.  [1]
Mar 27Under the Lend-Lease Act, the US signs a 99-year lease on British bases in the Western Hemisphere and approves $7 billion in aid to Britain.  [1] — US & UK sign ABC-1 Staff Agreement to prepare for potential US entry into the war and committing the US Atlantic Fleet to protecting British convoys. [1] — Military coup in Yugoslavia replaces Axis regent Prince Paul with 17-year-old King Peter II and repudiates the Tripartite Pact. [1]
Mar 28A Royal Navy Fleet under Admiral Cunningham in HMS WARSPITE inflicts the Italian Navy’s largest ever defeat at the Battle of Cape Matapan  off the coast of Greece. Cunningham looses only 3 men and no ships whilst the Italians lost 5 and over 2,300 men. [87]
Mar 29German tanks and armored cars advance at El Agheila, Libya [2] — British & South African troops take Dire Dawa in Ethiopia [1] — Vichy France establishes office for Jewish affairs (Commissariat Général aux Questions Juives) under antisemitic Xavier Vallat [1] — British barge EMMA is sunk & steamer GRENAA is damaged on mines off Rotherhithe (River Thames). 7 of GRENAA’s crew are killed. Overnight, fast minelayer HMS ABDIEL lays a minefield off Brest in an attempt to trap German capital ships  [62] — The Battle of Cape Matapan, a naval action fought between British and Australian warships against the Italian Regia Marina in the Mediterranean, ends in Allied victory. The Italians lose three heavy cruisers, including the Pola & Zara, and two destroyers sunk. 2303 Italians are killed.  [1, 57]
Mar 30First powered flight of the Heinkel He 280, a German fighter prototype and the first turbojet-powered fighter aircraft in the world. US and UK arrange military coordination, to be executed when US would enter the war [2]
Major General Fred Martin and Rear Admiral Pat Bellinger sign off on a report predicting a surprise air attack on Oahu, Hawaii by the Japanese, which they said was likely to occur at dawn. [116]Mar 31In North Africa, German troops under Gen. Erwin Rommel attack British and take Mersa Brega, Libya. The Axis tanks force the Allies to fall back to Agedabia, Libya [1, 2] — RAF first uses 4000-lb “Cookie” bomb in raid on Emden, Germany. [1] — Hitler inspectes and approves the 4.7 cm Pak(t) (Sfl) auf Fgst.Pz.Kpfw.35 R 731(f). These vehicles proved so terrible that units armed with them reverted back to towed 37 mm anti-tank guns in a matter of weeks [22]
Apr 1Indian 5th Division enters undefended Asmara, Italian Eritrea [2] — HMCS PRINCE HENRY intercepted German freighters München & Hermonthis off the coast of Peru. To avoid having their ships captured by PRINCE HENRY the German crews set their ships afire before abandoning them. [61] — The German raider Thor (L) encountered the Armed Merchant Cruiser HMS Voltaire (R) in the Atlantic. Heavy fire from the Germans quickly overwhelmed Voltaire, though 197 survivors were rescued by Thor in a 5 hour operation after they abandoned their blazing ship. [162] — In Iraq, military officers under pro-Axis former prime minister Rashid Ali al-Gaylani begin a coup to overthrow pro-British Regent Abdul Illah.  [1] — Italians declare Asmara, capital of Eritrea and last Italian stronghold, an open city; British & Indian troops occupy Asmara. [1]
Apr 2RAF drops 75,000 tea bags to increase Dutch morale, printed with “Holland will arise. Keep your courage up.” [1] — Merchant Vessel MELROSE ABBEY is mined & sinks near Newburgh, Aberdeenshire. She will be refloated in July, repaired & requisitioned as a rescue vessel accompanying convoys. In this capacity, she is is torpedoed & sunk mid-Atlantic in December 1942. Convoy ON 154 [62]
Apr 3Axis troops march toward Benghazi, Libya [2] — In Iraq, former prime minister Rashid Ali al-Gaylani overthrows Regent Abdul Illah and forms a pro-Axis government. [1] — Hungarian Prime Minister Pál Teleki commits suicide after his government allowed German troops to cross Hungarian territory and invade Yugoslavia, violating friendship treaty. [1]
En route to the crash position of a RAF Blenheim, t he Trincola-class mooring vessel HMS BUFFALO strikes a British mine and sinks off Singapore with the loss of 32 personnel (including 8 RAF). [62]Apr 4The Naval battle dubbed “The Action of 4 April 1941” is fought in the Atlantic. The German Auxiliary Cruiser ‘Thor’ attacks and sinks the British armed merchant cruiser ‘Voltaire’. [124] — German aircraft destroy a convoy in North Africa, destroying 1,600 gal of gasoline. [2]
Apr 5Axis forces advanced toward Msus and Mechili in Libya [2] — US Army authorizes herringbone twill fatigue uniforms (HBTs). [1]
Apr 6RAF Beaufort aircraft torpedo German battlecruiser Gneisenau at Brest, France [2]
Apr 7Axis forces in Libya take Derna, Libya, and capture British generals Richard O’Connor and Philip Neame. [1, 11] — Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service is established. [1] — At Piraeus, Greece, British ammunition ship Clan Fraser explodes due to damage from Luftwaffe bombing raid on April 6, sinking 95 other ships and boats. [1]
Apr 8German 2nd Panzer Division crosses from Yugoslavia into Greece near Dojran Lake [2] — Germans take Skoplje and Salonika [11] — British take port of Massawa, Eritrea, securing Eritrea and opening the Red Sea to Allied ships. [1]
Apr 9237 German bombers attack Birmingham, England, United Kingdom [2] — Tanker LUNULA is mined at Thameshaven on the Thames. Subsequent explosion of her fuel causes loss of 28 personnel plus all 7 crew of assisting tug PERSIA. [62] — Germans take Salonika, Greece. [1] — Battleship USS North Carolina is commissioned, New York Navy Yard, NY, the first US battleship since 1923 [1] — US signs agreement with Danish ambassador to the US Henrik Kauffmann making Greenland a US protectorate; approved by officials in Greenland, but denounced by government in occupied Denmark. [1]
Apr 10Roosevelt approves transfer of 10 Lake-class Coast Guard Cutters to Royal Navy [2] — The first combat action for the U.S. against Nazi Germany occurs when the destroyer USS Niblack fires on a German U-boat (a false sound contact) violating the U.S. security zone. U.S. doesn’t enter WWII until December 1941. [1, 116] — Germans take Zagreb, capital of Croatia in Yugoslavia. Germans establish puppet state in Croatia under Ante Pavelić, whose Ustase government will massacre Jews, Serbs, and Roma. [1]
Apr 11Italy and Hungary join the German invasion of Yugoslavia [2] — The Germans capture Bardia [11] — Boom defence vessel HMT OTHELLO & boom tender YORKSHIRE BELLE are sunk on a mine at the entrance to the Humber with 15 men reported killed/missing. [62] — Good Friday, Rommel makes his first attack against Tobruk. 5th Pz Ret begins its action in the south at noon, probing with tanks & inf. 5 German tanks are destroyed. Later a large group of German and Italian tanks come right up to the aantitank ditch & open fire. Forces under Gen. Erwin Rommel surround Australian forces in Tobruk, Libya—siege will last until November 1941.[1, 99] — The Battle of Vevi, also known as Battle of the Klidi Pass, begins. It is part of the Greece campaign and is the first time British, Australian, and New Zealand troops engage Germans south of Vevi. It ended in Axis victory. [124] — Italy and Hungary join the German invasion of Yugoslavia [2] — US forms Office of Price Administration to plan wage & price controls. [1]
Apr 12German troops captured Belgrade. [1, 2] — Germans take Bardia, Libya. [1] — Hitler divides Yugoslavia between Germany, Italy, Hungary, and Bulgaria, leaving Croatia as a puppet state. [1]
Apr 13The Soviet Union and Japan signed a 5-year neutrality pact [2,11]
Apr 14Australians report the first sighting of German 88-mm guns in the Western Desert [2]
Apr 15The Luftwaffe drops bombs on Newtownards Airfield, Co. Down killing 13 young soldiers of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. [32] — First serious German air raid on northern Ireland, killing 600-700. [1, 11] — Yugoslavian 2nd Army surrenders in Sarajevo to the Germans [1, 2] — Operation Battleaxe begins. It is a British Army offensive to raise the Siege of Tobruk & re-capture eastern Cyrenaica from German & Italian forces. [167] — Operation Brevity begins in North Africa [167]
apr 16The German 6th Mountain Division attacks across Mount Olympus over goat paths, taking heavy casualties. [2] — The Italian-German Tarigo convoy is attacked & destroyed by British destroyers. All eight ships are sunk off of Tunisia with 1800 killed. [1, 167] — HMS Mohawk (F31) was sunk by Italian destroyer Luca Tarigo, with the loss of 41 of her crew. [167] — Firefighters from Ireland cross into Northern Ireland to help with fires in Belfast caused by heavy Luftwaffe bombing. [1] — First US Lend-Lease food arrives in Britain [1]
Apr 171,179 Londoners die in overnight German bombing. [2] — In Iraq, Prime Minister Rashid Ali al-Gaylani asks for German aid in expelling the British. [1] — Armistice concluded between Germans and Second Yugoslav Army [11] — King Peter II of Yugoslavia will establish government-in-exile in London. [1]
Apr 18German 6th Mountain Division reaches Mount Olympus [2, 11]
Apr 19British and Indian troops attacked Amba Alagi, Abyssinia [2] — Germans announce capture of Larissa and Mount Olympus [11] —Luftwaffe sends 712 bombers to London, 449 killed, including 34 firemen, the largest single loss of firefighters in British history. [1]
Japanese 18th Division captures Kyidaunggan, Burma from Chinese troops. [1]Apr 21Georgios Tsolakoglou signs the surrender of the entire Greek Army to Germany [2] — Greek government says further resistance impossible, advises British to withdraw [11] —Germans claim capture of Metsovo Pass [11]
Apr 221st South African Brigade captures 1200 Italian POWs in Abyssinia [2]
Apr 23German bombers attack Plymouth, England [2] — Armistice signed between Greek and German-Italian forces [11]
Apr 24German paratroopers capture the Corinth Canal in Greece [2] — Broadcasts by Secretaries Hull and Knox advocate full American aid to Britain [11]
Apr 25The German 8th Panzer Regiment departs Italy in three convoys for North Africa [2] — Germans announce their capture of Thermopylae [11]
Apr 26The South African 1st Brigade captures Dessie, Abyssinia. German parachute troops seize Corinth [11]
Apr 27Germans occupy Athens. [11]
Apr 28US occupies Greenland to protect it for Nazi-occupied Denmark and to establish air bases. [1] — Greece is divided into German, Italian, and Bulgarian occupied zones. [1]
Apr 29Indian 20th Infantry Brigade arrived at Basra [2] — Soviet Union forbids transit of war material through territory [11] — Heavy Luftwaffe air raid on Plymouth, England. [1]
Apr 306,000 Iraqi troops and 30 guns advance to heights overlooking RAF Habbaniya. Iraqi forces surround British air base at Habbaniya. [1, 2] — All formed British forces (50,000 evacuated total) have been evacuated from Greece. The Germans now occupy all of Greece [1, 99] — In Libya Tobruk comes under air & artillery attack in support of a ground attack in the south west. — President Roosevelt orders creation of shipping pool of 2 million tons [11] — Ex cargo/passenger vessel HMIS PARVATI (requisitioned for Patrol Vessel duties) strikes mine & sinks in Red Sea N. of Assab. 16 crew are killed. She had been conducting a recce op with light cruiser HMS CERES, but lacked the paravanes used by the former [62] — Following the previous night’s air raids on Malta, a freshly laid mine in the harbor claims minesweeping drifter HMD TRUSTY STAR; the island’s only LL magnetic sweeper. TRUSTY STAR will be salvaged and returned to active duties [62]
May 1General Mills introduces CheeriOats cereal, renamed Cheerios in 1945. [1] — Iraqi forces demanded RAF Habbaniya to cease operations, threatening with force [2] — US Defense Savings Bonds and Stamps go on sale. [1]
May 2British and Iraqi troops clash at RAF Habbaniya and near Baghdad. The RAF throws in everything it has to quell the pro-Axis Iraqi Revolt. 10 Vickers Wellingtons of No. 70 Squadron, soon followed by Hawker Audaxes, Fairey Gordons and Airspeed Oxfords from No. 4 Flying Training School attack Iraqi positions around Habbaniya. [2, 17, 60] — Minesweeping trawler HMT ALBERIC is sunk in a collision with destroyer HMS ST ALBANS in the Pentland Firth. 13 crew are lost. [62] — HMS Jersey (F72) sunk by a mine off Malta. HMS Jersey was a J-class destroyer of the Royal Navy. Thirty-five crew members were killed. [167] — Steamer PARRACOMBE is mined & sunk off Cap Bon whilst attempting a clandestine supply run to Malta (Op TEMPLE), carrying 21 Hurricane fighters in packing cases, associated spares plus rocket projectors, ammunition & various other military stores [62]
May 3Allied and Italian troops engaged in heavy fighting at Amba Alagi, Abyssinia [2] — Heavy air raids on Liverpool over the coming night include a sprinkling of mines. Amidst the carnage ashore & in the docks, previously laid mines sink steamer CORBET and lightship SIRIUS [62] — Project Roger is established at Naval Aircraft Factory, Philadelphia, PA, to install and test airborne radar. [1] — The Hawker Typhoon Mk IB prototype makes its first flight. [9]
May 4First flight of the Republic XP-47B Thunderbolt prototype 40-3051, also known as the “Jug”. Test pilot Lowery Lawson Brabham flew from the Republic Aviation Corporation factory airfield at Farmingdale, New York, to Mitchel Field, New York. The P47 or “Jug” was used in both theatersVichy France and Germany sign the Paris Protocol, opening Syria to German troops [9] — The Iraqi revolt breaks down as the RAF No.4 Flight Training School suppresses the Iraqi artillery and other forces around Habbaniya. [2, 60] — Ocean boarding vessel HMS Camito (requisitioned from Elders & Fyffes 1940) ia torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-97 in the North Atlantic off Cape Clear, Ireland. Camito was escorting captured Italian tanker Sangro which was also sunk by U-97. [137] — Vichy France and Germany sign the Paris Protocol, opening Syria to German troops. [2] — Politburo appoints Joseph Stalin the Chairman of Council of Peoples Commissars [2]
May 53/2nd Punjab Battalion advances towards the Italian stronghold at Amba Alagi, Abyssinia [2] — MV Europa (Canadian Government Merchant Marine) while in dry dock at Liverpool, UK is damaged beyond repair by bombs during air raid. The ex-Danish passenger freighter was placed under Canadian registry. [61]
May 7Douglas Bader shoots down a German Bf 109 aircraft and claimed another probable [2] — British relieve besieged airport of Habbania in Iraq [11]
May 8Indian troops capture Falagi Pass near Amba Alagi, Abyssinia [2] — HMS Barham is hit by 3 torpedoes from U-331. They detonated simultaneously and the ship immediately began to capsize before exploding, with the loss of 862 crewmen. The Germans didn’t immediately realise this and Barham’s loss was only announced in Jan 42. [162] — Tug IRISHMAN, with the Grab Dredger FW No.20 (PERCY), off Sword Sand, Langstone Harbour, strikes a magnetic mine, both vessels sink, 5 killed on the tug and 3 on the Dredger. The 5 are listed on @CWGC but seems none from the Dredger. [142] — HM Yacht Viva II (a private yacht requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted to an anti-submarine vessel) is bombed and sunk by a German aircraft off the north coast of Cornwall near Trevose Head. 19 of her crew are lost. [137]
Tokyo peace treaty officially ends the Franco-Thai WarMay 9Soviet Union withdraws recognition from German-occupied states [11] — SS Esmond (Anglo-Newfoundland Steamship Company) is torpedoed by U-110 while in convoy OB-318 in the North Atlantic, all 49 sailors survived. [61] — Mine destructor ship HMS QUEENWORTH is sunk by German bombing off the Humber, & sister-ship HMS CORFIELD is damaged by near misses. Although this type of vessel had been invaluable in the early battle vs the magnetic mine, the LL sweep’s arrival reduced this importance [62] — In Operation Primrose German submarine U-110, after being depth charged until she surfaced, is captured by the Royal Navy. A boarding party from HMS Bulldog, led by sub-lieutenant David Balme, recovers the latest Enigma machine and codebooks. This is later passed to Bletchley Park. Allied cryptographers later use it to break German codes. This discovery was one of the greatest ever intelligence coups and undoubtedly saved thousands if not millions of lives. The submarine eventually sank in the Atlantic. [51, 87, 116, 148, 167] – British intelligence at Bletchley Park breaks German spy codes after capturing Enigma machines aboard the weather ship Muenchen. [44]
May 10Rudolf Hess lands in Scotland by parachute [11]
May 11The first 3 German Luftwaffe aircraft landed at Mosul, Iraq [2]
May 12The Soviet Union extends recognition to the rebel government in Iraq [11]
May 13The British gunboat HMS Gnat shells the German airfield at Gazala [2] — An RAF Blenheim flying a reconnaissance mission to Mosul is engaged by a Messerschmitt 110, the first German aircraft seen in action in Iraq. [1] — The second Avro Lancaster prototype flies. This was powered by four Rolls-Royce Merlin XX engines and now had a twin-finned tail layout. [9] — The German army issues an order that frees German soldiers from prosecution of war crimes that occurred in the Soviet Union, except for sexual acts with racially inferior Slavs. Hitler cancels all courts-martial for German soldiers during the upcoming invasion of the USSR and permits execution of Soviet civilian leaders. [1, 116] — Martin Bormann replaces Rudolf Hess (who flew to Scotland May 10 in unauthorized peace mission) as Nazi Party Chancellor, third in command to Hitler. [1]
May 14The Vichy cabinet approves Hitler’s terms on collaboration [11] — British forces approaching from Sudan and Kenya link at Amba Alagi, Ethiopia. [1] — In first “rafle” (round-up) of Jews in France, 3710 Jewish men, primarily from Poland, are arrested and detained in a camp in France. [1]
May 15Eden charges that German planes are using Syrian airfields. [11] — South African and Indian troops link up at Triangle Hill near Amba Alagi, Abyssinia [2] — The prototype of the fighter version of the de Havilland Mosquito makes its first flight. [9]
May 16Vsevolod Merkulov completes deportation planning of intelligentsia of Baltic States [2]
May 17British take the mountain fortress of Amba Alagi, the last Italian base in East Africa after Viceroy of Italian East Africa Duke of Aosta surrenders [1, 2] — Croatian kingdom set up under Italian prince [11] — Pilot Officer Mike Kolendorski becomes first US pilot volunteer with an RAF Eagle squadron to be killed in action. [1]
Ho Chi Minh establishes the communist Viet Minh party to oppose both the Japanese and the French. [1]May 19Following intense air attacks by the Luftwaffe, the last 7 RAF airworthy aircraft on Crete are evacuated to Egypt. The Luftwaffe established complete air superiority over the island and its surrounding waters. [1, 2, 60] — Italian army in Ethiopia surrenders to British, ending organized resistance in East Africa [1] — British Intelligence discover that the German battleship Bismarck had left the Baltic to be deployed on Operation Rheinübung – a mission to sink Allied shipping. Reports from contacts in Sweden & Norway state German battleships had been seen. [153]
May 20The Battle of Crete commenced, with cruiser HMAS Perth heavily engaged throughout the campaign. During the course of the 13 day battle over 1,700 Commonwealth servicemen are killed – all commemorated by @CWGC. [179, 184] — The Germans initiate their airborne assault on Crete, code named Operation Merkur — ‘Smokey Joe’ HMS WIDNES is bombed, beached & written off in Souda Bay, Crete. It is subsequently raised by the German Navy & commissioned as UJ 2109. She is then sunk again by British destroyers in October 43 [62]— SS Rothermere (Anglo-Newfoundland Steamship Company) torpedoed by U98 after dispersal of convoy HX-126 in the North Atlantic, twenty-two killed, thirty-three were rescued later that day. [61] — The large Italian cargo vessel ZEFFIRO is mined & sunk off Cap Bon. A destroyer of the same name had been sunk by Fairey Swordfish torpedoes at Tripoli in 1940 [62]
May 21 Stalin is informed of a possible German attack [2] — The neutral freighter SS Robin Moor is torpedoed the south Atlantic off of Africa by German U-boat U-69. It’s the first American ship sunk in WW2. The crew survives but spends over 2 weeks in lifeboats. [1, 4, 11] — HMS ABDIEL’s minefield laid off Cephalonia scores a huge success; sinking the Italian destroyer CARLO MIRABELLO, the gunboat MATTEUCI & – crucially – the large German cargo vessels MARBURG (pic) & KYBFELS [62] — Germans attempt amphibious landings on Crete but are stopped by the Royal Navy. [1] — In tests in Louisiana, US Navy chooses bow-ramp version of the Higgins boat to go into production as the Landing Craft, Vehicle and Personnel (LCVP). [1] — A No.1 Photo Reconnaissance Unit plane flown by P/O Michael ‘Babe’ Suckling spots Bismarck and escorts in a Fjord 10 miles west of Bergen. The pilot was flying an unarmed, high altitude, long range Spitfire. This confirmed that Bismarck was trying to break out into the open seas. On his return the alarm is raised and HMS Hood & HMS Prince of Wales are prepared for sea. [12]
May 22British fighter planes are withdrawn from Crete [11] — The British destroyerr HMS Greyhound (H05) is sunk by German Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bombers north-west of Crete. 6 officers & 74 sailors are killed in the attack. The British light cruisers HMS Fiji (58) and HMS Gloucester (62) are also sunk by German dive-bombers, off Crete, with the loss of 241 of Fiji’s crew and 722 men out of Gloucester’s crew of 807. [1, 167]
May 23Under heavy air attack from Stukas, The British Destroyer HMS KELLY (F01) is bombed and sunk in 2 minutes (181 killed, 297 survive including Mountbatten) (181 killed, 297 survive including Lord Louis Mountbatten). 4 kills are credited to HMS KELLY [1, 167, 187] — In the first major trial of a resistance group in occupied France, Germans sentence 8 members of Nemrod intelligence network to death. [1]
May 24The German battleship Bismarck and heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen attempt to reach the North Atlantic to prey upon vital Allied shipping to and from England. It sinks the British battle cruiser HMS Hood in the North #Atlantic during the Battle of Denmark Strait. All but three of the 1,418 men on board the Hood are killed. A shell from Bismarck past through the compass platform of HMS Prince of Wales – two midshipmen are killed, Captain Leach standing next to them receives minor face wound. [1, 2, 12, 116, 167, 189, 190] — King George II of Greece evacuates Crete for Cairo. [2]
May 26Bismarck was spotted by a Catalina flying boat flown by Ensign Leonard B. Smith. The British had to do something to stop her. 1941, British swordfish bombers from the aircraft carrier Ark Royal launched their attack. Able to locate Bismarck with their ASV II radars, a torpedo strike hit Bismarck’s port side, jamming her rudder and steering gear. She could now only steam in a large circle. [2, 39]
May 27The German battleship Bismarck is scuttled in the North Atlantic off Ireland after being damaged by British battleships HMS Rodney and HMS King George V and heavy cruisers. Almost 2,100 men of the Bismarck die, only 115 survive. Had it not been scuttled it likely would have sunk due to the damage caused by the British. ORP Piorun was 1 of 5 Allied destroyers that hounded the Bismarck the night before. Her crew transmitted “I am a Pole” and “3 salvos for Poland” before matching her 6 4.7-inch guns vs. Bismarck’s 8 15-inch cannons.. [1, 2, 11, 113, 116, 167, 187] — The Germans take Canea, capital of Crete, and Suda Bay, the main port. [1] — In Fireside Chat, President Roosevelt declares an unlimited national emergency, allowing more military shipments to Britain and increased patrols in Atlantic. [1]
May 28Destroyer HMS Mashona (F59) is attacked west of Ireland by German bombers as she returns from taking part in the Bismarck chase and sinks off Galway with the loss of 48 of her crew. [137, 167] — Destroyer HMS Imperial is attacked by Italian aircraft off Crete and damaged beyond repair when a bomb detonats near her propellers. She is scuttled by HMS Hotspur on 29 May when the seriousness of the damage is realised. No lives were lost. [137] — The Evacuation of Crete begins. Between 28 May and 1 June, 18,000 Australian, New Zealand and British troops are evacuated from the Island. [1, 124] — In the evening a transport of 304 Poles deported by Germans from Warsaw arrive at Auschwitz. Among them are 12 priests, including a Franciscan Maximilian Kolbe (no. 16670) who on 29 July 1941 offers his life to save a prisoner selected for starvation death. [6] — Jan Smuts was given the rank of field marshal in the British Army [2] — The Paris Protocols are signed: Vichy France allows German military access to Syria, Tunisia, and West Africa, in exchange for reduced costs and repatriation of some French POWs. [1] — Britain starts rationing of eggs and tightens rationing of fish and milk. [1]
May 29The German Navy begins to execute its plans for the invasion of the Soviet Union [2] — Destroyer HMS Hereward (H93) is sunk by German bombers while evacuating Allied troops from Heraklion, Crete. Four officers & 72 crewmen of her complement are killed and 89 survivors (crew and evacuees) are rescued by Italian naval vessels and made prisoners of war. [137, 167] — US Army Air Corps forms the Ferrying Command to deliver Lend-Lease aircraft overseas and to deliver aircraft from factories to airfields (renamed Air Transport Command in June 1942). [1]
May 30British and Indian forces reach the outskirts of Baghdad, Iraq [1, 2] — British collier WESTAVON is sunk on a mine in the outer Thames Estuary. The entire crew are rescued. London & SE England need ca 200,000 tons of coal pw to survive. Much of this was convoyed down the East Coast War Route. The cost was high. [62] — HMAS Perth comes under attack from German aircraft while evacuating allied soldiers from Crete. Amongst many near misses, Perth is hit by 2 bombs, which kill 4 of her crew & 9 soldiers who were being evacuated. Attacks on Perth continued throughout the day. [184] — German commander in Crete orders deadly reprisals for civilian resistance. [1]
May 31The mayor of Baghdad surrenders to British Ambassador Sir Kinahan Cornwallis. An armistice ends Iraq hostilities [1, 2, 11] — The Luftwaffe accidentally bombs Dublin in neutral Eire (Ireland) [1]
Jne 2Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini meet again at the Brenner Pass on the Italian-Austrian border [2] — Vichy France issues second antisemitic Statut de Juifs, ordering a census of Jews and banning Jews from more professions. [1]
Jne 3German bombers attack Hull and Tweedmouth in England [2] — Germans massacre 180 civilians in Kandanos, Crete for “partisan activities” — fighting the German invasion. [1]
Jne 4British Home Security Situation Report notes 178 killed by bombing in past week [2] — Off Lagos approaches, the dredger ROBERT HUGHES is mined & sunk with the loss of 14 crew. Influence mines had been laid by submarine U-69 & the port lacked the sweepers to counter this threat. [62]
During Japanese air raid on Chongqing, China, 4000 civilians suffocate in a shelter. [1]Jne 5Germany announces that 15k POWs were captured at Crete [2] — Secretary Hull condemns French collaboration with Nazis [11]
Jne 6Hitler implements the Kommissarbefehl, or Commissar Order [2] — Ship requisition law adopted by United States [11]
Jne 7Polish civilians report German troop movements toward the east [2]
Jne 8Commonwealth and Free French forces invade Vichy Syria-Lebanon [2] — British and Free French forces invade Syria [11]
Jne 9Australian and British troops clash with the French in Syria-Lebanon [2] — Ammunition plant at Fort Smederovo in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, explodes, killing 1500. [1] — Two thousand soldiers end strike at North American Aviation in Inglewood, CA, that threatened crucial aircraft production [1]
Jne 10Allied troops advanced toward Beirut [2] — The British take the Red Sea port of Assab [11] — The US wins a contract for Bolivia’s entire tungsten supply, depriving Japan of the mineral, which is vital to strengthening metal alloys in arms production. [1]
Jne 11Indian troops capture Assab, Eritrea, securing the Red Sea for the Allies. [1] — Nazis arrest fortune tellers, astrologists & Christian Scientists due to their influence on Rudolf Hess, who has flown to Scotland in a misguided attempt to negotiate peace. [1]
The US Naval Reserve is called to active duty.[1]Jne 12Indian and Free French forces capture Deraa, Syria-Lebanon [2] — The acoustic mine threat off the Humber leads to an SA-fitted escort being assigned to heavy cruiser HMS CUMBERLAND prior to her transit of the area. Some E. Coast destroyers having now been fitted with SA gear; [62] — The South African Air Force embarks on its first combat mission in North Africa. [1] — Eighty years ago the Declaration of St James’ Palace was issued. Arguably this was a building block of the UN. [99]
Jne 14Croatia becomes the newest member of the Tripartite Pact [2] — President Roosevelt freezes German and Italian assets, bans travel by nationals, and clamps down on Nazi propaganda agencies [1, 11] — The Soviets begin the first of multiple mass deportations of Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians to Kirov Oblast, Novosibirsk Oblast and to prisons. They deport 11,000 “Anti-Soviet” Estonians, 15,000 Latvians & 17,000 Lithuanians to Siberia (politicians, priests, businessmen, and their families). Instead of deportation, some are shot. [1, 116]
Jne 15Operation Battleaxe is launched in Libya [2] — British advance in Syria reaches Saida [11]
Jne 16German troops launched limited counterattacks at British positions in Libya [2] — U.S. orders all German consulates to close by July 10 and all German news and propaganda agencies to be closed. The embassy in Washington, DC is allowed to remain open. [1, 11] — British intensify air attack on Germany [11] — Ford’s Willow Run plant to produce B-24 Liberator bombers is dedicated. [1] — Washington National Airport opens with one hangar (now Reagan International Airport). [1]
Jne 17Finland begins to secretly mobilize its military for Operation Silver Fox [2] — The Germans drive the British back through Halfaya Pass from Libya into Egypt—the siege of Tobruk remains. [1] — First flight of the Brewster SB2A-1 Buccaneer. US single-engine mid-wing monoplane scout/bomber aircraft. Powered by a single Wright R-2600 engine driving a three-blade propeller. [8]
Jne 18The German 7th Panzer Div reaches Cherbourg [2] — Treaty of friendship between Germany and Turkey signed [11]
Jne 19USSR orders black-outs in all cities along the border with Germany. [2] — Italy and Germany order closing of U.S. consulates [11] — The deportation of Polish civilians from Western Belarus begins June 19-20, 1941 and was interrupted by the German invasion of the USSR on June 22, 1941.  
Jne 20 Indian and Free French troops fail to relieve Indian 5th Inf Brgd in Syria-Lebanon [2] — Roosevelt’s message to Congress on the sinking of Robin Moor. [11] — Minesweeping trawler HMT RESMILO is bombed & sunk off Peterhead. HMT LORD ASHFIELD is damaged nearby. Off Hartlepool, MV ILSE is mined & her back is broken. She is repaired at Middlesbrough, where a new bow section is fitted. HMS DRAGON arrives at Lagos & employs the embarked magnetic sweep gear to good effect; 5 mines swept. In Home Waters, the daily haul includes 3 off the Thames & Humber, plus 4 off the Tyne. Destroyer INTREPID sets off 4 acoustics during a 26kt transit of NE Coast. [62]
Jne 22In Operation Barbarossa Germany attacks Russian forces in Poland beginning the invasion of Russia and opening the Eastern Front. The Germans also invades and occupies Lithuania. [116] — Germany and Italy declare war on Russia. [2]
Jne 23Germans encountered Soviet KV tanks for the first time in Lithuania. They are surprised with its power. [1, 2] — The Provisional Government of Lithuania declares its independence. [1] — Germans announce the capture of Brest Litovsk [11]
Jne 24The German Armeegruppe Nord moves into Lithuania. The Germans claim Vilna and Kannas [2,11] — Latvia declares independence and asks for German help against the Soviets. [1] — Spanish crowds in Madrid demonstrate in favor of the German invasion of the USSR. [1] — Off Greenland, U-371 sinks straggling Norwegian freighter Vigrid (26/47 killed); 4 US Red Cross nurses are killed, the first uniformed American female casualties of the war. [1]
Jne 25Lithuanian militiamen in Kovno massacre 1,500 Jews [2] — The Continuation War begins as Finland declares war on the USSR with the objective of regaining lands lost in the Winter War. [1, 11] — French Lt E. Boulé, a prisoner of war at Colditz Castle, is nearly successful at his escape. Dressed as a young German woman and readily walking away from the castle, he accidentally drops his watch and was caught when a German guard returned the watch to him. [7] — The Luftwaffe flies its first night intruder mission, attacking British bombers landing at bases [1] — President Roosevelt signs order creating the Fair Employment Practices Commission, banning discrimination in war industries or the government, but the commission has no powers of enforcement. [1]
Jne 26The Supermarine Spitfire HF Mk VI prototype makes its maiden flight. [9] — The Germans drive a wide salient toward Minsk [11] — Russian destroyer MOSKVA is mined & sunk whilst bombarding the Romanian port of Constanta (Black Sea). As part of its sea war vs Russia, Germany had declared extensive minefields in the Baltic & Black Seas and off Sevastopol [62] — Spanish volunteers are organized to fight with Germany against USSR. [1] — Germans occupy Daugavpils as they enter Latvia. [1]
Jne 27German troops capture Bobruisk in Byelorussia and Przemysl in Poland [2] — Dr. Samuel Kracowski is murdered by German Order Police Battalion 309 after the Germans take Bialystok, Poland. This Order Police unit killed 2,000–3,000 Jews that day. More than 700 of those victims were forced into The Great Synagogue and were burned alive. [116, 150] — The Russians announce further withdrawals in northern Poland.  Hungary declares war on the Soviet Union. [11] — Minesweeping trawler HMT FORCE is sunk by German bombing off Great Yarmouth. 11 crew members are killed. Other mine losses include a Danish coaster off Heligoland & 2 German S-Boote in the Baltic [62] — The Canadian Government announcs the decision to form the Canadian Women’s Army Corps. Recruiting would begin in September and by 31 December of that year, 1256 women had been appointed or enlisted in the Corps. [31]
Jne 28German troops capture Minsk, Byelorussia [2]
Jne 29Romanian troops conduct a pogrom against Jews in the town of Jassy, killing 10,000 [2]
Jne 30German troops capture Lvov, Ukraine [2]
Jly 1German 2.Panzergruppe reaches Berezina, Byelorussia [2] — Germans occupy Riga, Latvia. [1] — The US agrees to take over the security of Iceland from Britain. [1] — CBS & NBC begin offering fifteen hours per week of TV programming in New York City, but few people have sets. [1]
The Japanese army orders the draft of 1 million men. [1]Jly 2The Canadian Women’s Auxiliary Air Force is established, the first women’s military service in North America, under Flight Officer Kathleen Oonah Walker (renamed RCAF Women’s Division in 1942). [1] — Germans and Latvians burn down all synagogues in Riga [2] — Axis troops attack towards Vinnitsa and Odessa, Ukraine [2] — Stalin broadcasts call for “scorched earth” policy [11]
Jly 3Bialystok pocket in Poland is eliminated by German troops [2] — Germans cross Dvina at Jacobstadt. British in Syria take Palmyra. [11] — Minesweeping drifter HMD RECEPTIVE is mined & sunk in the Thames Estuary. 9 crew are killed. Auxiliary trawler ROSME is mined & sunk nearby. [62]
Jly 4German troops capture Ostrov in northern Russia [2] — German advance at Lepel. Surrender of Italian troops in Galla and Sidamo districts of East Africa [11]
Jly 5The RAF bombs Münster in first large-scale attack on this German city [1] — German 6th Army brakes through near Lvov, Ukraine [2] — Germans claim to have reached upper Dnieper east of Minsk [11] — In Iceland occupation force off Greenland, US destroyer Charles F. Hughes picks up 14 survivors from sunken Norwegian steamer Vigrid, including 4 US Red Cross nurses. [1] — German U-boats begin to operate in Arctic waters. [1] — Minesweeper HMS Snaefell (formerly P. & A. Campbell paddle steamer Waverley, requisitioned 1939) is sunk by German air attack off Sunderland with the loss of 3 men from her complement of 12. [137]
Jly 6Douglas Bader shoots down a German Bf 109 aircraft [2] — Nine Italian generals surrender in Ethiopia [11]
Jly 8Nazis require Jews in Baltic States to wear yellow stars. [1] — US Marines land in Iceland to relieve British troops in defense of Iceland. [1] — The B-17 Flying Fortress takes part in its first operational sortie with the RAF when No. 90 Squadron take part in an attack on the naval barracks at Wilhelmshaven, Germany. [9]
Jly 9In under three hours while under controlled flight, three Junkers Ju 88A aeroplanes crashed into coastal hills in northeast England, believed caused by British radio counter-measure ‘Meacon’ which falsified German navigational beacon signals. [8] — British cryptographers crack Enigma code for the Eastern Front. [1] — Australians take Damour, the final battle in the Lebanon campaign [1] — Germans take Vitebsk, Byelorussia. [1]
Jly 10The Finnish Army of Karelia begins an attack on both sides of Lake Ladoga heading south towards Leningrad. [1, 2, 11] — The Italian Expeditionary Corps in Russia (CSIR) arrived at the Russian border. This was a political decision that reduced the men and weapons available for other fronts. They Italians suffered more than 100K casualties (33% of the force) during their Russian campaign. [211]
Jly 11The American Federation of Musicians orders members to play the “Star-Spangled Banner” at concerts. [1] — The US establishes the Office of Coordinator of Information under William Donovan to coordinate intelligence and propaganda. This is the forerunner of the OSS and CIA. [1]
Jly 12Britain and the USSR sign a mutual assistance pact, pledging not to seek a separate peace. [1] — The German Luftwaffe bombs Moscow for the first time. [1] — In the Continuation War against the USSR, the Finnish Army of Karelia takes Kokkari & Tolvayärvi. [1] — Douglas Bader shot down a Bf 109 over Pas-de-Calais, France [2]
Jly 14The Germans reach the Luga River in the Soviet Union, threatening Leningrad. [1] — Bastille Day celebrations are banned in both Vichy and occupied France. [1] — The Vichy French in Syria and Lebanon surrender to Free French and British. The Armistice of Saint Jean d Acre is signed between France and Britain [1, 2] — Katyusha rocket launchers are used in combat for the first time in Russia [2] — Syrian armistice concluded [11]
Jly 15The first Grant (M3 Lee with British turret) tank is delivered by the Pressed Steel Company. It had a different turret than the Lee, designed to British specifications. Most notably, the commander’s cupola was gone and turret bustle extended. [22] — US extends the Atlantic Security Zone from 26˚ W to 22˚ W. This puts Iceland within the Western Hemisphere defense zone. [1] — Ocean boarding vessel HMS Lady somers (Canadian National Steamship Co SS Lady Somers, requisitioned 1940) is torpedoed by Italian submarine Morosoni and sinks in the North Atlantic east of the Azores. The Somers was acting as an Armed Cruiser for the British Admiralty. All on board are saved by nearby vessels. [61] — Double agent Juan Garcia (“Garbo”), working for Britain, sends his first fake communiqué to Berlin. [1] — Erwin Rommel is officially declared the commanding officer of Panzergruppe Afrika [2] — The Germans encircle 300,000 Soviets in the Smolensk pocket, which delays the drive on Moscow. [1] — The German Einsatzkommando 1b with the assistance of local policemen takes more than 100 Jews into the Rēzekne, Latvia town park and murderes them. [99]
Ominous signs ….. the United States of America declares defensive minefields laid in Subic Bay & Manila Bay [62]Jly 17The Germans carried out the last mass execution in the Palmiry forest. 47 people, mostly Pawiak inmates, were murdered. The Germans didn’t use Palmiry as a killing site anymore after this date. This was probably due to public awareness of what had been going on there. [55] — Less than a month into the German invasion of the Soviet Union, Hitler gave Reichsfuhrer of the SS Heinrich Himmler full responsibility for all security forces in occupied Soviet territories. Himmler used this new power to expand mass killing [214] — Alfred Rosenberg is appointed Reich Minister of the Occupied Eastern Territories. He is in charge of “Germanization” and removal of the Jews. [1] — The German Armeegruppe Sud encircles 20 Soviet Army divisions near Uman, Ukraine [2] — Heinz Guderian is awarded Oak Leaves to his Knights Cross [2] — The Russian State Committee of Defense approves a new light tank. Instead of producing the complex and expensive T-50, Soviet factories would build the T-60. A simpler design suitable for mass production at automotive factories. The T-30 was accepted into service. It is a halfway step between the T-40 and T-60. The tank was visually similar to the T-40, but had thicker armour and was no longer amphibious. [22]
Jly 18Agreement signed between Russia and the Czech government in exile [11] — The US Army Air Force opens bases in Iceland to patrol convoy routes in North Atlantic. [1] — The US Secretary of Navy Frank Knox approves a plan to build 100 destroyer escorts for Britain. [1]
Jly 19Hitler shifts the 2nd Panzer Group target from Moscow to Kiev. [2] — Germans cross the Dniester; take Novograd-Volynsk. [11] — Capt. Benjamin O. Davis Jr. & 12 Black aviation cadets begin flight training at Tuskegee Institute, AL, under white officers; Davis serves as commandant of cadets. [1] — Churchill gives a speech about BBC’s “V for Victory” campaign promoting resistance in Nazi-occupied Europe; after this, Churchill begins flashing the V for Victory. [1] — Ocean boarding vessel HMS Malvernian (ex Ellerman lines SS Malvernian) sinks in the Bay of Biscay having been bombed and heavily damaged by German aircraft on 1 July: 24 crew died, the remaining 140 abandoned ship and all survived. [137] — The Submarine HMS Umpire was accidentally rammed and sunk off Cromer: she was with a convoy but had dropped behind with engine trouble and was struck by an armed trawler escorting another convoy. 16 men escaped from the sunken submarine and 22 died. [137]
Jly 21The German Luftwaffe begins a night aerial assault on Moscow at night. [1] — The US starts a national aluminum salvage drive. [1]
The last Japanese ship departs the Panama Canal. [1]Jly 22Hitler sends an armored AA train to Mussolini as a birthday present. [2] — A contract is signed for 100 sets of armour for the Porsche Tiger tank. At this point it seemed much more promising than Henschel’s attempt at building a heavy tank. [22] — Vichy France requires Jews to register their businesses, excluding them from commerce and industry. [1] — Germans halt just south of Leningrad to rest and gain supplies; Soviets reinforce the line [1]
Vichy France allows Japan to occupy French Indochina. [1]Jly 23The Tuskegee Army Airfield is officially established in Alabama to train Black pilots. [1] — German troops capture Brest-Litovsk, Byelorussia after a month-long siege. [2] — The order is given to build 100 ZIS-30 SPGs. These are built from ZIS-2 anti-tank guns on the chassis of a Komsomolets tractor. Two other important events took place that shaped the new T-60 tank. One was the requirement to simplify production, which radically changed the look of the hull and turret to look a lot less like the T-40. [22] — Destroyer HMS Fearless is torpedoed by Italian aircraft off Bône, Algeria, while escorting a Malta convoy. 27 of her crew are killed. Immobilised and burning, she could not be saved and was scuttled by HMS Forester. [137] — Fighting at Krapivnaya village in Smolensk Oblast begins. This is one of the first significant Red Army victories in the GPW, which led to the capture and study of many German vehicles including the Pz.Kpfw.38(t). [22]
Japanese forces begin to occupy northern French Indochina with permission of Vichy France, entering Hanoi and Saigon. [1]Jly 24James Lacey gains two Bf 109 kills after his preys crashed into each other [2] — Heavy British bombing of battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau in French ports [11]
Britain and the U.S. freeze Japanese funds [11]Jly 25Germans and Soviets engage in the largest tank battle of the war so far in Ukraine. The Germans will prevail after the 4-day battle. [1, 2] — HMS ACHATES is mined & seriously damaged with heavy loss of life whilst escorting minelaying cruiser HMS ADVENTURE en route to Murmansk. [62]
In response to the Japanese occupation of French Indochina, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders the seizure of Japanese assets in the U.S. The British follow suit freezing Japanese assets there as well. Pres. Roosevelt requires approval of all sales to Japan (US supplies 80% of Japan’s oil) and closes Panama Canal to Japanese ships. [1, 116] — Gen. Douglas MacArthur is recalled to service and placed in charge of US Armed Forces Far East (US & Filipino troops). [1]Jly 263,800 Lithuanian Jews are killed during a pogrom in Kovno [2] — Italian speedboats attempt a raid on Malta. Rumanians claim to have regained old frontiers [11] — GKO decree #289ss “On the armament of the T-60 tank” is signed. The decree orders the adaptation of the 20 mm ShVAK autocannon to replace the DShK machine gun as the armament of the T-60 tank. [22] — The Białystok Ghetto is established by the Germans. Some Jews confined in the ghetto rebelled against its first attempt at liquidation in Feb. 1943. The resistance was weak but inspired many to many to put up a fight when the ghetto was finally liquidated in Aug. 1943. [55]
Douglas MacArthur is promoted to the rank of lieutenant general [2]Jly 27German troops begin crushing the Smolensk pocket in Russia [2] — Finland breaks off relations with Britain [11]
Japan freezes American assets. [1] — Japanese troops land in southern French Indochina [1]Jly 28The Soviets advance into the Smolensk pocket. [1]
The Dutch freeze Japanese assets; now Japan has lost 75% of foreign trade and 90% of its oil supply. [1]Jly 29
The US allows the owner of Tatsuta Maru to withdraw funds to purchase fuel for return to Japan [2]Jly 30The US establishes the Office of Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs to coordinate defense with Western Hemisphere nations. [1] — The US Economic Defense Board is established under Vice President Henry Wallace to coordinate international economic activities. [1]
Jly 31Antonescu accepts the German request to use Romanian troops to occupy parts of the Ukraine [2] — Nazi Germany’s Hermann Göring, on instruction by Adolf Hitler, orders Reinhard Heydrich to provide a plan for “final solution of the Jewish question.” This becomes the blueprint for the Holocaust, the eradication of Jews in Germany. [116, 139] — The Battle of Smolensk is fought on the Eastern Front between German and Soviet forces It ends in German victory. During the battle the Soviet 16th, 19th and the 20th armies were encircled and effectively destroyed. [57]
The Grumman TBF Avenger prototype makes its maiden flight. It was powered by the 1,700-hp Wright R-2600-8 Cyclone 14 engine. [2, 9] — Four months before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the U.S. imposes an oil and gasoline embargo on Japan for their atrocities in China and occupation of airfields in French Indochina. [116]Aug 1A Short Sunderland of No. 230 Squadron becomes the first RAF maritime reconnaissance aircraft to be shot down during an attack on a submarine. The Italian ‘sommergibile’ Delfino shot the Sunderland down and rescued 4 surviving crew members (out of 12). [60]
Aug 2Two Australian companies attack Italian positions near Tobruk in failure [2].— The US bans oil exports except to Britain or Western Hemisphere nations. The US Office of Production Management seizes silk supply and takes control of silk industry, restricts use of rayon, and reserves steel for government use only. [1]
The US Far East Air Force is activated in the Philippines, under Maj. Gen. Lewis Brereton. [1]Aug 4Fedor von Bock calls off an attempt to arrest Adolf Hitler. Major General Henning von Tresckow plans to arrest Hitler while he visits the Army Group’s headquarters at Borisov, Soviet Union, but he is surprised by the number of bodyguards and the plan is scrapped. [2, 116] — The US commits to send arms to the USSR under Lend-Lease. [1]
Aug 5Romanian troops arrive in the vicinity of Odessa, Ukraine [2] — In the USSR, Germans overrun Smolensk pocket as Soviet 16th and 20th Armies surrender; 300,000 Soviet POWs are taken. [1]
Aug 6The first Bell Airacobra fighter arrives in the United Kingdom [2] — Germans announce the conclusion of Smolensk battle with 310,000 prisoners [11] — Lt. Gen. Wladyslaw Anders is appointed to form a Polish army in the USSR, but the army will never be allowed to fight. [1] — US Navy PBY Catalina and PBM Mariner aircraft based in Iceland begin patrols over the North Atlantic. [1]
Aug 784 British aircraft attack Essen, Germany, dropping 5720 incendiaries [2] — The first Russian air raid on Berlin [11]
Aug 8The 6th and 12th Soviet Armies in the Uman Pocket in Ukraine are wiped out by German troops [2] — The Germans capture Wesenburg, reach the Gulf of Finland; claim destruction of 25 Russian divisions in encirclement near Uman [11] — The USSR requests 127,700 tons of armoured plate in various thicknesses from the US. Unfortunately, the armour that was received turned out to be low quality and could not be used to build tanks. [22]
Aug 9The Soviet sub ShCh-307 sinks German sub U-144 in the Baltic Sea [2] — Germans take Korosten [11]
Aug 10Anglo-Russian pledge to Turkey of respect for integrity and aid against attack. German drive toward Soltsi. [11] — Winston Churchill arrives in Newfoundland for the Atlantic Charter Conference with FDR. As Churchill prepares to board USS McDougal, he pauses to pet ‘Blackie’ of HMS Prince of Wales to prevent the cat from crossing the gangway and defecting to the U.S. Navy. [66]
Matome Ugaki is named the chief of staff of the Japanese Navy Combined Fleet [2]Aug 11
Battleship No. 1 departs Kure, Japan for trials [2] — Japanese-Canadians are required to carry registration cards with thumbprint and photo. [1]Aug 12Art from the National Gallery in London is placed in the Manod Quarry for safekeeping. [1] — Six thousand Polish troops land at besieged Tobruk, relieving Australians. [1] — A prototype for the HTZ-16 tractor-tank is ready. The HTZ-16 is equipped with 10-13 mm of armor and a 45 mm gun. The USSR is hard-pressed for armored vehicles. The Red Army needs a way to quickly make up for recent tank losses. This is one of the options for rapidly increasing production [22] — British fliers attack Cologne in the biggest daylight raid. Petain pronounces for full collaboration with Germany [11]
Aug 13Stalin releases Polish POWs taken in Sep 1939, ostensibly to form a Soviet-Polish Army [2] — The Germans reach Starave Russa [41]
Aug 14Roosevelt and Churchill sign the Atlantic Charter of war stating their postwar aims. The charter has eight points they have drawn up during their conference at sea. It defines the Allied goals for the free post-WWII world. Among other things it stated that there should be no territorial changes made against the wishes of the people and calls for self-determination. [1, 2, 11, 116, 167] — The US government offers the famous Tommy Gun to the USSR. These guns are enthusiastically received, but their service is marred by the low quality of ammunition that shipped with them. The guns were not frequently encountered on front lines. [22] — Roosevelt announces that the US will not allow German U-boats to attack British shipping in the Western Hemisphere. [1] — Nazis execute Franciscan priest Maximilian Kolbe after Kolbe volunteered to replace a condemned man; Kolbe will be canonized; the man he replaced, Franciszek Gajowniczek, survived war. [1] — The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 makes its operational debut when two from JG 26 shoot down two Spitfires. [9]
Aug 15Churchill-Roosevelt letter to Stalin suggesting conference on aid [11] — German spy Josef Jakobs is executed by firing squad in the Tower of London. Jakobs had been caught after parachuting into the UK. He had broken his ankle when he landed. He was the last person ever to be executed in the Tower of London. The chair upon which he was executed remains there. [124, 167, 232] — 30,000 Jews were sealed inside the Kovno ghetto in Lithuania. Despite the harsh & primitive ghetto conditions, Jews continued educational, religious & cultural activities. [217]
Douglas MacArthur is informed that reinforcements are coming to the Philippines [2]Aug 16Anglo-Soviet commercial treaty is signed. Germans launch a drive on Gomel. Anglo-Russian warning to Iran [11] — Stalin orders all deserters executed and their families arrested. [1] — Germans take Novgorod, Russia, and Nikolaev, Ukraine; Soviets scuttle their fleet at Nikolaev. [1] — The testing program for the M-75 107 mm gun is approved. This gun has a muzzle velocity of 1150 m/s. It was designed to fight German heavy tanks, but those tanks didn’t come in 1941 as expected [22]
Aug 17German troops captured Narva, Estonia [2] — SS Kindersley (ex-SS A.E. McKinstry) damaged by bombs from German aircraft in North Sea, off Blyth. [61] — Assembly of the first T-60 tank prototype begins at factory #37. A T-40 turret without a machine gun was installed for trials. Production tanks used a new turret with a TNSh autocannon [22] — Russians evacuate Nikolaev [11]
Aug 18Germans establish a bridgehead across the Dnieper River at Zaporizhia, Ukraine [2]
Aug 19Germans claim control of Ukraine west of Dnieper [11] — German X Corps narrowly averts being encircled near Lake Illmen [2] — Two months after invading the Soviet Union, Hitler suggests to propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels that a peace initiative from Soviet leader Joseph Stalin would be acceptable in an unusual display of doubt from the German dictator. [116] — Off Ireland, German U-boat U-201 sinks British passenger ship Aguila (153/168 killed, including 21 “Wrens”—Women’s Royal Naval Service—and one British nurse). [1] — An RAF bomber, with permission of the Luftwaffe, drops a replacement prosthetic leg at St. Omer, France, for captured RAF pilot Douglas Bader. [1]
Aug 20The Drancy internment camp for foreign Jews in France is established. It would later become the major transit camp for deportations of Jews from France to extermination camps in the East. From 1941-1944, 70,000 prisoners passed through Drancy [49] — The German Eleventh Army captures Kherson, Ukraine [2]
The Japanese 41st Infantry Regiment lands at Buna, Papua [2]Aug 21Hitler orders Leningrad to be besieged, not captured. [2] — Russians reveal withdrawal from Gomel. Germans claim Novgorod, Narva, and Kherson. The capture of Kherson on the Black Sea opens the way to the Crimea. Finns take Kaekisalmi. [1, 11] — The Allies launch Operation Dervish, Arctic Convoys to Russia. They will carry vital supplies from the UK to Soviet ports. The first of these British Arctic convoys leaves Scotland for Murmansk, USSR. The convoys faced some of the worst seafaring conditions on earth. [1, 39] — The first major violent act of resistance takes place in France. French communist Pierre Georges “Colonel Fabien” assassinates German naval cadet Alfons Moser in Métro Barbès station in Paris. [1]
Aug 22Russians evacuate Nikopol, launch counter-attack in centre [11]
Aug 23After only 5 months in commission the Flower Class Corvette, HMS ZINNIA is torpedoed and sinks with the loss of all but 17 of her crew.  She was escorting Convoy OG-71 from Liverpool to Gibraltar which had lost the SS Aquila a few days earlier [87] — Italians impose military rule on Dalmatian coast [11] — Adolf Hitler rejects Heinz Guderian’s advice to attack Moscow [2]
Aug 24Romanians suffer heavy losses during the Soviet counterattack near Odessa, Ukraine [2]
Aug 25Keesler Army Air Field is dedicated in Biloxi, MS. [1] — British, Canadian, and Norwegian commandos raid Spitzbergen, Norway, to evacuate Norwegian miners and destroy coal mines. [1] — British and Soviet troops invade Axis-leaning Iran. This was to secure a supply route to the USSR. The Royal Navy sinks or captures most Iranian naval ships. [1, 2, 11] — Hitler and Mussolini meet for five-day conference on eastern front. [11] — The chief of the Red Army’s Main Artillery Directorate reports on the successful trials of the PTRS anti-tank rifle. It could penetrate up to 50 mm of armor, making it a potent weapon against German tanks [22]
Aug 26The Nazis round up 23,600 Hungarian and Ukrainian Jews in Kamenets-Podolsk, Ukraine. Over the next few days they will become victims of the first large-scale Nazi massacre. [1] — Former (and future) Vichy French prime minister Pierre Laval is shot & wounded near Versailles by Paul Collette, a résistant acting alone. Collette is arrested, but he survives the war. [1]
Aug 27The British capture German sub U-570 after it is attacked by a British plane near Iceland. It was commissioned by the Royal Navy as HMS Graph on Oct 5, 1941, becoming the only U-boat to see active service by both sides during the war. [116] — Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammad Ali Foroughi begins peace negotiations with the UK and USSR [2] — The Germans slaughter the entire Jewish community in Kamieniec Podolski, incl. both deportees & locals. Within 2 days, a total of 23,600 Jews are massacred in this action. It was one of the 1st large-scale mass murder operations during the Holocaust. [55]
Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies resigns. He is replaced by Arthur Fadden. [1]Aug 29The only production version of the Hawker Tornado flies [9] — A Cease-fire is declared in Iran — USSR & Britain jointly occupy the country. [1] — Vichy French police arrest American Varian Fry in Marseille and expel him from the country for his work in helping almost 2000 Jews, artists & intellectuals escape to the US. [1] — Finnish troops retake Viipuri, Finland (now Vyborg, Russia) on the Karelian Isthmus from the Soviets, closing northern flank of Leningrad [1]
Aug 30Germans sever the railway link between Leningrad and the rest of the USSR. [1] — The first British Arctic convoy arrives at Arkhangelsk, Russia. [1]
Sep 2Germans reach Krasnoe Selo [11]
Sep 3The trial begins for 33 German spies in the Duquesne ring, in Brooklyn, NY. [1] — The Nazis first experimental gassings, using Zyklon B, are carried out at Auschwitz on 600 Soviet prisoners of war & about 200 Polish prisoners. [1, 126] — German and Romanian troops captured the village of Vakarzhany, Ukraine [2] — Soviets begin rounding up ethnic Germans in the USSR; by January 1942, 800,000 will be sent to Siberia. [1]
Sep 4Off Iceland, an RAF bomber signals destroyer USS Greer and bombs U-652. Greer & U-652 exchange torpedo & depth charge attacks with no damage. It’s the first attack by the Third Reich on a U.S. warship. It is also the first time for a US vessel to attack a German U-boat. FDR calls it an act of piracy and orders navy vessels to fire on any Nazi subs they encounter. [1, 4, 11] — Finnish troops capture Beloostrov, Russia. [2]
Sep 5The B-17E Flying Fortress makes its first flight [9]
Emperor Showa agrees with the proposal for war [2] — The Japanese open an offensive towards Changsha, China. [1]Sep 6The light cruiser USS Atlanta is launched at Kearny NJ, christened by Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone with the Wind. [1] — Winston Churchill visits Bletchley Park. Churchill is visiting to inspect operations at BP and he witnesses a demonstration of the Hollerith equipment in Hut 7. Hollerith machines were largely used for automated analysis of cyphertext. [59] — The Messerschmitt Bf109 F-2 of Hauptmann Rolf Pingel, a German ace with 28 victories. It is shot down by a gunner of a Stirling bomber Pingel tries to shoot down [13]
Sep 7German 6.Armee brakes through near Konotop, Ukraine [2]
Sep 8Nazi Germany’s siege of Leningrad, Russia begins. It ends on January 27, 1944 with a Soviet victory and a crushing German defeat. [2, 116] — Russians announce recapture of Yelnya in offensive on central front. Germans claim Schluesselburg. [11]
Joseph Rochefort detects new call signs in Akagi communications [2]Sep 9Battle for Convoy SC-42 begins South of Iceland. HMCShips SKEENA, KENOGAMI, ALBERNI, ORILLIA, MOOSE JAW & CHAMBLY, escort 67 merchant ships – attacked by 19 U-boats over 2 days. 16 ships sunk/1 damaged. 203 sailors killed/422 rescued. 2 U-boats sunk/1 damaged [61] — The Slovak government issues a decree on the legal status of Jews, which will lead to the deportation and murder of approximately 70,000 Slovak Jews. [103] — Iran formally submits to Allied occupation (USSR north of Tehran, UK south, Tehran shared), which aids in bringing Allied supplies to the USSR. [1] — The US Senate opens an investigation into pro-war propaganda in film and radio, launched by isolationist Sen. Burton Wheeler. It adjourns in one week after a firestorm of criticism. [1] — The British Eighth Army is established under Lt. Gen. Alan Cunningham, which will fight in North Africa. [1]
Sep 10Joining SC-42, HMCShips CHAMBLY & MOOSE JAW attack U 501 with DC’s, forcing sub to surface. MOOSE JAW rams sub & U-Boat skipper steps onto corvette’s foc’s’le. One sailor from CHAMBLY killed after boarding  sinking sub. 1st U-Boat sunk solely by RCN. [61] — HMCShips SKEENA & KENOGAMI, while escorting convoy SC-42, attack & severely damages U-85’s port engine, gyro & magnetic compass, dive planes and all lighting, forcing the U-boat from the battle and to return to France for repairs. [61] — Germans impose martial law on Oslo [11]
Sep 11Ground is broken for the Pentagon. Just prior to America’s entry into WWII the monumental task of building the Pentagon began. After the attack on Pearl Harbor construction went into overtime and the building was completed in just 16 months. [70]
Sep 12German troops report the first snowfall on the Russian front [2] — Russians announce loss of Chernigov [11]
Sep 13Russians claim repulse of Germans near Briansk [11] — Georgy Zhukov replaces Kliment Voroshilov as commander of Leningrad defenses [2]
Sep 14German Armeegruppe Mitte encircles two full Soviet Armies near Kiev, Ukraine [2] — Russians abandon Kremenchug. Axis tank thrust into Libya beaten back [11]
Sep 15The British 1st Parachute Battalion is established, Britain’s first airborne battalion. [1]
Sep 16Romanian troops capture the heights northwest of Gross-Liebenthal district of Odessa [2] — Germans claim victory south of Lake Ilmen. Shooting of 10 hostages in Paris announced [11] — In Iran, Reza Shah Pahlavi abdicates in favor of his son, Mohamed Reza Pahlavi, who is inaugurated the next day; the son is favored by the Allies. [1]
Sep 17German forces kill 1,271 Jews in Vilnius, Lithuania [2] — British and Russian troops enter Teheran. Heavy British daylight raid on Bethune area. [11] — The first operational Mosquito sortie is flown by a PR aircraft from RAF Benson. If flew over Brest, the Franco-Spanish border and Paris, flying too fast for three Bf 109s to catch. This proved its utility as a recon aircraft and far longer missions followed.
Sep 18Hitler rescinds orders to level Leningrad; new orders are to give siege [2] — Off Tripoli, British submarine Upholder sinks Italian transports Oceania and Neptunia (384/6000 Italian troops killed). [1] — In Prague, Gen. Alois Eliáš, prime minister of Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, who is with the resistance, poisons three collaborationist journalists; one dies. [1] — USSR conscripts all men ages 16-50 [1]
Sep 19German forces capture Kiev, Ukraine. They advance beyond Poltava.  [2, 11]
Sep 20The Mosquito performs its first operational sortie when a sole PR. Mk I performs reconnaissance over Brest, La Pallice and Bordeaux, France [9] — No. 137 Squadron at RAF Charmy Down is formed, they will become the second squadron to be equipped with the Westland Whirlwind [9]
Sep 21Germans claim Sea of Azov reached, Crimea cut off [11] — At Kronstadt, Russia, Luftwaffe Ju 87 Stuka bombers heavily damage Soviet battleship Marat. It was later sunk by Luftwaffe on the 23rd. They sink the Soviet destroyer Steregushiy. [1, 2]
Sep 23German Stuka dive bombers attack Soviet warships at Kronstadt [2]
Sep 24Conference of Allied governments in London accepts Atlantic charter. Russians claim defeat of German drive on Murmansk [11]
Sep 25Hitler orders Leningrad to be starved into submission [2] — Italy re-occupies demilitarized zone in Croatia [11]
sep 26The US Army establishes the Military Police Corps (MPs). [1] — Soviet troops in Kiev, Ukraine began to run out of supplies [2]
Sep 2723,000 Jews are massacred at Kamenets-Podolsk, Ukraine [2] — Gen. Charles de Gaulle, leader of the Free French, signs an alliance with the USSR. [1] — Germans claim end of encirclement battle eat of Kiev with 665,000 prisoners. Italy announces rationing of bread. [11]
Sep 28The Nazis declare a state of emergency in Bohemia and Moravia, arresting premier [11]
Oct 1King George VI grants the adjective Royal to the navy of New Zealand [2]
Oct 3Hitler speech announcing offensive [11] — German Armeeguppe Mitte captures Orel 220 miles SW of the Soviet capital in Moscow [2]
Oct 4The German troops advance in an attempt to surround Vyasma, Russia [2]
Oct 5Leading German formations reported that they are only about 100 km from Moscow [2]
Oct 6Eight Soviet Armies encircle Bryansk and Vyazma, Russia [2]
Carrier Shokaku arrives at Kure, Japan [2]Oct 8
Oct 9The USSR agrees to purchase 94 Light Tanks M3 from the US. These tanks had good firepower and a high speed, but were very difficult to use in mud and snow due to their smooth rubber tracks [22]
Oct 10General Zhukov takes command of a new Soviet Western Front [2] — Germans claim break-through on 300-mile front before Moscow [11]
Oct 12German 250th Inf Div (Spanish volunteers) is deployed on the River Volkhov at Leningrad [2]
Oct 14All surviving Soviet troops in the Bryansk pocket in Russia are captured [2] — Germans reach Mozhaisk. [11]
Oct 15Rumanians announce capture of Odessa [2, 11]
Japanese Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe submitts his letter of resignation; he is succeeded by General Tojo [2, 11]Oct 16
Oct 17While escorting Convoy SC-48, HMCS PICTOU attacks U-568. U-boat attempts to escape on the surface, PICTOU evades a torpedo fired from U-boat, returning fire with forward gun, drops depth charges when sub dives. U-568 losses contact with the convoy. [61] — USS Kearny, a United States Navy destroyer is torpedoed by a German U-boat, before US entered WW2. It had gone to aid of attacked British convoy near Iceland. Crew confined flooding to forward fire room. 276 crew, 11 killed, 22 injured. Survived attack & served in rest of war. [4, 11, 120] — SS Reich and 10th Panzer Divs make slow advances along Moscow and Minsk Highways [2]
Hideki Tojo is named 40th Prime Minister of Japan [2]Oct 18The German SS Reich and 10th Panzer Divisions capture Mozhaysk, Russia [2] — Red Army reinforcements arrive in Moscow, Russia from Siberia as Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin is assured that the Japanese will not attack the Soviet Union from the East [116]
Oct 19German troops defeat the Soviet forces within the Vyazma pocket in Russia [2]
Oct 21Germans capture Stalino [11] — Australian 9th Division troops continue to be withdrawn out of Tobruk [2]
Oct 22German 4th Panzer Division resumes the attack on Mtsensk, Russia [2]
Oct 23Georgy K. Zhukov, chief of the Soviet general staff, takes command of Red Army during World War II with the Germans just miles from Moscow. He is considered one of the top generals of World War II [116] — 3rd Panzer Division of the German Panzergruppe 2 outflanks Soviet troops at Mtensk [2]
Oct 24The German 4th Panzer Division reaches the Chern near Moscow [2]
Oct 25Brigadier Lawson and his Canadian brigade depart Vancouver to reinforce Hong Kong [2]
Oct 28The Soviet Military Collegium evacuate Moscow for Chakalov [2]
Oct 31The American destroyer USS Reuben James is torpedoed by the German submarine U-552 off the coast of Iceland. It had been escorting convoy HX-156. 115 of 160 men lost their lives.  The attack comes five weeks before the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor. [4, 11, 116] — German dive bombers attack Sevastopol harbor, fail to sink Soviet destroyer Bodry [2]
The Japanese Fleet receives Top-Secret Order No. 1, ordering the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Mayala, the Dutch East Indies, and the Philippines, which would bring the United States into World War II. U.S. Amb. to Japan Joseph Grew sends a report to the State Department warning against the theory that the weakening of Japan from U.S. sanctions, etc would result in it’s collapse. Just more than a month later Japan attacks Pearl Harbor. [116]Nov 3
Nov 4German 170th Division captures Feodosiya, Ukraine [2]
U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull learns of Japanese decision to go to war [2] — Announcement of Kurusu mission to Washington [11]Nov 5
Nov 6Frostbite begins to make its appearance among German troops fighting in USSR [2]
Nov 8Germans capture Tikhvin [11]
Nov 9British destroy two Italian convoys in Mediterranean [11] — Soviet Independent Coastal Army reinforces Sevastopo [2]
Nov 11I-68 joined the Advance Expeditionary Force for the Pearl Harbor attack [2]
Nov 12Frozen mud of cold Russian winter gives German tanks a chance to strike at Moscow [2] — Finland rejects American request for cessation of hostilities with Russia [11]
Nov 13Russian troops attack the Germans at Tikhvin, Russia [2] — Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal is torpedoed by U-81. Only one of 1,488 crew killed.  Commissioned in 1938, several design flaws contributed to the loss, which were rectified in new British carriers. [120] — Congress amends Neutrality Act to permit arming of merchant ships and their entry into war zones [11]
Nov 14Carrier HMS Ark Royal sinks off Gibraltar [2, 11]
Nov 15German troops resume the attack on Moscow, Russia [2] —
Japanese submarines depart Japan for the attack on the U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor, #Hawaii [116] — Battleship Settsu begins transmitting large quantities of fake radio messages [2] — ‘C’ Force arrives in Hong Kong. The Canadian reinforcement was sent to the British colony to deter further Japanese aggression in East Asia [31]Nov 16Germans renew drive against Moscow, capture Kerch [11]
U.S. Ambassador to Japan Joseph Grew sends word to Washington that Japan plans to launch an attack against Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, but his cable is basically ignored.  [116]Nov 17German troops near Moscow encounter Central Asian troops for the first time [2] — Eighth Army crosses the ‘Wire’ that marked the border between Egypt and Libya. It was the largest tank force the British Empire had ever assembled [130] — The SAS conducts its first ever operation. It was a complete failure, but a willingness to go back to the drawing board, support from command and doing things differently helped create a legend. [130]
The Australian light cruiser HMAS Sydney and the German auxiliary cruiser Kormoran engage each other off the coast of Western Australia. The 30 minute action results in the Sydney being sunk and the Kormoran scuttled. 727 are killed. [57]Nov 19
Nov 20German troops capture Rostov, Russia [2]
US Navy detect the arrival of Japanese submarines in the Marshall Islands [2]Nov 21German break-through at Volokolamsk [11]
Nov 22Thick ice on Lake Ladoga allow supply truck traffic in and out of Leningrad[2] — Swiss intelligence reported that a Swedish figure had expressed the opinion that Germany can no longer win the war. German officers serving on the Russian front tell the Swedes the same thing. [116] — German auxiliary cruiser Atlantis is sunk in the South Atlantic by heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire after having sunk 22 Allied merchant ships. [1] — Convoy PQ-3 arrives in the USSR carrying 50 Valentine tanks, but more importantly spare parts for the ones that already arrived. Supplies of ammunition and spare parts limited the usefulness of imported tanks at first [22] — Luftwaffe ace Werner Mölders is killed in a landing accident while a passenger on a German He 111 bomber, the first pilot in the world to achieve over 100 victories. [1]
Nov 23Axis troops outflank British forces south of Sidi Rezegh, Libya [2] — The United States and the Dutch government in exile agree to allow the U.S. to occupy Suriname to protect the bauxite mines from Germany during World War II. [116] — Luftwaffe pilots Heinz Schnabel and Harry Wappler escape from their POW camp near Carlisle. Next day, they stole a Magister trainer from RAF Kingsdown; unfortunately, the fuel tanks were half full and they landed in Norfolk. They were later sent to Canada! [162]
Nov 24Heydrich establishes Theresienstadt as a “model camp”. For 3 and a half years, Theresienstadt served as a transit & ghetto labour camp. It was was cynically described in Nazi propaganda as a “spa town” where elderly German Jews could “retire” in safety. [126] — HMS Barham is hit by 3 torpedoes from U-331. They detonated simultaneously and the ship immediately begins to capsize before exploding, with the loss of 862 crewmen. The Germans didn’t immediately realise this and Barham’s loss was only announced in Jan 42. [162]
Nov 25Indian 7th Brgd. repulses an attack by German 5th Panzer Regiment at Sidi Omar, Libya [2[ — Battleship HMS BARHAM struck by 3 torpedos from U-331 in the Mediterranean. She capsizes to port & sinks within 4 mins after a massive explosion. 862 men were killed from a ships company of over 1200. [13, 87]
US Consulate Warns Americans to Get Out of JapanNov 26Soviet troops re-open the Tula-Moscow rail line in Russia [2]
Washington issues a “war warning” to U.S. forces at Pearl Harbor. It advises commanders to prepare for a Japanese surprise attack somewhere in the Pacific.Nov 27Siege of Tobruk ends. The German SS Reich Division captures Istra west of Moscow, Russia [2]
Dec 2Motorcycle scouts of 2nd Panzer Div claimed to have reached Khimki, 10 miles NW of Kremlin [2]
Dec 3The German 4th Army is halted at Naro-Fominsk west of Moscow, Russia [2]
Japanese submarines receive Pearl Harbor attack plans [2]Dec 4
Japan attacks Perl Harbor.Japan declares war on both the US and the UKDec 7
The US and the UK declare war on JapanDec 8German troops begin to fall back away from Moscow [2] — The first group of Jews were deported & murdered in mobile gas chambers in  Kulmhof (Chełmno). The first German extermination camp began its operation.
Japanese and British troops clash at the airfield at Kota Bharu, British Malaya [2] — American B-17s from the 19th Bombardment Group on the Philippines strike Japanese ships off Luzon. The two countries have been at war for less than 48 hours. [4] — Japanese aircraft bomb Nichols Field on Luzon. In two days of raids, the Far East Air Force (FEAF) aircraft strength is reduced by half and Philippines air superiority is lost. [37]Dec 9Russians retake Tikhvin and Elets [11]
HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse, which had been sent to protect Singapore, are destroyed by overwhelming Japanese air power Japanese take Khota Baru in Malaya, gain foothold on Luzon and Guam. [2, 11]Dec 10The siege of Tobruk, Libya is lifted [2]
SS Colborne (Canadian National Steamships) is damaged by bombs from Japanese aircraft off Penang, Malaysia [61] — Japanese troops land at Legaspi, Luzon, Philippine Islands [2] — American fliers sink Japanese battleship Haruna [11] — A furious assault by the Japanese forces invading Hong Kong breaches the “Gin Drinker’s Line” of defences & forts, which the British hoped to hold for months. The Gin-Drinker’s Line, 18km of bunkers, trenches & artillery posts built to be guarded by 30,000 men, has less than 10,000 defenders- mostly new recruits [16]Dec 11The US Office of Price Administration begins restricing car tire sales [5] — Germany and Italy declare war on the US.The US declares war on both Germany and Italy.
Japanese 5th Division attacks Jitra, British Malaya [2]Dec 12
All British troops withdraw from Kowloon onto Hong Kong islandDec 13Soviet troops attack near Moscow, forcing the Germans to fall back [2]
British authorities at Hong Kong refuse the Japanese demand for surrender [2]Dec 14
Stocks of rubber are destroyed in Malaya to prevent Japanese capture [2]Dec 15
Japanese troops land on British Borneo [2]De 16
British and Indian troops form a line 65 miles south of Penang, Malaya [2]Dec 17
Japanese troops land on Hong Kong Island. “C” Company of the Royal Rifles of Canada faced the Japanese soon after they landed. They caused heavy Japanese casualties while suffering heavily themselves [31] — Japanese troops behead two POWs in Hong Kong, force nurses to witness[2] — 1st and 2nd Squadrons of Flying Tigers are transferred to Kunming, China [2]Dec 18U. S. President Roosevelt creates the Roberts Commissions led by SCOTUS Owen J. Roberts to investigate the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. [37]
Japanese troops capture Penang, Malaya [2] — Del Monte Airfield the secret base on Mindanao in the Philippines is attacked by Japanese Zeros that destroy parked B-17 Flying Fortresses and B-18 Bolos. Overnight, the remainder will evacuate to Darwin [37]Dec 19Italian frogmen sink the Queen Elizabeth and Valiant with limpet mines [2] — As the German offensive against Moscow flounders during World War II, German dictator Adolf Hitler takes complete command of the German Wehrmacht. [116]
British, Canadian & Indian troops in Hong Kong launch a furious counterattack on the Japanese beachhead, but fail to push the invaders off the island [16, 20] — First combat of the American Volunteer Group, better known as the “Flying Tigers”, when P-40s of the 1st and 2nd Squadrons intercepted ten unescorted Kawasaki Ki-48 “Lily” bombers of the 21st Hikotai who were raiding Kunming. [8] — U. S. aircraft and personnel begin withdrawing from Clark Field, the largest American overseas airbase in the world. The last aircraft fly south while ground personnel will become infantry. [37] — Douglas MacArthur is promoted to the rank of general [2]Dec 20Soviet troops attack west from Tula, Russia [2]
Exiled Filipino Revolutionary General Artemio Ricarte is flown to Aparri to aid the Japanese occupation of the Philippines and resumed fighting against the United States. [37]Dec 21Allied troops pursue retreating Axis units toward Beda Fomm, Libya [2] — Hitler announces that he has assumed supreme command of the Army in place of Brauchitsch [11]
The Japanese 55th Div, in Bangkok, prepare to cross into Burma [2]Dec 22First flight of the Fairey Firefly, British carrier-borne fighter and anti-submarine aeroplane [8]
American troops begin withdrawing toward Bataan Peninsula in Philippines [2] — Maizuru Second Special Naval Landing Force lands on Wake Atoll [2] — After gallantly holding out for 15 days, a small force of U.S. Marines on Wake Island surrender to the Japanese. U.S. forces never tried to retake the island and it remained in Japanese hands until the end of World War II [116]Dec 23First flight of the Douglas C-47 Skytrain (or Dakota). American military transport aircraft developed from the Douglas DC-3 airliner. [8, 9]
Japanese slaughtered soldiers, docs, nurses at St Stephen hospital in Hong Kong [2]Dec 24During World War II, the Free French under Charles de Gaulle liberate Saint Pierre and Miquelon from Vichy France. Salt Pierre and Miquelon are islands near Fortune Bay in Newfoundland, Canada [116]
Hong Kong falls to the Japanese invading forces. The RAF station at Hong Kong, RAF Kai Tak had only a handful biplanes: Supermarine Walrus seaplanes and Vickers Vildebeest bombers. After these were lost, RAF personnel served on as ground troops. [60] — Japanese troops land at Jolo, Philippines [2] — Submarine USS Sealion (SS-195) is scuttled at Cavite due to extensive damaged from two Japanese bombs on December 8 and becomes the first U. S. sub loss of World War II. [37] — Japanese troops capture the British airfield near Kuching, Sarawak [2]Dec 25
Anglo-Indian and Japanese troops clash at Chemor, Malaya [2]Dec 26Stalin orders that the armour of T-34 tanks must be increased. 15 mm thick applique plates would be added to the 45 mm basic plate at first before manufacturing transitioned to 60 mm monolithic plates. [22]
Chinese troops ambushed Japanese attackers at Changsha, China [2] — B-17E Flying Fortress 41-2402 patrolling off Hawaii becomes lost and ditches roughly 40 miles south of Kauai Island. The crew float in life rafts for three days until spotted and rescued [37]Dec 27Several British Commando units plus Norwegian Independent Company 1 conducted Operation Archery, also known as the Måløy Raid. The operation was actually a diversionary raid for Operation Anklet which was conducted at the same time. [124]
The Japanese 16th Division captures Luisiana, Philippines [2]Dec 28
Dec 29The Soviet 44th Army lands at Feodosiya to reinforce Sevastopol [2]
The Japanese Lingayen Force captures Tarlac, Philippines [2]Dec 30German troops retreat from Kerch, Russia [2]
USS Gato SS-212 is commissioned in the U. S. Navy as the lead ship of the Gato class submarine and will have a distinguished career including 13 war patrols in the Pacific [37] — Japanese Lingayen Force captures Sibul Springs, Philippines [2] — Adm. Chester W. Nimitz assumes command of US Pacific Fleet for duration of WWII [107]Dec 31
Japanese troops continue the assault on Kampar, British Malaya [2] — USS Nautilus conducts an unusual mission by rescuing a group of refugees in the Solomons that included nuns in white habits who had evaded the Japanese for nine months. The four “Submarine Sisters” of St. Joseph of Orange returned to the Solomons after the war. [66]Jan 1The US War Production Board orders a temporary end on civilian auto sales [5] — Enemy aliens traveling in the US must get prior approval [5] — Kittyhawk fighters see combat in North Africa for the first time [2]
Japanese troops capture the open city of Manila, Philippines [2] — Japanese and Indian troops clash at Kampar Hill, Malaya [2]Jan 2
US-Filipino troops fall back to the Guagua-Porac defensive line in the Philippines [2] — 51 Hawker Hurricane fighters arrive in Singapore with the advance parties of Nos. 17, 135, 136 and 232 Squadrons. They are immediately put to the test against the Japanese invaders. [60]Jan 3
Japanese aircraft bomb Dutch positions on Ambon, Dutch East Indies for the first time [2] — Japanese flying boats bomb Vunakanau Airfield near Rabaul on New Britain.  [37]Jan 6
Japanese troops capture the bridges over Slim River in Malaya [2] — Japanese make probing attacks at opening of the Bataan peninsula in the Philippines [2] — Japanese Navy A6M2 Zeros from the Tainan Kokutai (Tainan Air Group) arrive at Zettle Airfield at Jolo, Sulu Islands in the southern Philippines. [37]Jan 7German Army Chief of Staff Franz Halder notes in his diary that Colonel Hermann Ochsner is trying to talk him into using poison gas against the Soviets on the Eastern Front. These suggestions were rejected by the German high command. [116]
Japanese troops penetrate the outer lines of defense at Kuala Lumpur, Malaya [2]Jan 8
The main offensive against the Bataan Peninsula in the Philippines begains [2] — Japanese troops begin to fall back from Changsha, China [2]Jan 9The Soviet 3rd and 4th Shock Armies attack German defenses south of Demyansk, Russia [2]
Douglas MacArthur travels from Corregidor to Bataan to visit the front lines [2]Jan 10The Soviet 29th Army attacks north of Rhzev, Russia [2]
Dutch troops destroy 700 oil wells at Tarakan to avoid Japanese capture [2] — Japan declares war on the Netherlands to coincide with landings in the Netherlands East Indies (NEI) including Borneo, Celebes (Sulawesi) and Tarakan Island to seize oil drilling facilities and refineries. [37]Jan 11
Japanese troops execute Dutch POWs at Tarakan for their sabotage of oil wells [2]Jan 12The South African 1st Division captures Sollum, Egypt. British merchant ship SSRCN Cyclops is torpedoed by U-123 SE of Cape Sable, 88 killed. HMCS RED DEER rescues 93 survivors. This is 1st U-boat attack in new German offensive operations off Canadian/US Atlantic Coast & in the St. Lawrence. [61] — The decision is made by the Inter-Allied Conference in London to try Axis officials with war crimes at the end of World War II. [116] — The Germans liquidate the Gypsy camp in the Litzmannstadt Ghetto, deporting 4,300 people, men, women and children to the German death camp Kulmhof where they are all murdered. Kulmhof was mostly the centre of the liquidation of Jews from Wartheland. [55] — Charles Lindbergh is refused service in the U. S. military due to his prewar isolationist views. Instead, Henry Ford hires him as a consultant and in 1944 he will fly combat missions in the Pacific. [37]
Hawker Hurricanes arrive in Singapore in their crates and are rapidly assembled to aid the defence. They have an immediate effect: 27 Japanese bombers flew unescorted over Singapore and the Hurricanes shot down 8 of them. [60] — Japanese Naval General Staff explore possibility of submarine carriers [2]Jan 13Soviet 11th Army and German 18th Motorized Div clash at Staraya Russa, Russia [2]
Japanese forces advance into Burma [2] — Japanese troops cross the Kelamah River into Australian ambush. [2]Jan 14The Sikorsky XR-4 helicopter made its first test flight in Stratford, Connecticut. It would become the first helicopter to be used by the Allied forces in World War II. [128] — First ship is sunk by German submarines off United States east coast [11]
The Japanese 4th and 5th Imperial Guard Rgmts engage Indian troops at Muar River, Malaya [2] — Chinese troops repulse the Japanese attack on Changsha, Hunan Province, China [2] — Pan-American conference opens at Rio de Janeiro. Japanese launch invasion of Burma, claim Tampin and Gemas in Malaya. [11]Jan 15
British and Japanese troops engage in the first major clash in Burma [2] — Lost and out of fuel, TBD-1 Devastator 0335 piloted by Harold F. Dixon ditches into the Pacific Ocean the crew floats in their life raft for 34 days before reaching an Island and are later rescued. [37]Jan 16Nazi German authorities begin to deport Jewish people from Lodz ghetto to the Chełmno extermination camp. It is estimated that at least 167,000 Jewish people and approximately 4,300 Roma were murdered at Chełmno between December 1941 and March 1943 and June–July 1944 [49, 118, 126]
The Indian 45th Brigade withdraws from Bukit Bakri, British Malaya [2] — Japanese cross Muar River in Malaya, claim landings in Subic Bay in Luzon [11]Jan 175,000 Axis troops surrender to the South African 6th Infantry Brigade in Egypt [2]
The Dutch begin to destroy oil facilities at Balikpapan, Dutch Borneo [2]Jan 18The German 11.Armee captures Feodosiya in the Crimea region of Russia [2] — HMCS LYNX rescues crew of SS Empire Kingfisher, badly holed after grounding off Cape Sable, ship moved to Bantam Rocks. Later U-109 finds the anchored merchant ship & fires 5 torpedoes -all miss. Freighter sinks next day from damage from grounding [61]
The Indian and Australian retreat from Bakri, Malaya is cut off by the Japanese [2]Jan 20
Japanese troops penetrate the west side of the Abucay-Mauban defensive line [2]Jan 21
Japanese troops land on New Ireland and capture Kavieng [2]Jan 22
The Japanese Sasebo Combined Special Naval Landing Force sets sail for Kendari, Celebes [2]Jan 23The Soviet 3rd Shock Army surrounds 5,500 German troops at Kholm, Russia [2]
Japanese aircraft attack Rangoon, Burma for the second day in a row [2] — Four Japanese transports are sunk at the Battle of Makassar Strait [2]Jan 24
Japanese troops capture Batu Pahat, British Malaya [2 — ]US-Filipino troops continue to withdraw from the Abucay-Mauban line on Bataan [2] — Following Allied air raids on Bangkok, Thailand, whose prime minister was pro-Japanese, declares war on Great Britain and the United States. Britain in turn declares war on Thailand while the U.S. simply ignores the Thai declaration. Originally, when the war first started, Thailand had declared its neutrality. [57, 116]Jan 25
Jan 26The first American soldiers deployed to Europe land in Belfast, Co. Antrim Northern Ireland
Japanese troops capture the Singkawang II airfield on Dutch Borneo [2] — Destroyer HMS Thanet is sunk off SE Malaya after attacking a Japanese troop convoy escort of superior force in company with destroyer HMAS Vampire. The latter survived the engagement but Thanet was immobilised and sunk, with 38 confirmed dead. [137]Jan 27Rommel directs his main force toward Benghazi, Libya [2] — Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King announces that Canadian Sterling balances, totaling $700 million from war supplies, held in the United Kingdom would be converted into an interest-free loan to Britain for the duration of the war. [31] — Winter mobility trials of foreign vehicles are held in the USSR. The Valentine takes 14 minutes to cross a series of packed snow obstacles, still faster then the Pz.Kpfw.III or Matilda tanks. [22]
US and Filipino troops wipe out the Japanese beachhead at Longoskawayan Point [2] — The US transport GENERAL ROYAL T FRANK, towing an ammunition barge from Kahului to Hilo…off Maui when torpedoed by the Japanese submarine I-171. The Frank explodes and sinks in less than 30 seconds with the loss of 29 [142]Jan 28Indian troops destroy port facilities at Benghazi as the Germans approach [2]
British colonial administrators flee British Malaya for Singapore [2]The Japanese land at Pemangkat in west Borneo [11]Jan 29
British troops in the southern tip of Malaya complete the withdrawal into Singapore [2] — 400 Japanese troops land at Adang Bay, Borneo [2]Jan 30Hunger is driving many Leningraders to cannibalism: in the last 10 days alone, NKVD have discovered 42 corpses with thighs & breasts hacked off for meat. [28]
The Japanese 55th Infantry Division captures Moulmein, Burma [2] — Allied forces retreat from Malaya to Singapore then Allied military engineers blow a 70 foot gap in the causeway linking Johore to Singapore – Japanese forces are now just 15 miles away from the city [20. 28, 57]Jan 31Civilian auto production in the US halted. Manufacturing capacity begins to be repurposed for defense production. [5]
PT boats and P-40 aircraft repulse Japanese attempt to land on Bataan. Aircraft from the carriers USS Yorktown and USS Enterprise mount raids on Japanese forces near the Marshall and Gilbert Islands. The action represents America’s first sizeable offensive operation of WW2. It’s been just 56 days since Pearl Harbor. [4]Feb 1
Japanese aircraft drive Allied warships away from Singapore [2]Feb 2The Soviet 3rd Shock Army attacks German troops trapped in Kholm, Russia [2]
Burmese and Indian troops withdraw from Martaban, Burma toward the Bilin River [2] — Port Moresby, New Guinea is bombed by the Japanese, increasing the threat to Australia posed by Japan [11] — The first air raid on naval base of Soerabaya in Java. Bataan defenders beat off Japanese attempt at night landing by sea [11]Feb 3German forces counterattack toward Vyazma, encircling several Soviet divisions [2]
British authorities in Singapore turn down a Japanese demand for surrender [2]Feb 4BOA75 -M/V Montrolite, (Imperial Oil Ltd, Toronto) torpedoed by U-109, mid-Atlantic, NE of Bermuda. 28 merchant sailors are killed, 20 rescued [61]
The carrier Hosho launches sorties against Chinese positions in Shanghai [2] — Japanese troops make a feint towards the Pulau Ubin island to the east of Singapore [2]Feb 5
Japanese aircraft attack Palembang, Sumatra, Dutch East IndiesFeb 7
Japanese Sasebo Combined Special Naval Landing Force lands at Makassar, Celebes [2]Feb 8Soviet troops encircle 90,000 Germans at Demyansk, Russia [2]
The battle of Singapore beginsJapanese troops capture Tengah airfield at Singapore [2]Feb 9Soviet troops encircle 90,000 Germans at Demyansk, Russia
The RAF withdraws the small number of aircraft from Singapore to prevent Japanese capture [2]Feb 10Soap is now rationed in Britain, to save valuable fats & shipping space; 4 ounces of soap can be bought per person per week for washing clothes & bodies. [28] — British families are rationed to 5 inches of bath water, once a week, to save fuel; Britons joke they now “stink for victory”. [28]
The Japanese 5th Div attacks Allied troops at Bukit Timah Hill in Singapore [2]Feb 11
Japanese attack the Australian mainland, Darwin, for the first timeFeb 12British aircraft unexpectedly find a German fleet sailing through English Channel [2]
Japanese troops capture Bandjarmasin, the capital of Dutch Borneo [2]Feb 13
Japanese soldiers enter the Alexandra Hospital. A massacre of wounded Allied soldiers, nurses and doctors follows; those who survive do so by playing dead. HMS LI WO, a requisitioned Yangtze river steamer, manned by Merchant Navy officers given “acting” ranks in the RNR, is shelled and sunk 30 miles South of Banka. HMS Li Wo had attacked a Japanese convoy in the Bangka Strait, sinking one transport and damaging others before being sunk by shells from a Japanese light cruiser and two destroyers. 77 of her crew died and 7 were taken prisoner. The “Master” Thomas Wilkinson was awarded the Victoria Cross [137, 142] — River gunboats HMS Grasshopper and HMS Dragonfly are sunk by Japanese aircraft in the Bangka Strait off eastern Sumatra while carrying evacuees from Singapore. 42 crew died in Grasshopper, 48 in Dragonfly, with an unconfirmed number of evacuees [137] — Adnan bin Saidi is tied to a tree and bayoneted to death by the Japanese [2]Feb 14First flight of the Douglas C-54 (DC-4 for the civilian version), 4-engine propeller-driven airliner used by the US in WWII and beyond. The Polish Home Army, the largest organised underground resistance movement in occupied Europe during WW2, was formed. It had grown from initial 100,000 members to more than 380,000 by 1944, and answered to the Polish Government-in-Exile. [23] — Ill-fated Royal Navy submarine HMS P.38 attacks a north-bound convoy off Tunisia. She hit SS Ariosto with two torpedoes. Amongst crew and guards, 138 Empire POWs die in the attack. [130]
Singapore surrenders to Japan. Japanese troops penetrate Indian defensive lines north of Rangoon [2]Feb 15
The Sook Ching Massacre begins; thousands of ethnic Chinese Singaporeans will die [2]Feb 16
Japanese troops cross the Bilin River north of Rangoon, Burma [2] — Nobuo Fujita flies a reconnaissance mission over Sydney harbor [2]Feb 17
Feb 18Omar Bradley is promoted to the temporary rank of major general [2]
Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066, allowing internment of Japanese, Italian and German Americans. The directive calls for the immediate rounding up and internment of 110,000 Americans of Japanese descent.The order was signed 10 weeks after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  [2, 4, 116] — Japanese carrier aircraft from Hiryu, Kaga and Akagi strike Darwin in the Northern Territory of Australia. The Japanese sink ships, destroy aircraft and damage installations [2, 37] — Japanese troops land at Denpasar, Bali. [2]Feb 19Heinrich Himmler issues a decree regarding the transport of Polish children qualified for Germanization from to German educational institutions. 200,000 Polish children were subjected to Germanization programmes during WW2. Only 30,000 were recovered [55]
Japanese troops overrun Portuguese defenders at Dili [2] — Lieutenant Commander Edward O’Hare becomes the Navy’s first ace in WWII when he shoots down 5 Japanese bombers (some accounts say 3) that were approaching the USS Lexington. O’Hare airport in Chicago is named after him. [116]Feb 20
German spy Bernard Kuehn is arrested in Hawaii [2]Feb 21
Roosevelt personally orders General MacArthur to leave the Philippines [2]Feb 22The British 11th and 12th African Divisions wipe out Italian positions at Jilib, Somaliland
Sittang railway bridge in Burma is blown up to prevent its capture by the Japanese [2]Feb 23
Feb 25The Soviets began trials for a new submachine gun to succeed PPSh-41 [2]
US FBI agents begin to relocate Japanese-American civilians in Los AngelesFeb 26
US authorities round up 112,000 Japanese-Americans for internmentMar 1
Japanese troops force the Indian 17th Infantry Division out of Payagyi, Burma [2] — Nine A6M2 Zeros from 3rd Kokutai strike Broome in Western Australia and destroying 24 aircraft including flying boats in Roebuck Bay and planes at Broome Airfield. The air raid is the second worst for Australia. [37]Mar 3U587 fires 3 torpedoes into cliff at the harbour entrance to St. John’s NF, in a failed attempt to cause the cliff to collapse & block the harbour. Fortunately for the ships in harbour, the solid granite rock was unaffected by the explosions. [61] — The British Avro Lancaster performs its first operational sortie when No. 44 Squadron use the type for mine laying duties in the Heligoland Bight. [9]
Second attack on Perl Harbor. At 2:10am Japanese Navy Kawanishi Type 2 Flying Boat / H8K2 Emily drops four 250kg bombs on Mount Tantalus on Oahu, Hawaii without damage aside from breaking trees and blowing out windows. [37] — Japanese troops envelop Chinese troops at Toungoo, Burma [2] — Dutch troops are evacuated from Batavia and Leuwiliang, Java [2]Mar 4
Anglo-Indian and Japanese troops clash at various roadblocks near Rangoon, Burma [2] — The U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) 8th Pursuit Group (Interceptor) arrives at Brisbane in Queensland, Australia equipped with Bell P-39 Airacobras. [37]Mar 6
Japanese troops reach Tjilatjap, Java, Dutch East Indies [2]Mar 7
Chinese troops arrive at Taungoo, Burma to assist the British defense [2] — Japanese forces capture Djogjakarta Airfield (Yogyakarta) on Java including B-17E Flying Fortress 41-2471 later repaired and test flown by Giken, Japanese Army Aviation Technical Research Institute. [37] — The first batch of Kittyhawks are transferred to Royal Australian Air Force. [2]Mar 8
Japanese troops enter undefended Rangoon, Burma [2]Mar 9An order is given to cease production of the T-60 and replace it with the T-70. These light tanks would go on to become the second most numerous tank in the Red Army. [22]
MacArthur once again receives orders to evacuate Philippines [2]Mar 10SS Lady Nelson (Canadian National Steamships) is  torpedoed & sunk while alongside at St. Lucia by U-161, killing 18 passengers and crew. She was later re-floated & converted to Canadian Hospital Ship HMCHS LADY NELSON. [61]
Japanese troops land on Mindanao, Philippines [2] — A request from the British government that Canadian troops garrison was formally rejected by Canada. This decision was made by the Cabinet War Committee. The role that the fall of Hong Kong played in this decision is still debated. [31]Mar 11
Mar 14SS Sarniadoc (Patterson Steamships Ltd, Port Arthur) is  torpedoed by U-161, central Caribbean, 160 miles west of Dominica.  The Great Lakes ship was pressed into war service and carried a crew of 21, there were no survivors. [61]
MacArthur departs Philippines by B-17 bomber for Australia [2]Mar 15
Announcement that American troops have arrived in Australia [11]Mar 16Belzec Concentration Camp is established in occupied Poland [2]
Three Japanese destroyers depth charge the USS Permit in Tayabas Bay in the Philippines [2]Mar 17
Chinese ambush 200 Japanese reconnaissance troops near Pyu in Battle of Tachiao [2]Mar 18
Mar 19In Occupied Warsaw, the Small Sabotage Organization “Wawer” paint over about 250 signs with German street names and disseminated 40,000 leaflets with the text of the New Year’s speech of the President of Poland Władysław Raczkiewicz. [55]
First flight of the Mitsubishi J2M Raiden ‘Jack’, single-engine land-based fighter aircraft used by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service in WWII [2] — General Douglas MacArthur gives remarks to reporters that conclude with “I shall return” at Terowie Railway Station in South Australia. The phrase becomes his rally and promise to the Philippines. [2, 37]Mar 20Destroyer HMS Heythrop is torpedoed and sunk off Libya by German submarine U-652, with no loss of life. She was abandoned (and all crew taken off by HMS Eridge) when her pumps were overwhelmed, and sank a few hours later.  [137]
MacArthur discovers there is no army waiting for him to take back the Philippines [2]Mar 21
American and British airmen abandon the airfield in Magwe in Burma [2]Mar 22Mass exterminations of Jews using Zyklon B gas begins at Auschwitz [2]
Japanese 18th Infantry Division lands at Port Blair, Andaman Islands [2] — US Navy intelligence in the Philippines cautiously links Japanese code AF to Midway [2]Mar 23
Japanese troops assault Taungoo, Burma [2]Mar 25
Chinese and Japanese troops engage in house-to-house fighting in Taungoo, Burma [2] — The Japanese First Air Fleet departed from Celebes for the Indian Ocean [2]Mar 26Jewish homes in Germany are required to be identified as such. [116]
Japanese aircraft and artillery bombard Chinese positions at Taungoo, Burma [2] — 139 members of Amur River Society are arrested in California. The group is an ultra-nationalist group promoting Japan’s conquest of east Asia. Pro-Imperial Japanese flew Black Dragon flags in the Manzanar Internment Camp. [116] — G4M1 Betty commander PO1c Takeshi Fujii on a mission to bomb Port Moresby is damaged by P-40E Kittyawk pilot John Piper and crashed inland from Rigo. The crash site found several days later and remains in situ todoay. [37]Mar 27
Major General Roelof Overakker surrendered at Blangkedjeren, Sumatra [2]Mar 28600 British commandos, part of a combined force, knock out the dry dock facility at St Nazaire, France during Operation Chariot. The dock was the largest in Europe and the only one where the largest German battleship, the Tirpitz, could be repaired. The dry dock was destroyed after HMS Campbeltown exploded following an assault on the port. The ship had been packed with delayed-action explosives. The attack also permanently disables the Louis Joubert Lock. A third of the attacking force is captured or killed, but the mission is a success. [4, 90, 116, 148] — The German port of Lübeck becomes the first city to suffer a large RAF ‘area bombing’ attack. 234 aircraft attack in good visibility and caused fires which destroyed 200 acres of the city centre. The Germans responded with the Baedeker Raids on the UK. [162]
Chinese troops fall back from Taungoo, failing to destroy the bridge over the Sittang [2]Mar 29The production of Spitfire’s reaches an all-time peak of 134 aircraft in one day. [161]
Japanese bombers attack US field hospital No. 1 at Bataan despite being marked with large red crossesMar 30
Japanese troops occupy Bougainville [2]Mar 31
Japanese troops land at Buka and Santa Isabel in the Solomon Islands [2]Apr 1SS Robert W. Pomeroy, (Upper Lakes & St. Lawrence Transportation Co, Toronto) struck a mine and sunk in the North Sea off Cromer, UK, one sailor killed. [61] — The first production version of the Vickers Warwick B Mk I files [9]
Japanese troops penetrate Filipino 41st Infantry Division lines at Bataan [2]Apr 2
Squadron Leader L.J. Birchall, of the RCAF ARC, and his crew spot a Japanese naval force heading for Ceylon. A warning of the impending attack is sent, allowing the attack to be defeated. Birchall was known as the “Saviour of Ceylon.” [31]Apr 4
Commander Mitsuo Fuchida of Akagi commands a 125-aircraft raid against Colombo, Ceylon. [2]Apr 5
Japanese troops capture Mandalay, BurmaApr 6
Japanese occupy Manus Island in Admiralty group [11]Apr 8
The Bataan Peninsula falls to the Japanese army. 75,000 American and Filipino soldiers become POWs and will soon be forced to endure the gruelling 70-mile ‘Death’ march into captivity. Thousands die along the way. [4, 116] — Japanese fliers from the aircraft carrier Akagi raid Trincomalee, Celon. They sink the aircraft carrier Hermes and her escorts cruisers Dorsetshire and Cornwall. The Hermes had left Trincomalee the previous day with no aircraft on board, in company with HMAS Vampire (also sunk). 307 crew from Hermes died. The SS Sagaing, carrying disassembled Hurricanes, is also sunk. Most of the Hurricanes were recovered but at least 5 people on board were amongst those who lost their lives in the attack that day. The Corvette HMS Hollyhock is sunk by Japanese aircraft off Ceylon. 54 of her crew were lost. [2, 11, 71, 116, 137]Apr 9Destroyer HMS Lance is severely damaged by air attack while docked for repairs at Malta and was declared a total loss. No casualties. [137]
Bataan Death March begins in the Philippines [2]Apr 10HMCS CHEDABUCTO sinks ammunition ship SS Trongate, on fire & in danger of exploding in Halifax harbour, adverting repeat of 1917 Halifax explosion. Surprised Haligonians watch from shore as minesweeper fires its guns into the burning merchant ship. [61]
350 Filipino POWs are killed by Japanese north of Mount Samat during Bataan Death March [2]Apr 11A Soviet landing attempt near Eupatoria ia halted by the Germans [2] — Destroyer HMS Kingston was bombed by German aircraft and rendered a total loss while in dock for repairs at Malta. [137]
The Japanese artillery bombardment of Corregidor island begins [2]Apr 12
The Japanese 56th Infantry Division captures Mauchi, Burma [2]Apr 13
Apr 14Hitler orders the Luftwaffe to begin bombing British cultural sites [2]
The 370th Bombardment Squadron (370th BS) is activated as a unit of the 307th Bombardment Group (307th BG) at Geiger Field in Washington State. Flying the B-24 Liberator, ths squadron will serve in the South Pacific. [37]Apr 15
Battery Grubbs on Corregidor Island suffers a direct hit from Japanese artillery that disables the 10” Model 1895 Cannon No. 2 gun and destroys the commander’s station. Afterwards, the battery was abandoned. [37] — The Japanese Navy issues Order No. 18 for the capture of Midway and Aleutian Islands [2]Apr 16
Lost is RAAF No. 75 Squadron P-40E Kittyhawk A29-7 pilot Squadron Leader Bernard “Barney” B. Cresswell on a reconnaissance mission over Lae and shot down by Zeros and crashed near Bulolo. [37] — Two columns of Japanese troops converged at Dumarao on Panay. [2]Apr 17
Doolittle leads US air raid on Japan. B-25 bombers attacked Tokyo, Yokohama, Yokasuka, Kobe, Osaka, and Nagoya by surprise. The raid was planned and led by Lt. Colonel James Doolittle. The sixteen B-25B Mitchell bombers were flown off the aircraft carrier USS Hornet. It was the first air rain on Japan of the war. They flew 668 miles to attack their targets in Japan. [2, 11, 70, 116]Apr 18
The Chinese 38th Division captures Twingon, Burma then fought off Japanese counterattack [2] — British escape from trap at Yenangyaung [11]Apr 19
Japanese troops capture Taunggyi, Burma [2]Apr 20
Japanese 18th Division captures Kyidaunggan, Burma from Chinese troops [2] — Indian 17th Inf Div falls back from Taungdwingyi to Mahlaing to protect Mandalay [2] — Lost is B-25C Mitchell 41-12455 piloted by 2nd Lt John J. Keeter, Jr. on a search mission. While returning in heavy clouds, crashed into Mount Bartle Frere in Queensland killing the entire crew. [37]Apr 21Nazi occupiers of France shoot 20 civilians, claiming they aided British commandos in blowing up St. Nazaire port last month [16]
Apr 22British commandos raid in Boulogne area [11]
Apr 23British bombers attack the Heinkel factory near Rostock, Germany with poor results [2]
The Japanese 18th Infantry Division captures Yamethin, Burma [2]Apr 24
Japanese troops massacre entire Chinese villages suspected of aiding Doolittle Raiders [2] — American troops occupy New Caledonia [11]Apr 25
Indian 17th Division moves to Meiktila, Burma to assist with Chinese defense [2]Apr 26Reichstag reaffirms Hitler’s arbitrary powers [11]
USN cryptanalytic team detects request by Kondo for Aleutian navigation charts [2]Apr 27A force of Halifaxes armed with mines attacked Tirpitz in a Norwegian fjord. No hits were scored and 5 aircraft were lost. One landed on a frozen lake and was recovered in 1973, being put on display at the RAF Museum, Hendon. Most of its crew evaded capture. [11, 162]
Japanese reach Lashio, terminus of Burma Road [11] — Japanese Naval General Staff reviews underwater aircraft carrier proposal [2]Apr 28
Japanese 18th Infantry Division captures Kyaukse, Burma [2] — Bad day at Batchelor Field near Darwin when P-40E pilot 2nd Lt. Robert G. Hazard crashes on take off hitting a Lockheed C-40 and killing Brigadier General Harold H. George and others. [37]Apr 29Meeting of Hitler and Mussolini in two-day conference at Salzburg [11]
U.S. fighters join the fight in New Guinea. Eleven P-39 Airacobras from the 8th Pursuit Group led by Lt. Col Boyd “Buzz” Wagner strafe Lae Airfield with four lost including 1st Lt. Paul G. Brown who was later rescued. [36]Apr 30
The Japanese 18th Infantry Division captures Mandalay, Burma [2]May 1A national “Victory Speed” limit is set in the US of 35 MPH which lasted until after the end of the war [5] — Production of the T-60 tank ends. It is replaced with the T-70 tank, also a small two-man tank, but with more impressive armament and armor, and more importantly, higher reliability [22] — The RCN takes over the newly constructed base at Gaspé, Quebec & commissioning it HMCS FORT RAMSEY. It will be the centre of operations for the corvettes, minesweepers & motor launches fighting the Battle of the St. Lawrence against the U-boats. [61] — SV James E. Newson, a 4 masted trading schooner (Zwicker & H.O. Emptage, Lunenburg NS) is shelled and sunk by U-69 northeast of Bermuda. Therew of nine survives. [61] — The destroyer HMS Punjabi is accidentally rammed by HMS King George V in thick fog in the Arctic Ocean after turning into the battleship’s path to avoid what was believed to be a mine. Punjabi was cut in two and sank with the loss of 49 of her crew. The HMS Punjabi was a Tribal-class destroyer of the Royal Navy. [137, 167] — The Red Army introduced monetary rewards for evacuation crews. Evacuating tanks from no man’s land or even enemy territory netted troops a hefty bonus, but even towing broken tanks on Soviet-held territory paid well. [22]
Japanese artillery detonates 1,600 powder bags of battery Geary on Corregidor [2] — The B-26 Marauder 40-1426 is damaged over Rabaul and forced to land on Kiriwina Island. It flips over killing pilot 2nd Lt. Christian I. Herron and co-pilot RAAF S/L Charles R. Gurney, an experienced prewar Qantas pilot. [37]May 2Cruiser Edinburgh lost in the battle over Murmansk convoy [11] — The HMS Edinburgh (16) is scuttled after being torpedoed. Two officers & 56 ratings were killed in the attack. [167]
The Japanese 3rd Kure Special Landing Force captures Tulagi Island and Gavutu Island [2]May 3
Beginning of five-day air-naval battle in Coral Sea. [11] — Japanese troops captured Bhamo, Burma [2]May 4
May 5The German 16th Army brakes through to Kholm, Russia [2] — British land on Madagascar, attack base on Diego Suarez [11]
May 7Germans halt Soviet offensive NW of Leningrad. The 872 day siege of this city (renamed its original Saint Petersburg in 1991) by German and Finnish forces lasted from 9/41-1/44 [14]
The carrier Shokaku is damaged by 3 bombs at the Coral Sea [2]May 8Germans open drive on Kerch. [11] — The submarine HMS Olympus sinks after striking a German mine on departure from Malta. In addition to her own crew Olympus was carrying survivors from HM Submarines Pandora, P36 and P39 which had been bombed at Malta. Of 107 on board, 98 were killed. [137]
Zuikaku was ordered to pursue any US ships remaining in the Coral Sea area [2] — USS Lexington (CV-2) is scuttled after being crippled by Japanese torpedoes and bombs during the Battle of the Coral Sea. After slipping beneath the waves, the carrier would not been seen again until March 2018 when the wreck was located by Paul Allen’s team [66]May 960 Supermarine Spitfires are flown to the besieged island of Malta from the US aircraft carrier USS Wasp and the Royal Navy carrier HMS Eagle. They are operational within 35 minutes of their arrival and fly 134 sorties during the day. [60] — Churchill sends a note to the 29th Independent Infantry Brigade congratulating them on the capture of Diego Suarez in Madagascar: “I was sure when I saw you at Inverary nine months ago that the 29th Brigade Group would make its mark.” [182] — MV Calgarolite (Imperial Oil Ltd, Toronto) is torpedoed and shelled by U 125, north-west Caribbean, near Grand Caymans, all 45 crew survived. [61] — Responding to possible U-Boat in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, First Quebec to Sydney, CB convoy is hastily formed at Rimouski. QSS-1 consisted of four merchant ships escorted by HMCShips LA MALBAIE & GRANBY. [61]
The Thai Phayap Army invaded Shan State, Burma [2]May 10Churchill warns Germans against use of poison gas. [11]
Joseph Rochefort and team found further hints of a planned attack on Midway [2]May 11
May 12Soviet troops began to withdraw from the Kerch peninsula [2] — HMS Jackal (F22) was scuttled after being heavily damaged by German bombers, with the loss of 9 Officers & men. [167] — The U.S. tanker the SS Virginia is sunk near the mouth of the Mississippi River in the Gulf of Mexico by the German submarine U-507. [116]
May 13An Order in Council established the University Air Training Corps as a part of the RAF ARC. The program was designed to enlist, instruct, and train university students during the period of their university courses [31] — Hitler raises the bar for the weight limit of the Maus tank from 100 to 120 tons. This was not even close to the final weight, as during the development the mass of the vehicle ballooned to 188 tons [22]
May 14Ernest King belatedly allowed armed escorts for coastal shipping [2] — President Roosevelt signs a bill into law that establishes the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps. The Corps’ name is later changed to Women’s Army Corps (WAC) in July 1943, when the WACs were given active-duty status in the US Army. [69]
Aichi receives a request to design the 1st propose-built sub-borne attack aircraft [2] — The B-26 “Lil Deicer” 40-1390 crashes after taking off from Reid River Airfield in Queensland, Australia killing the entire crew on impact. Scatter debris from the crash still remains in situ at the former airfield property. [37]May 15The US begins gasoline rationing to support the war effort — A bill establishing a women’s corps in the US Army becomes law, creating the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (WAACs) and granting women official military status. [47,48] — The practice of issuing vodka to all active Red Army troops ceased. Vodka rations are now reserved for front line troops who demonstrated success in battle [22] — The Royal Navy Fiji-class cruiser HMS Trinidad (46) is damaged in air attack & scuttled while escorting Arctic convoy PQ 13. 63 men were lost. [167]
May 16Germans claim capture of Kerch [11]
Damaged while strafing, A6M2 Zero PO2c Tsutomou Ito crashed in the Owen Stanley Range. He survived unhurt and lived with locals for six days until captured and became a Prisoner Of War (POW). [37]May 17German 1st Panzer Army attacks Soviet troops at Izium, Ukraine [2] — Cruiser Prinz Eugen is attacked off Norway by British planes [11]
May 18130 Soviet tanks are destroyed by a German attack in Ukraine [2]
May 193,623 men perish during the catastrophic Allied sea bound attack on the German-occupied port of Dieppe [18] — General Electric received an order for 5,000 Bazookas and 25,000 rockets. This was a revolutionary new anti-tank weapon that inspired, among others, the German Panzerschreck. [22]
The first flight of the P-61. This night fighter was used in both theaters of the war. — Japanese troops occupy Leyte and Samar in the Philippine Islands unopposed [2]May 21In response to world wide media coverage of details of U-boat attacks in the St Lawrence, the Director of Censorship on the Canadian Naval Staff orders a full publishing ban on all U-boat activity within Canada and the St. Lawrence. [61] — SS Torondoc (Paterson Steamship Lines, Port Arthur) is torpedoed by U-69 100 miles west of Martinique in the Caribbean. No survivors from her crew of 23. The Great Lakes freighter was pressed into ocean service. Elsewhere in the caribbean, the SS Troisdoc (Paterson Steamship Lines, Port Arthur) was struck by a “dud” torpedo from U-558. The U-boat surfaced sinking the ship with gunfire, 40 miles West of Jamaica. All 19 merchant sailors were rescued. The Great Lakes Freighter had been pressed into Ocean service. [61] — German 6th Army and 1st Panzer Army nearly surrounded Izium, Ukraine [2]
May 22The SS Frank B. Baird (Upper Lakes & St. Lawrence Trans, Toronto) stopped South East of Bermuda to make emergency repairs to her steering gear, U-158 surfaced 200 yards alongside & began shelling the Great Lakes ship until it sank. All 23 crew were rescued. [61] — German 14th Division and 16th Panzer Division occupied Chepel and Bayrak in Ukraine [2]
Japanese and Chinese troops clash along the Hsipaw-Mogok road in northern BurmaMay 23
Three A-24 dive bombers are flown to Aiyura Airfield to rescue the crew of a downed B-25. While landing, two crash stranding more Americans in the remote Highlands of New Guinea. [37]May 24Soviet troops at Izium, Ukraine are completely surrounded by Germans. [2]
US Navy Rear Admiral Spruance takes over the responsibilities of Vice Admiral Halsey [2]May 26Britain and Russia sign a 20-year military alliance [11]
Lost is P-39F Airacobra 41-7153 pilot 2nd Lt. Alva G. Hawkins shot down by A6M2 Zeros from the Tainan Kōkūtai and remains listed as Missing In Action (MIA). [37] — Thai forces capture Kengtung, Burma [2] — US Navy Messman Third Class Dorie Miller is presented with the Navy Cross by ADM Chester Nimitz for his heroic actions during the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Miller was later killed during the Battle of Makin in 1943. He is the first African-American to receive the honor, which was the 3rd highest U.S. Navy award. The fourth Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier will be named in his honor. [66, 116]May 27In British Operation Anthropoid Czechoslovakian SOE operatives attempted to assassinate prominent Nazi SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich in Prague. He was Himmler’s right hand man. Heydrich died on June 4. He was one of the main architects of the “Final Solution,” the Nazi plan to murder Europe’s Jews. Heydrich was seriously wounded by British-trained SOE agents. Nazi Heydrich’s brutality was shocking even by Nazi standards. This was the only assassination attempt on a top Nazi by the Allies. Chaos erupted on the streets of Prague as the SOE operatives Jozef Gabčík and Jan Kubiš made their attack on Heydrich. They had trained for months for the special top secret assignment. Nazi intelligence falsely linked the assassins to the villages of Lidice and Ležáky. Both villages were razed; all men and boys over the age of 16 were shot, and all but a handful of the women and children were deported and killed in Nazi concentration camps. [2, 53, 116, 150]
Japanese capture Kinhwa [11]May 28Allies began counterattacks in Libya, forming the Cauldron [2]
The Main Body of the Japanese Midway invasion fleet sets sail [2] — Doolittle Raiders Captain Edwin J. York and crew #8 from B-25B Mitchell 40-2242 interned in the Soviet Union cross the border from Turkmenistan into Persia (Iran) where the British aid them home to the USA. [37] — The CAC Boomerang, Australia’s emergency fighter, takes its first flight. [192]May 29Bing Crosby records “White Christmas[Listen to it in the linked YouTube video].” The song came to mean so much to millions of Americans during WWII dreaming of being home for the holidays. [37]
May 30In British OPERATION MILLENIUM the RAF carries out its first 1000 bomber raidon the German city of Cologne. A total of 1047 bombers took part in the 90 minute raid. Bomber Command had only 400 aircraft at the time, so the balance came from training units and Coastal Command. Many aircrew members were still in training units. 41 aircraft were lost. Severe damage was done to Cologne. 13,000 buildings were destroyed and 500 people killed in the raid. [11, 116, 162, 173, 193] — The B-17F Flying Fortress makes its first flight. Changes to the aircraft included a redesigned nose, more armour and increased fuel capacity. [9] — SS Liverpool Packet (Liverpool Shipping Company & Markland S.S. Co, Liverpool, NS) is torpedoed by U-432, 12 miles south of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. It was named after the famous War of 1812 Nova Scotia privateer. Two Merchant sailors were killed. [61] — At a White House meeting, Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov asked President Roosevelt to open a second front in Western Europe in 1942. Roosevelt tells him the allies will open the front in 1942. The front isn’t open until 1944. [116]
In Australia three Japanese Type A Midget Submarines attack Sydney Harbor. The M27 becomes tangled in the boom net and had to be scuttled. M22 was destroyed by depth charges. M24 fired her torpedoes that hit HMAS Kuttabul and went missing. [11, 37] — Joseph Rochefort determines that the Japanese would attack Midway on 3 Jun 1942. [2]May 31B.IV W4072 becomes the 1st Mosquito to drop bombs on Germany while operating with 105 Squadron. [65]
Jne 1Axis tanks brake through positions held by British 150th Brigade at Sidi Muftah [2]
In Sydney Harbor, divers locate Type A Midget Submarine M22 damaged by depth charges with the engine still running and propeller slowly turning. Inside both crew members died by suicide. The intact sub will be salvage. [37]Jne 2Between 1941 & 1945, Coast Guard ‘Beach Patrols’ defended America’s 3,700 miles of shorelines from enemy agents. At its peak, the service employed 24,000 personnel. It’s credited with the discovery in June, 1942 of a four-man sabotage team that was landed by U-boat on Long Island. [4] — The Vichy French government publishes anti-Semitic legislation banning Jews from holding public office. These laws were based on laws in Germany. [116] — Germans and Italians mount a new attack on the French-held fort of Bir Hakeim, Libya. [2]
Japanese carrier planes from Ryūjō and Junyō strike Dutch Harbor in Alaska as a diversionary raid before the Battle of Midway. On the ground, they only cause minor damage with 63 casualties and 35 killed. [37] — Japanese submarine cordon established; too late to detect US carriers sailing for Midway [2]Jne 3
The Battle of Midway begins. In 4 days of fierce fighting, the US Navy inflicted a stunning defeat on the Japanese fleet thrilling the Allied nations. The U.S. fleet had ambushed a Japanese task force at Midway. Japan loses four carriers and nearly 250 aircraft in the ensuing battle. The battle changed the course of the war in the Pacific. It was the first major victory for America over Japan. The battle concluded on June 7 and ended Japanese expansion in the Pacific. The Japanese surge that began with Pearl Harbor was over. The Allies switched to the strategic offensive. [2, 4, 7, 15, 25, 35, 128] — The Grumman TBF Avenger takes part in the Battle of Midway which begins today [9]Jne 4Reinhard Heydrich, the “Butcher of Prague” dies from wounds inflicted during an ambush. The reprisals were brutal and swift, and eventually led to the complete destruction of the village of Lidice. Nazi Heydrich dies from his wounds after being attacked days before in Prague by brave heroes Gabcik and Kubis, in Operation Anthropoid. [182, 196] — The second British Fairey Firefly test aircraft makes its first flight. [9]
Yamamoto calls off Midway operation, ending the battle [2] — President Franklin D. Roosevelt threatens to use gas on Japan if it continues to use it against China or any other nations. [116] — A Mitsubishi A6M Zero crash-lands on Akutan Island in Alaska. The U.S. Navy later recovered and repaired the Zero so that it’s handling characteristics could be analyzed. The information gave U.S. fighter pilots a crucial advantage over their Japanese adversaries. [66]Jne 5The U.S. issues its last formal declaration of war on the Axis countries of Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary. They had declared war on the U.S. days earlier. [4, 116] — German bombardment opens attack on Sevastopol [11]
Jne 6In Libya, Kittybombers repeatedly attack Axis armor formations [2]
Japanese troops occupy Kiska, Aleutian Islands, US Territory of Alaska [2]Jne 7The German 11th Army begins a 2-pronged assault on the city of Sevastopol [2] — German General Keitel requests that all remaining Pz.Kpfw.II chassis should be used to build Marder II tank destroyers and Wespe SPGs. This request was granted on July 11th [22]
Commander Lyndon B. Johnson flies from Australia as an observer aboard B-26 40-1488 on a bombing mission to Lae in New Guinea. The aircraft aborts before reaching the target. For the mission, he earned the Silver Star and later becomes the 36th U.S. President. [37]Jne 9Britain and the United States create the Combined Production and Resources Board. [11] — The German 15th Panzer Division launches an attack on the Free French troops at Bir Hakeim. [2]
Jne 10As a reprisal for killing SS leader Reinhard Heydrich, the Nazis kill the citizens of the Czech village of Lidice (~340 are killed). The village is burned. The Nazis intend to wipe it off the map for eternity. Beginning on June 24, 59 people in the village of Lezaky were also killed. [4, 11, 116, 201] — At Auschwitz, 50 Polish prisoners in the penal company attempted to escape while working at a drainage ditch in Birkenau; it was the 1st mass escape in the history of the camp. 9 were able to escape successfully. As a result, in revenge the Germans killed about 380 prisoners [7] — First flight of the pre-production prototype Polikarpov I-185 M-71 Etalon [8]
Jne 11Axis capture of Bir Hacheim [11] — German troops advanced toward El Adem and Knightsbridge [2]
On his 18th birthday George H. W. Bush enlists in the US Navy. He is later elected the 41st President of the United States and serves from 1989 to 1993Jne 12The HMS Grove (L77) is hit by two torpedoes fired by U-77. The ship sinks with the loss of 110 men. [167]
Jne 13German forces surround the British troops in the Knightsbridge box near Tobruk [2] — German troops capture Fort Stalin at Sevastopol [2]
The first echelon of the 1st Marine Division arrives in Wellington, New Zealand. The U.S. Marines will be kept busy rushing to prepare for a future amphibious operation in the South Pacific. [37]Jne 14Auchinleck authorizes the abandonment of the Gazala Line in Libya [2]
Jne 16Axis troops attack El Adem and Sidi Rezegh near Tobruk, Libya [2] — Axis forces reach Libyan coast east of El Gazala [11] — The light cruiser HMS Hermione (74) was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-205 in the Eastern Mediterranean between Crete and Egypt. Eighty-eight crewmembers were killed, 498 were rescued by accompanying destroyers. [137, 167]
Jne 17Soviet defense lines north of Sevastopol begin to collapse [2] — Destroyer HMS Wild Swan is among some Spanish fishing boats south of Ireland when 12 Ju88s, mistaking the boats for a convoy, attack. Wild Swan shoots down several aircraft before bomb and collision damage caused her to sink. 31 crew died. [137]
Jne 18The British army in Libya retires to Tobruk and to Egyptian frontier [11]
Nissan Maru is bombed and sunk in Kiska Harbor by U.S. Army Air Force 11th Air Force B-17s, B-24s and an LB-30. The shipwreck remains today with the bow partially above the surface. [37]Jne 19The Germans claim breach in northern defenses of Sevastopol. [11]
HMCS EDMUNDSTON rescues 31 sailors from SS Fort Camosun, disabled by torpedo, then shelled by Japanese submarine I-25 off Cape Flattery, near entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. HMCS QUESNEL attacked submerged sub in the area 6 hrs later. [61] — Estevan Point Lighthouse & Wireless Station on Vancouver Island is shelled by Japanese submarine I-26. The extraordinarily large submarine carries the same size gun and is just 2.5 metres shorter that a Tribal class destroyer. [11, 61] — HMCS Edmundston, a corvette of the Royal Canadian Navy, rescued thirty-one crewmembers of the British freighter SS Fort Camosun, which had been disabled by the Japanese submarine I-25 off the coast of Washington. [31] — Launched is Elco 80′ Motor Torpedo Boat PT-109. In the South Pacific, became famous under the command of Lt(jg) John F. Kennedy when sunk August 2, 1943 in Blackett Strait, Solomon Islands. [37]Jne 20Axis troops enter Tobruk; British troops have destroyed stocks of fuel and supplies [2]
Fort Stevens in Oregon is shelled by Japanese submarine I-25 but the attack causes no real damage [5]Jne 21British, South African, and Indian troops surrender at Tobruk [2]
Jne 22Erwin Rommel is promoted to the rank of Generalfeldmarshall [2] — Germans claim full control north of Sevastopol Bay [11]
Jne 23Exercise “Yukon II” takes place at the Isle of Wight. It was a training exercise for the upcoming Operation Rutter, the raid against Dieppe. Yukon II had gone better than its predecessor but difficulties with timing the landings still remained. [31] — Anxious to learn the secrets of the Luftwaffe’s new Focke-Wulf 190 fighter, the Brits were planning to steal one from a French airfield. They weere saved the trouble when a Fw 190A-3 piloted by Oberleutnant Armin Faber mistook the Bristol Channel for the English Channel and ended up landing at RAF Pembrey. [7, 9] — U-84 sinks Norwegian tanker Torvanger 540 miles west of the Azores islands. [2]
B-17E Flying Fortresses from the 19th Bomb Group (19th BG) strike Vunakanau Airfield near Rabaul at night. Their incendiary bombs cause fires and every plane returns safely including B-17E 41-2649. [37] — The British colonial Papua Infantry Battalion is deployed to the Kokoda Track [2]Jne 24Germans wipe out Czech village of Levzaky [11]
Jne 25The third Thousand Bomber Raid strikes Bremen, Germany, killing 85, wounding 497 [2] — Russians announce the abandonment of Kupyansk [11]
The Grumman Hellcat makes its maiden flight. More than 12,000 will be built before the end of the Second World War. [4]Jne 26German troops reach the northern shore of Severnaya Bay near Sevastopol [2]
The surviving Doolittle Raiders received medals in ceremonies across Washington, DC. [128]Jne 27
Jne 28German armed forces launch a major offensive to seize the Soviet oil fields in the Caucasus and try to capture the city of Stalingrad. The German defeat in February 1943 was a turning point in the war on the Eastern Front and the beginning of Hitler’s downfall. [154] — SV Mona Marie (Lemuel Ritcy, LaHave NS) is sunk by gunfire from U-126 in the Caribbean Sea east of Grenada, 9 crew are allowed to abandon the schooner, 2 wounded. [61] — German bombers attack Weston-super-Mare, England, killing 102 [2]
Jne 29The German 90th Light Division reaches Sidi Abdel Rahman, Egypt [2] — Germans open the main Russian offensive from Kursk; Germans claim the elimination of Volkhov pocket [11]
Jne 30Axis troops reach El Alamein, Egypt [2]
The USS Sturgeon SS-187 fires a spread of four torpedoes at the Montevideo Maru. Two hit sinking the ship off Luzon. The submarine is unaware the vessel was transporting 1,053 Allied personnel who all died in the sinking. [37]Jly 1The German 90th Light Division begins to advance for El Alamein, Egypt. The First Battle of El Alamein begins. The deserts of Egypt and Libya were the main theatre in the North African campaign of WW2.[2, 194]
Jly 2British Prime Minister Winston Churchill faces a vote of no confidence, following various military defeats. He won by a vote of 475-25, but would face another vote if the war news did not improve. [116] — Mexico formally at war with Axis [11] — Rommel belatedly abandons his southward tank sweep near El Alamein [2]
Mitsubishi completes A6M3 Zero 3032 the 32nd Model 32 built by the company. Dubbed the “Hamp” by the Allies, this Zero was captured intact by the U.S. Army at Buna Airfield in New Guinea. [37] — 4-day air-navel battle off Midway begins. Air raid on Dutch Harbour [11]Jly 3British aircraft flies 780 sorties against Axis positions at El Alamein [2]
Jly 4AVG is reformed into USAAF 23rd Fighter Group [2]
Jly 5Scattered convoy PQ-17 is hunted down by German submarines and aircraft [2] — German bombardment opens attack on Sevastopol [11] — The Avro York prototype makes its maiden flight. This was powered by four Rolls-Royce Merlin XX engines. [9]
Jly 6The German 4th Panzer Army reaches the outskirts of Voronezh, Russia [2]
Jly 9The German 6th Army reaches Rossosh, Russia [2] — The British occupy Mayotta Island near Madagascar [11] — The Panamanian cargo ship EL CAPITAN, part of the ill fated Convoy PQ17, is bombed and sunk about 65 miles off the Russian coast. Miraculously, all 67 onboard survived. They were picked up by HMS LORD AUSTIN [142]
First flight of the Douglas XA-26 Invader prototype American twin-engine light attack bomber [8]Jly 10Russians announce the abandonment of Rossosh [11] — Australian 26th Brigade captures Tel el Eisa ridge in Egypt [2] — The prototype XA-26 (AAC Ser. No. 41-19504) took its first flight. The Douglas Aircraft Company’s El Segundo Division was based at Los Angeles Municipal Airport (now, LAX). Douglas test pilot Benjamin ‘Benny’ Odell Howard was at the controls. The American twin-engine light attack bomber was later named the Douglas A-26 Invader. [8, 210]
Jly 11Nazi occupiers of Greece order all Jewish men in the city of Salonika- ~7000 people- to assemble in central Liberty Square, to register for forced labor. [16] — Australian 26th Brigade infantry and British tanks capture Point 24 near El Alamein [2] — Germans break-through at Kantemirovka and Lisichansk [11]
Jly 12A German attack in the Tel el Eisa ridge region near El Alamein is repulsed. [2]
In the predawn darkness, two B-17E Flying Fortresses crash into the sea after take off from Horn Island Airfield in Australia. The crew of the first survive and three were killed aboard the second. [37]Jly 14
USS Grunion attacks the Japanese anchorage at Kiska, sinking 2 sub chasers [2]Jly 15The USS Terror (CM 5) is commissioned. It is the first US Navy ship built as a minelayer. The Terror participated in Operation Torch, the Battle for Iwo Jima, and the Okinawa Invasion. At Okinawa she was struck by a kamikaze on May 1, 1945. She was repaired and returned to service for another 11 years. [68] — German authorities begin to deport Dutch Jews from transit camps in the Netherlands to killing centres in the East. By Sept 1944 100 trains had carried more than 100,000 people to Auschwitz, Sobibor, Theresienstadt & Bergen-Belsen. Only 5,200 Dutch Jews survived. [49] — Russians admit the loss of Boguchar and Millerovo [11] — A meeting is held to determine the necessary improvements to the Russian T-70 tank. One of these is the introduction of a two-man turret. This kicked off the work on the T-80 tank, the last light tank descended from the T-40. [22]— The U.S. oiler SS Pennsylvania Sun is torpedoed by the German submarine U-571, about 200 km west of Key West, Florida (USA). Pennsylvania Sun was saved and returned to service in 1943. [17]
The Japanese begin the construction of an airfield on Guadalcanal [2] — Near dark, B-17E Flying Fortress 41-2421 transporting U.S. Army personnel and spare parts crashed at Horn Island Airfield in Australia. Everyone on board were killed. Postwar the six crew were buried in a group burial at Jefferson Barracks. [37]Jly 1620-year-old Rachel Polakiewicz & her family are imprisoned in the Vel d’Hiv. Less than a month later she was murdered in Auschwitz. [217] — A raid and mass arrest of 13,152 Jewish people was carried out by French police. Most were held in appalling conditions in the Velodrome d’Hiver for 5 days, before being deported to transit and extermination camps. [131]
The Chinese 38th Division under Sun Liren arrives at Ramgarh Training Center, India [2] — The US 435th Bombardment Squadron discovers Japanese airfield at Guadalcanal [2] — Lost is B-17E Flying Fortress 41-9126 pilot Major Jack S. Marks on a mission against Kiska and on the bomb run shot down by A6M2-N Rufe (floatplane version of the Zero). The crew remain listed as Missing In Action (MIA). [37]Jly 17The Germans claim Voroshilovgrad. [11] — Miep Lakmaker received a Nazi order to report for transport to Westerbork transit camp. Instead, she “went underground”. Until the end of WWII, Meip remained in hiding. Her entire family perished in the Holocaust. [49]
Jly 18The German Luftwaffe test fly the Prototype ME-262 V3 using a pair of 1,825lb thrust Jumo 004A jet engines for the first time. The maiden flight is with pilot Fritz Wendel at the controls. It had been first flown with piston engines on April 18, 1941. It would enter service with the #Luftwaffe in April 1944, becoming the world’s first operational jet-powered fighter aircraft. [2, 20, 57, 116]
U.S. Navy Seaplane tender USS Casco (AVP-12) arrives at Nazan Bay off Atka Island to establish an advanced seaplane base to allow PBY Catalinas to operate over Attu and Kiska. [37]Jly 19Russian bombers raid Koenigsberg [11] — The Germans deport 999 Jews from Drancy camp, Paris, to Auschwitz- Birkenau. This transport was the first in which some deportees were gassed upon arrival. Only 16 of the deportees survived. [217] — LAVINGTON COURT Leith to Cape Town with military stores, part of Convoy OS34, is torpedoed and damaged by U-564 200 miles north of Azores. [142]
Jly 20Soviet troops retake the German bridgehead at Voronezh, Russia [2]
Japanese forces land at Gona in modern Papua New Guinea. This was the beginning of the Kokoda Track campaign. The invasion, intent on capturing Port Moresby and threatening Australia, was thwarted by forces led by the Australian Army.Jly 21-27
The Japanese transport Ayatosan Maru after being damaged by a bomb from B-26s is again bombed by B-17s and further damaged. It is set on fire and partially sunk atop a coral reef off Gona. [37]Jly 22The German 6th Army reaches the great bend in the Don River near Stalingrad. [2] — The mass deportations from the Warsaw ghetto begins. From now until Sept. 12, German SS and police authorities deport 265,000 Jews from Warsaw to Treblinka. During the deportations, approximately 35,000 Jews in the Warsaw ghetto are murdered. From July 1942 to November 1943, approximately 925,000 Jews, Poles, Roma, and Soviet POWs are killed in Treblinka.. [214] — Tests of a T-34S tank with a commander’s cupola and a 5-speed gearbox began #OTD in 1942. The gearbox proved vastly superior to the 4-speed and was put into production, but the cupola was unsatisfactory. A very different cupola was introduced a year later. Grabin demonstrates his ZIS-3 76 mm gun to Marshal Kulik. Kulik is not impressed, but Grabin pushes the gun through regardless. It becomes the backbone of Soviet divisional artillery with over 60,000 guns and over 100,000 barrels built. [22]
A small force of Papuan Infantry Battalion (PIB) led by Australian Army officers with .303 rifles and a Thompson ambush Japanese Army engineers advancing on the road to Kokoda then withdraw. [2, 37]Jly 23In defiance of Nazi orders, Adam Czerniakow (chairman of the Warsaw ghetto Judenrat) refuses to prepare lists of persons slated for deportation to Treblinka. Instead, he commits suicide. Nazi Germany opens the Treblinka extermination camp in Poland. Some 700,000-900,000 Jews are killed there, more than any camp other than Auschwitz. [116, 217] — Non-Jewish citizens of Dobsina, Slovakia watched the expulsion of their Jewish neighbors. The Jews of Dobsina were sent to Auschwitz. In total, about 100,000 Slovak Jews were murdered in the Holocaust. [217] — Indian troops launched an attack on Deir el Shein near El Alamein, Egypt in failure. [2]
Jly 24The Battle for Convoy ON-113 begins off Newfoundland. The convoy is escorted by HMCShips ST. CROIX, BRANDON, DAUPHIN, DRUMHELLER & HMS BURHAM, POLYANTHUS. Over seven days, 7 U-boats will sink 3 merchant ships & damage 1. Two U-boats are sunk & 1 damaged. The destroyer St. Croix sights U-90 on the surface and makes four quick, successive depth charge attacks. She sinks the U-90 east of Newfoundland. The submarine went down with all hands. [31, 51, 61] — The German SS Wiking Division captures the airfield near Rostov-on-Don [2,11]
Japanese leadership pauses the Kokoda advance [2]Jly 25Germans claim Novocherkassk [11] — HMCS BRANDON (1st) picks up sailors from the British merchant ships SS Broompark & MV British Merit. They had abandoned ship after both were damaged by torpedoes from U-552 during attack on convoy ON-113. The Brandon then escorts both ships to St. John’s. MV Lucille M (Frederick Sutherland, Yarmouth NS) is shelled by U-89 off Cape Sable. The crew of 11 abandon the ship with 4 wounded. For 45 minutes, U-89 fired 35 rounds into the schooner. Survivors reported hearing from the U-Boat, “The damn thing won’t sink!” [61]
Japanese troops attack Oivi, Australian Papua at 1500 hours [2]Jly 26HMCS DAUPHIN & HMS BURNHAM while rescuing 45 survivors from torpedoed MV Empire Rainbow (British) gain an ASDIC contact with U-704. They attack with Depth Charges, damaging the U-boat. U-704 is forced to lose contact with convoy ON-113. [61] — The SAS Raid on Sidi Haneish Airfield takes place. [167]
Jly 28Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin issued Order No. 227. This is known as the “Not One Step Backward” order. This was issued in response to the German advances. Any Soviet troops who retreated without orders from high command would be shot. [2, 116] — The Spitfire Mk IX makes its operational debut with No. 64 Squadron, RAF Hornchurch. [9]
Japanese troops attack Kokoda airfield in Australian Papua. [2]Jly 29Proletarskaya is captured by German troops [2]
The Kotoku Maru a Japanese cargo ship is hit by three bombs released by B-17s. She drifts, runs aground, and sinks off Salamaua. The shipwreck remained partially above the surface until the 1980s. [37] — President Roosevelt signs the Navy Women’s Reserve Act establishing the WAVES program for the US Navy. The purpose of the WAVES is to free officers and men for sea duty in the war effort, replacing them with women counterparts. [2, 69]Jly 30614 Squadron takes part in the first 1000 Bomber raid over Germany. The first time the squadron operated against the enemy, they flew Blenheim VI bombers [225] — German submarine U-132 attacks Allied convoy ON-113 100 miles southeast of Halifax. [2]
The United States Navy receives its first deliveries of the Vought F4U-1 Corsair [9]USAAF begins a 7-day bombardment against Tulagi and Guadalcanal [2]Jly 31HMCS SKEENA spots U-210, U-511 & U-588 on the surface. Two U-boats dive, U-210 escaped on surface. SKEENA picks up U-511 on Asdic, after several depth charge attacks, inflicts severe damage & flooding. U-511 is forced to lose contact with Convoy ON-115. The SKEENA & HMCS WETASKIWIN sink U-588 after several depth charge attacks in the North Atlantic. There are no survivors [51, 61] — U-754 is Sunk by a Hudson aircraft from 113 Squadron RCAF ARC south east of Cape Sable. The 113 Squadron is based at Yarmouth, NS. This is the first successful attack on a U-boat by Eastern Air Command. [61] — An Order-in-Council establishes the Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service (WRCNS). Nearly 6,500 women will enlist for service during WWII. The WRCNs’ (Wrens) assignments included admin, signaling, coding & wireless telegraphy. These emerging techniques were highly specialized & crucial to locating Nazi U-boats & guiding Allied ships across the ocean. [61, 80]
The US Navy approves the name USS Wolverine for a converted aircraft carrier. [2]Aug 2
Over Tulagi, a damaged A6M2-N Rufe collides with B-17E Flying Fortress 41-9218 causing both planes to crash into the sea. This B-17 was the first U.S. air combat casualty of the Guadalcanal campaign. [37] — George Kenney assumea command of Southwest Pacific Air Force in Australia. [2]Aug 4George Kenney assumes command of Southwest Pacific Air Force in Australia [2]
The Japanese Battleship Musashi is commissioned into service at Nagasaki. [2]Aug 5
Lost is PBY-5 Catalina 2389 pilot Lt. Maurice S. Smith on a search mission for a missing plane. Flying in bad weather with an engine out crashed on Espirito Santo killing the crew. [37]Aug 6The destroyer HMCS Assiniboine trades fire with a Uboat for 35 minutes at point-blank range in the North Atlantic. The Canadian destroyer finally rams the sub [4] — Germans claim Tikhoretsk [11] — The German 17th Army captures Tikhoretsk in southern Russia [2] — HMCS Assiniboine, a member of escort group C-1, protecting convoy SC-94, sinks the German submarine U-210. [51]
U.S. Forces attack the Solomon Islands [11] — The U.S. Marines land at Guadalcanal. It’s the first major offensive operation by the United States in World War Two [2,4]Aug 7A detachment of the Canadian 3rd Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment shoots down a German JU 88 aircraft near Frinton, England. This action is the first successful kill of an enemy aircraft credited to a Canadian artillery unit [31] — Submarine HMS Thorn is lost with all hands (61 men) off southern Crete on or around this date, probably destroyed in depth charge attacks carried out by Italian destroyer Pegaso. Thorn was reported overdue 11 Aug 1942. [137]
Battle of Guadalcanal begins. U.S. Marines land on Guadalcanal, initiating the first major land offensive by Allied forces against Japan. The Battle of Savo Island resulted in defeat for the Americans [2, 123] — Indian Congress committee votes civil disobedience [11]Aug 8HMCS BATTLEFORD rescues 104 merchant sailors from SS Anneburg (British), SS Kaimoku (American), and SS Kelso (British) torpedoed by U-379 and U-176 while in convoy SC-94. The corvette then sinks the hulk of Anneberg. [61] — The Germans claim Armavir [11]
Aug 9HMCS BATTLEFORD rescues survivors from the merchant ship SS Radchurch, torpedoed by U-176 while in convoy SC-94. Adding 40 additional merchants sailors to the 104 rescued the day before in the already crowded corvette. [61]
Aug 10German troops reach the Krasnodar-Pyatigorsk-Maikop line in southern Russia [2] — The Germans claim Pyatigorsk [11] —The Pedestal convoy departs Gibraltar. [2]
US Marines continues the construction of the Japanese airfield on Guadalcanal [2]Aug 11Hollywood actress Hedy Lamarr and composer George Antheil invent an ingenious frequency hopping system to safeguard torpedo guidance signals from enemy interference. Their device is patented becoming the basis for Wifi, GPS, and Bluetooth communication. 
Japanese troops nearly wiped out a patrol of Lt. Colonel Goettge near Matanikau River [2]Aug 1212,000 keys totaling 300 pounds were turned in by ComEd in the Junior Association of Commerce “Keys for Victory” drive. The donation will fill the critical metal requirements of three new M-4 Army tanks. [69] — Churchill and Stalin meet in Moscow. Churchill floats an idea of an allied air force sent to Iran to defend the Soviet’s southern flank and help defend Stalingrad. The plan, known as Operation Velvet, never develops much to Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin’s displeasure. Churchill also informs Stalin that there would not be a second front in Western Europe in 1942. That front would not come until June 6, 1944 when the allies conducted the invasion at Normandy. [2, 116] — The Germans claim Elitsa. British air and naval forces bombard Rhodes [11]
Japanese and Australian troops clash at Deniki, Papua [2]Aug 13
Aug 14German troops cross the Kuban River near Krasnodar [2] — German break-through near Kletskaya [11]
Aug 15Germans claim Georgievsk [11] — German troops attack Grozny [2] — Operation Pedestal: The oil tanker SS Ohio reaches the island of Malta barely afloat carrying vital fuel supplies for the island’s defences. [167] — While battles were raging to the north, Operation Dragoon saw Allied forces landing in Provence in Southern France. Their objective was to prevent the Germans from sending reinforcements from southern France to Normandy. It had been originally been planned in conjunction with D-Day on June 6, 1944. A lack of resources forced the operation to be delayed. Among the Allied fleet were the ships PRINCE DAVID & PRINCE HENRY with the Canadian 529th & 528th aboard. Also included were 279 soldiers from the Devils Brigade and 248 French Commandos. Landing at Côte d’Azur on the Mediterranean coast were the US VI Corps and French Army B. The main landing force was from the VI Corps. The 3rd Infantry Division landed on the left at Alpha Beach (Cavalaire-sur-Mer). The 45th Infantry Division landed in the center at Delta Beach (Le Muy, Saint-Tropez). The 36th Infantry Division landed on the right at Camel Beach (Saint-Raphaël). All three of these landing were very successful with relatively little resistance. [61, 70, 116]
Aug 16The Pathfinder Force (PFF) is formed, under the command of Group Captain DCT Bennett, as a specialised target-marking force within RAF Bomber Command. [6] — Benito Mussolini presents Hans-Joachim Marseille the Gold Medal of Military Valor [2] — Trials of the SG-122, a combination of a Soviet 122 mm howitzer and a German StuG chassis, ends. The vehicle passed trials and was accepted into service, but only 21 are produced [22]
Two US Navy #submarines, The USS Nautilus (SS 168) and USS Argonaut (SM 1), land 200 Marine Raiders on Makin Island in the first amphibious attack made from a submarine [68]Aug 17The US Eighth Air Force mounts its first heavy bomber mission from the UK. Twelve Boeing B-17E Flying Fortresses of the 97th Bombardment Group bomb the marshalling yard at Rouen/Scotteville, with no aircraft lost. The lead aircraft is flown by Major Paul Tibbets, who would later drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima; he is carrying Brig Gen Ira Eaker as an observer. [60, 162] — SS Princess Marguerite (Canadian Pacific Steamships, Montreal) is torpedoed by U-83, Mediterranean, NW of Port Said, Egypt. Converted to a troopship, 55 British Soldiers were killed, of the 1124 merchant sailors & soldiers aboard. [61] — Churchill’s four-day visit to Moscow is announced [11] — HMS Furious delivers 32 Spitfire fighters to Malta; 2 lost en route [2]
2 Japanese transports arrive at Buna, Papua and disembarked reinforcements [2]Aug 18Russian bombers raid Koenigsberg and Danzig. Alexander replaces Auchinleck in Middle East. [11] — Allied forces including 582 men of the RHLI land on the beaches of Dieppe as part of operation Julibee. Dieppe raiding force- 5000 Canadians, 1000 British, 240 ships- will test the tactics of amphibious assault for a potential future invasion of Europe. It was the RHLI’s worst day: 174 soldiers captured, 194 wounded, and 197 men made the ultimate sacrifice. Of the 6,000 or so men who land, more than half are killed, wounded or captured. It was a failure and a vital lesson for the D-Day landings 2 yrs later.[2,11,13,20,31,57,83,84, 85, 86]
Aug 19The Allied launch Operation Jubilee a major raid on the French port of Dieppe. The raiding force of 6100 troops land at Dieppe. The force is made up of Canadian and other Allied troops. The attack is spearheaded by 5000 soldiers from 2nd Canadian Infantry Division. 1,000 British Commandos, 50 US Rangers, and 58 British Churchill tanks are also involved. They were joined by 60 Royal Canadian Navy sailors manned the assault craft, several joining their army counterparts as POW’s following the raid. British and Canadian troops get pinned down, suffering 1,179 killed before the mission’s end. 60 fighting aircraft from the RCAF attempt to aid the ground forces. During the raid, 10 Canadian pilots loose their lives, 70 are reported missing, and 106 aircraft are destroyed. Over 6000 went in and only 500 get out. The raid is a disaster with most of the force killed or captured by the Germans. It does provide valuable lessons for later Allied amphibious assaults. [7, 61, 84, 116, 174, 189, 234] — The HMS Berkeley (L17) is scuttled after an attack by German aircraft with the loss of 13 of her crew. [167]
HMC Ships PRINCE DAVID, PRINCE HENRY, PRINCE ROBERT and corvettes DAWSON & VANCOUVER begin 2 month Bering Sea Patrol, from Kodiak Alaska, supporting the recapture of the US islands of Kiska and Attu off Alaska from Japanese forces. [61] — Japanese troops and US Marines clash near Henderson Field, Guadalcanal [2]Aug 20Germans gain foothold across Don near Kletskaya. Russian bombers raid Warsaw. [11]
The Japanese 41st Infantry Regiment lands at Buna, Papua [2]Aug 21
US and Japanese supplying destroyers make contact in the Savo Sound off Guadalcanal [2]Aug 22
Aug 23The German army launches an offensive to  capture the city of Stalingrad. The fighting rages for 163 days and will cost the Axis 850,000 men… and ultimately the war. [4,35]
The Battle of the Eastern Solomons, a naval action fought between U.S. and Japanese forces in the Pacific, begins. The battle ends inconclusively but Japanese losses are heavy and their reinforcements headed for Guadalcanal are delayed [11, 57]Aug 24A specially converted Supermarine Spitfire Vc operating from Alexandria in Egypt intercepts a Junkers Ju86P-2 high altitude reconnaissance aircraft at 12,800 metres (42,000 feet). The RAF pilot flew without pressurized protection at that extreme height. [60]
The battle of Milne Bay, New Guinea commences. Three groups of Japanese Special Landing Force (SNLF) troops land inside Milne Bayon on the eastern tip of New Guinea. It is defended by 2 Australian brigades, U.S. engineers, and 2 RAAF squadrons. 167 Australians & 14 Americans are killed. It is the first defeat of the Japanese on land in the Pacific. Japanese Special Naval Landing Forces under Cmdr Hayashi with two Type 95 “Ha-Go” 4-man tanks landed at 10.30pm near Waga Waga on the north shore, 8 km east of the intended position. The tanks caused some havoc before being bogged, abandoned, and destroyed. Thi is the furthest south that the Japanese reach in the war. [11, 37, 88, 95] — The third and final day Task Force 61 engages the Japanese First Carrier Division in the Eastern Solomons. [74]Aug 25George Mandel, a Hungarian Jew, begins issuing Salvadorian citizenship papers to Jews in Europe. Prior to WWII, Mandel befriended Salvadoran diplomat Colonel Jose Arturo Castellano & was appointed as the Consulate’s first secretary. As Nazi persecution ramped up, Mandel used his diplomatic position to issue thousands of citizenship documents to help Jewish refugees flee Nazi-occupied Europe. Mandel & Castellano’s efforts are believed to have saved thousands. [214] — German troops capture Mozdok, Russia, 50 miles west of Grozny [2]
2,500 Japanese troops march onto the Kokoda Track from Buna, Papua. [2]Aug 26Late in the evening French gendarmes raid the Château de Chabannes children’s home & arrest 5 boys & 1 staff member. The 6 were interned in the Nexon camp near Limoges and later deported to Auschwitz. Only two survived. [217]
Aug 27The German 16th Panzer Div pauses north of Stalingrad to wait for slower elements [2]
Tribal class destroyer HMAS Arunta sinks the Japanese submarine Ro-33 by depth charges off Port Moresby. On the surface, a large oil slick confirms the demise of the sub that earlier torpedoed MV Malaita. All 70 of the submarine’s crew are lost. Ro-33 had previously carried out a war crime, machine gunning survivors of the merchant ship Mamutu in PNG waters 3 weeks earlier. [37] — The Japanese are expelled from Milne Bay [11]Aug 29Mosquito B.IVs from 105 Sqn carried out a low level attack on Pont à Vendin power station. On the return, they are intercepted & damaged by FW190s. [65] — Graduation of the first Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) Officer Candidate School class at Fort Des Moines, Iowa. 436 women are commissioned as 3d Officers, the auxiliary equivalent to 2nd Lieutenant. Charity Adams becomes the first Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps Officer to be commissioned. She later commands the historic 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion. [91, 235] — German 4th Panzer Army brakes through Soviet lines 15 miles south of Stalingrad, Russia [2] — Russians enter outskirts of Rzhev. [11] — The Jews of Wiesbaden are deported to Terezin. The Jews on this transport are primarily elderly or sick people, as well as Jews who had been decorated or injured in WW1. [217] — The HMS Eridge (L68) is damaged while shelling Axis positions off El Daba, Egypt. The attack causes five fatalities on board Eridge. [167]
Overnight, Japanese destroyer transports land 1,000 troops on Guadalcanal. [2]Aug 30Trials of a Churchill tank in the USSR begin. Despite some drawbacks, the tank is comparable with the KV-1 and is also used in Guards heavy tanks units, the only foreign tank with this honour. [22]
Aug 31The German 4th Panzer Army reaches the Stalingrad-Morozovsk railway [2]
Sep 24/8th Hussars of UK 4th Armored Brgd penetrated Axis lines near Alam el Halfa, Egypt [2] — The KT (winged tank) flies for the first and last time. It turns out that even a T-60 tank is too heavy to deliver via a glider and the project is scrapped [22]
Major General George C. Kenney becomes Commanding Officer of the 5th Air Force. Under his leadership, his pilots will fight an innovative war using every available aircraft and weapon including parafrags and skip bombing. [37] — Australian 2/14th and 2/16th Battalions fall back to Myola Ridge on the Kokoda Trail [2]Sep 3SS Donald Stewart (Canada Steamship Lines, Montreal) torpedoed by U-517, S of the Strait of Belle Isle, NF, 3 killed. The Laker carried concrete, aviation fuel & lumber to build an airfield at Goose Bay. HMCShips SHAWINIGAN & TRAIL rescue 17 [61] — A Soviet delegation arrives at the Chrysler factory in Detroit with the goal of evaluating the M4A4 tank as a potential replacement for the M4A2. The delegation judges the M4A4 inferior to both the T-34 and KV. [22]
Japanese destroyers deliver 1,000 troops to Taivu, Guadalcanal. [2] — Lost is B-25C “The Queen” 41-12472 pilot Captain Gustave M. Heiss returning from Milne Bay crashes into the sea off southern New Guinea in darkness and bad weather with the five crew Missing In Action (MIA). [37]Sep 4Russian bombers raid Budapest and points in Germany. [11] — NZ 5th Brigade and UK 132nd Brigade harrass retreating German troops in Egypt [2] —Thirty two Handley Page Hampdens, flying from the Shetlands, are sent to Russia, only twenty three arrive. [9] — The NZ 5th Brigade and UK 132nd Brigade harrasses retreating German troops in Egypt. [2]
Sep 5In a daring night attack, German U-Boat U-513 enters the harbor at Conception Bay, NF, and torpedoes & sinks the merchant ships SS Lord Strathcona (Canadian) & SS Saganaga (British). 36 Sailors are killed, many homes are damaged from the explosions. [61] — German Luftwaffe blunts a Soviet counterattack at Stalingrad [2] — German authorities in Warsaw issue an announcement reminding Poles that the penalty for aiding Jews who fled the ghettos is death. [150]
Milne Bay: At night the freighter Anshun is unloading cargo at Gili Gili wharf. The Japanese cruiser Tenryū and destroyer Arashi enter Milne Bay and blast shore positions and the Anshun. The Anshun rolls over and sinks. Two years later, the ship was salvaged and repaired. The illuminated Hospital Ship Manunda is ignored by the Japanese. [37, 95] — Australian troops attack Japanese beachhead at Waga Waga on the coast of Milne Bay [2]Sep 6Battle for Quebec-Sydney Convoy QS-33 begins. HMCShips ARROWHEAD, TRURO, RACOON, Fairmiles ML083 & ML065 escort 8 merchant ships, are attacked by 2 U-boats over two days. Four merchant ships & 1 escort are sunk, 46 sailors are killed & 107 survivors rescued. [61] — U-165 attacks Quebec-Sydney Convoy QS-33 east of Cap Chat in the St. Lawrence. In the U-boats opening shot, it torpedos and sinks the SS Aeas, two merchant sailors are killed. HMCS  ARROWHEAD picked up twenty-nine survivors. [61] — SS John A Holloway (Upper Lakes & St. Lawrence Transportation, Toronto) is torpedoed and sunk by U-164 in the Caribbean, 1 killed. The Great Lakes merchant ship was pressed into ocean service during WWII. [61] — The British cargo liner Tuscan Star is torpedoed and sinks in the Atlantic SW Liberia. lost 51 of 114 lives [236] — SS John A Holloway (Upper Lakes & St. Lawrence Transportation, Toronto) is torpedoed and sunk by U-164 in the Caribbean, 1 killed. The Great Lakes merchant ship was pressed into ocean service during WWII. — [61]Rommel abandons efforts against El Alamein. Germans claim Novorossisk; announce the annexation of Luxemburg. [11]
Japanese troops inflict heavy casualties on Australians at Efogi on Kokoda Track [2]Sep 7While hunting the U-boat that attacked Convoy QS-33, HMCS RACCOON is torpedoed & sunk by U-165 near Grosses-Roches in the St. Lawrence River. Other convoy escorts not aware of her loss for 7 hours. There were no survivors from her ship’s company of 37 [61] — U-517 attacks Quebec-Sydney Convoy QS-33 off Cap Gaspé sinking SS Oakton (Gulf & Lake Navigation Company, Montreal), SS Mount Pindus (Greece) & SS Mount Taygetus (Greece). Seven merchant sailors killed, RCN Motor Launch Q 083 rescues 78 survivors. [61] — The first group of Canadian parachute candidates prepare to jump from a Douglas C-47 aircraft at Fort Benning, Georgia, [51]
Australians fall back from Efogi on Kokoda Track after being flanked [2]Sep 8
A Japanese Yokosuka E14Y Glen floatplane drops two bombs in the Oregon mountains. It is the first and only time during World War II that the continental United States was attacked by an aircraft. [2, 116] — Japanese cross Owen Stanley range. .[11]Sep 9Russian bombers raid Berlin and Budapest.[11]
Sep 10The battle for Convoy ON-127 begins. 34 merchant ships escorted by HMCShips ST CROIX, OTTAWA, AMHERST, ARVIDA, SHERBROOKE & HMS CELANDINE, attacked by 13 U-boats. 1 escort & 7 merchant ships sunk/5 damaged. 170 sailors killed/449 rescued. 4 U-boats damaged [61] — HMCS SHERBROOKE picks up 5 survivors from SS Elisabeth van Belgie (Belgium) & 39 survivors from MV Sveve (Norway), both ships torpedoed by U-96 while in Convoy ON-127. SHERBROOKE then attempts to sink Sveve with gunfire, finally scuttling the hulk. [61] — HMCS ST CROIX attacks U-659 after U-boat torpedoed SS Empire Oil (British), severely damaging U-boat, forcing sub to break off from Convoy ON-127 & return to port. ST CROIX then rescues 26 survivors from the merchant ship & OTTAWA rescues another 24. [61] — German 29th Motorized Infantry Division cuts off Soviet 64th Army south of Stalingrad [2] — British extend the occupation of Madagascar. R.A.F. raid on Duesseldorf. [11]
Guadalcanal. The Battle of Edson’s Ridge begins, between U.S. Marine Corps’ 1st Raider Battalion (and other Marine Corps units) and Japanese infantry [108] — 6,200 Japanese troops attack near Henderson Field, starting the Battle of Bloody Ridge [2]Sep 12HMCS ARVIDA rescues 52 survivors from SS Empire Moonbeam (British) and 85 survivors from SS Hektoria (British). Both ships had been torpedoed by U-211 while in Convoy ON-127. [61]
Sep 13Operation Agreement was a failed Allied attack against Tobruk conducted on 13-14 September 1942. Hundreds of men were wounded, captured, or killed, along with several Royal Naval vessels sunk. It was nothing less than an overwhelming Axis victory [109] — HMCS OTTAWA (1st) is struck by 2 torpedoes from U-91 while escorting convoy ON-127, mid-Atlantic South of Greenland. 1st torpedo blew off bow, 2nd broke her in two. 141 RCN & 22 merchant sailors killed. 69 rescued by HMCS ARVIDA & HMS CELANDINE. [61] — While escorting Convoy ON-127, HMCS ST CROIX attacks U-411, after U-boat fired a torpedo and missed one of the other escorts. Depth Charges damage U-411, forcing U-boat to break off attack on convoy and return to port for repair. [61] — Vichy government issues compulsory labor law. R.A.F. raid on Bremen, Russia on Budapest and Ploesti [11] — Commando raids on Tobruk, Benghazi, Barce [11] — The George Cross medal is awarded to the island of Malta [2]
Japanese forces continue to attack Henderson Field at Guadalcanal without success [2] — American fliers raid Kiska, attack Japanese ships near Solomons [11]Sep 14
Solomon Islands. While supporting transports carrying the 7th Marine Regiment, the carrier USS Wasp is sunk by six Japanese torpedoes. 193 men lost, 366 wounded; 25 airborne planes land to the USS Hornet. 45 aircraft go down with the carrier. [108] — Japanese and Australians engage at Ioribaiwa Ridge, 25 miles north of Port Moresby. [2]Sep 15
Japanese troops reach Ioribaiwa their furthest advance on the Kokoda Trail. [37]Sep 16The German 502nd Tank Battalion receives the first batch of Tiger I tanks [2] — Germans penetrate northwest outskirts of Stalingrad. R.A.F. raids on Ruhr and Wiesbaden [11]
Japanese forces reach to within 32 miles of Port Moresby [11] — The war in New Guinea hangs in the balance for a week. Maj. Gen. Horii’s force occupies Ioribawa Ridge just 40km from Port Moresby but his overstretched supply line snaked back to Buna-Gona. Of his 6000-strong Sth Seas Force, less than 1500 exhausted men remained [95]Sep 17Leslie Groves is given charge of Manhattan Project [2]
Japanese troops begin retreating back along the Kokoda Track [2]Sep 18
Sep 19Soviet counterattack near Kotluban is repulsed by German XIV Panzer Corps [2]
Sep 20First flight of the FFVS J 22 from Bromma airport. Swedish single-engine fighter aircraft developed during WWII. Power came from a Swedish copy of the Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp, manufactured without a license at the time. [8] — The Nazis claim to have reached the Volga in the center of Stalingrad [11]
The prototype of the B-29 Superfortress makes its maiden flight from Boeing Field, Seattle. It was the largest bomber used during WWII. The plane made its bombing-run debut on June 5, 1944. The plane was extraordinary, able to carry loads almost equal to its own weight at altitudes of 30- 40,000 feet. The combined effects of the aircraft’s highly advanced design, challenging requirements, and hurried development caused setbacks. [7, 9, 107, 198]Sep 21The first A-36 files. These were P-51 Mustangs modified to have dive breaks and bomb racks to provide close support to ground troops [9] — Russians counter-attack northwest of Stalingrad [11]
Sep 22Donald Cameron and Godfrey Place were awarded VCs for their part in the X-Craft raid on Tirpitz in Norway on 22nd Sept 1943, Operation SOURCE. Commanding X6 and X7, they and their crews succeeded in placing charges which caused severe damage, but subsequently became prisoners. [162]
The Matanikau action on Guadalcanal begins when U.S. Marines attack Japanese positions along the Matanikau River. Over the ensuing four days the Japanese successfully repulse the Americans [57]Sep 23
Sep 254 Mosquitoes of 105 Squadron launch a strike on the Gestapo HQ in Oslo. Four bombs hit the target but one doesn’t explode. The remainder punched straight through the building, exploding among civilian houses and killing 80 people. 1 Mosquito was lost. [162]
US Marines attack Japanese positions at Matanikau River on Guadalcanal but fail [2]Sep 26
Sep 27The German raider ‘Stier’ and her supply ship, Tannenfels, encounter the freighter ‘SS Stephen Hopkins’ in the South Atlantic. The auxiliary cruiser Stier was armed with 6 x 15cm guns. The US ship had one 4 inch gun. The naval armed guard aboard the Hopkins Lt. j.g. Kenneth M. Willett returned fire on the Stier. He scored several hits before the Hopkins was sunk. Willett posthumously received the Navy Cross. The ‘Stier’ was so badly damaged that she was abandoned and exploded. [74, 162]
Sep 30Danish Resistance begins smuggling over 7000 Jews to Sweden by fishing boats
Oct 1The prototype of the Bell P-59 Airacomet makes its maiden flight [9]
Light cruiser Tenryu was hit by US bombers at Rabaul, killing 22 [2]Oct 2
Oct 3Wernher von Braun’s team successfully launches the A-4 rocket 52.5 miles above the Earth, the first vehicle to cross the Kármán line and enter space. German General Walter Dornberger marks the occasion by telling von Braun, “Today the spaceship was born.” [117] — British Commando raid on Channel Islands [11] — 82d Fighter Group squadrons begin arriving at Eglington, Co Derry, Ireland from the US with P-38s
Australian force reaches Efogi in Papua.  [11]Oct 4German XIV Panzer Korps attacks the Stalingrad Tractor Factory [2]
Oct 5Major General Ivan Rukhle is arrested by the Soviet STAVKA. He was deputy chief of the headquarters of the Stalingrad Front. He was falsely charged him with treason and would be held at Lubyanka prison near Moscow, Russia until 1952 [116]
Oct 6The German III.Panzer Korps captures Malgobek on the Terek River in the Caucasus [2]
The US Marines cross the Matanikau River on Guadalcanal to raid Japanese positions [2]Oct 7
Fight at Matanikau River, Guadalcanal. This Third Battle of the Matanikau was a U.S. success: the USMC mauled a Japanese infantry regiment and disrupted their offensive by capturing assembly and artillery positions on the east bank of the Matanikau. [47]Oct 8Germans say strategic objectives reached at Stalingrad [11]
Oct 10The major Axis air offensive against Malta begins [2]
Oct 12The prototype Spitfire Mk VB floatplane makes its maiden flight [9]
Six Japanese destroyers land 1,000 troops on Guadalcanal [2]Oct 14New German drive against northern Stalingrad. [11] — The Newfoundland passenger ferry SS Caribou is sunk by the German submarine U-69, resulting in 136 deaths, of which were 57 military personnel, 49 civilians including 10 children [119]
3,000+ Japanese troops land at Tassafaronga, Guadalcanal [2]Oct 15
Oct 16The entire staff of the Soviet 339th Infantry Regiment is wiped out by air attacks at Stalingrad. [2]
Oct 18Germany announces that neutral ships in Allied convoys will be sunk without warning [1]
Oct 19The Kings African Rifles regiment captures 800 Vichy French troops in Madagascar [2]
The light carrier Hosho is assigned to the Mobile Force Training Force. [2]Oct 20
Oct 22Mark Clark begins negotiations with Vichy French commanders in North Africa [2] — HMCS MORDEN attacks U-443 after U-boat sinks Canadian Pacific passenger ship SS Winnipeg II & MV Donax mid-Atlantic. U-443 damaged & loses contact with convoy. MORDEN rescues 192 survivors from Winnipeg II. HMCS DRUMHELLER rescues 38 from Donax. [61]
Oct 23Britain launches a major offensive at El Alamein, Egypt against the German during World War II. The victory for the Allies is seen as a turning point during the European theater of World War II [116]
Oct 25Australian and British troops attack Point 29 southwest of Tel el Eisa, Egypt [2]
Oct 263 Vickers Wellington bombers of No. 38 Squadron sink the Tergestea tanker off the port of Tobruk, thereby depriving Rommel of much needed fuel. A few days later he decides to retreat. A pursuing General Montgomery wrote a thank you letter to No. 38 Squadron. [13]
Oct 29German troops reach Nalchik, 50 miles away from Grozny oil fields [2]
Oct 303 Royal Navy personnel from HMS Petard boarded sinking German U-559 to retrieve vital instruments & documents that led Bletchley Park codebreakers to crack Enigma code. Only Tommy Brown, aged 16, survived when submarine sank. All three received George Cross Medal [51, 120]
Oct 31German 21st Panzer Div launches 4 strikes against Australians at Point 29 in Egypt [2]
Nov 1HMCS RESTIGOUCHE attacks U-402 with depth charges while escorting Convoy SC-107 off Newfoundland, delaying the U-boat’s attack on the convoy. [61]
Nov 2German forces are halted 5 miles outside of Ordshonikidze, Azerbaijan [2]
Nov 4German 170th Division captured Feodosiya, Ukraine
Nov 5The Vichy French forces on Madagascar surrender [2]
US 7th Marine Regiment crosses the Nalimbiu River near Koli Point on Guadalcanal [2]Nov 6
Nov 8The Allies begin Operation Torch, landings at Algeria and Morocco, countries ruled by Vichy France. U.S. Gen. Eisenhower orders no naval or air bombardment. Nonetheless, Vichy troops, allied with Germany, fire on the Allies [2, 11, 86, 116]
Nov 9The British informs the USSR about the new Panzer VI tank. The Red Army already faced this tank in August, but didn’t notice its appearance until January of 1943 when tanks with turret numbers 100 and 121 were captured [22]
Nov 11Allies make a controversial deal with Vichy French Admiral Darlan in Algiers to achieve the surrender of French forcesGerman and Italian troops occupied Vichy France. The British 36th Infantry Brigade lands at Bougie, Algeria unopposed. As World War II progresses, Congress lowers the draft age to 18 (it had been 21) and raises the high end of the draft to age 37 (it had been 36 years old) [116]
Nov 12The British 3rd Parachute Battalion captures the airfield at Bone, Algeria [2] — The Red Army instituted winter time vodka rations. Troops directly engaged in combat received 100 grams daily, support troops received 50 grams. All others only received vodka on holidays. Wine could be substituted if available. [22]
The five the “Fighting Sullivan Brothers” are killed when the USS Juneau is sunk during the Battle of Guadalcanal. Their death was the greatest military loss by any one U.S. family during World War II [116] — The Battleship Hiei is scuttled off Savo Island [2]Nov 13The captain and crew of the USS William D. Porter are arrested and investigated for trying to assassinate President Franklin D. Roosevelt. FDR was aboard the USS Iowa when the Porter accidentally launched a torpedo at the Iowa. [116]
Nov 17The Italians formally absorb French Tunisia into Italian North Africa [2]
The US Army and Marines attack Japanese positions near Kokumbona on Guadalcanal [2]Nov 18
Nov 19Adolf Galland is promoted to the rank of Generalmajor [2]
Nov 20British troops capture Benghazi, Libya
Nov 21German paratroopers attack British positions near Djebel Abjod, Tunisia [2] — HMCS BUCTOUCHE attacks U-518 with depth charges following the U-boat’s attack on Convoy ON-145, 200 miles SE of Sydney, NS. U-518 was severely damaged, unable to close #3 torpedo tube, flooding torpedo room & forcing U-boat to return to base. [61] — HMCShips TIMMINS & MINAS rescue 60 sailors from MV Empire Sailor (UK), torpedoed by U-518 while in Convoy ON-145. Loaded with phosgene bombs, mustard gas & cyanide, crew abandoned freighter immediately. 20 survivors succumbed to the phosgene gas. [61]
US Army-Marine attack at Matanikau River on Guadalcanal is stopped by JapaneseNov 22
Nov 23The SPARS (Coast Guard Women’s Reserve) is founded. SPARS is an acronym for the CoastGuard motto “Semper Paratus—Always Ready. [15]
The US Marines advance to Poho, Guadalcanal [2]Nov 24
General Groves selects Los Alamos, New Mexico, for a scientific laboratory to design an atomic bomb. Site was boys’ school on a mesa in Jemez Mountains. [137]Nov 25Adolf Hitler orders that the French fleet at Toulon, France be seized
Nov 27The French Navy scuttles warships to avoid German capture [2]
Nov 29Coffee rationed to one pound every 5 weeks in the US
Dec 1Gasoline rationing was begun across the US and lasted until after the end of the war. German 10th Panzer Division launches a counterattack in Tunisia
Dec 2British and German paratroops clash at El Fedja, Tunisia [2]
Dec 4The British 2nd Parachute Battalion links up with US troops near Medjez-el-Bab, Tunisia [2] — Wing Commander Hugh Malcom leads 9 Blenheim Vs in a strike against a Luftwaffe airfield at Chougui, Tunisia. He had successfully led several such attacks but this time fighters shot down all the Blenheims, Malcolm’s being the last to fall; he was awarded a posthumous VC [162]
Dec 6811 Dutch Jews arrive at Auschwitz; 795 were gassed upon arrival [2]
US Army takes over the Guadalcanal campaign from the US Marine Corps [2] — Australian troops occupy Gona in New Guinea. Gona was the first of the three to fall to the allies after weeks of heavy fighting. [133]Dec 9
Dec 10The Polish government-in-exile in London publishes a report titled The Mass Extermination of Jews in German Occupied Poland [116]
Dec 11Allies launch a new offensive toward Marsa Brega and El Agheila in Libya [2]
Raizo Tanaka suffers injuries during a night time destroyer transport run [2]Dec 12
American troops capture Buna, New GuineaDec 13
Australian troops capture Gona, New Guinea [2]Dec 14
Dec 16Himmler issues a decree ordering all Sinti & Roma in Reich Territory to be deported to Auschwitz, where a special ‘Zigeunerlager’ (‘Gypsy Camp’) was built. Of the approx. 23,000 sent to the camp, 21,000 died or were murdered in the gas chambers [49] — A Soviet offensive is launched towards Rostov-on-Don, Russia [2]
US Marines capture Mt. Austen, GuadalcanalDec 17
Dec 18Axis and Allied forces engage in a brief but fierce combat at Nofilia, Libya [2]
British troops enter Arakan Peninsula, Burma [2] — The 2nd prototype of the B-29 flies for the first time. The flight ended due to a serious engine fire [198]Dec 21The last transport from Warsaw is sent to Treblinka with 2,196 victims. It includes Jewish police involved with deportations, and their families. This concludes Nazis & their collaborators mass deportation of about 265,000 Jews from Warsaw to the camp. [126] — Convoy PQ-18 reaches Arkhangelsk in the USSR. It is carrying the last shipment of Churchill II tanks. After that the British only sent Churchill III tanks with a new turret and more modern armament. [2, 22] — Powered by the Allison V-17110-87 engine the first A-36 flies. These were P-51 Mustangs fitted with dive brakes and bomb racks. [9]
Dec 22German troops in the Caucasus region began to fall back [2] — German dictator Adolf Hitler signs the order to develop the V-2 rocket [116]
Dec 23Bob Hope performs his first wartime Christmas show [15] — First flight of the Messerschmitt Me 264 V1 ’Amerikabomber’ (RE+EN). Long-range strategic bomber developed during World War II for the German Luftwaffe as its main strategic bomber. [8]
Dec 24French Admiral Darlan assassinatedSoviets launched offensive against German Armeegruppe Don near Stalingrad [2]
Dec 26Battle for Convoy ONS154 begins. In a 7 day running battle HMCShips ST. LAURENT, BATTLEFORD, CHILLIWACK, NAPANEE, SHEDIAC & KENOGAMI engage 21 UBoats. 14 of 46 merchant ships are lost w/ 551 sailors killed, 1 UBoat sunk. [61] — Darlan is replaced as High Commissioner in French North Africa by Giraud [2]
The Japanese Ki-67 medium bomber took its maiden flight [2]Dec 27Hitler authorizes Armeegruppe A and Armeegruppe Don to withdraw 150 miles [2] — HMCS ST LAURENT (1st) makes several depth charge attacks on U-441 while escorting Convoy ONS-154. The U-boat is undamaged but loses contact with the convoy. [61] — HMCShips ST.LAURENT, BATTLEFORD, CHILLIWACK & NAPANEE share in the destruction of U 356 during the battle for Convoy ONS 154 in the North Atlantic. [61]HMCS CHILLIWACK spots U-25 on the surface after the U-boat torpedoed the tanker Scottish Heather in Convoy ONS-154. Corvette attacks the submarine with Oerlikons, causing minimal damage, forcing it to crash dive and lose contact with the convoy. [61]
The Japanese 16th Division captures Luisiana, PhilippinesDec 28German gymnast Alfred Flatow, who won three gold medals in the 1896 Olympics in Athens and who was Jewish, dies of starvation in Theresienstadt Concentration Camp in Czechoslovakia at the age of 73 [116] — HMCS BATTLEFORD while investigating a radar contact, finds 4 U-boats on the surface preparing a concentrated attack on Convoy ONS-154. Assisted by HMCS CHILLIWACK, corvettes attack with gunfire, forcing U-664 & U-662 to lose contact with the convoy. [61] — President Franklin D. Roosevelt tells the Los Alamos science-research team not to share atomic secrets with the British, despite the two countries being allies. [116]
Dec 31Minesweeper HMS Bramble is sunk with all hands (121 men) by German destroyer Friedrich Eckoldt after engaging a vastly superior German force of battleship Admiral Hipper and three destroyers in the Barents Sea while detached from her convoy. In the same engagement destroyer HMS Achates is sunk by German battleship Admiral Hipper. She was laying a smoke screen to protect her convoy and continued to perform this duty even after receiving heavy damage. 113 of 194 crew died [2, 137] — The Royal Navy scored a noteworthy defensive victory when British warships, including the cruiser Sheffield repulsed a superior German force attempting to attack convoy JW.51B in the Barents Sea.  Captain Robert Sherbrooke earns the Victoria Cross in command of the escorts of convoy JW51B.  His ships fought off the superior German heavy cruisers & all cargo made it to Russia.  He continued to direct battle after wounding [87]
Jan 1HMCS WOODSTOCK sinks MTB 105, 250 miles NW of the Azores, after the merchant ship ferrying the MTB across the Atlantic is sunk. [61]
Jan 3Soviet troops capture Mozdok, Russia [2] — Wladyslaw Raczkiewicz urges the Pope to denounce German atrocities [2] — Ball gunner Alan Magee was thrown clear of his disintegrating B-17 over St Nazaire at around 22,000 feet – without a parachute. He landed on the glass roof of the town’s station, which broke his fall, but his injuries were severe and required extensive care. [162]
Jan 4First flight of the Avro Anson MK V. British twin-engine, multi-role aircraft [8]
Jan 7A transport of 2,000 Jews deported by the Germans from the ghetto in Augustów arrived at Auschwitz. SS doctors sent 296 men & 125 women to the camp. 1,489 people were murdered immediately in gas chambers [6] — HMCS WEYBURN is credited with shooting down one He 111 torpedo bomber and a probable kill on a second aircraft during a 25 minute attack by German 14 aircraft on Convoy KMS-6 with OpTORCH [61]
Japanese troops again halt a British assault at Donbaik, Burma [2]Jan 8
Jan 11The Avro Lancaster Mk B.II undertakes its first operational sortie when two take part in a raid on Essen, Germany. [9] — Russians take Georgievsk, Mineralnye Vody, Pyatigorsk [11] — Soviet troops launched an offensive in the Caucasus. [2]
Jan 12The BI-2 rocket-powered prototype aircraft took its second flight at Sverdlovsk [2]
US 2nd Marine Division begins a westward offensive on Guadalcanal [2]Jan 13HMCS VILLE DE QUEBEC (1st) in a lightning attack, drops a pattern of Depth Charges on ASDIC contact west of Algiers, forcing U-224 to surface. Too close for 4in gun, corvette fires 600 20mm rounds from her Oerlikon cannons & rams the German U-Boat. The U-224 sinks in 10 minutes! There was one survivor. [31, 51, 61]
Jan 14The Casablanca Conference of Allied leaders begins. Franklin D Roosevelt becomes the first sitting U.S. president to travel overseas by airplane when he departs Miami for the Casablanca summit in North Africa. [4]
Jan 15Construction of the Pentagon, the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense, in Arlington, Virginia is completed [116]
Jan 16Iraq declares war on Germany and the Axis powers. [116]
The American tanker MOBILUBE is torpedoed/damaged by sub I-165 near Sydney … used as a storage barge in the Philippines. In 1947 she was taken in tow by another tanker YORBA LINDA. After 45 days and 3000 miles they arrived in San Francisco, She was later repaired [142]Jan 18The Red Army opens a narrow land corridor into the city of Leningrad, which had been besieged by Nazi Germany since September 1941. However, it would be another year until the siege – the longest in history – was lifted [35] — Another round of deportations begins in the Warsaw ghetto. Jews led by Mordechai Anielewicz resist & in April there follows an uprising. [126]
The US 25th Division began an offensive toward Kokumbona, Guadalcanal [2]Jan 20
Jan 21The Soviets capture Voroshilovsky and Stavropol in the Caucasus region [2]
US 25th Division capture the high ground south of Kokumbona, Guadalcanal [2]Jan 23British forces capture TripoliThe last German airfield in the Stalingrad pocket is taken by Soviet troops [2]
Jan 24Nazi Germany Fuhrer Adolf Hitler refuses General Friedrich von Paulus, commander in chief of the German 6th Army, request to surrender at the Battle of Stalingrad. The battle had begun on August 23, 1942 [116] — The Casablanca Conference concludes at the Anfa Hotel. Amongst those in attendance were Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Charles de Gaulle. It resulted in the Casablanca Declaration of “unconditional surrender” of the Axis powers [2, 57]
Jan 25The remnants of the German 6. Armee are split into two pockets in Stalingrad. The Soviet Red Army captures the last German airfield in the city. The Germans would surrender on February 2 [2, 116]
Jan 27The first U.S. daylight bombing raid against Germany occurs when U.S. hits the U-boat pens at Wilhelmshaven Port. 64 planes participated in the raid; 53 reached their target, managing to shoot down 22 German planes. Only 3 #merican planes were lost. [4, 116]
US and Japanese warships engage in the Battle of Rennell Island [2]Jan 29Soviet troops capture Maikop, Russia [2] — Russians take Kropotkin [11]
Jan 30de Havilland Mosquitos from 105 & 139 Squadrons flying in two waves attack a broadcasting station in Berlin, Germany. This first British daylight raid disrupts speeches by Goring and Goebbels. British propaganda takes full advantage of this. [9, 65, 162] — Commander Edward Travis sets up the Newmanry at Bletchley Park. The section is created to mechanize the process of breaking German ciphers – something that has previously been done by hand [27] — Hitler promotes General Friedrich Paulus to Field Marshall a day before Paulus surrenders at Stalingrad. Hitler reminded Paulus that not one German field marshal has ever been taken prisoner, hoping he would commit suicide [116] — Corvette HMS Samphire is torpedoed and sunk by Italian submarine Platino while on convoy escort duty off Bougie, Algeria, with the loss of 45 officers and men [137] — The Vichy Militia (Milice) is created by the Vichy French government. It was a paramilitary force created to combat the French Resistance. Members of the Milice were subject to reprisals after the Liberation of France [116]
Jan 31At Stalingrad, two days before the surrender of the German forces, Generalfeldmarschall Paulus, commander 6 Armee was captured [13, 116] — The bulk of the German Sixth Army surrenders at Stalingrad; last of resistance ends Feb. 2 [11]
Japanese evacuation of Guadalcanal beginsFeb 1
Feb 2After Nazi German General Friedrich Paulus and 22 of his generals surrender on Jan. 31, the rest of the Fourth and Sixth German armies, ~91,000 men, surrender, ending the Battle of Stalingrad. [116]
Feb 3Coffee rationing increased to one pound every six weeks in the US — The German OKW announces the defeat at Stalingrad, Russia [2]
Feb 4Soviet troops land near Novorossiysk in southern Russia [2] — U-414 is attacked by a Canso aircraft from 5 (BR) Squadron RCAF flying from Gander, NF in the  North Atlantic. The U-Boat is severely damaged and forced to return to St. Nazaire [61]
Feb 5Colossus, the world’s 1st digital programmable computer is used for the 1st time [29]
Battle of Guadalcanal endsFeb 8
The F4U-1 Corsair fighter makes their operational debut 200 miles north of GuadalcanalFeb 13
Feb 14German troops attack the Americans at Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia.  [2] — The KV-14 assault gun is accepted into service as the SU-152. This vehicle became hugely successful, but gained fame for its anti-tank abilities rather than its intended purpose [22]
Feb 15The Americans lose 46 medium tanks in action at Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia [2] — The anti-Nazi White Rose members Alexander Schmorell, Hans Scholl, and Willi Graf write Down with Hitler & Freedom on the walls of Munich University and other buildings. Arrests of White Rose members by the Gestapo begin on Feb. 18 [116]
Feb 16German forces capture Sidi Bouzid and Sbeitla, Tunisia [2] — The Ferdinand tank destroyer introduced at Nibelungenwerke. The appearance of this vehicle at the Battle of Kursk had a big impact on Soviet tank building even though only 91 were produced [22]
Feb 18Goebbels announces the implementation of total war at the Berlin Sportpalast [2] — Hans Scholl and his sister, Sophie, the leaders of the German youth group Weisse Rose (White Rose), are arrested by the Gestapo, having encouraged nonviolent resistance against the Nazis. Sophie Scholl, Hans Scholl, Christoph Probs and Willi Graf are executed for distributing anti-Nazi materials. [116, 148]
The Northern Group of the Chindits reaches Tonmakeng, Burma [2]Feb 22
Feb 23The inexperienced Americans suffer a major defeat at the Battle for Kasserine Pass [2]
Feb 24German and Italian troops defeat American troops at Kasserine Pass in Tunisia
Feb 25The inexperienced Americans suffer a major defeat at the Battle for Kasserine Pass in North Africa
US aircraft sink many Japanese ships at the Battle of Bismarck Sea and strafed survivors [2]Mar 3
US aircraft sink the destroyer Tokitsukaze and other ships at the Battle of the Bismarck Sea [2]Mar 4
Chindits reach Wuntho-Indaw railway in Burma near Nankan and Pinlebu [2]Mar 6While escorting  Operation Torch Convoy KMS-10, HMCS SHEDIAC attacks U-410 after it had torpedoed two merchant ships in the convoy west of Gibraltar, forcing the U-boat to withdraw due to damage. [61] — Hitler gives the order to start installing Schurzen armour. This armour was installed on German medium tanks as well as SPGs on their chassis. Its purpose was to protect their weak sides from Soviet anti-tank rifles. [22]
Mar 7HMCS ROSTHERN rescues three survivors from SS Egyptian’s (British) crew of 49 merchant sailors, torpedoed by U-230 while in convoy SC-121 in mid-Atlantic. [61]
Mar 9Yekaterina Budanova shoots down a Bf 109 fighter, sharing the credit with other pilots [2]
Claire Chennault is promoted to the rank of major general [2]Mar 10U-625 is sunk by ShortSunderland aircraft from 422 Squadron RCAF ARC west of Ireland with six well placed bombs, straddling the surfaced U-boat. While abandoning sinking U-boat, submariners signaled to aircrew, “Fine Bombish.” [61] — HMCS DAUPHIN rescues three survivors from SS Nailsea Court (British) and two survivors from SS Coulmore (British), torpedoed by U-229 while in Convoy SC-121 in mid-Atlantic. [61]
Mar 11The Russian Bereznyak-Isayev BI-3rocket-powered prototype aircraft took its first flight at Sverdlovsk [2]
Mar 12Destroyer HMS Lightning is torpedoed and sunk by German torpedo boats off Bizerta, Tunisia. 47 of her crew died. [137]
Japanese troops end their assault on American forces at Hill 700 on Bougainville [2]Mar 13 The liquidation of Ghetto A in Cracow begins; on the following day, the action spreads on Ghetto B. Jews are sent to the Plaszów Camp and Auschwitz. [55] — Wehrmacht officer Henning von Tresckow tries to assassinate Adolf Hitler on a flight from Smolensk-Rastenburg. The bomb he used failed. Tresckow also drafted the failed Valkyrie plan, an attempted coup and assassination of Hitler in 1944 [116]
Mar 14Germans recapture Kharkov, Ukraine [2] — Submarine HMS Thunderbolt is depth-charged and sunk by Italian corvette Cicogna north-west of Sicily. All 68 crew are lost. Thunderbolt was formerly HMS Thetis which sank during trials 1 June 1939 killing 99 on board and was salvaged in 1940. [137]
IGHQ issues the Joint Army-Navy Central Agreement on Southeast Asia Operation order [2]Mar 15
Mar 16Operational trials of 37-mm Flak gun-armed German Ju 87G anti-tank aircraft began [2]
Mar 17US troops capture Gafsa, Tunisia
Mar 21Wehrmacht officer Rudolf von Gersdorff tries to kill Adolf Hitler when he gave him a tour of captured Soviet military equipment. He had bombs in his coat, but Hitler cut the tour short and Gersdorff barely defuse the bombs in time. [116]
Mar 22German SS men massacre civilians in the Byelorussian village of Khatyn [2] — HMCS MORDEN rescues 102 survivors from SS City of Christchurch while escorting OpTORCH Convoy KMS-11. This and previous rescues (SS Winnipeg II -192 survivors) made MORDEN, “Champion survivor-carrier of her class in the United Nations Navies.” [61]
Mar 23US troops repulse German 10th Panzer Div counterattack at El Guettar, Tunisia
Satoru Anabuki scores his 24th victory, a B-25 bomber. [2]Mar 24
Indian 4th Division overruns the Mareth Line in Tunisia. [2]Mar 25
The Battle of Komandorski Islands takes place between surface forces of the Imperial Japanese Navy and United States Navy. The long slugging match harked back to naval combat of old, and unexpected conclusion proved pivotal in the Aleutian Islands campaign. [157] — Army Nurse 2LT Elsie Ott becomes the first woman to receive the U.S. Air Medal. She was aboard an aircraft in route from Karachi, India, to Washington, D.C., caring for five patients bound for Walter Reed Army Hospital. [70]Mar 26
Mar 27German tanks stop the British offensive at El Hamma, Tunisia [2]
Mar 30British troops led by Montgomery breach the Mareth Line in North Africa
Mar 31Crematorium 2 begins operation at Auschwitz Concentration Camp in occupied Poland [2]
Powered by a 1,645-hp Rolls-Royce Merlin 32 the Hawker Hurricane Mk V makes its maiden flight. Only three aircraft, two converted Mk IVs, would be produced. [9]Apr 3The US 1st Inf Division captures Hill 369 near El Guettar, Tunisia
Apr 4Soviet troops launch the Taman Offensive Operation [2]
Apr 5SHILLONG New York to Belfast, part of Convoy HX231, was torpedoed and sunk by U-630…although most got away in a lifeboat/liferaft…of the 70 crew + 8 Gunners, only 7 survived. 4 requiring amputations. [42] — Chinese steward Poon Lim, who was serving on the British merchant ship SS Ben Lomond, is found near Brazil by fishermen after being at sea for 133 days. His ship had been sunk by a German U-boat on November 23, 1942. [116]
Apr 6Dietrich Bonhoeffer is arrested for being part of an attempt on the life of Hitler [2]
Japanese aircraft sinks 1 US destroyer and 1 New Zealand corvette at Tulagi. [2]Apr 7Bolivia joins the United Nations [11]
Apr 8The XSB2D-1 prototype aircraft took its first flight. This later became the Douglas BTD Destroyer. It is an American dive/torpedo bomber developed for the United States Navy. [2]
Apr 10The Allies continue Operation Flax offensives over the waters between Sicily and Tunisia [2]
Apr 11Destroyer HMS Beverley (ex USS Branch) is torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-188 while on convoy duty in the Atlantic Ocean. 139 of her crew were lost. [137]
Apr 12The British 8th Army captures Sousse, Tunisia [2,11] — Stalin informs Churchill of his delight to see German industry in shambles [2]
Apr 14The Soviet 14th Army pushes back a German thrust southeast of Leningrad [2] — Joseph Stalin’s oldest son, Yakov Dzhugashvili, dies in Sachsenhausen concentration camp in Germany. He was taken prisoner on July 16, 1941, during the Battle of Smolensk. Stalin had refused a prisoner exchange. [116]
Apr 15First P-47 in aerial combat. The 800-mile combat range-extended Allied fighter coverage deep into mainland Europe from Britain. — Hastings Ismay reports to Churchill regarding German rocket experiments [2] — The aircraft carrier USS Yorktown (CV-10) is commissioned. She would go on to serve with distinction in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. [66]
Apr 17The United States Coast Guard cutter Spencer depth charges U-175 forcing her to surface. The U-175 sank in the North Atlantic, 500 nautical miles WSW of Ireland. [77] — The Atlantic Command of the Canadian Army reached its peak strength of the Second World War with 24,784 all ranks under its command. [31]
US fighters intercept Isoroku Yamamoto over Bougainville, killing him [2]Apr 18
A search party found the remains of Isoroku Yamamoto on Bougainville [2]Apr 19The Eighth Army attacks the Enfidaville line. [11] — The Nazis begin the final liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto. Heavily armed German SS troops & police entered the ghetto to deport its inhabitants. They were met with armed resistance by Ill-equipped Jewish fighters. This began the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Jews in the Ghetto, with some members of the Polish home army, began the Uprising. 27 days after initial attack, on 16 May 1943, the uprising was crushed by the Nazis. The Germans had to fight block by block to capture the survivors. The ghetto was destroyed and its remaining Jewish inhabitants deported to their deaths. 56,000 Jews were killed during the uprising or after they were sent to concentration camps. [49, 116, 126, 150] — Belgium partisans attack a Nazi German train carrying Jews to Auschwitz. Transport No. 20 left Mechelen with 1,631 Jews. 233 people attempted to escape, 26 were shot, 89 were recaptured and 118 successfully escaped. [116]
Apr 21Joseph Stalin signs the order to create GUKR SMERSH [2]
Apr 22The final Allied assault began against remaining Axis forces in North Africa [2,11]
U.S. warships shell Attu. [11]Apr 24
Apr 26RAF bombers conduct a raid against Duisburg, Germany [11]
Apr 28Konstantin Rokossovsky was promoted to the rank of general [2] — The Kirov factory began working on a tank destroyer on the SU-152 chassis armed with the 122 mm A-19 gun. The priority of this work was low and the idea was only implemented in metal in December on the ISU-152 chassis. [22]
Apr 29German troops fall back to Lake Garaet Anchkel west of Bizerte, Tunisia [2] — An Upkeep bomb drop is conducted successfully in southeastern Britain [2]
Apr 30Early morning off the coast of Spain the British submarine HMS Seraph surfaced. A canister is brought up on deck, from inside a body is removed & lowered into the water. He was dressed as a courier and carried false invasion plans. This was an elaborate deception to disguise Allied plans to invade Sicily. This operation was known as ‘Operation Mincemeat’. Spanish fishermen found the body of ‘Major Martin’ near Huelva. The body was really that of Glyndwr Michael, a tramp who died from eating rat poison. [148, 167, 173]
May 1US troops capture Hill 609 in Tunisia. [2]
May 2U-262 arrived off North Point PEI to rendezvous with escaped German Navy POW’s from Camp 70 near Fredericton NB. The escape attempt had previously been discovered. After 4 days submerged off PEI coast & no contact from POW’s, the U-Boat departed the area. [61]
US Office of Price Administration ends meat rationing. Exception is for steak and choice beef (rationing is tightened again later)May 3US troops capture Mateur, Tunisia [2,11] — Germans driven from Krimsk in Kuban sector [11]
May 5Soviet troops capture Krymsk in southern Russia [2]
May 6British take Massicault, break Axis defense in Tunisia [11]
Japanese troops capture Anxiang, Hunan Province, China [2]May 7Allies take Tunis and Bizerta [11]
Japanese troops capture Maungdaw, BurmaMay 8
May 12The Trident Conference begins in Washington, DC, United States [2]
May 13Axis forces in North Africa surrender. The B-17 Hells Angels becomes the first aircraft to complete 25 combat missions. [1]
May 14A memo is sent out requiring all new Soviet tanks to carry 85 mm guns or larger, including the T-43. This was the beginning of the end for this tank, as upgrading it to meet requirements would make it far too heavy. [22] — Hitler is shown a full sized model of the Maus tank. He approved production based on this showing, even though the model showed features that did not exist in the actual design. [22]
May 16Starting at 21:28 nineteen Avro Lancasters of No. 617 Squadron take off for ‘Operation Chastise’. This is the ‘Dam Buster‘ mission against dams in the Ruhr valley. Two of the Ruhr region dams in Germany were breached by the British bombers. [2, 9, 26] — The Nazis violently crush the Warsaw Ghetto uprising and leave the ghetto area in ruins. The Warsaw synagogue was destroyed. Surviving residents are deported to concentration camps or killing centers [2, 49]
The Japanese 3rd Division captures Songzi, Hubei Province, China [2]May 18
The Japanese 3rd Corps gathers at Chayuansi, Hunan, preparing for a planned offensive. [2]May 19Churchill gives his second wartime address to the U.S. Congress, pledging his full support in the fight against Japan. Later that evening, he and Pres. Roosevelt agreed on May 1, 1944 for the D-Day invasion, but it occurs on June 6. [116]
Shigeru Fukudome is named the chief of staff of the Japanese Navy Combined Fleet [2]May 22The HMCS ST LAURENT arrives on the scene of sinking U-569, east of Newfoundland & rescues 25 submariners. The U-Boat was severely damaged by aircraft from USS BOGUE. [61]
The USS New Jersey is commissioned. She earns 9 battle stars during World War II, four in the Korean War, two in the Vietnam War, and four in Lebanon and the Persian Gulf region. [128] — The Panamanian ship STANVAC MANILA, Curacao to Noumea with a full cargo of fuel oil with 6 MTB’s on deck, was torpedoed and sunk by Japanese submarine I-17, 12 were lost. 4 of the MTB’s floated off and towed to Noumea by USS PREBLE. [142]May 23A Type VIIC U-boat was sunk in the North Atlantic. Swordfish from 819 Naval Air Squadron on HMS ARCHER claimed the first kill w/ new RP-3 Rocket Spear. The submarine was scuttled. 29 KIA [187]
The Japanese 39th Div completes the crossing of the Yangtze River near Pianyan, Hubei. [2] — US troops mop up the final Japanese opposition groups in the Aleutian IslandsMay 24German Admiral Karl Dönitz orders most u-boats to withdraw from the Atlantic as 43, most in a month up to that point and 25% of the fleet, are destroyed. Known as Black May, it is considered a turning point in the Battle of the Atlantic. [116] — Bombers from the Polish 300 and 305 squadrons return from the largest attack of the Ruhr Valley campaign. They struck the Hoesch steelworks in Dortmund, part of the strategic objective to cripple German industries. 826 Allied bombers took part, 5% were lost. [113]
The failed Japanese offensive at Pianyan, China suffers 3,000 casualties. [2]May 26
Japanese troops launch a major attack against the Chinese in Hubei-Hunan region. [2] — The submarine USS Runner (SS-275) departs Midway for the Kurile Island chain and waters off northern Japan. She was never heard from again. Runner was declared overdue and presumed lost in July 1943. [74]May 27Churchill meets with Allied leaders in Algeria to plan the invasion of Sicily and the Italian campaign
USS Sunfish shells a Japanese oil refinery at Fais, Caroline Islands [2]May 28An American delegation that arrived in Gorky to train Soviet tankers was allowed to drive a T-34 tank. The leader of the delegation Lt. Col. Grey drove so well that the Soviets issued him an Excellent Tank Driver badge. [22]
Japanese and Chinese troops clash in Hubei and Hunan Provinces, China [2]May 29
May 30Yekaterina Budanova shoots down a Bf 109 fighter, sharing the credit with other pilots. [2]
The Chinese inflict heavy Japanese casualties in the Hubei-Hunan border region of China. [2]Jne 2Tuskegee’s USAAF 99th Fighter Squadron, the first squadron of Black pilots to face WWII combat, makes its debut. The fly their P-40L fighters in an attack on the Italian Island of Pantelleria. [2, 173, 195] — A Short Sunderland of No. 464 Squadron RAAF is attacked over the Bay of Biscay by 8 Junkers Ju 88s. The ensuing combat lasts for 45 minutes and sees the Sunderland shoot down 3 of its attackers. The Allies nicknamed the study Sunderland the Flying Porcupine. [60] — U-105, a Type IXB U-Boat is sunk by depth charges from a French Potez-CAMS 141 flying boat near Dakar. U-105 sank 23 ships/125,460 GRT during its career. The entire crew of 53 were KIA [187]
Jne 3An authorization was given to produce 250 Medium Tanks T23, 40 T25, and 10 T26. Out of all of those, only the T26 saw service as the Heavy Tank M26 or US Pershing [22] — French Resistance destroy 300 tons of tires at Michelin factory at Clermont-Ferrant. [2]
Jne 5Italian warships at Spezia bombed [11]
The Chinese 3rd Div wipes out the HQ element of the Japanese 13th Div. [2]Jne 7
Battleship Mutsu suffers a fatal accidental explosion [2]Jne 8
Future President George H. W. Bush is commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserves, making him the youngest naval pilot to that date. [116]Jne 9The NTKP issues an order to begin installing commander’s cupolas on T-34 tanks. A cupola was initially conceived of in 1940, but implementation was delayed by the German invasion.[22]
Jne 12Germans liquidate the Jewish Ghetto in Berezhany in Ukraine, killing 1180 [2]
US officers begin planning for a New Georgia invasion [2]Jne 13
Fighting in the Solomons is transferred  to the Southwest Pacific command [2]Jne 14
Jne 15King George visits troops in North Africa [11]
New Georgia invasion is scheduled to take place on 30 Jun 1943 [2]Jne 16
Jne 20The Allies begin Operation Bellicose, bombing runs which target Würzburg radar production. A V-2 #rocket facility was also hit for the first time, though inadvertently. [116] — Race-related rioting erupted in Detroit, Michigan, USA. A total of 34 people were killed, 25 of them were black and killed at the hands of local white police officers, a further 433 were wounded, 75 per cent of them black. [154]
Jne 21Himmler orders the liquidation of Jewish ghettos in Soviet territory controlled by Germany [2]
Jne 22Stutthof Concentration Camp conducted its first gassing [2]
Jne 25The construction of the gas chamber and crematorium III was completed at the German Nazi Auschwitz II-Birkenau camp. It had 210 sq. meters gas chamber and five 3-muffled crematoria ovens that could burn up to 1440 corpses per 24-hours [6]
The USS Runner fails to report in while patrolling waters off Japan [2]Jne 26
Jne 27The hydroelectric dams in the Ruhr region damaged by Dambuster Raid return to full capacity [2]
Jne 28The Allies take Nicosia and Agira [11] — The Hawker Tempest Mk II makes its first flight. This was powered by the Bristol Centaurus Mk IV engine. [9]
Major General Nobuji pledges further funding for Japanese atomic project [2]Jly 2Lieutenant Charles Hall becomes 1st African American pilot to shoot down a Nazi plane [206]
Jly 3U-420 is severely damaged by 10 (BR) Squadron RCAF ARC Gander, NF Liberator 587 “B” P/O R.R. Stevenson. With two submariner’s killed and one wounded, U-420 was forced to return to Lorient. [61]
The 1st of Chinese 30th Div begins to arrive at Ramgarh Training Center in India. [2]Jly 4In Gibraltar, a Royal Air Force B-24 Liberator bomber crashes into the sea in an apparent accident moments after takeoff. Sixteen passengers on board, including general Władysław Sikorski, his daughter, and many other Polish and British officials. Sikorski was the Prime Minister and commander-in-chief of the Polish Army. Only the pilot survived the crash. [13, 113, 167, 168].
Captain Takeo Taizuka is named the commanding officer of light carrier Hosho [2]Jly 5The Battle of Kursk begins in Russia between Germany and the USSR. This battle marked the debut of the German Panther tank. These tanks had powerful front armour and armament, but poor reliability and weak sides made them ill-suited for breakthrough action. Known as Operation Citadel, it was Germany’s last major offensive on the Eastern Front. It was the largest battle in history and the world’s largest tank battle. [11, 22, 116] — The BBC broadcast ‘Llandudno Calling’ from the resort’s Grand Theatre. It gave the opportunity for townspeople to send messages to their loved ones serving in the forces abroad. [21]
Jly 6Konstantin Rokossovsky launches a failed counterattack north of Kursk [2]
Jly 8German tanks under Walter Model made three thrusts into Soviet lines at Kursk [2]
The US 1st Raider Battalion attacks the island of Enogai [2]Jly 9
Jly 10The launch of Operation Husky, the Allied invasion of Sicily. The attack began with a large amphibious assault on the southern shores of the island and an airborne operation. This was followed by a six-week land campaign, and initiated the Italian Campaign. Sailors from the 55th, 61st, 80th & 81st Canadian Landing Craft Flotillas participate in the invasion. By the end of operations on 5 August, 40,959 men, 8,937 vehicles & 40,181 tons of supplies were landed by the RCN Flotillas. Canadian soldiers of the 1st Canadian Infantry Division & 1st Canadian Armored Brigade landed on the Sicilian coast as part of the Allied invasion force. Polish forces also supported this operation. The Polish Navy deployed three destroyers, two submarines and four transport ships to support the Allied effort. [2, 7, 11, 15, 25, 31, 55, 61, 80, 84167, 174] — The Hospital ship TALAMBA is bombed and sunk off Aviola, Sicily while evacuating wounded …according to CWGC, only 4 crew were killed. Apparently all 400 wounded onboard were rescued, but there seems to be some doubt [142]
Jly 11Allies take Ragusa, Agrigento, and Lentini [11] — The Duchess of York (Canadian Pacific Ships) is bombed & sunk by German aircraft while in convoy OS-51 in the North Atlantic. The HMCS IROQUOIS rescues 628 of the 819 survivors. There were 908 souls on board when she was lost. [61] — Battle of Gela on Sicily: German & Italian troops launch a counter-attack on Allied forces. [167] — The Liberty Ship SS Robert Rowan explodes after being attacked by bombers off the coast of Sicily. All 421 crew members are safely evacuated before the explosion [128]
The battle of Kolombangara in the New Georgia Islands saw the sinking of the Jintsu and the USS Gwin [2]Jly 12Members of the 1st Canadian Division invad Sicily, part of Operation HUSKY. During the allied invasion 2,300 Canadians would become casualties and 562 soldiers died. [213]
US fighters intercepted ~60 Japanese aircraft over Rendova, shooting down 40. [2]Jly 15In Sicily in 1943 1st (CA) Div took up point duties for XXX Corps. After the initial excitement of the landings their war had, relatively speaking, been uneventful. All that was to change today.
Jly 16The funeral of Gen. Władysław Sikorski, Supreme Commander and Prime Minister of the Polish Government In Exile took place at the cemetery of Polish airmen in Newark. Sikorski died in a plane crash off the coast of #Gibraltar on 4 July 1943 [55] — Roosevelt and Churchill urged Italians to rise up and depose Mussolini [2]
The US Army and Marines jointly launch an offensive on New Georgia [2]Jly 17Four Boulton Paul Defiants from No. 515 Squadron perform the types last operational sortie. This was in the electronic countermeasures role. [9] — Operation Hydra saw nearly 600 RAF bombers attack the German V-weapon research complex at Peenemünde. 40 aircraft were lost and the accuracy of the bombing was mixed, but enough damage was done to delay the V-2 program for several weeks as facilities were moved. [162]
Jly 18The US Seventh Army troops capture Caltanisetta, Sicily, Italy [2] — In Sicily the German defenders at Primosole Bridge did not retire completely. They are now defending a wide dyke, the Fosso Bottaceto, in strength. It’s a case of déjà vu I’m afraid. The LIR attacked this morning and are still engaged [216]
Jly 19LIFE Magazine featured 21 year old Shirley Slade on its cover. She was a WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) who flew P-39 Airacobras and B-26 Marauders during World War II. [128] — The 19 July is officially recognised as the day the famous ‘dash for Palermo’ on Sicily started. It would be spearheaded by the 3rd (US) Div led by MG Lucian Truscott. As Patton moves west, Guzzoni orders his remaining troops to move east! They’ll try to escape by using the northern coast road and Hy 120, hoping to clear the town of Petralia before Bradley’s II Corps can reach it and cut them off! [216] — Rome is heavily bombed for the first time by more than 500 Allied aircraft. In the 110,000 sorties that comprised the Allied Rome air campaign, 600 aircraft were lost & 3,600 air crew members died; 60,000 tons of bombs were dropped in the 78 days [2, 11, 116, 167] — Death of Yekaterina Vasylievna Budanova, Soviet WWII female fighter ace, killed in her Yak-1 by a Messerschmitt Bf 109. One of only two female Soviet flying aces. She was shot down by either Luftwaffe ace Georg Schwientek of JG 52 or ace Emil Bitsch, of JG 3. [8] — First flight of the Curtiss-Wright XP-55 Ascender 42-78845 (Curtiss-Wright CW-24) from Scott Field near the Company plant in St Louis, Missouri. US prototype fighter aircraft. It had a canard configuration, a rear mounted engine, swept wings and two vertical tails. [8]
Jly 22The US 2nd Armored Division captures Palermo, Sicily. U.S. forces under General George #Patton capture Palermo, Sicily, Italy. Patton was given permission to take Palermo, but the order was rescinded. He claimed the message was garbled and took the city anyway. At 7pm. the 7th Army, the Provisional Corps captures Palermo. This will capture world headlines. But, of more importance to the campaign, in capturing Bompietro, 1 (US) Div is getting ever closer to the northern coast of Sicily. [2, 116, 216] — First flight of the Miles M.39B Libellula. A British tandem wing aircraft twin engine, 5/8 scaled version of a proposed bomber type designated M.35. Powered by two 140 hp de Havilland Gipsy Major IC inline piston engines. [8]
Jly 23The British destroyers HMS Eclipse & HMS Laforey sink the Italian submarine Ascianghi in the Mediterranean after she torpedoes the cruiser HMS Newfoundland. [167] — Soviet forces launch the Belgorod-Bogodukhov Offensive Operation [2]
Jly 24King Vittorio Emanuele III orders Mussolini arrested [2] — Operation Gomorrah, the Allied campaign of air raids over the German city of Hamburg, begins. British & Canadian aircraft bomb Hamburg by night, & American planes bomb the city by day. The bombing raids create a massive firestorm and killed an estimated 58,000 and wounding 37,000 civilians. This is one of the largest firestorms raised by the Allied Air Forces. It virtually destroyed most of the city. [13, 35, 167]
Jly 25The Italian Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini is voted out of the office by his own Grand Council. King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy forces Mussolini to resign and then has him arrested and imprisoned. Hiter’s forces would later free him from prison. Mussolini had ruled the council since 1922. [116, 154]
Jly 26Marshal Badoglio replacs the Fascist government in Italy. [2]
Jly 28Coffee is removed from rationing in the US
Jly 29The mobility trials of the SU-85 tank destroyer prototypes started. Their mobility was about on par with the standard T-34 tank. [22] — The US ambassador in Madrid demands the withdrawal of Spanish volunteers fighting in Russia. [2]
The first class of WAVothers parachuted down from the skies. ES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) graduate from the Aviation Metalsmith School at the Naval Air Technical Training Center in Norman, Oklahoma [128]Jly 30
Aug 1In the Allied Air Offensive Axis petroleum production systems were priority targets. With its concentration of refineries, Ploesti, Rumania, became a lucrative target. Only U.S. Army Air Forces B-24 Liberators in North Africa could reach them. 177 American bombers hit the Nazi-controlled Ploesti oil fields of Romania. More than 100 planes are lost or damaged in the raid. [4, 9, 70]
A Japanese destroyer Amagiri slams into US Navy torpedo boat PT 109 in the Blackett Strait between Kolombangara and Arundel in the Solomon Islands. The American vessel’s 26-yr-old skipper, John F Kennedy, keeps the surviving crewmen alive following the ramming. Eleven of the thirteen crew survived. The tale of heroism will later propel the young officer into politics [4, 7]Aug 2About 1,000 Jewish prisoners at the Treblinka Extermination Camp stage an armed revolt against the SS guards. The prisoners seized arms, set buildings on fire, and attempted to break through Treblinka’s main gate. Two hundred of the prisoners escape from the camp. Treblinka is one of the deadliest of the Nazi death camps. Approximately 900,000 persons were murdered there in less than 18 months. [44, 55, 131, 214]
Aug 3Italian troops begin evacuation of Sicily, Italy [2] — George Patton slaps Charles Kuhl for perceived cowardice [2]
Aug 4A group of specialists from the NIBT proving grounds leaves the Kursk battlefield, having examined several knocked out German Ferdinands. A sample was later procured to be shot up in order to determine their weaknesses. [22]
Aug 5The Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) is established. The WASP flew a total of 60 million miles performing a variety of missions during the war. [195]
Battle of Vella Gulf saw sinking of 3 Japanese destroyers, killing 1,500. [2]Aug 6Allies take Troina [11] — The trials of four prototype SPGs are completed in the USSR. The SU-85 with the D-5S gun is accepted into service, forcing out even the improved SU-122 [22]
Munda airfield on New Georgia is deemed partially operational by Americans. [2]Aug 7Allies take Adrano. Milan, Turin, and Genoa bombed [11] — Near Adrano in Sicily: the 36 Brigade with 6 RWK & E Surreys enter Adrano without opposition [58]
Aug 10George Patton berates Private Paul Bennett for cowardice [2] — The SU-76M (SU-15M) begins after the SPG was already accepted and enters mass production. The design was not just more reliable than the SU-12 (SU-76), but more comfortable for the crew [22]
Opening of Quebec conference [11]Aug 11
Aug 12In Sicily: 0230 38 Brigade attack begins on the high ground east of Maletto  [58]
Japanese IGHQ orders the abandonment of central Solomons [2]Aug 13Allies take Randazzo. The second raid on Rome. Day raid on Wiener Neustadt from Africa. Russians take Spas Demensk. [11]
Aug 14In a single night, German SS authorities murder the last residents of the so-called Gypsy family camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau. As many as 4,200-4,300 Roma and Sinti are murdered in the gas chambers. Their bodies are burned in pits. The liquidation of the camp marked a closing chapter in the Nazis’ deadly persecution of Roma. To understand anti-Roma racial hatred, one must examine the longer history of Roma in European culture. [2, 15, 131, 150] — Operation Tractable begins in Normandy. The First Canadian Army, made up of British, Canadian, and Polish troops, continued the advance toward Falaise. The goal is to encircle the German Seventh Army. [2, 31] — The Italian government declares Rome an open city. [2]
Allies occupy Kiska in Aleutians. [11]Aug 15Russians take Karachev. [11]
Infantrymen of the 13th Infantry Brigade Group disembark on Kiska, Aleutian Islands as part of Operation COTTAGE [51] — The USS Intrepid is commissioned in Norfolk, VA [78]Aug 16The Soviets launch an attack toward Stalino (now Donetsk), Ukraine [2] — Short Stirling Mk I MG-F (N3705) flying from RAF Oakington, makes an emergency landing at Loevestein Castle, Poederoijen, Netherlands following engine failure. All seven crew are taken POW. Repaired, it was flown and tested by Erprobungsstelle Rechlin as 6+8. [8] — The Germans begin the final liquidation of Bialystok Ghetto with large-scale deportations. In response, young Jewish resistance fighters bravely rise up against the Nazis but are brutally suppressed 5 days later. [217]
Launching ceremony of carrier Wasp, Bethlehem Steel Company shipyard, Quincy, Massachusetts, United States [77]Aug 17The First Quebec Conference is convened in Canada, just as the Allied campaign in Sicily comes to an end [35] — Raid by Bomber Command on the island town of Peenemünde in the Baltic Sea. The raid known as Operation Hydra takes place on the night of 17/18 Aug and strikes at the heart of the German Army’s research centre [79] — General Patton famously beats his rival, British Field Marshal Montgomery, into Messina, Sicily. This marks the ennd of the Sicilian campaign. [4, 11] — 60 American bombers are shot down in raids on German aircraft factories in Schweinfurt and Regensburg. Up to this point in the war, no U.S. air mission had suffered such heavy losses. [4]
Aug 18Trials of the Medium Tank M4A4 were completed in the USSR. The tank was deemed inferior to the M4A2 and the army elected to wait until more M4A2 tanks were available [22]
Aug 21George Patton apologizes to Private Paul Bennett whom he slapped for cowardice [2]
Aug 22Patton apologizes to doctors and nurses who witnessed him slapping enlisted men [2]
Aug 23Russians take Khaarkov. [11]
Aug 24Quebec Conference ends. German troops occupy Copenhagen [11] — Trials of the KV-85 end. The tank armed with an 85 mm D-5T gun is shown to be an effective interim weapon against German heavy tanks [22]
Aug 26Maximilian von Weichs is made the commanding officer of German Armeegruppe F [2] — General Kurt Renner dies in an ambush organized by a branch of the National Armed Forces under the command of Staff Sergeant Tomasz Wójcik alias Tarzan. He was the highest-ranking German officer killed by the Polish Underground during WW2. [55]
Aug 27Russians take Sievsk [11] — The first shipment of T-80 tanks to end users is made. The T-80 partially replaces T-70 tanks in two independent tank regiments. Both regiments fight in support of cavalry. [22]
The USS Seahorse attacks a Japanese convoy in failure [2]Aug 29The first production British Handley Page Halifax B Mk III flies. This featured an extended wing span of 5 ft 4 in. [9] — Germans impose martial law on Denmark [11]
Aug 30Bernard Montgomery hosts a victory celebration at Catania, Sicily, Italy [2]
Sep 2Abakumov suggested trying captured German officers at Stalingrad as war criminals [2]
Sep 3British & Canadian troops land on the Italian mainland. On the same day, Walter Bedell Smith & Giuseppe Castellano sign the Armistice of Cassibile, although it is not announced for another 5 days. [2, 167]
Allied forces captured Lae-Salamaua. [2]Sep 4The first draft of Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service (WRCNS) leave for service in Britain. Over 1000 Wrens will serve overseas in several trades during the war. [61] — Stalin signs a decree putting the IS-1 tank into production. The same decree authorizes production and testing of a prototype with a 122 mm gun, scheduled to replace the IS-1 later that year. [22]
The 2/4th Australian Field Regiment Art’y support the US 503 Parachute Infantry Regiment at Tsili Tsili, New Guinea, for the 65km trip to Nadzab, beyond the large Japanese bastion at Lae. This was the first time an Australian unit was dropped by parachute into combat. [95]Sep 5
Sep 6The Russians take Konotop and Slavyansk [11] — The German battleships Tirpitz and Scharnhorst, plus nine destroyers, sail to Svalbard, Norway, ahead of the eight-hour raid (Operation Zitronella) on Spitzbergen, in the Svalbard Archipelago two days later [232] — The HMS Puckeridge (L108) is hit by two of four torpedoes fired by the German submarine U-617 commanded by Albrecht Brandi & sinks 40 nautical miles east of Gibraltar, with the loss of 62 of her crew [167]
Sep 8Gen. Dwight Eisenhower publicly announces the unconditional surrender of Italy to the Allies. [2, 11] — The Russians take Stalino [11]
Sep 9The Henschel 293 radio controlled glider bomb was used with great effect by the Luftwaffe in th Salerno area, Italy [13] — Allied forces invade Salerno, Italy with Operation Avalanche. The Allies take Taranto. The 36th Infantry Division enteres combat for the first time at Salerno Italy. Soldiers from the 36th begin landing near Paestum. The Division would take 1930 casualties that day. On that morning the 36th went into battle carrying a Texas flag, with a copy of William B. Travis’ Victory or Death letter. Harry Brown, a writer with Yank Magazine wrote a book entitled “A Walk in the Sun” later made into a movie, it was based on the experiences of soldiers with the 36th Inf. Div.  [11, 104] — The Russians take Bakhmach. [11]
Sep 10The Russians take Mariupol. [11] — The Detroit Tank Arsenal begins to shift from producing the M4A4 to the M4A6. Production of this tank was short lived, and the factory soon switched to the “vanilla” M4 instead [22] — The British 4th Parachute Brigade reaches Massafra, Italy. [2] — The remaining Italian fleet sails into Malta and surrenders to the Allies
Sep 11German forces occupy Rome and Northern Italy, taking most of the Italian army prisonerThe British 1st Airborne Division captures Brindisi and Bari, Italy without resistance [2]
Sep 12German Luftwaffe and SS personnel rescue Mussolini from Gran Sasso, Italy. [2]
Japanese abandoned Lae, Australian New Guinea [2]Sep 15
Allies take Lae, occupy Bari. Landings on Kos, Leros, Samos [11]Sep 16Russians take Novorossisk, Lozovaya, Romny, Novgorod-Seversky.  [11]
Sep 17The British 5th Infantry Division reaches Sapri, Italy. [2] — Russian forces take Briansk and Ossipenko [11]
First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt visits one of the many bakeries on Santo as part of her visit to the island. That visit was one leg of a huge goodwill tour she undertook during WWII visiting Australia, New Zealand and many South Pacific Islands. [89]Sep 18Russians take Pavlograd [11]
Australian troops launch an offensive in Ramu Valley, New Guinea [2]Sep 19Russian forces take Yartsevo, Priluki, Krasnograd [11] — U-341 is sunk by a Liberator from 10 (BR) Sqn @RCAF_ARC 500 miles S of Iceland. Aircraft was returning to Gander NF after escorting HMS RENOWN with PM Churchill embarked following the Quebec Conference. [61]
First flight of the prototype Consolidated XPB4Y-2 Privateer. WWII and Korean War era patrol bomber of the US Navy derived from the Consolidated B-24 Liberator. [8]Sep 20While conducting daylight reconnaissance of the Bay of Naples to investigate German shore battery activity on the Sorrento Peninsula, U.S. Navy Motor Torpedo Boats PT 204 and PT 209 are showered with water from near-hits but escape damage. [74] — Allies take Potenza, announce landings on Corsiea. Russians take Velizh [11] — First flight of the de Havilland DH.100 Vampire, LZ548/G. British jet fighter. Flight took place at Hatfield aerodrome and was flown by Geoffrey Raoul de Havilland, Jr., chief test pilot of de Havilland Aircraft. [8]
Sep 21-28After Italy surrenders, Italian troops on the island of Cephalonia, Greece refused to surrender their weapons to the Germans. The Massacre of the Acqui Division, also known as the Cephalonia Massacre, was the mass execution of the men of the Italian 33rd Infantry Division Acqui by German troops. About 5,000 soldiers were massacred and others drowned.Russians take Chernigov [11]
Sep 22The British 78th Infantry Division begins to arrive at Bari, Italy [2]
Sep 23Russians take Poltava. Mannheim-Ludwigshafen bombed. [11]
Sep 24U-536 enters Baie des Chaleurs waiting off Pointe de Maisonette for UBoat POW’s from Camp 30 in Bowmanville. RCMP foiled escape & RCN laid a trap to capture/sink sub. U536 escaped by hugging the coast on 28 Sept after getting caught in a fishing net. [61]
Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicates MCIW Pendleton CA in honor of WWI Major General Joseph H. Pendleton. The base would become the Corps’ largest West Coast expeditionary training facility.  [54]Sep 25Russians take Smolensk and Roslavl [11]
Operation Jaywick by 14 British and Australian commandos culminates in the attack on Japanese ships in Singapore harbor sinking or severely damaging 7 vesselsSep 26
Sep 27US 8th Air Force P-47 fighters escort bombers into Germany for the first timeThe British 78th Infantry Division captures the major airfield complex near Foggia, Italy [2]
Sep 28Allies take Nocera [11]
Sep 30German troops began evacuating Naples [2]
Oct 1German troops begin evacuating Naples. US 8th Fifth Army and British X Corps enters Naples, Italy [2] — Allies take Naples. Day raid on Munich from African bases. Night raid on Hagen [11] — The Fairey Firefly enters service when No. 1770 Naval Air Squadron at RNAS Yeovilton receive their first deliveries of the Mk I. [9]
Oct 2Allies take Finschhafen. Day raid on Emden, night on Munich. [11] — German government orders the deportation of Danish Jews [2]
Oct 3British Commandos land at Termoli on the Adriatic coast of Italy as part of Operation Devon. — Germans recapture Kos. Night raid on Kassel [11]
Construction begins on the first nuclear reactor at Hanford Site of Manhattan Project [2]Oct 4Aircraft from the USS Ranger attack German ships in Norway sinking two and damaging several others.
Oct 5The German 16th Panzer Div nearly wipes out the British bridgehead on near Termoli, Italy [2]
A force of three U.S. destroyers attacked nine Japanese destroyers in the central Solomons. This is known as the “Battle of Vella Lavella,” and was the last significant Japanese victory of WWIIOct 6
Japanese execute all 98 US civilian construction POWs on Wake Island in reprisal for US air raidsOct 7RAF aircraft bomb Stuttgart, Germany [2]
The First Major Attack on Rabaul. Over 100 B-25s from the 345th and 38th Bomb Groups, three P-38 squadrons, 40 planes from the 3rd Bomb Group, and more than 80 B-24s from the 90th and 43rd Bomb Groups joined forces with RAAF P-40s, Beaufighters, and Beauforts.Oct 12Britain announces acquisition of bases in Azores from Portugal [11]
Oct 13Former Nazi ally Italy declares war on Germany during World War II. As a result, Adolf Hitler orders the launching of Operation Axis, the occupation of Italy, on the same day. [116]
Oct 14Jewish prisoners at the Sobibor extermination camp begin an armed revolt. About 300 prisoners who were in the resistance group killed several guards and escaped. Most were captured and murdered [118] — Russians capture Zaporozhe. Allies take Vinchiaturo and Campobasso. [11] — US bombers attack Schweinfurt ball bearing plants; 77 were shot down [2, 11]
USS Tang is commissioned into service [2]Oct 15
USMC squadns VMF-214 and VMF-221 attack Kahili Field, destroying 2 Japanese fighters [2]Oct 17Russians announce breakthrough below Kremenchug, another at Loyev [11]
US B-25 bombers attack Rabaul with heavy losses [2]Oct 18
USMC squadron VMF-214 attacks Kara, Kahili, and Ballale airfields, causing only minor damage [2]Oct 19US Fifth Army is stalled by poor weather in Italy [2]
Oct 20Hitler inspects the Jagdpanzer IV and gives it a green light. This was the fifth medium class fixed casemate vehicle armed with a 75 mm L/48 gun produced in Germany. This vehicle had the same gun and chassis as the StuG IV, but much better protection due to sloped armour. [22] — Captured German Tiger I heavy tank 131 arrives at Chobham, Surrey, England [2]
Oct 22U537 lands a German automatic weather station, code named Kurt in Martin Bay, Labrador. It transmits weather reports for several days before failing. Found in 1977 by a civilian archaeology team and is now on display at the Canada War Museum [61]
Oct 23The Germans kill 300 men dragged from the Gestapo Pawiak prison after the Warsaw ghetto has been destroyed. [55] — Russians take Melitopol [11]
US bombers attack Lakunai Airfield at Rabaul [2]Oct 25Russians take Dniepropetrovsk [11]
Oct 27Bernard Montgomery restarts the British offensive on the eastern shore of Italy [2]
US Marines land on Shortland and Choiseul in the Solomons as a diversion from the upcoming Bougainville landingsOct 28
The Japanese execute 33 interned civilians in Hong KongAllied forces land on Mono and Stirling Islands, south of Bougainville, beginning the final phase of the campaign to smash Japan’s northern Solomons basesOct 29
Oct 30Allies announce capture of Mondragone [11]
Oct 31US Fifth Army resumes the stalled offensive north of the Volturno River in Italy. [2]
US 3rd Marine Div lands on Bougainville in the Solomons at Empress Augusta BayNov 1The USS Borie forces U-405 to surface, then rams her, locking the vessels together. Borie’s crew used small arms and even flare pistols to stop the U-Boat crew from using their guns and later sank their opponent, but the destroyer was ultimately lost to flooding. [62]
The USAAF attacks the Japanese base at New Britain in what was known as “Bloody Tuesday”. 45 airmen were lost with Eight B-25s and nine P-38s shot down during the attack.Nov 2The German Maus settled into the form we know today. One prototype was due by the end of the year and mass production was to begin in 1944, but Bomber Command put a serious dent in these plans [22]
Nov 3British 78th Inf Div reached San Salvo north of the Trigno River in Italy. — US Eighth Air Force sends 566 B-17’s and B-24’s along with 333 P-47’s and 45 P-38’s to hit Wilhelmshaven, its first mission of over 500 bombers. — Nazis massacre 18,000 Jewish slave laborers outside Majdanek concentration camp in the largest single-day, single-location killing of the Holocaust. — Soviet troops launch a massive breakout attack from their bridgehead north of Kiev. — German dictator Adolf Hitler issues Fuhrer Directive No. 51, providing for the framework of the defense of Fortress Europe, as he now saw greater risk from an expected Allied invasion of Western Europe than from the Eastern Front [116]
Nov 4US Fifth Army captures Isernia, Italy [2] — The 8th AF continues to grow with today’s arrival of the 446th Bomb Group at Flixton with B 24s. This is the 31st US bomb unit to arrive in the UK.
Aircraft from the USS Saratoga attack the Japanese ships in Rabaul, damaging nearly all and forcing them to leave for repairs.  [2]Nov 58th AF flies over heavily defended Gelsenkirchen and Munster in the Ruhr Valley. The mission includes 323 B 17s escorted by over 350 fighters. — Axis Italy bombs Vatican City. Their goal was to take out the Vatican Radio, which was suspected of sending messages to the Allies [116]
Nov 6Soviet troops liberate Kiev. In 1939 Kiev’s 224,236 Jews comprised 26.5% of the city’s total population, but after German occupation led to Jewish refugees fleeing, massacres at nearby Babi Yar & other turmoil, today the cities Jewish population stands at c.18,000. [11, 126]
SB2C Helldiver aircraft saw combat for the first time in the Solomon Islands [2] — More than 300 aircraft consisting of US carrier and land-based Navy aircraft, bombers of the US Fifth & Thirteenth Air Force, and the Royal Australian Air Force raid the Japanese base at RabaulNov 11
Nov 13HMS Dulverton (H63), having been damaged by German aircraft during the Battle of Leros, is scuttled. 120 men are evacuated from the ship, but 3 officers including the Captain of the 5th Destroyer Flotilla & 75 ratings are lost. [167]
Nov 16The power station at Rjukan, Norway where the Germans were producing ‘heavy water’ for their nuclear program is bombed by the 8th Air Force and damaged sufficiently to stop production
Australian 9th Division launches an offensive to take Sattelberg, New GuineaNov 17
The Chinese 57th Division captures Changde, Hunan Province, China [2]Nov 18RAF Bomber Command launches Operation Berlin [2]
Nov 19German SS and local auxiliaries liquidate the Janowska concentration camp in Lemberg, western Ukraine. It is estimated that more than 6,000 Jews were murdered after a failed mass escape attempt. [57] — U-648 is Attacked by Sunderland W6031 “G” from 422 Squadron @RCAF_ARC mid-Atlantic. Aircraft severely damaged by return fire from U-Boat and messages that they are going to ditch an hour later. No trace of the Sunderland or its 11 aircrew was found. [61] — HMCS Calgary, HMCS Snowberry, and HMS Nene defended their convoy from a wolfpack attack northeast of the Azores. [51] — Germans retake Zhitomir. Allies cross Sangro [11]
US Marines land on Betio Island in Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert IslandsNov 20British Eighth Army launches the main offensive to cross Sangro River in Italy. — HMCShips CALGARY (1st), SNOWBERRY & HMS NENE attack and sink German submarine U-536 with Depth Charges & gunfire at 0247 , north of the Azores [61]
Battle of TarawaNov 20-23
Nov 21The RAF creates No. 1426 (Enemy Aircraft) Flight “the Rafwaffe” to evaluate captured enemy aircraft. — German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel is placed in command of Atlantic Wall defenses in France to defend against an Allied invasion
U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Chinese Premier Chiang Kai-shek meet at Cairo in Egypt during the Sextant Conference to discuss the war against Japan. They agree “to procure the unconditional surrender of Japan.” [57]Nov 22The RAF launches the first 2000-ton night raid on Berlin—2000 Germans are killed and the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church is destroyed. 2,300 tons of explosives are dropped on Berlin. Alkett and Siemens factories in Berlin are hit hard by Allied bombers. The Maus prototype stationed at Alkett survives, but not the means to build it. Despite many modern fantasies, the Maus could not be mass produced. [2, 22] — Lebanon’s Independence Day: Free French provisionally recognize Lebanese independence — During the Soviet counter-attack against the Germans at Stalingrad, known as Operation Uranus, German General Friedrich Paulus sends Hitler a telegram stating that the Wehrmacht is surrounded. Paulus surrenders on January 31 [116]
US Marines secure Betio in Tarawa Atoll. Japanese resistance ends on Tarawa and Makin atolls in the Gilbert Islands.Nov 23
Australians take Sattelberg, New GuineaNov 25The Colossus Computer is first tested in Birmingham, England, the world’s first all-electric computer. It was used at Bletchley Park to help decypher German codes.
Nov 26The Me 262 was demonstrated at Insterburg; Hitler insisted it be converted a bomber [2]
Nov 28Eureka Conference begins in Tehran, Iran: Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin agree to a spring 1944 invasion of western Europe and a Soviet declaration of war on Japan after Germany’s defeat.
Nov 29British troops capture Mezzagrogna and Santa Maria in Italy
Nov 30British troops capture Fossacesia, Italy [2]
Dec 1US Ninth Air Force P-51s fly a sweep over France as the first use of US P-51 Mustang fighter planes in Europe — Mussolini orders arrest of all Jews in Italy, but many are hidden by Italians
Dec 2Luftwaffe bombs Bari, Italy, destroying 24 Allied ships. Bombs strike a US ship carrying secret chemical weapons. A cloud of deadly mustard gas spreads throughout the damaged ships killing service personnel and Italian civilians. About 1000 soldiers, sailors & civilians are killed in the attack. — The German 26th Panzer Div fortified Orsogna, Italy on the Gustav Line [2]
Dec 3New Zealand troops attack Orsogna, Italy on the Gustav Line [2]
Dec 6The US Fifth Army captures Monte Carnino, Italy [2]
Dec 8In their first combat action for the Allies, Italian troops attack Monte Lungo, Italy. They are repelled with heavy casualties. — Colossus, the world’s first-ever digital programmable electronic computer, built by British Telecoms research engineers Tommy Flowers and team, goes live for the first time ever at the GPO research station at Dollis Hill in London
US airfield opens at Torokina on Bougainville in the Solomon Islands, only 220 miles from major Japanese base at Rabaul.Dec 9Canadian troops capture San Leonardo, ItalyRussians take Znamenka [11] — British Eighth Army secures Moro River beachhead near Ortona, Italy
Dec 10The British Eighth Army takes Vino Ridge in Italy in the drive for Ortona
Dec 11Canadian troops suffered heavy casualties in The Gully region in Italy [2]
Dec 12Field Marshal Erwin Rommel named commander of German Army Group B in France
Ration books in the US are awarded an extra two red ration points (used for meat, cheese & fats) are awarded for each pound of used cooking fats turned inDec 13
US Army Air Force decides to stop using camouflage paint on planes to increase speed & rangeDec 14
Dec 15Indian troops secured positions between Ortona and Orsogna in Italy. [2]
Dec 17US Fifth Army takes San Pietro, Italy, after Germans retreat — Wings are first awarded to WASPs (Women’s Airforce Service Pilots)
Dec 22Allies officially recognize and agree to support Marshal Tito’s partisans in Yugoslavia.
Dec 24New Zealand troops engage in combat along the Gustav Line in Italy [2]
US Marines land at Cape Gloucester, New Britain in the Solomon Islands — Fletcher-class destroyer USS BROWNSON is lost off of Cape Gloucester, New Britain Island, Bismark Archipelago. Struck by two bombs from a Japanese Aichi D3A Type 99 dive bomber [135]Dec 26In the Battle of the North Cape off Norway, British ships sink German battlecruiser Scharnhorst while it’s attacking Allied Arctic convoys — Indian troops capture Villa Grande, Italy. [2]
Dec 27Air Chief Marshal Tedder was made Deputy Supreme Commander under Eisenhower [2]
Dec 28Adolf Hitler orders the demolition of the Wehrwolf HQ in the Ukraine [2] — Troops from Canada’s 1st Infantry Division liberate the Italian city of Ortona. The victory marks the end of the Allies’ “Bloody December.” [4] — Capt Harold T. W. Grant, RCN while commanding RN cruiser HMS ENTERPRISE engages 5 German destroyers & 6 torpedo boats with HMS GLASGOW in the Bay of Biscay. Sinking 3 & damaged 4 others. Grant received the Distinguished Service Order for this action. [61]
Dec 29Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe General Dwight D. Eisenhower cables an order to all of the Allied Commanders directing them to, as far as possible, avoid attacking the historic monuments of Italy. [128]
British & Indian forces launch the Second Arakan Campaign toward Akyab, Burma — Subhas Chandra Bose declares independent India at Port Blair, Andaman Islands [2]Dec 30
Jan 1Mark Clark becomes the commander of US Fifth and Seventh Armies [2]
USMC 7th Rgmt engages Japanese at Suicide Creek near Cape Gloucester, New Britain [2]Jan 2
Jan 3The Red Army crossed the pre-WW2 Polish eastern border in the village of Sarny. Polish Government In Exile reacted, declaring the Home Army’s co-operation with the Soviets, and expressed hope that the rights of Poles would be respected. [55]
Jan 6James Doolittle orders fighters of USAAF Eighth Air Force to go on the offensive. — The Red Army crosses the pre-war Polish border and captures the town of Rokitno during World War II [116]
Jan 7Frigate HMS Tweed is torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-305 in the eastern Atlantic approximately 700 miles west of Land’s End. 83 of her 127 complement were lost [137]
Jan 8The Pz.Kpfw.38(t)-18 tank destroyer is approved. Initially, it was supposed to weigh only 13 tons, but the final Jagdpanzer 38(t) design weighted 16 tons, which had a negative impact on performance [22] — The trial for Count Ciano began at Castel Vecchio, Italy. [2]
Indian 5th Division captures Maungdaw, Burma [2]Jan 9
Jan 11The US 8th Air Force launches over 600 bombers against German cities [2] — Franklin D. Roosevelt’s delivers his third State of the Union Address since America’s entry into WW2. “We have joined with like-minded people in order to defend ourselves in a world that has been gravely threatened with gangster rule.” [4]
Jan 12The first production Gloster Meteor F.1 flies [9]
Jan 13Allied troops capture the high ground north of Cervaro, Italy
Eligibility for the draft is restored for Japanese-American Nisei, causing mixed reactions in internment campsJan 14Russians take Kalinkovichi and Mozyr, open Leningrad drive [11]
Jan 15The German XIV Panzer Corps abandons Monte Trocchio, Italy [2]
Japanese on New Britain in the Solomons fail in their final counterattack attempt [2]Jan 16
US Army and Marines secure Arawe area on New Britain in the SolomonsJan 17British X Corps crosses lower Garigliano River in Italy, officially beginning the Battle of Cassino
Jan 21The “Little Blitz” begins, a new German air offensive on England: 447 bombers attack London at night, the largest air raid since July 1942
Jan 22The War Refugee Board is established to help resettle European Jews in the US — 36,000 US and British troops land at Anzio, Italy, and establish a solid beachhead with little opposition; the towns of Anzio and Nettuno are secured [2]
Australians take Shaggy Ridge in the Finisterre Mountains of New Guinea, securing Huon PeninsulaJan 23
Jan 24German bombers sink British hospital ship St. David off Anzio with Hs-293 guided missile; 96 killed, including 2 British nurses
Argentina severs relations with Germany and Japan after a vast Axis spy ring is uncovered in the countryJan 26
Jan 27The Soviet Union announces that the German siege of Leningrad, which lasted 880 days and resulted in over 600,000 killed, is over. [116]
Jan 29The light cruiser HMS Spartan is sunk by a Henschel Hs 293 glider bomb in Anzio Bay while operating in support of the Allied landings at Anzio. She sank one hour after the bomb hit: 46 officers and men lost their lives [137]
Jan 30The destroyer HMS Hardy is torpedoed by German submarine U-278 in the Barents Sea and severely damaged. She could not be salvaged and was scuttled by HMS Venus. 35 of her crew lost their lives [137]
Americanforces land on Kwajalein and Majuro atolls in the Marshall IslandsJan 31
American troops invade and take control of the Marshall Islands, long used by the Japanese as a military base. [35]Feb 3
Japanese open offensive against Indian troops on Arakan, BurmaUS secures Kwajalein and Majuro Islands in Kwajalein AtollFeb 4
Feb 5The Colossus Computer at Bletchley Park in England is first used to decode German messagesUS forces reach the outskirts of Cassino, Italy
Feb 6Soviet troops make a major breakthrough in the Ukraine and reach the Dnieper River near Nikopol — Fighter planes of the US Eighth Air Force are out on first ground strafing mission
US forces secure Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall IslandsFeb 7
Feb 11The Russian Army takes Shepetovka, the rail center west of Kiev in the Ukraine
Feb 14Harold Alexander visits the Allied beachhead at Anzio, Italy [2]
Military of New Zealand occupy the Green Islands, only 100 miles from the important Japanese base at RabaulFeb 15
Feb 16The Germans launch “Fischfang” offensive at Anzio; it is the first use of German Panther tanks in the west. It fails due to muddy terrain
Troops of the U.S. 22nd Marine Regiment begin to land on Engebi Island, facing 3,500 Japanese defenders beginning the Battle of EniwetokFeb 17
US Marines hit the beach at Eniwetok Island. They would be victorious after two days of nearly constant fighting. The battle secured an important airfield and harbor for continued offensive operations in the Pacific. [128]Feb 18Hitler dissolves the Abwehr (German military intelligence) after evidence of infiltration by Allied agents and resistance members — The RAF launches Operation Jericho. Mosquitos & Typhoons bomb the German prison in Amiens that is holding members of the French resistance. Of the 1000 prisoners, 102 are killed and 258 escape — Light cruiser HMS Penelope is torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-410 as she leaves Naples for her operational area at Anzio. She was struck by two torpedoes and sank very quickly. From 623 on board 417 died [137]
The Japanese air & naval base at Rabaul is neutralized by Allied forces. The last of the Japanese planes have been moved to TrukFeb 19
Feb 20Norwegian Resistance fighters blow up ferry Hydro carrying the only German shipment of heavy water (for atomic bomb) on Lake Tinnsjø, Norway — Operation Argument (known as “Big Week”), an Allied operation aimed at destroying German aircraft industry and luring out the Luftwaffe into a decisive battle, begins. 970 bombers are sent against targets in Germany. 6000 sorties by bombers of RAF and US Eighth, Ninth, and Fifteenth Air Forces were made. The goal was to achieve air superiority before the coming invasion of Europe [2, 57] — W-class destroyer HMS Warwick is torpedoed and sunk by U-413 off the coast of North Cornwall while on anti-submarine patrol. 67 of her 160 crew were killed [137]
US secures Eniwetok Island in Eniwetok Atoll and all Marshall Islands. They also take 7 other islands in the atoll. This is the first time Japanese lose a prewar territory.Feb 21
Feb 22Mark Clark replaces John Lucas with Lucian Truscott at Anzio, Italy [2]
Feb 24Colossus, the world’s first large-scale electronic digital computer, enters service at Bletchley Park and is soon in use to help decrypt German teleprinter messages from the Lorenz cipher machine
Feb 25For the first time the England based US Eighth Air Force and the Italy based US Fifteenth Air Force bomb same target – Regensburg, Germany in “Big Week” operations
Feb 27NKVD troops massacre 700 villagers of Khaibakh in the Chechnya region [2]
In the US rationing restricions are relaxed. Toothpaste buyers no longer have to turn in old tubes to buy new (required since 4 April 1942 due to tin shortage)Mar 1
Mar 4USAAF launches its first major bombing raid on Berlin [2]
Operation Thursday is launched as gliders deliver Chindits into Burma [2]Mar 5
Mar 6HMCShips CHAURDIÈRE, GATINEAU, ST. CATHARINES, CHILLIWACK & FENNEL from CDN EG-C2 while escorting convoy HX-280, share in sinking German U-744. During the 32 hr battle, 291 DC’s were dropped forcing sub to surface. 39 submariners rescued & taken POW. [61] — Willy Hitler joins the fight against his half uncle Adolf when he is sworn into the U.S. Navy. Initially rejected, he got in after writing to FDR and after cleared by the FBI. He served as a Pharmacist’s Mate and was awarded the Purple Heart after being wounded by shrapnel. He changed his name and lived in NY until his death in 1987. [13, 116]
The Japanese 33rd Division crosses the Manipur River in Burma towards the Burmese-Indian border [2]Mar 7
Japanese troops launch an offensive towards Imphal, India [2]Mar 8
USAAF medium and heavy bombers attack Rabaul without needing fighter escort [2]Mar 9
US military leadership estimates that about 60% of Rabaul has been destroyed [2]Mar 10HMCShips ST. LAURENT, SWANSEA & OWEN SOUND while escorting convoy HX-280, force U-845 to surface following a prolonged attack with Depth Charges & Hedgehog. Then sink U-boat with gunfire, SW of Iceland. 42 submariners rescued and became POW. [61]
Australian troops capture Bogodjim, New Guinea [2]Mar 13During World War II, Britain bans travel between Ireland and the United Kingdom since Ireland refused to expel Axis diplomats. [116] — James Doolittle is promoted to the rank of lieutenant general. [2]
Australian troops capture Bogodjim, New GuineaMar 14
 Japanese and Anglo-Indian troops clash at Tonzang, Burma [2]Mar 17New Zealand troops take the train station in the western part of Cassino, Italy and assault German strongholds in hotels
 Mar 18Auschwitz prisoner Rudolf Friemel marries forced laborer Margarita Ferrer in the only known case where prisoners were allowed to marry.
 The Chinese 66th Regiment captures Jambu Bum ridge in northern Burma [2]Mar 19
 Japanese troops capture Ukhrul, India [2]Mar 20Lieutenant-General H.D.G. Crerar was appointed commander of the First Canadian Army. Crerar holds the distinction of commanding the most troops ever by a Canadian when he led 450,000 troops during Operation Veritable. [31] — Sloop HMS Lapwing is torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-968 off Murmansk. She sank within 20 minutes of being hit (a single torpedo strike amidships) with the loss of 158 of her 229 crew. [137]
 Mar 22General Alexander ceases the frontal attacks at Cassino, Italy [2] — SS Wat˜Breton to Halifax Convoy SH-125 is torpedoed by U-802, sinking in 5 minutes, 15 miles southeast of Halifax, 1 killed, 25 rescued. [61]
 Japanese repulse Indian 152nd Parachute Btln attack near Sangshak, India.  [2]Mar 23
 Japanese troops mount an unsuccessful suicide charge on Bougainville [2]Mar 24“The Great Escape” takes place — 76 Allied airmen escape from German POW camp Stalag Luft III near Sagan, 50 are recaptured and murdered, 3 escape to Allied or neutral territory — Ardeatine Caves Massacre — Nazis troops kill 335 Italian civilians in reprisal for partisan bombing the previous day
 Mar 25Captain Eric ‘Winkle’ Brown lands a modified Mosquito FB. Mk VI on HMS Indefatigable. This was the first time a twin-engined British #aircraft landed on an aircraft carrier. [9]
 The Japanese 60th Regiment launches a night attack on Sangshak, India but it failsMar 26
 Japanese troops besieg Imphal, IndiaMar 30
 Mar 31HMCShips SIOUX & ALGONQUIN escort task force deployed to destroy TIRPITZ in Norwegian Fjord Operation TUNGSTEN. Canadian’s command 2 squadrons of carrier-based fighter aircraft in the raid. Fourteen hits are scored on the German battleship. [61]
 Japanese troops capture Nippon Hill near Imphal, IndiaApr 1A 10-mile strip along much of Britain’s coastline becomes a restricted zone in preparation for D-Day. Civilians living outside the zone are banned. [164] — A U.S. Army jeep rolled into the city of Armagh. On board was Lieutenant General George S. Patton, preparing to give one of his famous speeches to U.S. Army troops on The Mall. [3] — The U.S. Army Air Force accidentally bombs Schaffhausen, Switzerland, a neutral country, after its bombers strayed from German airspace. The U.S. offered $4 million in reparations for the ~100 civilians that were killed. [116]
 The US Tenth Army lands on the southwest coast of Okinawa and begins the 12 week battle to take the islandApr 2
 Apr 3Aircraft from HMS Activity and HMS Tracker sink German submarine U-288
 Apr 4The Allies conduct the first reconnaissance mission over Auschwitz — The Allies commence their bombing campaign against Bucharest, targeting marshalling yards and Gara de Nord. The aerial campaign would continue until 26 August, during which time 17 raids were conducted. [57]
 Zeros from Hainan destroy 5 US aircraft on the ground and 7 in the air at Nanning [2]Apr 5Soviet troops capture Dorohoi, Romania
 Xinjin Airfield in Chengdu becomes the forward headquarters of US XX Bomber Command. [2]Apr 6
 Apr 7Bernard Montgomery predicts Caen could be taken on the first day of invasion. [2]
 Japanese besiege 3500 British & Indian troops in Kohima, IndiaApr 6
 Apr 8Day raids on 5 aircraft centers in eastern Germany, night on Mannheim [11]
 Apr 10Soviet troops liberate the city of Odessa, Ukraine from Nazi Germany and Romanian forces. [116]
 Anglo-Indian and Japanese troops begin a 4-day clash at Bunker Hill near Kohima, India [2]Apr 11The Soviet Red Army retakes the Ukrainian city of Kerch on the Crimea. The city had been occupied by the Nazis twice during World War II. [116] — Molotov orders a stabilized gun to be designed for the T-34-85 instead of the IS-85, which was no longer in production. A prototype was built, but never put into production. [22]
 Apr 12liberation of Oberlangen by Maczek’s 1st Polish Armoured Division [168]
 Apr 13Day raids on aircraft centres including Augsburg and Schweinfurt [11]
 Chinese troops launch offensive across border into Burma — SS Fort Crevier (Wartime Merchant Shipping Ltd, Canada) is severely damaged by a massive explosion from munition ship SS Fort Stikine at Bombay (now-Mumbai), India. 800+ killed, 2500 wounded, 13 ships are lost. [61]Apr 14HMCS Swansea, a River-class frigate of the Royal Canadian Navy, and HMS Pelican, a sloop of the Royal Navy, use a coordinated creeping depth charge attack to force U-448 to the surface They sink the U-boat with gunfire in the Mid N. Atlantic northeast of the Azores.. The two ships picked up 42 German POW’s, 9 submariners were killed. After the war, the Swansea was credited with a share in the sinking of U-311 in late April 1944. [31, 61]
 Apr 15Trials of the Satan, a flamethrower-armed Light Tank M3A1, were performed. 24 tanks received this conversion and were used successfully in battle [22] — The German defensive Gustav Line in Italy began to fall. [2]
 The Indian 161st Brigade began its move to Kohima, India [2] — The USS Laffey came under attack by 2 dozen kamikaze. The ship shot down several aircraft but was struck by at least 6 planes and 4 bombs. Remarkably, the Laffey survived. [66]Apr 16Tigers from the s.Pz.Abt.507 faced IS-2 tanks from the 11th Gds. TTPP. The Germans took such a thorough pounding that this battle was used as an example of how to effectively use IS-2 tanks in Soviet field manuals. [22]
Apr 17U-342 is sunk by Canso 9767 “S” from 162 Squadron RCAF ARC. F/O T.C. Cooke & aircrew, dropped 3 depth charges and strafed the German submarine SW of the Faroe Islands. [61]
Japanese troops capture Crete West hill near Imphal, India — US Navy Task Force 58, with 12 aircraft carriers, begins bombing and bombardment of Hollandia, Wakde, Sawar, and Sarmi areas of New Guinea in preparation for the tomorrow’s landingsApr 21
 US forces secure Aitape, New Guinea, and opens Tadji Airstrip at AitapeApr 24Day raids on Friedrichshafen and Munich, night on Munich and Karlsruhe [11]
 Apr 26An SOE team led by Billy Moss & Patrick Leigh Fermor (PLF) carriea out the audacious capture of a German General, Heinrich Kreipe, near his HQ just south of Heraklion. [176]
 Apr 28During Exercise Tiger, an operation to prepare Allied troops for D-Day, nearly 1,000 Americans are killed at a beach landing at Slapton Sands, England. The Germans E boats intercepted US landing craft. That coupled with British shelling killed the soldiers. Exercise Tiger had been intended to be a full-dress rehearsal for the landings on Utah Beach. Instead, the rehearsal cost more lives than the actual landings on D-day, June 6, 1944 and an example of what might have been. [74, 116, 212]
Japanese troops launch a counterattack at Kohima, India. [2]Apr 29HMCShips HAIDA & ATHABASKAN attack German destroyers T24 & T27 off Ushant. HAIDA drives T27 onto the French coast, T24 is damaged & fires torpedoes, sinking the ATHAB -129 are killed, 83 taken POW & 44 rescued by HAIDA including 4 by HAIDA’s cutter. [61] — British agent Nancy Wake, a leading figure in the French Resistance and the Gestapo’s most wanted person, parachutes back into France to be a liaison between London and the local maquis group. [175]
May 1The US Eighth Air Force flies 1st major pre-invasion mission to rail centers in the Pas de Calais and Normandy areas in preparation for D-day
May 22,698 Hungarian and Yugoslavian Jews are gassed upon arrival at Auschwitz [2]
May 3The Canadian Cabinet War Committee agrees that the Canadian formations in Western and Southern Europe, should be reunited “as soon as military considerations permit” and they be placed under the command of the First Canadian Army in Northwest Europe. [31] — An RAF raid on the German depot at Mailly-Le-Camp goes badly wrong. A comms failure leaves aircraft circling over the target for some time. The Luftwaffe night fighters arrive and shoot down 42 of the bombers, with the loss of 300 crewmen. The base was, ultimately, badly hit. [162]
May 4Exercise Fabius taking place with Allied troops who will land on Sword, Juno, Gold, and Omaha Beaches on D-day landing on English beaches in the largest amphibious training exercise ever
First flight of the Mitsubishi A7M1 Reppu. A Japanese fighter prototype, designed as the successor to the Imperial Japanese Navy’s A6M Zero. It is powered by a 2,000 hp Nakajima Homare 22 engine. [9]May 6The HMCS VALLEYFIELD is torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-548, 50 miles SE of Cape Race, Newfoundland. There are 125 lives lost. HMCS GIFFARD rescues 38 survivors. VALLEYFIELD is the only River class frigate lost in WWII. [61]
May 7The US Eighth Air Force launches over 1000 bombers in missions to Berlin, Münster, and Osnabrück, Germany
May 8The US Congress extends Lend-Lease to June 1945
May 9Russians take Sevastopol [11]
May 11In Italy, the Germans release Jews of Turkish, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Finnish, and Swiss citizenship under pressure from these neutral governments — Allies officially begin the preinvasion bombing of German airfields in France to drive the Luftwaffe away from invasion beachesAllies in Italy take Pignatoro, shatter Gustav line [11]
May 13In the drive for Rome, French troops break through Gustav Line into Aurunci Hills
The Yamato arrives at Tawi-Tawi to conduct 22-mile range gunnery exercise [2]May 14The US II Corps breaks thru the German Gustav Line, opening the route to Rome — The Prinz Eugen rams the Leipzig in heavy fog at 20 knots nearly cutting her in half & causing 39 casualties. [159]
May 15The Nazis begin the deportation of Hungary’s 440,000 Jews to Auschwitz — A conference is held in London for the top commanders for D-day, with King George VI and Winston Churchill in attendance
May 16The 1st Canadian Division begins to replace troops of the 8th Indian Division after they broke through the Gustav Line. The relieving battalions met resistance as they moved up but the relief was successful that night. The Canadians now faced the Hitler Line. [31]
The battle of Myitkyina begins. Allies were on the offensive in the liberation of Burma.The 5307th Composite Unit, a reinforced U.S. Army regiment known as “Merrill’s Marauders,” encircles Myitkyina. They and Chinese troops take Myitkyina airfield, the only hard-surfaced field in northern Burma. The US 879th Engineer Aviation Battalion arrives at there by gliders and opens the airstrip that night. [70]May 17German troops evacuate Cassino, Italy — The Allied Expeditionary Air Force approves invasion stripes for Allied aircraft for D-day
US forces secure Manus. The Pacific Admiralty Islands are now in Allied hands.May 18Polish troops take Monte Cassino and the abbey; the British take the town of Cassino
The USS England (DE-635) sinks Japanese submarine I-16, the first of five submarines the destroyer sinks in a weeks time. I-16 was lost with all 107 hands [74]May 19British troops capture the airfield at Aquino outside of Rome, Italy [2]
US troops secure Wakde Island off New GuineaMay 20Allies in Italy take Itri and Fondi. [11] — The Polish resistance captures an intact German V-2 rocket. It will eventually ship the parts to England in July
May 23The Polish II Corps and units of the 1st Canadian Corps brake through the Hitler Line and captured Pontecorvo, Italy. Canadian troops attacked the Hitler Line in the Liri Valley at Cassino. This final line of defence, on maps looking like a WW1 trench system, blocked the breakout to Rome. Some of Canada’s heaviest casualties in Italy were suffered here in May 1944. Canadian troops broke through the Hitler Line after heavy fighting in Italy’s Liri Valley. [31, 172, 174] — The Anzio breakout begins and runs through the 25th. The U.S. VI Corps landed at Anzio in Jan 1944 to get behind the German defenses on the Winter – or Gustav – Line. A strong German counter-attack at the end of the month halted the American advance and forced them into a desperate defense. [70]
May 24The US II Corps takes Terracina in Italy unopposed, opening Highway 7 to Anzio – Major John Mahony of the Westminster Regiment organized the defence of a bridgehead that his company took over the Melfa River in Italy. For his actions he was awarded the Victoria Cross. [31] — Canadian forces advance from the Gustav Line to the Hitler Line. Liri Valley, Italy. [51]
May 25German paratroopers raid the hideout of Yugoslavian partisan leader Tito, almost capturing him—and visitor Randolph Churchill, son of Winston Churchill — Outgoing mail from US soldiers in Britain is impounded until after D-day as a security precaution — The US VI Corps takes Cisterna, Italy — The US VI Corps from Anzio joins the US II Corps from the Gustav Line, near Littoria, Italy — Canadian forces advance from the Gustav Line to the Hitler Line. Liri Valley, Italy. [51]
May 26De Gaulle proclaimes a provisional French government to dismay of Roosevelt and Churchill. [2] — An order was signed to begin rebuilding tank production in Leningrad. Due to the severe damage that the city sustained during the blockade, LKZ delivered its first five IS-2s only in March of 1945. [22]
The first Shinyo special attack boats are completed [2] — The US 41st Infantry Division lands on Biak Island in Geelvink Bay of New Guinea and faces heavy resistanceMay 27The Red Army used a 7.62 mm machine gun in an AA mount before the war, but that was considered insufficient. They begin trials of a 12.7 mm AA machine gun mount. This mount was later included on all IS series tanks and SPG. [22]
The first tank battle is fought in the Southwest Pacific, on Biak Island off New Guinea. The US defeats Japanese forces. [1] — The Anglo-Indian attack on Ninthoukgong, India was halted. [2]May 29
May 31Allies take Frosinone in Italy [11] — A German counterattack near Iasi, Romania is repulsed [2] — At 0700, first “Corncob” blockships that will be sunk for “Gooseberry” breakwaters depart Britain, the first ships to sail for D-day [1]
Jne 2Yeiki Kobashigawa of the US 100th Infantry Battalion, leads an incredible attack on the Germans in Italy. Fifty-six years later, he received the Medal of Honor for this action. [25] — Secret peace talks begin between Romania and the Soviet Union [2] — The US Fifteenth Air Force flies the first shuttle mission to Russia: 130 B-17s & 70 P-51s from Italy bomb Debreczen, Hungary then fly to Poltava [1] — The first part of the invasion fleet sets off for Normandy. Two Royal Navy mini submarines arrive off the coast the next day. On D-Day they will guide in the first Allied craft to the beaches. [164] — Operation Cover begins. The Allies bomb France, focusing on the Pas de Calais area in order to deceive the Germans into thinking that is where the D-Day landings will occur. [116] — The first shuttle bombing mission of Operation Frantic occurs. This was a series of 7 bombing missions. These were conducted by US aircraft based in Great Britain and Southern Italy. They took off from those bases, hit their targets, then landed at three Soviet airfields in the Ukraine. The first by the U.S. army air corps hits Debrecen, Hungary. The operation was created solely to destroy Germany’s war economy. [7, 116]
The last major air combat by the Royal Australian Air Force in WWII as Australian fighters shoot down 9 Japanese planes off New Guinea [1]Jne 3The German general Albert Kesselring declares Rome an open city and evacuate as the Allies advance [1, 2] — Loading of all troops for D-day is complete; Force U (bound for Utah Beach) departs ports in Devon for Normandy [1]
Jne 4Supreme Allied Commander and future U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower decides to delay D-Day by 24 hours. The invasion was scheduled for June 5 but is now delayed until June 6. [116] — Allied forces continue to push towards the ancient city of Rome, Italy, eventually overrunning the German defensive lines. Rome was liberated from Axis rule by victorious Allied troops, led by American General Mark Clark. The troops of the 36th Infantry Division are the first Allied troops to enter Rome. Rome was the first of the three Axis powers’ capitals to be captured by the Allies.. German troops had left the city the day before and retreated to the Trasimene Line (also known as the Albert Line). Some of those who died during the campaign are honored at Sicily-Rome American Cemetery. [25, 51, 116, 154, 197] — The US 5th Army captures Cervaro, Italy
Jne 5The Panamanian ship SS PILLORY, San Juan P.R. to Guayanilla P.R. in ballast, was torpedoed and sunk by U-539. 25 were lost. [142] — General Eisenhower has given his orders & unleashes the invasion fleet. Force U (Utah) have the furthest to go & are already on their way. The rest will set off early afternoon & sail to Normandy overnight. The general’s message is now distributed to all. 617 Squadron pulled off an extraordinary feat by flying a specific formation in darkness and dropping batches of ‘Window’ at timed intervals. This gives the impression to German radar that a huge naval fleet is headed for Calais. The hope is that this will divert attention from real invasion fleet 200 miles to the SW. More than 1,000 British bombers drop 5,000 tons of bombs on German gun batteries on the Normandy coast in preparation for D-Day. With darkness as cover, the 31st Minesweeping Flotilla consisting of 10 Bangor class minesweepers, commanded by A/Cdr A. H. G. Storrs, RCNR, in HMCS CARAQUET are part of 16 RCN minesweepers clearing approaches to the Normandy beaches prior to D-Day. On the bluffs of Omaha beach, the men of the German 352 & 716 Infantry Divisions are cleaning, checking & readying their 80+ Mg42s. The last of the 150 trains bringing ammunition had departed Caen. Rheinmetall had delivered its 20k spare barrels. [61, 19, 153, 167, 199]
Jne 6Operation Overlord, D-Day – the Allied invasion of France at Normandy, D-Day, begins. It is the largest seaborne invasion ever mounted. Some 155,000 Allied troops land on beaches. Others parachute down from the skies. Facing Hitlers Atlantic Wall, soldiers of the US, UK, Canada, and other Allied nations land on beaches, beginning a campaign which lasted until July 24, 1944. At 7:35 am, Canadian forces are land at Juno Beach. Men of the 16th Infantry Regiment, U.S. 1st Infantry Division wade ashore on Omaha Beach. Military Intelligence played a vital role in convincing the Germans that Allied troops would land at the Pas-de-Calais area instead of Normandy. The operation was a pivotal point for the Allies in WWII. this was the beginning of the liberation of Western Europe from Nazi occupation. [17, 25, 41, 69, 116, 174, 200] — Destroyer HMS Wrestler is damaged beyond repair when she strikes a mine off Le Havre. She was operating in support of the D-Day landings. Two of her crew were killed. Her wreck was subsequently cut up for scrap. [137]
Jne 7British troops capture Bayeux, France. [2]
Jne 8British and US forces link near Port-en-Bessin in Normandy [1] — On the Adriatic coast of Italy, the British advance after finding the Germans have retreated [1] — The US 2nd Ranger Battalion at Pointe du Hoc is relieved by forces from Omaha Beach, having held the point since climbing the cliffs on D-day. [1] — RAF first uses the 12,000-lb “Tallboy” bomb, destroying a train tunnel in Saumur, France on only north-south rail line in the Loire Valley, impeding German reinforcement of Normandy [1]
A Japanese frontal-attack on the Gurkhas on Scraggy Hill was met with heavy losses [2, 8]Jne 9A German flotilla fails to attack the D-Day landing fleet after being intercepted by the Allied 10th Destroyer Flotilla. Polish destroyer ORP Błyskawica fired first, setting an Axis ship ablaze. ORP Piorun became separated in combat, feared sunk, but returned unscathed. [113] — The HMS Durban is scuttled to form part of the Gooseberry 5 breakwater for protecting the artificial harbour off Ouistreham in the Seine Bay. The wreck currently lies in 11 metres (36 ft) of water. [167] — The French Resistance is recognized as part of the Free French Army at the urging of Charles De Gaulle. They would be known as the French Forces of the Interior. [116]
Jne 10642 men, women and children are killed by the German Waffen SS in the village of Oradour-Sur-Glane, France. The village is utterly destroyed. It was never rebuilt and is a memorial to the dead. The 2nd ‘Das Reich’ SS-Panzer decided slaughtering a French village was more important than racing to Normandy to combat the Allied landings. [154, 175, 203] — A letter is sent to the USSR describing the success of the D-Day landings. Molotov responds: “My colleagues and I must admit that there is nothing in the history of wars that comes close in scale, wide scope, and masterful execution.” [22]
Jne 11Allied thrusts to Tilly-sur-Seulles in Normandy [11] — Allies take Pescara and Avezzano in Italy [11] — HMCS SIOUX, a V class destroyer, sinks German E-Boat S136 off Barfleur, France, while operating with HMS DUFF and Polish destroyer KRAKOWIAK in defence of the invasion routes to Normandy. [61] — SS Fort McPherson (Wartime Merchant Shipping Ltd, Canada) is damaged by bombs from German aircraft in the English Channel. [61] — U-980 is sunk by Canso “B” flown by F/O L. Sherman & aircrew from 162 Squadron RCAF ARC NW of Bergen, Norway. After dropping 4 depth charges, the U-Boat is forced to surface. It began to settle immediately, sinking in 10 minutes [61]
Jne 12The French town of Carentan is liberated by the 101st Airborne [4] — Allies also take the Cerisy forest in Normandy [11] — The Breville Gap is finally closed. This helps to secure the Allied left flank. The village of Breville had been a constant thorn in General Gale’s side, with the Germans launching repeated attacks through this gap in the line [53]
Jne 13The first Fieseler Fi 103 (the infamous V1) is fired on London [13] — Allies thrust to Troarn in Normandy. [11] — At Villers-Bocage in Normandy, Tiger tank commander Michael Wittmann is credited with disabling 11 tanks and 13 other armoured vehicles [18]
Jne 14American troops capture Carentan, France [2] — The Germans launch the first V-1 flying bombs (doodlebugs) at south-east England. Of the ten fired on this day, four reached England, killing six people & destroying a railroad bridge. These ‘revenge weapons’ were designed to terrorise civilians & undermine morale. [120] — After several failed attempts, the British Army abandons Operation Perch, its plan to capture the German-occupied town of Caen. [167]
The US Marine 2nd and 4th Divisions land on Saipan in the Mariana Islands [1]Jne 15The Frigate HMS Blackwood is torpedoed by German submarine U-764 in the Western Approaches with 57 of her crew killed. She sinks off Portland Bill while under tow. [137]
Jne 16The Mulberry harbour off Omaha beach, received its 1st tank landing ship (LST). There were doubts that the pontoons would not be able to take the weight of a 38 ton Sherman tank without sinking or collapsing this task would, be achieved with just a small margin of safety. [7] — Allies capture St. Sauveur-le-Vicomte in Normandy. Allies take Grosseto and Terni in Italy. [11] — The submarine HMS Sickle is lost in the eastern Mediterranean on or around this date, presumed sunk by German mines. All 49 aboard died. One man of her complement survived, having gone overboard in action. He had been taken POW by the Germans on 4 June. [137]
Jne 17In Normandy, the US First Army cuts off the Cotentin Peninsula, trapping Germans in Cherbourg [1] — Free French troops land on Elba off the coast of Italy [1] — Iceland declares its independence from Denmark, becoming a republic with Sveinn Björnsson as the first president. The Danish–Icelandic Act of Union expired on Dec. 31, 1943 after 25 years. Voters went to the polls in May and 97% voted to dissolve the union. [1, 116] — USAAF 1st Lt William “Swede” Anderson returning to base after a sortie in his P-51B “Swede’s Steed II” spotted, a V1 & promptly shot it down. He became the 1st USAAF pilot to record a V1 kill. After landing Anderson excitedly asked “How many ‘Doodlebugs’ make an ace?” [7]
Japanese troops capture Changsha, China [2]Jne 18Allies cut Cherbourg peninsula. [11]
The Yamato fires Sanshiki-dan anti-aircraft shells in combat for the first time. [2] — The Battle of Philippine Sea begins. This is a US campaign to end the Japanese Navy’s ability to conduct large-scale carrier actions. [35]Jne 19Free French secure Elba [1] — A great storm hits Normandy wrecking the Allied Mulberry harbor A and damaging Mulberry harbor B. Hundreds of vessels are grounded, hampering the build-up after D-Day. [1]
The Battle of the Philippine Sea Continues. The aerial part of the battle was nicknamed the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot resulting in the loss of over 550 Japanese aircraft, 200 of these being land-based. This battle resulted in sinking 3 Japanese aircraft carriers, eliminating the Imperial Japanese Navy’s ability to conduct large-scale carrier actions. US losses were 123 aircraft, 80 due to running out of fuel. [1, 162]Jne 19-20
Jne 20Soviets forces take Viipuri, Finland, opening the Gulf of Finland to Soviet ships [1] — The US First Army besieges Cherbourg, France [21] — The 79th (US) Infantry Division seizes the villages of Brix and Sottevast & inspect the massive V2 rocket assembly & launch site. [76]
Jne 21British XIII Corps engage in heavy fighting at San Fatucchio, Italy. The Irish Brigade is on the western shore of Lake Trasimene. They take part in the assault on the Albert Line. [2, 58]
Jne 23The International Red Cross sends a delegation to inspect the Theresienstadt concentration camp. The Nazis made temporary improvements to the camp to give the visitors a positive impression, but in fact, around 33,000 people were murdered there. [131] — The Germans commence the liquidation of the Litzmannstadt Ghetto in Łódź, Warthegau. The first deportation affected 561 people. This continued until 14 July 1944. The total number of deportees reached 7,196. [55]
Jne 24HMS Swift (G46) is sunk by a mine off Sword Beach, Normandy, with 53 casualties. [167] — MV Derrycunihy of convoy ETM-15 is lost in the Normandy campaign’s worst maritime disaster. She triggered an Oyster (acoustic) mine, exploding aft, splitting the vessel in two, causing the stern to rapidly flounder & sink. 208 were killed. [203] — The HMCS HAIDA & HMS ESKIMO attack U-971 forcing the sub to surface. It is then sunk with gunfire in the Bay of Biscay, 51 submariners are taken POW. Wellington ‘L” of the 407 Squadron RCAF had damaged U-971 earlier in the day. It shares in the sinking along with aircraft from the Czech OTU Squadron RAF. [61] — P/O David Hornell, 162 Squadron RCAF ARC, presses his severely damaged Canso with a wing on fire, sinking U-1225. Two of the aircrew die after ditching, Hornell succumbs shortly after rescue 21 hrs. later & is awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross. [61]
Jne 25The United States Navy & British Royal Navy ships bombard Cherbourg to support United States Army units engaged in the Battle of Cherbourg. [167] — Allies in Italy take Piombino [11] — The Battle of Tali-Ihantala, the largest battle fought in the Nordic countries, begins. It was part of the Continuation War between Finland and the Soviet Union. In this battle, the Finns are victorious over Soviets. [116]
Chinese 10th Army, supported by US aircraft, stops the Japanese advance at Hengyang [2]Jne 26Krystyna Wituska is executed by beheading. She was a Home Army soldier, responsible for gathering intelligence data on German troops in Warsaw and the Okecie airport. She had been arrested in 1942 then imprisoned in Pawiak. She was later transported to Berlin and Halle. [55] — The ussians take Vitebsk and Zhlobin. The Allies take Cherbourg. [11] — Allied aerial reconnaissance aircraft took photos on which Auschwitz I, Auschwitz II-Birkenau and Auschwitz III-Monowitz camps are visible [6]
Jne 27British 3rd Infantry Division and tanks launch Operation Mitten in France [2] — Cherbourg is liberated. The battle claimed the lives of 2,800 Americans & approximately 7,500 Germans. [76] — The Russians take Orsha. [11]
Jne 28Russians take Mogilev [11] — Operation Epsom continues west of Caen. British tanks of the 23rd Hussars reach Baron-sur-Odon. [76] — HMCS HURON with HMS ESKIMO attack three German Minesweepers off St. Malo, sinking M4611 and Vp213. The third ship, Vp203 escapes. [61]
Jne 30On D-Plus 23 the German-garrison in the port city of Cherbourg surrenders. This provides the Allies with a deep-water harbor for moving men and materiel into France [4] — German troops capture Hill 112 at Caen, France [2]
Jly 1At the Mount Washington resort, deep in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, was the Bretton Woods Conference. 44 nations, including the Soviet Union & China, gather to create a new postwar international monetary system. [15]
Americans land in Noemfoor area, New Guinea [11]Jly 2MTB 460 from the 29th Canadian MTB Flotilla, strikes a mine in the English Channel. Of her ship’s company of 17, eleven are killed. [61]
Japanese forces are defeated at the Battle of Imphal and driven back into Burma with heavy losses. The battle was a turning point in the Burma Campaign. [194]Jly 3Russians take Minsk [11]
US Navy Task Force 58 bombards and bombs Iwo Jima, Haha Jima, and Chichi Jima, forcing the Japanese air force to leave the islands [1]Jly 4The millionth Allied soldier lands in Normandy, less than one month after D-day [1] — The 8th Canadian Infantry Brigade plus the Royal Winnipeg Rifles attack the town of Carpiquet and its nearby airfield. The attack ia only partially successful. [31]
Aircraft from the USS Wasp attack Japanese positions on Guam and Rota [2]Jly 5The US Fifteenth Air Force bombs German submarine pens at Toulon, France, sinking two of the ten U-boats remaining in the Mediterranean and damaging five. [1] — In the US, auto inner tubes are removed from rationing, but tires are still rationed [1]
Jly 6HMCShips OTTAWA, KOOTENAY and HMS STATICE, sink U-678 in the English Channel. During a prolonged attack with Depth Charges & Hedgehog, U-678 attempts to hide on the bottom. The attackers detonated a Depth Charge tied to line & dragged over the U-boat. [61]
The US Army 27th Infantry Division bares the brunt of the largest Banzai attack of the war. When the smoke cleares and the dust settles, over 4,000 Japanese troops are dead, and American dead and wounded numbered nearly 1,000 [25]Jly 7
Chuichi Nagumo is posthumously promoted to the rank of admiral [2]Jly 8The US Army commands all Post Exchanges, theaters, and transportation to be open to all races [1] — The 99th Fighter Squadron receiveds its first P-51 Mustang aircraft! [210] — The British launch 1750 barrage balloons south of London to combat German V-1 buzz bombs [1] — Operation Charnwood was launched. Over two days, attacks by the 3rd Canadian, 3rd & 59th British Division smash German forces north of Caen. They are forced to retreat south of the Orne River. By the end of the battle, 12SS Division could only muster a battalion’s worth of infantry. Tha attacking forces are able to enter Caen. [1, 209]
The US secures Saipan in the Mariana Islands [1]Jly 9Hungary Prime Minister Miklós Horthy temporarily stops deportation of the Jews, an attempt to curry favor with the Allies in case of the need to negotiate for surrender [1] — The British Second Army and Canadian forces take the crucial city of Caen in Normandy. Nearly all that was left was rubble. [1, 2]
Jly 10First flight of the SAAB B18B (Nr 1801). A Daimler-Benz powered prototype of the Swedish twin-engine bomber and reconnaissance aircraft. [8]
Jly 11Soviet forces capture the surrounded German Fourth Army near Minsk in Byelorussia and take 37,000 POWs [1]
Jly 12A V-1 bomb hit “Beechmont House” in England. The house was used as a billet for ATS girls (Auxiliary Territorial Service) that maintained army vehicles, fortunately most of the girls had left for work, nevertheless 2 girls were killed & 44 injured. [7] — The Focke-Wulf Ta 152 prototype makes its first flight. This was a development of the Fw 190 and was powered by the Junkers Jumo 213A engine. [9]
Jly 13Red Army units capture Vilna, Lithuania [2]
Jly 14Russians take Pinsk [11] — B-17G Fortress “Mizpah” takes a direct AAA hit in the nose on a mission to Budapest. 2 are killed instantly but the pilot holds her level long enough for the crew to get out & become POW’s. The aircraft crashed near Dunavecse, Hungary [77]
Jly 15Claus von Stauffenberg meets Hitler at Rastenburg. Gen Friedrich Olbricht activated Operation Valkyrie prior to the meeting, expecting troops to be in position to seize positions at the same moment Hitler was to be killed by a bomb that Stauffenberg brought into the meeting [7]
Jly 16The first troops of Brazilian Expeditionary Force arrive in Italy. On August 22, 1942 Brazil declared war on Germany and Italy. Brazil lost approximately 2,000 people during the war. [116] — The British XIII Corps crosses the Arno River. [2]
Jly 17Two munition ships cause a massive explosion at the naval magazine in Port Chicago, California. Munitions bound for the war in the Pacific detonate while being loaded onto cargo vessels. Some 320 sailors and civilians are killed and another 390 are injured. Most of the dead are African American sailors and dock workers. A month later, 50 survivors will be charged with mutiny after refusing to work until more safety precautions are implemented. [4, 57]. — The largest convoy of WWII, HX300 departs NYC. It is joined by ships from Halifax, Sydney & St. John’s, totaling 167 merchant ships with over 1M tons of cargo. It is escorted by CHICOUTIMI, KAMSACK, PORTAGE, THE PAS, WINNIPEG, ROSTHERN, PICTOU, LETHBRIDGE & ARVIDA. [61] — German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel is seriously injured after a Spitfire piloted by Royal Canadian Air Force Flight Lieutenant Charley Fox strafes his car in Normandy, France. [116]
Japanese Prime Minister Hideki Tojo resigns because of numerous setbacks during the war. He is later arrested and sentenced to death for war crimes by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East. He is hanged on Dec 23, 1948. [116] — P-47 fighters based on Saipan attack Japanese positions on Tinian and Pagan. [2]Jly 18Allies take St. Lo. Allies in Italy take Ancona [11] — The Royal Air Force (RAF) Test Pilots School is renamed the Empire Test Pilots School. It is the main training school for test pilots and flight test engineers at Boscombe Down. Its motto is ‘Learn to test; test to learn’. [60] — The T-44 tank is accepted into production. To avoid reduction of T-34-85 production, the work is given to factories #264 and #75 that are only partially restored after being destroyed by the Germans. [22] — The British first run into the King Tiger tank. Its front armor and gun are formidable, but detailed study shows that it has no fewer weaknesses than its predecessors. [22]
Jly 19The US takes the crucial port of Leghorn (Livorno), Italy with little opposition, but Germans have destroyed the harbor [1,11] — Day raids on Munich from Britain and Italy, [11] — Canadian troops clear the southern suburbs of Caen, France [2]
Jly 20A plan to assassinate Hitler fails; many suspects are arrested and executed [2]
United States Marines land on Guam, the U.S. territory captured by the Japanese in 1941. Three years later, they had returned, and in heavy combat that would cost 8,000 men, they would retake the island, continuing the long fight toward the Japanese home islands. [47]Jly 21Claus von Stauffenberg and others conspirators are executed in Berlin, Germany. Their punishment for the attempted assassination of Adolf Hitler the day before. [2, 116] — Heinz Guderian is appointed Chief of the German Army General Staff. [2]
Jly 22Soviet forces arrive at the Majdanek Concentration Camp. The camp was the first to be liberated from Nazi control, and Soviet officials invited journalists to see the horrors of Nazi oppression. Between 95,000 and 130,000 people had been murdered at Majdanek during its short 4 years of existence. They freed just under 500 prisoners. [25, 49, 131] — Churchill flies over the liberated territory in Normandy in a captured German “Storch” observation plane. The plane was flown by Air Vice Marshal Broadhurst, commanding RAF 83 Group. [13]
Jly 23Days after an assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler, most of Germany’s most experience generals are replaced by “yes” men. The “Heil Hitler”/Nazi salute is made compulsory by the Wehrmacht. The German Gestapo arrest the head of the German Abwehr Wilhelm Canaris. [2, 116] — Canadian Nursing Sisters land in France. They provide medical care to wounded soldiers and face many dangers while serving in battle zones. [174]
The 2d and 4th Marine divisions land on Tinian in the Marianas. U.S. Army units provide transportation, engineering, and medical support. Army Air Forces provide fighter and bomber support.[1, 2, 70]Jly 24The Soviets take Lublin and liberate the first Nazi concentration camp, at Majdenek near Lublin [1,2,11]
Jly 25Operation Cobra: South of Cotentin the US 1st Amy begins a permanent breakout from Normandy. [1, 11, 76]
Jly 26The HMCS ALBERNI successfully shoots down a German Junkers 88 off the coast of France. The aircraft was at sea level, when ALBERNI opened up with her Oerlikons & aft pom-pom, scoring several hits & crashing into the sea 100 yards off the corvettes bow. [61] — SS Fort McPherson (Wartime Merchant Shipping Ltd, Canada) is damaged by a German Glider Bomb at Victoria Dock, London. She was there undergoing repairs from an attack by German aircraft on 11 June while in the English Channel. [61] — The Red Army enters Lviv, a major city in western Ukraine, capturing it from the Nazis. Only 300 Jews survive out of 160,000 living in Lviv prior to occupation. [44]
Jly 27In Operation Cobra in Normandy, the US First Army breaks through German defenses south of Saint-Lô [1] — First operational use of RAF Gloster Meteor jet fighters, which will down 14 V-1 buzz bombs by the end of the war [1] — The Russians take Lwow, Stanislav, Bialystok, and Dvinsk [11]
Jly 28The de Havilland Hornet prototype makes its first flight with Geoffrey de Havilland Jr at the controls. [9] — The mobilization of Home Army units in Warsaw is ordered by their commander Antoni Chruściel. The order was later cancelled by Bor Komorowski. The soldiers returned to their homes but the risk of exposing the plans of the Warsaw uprising sped up the decision to start the fight. [55] — In the Ukraine, Soviet forces take Brest-Litovsk, Jaroslav, Przemysl from the Germans. It was the site where the Russo-German peace treaty of World War I was signed. [2, 11, 116]
Japanese troops attack Kokoda airfield in Australian Papua [2] — On Guam, US Marines clear Orote Peninsula and take Orote Airfield [1]Jly 29In the Roncey Pocket, over 100 panzers and 250 German vehicles are lost to Allied air attacks. — Operation Cobra rolls on in Normandy. American forces continue to advance beyond St. Lo and begin to create the western end of what would become the Falaise Pocket. The major breakout is still days away. [31] — German Armeegruppe Nord is cut off in Latvia. [2] — ″Kosciuszko”, a Moscow Radio Station, calls on the inhabitants of Warsaw and the Home Army to rise up against the Germans. The Red Army fight for the beachheads on the Vistula and Narev rivers. During the uprising the Soviets did almost nothing to help the Poles on orders of Joseph Stalin. Warsaw’s Praga district was not liberated until September, when the uprising was already lost. [55, 116]
Americans land on Vogelkop peninsula, New Guinea [11]Jly 30The last deportations from Pawiak take place. 1,400 prisoners are sent to KL Gross Rosen and 400 to KL Ravensbruck. Executions continue until 21 August 1944, when the prison is destroyed. “We’ll avenge Pawiak,” someone wrote on its walls before the uprising. [55] — Red Army tanks come close to Warsaw, almost reaching the bridge on the Narew river. Such proximity of Soviet forces greatly influenced the decision to start the Warsaw Uprising. The next day the Germans counter-attack and a fierce tank battle began. [55]
Jly 31The Soviet Army reaches the East Prussian border [1] — The Germans destroy all bridges in Florence, Italy, except the historic Ponte Vecchio, which can only handle foot traffic [1] — The British VIII Corps launches Operation Bluecoat towards Vire River in Normandy, France [2] — Allies take Avranches. Russians take Jelgava [11] — Tadeusz Bor Komorowski, the head of the Polish Home Army, signs an order for Antoni “Monter” Chruściel. He is the commander of the Home Army in the Warsaw district. The order is to launch the uprising on 1 August. [55]
The island of Tinian is declared secure after nine days of fighting. the battle is termed “the perfect amphibious operations of World War II,” by MajGen Harry Schmidt, Commander of the V Amphibious Corps. [1,54]Aug 1The US Third Army under Gen. George Patton enters action in France, breaking out of Normandy and entering Brittany [1] — The Polish underground resistance, led by the Home Army (Armia Krajowa), start the Warsaw Uprising. Their goal is to liberate Warsaw from German occupation ahead of advancing Soviet forces. The revolt begins at 5 pm, as ordered by the Home Army commander-in-chief, Gen. Tadeusz Bór-Komorowski. Thousands of men, women and children began the fight for the freedom of their city & their country. They had suffered nearly 5 years under the brutal German occupation. The Soviets encouraged the uprising but their forces stayed outside the city, providing no assistance to the Poles. For 63 days, the insurgents, old and young, men and women, fought heroically, and alone, to liberate Warsaw. The Uprising was one of the largest resistance operations in German-occupied Europe. The Poles fought like lions to the very end. [1, 25, 55, 148, 180, 227] — British RAF 105 & 109 Squadrons lead 10 formations to attack a V1 stores as part of Operation Crossbow. [66] — The Soviet Red Army liberates the city of Kovno. Tragically, the ghetto was liquidated just 3 weeks before liberation. Over 90% of Jews living in Kovno during the Nazi occupation were murdered during the Holocaust. [217]
Aug 2Neutral Turkey breaks diplomatic relations with Germany [1] — The US Ninth Air Force stops bombing bridges over Loire and Seine Rivers in France in order to speed Allied advance [1]
US and Chinese forces take the crucial town of Myitkyina, Burma [1,2]Aug 3Death of Jean Maridor, a Free French pilot. The V1 he was chasing was falling on a hospital. Too late to perform the usual ‘topple’ with the wingtip, he had to close to shoot it. The V1 explosion disintegrated his Spitfire. [8]
Aug 4The Eighth Air Force launches Operation APHRODITE, sending radio-controlled B-17 ‘drones’, packed with explosive, at Nazi V-Weapon sites. The operation’s most famous pilot was Joe Kennedy Jr. [56] — A Dutch informer leads the Gestapo to a house in Amsterdam. The Nazi police find and arrested eight people. The annex which Anne Frank and her family had been hiding in for just over 2 years was discovered by the Nazis. Exactly how their hiding place was discovered remains a mystery. Anne Frank, a teenager at the time, was one of the people arrested. Her diary would be published after her death. The last entry in the diary was on this day. She would be sent to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp where she would die. [7, 39, 116, 154] — SS Obergruppenführer Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski takes command of the whole forces used to suppress the Warsaw Uprising. The notorious SS Dirlewanger Brigade and Russian collaborators from RONA Brigade known for war crimes are deployed in Warsaw on the same day. [55]
The Cowra Breakout, the attempted escape of over 1,100 Japanese prisoners from the Cowra POW camp in New South Wales, Australia, takes place. During the breakout and ensuing manhunt, four Australian soldiers and 231 Japanese are killed [57]Aug 5Wola massacre in Warsaw, Poland — Soviet sub SC-215 sinks the Turkish ship Mefkure carrying Jewish refugees. [2]
Aug 6At 2030, remnants of four German panzer divisions, one panzer-grenadier division and two infantry divisions counter-attack American lines – just north of Mortain – in order to cut off the Contentin Peninsula. [13] — The German 501st s.Pz.Abt armed with new King Tigers are sent to Baranów Sandomierski to prevent a Soviet breakthrough. This was the first deployment of this tank on the Eastern Front and a complete disaster for the Germans. [22]
Aug 7In Normandy, the Canadian forces launch a drive toward Falaise [1] — Cherbourg Harbor opens for Allied traffic in France [1] — At Harvard University, IBM reveals the Harvard Mark I, the first program-controlled computer (has 50 ft panel, adds in 1/3 second) [1] — In Normandy, the Germans open a counteroffensive in the US First Army area, retaking Mortain but falling short of goal of reaching Avranches [1, 2] — The trials of the conspirators who tried to kill Hitler in Operation Valkyrie begins. Notorious Judge Roland Freisler presides. The attempt occurred on July 20. Ringleader Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg was executed on July 21. [116]
The Japanese take Hengyang in their drive south across China, taking the US Fourteenth Air Force airbase at Hengyang [1]Aug 8This was a BAD day for the German army in Normandy. Allied Operation Totalize begins with 3 dense columns of hundreds of Canadian vehicles from the First Canadian Army. They broke through the German lines in an ambitious night attack heading towards Falaise. Their objective was capturing the high ground north of Falaise. Though some got stuck in shell craters, no Canadian vehicles were lost to enemy fire in this first phase of the operation. The attack shattered the German defensive line south of Caen. The German’s biggest offensive in Normandy, Op Lüttich, was decisively defeated at Mortain. Operation Luttich had been an attempt to push Allied forces back to the sea. [1, 11, 31, 116, 209 , 229] — Eight German officers are hanged in Berlin for their role in the July 20 Hitler assassination plot; by 3 Feb 1945, 4980 will be executed [1] — Anne Frank and the other people who had been in hiding were put on a train to the Westerbork transit camp. Men and women were separated. Anne, Margot and their mother Edith had to take old batteries apart for reuse – dirty and unhealthy work. [230] — HMCS REGINA stops to assist merchant ship Ezra Weston, thought to have been mined while escorting convoy EBC-66. She too is torpedoed by German sub U-667 off Trevose Head, Cornwall. Sinking in 28 seconds, 30 sailors killed, 66 survived [31,61] — First flight of the VL Humu prototype HM-671. Finnish fighter aircraft designed by the State Aircraft Factory (Valtion Lentokonetehdas). Based on the American Brewster F2A design. [8] — First flight of the Junkers Ju 287. German flying testbed built to develop the technology required for a multi-engine jet bomber. Powered by four Junkers Jumo 004 engines, it featured a revolutionary forward-swept wing. [8]
Aug 9The Vyborg-Petrozavodsk Offensive, a major operation launched by the Soviet Union against Finland during the Continuation War, ends in an effective military stalemate. Although the Soviets failed to breach the VKT-line they reclaimed East Karelia [57] — Five Irish members of the SAS & formerly of the Royal Ulster Rifles are captured & executed by the SS in France. [63]
Raids on Nagasaki and Palembang.[11] — Japanese 18th Army is wiped out in the Aitape-New Hollandia area [2] — The US secures Guam, although one Japanese soldier won’t surrender until 1972 [1]Aug 10In Paris, rail workers go on strike, stranding German soldiers trying to evacuate [1]
Aug 11The Germans scuttle ships at Nantes, France as Allies approach [1] — The US Third Army crosses the Loire River in France [1]
Aug 12BATTLE OF THE ARGENTAN-FALAISE POCKET BEGINS. Allies nearly encircle German defenders south of Falaise who counterattack giving the Allies an opportunity to encircle them. The Germans suffered heavy losses before the Allies closed the gap on 20 August. [70] — The first PLUTO (Pipeline under the Ocean) becomes operational, taking fuel from Isle of Wight, England to Cherbourg, France [1] — HMCS ASSINIBOINE with HMS ALBRIGHTON attack two large U-boat escort trawlers off the Isle of Ushant, setting one on fire and driving the other ashore. [61] — Nazi German troops end the week-long Wola massacre. At least 40,000 people are killed indiscriminately or in mass executions. The massacre was ordered by Hitler, who directed to kill “anything that moves” to stop the Warsaw Uprising. [44] — The Red Army captures 4 King Tiger tanks near Szydłów. This allows a complete study of Germany’s new heavy tank to be conducted and an intelligence summary with its weaknesses to be issued soon after. [22]
Aug 13British and Indian troops cross into northern Florence via historic Ponte Vecchio, securing the city with help of the Italians [1] — 13 year old Maria Bartnik perishes during the Warsaw Uprising. She was a liason for the Radosław group and was killed in the Old Town. She was one of many children who fought in Warsaw Uprising [73]
The US War Production Board allows the production of some civilian goods to resume in preparation for the November elections [1]Aug 14Operation Tractable is launched by the 1st Canadian Army to close the Falaise pocket. The operation begins with a bombing raid on the Germans which causes some Allied casualties. The advance faces visibility issues but is successful on its first day. Canadian, Polish, and US troops create the Falaise pocket in France, partially surrounding Germans [1,31] — HMCS IROQUOIS with the 10th DF attack 2 German forces, Bay of Biscay. 1st an Armed Merchant ship & Elbing Destroyer damaged & escaped under a smokescreen. Later a 2nd force was attacked; two minesweepers are driven ashore & IROQUOIS sinks minesweeper M385. [61] — General Barnes proposes two new heavy tanks inspired by the T26 with more powerful guns: the T29 and T30 with 105 and 155 mm guns. Neither tank made it in time to fight in WWII and only a handful of prototypes were built [22]
Aug 15HMCShips PRINCE DAVID & PRINCE HENRY with the 529th & 528th Canadian LCA Flotilla’s embarked, land infantry in southern France, as part of Operation DRAGOON, including 279 soldiers from the Devils Brigade and 248 French Commandos. Operation Dragoon, the Allied invasion of southern France, is launched. Landing in Provence, Operation Anvil-Dragoon, with 9,000 paratroopers and 350,000 assault troops. [2, 61, 76]
Organized Japanese resistance ends on the Burma-India border [1]Aug 16The US Eighth Air Force suffers 1st attack by Luftwaffe jet fighters (Messerschmitt Me 163s), has 1st loss to a jet, and destroys a German jet for 1st time [1] — A trial batch of six Cromwell tanks arrive in Baku. Tests show that it is inferior to both the T-34-85 and the M4A2. There is no reason to import this tank and no further orders are made. [22]
Aug 17The Germans begin retreating from southern France. They also begin retreating from the Falaise pocket in Normandy while the Canadians take Falaise [1] — The US Third Army takes St. Malo, Chartres, and Orléans in France. [1] — Allies take Falaise, announce capture of Chartres, Orleans, Chateaudun [11]The Vichy French government flees for Germany; Marshal Philippe Pétain and his staff are interned by Hitler, while Prime Minister Pierre Laval’s government will resign [1] — Camp Drancy, described as the antechamber of death for over 62.000 of the 75.000 Jews deported from France, is liberated. [81]
Aug 18The German Seventh Army retreats across the Orne River in France [2] — In southern France, US Task Force Butler under Brig. Gen. Frederic Butler strikes northwest, taking advantage of weak German resistance to make a rapid drive. [1] — Soviet forces capture Sandomierz, Poland [2,11]
Aug 19Knowing that the Allies are getting near the Paris Uprising breaks out led by the French Resistance. They are able to seize Hôtel de Ville (city hall). The Paris revolt lasts until 25 August when the U.S. Third Army, led by General George S. Patton arrives. The French 2nd Armoured Division, is the first unit of the Third Army to enter Paris on 25 August. 6 days of fighting results in the liberation of the city. Casualties: 600 civilians, circa. 1, 000 insurgents. [1, 4, 55, 116] — Fighting in the Falaise Pocket reaches a crescendo. In St. Lambert-sur-Dives, Major David Currie, C Squadron, South Alberta Regiment, with B Company, Argyll and Sutherland Regiment, desperately hold on as German forces brazenly try to escape the encirclement. Canadian troops link with the US Third Army at Chambois, France closing the Falaise Gap; 50,000 German prisoners will be taken, but 20-30,000 escape [1, 209] — Two days after Bradley had ordered his troops to seize Trun and Chambois – Americans finally left their static frontline and advanced three miles to meet  the Polish forces who – that evening – had already captured Chambois. two assault groups from Gen. Maczek’s Polish 1st Armoured Division captured Chambois and Mont Ormel ridge (“The Mace”), securing good firing and observation positions on the German retreat route. The FalaisPocket is about to close [13,55] — Porsche was ordered to stop all work on the Maus tank. This did not deter him from continuing work until December when the prototypes were confiscated and sent to Boblingen. [22] — The destroyers HMCS Ottawa, HMCS Chaudiere & HMCS Kootenay, of Escort Group 11, hunt and sink U-621 near La Rochelle in the Bay of Biscay. [51]
Aug 20HMCS CHAUDIÈRE, HMCS OTTAWA (2nd) and HMCS KOOTENAY share in the sinking of the German submarine U984, west of Brest.  It was a busy patrol for the ships in Escort Group 11. The same three Canadian ships destroyed the German submarine U-621 two days earlier. [51,61] — An American air squadron bombards the I.G. Farbenindustrie chemical plants near the German Auschwitz-Birkenau camp. [6]Russians open Rumanian drive. Allies cross Seine west of Paris. [11]
Aug 21The Dumbarton Oaks Conference begins in Washington, DC for Allies to discuss the establishment of the United Nations [1] — French civilians launch an insurrection in Marseille against the Germans [1] — The US Third Army reaches Reims and Troyes southeast of Paris, France [2] — HMCS ALBERNI is struck with a acoustic torpedo from German submarine U480, SE of Isle of Wright. The corvette sinks in just 30 seconds, 59 of her ship’s company are killed [61] — Sloop HMS Kite is torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-344 in the Barents Sea. 147 of Kite’s 207 crew were killed in the attack, and 46 of the initial 60 survivors died in the water before they could be picked up. [61]
Aug 22HMS NABOB is torpedoed by U354, in Barents Sea, killing 21 sailors. Effective damage control by her Canadian ship’s company saves the escort aircraft carrier. In a historic display of seamanship she steams to Scapa Flow under her own power. [31,61] — HMCS IROQUOIS (1st) with HMS URSA & MAURITIUS attack several German ships off Biscay coast, sinking one & driving a second ashore [61] — Allies take Lisieux. Russians take Jassy. [11]
Aug 24Russians take Kishinev [11] — The 9th Company of the Régiment de marche du Tchad under Captain Raymond Dronne enters Paris and pushes into the centre of the city. Dronne goes to the HQ of German General Dietrich Von Choltitz and requests him to surrender. [57]
During her third WWII war patrol, submarine USS Picuda (SS 382) spots ten Japanese ships in Luzon Straits. Picuda slips past five escorts and eludes three patrol planes overhead to sink cargo ship Kotoku Maru and destroyer Yunagi. [68]Aug 25After LT Gen George S. Patton’s Third Army crossed the Seine River, eliminating it as an enemy defensive line, fighting broke out in Paris between French Resistance (FFI) fighters and German occupation forces. Unlike the Warsaw Uprising which was doomed to failure, the uprising in Paris prompted the liberation of the French capital. After 6 days of fierce clashes, the city is liberated by the French 2nd Armored Division and the U.S. 4th Infantry Division. Just over 4 years prior, German Forces had entered the capital unopposed, and the future looked bleak for Parisian citizens. At least 50,000 Parisian Jews, most of them foreign-born, had been deported and murdered. German General Dietrich von Choltitz, the last commander of Nazi-controlled Paris, refuses to carry out Hitler’s order to destroy the city. He surrenders to Free French Forces. He disobeyed Hitler as he thought he had become insane. Crowds welcomed French and U.S. troops, and Charles de Gaulle. [2, 7, 11, 15, 39, 49, 55, 70, 116, 167, 232] — Russians take Tartu. Rumania declares war on Germany. [11] — The Army’s rapid advance severely strained the supply system so a herculean logistics effort called the “Red Ball Express” was initiated by the Motor Transport Service, every available truck was used and kept the war momentum going! [70] — US air reconnaisance takes photos of industrial installations at Auschwitz. The pictures show prisoners being marched to gas chambers. [126] — The Allied attack on the Gothic Line in Italy begins. The 1st Canadian Division leads the I Canadian Corps attack over the Metauro. It takes fives days to push the Germans back to the Gothic Line proper behind the Foglia River. [31]
Aug 26HMCS IROQUOIS is the first allied ship to land at the occupied Channel Island of Ile de’Yeu. German forces had evacuated the day before, taking many citizens as prisoners. IROQUOIS provided supplies, food and radio equipment to the French Island. [61] — Gen. Charles de Gaulle leads a parade down the Champs Élysées; snipers shoot at him there and later inside Notre Dame Cathedral; snipers also shoot at celebrating Parisians at Place de la Concorde. [1]
The final group of Chindits, British commandos operating behind Japanese lines in Burma, are evacuated to India [1]Aug 27Day raid on Ruhr by British heavy bombers. Russians take Galatz and Foscani. Allies take Toulon, Meaux. [11] — Kesselring holds his reserves behind the Gothic Line as he observes Allied attacks [2]
Aug 29Victory Parade of the 28th (US) Infantry Division on the Champs Élysées in Paris. [76] — The Russians take Constanta. Allies take Soissons, Chateau-Thierry, Vitry. [11] — Staff Sergeant Lafayette Pool and his Sherman tank, “In the Mood”, conducted a three day rampage through enemy lines. For his actions, Pool was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. [92]
Aug 30First flight of the Short S.45 Seaford prototype (MZ269) from the River Medway, Rochester. The British flying boat is designed as a long range maritime patrol bomber for RAF Coastal Command. Developed from the Short S.25 Sunderland, initially ordered as Sunderland Mk. IV. It is powered by four 1,680-hp Bristol Hercules XVIII engines.[8, 9]
Sep 2Allies enter Belgium. Allies in Italy take Pisa. [11] — British 51st Highland Division enteres Saint-Valery-en-Caux, France [2]
Sep 3Canadians troops reach the Green II defensive positions on the Gothic Line [2]
Sep 4The British 11th Armoured Division liberates the Belgian city of Antwerp. [167] — Hostilities are suspended on the Finnish front. [11]
Sep 5Jedburgh agent Jean Larrieu being awarded the Croix de Guerre with Palm [2] — The Allies take Namur. Russians declare war on Bulgaria. Day raids on Stuttgart, Karlsruhe, Ludwigshafen [11] — Soviet forces repulse a German-Hungarian counter attack near Klausenberg, Romania [2] — Antwerp harbour is captured, but – reasonably – a long time away from being secured and operational [13]
Sep 6Two days after the city’s liberation, German forces are shelling the city of Antwerp. Start of a long period of shelling and attacks by V1s and V2s [13] — Ypres is liberated by Polish troops, ending four long years of Nazi occupation. The battle damages Menin Gate was free at last for the Last Post to be played. That night its notes resounded beneath the monument and has been played every single evening ever since. [96] — Russians take Turnu-Severin, reach Iron Gate [11] — Canadian troops surround Calais, France [2]
Sep 8The first operational V-2 launch takes place, and the last on March 30, 1945. During this seven-month period in WWII, 1,115 V-2s hit England, and 1,524 fell on continental Europe.  The first V2 ballistic missile – fired from The Hague – fell on Britain. Killing three people in Staveley Road, Chiswick: a 67-year-old woman, a three-year-old child and a soldier home on leave. [4, 13, 102] — Allies take Liege. Canadian troops captured Ostend, Belgium. Day raids on Karlsruhe and Ludwigshafen. [11] — Canadian troops capture Ostend, Belgium [2]
Sep 9Canadian forces overrun German rocket bases on the Belgian coast [1] — The US First Army enters the Netherlands near Maastricht [1] — Near Brest, France, four men of the US 2nd Ranger Battalion, led by Lt. Robert Edlin, with lots of bluffing and bravado, take Batterie Graf Spee without firing a shot—and take 814 POWs [1] — 19 year old nurse, Elżbieta Kowalczyk perishes during the Warsaw Uprising. She is killed on 10 Wspólna Street. The building took a direct hit from a Karl-Gerät mortar. Her body was never found. [73] — HMCS Dunver and HMCS Hespeler sink the German submarine U-484 off the coast of the Hebrides Islands. [31] — Russia suspends hostilities with Bulgaria [11]
Sep 10Capture of the Bridge over the Meuse-Escaut Canal at Neerpelt in Belgium. Seven days later this would mark the start line for the ground element ‘Garden’ in Operation Market Garden. [106] — Allies take Zeebrugge. Day raids on Stuttgart, Nuremburg, Ulm [11] — Allied troops cross the German-Belgian border near Aachen, Germany [2] — The 991st Field Artillery Battalion armed with M12 self propelled guns fire the first volley at German territory. The M12 provided heavy guns for mobile mechanized units, which came in handy in North-Western Europe. [22]
Sep 11The US First Army reaches the Siegfried Line at the German border and crosses into Germany north of Trier [1] — Scottish 15th Division crosseds into the Netherlands near Antwerp, Belgium [2] — At Saulieu, France, official contact is made between Overlord forces (Normandy 6/6/44) and Dragoon forces (southern France 8/15/44); Allied front now runs from English Channel to Mediterranean [1]
Sep 12Romania signs an armistice with the Allies and agrees to fight Germany [1] — The first German city falls to the Allies as the US First Army takes Roetgen [1] — In Normandy, the Canadians take the crucial port of Le Havre, but due to damage, the port won’t open for four weeks [1] — The Octagon Conference begins in Québec between US, UK, and Canada [1] — German and Hungarian troops launch an offensive towards Arad and Timisoara [2]
Sep 13In Belgium, Canadian forces cross both the Leopold Canal and the Canal de Derivation, while British forces cross the Meuse-Escaut Canal [1] — Operation Dragoon, the Allied campaign in southern France, concludes: 131,000 German POWs have been taken, 40% of Army Group G [1] — American troops reach the Siegfried Line, the west wall of Germany’s defense system. This leads to the Battle of Hurtgen Forest on 19 September 1944 and the Battle of the Bulge in December [108] — 17 year old liaison Wanda Chłopek ps. “Wandzia” perishes during the Warsaw Uprising. She was seriously wounded on Zielna Street and dies of her injuries. [73] — These brave SOE agents (Eliane Plewman, Yolande Beekman, Madeleine Damerment and Noor Inayat Khan) are murdered in Dachau concentration Camp, Germany. [13] — Canadian troops cross the Leopold Canal in Belgium [13] — Russians take Lomzha [11]
Sep 14Russians take Praga.  [11]
The first wave of US Marines hit the Peleliu beaches in the Palau Islands. “The Emperor’s Island” would be captured after two months of extremely hard fighting. The USMC considers the battle “the bitterest of the war” for the Corps. [2, 128] — USS Barb (SS 200) sinks Japanese 11,700-ton tanker Azusa and 20,000-ton escort carrier Unyo off Hong Kong. Famed skipper Eugene Fluckey maneuvered Barb until both ships overlapped, then fired six torpedoes — five of which hit [68]Sep 15The Lapland War between Nazi Germany and Finland begins. Finland and Germany had both been fighting the Soviet Union, but Finland signed an armistice, requiring them to expel the Germans from their country. [116] — 21 year old nurse, Irena Woźniak ps. “Eve” and 21 year old liaison, Halina Kenska ps.”Marzena” are both killed during the Warsaw Uprising. They were killed during the bombing of the hospital located at Warsaw University of Technology [73] —Franklin D. Roosevelt & Winston Churchill meet in Quebec as part of the Octagon Conference to discuss strategy. [167]
Sep 16German forces south of Loire surrender. The Russians enter Sofia. Second Quebec conference ends. [11] — The Soviets launch assault toward Gulf of Riga on the Baltic [1,11]
Sep 17Operation Market Garden begins in the Netherlands. The first of 41,000 Allied paratroopers are dropped into the Netherlands as part of the ill-fated Operation Market Garden. The British 1st Airborne Division lands near Arnhem, tasked to capture the Rhine bridge until relieved by XXX Corps. The tanks never arrived, but troops held out for 9 brutal days before withdrawing. The No.437 (Dakota) Squadron of the RCAF ARC transport squadron supported the airborne landings at Arnhem, by towing troops in gliders and dropping supplies[4, 13, 31, 110, 112, 111] — 16 year old nurse, Alicja Dybczyńska ps. “Ala” and her 21 year old sister, liaison, Zofia Dybczyńska ps. “Zosia” perished together during the Warsaw Uprising. They were both killed at 46 Koszykowa Street. [73]
Sep 18British ground troops link with the US 101st Airborne Division in Eindhoven, Holland [1] — The US Ninth Army takes the crucial port of Brest, France [1] — The first gliders are landing at Landing Zone Z. Second day in operation Market Garden. British paras have captured the Arnhem Rhine Bridge. At Nijmegen, the Americans failed to take advantage of the element of surprise, the main weapon of paras: the large Waal Bridge is now firmly in German hands [13] — Eindhoven is liberated. A day later the Luftwaffe bomb the city killing over 220 civilians [99] — Over 100 USAAF Flying Fortresses appeared over Warsaw. The bombers dropped 1250 containers with supplies for the insurgents. Only 250 of them were picked by the Poles. Stalin finally approved the operation Frantic 7 when the uprising was basically lost. [55]
Sep 19The US Ninth Army clears the Brittany region of France [1] — Germans begin arresting Danish policemen for refusing to protect enterprises from the Danish resistance; 81-90 will die in concentration camps [1] — At the Klooga camp in Estonia the Germans & their Estonian helpers murder ~ 2,000 Jewish prisoners, mostly from the Vilna Ghetto. [217]— In Operation Market Garden, British ground troops link with US 82nd Airborne Division at Grave, the Netherlands [1] — In the Netherlands 44 RTR’s move was cancelled twice before eventually setting off at 1845. The Bn was passing through Eindhoven [99] — The Continuation War between the Soviet Union and Finland ends with the signing of the Moscow Armistice. [11, 116] — Day raids on Hamm and Soest [11] — 15 year old liaison, Barbara Nazdrowicz ps.”Wiewiórka”, perishes during the Warsaw Uprising. She was killed by shrapnel on the intersection of Lwowska and Koszykowa. [73] — Indian 4th Division reaches the outskirts of the city of San Marino [2]
Start of 2-day carrier raid on Manila bay. [11]Sep 20In Operation Market Garden, British ground troops and US 82nd Airborne take Nijmegen, the Netherlands [1] — Allies take Brest, Boulogne, Nijmegen.  [11]
US Navy Task Force 38 carrier aircraft strike Manila Harbor in the Philippines, sinking 28 Japanese ships [1]Sep 21The Battle of the Hürtgenwald begins. The ‘longest single battle in US history’ lasted until December 16. [238] — In Operation Market Garden, Germans retake the bridge in Arnhem from British paratroopers. The Polish 1st Independent Para Brigade under Gen Sosabowski drops into combat. Tasked with relieving Britain’s 1st Airborne Division, the offensive was already stalling. The Poles suffered heavily trying to reach their allies. [1, 113] — Allies in Italy take Rimini [11]
In the Pacific, the US 81st Infantry Division lands on Ulithi Atoll unopposed, to be used as a supply base [1]Sep 22Soviet troops commence a crossing of the River Danube near Turnu Severin, Romania [2]
USS West Virginia (BB 48) reaches Pearl Harbor and rejoins the Pacific Fleet. Last of 5 battleships repaired @ Puget Sound Navy Yard after Pearl Harbor attack [107]Sep 23Soviet troops commence a crossing of the River Danube near Turnu Severin, Romania.Soviet and Romanian forces enter Hungary. [2] — Russians reach Gulf of Riga at Paernu. Allies in Italy take Fute Pass. Night raids on Muenster and Neuss. [11]
Sep 24British troops land in Greece. Following the liberation of Araxos airfield on 23 September, the first Royal Air Force unit returns to Greece, when Supermarine Spitfires Mk Vs of No. 32 Squadron fly into the airfield. They would soon fight against Greek anti-government forces [11, 60]
Sep 25Free French troops launch assault towards Belfort Gap in France [1] — Operation Market Garden ends as British troops withdraw from Arnhem, Holland; two-thirds of the British paratroopers have been killed or captured [1] — Soviet forces reach the Gulf of Riga on the Baltic [1,2] — The Soviets enter Hungary near Arad [1]
Sep 26 A C-47 carrying flight nurse Reba Whittle crash-lands behind enemy lines in Germany; she becomes the only female US POW in the European Theater in WWII. She will treat patients in German POW camp hospitals and will be repatriated to the US in February 1945 [1] — Allied troops capture Mook, the Netherlands [2] — British 8th Army drives out German positions along Uso River north of Rimini, Italy [2] — Two King Tiger tanks arrive at Kubinka for trials. Despite being almost new, these tanks were not reliable enough for even one to go through a full battery of driving tests with the second serving as a parts donor. [22]
Sep 27The British 8th Army drives the German from their positions along the Uso River north of Rimini, Italy [2]
Sep 28Greek government-in-exile and competing resistance groups agree to place forces under Allied command [1] — Soviet 57th Army enters Yugoslavia [1]
Sep 29In France, the Canadians allow an armistice in Calais to let civilians evacuate [1]
In the Pacific, the US declares Peleliu secure, but resistance remains [1] — J.B. Conant and V. Bush of the Office of Scientific Research and Development write to the Sec of War with concerns about Pres Roosevelt’s “cavalier” belief that it is possible to maintain an Anglo-American atomic monopoly after WWII [116]Sep 30The Warsaw Uprising ends in Polish surrender. In the occupied areas of Warsaw, German soldiers set all buildings on fire to decrease the chances of the AK (Home Army) using them in the future. [12] — Canadian troops take Calais, France [1] — The Allies capture the last German cross-Channel guns; residents of heavily shelled Dover, England celebrate [1]
Oct 1The USSR received it’s last shipment of Valentine tanks. These were used vehicles that were previously in service with Polish troops in Iran [22]
Oct 2The “Battle of the Scheldt” begins. Canadian, British and Polish forces attack into the Netherlands to open up the shipping route to Antwerp so that its port could be used to supply the Allies.Americans open drive on Aachen. Polish rising in Warsaw ends [11]
Oct 3The Germans evacuate Athens, Greece [1]
The US Sixth Army secures Morotai in the Netherlands East Indies [1]Oct 4British paratroopers land at Patras, Greece, and on Crete and Aegean islands [1] — HMCS CHEBOGUE is torpedoed in the stern by U-1227 mid-Atlantic while escorting convoy ONS-33, 7 sailors are killed. She is successfully towed 800 miles to port. Considered a Total Constructive Loss CHEBOGUE is not repaired [61]
Oct 5Germany begins conscription of sixteen-year-old boys [1] — French women are granted the right to vote for the first time ever [1] — Canadian troops cross Belgian-Dutch border north of Antwerp [1] — Vatican galleries reopened after the liberation of Rome [14]
Oct 6Allied troops capture Ossendrecht, the Netherlands [2] — The US First Army enters the Hürtgen Forest in Germany [1]
Oct 7General Rudolf Viest is made the commander of the Slovak National Uprising [2] — British 8th Army resumed attacks on the Gothic Line in Italy [2]
Oct 9The fourth Moscow Conference opens between Churchill and Stalin [1] — Canadian troops make an amphibious landing at Breskens Pocket in the Netherlands [2]
US Navy Task Force 38 (17 aircraft carriers) strikes Okinawa, sinking 34 vessels & destroying 75 Japanese planes [1]Oct 10British and Greek troops secure Corinth and German Army Group E begins a retreat from Greece [1]
Oct 12The city of Alençon becomes the first French city to be liberated by French forces. The 2nd Armored Division, led by General Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque, defeats the Germans to free Alençon. [116, 175] — In Italy, Buffalo Soldiers of US 92nd Infantry Division breach Gothic Line, the only black US Army unit to see combat in Europe [1]
The US secures Palau Islands in the Pacific [1]Oct 13The Soviets take the important naval base of Riga, Latvia, trapping Germans in the Courland Peninsula [1] — The port of Le Havre, France opens for Allied ships, improving the supply situation [1] — American forces force the Germans out of Mortain. The German Operation Lüttich, failed to cut off the US Third Army. This action began the formation of the Falaise Pocket. [31]
Oct 14No.6 RCAF Group, Bomber Command, within a period of sixteen hours, flies a total of 501 Lancaster and Halifax bombers against targets in Duisburg, GermanyGreek Resistance and British troops secure Athens, Greece [1] — German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, a suspect in the July 20 Hitler assassination plot, commits suicide to protect his family [1, 116] — Paratroops from 2 Independent Parachute Brigade head towards their drop zone at Megara in Greece [13] — British occupy Athens [11] — Soviet and Yugoslavian troops enter Belgrade [2]
Oct 15Hungarian regent Adm. Miklós Horthy is deposed by German commandos and replaced with fascist leader Ferenc Szálasi the next day [1] — Russians take Petsamo [11]
Oct 16HMCShips ANNAN & LOCH ACHANALT attack U-1006 on the surface south of Faeroes Islands. Following a running gun battle and dropping depth charges, the RCN ships sink the U-Boat & rescue 46 German survivors. Eight sailors in ANNAN are wounded. [61]
Oct 18The Soviets enter Czechoslovakia through the Carpathian passes, but pause to let Germans crush Slovakian mountain uprising [1] — Hitler activates Volkssturm, a militia of all able-bodied males 16-60 years old [1, 116] — Erwin Rommel is given a state funeral [2] — Himmler is appointed as Commander of Heeresgruppe Oberrhein [2]
Lt. Gen. Joseph Stilwell is removed from command of the China-Burma-India Theater and recalled to US to integrate its female reserve program [1] — Black women were admitted for the first time to the US Navy Reserves. Until 1944, of 82,000 Blacks enlisted in US Navy, not one was able to serve as an officer. [122]Oct 19British announce capture of Tiddim in Burma [11] — Hitler orders the complete and total destruction of the city of Warsaw [2]
U.S. General Douglas MacArthur fulfills his promise of “I shall return” when returned to the Philippines, during the Liberation of the Philippines. [116] — The first wave of American troops stormed ashore from amphibious landing craft on Leyte in the Philippine Islands. [128]Oct 20US 88th Division captures Monte Grande, Italy. [2]
First deliberate kamikaze attack. A Japanese Aichi D3A dive-bomber or a Mitsubishi Ki-51, carrying a 440 lb bomb, attacks HMAS Australia off Leyte Island, as the Battle of Leyte Gulf begins [8]Oct 21‘Aries’, an Avro Lancaster bomber departs on the first round-the-world trip by a British aircraft. Part of the Empire Air Navigation School at RAF Shawbury, it aimed to research navigational techniques, skills, and aids, and advance knowledge. [60] — The Nemmersdorf Massacre occurs against German civilians and French and Belgian POWs, allegedly by the Soviet Army. Nemmersdorf, in East Prussia, was one of the first ethnic-German villages to fall to the Soviets. [116] — Aachen becomes the first major German city to fall to American/Allied forces after three weeks of fighting. [11, 116]
The Battle of Leyte Gulf, the largest naval battle of WWII and perhaps the largest in history. The U.S. Navy’s Third and Seventh Fleets, along with ships from the Royal Australian Navy and Royal Navy, meet the Imperial Japanese Navy at the Battle of Leyte Gulf. 300 Allied warships decimate the Japanese navy. It gives the Allies virtual control of the Pacific [4, 11, 51, 123] — USS Franklin launches strikes in the Manila Bay area [2]Oct 23-26
The most successful submarine of WWII, USS Tang (SS 306), is struck and sunk by a circular run of her 24th and last torpedo. Despite serving only a year, Tang set the record for most ships (33) and greatest tonnage (116,454) sunk among all US Navy subs during the war. The Tang quickly sank, with only 9 survivors. [68, 162] — Battleship Musashi is lost in the Battle of Sibuyan Sea to overwhelming air power [2]Oct 24French auto company founder Louis Renault dies. He was awaiting trial on charges of industrial collaboration with Nazi Germany at the time of this death [116]
The US Navy and the Imperial Japanese Navy fight the world’s last dreadnought action at the Battle of Surigao Strait. RAdm Oldendorf’s task group formed a battle line that “crossed the T” of the Japanese Southern Force, halting their advance. [51]Oct 25Russians invade Norway, take Kirkenes [11]
Oct 26Canadian troops make amphibious landing at Beveland in crucial Scheldt Estuary in the Netherlands [1]
Oct 28Bulgaria, which had fought with Germany, signs armistice with the Allies [1]
Oct 30In the Vosges mountains in France, the US 442nd Infantry Regiment (Japanese-Americans) rescues the Lost Battalion with heavy losses (184 killed) [1]
Oct 3125 Mosquitoes from 140 Wing, RAF, attack the Gestapo HQ in Aarhus, Denmark. The precision of the attack saw most of the files held there destroyed and many Germans killed, including the Gestapo chief, Eugen Schwitzgebel. [162]
Nov 1Allied forces land at Uncle Beach at Vlissingen as part of Operation Infatuate. This amphibious operation is to eliminate Fortress Walcheren and finally “open” the port of Antwerp. This was part of the “Battle of the Scheldt”. [13] — Army flight nurse Lieutenant Aleda E. Lutz becomes the first U.S. woman to die in combat during World War II when the plane she was in crashed near Saint-Chamond, Loire, France [116]
Nov 2The liberation of Belgium is complete. Canadians have taken Zeebrugge [1] — Marshal Tito becomes Prime Minister of Yugoslavia, serving in coalition government with government-in-exile prime minister Ivan Šubašić [1] — The US First Army begins drive on Schmidt, Germany through the Hürtgen Forest [1] — All able-bodied German males ages 13-60 are ordered to join the Volkssturm militia under penalty of court-martial [1] — Soviet units enter the suburbs of Budapest, Hungary [2]
First Japanese Fu-Go balloon bombs (hydrogen balloons with incendiary devices and antipersonnel bombs) were launched against the United States from the east coast of the main Japanese island of Honshu [8]Nov 3
Nov 4The Liberation of Greece is complete as the final German troops evacuate [1]
US B-29s bomb Japanese-occupied Singapore for the first time [1]Nov 5British troops capture Ravenna, Italy, cutting the rail line to Bologna
The British launch an offensive in western Burma toward Akyab [1]Nov 8The “Battle of the Scheldt”ends — Canadians secure Walcheren and the Scheldt Estuary to protect port of Antwerp, Belgium [1] — Allied troops captured Veere and Koudekerke in the Netherlands — Allies take Forli in Italy. [11] — The US Third Army begins its offensive against the Siegfried line toward Metz, France [1, 11] — The 761st Tank Battalion, the first African-American tank unit, enters combat with US Third Army [1]
Nov 12The Tirpitz is attacked by Lancaster Bombers of 9 & 617 Squadrons as part of Operation Catechism. Struck repeatedly by Tallboy bombs, the ship lists heavily to port before capsizing. Up to 1000 of her crew were killed in the attack or its aftermath. [1, 11, 129] — Japanese-American soldiers of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team stand in formation to receive citations for bravery. Through the war, the 442nd received 4,000 Bronze Stars, 4,000 Purple Hearts, and 21 Medals of Honor. [77, 128]
Nov 13In the Vosges Mountains in France, US Seventh Army launches offensive on German Siegfried Line [1]
American and Chinese troops attack Bhamo, BurmaNov 14The French First Army opens assault towards Belfort Gap in France [1] — The United States Congress establishes the rank of five-star general. Eisenhower, Marshall, MacArthur and Bradley are all promoted [4]
US troops land on Mindoro, Philippine Islands [2]Nov 15
Nov 16The US First and Ninth Armies launch offensive to clear the Roer Plain in Germany [1] — The largest loss of life in a single attack of V2 occurred on this cold Saturday afternoon, when a German  V-2 missile makes a direct hit on Antwerp’s Cinema Rex. More than a thousand holiday moviegoers are watching a matinee screening of the Gary Cooper Western The Plainsman. The attack left 567 dead and 291 injured. [8, 117]
Japanese Ki-83 heavy fighter takes its first flight [2]Nov 17The US Third Army enters Metz, France [1]
Japan conducts the first successful test of a rocket-powered Ohka aircraft. [2] — Shinano is comissioned into service at Yokosuka, Japan [2] — The British Fourteenth Army opens drive in Burma and crosses the Chindwin River at Sittaung [1]Nov 19The first Focke-Wulf Ta 152C files. Only one pre-production example would be built. [9] — 30 members of the Luxembourgish resistance defend the town of Vianden, Luxembourg against German Waffen-SS troops. The Germans attack with 250 soldiers, but are defeated at the Battle of Vianden Castle. [116] — 1030 Polish prisoners arrive at the NKVD Ostashkov Special Camp in Tver. [2] — British and Americans take Geilenkirchen [11]
Chinese troops capture Mangshih, Yunnan Province, ChinaNov 20After 5 years of darkness, the lights come back on in Piccadilly Circus. Elsewhere in England the black-out will last until 1949 – ten very long years [122]
Nov 21The US Seventh and French First Armies enter Alsatian plain in France [1]
The 15,000th P-40 is completed at Buffalo, New York, United StatesNov 22The US Third Army takes the crucial town of Metz, France [1] — French take Mulhouse [11]
The U.S. launches the first B-29 raid on Tokyo. The attack marks the start of a 264-day bombing campaign against the Japanese capital that leaves 200,000 dead and more than a million homeless. [4]Nov 23T-44 medium tank is accepted for service.  It was designed in 1943-1944 under the leadership of Morozov and was intended to replace the T-34 in the role of the main medium tank. Serial production of the T-44 began in 1944.  1,823 T-44 tanks were produced. [2, 22] — The French First Army takes Strasbourg, France [1] — Chinese-American WASP Hazel Lee is injured in a landing accident at Great Falls, MT; she dies on Nov. 25, the last of 38 WASPs to die on duty. [1] — US troops liberate the Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp. Between 19,000 and 20,000 people were murdered by the Nazis in the Natzweiler-Struthof camp system from May 1941 to March 1945. [118]
US B-29 bombers based in the Marianas Islands attack Tokyo for the first time [2] — Japanese capture Nanning, completing a land corridor between occupied China and Indochina [1]Nov 24In Terrace BC, Canadian conscripts (many are French-Canadian) mutiny when they hear they might be sent overseas, largest mutiny in Canadian history; put down by 11/29; news of mutiny is censored. [1] — In a controversial decision, Gen. Dwight Eisenhower orders the 6th Army Group not to cross the Rhine but to drive north and assist Patton’s Third Army [1]
Two kamikazes strike Intrepid, killing 69 crew members and injuring many more. [78]Nov 25A German V-2 rocket hits Woolworth department store in London, killing 168 [1] — As Soviets advance, Nazis demolish crematoria and gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp [1]
Nov 26US troops captured Monte Belvedere and Monte Castello, Italy [2]
Cordell Hull resigns as US Secretary of State [1]Nov 27
Anglo-Indian troops capture Kalewa, BurmaNov 28Albania is secured by partisans as Germans evacuate [1] — The Allies open the port of Antwerp, Belgium as the first convoy of supply ships arrives [1]
Nov 29Soviet and Yugoslavian troops cross the Danube River into Hungary [2] — Brazilian troops attack Monte Castello 61 kilometers southwest of Bologna, Italy [2] — German spies William Colepaugh and Erich Gimpel are landed by U-boat U-1230 at Hancock Point, ME; both are arrested by 1/1/45 [1]
Nov 30The Polish government puts Nazi commandant and guards from Majdanek concentration camp on trial [1]
Edward Stettinius becomes US Secretary of State after Cordell Hull’s resignation [1]Dec 1Himmler orders the crematoriums and gas chambers of Auschwitz destroyed — Canadian forces open campaign to clear the Scheldt Estuary around the port of Antwerp, Belgium [1]
British begin offensive in Burma, with the Indian 20th Division crossing the Chindwin River at Kalewa. [1]Dec 3Allied troops capture Blerick, the Netherlands [2] — British Eighth Army opens drive for Bologna, Italy [1] — Civil war breaks out in Greece between communists and royalists [1]
Dec 4Italian partisans liberate Ravenna in first major partisan attack in Italy [1] — The US Third Army crosses the Saar River at Saarlautern, Germany [1]
The US launches its final offensive on Leyte in the Philippines, driving into the Ormoc Valley [1]dec 5
Dec 6The German He 162 jet fighter makes its first flight
Dec 7Nazi women’s leader Gertrud Scholtz-Klink asks all German women over 18 to volunteer to serve in the armed services to release men to the front [1]
Japanese troops capture Tushan, Jiangsu Province, China — The US Navy and US Army Air Force begin 72-day pre-invasion bombardment of Iwo Jima [1]Dec 8
Dec 9Russian troops reach the Danube River north of Budapest, Hungary [11] — The Bulgarian and Yugoslavian armies drive the last German forces from Serbia and Macedonia [1] — British troops arrive in Athens, Greece to put down the communist uprising [1]
On Leyte in the Philippines, the US Sixth Army takes Ormoc, the main supply base [1]Dec 10
Ormoc Bay is completely secured by the US in the Philippines. More importantly, Ormoc yielded vast stockpiles of munitions from the Japanese Thirty-fifth Army [15]Dec 11
Allied troops attack the Arakan region of BurmaDec 12
Dec 16Known as Operation Autumn Mist (also known as the Ardennes Offensive and the Von Rundstedt Offensive), 200,000 German troops backed by 1,600 guns and 350 tanks launch Hitler’s last-ditch Ardennes Offensive. To support the offensive, the Luftwaffe had assembled some 2,460 combat aircraft, including 1,770 single-engine fighters. 89,000 Americans become casualties in the Battle of the Bulge, making it the single bloodiest U.S. campaign of WW2.The Germans wanted to capture Antwerp and stop the Allies bringing in supplies. The attack was a surprise and led to heavy Allied losses. By Christmas fierce American resistance and fuel shortages brought the offensive to a halt. [4, 8, 22, 42, 75, 116]
USAAF 509th Composite Group is activated for atomic bomb delivery [2]Dec 17The Malmedy Massacre occurs when 120 members of the U.S. army, Battery B, 285th Field Artillery Observation Battalion are captured by the 1st SS Panzer Division and executed by machine gun fire. “Avenge Malmedy” became a battle cry for American forces and four days later 21 German soldiers attempting to surrender were killed in an act of revenge [18, 116]
Dec 19In the Battle of the Bulge, the US 101st Airborne Division arrives in Bastogne, Belgium to protect the crucial crossroads. Bastogne is almost fully surrounded [1, 15]
Dec 20Dwight Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe, is appointed 5-star general of the army [1] — US terminates WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) program—returning combat airmen will perform ferrying services; 1037 women served, with 38 fatalities. [1]
The US Sixth Army secures Ormoc Valley on Leyte [1]Dec 21In the Battle of the Bulge, the Germans surround US troops in Bastogne, Belgium and take the crossroads at St. Vith [1] — SS Samtucky (British) while in Convoy HX-327, torpedoed by a Gnat fired from U-806 eighteen km from Halifax. The freighter was able to return to Halifax where it was beached and later repaired. No casualties. [61] — US forces capture Stavelot, Belgium [2]
Indian 2nd and 20th Divisions reach Pyingaing, Burma [2]Dec 23Adolf Eichmann flees Budapest, Hungary before dawn [2] — At Papago Park camp, AZ, 25 German POWs escape, ecstatic about successes in Battle of the Bulge, but plan to float down a river to Mexico goes awry due to dry riverbed; all recaptured by 1/28/45 [1] — US C-47 cargo planes drop supplies, including medical supplies, into surrounded Bastogne, Belgium [1]
Dec 26U.S. General George S. Patton and his Third Army break the German encirclement of U.S. forces at Bastogne, Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge, thus ending Nazi Germany’s last major offensive of World War II. [11, 47, 116]
Dec 27Soviets encircle Budapest, Hungary, beginning 102-day siege [1] — HMCShips ST. THOMAS, a Castle Class corvette, & SEA CLIFF attack & sink German submarine U-877 using Squid mortar while escorting convoy HX-237 in the North Atlantic. [31, 61] — The final Glider resupply mission, the biggest to date, lands at Bastogne carrying desperately needed ammunition, particularly of a larger calibre. All 50 gliders are provided by the 439th TCG, with them also providing 37 of the tow aircraft, the rest coming from the 440th TCG. Due to the lack of Glider Pilots in France at the time, and the rapid nature of the planning, there are no co-pilots. 12 GP’s are captured by the Germans, are 4 are KIA [136] — Elements of the 3rd Battalion, 517th PIR, attack Manhay, Belgium, during the Battle of the Bulge. In the early part of the attack a devastating pre-attack Artillery barrage fell late, and short of Manhay, hitting the Paratroopers as they crossed open ground. [111] — Axis troops capture Pian di Coreglia, Italy. [2]
46,000 U.S. troops storm the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The Japanese offer fierce resistance; of the 3,500 Imperial troops dug in there, only 51 survive after four days of savage fighting. [4]Dec 31Hitler’s generals carry out Germany’s last major offensive in the West. Operation Nordwind sees Wehrmacht and SS troops strike at U.S. and French forces in Alsace and Lorraine. The push fails to forestall the Third Reich’s inevitable collapse. [4] — Hungary switches sides in World War II. The Soviet-backed government declares war on Germany. Hungary had hoped to be a non-belligerent during the war, but reluctantly aligned with Nazi #Germany in Nov 1940. [116] — US troops execute 3 Germans dressed in American uniforms in the Ardennes during the Battle of the Bulge [15]
Jan 2An American Sikorsky helicopter is used in naval convoy escort for the first time [1]
The first contingent of WAVES arrive in Hawaii; 4000 will serve there [1] — USS Walke (DD 723) is attacked by four kamikazes. After the third plane struck the ship, fire envelopes the bridge and Cmdr. Davis is horribly burned.  [74]Jan 6Finland lifts a ban on dancing, which was made illegal near the beginning of the Winter War and again during the Continuation War [116]
Off Manila Bay, US destroyers Charles Ausburne, Braine, Russell, and Shaw sink the Japanese destroyer Hinoki in the last surface naval engagement of the Pacific war [1]Jan 7The German Navy begins evacuating troops trapped by the Soviet advance along the Baltic in Lithuania [1]
The Japanese execute Filipino resistance leader Col. Pastor Martelino [1] — In Placer County, CA, the home of a recently returned Japanese-American family is attacked (shed burned and shots fired), the first of 30 similar incidents on the West Coast [1]Jan 8The Germans demolish floodgates on the Ruhr River, flooding the area west of Cologne [1]
The Battle of Luzon begins with 175K troops from the 6th Army landing along the 20-mile beachhead of Lingayen Gulf in the Philippines [15] — The US Sixth Army lands at Lingayen Gulf on Luzon in the Philippines; beachhead is established as Japanese have withdrawn inland [1]Jan 9
On Luzon, Filipino guerrillas take Aguilar and Santa Barbara, linking with US troops [1] — Japanese submarines begin operation Kongo, employing suicide torpedoes (kaiten) at Ulithi Atoll, damaging 2 American ships [1]Jan 11
In Burma, the Indian 19th Division attempts to cross the Irrawaddy River at Thabaikkyin but withdraws under fierce Japanese bayonet attack [1]Jan 14The US 357th Fighter Group downs 56.5 aircraft over Germany, the highest single day total for any US Army Air Force fighter group in WWII. [1] — The Soviet 1st Ukrainian Front crosses the Nida River in Poland [2 — ]U-1232 attacks Convoy BX-141 off Chedabucto Head, sinking MV British Freedom, SS Martin Van Buren, & MV Athelviking. HMCS ETTRICK rams U-boat followed by several Depth Charges attacks. Incredibly U-1232 survives & returns to Norway severely damaged. [61]
Jan 12The Soviets begin the Vistula–Oder Offensive against the Germans during World War II. The successful offensive resulted in the capture of most of Poland and included the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp. [116] — Minesweeper HMS Regulus is heavily damaged by a mine in the Corfu Channel, losing her propellers and suffering serious flooding. She capsized and sinks shortly after being taken in tow. One rating was killed when the mine exploded [137]
Jan 14The 29th Canadian MTB Flotilla (12 boats) is destroyed in a catastrophic fire at Ostende Harbour, Belgium. 26 RCN sailors are killed & boats 459, 461, 462, 465 & 466 are lost, effectively wiping out the flotilla. The explosion, caused by leaking fuel that ignited in a crowded dock, killed 64 men – the worst disaster to befall Coastal Forces in the war. [61, 147] — British and Canadian troops reach the Rhine River northwest of Duisberg, Germany [2]
The Japanese launch a drive towards the isolated US Fourteenth Air Force bases in eastern China and toward the Hengyang-Canton railroad [1]Jan 15In the US, a nationwide dim-out is ordered to conserve fuel [1]
Jan 16An increasingly desperate Adolf Hitler retreats to a concrete bunker deep beneath Berlin’s bombed out streets. Within 104 days, the Red Army will be in the German capital and the Führer will be dead. He remains for 105 days until he commits suicide on April 30, 1945, [4, 116] — HMCS Saint John (K456) sinks the German submarine U-309 east of Moray Firth in Scotland, while escorting Convoy WN-74 during the Battle of the Atlantic. All hands were lost. [51]
Jan 17The Soviet-controlled Polish First Army finally entered Warsaw, or rather what was left of the ruined city on the left bank of the Vistula river.Before the Soviets entered Warsaw, the Polish Home Army tried to liberate its capital while the Soviets stood by as the Germans slaughtered them. [1, 55, 116] — Nazis lead 66,000 prisoners from Auschwitz on a death march to Germany [1] — Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who saved tens of thousands of Jews, is detained by the Soviets in Budapest, Hungary and disappears [1]
Jan 20Hungary signs surrender to the Allies in Moscow [1]President Franklin D. Roosevelt is inaugurated for his fourth term [1]
Kamikazes hit the US Third Fleet off Luzon and damage the carrier USS Ticonderoga (143 killed), but TF 38 aircraft sink 15 Japanese ships and destroy 104 aircraft [1]Jan 21
The Indian 20th Division takes Monywa in Burma, the last Japanese port on the Chindwin River [1]Jan 22Soviets capture Allenstein and Insterburg in eastern Germany [2]
In the shallow harbor of Nanguan Island, China, sub USS Barb sinks Japanese freighter Taikyu Maru; Cdr. Eugene Fluckey will receive the Medal of Honor; Barb will receive Presidential Unit Citation [1] — Anglo-Indian troops capture Myinmu, Burma [2]Jan 23The US Army captures St. Vith, the last German stronghold in the Ardennes “bulge.” [1, 15] — The Nazis execute German resistance leaders Count Helmuth von Moltke (leader of Kreisau Circle resistance group) and Erwin Planck (son of physicist Max Planck) [1] — Germany launches Operation Hannibal. Over 15 weeks, hundreds of merchant vessels and navy ships carry 800K-900K German civilians and 350K soldiers from Prussia. Three times more than were evacuated from Dunkirk. [116]
Jan 24German troops begin evacuating from Slovakia as Soviets advance [1] — At Mauthausen, Nazis execute 9 US OSS agents, 4 British SOE agents & an Associated Press reporter, all arrested with Slovakian partisans on mission to evacuate downed airmen. Associated Press reporter Joseph Morton was the only Allied war correspondent executed by the Axis in WWII [1]
Anglo-Indian and Japanese troops clash at Kabwet, Burma [2]Jan 25in Kuźnica Żelichowska in WartheGau, a Waffen-SS unit murders former Italian Generals during the evacuation process of the camp with Italian POW’s. In the summer of 1943 650,000 Italian soldiers refused to fight on the German side [55] — Allied forces have recaptured all of the ground lost during the Battle of the Bulge, closing out the largest land battle fought by the US Army in WWII [144]
Jan 26Wounded Audie Murphy single-handedly repels tank and infantry attacks in France earning him the Congressional Medal of Honor
US Twentieth Bomber Command (B-29s) evacuates from Chengtu, China to Kharagpur, India as Japanese advance in China [1]Jan 27Over 7,000 prisoners of the German Nazi Auschwitz and Birkenau camps, including ca. 700 children, are liberated by the soldiers of the 322nd Rifle Division of the Soviet army. 1,689 days of murder, humiliation, suffering, and pain were over. Following prisoner evacuation & death marches westwards, Soviet troops liberated c.7000 & discovered the corpses of c.600 prisoners in the main camps. [1, 6, 17, 24, 25, 49, 116, 126, 131] — The Siege of Leningrad finally ends after a staggering 872 days [24]
on Luzon and takes the San Marcelino airfields [1, 2]At Guadalcanal, the US Coast Guard attack cargo ship Serpens explodes while depth charges are being loaded; 196 crewmen & 57 Army stevedores killed, the greatest loss on a Coast Guard ship in WWII [1]Jan 29Allied troops captured Oberhausen, Germany [2]
Army Rangers, Alamo Scouts & Filipino guerrillas rescue 552 Allied prisoners from the Japanese POW camp at Cabanatuan [4] — US 1st Cavalry Division begins its advance on Manila, Philippines [2]Jan 30A Soviet sub during Operation Hannibal sinks the German liner the MV Wilhelm Gustloff, a cruise turned barracks ship, off the Baltic Sea. It results in the death of 7000-8000 people of the 11,000 on board. Included are  civilians from East Prussia and wounded German soldiers. It is the largest naval disaster in history [18, 116]
The Battle of Hill 170, fought between British 3rd Commando Brigade and the Japanese 54th Division in Arakan, Burma, ends in Allied victory. Japanese forces withdraw from Arakan [57]Jan 31at Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines, France for desertion. He was the only U.S. soldier executed for desertion during WWII and the first since the Civil War. He had stated he would continue to desert if sent back to the front [4, 116] — The British clear the last German bridgehead across the Maas [11]
Feb 1The US First Army captures Remscheid in Germany [2]
Anglo-Indian troops capture Kangaw, Burma [2]Feb 2French troops capture Colmar, France [2]
US forces engage Japanese troops in Manila, PhilippinesFeb 3Gen. Marshall & the U.S. delegation arrived at the Livadia Palace in Crimea for the Yalta Conference with UK and USSR representatives. The Yalta Conference, with Winston Churchill (UK), Franklin D. Roosevelt (USA) and Joseph Stalin (USSR), begins [145]
The first Allied truck convoy over the reopened Burma Road arrives in Kunming, China [1]Feb 4The Allies liberate Belgium [1] — Prime Minister Winston Churchill, President Franklin Roosevelt and dictator Joseph Stalin meet at Livadia Palace in the Crimea beginning the Yalta Conference to determine how to organize post-war Europe [1, 116]
Feb 5The US Seventh and French Armies link, splitting the Colmar pocket in France [1] — The RAF Balloon Command is disbanded as the air raid threat lessens [1]
Feb 8The Canadian First Army opens a drive for the Rhine from Nijmegen in the Netherlands, often in flooded conditions [1] — The Norwegian resistance (Milorg) kills Maj. Gen. Karl Marthinson, head of Norwegian state police [1]
The British secure Ramree Island, Burma [1]Feb 9In rare sub vs. sub combat and the only documented case in naval history where both were submerged, British submarine HMS Venturer sinks German U-boat U-864 off Bergen, Norway. [1] — The US Seventh & French First Armies clear the Colmar Pocket and Alsatian Plain and drive the Germans over the Rhine south of Strasbourg, France [1]
A US P-51 deliberately damages a US C-47 to prevent the cargo plane from mistakenly landing at a Japanese airfield in the Philippines; the C-47 ditches at sea and all aboard rescued next day [1]Feb 10The Soviet submarine S-13 sinks the German transport Steuben, killing 3800 military personnel & civilians fleeing East Prussia. S-13 also sank Wilhelm Gustloff, making sub commander Alexander Marinesko the most lethal in history and the most successful Soviet commander in tonnage. [1]
At the Yalta Conference, Stalin pledges to declare war on Japan within 3 months of the German surrender [1]Feb 11The Yalta Agreement is signed by Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin [2]
B-29 Superfortresses of the US XXI Bomber Command begin pre-invasion bombing of Iwo Jima [1]Feb 12
Feb 13The RAF and US Air Force planes begin to drop around 2,400 tons of explosives and 1,500 tons of incendiary bombs on the German city of Dresden — German & Hungarian forces surrender to the Allies in Budapest. 38,000 civilians died during the siege & after in labor camps. Budapest was in ruins with about 80% of buildings destroyed. [15]
Feb 14British and Canadian troops reach the Rhine River northwest of Duisberg, Germany — Starting late on Feb. 13, 805 RAF bombers & 311 US Eighth Air Force B-17s bomb Dresden, Germany, starting firestorm that kills at least 37,000. [1]
As the Japanese advance, the US Fourteenth Air Force evacuates the last of its eastern China airfields, it can no longer raid the South China Sea [1] — The US Sixth Army lands at Mariveles on tip of the Bataan peninsula on Luzon, and takes Mariveles and its airfield [1]Feb 15The first African-American members of the Women’s Army Corps arrive in the UK [1]
US paratroopers attack Corregidor, Philippines [2]Feb 16
For the second day in a row, carriers of US Fifth Fleet strike Tokyo, while Fifth Fleet warships bombard Iwo Jima [1]Feb 17
Feb 18In Germany, the US Third Army crosses the Siegfried Line north of Echternach [1]
30,000 U.S. Marines land on Iwo Jima during WWII. The Marines don’t take the island until March 26. Almost 7,000 Americans are killed and 19,000 wounded. About 18,000 Japanese died and ~3,000 went into hiding. The Marines fought for 36 days, sometimes inch by inch, to take the island. Beyond the U.S. Marine Corps and Navy the battle also included several U.S. Army units composed mostly of African-American soldiers. [2, 70, 116, 149]Feb 19Swedish Count Folke Bernadotte is first contacted by Reichsfuhrer-SS Heinrich Himmler regarding a separate peace with the West. [116]
Feb 20Corvette HMS Vervain is torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-1276 south-east of Dungarvan, Ireland, while on convoy escort duty. 60 were lost from her complement of 93. [137]
Feb 22Operation Clarion is launched: 6000 aircraft of the RAF and US Eighth, Ninth, and Fifteenth Air Forces aim to destroy German communications and isolate the industrial Ruhr Valley [1] — The US Fifth Army secures the Upper Reno Valley in Italy [1]
The US Marines Michael Strank, Harlon Block, Franklin Sousley, Rene Gagnon, Ira Hayes, and Harold Schultz raise the flag on Mt. Suribachi on Iwo Jima; immortalized by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal [1] — Troops of the US 11th Airborne liberate 2147 POWs at Los Baños, Luzon [1]Feb 23In Arctic convoy RA-64, the US freighter Henry Bacon shoots down 3 Luftwaffe Ju 88 bombers, a Liberty ship record, but is sunk in turn—the last Allied ship lost to German aircraft in the war [1]
Feb 24Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Maher Pasha declares war on the Axis and is immediately assassinated in the parliament chamber [1] — Hitler makes his last speech in the Chancellery in Berlin [1]
US B-29 bombers and Fifth Fleet carrier aircraft strike Tokyo in a devastating raid [1]Feb 25Turkey breaks neutrality and declares war on Germany and Japan [1] — US M26 Pershing tanks are first used in combat in Europe [1]
The US Sixth Army begins assault on last three Japanese strongholds in Manila [1] — American troops capture Corregidor, Philippine Islands [2] — The Indian 2nd Division completes the crossing of the Irrawady River at Ngazumi, Burma [2]Feb 26The US Ninth Army reaches the Rhine south of Düsseldorf, Germany [1]
General Douglas MacArthur officially turns over the government of the Philippines to President Sergio Osmeña [1] — The US Sixth Army secures Corregidor in the Philippines [1]Feb 27Lebanon joins many other nations in last-minute declarations of war on Germany and Japan—all who join the Allies before March 1 will be invited to the upcoming United Nations conference [1]
The US Sixth Army secures Manila after furious house-to-house fighting; 100,000 civilians have been killed by the Japanese [1]Mar 3Unfortunately responsible for far more British than German casualties a newly installed battery in Victoria Park opens fire. The unexpected noise causes a stampede at the nearby Bethnal Green tube station shelter. The resulting crush killed 173 people. [162] — The US Ninth Army and Canadian troops link between the Maas and Rhine rivers [1] — Finland officially switches sides during World War II and declares war on Germany [116]
The British Fourteenth Army takes Meiktila, Burma [1]A B-29 Superfortress lands at Iwo Jima, the first of 2400 B-29s to use the airfields for emergency landings [1]Mar 4
All Japanese pockets of resistance at Meiktila, Burma have been eliminatedFirst prototype of Nakajima Ki-115 Tsuragi special attack aircraft is completed [2]Mar 5The German Army begins conscripting fifteen-year-old boys [1]. — Fortress Graudenz is captrued by Soviet 2nd Byelorussian Front [2]
Medical evacuation flights begin from Iwo Jima under artillery fire; first time a flight nurse flies into an active battlefield [1]Mar 6The Germans launch offensive to retake Hungarian oil fields—will have partial, temporary success [1] — The Dutch resistance ambushes a truck at Woeste Hoeve, injuring Hanns Rauter, head of the Dutch SS [1] — The US First Army takes Cologne (Köln), Germany; in retreat, Germans destroy the Hohenzollern Bridge. Incredibly, by the end of the war, the population of the city had been reduced by ~95 percent. [1, 116]
Mar 7The Ohio River floods Pittsburgh and Louisville, slowing war production [1] — The Battle of Remagen begins. The 9th Armored Division of the U.S. First Army captures the Ludendorff Railway Bridge over the Rhine River after the Germans failed to destroy it. Where possible, its defenders are executed on Hitler’s personal orders, but the Allies get 6 divisions across before it collapsed on 17 March. 800 crossed on the first day. [1, 2, 14, 116, 153] — Frigates of Canadian 25th Escort Group, HMCShips LA HULLOISE, STRATHADAM & THEDFORD MINES attack with Depth Charges & Hedgehog sinking U-1302, near St. George’s Channel, UK. [61]
Phyllis Mae Daley becomes the first African-American nurse to serve during World War II. She receives a commission on this day as an ensign in the Navy Nurse Corps. [1, 116] — US intelligence first detects the new Ohka aircraft at Konoike airfield [2]Mar 8US troops enter Bonn, Germany [2] — German commandos from the Nazi-occupied Channel Islands raid Granville, Normandy at night, free 55 German POWs, and capture 30 Americans [1] — Nazis kill 262 Dutch prisoners & civilians in reprisal for March 6 resistance attack at at Woeste Hoeve, plus a German soldier who refuses to participate in the massacre [1] — Soviet troops reach the suburbs of Breslau, Germany [2]
On Iwo Jima, US Marines repulse a large banzai suicide attack and reach the far coast, dividing Japanese forces [1] — On the night of March 9-10, US B-29s launch first major incendiary raid on Tokyo—97,000 are killed in the most destructive air attack of the entire war [1]Mar 9At Fort Devens, MA, black Women’s Army Corps orderlies at the hospital go on strike to protest the lack of opportunity for technical training; 4 women choose to face court-martial for mutiny [1] — The US Third Army captures Andernach, Germany [2]
The US Eighth Army lands at Zamboanga on Mindanao in the Philippines [1] — Anglo-Indian troops continue to assault Mandalay Hill near Mandalay, Burma [2] — 300 American bombers continue to drop almost 2,000 tons of incendiaries on Tokyo, Japan, in a mission that had begun the previous day. The attack destroys large portions of the Japanese capital and kills 100,000 civilians. [148]Mar 10British and Canadians clear the west bank of the Rhine in their sectors [1] — The German navy completes evacuation of Danzig and Gdynia [1] — Over 25,000 civilians are evacuated from Kolberg by sea [2]
Emperor Bao Dai of Nguyen Dynasty declares Vietnamese independence from France, with Japanese support [1] — The Imperial Japanese Navy launches Operation Tan No. 2 (Dainiji Tan Sakusen), a large kamikaze attack on U.S. warships at Ulithi Atoll in the Pacific. The carrier USS Randolph is damaged during the attack, with the loss of 26 killed and 105 wounded. [57]Mar 11The US Third Army captures Kochem, Germany — Seventy German POWs escape from a camp at Bridgend, Wales — all will be recaptured by March 17 [1]
Mar 12RAF sends 1108 bombers to Dortmund, Germany, dropping 4851 tons of bombs, an RAF record for both tonnage and bombers to a single target [1] — Dutch diarist and Jewish victim of the Holocaust, known for her diary, Anne Frank, dies in the Belsen concentration camp at age 15. Some indication that her death may have occurred in February. [116] — Flight Lieutenant Russell L. Moodie, of the RCAF ARC’s No. 6 Squadron, used his Canso’s slipstream to accelerate the descent of a Japanese fire balloon near Rupert Arm British Columbia. It was entangled in some trees and where it was salvaged intact.  [31]
King Norodom Sihanouk declares Cambodian independence from France (under Japanese), changes name of country to Kampuchea, reinstates Khmer script, ending Romanization of Khmer language [1] — US B-29s launch fire raid on Osaka, killing 4000 and destroying 119 factories. [1]Mar 1351st Field Hospital crosses the Rhine River at Remagen, Germany, the first US hospital to do so [1] — Wernher von Braun and the elite of his German rocket team evacuate the research and launch facilities at Peenemünde as Allied forces near the Rhine and the Soviet army approaches from the East. [117] — Soviet representatives learne about the M4A2(76)W HVSS tank. These tanks were delivered via Lend Lease, but only arrived in time to take part in the Soviet-Japanese war.  [22] — Heinrich Himmler abandones his command with Army Group Vistula [2]
The First US infantry arrive in China, the Mars Task Force, ferried by the Air Transport Command [1]Mar 14In the RAF’s first use of the 22,000-lb Grand Slam bomb, The bomb is dropped by Squadron Leader CC Calder of No. 617 Squadron on the Bielefeld Arnsburg railway viaduct. The Bielefeld viaduct collapsed as a consequence of the attack. One of the bombs is on display at the RAF Museum London. [1, 2, 60]
Task Force 58 formed for the upcoming Battle for Okinawa, codenamed Operation Iceberg. The decision to invade signaled that the United States was ready to penetrate the inner ring of Japanese defenses. [74]Mar 15Canadian I Corps enters service in northern Europe after transfer from Italy. The I Corps took over the sector of the Nijmegen Salient frontline, along the Waal River in the Netherlands. As a result, both Canadian Corps were now part of the First Canadian Army.  [1, 31] — Adolf Hitler receives a memo from Armaments Minister Albert Speer, stating the the German economy is likely to collapse within a month. Germany would surrender, ending World War II in Europe, just weeks later on May 7. [116] — The US War Production Board makes penicillin available for civilian use [1] — The Heavy Tank T26E4 arrives in Europe. Due to mishaps during shipping and field mods done by the 3rd Maintenance Battalion, the “Super Pershing” takes weeks to see battle and barely sees any use in combat. [22]
US B-29 bombers attack Kobe, Japan, causing 15,000 casualties — Air base opens on Iwo Jima for P-47 & P-51 fighter planes to escort B-29 bombers [1]Mar 16Soviets launch offensive toward Vienna [1] — German forces begin falling back from the front lines at Kolberg (Kolobrzeg). [2]
B-29 bombers destroy 7 square kilometers of Kobe, Japan, killing 8,841Mar 17HMCS GUYSBOROUGH is torpedoed by U-878 off French Ushant Island in the English Channel. Of her ship’s company of 92, fifty-one RCN sailors are killed. GUYSBOROUGH is the last RCN ship to be lost in action overseas during WWII. [31, 61] — The Ludendorff Bridge (aka the Bridge at Remagen) collapses. It was one of two bridges into Germany not destroyed by the Nazis, though they had tried to bomb it for days. [116]
First flight of the Douglas A-1 Skyraider American single-seat attack aircraftMar 18US Third Army captures Boppard, Germany — HM Armed Vessel Daffodil, a requisitioned rail ferry in use as a landing craft carrier, strikes a mine off Dieppe at around 2300 and sinks in the early hours of the following day. 4 men lost their lives [137]
Off Honshu, Japan, kamikazes damage carrier USS Franklin, killing 894 [1]Mar 19Hitler issues “Nero Decree” (scorched earth decree) for retreating Germans. They are to destroy German infrastructure. All of the factories, railroads, and bridges. Armaments Minister Albert Speer disobeys the order and encourages others to as well. Most did. [1, 2, 116]
Indian 19th Infantry Division captures Mandalay, Burma. The Japanese stronghold of Fort Dufferin is taken after its walls are bombed by B-25 Mitchells and Thunderbolts of No. 910 Wing [1, 60] — On Luzon, a Filipino force takes San Fernando, led by US Col. Russell Volckmann, who had refused to surrender to the Japanese in 1942 [1]Mar 20US Third Army reaches Mainz, Germany — HMCS NEW GLASGOW sinks U-1003 by “Other Means,” when the frigate collides with the submerged U-boat, sinking the German submarine off Lough Foyle. U-1003 is the last U-Boat destroyed by RCN in WWII  [61] — In Copenhagen as part of Operation Carthage, a daylight raid is made on the Gestapo Headquarters at Shellhuset (Shell House). 18 prisoners escape, but 125 civilians die (including 86 school children and 18 adults at a school). Over 70 Gestapo personnel were also killed.  [13, 154]
US Eighth Army secures Panay in the Philippines [1]Mar 22Soviet forces capture Braunsberg in East Prussia, Germany — Americans cross Rhine below Mainz [11] — Elements of the 5th Infantry Division begins crossing the Rhine. The assault met no resistance. Farther upstream at Oppenheim, boats came under German automatic weapons fire before they were half way across. General George Patton led the US Third Army under crossing the Rhine at Nierstein and Oppenheim. The assault was made at night, surprising the Germans [1, 70]
Mar 23The VOMAG factory is bombed heavily. Production of the Panzer IV/70 stopped due to heavy damage. 970 of these tank destroyers were built out of 2020 planned. [22] — Soviets reach the Gulf of Danzig between Danzig and Gdynia [1] — British Second Army crosses the Rhine at Wesel, Germany. [1] — The 57th Guards Tank Brigade with attached IS-2 tanks seized Roben, fighting overnight to clear out the enemy. Lt. Neelov’s crew excelled in this battle, as his tank was hit 16 times, immobilized, but never penetrated. [22]
Mar 24US Fifteenth Air Force based in Italy sends 660 B-17 and B-24 bombers to Berlin for the first time as a diversion for the Rhine crossings. In US Fifteenth Air Force raid to Berlin, the 332nd Fighter Group (African-American Tuskegee Airmen), shoots down 3 German Me 262 jets and earns the Distinguished Unit Citation [1] — In Operation Varsity, 17,000 British 6th Airborne Division & US 17th Airborne Division paratroopers drop east of the Rhine and link with Allied land forces [1] — US Ninth Army crosses the Rhine in Germany [1] — the M22 Locust tank saw its first use in battle during Operation Varsity. 8 tanks launched by glider, 2 were shot down, 3 were damaged upon landing. While effective against infantry, these tanks were essentially obsolete. [22]
Mar 25Operation VARSITY takes place. 6th & 17th Airborne Divisions landed by parachute and glider. They secured a bridgehead across the River Rhine to start the final thrust into Germany. 880 glider pilots flew 440 gliders in the largest single-lift airborne operation of the war. M22 Locust airborne tanks are dropped via glider. This was the first and last time the British used Locust tanks. Although a successful operation, 98 glider pilots are killed and 106 more are wounded. This is the war’s largest single-day airborne drop, [22, 110, 112, 156] — The US Seventh Army crosses the Rhine at Worms, Germany [1] — The first de Havilland Sea Mosquito lands and takes off from HMS Indefatigable. The Sea Mosquito was a version designed to operate from aircraft carriers. The famous test pilot Eric ‘Winkle’ Brown undertook the tests. [60] — German SS troops behind US lines assassinate Allied-backed mayor of Aachen, Germany [1] — The US Fifteenth Air Force based in Italy flies its last strategic mission of war: 650 B-17 & B-24 bombers hit Prague and Cheb, Czechoslovakia [1]
The US Eighth Army lands on Cebu in the Philippines [1] — The Battle of Iwo Jima officially ends. In the campaign, 5400 US and 20,000 Japanese troops are killed. Only 216 Japanese POWs are taken. The battle began on February 19. The U.S. codename for the battle was Operation Detachment. Their friends & families received updates through newsreels. Adm. Chester Nimitz will say, “Among the men who fought on Iwo Jima, uncommon valor was a common virtue.” [1, 4, 116, 149] — The US Tenth Army lands on Kerama Islands near Okinawa to build artillery base; seizes 350 suicide torpedo boats [1]Mar 26US 9th Army Bailey across the Rhine at Spellen [158]
The Japanese-trained Burma National Army under Aung San revolts and joins the Allies [1] — The US Eighth Army takes Cebu City, the second-largest city in the Philippines [1]Mar 27The US Third Army captures Aschaffenburg, Germany — The Soviet Army enters Danzig encountering heavy resistance — Last German V-2 rockets land in Britain. more specifically at Court Road in Orpington near London. Only one dies in the London attack. 131 are killed in London and in Kent. Ivy Millichamp of Kent becomes the last of 67,000 British civilians to die during the war. [1, 60]
Mar 28The Soviet 1st Byelorussian Front captures Gotenhafen and Danzig — Soviets take crucial port of Gdynia on the Baltic [1] — US Eighth Air Force flies final bombing mission to Berlin [1] — The US 1st Army captures Marburg, Germany — British War Cabinet meets for final time in the underground Cabinet War Rooms in London, now called the Churchill War Rooms [1]
Mar 29Soviet units capture the Komorn oil fields in Hungary — The SS murders at least 57 Hungarian Jewish forced labourers in the forest of Deutsch Schützen, a town in the present-day Austrian province of Burgenland. The massacre in Deutsch Schützen was one of the final acts of mass murder committed by the Nazis. [118] — HMCS TEME is torpedoed by German U-246 in the English Channel while escorting convoy BTC-111. Losing 60 ft of it’s stern, TEME’s ship’s company are able to save their ship. Later declared a total constructive loss and not repaired. [61] — The last V1 flying bombs arrives over Britain. One lands at Woolmer Green without doing any damage, while two others are shot down by anti-aircraft fire. The very final V1 launched at Britain is destroyed by AA fire off Orford Ness at 12.43 pm. The launches stop as the Allies overrun the launch sites. [60] — The Regina Rifles, supported by tanks and flame throwing Crocodiles, launch an attack to clear the southern portion of Emmerich. Enemy defences consisted of fortified houses and tanks making the taking of the town very difficult. [31]
The Indian 19th Division captures Kyaukse south of Mandalay, Burma — British and Chinese secure northern Burma [1]Mar 30Soviet troops enter into Danzig [1] — Soviets enter Austria [1] — Allies get first close-up look at a German Me 262 jet fighter when a defecting pilot delivers one to American forces [1] — Last German V-1 flying bomb reaches England and is shot down by an antiaircraft gunner; in the V-weapon campaign, V-1s have killed 6284, V-2s have killed 2754. [1]
Mar 31Soviet troops capture Ratibor and Katscher, Germany — The US Third Army reaches Siegen, Germany — Free French Army crosses the Rhine near Speyer, Germany, the first French troops to cross the Rhine since Napoleon [1] — The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan officially ended. It had produced 136,849 graduates from the RCAF ARC, Aus Air Force, NZ Air Force, Royal Air Force, including Poles, Norwegians, Belgians, Dutch, Czechs, and French, and the Royal Navy’s Naval Fleet Air Arm. [31] — A German pilot defects, delivering a Messerschmitt Me 262A-1, the first operational jet-powered fighter aircraft, to the Americans. It is the first to be obtained by the Allies. [116]
The Battle of Okinawa, codename Operation Iceberg, begins with the largest amphibious landing of the Pacific Theatre. It was the largest of the war bar D-Day. By nightfall 60,000 troops had landed. It was one of the bloodiest battles of the Pacific during WWII. The U.S. Tenth Army invaded Okinawa in the Ryukyus Islands, which the Japanese considered home territory. The U.S. Tenth Army, commanded by LT Gen Simon B. Buckner Jr., included the Army XXIV Corps and Marine III Amphibious Corps.The fleet played a key role in providing support to ground forces. The battle ended with a U.S. victory on June 22. The 82-day campaign claims an estimated 300,000 lives, most of them civilian. This is the final island battle before an anticipated invasion of mainland Japan and an important step in the campaign to defeat the Japanese Empire. [1, 4, 25, 35, 70, 116, 237]Apr 1US First and Ninth Armies meet at Lippstadt, Germany, encircling the industrial Ruhr Valley and 500,000 German soldiers in Army Group B [1] — Battle of Comacchio begins, involving 43 Commando RM. As a preliminary to the main operation, a commando assault (Operation ROAST) is launched across Lake Comacchio [90]
On Okinawa, US opens Yontan and Kadena airfields for emergency and reconnaissance use; first aircraft lands at Yontan, a Marine Corps OY observation aircraft [1] — US Tenth Army reaches the east coast on Okinawa, dividing the island [1]Apr 2British take Rheine and Muenster [11] — Soviet troops capture Wiener Neustadt
Apr 3Soviet 2nd Ukrainian Front take Wiener Neustadt, Austria [1] — Cpl Thomas Hunter of 43 RM Commando finds his Bren section pinned down by 3 MG42s near Lake Commachio, Italy. He charges towards the guns, causing 6 Germans to surrender. He goes on to engage further German positions, but is killed. He was awarded the VC. [162] — British commandos & Italian partisans secure islands in Comacchio Lagoon, Italy [1]
Apr 4U.S. forces liberate Ohrdruf concentration camp. Dwight D. Eisenhower later visits the camp: “The visual evidence and the verbal testimony of starvation, cruelty and bestiality were so overpowering as to leave me a bit sick.” [57]
Soviet Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov informs Japan the Soviets won’t renew the Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact when it expires in 1946. The Pact was signed on April 13, 1941. The Soviets declare war on August 8. [116]Apr 5French First Army captures Karlsruhe, Germany — A Georgian Battalion of the German army based on the Dutch island of Texel rises up and gains control, killing around 200 Germans. A major German counterattack retakes most of the island, but fighting continues until 20th May, well after VE Day. [162]
The Japanese battleship Yamato, the largest battleship ever constructed, is sunk by American aircraft from US Navy Task Force 58 200 miles north of Okinawa. It was on a suicide mission in Operation Ten-Go. 3055 are lost with the ship. [1, 8, 11] — P-51 Mustang fighter planes based on Iwo Jima escort B-29 Superfortress bombers over Japan for the first time. The B-29s would lead P-51 Mustangs from Iwo Jima on missions along the Japanese coast. The B-29s would wait for the Mustangs to return to a rendezvous point, then lead them back. [1, 166]Apr 7US Third Army finds Nazi art and gold stash in salt mine in Merkers worth $500 million [1]
Apr 8Soviets surround Vienna, Austria [1] — The Royal Air Force bombs Lützkendorf in the final raid in the Allied campaign against the German oil industry [1] — The US Seventh Army captures Pforzheim in southwestern Germany
US Eighth Army lands unopposed on Jolo in the Philippines [1]Apr 9Soviets take Königsberg, Germany after a long siege [1,11] — British Eighth Army opens its final offensive in Italy near Bologna [1] — Nazis execute by hanging German resistance members – pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Adm. Wilhelm Canaris, Hans von Dohnanyi, and Gen. Hans Oster in Flossenbürg concentration camp. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German pastor, a spy, and anti-Nazi. He was accused of being part of the Operation Valkyrie conspiracy to kill Hitler. [1, 116] — The German heavy cruiser Admiral Scheer is sunk by the Royal Air Force in Kiel dockyard. [167]
US troops capture Jolo and Lamon Bay in the PhilippinesApr 10In Germany, US Ninth Army takes Hannover, Düren, Gelsenkirchen, Bochum, and Essen [1] — US Eighth Air Force sends 1315 bombers to strike German jet bases, which leads to the essential end of the jet program [1]
A kamikaze pilot strikes the USS Missouri during the Battle of Okinawa, leaving his plane’s machine gun impaled in the flash suppressor of a Bofors 40mm. The attack causes minor damage and no casualties other than the Japanese pilot who was given a military funeral by the crew. [66]Apr 11The US Third Army captures Weimar, Germany. The 6th Armored Division of the US Third Army liberates the notorious Buchenwald concentration camp. The inmates had stormed the watchtowers and taken control charge of the camp. They sent a message by morse code on a secret transmitter. The US Third Army responded: ‘KZ Bu. Hold out. Rushing to your aid.’ This was the largest of the concentration camps. The remaining 21,000 inmates are the first on German soil to be freed. Soldiers are shocked at the condition of the inmates. The death toll at the camp was estimated at 56,000. [118, 146, 148, 154] — The Canadian 1 Infantry Division crosses the IJssel River (a major obstacle) at Gorssel in operation Cannonshot. [13] — Six RC Navy sailors in HMCS STRATHADAM are killed when a hedgehog projectile explodes prematurely during attack on a sonar contact. [61]
Over Okinawa, US Marine land- and carrier-based aircraft shoot down 77 Japanese aircraft, the Marines’ highest number of victories in a single day during the war [1]Apr 12Canadian troops liberate Westerbork Transit Camp in the Netherlands. 876 inmates were held there when the Canadian troops arrived. Many Dutch Jews were sent to the east from the camp. [31] — The Nazi concentration camp Mittelbau-Dora is liberated by American forces. [49]— Polish soldiers of the 1st Armored Division under the command of Gen. Stanisław Maczek liberate 1721 female participants of the Warsaw Rising 1944 imprisoned in Stalag IV Oberlangen. — While at Warm Springs, GA Franklin Delano Roosevelt, aged 63 and the longest serving President in American history, dies of a cerebral hemorrhage three months into his fourth term. He was replaced by Vice President Harry S. Truman. [1, 35, 148]
Apr 13The British 78th Infantry Division secures a bridgehead at Bastia in northern Italy
Apr 14US Fifth Army launches final offensive in Italy, toward the Po Valley [1] — British advances in northern Italy are held up at Bastia and Fossa Marina canal [2] — Zwolle in the Netherlands is liberated singlehandedly by Canadian Private Léo Major on a reconnaissance mission [1] — US Third Army takes Bayreuth, Germany [1] — U-1206 is on its first war patrol off Scotland under Karl-Adolf Schlitt. Misuse of the on-board toilet (possibly by Schlitt himself) floods the batteries with seawater, forcing the boat to surface and scuttle under air attack, with the loss of four crew. [162]
Apr 15British troops liberate Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp in Germany [1, 26, 33, 34, 35, 170] — Arnhem is finally liberated, by British and Canadian troops [36] — Canadians reach North Sea west of Emden [11] — Bergen-Belsen is liberated. It had been the destination for thousands of prisoners forcibly evacuated from the east. The liberating 11th Armoured Division of the British Army found 60,000 prisoners in the camp, most seriously ill and dying. More than 70,000 prisoners, the majority of whom were Jewish, were murdered at Bergen-Belsen. [49, 131, 167] — The US Eighth Air Force B-17 & B-24 heavy bombers hit German strongpoints in Royan, France, with the Eighth Air Force’s only use of napalm during the war. [1]
US Army troops land on Ie Shima off Okinawa, Japan. The Okinawa invasion is progressing ahead of schedule so the 77th Inf Division is ordered to seize the island of Ie Shima. The 305th and 306th Combat Teams land and advance inland against stubborn Japanese resistance. [70] — The Intrepid is struck by a kamikaze aircraft during the Battle of Okinawa. Nine Intrepid crew members are killed, and 21 were wounded. [78] — The USS Laffey survives the longest kamikaze attack on a single vessel (80 min). She was hit by bombs, kamikaze planes & strafing fire that killed 32 & wounded 71. The Laffey’s fortitude during this attack earned her the name “The Ship That Would Not Die”. [171]Apr 16HMCS ESQUIMALT is torp by U-190 off Halifax, 5 miles from Chebucto Head. It sinks in 4 min with 44 sailors killed. Rescue did not come for 6 hours. Many died from hypothermia. Tragic last Royal Canadian Navy ship lost during the war. [61] — The German minesweeper FGi 07 surrenders to HMCS THUNDER with the 31st Canadian Minesweeping Flotilla while clearing mines off France. [61]. — Hitler said learning of President Franklin Roosevelt’s death, “Now that fate has removed from the earth the greatest war criminal of all time, the turning point of this war will be decided.” He would commit suicide 15 days later. [116] — US First Army captures Solingen and Wuppertal, Germany — Stalag XIB Fallingbostel was liberated by the British 8 Hussars recce troop. They were met at the main gate by a guard of airborne troops (captured during Market Garden) impeccably attired and led by RSM Lord. The first POWs of this camp were Poles in 1939 and after the Warsaw Uprising in October 1944, many insurgents were sent to various POW camps including this one. [13, 73] — The Battle for Berlin begins with a Soviet attack on the Oder-Neisse Line which takes them onto the Seelow Heights. This is a bloody but successful operation by Soviet troops to break through the last natural line of German defense east of Berlin. The three-day battle alone cost the Red Army some 30,000 casualties. It will soon take them to Berlin and eventual defeat of Nazi Germany. Some fighting continues until the end of the war on May 8, the date of the end of the war between Germany and the western allies and May 9, the end between Germany and USSR.[35, 96, 116] — The US Army liberates Colditz Castle, a notorious German prison. POWs at Colditz were remarkably clever and flighty. Famous prisoners include Reid, Neave & Bader. [128, 173]
US Eighth Army lands on Mindanao in the Philippines at Malabang and Parang [1]Apr 17Russians launch full-scale drive on Berlin [11] — Canadian troops liberated the town of Apeldoorn. [174] — Brazilian troops capture Montese, Italy
American correspondent Ernie Pyle is killed by a Japanese sniper on the island of Ie Shima [1]Apr 18US First Army closes the Ruhr pocket in Germany and takes 325,000 prisoners [1] — US Third Army crosses the Czechoslovakian border [1] — Canadians reach the Zuider Zee, cutting off German 25th Army in the Netherlands [1]
US Tenth Army opens offensive on Shuri Line on Okinawa, supported by one of the largest naval bombardments of the war, by US Task Forces 54 and 58 [1]Apr 19Americans take Leipzig and Halle; liquidate Ruhr pocket. Allied breakthrough in Italy [11] — The de Havilland Sea Hornet makes its maiden flight. [9]
Apr 20As Soviet artillery begins to bombard Berlin and Nazi leaders flee, Hitler celebrates his final birthday [1] — Hitler divides command, with himself over the eastern front and Berlin, Adm. Karl Dönitz over the western front, and Field Marshal Albert Kesselring over the southern front. [1] — Hermann Göring destroys his lavish Karinhall home, transporting art to Berchtesgaden and Unterstein [1] — US Seventh Army takes Nuremberg and raises American flag in the Zeppelinfeld, the famous Nazi stadium [1]
Apr 21and Polish II Corps and the US Fifth Armyliberate Bologna after 2 weeks of combat against Panzer and Fallschirmjager divisions. It was the unit’s final large scale combat operation of WW2. Unfortunately many of these soldiers never returned home due to communist persecution. [1, 11, 113] — French First Army captures Stuttgart, Germany [1] — Nazi SS leader Heinrich Himmler meets Norbert Masur, a Swedish representative of the World Jewish Congress, outside of Berlin to discuss releasing Jewish concentration camp victims. [116]
Apr 22Russians take Troppau (Opava) [11] — US troops hold a victory parade in Nuremberg rally grounds (Zeppelinfeld) and blow up the swastika [1] — As Soviet troops enter outskirts of Berlin, Hitler vows to stay in the city. [1]
Indian National Army surrendered to Allies at Pyu, Burma [2]Apr 23Soviet troops enter Berlin proper [1] — SS troops finish executing the last 20 conspirators in the July 20 Hitler assassination attempt, including Klaus Bonhoeffer and Rüdiger Schleicher, Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s brother & brother-in-law [1] — US Fifth Army crosses the Po River in Italy and takes La Spezia [1]
On Okinawa, US Tenth Army breaches Japanese defenses at the Shuri Line, and Marines take Kakazu Ridge [1]Apr 24Blackout is lifted in Britain except certain coastal areas [1]
Apr 25The final major Eighth Air Force mission in Europe takes place. 274 B-17s hit the Skoda works at Pilsen and nearby airfield, which are severely damaged. Unusually, a warning had been sent on the BBC for Czech workers to stay away to avoid heavy civilian losses. [162] — Russians encircle Berlin [11]
Apr 27Italian partisans capture Benito Mussolini — Americans take Augsburg, Regensburg, Ingoldstadt, enter Austria [11]
Apr 28Adolf Hitler learns of Heinrich Himmler’s attempt to negotiate peace with the western Allies and orders his arrest. Hitler had considered Himmler to be second only to Joseph Goebbels in loyalty [116] — In Milan, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and his mistress, Clara Petacci, are executed by Italian partisans [1, 11] — US troops discover Nazi art stash at Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria [1]
Apr 29Allies take Milan, Venice, Genoa [11] — At Caserta, Italy, unconditional surrender is offered in a terse, solemn, 9 minute conference. Recipients of the offer represent General Von Vietingoff & Obergruppenfuhrer Wolff. This marks the official surrender of 1 million troops in Italy & Austria. It becomes effective at noon GMT Wed 2nd May 1945. [1, 58] — Just after midnight, Adolf Hitler marries Eva Braun in the Führerbunker. [1, 116, 146, 154] — ‘Operation Manna’ begins, RAF Lancasters will fly 3,156 sorties over nine days dropping food to parts of German-occupied regions of the Netherlands. [1, 9, 167] — US Seventh Army liberates Dachau concentration camp [1] — The 36th Infantry Division liberates the Landsburg camp, a sub camp of Dachau. Many of the soldiers take pictures to document the horrors they see. [104] — The HMS Goodall (K479) is torpedoed by U-286 outside the Kola Inlet, becoming the last Royal Navy ship to be sunk in the European theatre of World War II, with the loss of 95 of her crew. [167] — U-427 fires 2 torpedoes at HMCShips HAIDA & IROQUOIS, escorting RA-66. Destroyers drop 260 DC’s on the U-boat, damaging ventilation system, bilge pumps & causing flooding This forced U-427 to return to Norway. This was the last U-boat attacked by RCN in WWII. Later, destroyers HMCS Athabaskan and HMCS Haida confront two German torpedo boats off Ile de Bas, France. They destroyed one of them but the Athabaskan was torpedoed and sunk. 128 of her crew were lost. [31, 61]
Apr 30Holed up in a bunker under his headquarters in Berlin, Adolf Hitler [ age 55] and his wife Eva Braun [age 33] commit suicide as the Soviets near. He swallows a cyanide capsule and shoots himself in the head. Since mid-January 1945, Hitler had retreated to his underground bunker underneath the Reich Chancellery. Berlin would surrender on May 2. [116, 148] — Leading Nazi Joseph Goebbels becomes German Chancellor for one day in accordance with Hitler’s Last Will and Testament. He was the Propaganda Minister of Germany from 1933 to 1945. He kept a daily diary which remains a key source for historians of the Third Reich. In accordance with Hitler’s Will, Admiral Karl Dönitz was named as the new German Head of State. He was virtually unknown outside Germany. Hitler decided to appoint a naval figure to make the point that his generals had let him down during WW2 and betrayed him. [154] — Americans take Munich [11] — Soviet forces liberate the Ravensbrück concentration camp and find over 2,000 malnourished and sick men, women, and children in the camp. Polish women had been subjected to pseudo-medical experiments there. [49, 55] — Stalag Luft I prisoner-of-war camp near Barth, Germany is liberated by Soviet soldiers, freeing nearly 9000 American & British airmen. [167] — The Reichstag is taken. Several banners of the units who conquered it are raised. The official banner raised by the 150th Rifle Division was removed on May 9th and replaced with a regular red banner. [22]
Operation Oboe 1 the U. S. Navy (USN) lands the Australian Army 9th Division on Tarakan Island off Borneo with U. S. Army Air Force aircraft providing aerial support [1, 37] — The Mexican Air Force arrives in Manila with P-47 fighters to fly for the Allies; the “Aztec Eagles” will fly 795 sorties and lose 7 pilots [1] — Gurkha Paratroopers on an airborne drop into Burma as a part of Operation Dracula. [172]May 1Joseph Goebbels and his wife kill themselves and their children. Joseph’s stepson was spared as he was in the Luftwaffe and had been captured by the Allies. [116] — The leadership of Germany passes to Admiral Karl Dönitz after Hitler’s suicide the day before [1] — The US Eighth Air Force flies first “Chow Hound” mission, dropping food and supplies to Dutch civilians [1] — General Hans Krebs tries negotiating the surrender of Berlin with Soviet General Vasily Chuikov. He is not authorized by Reich Chancellor Joseph Goebbels to agree to an unconditional surrender, so talks end. Berlin surrenders May 2. [116]
In Operation Dracula the first wave of the amphibious assault by 26th Indian Division on Rangoon begins. Royal Marines manned the landing craft and guns of the support shipping. [2, 90] — The British Army 26 Division (Indian) liberates Rangoon Prison and discovers 50 U. S. Prisoners Of War (POWs) too weak to flee when the Japanese commandant released the surviving prisoners in late April. [37] — Robert E. Bush receives the Medal of Honor for his actions on Okinawa. A medic, he fearlessly tended to wounded men during an intense firefight despite suffering three serious wounds himself. [128]May 2Wernher von Braun and other top German rocket engineers surrender to American forces after hiding in the Bavarian Alps. [117] — The fighting in the Italian Campaign came to an end when German forces in Italy and Austria surrender. 92,757 Canadians served in the campaign. Of those, 5339 made the ultimate sacrifice and total casualties numbered 26,254. Canada made an important contribution to the victory in Italy. The surrender of Caserta comes into effect, by which German troops in Italy cease fighting. [11, 31, 177] — The 5 Canadian Division (Armoured) fights its last battle of the war near Delfzijl, Netherlands. German pockets of resistance at Weiwerd and Farmsum are defeated and many prisoners are taken. Delfzijl itself had been cleared the day before. [31] — The US 82nd Airborne Division liberates Wöbbelin concentration camp finding 1,000 dead Jewish prisoners, most of whom starved to death. [177]
May 3Ireland Prime Minister Eamon de Valera formally offers condolences to the German Minister in Dublin after Hitler committed suicide. Even though it was in accordance with diplomatic protocol it was very controversial. [116] — The British take Hamburg; Canadians take Oldenburg. British and Russian forces make contact on the Baltic coast. [11] — Operation Faust is launched. To help feed the Dutch in danger of starvation, 200 Allied trucks began delivering food behind German lines. This was necessary since the food drops of Operation Manna & Chowhound were insufficient. — The unconditional German surrender of fighting forces in Italy comes into effect. Over 45,000 Second World War Commonwealth service personnel are commemorated by @CWGC in Italy. [179]
USS Lagarto (SS-371) is sunk by a depth charge from minelayer Hatsutaka with the loss of the 86 crew. [37]May 4Fleet Air Arm strikes at a U-boat base in northern Norway – the final carrier operation of WW2 in Europe – sinking one submarine and two ships [38] — Montgomery accepts the unconditional surrender of the German forces in North-West Europe at Lüneburg Heath. It includes all forces in the Netherlands, northwest Germany including all islands, in Denmark and all naval ships in those areas [1,11,13] — Americans take Salzburg and Innsbruck, make junction with forces from Italy [11] — The US Seventh Army coming from Austria and the US Fifth Army from Italy meet at Vipiteno on Italian side of Brenner Pass in the Alps [1]
In Lakeview, OR, one woman and five children are killed by a Japanese balloon bomb, the only civilians killed in the continental US by enemy action [1, 116] — The Allies secure Burma. [1]May 5General Charles Foulkes accepts the surrender of German forces in the Netherlands at Wageningen at the Hotelde Wereld. More than 7,600 Canadians died fighting to liberate the Netherlands [31] — American and Wehrmacht soldiers join forces to defend an Austrian castle full of captured French dignitaries from a regiment of crack SS troops. The Battle of Schloss Itter will be remembered as one of the oddest moments of WW2. For the only time in the war, US and German forces fight side by side to defeat the SS troops. [1,4] — In the Last German U-boat attack off the US coast, U-853 sinks US cargo ship Black Point. [1] — Mauthausen, one of the worst of the Nazi concentration camps, is liberated by the Americans [40] — The US Third Army captures Karlsbad and Pilsen in occupied Czechoslovakia. [2]
B-24 Liberators from the Far East Air Force (FEAF) bomb Kudat Airfield at the northern tip of Borneo in Sabah State in Malaysia Borneo [37]May 6Americans take Pilsen [11] — The Prague offensive began. Considered the last major military operation of World War Two in Europe, it concluding five days later on 11 May, after Nazi Germany’s capitulation, with the liberation of the city by Soviet troops. [35]
The 17th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron (17th PRS) moves to Puerto Princesa Airfield on Palawan where they will operate until the end of the Pacific War. [37]May 7In the early hours of 7 May 1945 Germany surrenders unconditionally to the Allies. General Eisenhower’s Headquarters. Rheims. General Alfred Jodl, the representative of the German High Command, signed the act of unconditional surrender of all German land, sea and air forces in Europe to the Allies [1,11,39, 41, 42] — Last victims of Battle of Atlantic—off Scotland, German U-boat U-2336 sinks Canadian transport Avondale Park and Norwegian transport Sneland I, and U-1023 sinks Norwegian minesweeper NYMS-382. [1] — Soviets take Breslau after 82-day siege [1]
US secures Leyte in the Philippines [1] — In Indochina (Vietnam) 14th Air Force P-51s Mustangs pound boxcars, locomotives, and other railroad targets from Tourane (Da Nang) to Hue. [37]May 8The war in Europe officially ends at 2301. V-E Day (Victory in Europe Day)—the US and the western Allies celebrate as the German surrender becomes official [1,13,15] — The highest scoring fighter pilot in history, Erich Hartmann achieved his 352nd and final victory, a Soviet Yakovlev Yak-9 fighter over Brno, Slovakia. [8] — Off Bergen, Norway, an RAF Catalina sinks U-320, the last German U-boat sunk in the war [1] — US troops and Monuments Men discover art stash at Altaussee, Austria, saved by Austrian civilians [1]
May 9Germans capitulate to Czech Partisans in Prague [1] — V-E (Victory in Europe) Day is celebrated by the USSR [1] — Canadian Wireless stations receive the first U-boat surrender signal when U-805 reports its position in mid-Atlantic. This is followed by another nine U-Boats that day and eight more the next day. [61] — The Channel Islands become the last place to be liberated from German occupation by British forces. The Occupation began on 30 June 1940. [49, 154]
USS Bunker Hill (CV-17) is hit by two kamikaze off Okinawa that release bombs and crash dive. Aboard, the crew suffered a total of 346 killed, 43 missing and 264 wounded plus 78 aircraft destroyed. This as one of the most deadly Japanese Kamikaze attacks of WW 2. Two A6M ‘Zero’ aircraft hit the carrier, penetrating the deck, causing a massive fire in the decks below. [1,37]Australians launch offensive on Wewak, the last Japanese stronghold on New Guinea, taking Wewak, its airfield, and the last Japanese port in New Guinea [1]US Tenth Army and Marines launch offensive on Shuri Line of Okinawa [1]May 11
Consolidated B-32 Dominators depart the factory at Fort Worth, Texas bound for the Pacific to fly combat missions. This was the less sophisticated competing heavy bomber design to the Boeing B-29 Superfortress. [37]May 12British troops return to Jersey in the Channel Islands [1] — Gen. George Patton launches Operation Cowboy, rescuing 1200 horses, including 375 Lipizzans, from Soviet slaughter in Czechoslovakia [1]
Lost in Shangri-La C-47A “Gremlin Special” 42-23952 crashes in western New Guinea on a sight seeking trip with nurses. A downdraft caused the crash results in 19 killed, 2 injured that die and 3 survivors. [37] — US Fast Carrier Task Force (TF 58) begins raids on Kyushu, Japan, destroying the last of its airfields. [1]May 13Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel (“just following orders”) and his aide were sent to ASHCAN detention camp as prisoners #2 and #3. Nuremberg prison psychologist Dr. Gilbert said Keitel “had just as much spine as a jelly fish.” [45] — Russians crush last German resistance in Czechoslovakia. [1, 11]
472 B-29 Superfortress fire bomb Nagoya, the first strategic bombing raid with all four Bomb Wings on Guam and Saipan participating. Eleven B-29s fail to return with crews MIA, POW and a lucky few rescued. [37]May 14Wilhelm Frick is delivered to ASHCAN detention camp as prisoner #6. Robert Kempner, an American prosecutor at Nuremberg and former German whom Frick threw into a concentration camp, called him “the evil managerial genius of the conspiracy.” [45] — US Seventh War Loan starts. [1]
Turning point in China—Chinese troops have Japanese forces in full retreat; by the end of the month, the Japanese will be pushed north of the Yellow River [1]May 15The Battle of Poljana ends in Yugoslavia. It was the last battle in Europe during World War II. The battle began on May 14. Note that Germany officially surrendered on May 7.  [116] 
U. S. Army Brigadier General James L. Dalton, Assistant Commander 25th Infantry Division is killed by a sniper at Balete Pass in Luzon in the Philippines. [37]May 16EG9 with HMCShips MATANE, LOCH ALVIE, MONNOW, NENE & ST. PIERRE, while escorting Russian Convoy JW-67, ordered to intercept 14 surrendered U-Boats & 4 German ships off the coast of Norway & escort them to Loch Eriboll. [61] — German Labour Front leader and “Reich drunkard” Robert Ley is captured near the Austrian border, then delivered to ASHCAN May 23 as prisoner #28. In Nuremberg, Ley hanged himself one week before trial started, using his own torn underwear. [45]
On Luzon in the Philippines, US Sixth Army takes Ipo Dam intact [1] — Easy Company, 307th Infantry, assaults Okinawa’s Ishimmi Ridge. This begins days of isolation and nightmarish suffering. [25]May 17 The Blackburn Firebrand TF.4 flies for the first time. [9]
US Marines secure Sugar Loaf Hill on Okinawa after heavy fighting [1]May 18An RAF Lancaster is the first plane in history to fly over both true and magnetic North Poles [1]
272 B-29 Superfortress bombers strike Hamamatsu, Japan [2]May 19Allies discontinue trans-Atlantic and Mediterranean convoys [1] — Stalin denies that his troops have been arresting Polish leaders for political reasons [2] — Alfred Rosenberg is captured at Flensburg, Germany [2]
May 20Hermann Göring is delivered to ASHCAN as prisoner #13. Doctors shipped samples of his 20,000 paracodeine pills to a lab for analysis, weaned him from a years-long addition, and put “fat stuff” on a diet. The goal: keep him alive and healthy until judgement day.  [45]
U. S. Army medic Pfc Desmond T. Doss repeatedly risks his life to render aid to wounded on Okinawa and was himself hit four times. For his actions at Shuri and Hacksaw Ridge he earned the Medal of Honor. [37]May 21Franz Von Papen is delivered to ASHCAN PW camp in Luxembourg as prisoner #18. After his capture April 14, von Papen is forced to visit a concentration camp and witness first-hand the nature of Hitler’s regime he had done so much to enable. [45]
Australian Army troops supported by tanks capture Boram Airfield on the north coast of New Guinea. After two years of Allied bombing the airfield area is pockmarked with bomb craters and wreckage. [37]May 22Due to continuing shortages, Britain cuts rations of fats, bacon, meat, and soap [1] — Operation Unthinkable, a plan ordered by Prime Minister Winston Churchill, is presented. It was a plan by the Western Allies to attack the Soviets in Germany at the end of WWII in order to get a “square deal for Poland.” [116]
May 23Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler, head of Schutzstaffel or SS, commits suicide by taking a cyanide pill while in Allied custody. [116] — Prime Minister Churchill resigns as Labour rejects continuing the war-time coalition until victory over Japan. Labour wanted an election in October. Tories opted for an earlier one. Churchill is named PM until July 26 election. [116] — The Flensburg Government, which was formed and led by Admiral Karl Dönitz in Germany after Adolf Hitler’s suicide, is dissolved when its members are arrested as Prisoners of War by British forces. The government was never recognised as legitimate by the Allies and it was officially dissolved on 5 June 1945. [116, 154]
May 24The Internal Security Corps – a special-purpose military formation subordinate to the Ministry of Public Security is established by the communist Council of Ministers. It’s task is mainly to combat the Polish anti-communist underground. [55]
Royal Australian Navy (RAN) HMAS Colac is damaged by two shells fired by Japanese guns on bypassed Choiseul in the Solomon Islands that kill two and wounded two aboard and began to take on water but survives.  [37] — Chinese nationalists capture Nanning, cutting off Japanese forces in Indochina [1]May 26At least 16 of the 24 future IMT defendants are in Allied custody—the majority in ASHCAN, a few at DUSTBIN and other PW camps. Three more will be caught this week.  [45]
Due to mines, Tokyo harbor is closed for the duration of the war [1] — US Sixth Army takes Santa Fe, Luzon, securing the Villa Verde Trail [1] — US Marines take Naha, the capital of Okinawa [1]May 27
May 28Nuremberg defendants Alfred Rosenberg and Walther Funk are delivered to ASHCAN PW camp in Luxembourg as major war criminals #42 and #44. The “Big House” was filling up so two more stockades were requisitioned nearby. [45] — The British capture American born traitor William Joyce in Flensburg, Germany. He served the Germans as a propagandist with his radio program. He had earned the nickname “Lord Haw Haw”. He will be hanged in 1946, the last person to be executed by Britain for treason [1, 7]
The US 10th Army capture Shuri ridge and Shuri Castle at Okinawa, Japan [1, 2] — Filipino guerrillas take Cervantes, Luzon [1]May 29In Syria, fighting erupts between French troops and Syrian nationalists; French bomb Damascus, destroying Syrian parliament building [1]
PBJ Mitchells bomb enemy installations at the Kibawe Trail near Davao on Mindanao, two are lost including PBJ Mitchell 35243 pilot Fish and PBJ Mitchell 35164 pilot Lt Col Sarles. [37]May 30Iran demands the removal of all American, British, and Soviet troops [1]
Americans take Naha and Shuri Castle on Okinawa [1,11] — The British midget sub XE-3 mounts an attack on the Japanese cruiser Takao off Singapore. It proved extremely dangerous to get close and release the charges as the target was almost aground. Lt Cdr Ian Fraser and his diver, James Magennis, were awarded VCs. [162]May 31British negotiate a ceasefire in Syria between Syrian nationalists and the French [1]
British 12th and 14th Armies link in Burma [1]Jne 1British force Cossacks (White Russians who oppose communism and fought for Germany) to Soviet zone in Austria; 700 Cossacks killed or commit suicide; many of the 32,000 sent back will disappear [1]
US Naval Task Force 38 attacks kamikaze bases in southern Japan, forcing operations further north in Japan [1]Jne 2
US Marines land on Iheya Shima in the Ryukyu Islands northwest of Okinawa [1] — USS Lake Champlain (CV 39) is placed in commission. [121]Jne 3Short Sunderlands perform their last submarine patrol in Europe. [9] — Julius Streicher is delivered to ASHCAN PW camp in Luxembourg. Publisher of the virulently antisemitic newspaper Der Stürmer, Streicher used modern techniques of mass media and marketing to persuade German people to hate Jews [45] — French troops leave Damascus, escorted by the British [1]
US Marines land behind Japanese lines on Oroku Peninsula on Okinawa [1]Jne 4Soviet forces reported the discovery of two superheavy tanks in German territory. The turret of one tank and hull of the other were sent back to the USSR for study. [22] — The US Office of Civilian Defense is inactivated [1]
Huge typhoon hits the US Third Fleet off Okinawa, damaging 35 ships [1]Jne 5Allied Control Council agrees on the partition of Germany and Berlin into 4 occupation zones (UK, US, USSR, France) [1]
US Marines cut off Oroku Peninsula on Okinawa [1]Jne 7King Haakon VII of Norway returns to Oslo. [1]
An Australian Army force of 190 lands at Porton in Bougainville but drifted to unload at the wrong location and are immediately targeted by machine-gun fire with several landing craft ran aground. [37] — US & Australian Naval Task Group 74.3 bombards Brunei Bay on Borneo [1]Jne 8Jozef Tiso, former president of Slovak Republic, is arrested by US forces; he will be extradited to Czechoslovakia and executed in 1947 for collaborating with Germans and for war crimes [1]
Australian landing craft reach Porton under the cover of artillery and bombing to withdraw the surviving force. Porton was one of the few amphibious landings repulsed by Japanese defenders [37]Jne 9
Australian landing on Borneo in Brunei bay area an important port, and capture Labuan airfield [1,11]Jne 10
Jne 11Gen. George Patton deposits the original, signed Nuremberg Laws he stole and returned home with, at The Huntington in California, where they would remain hidden the next 54 years—unavailable to prosecution teams at Nuremberg [45] — Czechoslovakia begins expulsion of 3 million ethnic Germans [1]
US B-32 Dominator bomber is first flown in combat, in the Philippines [1]US Marines make a push for the final pocket of Japanese forces on the Oroku Peninsula on Okinawa [1]Jne 12
Japanese resistance ends in the Oroku sector of Okinawa; Japanese commander Adm. Minoru Ota commits suicide [1] — US Sixth Army drives into the Cagayan Valley on Luzon in the Philippines [1] — Australians take Brunei on Borneo [1]Jne 13
On Okinawa, the US Tenth Army takes Yaeju-Dake peak and US Marines take Kunishi Ridge. [1]Jne 14British arrest Nazi foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop in Hamburg, Germany; he will be executed after the Nuremberg Trials [1]
US B-29 incendiary raid on Osaka ends the incendiary campaign on the six biggest Japanese cities [1]Jne 15
The US Tenth Army takes Yuza-Dake Hill on Okinawa [1]Jne 16
The US begins B-29 incendiary raids on medium-sized Japanese cities; missions carried out using radar-bombing [1]Jne 17
American bombers begin a campaign against secondary Japanese cities [11] — In the Philippines, the US Eighth Army secures Mindanao [1] — On Okinawa, Gen. Simon B. Buckner, commander of the US Tenth Army, is killed by shrapnel. Marine Maj. Gen. Roy Geiger, replaces Buckner over US Tenth Army, the first Marine and first (and only) aviator to head a US army [1]Jne 18
Americans announce conquest of Okinawa; take Aparri on Luzon. [11] — US Tenth Army takes Hill 89 on Okinawa, the last Japanese stronghold [1] — US Rangers link with Filipino guerrillas in Aparri, Luzon in the Philippines [1]Jne 21
During the Okinawa campaign, the US Navy took its heaviest losses of the war with 36 vessels sunk and 4907 killed. In addition, the US lost 763 planes and the Japanese lost 7800 [1] — The Battle for Okinawa officially ends at a high cost—12,520 Americans killed, 110,000 Japanese killed [1]Jne 22
Airborne Assault! The U. S. Army 11th Airborne Division, 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment jumps near Aparri on north Luzon. This is the only time gliders are used in combat in the Pacific Theater. [37]Jne 23
British bombers destroy the “Bridge Over the River Kwai.” The bridge had been built by thousands of British and Allied prisoners of war. [7]Jne 24
The United Nations Charter is signed by fifty nations in San Francisco. [1]Jne 26Former Czechoslovakian president Emil Hácha, who allowed German occupation under duress and was imprisoned in May 1945 for suspected collaboration, dies in prison [1]
The US Sixth Army secures Cagayan Valley on Luzon and drives toward Aparri on the north shore [1]Jne 27
End of major operations on Luzon [11] — The Waco CG-4A glider “Fanless Faggot” rescues the three survivors of the tragic crash of C-47A 42-23952 from the remote Hidden Valley dubbed “Shangri-La” in western New Guinea [37]Jne 28
“Operation Oboe Two” U. S. Navy Task Group 78.4 with USAAF air cover conduct the amphibious landing of the Australian Army 7th Division north of Balikpapan on southeast Borneo. [37]Jly 1
Submarine USS Barb attacks Kaihyo Island (north of Japan off Sakhalin) with the first use of rockets by a US sub against shore installations [1]Jly 2
Gen. Douglas MacArthur releases a communique announcing that major combat operations in the Philippine Islands had concluded. [11, 15, 116] — B-24 bombers based on Okinawa attack the Omura-Nagasaki area. [2]Jly 5
Jly 6Nicaragua becomes the first nation to ratify the United Nations Charter [1] — US President Harry Truman establishes the Medal of Freedom, the highest honor for US civilians [1] — The US launches Operation Overcast to bring German scientists to America [1]
US Navy Task Force 38 begins raids on Japan coordinated with B-29s; 1000 aircraft strike airfields near Tokyo. [1]Jly 10
Fifty-three B-29 Superfortress bomb Kawasaki Petroleum Center destroying about 25% of the target area [37]Jly 12
US Third Fleet warships fire directly on Japan for the first time. The first shot is fired by battleship USS South Dakota.  This is the first naval shelling of Japanese coast with a bombardment of Kamaishi [1,11]US Task Force 38 carrier aircraft fly 1381 sorties to Hokkaido and northern Honshu in Japan, sinking 34 ships, including 7 train ferries, severing transportation between the two islands [1]Jly 13French celebrate first Bastille Day since 1939 [1]
The “Gadget” is hoisted into position for the Trinity Test [215]Jly 14
P-51D Mustangs from Iwo Jima attack airfields and other tactical targets including Gifu Airfield at Kagamigahara claiming aircraft in the air and on the ground [37]Jly 15
At 5:30am the first atomic device “gadget” is successfully detonated at Trinity Site on White Sands Proving Ground near Alamogordo, New Mexico [15, 37]Jly 16
First joint US-British strike on Japan as British Task Force 37 and US Task Force 38 hit the Tokyo area, also the first British attack on Japan. [1, 11]Jly 17Potsdam conference begins outside Berlin—Winston Churchill, Josef Stalin, and Harry Truman meet to discuss postwar Europe and the end of the war with Japan [1]
US Third Fleet carrier aircraft sink Japan’s last big battleship, the Nagato, at Yokosuka naval base near Tokyo [1, 2]Jly 18At Bedford Naval Magazine in Nova Scotia, explosions occur for 24 hours, but only one person is killed [1]
Jly 19Lt. Gen. James Doolittle establishes the US Eighth Air Force on Okinawa, having transferred from England [1] — P-51D Mustangs from Iwo Jima perform a fighter sweep over airfields and other tactical targets on Honshu including Komaki Airfield north of Nagoya [37]
The US Eighth Army lands on and takes Balut Island at the entrance to Sarangani Bay, Mindanao in the Philippines, the last US combat amphibious operation of the war. [1]Jly 20US Congress ratifies Bretton Woods Monetary Agreement [1]
Minesweeper HMS Squirrel strikes a mine off Phuket Island, Thailand, killing 7 of her crew and setting her on fire. She is abandoned and scuttled by gunfire. [137]Jly 24
The US secures Sarangani Bay on Mindanao in the Philippines [1]Jly 25At ASHCAN Andrus reports the opening of “La Guardia” airstrip and Goering’s dose of paracodeine pills has been reduced to 15 per day (from 40 when he surrendered). No apparent reaction except “his apparent disgust when he noticed that he was being short-changed.” [45]
This calls for the unconditional surrender of JapanThe HMS Sussex Task Force is attacked by two attack bombers acting as kamikaze suicide weapons. One made an imprint on the side of Sussex, from which it could be identified as a Mitsubishi Ki-51 “Sonia”. [8] — HMS Vestal (J215) is critically damaged by Japanese kamikaze aircraft & was subsequently scuttled in waters close to Thailand. Twenty men lost their lives. [167]Jly 26The Potsdam Declaration is issued by Allied leaders
The Chinese take Kweilin in southeast China [1, 11] — U. S. Navy (USN) Task Force 38 (TF-38) carrier aircraft attack Kure and heavily damage Amagi leaving the aircraft carrier listing and the flight deck wrecked from multiple bomb hits and near misses [37]Jly 27
Air attack on remnants of the Japanese fleet in Inland Sea [11] — Japanese “choose to ignore the” Allied Potsdam Declaration requiring unconditional surrender. [1] — The destroyer USS Callaghan becomes the last Allied ship to be sunk by a kamikaze [1]Jly 28The US Senate ratifies the United Nations Charter [1] — A B-25 Mitchell medium bomber crashes into the Empire State Building at the 79th floor in the fog; 19 are killed [1]
Kure Harbor “The Imperial Navy’s Harbor” is attacked for the second day by U. S. Navy carrier planes plus U. S. Army Air Force bombers and fighters that wreck Japan’s last warships and carriers at anchor. [37] — The final time a British battleship fires in combat, as HMS King George V bombards Hamamatsu, Honshu, along with other British and US ships [1]Jly 29
The USS Indianapolis (CA-35) is sunk by torpedoes fired by Japanese submarine I-58 in the North Philippine Sea. Approximately 300 were lost in the sinking with the rest of the crew drifting at sea. [37]Jly 30
USS Bullhead SS-332 departs Fremantle on her 3rd war patrol and will never return. Bullhead has the sad distinction of being the last U. S. Navy submarine lost to enemy action in World War II with all hands. [37]Jly 31The former head of the Vichy French government, Pierre Laval, is arrested by the Americans and turned over to the French; he will be executed October 15 for collaborating with the Nazis [1]
On Tinian, the B-29s assigned to the 509th Composite Group top-secret atomic bomb missions are assigned new victor numbers as a security measure. B-29 “Bockscar” 44-27297 becomes victor number 77. [37] — Biggest air raid ever over Japan—836 US B-29 Superfortresses are dispatched at night [1] — A number of survivors of cruiser USS Indianapolis, which was sunk 4 days prior, are found. [2]Aug 1In the US, penicillin is made available by prescription to civilians as tablets, ointment, and eye drops. [1]
Aug 3Czechoslovakia denies citizenship to ethnic Germans and Hungarians [1]
Near Pegu Yoma, the British destroy remnants of the Japanese 28th Army resisting in Burma [1]Aug 4German POW Kurt Rossmeisl escapes from Camp Butner, NC; he surrenders in 1959. [1]
The US Air Force flies over 12 cities in Japan & drops pamphlets warning the populations to surrender or face devastation. [15] — Colonel Paul W. Tibbets, Jr. assumes command of B-29 Superfortress 44-86292 and nicknames the bomber “Enola Gay” after his mother at North Field on Tinian. [37]Aug 5Missing items from Holy Roman Empire Imperial regalia are found buried in Nürnberg, Germany [1]
The first Atomic bomb used in warfare is dropped on Hiroshima by US B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay, flown by Col. Paul Tibbets Jr.; about 78,000 killed. This is done to urge the Japanese to surrender and end WWII [1,11,45] — Off Bali, Japanese aircraft sink the sub USS Bullhead, the last US warship lost in the war [1]Aug 6Maj. Richard Bong, leading US fighter pilot ace (40 victories) and a Medal of Honor recipient, is killed testing a Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star jet fighter in Burbank, CA [1]
The Japanese first fly the Nakajima J9Y Kikka jet fighter, essentially a copy of the German Messerschmitt Me 262. [1]Aug 7Marshal Tito bans the return of King Peter to Yugoslavia [1]
Russia declares war on Japan, effective midnight. At 11pm Soviet foreign minister Molotov tells the Japanese ambassador hostilities against Japan will commence in an hour as Soviet forces await the signal to commence “Operation August Storm” in the Far East. [1, 11, 37]President Truman threatens further atomic destruction if Japan doesn’t surrender [1]A US Marine Corps F6F Hellcat downs a Japanese fighter near Okinawa, the last of 2439 victories by USMC pilots in WWII. [1]Aug 8The London Agreement and Charter was signed by the USA, UK, France, and USSR establishing  the International Military Tribunal to prosecute major Axis war criminals at Nuremberg [45]
The U.S. drops a second atom bomb known as the “Fat Man” on Japan. It is dropped from  The Bockscar, a B-29 bomber of the USAAF. The 21-kiloton weapon explodes over Nagasaki at 11:02 am local time. Over 35,000 people are killed outright, with total deaths estimated at 60,000 to 80,000 due to radiation poisoning and long-term health effects. [4, 26, 37, 57] — Lt Robert Hampton-Gray, VC, DSC, RCNVR, flying from HMS FORMIDABLE attacks & sinks a Japanese destroyer in Onagawa Bay. Grey’s aircraft crashed during the attack. He is posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions. [61]Aug 9
Emperor Hirohito tells the Japanese government to accept the Potsdam Declaration demanding unconditional surrender; the Japanese declare they will surrender if they can retain Hirohito as emperor. [1, 11] — Mosquito a/c from 684 Sqn carried out 2 PR sorties over Malaysia and Singapore. A 3rd sortie over the Andaman Islands was aborted due to icing affecting the engines. [65]Aug 10
Dai Viet (Nationalist Party of Greater Vietnam) holds a demonstration in Hanoi, French Indochina in support of the Vietnamese royal government and an independent Vietnam [1] — Gen. Douglas MacArthur is declared Allied Supreme Commander, with the authority to accept a Japanese surrender. [1]Aug 11
The US announces Japan can keep Hirohito as emperor, but only if he is not proclaimed to be divine [1]Aug 1215 of Hitler’s top leaders are transferred from ASHCAN to Nuremberg. En route, Göring points out the Rhine River, telling Ribbentrop to take one last look as he is unlikely to ever get the opportunity again. Streicher is airsick. Last progress report from ASHCAN on the reduction of Hermann Göring’s paracodeine tablets. Over 82 days he was completely weaned from addiction. Phenobarbitol was given as a sleep aid. Göring’s final ASHCAN progress report: from 40 tablets a day to zero, down 264 lbs to 238 (120kg to 108 kg). [45]
Lost is OA-10 Catalina 44-34080 pilot 1st Lt. Edmund L. Eliason on a “Dumbo” rescue over Tokyo Bay when shot down by A6M5 Zeros with only Sgt Roger E. Regain surviving the crash and became a prisoner. [37] — A US OA-10A aircraft rescues a downed air crew from inner Tokyo Bay, the first time a US plane has accomplished a rescue in those waters [1] — Lt. Oscar Perdomo of US 507th Fighter Group becomes the last ace of the war when he shoots down 5 Japanese fighters over Kyushu. [1]Aug 13
With Tokyo just hours away from announcing its unconditional surrender, the U.S. mounts a thousand-plane raid on Japan. [4] — In the last US Army Air Force fighter engagement of WWII, P-38s down 5 Japanese Ki-84s off Honshu; USAAF pilots have downed 5214 Japanese aircraft since Pearl Harbor [1] — The USS Spikefish (SS 404) sinks the Japanese submarine I-373 in the Sea of Japan. The next day, her crew was directed to cease all attacks following the surrender of Japan. [68] — Japan surrenders unconditionally to the Allied Powers, ending the Second World War. Hirohito signs the acceptance of unconditional surrender. The Japanese accept the terms of the Potsdam Declaration and agree to surrender, sparking celebrations across the United States and beyond. [1, 41, 61, 68, 70, 74, 75] — Japanese military coup and assassination attempt on Emperor Hirohito fails [1] — Emperor Bao Dai of Indochina tears up treaties with French from 1862 and 1874 and proclaims Vietnamese sovereignty [1]Aug 14The US government orders the resumption of civilian car manufacturing [1]
US Navy Task Force 38 aircraft strike Tokyo airfields before the surrender is announced—US Navy pilots have downed 6800 Japanese aircraft since Pearl Harbor. [1] — Sub Lieutenant Fred Hockley is executed by the Japanese, nine hours after Emperor Hirohito announced the unconditional surrender of Japan. [167]Aug 15
The Japanese parliament resigns [1]Aug 16 President Truman proclaims to the world that they were witnessing a “new beginning in the history of freedom on this Earth” [26] — Churchill first uses the term “iron curtain” in a speech to the House of Commons: “the iron curtain which at the moment divides Europe in twain.” [1]
Ho Chi Minh calls on Vietnamese people to begin the communist revolution. [1] — The Allies divide Korea on the 38th parallel, with the US in the south, USSR in the north [1] — The Dutch East Indies proclaims independence from the Netherlands, calling itself the Republic of Indonesia. [1]Aug 17
The Red Army lands on Shumshu and engages the Japanese garrison. Even though artillery was late to the landing, Ha-Go tanks were successfully defeated with anti-tank rifles alone. [22] — In the last air conflict of war, US B-32 recon planes are attacked by flak & fighters over Tokyo; photographer Sgt. Anthony Marchione becomes the last American killed in the war [1] — The US begins parachuting medical teams into Japanese POW camps. [1] — On the USS Levy negotiations take place at Mili Atoll, Marshall Islands for the Japanese surrender of local forces [77]Aug 18
Chiang Kai-shek forbids Japanese to surrender to Communist Chinese; they must surrender to the Nationalists [1] — US troops enter Shanghai to prevent a communist takeover [1] — Japanese soldiers are told that surrendering under cease-fire doesn’t break the Bushido code [1]Aug 19
The last bomb dropped by the RAF on an operational sortie in WW2 is dropped by a de Havilland Mosquito FB 6 of No. 110 Squadron in support of Force 136 (SOE) in Burma. [60]Aug 20Norwegian Nazi collaborator Vidkun Quisling is placed on trial for treason in Oslo; he will be executed [1] — US War Production Board lifts production controls on 210 consumer items [1]
Last naval surface action of war: Japanese junk attacks 2 Chinese junks with US & Chinese crews; 45 Japanese & 4 Chinese are killed [1]Aug 21President Truman ends Lend-Lease program with Britain [1]
The Japanese garrison at Mili Island in the Marshall Islands becomes the first Pacific island to surrender aboard destroyer escort USS Levy, the first voluntary Japanese handover of an island., eleven days before the formal surrender of Japan. [1, 37] — In Manchuria, the Japanese surrender to Soviets, and the Soviets seize Port Arthur. [1]Aug 22Yugoslavia orders all farmland over 75 acres to be confiscated and given to partisan fighters [1]
Australian Volunteer Defence Corps (home defense) is disbanded [1]Aug 24British Prime Minister Clement Attlee complains about end of US Lend-Lease program [1]
U. S. Navy salvage divers from the USS Chanticleer (ASR-7) located the shipwreck of Akitsushima in Coron Bay, Philippines. This seaplane tender was sunk on September 24, 1944 by U. S. Navy planes. [37] — In China US Capt. John Birch is killed in a skirmish with communists, the “first casualty of Third World War.” [1] — In French Indochina, the Viet Minh takes control of Saigon, and Emperor Bao Dai abdicates, ending the Nguyen Dynasty [1]Aug 25
Soviets land on and take Matsuwa in the Kurile Islands; will take 63,000 Japanese POWs in Kuriles [1]Aug 26
B-29s drop supplies to Weihsien Internment Camp (Weihsien Camp) in China. This is the first of 900 sorties to drop 4,000+ tons of supplies to former POW Camps and internment camps. [37] — In Japan, almost 400 vessels of the US Third Fleet anchor in Sagami Bay. [1]Aug 27
Soviet troops invade Iturup, Kurile Islands [2]Aug 28
First Allied POWs in Japan are liberated, from Camp Omori, by US Navy forces. [1, 128] — Major Gregory “Pappy” Boyington is among those liberated from Omori POW. The Marine ace from VMF-214 “Black Sheep” was a Prisoner Of War since January 3, 1944. [37]Aug 2924 Nazi leaders are indicted as war criminals [1] — US ends military draft [1]
Following the surrender of Japan, Japanese forces occupying Hong Kong hand over control of the territory to the British. Every year after the 30 August was marked in Hong Kong as ‘Liberation Day’ and declared a public holiday until 1997 [57]Aug 30
Marcus Island (Minamitorishima) is officially surrendered by Rear Admiral M. Matsubara aboard USS Bagley DD-386 to Rear Admiral F. E. M. Whiting. [37]Aug 31German Field Marshals Walter von Brauchitsch and Erich von Manstein are arrested in Germany [1] — The US Twelfth Air Force is inactivated in Italy [1]The US Office of War Information is disbanded. [1]
The official surrender of Japan is signed on the deck of the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay. Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz signs the Instrument of Surrender as U.S. Representative. With him are Douglas MacArthur; William F. Halsey, and Forrest Sherman. Col Lawrence Cosgrave, Canada’s representative signs on the wrong line. The Japanese representatives protest but hand written changes fix the mistake. [1, 15, 25, 31, 37, 54, 70, 74, 84, 91] — Ho Chi Minh declares Democratic Republic of Vietnam in Hanoi [1]A US C-54 Skymaster transport plane makes a record 31 hr, 25 min flight from Tokyo to Washington, DC with film from the surrender ceremony. [1]Sep 2
Lost is RAAF Beaufort A9-622 that took off from Tadji Airfield pilot W/O Cedric Ernest Hall on a mission to drop surrender leaflets over Japanese positions and crashed killing the entire crew. [37]Sep 3
Japanese forces in Singapore and Malaya surrender to the British [1] — Japanese forces on Wake Island surrender to U.S. Marines. They had held Wake since December 23, 1941, about two weeks after Pearl Harbor was attacked. The Japanese had formally surrendered on the USS Missouri on Sept. 2. [116] — A detachment from U. S. Army, 1st Cavalry Division takes control of Yokota Airfield (Tama, Fussa) without incident and becomes a major U. S. occupation base for arriving troops and supplies. [37]Sep 4German weather station Haudegen at Spitsbergen, Norway surrenders to a Norwegian seal hunter. The Germans had established a meteorological station on Svalbard island on September 9, 1944. They are the final German unit to surrender. [1, 116]
Aboard Royal Navy heavy cruiser HMS Sussex anchored in Singapore Harbor, Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) 7th Area Army commander General Seishirō Itagaki surrenders all forces under his control. [37]Sep 5
Japanese General Hitoshi Mamura and Vice Admiral Jinichi Kusakai officially surrender aboard HMS Glory off Rabaul. The pair surrenders all remaining forces on New Britain and the Solomons, 139,000 men in the Bismarcks, Solomons, and New Guinea [1, 37]Sep 6First crossing of the English Channel by helicopter. A captured German Focke-Achgelis Fa 223E-0 V.14 Drache is flown from Cherbourg to RAF Beaulieu by Luftwaffe helicopter pilot Helmut Gerstenhauer and two observers. [8]
Eighteen British Prisoners Of War (POWs) on Watom Island are liberated, the only survivors from a group of 600 Royal Artillery gunners surrendered at Singapore and perished at Rabaul and Ballale. [37] — Japanese surrender ceremony at the headquarters of US 10th Army, Okinawa, Japan [70]Sep 7International Parade in Berlin. Those taking the salute included Marshal Zhukov and General Patton. [1, 99]
Dr Marcel Junod of the International Red Cross brings 15 tons of medicines to Hiroshima to help with the terrible after-effects of the A-bomb. The city has never forgotten him. [85] — The US 1st Cavalry Division enters Tokyo, and Gen. Douglas MacArthur raises the US flag over the US embassy [1] — US forces land at Inchon, Korea to prevent Soviets from breaking agreement to occupy only North Korea. [1]Sep 8
One million Japanese forces in China surrender at Nanjing at 9:00, the ninth hour of the ninth day of the ninth month [1]Sep 9Canada reintroduces meat rationing to allow exports to Europe [1]
Midway-class carrier USS Midway is commissioned at Newport News, VA, currently a museum ship in San Diego, CA [1]Operation Magic Carpet begins. Immense effort to bring troops home at the end of WWII. Bremerton’s PSNS and IMF installed 1000s of bunks in warships. [107]Sep 10Norwegian Nazi collaborator Vidkun Quisling is sentenced to death for treason; he will be executed on October 24 [1]
British Military Administration in Malaya is established under Lord Louis Mountbatten, as an interim government before the formation of the Malayan Union in April 1946. [1] — British officially re-establish rule in Singapore [1]Sep 12
Surrender negotiations conclude between the Australian Army 2 Corps and Japanese forces in northern Bougainville. The Allies are surprised by the large garrison on Bougainville [37] — Japanese forces in Hong Kong officially surrender to the British [1]Sep 16
Four Japanese aircraft painted in surrender markings flown by Japanese pilots departed Vunakanau Airfield near Rabaul to Jacquinot Bay to surrender to the Royal New Zealand Air Force. [37] — Operation Swift Mercy was underway by US Air Force with B-17s & B-29s dropping 4,500 tons of supplies to American troops no longer prisoner, but still trapped. [15]Sep 18A British military court begins hearing evidence in The Bergen Belsen Trial. Irma Greese (21 years old) and Commandant Josef Kramer were among 45 men and women accused of heinous, mass atrocity crimes. The trial lasted 54 days [45] — Henry L. Stimson resigns as US Secretary of War [1]
 Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) General Ito commander Japanese forces on New Ireland surrenders to Australian Army Major General K. W. Eather, commander 11th Division aboard HMAS Swan (U74) [37] — British and French troops suppress Vietnamese nationalist insurgents in Saigon [1] — Congress Party of India begins negotiations with British about independence [1]Sep 19Paragraph 1 of War Department General Orders No. 80, 1945, provide “The war in which the United States has been engaged since 8 Dec 1941 will hereafter be designated in all official communications and publications as ‘World War II.’” [116]
 British and US Seventh Fleet warships anchor at Shanghai, China [1]Sep 20Wernher von Braun arrives in the United States, and is escorted by Army Intelligence to Fort Strong, a secluded former Civil War facility on one of the Boston Harbor islands. German rocket engineers begin work in US rocket program [1] — In Nuremberg Herman Goering is cured of his morphine habit as he awaits trial [45]
 An Australian Army force led by Brigadier L. G. H. Dyke  arrives at Dili and restores Portuguese colonial rule. During WWII, roughly 45,000 East Timorese died most for helping Australians on Timor [37] — US Marines land at Nagasaki, Japan [1]Sep 23Egypt demands modification of Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936 to end British military presence in Egypt and to annex Anglo-Egyptian Sudan (not complete until 1954-56) [1]
 In the Philippines, Pres. Sergio Osmeña establishes a People’s Court to try collaborators [1]Sep 25The Nazi party is declared illegal in Germany [1] — Last Soviet forces depart from Norway [1]
 First US casualty in Vietnam (French Indochina)—OSS (precursor to CIA) officer Lt. Col. Peter Dewey is killed by Viet Minh in Saigon, mistaken for a Frenchman [1]Sep 26
  Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers (SCAP) General Douglas MacArthur meets Emperor Hirohito for the first time in Tokyo. Afterwards, MacArthur orders all Japanese newspapers to print the photo [37] — US Air Transport Command begins “Sunset Project”: return of planes, crews & passengers from the Pacific [1]Sep 27
  Indonesians riot against the Dutch [1]Sep 28US Office of Censorship is disbanded [1]
  Oct 1The US Army Air Forces in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (AAF/MTO) is inactivated [1] — US Office of Strategic Service (precursor to CIA) is disbanded [1]
  Oct 2US Fifth Army in Italy is inactivated [1]
  Imperial Japanese Army Lt. General Kunitaro Yamada, Commanding Officer of the 48th Division surrenders Japanese forces in the Lesser Sundas to Australian Army Brigadier L. G. H. Dyke, CBE DSO at a ceremony at Koepang in West Timor. [37, 77] — In the Philippines, the first case is filed to try leaders who collaborated with the Japanese [1]Oct 3
  USS Yorktown (CV-10) embarks U. S. personnel from Okinawa then departs on a non-stop voyage across the Pacific bound for San Francisco as part of Operation Magic Carpet bring American servicemen home [37]Oct 4
  Oct 7George Patton handed control of the US 3rd Army to Lucian Truscott [2]
  Oct 8Former Nazi leader Rudolf Hess (who stole plane May 10, 1941 and flew to Scotland in unauthorized attempt to encourage British to seek peace) is flown from England for the Nuremberg Trials [1]
  Oct 10Soviet code clerk defects to US and reveals extent of Soviet spy ring in US [1]
  Oct 12The first fully navalised Hawker Sea Fury prototype flies. This was powered by the Bristol Centaurus XV engine [9]
  Oct 13The last of 11,461 Wellington aircraft to be built rolled off the production line [2]
  Indonesian People’s Army declares war on the Netherlands [1]Oct 14
  Oct 15Former Vichy French Prime Minister Pierre Laval is executed by the French for collaborating with the Nazis [1]
  Oct 17 Indictments are issued to Hitler’s henchmen in Nuremberg prison. [45]
  British land at Semarang, Java to crush an uprising [1] — War Widow’s Guild of Australia is founded [1]Oct 19Evangelical Church in Germany issues Stuttgart Declaration of Guilt under leadership of Martin Niemöller (Confessing Church), stating that although they’d opposed Nazism, they hadn’t done enough [1]
  Oct 21Parliamentary elections are held in France, and communists & socialists win a majority; members of the Constituent Assembly are selected to draft a constitution for the Fourth Republic [1] — British engineers blow up U-boat pens in Hamburg, Germany [1]
  The United Nations is formed wit 23 member nations [1]Oct 24Norwegian Nazi collaborator Vidkun Quisling is executed [1]
  The trial against Japanese General Yamashita begins in ManilaOct 29
  The final Liberty Ship is delivered, the Albert M. Boe; 2711 Liberty Ships were produced during the war.  [1Oct 30US ends shoe rationing, effective at midnight. [1]
  Day three of Japanese Army General Tomoyuki Yamashita war crimes trial in Manila. On December 7, 1945 he was found guilty and appealed to the U. S. Supreme Court that upheld his conviction. [37] — Relocation center for Japanese-Americans at Topaz, UT closes [1]Oct 31
  Light carrier Hosho returns 1,011 servicemen back to Japan [2]Nov 3US War Production Board and Office of Production Management are inactivated [1]
  Nov 5Hermann Goering selects a defense counsel for the International Military Tribunal, to begin in 15 days [45] — Muslims begin a pogrom against Jews in Libya (under British Military Administration); in three days, 140 Jews will be killed and synagogues & homes will be looted and destroyed [1]
  Nov 7Bell Aircraft Corporation conducts the first remote-control flight of a P-59 Airacomet jet using a TV in the cockpit [1]
  Nov 11War Department board recommends having more Black officers & units and equal treatment, but doesn’t call for full desegregation (won’t happen until 1948). [1]
  Nov 13France holds free elections, and Gen. Charles de Gaulle is elected head of government. [1]
  Nov 19Congress votes to withdraw US Marines from China [1]
  Nov 20 The Nuremberg Trials begin. 21 top-level Nazis are tried for crimes against humanity & war crimes. The Library holds a large collection of documents & translations from the trials which specifically pertain to the fate of European Jewry. More than 200 Nazis accused of war crimes during World War II were put on trial.  [49, 116]
  Nov 21All accused German war criminals at Nuremberg plead not guilty [2]
  Nov 22Thanksgiving is celebrated in America; Macy’s parade resumes after being cancelled from 1942-44. [1]
  Nov 23US ends rationing of meat and butter. [1]
  US Secretary of War Robert Patterson orders all Japanese cyclotrons to be destroyed [2]Nov 24
  Nov 25The beginning of Operation Deadlight – the RAF begins to scuttle Nazi U-Boats
  The Japanese create the Ministry of DemobilizationDec 1
  Tomoyuki Yamashita was found guilty of war crimesDec 7
  Dec 9Gen. George S. Patton is injured in a car accident near Neckarstadt, Germany [1]
  Dec 13Thomas J. Dodd presents the first major evidence of Nazi concentration camp atrocities – tattooed human skin and a shrunken head from Buchanwald, and death books from Mauthausen [45]
  Former Japanese Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe commits suicide as US sweeps Japan for war criminals. [1]Dec 16
  Dec 21Just months after the end of World War II, U.S. General George S. Patton dies at the age of 60 of injuries from a car accident in Heidelberg [116]
  US, UK, China, and USSR agree to govern Korea jointly for five years before granting independence [1]Dec 27
  Dec 28Congress officially recognizes the Pledge of Allegiance [1]
  Dec 29SS general Kurt Meyer is found guilty of war crimes by a Canadian military court. Many Canadian POWs were murdered under Meyer’s command in Normandy. Sentenced to death, Meyer’s punishment was commuted to life in prison. He was released after 9 years [31]
Jan 14Eighteen nations sign the Agreement on Reparation from Germany as a result of the Nazis starting and losing World War II. The agreement took effect ten days later [116]
Feb 4German Alfried Krupp is released from imprisonment and his fortune is restored [2]
Feb 11The last of the 116 captured German U-boats scheduled to be sunk are scuttled by the Allies 100 miles off the northwest coast of Ireland
Tule Lake War Relocation Center becomes the last of the incarceration camps that imprisoned Japanese Americans during World War II to close. [25]Mar 20
Japanese Lt. General Masaharu Homma is executed by firing squad in the Philippines for leading the Bataan Death March during World War II. He was tried and convicted on February 11, 1946. [116]Apr 3
Apr 5In the spring of 1945, Soviet forces liberated the Danish island of Bornholm from German occupation. They remained for 11 months. It wasn’t until this date in 1946, that they finally left. [56]
Apr 12The last French troops leave Syria, which had gained its independence from France on October 24, 1945. [116]
The International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE) convened to put leaders from the Empire of Japan on trial for joint charges of conspiracy to start and wage war. The Allies will indict more than 5,700 Japanese officials for atrocities; 920 are executed. [4, 25]Apr 26
WWII war crimes’ trials begins for 28 Japanese officials. The trial ends on November 4, 1948 with 25 of 28 officials found guilty. Seven were given death sentences, including General Hideki Tojo, who served as premier during the war. [116]May 3
Jne 20Nazi Germany’s Minister of Armaments and War Production Albert Speer testifies at the Nuremberg trials. He is the only defendant to take personal responsibility for his actions during WWII. He was convicted, serving 20 years in prison. [116]
Jly 3The chief of Soviet security in Germany, reveals in a report that 18 German rocket scientists have been found among inmates of the Gulag. Steps are underway for their release in order that they may make a contribution to Soviet rocketry. [117]
Jly 16A US Army tribunal at Dachau sentences 46 members of the Waffen SS to death for crimes committed against Allied POWs and civilians. [25]
Aug 1Andrey Andreyevich Vlasov, leader of the Russian Liberation Army, which fought on the side of Nazi Germany beginning in 1944, is hanged in Russia after being convicted of treason. [116]
Aug 31The Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service is disbanded. A women’s division of the Royal Canadian Navy is reestablished in 1951 as part of the Royal Canadian Navy (Reserve), and in 1955 a women’s component of the regular navy was authorized [31]
Sep 30Sentencing begins in the Nuremberg Trials. Germany’s Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering is sentenced to death at the Nuremberg trials. But before he was hanged, he commits suicide on October 15. [115, 116]
Oct 1Albert Speer, Minister of Armaments and War Production in Nazi Germany, is sentenced to twenty years in prison for war crimes in Nuremberg. Wernher von Braun, whom Speer saved in 1944 by interceding following his arrest by the SS, is now working at White Sands
Oct 15Herman Goering, head of the Luftwaffe and Gestapo, commits suicide by cyanide the night before his execution.He was 53 [116]
Oct 16German General Alfred Jodl, age 56, German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, age 53, and eight other Nazis are hanged after being convicted of war crimes committed during World War II at the Nuremberg trials. [116]
Apr 16The US Congress passes the Army-Navy Nurses Act that establishes the Navy Nurse Corps as a permanent staff corps. [74]
May 3Japan’s post-war constitution goes into effect, granting universal suffrage, stripping Emperor Hirohito of all but symbolic power and outlawing Japan’s right to make war. [44]
Jne 5
Nov 3Pohl Trial in Nuremberg ends with 15 found guilty of war crimes [2]
Nov 10Belgian collaborator Victor Matthys is executed [2]
Nov 24A trial of 40 former SS garrison members of the German Nazi Auschwitz concentration and extermination camp – including the 2nd commandant Arthur Liebehenschel – began in Krakow [6]
1948U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall gives a speech at Harvard calling for aid to war-torn Europe, in what would become known as the Marshall Plan. [116]
Jly 18Jewish Holocaust survivors, deemed to be “illegal immigrants” by the British government, are removed by soldiers from the ship Exodus upon its arrival in Haifa. The survivors are eventually deported to Germany. [217]
Apr 3Pres. Harry Truman signs the Economic Assistance Act, aka the Marshall Plan. It provides $13 billion in aid to 17 mostly Western European nations to help them rebuild after WWII. The plan encourages free markets, open trade and industrial modernization. “Our policy is not directed against any country, but against hunger, poverty, desperation and chaos”The $13 billion equates to about $100 billion in 2016 dollars. [4, 116]
Apr 14The U.S. Air Force Reserve is formed, and, since has played a crucial role in our nation’s defense. [69]
Jne 12The Women’s Army Corps (WAC) was supposed to end six months after WWII. Efforts to keep the separate female corps in the services during peace time resulted in passage of the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act [70]
General Hideki Tojo and seven other Japanese military and government officials are sentenced to death for their actions during World War II by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East in Tokyo, Japan. [77, 116]Nov 12
Seven Japanese military and political leaders, including Prime Minister Hideki Tojo, are executed at Sugamo Prison in Tokyo, Japan after being convicted of war crimes during World War II [116]Dec 23
Feb 1Rationing of bread in Paris ends. Rationing had been reinstated on January 1, 1946, shortly after World War II ended [116]
Chariman Mao proclaims the establishment of the People’s Republic of China following years of Civil War [39]Sep 21
Oct 7Communist East Germany, aka the German Democratic Republic, is established. The country exists until 1990 when East Germany and West Germany were reunified. [116]
Dec 9The “Subsequent Nuremberg trials” begin with the “Doctors’ trial”, prosecuting physicians and officers alleged to be involved in Nazi human experimentation and mass murder under the guise of euthanasia. [44]
Oct 22Early in the morning, armed Russian soldiers arrive at the homes of German technicians in the Soviet occupied zone and tell them they are to be forcibly deported to Soviet industrial ministries. Five hundred of the 7000 deportees are rocket engineers. [117]
Oct 3Tea rations in Britain, imposed as a result of World War II, are lifted 12 years after they were imposed [116]
Apr 29The last of 35 Supermarine Seafires are retired from the Royal Canadian Navy. [61]
Apr 15Wernher von Braun is among scores of Operation Paperclip Germans who become American citizens during a public ceremony held in a Huntsville high school auditorium. Newsreel cameras capture the event, which von Braun calls “one of the proudest days of my life.” [117]
May 11Adolf Eichmann is captured by the Mossad in Argentina [44]
Dec 15German Nazi-SS Lieutenant Colonel Adolf Eichmann is sentenced to death in Israel for war crimes he committed during World War II [116]
World War II monument opens in Washington, D.C. The memorial is located on 7.4 acres on the former site of the Rainbow Pool at the National Mall between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial.Apr 29
The Dutch national railway company is setting up a commission to investigate how it can pay individual reparations for its role in mass deportations of Jews by Nazi occupiers during World War IINov 28
South Korea’s Supreme Court orders Japanese Mitsubishi to pay compensation for WWII slave labourNov 29


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  146. Katja Hoyer @hoyer_kat
  147. Stephen Fisher @SeaSpitfires
  148. Politics & Contemporary History at Salford Manchester @SalfordUni_PCH
  149. U.S. Marine Corps Museum @USMCMuseum
  150. US Holocaust Museum @HolocaustMuseum
  151. Krzysztof Cambridge @KrzysztofCam
  152. Jordan Weaver @JHistoryW
  153. Peter Caddick-Adams, PhD, FRHistS, FR @militaryhistori
  154. Professor Frank McDonough @FXMC1957
  155. Traces Of War @tracesofwar
  156. James Fenelon @JamesFenelon
  157. Jordan Cary @JHistoryC
  158. Andy Aitcheson @AndyAitcheson
  159. Chris Sams @jerijerod14
  160. SMG Conservation @SMGConservation
  161. Cranwell Aviation Museum @CranwellMuseum
  162. Jamie McTrusty @CranwellMuseum
  163. The national Museum of the Royal Navy @NatMuseumRN
  164. The D-Day Story @TheDDayStory
  165. Katyń 1940 @katyn1940
  166. Pacific Historic Parks @pacificparks
  167. British History @BritishHistorym
  168. Jenny Grant @silenceinPolish
  169. Warsaw Rising Museum @WarsawRising44
  170. Holocaust and Genocide Research Partners @hgrp_org
  171. Patriots Point @Patriots_Point
  172. World at War @the_worldatwar
  173. Escape2History @Escape2History
  174. Veterans Affairs CA @veteransENG_CA
  175. The French History Podcast @FrenchHist
  176. Rivets and Pins @RivetsAndPins
  177. Røbbø @Ravenser
  178. Klass Meijer @klassm67
  179. Commonwealth War Graves @CWGC
  180. Poland.pl @Poland
  181. Chris Cavas @CavasShips
  182. Russell Phillips @RPBook
  183. Matthew Willis @NavalAirHistory
  184. Task Force 72 @ TaskForce72Aust
  185. 825 Naval Air Squadron @825NAS
  186. Lawrence @WW2Explorer
  187. RichShips @Rich_Ships
  188. Dave Thurlow @Gort_Line
  189. Valour Canada @ValourCanada
  190. Stephen Morgan MP @StephenMorganMP
  191. RRF Museum Warwick @https://twitter.com/RRFMuseumWarks
  192. James D. Kightly @JDKightly
  193. International Bomber Command Centre @IntBCC
  195. National Air and space Museum @airandspace
  196. John Martin @JohnMartinComic
  197. ABMC @usabmc
  198. Chris Bolton @CcibChris
  199. Nick Budd @BuddNichlas
  200. Military Intelligence Museum @mi_intel
  201. Radio Prague International @RadioPrague
  202. Libor Sečka @LiborSicka
  203. Jonathan Ware @ReassessHistory
  204. Dan Snow @thehistoryguy
  205. The Purple Heart @MOPH_HQ
  206. The Pacific War Channel @The_PacificWar
  207. Caroline Wigley @WigleyCe
  208. De Havilland Arcraft Museum @deHavMuseum
  209. Mike Bechthold @mike_bechthold
  210. CAF HQ @CAF1957
  211. Damian Valle @DVM_Vet
  212. Simon Higgens @simon_higgens
  213. Canadian Army @CanadianArmy
  214. Illinois Holocaust Museum @ihmec
  215. Manhattan Project NHP @MnhtnProjectNPS
  216. Dudley Giles @battleguide
  217. Yad Vashem @yadvashem
  218. Historic Southampton @HistoricalSoton
  219. Séan F Sci;;opm @sean_f_scullion
  220. Nick Ilic @Nik_Ilic
  221. The Spitfire Society @SocietySpitfire
  222. Book: Waffen-SS: Hitler’s Army at War
  223. Book: The Hitler Years: Triumph, 1933-1939
  224. WarshipPorn @WarshipPorn
  225. 614 Aqn RAF Reserves @614RAUXAFSQN
  226. Janine Stange @THEANTHEMGIRL

Observations on SciFi, Books, Space Exploration, Robotics, and Productivity

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