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 330 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 September 17, 2019

 Pacific Theater  Date  European Theater
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
July 29 Hitler became the leader of the Nazi party
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.
1931
January 26 Production of T-26 light tanks begins in Bolshevik Factory in Leningrad
Japan invades Manchuria September 18
Japanese troops reach the Taling River in northeastern China December 31
1932
In the first major aircraft carrier action in the Far East, Japanese carrier aircraft bomb Shanghai, China causing 1,000 mostly civilian deaths January 29
Japanese troops capture Harbin, China February 4
The Japanese carrier Hosho launchs sorties against Chinese positions in Shanghai February 5
First flight of the Martin B-10, first all-metal monoplane bomber February 16 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
Chinese troops launch a failed counterattack in Shanghai March 1
March 7 First flight of the German Junkers Ju 52/3m, 3 engine transport aircraft
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
1933
January 30 Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany
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
1934
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
Japan renounces the Naval Treaties of 1922 and 1930 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
First flight of the Curtiss P-36 Hawk, also known as the Curtiss Hawk Model 75, American fighter aircraft May 6 The P-36 was flown by the US Army Air Corp and allies in both theaters
October 3 Italy invades Ethiopia
Chiang Kaishek was made the Premier of Republic of China December 9
1936
First flight of the Supermarine Spitfire March 5 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
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
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
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
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
Japanese troops reach outskirts of Nanjing and demand surrender of the city December 9
1938
Japanese troops take 20 Chinese women from Ginling College for comfort houses February 4
The Inernational Committee in Nanjing makes 450 complaints of rape and murder to Japanese embassy February 5
The Japanese 11th Army captures the airfield outside of Anqing, Anhui, China [2] June 12
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
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
1939
Japanese bombers attack Chongqing, China January 7
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
First flight of Mitsubishi A6M1 Zero (Zeke), long range fighter aircraft operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service April 1
The Chinese counter offensive toward Nanchang, reaches the outskirts of the city April 25
USAAF placed an order April 26 for 524 P-40 fighters
Chinese troops attack Japanese positions at Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, China May 4
June 1 The Fw-190 fighter makes its maiden flight at Bremen, Germany [2]
June 14 The Japanese blockade the British concession in Tianjin, China [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.
eptember 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]
October 6 Last of the Polish military surrenders to Germany
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
November 30 The Winter War begins when Russia invades Finland. The League of Nations expells Russia for the attack.
1940
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
Japanese 26th Division captures Linhe, Suiyuan Province, China February 4
February 6 The Finnish 9th Div completes its encirclement of the Soviet 54th Div at Kuhmo
February 22 The Soviet 43rd Division captures Lasisaari and Koivisto, Finland
February 24 British Hawker Typhoon prototype P5212 fighter made her first flight in England
March 13 The Winter War ends with the Moscow Peace Treaty
April 25 British troops hold against a German attack at Kvam, Norway
Troops of the Chinese 3rd and 9th War Areas breach into southern Nanchang, China April 26
The prototype of the Douglas SBD Dauntless makes its maiden flight May 1
May 5 After a 25-day battle, the Norwegian fortress of Hegra surrenders
May 6 First flight of the Dewoitine D-750, French low-winged monoplane twin-engine 3 seat torpedo bomber prototype
May 9 The last day of the ‘Phoney War
May 10 Germany declares war on Belgium and the Netherlands as they roll through them and into France.


Winston Churchill becomes Prime Minister of the UK.

May 14 First flight of the Yermolayev Yer-2, DB240, long-range Soviet medium bomber
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
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]

June 9 The Norwegian 6th Div surrenders to the Germans; a formal armistice is planned for midnight [2]
June 10 Italy declares war on the UK and France
June 11 German troops capture Le Havre, France [2]
June 22 France Surrenders to Germany
June 23 Maxime Weygand expells Charles de Gaulle from the French Army [2]
June 25 The UK declares war on Vichy France
June 27 The British War Cabinet orders the Royal Navy to seize or destroy all French warships [2]
July Battle of Britain air war begins
The Japanese deploy the new A6M Zero fighters against Chinese forces [2] July 10
July 14 Vichy French bombers attack Gibraltar, causing no damage [2]
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 24-25 French bombers attack the British base at Gibraltar in retaliation for the British attack on the French Fleet at Mers-el-Kébir
The Tripartite Pact signed September 27 This is an alliance between Germany, Italy, and Japan
November 1 Battle of Britain air war ends
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 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

December 9 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

1941
January 4 Allied troops reach Bardia, Libya
January 6 Free French troops attack Murzuk airfield in southwestern Libya
January 7 Australian and British troops nearly surrounded at Tobruk, Libya
January 9 Australians and British troops encircle Tobruk, Libya
January 21 The Allies began attacking Tobruk, Libya
January 25 British colonial troops march into Italian Somaliland
February 5 British 7th Armoured Div set up roadblocks near Benghazi, cutting off the Italian retreat
February 8 The newly formed German Afrika Korps begins departing Naples, Italy for North Africa
February 9 Operation Compass ends


Allied troops capture El Agheila, Libya

February 11 The first German troops arrive at Tripoli, Libya
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 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
February 26 Francisco Franco refuses request from Hitler for Spain to enter the war
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
March 10 British Nigerian Brigade engages Italian units at Degehabur, Abyssinia
March 30 First powered flight of the Heinkel He 280, a German fighter prototype and the first turbojet-powered fighter aircraft in the world
April 24 German paratroopers capture the Corinth Canal in Greece
April 25 The German 8th Panzer Regiment departs Italy in three convoys for North Africa
April 26 The South African 1st Brigade captures Dessie, Abyssinia
May 4 The Politburo appoints Joseph Stalin the Chairman of Council of Peoples Commissars
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 8 Indian troops capture Falagi Pass near Amba Alagi, Abyssinia
Tokyo peace treaty officially ends the Franco-Thai War May 9
May 15 South African and Indian troops link up at Triangle Hill near Amba Alagi, Abyssinia
May 19 German aircraft attack British airfields on Crete, Greece
May 20 The Germans initiate their airborne assault on Crete, code named Operation Merkur
June 2 Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini meet again at the Brenner Pass on the Italian-Austrian border [2]
June 8 Commonwealth and Free French forces invade Vichy Syria-Lebanon [2]
June 10 Allied troops advanced toward Beirut [2]
June 12 Indian and Free French forces capture Deraa, Syria-Lebanon [2]
June 14 Croatia became the newest member of the Tripartite Pact [2]
June 18 The German 7th Panzer Div reaches Cherbourg [2]
June 22 Germany attacks Russian forces in Poland beginning the invasion of Russia and opening the Eastern Front.


Germany and Italy declare war on Russia.

June 24 The German Armeegruppe Nord moves into Lithuania [2]
June 27 German troops capture Bobruisk in Byelorussia and Przemysl in Poland [2]
June 28 German troops capture Minsk, Byelorussia [2]
June 30 German troops capture Lvov, Ukraine [2]
July 1 German 2.Panzergruppe reaches Berezina, Byelorussia [2]
July 4 German troops capture Ostrov in northern Russia [2]
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
November 25 Indian 7th Brgd. repulses an attack by German 5th Panzer Regiment at Sidi Omar, Libya
US Consulate Warns Americans to Get Out of Japan November 26
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
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 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 December 9
HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse, which had been sent to protect Singapore, were destroyed by overwhelming Japanese air power December 10
The US Office of Price Administration . . . 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 December 12
All British troops withdraw from Kowloon onto Hong Kong island December 13
Hong Kong surrenders to Japan December 25
1942
The US War Production Board . . .


Japanese troops continue the assault on Kampar, British Malaya

January 1 . . . orders a temporary end on cimilian auto sales [5]


Enemy aliens traveling in the US must get prior approval [5]

Japanese troops capture the open city of Manila, Philippines January 2
Japanese troops capture the bridges over Slim River in Malaya January 7
Japanese troops penetrate the outer lines of defense at Kuala Lumpur, Malaya January 8
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 January 14
British and Japanese troops engage in the first major clash in Burma January 16
January 17 5,000 Axis troops surrender to the South African 6th Infantry Brigade in Egypt
The Dutch begin to destroy oil facilities at Balikpapan, Dutch Borneo January 18
Japanese troops land on New Ireland and capture Kavieng January 22
Japanese troops capture Batu Pahat, British Malaya January 25
January 26 The first American soldiers deployed to Europe land in Belfast, Co. Antrim Northern Ireland
British colonial administrators flee British Malaya for Singapore January 29
Japanese 55th Infantry Division captures Moulmein, Burma 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 February 2
British authorities in Singapore turn down a Japanese demand for surrender February 4
Japanese aircraft attack Palembang, Sumatra, Dutch East Indies February 7
The battle of Singapore begins


Japanese troops capture Tengah airfield at Singapore

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 February 10
The Japanese 5th Div attacks Allied troops at Bukit Timah Hill in Singapore February 11
Japanese attack the Australian mainland, Darwin, for the first time February 12
Japanese troops capture Bandjarmasin, the capital of Dutch Borneo 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 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 February 15
The Sook Ching Massacre begins; thousands of ethnic Chinese Singaporeans will die February 16
Japanese troops cross the Bilin River north of Rangoon, Burma February 17
Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066


Japanese aircraft raid Darwin, Australia

February 19 This allows Japanese-Americans to be gathered up and sent to internment camps
German spy Bernard Kuehn is arrested in Hawaii February 21
Roosevelt personally orders General MacArthur to leave the Philippines February 22 The British 11th and 12th African Divisions wipe out Italian positions at Jilib, Somaliland
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 March 3
Second attack on Perl Harbor by the Japanese March 4
March 16 The Belzec Concentration Camp is established in occupied Poland
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
Japanese bombers attack US field hospital No. 1 at Bataan despite being marked with large red crosses March 30
Japanese troops capture Mandalay, Burma April 6
Doolittle leads US air raid on Japan April 18
The Japanese 18th Infantry Division captures Yamethin, Burma April 24
Japanese troops massacre entire Chinese villages suspected of aiding Doolittle Raiders April 25
A national “Victory Speed” limit is set . . .


The Japanese 18th Infantry Division captures Mandalay, Burma

May 1 . . . in the US of 35 MPH which lasted until after the end of the war [5]
The Japanese 3rd Kure Special Landing Force captures Tulagi Island and Gavutu Island May 3
Japanese troops capture Bhamo, Burma May 4
The Battle of the Coral Sea May 4 – 8
May 5 The German 16th Army brakes through to Kholm, Russia
The US begins gasoline rationing May 15 to support the war effort
First flight of the P-61 May 21 This night fighter was used in both Theaters of the war
Japanese and Chinese troops clash along the Hsipaw-Mogok road in northern Burma May 23
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.
May 30-31 First ‘1000 bomber raid‘ by the RAF against Cologne
U.S. warships ambush a Japanese task force off Midway. Japan loses four carriers and nearly 250 warplanes in the ensuing battle [4] June 4
Japanese troops occupy Kiska, Aleutian Islands, US Territory of Alaska [2] June 7
June 10 The Nazis burn the Czech village of Lidice as a reprisal for the killing of SS official Reinhard Heydrich [4]
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 16 Axis troops attack El Adem and Sidi Rezegh near Tobruk, Libya [2]
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
June 29 The German 90th Light Division reaches Sidi Abdel Rahman, Egypt [2]
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 July 10 American twin-engine light attack bomber [8]
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
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 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

November 4 German 170th Division captured Feodosiya, Ukraine
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
The US Army and Marines attack Japanese positions near Kokumbona on Guadalcanal November 18
November 20 British troops capture Benghazi, Libya
November 21 German paratroopers attack British positions near Djebel Abjod, Tunisia
US Army-Marine attack at Matanikau River on Guadalcanal is stopped by Japanese November 22
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
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

US Army takes over the Guadalcanal campaign from the US Marine Corps December 9
American troops capture Buna, New Guinea December 13
US Marines capture Mt. Austen, Guadalcanal December 17
December 22 German troops in the Caucasus region began to fall back
December 24 French Admiral Darlan assassinated
Japanese 16th Division captured Luisiana, Philippines December 28
1943
January 14 Casablanca Conference of Allied leaders begins
US 25th Division capture the high ground south of Kokumbona, Guadalcanal January 23 British forces capture Tripoli
January 24 Casablanca Conf ends with Allied leaders demanding German unconditional surrender
Japanese evacuation of Guadalcanal begins February 1
February 3 Coffee rationing increased to one pound every six weeks in the US
Battle of Guadalcanal ends February 8
The F4U-1 Corsair fighter makes their operational debut 200 miles north of Guadalcana February 13
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
March 17 US troops capture Gafsa, Tunisia
March 23 US troops repulse German 10th Panzer Div counterattack at El Guettar, Tunisia
April 15 First P-47 in aerial combat. The 800-mile combat range extended Allied fighter coverage deep into mainland Europe from Britain.
March 30 British troops led by Montgomery breach the Mareth Line in North Africa
March 31 Crematorium 2 began operation at Auschwitz Concentration Camp in occupied Poland
April 3 The US 1st Inf Division captures Hill 369 near El Guettar, Tunisia
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

May 5 Soviet troops capture Krymsk in southern Russia
Japanese troops capture Anxiang, Hunan Province, China May 7
Japanese troops capture Maungdaw, Burma May 8
May 12 The Trident Conference began in Washington, DC, United States
May 13 Axis forces in North Africa surrender
May 27 Churchill meets with Allied leaders in Algeria to plan the invasion of Sicily and the Italian campaign
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.
US troops mop up the final Japanese opposition groups in the Aleutian Islands May 24
June 22 Stutthof Concentration Camp conducted its first gassing [2]
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]
June 27 The hydroelectric dams in the Ruhr region damaged by Dambuster Raid return to full capacity [2]
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]
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.
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
October 1 US 8th Fifth Army and British X Corps enters Naples, Italy
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.
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


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
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 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
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.
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.
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
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
Indian 5th Division captures Maungdaw, Burma January 9
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
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

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
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
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
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)
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
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
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
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 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 preinvasion bombing of German airfields in France to drive the Luftwaffe away from invasion beaches

May 13 In 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

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
US troops secure Wakde Island off New Guinea May 20 The Polish resistance captures an intact German V-2 rocket. It will eventually ship the parts to England in July
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

The US 41st Infantry Division lands on Biak Island in Geelvink Bay of New Guinea and faces heavy resistance May 27
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 31 At 0700, first “Corncob” blockships that will be sunk for “Gooseberry” breakwaters depart Britain, the first ships to sail for D-day [1]
June 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


The US 5th Army captures Cervaro, Italy

June 6 D-Day, the Allied invasion of Normandy
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 10 Oradour-Sur-Glane – A French village utterly destroyed and over 600 men, women, and children massacred by SS troops
June 12 The French town of Carentan is liberated by the 101st Airborne [4]
The US Marine 2nd and 4th Divisions land on Saipan in the Mariana Islands [1] June 15
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]

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 [1]

June 29 In the Nazi campaign against Italian partisans, Germans execute all 73 men in San Pancrazio, Tuscany [1]


Soviets take Bobruysk in Byelorussia, capturing 70,000 troops of German Army Group Center [1]

June 30 On D-Plus 23 the German-garrison in the port city of Cherbourg surrendersproviding the Allies a deep-water harbour for moving men and materiel into France [4]
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 25 Operation Market Garden ends unsuccessfully
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 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
The U.S. Navy announced a decision 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
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 5 British troops captured Ravenna, Italy, cutting the rail line to Bologna
November 8 The “Battle of the Scheldt”ends


Allied troops captured Veere and Koudekerke in the Netherlands

American and Chinese troops attack Bhamo, Burma November 14
Japan conducts the first successful test of a rocket-powered Ohka aircraft November 19
Chinese troops capture Mangshih, Yunnan Province, China November 20
The 15,000th P-40 is completed November 22 at Buffalo, New York, United States
November 23 The T-44 medium tanks officially enters Soviet Army service
US B-29 bombers based in the Marianas Islands attack Tokyo for the first time November 24
Anglo-Indian troops capture Kalewa, Burma November 28
November 29 Soviet and Yugoslavian troops cross the Danube River into Hungary


Brazilian troops attack Monte Castello 61 kilometers southwest of Bologna, Italy

December 1 Himmler orders the crematoriums and gas chambers of Auschwitz destroyed
Indian 20th Division crosses the Chindwin River into Burma December 3 Allied troops capture Blerick, the Netherlands
December 6 The German He 162 jet fighter made its first flight
Japanese troops capture Tushan, Jiangsu Province, China December 8
December 9 Russian troops reach the Danube River north of Budapest, Hungary
Allied troops attack the Arakan region of Burma December 12
1945
January 26 Wounded Audie Murphy single-handedly repels tank and infantry attacks in France earning him the Congressional Medal of Honor
January 27 Soviet forces liberate the Auschwitz concentration camp
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
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
February 14 British and Canadian troops reach the Rhine River northwest of Duisberg, Germany
US paratroopers attack Corregidor, Philippines February 16
US Marines Michael Strank, Harlon Block, Franklin Sousley, Rene Gagnon, Ira Hayes, and Harold Schultz rais the Stars and Stripes atop Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima February 23
All Japanese pockets of resistance at Meiktila, Burma have been eliminated March 5
March 7 The US 9th Armored Division unexpectedly captures Rhine River bridge at Remagen
March 11 The US Third Army captures Kochem, Germany
US B-29 bombers attack Kobe, Japan, causing 15,000 casualties March 16
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

Indian 19th Infantry Division captures Mandalay, Burma March 20 US Third Army reaches Mainz, Germany
March 22 Soviet forces capture Braunsberg in East Prussia, Germany
March 27 The US Third Army captures Aschaffenburg, Germany


The Soviet Army enters Danzig encountering heavy resistance

March 28 The Soviet 1st Byelorussian Front captures Gotenhafen and Danzig


The US 1st Army captures Marburg, Germany

March 29 Soviet units capture the Komorn oil fields in Hungary
The Indian 19th Division captures Kyaukse south of Mandalay, Burma March 30 Soviet troops enter into Danzig
March 31 Soviet troops capture Ratibor and Katscher, Germany


The US Third Army reaches Siegen, Germany

US invades Okinawa April 1
April 2 Soviet troops capture Wiener Neustadt
April 5 French First Army captures Karlsruhe, Germany
The Japanese battleship Yamato, the largest battleship ever constructed, is sunk by American aircraft April 7
April 8 The US Seventh Army captures Pforzheim in southwestern Germany
US troops capture Jolo and Lamon Bay in the Philippines April 10
April 11 The US Third Army captures Weimar, Germany
April 13 The British 78th Infantry Division secures a bridgehead at Bastia in northern Italy
April 15 British troops liberate Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp in Germany
US Army troops land on Ie Shima off Okinawa, Japan April 16 US First Army captures Solingen and Wuppertal, Germany
April 17 Brazilian troops capture Montese, Italy
April 21 French First Army captures Stuttgart, Germany
April 27 Italian partisans capture Benito Mussolini
April 30 Hitler commits suicide
May 2 German forces in Italy and Austria surrender
May 4 Montgomery accepts the unconditional surrender of the German forces in North-West Europe at Lüneburg Heath
May 7 In the early hours of 7 May 1945 Germany surrenders unconditionally to the Allies
The US 10th Army captures Shuri Castle at Okinawa, Japan [2] May 29
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
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 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
US Secretary of War Robert Patterson orders all Japanese cyclotrons to be destroyed 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.
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

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)

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