World War II Timeline

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 Sources” page is a collection of more than 430 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 July 4, 2020

 Pacific Theater  Date  European Theater
1918
January 18 War-weary and starving German civilians take to the streets to demand “peace and bread.” The country is just days away from surrender. [4]
1919
January 18 The Paris Peace Conference begins to negotiate treaties after World War I
February The Polish-Soviet War begins with border clashes
July The then-unknown Corporal Adolf Hitler is given the mission of infiltrating the Nazi party for German Army Intelligence
1920
January 21 The Paris Peace Conference ends
1921
March 21 The Peace of Riga was signed ending the Polish-Soviet War
May 30 The first Soviet tank unit was 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 were quite slow and unreliable [22]
July 29 Hitler becomes the leader of the Nazi party
November 4 The Nazi Party’s paramilitary Sturmabteilung or ‘SA’ is founded. They became known as the “brown-shirts” [4]
1922
The Washington Naval Treaty is signed by the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan, France, and Italy. February 6 They agree to limit the size of their naval forces.
October The Russian Civil War ends with the communists in power
October 29 Benito Mussolini is appointed the Prime Minister of Italy by the king
November 5 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.
1923
January 11 France and Belgium occupy the Ruhr in an effort to compel Germany to step up its payments of World War I reparations
November 8 The Beer Hall Putsch takes place, in which Adolf Hitler unsuccessfully leads the Nazis in an attempt to overthrow the German government.
1928
Japanese and Chinese troops clashed in Shandong, China [2] May 3
1929
October 29 Stock prices collapsed on the New York Stock Exchange amid panic selling that precipitated the Great Depression
1931
January 26 Production of T-26 light tanks begins in Bolshevik Factory in Leningrad [2]
Japan invades Manchuria September 18
Japanese troops reach the Taling River in northeastern China [2] December 31
1932
Japanese troops capture Jinzhou, Liaoning Province, China [2] January 3
Chinese and Japanese troops clash in Shanghai [2] January 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] January 29
Japanese troops capture Harbin, China February 4
The Japanese carrier Hosho launchs sorties against Chinese positions in Shanghai February 5
Ma Zhanshan surrenders to the Japanese in Heilongjiang, China [2] February 14
The Chinese naval commander in Harbin surrenders 5 river gunboats to Japan [2] February 15
February 16 First 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] February 19
Chinese troops launch a failed counterattack in Shanghai March 1
The League of Nations demand a ceasefire between Japanese and Chinese forces in China [2] March 4
The Chinese back down at Shanghai per League of Nations request; Japanese attacks continue [2] March 6
March 7 First flight of the German Junkers Ju 52/3m, 3 engine transport aircraft
Li Haiching defeats pro-Japanese Xi Qia 35 miles north of capital of puppet Manchukuo state [2] March 29
July 8 First 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]
Japanese troops capture the Shanhai Gate of the Great Wall of China September 18
China appeals to the League of Nations over Japanese invasion [2] September 21
Japanese troops attack Qiqihar, Nenjiang Province, China [2] November 17
1933
January 30 Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany [2, 26]
Japanese and Manchukuo troops attack Rehe Province in China February 21
Japanese troops capture Chaoyang, Rehe Province, China February 25
February 27 Germany’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]
1934
The Chinese 620th and 621st Regiments ambush Japanese troops near the Great Wall [2] March 6
Japanese and Chinese troops clash at Gubeikou Pass of the Great Wall [2] March 10
The Chinese 25th Division was ordered to fall back from Gubeikou Pass of the Great Wall [2] March 12
Soviet troops capture Korla, Xinjiang, China [2] March 16
Japanese troops capture Yiyuankou Pass of the Great Wall [2] March 21
March 27 The Enabling Act comes into effect, giving Hitler near-dictatorial powers [2]
Japanese troops capture Lengkou of the Great Wall of China [2] April 11
The Japanese carrier Ryujo was commissioned into service [2] May 9/td>
August 19 The German public voted 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
October 7 First flight of the Tupolev ANT-40.1, a Soviet high speed twin-engine three-seat monoplane bomber [8]
Japan renounces the Naval Treaties of 1922 and 1930 [2] December 29
1935
February 24 First flight of the twin engine German Heinkel He 111
April 12 First flight of the Bristol Blenheim (type 142), a British light bomber
May 6 First 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
October 3 Italy invades Ethiopia
Chiang Kaishek is made the Premier of Republic of China [2] December 9
1936
March 5 First 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
Kenkichi Ueda was made ambassador to Manchukuo puppet state [2] March 28
May 2 Emperor Haile Selassie of Abyssinia goes into exile [2]
May 6 First 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
Chiang Kaishek proclaims that Japan is waging a undeclared war in China [2] May 9
The United States Navy orders 83 Curtiss SBC-3 Helldivers [9] August 19
October 3 First flight of the Italian Fiat BR.20 Cicogna (Stork) low-wing twin-engine medium bomber
Japanese-backed Mongolian troops march into Suiyuan, China [2] October 20
November 25 Signing of the Anti-Comintern Pact in Berlin [2]
Mengjiang-sponsored irregulars attack Bailingmiao, China [2] December 3
December 13 First flight of the PZL.37 Łoś. Polish twin-engine medium bomber. Extensively used in the defence of Poland during the rapid invasion of Poland by Germany in September 1939. [2]
1937
February 26 First 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
First flight of the Japanese Mitsubishi Ki-30 “Ann” light bomber February 27
March 1 The first British Bristol Blenheims enter service with the RAF 114 Squadron in Wyton
April 11 First flight of the Junkers Ju 89 German four engine heavy bomber prototype
1,500 Uyghur troops capture Old City district of Kashgar, China [2] May 30
The Marco Polo Bridge Incident renewed hostilities between Japan and China July 7-9
Japanese troops capturd Luodian near Shanghai after fierce 4-day battle [2] September 15
Carrier aircraft from Ryujo attack Guangzhou, Guangdong, China [2] September 21
Japanese aircraft bombard the Chinese coastal batteries overlooking Pearl River Delta [2] September 30
The Japanese Chahar Expeditionary Force attacks Gouxian, Shanxi, China [2] October 2
Japanese troops capture Gouxian, Shanxi, China [2] October 12
The Japanese 10th Army lands at Jinshanwei in the south of Shanghai [2] November 5
Chinese troops begin to retreat from Shanghai, China [2] November 8
The Wufu defensive line between Shanghai and Nanjing is overrun by Japanese troops [2] November 19
German businessman Rabe in Nanjing voices concerns of Japanese atrocities to Hitler [2] November 25
Xicheng defensive line between Shanghai and Nanjing is overrun by Japanese troops [2] November 26
General Tang Shengzhi advised foreign residents in Nanjing to depart [2] November 27
Japanese troops reach outskirts of Nanjing and demand surrender of the city December 2 Delegates 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] December 3
Japanese troops reach the outskirts of Nanjing and demanded surrender [2] December 9
Japanese troops began the assault on Nanjing, China [2] December 10 First 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] December 12
Japanese massacre more than 3,000 people in or near Guanjiangan and Jiangli areas of Nanjing [2] December 13
Japanese 6th Div troops massacre 2000 Chinese outside of Hanzhong Gate of Nanjing [2] December 15
The 20th Company of Japanese 16th Div kills 7000 Chinese east of Zijin Mtn near Nanjing [2] December 16
Japanese 13th Div began to burn remains of their thousands of victims in Nanjing [2] December 19
Japanese occupation forces begin registering men in Nanjing [2] December 29
Japanese occupation forces in Nanjing, China began registering women [2] December 31
1938
Koki Hirota messaged other diplomats about Japanese brutality in Nanjing [2] January 17
George Fitch departed Nanjing with film containing scenes of Japanese atrocities [2] January 19
The cruiser Kuma supports the Japanese landing at Yantai, China [2] February 2
Japanese troops take 20 Chinese women from Ginling College for comfort houses February 4
The International Committee in Nanjing makes 450 complaints of rape and murder to Japanese embassy [2] February 5
The Japanese begin a 6-month-long aerial bombardment campaign against Chongqing [2] February 18
The Chinese Air Force attacked Matsuyama Airfield on Taiwan [2] February 23
Dr. Robert Wilson estimates that 100k Chinese have been killed in Nanjing [2] March 7
March 11 Hitler formally issued a directive for the invasion of Austria [2]
March 12 Germany annexed Austria; Hitler visits Linz on the same day [2]
The Japanese 10th Division advances into Jiangsu Province, China [2] March 14
Chinese troops form a defensive line 75 miles north of Xuzhou [2] March 15
The Japanese attack on Tengxian, Jiangsu Province, China is repulsed [2] March 16
The Chinese 31st Division arrives at Jiangsu Province in response to a Japanese attack [2] March 21
Japanese troops begin to march toward Taierzhuang, Jiangsu Province, China [2] March 22
Chinese stumble upon Japanese rear artillery position at Taierzhuang, China [2] March 25
House-to-house fighting begins in Taierzhuang, Jiangsu, China [2] March 27
Chinese attack on Japanese troops at Taierzhuang, China ends in failure [2] March 29
Troops from the Chinese First War Area arrive at Xuzhou [2] April 5
April 10 Reichstag elections in Germany require all voters to approve union with Austria [2]
Japanese Chief of Army General Staff Prince Kotohito authorizes use of poison gas in Inner Mongolia [2] April 11
April 19 The first of four pre-production Messerschmitt Bf 110B-01 fighters took flight [2]
April 24 Nazi agitators in Sudetenland demanded autonomy with the Carlsbad Decrees [2]
Japanese captured Xuzhou, China [2] April 30
May 3 Construction begins on the Flossenburg Concentration Camp [2]
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 16 German generals tell Hitler 12 divisions were ready to move into Czechoslovakia on command [2]
Japanese bombers attack Guangzhou, killing 750 and wounding 1,350 [2] May 28 Hitler orders the military to prepare for an invasion of Czechoslovakia [2]
Japanese troops begin to march for Wuhan [2] June 11
The Japanese 11th Army captures the airfield outside of Anqing, Anhui, China [2] June 12
Japanese troops reach Madang, Jiangxi Province, China [2] June 16
Arthur Chin and John Wong, in Gladiators, shoot down G3M bombers over Guangdong [2] June 24
Japanese Special Naval Landing Force troops landed behind Chinese lines at Madang [2] June 26
Japanese troops capture Hukou, Jiangxi Province, China [2] July 4
Japanese diplomats demand that Soviet troops withdraw from Lake Khasan area [2] July 14
Soviet troops drive the Japanese out of the Lake Khasan region, northeastern China [2] August 9
The Japanese 106th Div and Japanese 101st Div launch an offensive in Jiangxi, China [2] August 20
September 15 Chamberlain and Hitler meet at Berchtesgaden to discuss the Czechoslovakia issue [2]
Japanese troops capture the city of Shang, Hubei Province, China [2] September 16
September 19 The UK and France recommend that Czechoslovakia cede Sudetenland to Germany [2]
Japanese bombing kills 600 civilians in Nanjing [2] September 25
September 29 German, Italian, French, British leaders meet at Munich to decide on Czechoslovakia [2]
September 30 UK PM Chamberlain declares ‘peace for our time’ after Sudetenland appeasement [2]
October 1 Germans begin arresting those opposing the Nazis in Sudetenland [2]
October 4 First flight of the Dornier Do 217 V-1, German WWII twin engine bomber prototype, more powerful version of the Dornier Do 17 [8]
Japanese troops resume the offensive in the Dabie Mountains region of Hubei, China [2] October 6
Chinese troops envelope elements of the Japanese 101st and 106th Divisions in Jiangxi, China [2] October 7
The Japanese 106th Div is largely wiped out by Chinese troops at Battle of Wanjialing [2] October 10
Japanese troops land at Daya Bay near Guangzhou, China [2] October 12
Chinese troops withdrew from the Wanjialing area in Jiangxi, China [2] October 13
Japanese troops capture the city of Guangzhou in Southern China [2] October 21
Japanese troops reach the southern borders of Wuhan, Hubei, China [2] October 22
Japanese troops capture Humen, Guangdong Province, China [2] October 23
Japanese troops capture Huangpo, Anhui, China [2] October 24
Japanese troops capture Sanshui, Guangdong, China [2] October 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. October 26
October 28 Germany expells 15,000 to 17,000 Jews of Polish origin across Polish border [2]
October 31 Poland rejects German invite to join the Anti-Comintern Pact [2]
November 2 Arbitration of Vienna gives Hungary southeastern Slovakia and Ruthenia [2]
Japanese carrier Kaga launches strikes against Chinese positions near Guangzhou [2]


Chinese troops capture Bailingmiao, Suiyuan, China [2]

November 24 Adolf Hitler orders generals to plan an invasion of Danzig, but avoid Poland [2]
December 2 First 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]
December 12 First 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]
1939
Japanese bombers attack Chongqing, China during the day [2] January 10
First flight of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning, it became operational on May 29, 1942 January 27 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
Japanese Special Naval Landing Forces land at Haikou, Hainan [2] February 10
Japanese troops land at Sanya on the southern coast of Hainan island [2] February 11
40 Chinese fighters shoot down 9 Japanese bombers near Lanzhou [2] February 20
March 11 Hitler issues a ultimatum for Czechoslovakia to hand over Bohemia and Moravia [2]
Chinese troops begin advancing toward Nanchang, China [2] March 12 Germans demand that Tiso declare Slovakian independence to weaken Czechoslovakia [2]
March 13 Germany threatens, with force, the Slovakians to declare independence [2]
March 14 Slovakia and Ruthenia declare independence from Czechoslovakia [2]
Chinese troops report Japanese usage of chemical weapons at Jiangxi Province [2] March 20
The Japanese 6th Division crosses the Xuishui River and march towards Wuning, China [2] March 21
Japanese troops defeat the Chinese 102nd Division west of Nanchang, China [2] March 25
Japanese troops capture Wucheng, Jiangxi Province, China [2] March 26
The Japanese 101st Division captures Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, China [2] March 27
The Japanese 101st Division secures Nanchang in Jiangxi Province, China [2] March 28
The Japanese 6th Division captures Wuning, Jiangxi Province, China [2] March 29
March 31 Chamberlain pledges that Britain will use force to protect Polish borders [2]
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] April 1
April 6
April 14 Roosevelt writes to Hitler and Mussolini in an attempt to maintain peace [2]
April 19 Italian ambassador in Berlin reports the likeliness of war [2]
The Chinese 32th Army crosses the Fu River near Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, China [2] April 23
The Chinese counter offensive toward Nanchang, reaches the outskirts of the city [2] April 25
The Troops of the Chinese 3rd and 9th War Areas breach into southern Nanchang, China [2] April 26 The USAAF places an order for 524 P-40 fighters [2]
USAAF placed an order April 26 for 524 P-40 fighters
Chinese troops launch a second counterattack on Nanchang [2] May 2
Chinese 4th Air Group shoots down 7 Japanese bombers over Chongqing [2] May 3
Chinese troops attack Japanese positions at Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, China May 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 6 Ribbentrop told Ciano that Hitler did not yet have desire for war over Danzig [2]
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 14
Chinese counterattack in Hubei Province began to wear down the Japanese [2] May 15
May 16 Raeder presents Hitler naval plans against Poland, France, and Britain [2]
May 17 The first production version of the Handley Page Hereford flies [9]
May 18
Chinese troops capture Zaoyang, Hubei Province, China [2] May 19
June 1 The Fw-190 fighter makes its maiden flight at Bremen, Germany [2]
4,400 civilians die of asphyxiation in Chongqing air raid shelter during Japanese bombing [2] June 5
The Japanese blockade the British concession in Tianjin, China [2] June 14
June 19 The German Army reported that thus far 168 officers had been infiltrated into Danzig [2]
June 26 The German Gestapo begins to put undesired Czechs in concentration camps [2]
The Japanese Army 2nd Air Brigade attacks the Soviet airfield at Tamsagbulag, Mongoli [2] June 27
July 7 First 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] July 9
July 25 The maiden flight of the Avro Manchester prototype took place [9]
Japanese troops attack Ruichang, Jiangxi, China [2] August 10
August 19 Joseph Stalin announces to the Politburo his intention to befriend Germany [2]


The Allied raid on Dieppe, France ended in major failure [2]

August 23 The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact signed
August 27 Japanese troops are defeated at the Battle of Khalkhin Gol [2]
September 1 Germany invades Poland
September 3 The UK and France declare war on Germany. The ‘Phoney War‘ begins.
September 9 The 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 Germans to withdraw from Warsaw in the battle of Bzura [1]

September 11 Polish 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]

September 12 The Anglo-French Supreme War Council agrees to postpone military operations [1]
September 13 The 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]

September 14 The 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] September 15
September 16 Polish troops destroy 22 tanks of Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler regiment [2]


In Poland, the Germans take Brest-Litovsk and surround Warsaw [1]


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]

September 17 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. [1,4]
September 18 German and Soviet troops link at Brest-Litovsk, Poland [1]


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] September 19
September 20 Germany 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]

September 21 German SS Gen. Reinhard Heydrich produces a plan to remove Polish Jews, intelligentsia, clergy, and nobility to ghettos [1]


The Romanian Prime Minister Armand Călinescu is assassinated by the Fascist Iron Guard for supporting Poland [1]


The Polish Southern Army surrenders at Tomaszov and Zamosz, Poland [2]

September 22 Britain begins rationing of petrol (20 gallons/month for automobiles) [1]


London officials report car accidents have tripled since the blackout started [1]

September 23 The Polish cavalry retakes Krasnobrod, one of the last battles in military history between opposing cavalry [1]
September 24 The German Einsatzgruppen murders 800 members of Polish intelligentsia at Bydgoszcz, Poland [2]
September 25 Soviet 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]


German Luftwaffe drops incendiary bombs on Warsaw, Poland [1]

September 27 In Warsaw, Poland surrenders to Germany [1]


The Polish government-in-exile is established in Paris [1]


The German Gestapo and Soviet NKVD meet to coordinate efforts in Poland [2]


The German Reich Security Main Office (Reichssicherheitshauptamt—RSHA) is established under Reinhard Heydrich, consolidating Gestapo state police, Kripo criminal police, and SD Nazi party polic [1]

September 28 Merkulov reports to Stalin that his NKVD group has arrested 923 in Poland thus far [2]
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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]

September 29 Poland 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]

September 30 French 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] October 1
Chinese aircraft bomb the Japanese airfield at Wuhan, Hubei Province, China [2] October 3 The Germans order ruthless exploitation of occupied Poland [1]
Chinese troops capture Miluo and Xinshi near Changsha, Hunan Province, China [2] October 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]

October 5 The USSR forces Latvia to allow Soviet troop bases [1]
October 6 Last of the Polish military surrenders to Germany
October 7 Daladier 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] October 8 The Nazis establish their first Jewish ghetto—in Piotrkow, Poland [1]
October 9 The 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] October 10 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] October 12 British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain rejects Hitler’s “peace offer.” [1]
October 13 In skirmishes along the Maginot Line, the French destroy three bridges over the Rhine [1]
October 14 In 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]
October 18 President Roosevelt declares US waters off-limits to submarines of warring nations [1]
October 22 Soviets 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]

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. October 23
October 26 Germany 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]
October 30 Switzerland begins rationing sugar, pasta, rice, wheat, butter, and oil [1]
November 1 Heinkel demonstrates the first jet aircraft He 178 to the German Air Ministry [2]
November 4 The 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]
November 5 The 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]
November 8 Finland refuses a Russian demand for territorial exchange [2]
November 9 Adolf Hitler survives assassination attempt at the anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch in Munich; bomb planted by communist Georg Elser [1]
November 12 Germany begins stricting point-based clothing rationing, with no clothing ration cards issued to Jews [1]
November 16 In Prague, Czechoslovakia, Germans counteract anti-Nazi student protests with arrests and gunfire, and they declare martial law [1]
November 17 After uprising in Prague, Germans close Czechoslovakian universities, execute 9 students, and send 1200 to concentration camps [1]
November 19 The German He 177 heavy bomber took its first flight [2]
November 23 All Jews above age of 10 in the General Govt were ordered to wear Star of David [2]


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]

November 24 The Gestapo executes 120 Czech students accused of participating in anti-Nazi conspiracy [2]
November 25 The 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]
November 26 The 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] November 27 Finland 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]

November 30 The 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] December 1 After 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]

December 2 Finnish troops destroyed the Suvilathi power station to prevent Soviet capture [2]
December 3 As Soviets advance in Finland, Finnish troops drop back to the Mannerheim Line [1,2]
December 5 Heavy 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]

December 7 The Soviet 9th Army attacks in central Karelia, Finland [2]


In Soviet-Finnish war, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Italy declare neutrality [1]

December 8 In 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] December 10 France bans sale of meat on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays [1]
December 11 Finnish ski troops attack Soviet supply line on Raate Road [1]


Finland protests the Soviet invasion at the League of Nations [2]

December 14 The League of Nations condemns Russia for the attack on Finland and expels her from the League [1,11]
December 15 The Red Army assaults Taipale, Finland [2]
December 16 Finnish ski troops fight Soviets with first use of homemade “Molotov Cocktails.” [1]
December 19 Finnish troops destroyed 20 Soviet tanks at Summa, Finland [2]
December 22 First 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]

December 27 Finns 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]

December 28 First 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]
December 30 Soviet 163rd Division was wiped out by Finns at Suomussalmi, Finland [2]
December 31 Finnish 9th Division secures the village of Suomussalmi [2]
1940
January 1 Britain expands conscription to men aged 20-27, adding two million potential draftees [1]
January 2 Finns attack Soviet troops along the Raate Road in Finland [2]
January 3 The Finnish 9th Div continued attacks the Soviets along Raate Road [2]
January 6 The 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]

January 7 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]

January 8 Food rationing is introduced. 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] January 9
January 10 Unofficial peace talks begin between the Soviet Union and Finland [2]
January 11 The 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]

January 13 The Russian YA-26 prototype fighter, future Yak-1, took its first flight
January 14 The 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]

January 15 Belgium 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]

January 17 Polish cryptologist Marian Rejewski brakes the Enigma code in the presence of Alan Turing during their meeting in Paris [1,23]
January 18 The Finnish 9th Division is ordered to attack the Soviet 54th Division [2]
Chinese troops capture Licheng, Shanxi Province, China [2] January 20 Britain 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] January 21 The 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]

January 22 British Ministry of Information begins censoring newsreels [1]
January 23 Britain 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] January 24 The Finnish Army Force Talvela and the Soviet 8th Army exchange attacks at Kolla, Finland [2]
January 25 The US Coast Guard establishes the Atlantic Weather Observation Service in cooperation with US Weather Service; cutters patrol and transmit weather observations [1]
January 27 The 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] January 28
January 29 Soviets began negotiating with Finland [2]


The German Luftwaffe attacks British shipping in the English Channel, sinking four ships. [1]

January 30 The first British aircraft victory against a German submarine in WW2 is scored [2]
January 31 Soviet strength in the Summa sector of Finland grows to 12 divisions [2]
The Japanese 26th Division captures Wuyuan, Suiyuan Province, China [2] February 3
The Japanese 26th Division captures Linhe, Suiyuan Province, China [2] February 4 The Soviets execute Nikolai Yezhov, the head of the NKVD during the Great Purge in 1937-38; his execution remained secret until 1948. [1]
February 5 The 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]

February 6 The Finnish 9th Div completes its encirclement of the Soviet 54th Div at Kuhmo
February 8 Several Finnish pockets are wiped out by the Soviets near Lake Ladoga [2]
February 10 Over 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]

February 11 Finnish 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]

February 12 The 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]

February 13 Mannerheim 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]

February 14 Food rationing begins in Vatican City [2]
February 16 The HMS Cossack captures German freighter Altmark and frees POWs [2]
February 17 Norway protests British violation (Altmark incident) of Norwegian waters [1, 2]
Chinese forces drive the Japanese out of Nanning, China [1] February 18 Soviet troops begin to break the Finnish V-Line [2]
February 19 The Soviet 18th Div attacks across frozen Lake Suvanto, suffering many casualties [2]
February 20 Nikolaus von Falkenhorst is appointed to command the German invasion of Norway [2]
February 21
February 22 The 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]

February 23 Britain announces wool shortage due to enthusiastic knitters knitting for the troops [1]
February 24 British Hawker Typhoon prototype P5212 fighter made her first flight in England


Chamberlain condemns German aggression but is still open to talks [2]


British Summer Time begins (daylight savings time moved up for wartime) [1]

February 26 The US War Department activates Air Defense Command under Brig. Gen. James Chaney [1]
February 27 Finland requests assistance from Norway and Sweden for the war against Russia [2]
March 3 In the Soviet-Finnish war, the Soviets launch a final major offensive at Viipuri, Finland [1]
March 4 Soviet and Finnish troops clash near the Vuoksi River in Viipuri [2]


The Soviets launch an offensive towards Viipuri, Finland. [1]

March 5 The USSR declares Polish officers are enemies and sentences them to death; this will lead to the Katyn Massacre [1]
March 7 Soviet troops begin to break through the final defense line at Viipuri, Finland [2]
March 8 Off the Dominican Republic, the light cruiser HMS Dunedin & destroyer HMCS Assiniboine capture the German freighter Hannover, violating Pan-American Neutrality [1]
March 9 French military intelligence takes possession of a supply of heavy water at the Norsk Hydro plant in Telemark, Norway with permission of the Norwegians [1]
March 10
March 11 Off 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]


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]


5 Soviet tanks reach Tammisuo Station in northeast Viipuri, Finland [2]

March 12 Finnish President Kallio authorizes his delegates in Moscow full powers to negotiate [2]
March 13 The 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]

March 14 The 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]

March 15 The Finnish parliament ratifies the Moscow Peace Treaty 145 to 3 [2]
March 16 German Ju 88 dive bombers bomb the Royal Navy Home Fleet base at Scapa Flow [2]
March 19 The Royal Air Force bombs a seaplane base at Hörnum on Sylt Island, the first bombs to land on German soil during the war. [1]
March 20 Beria dispatches 11 NKVD squads to Ukraine and Byelorussia to deal with resistance [2]
March 21 Édouard Daladier resigns as Prime Minister of France after vote of no confidence from Parliament, replaced by Paul Reynaud. [1]


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] March 22 The Royal Navy increases patrols off Norway as tensions rise between Britain, Norway, and Germany. [1]
March 23 Germany requires car owners to donate batteries and requires church bells to be melted down [1]
March 24 Sunspots temporarily disrupt shortwave radios, telephones, and telegraphs in the Western Hemisphere [1]
March 25 The 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] March 26 First flight of Curtiss C-46 Commando cargo plane in St. Louis, MO. [1]
March 27 Sixteen hundred Jewish refugees arrive in Palestine, but are interned by the British for illegal entry [1]
March 28 Britain 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] March 30
March 31 Mussolini 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] April 1 The British Ministry of Food announced Dig for Victory campaign to encourage growing food at home [1]
April 3 Soviets begin massacre of 20,000 Polish officers in Katyn Forest [1]
April 5 Chamberlain announces that a German invasion of W. Europe would not be successful [2]
April 8 Polish 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]

April 9 German forces land at six key locations in Norway. The German government claims the invasion is made to forestall a British invasion [30]


Germans take Oslo, Kristiansand, Stavanger, Bergen, Trondheim, and Narvik [1]


Germany invades Denmark and Norway, with 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]

April 10 2 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]

April 12 British bomb air base at Kristiansand [11]
April 13 Second battle of Narvik [11]
April 14 King Haakon of Norway appeals to his people to resist [2]


In Norway, British and French troops land near Narvik and at Namsos to assist Norwegians against German invasion [1,11]

April 15 British 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]

Ocean liner RMS Queen Mary arrives in Australia to be refitted as a troopship [1] April 17 British 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]

April 18 German troops advance past Oslo but are held up at the village of Bagn [2]


British troops land at Åndalsnes, Norway [1]

April 19 Neubaufahrzeug 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]

April 20 Keith 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]

April 21 Danish air base at Aalborg bombed [11]


First US military casualty of WWII—Army Air Force observer Capt. Robert Losey is killed in German bombing at Dombås, Norway [1]


British and German troops engage in heavy fighting at Lillehammer, Norway [1]

April 22 Trade agreement between Germany and Rumania signed [11]


In Norway, British troops begin retreat at Namsos and Lillehammer [1]

April 23 The British 146th Brigade retreats to Namsos, Norway [2]
April 24 German 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]

April 25 British troops hold against a German attack at Kvam, Norway


Germans claim control of railway from Trondheim to Sweden [11]

Troops of the Chinese 3rd and 9th War Areas breach into southern Nanchang, China April 26 Satisfied with Norway progress, Hitler ordered the resumption of French invasion planning [2]


The Allies announce withdrawals north of Lillehammer [11]

April 29 Italian 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]

April 30 The first guarded Jewish ghetto was established at Lodz, Poland [2]
The prototype of the Douglas SBD Dauntless makes its maiden flight May 1 Norwegian 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 3 Norwegian troops south of Trondheim surrendered to the Germans [2]


Evacuation of Namsos and southern Norway revealed [11]

May 4 Germany begins rationing gasoline; many of the remaining civilian cars and trucks still in circulation are ordered off the roads [1]
May 5 After 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 6 First flight of the Dewoitine D-750, French low-winged monoplane twin-engine 3 seat torpedo bomber prototype
May 7 British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain faces criticism during the Norway Debate [2]


President Roosevelt orders the US Pacific Fleet to stay at Pearl Harbor indefinitely as a deterrent to Japan [1]

Japanese 3rd Division crosses the Bai River in Hubei, China [2] May 8 Chamberlain 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 9 The last day of the ‘Phoney War


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 10 Germany declares war on Belgium and the Netherlands as they roll through them and into France. The invasion of France and the Low Countries begins, thus officially ending the Phoney War. [11,30]


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]

1940 New York World’s Fair opens with theme “The World of Tomorrow.” [1] May 11 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 12 French 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 13 The 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]

May 14 First 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 Netherlands surrenders to Germany after the Luftwaffe bombs Rotterdam and Utrecht [1]

May 15 Dutch General Winkelman signs the Dutch surrender document [2]


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 16 Gamelin tells Churchill French reserves do not exist as the Germans surge onwards! [2,43]
May 17 French 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 18 German 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 19 Weygand 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 15
May 20 Guderian captures Amiens at 0900, Abbeville at 1900, and Noyelles-sur-Mer at 2000 [2]
May 21 20th 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]


Britain adopts national conscription of property and labour [11]

May 22 Belgians 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]


British codebreakers at Bletchley Park decode new German Luftwaffe Enigma code [1]


Britain passes Emergency Powers Act, giving government authority over persons & property [1]


German panzers strike north from Abbeville, France toward Dunkirk [1]

May 25 The 1st transport of Jews arrive at Mauthausen-Gusen Concentration Camp in Austria
May 26 The 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. At 6.57pm that same day, Vice-Admiral Ramsey receives his orders to commence Operation Dynamo, with the 129 ferries, coasters, Schuyts (scoots) and small craft at his disposal [30]


Operation Dynamo, the evacuation at Dunkirk begins: 300,000 British & French troops will be evacuated from French beaches by everything from destroyers to civilian fishing boats, through June 4 [1]

May 26 – June 4 Evacuation of Dunkirk – 11874 Allied personnel were evacd from Dunkerque harbor and 5930 from nearby beaches.2nd Battalion Royal Ulster Rifles held off enemy attacks in the rearguard of the BEF as the force retreated to Dunkirk

[2, 3]

May 27 The 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]


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 28 11874 Allied personnel were evacuated from Dunkerque harbor and 5930 from nearby beaches [2]


King Leopold surrenders the Belgian army [1,11]


Norwegian and French forces land at and take port of Narvik, Norway, the first Allied infantry victory of the war [1]

May 29 Allies 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 [1]

May 30 Benito 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]


Britain orders modern destroyers to leave Dunkirk due to heavy losses [1]


First French troops are evacuated from Dunkirk [1]

May 31 Italy 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]


Britain has road signs removed and railway signs obscured to confuse potential invaders [1]

June 1 Heinz Guderian is named the commander of Panzer Group Guderian [2]


British troops withdraw from Dunkirk perimeter, leaving defense to the French [1]


The USS Washington is launched at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, America’s first new battleship since 1921 [1]

June 2
June 3 The last group of British troops at Dunkirk are evacuated before the break of dawn [2]


Two hundred Luftwaffe bombers bomb Paris, France, killing 254 [1]


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]

June 4 British Prime Minister Winston Churchill gives famous speech: “We shall fight on the beaches…We shall never surrender.” [1,2]


Konstantin Rokossovsky is promoted to the rank of major general [2]


The Germans take Dunkirk and 40,000 French POWs, but 300,000 British & French troops have been successfully evacuated [1]

June 5 The 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]

June 6 Germans advance seventeen miles below Abbeville [11]
June 7 5,200 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]

June 8 German 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]

June 9 The Norwegian 6th Div surrenders to the Germans; a formal armistice is planned for midnight [2]


The USSR issues the order for the invasion of the Baltic States [2]

June 10 Italy declares war on the UK and France [1,11]


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, beginning an occupation that would last until the end of the war. King Haakon VII and his heir fled to Britain. [35]


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]

June 11 German 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]


Italian planes bomb Malta in the first of 3340 Axis air raids to the island over the next three years [1]


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]

The Japanese bomb Chongqing, China with 154 aircraft [1] June 12 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 unofficially in charge of the city [1]

June 13 Soviet 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]

June 14 The Nazis send first prisoners to Auschwitz – political prisoners from Poland [1]


Britain bans the ringing of church bells, which is reserved for invasion alerts [1]


German troops take Paris [1]

June 15 Soviet 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]

June 16 The Soviet invasion of Latvia and Estonia begins [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]

June 17 Off St. Nazaire, France, the Luftwaffe sinks liner HMT Lancastria carrying soldiers & refugees evacuating from France, the worst maritime loss in British history (about 3400/5800 killed) [1,53]


France askes Germany for armistice [11]


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]


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]

June 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]

June 19 Beaverbrook reports that British aircraft production is exceeding the rate of loss [2]
June 20 German troops capture Brest and Lyons [2]


France asks Italy for armistice [11]

June 21 The 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] June 22 France 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]
June 23 Maxime Weygand expells Charles de Gaulle from the French Army [2]


General de Gaulle forms French National Committee [11]

June 24 The Franco-Italian armistice was signed at Villa Olgiata near Rome [2,11]
June 25 The UK declares war on Vichy France
June 26 The 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]


French General Charles De Gaulle forms the French Volunteer Legion in London [1]


The USSR orders a 56-hr work week, imprisonment for quitting jobs, and fines for tardiness [1]


Britain reduces the meat ration due to shipping losses from German U-boats [1]

June 27 The 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]


Rumania cedes Bessarabia and northern Bukovina [11]


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 [1]


Roosevelt forms the National Defense Research Committee under Dr. Vannevar Bush to coordinate civilian and military scientific and medical research [1]

June 28 Britain announces evaluation of Channel Islands [11]


Luftwaffe bombs Jersey and Guernsey in the Channel Islands [1]


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]

June 29 The 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]
June 30
July Battle of Britain air war begins
July 1 Darlan ensures that French warships would be scuttled should German capture be imminent. [2]
July 2 US Congress passes Export Control Act, giving the president 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; 805/1673 killed, mostly Axis POWs, civilian internees, and Jewish refugees bound for Canada [1]

July 3 British seize French warships in British ports [11]


The Battle of Mers-el-Kébir takes place between the British and French Naval forces off the coast of French Algeria and in East Africa the Italians are attacked at Metema in Ethiopia. [43]

July 4 German naval and air forces sink five merchant ships of convoy OA178 [2]


Italians capture Kassala and Galabat [11]

July 5
July 6
July 7
July 8
July 9
The Japanese deploy the new A6M Zero fighters against Chinese forces [2] July 10
July 11
July 12
July 13
July 14 Vichy French bombers attack Gibraltar, causing no damage [2]
July 15
August 14 British, Commonwealth, and Italian troops clash near Berbera [2]
August 17 First flight of the Douglas A-20/DB-7 Havoc (Boston). French variant of the American light bomber and night fighter. [2]
August 18 The Luftwaffe launches a brutal offensive during the Battle of Britain, in what became known as the “Hardest Day” [10]
August 19 Italian troops capture Berbera, British Somaliland [2]


The North American B-25 Mitchell took its maiden flight. By the end of its production, nearly 10,000 B-25s in numerous models had been built.

August 25-26 First air raid on Berlin by RAF
September 7 Vichy French rations coffee
September 12 The Italian 10th Army advances slowly toward the Libyan-Egyptian border [2]
September 13 The Italian 1st Blackshirt Division captures Fort Capuzzo in Libya [2]
September 14 Adolf Hitler postpones Operation Sea Lion once again, this time to 17 Sep 1940 [2]
Japanese bombers attack Chongqing, China [2] September 15
September 16 The Italian 1st Blackshirt Division captures Sidi Barrani, Egypt [2]
September 21 The UK government sanctions the use of Tube stations as air raid shelters [2]
September 23 British and Free French forces clash with Vichy French forces at Dakar [2]
Japanese troops occupy Lang Son, Indochina [2] September 24-25 French bombers attack the British base at Gibraltar in retaliation for the British attack on the French Fleet at Mers-el-Kébir
France surrenders Indochina to Japan, but fighting continues [2] September 25
The Tripartite Pact signed September 27 This is an alliance between Germany, Italy, and Japan
September 27 The Tripartite Pact was signed [2]
October 2 Hitler orders the Polish gentry to be exterminated [2]
October 9 German troops begin to securing oil fields in Romaniad [2]


Winston Churchill becomes the head of the British Conservative Party [2]

October 12 British and Italian warships clash at the Battle of Cape Passero [2]
October 23 Adolf Hitler meets with Francisco Franco on the Franco-Spanish border at Hendaye [2]
October 25 16 Italian BR20M bombers attack Felixstowe and Harwich in Britain [2]
October 31 British forces land on the islands of Lemnos and Crete in southern Greece [2]
November 1 Battle of Britain air war ends


Greek troops trap a large Italian force at the mountain pass at Metsovo, Greece [2]

November 2 Italian troops reach the main Greek defensive line on the Kalamas River [2]
November 8 Free French and Vichy French troops clash near Libreville, French Equitorial Africa [2]
November 10 Occupying Nazi authorities in Belgium ban the observance of Armistice Day
November 11-12 The British 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.
November 12 Vichy French forces in Gabon surrender to the Free French [2]
November 14 Greek troops began to cross the Albanian border [2]
November 20 Hungarian Prime Minister Teleki signs the Tripartite Pact in Vienna [2]
The Japanese 11th Army launches an offensive in Hubei Province, China [2] November 24 Winston 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
First flight of the Martin B-26 Marauder (B-26-MA 40-1361) at Middle River, Maryland


First flight of the de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito, (E0234/W4050)


The Japanese 11th Army launches an offensive in Hubei Province, China

November 25 The B-26 was an American twin-engine medium bomber


The Mosquito was a British multi-role twin-engine combat aircraft, originally conceived as an unarmed fast bomber

November 27 British and Italian naval forces engage in the Battle of Spartivento [2]
In Hubei, China, Chinese troops halted Japanese 11th Army offensive [2] November 30
The F4F-3 Wildcat fighter enters service with the US Navy [2] December 4
December 5 Hitler proposes a timetable for the invasion of the USSR in May of the following year [2]
December 9 British 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. The British took over 138,000 Italian and Libyan prisoners, hundreds of tanks, guns and aircraft.


British and Indian trops captured Nibeiwa, Egypt

December 10 Libyan 1st Division withdraws from Maktila, Egypt [2]
December 11 The British 7th Armored Brigade attacks Buq Buq, Egypt [2]
December 12 The British 7th Armored Brigade moves to cut the road into Bardia, Libya [2]
December 16 The British 4th Armoured Brigade captures Sidi Omar, Egypt [2]
December 28 Mussolini requested German aid against the Greeks in Albania [2]
1941
January 3 Australian 6th Div attacks Italian positions at Bardia, Libya [2]
January 4 Allied troops reach Bardia, Libya
January 6 Free French troops attack Murzuk airfield in southwestern Libya [2]
January 7 Australian and British troops nearly surrounded at Tobruk, Libya [2]
The Royal Thai Air Force aircraft attack French positions at Cambodia [2] January 8 The Australian 6th Division begins reconnaissance patrols around Tobruk, Libya [2]
January 9 Australians and British troops encircle Tobruk, Libya [2]
January 10 Greek troops capture 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] January 12
January 11 Italian troops fail to retake Klisura Pass in Albania [2]
French Groupe Occasionnel squadron moves toward Thai-Cambodian border [2] January 15
French troops launch a successful counterattack against Thai troops in Cambodia [2] January 16 80 German Stuka dive bombers attack Valletta Harbor, Malta [2]
French warships attack Thai anchorage at Ko Chang island [2] January 17
January 18 Stuka dive bombers attacked Malta for the third consecutive day [2]
Japanese troops land at Sandakan, British North Borneo [2] January 19 Indian troops capture the rail junction Kassala, Sudan [2]
January 21 The Allies began attacking Tobruk, Libya [2]
Thai aircraft bomb an airfield in Cambodia; the final action of Franco-Thai War [2] January 24 All Italian outposts surrounding Tobruk, Libya are captured by the Allies [2]
January 25 British colonial troops march into Italian Somaliland [2]
January 26 Italian troops evacuate Mechili, Libya [2]
January 27 The troopship Ulster Prince becomes the first Allied ship to dock at newly-captured Tobruk [2]
B-10 medium bombers of the Thai 50th Bomber Sq attack Sisophon, French Cambodia [2] January 28 The British 7th Armoured Division outflanks the Italian artillery overlooking Derna, Libya [2]
An armistice is signed between Thailand and French Indo-China [11] January 31 Free French forces from Chad attack Kufra, Libya [2]
February 2 Australian troops advance west from Derna, Libya [2]
February 4 The Italians begin evacuating Benghazi, Libya [2]
February 5 British 7th Armoured Div set up roadblocks near Benghazi, cutting off the Italian retreat [2]
February 8 The newly formed German Afrika Korps begins departing Naples, Italy for North Africa [2]
February 9 Operation Compass ends


Allied troops capture El Agheila, Libya [2]

February 10 222 British aircraft attack Hannover, Germany [2]
February 11 The first German troops arrive at Tripoli, Libya [2]
February 13 There 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 Africa


Vichy France temporarily bans the sales of clothes due to severe shortages- northern France, occupied by Germany, is no longer exporting any textiles

February 13 The HMS Formidable launches aircraft against Italian ships at Massawa, Italian East Africa [2]
February 14 Hitler pressures Yugoslavia to join the Tripartite Pact [2]
February 15 General Platt suspended attacks near Keren to organize a larger effort [2]
February 17 An Italian Auto-Saharan Company detachment counterattacks the French and British near Kufra [2]
February 18 Free French forces besiege El Tag fort at Kufra, Libya [2]


The South African 1st Division captures Mega, Abyssinia [2]

February 19 German bombers begin a 3-day campaign against Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom [2]
February 21 Albacore aircraft from the HMS Formidable raid Massawa, Eritrea, causing little damage [2]
February 22 The British 11th and 12th African Divisions wipe out Italian positions at Jilib, Somaliland [2]
February 23 Greek and British leadership debate on a defensive strategy [2]
February 24 The 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.

February 25 The British 11th African Division captures Mogadishu, Italian Somaliland [2[
February 26 Francisco Franco refuses request from Hitler for Spain to enter the war
February 27/td> Yosuke Matsuoka arrives in Berlin, Germany [2]
February 28 German troops enter into Bulgaria
March 1 Free French forces from Chad capture Kufra in southeastern Libya
March 3 German 5th Light Division establishes positions to block Allied advance toward Tripoli [2]
March 4 Hitler offers Yugoslavia Salonika and part of Macedonia [2]
March 5 British reinforcements from North Africa arrive in Greece [2]
March 10 The British Nigerian Brigade engages Italian units at Degehabur, Abyssinia [2]
Japan dictates that France return parts of Cambodia and Laos to Thailand [2] March 11
March 12 Winston Churchill thanks the US for the Lend-Lease Act [2]
March 15 The Indian 4th and 5th Divisions attack Italian positions near Keren, Eritrea [2]
March 16 British and Indian troops capture Fort Dologorodoc, Eritrea [2]
March 20 Erwin Rommel receives Oak Leaves to his Knights Cross [2]
March 21 The Nigerian Brigade of British 11th African Division captures Marda Pass, Abyssinia [2]
March 22 Italian troops declare Harar, Abyssinia an open city [2]
March 23 Australian troops capture Giarabub in southeastern Libya [2]
March 25 Yugoslavia signs the Tripartite Pact and secretly allows German troops passage [2]
March 26 The British Nigerian Brigade captures Harar, Abyssinia unopposed [2]
March 29 German tanks and armored cars advance at El Agheila, Libya [2]
March 30 First 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]

March 31 Axis tanks forced the Allies to fall back to Agedabia, Libya [2]
April 1 Indian 5th Division enters undefended Asmara, Italian Eritrea [2]
April 5 Axis forces advanced toward Msus and Mechili in Libya [2]
April 6 RAF Beaufort aircraft torpedo German battlecruiser Gneisenau at Brest, France [2]
April 7 Axis forces in Libya reach Derna and Mekili [11
April 8 German 2nd Panzer Division crosses from Yugoslavia into Greece near Dojran Lake [2]


Germans take Skoplje and Salonika [11]

April 9 237 German bombers attack Birmingham, England, United Kingdom [2]
April 10 Roosevelt approves transfer of 10 Lake-class Coast Guard Cutters to Royal Navy [2]
April 11 Italy and Hungary join the German invasion of Yugoslavia [2]


The Germans capture Bardia [11]

April 13 The Soviet Union and Japan signed a 5-year neutrality pact [2,11]
April 14 Australians report the first sighting of German 88-mm guns in the Western Desert [2]
April 15 The 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 [11]

April 17 1,179 Londoners die in the overnight German bombing [2]


Armistice concluded between Germans and Second Yugoslav Army [11]

April 18 German 6th Mountain Division reaches Mount Olympus [2]
April 19 British and Indian troops attacked Amba Alagi, Abyssinia [2]


Germans announce capture of Larissa and Mount Olympus [11]

April 21 Georgios 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]

April 22 1st South African Brigade captures 1200 Italian POWs in Abyssinia [2]
April 23 German bombers attack Plymouth, England [2]


Armistice signed between Greek and German-Italian forces [11]

April 24 German paratroopers capture the Corinth Canal in Greece [2]


Broadcasts by Secretaries Hull and Knox advocate full American aid to Britain [11]

April 25 The German 8th Panzer Regiment departs Italy in three convoys for North Africa [2]


Germans announce their capture of Thermopylae [11]

April 26 The South African 1st Brigade captures Dessie, Abyssinia


German parachute troops seize Corinth [11]

April 27 Germans occupy Athens. [11]
April 29 Indian 20th Infantry Brigade arrived at Basra [2]


Soviet Union forbids transit of war material through territory [11]

April 30 6,000 Iraqi troops and 30 guns advance to heights overlooking RAF Habbaniya [2]


President Roosevelt orders creation of shipping pool of 2 million tons [11]

May 1 Iraqi forces demanded RAF Habbaniya to cease operations, threatening with force [2]
May 2 British and Iraqi troops clashed at RAF Habbaniya and near Baghdad [2,17]
May 3 Allied and Italian troops engaged in heavy fighting at Amba Alagi, Abyssinia [2]
May 4 Allied aircraft conducted a raid on Baghdad, Iraq [2]


Politburo appoints Joseph Stalin the Chairman of Council of Peoples Commissars [2]

May 5 3/2nd Punjab Battalion advances towards the Italian stronghold at Amba Alagi, Abyssinia [2]
First flight of the Republic P-47B Thunderbolt prototype May 6 The P47 or “Jug” was used in both theaters


Vichy France and Germany sign the Paris Protocol, opening Syria to German troops

May 6 Vichy France and Germany sign the Paris Protocol, opening Syria to German troops [2]
May 7 Douglas Bader shoots down a German Bf 109 aircraft and claimed another probable [2]


British relieve besieged airport of Habbania in Iraq [11]

May 8 Indian troops capture Falagi Pass near Amba Alagi, Abyssinia [2]
Tokyo peace treaty officially ends the Franco-Thai War May 9 Soviet Union withdraws recognition from German-occupied states [11]
May 10 Rudolf Hess lands in Scotland by parachute [11]
May 11 The first 3 German Luftwaffe aircraft landed at Mosul, Iraq [2]
May 12 The Soviet Union extends recognition to the rebel government in Iraq [11]
May 13 The British gunboat HMS Gnat shells the German airfield at Gazala [2]
May 14 The Vichy cabinet approves Hitler’s terms on collaboration [11]
May 15 Eden charges that German planes are using Syrian airfields. [11]


South African and Indian troops link up at Triangle Hill near Amba Alagi, Abyssinia [2]

May 16 Vsevolod Merkulov completes deportation planning of intelligentsia of Baltic States [2]
May 17 Viceroy of Italian East Africa Duke of Aosta surrenders Amba Alagi, Abyssinia [2]


Croatian kingdom set up under Italian prince [11]

May 18
May 19 German aircraft attack British airfields on Crete, Greece [2]
May 20 The Germans initiate their airborne assault on Crete, code named Operation Merkur
May 21  Stalin is informed of a possible German attack [2]


The American steamer Robin Moor is sunk by a German U-boat in the south Atlantic [11]

May 22 British fighter planes are withdrawn from Crete [11]
May 23
May 24
May 25
May 26 Battleship Bismarck is heavily damaged by British torpedo bombers [2]
May 27 Battleship Bismarck sinks with most of her crew [2,11]
May 28
May 29 The German Navy begins to execute its plans for the invasion of the Soviet Union [2]
May 30 British and Indian forces reach the outskirts of Baghdad, Iraq [2]
May 31 The mayor of Baghdad surrenders to British Ambassador Sir Kinahan Cornwallis [2]


Armistice ends Iraq hostilities [11]

June 1
June 2 Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini meet again at the Brenner Pass on the Italian-Austrian border [2]
June 3 German bombers attack Hull and Tweedmouth in England [2]
June 4 British Home Security Situation Report notes 178 killed by bombing in past week [2]
June 5 Germany announces that 15k POWs were captured at Crete [2]


Secretary Hull condemns French collaboration with Nazis [11]

June 6 Hitler implements the Kommissarbefehl, or Commissar Order [2]


Ship requisition law adopted by United States [11]

June 7 Polish civilians report German troop movements toward the east [2]
June 8 Commonwealth and Free French forces invade Vichy Syria-Lebanon [2]


British and Free French forces invade Syria [11]

June 9 Australian and British troops clash with the French in Syria-Lebanon [2]
June 10 Allied troops advanced toward Beirut [2]


The British take the Red Sea port of Assab [11]

June 12 Indian and Free French forces capture Deraa, Syria-Lebanon [2]
June 14 Croatia became the newest member of the Tripartite Pact [2]


President Roosevelt freezes Axis funds in the U.S [11]

June 15 Operation Battleaxe was launched in Libya [2]


British advance in Syria reaches Saida [11]

June 16 German troops launched limited counterattacks at British positions in Libya [2]


U.S. orders closing of German consulates [11]

June 17 Finland begins to secretly mobilize its military for Operation Silver Fox [2]
June 18 The German 7th Panzer Div reaches Cherbourg [2]


Treaty of friendship between German and Turkey signed [11]

June 19 USSR 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.  

June 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]

June 21
June 22 In Operation Barbarossa Germany attacks Russian forces in Poland beginning the invasion of Russia and opening the Eastern Front. [2]


Germany and Italy declare war on Russia.

June 23 Germans encounter Soviet KV tanks for the first time in Lithuania [2]


Germans announce the capture of Brest Litovsk [11]

June 24 The German Armeegruppe Nord moves into Lithuania. The Germans claim Vilna and Kannas [2,11]
June 25 Lithuanian militiamen in Kovno massacre 1,500 Jews [2]


Finland announces defensive measures against Russia [11]

June 26 The Germans drive a wide salient toward Minsk [11]
June 27 German troops capture Bobruisk in Byelorussia and Przemysl in Poland [2]


Russians announce further withdrawals in northern Poland.  Hungary declares war on the Soviet Union. [11]

June 28 German troops capture Minsk, Byelorussia [2]
June 29 Romanian troops conduct a pogrom against Jews in the town of Jassy, killing 10,000 [2]
June 30 German troops capture Lvov, Ukraine [2]
July 1 German 2.Panzergruppe reaches Berezina, Byelorussia [2] 
July 2 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]

July 3 Bialystok pocket in Poland is eliminated by German troops [2]


Germans cross Dvina at Jacobstadt. British in Syria take Palmyra. [11]

July 4 German troops capture Ostrov in northern Russia [2]


German advance at Lepel. Surrender of Italian troops in Galla and Sidamo districts of East Africa [11]

July 5
July 6
July 7
July 8
July 9
July 10
July 11
July 12
July 13
July 14 The Armistice of Saint Jean d Acre is signed between France and Britain [2]


Katyusha rocket launchers are used in combat for the first time in Russia [2]

July 17 The German Armeegruppe Sud encircles 20 Soviet Army divisions near Uman, Ukraine [2]
July 26 3,800 Lithuanian Jews are killed during a pogrom in Kovno [2]
Grumman TBF Avenger torpedo bomber takes flight for the first time [2] August 1
August 8 The 6th and 12th Soviet Armies in the Uman Pocket in Ukraine are wiped out by German troops [2]
August 17 German troops captured Narva, Estonia [2]
August 18 Germans establish a bridgehead across the Dnieper River at Zaporizhia, Ukraine [2]
August 20 The German Eleventh Army captures Kherson, Ukraine [2]
The Japanese 41st Infantry Regiment lands at Buna, Papua [2] August 21 Hitler orders Leningrad to be besieged, not captured. [2]
September 14 German Armeegruppe Mitte encircles two full Soviet Armies near Kiev, Ukraine [2]
September 16 Romanian 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]

September 17 German forces kill 1,271 Jews in Vilnius, Lithuania [2]
September 19 German forces capture Kiev, Ukraine [2,11]
September 25 Hitler orders Leningrad to be starved into submission [2]
September 26 Soviet troops in Kiev, Ukraine began to run out of supplies [2]
September 27 23,000 Jews are massacred at Kamenets-Podolsk, Ukraine [2]


Germans claim end of encirclement battle eat of Kiev with 665,000 prisoners. Italy announces rationing of bread. [11]

September 28 The Nazis declare a state of emergency in Bohemia and Moravia, arresting premier [11]
October 3 German Armeeguppe Mitte captures Orel 220 miles SW of the Soviet capital in Moscow [2]
October 5 Leading German formations reported that they are only about 100 km from Moscow [2]
October 6 Eight Soviet Armies encircle Bryansk and Vyazma, Russia [2]
October 12 German 250th Inf Div (Spanish volunteers) is deployed on the River Volkhov at Leningrad [2]
October 14 All surviving Soviet troops in the Bryansk pocket in Russia are captured [2]
October 18 The German SS Reich and 10th Panzer Divisions capture Mozhaysk, Russia [2]
October 19 German troops defeat the Soviet forces within the Vyazma pocket in Russia [2]
October 24 The German 4th Panzer Division reaches the Chern near Moscow [2]
November 4 German 170th Division captures Feodosiya, Ukraine [2]
U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull learns of Japanese decision to go to war [2] November 5
November 13 Russian troops attack the Germans at Tikhvin, Russia [2]
November 17 German troops near Moscow encounter Central Asian troops for the first time [2]
November 23 Axis troops outflank British forces south of Sidi Rezegh, Libya [2]
November 25 Indian 7th Brgd. repulses an attack by German 5th Panzer Regiment at Sidi Omar, Libya [2[
US Consulate Warns Americans to Get Out of Japan November 26 Soviet 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. November 27 Siege of Tobruk ends


The German SS Reich Division captures Istra west of Moscow, Russia [2]

December 2 Motorcycle scouts of 2nd Panzer Div claimed to have reached Khimki, 10 miles NW of Kremlin [2]
December 3 The German 4th Army is halted at Naro-Fominsk west of Moscow, Russia [2]
Japanese submarines receive Pearl Harbor attack plans [2] December 4
Japan attacks Perl Harbor.


Japan declares war on both the US and the UK

December 7
The US and the UK declare war on Japan December 8 German 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] December 9
HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse, which had been sent to protect Singapore, were destroyed by overwhelming Japanese air power [2] December 10 The siege of Tobruk, Libya is lifted [2]
The US Office of Price Administration . . .


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]


Japanese troops land at Legaspi, Luzon, Philippine Islands [2]

December 11 . . . 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] December 12
All British troops withdraw from Kowloon onto Hong Kong island December 13 Soviet troops attack near Moscow, forcing the Germans to fall back [2]
Stocks of rubber are destroyed in Malaya to prevent Japanese capture [2] December 15
Japanese troops land on British Borneo [2] December 16
Japanese troops capture Penang, Malaya [2] December 19 Italian frogmen sink the Queen Elizabeth and Valiant with limpet mines [2]
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] December 20 Soviet troops attack west from Tula, Russia [2]
The Japanese 55th Div, in Bangkok, prepare to cross into Burma [2] December 22 First flight of the Fairey Firefly, British carrier-borne fighter and anti-submarine aeroplane [8]
American troops begin withdrawing toward Bataan Peninsula in Philippines [2]


The Japanese Maizuru Second Special Naval Landing Force lands on Wake Atoll [2]

December 23
Japanese slaughtered soldiers, docs, nurses at St Stephen hospital in Hong Kong [2] December 24
Hong Kong surrenders to Japan December 25
Chinese troops ambushed Japanese attackers at Changsha, China [2] December 27
The Japanese 16th Division captures Luisiana, Philippines [2] December 28
December 29 The Soviet 44th Army lands at Feodosiya to reinforce Sevastopol [2]
The Japanese Lingayen Force captures Tarlac, Philippines [2] December 30 German troops retreat from Kerch, Russia [2]/td>
1942
The US War Production Board . . .


Japanese troops continue the assault on Kampar, British Malaya [2]

January 1 . . . 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]

January 2
US-Filipino troops fall back to the Guagua-Porac defensive line in the Philippines [2] January 3
Japanese aircraft bomb Dutch positions on Ambon, Dutch East Indies for the first time [2] January 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]

January 7
Japanese troops penetrate the outer lines of defense at Kuala Lumpur, Malaya [2] January 8
The main offensive against the Bataan Peninsula in the Philippines begains [2]


Japanese troops begin to fall back from Changsha, China [2]

January 9 The Soviet 3rd and 4th Shock Armies attack German defenses south of Demyansk, Russia [2]
January 10 The Soviet 29th Army attacks north of Rhzev, Russia [2]
Japanese troops execute Dutch POWs at Tarakan for their sabotage of oil wells January 12 The South African 1st Division captures Sollum, Egypt
Japanese forces advance into Burma [2]


Japanese troops cross the Kelamah River into Australian ambush [2]

January 14
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]

January 15
British and Japanese troops engage in the first major clash in Burma [2] January 16
The Indian 45th Brigade withdraws from Bukit Bakri, British Malaya [2] January 17 5,000 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] January 18 The German 11.Armee captures Feodosiya in the Crimea region of Russia [2]
The Indian and Australian retreat from Bakri, Malaya is cut off by the Japanese [2] January 20
Japanese troops penetrate the west side of the Abucay-Mauban defensive line [2] January 21
Japanese troops land on New Ireland and capture Kavieng [2] January 22
The Japanese Sasebo Combined Special Naval Landing Force sets sail for Kendari, Celebes [2] January 23 The 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]

January 24
Japanese troops capture Batu Pahat, British Malaya [2]


US-Filipino troops continue to withdraw from the Abucay-Mauban line on Bataan [2]

January 25
January 26 The first American soldiers deployed to Europe land in Belfast, Co. Antrim Northern Ireland
Japanese troops capture the Singkawang II airfield on Dutch Borneo [2] January 27 Rommel directs his main force toward Benghazi, Libya [2]
US and Filipino troops wipe out the Japanese beachhead at Longoskawayan Point [2] January 28 Indian 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]

January 29
British troops in the southern tip of Malaya complete the withdrawal into Singapore [2]


400 Japanese troops land at Adang Bay, Borneo [2]

January 30 Hunger 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]
Japanese 55th Infantry Division captures Moulmein, Burma [2]


Allied military engineers blow up the causeway connecting Singapore to mainland Malaya – Japanese forces are now just 15 miles away from the city [20. 28]

January 31 Civilian auto production halted. Manufacturing capacity began to to be repurposed for defense production. [5]
PT boats and P-40 aircraft repulse Japanese attempt to land on Bataan February 1
Japanese aircraft drive Allied warships away from Singapore [2] February 2 The 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]

February 3 German forces counterattack toward Vyazma, encircling several Soviet divisions [2]
British authorities in Singapore turn down a Japanese demand for surrender [2] February 4
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]

February 5
Japanese aircraft attack Palembang, Sumatra, Dutch East Indies February 7
Japanese Sasebo Combined Special Naval Landing Force lands at Makassar, Celebes [2] February 8 Soviet troops encircle 90,000 Germans at Demyansk, Russia [2]
The battle of Singapore begins


Japanese troops capture Tengah airfield at Singapore [2]

February 9 Soviet troops encircle 90,000 Germans at Demyansk, Russia
The RAF withdraws the small number of aircraft from Singapore to prevent Japanese capture [2] February 10 Soap 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] February 11
Japanese attack the Australian mainland, Darwin, for the first time February 12 British aircraft unexpectedly find a German fleet sailing through English Channel [2]
Japanese troops capture Bandjarmasin, the capital of Dutch Borneo [2] February 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


Adnan bin Saidi is tied to a tree and bayoneted to death by the Japanese [2]

February 14 First 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
Singapore surrenders to Japan


Japanese troops penetrate Indian defensive lines north of Rangoon [2]

February 15
The Sook Ching Massacre begins; thousands of ethnic Chinese Singaporeans will die [2] February 16
Japanese troops cross the Bilin River north of Rangoon, Burma [2]


Nobuo Fujita flies a reconnaissance mission over Sydney harbor [2]

February 17
Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 [2]


Japanese aircraft raid Darwin, Australia

February 19 This allows Japanese-Americans to be gathered up and sent to internment camps
Japanese troops overrun Portuguese defenders at Dili [2] February 20
German spy Bernard Kuehn is arrested in Hawaii [2] February 21
Roosevelt personally orders General MacArthur to leave the Philippines [2] February 22 The 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] February 23
February 25 The Soviets began trials for a new submachine gun to succeed PPSh-41 [2]
US FBI agents begin to relocate Japanese-American civilians in Los Angeles February 26
US authorities round up 112,000 Japanese-Americans for internment March 1
Japanese troops force the Indian 17th Infantry Division out of Payagyi, Burma [2] March 3
Second attack on Perl Harbor by the Japanese

Japanese troops enveloped Chinese troops at Toungoo, Burma [2]

Dutch troops evacuated from Batavia and Leuwiliang, Java [2]

March 4
Anglo-Indian and Japanese troops clash at various roadblocks near Rangoon, Burma [2] March 6
Japanese troops reach Tjilatjap, Java, Dutch East Indies [2] March 7
March 8
Japanese troops enter undefended Rangoon, Burma [2] March 9 An 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] March 10
Japanese troops land on Mindanao, Philippines [2] March 11
March 12
March 13
March 14
MacArthur departs Philippines by B-17 bomber for Australia [2] March 15
Announcement that American troops have arrived in Australia [11] March 16 Belzec Concentration Camp is established in occupied Poland [2]
March 17
March 18
March 19
First flight of the Mitsubishi J2M Raiden ‘Jack’, single-engine land-based fighter aircraft used by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service in WWII March 20 Mitsubishi J2M Raiden aircraft takes its first flight [2]


MacArthur makes the I Shall Return speech at Terowie, Australia [2]

MacArthur discovers there is no army waiting for him to take back the Philippines [2] March 21
American and British airmen abandon the airfield in Magwe in Burma [2] March 22 Mass 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]

March 23
March 24
Japanese troops assault Taungoo, Burma [2] March 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]

March 26
Japanese aircraft and artillery bombard Chinese positions at Taungoo, Burma [2] March 27
Chinese troops fall back from Taungoo, failing to destroy the bridge over the Sittang [2] March 29
Japanese bombers attack US field hospital No. 1 at Bataan despite being marked with large red crosses March 30
Japanese troops occupy Bougainville [2] March 31
Japanese troops land at Buka and Santa Isabel in the Solomon Islands [2] April 1
Japanese troops penetrate Filipino 41st Inf Div lines at Bataan [2] April 3
Japanese troops capture Mandalay, Burma April 6
Japanese occupy Manus Island in Admiralty group [11] April 8
The Bataan Peninsula falls to the Japanese army. 75,000 American and Filipino soldiers become POWs and will soon be forced to endure a gruelling 70-mile march into captivity. [4]


Japanese fliers raid Trincomalee, sink cruisers Dorsetshire and Cornwall [11]


Akagi aircraft strike Trincomalee, Ceylon, sinking HMS Hermes and her escorts [2]

April 9
Bataan Death March begins in the Philippines [2] April 10
350 Filipino POWs are killed by Japanese north of Mount Samat during Bataan Death March [2] April 11 A Soviet landing attempt near Eupatoria was halted by the Germans [2]
The Japanese artillery bombardment of Corregidor island begins [2] April 12
The Japanese 56th Infantry Division captures Mauchi, Burma [2] April 13
April 14 Hitler orders the Luftwaffe to begin bombing British cultural sites [2]
April 15
The Chinese 38th Div captures Twingon, Burma then fought off Japanese counterattack [2]


British escape from trap at Yenangyaung [11]

April 19
Doolittle leads US air raid on Japan. B-25 bombers attacked Tokyo, Yokohama, Yokasuka, Kobe, Osaka, and Nagoya by surprise [2,11] April 18
Japanese troops capture Taunggyi, Burma [2] April 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]

April 21 Nazi occupiers of France shoot 20 civilians, claiming they aided British commandos in blowing up St. Nazaire port last month [16]
April 22 British commandos raid in Boulogne area [11]
April 23 British bombers attack the Heinkel factory near Rostock, Germany with poor results [2]
The Japanese 18th Infantry Division captures Yamethin, Burma [2] April 24
Japanese troops massacre entire Chinese villages suspected of aiding Doolittle Raiders [2]


American troops occupy New Caledonia [11]

April 25
Indian 17th Division moves to Meiktila, Burma to assist with Chinese defense [2] April 26 Reichstag reaffirms Hitler’s arbitrary powers [11]
USN cryptanalytic team detects request by Kondo for Aleutian navigation charts [2] April 27 British air raid on Trondheim [11]
Japanese reach Lashio, terminus of Burma Road [11]


Japanese Naval General Staff reviews underwater aircraft carrier proposal [2]

April 28
Japanese 18th Infantry Division captures Kyaukse, Burma [2] April 29 Meeting of Hitler and Mussolini in two-day conference at Salzburg [11]
April 30
A national “Victory Speed” limit is set . . .


The Japanese 18th Infantry Division captures Mandalay, Burma [2]

May 1 . . . 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 armour, and more importantly, higher reliability [22]

Japanese artillery detonates 1,600 powder bags of battery Geary on Corregidor [2] May 2 Cruiser Edinburgh lost in battle over Murmansk convoy [11]
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
The Battle of the Coral Sea May 4 – 8
May 5 The German 16th Army brakes through to Kholm, Russia [2]


British land on Madagascar, attack base on Diego Suarez [11]

May 7 Germans 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]
Carrier Shokaku was damaged by 3 bombs at Coral Sea [2] May 8 Germans open drive on Kerch. [11]
Zuikaku was ordered to pursue any US ships remaining in Coral Sea area [2] May 9
The Thai Phayap Army invaded Shan State, Burma [2] May 10 Churchill 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 12 Soviet troops began to withdraw from the Kerch peninsula [2]
May 13 An 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 14 Ernest King belatedly allowed armed escorts for coastal shipping [2]
The US begins gasoline rationing


Aichi receives a request to design the 1st propose-built sub-borne attack aircraft [2]

May 15 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]

May 16 Germans claim capture of Kerch [11]
May 17 German 1st Panzer Army attacks Soviet troops at Izium, Ukraine [2]


Cruiser Prinz Eugen attacked off Norway by British planes [11]

May 18 130 Soviet tanks are destroyed by a German attack in Ukraine [2]
May 19 3,623 men perish during the catastrophic Allied sea bound attack on the German-occupied port of Dieppe [18]
May 20
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 21 German 6th Army and 1st Panzer Army nearly surrounded Izium, Ukraine [2]
May 22 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 Burma May 23
May 24
May 25
US Navy Rear Admiral Spruance took over the responsibilities of Vice Admiral Halsey [2] May 26 Britain and Russia sign a 20-year military alliance [11]
Thai forces capture Kengtung, Burma [2] May 27 SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich was shot in Prague by British SOE agents and died June 4. 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.
Japanese capture Kinhwa [11] May 28 Allies began counterattacks in Libya, forming the Cauldron [2]
The Main Body of the Japanese Midway invasion fleet set sail [2] May 29 Bing Crosby records “White Christmas.” The song came to mean so much to millions of Americans during WWII dreaming of being home for the holidays. [37]
May 30-31 First ‘1000 bomber raid‘ by the RAF against Cologne  [11]
Japanese submarines are sunk in Sydney harbor [11]


Joseph Rochefort determines that the Japanese would attack Midway on 3 Jun 1942 [2]

May 31
June 1 Axis tanks brake through positions held by British 150th Brigade at Sidi Muftah [2]
June 2 Germans and Italians mount a new attack on the French-held fort of Bir Hakeim, Libya. [2]
Japanese submarine cordon established; too late to detect US carriers sailing for Midway [2] June 3
U.S. warships ambush a Japanese task force off Midway. Japan loses four carriers and nearly 250 warplanes in the ensuing battle [2,4]


The Grumman TBF Avenger takes part in the Battle of Midway which begins today [9]

June 4
Yamamoto calls off Midway operation, ending the battle [2] June 5 America issues its last formal declaration of war when Washington announces a state of hostilities against the Axis powers of Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania. [4]


German bombardment opens attack on Sevastopol [11]

June 6 In Libya, Kittybombers repeatedly attack Axis armor formations [2]
Japanese troops occupy Kiska, Aleutian Islands, US Territory of Alaska [2] June 7 The German 11th Army begins a 2-pronged assault on the city of Sevastopol [2]
June 8
June 9 Britain and the United States create the Combined Production and Resources Board. [11]
June 10 The Nazis burn the Czech village of Lidice as a reprisal for the killing of SS official Reinhard Heydrich [4,11]
June 11 Axis 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 June 12 He is later elected the 41st President of the United States and serves from 1989 to 1993
June 13 German forces surround the British troops in the Knightsbridge box near Tobruk [2]


German troops capture Fort Stalin at Sevastopol [2]

June 14 Auchinleck authorizes the abandonment of the Gazala Line in Libya [2]
June 15
June 16 Axis troops attack El Adem and Sidi Rezegh near Tobruk, Libya [2]


Axis forces reach Libyan coast east of El Gazala [11]

June 17 Soviet defense lines north of Sevastopol begin to collapse [2]
June 18 The British army in Libya retires to Tobruk and to Egyptian frontier [11]
June 19 The Germans claim breach in northern defenses of Sevastopol. [11]
Japanese submarine shells Vancouver Island [11] June 20 Axis 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] June 21-22 British, South African, and Indian troops surrender at Tobruk [2]
June 22 Erwin Rommel is promoted to the rank of Generalfeldmarshall [2]


Germans claim full control north of Sevastopol Bay [11]

June 23
June 24 Germans wipe out Czech village of Levzaky [11]
June 25 The third Thousand Bomber Raid strikes Bremen, Germany, killing 85, wounding 497 [2]


Russians announce the abandonment of Kupyansk [11]

June 26 German troops reach the northern shore of Severnaya Bay near Sevastopol [2]
June 27
June 28 German bombers attack Weston-super-Mare, England, killing 102 [2]
June 29 The 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]

June 30 Axis troops reach El Alamein, Egypt [2]
July 6 The German 4th Panzer Army reaches the outskirts of Voronezh, Russia [2]
July 9 The German 6th Army reaches Rossosh, Russia [2]
First flight of the Douglas XA-26 Invader prototype American twin-engine light attack bomber [8] July 10
July 18 First flight of the German ME-262 jet-powered aircraft [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. July 21-27
July 26 Japanese troops attack Oivi, Australian Papua at 1500 hours [2]
The United States Navy receives its first deliveries of the Vought F4U-1 Corsair [9] July 31
The US Marines land on Guadalcanal [2] August 7
Battle of Guadalcanal begins August 8
August 10 German troops reach the Krasnodar-Pyatigorsk-Maikop line in southern Russia [2]
2 Japanese transports arrive at Buna, Papua and disembarked reinforcements [2] August 18
A Japanese floatplane drops incendiary bombs on an Oregon forest, the first and only air attack on the U.S. mainland during the war September 9
September 12 6,200 Japanese troops attack near Henderson Field, starting the Battle of Bloody Ridge [2]
September 14 Japanese forces continue to attack Henderson Field at Guadalcanal without success [2]
September 16 The German 502nd Tank Battalion receives the first batch of Tiger I tanks [2]
Japanese forces reach to within 32 miles of Port Moresby [11] September 17
September 20 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 [9] September 21
US Marines attack Japanese positions at Matanikau River on Guadalcanal but fail [2] September 26
September 30 Danish Resistance begins smuggling over 7000 Jews to Sweden by fishing boats
October 3 First successful launch of a V2 from Peenemunde


82d Fighter Group squadrons begin arriving at Eglington, Co Derry, Ireland from the US with P-38s

October 6 The 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] October 7
Six Japanese destroyers land 1,000 troops on Guadalcanal [2] October 14
3,000+ Japanese troops land at Tassafaronga, Guadalcanal [2] October 15
October 18 Germany announces that neutral ships in Allied convoys will be sunk without warning [1]
October 19 The Kings African Rifles regiment captures 800 Vichy French troops in Madagascar [2]
October 29 German troops reach Nalchik, 50 miles away from Grozny oil fields [2]
November 2 German forces are halted 5 miles outside of Ordshonikidze, Azerbaijan [2]
November 4 German 170th Division captured Feodosiya, Ukraine
November 5 The Vichy French forces on Madagascar surrender [2]
November 8 Allied forces invade North Africa confronting the Vichy French and Germans
November 10
November 11 Allies make a controversial deal with Vichy French Admiral Darlan in Algiers to achieve the surrender of French forces


German and Italian troops occupied Vichy France


British 36th Infantry Brigade lands at Bougie, Algeria unopposed.

November 12 The British 3rd Parachute Battalion captures the airfield at Bone, Algeria 2]
November 17 The Italians formally absorb French Tunisia into Italian North Africa [2]
The US Army and Marines attack Japanese positions near Kokumbona on Guadalcanal [2] November 18
November 20 British troops capture Benghazi, Libya
November 21 German paratroopers attack British positions near Djebel Abjod, Tunisia [2]
US Army-Marine attack at Matanikau River on Guadalcanal is stopped by Japanese November 22
November 23 The SPARS (Coast Guard Women’s Reserve) is founded. SPARS is an acronym for the #CoastGuard motto “Semper Paratus—Always Ready. [15]
November 24 The US Marines advance to Poho, Guadalcanal [2]
November 25 Adolf Hitler orders that the French fleet at Toulon, France be seized
November 27 The French Navy scuttles warships to avoid German capture [2]
November 29 Coffee rationed to one pound every 5 weeks in the US
Gasoline rationing was begun . . . December 1 . . . across the US and lasted until after the end of the war


German 10th Panzer Division launches a counterattack in Tunisia

December 2 British and German paratroops clash at El Fedja, Tunisia [2]
December 4 The British 2nd Parachute Battalion links up with US troops near Medjez-el-Bab, Tunisia [2]
December 6 811 Dutch Jews arrive at Auschwitz; 795 were gassed upon arrival [2]
US Army takes over the Guadalcanal campaign from the US Marine Corps [2] December 9
American troops capture Buna, New Guinea December 13
Australian troops capture Gona, New Guinea [2] December 14
US Marines capture Mt. Austen, Guadalcanal December 17
British troops enter Arakan Peninsula, Burma [2] December 21
December 22 German troops in the Caucasus region began to fall back [2]
December 23 Bob Hope performs his first wartime Christmas show [15]
December 24 French Admiral Darlan assassinated
The Japanese Ki-67 medium bomber took its maiden flight [2] December 27 Hitler authorizes Armeegruppe A and Armeegruppe Don to withdraw 150 miles [2]
Japanese 16th Division captured Luisiana, Philippines December 28
1943
January 3 Soviet troops capture Mozdok, Russia [2]
January 14 Casablanca Conference of Allied leaders begins
The US 25th Division began an offensive toward Kokumbona, Guadalcanal [2] January 20
January 21 The Soviets capture Voroshilovsky and Stavropol in the Caucasus region [2]
US 25th Division capture the high ground south of Kokumbona, Guadalcanal [2] January 23 British forces capture Tripoli


The last German airfield in the the Stalingrad pocket is taken by Soviet troops [2]

January 24 Casablanca Conf ends with Allied leaders demanding German unconditional surrender [2]
January 25 The remnants of the German 6.Armee are split in two pockets in Stalingrad [2]
January 26
January 27
January 28
US and Japanese warships engage in the Battle of Rennell Island [2] January 29 Soviet troops capture Maikop, Russia [2]


Russians take Kropotkin [11]

January 30 de Havilland Mosquitos attack a broadcasting station in Berlin, Germany disrupting speeches by Goring and Goebbels [9]


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]

January 31 The bulk of the German Sixth Army surrenders at Stalingrad; last of resistance ends Feb. 2 [11]
Japanese evacuation of Guadalcanal begins February 1
February 3 Coffee rationing increased to one pound every six weeks in the US


The German OKW announces the defeat at Stalingrad, Russia [2]

February 4 Soviet troops land near Novorossiysk in southern Russia [2]
February 5 Colossus, the world’s 1st digital programmable computer is used for the 1st time [29]
Battle of Guadalcanal ends February 8
The F4U-1 Corsair fighter makes their operational debut 200 miles north of Guadalcana February 13
February 14 German troops attack the Americans at Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia [2]
February 15 The Americans loose 46 medium tanks in action at Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia [2]
February 16 German forces capture Sidi Bouzid and Sbeitla, Tunisia [2]
February 18 Goebbels announces the implementation of total war at the Berlin Sportpalast [2]
The Northern Group of the Chindits reaches Tonmakeng, Burma [2] February 22
February 23 The inexperienced Americans suffer a major defeat at the Battle for Kasserine Pass [2]
February 20 German and Italian troops defeat American troops at Kasserine Pass in Tunisia
February 25 The 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] March 3
US aircraft sink the destroyer Tokitsukaze and other ships at the Battle of the Bismarck Sea [2] March 4
March 9 Yekaterina 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] March 10
March 11 BI-3 rocket-powered prototype aircraft took its first flight at Sverdlovsk [2]
Japanese troops end their assault on American forces at Hill 700 on Bougainville [2] March 13
March 14 Germans recapture Kharkov, Ukraine [2]
IGHQ issues the Joint Army-Navy Central Agreement on Southeast Asia Operation order [2] March 15
March 17 US troops capture Gafsa, Tunisia
March 22 German SS men massacre civilians in the Byelorussian village of Khatyn [2]
March 23 US troops repulse German 10th Panzer Div counterattack at El Guettar, Tunisia
March 27 German tanks stop the British offensive at El Hamma, Tunisia [2]
March 30 British troops led by Montgomery breach the Mareth Line in North Africa
March 31 Crematorium 2 begins operation at Auschwitz Concentration Camp in occupied Poland [2]
April 3 The US 1st Inf Division captures Hill 369 near El Guettar, Tunisia
April 4 Soviet troops launch the Taman Offensive Operation [2]
April 7 Bolivia joins the United Nations [11]
April 10 The Allies continue Operation Flax offensives over the waters between Sicily and Tunisia [2]
April 12 The British 8th Army captures Sousse, Tunisia [2,11]


Stalin informs Churchill of his delight to see German industry in shambles [2]

April 14 The Soviet 14th Army pushes back a German thrust southeast of Leningrad [2]
April 15 First P-47 in aerial combat. The 800-mile combat range extended Allied fighter coverage deep into mainland Europe from Britain.
US fighters intercept Isoroku Yamamoto over Bougainville, killing him [2] April 18
April 19 The Eighth Army attacks the Enfidaville line. [11]
April 21 Joseph Stalin signs the order to create GUKR SMERSH [2]
April 22 The final Allied assault began against remaining Axis forces in North Africa [2,11]
U.S. warships shell Attu. [11] April 24
April 26 RAF bombers conduct a raid against Duisburg, Germany [11]
April 29 German troops fall back to Lake Garaet Anchkel west of Bizerte, Tunisia [2]


An Upkeep bomb drop is conducted successfully in southeastern Britain [2]

April 29
US Office of Price Administration ends meat rationing. May 3 Exception is for steak and choice beef (rationing is tightened again later)


US troops capture Mateur, Tunisia [2,11]


Germans driven from Krimsk in Kuban sector [11]

May 5 Soviet troops capture Krymsk in southern Russia [2]
May 6 British take Massicault, break Axis defense in Tunisia [11]
Japanese troops capture Anxiang, Hunan Province, China [2] May 7 Allies take Tunis and Bizerta [11]
Japanese troops capture Maungdaw, Burma May 8
May 12 The Trident Conference began in Washington, DC, United States [2]
May 13 Axis forces in North Africa surrender


B-17 Hells Angels became the first aircraft to complete 25 combat missions. [1]

May 14
May 15
May 16-17 British RAF fly ‘Dam Buster‘ mission against dams in the Ruhr valley. Two of the Ruhr region dams in Germany were breached by British bombers. [26]


The Nazis violently crush the Warsaw Ghetto uprising and leave the ghetto area in ruins. Surviving residents are deported to concentration camps or killing centers [49]

May 17 Two of the Ruhr region dams in Germany are breached by British bombers [2]
The Japanese 3rd Division captures Songzi, Hubei Province, China [2] May 18
May 19
May 20
May 21
Shigeru Fukudome is named the chief of staff of the Japanese Navy Combined Fleet [2] May 22
May 23
US troops mop up the final Japanese opposition groups in the Aleutian Islands May 24
May 25
May 26
May 27 Churchill 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 28
Japanese and Chinese troops clash in Hubei and Hunan Provinces, China [2] May 29
May 30
May 31
June 1
June 2 USAAF 99th Fighter Squadron makes its combat debut with its P-40L fighters in Italy [2]
June 3
June 4
June 5 Italian warships at Spezia bombed [11]
June 6
June 7
Battleship Mutsu suffers a fatal accidental explosion [2] June 8
June 9
June 10
June 11
June 12 Germans liquidate the Jewish Ghetto in Berezhany in Ukraine, killing 1180 [2]
US officers begin planning for a New Georgia invasion [2] June 13
Fighting in the Solomons is transferred  to the Southwest Pacific command [2] June 14
June 15 King George visits troops in North Africa [11]
New Georgia invasion is scheduled to take place on 30 Jun 1943 [2] June 16
June 17
June 18
June 19
June 20
June 21 Himmler orders the liquidation of Jewish ghettos in Soviet territory controlled by Germany [2]
June 22 Stutthof Concentration Camp conducted its first gassing [2]
June 23
June 24
June 25 The construction of 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] June 26
June 27 The hydroelectric dams in the Ruhr region damaged by Dambuster Raid return to full capacity [2]
June 28
June 29
June 30
The US 1st Raider Battalion attacks the island of Enogai [2] July 9 Allied forces invade Sicily
The US Army and Marines jointly launch an offensive on New Georgia [2] July 17
July 28 Coffee removed from rationing in the US
September 3 Allied forces invade Italy
September 8 Gen. Dwight Eisenhower publicly announces the surrender of Italy to the Allies.
September 9 Allied forces invade Salerno, Italy with Operation Avalanche
September 10 Remaining Italian fleet sails into Malta and surrenders to the Allies
September 11 German forces occupy Rome and Northern Italy, taking most of the Italian army prisoner


The British 1st Airborne Division captures Brindisi and Bari, Italy without resistance [2]

September 12 German Luftwaffe and SS personnel rescue Mussolini from Gran Sasso, Italy. [2]
September 16 Russians take Novorossisk, Lozovaya, Romny, Novgorod-Seversky. Allies take Lae, occupy Bari. Landings on Kos, Leros, Samos [11]
September 17 The British 5th Infantry Division reache Sapri, Italy. [2]


Russian forces take Briansk and Ossipenko [11]

Australian troops launch an offensive in Ramu valley, New Guinea [2] September 19 Russian forces take Yartsevo, Priluki, Krasnograd [11]
September 21-28 After 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.
September 22 The British 78th Infantry Division begins to arrive at Bari, Italy [2]
Operation Jaywick by 14 British and Australian commandos culminates in the attack on Japanese ships in Singapore harbor sinking or severely damaging 7 vessels September 26
September 27 US 8th Air Force P-47 fighters escort bombers into Germany for the first time


The British 78th Infantry Division captures the major airfield complex near Foggia, Italy [2]

October 1 German troops begin evacuating Naples. US 8th Fifth Army and British X Corps enters Naples, Italy [2]
October 3 British Commandos land at  Termoli on the Adriatic coast of Italy as part of Operation Devon.
October 4 Aircraft from the USS Ranger attack German ships in Norway sinking two and damaging several others.
October 5 The 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 WWII October 6-7
Japanese execute all 98 US civilian construction POWs on Wake Island in reprisal for US air raids October 7
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. October 12
US Marines land on Shortland and Choiseul in the Solomons as a diversion from the upcoming Bougainville landings October 28
The Japanese execute 33 interned civilians in Hong Kong


Allied forces land on Mono and Stirling Islands, south of Bougainville, beginning the final phase of the campaign to smash Japan’s northern Solomons bases

October 29
US 3rd Marine Div lands on Bougainville in the Solomons at Empress Augusta Bay November 1
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. November 2
November 3 British 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 largest single-day, single-location killing of the Holocaust


Soviet troops launch a massive breakout attack from their bridgehead north of Kiev

November 4 US 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. November 5 8th AF flies over heavily defended Gelsenkirchen and Munster in the Ruhr Valley. The mission includes 323 B 17s escorted by over 350 fighters.
November 6 Russian army retakes Kiev, Ukraine
SB2C Helldiver aircraft saw combat for the first time in the Solomon Islands


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 Rabaul

November 11
November 16 The 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 Guinea November 17
The Chinese 57th Division captures Changde, Hunan Province, China [2] November 18
November 19 Nazis liquidate Janowska concentration camp in Lvov, prisoners make a mass escape attempt, a few succeed
US Marines land on Betio Island in Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands November 20 British Eighth Army launches the main offensive to cross Sangro River in Italy
Battle of Tarawa November 20-23
November 21 The 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

November 22 The RAF launches the first 2000-ton night raid on Berlin—2000 Germans are killed and the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church is destroyed


Lebanon’s Independence Day: Free French provisionally recognize Lebanese independence


Sextant Conference begins in Cairo, Egypt with Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Chiang Kai-shek

US Marines secure Betio in Tarawa Atoll. Japanese resistance ends on Tarawa and Makin atolls in the Gilbert Islands. November 23
Australians take Sattelberg, New Guinea November 25 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.
November 26 The Me 262 was demonstrated at Insterburg; Hitler insisted it be converted a bomber [2]
November 28 Eureka 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.
November 29 British troops capture Mezzagrogna and Santa Maria in Italy
November 30 British troops capture Fossacesia, Italy [2]
December 1 US 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

December 2 Luftwaffe 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]

December 3 New Zealand troops attack Orsogna, Italy on the Gustav Line [2]
December 6 The US Fifth Army captures Monte Carnino, Italy [2]
December 8 In 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. December 9 Canadian troops capture San Leonardo, Italy


British Eighth Army secures Moro River beachhead near Ortona, Italy

December 10 The British Eighth Army takes Vino Ridge in Italy in drive for Ortona
December 12 Field Marshal Erwin Rommel named commander of German Army Group B in France
Ration books in the US December 13 are awarded an extra two red ration points (used for meat, cheese & fats) are awarded for each pound of used cooking fats turned in
US Army Air Force decides to stop using camouflage paint on planes December 14 to increase speed & range
December 17 US Fifth Army takes San Pietro, Italy, after Germans retreat


Wings are first awarded to WASPs (Women’s Airforce Service Pilots)

December 22 Allies officially recognize and agree to support Marshal Tito’s partisans in Yugoslavia.
December 24 New Zealand troops engage in combat along the Gustav Line in Italy [2]
US Marines land at Cape Gloucester, New Britain in the Solomon Islands December 26 In the Battle of the North Cape off Norway, British ships sink German battlecruiser Scharnhorst while it’s attacking Allied Arctic convoys
December 28 Adolf Hitler orders the demolition of the Wehrwolf HQ in Ukraine [2]
British & Indian forces launch the Second Arakan Campaign toward Akyab, Burma December 30
1944
January 6 James Doolittle orders fighters of USAAF Eighth Air Force to go on the offensive
January 8 The Pz.Kpfw.38(t)-18 tank destroyer was 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]
Indian 5th Division captures Maungdaw, Burma [2] January 9
January 11 The US 8th Air Force launches over 600 bombers against German cities [2]
January 13 Allied troops capture the high ground north of Cervaro, Italy
January 14 Eligibility for the draft is restored for Japanese-American Nisei, causing mixed reactions in internment camps
January 15 The German XIV Panzer Corps abandons Monte Trocchio, Italy [2]
Japanese on New Britain in the Solomons fail in their final counterattack attempt January 16
US Army and Marines secure Arawe area on New Britain in the Solomons January 17 British X Corps crosses lower Garigliano River in Italy, officially beginning the Battle of Cassino
January 21 The “Little Blitz” begins, a new German air offensive on England: 447 bombers attack London at night, the largest air raid since July 1942
January 22 The 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 Peninsula January 23
January 24 German 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 January 26 After a vast Axis spy ring is uncovered in the country
January 27 Soviet troops end the 872 day Siege of Leningrad
Americanforces land on Kwajalein and Majuro atolls in the Marshall Islands January 31
Japanese open offensive against Indian troops on Arakan, Burma


US secures Kwajalein and Majuro Islands in Kwajalein Atoll

February 4
February 5 The Colossus Computer at Bletchley Park in England is first used to decode German messages


US forces reach the outskirts of Cassino, Italy

February 6 Soviet 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 Islands February 7
February 11 The Russian Army takes Shepetovka, the rail center west of Kiev in the Ukraine
February 14 Harold 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 Rabaul February 15
February 16 The 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 Eniwetok February 17
February 18 Hitler 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

The Japanese air & naval base at Rabaul is neutralized by Allied forces. The last of the Japanese planes have been moved to Truk February 19
February 20 Norwegian Resistance fighters blow up ferry Hydro carrying the only German shipment of heavy water (for atomic bomb) on Lake Tinnsjø, Norway


US Airforce launches the Big Week, sending 970 bombers against German cities. This week-long aerial attack devastates the German aircraft industry; 6000 sorties by bombers of RAF and US Eighth, Ninth & Fifteenth Air Forces

US secures Eniwetok Island in Eniwetok Atoll, lands on and takes 7 other islands in the atoll February 21
US secures Eniwetok Atoll and all Marshall Islands, the first time Japanese lose prewar territory February 22 Mark Clark replaces John Lucas with Lucian Truscott at Anzio, Italy [2]
February 24 Colossus, 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
February 25 For 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
February 27 NKVD troops massacre 700 villagers of Khaibakh in the Chechnya region [2]
In the US rationing restricions are relaxed March 1 Toothpaste buyers no longer have to turn in old tubes to buy new (required since 4 April 1942 due to tin shortage)
Operation Thursday is launched as gliders deliver Chindits into Burma [2] March 5
The Japanese 33rd Division crosses the Manipur River in Burma towards the Burmese-Indian border [2] March 7
Japanese troops launch an offensive towards Imphal, India [2] March 8
USAAF medium and heavy bombers attack Rabaul without needing fighter escort [2] March 9
US military leadership estimates that about 60% of Rabaul has been destroyed [2] March 10
Australian troops capture Bogodjim, New Guinea March 14
March 17 New Zealand troops take the train station in the western part of Cassino, Italy and assault German strongholds in hotels
The Chinese 66th Regiment captures Jambu Bum ridge in northern Burma [2] March 19
Japanese troops capture Ukhrul, India [2] March 20
March 22 General Alexander ceases the frontal attacks at Cassino, Italy [2]
Japanese troops mount an unsuccessful suicide charge on Bougainville [2] March 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

The Japanese 60th Regiment launches a night attack on Sangshak, India but it fails March 26
Japanese troops besieg Imphal, India March 30
Japanese troops capture Nippon Hill near Imphal, India April 1
The US Tenth Army lands on the southwest coast of Okinawa and begins the 12 week battle to take the island April 2
April 4 The Allies conduct the first reconnaissance mission over Auschwitz
April 5 Soviet troops capture Dorohoi, Romania
Japanese besiege 3500 British & Indian troops in Kohima, India April 6
April 8 Day raids on 5 aircraft centers in eastern Germany, night on Mannheim [11]
April 13 Day raids on aircraft centres including Augsburg and Schweinfurt [11]
Chinese troops launch offensive across border into Burma April 14
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 landings

April 21
US forces secure Aitape, New Guinea, and opens Tadji Airstrip at Aitape April 24 Day raids on Friedrichshafen and Munich, night on Munich and Karlsruhe [11]
May 1 The 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 4 Exercise 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
May 7 The US Eighth Air Force launches over 1000 bombers in missions to Berlin, Münster, and Osnabrück, Germany
May 8 The US Congress extends Lend-Lease to June 1945
May 9 Russians take Sevastopol [11]
May 10
May 11 In 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 beaches


Allies in Italy take Pignatoro, shatter Gustav line [11]

May 12
May 13 In the drive for Rome, French troops break through Gustav Line into Aurunci Hills
May 14 The US II Corps breaks thru the German Gustav Line, opening the route to Rome
May 15 The 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 16
Chinese troops and Merrill’s Marauders (US guerillas) 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. May 17 German 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 18 Polish troops take Monte Cassino and the abbey; the British take the town of Cassino
May 19 British troops capture the airfield at Aquino outside of Rome, Italy [2]
US troops secure Wakde Island off New Guinea May 20 Allies 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 21
May 22
May 23 The Polish II Corps and Canadian 1st Infantry Division attack Piedimonte, Italy
May 24 The US II Corps takes Terracina in Italy unopposed, opening Highway 7 to Anzio
May 25 German 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

May 26
The US 41st Infantry Division lands on Biak Island in Geelvink Bay of New Guinea and faces heavy resistance May 27
May 28
The first tank battle is fought in the Southwest Pacific, on Biak Island off New Guinea. The US defeats Japanese forces. [1] May 29
May 30
May 31 Allies 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]

June 1
June 2 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 last major air combat by the Royal Australian Air Force in WWII as Australian fighters shoot down 9 Japanese planes off New Guinea [1] June 3 The Germans declare Rome an open city and evacuate as the Allies advance [1]


Loading of all troops for D-day is complete; Force U (bound for Utah Beach) departs ports in Devon for Normandy [1]

June 4 The 36th Infantry Division was the first Allied troops to enter Rome [51]


The US 5th Army captures Cervaro, Italy

June 5
June 6 D-Day, the Allied invasion of Normandy
June 7
June 8 British 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]

June 9
June 10 Oradour-Sur-Glane – A French village utterly destroyed and over 600 men, women, and children massacred by SS troops
June 11 Allied thrusts to Tilly-sur-Seulles in Normandy [11]


Allies take Pescara and Avezzano in Italy [11]

June 12 The French town of Carentan is liberated by the 101st Airborne [4]


Allies also take the Cerisy forest in Normandy [11]

June 13 The 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 was credited with disabling 11 tanks and 13 other armoured vehicles [18]

June 14 American troops capture Carentan, France [2
The US Marine 2nd and 4th Divisions land on Saipan in the Mariana Islands [1] June 15
June 16 Allies capture St. Sauveur-le-Vicomte in Normandy.  Allies take Grosseto and Terni in Italy. [11]
June 17 In 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 becomes an independent republic with Sveinn Björnsson as the first president [1]

Japanese troops capture Changsha, China [2] June 18 Allies cut Cherbourg peninsula. [11]
June 19 Free 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]

Battle of the Philippine Sea. The aerial part of the battle was nicknamed the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot resulting in the loss of over 450 aircraft by the Japanese. This battle resulted in sinking 3 Japanese aircraft carriers, eliminating the Imperial Japanese Navy’s ability to conduct large-scale carrier actions. [1] June 19-20
June 20 Soviets forces take Viipuri, Finland, opening the Gulf of Finland to Soviet ships [1]


The US First Army besieges Cherbourg, France [21]

June 21 British XIII Corps engage in heavy fighting at San Fatucchio, Italy [2]
June 23
June 24
June 25 Allies in Italy take Piombino [11]
Chinese 10th Army, supported by US aircraft, stops the Japanese advance at Hengyang [2] June 26
June 27 British 3rd Infantry Division and tanks launch Operation Mitten in France [2]
June 28 Russians take Mogilev [11]
June 30 On D-Plus 23 the German-garrison in the port city of Cherbourg surrender providing the Allies a deep-water harbor for moving men and materiel into France [4]


German troops capture Hill 112 at Caen, France [2]

July 4 The millionth Allied soldier lands in Normandy, less than one month after D-day [1]


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]

July 5 The 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]

July 8 The US Army commands all Post Exchanges, theaters, and transportation to be open to all races [1]


The British launch 1750 barrage balloons south of London to combat German V-1 buzz bombs [1]


In Normandy, the British & Canadians launch an assault on Caen and enter the city [1]

The US secures Saipan in the Mariana Islands [1] July 9 Hungary 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 takes the crucial city of Caen in Normandy [1]

July 11 Soviet forces capture the surrounded German Fourth Army near Minsk in Byelorussia and take 37,000 POWs [1]
July 13 Red Army units capture Vilna, Lithuania [2]
July 19 The US takes the crucial port of Leghorn (Livorno), Italy with little opposition, but Germans have destroyed the harbor [1]
The US Marines land on Tinian in the Marianas [1,2] July 24 The Soviets liberate the first Nazi concentration camp, at Majdenek near Lublin [1,2]
July 25 Operation Cobra: US First Army begins breakout from Normandy [1]
July 27 In 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]

Japanese troops attack Kokoda airfield in Australian Papua [2] July 29 On Guam, US Marines clear Orote Peninsula and take Orote Airfield [1]
July 31 The 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]

The US secures Tinian in the Mariana Islands [1] August 1 The US Third Army under Gen. George Patton enters action in France, breaking out of Normandy and entering Brittany [1]


The Warsaw uprising begins: Polish Home Army rises up against the Germans as the Soviets approach [1]

August 2 Neutral 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 crucial town of Myitkyina, Burma [1] August 3
August 7 In 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]

The Japanese take Hengyang in their drive south across China, taking the US Fourteenth Air Force air base at Hengyang [1] August 8 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]
The US secures Guam, although one Japanese soldier won’t surrender until 1972 [1] August 10 In Paris, rail workers go on strike, stranding German soldiers trying to evacuate [1]
August 11 The Germans scuttle ships at Nantes, France as Allies approach [1]


The US Third Army crosses the Loire River in France [1]

New songs in Top Ten [1] August 12 “I’ll Walk Alone,” “Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby?” [1]
<hr
The first PLUTO (Pipeline under the Ocean) becomes operational, taking fuel from Isle of Wight, England to Cherbourg, France [1]
August 13 British and Indian troops cross into northern Florence via historic Ponte Vecchio, securing the city with help of the Italians [1]
The US War Production Board allows the production of . . . [1] August 14 . . . some civilian goods to resume in preparation for the November elections [1]


Canadian, Polish, and US troops form the Falaise pocket in France, partially surrounding Germans [1]

August 15 Operation Dragoon, the Allied invasion of southern France, is launched [2]
Organized Japanese resistance ends on the Burma-India border [1] August 16 The 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]
August 17 The 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]


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]

August 18 The 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]

August 19 The French Resistance rises up against Nazi troops occupying Paris. Within five days the Allied army arrives to liberate the city. They seize Hôtel de Ville (city hall). [1,4]


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]

August 21 The 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]

August 26 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]
August 27 The final group of Chindits, British commandos operating behind Japanese lines in Burma, are evacuated to India [1]
September 9 Canadian 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]

September 11 The US First Army reaches the Siegfried Line at the German border and crosses into Germany north of Trier [1]


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]

September 12 Romania 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]

September 13 In Belgium, Canadian forces cross both the Leopold Canal and the Canal de Derivation, while British forces cross the Meuse-Escaut Canal [1]
September 13 Operation Dragoon, the Allied campaign in southern France, concludes: 131,000 German POWs have been taken, 40% of Army Group G [1]
September 16 German 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]

September 17 Operation 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. [4]
September 18 British 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]

September 19 The 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]


In Operation Market Garden, British ground troops link with US 82nd Airborne Division at Grave, the Netherlands [1]

September 20 In Operation Market Garden, British ground troops and US 82nd Airborne take Nijmegen, the Netherlands [1]
US Navy Task Force 38 carrier aircraft strike Manila Harbor in the Philippines, sinking 28 Japanese ships [1] September 21 In Operation Market Garden, Germans retake the bridge in Arnhem from British paratroopers [1]
In the Pacific, the US 81st Infantry Division lands on Ulithi Atoll unopposed, to be used as a supply base [1] September 22 Soviet troops commence a crossing of the River Danube near Turnu Severin, Romania [2]
September 23 Soviet troops commence a crossing of the River Danube near Turnu Severin, Romania [2]
September 25 Free 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]

September27 The British 8th Army drives the German from their positions along the Uso River north of Rimini, Italy [2]
September26 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]
September28 Greek government-in-exile and competing resistance groups agree to place forces under Allied command [1]


Soviet 57th Army enters Yugoslavia [1]

September 29 In 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] September 30 The 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]

October 2 The “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.
October 3 The Germans evacuate Athens, Greece [1]
The US Sixth Army secures Morotai in the Netherlands East Indies [1] October 4 British paratroopers land at Patras, Greece, and on Crete and Aegean islands [1]
October 5 Germany 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]

October 6 Allied troops capture Ossendrecht, the Netherlands [2]


The US First Army enters the Hürtgen Forest in Germany [1]

October 9 The fourth Moscow Conference opens between Churchill and Stalin [1]
US Navy Task Force 38 (17 aircraft carriers) strikes Okinawa, sinking 34 vessels & destroying 75 Japanese planes [1] October 10 British and Greek troops secure Corinth and German Army Group E begins a retreat from Greece [1]
October 12 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] October 13 The 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]

October 14 No.6 RCAF Group, Bomber Command, within a period of sixteen hours, flies a total of 501 Lancaster and Halifax bombers against targets in Duisburg, Germany


Greek 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]

October 15 Hungarian regent Adm. Miklós Horthy is deposed by German commandos and replaced with fascist leader Ferenc Szálasi the next day [1]
The U.S. Navy announced a decision October 18 The 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 13-60 years old [1]

Lt. Gen. Joseph Stilwell is removed from command of the China-Burma-India Theater and recalled to US [1]n October 19 to integrate its female reserve program
Douglas MacArthur lands at Leyte after being driven out of the Philippines two-and-a-half years earlier. “I have returned!” he declares. October 20
The Battle of Leyte Gulf, the largest naval battle of WWII and perhaps the largest in history. The US Navy defeats the Japanese fleet giving the Allies virtual control of the Pacific October 23-26
October 26 Canadian troops make amphibious landing at Beveland in crucial Scheldt Estuary in the Netherlands [1]
October 28 Bulgaria, which had fought with Germany, signs armistice with the Allies [1]
October 30 In the Vosges mountains in France, the US 442nd Infantry Regiment (Japanese-Americans) rescues the Lost Battalion with heavy losses (184 killed) [1]
November 1 Allied forces land at Uncle Beach at Vlissingen as part of Operation Infatuate. This was part of the “Battle of the Scheldt”.
November 2 The 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]

November 4 The Liberation of Greece is complete as the final German troops evacuate [1]
US B-29s bomb Japanese-occupied Singapore for the first time [1] November 5 British troops captured Ravenna, Italy, cutting the rail line to Bologna
The British launch an offensive in western Burma toward Akyab [1] November 8 The “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


The US Third Army begins its offensive against the Siegfried line toward Metz, France [1]


The 761st Tank Battalion, the first African-American tank unit, enters combat with US Third Army [1]

November 12 British Lancaster bombers sink German battleship Tirpitz in Tromsø Fjord, Norway; 902 killed [1]
November 13 In the Vosges Mountains in France, US Seventh Army launches offensive on German Siegfried Line [1]
American and Chinese troops attack Bhamo, Burma November 14 The French First Army opens assault towards Belfort Gap in France [1]
November 16 The US First and Ninth Armies launch offensive to clear the Roer Plain in Germany [1]
November 18 The US Third Army enters Metz, France [1]
Japan conducts the first successful test of a rocket-powered Ohka aircraft


The British Fourteenth Army opens drive in Burma and crosses the Chindwin River at Sittaung [1]

November 19
Chinese troops capture Mangshih, Yunnan Province, China November 20
November 21 The US Seventh and French First Armies enter Alsatian plain in France [1]
The 15,000th P-40 is completed November 22 at Buffalo, New York, United States


The US Third Army takes the crucial town of Metz, France [1]

November 23 The T-44 medium tank officially enters Soviet Army service [2]


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 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]

November 24 In 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]

November 25 A 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]

November 26 US troops captured Monte Belvedere and Monte Castello, Italy [2]
Cordell Hull resigns as US Secretary of State [1] November 27
Anglo-Indian troops capture Kalewa, Burma November 28 Albania 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]

November 29 Soviet 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]

November 30 The 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] December 1 Himmler 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] December 3 Allied 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]

December 4 Italian 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] December 5
December 6 The German He 162 jet fighter made its first flight
December 7 Nazi 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]

December 8
December 9 Russian troops reach the Danube River north of Budapest, Hungary


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] December 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] December 11
Allied troops attack the Arakan region of Burma December 12
December 17 72 captured American soldiers are murdered in Malmedy by an SS unit. “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]
December 19 In 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]
December 20 Dwight 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] December 21 In the Battle of the Bulge, the Germans surround US troops in Bastogne, Belgium and take the crossroads at St. Vith [1]


US forces capture Stavelot, Belgium [2]

Indian 2nd and 20th Divisions reach Pyingaing, Burma [2] December 23 Adolf 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]

December 27 Soviets encircle Budapest, Hungary, beginning 102-day siege [1]
December 31 Hitler’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]


US troops execute 3 Germans dressed in American uniforms in the Ardennes during the Battle of the Bulge [15]

1945
January 2 An 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] January 6
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] January 7 The 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]

January 8 The 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]

January 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]

January 11
In Burma, the Indian 19th Division attempts to cross the Irrawaddy River at Thabaikkyin but withdraws under fierce Japanese bayonet attack [1] January 14 The 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]

The Japanese launch a drive towards the isolated US Fourteenth Air Force bases in eastern China and toward the Hengyang-Canton railroad [1] January 15 In the US, a nationwide dim-out is ordered to conserve fuel [1]
January 16
January 17 The Soviets take Warsaw [1]


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]

January 18
January 19
January 20 Hungary 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] January 21
The Indian 20th Division takes Monywa in Burma, the last Japanese port on the Chindwin River [1] January 22
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]

January 23 The US Army captured 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]

January 24 German 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] January 25
January 26 Wounded 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] January 27 Over 7,000 prisoners of the German Nazi Auschwitz and Birkenau camps, including ca. 700 children, were liberated by the soldiers of the 322nd Rifle Division of the Soviet army. 1,689 days of murder, humiliation, suffering, and pain were over. Today we all remember. [1, 6, 17, 24, 25]


The Siege of Leningrad finally ends after a staggering 872 days [24]

January 28
The US Eighth Army lands in Subic Bay on Luzon and takes the San Marcelino airfields [1]


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]

January 29
Army Rangers, Alamo Scouts & Filipino guerrillas rescue 552 Allied prisoners from the Japanese POW camp at Cabanatuan [4] January 30
January 31 U.S. Army private named Eddie Slovik is shot at Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines, France for desertion [4]


The British clear the last German bridgehead across the Maas [11]

February 1 The US First Army captures Remscheid in Germany [2]
February 2 French troops capture Colmar, France [2]
US forces engage Japanese troops in Manila, Philippines February 3 The Yalta Conference, with Winston Churchill (UK), Franklin D. Roosevelt (USA) and Joseph Stalin (USSR), begins
The first Allied truck convoy over the reopened Burma Road arrives in Kunming, China [1] February 4 The Allies liberate Belgium [1]


The Yalta Conference begins—Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin plan the division of postwar Europe [1]

February 5 The 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]

February 8 The 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] February 9 In 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] February 10 The 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] February 11 The 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] February 12
February 13 The 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 surrendered 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]

February 14 British 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]

February 15 The first African-American members of the Women’s Army Corps arrive in the UK [1]
US paratroopers attack Corregidor, Philippines [2] February 16
For the second day in a row, carriers of US Fifth Fleet strike Tokyo, while Fifth Fleet warships bombard Iwo Jima [1] February 17
February 18 In Germany, the US Third Army crosses the Siegfried Line north of Echternach [1]
February 19
February 20
February 21
February 22 Operation 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]

February 23 In 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]
February 24 Egyptian 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] February 25 Turkey 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]

February 26 The 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]

February 27 Lebanon 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]
February 28
The US Sixth Army secures Manila after furious house-to-house fighting; 100,000 civilians have been killed by the Japanese [1] March 3 The US Ninth Army and Canadian troops link between the Maas and Rhine rivers [1]
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]

March 4
All Japanese pockets of resistance at Meiktila, Burma have been eliminated


First prototype of Nakajima Ki-115 Tsuragi special attack aircraft was completed [2]

March 5 The German Army begins conscripting fifteen-year-old boys [1]


Fortress Graudenz is captured by the Soviet 2nd Byelorussian Front [2]

March 6 The 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]


Medical evacuation flights begin from Iwo Jima under artillery fire; first time a flight nurse flies into an active battlefield [1]


The US First Army takes Cologne (Köln), Germany; in retreat, Germans destroy the Hohenzollern Bridge [1]

March 7 The Ohio River floods Pittsburgh and Louisville, slowing war production [1]


The US 9th Armored Division unexpectedly captures Ludendorff Bridge over the Rhine at Remagen. 800 troops cross the first day [1,2,14]

US Navy swears in its first African-American nurse, Phyllis Daley [1]


US intelligence first detects the new Ohka aircraft at Konoike airfield [2]

March 8 US 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]

March 9 At 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]

US Eighth Army lands at Zamboanga on Mindanao in the Philippines [1]


Anglo-Indian troops continue to assault Mandalay Hill near Mandalay, Burma [2]

March 10 British 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] March 11 The US Third Army captures Kochem, Germany


Seventy German POWs escape from a camp at Bridgend, Wales — all will be recaptured by March 17 [1]

March 12 RAF sends 1108 bombers to Dortmund, Germany, dropping 4851 tons of bombs, an RAF record for both tonnage and bombers to a single target [1]
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]

March 13 51st Field Hospital crosses the Rhine River at Remagen, Germany, the first US hospital to do so [1]
The First US infantry arrive in China, the Mars Task Force, ferried by the Air Transport Command [1] March 14 In the RAF’s first use of the 22,000-lb Grand Slam, bombers hit the Bielefeld and Arnsberg rail viaducts, and the Bielefeld viaduct collapses [1]
March 15 Canadian I Corps enters service in northern Europe after transfer from Italy [1]


the US War Production Board makes penicillin available for civilian use [1]

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]

March 16 Soviets launch offensive toward Vienna [1]
B-29 bombers destroy 7 square kilometers of Kobe, Japan, killing 8,841 March 17
First flight of the Douglas A-1 Skyraider March 18 American single-seat attack aircraft


US Third Army captures Boppard, Germany

Off Honshu, Japan, kamikazes damage carrier USS Franklin, killing 894 [1] March 19 Hitler issues “Nero Decree” for scorched-earth retreat—Germans are to destroy factories, railroads, and bridges, but the decree is largely ignored [1]
Indian 19th Infantry Division captures Mandalay, Burma [1]


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]

March 20 US Third Army reaches Mainz, Germany
US Eighth Army secures Panay in the Philippines [1] March 22 Soviet forces capture Braunsberg in East Prussia, Germany


Americans cross Rhine below Mainz [11]


US Third Army under Gen. George Patton crosses the Rhine at Nierstein and Oppenheim at night, surprising the Germans [1]

March 23 the VOMAG factory was 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]

March 24 US 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]

March 25 The US Seventh Army crosses the Rhine at Worms, Germany [1]


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 were killed—and only 216 POWs taken. Battle of Iwo Jima officially ends: Adm. Chester Nimitz will say, “Among the men who fought on Iwo Jima, uncommon valor was a common virtue.” [1]


The US Tenth Army lands on Kerama Islands near Okinawa to build artillery base; seizes 350 suicide torpedo boats [1]

March 26
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]

March 27 The US Third Army captures Aschaffenburg, Germany


The Soviet Army enters Danzig encountering heavy resistance


Last German V-2 rockets land in Britain—in London (131 killed) and in Kent, where Ivy Millichamp becomes the last of 67,000 British civilians killed during the war. [1]

March 28 The 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]

March 29 Soviet units capture the Komorn oil fields in Hungary
The Indian 19th Division captures Kyaukse south of Mandalay, Burma


British and Chinese secure northern Burma [1]

March 30 Soviet 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]

March 31 Soviet 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]

US invades Okinawa


US Tenth Army and Marines invade Okinawa; 60,000 troops land by nightfall [1]

April 1 US First and Ninth Armies meet at Lippstadt, Germany, encircling the industrial Ruhr Valley and 500,000 German soldiers in Army Group B [1]
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]

April 2 British take Rheine and Muenster [11]


Soviet troops capture Wiener Neustadt

April 3 Soviet 2nd Ukrainian Front take Wiener Neustadt, Austria [1]


British commandos & Italian partisans secure islands in Comacchio Lagoon, Italy [1]

April 4
April 5 French First Army captures Karlsruhe, Germany
The Japanese battleship Yamato, the largest battleship ever constructed, is sunk by American aircraft. Japan’s Yamato, on a suicide mission, is sunk by US Navy Task Force 58 planes off Okinawa (3055 killed) [1,11]


P-51 Mustang fighter planes based on Iwo Jima escort B-29 Superfortress bombers over Japan for the first time [1]

April 7 US Third Army finds Nazi art and gold stash in salt mine in Merkers worth $500 million [1]
April 8 Soviets 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] April 9 Soviets take Königsberg, Germany after a long siege [1,11]


British Eighth Army opens its final offensive in Italy near Bologna [1]


Nazis execute German resistance members – pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Adm. Wilhelm Canaris, Hans von Dohnanyi, and Gen. Hans Oster in Flossenbürg concentration camp. [1]

US troops capture Jolo and Lamon Bay in the Philippines April 10 In 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]

April 11 The US Third Army captures Weimar, Germany
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] April 12 Canadian troops liberated 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]


President Franklin D. Roosevelt dies in Warm Springs, GA of a cerebral hemorrhage. Harry Truman is sworn in as president. [1]

April 13 The British 78th Infantry Division secures a bridgehead at Bastia in northern Italy
April 14 US Fifth Army launches final offensive in Italy, toward the Po Valley [1]


Zwolle in the Netherlands is liberated singlehandedly by Canadian Private Léo Major on a reconnaissance mission [1]


US Third Army takes Bayreuth, Germany [1]

April 15 British troops liberate Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp in Germany [1,26,33,34,35]


Arnhem is finally liberated, by British and Canadian troops [36]


Canadians reach North Sea west of Emden [11]


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 April 16 US First Army captures Solingen and Wuppertal, Germany
US Eighth Army lands on Mindanao in the Philippines at Malabang and Parang [1] April 17 Russians launch full-scale drive on Berlin [11]


Brazilian troops capture Montese, Italy

American correspondent Ernie Pyle is killed by a Japanese sniper on the island of Ie Shima [1] April 18 US 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] April 19 Americans take Leipzig and Halle; liquidate Ruhr pocket. Allied breakthrough in Italy [11]
April 20 As 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]

April 21 US Fifth Army and Polish II Corps take Bologna, Italy [1,11]


French First Army captures Stuttgart, Germany [1]

April 22 Russians 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] April 23 Soviet 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] April 24 Blackout is lifted in Britain except certain coastal areas [1]
April 25 Russians encircle Berlin [11]
April 26
April 27 Italian partisans capture Benito Mussolini


Americans take Augsburg, Regensburg, Ingoldstadt, enter Austria [11]

April 28 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]

April 29 Allies take Milan, Venice, Genoa [11]


At Caserta, Italy, German Gen. Heinrich von Vietinghoff signs the surrender of 1 million troops in Italy & Austria, effective May 2 [1]


Hitler marries Eva Braun [1]


RAF begins Operation Manna, dropping food to Dutch civilians [1]


US Seventh Army liberates Dachau concentration camp [1]

April 30 Hitler commits suicide


Americans take Munich [11]

April 31
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]


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]

May 1 Leadership of Germany passes to Adm. Karl Dönitz after Hitler’s suicide the day before [1]


US Eighth Air Force flies first “Chow Hound” mission, dropping food and supplies to Dutch civilians [1]

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] May 2 German forces in Italy and Austria surrender [11]


The @5CdnDiv (Armoured) fights its last battle of the Second World War near Delfzijl, Netherlands. German pockets of resistance at Weiwerd and Farmsum were defeated and many prisoners were taken. Delfzijl itself was cleared the day before. [31]

May 3 British take Hamburg; Canadians take Oldenburg. British and Russian forces make contact on Baltic coast. [11]
USS Lagarto (SS-371) was sunk by a depth charge from minelayer Hatsutaka with the loss of the 86 crew. [37] May 4 Fleet Air Arm struck 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 theNetherlands, 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]


US Seventh Army coming from Austria and 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]


The Allies secure Burma. [1]

May 5 General Charles Foulkes accepted 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]

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 6 Americans take Pilsen [11]
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 7 In 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 8 The war in Europe officially ended, 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]


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 9 Germans capitulate to Czech Partisans in Prague [1]


V-E (Victory in Europe) Day is celebrated by the USSR [1]

May 10
May 11 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 12 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]


British 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 crashed 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 13 Field 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 14 Wilhelm Frick was 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 15
U. S. Army Brigadier General James L. Dalton, Assistant Commander 25th Infantry Division was killed on by a sniper at Balete Pass in Luzon in the Philippines. [37] May 16 German Labour Front leader and “Reich drunkard” Robert Ley was 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] May 17
US Marines secure Sugar Loaf Hill on Okinawa after heavy fighting [1] May 18 An 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 19 Allies 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 20 Hermann 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 21 Franz 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 22 Due to continuing shortages, Britain cuts rations of fats, bacon, meat, and soap [1]
May 23
May 24
May 25
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 26 At 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 28 Nuremberg 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]


British capture traitor William Joyce (broadcaster “Lord Haw Haw”) in Flensburg, Germany, to be hanged in 1946, the last person to be executed by Britain for treason [1]

The US 10th Army capture Shuri ridge and Shuri Castle at Okinawa, Japan [1,2]


Filipino guerrillas take Cervantes, Luzon [1]

May 29 In 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 30 Iran demands the removal of all American, British, and Soviet troops [1]
Americans take Naha and Shuri Castle on Okinawa [1,11] May 31 British negotiate a ceasefire in Syria between Syrian nationalists and the French [1]
British 12th and 14th Armies link in Burma [1] June 1 British 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] June 2
US Marines land on Iheya Shima in the Ryukyu Islands northwest of Okinawa [1] June 3 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] June 4 The US Office of Civilian Defense is inactivated [1]
Huge typhoon hits the US Third Fleet off Okinawa, damaging 35 ships [1] June 5 Allied Control Council agrees on the partition of Germany and Berlin into 4 occupation zones (UK, US, USSR, France) [1]
June 6
US Marines cut off Oroku Peninsula on Okinawa [1] June 7 King 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]

June 8 Jozef 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] June 9
Australian landing on Borneo in Brunei bay area an important port, and capture Labuan airfield [1,11] June 10
June 11 Gen. George Patton deposited 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]

June 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]

June 13
On Okinawa, the US Tenth Army takes Yaeju-Dake peak and US Marines take Kunishi Ridge. [1] June 14 British 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] June 15
The US Tenth Army takes Yuza-Dake Hill on Okinawa [1] June 16
The US begins B-29 incendiary raids on medium-sized Japanese cities; missions carried out using radar-bombing [1] June 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]

June 18
June 19
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]

June 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]

June 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] June 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] June 24
June 25
The United Nations Charter is signed by fifty nations in San Francisco. [1] June 26 Former 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] June 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]

June 28
June 29
June 30
Gadget, the first Atomic Bomb–detonated in the Trinity nuclear test as part of the Manhattan Project July 16
This calls for the unconditional surrender of Japan July 26 The Potsdam Declaration is issued by Allied leaders
The US drops the Atomic bomb on Hiroshima August 6
Russia declares war on Japan August 8
The US drops the Atomic bomb on Nagasaki August 9
Japan announces surrender August 14
Japan signs surrender documents September 2
World War II ends in Singapore after the Japanese army surrenders to the Allies September 12
September 17 In Italy, the US Fifth Army breaks the German Gothic Line at Il Giogo Pass [1]
The United Nations is formed October 24 There are 23 countries
The trial against Japanese General Yamashita begins in Manila October 29
November 13 Charles de Gaulle becomes the first post-war head of the French government
November 21 All accused German war criminals at Nuremberg plead not guilty [2]
US Secretary of War Robert Patterson orders all Japanese cyclotrons to be destroyed [2] November 24
November 25 The beginning of Operation Deadlight – the RAF begins to scuttle Nazi U-Boats
The Japanese create the Ministry of Demobilization December 1
Tomoyuki Yamashita was found guilty of war crimes December 7
1946
February 11 The last of the 116 captured German U-boats scheduled to be sunk is scuttled by the Allies 100 miles off the northwest coast of Ireland
October 15 Herman Goering, head of the Luftwaffe and Gestapo, commits suicide by cyanide the night before his execution
October 16 10 high-ranking members of Nazi-Germany are executed by hanging
2004
World War II monument opens in Washington, D.C. April 29 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.
1951
February 4 German Alfried Krupp is released from imprisonment and his fortune is restored [2]
1960
May 11 Adolf Eichmann is captured by the Mossad in Argentina [44]
2018
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 II November 28
South Korea’s Supreme Court orders Japanese Mitsubishi to pay compensation for WWII slave labour November 29
December 9 The Doctors Trial begins at Nuremberg [2]

Sources:

    1. https://twitter.com/sarahsundin
    2. https://twitter.com/ww2db
    3. https://twitter.com/wartimeni
    4. https://twitter.com/MilHistNow
    5. The Darkest Year
    6. Auschwitz Memorial
    7. DDaywear
    8. Ron_Eisele
    9. ClassicWarBirds
    10. Yesterday Channel
    11. World War II History (The War Years)
    12. World War II stories from 1944
    13. RG Poulussen
    14. History Lovers Club
    15. WWII Today
    16. WWII Tweets from 1941
    17. World War II History
    18. WW2 History Hit
    19. WW2 Battlefields
    20. WorldWar2Facts
    21. Home Front Museum
    22. Tank Archives
    23. Polish Embassy UK
    24. James Holland
    25. National WWII Museum 
    26. History Extra
    27. GCHQ
    28. WW2 Tweets from 1942
    29. Science Museum
    30. Dunkirk 1940 Museum
    31. On this day in Canadian Military History
    32. WartimeNI
    33. Imperial War Museums
    34. BBC Archive
    35. Military History Matters
    36. Leggier Battlefield Tours
    37. Pacific Wrecks @PacificWrecks
    38. Royal Navy @RoyalNavy
    39. History Hit @HistoryHit
    40. National World War II Museum @WWIImuseum
    41. The Army Museum @armymuseumhfx
    42. Historical Firearms @historicfirearm
    43. Shane @WarGen39_45
    44. Marina Amaral @marinaamaral2
    45. Courtroom 600 @Courtroom600
    46. Trev Clark’s Daily Aviation History Feed @TrevClark1958
    47. American Veteran’s Center @AVCupdate
    48. Military Women’s Memorial @wimsatweets
    49. The Wiener Holocaust Library @wienerlibrary
    50. WWII Siberian Exile @polishodyssey
    51. James Brun @LeBrunJames91
    52. Museumships@museumships
    53. WW2 Nation @WW2Nation

</ol0

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