Chronography of events from 1 January 1940 to 31 December 1944

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1/1/1945, Monday (-127) Mindoro Island, Philippines, taken by US forces.


31/12/1944, Sunday (-128) Rochefort retaken by the Allies.

30/12/1944, Saturday (-129)

28/12/1944, Thursday (-131) Hungary renounced all treaties with the Third Reich and declared war on Germany.

27/12/1944, Wednesday (-132) The Soviet Army began to besiege Nazi forces in Budapest.See 13/1/1945.

26/12/1944, Tuesday (-133) The US Army completed operations, begun 17/12/1944, to move 2.8 million gallons of motor fuel away from the Ardennes, so that German troops in this offensive would not capture the fuel supplies they needed to continue the Battle of the Bulge successfully and reach Antwerp. The German military was desperately short of fuel and needed to capture more in order to continue their initiative,

25/12/1944, Monday, (-134) (Germany) The Germans reached their furthest point of advance in the Ardennes Offensive. They had reached Dinant, 97 km from the start point. This day alone the Germans lost over 3,500 men and 400 vehicles, including 81 tanks.

24/12/1944, Sunday (-133) (Germany) In reprisal for an attack by the French Resistance, German SS units massacred all adult males in the village of Bande.

23/12/1944, Saturday (-136) (Germany) The heavy overcast weather in the Ardennes area cleared, allowing Allied aircraft to attack the Germans.

22/12/1944, Friday (-137) An American unit was surrounded at Bastogne by the German advance in the Battle of the Bulge.The unit held out until relieved on 26/12/1944. Inside Bastogne, General Anthony C McAuliffe received a message from the besieging Germans inviting him to surrender; his reply, scrawled on the surrender invite, was one word-�NUTS�.

21/12/1944, Thursday (-138) The Soviet Army, having entered Hungarianterritory in early September 1944, set up a provisional government in Debrecen.

20/12/1944, Wednesday (-139) (Greece) British troops rescued 350 military personnel from Greek ELAS Communist fighters at Kifissia, near Athens. Since Greece was liberated from the Nazis, there had been a vicious power struggle between Communist and Nationalist factions.

19/12/1944, Tuesday (-140) The French newspaper Le Monde began publication in Paris.

18/12/1944, Monday (-141) (Greece) British troops in Greece began an offensive against ELAS rebels

17/12/1944, Sunday (-142) (Germany) Soldiers of the 6th SS Panzer Army massacred 87 US PoWs at Malmedy, under the orders of Colonel Joachim Pieper. This had the effect of stiffening Allied resolve against the Ardennes Offensive.

16/12/1944. Saturday (-143) Germany began the Battle of the Bulge in the Ardennes. 15 German divisions, 250,000 men and 950 tanks, under General von Rundstedt confronted 83,000 Americans with 420 tanks, and advanced 60 miles before they were halted. The German Army was desperately short of fuel, and were hoping to capture the fuel they needed from Allied dumps as they advanced. This was their last offensive of the war. Germany had conjured up a large fighting force from sources such as back administration offices and prisons. See 6/1/1945. The sleet and low cloud that protected them from Allied air attacks soon cleared.

15/12/1944, Friday (-144) (Japan) A US task force landed on Mindoro, a small island off south Luzon. By end-January 1945 the island was cleared of Japanese forces, providing useful airfields for the US campaign in the Philippines.

14/12/1944, Thursday (-145) A total prohibition on citizen use of electricity was introduced to North and South Holland.

13/12/1944, Wednesday (-146) For London, a series of concentric ring roads and green belts were proposed. Two of these correspond to the North Circular and M.25.

12/12/1944, Tuesday (-147) The US Third Army captured the V-rocket factory at Wittring in eastern France.

11/12/1944, Monday (-148) Brenda Lee, US singer, was born in Lithonia, Georgia.

10/12/1944, Sunday (-149) De Gaulle and Stalin signed a treaty of alliance.

9/12/1944, Saturday (-150) The Danube north of Budapest was reached by the Russians.

8/12/1944, Friday (-151) (Japan) The US began a massive bombardment of Iwo Jima, which lasted 72 days, in preparation for an amphibious invasion.

7/12/1944, Thursday (-152) (Romania) General Radescu formed a Romanian government.

6/12/1944, Wednesday (-153) 20 million Germans were homeless after Allied bombing.

5/12/1944, Tuesday (-154) The 3rd Ukrainian Front of the Soviet Army captured Szigetv�r and Vukovar.

4/12/1944, Monday (-155) German bridgehead west of the Maas taken by the British.

3/12/1944, Sunday (-156) The Home Guard was formally disbanded in London as King George VI witnessed its final parade. Britons were jubilant that this symbolised imminent victory in the War. The Black-Out was replaced by the Dim-Out as the Luftwaffe was no longer a credible threat. However British strikes rose, particularly in the coal mines. Coal miners pay was relatively low compared to other occupations, and conditions were poor.

2/12/1944, Saturday (-157) Ibrahim Rugova, president of Kosovo, was born.

1/12/1944, Friday (-158) The U.S. Ninth Army captured Linnich.


30/11/1944, Thursday (-159) HMS Vanguard, Britain�s largest and last battleship, was launched at Clydebank � see 20/10/1941.

29/11/1944. Wednesday (-160) Russian troops crossed the Danube, in Hungary.

28/11/1944, Tuesday (-161) Antwerp reopened to port traffic.

27/11/1944, Monday (-162) (1) Between 3,500 and 4,000 tons of high explosives went off in a cavern beneath Staffordshire, killing 68 people. The explosion was heard as far away as Geneva. The former gypsum mine at Hanbury was used by the RAF to defuse bombs that had failed to drop from planes raiding Germany. Against strict rules, an operative used a steel screwdriver, causing a spark.

(2) The crematoria at Auschwitz were blown up.

26/11/1944, Sunday (-163) Heinrich Himmler ordered the destruction of the crematoria at Auschwitz concentration camp to eliminate evidence of the mass killings there.

25/11/1944, Saturday (-164) The first Kamikaze (divine wind) suicidal attacks were made by Japanese pilots on US ships.

24/11/1944, Friday (-165) (1) US planes bombed Tokyo, for the first time since 18/4/1942.

(2) Strasbourg taken by Allied forces.

23/11/1944, Thursday (-166) U.S. troops liberated the Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp in France.

22/11/1944, Wednesday (-167) Mulhouse and Metz retaken by Allied forces.

21/11/1944, Tuesday (-168) The Moscow Conference ended.

20/11/1944, Monday (-169) (1) Belfort taken by the French.

(2) After five years of black-out, the lights were switched on again in Piccadilly, Strand, and Fleet Street.

19/11/1944, Sunday (-170) The Shinano, the largest Japanese aircraft carrier ever built, was formally commissioned. Thought capable of withstanding any bomb, she was sunk ten days later by the US submarine Archerfish, with four torpedo hits, with the loss of 1,435 lives. A further 1,000 sailors were rescued.

18/11/1944, Saturday (-171) The Popular Socialist Youth organization was founded in Cuba.

17/11/1944, Friday (-172) Tirana, capital of Albania, was recovered from German occupation.

16/11/1944, Thursday (-173) The Allies crossed the River Lamone, Italy.

15/11/1944, Wednesday (-174)

14/11/1944, Tuesday (-175) The French 1st Army began an attack to seize the Belfort Gap.

13/11/1944. Monday (-176) (Britain) Croydon aerodrome, London, resumed civilian flights. The first flight was to Belfast via Liverpool.

12/11/1944. Sunday (-177) The last big German battleship, the Tirpitz, was sunk by the Lancaster bombers from the RAF, in Tromso Fjord, Norway. She had been lurking in Norwegian waters for several years, diverting Allied resources to protect Atlantic convoys. Three 5,500 kg bombs dropped on her decks resulted in the battleship turning turtle and sinking, trapping some 1,000 crewmen. A squadron of German fighter planes assigned to protect the Tirpitz did not even take off.

11/11/1944, Saturday (-178) Iwo Jima was bombarded by the U.S. Navy.

10/11/1944, Friday (-179) Allied troops took Forli, Italy.

9/11/1944, Thursday (-180) The Moscow Conference began.

8/11/1944, Wednesday (-181) Joseph Goebbels announced the V-2 rocket campaign for the first time. Winston Churchill followed suit and finally announced that England had been under rocket attack, providing the people of London with an explanation for all the mysterious explosions of recent weeks.

7/11/1944, Tuesday (-182) (1) Middleburg, Holland, captured by the Allies.

(2) President Franklin Delano Roosevelt won an unprecedented fourth term in the USA.

6/11/1944, Monday (-183) Monastir liberated by Yugoslav forces.

5/11/1944. Sunday (-184) The Japanese cruiser Nachi was sunk in Manila Bay by U.S. aircraft.

4/11/1944, Saturday (-185) RAF Bomber Command sent 749 aircraft to conduct the last major raid on Bochum. Over 4,000 buildings were destroyed and nearly 1,000 people were killed.

3/11/1944, Friday (-186) Flushing captured by the British. Canadian troops captured two bridges from South Beveland onto Walcheren.

2/11/1944, Thursday (-187) Belgium was clear of German troops. The Germans re-entered Belgium on 16/12/1944, and were finally expelled on 4/2/1945.

1/11/1944, Wednesday (-188) British troops landed on Walcheren Island. Walcheren commended the approaches to Antwerp, which had been captured by the Allies on 1/9/1944; however until Walcheren was cleared of German forces, Antwerp Harbour was unusable. It took five weeks to capture the Walcheren fortifications, at a cost of 12,873 Allied lives. Before Walcheren fell, opening up Antwerp, Allied forces in Belgium had to be supplied from the Normandy beaches, because every Channel port from Cherbourg to Ostend had been wrecked by Allied bombing or by German demolition squads.


31/10/1944, Tuesday (-189) British forces reached the River Maas.

30/10/1944, Monday (-190) Soviet forces attacked Budapest, but the Germans held it until February 1945.

29/10/1944, Sunday (-191) (Judaism) The first Jewish religious service was broadcast from Allied-occupied Aachen, Germany.

28/10/1944. Saturday (-192) General De Gaulle ordered the French Resistance to disarm.

27/10/1944, Friday (-193) The Japanese fleet suffered a crushing defeat in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, effectively ending its role as a fighting force.This was the world�s largest naval battle, which began on 22/10/1944, involving a total of 231 ships and 1996 aircraft.

26/10/1944, Thursday (-194) British troops crossed the River Scheldt and occupied the Beveland peninsula.

25/10/1944, Wednesday (-195) US escort carrier St Lo became the first ship sunk by a Japanese kamikaze attack.

24/10/1944, Tuesday (-196) The Riga Offensive ended in Soviet victory.

23/10/1944, Monday (-197) De Gaulle was officially recognised by the Allies as French leader.However De Gaulle was offended by the Allies refusal to treat France as a Great Power, or to invite him to the Yalta or Potsdam Conferences alongside the USA, UK, and USSR.

22/10/1944, Sunday (-198) Russian troops in Finland reached the Norwegian border.

21/10/1944, Saturday (-199) Aachen was captured by the Allies. The battle for the city, the first major German city to fall to the Allies, lasted a week, and over 10,000 prisoners were taken. Much of the city was destroyed.

20/10/1944. Friday (-200) (1) Tito�s partisans and the Red Army took Belgrade. It had been taken by Germany on 13/4/1941.

(2) General Mac Arthur returned to the Philippines with 250,000 troops, fulfilling a promise he made when his forces retreated from the Japanese.

19/10/1944, Thursday (-201) Churchill returned home after talks with Stalin.

18/10/1944. Wednesday (-202) The Russian army entered East Prussia and Czechoslovakia.

17/10/1944, Tuesday (-203) Rival partisans in Athens began to fight each other.

16/10/1944, Monday (-204) Aachen was surrounded by US forces.

15/10/1944, Sunday (-205) Sali Berisha, President of Albania, was born.

14/10/1944, Saturday (-206) Field Marshall Erwin Rommel, 53, Commander of the Afrika Corps 1941-43, took his own life by swallowing poison rather than be executed for an attempt on Hitler�s life. Hitler had promised him a hero�s funeral if he committed suicide. Otherwise Rommel would face the notorious Nazi judge, Roland Freisler, who had already condemned the other conspirators against Hitler to slow hanging by piano wire. The official cause of Rommel�s death was given as heart failure.

13/10/1944, Friday (-207) Athens was liberated from the Germans, who occupied it on 27/4/1941.

12/10/1944. Thursday (-208) (1) Tolbukhin�s forces crossed the Morava River south of Belgrade, to intercept the Germans falling back south of the city.

(2) Angela Rippon, British TV presenter, was born in Plymouth.

11/10/1944, Wednesday (-209) Cluj, capital of Transylvania, recaptured by the Russians.

10/10/1944, Tuesday (-210) Ramon Grau took office as President of Cuba.

9- 19/10/1944, Churchill travelled to Moscow for talks with Stalin.

9/10/1944, Monday (-211) Canadian and British forces landed behind German lines south of the Scheldt Estuary. Russian forces reached the Baltic coast near Libau.

8/10/1944, Sunday (-212) In Egypt, King Farouk dismissed the Wafd Government of Nahas Pasha.

7/10/1944, Saturday (-213) The Dumbarton Oaks Conference ended.

6/10/1944, Friday (-214) Soviet troops entered Hungary.

5/10/1944, Thursday (-215) In Germany, Joseph Goebbels announced a reduction in food rations.

4/10/1944, Wednesday (-216) Allied troops landed on the Greek mainland, at Patras.

3/10/1944, Tuesday (-217) The insurgents in the Warsaw Uprising surrendered to German forces.

2/10/1944. Monday (-218) British troops landed on Crete.

1/10/1944, Sunday (-219) The German war economy was hopelessly disorganised. In September 1944 German factories produced 3,000 fighter planes, but aviation fuel production was only 10,000 tons, as against Luftwaffe consumption of 165,000 tons in April 1944. These new planes sat on the runway with empty fuel tanks and vacant cockpits, as pilot training had virtually ceased.


30/9/1944. Saturday (-220) Canadian forces captured Calais.

29/9/1944, Friday (-219) The Battle of Arracourt ended in American victory.

28/9/1944, Thursday (-222) Soviet, Yugoslav Partisan and Bulgarian forces began the Belgrade Offensive.

27/9/1944, Wednesday (-223) Soviet troops and Yugoslav Partisans crossed the border into Albania.

26/9/1944, Tuesday (-224) The Canadian 2nd Army captured the German guns on Cap Gris Nez; the Allies now had total control of The Channel.

25/9/1944, Monday (-225) (1) The Allied forces who had been parachuted into Arnhem (17/9/1944) had succeeded in capturing key bridges over the Rhine, Maas and Waal rivers but had met fierce resistance from the 9th and 10th German Panzer Divisions. This resistance forced the withdrawal of Allied troops from Arnhem to south of the Rhine.

(2) Hitler called up all remaining males aged between 16 and 60 for the Volksturm, a home defence force.

24/9/1944, Sunday (-226) The second Quebec Conference ended (began 13/9/1944), see 24/8/1943.It was concerned with shifting the war effort to the Pacific to finish off the Japanese, also how best to advance into Germany (the Morgenthau Plan), and operations in The Philippines.

23/9/1944, Saturday (-227) Soviet forces entered Hungary,

22/9/1944, Friday (-228) (1) Boulogne surrendered to Canadian forces. Rimini captured by Allied forces.

(2) The Russians captured Tallinn, capital of Estonia. This blocked the final seaborne escape route for German Army Group North.

(3) In Britain details of demobilisation were released to the public. Class B �demob� covered builders and others with skills greatly needed for post-war reconstruction; these had priority of demob, but could be recalled to the military if they entered another trade. Class A covered everyone else. They would be released from military service on a scheme that equated years of age to years of military service at 6:1. This meant a 40 year old with 1 year�s military service had the same demob priority as a 22 year old with 3 year�s military service. The first demobilisations in the UK were on 18/6/1945.

21/9/1944, Thursday (-229) San Marino declared war on Germany.

20/9/1944, Wednesday (-230) British forces reached The Rhine at Nijmegen.

19/9/1944, Tuesday (-231) (1) Brest taken by US forces.

(2) Finland agreed to the peace terms demanded by Russia (see 20/6/1944), except that the indemnity was halved to US$300million.

18/9/1944, Monday (-232) The Battle of Arracourt began near the French town of Arracourt.

17/9/1944. Sunday (-233) The British airborne invasion of Arnhem and Nijmegen, Holland, began as part of Operation Market Garden, to secure a bridge over the Rhine.However a hard winter for Holland began as German forces in the north of the country resisted Allied attacks under Field Marshal Model.Food became scarce and could only be bought by barter on the black market.Money had no value and the rations system collapsed. In Britain the blackout was replaced by the dimout, except for all areas within 5 miles of the coast where the blackout remained in force.

16/9/1944, Saturday (-234) The Soviet 3rd Ukrainian Front occupied the Bulgarian capital of Sofia.

15/9/1944, Friday (-235) (1) Roosevelt and Churchill approved a plan to shoot Nazi war criminals without trail, drawn up by Viscount Simon. This was put to Stalin, with a list of names, but he insisted on holding trials first.

(2) In London, the Benelux Organisation was formed.

14/9/1944, Thursday (-236) (1) Russian forces took Praga, on the right bank of the River Vistula, opposite Warsaw.An anti-Nazi uprising by Poles had begun in Warsaw on 1/8/1944.However the Russian forces did not immediately cross the Vistula to Warsaw, but held back whilst the Nazis put down the Polish rebellion and razed the city.Warsaw was only taken by the Russians on 17/1/1945.

(2) Patton�s Third Army took Nancy in France.

13/9/1944. Wednesday (-237) (1) William Heath Robinson, the English artist famous for his drawings of excessively complicated machinery cobbled together, died.

(2) The Maastricht area was captured by Allied forces.

12/9/1944, Tuesday (-238) Le Havre captured by the British.

11/9/1944. Monday (-239) The Allies in the west under US First Army General Omar Bradley took their troops onto German soil, north of Trier. Large numbers of German troops were deserting. Civilian morale in Aachen collapsed as Nazi SS officials, troops and police hurriedly left the German city for Cologne, as US troops drew close

10/9/1944, Sunday (-240) RAF Bomber Command began Operation Paravane, another attack on the German battleship Tirpitz anchored in northern Norway.

9/9/1944, Saturday (-241) The Russians captured Sofia, capital of Bulgaria.

8/9/1944, Friday (-242) (1) Liege taken by US forces.

(2) The first V-2 fell in on Chiswick in the London area, killing three people. By the end of the war, 1,100 V-2s fell in England an a further 1,675 on the continent, mainly on Antwerp.V-2 stood for Vergeltungswaffe, or �reprisal weapon�. The V-2 rocket weighed 12 tons and travelled at 3,600 mph, faster than sound, so there was no warning of its imminent arrival. It had a range of 200 miles and carried a one ton bomb. The Germans fired them from launchers in The Netherlands, but the explosions in London were attributed, by the authorities, to gas explosions to mislead the German intelligence. The earlier V-1 rocket was slower and had a shorter range; V-1 strikes on London ceased as the Allies captured the launch sites in France.

7/9/1944, Thursday (-243) Hungary declared war on Romania and crossed into southern Transylvania

6/9/1944. Wednesday (-244) (1) Bulgaria declared war on Germany.Bulgaria had wanted to become neutral but Russia found this �insufficient� and threatened to declare war on Bulgaria.Bulgaria therefore declared war on Germany and Russian troops marched into Bulgaria unopposed�� On 28/10/1944 Bulgaria signed an armistice with the Allies and the Bulgarian Army, under Soviet command, attacked German forces in Yugoslavia, Hungary, and Austria.See 2/2/1945.

(2) The Polish Committee for National Liberation decreed the expropriation of farms with over 50 Ha (123.5 acres) arable land, or more than 100 ha (247 acres) land overall. Some of this land was given to agricultural labourers; the rest was made into state farms, and the forests were nationalised.

5/9/1944, Tuesday (-245) German and Dutch Nazis began to flee Holland, as Allied forces advanced through Belgium.

4/9/1944. Monday (-246) The Allies crossed into Holland. Antwerp was liberated.

3/9/1944. Sunday (-247) (1) The Allies entered Belgium, and liberated Brussels. The Belgian resistance was then well trained and armed, and German plans to destroy the docks at Antwerp as they retreated were thwarted. Thus the Allies could use this port to land ammunition and troops during the remaining eight months of fighting. Lyons also liberated by the Allies.

(2) Anne Frank and her family were transported to the Auschwitz death camp in Poland, see 14/6/1943.

2/9/1944 Saturday (-248) Allied forces took Pisa.

1/9/1944, Friday (-249) Dieppe taken by the Canadians. British forces, helped by the Belgian Resistance, took Antwerp; see 1/11/1944.


31/8/1944. Thursday (-250) Russian and Romanian forces captured the Ploesti oilfields, which had supplied Germany with one third of its military oil. Allied troops reached Amiens, northern France. Meanwhile Hitler declared that the political differences between the Allies would result in the collapse of their efforts against Germany (see 19/8/1944).

30/8/1944, Wednesday (-251) Rouen taken by the Canadians. Soviet forces took Bucharest. German forces, putting up little resistance to the Allied advance in France, were retreating across the Seine; they were flooding the lower reaches of the Somme to delay the Allied advance there.

29/8/1944, Tuesday (-252) Constanza taken by Russia.

28/8/1944, Monday (-253) Marseilles and Toulon fell to the Allies.

27/8/1944. Sunday (-254) Polish and Russian officials showed the news media the Maidenek concentration camp.

26/8/1944, Saturday (-255) The Battle of Toulon ended in Allied victory.

25/8/1944. Friday (-256) (1) Germans in Paris surrendered. The Nazi commander, General von Cholitz, ignored Hitler�s instructions to destroy the city. The USA had held back to allow the French under General LeClerc to retake Paris, led by General De Gaulle.Paris had been under German occupation since 14/6/1940.

(2) Finland was forced to sue the USSR for peace (see 12/3/1940) under pressure from the Soviet Army.Finland gave up territory gained from the USSR since 1940, and also ceded the Petsamo region, with the Arctic port at Porkkala; this gave the USSR a common border with Norway.

24/8/1944, Thursday (-257) Canadian forces captured Bernay and crossed the Risle River at Nassandres

23/8/1944. Wednesday (-258) (Germany, Romania) Following a coup d�etat in Bucharest, in which pro-Nazi dictator General Ion Antonescu was overthrown (born 1882, acceded 1940), Romania changed sides and declared war on Germany and Soviet troops entered Rumania as allies. Germans had entered Bucharest as allies in September 1940, after Antonescu seized power, forcing King Carol II into exile after Carol had surrendered Romanian territory to Hungary, Bulgaria and Russia. Romania then supported Germany when it invaded Russia in June 1941, and assisted in the Nazi capture of Odessa, which was then renamed �Antonescu�, with areas of south-west Ukraine annexed to Romania. However the Soviets began to force back the Romanians, and other Axis forces, in the winter in 1942/3. On this day, 23/8/1944, Carol II�s 23-year-old son, King Michael, had Antonescu arrested. Antonescu was subsequently charged with war crimes in May 1946 and on 1/6/1946, after a brief trial, was condemned to death and shot. Meanwhile, French forces took Marseilles, then advanced up the Rhone Valley.

22/8/1944, Tuesday (-259) The Royal Navy began Operation Goodwood, a series of raids against the German battleship Tirpitz anchored in northern Norway.

21/8/1944, Monday (-260) (1) US forces crossed the Seine.

(2) Meetings began at Dumbarton Oaks, Washington DC, on starting the Charter of the United Nations.These meetings ended on 7/10/1944.

20/8/1944, Sunday (-261) (1) Toulouse taken by French forces.

(2) Rajiv Ghandi, younger son of Prime Minister Indira Ghandi, was born.

19/8/1944. Saturday (-262) (1) Allied forces in Italy took Florence.

(2) Paris rebelled against German occupation.

(3) Differences emerged between the Americans and the British as to how to press on against Germany. The US wanted to go directly east into Germany via the Saar region; the British wanted to secure Belgium and Holland and then occupy the industrial Ruhr region. This latter option would both neutralise the V-weapon launching sites and capture the deepwater port of Antwerp. Politically, however, both options had to be pursued, or else public outrage would ensue if one Allied army was halted whilst the other pressed on.

18/8/1944, Friday (-263) The Allies closed the Falaise Gap, trapping German forces to the north and west.

17/8/1944, Thursday (-264) (1) Falaise taken by the Canadians.

(2) The Russians reached the border of East Prussia.

16/8/1944, Wednesday (-265) Canadian troops surrounded Falaise, France.

15/8/1944. Tuesday (-266) US and French forces landed in southern France, on a front from Nice to Marseilles, and joined up in eastern France with the forces landing in Normandy. This was Operation Anvil. From Marseilles Allied forces swung north up the Rhone Valley.

14/8/1944, Monday (-267) Robyn Smith Astaire, US jockey, was born in San Francisco, California.

13/8/1944, Sunday (-270) Davina Galica, skiing champion, was born.

12/8/1944. Saturday (-269) PLUTO, or Pipeline Under The Ocean, began operating. It carried fuel from Shanklin, Isle of Wight, to Allied forces advancing against the Germans in France.

11/8/1944, Friday (-270) Florence evacuated by the Germans.

10/8/1944, Thursday (-271) US/French offensive at Alencon.

9/8/1944, Wednesday (-272) St Malo and Le Mans taken by US forces.The USA completed the recapture of Guam.

8/8/1944. Tuesday (-273) Officers convicted of an attempt on Hitler�s life were hanged with piano wire. See 20/7/1944.

7/8/1944, Monday (-274) RAF attacked German lines south of Caen.

6/8/1944, Sunday (-275) The Soviets began the Osovets Offensive as part of the final phase of Operation Bagration.

5/8/1944, Saturday (-276) Germans bombed the Warsaw suburb of Wola, during the Warsaw Uprising.

4/8/1944, Friday (-277) (1) Anne Frank and her family, who had gone into hiding from the Nazis on 6/7/1942 (see also 14/6/1943) were discovered by the Nazis, see 3/9/1944.

(2) Purge of the German Army by Hitler.

3/8/1944, Thursday (-278) Rennes taken by US forces.

2/8/1944. Wednesday (-279) Turkey broke off relations with Germany, reluctantly, under pressure from the United Nations to fulfil its treaty obligations.

1/8/1944. Tuesday (-280) (1) Anti-Nazi rising in Warsaw began.Russian forces were close to the city, see 14/9/1944.

(2) US forces captured the Pacific island of Tinian from the Japanese. Tinian was then developed as a US air force base, from which the mission to drop atom bombs on Japan was to depart (see 6/8/1945).


31/7/1944. Monday (-281) (1) The Allies drove the Germans out of Normandy. Avranches was captured, opening the way into Brittany.

(2) The pilot and writer Antoine de Saint-Exupery, author of �The Little Prince�, was reported missing.

(3) The last scheduled deportation of Parisian Jews from Drancy. By now gunfire could be heard in Paris and liberation seemed very close. Nazi Army commanders wanted to requisition the deportation trains for moving their own troops back to safer positions.

30/7/1944, Sunday (-282) Soviet forces captured Simno, Poland, only 35 miles from the Prussian border and 330 miles as the crow flies from Berlin. They also took Gluda which cut the railway line west from Riga. German forces in Riga now had just one minor rail line west as an escape route, leading to Windau, a small Baltic port.

29/7/1944, Saturday (-283) Soviet forces crossed the River Vistula, capturing the town of Sandiomerz in central Poland

28/7/1944. Friday (-284) Soviet forces took Brest Litovsk, Poland.

27/7/1944, Thursday (-285) (Germany) Russian forces captured Lvov from Germany.

26/7/1944, Wednesday (-286) Dvinsk retaken by Russia.Narva, Estonia, retaken by Russia.

25/7/1944. Tuesday (-287) Allied forces in Normandy forced through weakened German defences at St Lo.

24/7/1944, Monday (-288) Lublin retaken by Russia. German losses in the past 5 weeks amounted to over 2,000 tanks, 340 aircraft and 113,000 men. Only 10,000 men replaced them.

23/7/1944, Sunday (-289) The Lvov Uprising, an armed insurrection of the Home Army in Poland against the Nazi German occupiers, began in the city of Lvov.

22/7/1944, Saturday (-290) The Bretton Wood conference ended.

21/7/1944, Friday (-291) Guam, in the western Pacific, was liberated by US Marines.It had been under Japanese occupation since December 1941.

20/7/1944. Thursday (-292) (1) Roosevelt was nominated for a fourth term.

(2) An attempt was made on Hitler�s life by a German Staff Officer, Count Claus Von Stauffenberg, at Hitler�s headquarters at Rastenburg, East Prussia. A bomb was left in a briefcase under a table in the conference room where Hitler was to speak. The plot failed because the heavy oak table top shielded Hitler from much of the blast, as did the thick table leg against which the briefcase was placed. The plotters were arrested, as were 1,000 other people implicated in the plot. See 8/8/1944.

(3) Tbe USA began to retake the island of Guam from the Japanese.

19/7/1944, Wednesday (-293) Leghorn retaken by American forces.

18/7/1944. Tuesday (-294) Prime Minister Tojo of Japan resigned.

17/7/1944, Monday (-295) Field Marshal Rommel was badly injured when an Allied fighter plane shot up his car.

16/7/1944, Sunday (-296) A large gun on the French coast that was almost ready to fire huge shells at British south coast towns was destroyed in a sustained air raid.

15/7/1944, Saturday (-297) The Second Battle of the Odon began as part of the Battle of Normandy.

14/7/1944, Friday (-298) Soviet forces entered Pinsk, less than 200 miles from east Prussia.

13/7/1944. Thursday (-299) The capital of Lithuania, Vilnius, was recaptured by the Russians.

12/7/1944, Wednesday (-300) (1) The RAF became the first air force to use jet aircraft in operational service.

(2) The Russians advanced 21 miles on the Baltic Front.

11/7/1944, Tuesday (-301) The new German Tiger II heavy tank saw frontline combat for the first time during the Normandy campaign.

10/7/1944, Monday (-302) New Soviet offensive against German Army Group North began.

9/7/1944. Sunday (-303) The Allies took Caen. The last train carrying Jews to the concentration camps left from Budapest (see 13/1/1945).

8/7/1944, Saturday (-304) (Germany) British and Canadian troops approached the outskirts of Caen. The German defenders contested every street.

7/7/1944, Friday (-305) Tony Jacklin, British golf champion, was born in Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire.

6/7/1944, Friday (-306) Japanese Admiral Nagumo and General Saito committed suicide on Saipan. Before they died they ordered their troops to undertake a final suicide attack. The Japanese lost 26,000 men to the US losses of 16,500 dead and wounded. Resistance on Saipan now ended.

5/7/1944, Wednesday (-307)

4/7/1944, Tuesday (-308) Conclusion of the Battle of Kohima-Imphal. Crucial battle of the Burma campaign; the 14th Army under Slim fought the Japanese in Burma from 4/3/1944. Allied troops were supplied by air and held back the Japanese from the key towns of Kohima and Imphal.

3/7/1944, Monday (-309) (1) Evacuation of children from London because of the V-1 bombings.

(2) Siena retaken by French troops.

(3) Minsk was recaptured by the Russians.

2/7/1944, Sunday (-310) (Germany) Marshal von Kluge replaced General von Rundstedt

1/7/1944. Saturday (-311) (1) The Bretton Woods Conference began.Representatives from 44 nations began formulating the post World War Two International Monetary Policy.

(2) A bottle of Scotch cost 25s 9d (�1.29), up from 16s (80p) at the start of the War. A �coupon saver� dress from Debenham and Freebody cost �9 9s (�9.45) plus 11 coupons. A �popular crepon neat practical skirt� from the same store cost �2 9s 11d (�2.49 �) plus six coupons. The First Sea Lord and Chief of |Naval Staff received an annual salary of �4,525. the Senior Design Officer in the Directorate of camouflage got an annual salary of �700.


30/6/1944, Friday (-312) The last German resistance in the Contentin Peninsula, France, ceased with the Allied capture of Auderville.

29/6/1944, Thursday (-313) The Russians captured Petrozavodsk from Finland, see 20/6/1944.See 19/9/1944.

28/6/1944, Wednesday (-314) (Germany) Hitler replaced Field Marshall Busch, of the Army Group Centre, with General Model.

27/6/1944. Tuesday (-315) The Allies took Cherbourg. This was important as it gave the Normandy bridgehead its first deep water port.

26/6/1944, Monday (-316) (1) (Germany) Vitebsk retaken by Russia. The Nazi 3rd Pamzer Amy was surrounded.

(2) Naval fighting between the USA and Japan off the Marianas Islands.

25/6/1944, Sunday (-317) Allied tanks reached the suburbs of Cherbourg. The German Commander of Cherbourg, General Karl Wilhelm von Schleiben, asked Rommel to be allowed to surrender, as he had 2,000 wounded who could not be treated. Rommel refused and ordered him to fight to the end.

24/6/1944, Saturday (-318) Rio Gebhardt, German composer, died aged 36

23/6/1944, Friday (-319) (Germany) The German 4th Army, NE of Minsk, was surrounded.

22/6/1944, Thursday (-320) (Germany) (1) The Russians commenced Operation Bagration. Under the supreme command of Zhukov, some 1.2 million troops launched a 4-pronged assault towards Minsk. A simultaneous assault was launched towards Lithuania.

(2) (US Universities) US Congress enacted the GI Bill of Rights (Servicemen�s Readjustment Act), providing finance for college education for millions of US War veterans.

21/6/1944, Wednesday (-321) (Germany) Berlin was heavily bombed.

20/6/1944, Tuesday (-322) (1) Perugia, Italy, taken by the Allies.

(2) The Russians attacked Finland, which had begun peace discussions with the USSR in February 1944. Russia had demanded restoration of the 1944 frontier, plus Petsamo, thus excluding Finland from the Arctic Ocean, and an indemnity of US$ 600 million, Finland�s entire national income for 1939.Finland refused such humiliating terms, and Russia attacked, capturing Viipuri this day.See 29/6/1944.

19/6/1944, Monday (-323) (1) The French retook Elba.

(2) The USA took Saipan.It took over three weeks to defeat the Japanese, at a cost of 3,000 Americans dead and 17,000 wounded; 27,000 Japanese also died.The US did not attempt to capture all Pacific islands in their path to Japan, only selected ones, leaving other heavily-armed islands to �wither on the vine�.The Japanese fought fiercely and had no fear of death; many �Banzai�-charged the US soldiers, led by officers wielding swords.

18/6/1944, Sunday (-324) (Japan) The Japanese 11th Army occupied the Chinese cities of Changsha and Chuchow.

17/6/1944. Saturday (-325) Iceland became an independent republic. The 25-year Union with Denmark had expired, see 1/12/1918.

16/6/1944, Friday (-326) British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden drew up a list of top German war criminals, from Hitler down.

15/6/1944. Thursday (-327) Air raids on Japan hit steel mills at Yawata.

14/6/1944, Wednesday (328) Joe Grifasi, US actor, was born.

13/6/1944. Tuesday (-329) (1) The first V-1 flying bomb, or doodlebug, to hit Britain landed on a house in Southampton, killing three people.Within 24 hours, others hit London.

(2) Fifteen US warships bombarded Saipan with 165,000 shells. Saipan, with Tinian (see 1/8/1944), was a small Pacific island halfway between Australia and Japan, occupied by the Japanese. 8,000 US marines landed on Saipan on 15/6/1944; Japanese troops hid in caves but were attacked with flame throwers. On 7/7/1944 3,000 cornered Japanese troops, along with hundreds of civilians jumped to their death rather than surrender.

12/6/1944, Monday (-330) Churchill visited the front in Normandy. The 101st American Airborne division captured the town of Carentan, which commended the Vire estuary; this closed the last gap in the Normandy beachheads, between Omaha and Utah beaches, into a single front 42 miles wide.

11//6/1944, Sunday (-331) Planes from US carrier ships softened up Saipan, Marianas Islands, prior to a US invasion.

10/6/1944. Saturday (-332) (1) Allied troops began a push towards Caen. This tied down large numbers of German troops and Hitler sent in his elite Panzer forces.

(2) Troops from the 2nd SS Panzer Division massacred 642 people in the French village of Oradour sur Glane in revenge for Resistance attacks. After the war, President De Gaulle ordered that the village be left as a ruin, as a memorial; a new village was built nearby.

(3) The USSR began an offensive against Finland.

9/6/1944, Friday (-333) Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery ordered massive air raids on German positions in northern France as the Allies advanced from Normandy. 450 Allied bombers hit towns including Lisieux and le Havre.

8/6/1944, Thursday (-334) Bayeux liberated.

7/6/1944. Wednesday (-335) King Leopold of Belgium was arrested.

6/6/1944. Tuesday (-336) D � Day. Allied forces landed in Normandy. Operation Overlord was the biggest sea-borne invasion in history. It was delayed 24 hours due to bad weather. In the early morning of Tuesday 6 June 1944 11,600 aircraft, 6,000 surface craft, and nearly 170,000 men assaulted the coast of France on a 50 mile front, and 9,000 had been killed. Men from boats joined with parachutists. By the sixth day, 326,000 Allied soldiers were in the French bridgehead. The Luftwaffe mustered 183 planes, which faced 11,000 Allied planes. The Allies had also intercepted a Luftwaffe message indicating they were critically short of aviation fuel, and Allied bombing raids were concentrated on German oil installations. Crucially for the Germans, Hitler was asleep when the D-Day landings began, at 06.35 local time, and no-one dared waken him. Extra reinforcements could not be ordered without him, and vital hours were lost by the Axis forces battling to hold Normandy. By the end of the first day, the Allies had a beachhead 25 miles long and 5 miles deep. Further initial advance was delayed by the Normandy bocage, small fields with thick hedgerows, and steep valleys and hillsides. See 15/5/1944.

5/6/1944. Monday (-337) The Caf� Gondree was the first place to be liberated from the Germans on the eve of the D-Day landings when paratroopers from the 6th Brigade dropped on the town of Benouville to seize a vital canal bridge.

4/6/1944. Sunday (-338) (1) Rome liberated by the Allies.

(2) Eisenhower decided on a 24-hour delay to D-Day due to poor weather.

3/6/1944, Saturday (-339) Richard Verber, US chess master, was born.

2/6/1944, Friday (-340) Eisenhower settled on 5 June for D-Day

1/6/1944, Thursday (-341) The BBC transmitted a coded alert to the French Resistancewarning of the D-Day landings; the message was the first verse of Paul Verlaine�s poem, Chanson D�Automne.


31/5/1944, Wednesday (-342) Allied bombs cut the communications between the German HQ in Paris and German Air Force bases at Rennes and Caen, for three crucial days. Meanwhile the Luftwaffe no longer had the resources to both bomb Britain and fight off a cross-Channel Allied attack.

30/5/1944, Tuesday (-343) US VI Corps destroyed the German defences in the Alban Hills, just south of Rome.

29/5/1944, Monday (-344)

28/5/1944, Sunday (-345) Second US bombing raid on 5 of Germany�s synthetic oil plants, already damaged by a raid on 12/5/1944..

27/5/1944, Saturday (-346) Due to Allied decrypting of German messages, they learnt of a major axis troop concentration at La Haye-du Puits, on the Contentin Peninsula, where the US had planned to parachute in troops. This part of the D-Day plan was therefore amended, with the scheduled date for the capture of Cherbourg put back by 7 days.

26/5/1944, Friday (-347) Allied daylight air raid on Lyon, to block German reinforcement routes from the south. 717 French civilians were killed.

25/5/1944. Thursday (-348) Tito escaped to the hills as German troops captured his Bosnian headquarters.

24/5/1944, Wednesday (-349) Hitler gave permission for Kesselring to withdraw to the Caesar Line, Italy

23/5/1944. Tuesday (-350) The Battle of Anzio, Italy. Landings by the Allies had begun at Anzio on 22/1/1944, 40 miles behind German lines and just 30 miles south of Rome. German troops in the area were sparse but rather than break out straightaway, taking advantage of the element of surprise, the Allies waited until further reinforcements came, by whichtime the Germans had brought in more troops too.

22/5/1944, Monday (-351) Successful Canadian attack on the Dora Line, Italy.

21/5/1944, Sunday (-352) The Allies launched Operation Chattanooga Choo Choo, to destroy railway engines and rolling stock across northern Europe, including Germany. This Operation was so effective that even Jews from the concentration camps were being drafted in to repair the damage.

20/5/1944, Saturday (-353) The Germans still did not know where the Allies might land in western Europe.The German Navy did not mine the Seine estuary, as Rommel wanted, nor were German troops deployed that could have covered both Normandy and Brittany, because Germany feared an Allied airborne landing around Paris.

19/5/1944, Friday (-354) US II Corps took Gaeta and Ituri, Italy.

18/5/1944. Thursday (-355) Allied troops captured Monte Casino in Italy.This opened the way to Rome.See 15/2/1944 and 4/6/1944.

17/5/1944, Wednesday (-356) US and Chinese forces seized the airfield at Myitkyina, Burma, from the Japanese. However strong Japanese resistance meant the city of Myitkyina was not captured until 3/8/1944.

16/5/1944, Tuesday (-357) Roma inmates of Auschwitz mounted a rebellion to prevent the total annihilation of them all by the Nazis.

15/5/1944. Monday (-358) (1) In St Pauls School, London, the D-Day landings of 6/6/1944 were planned using a huge map of the area. 8 divisions, 5 seaborne and 3 airborne, were to be landed in the first 48 hours. The Germans had 60 divisions defending the coast of the Netherlands, Belgium and France. An elaborate deception was mounted to make Germany think Calais was the landing point with fake radio traffic, misleading reports from Nazi agents who had been �turned� to serve the Allies, and a phantom army with wooden tanks stationed in south-east England. In May 1944 Montgomery received a decode of a message from Field Marshall Rommel to Hitler saying that Allied bombing of railways in northern France was disrupting his efforts to defend the Calais area from an Allied invasion.

(2) Field Marshall Erwin Rommel attempted to cut off occupied France from neutral countries to stop information being passed out to the Allies.

14/5/1944, Sunday (-359) The last attempted air raid on Bristol. 91 bombers took part but most failed even to find the city; a few small bombs were dropped in the suburbs.

13/5/1944, Saturday (-360) At Bagneres de Bigorre, near the Pyrenees, sabotage by British and French agents put a factory producing carriers for self-propelled guns out of action for 6 months.

12/5/1944, Friday (-361) US planes launched a major attack on Germany�s synthetic oil plants, destroying 7 plants that had produced a third of Germany�s total output. Germany�s armed forces were now totally dependent on this synthetic oil to continue fighting.

11/5/1944, Thursday (-362) Heavy military barrage by Allies against Monte Cassino began, followed by an infantry attack.

10/5/1944, Wednesday (-363) Jim Abrahams, film director was born in Shorewood, Wisconsin

9/5/1944. Tuesday (-364) The Russians took Sevastopol, liberating all of the Crimea.

8/5/1944, Monday (-365) Eisenhower settled on 5, 6, or 7 June as date for the D-Day landings.

7/5/1944, Sunday (-366) (Science) Stuart Ballantine, US physicist, died in Morristown, New Jersey, USA.

6/5/1944, Saturday (-367) Rehearsals for the D-Day landings were held at Slapton Sands, Devon.

5/5/1944, Saturday (-368) The Russian attack on Sevastopol began. 25,000 Germans here surrendered on 12/5/1944. The Crimea was now clear of Axis forces.

3/5/1944, Wednesday (-370)


30/4/1944, Sunday (-373) Pre-fabricated houses went on show in London. 500,000 of them were planned as temporary housing for those who had lost their homes to Luftwaffe bombs.

29/4/1944, Saturday (-374) Aircraft from carrier ships destroyed the Japanese base at Truk, Caroline Islands.

28/4/1944, Friday (-375) Second US attack on Truk in 10 weeks. 30 IUs aircraft were shot down but 25 of the pilots were rescued. However the Japanese fuel and ammunition depots were destroyed, making any Japanese flank attack on western New Guinea impossible,

27/4/1944, Thursday (-376) Michael Fish, meteorologist, was born.

25/4/1944, Tuesday (-378)

24/4/1944, Monday (-379) The Japanese evacuated New Guinea as US troops landed.

23/4/1944, Sunday (-380) Hollandia, New Guinea, fell to the Americans without much fighting.

22/4/1944, Saturday (-381) The US launched Operation Persecution, attacking the Japanese on the north coast of New Guinea.

21/4/1944, Friday (-382) In France, women got equal voting rights with men.

20/4/1944. Thursday (-383) The RAF set a new bombing record. 4,500 tons of bombs were dropped in a single raid, on Hitler�s 55th birthday.

19/4/1944, Wednesday (-384) The RAF bombed railways and river bridges in France.

18/4/1944, Tuesday (-385) (Japan) The 5th Brigade attacked Japanese defences near Kohima.

17/4/1944, Monday (-386) Zhukov captured Ternupol, Ukraine.

16/4/1944, Sunday (-387) Soviet forces cleared out the last pockets of German resistance at Yalta.

15/4/1944, Saturday (-388) The US began devising Operation Wed;lock, a spurious plan to attack the Kurile Islands, northern Japan. This was a diversionary tactic.
14/4/1944, Friday (-389) (Japan) British forces overcame a Japanese roadblock near Zubza, western Kohima trail, relieving the besieged 161st Indian Brigade.

13/4/1944, Thursday (-390) The Russian army took Simferopol, capital of Crimea.

12/4/1944, Wednesday (-391) (Japan) Japanese forces cut the road between Kohima and Imphal.

11/4/1944, Tuesday (-392) The USSR regained Odessa.

10/4/1944, Monday (-393) US aircraft attacked German shore batteries along the Normandy coast.

9/4/1944, Sunday (-394) Easter Sunday. General Charles De Gaulle became commander in chief of the Free French forces. This angered his rival for the post, World War veteran General Henri Giraud. De Gaulle fled France for Britain in 1940.

8/4/1944, Saturday (-395) Russia began on offensive to evict the Germans from Crimea, the last part of pre-War Russia they still occupied.

7/4/1944, Friday (-396) Hitler suspended all laws in Berlin and made Goebbels dictator of the city.

6/4/1944, Thursday (-397) In the UK, PAYE (pay as you earn) Income Tax began.

5/4/1944, Wednesday (-398) The Germans began deporting Jews from Hungary.

4/4/1944, Tuesday (-399) On the Eastern Front, a counterattack by the German 4th Panzer Army captured Kovel.

3/4/1944, Monday (-400) British aircraft bombed the German battleship Tirpitz, damaging her but failing to sink her.

2/4/1944, Sunday (-401) USSR troops crossed the Romanian frontier.

1/4/1944, Saturday (-402) Many German troops were surrounded in the eastern Galician town of Skala. Over the next 9 days, 26,000 of them were killed.


31/3/1944, Friday (-403) The Soviet 3rd Ukrainian Front took Ochakov.

30/3/1944, Thursday (-404) Soviet forces were now within 16 miles of the Hungarian frontier.

29/3/1944, Wednesday (-405) Soviet forces took Kolomyja, a town inside �Greater Germany�.

28/3/1944, Tuesday (-406) The 1st Panzer Army was trapped by Zhukov and Koniev.

27/3/1944, Monday (-407) (Germany) Germany poured massive reinforcements into Hungary as the Russians approached.

26/3/1944, Sunday (-408) In Greece ELAS, Communist, setup a Committee of Liberation.

25/3/1944, Saturday (-409) German army commander, Von Manstein, leader of Army Group South, successfully argued with Hitler that the 1st Panzer Army must be allowed to retreat to avoid a Soviet encirclement south-east of Tarnopol. Von Manstein was a much better strategist than Hitler, and was never afraid to argue persuasively and strongly with the Fuhrer when necessary. However Von Manstein was replaced by Field Marshal Model. Army Groups South and A were renamed, respectively, Army Groups Northern and Southern Ukraine; an ironic move given that by now very little of the Ukraine remained under German occupation.

24/3/1944, Friday (-410) Orde Wingate, British Army Commander who created and led the Chindits in Burma, was killed in a plane crash in the rainforest in Assam. The Chindits, from the Burmese for �mighty lion� struck deep behind Japanese lines, destroying railways and bridges.

23/3/1944, Thursday (-411) A bomb planted by Italian partisans killed 33 members of the SS in Rome

22/3/1944, Wednesday (-412) Heavy air raid on Frankfurt. 816 British planes dropped over 3,000 bombs and 1.2 million incendiaries in less than 1 hour.

21/3/1944, Tuesday (-413) Hilary Minster, actor, was born in Surrey, England (died 1999);

20/3/1944, Monday (-414) Soviet forces took Vinnitsa, on the Southern Bug, and crossed the Dniester north of Kishinev,

19/3/1944, Sunday (-415) (Germany) Germany began a direct occupation of its ally, Hungary, as Soviet forces advanced towards the Danube Plain. Hungarian oil was vital for Germany, and Hitler was alarmed at reports that Admiral Horthy, Hungarian Regent, was intending to surrender to the Russians as soon as they crossed the border into Hungary.

18/3/1944, Saturday (-416) The Soviets took Zhmerynka, central Ukraine.

17/3/1944, Friday (-417) Soviet forces entered the railway junction town of Dubno, 25 miles inside Poland and only 170 miles from Hungary.

16/3/1944, Thursday (-418) Rick Renick: US baseball player, was born.

15/3/1944, Wednesday (-419) Heavy air raids against the ancient monastery at Casino by the Allies.

14/3/1944, Tuesday (-420) Heavy German air raid on London, with 100 Luftwaffe bombers.

13/3/1944, Monday (-421) Kherson retaken by Russia.

12/3/1944. Sunday (-422) The UK government banned all travel between Britain and Ireland to prevent Normandy invasion plans being passed to pro-German spies in Ireland.

11/3/1944, Saturday (-423) The Irish prime Minister, Eamon de Valera, refused to comply with a US request to close the German and Japanese Embassies in Dublin, to prevent possible transmission of military intelligence.

10/3/1944, Friday (-424) The anti-malarial drug quinine was discovered by Robert Edward and William van Eggers.

9/3/1944, Thursday (-425) The U.S. 5th Marine Regiment took Talasea in New Britain unopposed.

8/3/1944, Wednesday (-426) 9,000 Welsh miners went on strike over pay differentials; the government met their demands.

7/3/1944, Tuesday (-427) Japan launched an offensive from Burma into India.

6/3/1944. Monday (-428) US planes began daylight bombing raids on Berlin, flying from bases in Britain.

5/3/1944. Sunday (-429) US troops under Stilwell defeated the Japanese 18th Division at Maingkwan and Walawbaum, Burma.

4/3/1944, Saturday (-430) First US Air Force daylight raid on Berlin. 80 of 600 bombers were lost.

3/3/1944, Thursday (-432)

1/3/1944, Wednesday (-433) Roger Daltry, rock singer, was born.


29/2/1944. Tuesday (-434) US troops landed at Los Negros in the Admiralty Islands.

28/2/1944, Monday (-435) Josef Maier, West German footballer, was born.

27/2/1944, Sunday (-436) The Battle of the Green Islands in the Solomon Islands ended in Allied victory.

26/2/1944, Saturday (-437) (Finland) The Finnish capital, Helsinki, was devastated in a 12-hour air raid by 600 Soviet bombers.

25/2/1944, Friday (-438) Francois Cevert, racing driver, was born in Paris, France (died 1973)

24/2/1944, Thursday (-439) (Finland) Finnish Prime Minister, Risto Ryti, made peace approaches to the USSR.

23/2/1944, Wednesday (-440) Leo Hendrik Baekeland, Belgian-born American chemist, inventor of a plastic called Bakelite, died.

22/2/1944, Tuesday (-441) Krivoi Rog retaken by Russia.

21/2/1944. Monday (-442) Hideki Tojo became Chief of Staff of the Japanese Army.

20/2/1944, Sunday (-443) Saboteurs blew up a ship on Lake Tinnsjo, Norway, which was carrying heavy water for use in a Nazi atomic research facility.

19/2/1944, Saturday (-444) (Japan) The US Submarine Jack attacked a Japanese convoy 428 km west of Luzon, sinking four vessels.

18/2/1944, Friday (-445) (France) The RAF raided Amiens prison, where many French Resistance fighters were being held. They succeeded in bringing down the prison walls, and although 56 Resistance were shot by guards, 258 more escaped. They had faced execution the next day.

17/2/1944, Thursday (-446) In the UK, the White Paper on the National Health Service was published. The Education Bill was also published, raising the school leaving age to 15, see 30/12/1938. Also, fre secondary education was provided for all children up to age 15, divided into grammar schools, technical schools and secondary modern schools, selection for these by an 11-plus examination. Primary education was divided into infant and junior schools. Schools would provide free milk, subsidised meals, and free dental and medical examinations. There was provision for raising the school leaving age to 16; this was implemented in 1973.

16/2/1944, Wednesday (-447) Major counter attack by von Mackensen against the Allied Anzio beachhead.

15/2/1944, Tuesday (-448) (1) Casino monastery bombed by the Allies.The monastery, founded in 529 AD by St Benedict, occupied a strategic position at the entrance to the Liri valley and the route to Rome.See 18/5/1944.

(2) The US cleared the Solomon Islands of Japanese forces.

14/2/1944, Monday (-449) Carl Bernstein, the journalist who exposed the Watergate scandal along with Bob Woodward, was born.

13/2/1944. Sunday (-450) The Allies dropped weapons for the French Resistance in Haut-Savoie.

12/2/1944, Saturday (-451) Luga was recaptured by the Russians.

11/2/1944, Friday (-452) The Soviets announced the recapture of Shepetovka.

10/2/1944, Thursday (-453) Peter Allen, musician, was born

9/2/1944, Wednesday (-454) Alice Walker, African-American author and social activist, was born.

8/2/1944, Tuesday (-455)

6/2/1944, Sunday (-458) The Japanese launched a counter-offensive in the Arakan, Burma, named Ha-Go. This offensive ceased on 26/2/1944.

5/2/1944, Saturday (-458) The first Chindit Brigade, 16th, set off from Ledo on foot.

4/2/1944, Friday (-459) US warships shelled the Japanese homeland; the island of Paramishu.

3/2/1944, Thursday (-460) Germans reopened an offensive against the Anzio beach head.

2/2/1944, Wednesday (-461) The Battle of Narva began on the Eastern Front.

1/2/1944, Tuesday (-462) In New York, the Dutch artist Piet Mondrian died, aged 71.


31/1/1944, Monday (-463) (Japan) US forces made major amphibious landings on the Marshall Islands.

30/1/1944, Sunday (-464) The Brazzaville Conference; French colonial governors met in Brazzaville, capitalof French Equatorial Africa, to set out post-war relations between France and her African colonies. Further integration between France and the colonies was anticipated, rather than eventual independence.

29/1/1944, Saturday (-465) Battle of Cisterna in central Italy.

28/1/1944, Friday (-466) Von Kuechler, on his own initiative, withdrew his 18th Army to the River Luga, Russian Front. He was dismissed from his command the next day and replaced by Walther Model.

27/1/1944, Thursday (-467) Russia announced the complete lifting of the 2-year blockade against Leningrad.The Leningrad to Moscow railway reopened.

26/1/1944, Wednesday (-468) (Argentina) Argentina, under pressure from the United States, severed diplomatic relations with Germany.

25/1/1944, Tuesday (-469) In Macao the Reverend Florence Tim-Oi Lee became the first woman Anglican Priest.

24/1/1944, Monday (-470) The French Expeditionary Force attacked across the Rapido River, Italy. They enjoyed initial success but then the Germans halted them just short of Monte Casino.

23/1/1944. Sunday (-471) Death of Norwegian artist Edvard Munch.

22/1/1944. Saturday (-472) The Allies landed at Anzio, Italy.Anzio was over 60 miles behind German lines and only 35 miles from Rome. The Allies found the town deserted; the Italians had evacuated the place and the German army had moved elsewhere. 50,000 Allied troops and 3,000 vehicles were put ashore with only 13 casualties, from mines. Initially the Germans were taken by surprise but rushed troops to the area to contain the bridgehead, which did not rejoin Allied forces until May 1944 with the general retreat of the Germans north of Rome.Anzio made it impossible for Kesselring to establish a German defensive line south of Rome.

21/1/1944, Friday (-473) The Luftwaffe resumed bombing raids on London, after a lull of over two years. 268 tons of bombs were dropped, followed by a similar raid a week later.

20/1/1944, Thursday (-474) (1) Russia recaptured Novogorod.

(2) The RAF dropped 2,300 tons of bombs on Berlin.

19/1/1944, Wednesday (-475) US air raid on Japanese air base at Truk, Caroline Islands.

18/1/1944, Tuesday (-476) The first batch of UK conscripts to be sent down the mines, nicknamed �Bevin Boys�, began their training. See 2/12/1943.

17/1/1944, Monday (-477) British troops crossed the Garigliano River, Italy.

16/1/1944, Sunday (-478) General Eisenhower was appointed Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe.

15/1/1944, Saturday (-479) Major earthquake hit San Juan province, Argentina.

14/1/1944, Friday (-480) (Germany) German Army Group North was overwhelmed by a new Soviet offensive on the entire Leningrad, Volkhov and 2nd Baltic Fronts.

13/1/1944, Thursday (-481) Johnny Noble, Hawaiian composer, died in Manoa (born 17/9/1892 in Honolulu)

12/1/1944, Wednesday (-482) Allied troops in Italy launched an attack on Monte Cassino, but the determined German defence and bad winter weather made the town impossible to capture.

11/1/1944, Tuesday (-483) The Moroccan Nationalist Movement released the Proclamation of Independence, a manifesto demanding full independence from France, Spain, and the international legislative body governing Tangier; national reunification; and a democratic constitution.

10/1/1944. Monday (-484) Mussolini�s son in law was sentenced to death for treason.

9/1/1944, Sunday (-485) The XV Indian Corps occupied Maungdaw, Burma.

8/1/1944, Saturday (-486) Field Marshal Maitland Wilson succeeded Eisenhower as Supreme Allied Commander, Mediterranean.

7/1/1944, Friday (-487) The Red Army took Klesov, near Rovno.

6/1/1944, Thursday (-488) Bonnie Franklin, actress, was born.

5/1/1944, Wednesday (-489) Konev�s 2nd Ukrainian Front launched an attack designed to trap the German 8th Army on the Dnieper.

4/1/1944. Tuesday (-490) Hitler ordered the mobilisation of all children over the age of ten. On this day Soviet forces crossed the pre-war frontier from Russia into Poland at Rokitno. Hitler, anticipating an Allied attack on France, was keen to hold the northern French and Belgian coasts, so as to be able to launch the V weapons against Britain, even if this meant some territorial losses in the east.

3/1/1944, Monday (-491) Soviet forces reached Olevsk, just 11 miles from the pre-war Polish border, and 280 miles from East Prussia.

2/1/1944, Sunday (-492) US forces launched Operation Dexterity, a seaborne assault on the Japanese stronghold of Saidor, New Guinea. The fort was captured; 1,275 Japanese were killed, against 55 US troops.

1/1/1944, Saturday (-493) In the UK, the Abbey National Building Society was formed from a merger of the Abbey Road Building Society (founded 1874 in Abbey Road, London) and the National Building Society (founded 1849).


31/12/1943, Friday (-494) Penicillin was finally in common usage in hospitals, its development having been delayed by the War. Its first successful use had been on 13/2/1941. Another �wonder drug�, sulphonamide, was also useful against infections.

30/12/1943, Thursday (-494) Von Kuechler asked Hitler�s permission to withdraw to the Panther Line, prior to an anticipated Russian offensive. Hitler refused, because General Georg Lindemann, Commander of the 18th Army, was confident of holding his present position, and because to withdraw would isolate Finland and make it leave the War.

29/12/1943, Wednesday (-496) Bombing of Berlin resumed after a Christmas halt, in one of the heaviest raids by the Royal Air Force up to that time, dropping incendiaries through a thick layer of clouds during a night-time attack.

28/12/1943, Tuesday (-497) Allied troops landed at Ortona, east coast of Italy.

27/12/1943, Monday (-498) Rupert Julian, New Zealand-born film director and actor, died aged 64.

26/12/1943. Sunday (-499) The German battleship Scharnhorst was sunk by the Royal Navy off the North Cape.

24/12/1943, Friday (-501) British bombing raid on Berlin.

22/12/1943. Wednesday (-503) The author Beatrix Potter died aged 77. The UK government announced there were only enough turkeys left for one in ten families.

21/12/1943, Tuesday (-504) In Bolivia, President Enrique Penaranda was deposed. Penaranda had declared war on the Axis powers in Europe in April 1943, and Bolivian tin was vital to the War effort. However in December 1943 a group of dissident Army Officers, led by Colonel Gualberto Villaroel, and backed by the Arhgentine Government and by German agents in Biuenos Aires, deposed Penaranda. The USA initially refused to recognise Villaroel as Bolivian President but later did so when he agreed co-operate with the Allies. However see 17/7/1946.

20/12/1943, Monday (-505)

19/12/1943. Sunday (-506) At the first war crimes trial, in the USSR, three Germans were found guilty of atrocities and hanged at Kharkov.

18/12/1943, Saturday (-507) Keith Richards, musician, was born.

17/12/1943, Friday (-508) (1) (Rail Tunnels), The Kvineshei rail tunnel, Norway, 9.064 km long, opened. The Haegebostad Tunnel, 8.474 km long, opened. The Gyland rail tunnel, Norway, 5.5 km long, opened.

(2) (USA) US President Roosevelt repealed the Chinese Exclusion Acts of 1882 and 1902, and signed the Chinese Act. This made Chinese residents of the US eligible for naturalisation, and allowed an annual immigration of 105 Chinese.

16/12/1943, Thursday (-509) RAF bomber raid on the V-weapons sites in France. The raid was not a success.

15/12/1943, Wednesday (-510) US jazz musician Fats Waller died.

12/12/1943, Sunday (-513) Rommel was appointed Commander in Chief, Army Group B. Under von Rundstedt, Rommel was tasked with coastal defence from Holland down to the Bay of Biscay. He immediately organised a major strengthening of coastal defences.

9/12/1943, Thursday (-516) The US military opened an airfield on Bougainville.

7/12/1943, Tuesday (-518) The Battle for San Pietro, Italy began (to 17 December). The Allies did take the village but suffered 1,500 casualties in doing so.

6/12/1943, Monday (-519) Roosevelt appointed Eisenhower as Supreme Allied Commander for Overlord, the invasion of France from Normandy.

5/12/1943, Sunday (-520) Italian Jews were interned for the first time at the Fossoli di Carpi concentration camp.

4/12/1943, Saturday (-521) Allied leaders tried to persuade Turkish Prime Minister Ismet Ionu to join the War. Turkey however, being weak, feared a German invasion if it did so, and he only gave a vague promise to possibly allow British aircraft to operate from Turkish bases.

3/12/1943, Friday (-522) Colin Dixon, rugby player, was born in Cardiff.

2/12/1943, Thursday (-523) Britain was running out of manpower. The number of registered unemployed, 1,250,000 in 1939, was now just 60,000, and the conscription age was now from 18 to 51. Conscription of women had also been extended upwards from those in their 20s to those in their 50s, although they could choose between armed forces or factory work.

1/12/1943, Wednesday (-524) The Cairo Declaration, issued by the USA, UK, and China, pledged independence for Korea �in due course�. The provisional Korean government in exile, in Chungking, south west China, asked for clarification of this vague phrase, but received none.


30/11/1943, Tuesday (-525) Oscar Harris, Surinamese singer, was born.

29/11/1943, Monday (-526) The Jacje Congress began (ended 30/11/1943). Delegates from various regions of Yugoslavia met in the Bosnian town of Jacje, which had been taken by Tito�s partisans from the Nazis in September 1942. The Congress was organised by the AVNOJ (Anti-Fascist National Liberation Committee), and decided on various aspects of Yugoslavia�s post war governance and leadership.

28/11/1943. Sunday (-527) The main Allied leaders, Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin, all met in Tehran. Co-ordinating the Normandy landings with a Russian attack on the eastern front was discussed, also a Russian attack on Japan, and a post-war United Nations Organisation. All agreed that the USSR could have eastern Poland as far west as the Curzon line, and Poland would be compensated with lands in eastern Germany. This was confirmed at the Yalta Conference of 4 � 11 February 1945.

27/11/1943, Saturday (-528) The Tosya�Ladik earthquake in Turkey killed thousands.

26/11/1943, Friday (-529) German forces made further gains against Russia in the Kiev area but this day the rains began and the German thrust ground to a halt.

25/11/1943, Thursday (-530) US bombers attacked Shinchiku Airfield, Formosa.

24/11/1943, Wednesday (-531) Robin Williamson, musician, was born in Glasgow

23/11/1943. Tuesday (-532) (1) Berlin TV ceased broadcasting altogether after Allied bombers scored a direct hit on the transmitter. Unlike in the UK, German TV had continued throughout the War, but restricted to 2 or 3 hours in the afternoon and a further 2 hours in the evening from 8 � 10pm. As Allied bombing raids intensified, the evening 2-hour slot was gradually brought forward, to 6-8pm, so Berliners could be in their shelters after dinner.

(2) US forces retook Makin in the Gilbert Islands.

22/11/1943, Monday (-533) A major RAF raid on Berlin destroyed the armaments ministry, the Charlottenburg Palace, and the British Embassy.A church at the end of the Kurfurstendamm, the main shopping street in Berlin, was also destroyed, but its bell tower was rebuilt as a landmark in post-War Berlin.

21/11/1943, Monday (-534) Churchill arrived in Cairo for an Allied leaders Conference. Also there were Roosevelt and Chiang Kai Shek.

20/11/1943. Saturday (-535) Oswald Moseley, leader of the British Union of Fascists, was released from gaol on grounds of ill-health. The UK Labour Party protested.

18/11/1943, Thursday (-537) German forces retook Zhitomir.

16/11/1943, Tuesday (-539) (Germany) US 8th Army Air Force bombers attacked the German heavy water plant at Vermork, Norway. This was a vital centre for Germany�s atomic weapons programme.

15/11/1943, Monday (-540) (Germany) The Nazis extended their extermination policies from the Jews to the Romany. Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS, ordered all Romany to be sent to the concentration camps.

14/11/1943, Sunday (-541) Susan Lydon, writer, was born (died 15/7/2005)

13/11/1943, Saturday (-542) The Allies officially recognised Italy as a �co-belligerent�, in other wordsas having changed sides.

12/11/1943, Friday (-543) The Russians took Zhitomir.

11/11/1943. Thursday (-544) French troops arrested the Lebanese government after it declared itself independent.

10/11/1943, Wednesday (-545) The Allied Gilbert islands invasion fleet sailed from Pearl Harbour.

9/11/1943, Tuesday (-546) Soviet troops retook the western Ukrainian town of Zhitomir, just 75 miles from the pre-War Polish frontier

8/11/1943, Monday (-547) Montgomery�s forces in Italy approached the River Sangro.

7/11/1943, Sunday (-548) Japanese counter attack at Bougainville.

6/11/1943. Saturday (-549) Russian troops retook Kiev.

5/11/1943, Friday (-550) Allied planes accidentally bombed The Vatican; there were no casualties.

4/11/1943, Thursday (-551) The British Eighth Army in Italy captured Isernia and San Salvo Ridge as the Germans withdrew to the Sangro.

3/11/1943. Wednesday (-552) US miners ended a 6 month strike.

2/11/1943, Tuesday (-553) Allied air raid on the Me109 factory at Wiener-Neustadt. Considerable damage was done but 11 out of 110 bombers were lost.

1/11/1943, Monday (-554) (1) Russians cut off the Germans who were attempting to retreat from the Crimea.

(2) US forces retook Bougainville, in the Solomon Islands.


31/10/1943, Sunday (-555)

30/10/1943, Saturday (-556) The Big Three Allied powers, the UK, USA and USSR, warned Germany of their intention to hold War Crimes trials after the war.

28/10/1943. Thursday (-558) The UK Court of Appeal ruled that money saved from the housekeeping by a wife belonged to the husband.

27/10;/1943, Wednesday (-559) New Zealand troops landed on Stirling Island, central Solomons, unopposed.

25/10/1943, Monday (-561) Japan celebrated the completion of the Burma-Thailand railway. Of the 46,000 Allied PoWs forced to work on it, 16,000 had died of starvation, disease and maltreatment. 50,000 Burmese labourers had also died during its completion.

23/10/1943, Saturday (-563) The Russians captured Dnepropetrovsk.

22/10/1943, Friday (-564) Heavy British air raid on the German city of Kassel, destroying German air craft and rocket manufacturing facilities.

21/10/1943, Thursday (-565)

20/10/1943, Wednesday (-566) The United Nations War Crimes Commission was formed.

19/10/1943. Tuesday (-567) Italian troops began to help Tito�s partisans in their fight against the Germans.

16/10/1943, Saturday (-570) (Jewish, Germany) Nazi German forces began to round up Jews from Rome for deportation to the death camps. 1,200 Jews were deported, of whom only 15 survived the War. However Giovanni Borromeo, head of the Fatebenefratelli Hospital in Rome, rapidly admitted many Jews and other anti-fascists with so-called K Syndrome. The Nazis took this to mean Koch Syndrome (tuberculosis) and feared to enter the hospital, on an island in the Tiber, saving many from the Nazi extermination camps.

14/10/1943, Thursday (-572) US bombers mounted a raid on the German ball bearings factory at Schweinfurt. However little damage was done but US losses were heavy. 60 bombers out of 291 were lost.

13/10/1943. Wednesday (-573) Italy changed sides and declared war on Germany. See 8/9/1943.

11/10/1943, Monday (-575) The codename Mulberry was chosen for the artificial harbours to be used on Overlord, the Allied landings in Normandy.

9/10/1943, Saturday (-577) The last of the German forces was evacuated across the Kerch Straits into the Crimea.

8/10/1943, Friday (-578) Chevy Chase, actor, was born.

7/10/1943, Thursday (-579) Russian forces crossed the Dnieper River.

6/10/1943, Wednesday (-580) US forces landed unopposed on the central Solomon Island of Kolombangara.

5/10/1943, Tuesday (-581) Thomas Newman, billiards champion, died.

4/10/1943. Monday (-582) Allied troops occupied Corsica, the first part of France to be liberated.

3/10/1943, Sunday (-583) SS General Dr. Werner Best declared Denmark to be �judenfrei�, although most of the nation's Jews had learned of the impending mass arrests and were in hiding, awaiting the chance to flee to Sweden.

2/10/1943, Saturday (-584) A Japanese counter attack in New Guinea was beaten off by Australian forces.

1/10/1943, Friday (-585) Hitler ordered that all Danish Jews be arrested and deported. However the Danes largely thwarted this move, see 9/4/1940, and 28/9/1943.


30/9/1943. Thursday (-586) Allied troops entered Naples.

29/9/1943. Wednesday (-587) (1) In a decisive battle, which lasted until 4/10/1943, French forces, together with Italians, fought the Germans and forced them to evacuate Corsica.The Germans retreated to mainland France and the Italians moved to Sardinia.

(2) Polish leader Lech Walesa was born in Popovo, the son of a carpenter.

28/9/1943, Tuesday (-588) Georg Ferdinand Duckwitz, a German diplomat in Nazi-occupied Denmark, secretly warned leaders of the Danish resistance of an order from Berlin for the arrest and deportation of the Kingdom's Jewish citizens, to begin on October 1. Over the next two weeks, Danish residents helped most of the nation's 8,000 Jews elude capture; Denmark's fishermen used their boats to ferry 7,200 people to neutral Sweden.

27/9/1943, Monday (-589) Citizens of Naples revolted against the Germans after German soldiers looted a shop in the city centre.

26/9/1943, Sunday (-590) Ian Chappell, cricketer, was born.

25/9/1943. Saturday (-591) The USSR retook Smolensk.

24/9/1943, Friday (-592) Repairs were finished on the M�hne river dam, which had been heavily damaged in a British bombing raid on May 16; the Edersee Dam, which had been bombed in the same raid, was restored to full operation six days later.

23/9/1943, Thursday (-593) The German battleship Tirpitz was severely damaged and disabled.

22/9/1943. Wednesday (-594) UK government announced that P.A.Y.E. was to begin in April 1944. Income tax collection needed reform after the number of manual workers paying it rose from 1 million in 1939 to 7 million in 1943. Deduction from pay packets based on the previous year�s earnings was considered, but that could cause hardship if overtime fell. The solution was to deduct tax at wage payment each week.

21/9/1943, Tuesday (-595) The Soviet 43rd Army captured Demidov.

20/9/1943. Monday (-596) Allies attacked Naples.

19/9/1943, Sunday (-597) Germany evacuated Sardinia.

18/9/1943, Saturday (-598) Mass deportations began of French Jews in Paris, with 1,150 being shipped in railroad freight cars to the Buchenwald concentration camp.

17/9/1943, Friday (-599) Briansk retaken by Russia.

16/9/1943, Thursday (-600) Novorossisk retaken by Russia.

15/9/1943, Wednesday (-601) (Italy, France-Germany) Three days after freed from imprisonment by Germany, and seven weeks after his overthrow in July, Benito Mussolini was restored to leadership of Italy by the Nazi occupiers; German paratroopers also landed in St. Peter's Square at Vatican City in Rome, despite the Vatican's neutrality in the war Mussolini made his announcement of a return to power from Adolf Hitler's headquarters at Rastenburg.

14/9/1943. Tuesday (-602) Yugoslav partisans were advancing along the Dalmatian coast, and Allied officers had reached Tito. Allied troops landed at Bari, SE Italy.

13/9/1943, Monday (-603) (1), Free French forces attacked the German and Italians on Corsica, see 29/9/1943.

(2) Chiang Kai Shek was elected President of China.

12/9/1943. Sunday (-604) Mussolini was rescued from prison by the Germans.

11/9/1943, Saturday (-605) (Italy, France-Germany) German Field Marshal Albert Kesselring declared that all Italian territory was under German military control, which former dictator Benito Mussolini would later describe as reducing Italy to the status of a German "colony". Adolf Hitler ordered that the occupied Italian territory be divided into three zones, with the area around Rome extending south toward the front lines against the Allies, the Alpine mountain region ("Alpenvorland") and the coast along the Adriatic Sea ("Adriatische Kusterland"). Hitler also issued orders to deal with any Italian military units that had gone over to fight for the Allies, with all officers to be executed, and soldiers and non-combatants to be deported to Germany as labourers.

10/9/1943. Friday (-606) (1) German troops occupied Rome.

(2) Allied troops took Tarantino, Italy.

9/9/1943. Thursday (-607) (Italy, Germany) Allied forces landed at Salerno, Italy. King Umberto of Italy left Rome and fled to Brindisi in the south. This was seen as an abandonment by many Italians and contributed to the conversion of the country to a Republic in 1946.

8/9/1943. Wednesday (-608) The Italian Prime Minister, Badoglio and King Victor Emmanuel agreed to Italy�s unconditional surrender to the Allies (see 25/7/1943, and 13/10/1943).

7/9/1943, Tuesday (-609) (1) (Italy, Germany) Suspecting that Italy was about to make peace with the Allies, German troops quickly occupied Italy, especially its airfields, to forestall a complete Allied possession of the country. However the entire Italian navy escaped to Malta, thereby freeing up Allied ships for combat in the Pacific or Atlantic.

(2) German troops began a retreat from the Ukraine.

6/9/1943, Monday (-610) The railway junction of Konotop fell to the Soviet 60th Army.

5/9/1943, Sunday (-611) US and Australian troops seized Nazdab, New Guinea, where an airstrip was quickly built to facilitate an assault on Lae.

4/9/1943, Saturday (-612) British troops, under the command of Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, captured the Italian ports of Reggio Calabria and San Giovanni di Gerace.

3/9/1943. Friday (-613) Allied troops landed on the Italian mainland, in the province of Calabria. See 25/7/1943.

2/9/1943. Thursday (-614) Inmates of the concentration camps in Poland were being used for medical experiments.

1/9/1943, Wednesday (-615) Minami-Tori-shima, a Japanese coral atoll that included an airstrip, located approximately 1,600 km from Tokyo, was attacked by the US in the first successful strike of the new Fast Carrier Task Force.


31/8/1943, Tuesday (-616) Gustav Bachmann, German World War I Admiral, died aged 83.

30/8/1943, Monday (-617) Taganrog retaken by Russia.

29/8/1943, Sunday (-618) The Nazis occupying Denmark dismissed the Danish Government, following extensive strike action and acts of sabotage against the Germans. In response the Danes formed the Frihedsrad (Free Council) in order to coordinate and escalate resistance activity. It commanded a Danish Resistance Army of some 43,000 men; several of its members held government positions in the post-war Danish Government from 1945.

28/8/1943, Saturday (-619) Boris III, Tsar of Bulgaria, died.

27/8/1943, Friday (-620) Hitler visited Army Group South on the eastern Front. Von Manstein said Hitler could either quickly reinforce Army group South or agree a withdrawal across the River Dnieper. Hitler, preoccupied with the Allied threat in the Mediterranean, did not make a decision. Matters for von Manstein became even worse a few days later when von Kluge flew to Hitler�s HQ at Rastenburg and dissuaded him from transferring troops from Army Group Centre to Army Group South.

26/8/1943, Thursday (-621) Soviet attacks in the Donetsk area continued.

25/8/1943, Wednesday (-622) US forces captured New Georgia in the Solomon Islands.

24/8/1943, Tuesday (-623) The Quebec Conference ended (began 10/8/1943).Code-named Quadrant, it was concerned with plans for the Normandy landings, also land operations in south east Asia (especially Burma), and with campaigns in Italy.See 16/9/1944.

23/8/1943, Monday (-624) Kharkov retaken by Russia.

20/8/1943, Friday (-627)

18/8/1943, Wednesday (-629) The UK implemented Plan Bunbury, the planting in the UK media of a story about the destruction of an electricity generating plant at Bury St Edmunds, resulting in the deaths of 159 workmen. In fact the event never took place, but was intended to reassure the Germans of the integrity of two double agents whom Germany thought were acting as their spies.

17/8/1943. Tuesday (-630) The Allies completely controlled Sicily.

16/8/1943. Monday (+631) (1) US troops took Messina, Sicily.

(2) Jews in the ghetto at Bialystock, Poland, rose up.

15/8/1943. Sunday (-632) (1) US forces landed on Kiska Island, Aleutians. However the Japanese forces they expected to find there had already evacuated under cover of foggy nights in July 1943.

(2) The Allies attacked Messina.

14/8/1943, Saturday (-633) Rome was declared an �open city�.

13/8/1943. Friday (-634) The Allies bombed Rome, Milan, and Turin.

12/8/1943, Thursday (-635) Hitler ordered the construction of a new defensive wall in the east, from Narva down through Lake Peipus and Belorussia, then along the River Sozh to Gomel, and the River Dnieper to just north of Zaporozhe, then to Melitopol on the Sera of Azov. However he would not countenance any withdrawal to it.

11/8/1943, Wednesday (-636) German troops began evacuating Sicily. The Allies knew this was to happen but lacked the resources to stop it, which meant they faced stiffer opposition when later invading the Italian mainland.

10/8/1943, Tuesday (-637) The Quebec Conference opened. Churchill, Roosevelt and McKenzie were present.

9/8/1943, Monday (-638) Painter Chaim Soutine died in Paris, aged 49.

8/8/1943, Sunday (-637) Mussolini was imprisoned on Maddalena Island, north eats of Sardinia.

7/8/1943, Saturday (-640) US amphibious landings near Sant�Agata, northern Sicily.

6/8/1943. Friday (-641) US troops captured Troina, northern Sicily, after delays caused by mines and demolitions along the coast road. The previous day the British had taken Catania.

5/8/1943. Thursday (-642) The USSR retook Orel.

4/8/1943, Wednesday (-643) At the German V-2 rocket plant at Peenem�nde, the decision was made to employ concentration camp inmates as slave labour to build the missiles. For every non-Jewish German employee, there would be at least ten camp inmates supplied by the SS.

3/8/1943, Tuesday (-644) (Germany) The Russian Voronezh, Steppe and South-West Fronts began a major offensive against German Army Group South below the Kursk Salient.

2/8/1943, Monday (-645) Hamburg was seriously damaged by Allied aircraft, at a cost of 87 British aircraft. The RAF had considerably enlarged its bomber force; in January 1943 the RAF only had 260 heavy bombers, but now it regularly sent 700 bombers on a single raid, One million civilians had fled the city after three nights of bombing, and 40,000 were killed. 7,000 tons of bombs destroyed 10 square miles of Hamburg, creating a 1,000 C firestorm, and U-boat construction yards were severely damaged. The RAF used Pathfinder aircraft to drop marker bombs on the target city, then release masses of aluminium foil to confuse enemy radar, followed by the main bomber raid. The scale of these raids forced Hitler to withdraw Luftwaffe forces from the Russian front, where in August 1943 just 20% of Luftwaffe strength was then deployed. Albert Speer, Hitler�s Minister for War Production, feared that just six more raids on the scale of Hamburg could bring Germany to its knees.

1/8/1943, Sunday (-646) (Germany) Allied raid on the Ploesti oil refineries, Romania, which supplied much of Germany�s oil. However anti-aircraft fire was much heavier than anticipated. Some refining capacity was taken out but some remained intact.


31/7/1943, Saturday (-647) In Sicily the US 45th Division captured San Stefano on the north coast.

30/7/1943, Friday (-648) In Sweden, the Saab 21 became the first aircraft to fly with the modern explosives-powered ejector seat.

29/7/1943, Thursday (-649) The Alaskan island of Kiska was evacuated by the remaining 5,183 Japanese officers, enlisted men and civilians who had occupied the American territory. U.S. ships had been diverted away from the island between July 23rd and 26th, when American radar detected what appeared to be a convoy seven reinforcement ships. With the U.S. warships away from Kiska, the Japanese escaped to their own rescue ships within 55 minutes. When Allied troops arrived on August 15, they were surprised to find that the island was deserted.

28/7/1943, Wednesday (-650) The Italian Fascist Party was formally dissolved.

27/7/1943, Tuesday (-651) Herbert Roper Barrett, tennis champion, died (born 24/11/1873).

26/7/1943, Monday (-652) (1) German withdrawal from Orel began.

(2) Mick Jagger, English rock singer (The Rolling Stones), was born as Michael Philip Jagger in Dartford

25/7/1943. Sunday (-653) Mussolini was ousted from power by the Fascist Grand Council. On 3/9/1943 the Italian Prime Minister, Badoglio, secretly signed an armistice with the Allies. See 8/9/1943.������

24/7/1943, Saturday (-654) Operation Gomorrah, the destruction of the German port of Hamburg began. British and Canadian airplanes bombed the city by night, and American planes followed during the day. By the end of the operation in November, 9,000 tons of explosives had killed more than 30,000 people and destroyed 280,000 buildings. For the first time, the British forces used "Window", aluminium strips dropped to distort radar images, against the German anti-aircraft defences.

23/7/1943, Friday (-655) Allied troops took Palermo, Sicily. Only the north east of the island now remained under German occupation.

21/7/1943, Wednesday (-657) Austrian racing driver Fritz Glatz was born.

20/7/1943, Tuesday (-658) US troops in Sicily occupied Enna.

19/7/1943, Monday (-659) (Italy, Germany) First Allied air raid on Rome. The raid was a political warning that Mussolini�s regime must be overthrown.

18/7/1943, Sunday (-660) Herbert Leo Price, hockey champion, died (born 21/6/1899).

17/7/1943, Saturday (-661) Japan commenced counter attacks on US forces in New Georgia; they gained some ground against the US.

16/7/1943, Friday (-662) The Battle of Mount Tambu began in New Guinea.

15/7/1943, Thursday (-663) Russian attacks by Vatutin on the Voronezh Front. Meanwhile Hitler was forced to call off Citadel, because his tanks were needed to combat the Allied Sicily landings.

14/7/1943. Wednesday (-664) Jules Bledsoe, US composer, died in Hollywood (born 29/12/1898 in Waco, Texas)

13/7/1943. Tuesday (-665) The Germans lost the greatest tank battle in history, in the cornfields around Kursk. See 8/2/1943 for more details.

12/7/1943, Monday (-666) Massive Russian attack against German forces in the Kursk area began.

11/7/1943, Sunday (-667) The German headquarters at Taormina, Sicily, was destroyed by Allied forces.

10/7/1943, Saturday (-668) Allied forces under US General Patton invaded Sicily (Operation Husky), landing in the south and south west of the island.3,000 Allied troopships were used. Palermo fell on 23/7/1943.

9/7/1943, Friday (-669) Clifford Beers, US mental hygiene pioneer, died aged 67.

8/7/1943. Thursday (-670) French Resistance leader, Jean Moulin, died after torture by the Gestapo.

7/7/1943, Wednesday (-671) (Germany) The 4th Panzer Army under Hoth, in the south of the Kursk Salient, made good progress, advancing 20 miles into the Salient at Yakovlevo and Pokrovka.

6/7/1943, Tuesday (-672) (Germany) Marshall-General Rokossovsky�s counter attacked against the Germans at Kursk but could not prevent their advance. However stiff Soviet resistance prevented the Germans gaining more than six miles of ground.

5/7/1943, Monday (-673) (Germany) At 4.30 am, German forces in Russia began Operation Citadel, an assault into the Kursk Salient. However the main concentration of German troops did not reach the battle area until 5.00 am, due to Soviet shelling of the assembly areas. Soviet intelligence had picked up details of the offensive.

4/7/1943, Sunday (-674) US troops made further landings in New Georgia, at Rice Anchorage on the northern coast.

3/7/1943, Saturday (-675) US troops established a beachhead near Munda, New Georgia.

2/7/1943, Friday (-676) Allied forces on New Georgia began the drive on Munda Point.

1/7/1943, Thursday (-677) US troops secured Viru, on the south west coast of New Georgia.


30/6/1943, Wednesday (-678) US troops landed on Rendova Island, off New Georgia. There were also landings in the Trobriand Islands, and the US began constructing airstrips.

29/6/1943, Tuesday (-679) US forces landed in New Guinea.

26/6/1943, Saturday (-682) Georgie Fame, singer, was born.

23/6/1943, Wednesday (-685) US troops occupied Kiriwina Island, largest of the Trobriand Group.

22/6/1943, Tuesday (-686) US troops occupied Woodlark Island, Trobriand Island group.

21/6/1943, Monday (-687) US Marines landed unopposed at Segi Point, southernmost tip of New Georgia.

20/6/1943, Sunday (-688) The RAF began Operation Bellicose; bombers left Britain to hit the steelworks at Friedrichshafen, then flew on t Algeria, then on the return flight they bombed the Italian naval base at La Spezia. The British did not know that the Friedrichshafen works also contained the assembly line for V2 rockets, and these raids caused the assembly line to be abandoned.

19/6/1943. Saturday (-689) Goebbels declared Berlin to be �free of Jews�.

17/6/1943, Thursday (-691) Barry Manilow, musician, was born.

15/6/1943, Tuesday (-693) Cecil Parker, cricketer, died (born 18/2/1886)

14/6/1943, Monday (-694) Anne Frank (born 12/6/1929) began to write her famous diary. She was born in Frankfurt, Germany, to Otto and Edith Frank; Otto was a German Army officer in World War One. Anne had a sister called Margot. In 1933, as the Nazis came to power, the Frank family moved to Amsterdam where they hoped to be safe from Hitler�s anti-Semitic policies. However Germany invaded The Netherlands in May 1940.

13/6/1943, Sunday (-605) Heavy losses on a bombing raid against Kiel, with 26 out of 60 B17 bombers lost.

12/6/1943, Saturday (-696) Dusseldorf suffered its heaviest air raid of the war when 693 bombers dropped 2,000 tons of bombs in the space of 45 minutes.

11/6/1943, Friday, (-697) The Allies captured the island of Pantelleria, between Tunisia and Sicily, after a heavy bombardment.

10/6/1943. Thursday (-698) The ball point pen was patented by its inventor, a Hungarian called Laszlo Biro. He had devised a prototype pen that would not blot in 1938, but fled to Paris and then Argentina in 1940, to escape the Nazis. In 1944 the RAF began using the pens as they were not affected by low air pressure in aircraft.

9/6/1943, Wednesday (-699) US Congress approved the Pay as You Go scheme for deducting income tax from salaries.

8/6/1943, Tuesday (-700) The Japanese began to evacuate Kiska Island.

7/6/1943, Monday (-701) Michael Pennington, actor, was born

6/6/1943, Sunday (-702) Asif Iqbal, cricketer, was born.

5/6/1943, Saturday (-703) Josef Mengele was promoted to Chief Medical Examination Officer at Auschwitz in Poland.

4/6/1943, Friday (-704) Walter George, athlete, died (born 9/9/1858).

3/6/1943, Thursday (-705) Charles de Gaulle of France set up the Committee of National Liberation, through which he promised that Algerians would have a full say in how their country was run after World War Two. De Gaulle�s failure to honour this promise after the War was a major factor in the hardening of Algerian desire for independence.

2/6/1943, Wednesday (-706) US troops completed the recapture of Attu Island, Aleutian Islands, from Japan.

1/6/1943, Tuesday (-707) The close of the Hot Springs Conference (opened 18/5/1943); the Allies discussed World War Two.


30/5/1943, Sunday (-709) The US completed the capture of Attu Island from the Japanese. Mist and mud had hampered progress.

28/5/1943, Friday (-711) Japanese forces launched a suicide attack against US troops at Attu Island.

27/5/1943, Thursday (-712) Cilla Black, singer and presenter of the TV show Blind Date, was born.

26/5/1943, Wednesday (-713) Edsel Ford, president of the Ford Motor Company from 1919, died.

25/5/1943. Tuesday (-714) The Allies bombed Sardinia.

24/5/1943, Monday (-715)

23/5/1943, Sunday (-716) Heavy bombing raid with 826 bombers against Dusseldorf.

22/5/1943, Saturday (-717) After a month of disastrous losses, Grand Admiral Karl Donitz ordered his U-boats out of the \North Atlantic. On 19/5/1943 his son Peter died when U-954 was sunk by an RAF Liberator bomber from Iceland. Allied losses from U-boats had declined sharply from 1942 when 8 million tons of shipping was lost. Even in March 1943 600,000 tons were sunk. However the Allies developed new shortwave radar that could detect U-boats surfacing to recharge their batteries (see 26/10/1940), also more powerful depth charges. A week earlier, 5 U-boats out of 33 were lost in an unsuccessful attack on convoy SC-130. The Allies were better at breaking Germans communications codes; from 24 codebreakers at the beginning of the war the Royal Navy now had 1,000 codebreakers, including historians, mathematicians and linguists, many of them German refugees. Listening posts to intercept German communications were scattered across Britain and British territories overseas.

18/5/1943, Tuesday (-721) UNRRA was founded.

16/5/1943. Sunday (-723) (1) The RAF launched its �Dambuster� raid on the Ruhr dams, which had provided power to Germany�s industrial heartland. The Mohne, Eder, and Sorpe dams were destroyed by special �bouncing bombs� designed by Dr Barnes Wallis; these bombs could skip over barriers placed in the dam lakes. The bombing squadron consisted of 19 Lancaster bombers from 617 squadron, from Scampton, led by Guy Gibson. The dams were destroyed, but less than half the bombers returned to the UK.

(2) German forces began an offensive against Tito�s partisans in Yugoslavia.

14/5/1943, Friday (-725) Jules Gabriel Fisher, Louisiana State Senator, died (born 15/4/1874).

12/5/1943. Wednesday (-727) All resistance by Axis forces in North Africa was over.

11/5/1943, Tuesday (-728) US forces began to recapture Attu in the Aleutian Islands, from Japan.

10/5/1943. Monday (-729) The Allies bombed Sicily.

9/5/1943, Sunday (-730) Franco, Fascist dictator of Spain, which remained neutral during World War II, spoke in favour of world peace, declaring that �neither the Axis nor the Allies could destroy the other�. Franco, who had won the Spanish Civil War with assistance from both Germany and Italy, spoke in the city of Almer�a as the Axis powers were surrendering to the Allies in North Africa.

8/5/1943, Saturday (-731) Pat Barker, novelist, was born.

7/5/1943. Friday (-732) Tunis, and Bizerta, 60 miles NNW of Tunis, were recaptured by the Allies. See 14/11/1942.

6/5/1943, Thursday (-733) Final Allied offensive began in Tunisia, to oust the Axis from North Africa.

5/5/1943, Wednesday (-734) Winston Churchill sailed from the UK to meet Roosevelt in Washington DC. He arrived 11/5/1943.

4/5/1943, Tuesday (-735) Hitler postponed Operation Citadel, a planned counter attack against the Russians in the Kursk Salient. He wanted to wait until he more heavy tanks available. However his Generals were aware that delays enabled the Russians to build up their forces too.

3/5/1943. Monday (-736) The UK government made part-time war work compulsory for women aged 18 to 45.

2/5/1943, Sunday (-737) The RAF bombed Berlin.

1/5/1943, Saturday (-738) In Tunisia, the Battle of Hill 609 ended as the U.S. Army's II Corps drove Germany's Afrika Korps from a strategic position.


30/4/1943, Friday (-739) Bobby Vee, singer, was born.

29/4/1943, Thursday (-739) Wingate and his Chindit troops completed their withdrawal back from Burma into India

28/4/1943, Wednesday (-741) Sergei Rachmaninov, Russian composer, died in Beverley Hills, California.

27/4/1943, Tuesday (-742)

26/4/1943. Monday (-743) The mass grave of 4,000 Polish officers was found in the Katyn forest. Germany accused Russia of the murder. The Soviet Union finally admitted carrying out the 1940 massacre, of up to 15,000 Polish officers, on 12/4/1990.

25/4/1943, Sunday (-744) Easter Sunday. Tony Christie, singer, was born.

24/4/1943, Saturday (-745) Heavy bombing raid on Dortmund.

23/4/1943, Friday (-746) Tony Esposito, Canadian ice hockey player was born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario (died 2021)

22/4/1943, Thursday (-747) Intense Allied attacks in Tunisia. Axis forces there were short of supplies, as air and sea traffic became harder for them.

21/4/1943, Wednesday (-748) Battle of Enfidaville. Montgomery attempted to break into the Axis bridgehead around Tunis. However he was not equipped for fighting in the mountainous terrain there and failed.

20/4/1943, Tuesday (-749) Edie Sedgwick, actress, was born

19/4/1943. Monday (-750) Polish Jews in Warsaw put up a major fight against the Nazis. This was the first case of serious resistance by the Jews to the Nazis, en masse. The Jews could not win, but they seriously hampered German operations. The Nazis retook the ghetto on 20/4/1943, and massacred the Jews.The Warsaw ghetto was totally erased from the city.

18/4/1943, Sunday (-751) Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese Navy and the architect of the December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbour, was killed when the plane that he was on was shot down by U.S. Army fighter pilot Thomas Lanphier, Jr. US naval intelligence had decoded a Japanese message that included the itinerary for an inspection tour that Yamamoto was making of the Solomon Islands.

17/4/1943, Saturday (-752) Hitler and Ribbentrop demanded that Hungary round up its Jews for extermination in concentration camps; part of the �final solution�. Hungary initially delayed but Germany exercised considerable political influence within Hungary.

16/4/1943, Friday (-753) Swiss chemist Albert Hoffman accidentally consumed some of the new substance LSD he had made (see 7/4/1943), and experienced its hallucinogenic properties. LSD became popular as a drug in the 1960s.

15/4/1943, Thursday (-754) General Slim took control of Allied troops in Burma. His attaclks on the Japanese were hampered by exhaustion and malaria amongst his troops.

14/4/1943. Wednesday (-755) Rommel evacuated his troops from Tunis. The Allies entered Tunis on 7/5/1943.

13/4/1943, Tuesday (+756) Allied forces took Enfidaville, Tunisia.

12/4/1943, Monday (-757) Allied forces took Sousse, Tunisia.

10/4/1943. Saturday (-759) The Allied 8th army took Sfax, Tunisia.

8/4/1943. Thursday (-761) Lord Stratford, Tony Banks, was born (died 8/1/2006)

7/4/1943. Wednesday (-762) (1) Keynes published his plan for the post-war recovery of Britain.

(2) The drug LSD (lysergic acid di-ethylamide) was first synthesised by Swiss scientist Albert Hoffman.

6/4/1943, Tuesday (-763) In north Africa, Rommel�s forces retreated north from Gabes gap, Tunisia, enabling British and US forces to link up.

5/4/1943, Monday (-764) Heavy British air raid on Kiel, 1,400 bombs were dropped. Meanwhile US planes bombed the Renault tank assembly lines near Paris.

4/4/1943, Sunday (-765) Allied air raid in the port at Naples; 221 Italians died.

3/4/1943, Saturday (-766) British bombers dropped 900 tons of bombs on the Krupp factory at Essen.

2/4/1943, Friday (-767) In the face of intensifying Allied air raids on German cities, Goering made air raid patrol duty compulsory for every able-bodied German.

1/4/1943. Thursday (-768) The rationing of meats, fats, and cheese began in the USA.


31/3/1943, Wednesday (-769) End of Patton�s thrust to the Eastern Dorsal, Tunisia. He secured the pass at Maknassy, but was halted just short of Fondouk and Faid.

30/3/1943, Tuesday (-770) Silly Putty was patented in the USA.

29/3/1943. Monday (-771) (1) Montgomery broke through the Axis Mareth Line in north Africa.

(2) British Prime Minister John Major was born.

28/3/1943, Sunday (-772) Russian-American composer, Sergei Rachmaninov, died in Beverley Hills, California.

27/3/1943, Saturday (-773) In the heaviest air raid on the German capital so far, 1,000 tons of bombs were dropped on Berlin by the RAF

26/3/1943, Friday (-774) In Tunisia, New Zealand troops broke through the Tebaga Gap.

25/3/1943, Thursday (-775) Paul Michael Glaser, actor, was born

24/3/1943, Wednesday (-776) Wingate was ordered to return from Burma back into India. Air supply was becoming difficult an dthe Japanese now seized all boats on the Irawaddy River.

23/3/1943, Tuesday (-777) The Xerces Blue butterfly (Glaucopsyche xerces) was seen for the last time, and is presumed to have become extinct, its habitat in the sand dunes near San Francisco Bay having been destroyed by the growth of the California city.

22/3/1943, Monday (-778) George Benson, jazz musician, was born.

21/3/1943, Sunday (-779) Russian forces retook Durovo, shrinking the German Kursk salient.

20/3/1943, Saturday (-780) Montgomery began an assault on the Mareth Line, Tunisia. He failed to breach it frontally, so sent the New Zealand Corps on a long outflanking manoeuvre through the Tebaga Gap.

19/3/1943, Friday (-781) In Tunisia the Axis recaptured Sedjenane but achieved no major breakthrough.

18/3/1943, Thursday (-782) The Germans recaptured Belgorod. Golikov was replaced by Vatutin.

17/3/1943, Wednesday (-783) The Bulgarian Parliament voted unanimously against any mass deportation of Bulgarian Jews, as demanded by Germany.

16/3/1943, Tuesday (-784)

14/3/1943. Sunday (-786) The Germans re-occupied Kharkov in a counter offensive against the Russians.

13/3/1943, Saturday (-787) J P Morgan Jnr, US financier, died aged 75.

12/3/1943, Friday (-788) Russian forces recaptured Vyazma.

11/3/1943, Thursday (-789) The US assisted the Chinese in creating an air force there, to counter Japanese threats to push up the Yangtze River.

10/3/1943, Wednesday (-790) Germany announced new rationing of nonessential goods, prohibiting the manufacture of suits, costumes, bath salts, and firecrackers, and restricting telephone use and photography.

9/3/1943. Tuesday (-791) Bobby Fischer, chess champion, was born in Chicago. He took the world title from Boris Spassky in 1972.

8/3/1943, Monday (-792) Michael Grade, BBC chief, was born.

7/3/1943, Sunday (-793) Japanese attacks on the Allies at Rathedaung, Burma.

6/3/1943. Saturday (-794) The RAF pounded the Ruhr city of Essen.

5/3/1943, Friday (-795) Billy Backus, American boxer, was born.

4/3/1943, Thursday (-796) The Battle of the Bismarck Sea ended (began 2/3/1943). A Japanese convoy carrying troops to Papua New Guinea was sunk by Allied forces.

3/3/1943, Wednesday (-797) (London, London Underground) 173 people were crushed to death whilst descending the stairs into Bethnal Green tube station to shelter during an air raid. A woman at the top of the stairs, carrying a child, slipped and fell on those immediately in front of her, causing those below to lose their balance too.

2/3/1943, Tuesday (-798) Alexandre Yersin, physician, died.

1/3/1943. Monday (-799) Ghandi broke his fast after 12 days.


28/2/1943, Sunday (-800) The XL Panzer Corps reached the Donets west of Izyum. Meanwhile Vatutin�s right flank was being driven back to the northern Donets.

27/2/1943, Saturday (-801) Successful Allied attack on the Heavy water plant at Vermork, Norway. This operation is estimated to have set back the Nazi nuclear weapons project by two years.

26/2/1943, Friday (-802) In Tunisia the Axis forces launched Operation Ox Head. They made some minor gains but achieved no major breakthrough

25/2/1943, Thursday (-803) (Germany) US forces recaptured the Kasserine Pass, but the Allies suffered 10,000 casualties there.

24/2/1943, Wednesday (-804) George Harrison, musician (The Beatles), was born.

23/2/1943, Tuesday (-805) Rommel was appointed Commander in Chief, Army Group Afrika.

22/2/1943, Monday (-806) (Germany) Members of the White Rose (die Weisse Rose) anti-war group in Germany were publically guillotined, their execution intended to discourage others. They had been caught distributing leaflets at university; most members were students who once supported Hitler but who had become disillusioned after Nazi war atrocities. Their execution, and the whole group, was swiftly forgotten in Germany until the 1970s when they were rediscovered and became folk heroes.

21/2/1943, Sunday (-807) Britons celebrated �Red Army Day� to congratulate the Russians on their success at Stalingrad.

20/2/1943, Saturday (-808) (Germany) US forces in North Africa suffered a heavy defeat by Rommel at the Kasserine Pass, Tunisia.

19/2/1943, Friday (-809) The Third Battle of Kharkov began.

18/2/1943, Thursday (-810) In Britain, theHouse of Commons voted in principle to accept the proposals of Beveridge�s Welfare State

17/2/1943, Wednesday (-811) Rommel captured Feriana, Tunisia, and made for the Kasserine Pass. Allied forces were in disarray.

16/2/1943, Tuesday (-812) Kharkov retaken by Russia.

15/2/1943, Monday (-813) The Battle of Demyansk began on the Eastern Front.

14/2/1943, Sunday (-814) Rostov retaken by Russia.

13/2/1943, Saturday (-815) Axis forces won a tactical victory in the Battle of Krasny Bor.

12/2/1943, Friday (-816) (1) Krasnodar recaptured by the Russians.

(2) Lord Nuffield set up the Nuffield Foundation with a gift of �10 million.

11/2/1943, Thursday (-817) Mary Quant, Welsh fashion designer, was born.

10/2/1943, Wednesday (-818) The Allied 8th Army reached the border of Tunisia.

9/2/1943. Tuesday (-819) The USA reported that Japanese resistance in Guadalcanal and the Solomon Islands had ceased.

8/2/1943. Monday (-820) Russia recaptured Kursk. Kursk was a major rail junction, and this significant Russian victory followed their major success at Stalingrad. The Russians created a salient 160 km wide and 130 km deep into German lines around Kursk, and in the summer of 1943 Hitler ordered this salient eliminated under �Operation Citadel�.2,500 German tanks, supported by 1,000 aircraft, attempted to cut off the salient from Orel in the north and Belgorod in the south. Fighting was especially severe at Prokhorova, where Germany lost 300 tanks in one day, but made a deep penetration into the salient. However the Russians had filled the salient with an even greater number of tanks and aircraft, protected by deep minefields. The Battle of Kursk, 5 � 15 July 1943, was the greatest tank battle in history. Orel was liberated by the Russians on 4/8/1943 and Belgorod on 5/8/1943. German losses were so heavy as to rule out any furthermajor offensives by them on the Eastern Front.

7/2/1943, Sunday (-821) (1) Russia recaptured Azov and Kramatorsk.

(2) The Japanese completed their withdrawal from Guadalcanal.

6/2/1943, Saturday (-822) (Germany) Mannstein hurried back to Rastenburg to persuade Hitler of his plans for a counter offensive in the Russian South. Hitler agreed.

5/2/1943, Friday (-823) Russian forces retook Stary Oksyol and Izyum. They also advanced to Yeisk, on the Sea of Azov, cutting off German forces around Novorossiisk.

4/2/1943, Thursday (-824) Soviet amphibious forces landed behind German lines near Novorossiisk, where they held a beachhead for 6 days until the main Russian force linked up with them.

3/2/1943, Wednesday (-825) The Russians recaptured Kushchevskaya, south of Rostov.

2/2/1943. Tuesday (-826) Japan made a last-ditch effort to recapture the Solomon Islands.

1/2/1943, Monday (-827) Japan successfully repulsed an attack by Indian troops on the garrison at Donbaik, Burma.


31/1/1943. Sunday (-828) The German 6th Army under Field Marshal Paulus surrendered at Stalingrad after five months of fighting. The last Germans fighting in Stalingrad surrendered on 2/2/1943.Hitler had refused to countenance an attempted German breakout from Stalingrad and insisted his troops hold on, despite, from December 1942, increasing shortages of food, ammunition, and medical supplies.The Luftwaffe tried to drop supplies by air to the besieged city but often failed in this task. The Stalingrad Campaign cost the lives of 479,000 men from November 1942; German deaths amounted to 147,000, with a further 91,000 troops captured (many to be worked to death as Stalinpferde, Stalin horses, in Soviet labour camps).

30/1/1943, Saturday (-829) (1) The RAF made its first daytime raid on Berlin.

(2) Hitler promoted Paulus, commander of the German forces besieged in Stalingrad, to Field Marshal, in an attempt to ensure he did not surrender.

29/1/1943, Friday (-830) Tony Blackburn, British radio presenter, was born.

28/1/1943. Thursday (-831) Hitler ordered the mobilisation of the entire population aged between 16 and 65.

27/1/1943. Wednesday (-832) Air raids on Wilhelmshaven, Germany. The USA made its first bombing raid on Germany.

26/1/1943, Tuesday (-833) (Biology) Nikolay Ivanovich Vavilov, Russian botanist, died as a result of mistreatment by Soviet prison guards. He had been imprisoned for opposing the views of Trofim Lysenko, who held that acquired traits could be inherited.

25/1/1943, Monday (-834) The Russians retook Voronezh, see 7/7/1942.

24/1/1943, Sunday (-835) (1) At Stalingrad, the Soviets overran the last airfield held by the Germans, at Gumrak.

(2) The Casablanca Conference ended, see 14/1/1943.President Wilson, with Churchill, then issued a statement demandingunconditional surrender of the Axis powers, rather than a negotiated settlement.This was intended to reassure Russia; the Nazis used the statement as propaganda to warn the German people of the greed of their enemies.

23/1/1943. Saturday (-836) The British 8th army captured Tripoli from the Germans and Italians.

22/1/1943, Friday (-837) (Germany) Hitler ordered that shipbuilding take second place to tank production, to make good tank losses on the Eastern Front.

21/1/1943, Thursday (-838) The Russians retook Stavropol.

20/1/1943, Wednesday (-839) Germany recommenced heavy air raids on Britain. In one week, 328 civilians were killed, including 39 schoolchildren this day when a school, in Lewisham was hit.

19/1/1943, Tuesday (-840) (Germany) Soviet forces retook Sclusselberg, south of Leningrad, reopening a narrow land corridor to the city. However food supplies to Leningrad remained very precarious.

18/1/1943. Monday (-841) (1) The Russians broke the 890-day siege of Leningrad. Supplies had only reached the city intermittently over frozen Lake Ladoga.

17/1/1943, Sunday (-842) The Luftwaffe conducted the first night raid on London since May 1941.

16/1/1943, Saturday (-843) Iraq declared war on Germany, Italy, and Japan.

15/1/1943. Friday (-844) The Pentagon, built to house the US Defence department, opened in Arlington, Virginia, on the Potomac River.

14/1/1943. Thursday (-845) (1) Churchill, de Gaulle, and Roosevelt met at Casablanca. They demanded the unconditional surrender of the Axis powers.Plans were made for the invasion of Sicily increased US bombing of Germany, and the transfer of British forces to the far east once Germany was defeated.

(2) The Japanese began withdrawing from Guadalcanal.

13/1/1943, Wednesday (-846) (Germany) German forces in Russia retreated from Terek to the Nagutskoye-Alexandrovskoye line. Russia launched Operation Spark, reopening a narrow land corridor to Leningrad.

12/1/1943, Tuesday (-847) The Second Hungarian Army was annihilated in fierce fighting against Russia at Voronezh, near Stalingrad.

11/1/1943, Monday (-848) Britain made a treaty with China, renouncing all British territorial rights in China.

10/1/1943, Sunday (-849) The US began an assault on Mount Austin, Guadalcanal.

9/1/1943, Saturday (-850) At Stalingrad, General Rokossovsky launched Operation Ring, to extinguish German resistance. The chances of airborne supplies reaching Stalingrad were diminishing, with 490 German supply planes shot down whilst attempting to reach the two airfields still under German control at Stalingrad. Within Stalingrad, 12,000 German wounded were without medical supplies.

8/1/1943, Friday (-851) Russian General Rokossovsky sent Von Paulus an ultimatum for the surrender of German forces trapped in Stalingrad. Von Paulus, unwilling to disobey Hitler�s orders, refused to surrender.

7/1/1943. Thursday (-852) (1) Free French forces took Oul-el-Araneb, the main Axis base in southern Libya.

(2) Nikola Tesla, the Croatian-American scientist who developed alternating current, died.

6/1/1943, Wednesday (-853) Luciano Virgilio, Italian actor, was born.

5/1/1943, Tuesday (-854) German forces lost Nalchik, Caucasus.

4/1/1943, Monday (-855) German forces lost Mozdok, Caucasus.

3/1/1943, Sunday (-856) German Army Group A began a withdrawal from the Caucasus. The army commanders wanted to pull back to the River Don north of Rostov but Hitler would only allow a retreat as far as the Manych Canal and the Kuban, to retain a base for further operations towards the Caspian.

2/1/1943, Saturday (-855) US troops finally captured Buna Station, Papua New Guinea, against fierce Japanese resistance.

1/1/1943, Friday (-858) Velikye Luki re-occupied by the Russians.


31/12/1942, Thursday (-859) Battle of the Barents Sea. An Allied convoy bound for Murmansk was attacked by German destroyers. Allied destroyers succeeded in fighting off a superior German naval force.

30/12/1942, Wednesday (-860) The Stavka Directive set a date of 6/1/1943 for the final attack on the German held Stalingrad pocket. However not all troops and supplies were in the right place yet; Stalin put the date back by just four days.

29/12/1942, Tuesday (-861) Soviet forces regained Kotelnikova, from where the Germans had earlier launched an attempt to relieve Stalingrad.

28/12/1942, Monday (-862) British attacks on strategic hills in Tunisia were repulsed. The Allies now paused to regroup.

27/12/1942, Sunday (-863) At Rastenburg, General Zeitler told Hitler that Germany must withdraw from the Caucasus or face a �second Stalingrad�. Hitler accepted this advice.

26/12/1942, Saturday (-864) Rommel was halted at Buerat, where he was ordered by Mussolini to make a stand.

25/12/1942, Friday (-865) The Allied convoy JW51A arrived at Murmansk unscathed.The German battleship Tirpitz had been sent south from Norway for a refit, and Allied aid convoys to Russia were now split in two to stretch German attack naval forces.

24/12/1942, Thursday (-866) At Peenemunde, Werner von Braun perfected the first flying bomb.

23/12/1942, Wednesday (-867) Operation Winter Storm ended with the German 6th Army still trapped in Stalingrad.

22/12/1942, Tuesday (-868) In Burma the Japanese withdrew from the Buthidaung-Maungdaw lone, which they had established and fortified on 24/10/1942.

21/12/1942. Monday (-869) Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin agreed to meet in Casablanca. Churchill had objected to a venue in Iceland because of his poor health. Stalin had to delay the meeting because of the fighting at Stalingrad.

20/12/1942. Sunday (-870) The US began to produce electricity from nuclear fission.

19/12/1942. Saturday (-871) (1) German forces came within 40 miles of Stalingrad, attempting to relieve Von Paulus� Axis forces trapped in the city; however they were halted by a Russian counter attack. Hitler began to accept that Stalingrad could not be relieved, also Von Paulus� tanks now had fuel for just 15 miles so could not break out.

(2) British troops advanced in the Malay peninsula, pushing the Japanese back into Burma.

18/12/1942, Friday (-872) Cassius Clay, champion boxer, was born in Kentucky.

17/12/1942, Thursday (-873) (Japan) The US submarine Drum mined the waters around Japan.

16/12/1942, Wednesday (-874) Himmler started the genocide of individuals of �mixed Gypsy blood� at Auschwitz, unless they agreed to be sterilised.

15/12/1942, Tuesday (-875) The British Government began a campaign against venereal disease, which had increased markedly since the war began.

14/12/1942, Monday (-876) US troops made an attack on Buna Village, Papua New Guinea, but found the Japanese had already evacuated it.

13/12/1942, Sunday (-877) Rommel began to withdraw from El Agheila, back towards Tunisia.

12/12/1942, Saturday (-878) (1) British commandoes blew up six ships in Bordeaux harbour.

(2) Germany began Operation Winter Storm. The 4th Panzer Army attempted to break through to the 6th Army, trapped in Stalingrad.

11/12/1942, Friday (-879) German forces south of Stalingrad withdrew to the Elista-Mozdok defence line, unable to reach the Caspian Sea in the Terek Estuary area.

10/12/1942, Thursday (-880) German tank infantry columns attacked Majaz al Bab in Tunisia but were repulsed

9/12/1942, Wednesday (-881) Billy Bremner, footballer, was born.

8/12/1942, Tuesday (-882) German forces occupied the Tunisian city of Bizerte.

7/12/1942, Monday (-883) Harry Chapin, singer and songwriter, was born.

6/12/1942, Sunday (-884) German tanks broke through US positions at El Guettar, Tunisia.

5/12/1942, Saturday (-885) Randy Kirby, US actor was born in Chicago, Illinois

4/12/1942, Friday (-886) The Belgian Resistance killed a Belgian Nazi in Brussels.

3/12/1942, Thursday (-887) US and French troops seized Faid Pass, Algeria.

2/12/1942. Wednesday (-888) Controlled release of energy by nuclear fission was first achieved. The first atomic pile began operating in Chicago.It was at Stagg Field, University of Chicago, under physicists Enrico Fermi and Arthur Compton.

1/12/1942. Tuesday (-889) The Beveridge Report was published. William Henry Beveridge�s report was the foundation of the British Welfare State. Beveridge was born at Rangpur, in Bengal, on 5/3/1879, and was a distinguished academic and economist; he helped establish Labour Exchanges after joining the Board of Trade in 1908. His report of 1942 was entitled �Report on Social Insurance and Allied Services� and advocated a free national health service and unemployment and sickness benefit. The report envisaged �Slaying the Five Giants of Want, Ignorance, Squalor, Idleness and Disease�. This became a reality under the post-war Labour government of Clement Attlee, elected 26/7/1945. Beveridge became a Baron in 1946.


30/11/1942, Monday (-890) Battle of Tassafaronga, Guadalcanal. A naval clash in which Japan technically won, causing more damage t the US than it suffered. However this victory did nothing to help the Japanese garrison on Guadalcanal, now very short of food.

29/11/1942. Sunday (-891) In the US, coffee rationing began.

28/11/1942, Saturday (-892) 492 died in a fire at Cocoanut Grove nightclub, Boston, USA.

27/11/1942. Friday (-893) The French fleet was scuttled in the harbour of Toulon, six hours after German troops arrived there.

26/11/1942, Thursday (-894) Hitler ordered von Paulus not to retreat.

25/11/1942, Wednesday (-895) Greek guerrillas fighting the Axis occupation destroyed the Gorgopotamos railway.

24/11/1942, Tuesday (-896) 250,000 German troops under General von Paulus were surrounded at Stalingrad. Goering told Hitler that he could resupply them by air, However the Luftwaffe did not have enough aircraft for this task, and only one of the airfields the Germans held had a night landing capability. This empty boast convinced Hitler to order von Paulus to stay put and not break out to the west.

23/11/1942, Monday (-897) Lieutenant General Tomitaro Horii of Japan died. He was replaced by Hataze Adachi. The Japanese in New Guinea were already in retreat by now, under heavy attack by US forces, and had lost Rabaul air base to the Allies.

22/11/1942, Sunday (-898) During Operation Uranus the Red Army secured the vital bridge over the Don River at Kalach-na-Donu, west of Stalingrad.

21/11/1942, Saturday (-899) The Allied advance in Algeria was delayed by the limitations of the local railway system and the rain having turned Allied airfields to mud. However the German airfields had been surfaced with concrete. Any delay., however. Allowed Germany to build up its opposition forces so the Allies resumed their advance on 24/11/1942.

20/11/1942, Friday (-900) Benghazi re-occupied by the British.

19/11/1942. Thursday (-901) The Russians counterattacked at Stalingrad, across ground hardened by the winter frosts but not yet clogged by snow.It was now -20 C in Stalingrad. The Russians had more of their superior T34 battle tanks, and created a giant pincer movement to encircle the 250,000 Germans at Stalingrad. German generals, knowing they were overstretched, wanted to shorten their lines and conserve men, equipment, and supplies.However Hitler initially refused to sanction giving up any occupied territory. Only in January 1943 did Hitler realise that the fall of Stalingrad could entail the cutting off of his forces in the Caucasus; he ordered Kleist to retreat from this region, whilst Paulus hung on inside Stalingrad., diverting Soviet forces. The Germans in Stalingrad surrendered on 2/2/1943, after 7 weeks under siege; had they surrendered 3 weeks earlier, Kleist would also have been cut off. Kleist retreated along the northern shores of the Black Sea, assisted by a sudden thaw that swelled Russian rivers and hindered the movements of the Soviet army.

18/11/1942, Wednesday (-902) German commander Nehring order the French commander Barre to remove all obstacles barring the way to the Algerian border. The French did not comply.

17/11/1942, Tuesday (-903) British bombing raid against the German submarine base at St Nazaire.

16/11/1942, Monday (-904) Russian forces took Kharkov.

15/11/1942, Sunday (-905) The naval battle of Guadalcanal ended in US victory. On the battle's final day the Japanese battlecruiser Kirishima and destroyer Ayanami were sunk by the American battleship USS Washington, while the Americans lost the destroyers Benham and Walke.

14/11/1942. Saturday (-906) Bizerta, 60 miles NNW of Tunis, was captured by the Axis. See 7/5/1943.

13/11/1942. Friday (-907) The Allies recaptured Tobruk, north Africa.Rommel�s army was in full retreat.

12/11/1942, Thursday (-908) The naval battle of Guadalcanal began

11/11/1942. Wednesday (-909) The Axis invaded Vichy France. Russian forces took Lozovaya Junction.

10/11/1942, Tuesday (-910) The Allies captured Oran, Algeria.

9/11/1942, Monday (-911) The battle for Tunisia began. The Germans were determined to keep hold of it, as it denied the Allies the short Mediterranean sea route to Egypt and India, forcing them to take the much longer route around the Cape. This in turn tied up Allied shipping that could help defend the Atlantic route.

8/11/1942. Sunday (-912) Rommel retreated from Egypt into Libya.British and US forces took Algiers, a move which precipitated the German occupation of all of France. Russian forces took Kursk.

7/11/1942. Saturday (-913) Allied troops landed in Vichy-French North Africa. 65,000 Allied troops and 650 warships under General Dwight Eisenhower landed in North Africa under Operation Torch to secure French North Africa and link up with Montgomery�s Eighth Army. Oran, Casablanca, and Algiers were the main landing points. Surprisingly little resistance was met and Bougie and Boune were soon occupied by paratroopers.

6/11/1942. Friday (-914) The Church of England relaxed its rule that women must wear hats in church.

5/11/1942, Thursday (-915) The US landed large quantities of munitions on the Algerian coast for use by the Algerian Resistance.

4/11/1942, Wednesday (-916) The second Battle of El Alamein ended after 12 days with Montgomery sending Rommel�s army into full retreat westwards. Axis losses were 2,000, but 30,000 Axis troops were taken PoW; Allied casualties were 13,500.

3/11/1942, Tuesday (-917) Australian forces were pushing back the Japanese, denying the chance of taking Port Moresby. This day the Australians recaptured Kokoda.

2/11/1942, Monday (-918) (Germany) Ordzhonikidse, Caucasus, captured by German forces. However the German advance was halted here, due to increasing resistance, supply problems, and the onset of winter.

1/11/1942, Sunday (-919) Brazil replaced the Millreis with the Cruzerio as its currency.One millreis = 1 cruzerio.The millreis was the old currency of Portugal.


31/10/1942, Saturday (-920) The Germans bombed Canterbury in retaliation for the bombing of Cologne.

30/10/1942. Friday (-921) Montgomery won a key victory at El Alamein. El Alamein was only 80 miles west of Alexandria. This began an Allied advance of 1,400 miles in six months, culminating in the clearance of Axis forces from North Africa.

29/10/1942, Thursday (-922) Bob Ross, TV host, was in Daytona Beach, Florida (died 1995)

28/10/1942, Wednesday (-923) Due to shortages of rubber for tyres in the USA, Utah imposed a �patriotic speed limit� of 35 mph (56 kph) across the State. Road accidents were cut by 35%, with fatalities falling by half. Also this day the Alaska Highway was completed, 1,700 miles from the continental USA through Canada into Alaska.

27/10/1942, Tuesday (-924) The Battle of Goodenough Island ended in Australian victory.

26/10/1942, Monday (-925) Troops for the Allied landings in Oran and Algiers set sail from The Clyde, Scotland. This was Operation Torch.

25/10/1942, Sunday (-926) Japan dropped plans for Operation 21, an invasion of eastern India.

24/10/1942, Saturday (-927) (Germany) RAF bombing raids on Genoa and Milan.

23/10/1942, Friday (-928) (1) The Second Battle of El Alamein began, see 30/10/1942 and 30/6/1942. The British forces had been reinforced and now numbered 230,000 men, against the 80,000 Axis army.

(2) Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop, was born.

22/10/1942, Thursday (-929) German planes dropped high explosives and incendiaries on Appleby-Frodingham steelworks, Scunthorpe, injuring 15 employees.

21/10/1942, Wednesday (-930) Judith Sheindlin, US TV personality (Judge Judy), was in Brooklyn, New York

20/10/1942, Tuesday (-931) The Russians now held no more than 1,000 yards of the west bank of the Volga at Stalingrad. Tenacious close-combat fighting continued, building to building, in the ruins.

17/10/1942, Saturday (-934) Gary Puckett, musician, was born.

15/10/1942, Thursday (-936) Penny Marshall, actress, was born.

14/10/1942, Wednesday (-937) German forces now held most of Stalingrad. The Russians retained just two small enclaves on the west bank of the Volga. However the Russian forces at Stalingrad were in fact bait for a trap set by Zhukov.

13/10/1942, Tuesday (-938) Walter McGowan, boxer, was born.

12/10/1942, Monday (-939) Battle of Cape Esperance, off Guadalcanal. A US supply convoy was intercepted by Japanese forces, who were beaten off by US air attacks.

10/10/1942, Saturday (-941) Germany began a 10-day bomber assault on Malta. However, alerted by the German�s own Enigma messages, British forces intercepted each wave of German aircraft from Sicily whilst still over the sea.

6/10/1942, Tuesday (-945) (Germany) German forces captured Malgobek, in the Terek Salient, Russia.

4/10/1942, Sunday (-947) A small British air raid on Sark.

3/10/1942. Saturday (-948) New US law froze wages, rents, and farm prices.

2/10/1942, Friday (-949) The British cruiser Curacao sank after colliding with the Queen Mary, 358 died.

1/10/1942, Thursday (-950) US General MacArthur issued further orders, to push along the Kokoda Trail, Papua New Guinea, and cut the Japanese off.


30/9/1942. Wednesday (-951) The Allies seized key positions near El Alamein in a dawn raid.

29/9/1942, Tuesday (-952) Jean-Luc Ponty, violinist and jazz composer, was born in Avranches, France.

28/9/1942, Monday (-953) Stalemate had been reached at Stalingrad. Both sides were exhausted. Von Weichs and von Paulus wereconcerned over the flanks of the Stalingrad Salient, which were defended by Hungarian, Italian and Romanian troops, but Hitler insisted that Stalingrad must be fully taken before the flanks were dealt with.

27/9/1942. Sunday (-954) Japanese forces pulled back in New Guinea as the allies advanced.

26/9/1942, Saturday (-955) Wilson Carlile, British clergyman who founded the Church Army in 1882, died aged 95.

25/9/1942, Friday (-956) (Germany) Hitler suspended plans for further territorial advances in the Leningrad area as winter approached.

24/9/1942, Thursday (-957) (Germany) German advance in Russia towards Tuapse.

23/9/1942, Wednesday (-958) (1) A Russian counter-attack north-west of Stalingrad began.

(2) British troops captured Antananarivo, capital of Madagascar.

22/9/1942, Tuesday (-959) Ralph Adams Cram, US architect, died.

21/9/1942, Monday (-960) Sam McDowell, baseball player, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

20/9/1942, Sunday (-961) German Army Group B captured Terek, USSR.

19/9/1942, Saturday (-962) Conde Nast, US magazine publisher, died.

18/9/1942, Friday (-963) The battle of El Alamein began with a barrage of one thousand guns aimed at Italian and German troops.

17/9/1942, Thursday (-964) Paulus, having captured most of southern Stalingrad, now turned his attention to the Russian-held industrial districts in the north of the city.

16/9/1942, Wednesday (-965)

15/9/1942, Tuesday (-966) US troops landed at Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

14/9/1942, Monday (-967) Soviet forces defending Stalingrad had been pushed back into a strip along the west bank of the River Volga just ten miles deep at its widest, four miles deep at its narrowest. However the Germans were short of troops, and urban warfare was causing many casualties.

13/9/1942, Sunday (-968) The German attack on Stalingrad city centre began. Fighting became so intense that each side at times fought the other from different floors of the same building.

12/9/1942, Saturday (-969) Russia prepared the idea of a counter attack at Stalingrad. Stalin believed the Germans would, after taking Stalingrad, aim to move up the River Volga to threaten Moscow. Russia was aware that only inferior Romanian troops guarded the flanks of von Paulus� force which had advanced out on a limb to attack Stalingrad. However at this point the Russians lacked reserves for this operation, and were trying to relieve Leningrad.

11/9/1942, Friday (-970) John Grieg, footballer, was born in Edinburgh.

10/9/1942, Thursday (-971) The RAF dropped 100,000 bombs on Dusseldorf in a single raid.

9/9/1942, Wednesday (-972) German forces were meeting increasingly fierce resistance in their drive towards Astrakhan and Baku.

8/9/1942, Tuesday (-973) The U.S. government shut down its gold mines to release men for the war effort.

7/9/1942, Monday (-974) The Battle of Alam Halfa, north Africa, ended. Rommel attacked the southern sector of the El Alamein Line, in an attempt to break through to the Suez Canal. Montgomery strengthened the Alam Halfa Ridge, which Rommel would have to capture once he had crossed the British minefields. Rommel cleared the minefields on 30-31 August then as expected swung north to attack the Ridge. Here Rommel was successfully repulsed by Montgomery. Montgomery did not make the mistake of counter-pursuing the Italians into the desert, which could have cost many Allied lives, but pounded the retreating Axis forces with air and ground artillery.

6/9/1942, Sunday (-975) (1) The IRA shot two policemen in Belfast.

(2) The Germans captured the major Black Sea naval base of Novorossiysk.

5/9/1942, Saturday (-976) Werner Herzog, German film director, was born.

4/9/1942, Friday (-977) Soviet planes bombed Budapest for the first time.

3/9/1942, Thursday (-978) German Commanders Hoth and von Paulus finally linked up near Pitomnik.

2/9/1942, Wednesday (-979) German SS troops deported and murdered 50,000 Jews from the ghetto in Warsaw.

1/9/1942, Tuesday (-980) (Germany) German troops in Russia crossed the Kerch Straits and advanced into the Taman Peninsula.


31/8/1942, Monday (-981) British Commandos began Operation Anglo, a raid on the island of Rhodes.

30/8/1942, Sunday (-982) The Battle of Alam Halfa, north Africa, began, see 7/9/1942.

29/8/1942, Saturday (-983) Australian troops forced back on the Kokoda Trail, Papua New Guinea.

28/8/1942, Friday (-984) Australian attack on Japanese troops at Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea. Despite the arrival of Japanese reinforcements the next day, they were forced to retreat back to Rabaul on 6/9/1942.

27/8/1942, Thursday (-985) William Ivy, motor cycle racing champion, was born (died 12/7/1969).

26/8/1942, Wednesday (-986) German forces reached the outskirts of Stalingrad.

25/8/1942, Tuesday (-987)

24/8/1942, Monday (-988) Stalin ordered that Stalingrad be held at all costs. Zhukov was appointed to oversee its defence.

23/8/1942, Sunday (-989) (Germany) The Luftwaffe mounted a bombing raid on Stalingrad, with 600 aircraft. Soviet defences were ill-prepared, ad some 40,000 Russians were killed, many as they tried to flee east across the River Volga. The Germans believed that capture of Stalingrad would open the way to taking the Caucasus oilfields, and then Moscow and Leningrad would fall, ending the war in the East.

22/8/1942, Saturday (-990) Brazil declared war on Germany and Italy. Besides participating in the defence of the South Atlantic against German U-boats, Brazil sent an expeditionary force to Italy in July 1944.

21/8/1942, Friday (-991) The Battle of the Tenaru was fought on Guadalcanal, resulting in Allied victory.

20/8/1942, Thursday (-992) Isaac Hayes, singer, was born.

19/8/1942, Wednesday (-993) (1) Allied commando raid on Dieppe, by the Canadians and British. There were heavy Allied casualties.The aim of the raid was to try and seize a Channel port from the Germans; the raid failed, with 1,000 Allied troops killed and 2,000 taken prisoner out of a total of 6,100 men, and all their tanks and equipment abandonedthere was nine hours of fighting along 11 miles of coastline. However information from the raid was very useful in planning the D-Day landings of June 1944. The principal lesson was that any attempted Allied landing in France must be on a beach using artificial harbours, not at an existing port.

(2) Montgomery became commander of the British Eight Army in North Africa.

18/8/1942, Tuesday (-994) (Japan) Japanese troops landed at Taivu, 32 km east of Guadalcanal, as a diversionary operation.

17/8/1942, Monday (-995) Daylight air raids by the Allies began, with a raid on the railway marshalling yards of Rouen. The first US bombing raids in Europe.

16/8/1942, Sunday (-996) John Challis, English actor, was born.

15/8/1942, Saturday (-997) Winston Churchill had his first summit meeting with Joseph Stalin.

14/8/1941, Friday (-998) (Germany) German forces near Stalingrad crossed the Kuban River.

13/8/1942, Thursday (-999) The Walt Disney film Bambi premiered at Radio City Music Hall, New York.

12/8/1942, Wednesday (-1,000) (Germany) The Germans captured Elista, Kalmukkensteppe, Russia.

11/8/1942, Tuesday (-1,001) (1) Sir Barnes Wallis, born on 26/9/1887, patented the bouncing bomb, which was used against the German Mohne and Eder dams in 1943 by the RAF Dambusters Squadron.

(2) In London, the new Waterloo Bridge opened to traffic.

10/8/1942, Monday (-1,002) (Japan) US submarine S-44 sank the Japanese heavy cruiser Kako near Kavieng, as it withdrew from the Battle of Savo Island.

9/8/1942, Sunday (-1,003) (1) German forces in the Caucasus reached the oilfields at Maikop. However the retreating Soviets had blown up the oil installations, so the Germans could not utilise the oil.

(2) With Ghandi about to launch a major civil disobedience campaign to force the British out of India, the British arrested the whole Congress leadership, including Nehru.

8/8/1942, Saturday (-1,004) Mahatma Gandhi made his famous speech, before a crowd of some 100,000, demanding an end to British rule in India.

7/8/1942, Friday (-1,005) The USA attempted a landing on the Japanese-occupied southern Solomon Islands. US troops invaded Guadalcanal. This was Operation Watchtower.

6/8/1942, Thursday (-1,006) The Germans advanced on Stalingrad.

5/8/1942, Wednesday (-1,007) (Germany) German troops crossed the Kuban River, Russia.

4/8/1942, Tuesday (-1,008) David Russell Lange, New Zealand politician and Prime Minister 1984-9, was born. He

controversially refused to allow nuclear armed ships to dock in New Zealand.

3/8/1942, Monday (-1,009) German forces reached Stavropol, Caucasus.

2/8/1942, Sunday (-1,012) The German 4th Panzer Army captured Kotelnikovo.

1/8/1942, Saturday (-1,011) German forces took Salsk in the Caucasus.


31/7/1942, Friday (-1,012) Driving for pleasure was banned in Britain.

30/7/1942, Thursday (-1,013) Jimmy Blanton, US jazz bass-player, died in Monrovia, California.

29/7/1942, Wednesday (-1,014) Japanese forces took Kokoda from the Australians, after 4 days fierce fighting.

28/7/1942. Tuesday (-1,015) Germans captured Rostov on Don, USSR.

27/7/1942, Monday (-1,016) The first Battle of El Alamein ended after 27 days; the British under Auchinlek held back the Germans and Italians, preventing their advance into Egypt.

26/7/1942, Sunday (-1,017) In Britain, sweets were rationed.

25/7/1942, Saturday (-1,018) German army units were just 100 miles from Stalingrad.

24/7/1942, Friday (-1,019) The Battle of Voronezh ended in German victory.

23/7/1942, Thursday (-1,020) Hitler ordered simultaneous offensives against Stalingrad and the Caucasus.

22/7/1942, Wednesday (-1,021) (1) Japan, seeing how easily they had overrun Burma, began to consider a thrust into India, along the Assam frontier, capturing Imphal and the port of Chittagong. This was Operation 21.

(2) In the USA, petrol rationing for civilians began as fuel was needed for the War.

21/7/1942, Tuesday (-1,022) The first murder conviction in a British Court was secured using palm print identification, matching those on agun with those found on a pawnbroker�s safe.

20/7/1942, Monday (-1,022) German forces captured Krasnodon.

19/7/1942, Sunday (-1,024) Vikki Carr, US singer, was born in El Paso, Texas

18/7/1942, Saturday (-1,025) Germany tested its first military jet aircraft, the Messerschmitt Me262A.

17/7/1942, Friday (-1,026) Operation Spring Wind in Paris came to a conclusion, with the roundup of some 7,000 Jews, almost all of those remaining in the city. Some Jews escaped, others committed suicide; in fact Spring Wind, which intended to capture 28,000 Jews, in fact seized just 12,884. The detainees were initially sent to Drancy or the Velodrome D�Hiver. Nazi action against the French Resistance also intensified at this time. Non-Jewish Parisians were not without sympathy for the Jews, especially the children.

16/7/1942, Thursday (-1,027) The RAF made its first daylight raid on the Ruhr.

13/7/1942, Monday (-1,030) Hitler was convinced that large Russian forces remained west of the Don (this was not true). In an effort to trap these non-existent forces in the Rostov area, Hitler ordered more forces away from Stalingrad and into the Donets Basin region. Five days later Hitler switched back to Stalingrad being the main priority. However because German forces had already been moved, von Paulus was left with less men for the attack on Stalingrad.

10/7/1942, Friday (-1,033) Auchinlek mounted an assault on Italian troops at El Alamein. Rommel had to rush his forces northwards to counter this, where he held the Allies back.

9/7/1942, Thursday (-1,034) Rommel made at attack at Deirel Munassib, near El Alamein, Egypt. However the Allies had been forewarned and had already withdrawn. This misallocation of Rommel�s forces helped Auchinlek hit back further north.

8/7/1942, Wednesday (-1,035) The German 1st Panzer Army crossed the Donets River, Russia.

7/7/1942, Tuesday (-1,036) The Germans took the city of Voronezh, see 25/1/1943.

6/7/1942, Monday (-1,037) Anne Frank and her family went into hiding from the Nazis (see 14/6/1943).

5/7/1942, Sunday (-1,038) German forces on the Eastern Front reached the Don River.[12]

4/7/1942, Saturday (-1,039) Prince Michael of Kent was born.

3/7/1942, Friday (-1,040) Russian authorities admitted the loss of Sevastopol but claimed that its capture had cost the Germans 300,000 casualties.

2/7/1942, Thursday (-1,041) Churchill, having been criticised for his leadership following German victories in North Africa, easily won a vote of confidence in the House of Commons, by 476 to 25 votes with 30 abstentions.

1/7/1942. Wednesday (-1,042) (1) The Germans captured Sevastopol after a 9 month siege.

(2) The charity, Oxford Famine Relief (Oxfam) was formed, see 1/7/1948.

(3)In Britain, a bottle of Scotch cost 23 shillings (�1.15), a recent rise from 17s 6d (88p). A woman�s �Tweed Swagger Coat� from Peter Robinson�s Wartime Shopping cost �1 10s (�1.50). The Chairman of the Governors of the BBC earned �3,000 per annum, and the Press officer for the Ministry of Economic Warfare got �900 a year.


30/6/1942, Tuesday (-1,043) The First Battle of El Alamein began.It lasted till 25/7/1942, and prevented an Axis breakthrough to Cairo and the Suez Canal. See 23/10/1942.

29/6/1942. Monday (-1,044) The Germans launched an offensive at Kursk, south of Moscow.

28/6/1942. Sunday (-1,045) (1) The Germans launched Operation Blue, an offensive to capture the Russian Caucasus oilfields and secure the Volga River. The Soviets responded by concentrating resistance at Stalingrad, threatening the northern flank of this Operation. On 23/7/1942 Hitler ordered General Paulus to capture Stalingrad at all costs. Meanwhile Stalin could not let go the city that bore his name.

(2) The Allied 8th Army retreated to El Alamein, north Africa.

27/6/1942, Saturday (-1,046) (1) Rommel began to outflank the Allied defences at Mersah Matruh.

(2) White Rose, a non-violent, intellectual resistance group, first began its anti-Nazi activities in Munich.

26/6/1942, Friday (-1,047) (1) Rommel began an attack eastwards at Mersa Matruh, eastern Libya.

(2) Italian Commander Ugo Cavallero redirected attack aircraft from Libya to against Malta.

25/6/1942. Thursday (-1,048) (1) Auchinlek relieved Ritchie as Commander of the Allied Eight Army in Egypt. Ritchie had intended to stage a �do or die� last ditch defence at Mersa Matruh, eastern Libya. Auchinlek was more pragmatic and his main priority was keeping the Army as a viable fighting force. Auchinlek intended to hold Rommel at the El Alamein Line, and if that was broken, to mount a defence at Suez or back in Palestine.

(2) The RAF launched a 1,000 bomber raid on Bremen.

24/6/1942, Wednesday (-1,049) Mick Fleetwood, drummer, was born.

23/6/1942, Tuesday (-1,050) Lord Martin Rees of Ludlow, astronomer, was born.

22/6/1942. Monday (-1,051) Rommel resumed his advance eastwards in Libya, and requested permission from Kesselring to go onwards into Egypt, because he had captured large stocks of war material in Tobruk.

21/6/1942. Sunday (-1,052) Tobruk fell to Rommel�s Afrika Corps (see 18/11/1941). 25,000 Allied troops were taken prisoner.

20/6/1942, Saturday (-1,053) A Japanese submarine shelled Vancouver island. This was the only time Canadian ;land territory came under fire; little damage was done.

19/6/1942, Friday (-1,054) Alois Elias, 51, Czechoslovak General and politician, was executed.

18/6/1942, Thursday (-1,055) (1) Rommel made a swift and unexpected attack and isolated Tobruk by cutting the coast road at Gambut.

(2) Paul McCartney of The Beatles pop group was born in Liverpool.

17/6/1942, Wednesday (-1,056) President Roosevelt met with Winston Churchill in Washington to discuss war production and military strategy.

16/6/1942, Tuesday (-1,057) Margaret Smith, Australian lawn tennis champion, was born in Albury, New South Wales.

15/6/1942, Monday (-1,058) In the UK, restaurants were forbidden from charging more than 5 shillings (25p) for a meal. Whilst they could charge more for wine, very little wine was available in wartime Britain. Some of the more upmarket hotel restaurants evaded this restriction by charging several shillings for �service�.

14/6/1942, Sunday (-1,059) Battle of Gazala. The Germans struck north to the Libyan coast in an effort to cut off British forces in the Gazala sector, but General Ritchie forced their withdrawal.

13/6/1942, Saturday (-1,060) US bombers attacked the Romanian oilfields.

12/6/1942, Friday (-1,061) Anne Frank received a diary for her 13th birthday, which she kept writing as her family hid in an Amsterdam attic until discovered by the Gestapo in 1944.

11/6/1942, Thursday (-1,062) Michael Kitzelmann, 26, German soldier, was executed for condemning Nazi atrocities.

10/6/1942, Wednesday (-1,063) Gordon Burns, TV presenter, was born.

9/6/1942, Tuesday (-1,064) The Germans massacred the inhabitants of the Czech mining village of Lidice, as a reprisal for the assassination of Heydrich, Nazi governor of Bohemia and Moravia.The village of Lezaky was also obliterated.

8/6/1942. Monday (-1,065) (1) Battle of Midway Island (4-8 June). The Japanese withdrew after 4 days of shelling. See 27/5/1942. The Japanese ability to mount strategic attacks in the Pacific was effectively ended. The US lost 500 men, the Japanese lost 3,500 men.

(2) Churchill arrived in Washington for talks with Roosevelt.

(3) The Japanese shelled the Australian cities of Newcastle and Sydney.

7/6/1942, Sunday (-1,066) The US aircraft carrier Yorktown was sunk by the Japanese at Midway Island.

6/6/1942, Saturday (-1,067) The US and Japan both lost one destroyer each at Midway.

5/6/1942, Friday (-1,068) Japanese Admiral Yamamoto realised the surprise factor had failed and ordered a withdrawal from Midway.

4/6/1942, Thursday (-1,069) The �Protector of Bohemia-Moravia, the Nazi Heydrich, was assassinated by Czechs.See 9/6/1942.

3/6/1942, Wednesday (-1,070) (1) The UK Government announced plans to nationalise the coal mines.

(2) The Japanese launched a diversionary attack on the Aleutians but did not draw US forces away from Midway.

2/6/1942, Tuesday (-1,071) Task forces 16 and 17 rendezvous 350 miles north east of Midway.

1/6/1942. Monday (-1,072) Mexico declared war on the Axis.


31/5/1942. Sunday (-1,073) (1) An air raid of 1,000 planes was made against Cologne. 1,455 tons of bombs were dropped in 90 minutes. 2,300 separate fires started, destroying over 3,000 buildings. 45,000 people were made homeless.

(2) Japanese submarines attempted, unsuccessfully, to enter Sydney harbour, Australia.

30/5/1942, Saturday (-1,074) US Task Force 17 set sail from Pearl Harbour to join Task force 16 against the Japanese at Midway Island,

29/5/1942. Friday (-1,075) (1) Jews in Paris were ordered to wear the Yellow Star of David. The Nazis ordered 5,000 metres of yellow material from a French company so the requisite number of stars, some 400,000, could be produced. However some Parisian non-Jews disliked this order, and many made a point of respecting the star, giving up their seats on the Metro for wearers for example. Additionally, some French Catholics wore the star also. French university students wore a badge reading �JUIF�, said to stand for Jeunesse Universitaire Intellectuelle Francaise.

(2) Bing Crosby recorded the bestseller White Christmas for the soundtrack of the film Holiday Inn.

28/5/1942, Thursday (-1,076) US Task Force 16 sailed to intercept the Japanese fleet bound for Midway Island.

27/5/1942, Wednesday (-1,077) A Japanese fleet left Japan on operation M.1, the capture of Midway Island. They hope to repeat the surprise factor of Pearl Harbour; however the US had cracked the Japanese radio codes and were ready, see 8/6/1942

26/5/1942. Tuesday (-1,078) (1) The Germans attacked Bir Hakeim, an Allied fortified position in eastern Libya, about 90 kilometres south of Tobruk.�� The fort of Bir Hakeim was blocking the Axis advance towards El Alamein. Over the next two weeks the Luftwaffe flew 1,400 sorties against the fort, whilst 4 German / Italian divisions attacked on the ground.Despite an explosion destroying the fort�s ammunition dump, Bir Hakeim refused to surrender, and the Allies dropped food and water as British armoured cars brought in fresh ammunition by night.On the night of 10-11/6/1942 the French defenders retreated, leaving the badly wounded to hold the lines.

Although Bir Hakeim fell to the Axis forces, it did give the Allies time to regroup and hold the Axis advance at El Alamein.Without this, the Germans might have succeeded in occupying Egypt and taking the Suez Canal.

(2) The USSR and Britain signed a 20 year peace pact of alliance.

24/5/1942, Sunday (-1,080)

22/5/1942, Friday (-1,082) German forces under von Kleist and Paulus closed the Isyum Salient, trapping the Russian forces under Kostenko.

21/5/1942, Thursday (-1,083) 4,300 Jews were deported from the town of Chelm to the death camp at Sobibor.

20/5/1942, Wednesday (-1,084) Lynn Davies, long jump athlete, was born.

19/5/1942, Tuesday (-1,085) British bombing raid on Mannheim

18/5/1942, Monday (-1,086) German counter attack by von Kleist into the Isyum Salient. Izyum and Barvenkova fell to the Germans the next day.

17/5/1942, Sunday (-1,087) Churchill agreed to Harris� plan for a 1,000 bomber raid on Germany.

16/5/1942, Saturday (-1,088) German forces under von Manstein cleared the Kerch Peninsula, Crimea, of Russian forces, so it could be used as a springboard to attack into the Caucasus.

15/5/1942, Friday (-1,089) The Slovak parliament retroactively legalized the deportation of Jews from Slovakia.

14/5/1942, Thursday (-1,090) Sugar rationing began in the USA.

13/5/1942, Wednesday (-1,092) British Chiefs of Staff approved a major raid against Dieppe. This was to explore the possibility of an opposed Allied landing in France to open a second European Front against Germany, a move Russia had been agitating for. This was codenamed Operation Rutter.

12/5/1942, Tuesday (-1,092) Susan Hampshire, actress, was born

11/5/1942, Monday (-1,093) Ian Drury, singer, was born.

10/5/1942, Sunday (-1,094) (1) Final Allied surrender of The Philippines.

(2) Kesselring declared that Malta was �neutralised�, however for the first time ever, this day, the Luftwaffe found themselves outnumbered over Malta. They lost 12 aircraft to 3 Spitfires. Axis air activity now declines, but Malta remained very short of fuel and food, and the Axis still determined to take the island.

9/5/1942, Saturday (-1,095) Japanese forces took Dalirig on Mindanao.

8/5/1942. Friday (-1,096) The Battle of the Coral Sea. The Japanese and the US each lost an aircraft carrier(US carrier, the Lexington), and the Japanese turned back from an invasion of Port Moresby, New Guinea. This was the first Allied success in the Pacific, and saved Australia from a Japanese invasion.

7/5/1942, Thursday (-1,097) Madagascar was occupied by British troops to forestall any Japanese invasion.

6/5/1942, Wednesday (-1,098) The Japanese captured Corregidor.

5/5/1942, Tuesday (-1,099) The first of the �Baedeker raids�; the Germans used Baedeker guidebooks to guide them to targets in British towns and cities.

4/5/1942, Monday (-1,100) (Japan) Aircraft from the US carrier Yorktown, south of Guadalcanal, raided Japanese positions at Tulagi, sinking several small vessels.

3/5/1942, Sunday (-1,101) Heavy German air raid on Exeter. 30 acres of the city were destroyed, 156 killed and 593 injured.

2/5/1942, Saturday (-1,102) The Japanese captured Mandalay.

1/5/1942, Friday (-1,103) Iraq was declared eligible for US Lend-Lease.


30/4/1942, Thursday (-1,104) The Dzyatlava massacre. About 1,100 Jews were massacred by German authorities in the Kurpiesze forest, near Dzyatlava.

29/4/1942, Wednesday (-1,105) York was bombed by the Luftwaffe. 79 were killed.

28/4/1942, Tuesday (-1,106) Bombing raid on Rostock, Germany. The target was the large Heinkel military aircraft factory there.

27/4/1942, Monday (-1,107) All Jews in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands were ordered to wear the yellow badge.

26/4/1942, Sunday (-1,108) The world�s worst coalmine disaster occurred at Honkeiko Colliery, China. 1,572 were killed.

25/4/1942, Saturday (-1,109) American troops arrived in New Caledonia to assist in defence of the archipelago.

24/4/1942, Friday (-1,110) The Germans bombed Exeter, in revenge for the raid on Lubeck on 28/3/1942.

23/4/1942, Thursday (-1,111) Sandra Dee, actress, was born (died 20/2/2005)

21/4/1942, Tuesday (-1,113)

20/4/1942, Monday (-1,114) The US aircraft carrier Wasp flew in afurther 46 Spitfire aircraft to Malta. However under fierce German bombardment, almost all had been destroyed on the ground within 3 days.

19/4/1942, Sunday (-1,115) Alan Price, British singer, was born near Jarrow.

18/4/1942. Saturday (-1,116) US planes bomb Tokyo and other Japanese cities; the �Doolittle Raids�. See 24/11/1944.

17/4/1942, Friday (-1,117) Japanese forces in Burma reached Yenangyaung. The main oilfields in Burma were destroyed to prevent them from falling into Japanese hands.

16/4/1942. Thursday (-1,118) The island of Malta was awarded the George Cross by George VI for its heroism during the German and Italian bombardment.

15/4/1942, Wednesday (-1,119) Valeriy Brumel, Olympic high jumper, was born in Razvedki, USSR (died 2003).

14/4/1942, Tuesday (-1,120) Ian MacLauchlan, rugby player, was born.

12/4/1942, Sunday (-1,122) Japanese forces captured Migyaungye, Burma, close to the oilfields there. The Allies began to destroy the oil installations on 15/4/1942.

10/4/1942, Friday (-1,124) The Bataan Death March. Some 75,000 Filipino and US troops captiured by the Japanese at Bataan were forced to march 137km in 6 days. Many hundreds died during the march.

9/4/1942. Thursday (-1,125) The Japanese captured Bataan.

8/4/1942, Wednesday (-1,126) Japanese forces landed on Lorengau in the Admiralty Islands.

7/4/1942, Tuesday (-1,127) John Atkins, British cyclo-cross champion, was born.

6/4/1942, Monday (-1,128) According to an order made by the UK Government on 6/3/1942, it was now illegal to bake white bread in the UK.

5/4/1942, Sunday (-1,129) Easter Sunday. Japanese aircraft attacked Colombo, Sri Lanka, and sank two British cruisers.

4/4/1942, Saturday (-1,130) Jim Fregosi, baseball player and manager, was born in San Francisco, California (died 2015)

3/4/1942, Friday (-1,131) Final Japanese push to capture Bataan, with the Allied defences crumbling.

2/4/1942, Thursday (-1,132) The British under Sir Miles Lampson forced their way into the Abdin Palace, Cairo, and demanded that King Farouk either abdicate or invite Nahas to form a Wafd Party government. King Farouk was friendly with the Italians, and like many Egyptians had pro-Axis sympathies, simply because they believed an Axis victory would rid Egypt of the British. Meanwhile Rommel was advancing from Libya into western Egypt. Success for Rommel would cut the Suez Canal and sever naval communications with India. Lampson hoped that Farouk would abdicate but instead he chose to appoint Nahas, whose Wafd Party were pro-British.

1/4/1942, Wednesday (-1,133) Japan began landing troops on Dutch New Guinea.


31/3/1942, Tuesday (-1,134) The Battle of Christmas Island was fought. Japanese soldiers were able to occupy Christmas Island without resistance, although the American submarine Seawolf damaged the Japanese cruiser Naka.

30/3/1942. Monday (-1,135) The first 1,000 bomber raid took place on Cologne.

29/3/1942, Sunday (-1,136) The Allies succeeded in getting much needed replacement aircraft to Malta to assist with its ongoing defence.

28/3/1942. Saturday (-1,137) (1) The RAF began continuous bombing of German munitions factories. They also raided Lubeck and Rostock, Germany. These were coastal targets, easy to find and highly combustible.Lubeck, with its naval stores, oil tanks, submarine shipyards, and naval school, was 40% (200 acres) destroyed.

(2) British commandos made a dawn raid on the French port of St Nazaire. In �Operation Chariot� they rammed an old destroyer, the Campbeltown, full of explosives, against the dock gate, putting the port out of action for the rest of the war.

(3) Neil Kinnock, Labour leader, was born in Tredegar, south Wales.

27/3/1942, Friday (-1,138) 1,112 Jews were deported from Drancy, Paris, to an undisclosed destination.

26/3/1942. Thursday (-1,139) Germany began deporting Jews to Auschwitz concentration camp.

25/3/1942, Wednesday (-1,140) Aretha Franklin, US singer, was born.

24/3/1942, Tuesday (-1,141) Japan began intensive bombing of Bataan and Corrigedor.

23/3/1942, Monday (-1,142) The Japanese occupation of the Andaman Islands began.

22/3/1942, Sunday (-1,143) Battle of Sirte Gulf. Allied efforts to resupply Malta, but under German naval attacks only 5,000 tons of the 26,000 tons supplies sent reached Malta.

21/3/1942, Saturday (-1,144) President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066. This established the War Relocation

Authority, to move Japanese in the US away from the west coast. Some 110,000 Japanese in the US were interned in WRA camps, although most of the 150,000 Japanese in Hawaii were not interned.

20/3/1942, Friday (-1,145) Kesselring launched new intensified air attacks on Malta.

19/3/1942, Thursday (-1,146) A Soviet Army attempting to break through to relieve Leningrad was itself surrounded and forced to surrender. Its advance had been slowed by the dense forest and the determination of the Germans.

18/3/1942, Wednesday (-1,147) US troops occupied the New Hebrides, to guard against a Japanese attack on the wqest coast of Australia.

17/3/1942, Tuesday (-1,148) In the UK, coal, electricity and gas were to be rationed.

14/3/1942, Saturday (-1,151) Rita Tushington, actress, was born

12/3/1942, Thursday (-1,153) US troops occupied New Caledonia.

11/3/1942, Wednesday (-1,154) Brazilian President Get�lio Vargas reiterated his powers to declare war or a state of national emergency, clearing the way for the seizure of subjects and property of Axis countries.

10/3/1942. Tuesday (-1,155) Rangoon, Burma, fell to the Japanese.

9/3/1942, Monday (-1,156) The Dutch East Indies campaign ended in decisive Japanese victory. The Japanese occupation of the Dutch East Indies began.

8/3/1942. Sunday (-1,157) Java surrendered to the Japanese.

7/3/1942. Saturday (-1,158) British forces withdrew from Rangoon. Bandung, Java, also fell to the Japanese, effectively giving all of Java to Japan.

6/3/1942, Friday (-1,161) A controversial political cartoon by Philip Zec appeared in the Daily Mirror, showing a seaman clinging to the remains of a ship in rough seas with the caption, "The price of petrol has been increased by one penny � Official." Winston Churchill interpreted the cartoon as �defeatist� and considered banning the Daily Mirror from publication.

5/3/1942, Thursday (-1,160) The Dutch announced the evacuation of Batavia in the face of the Japanese advance. Java could no longer be held. The Japanese entered Pegu in Burma, just 40 miles from the capital, Rangoon.

4/3/1942, Wednesday (-1,161) Yuliya Lazarevna Veysberg, composer, died aged 62.

3/3/1942, Tuesday (-1,162) The USA declared the West Coast a military area and evacuated some 100,000 civilians.

2/3/1942, Monday (-1,163) The Japanese began heavy air strikes on New Guinea in preparation for an invasion.

1/3/1942, Sunday (-1,164) Skirts were being made several centimetres shorter to save material. A woman�s winter tweed coat sold for �4 3s 11d. Men�s shirt tails were also 5 centimetres shorter.


28/2/1942. Saturday (-1,165) The Japanese landed on Java, Indonesia.

27/2/1942, Friday (-1,166) The Battle of the Java Sea, in which the Dutch navy was destroyed in defence of Australia. The Japanese were now able to occupy Java.

26/2/1942, Thursday (-1,167) Jozef Adamec, Slovak footballer, was born

25/2/1942, Wednesday (-1,168) Leo Ascher, Austrian composer, died in new York (born 17/8/1880 in Vienna)

24/2/1942, Tuesday (-1,169) Joe Lieberman, US politician, was born.

23/2/1942, Monday (-1,170) Lend Lease was made reciprocal between the USA and Britain.

22/2/1942. Sunday (-1,171) Civilians were evacuated from Rangoon as fighting raged 80 miles north east of the city.

21/2/1942, Saturday (-1,172) Margarethe von Trotta, film director, was born in Berlin, Germany

20/2/1942, Friday (-1.173) Bali, east of Java, was invaded by Japan.

19/2/1942. Thursday (-1,174) The Japanese bombed the Australian city of Darwin.

18/2/1942. Wednesday (-1,175) The British public were urged to take fewer baths and to only use five inches of water when they did.

17/2/1942, Tuesday (-1,176) Augusto Ponzio, semiologist was born in San Pietro Vernotico, Italy

16/2/1942, Monday (-1,177) Japanese forces in Borneo occupied the town of Sintang, West Kalimantan. In Sumatra, Palembang fell to Japanese forces.

15/2/1942. Sunday (-1,178) Singapore occupied by the Japanese. See 5/9/1945. The base was supposed to be impregnable, but all its guns pointed out to sea; the Japanese came overland. The base was running out of water and surrendered, but the British did not know the Japanese were almost out of ammunition. The Japanese now had a massive arsenal of guns and ammunition.

14/2/1942, Saturday (-1,179) (Germany) A controversial �Area Bombing� directive by the RAF meant that German civilian areas were now targets for future bombing raids.

13/2/1942, Friday (-1,180) Peter Tork, musician, was born.

12/2/1942. Thursday (-1,181) The Japanese captured Bandjermasin, the main town on the south coast of Borneo.

11/2/1942, Wednesday (-1,182) Japanese forces crossed the Salween River in Burma.

10/2/1942, Tuesday (-1,183) American bandleader Glen Miller was presented with a gold record of his popular tune �Chattanooga Choo Choo�; the tune was the first to hit one million sales.

9/2/1942. Monday (-1,184) Soap rationing began in Britain.

8/2/1942, Sunday (-1,185) German Munitions chief Fritz Todt was killed in a plane crash.

7/2/1942, Saturday (-1,186) In Banja Luka, Croatian Nazis massacred 2,300 Serbian civilians, including 551 children.

5/2/1942, Thursday (-1,188) The US established a military base at Londonderry.

2/2/1942. Monday (-1,191) Three Allied ships carrying supplies to besieged Malta were destroyed en-route.

1/2/1942. Sunday (-1,192) Vidkun Quisling, pro-Nazi, was appointed Prime Minister of Norway.


31/1/1942. Saturday (-1,193) The Japanese laid siege to Singapore. They landed on Singapore on 9/2/1942.

30/1/1942, Friday (-1,194) The Irish government claimed that its neutrality was being violated by the American troop presence in Northern Ireland. An official statement declared that the United States had recognized a "Quisling government" in Northern Ireland by sending troops there and that the British were making a new attempt to force Ireland into the war on the side of the Allies.

29/1/1942. Thursday (-1,195) The first broadcast of theBBC radio programme �Desert Island Discs�, devised and presented by Roy Plomley. Roy Plomley presented the programme until 11/5/1985; he died 17 days later on 28/5/1965. The first �castaway� was the comedian, Vic Oliver.

28/1/1942, Wednesday (-1,196) German and Italian forces recaptured Benghazi.

27/1/1942, Tuesday (-1,197) Jacqueline Cochrane, US aviatrix, flew a US bomber to the UK, for raids against Germany.

26/1/1942, Monday (-1,198) American troops landed in Northern Ireland.

25/1/1942, Sunday (-1,199) Siam (Thailand) declared war on Britain and the USA.The USA did not declare war on Siam.Many Thai sympathised with the Allied side.

24/1/1942, Saturday (-1,200) German forces relieved an encirclement of their garrison at Sukhinichi, Russia.

23/1/1942, Friday (-1,201) Japanese forces captured the port of Rabaul, New Britain.

22/1/1942, Thursday (-1,202) Belatedly, Allied reinforcements reached Singapore

21/1/1942. Wednesday (-1,203) German offensive began in the Western Desert, Egypt.

20/1/1942. Tuesday (-1,204) Reihard Heydrich proposed his �final solution� � to exterminate all of Europe�s 11 million Jews.

19/1/1942. Monday (-1,205) (1) Japanese invaded Burma.

(2) Michael Crawford, British comedy actor, was born in Salisbury, Wiltshire, as Michael Dumble-Smith.

18/1/1942, Sunday (-1,206) Japanese forces captured Tavoy, Burma.

17/1/1942, Saturday (-1,207) British forces captured Bardia, Libya.

16/1/1942, Friday (-1,208) In the Battle of Muar in Malaya, the Japanese 5th Infantry Division crossed the Muar River and captured Muar itself.

15/1/1942. Thursday (-1,209) Ghandi named Nehru as his successor.

14/1/1942, Wednesday (-1,210) The Battle of Gemas was fought in Malaya, resulting in tactical Australian victory.

13/1/1942, Tuesday (-1,211) The first escape by emergency ejection seat from an aircraft. The German pilot ejected at 7,875 feet due to heavy icing, over Rechlin, Germany, and landed safely.

12/1/1942, Monday (-1,212) In North Africa, the British took Sallum after a 56-day siege when the Germans ran out of ammunition.

11/1/1942. Sunday (-1,213) Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, was captured by the Japanese.The Japanese also landed on the northern tip of the Celebes this day, and within a month controlled all the island except the remote interior.

10/1/1942. Saturday (-1,214) The Japanese invaded the Dutch East Indies.

9/1/1942, Friday (-1,215) The Battle of Drazgose began between the Slovene Partisans and Nazi occupying forces.

8/1/1942, Thursday (-1,216) Stephen Hawking, astrophysicist, was born.

7/1/1942, Wednesday (-1,217) (Germany) The Soviet Army began a new offensive on the Kalinin and Western Fronts in order to encircle Army Group Centre.

6/1/1942, Tuesday (-1,218) British forces advancing westwards through Libya reached Mersa Brega, near El Agheila.

5/1/1942, Monday (-1,219) Jan Leeming, BBC presenter, was born.

4/1/1942, Sunday (-1,229) The Japanese 14th Army captured Guagua in the Philippines.

3/1/1942, Saturday (-1,221) The Allies set up the South West Pacific Command

2/1/1942. Friday (-1,222) Manila captured by the Japanese. The US recaptured it on 3/2/1945.

1/1/1942, Thursday (-1,223) (1) The British withdrew from Sarawak.

(2) As the USA entered WW2, it announced that from 22/2/1942 production of civilian cars must cease. The current stock of 520,000 US civilian cars could only be sold to those deemed �essential drivers� Brightwork materials on cars produced in January and February, such as chrome trims, was to be limited as it was needed for war production.


31/12/1941, Wednesday (-1,224) De Valera declined to join the War despite its main ally, the USA, now being involved.

30/12/1941, Tuesday (-1,225) The Battle of Kampar began in Malaya.

29/12/1941, Monday (-1,226) Russia re-occupied Kerch and Feodosia.

28/12/1941, Sunday (-1,227) General Wavell took command of the Allied defence of Burma.

27/12/1941, Saturday (-1,228) The US Government, as part of wartime rationing, limited the number of tyres any car driver could own to 5. This limit remained in place until 31/12/1945.

26/12/1941, Friday (-1,229) Second British raid on the Lofoten Islands. Winston Churchill discussed war strategy in America.

25/12/1941. Thursday (-1,230) Hong Kong surrendered to the Japanese. 6,000 troops laid down arms after a 7-day battle.

24/12/1941, Wednesday (-1,231) Benghazi recaptured by the British.

23/12/1941, Tuesday (-1,232) Wake Island (US territory) surrendered to the Japanese, see 4/9/1945.

22/12/1941, Monday (-1,233) General Wavell met with Chiang Kai Shek at Chonqquing.

21/12/1941, Sunday (-1,234) Siam (Thailand) signed a treaty with Japan permitting the entry and transit of Japanese troops. This facilitated the Japanese invasion of Burma.

20/12/1941, Saturday (-1,235) Joseph Goebbels announced a winter clothing collection drive for troops on the Eastern Front. Rather than admitting to a supply shortage he presented it as an expression of solidarity between the soldiers and the homeland

19/12/1941. Friday (-1,236) Hitler made himself Commander in Chief of the Army.

18/12/1941, Thursday (-1,237) British and Dutch forces occupied East Timor. Malaya was evacuated and the Japanese attacked Hong Kong.

17/12/1941. Wednesday (-1,238) Sarawak, Borneo, was invaded by the Japanese.

16/12/1941, Tuesday (-1,239) Allied raids on Ostend, Bremen and Wilhelmshaven.

15/12/1941, Monday (-1,240) The Germans abandoned attempts to take Moscow.

14/12/1941, Sunday (-1,241) Japan and Siam (Thailand) signed a ten-year co-operation treaty.

13/12/1941, Saturday (-1,242) The Japanese controlled the mainland area of Hong Kong, and Kowloon; Hong Kong Island was still British-held.

12/12/1941. Friday (-1,243) (1) The USSR began to push back Nazi forces. Rostov in the south was retaken by the USSR, and the German advance towards Moscow was turned back at Solechnaya Gora, 40 miles north-west from the Russian capital. 30,000 German soldiers ware taken prisoner and 700 German tanks captured or destroyed.German supply lines had become over-stretched, and the varying gauges and fuel requirements of Russia�s railways meant that 70% of the Wermacht forces had to walk into Russia.German hopes that Russian civilians would see them as liberators failed to materialise.The German soldiers were ill-prepared for winter temperatures as low as -40 C. However Stalin now made some tactical errors. He anticipated the main German thrust for 1942 would be against Moscow whereas the Nazis now aimed for Stalingrad, so as to capture the Caucasus oilfields.

(2) The Japanese captured the island of Guam, see 20/7/1944.

(3) More Jews were arrested in Paris. This time it was the professional members of the community � doctors, academics, scientists and writers � who were detained and sent to Drancy.

11/12/1941, Thursday (-1,244) Hitler declared war on the USA, as did Italy, even though he had not yet conquered Russia or invaded Britain. The USA declared war on Germany and Italy.

10/12/1941, Wednesday (-1,245) (1) (Germany) Tikhvin, near Leningrad, was recaptured by the Russians, see 9/11/1941.

(2) Japanese forces off Malaya sank two major British naval vessels, the Repulse and Prince of Wales, thereby eliminating British naval power from the Far East for some time. Also on this day the Japanese occupied Aparri, a major port in northern Luzon, Philippines. US forces retook it in June 1945. Japan invaded Malaya.

9/12/1941, Tuesday (-1,246) US air force bombed Luzon, Philippines.

8/12/1941. Monday (-1,247) Britain and the USA declared war on Japan. Costa Rica, El Salvador, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic also declared war on Japan, and China declared war on all the Axis powers. Britain declared war on Finland, Rumania, and Hungary.Siam (Thailand) agreed to the passage of Japanese forces through its territory to attack British Malaya.

7/12/1941. Sunday (-1,248) Japanese attack on the USA fleet in Pearl Harbour, Hawaii. Pearl Harbour was taken entirely by surprise and within 2 hours 360 Japanese warplanes had destroyed 5 battleships, 14 smaller craft, and 200 aircraft. 2,400 people, many of them civilians, were killed. However the Japanese failed to find and destroy America�s all-important aircraft carriers, both of which were away on manoeuvres. The Japanese force then turned west to strike the British in the East Indies, Australia, and Ceylon (Sri Lanka). The US Congress met to declare war in emergency session on 8/12/1941, much to the relief of Britain. Hitler, meanwhile, was pleased because he imagined that this would distract the US away from the War in Europe.

6/12/1941. Saturday (-1,249) (1) Roosevelt appealed to Hirohito to avoid a war with the USA.

(2) Britain declared war on Finland, after it ignored warnings not to continue fighting on the German side.

(3) A Russian counterattack began to relieve the pressure on Moscow.

5/12/1941, Friday (-1,250) (1) A civilian gas mask exercise was held in Plymouth. At 3pm all civilians were supposed to don their gas masks for 15 minutes; many did not comply.

(2) Britain declared war on Hungary and Romania.

(3) The German advance on Moscow halted, just 32 km away from the city centre. The temperature had dropped suddenly to -35 C the previous night and tank engines, frozen solid, would not start and many German soldiers had frostbite.

4/12/1941, Thursday (-1,251) In Britain, unmarried women in their 20s were now being called up to perform non combat support work for the military, such as factory work, fire services and policing. For men, the call-up age was extended down to 18 and up to 49.

3/12/1941, Wednesday (-1,252) Russia evacuated its naval base at Hanko, Finland, west of Helsinki.

2/12/1941, Tuesday (-1,253) (1) The German Army under Von Kluge were in the suburbs of Moscow, within sight of the Kremlin. However they were halted there by a new Soviet offensive, better prepared for winter than the Germans were.

(2) The Battle of Hanko ended in Finnish victory.

1/12/1941. Monday (-1,254) The Japanese Emperor ratified the decision to go to war with the USA.


30/11/1941, Sunday (-1,255) The first day of the Rumbula massacre near Riga, Latvia. Around 25,000 Jews were killed between this day and December 8.

29/11/1941, Saturday (-1.156) German troops withdrew from Taganrog on the Sea of Azov.

28/11/1941, Friday (-1,257) Russia re-occupied Rostov.

27/11/1941, Thursday (-1,258) Gondar, Abyssinia, captured by Allied forces.

26/11/1941, Wednesday (-1,259) (1) A Russian counter attack saw them advance 70 miles in the Ukraine.

(2) Japanese naval forces set sail for Pearl Harbour.

25/11/1941, Tuesday (-1,260) The Royal Navy battleship, HMS Barham, was sunk.

24/11/1941, Monday (-1,261) Von Rundstedt defied a direct order from Hitler and withdrew from Rostov-on-Don due to Soviet counter-attacks in the rear.

23/11/1941, Sunday (-1,262) Rostov occupied by Germany. German troops were now just 50 km NW of Moscow, with other German troops approaching to within 100 km to the SW at Kashira on the River Ugra.

22/11/1941, Saturday (-1,263) In the Battle of Moscow, the Germans captured Klin.

21/11/1941, Friday (-1,264) The Battle of Rostov began on the Eastern Front.

20/11/1941, Thursday (-1,265) The German Afrika Korps gave battle over a broad area around Sidi Rezegh.

19/11/1941, Wednesday (-1,266) Start of First Battle of Sidi Rezegh (ended 22/11/1941). Rommel captured the airfield from the Allies, who however managed to avoid encirclement and capture.

18/11/1941. Tuesday (-1,267) (1) Allies under General Auchinlek began Operation Crusader, ousting the Italians from North Africa. By 25/12/1941 the British gained territory and were back to where they were in February 1941. On 21/1/1942 Rommel hit back and Tobruk surrendered to him on 21/6 1942.

(2) Iraq broke off relations with Japan.

17/11/1941, Monday (-1,268) British commando raids on German HQ at Tobruk, 300 kilometres behind enemy lines.

16/11/1941, Sunday (-1,269) Iraq broke off relations with Vichy France.

15/11/1941, Saturday (-1,270) (1) RAF raids on Boulogne and Emden.

(2) The ground was now frozen, and German forces launched a �final offensive� to capture Moscow.

14/11/1941. Friday (-1,271) The British aircraft carrier, HMS Ark Royal, was sunk. She was torpedoed by a U-boat near Gibraltar; she was under tow to Gibraltar for repair when fire broke out, her list increased and she was abandoned.

13/11/1941, Thursday (-1,272) The temperature on the Eastern Front near Moscow fell further, to -22 C

12/11/1941, Wednesday (-1,273) The temperature on the Moscow Front fell to -12 C, and many German soldiers succumbed to frostbite.

11/11/1941, Tuesday (-1,274) The British attacked several Italian Navy ships at anchor in the Gulf of Taranto.

10/11/1941, Monday (-1,275)

9/11/1941, Sunday (-1,276) (Germany) Tikhvin, a railway junction town east of Leningrad, fell to the Germans. It was a staging point for supplies to Leningrad via Lake Ladoga. See 10/12/1941.

8/11/1941, Saturday (-1,277) The RAF suffered major losses from a costly bombing raid into Germany.

7/11/1941, Friday (-1,278) With the muddy ground now frozen and firm once again, Germany decided to resume the assault on Moscow. However the delay caused by the autumn rains had enabled Russia to place 80 divisions in its defence. This assault actually began on 15 November.

6/11/1941, Thursday (-1,279) The US destroyer Somers and the US cruiser Omaha captured a German blockade-running ship, the Odenwald, which was disguised as a US merchant vessel.

5/11/1941, Wednesday (-1,280) Art Garfunkel, of Simon and Garfunkel, was born in New York.

4/11/1941, Tuesday (-1,281) The Germans captured Feodosia on the Crimean Peninsula.

3/11/1941. Monday (-1,282) (1) The Germans captured Kursk, Russia � see 8/2/1943.

(2) President Roosevelt was warned by the US Ambassador to Tokyo of a possible Japanese attack on the USA.

2/11/1941, Sunday (-1,283) Bruce Welch, guitarist, was born.

1/11/1941, Saturday (-1,284) Simferopol captured by Germany.


31/10/1941, Friday (-1,285) The Walt Disney film Dumbo was released today.

30/10/1941, Thursday (-1,286) The USS Reuben James was attacked by a U-boat, killing 70 US sailors.

29/10/1941, Wednesday (-1,287) Germans began to cross the Perikop isthmus into Crimea.

28/10/1941, Tuesday (-1,288) Hank Marvin, guitarist, was born.

27/10/1941, Monday (-1,289) Erich von Manstein's 11th Army broke into the Crimean Peninsula.

26/10/1941, Sunday (-1,291) Victor Schertzinger, Us composer, died in Hollywood (born 8/4/1880 in Mahanoy, Pennsylvania)

25/10/1941, Saturday (-1,291) Deep snow fell on the Moscow Front. The snow could then thaw, turning the ground into a quagmire; the Russian T34 tanks, with their wide tracks, could cope with this better than the German tanks could.

24/10/1941, Friday (-1,292) Kharkov occupied by Germany.

23/10/1941, Thursday (-1,293) Colin Milburn, cricketer, was born (died 28/2/1990).

22/10/1941, Wednesday (-1,294) Tokyo conducted its first practice blackout.

21/10/1941, Tuesday (-1,295) The hull of Britain�s last, and largest ever, battleship HMS Vanguard, was laid at Clydebank.She was launched on 30/11/1944.

20/10/1941, Monday (-1,296) German forces reached within 70 km of Moscow.The city suffered heavy bombing raids as fighting raged in the countryside around.

19/10/1941, Sunday (-1,297) German forces captured Mozhaysk, Russia.

18/10/1941, Saturday (-1,298) The expiry of a 6-week deadline, set by the Japanese military on 6/9/1941, for the completion of negotiations with the USA. By the end of September 1941 Japanese oil reserves had fallen to 15 million barrels, and the military wanted to go to war in SE Asia to secure more oil. However there were concerns in Japan about the reaction of America to this invasion. The President of the Japanese National Planning Board stated that domestic oil production could be increased for a fraction of the cost of a war. The pacifist Prince Konoye also opposed war. But when the 18 October deadline passed without result, Konoye resigned and General Tojo became Minister of War. Tojo was less militant than many of his colleagues and extended the deadline for a result of the Japan-US negotiations for a further 6 weeks, to 25 November; again no agreement was achieved.

17/10/1941. Friday (-1,299) The belligerent General Tojo was appointed Prime Minister of Japan. He replaced Prince Konoe, who had resigned the previous day after failing t make headway in negotiations with the US and facing strong pressure from the Japanese military.

16/10/1941. Thursday (-1,300) The Germans advanced to within 60 miles of Moscow. Odessa evacuated by Russia.

15/10/1941, Wednesday (-1,301) The Jewish population of Lubny, Ukraine, and neighbouring towns were ordered to report for relocation. The 1,900 Jews who obeyed the order were taken to an antitank trench outside the town and shot.

14/10/1941, Tuesday (-1,302) Roger Taylor, tennis champion, was born.

13/10/1941. Monday (-1,303) RAF raid on Nuremberg.

12/10/1941, Sunday (-1,304) Briansk evacuated by Russia.

11/10/1941, Saturday (-1,305) The Japanese Government approved plans for an attack on Pearl Harbour.

10/10/1941, Friday (-1,306) Stalin brought General Zhukov back from Leningrad, where the first deaths from starvation had begun, to oversee the creation of a Western Front to defend Moscow.

9/10/1941, Thursday (-1,307) Ricardo Adolfo de la Guardia Arango became President of Panama.

8/10/1941. Wednesday (-1,308) German forces in Russia took Mariupol; Hitler had now reached the Sea of Azov. However Russia was far from being conquered.

7/10/1941, Tuesday (-1,309) German Army Group Centre encountered snowfall for the first time in the drive on Moscow.

6/101941, Monday (-1,310) German forces entered Berdyansk, taking over 100,00 Russian PoWs.

5/10/1941, Sunday (-1,311) Eduardo Duhalde, President of Argentina, was born in Lomas de Zamora, Argentina

4/10/1941. Saturday (-1,312) Anne Rice, writer, was born.

3/10/1941. Friday (-1,313) The aerosol was patented by L D Goodhue and W N Sullivan.

2/10/1941. Thursday (-1,314) (1) As the first winter snows began, the Russian Army launched a counter-attack at Leningrad. Von Bock was given the go ahead for his offensive to capture Mosco but by now it was too late to accomplish this before winter would set in.

(2) The Nazi occupiers of Paris blew up Jewish synagogues across the city. Six were destroyed, a seventh explosive failed to detonate but thebuilding was destroyed anyway the next day.

1/10/1941, Wednesday (-1,315) RAF raid on Stuttgart.


30/9/1941, Tuesday (-1,316) Finland took Petrozavodsk from Russia.

29/9/1941. Monday (-1,317) A Nazi death squad murdered 30,000 Russian Jews in Kiev, following the fall of Kiev to the Nazis on 19/9/1941.

28/9/1941, Sunday (-1,318) The Operation Halberd convoy reached Malta with 50,000 tons of urgently needed supplies.

27/9.1941, Saturday (-1,319) Germany captured Perekop, cutting off the Crimea from the rest of Russia. The first autumn rains in Russia began to fall, turning roads into mud.

26/9/1941, Friday (-1,320) The US proclaimed an embargo on steel and scrap iron exports to Japan, with effect from 16/10/1941.

25/9/1941, Thursday (-1,321) Germany attacked the Crimea.

24/9/1941, Wednesday (-1,322) Russian Marshall Budenny launched a counter-attack against the Germans at Kherson, on the River Dnieper.

23/9/1941, Tuesday (-1,323) In London, Charles de Gaulle formed a Free French Government in exile.

22/9/1941, Monday (-1,324) Hitler issued Directive No. 36, Instructions for Winter operations in Norway.

21/9/1941, Sunday (-1,325) The Jeep was born. The US Army asked 135 companies to provide a prototype of a 4-wheel drive reconnaissance car.Bantam delivered a model this day, which was satisfactory apart from needing better engine torque. The model was then sent to Willys-Overland for production. However as the US entered WW2, it became apparent that Willys could not produce the number of vehicles needed, so Ford was granted a licence to also produce these vehicles, on 10/1/1942.

20/9/1941, Saturday (-1,326) The British arranged for arms to be supplied to Yugoslav partisan leader Mihailovic. However there was deep rivalry between Mihailovic and Tito, and the British realised these arms were being used against Tito, so they stopped delivering them.

19/9/1941. Friday (-1,327) The Germans captured Kiev, USSR.

18/9/1941, Thursday (-1,328)

16/9/1941. Tuesday (-1,330) The Shah of Iran, Reza Khan Pahlavi, abdicated. His son, Reza Pahlavi, took over.

15/9/1941, Monday (-1,331) The Nazis began testing the gas chambers at Auschwitz.

14/9/1941, Sunday (-1,332)

13/9/1941, Saturday (-1,333) Three days of war games held at the Naval War College, Tokyo, ended. They had been staged to develop possible Japanese strategy in the Pacific.

12/9/1941, Friday (-1,334) The first snow flurries on the German Soviet Front, but none settled. Hitler, keen to capture Moscow, decided that Leningrad would be besieged and starved intro surrender, rather than conquered.

11/9/1941, Thursday (-1,335)

10/9/1941, Wednesday (-1,336) Heavy German bombing raids on Leningrad. The city�s main dairy was hit, destroying tons of butter, and the shipyards were badly damaged.

9/9/1941, Tuesday (-1,337) Churchill met Roosevelt in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland.

8/9/1941, Monday (-1,338) Stalin began the deportation eastwards of all 600,000 ethnic Germans living in the Volga Basin region; he feared they would become a 5th column as Germany invaded Russia.

7/9/1941, Sunday (-1,339)

6/9/1941, Saturday (-1,340) Japan now aimed to be fully bready for war with the US by end October 1941. Meanwhile Prince Konoe continued talks with the US to buy time.

5/9/1941, Friday (-1,341) Hitler changed his mind yet again and decided Moscow would be the primary objective and Leningrad was merely a secondary target. However the necessary transfer of resources between the invading German armies could not begin until end-September, and with autumn rains to begin in mid-October, followed by snow, time was now very short to achieve these objectives..

2/9/1941, Tuesday (-1,344)

1/9/1941, Monday (-1,345) The 1942 De Soto car model was introduced, featuring Airfoil headlights that retracted when not in use.


31/8/1941, Sunday (-1,346) Nazi persecution of the Jews in Paris intensified. On this day all radios belonging to Jews were confiscated. Then their bicycles were taken. The Post Office was ordered to disconnect all phones belonging to Jewish households, and Jews were forbidden to use public phone boxes. Jews were barred from cinemas, Jewish lawyers were forbidden to practise, and it was made illegal for Jews to change address. Jews could only use the last carriage of the Paris Metro trains.

30/8/1941. Saturday (-1,347) The Germans began the siege of Leningrad.The siege ended in January 1943.

29/8/1941. Friday (-1,348) The Germans captured Tallinn, capital of Estonia.

28/8/1941, Thursday (-1,349) The Russians destroyed the Dnieper Dam, near Dnipropetrovsk, as they retreated from the area under their scorched earth policy.

27/8/1941, Wednesday (-1,350) Mohammad Ali Foroughi became Prime Minister of Iran for the third time.

26/8/1941, Tuesday (-1,351) The Germans captured the industrial city of Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine. However the industrial machinery had been moved away eastwards, leaving just empty factories.

25/8/1941, Monday (-1,352) (1) Canadian and British and Norwegian forces raided Spitzebergen.

(2) British and Soviet troops occupied Iran. This was a violation of Iran�s neutrality but was seen as a vital move to pre-empt German Fifth Columnists who might sabotage the oil installations.

23/8/1941, Saturday (-1,354)

22/8/1941, Friday (-1,355) Sir Oliver Lodge, pioneer of wireless telegraphy, died.

21/8/1941, Thursday (-1,356) (Germany) The first of the Arctic Convoys left Scapa Flow, Scotland, taking military supplies to Russia, including Hurricane fighter planes.

20/8/1941, Wednesday (-1.357) A further mass arrest of Parisian Jews took place, this time mainly affecting the artisan Jews of the 11th Arrondissement. These detainees were held at a large unfinished public housing complex at Drancy on the outskirts of Paris.

19/8/1941, Tuesday (-1,358) German units reached Gatchine, just 25 km from Leningrad; the following day they cut the Leningrad-Moscow rail line at Chudovo.

18/8/1941, Monday (-1,359) Britain set up a national fire service.

17/8/1941, Sunday (-1,360) The Germans took Narva, Estonia.

16/8/1941, Saturday (-1,361) In the Dnipropetrovsk area, the Russians retreated east of the Dnieper River.

15/8/1941, Friday (-1,362) Josef Jakobs became the last person to be executed at the Tower of London. A German spy, he had parachuted into Huntingdonshire with a radio transmitter; however he injured his leg in the fall and was captured by the Home Guard. He was tried and shot the same day, in a chair.

14/8/1941, Thursday (-1,363) The UK Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, and the US President, Woodrow Wilson signed the Atlantic Charter, a further step towards the establishment of the United Nations.

13/8/1941, J Stuart Blackton, English-born US film producer, died aged 66.

12/8/1941, Tuesday (-1,365) Hitler set out, in a supplement to Directive No.34, his immediate military aims in Russia. Occupation of the Crimea, the industrial regions of Kharkov, and the Donets Basin coalfields. After the occupation of the Crimea, Germany could attack across the Kerch Strait towards Batumi.

11/8/1941, Monday (-1,366) The Red Army counterattacked around Yelnya.

10/8/1941, Sunday (-1,367) Anita Lonsbrough, champion swimmer, was born.

9/8/1941, Saturday (-1,368) Hitler outlined to his government ministers his vision for Russia. �The German colonist will live on handsome spacious farms. The German services will be lodged in marvellous buildings, the governors in palaces. Beneath the shelter of the administrative services we shall gradually organise all that is indispensable to the maintenance of a certain standard of living. Around the city to a depth of thirty of forty kilometres we shall have a belt of handsome villages connected by the best roads. What exists beyond that will be another world in which we mean to let the Russians live as they like. It is merely necessary that we should rule them. In the event of a revolution we shall only have to drop a few bombs on their cities and the affair will be liquidated. Once a year we shall lead a troop of Kirghizes through the capital of the Reich in order to strike their imagination with the size of our monuments�.

8/8/1941. Friday (-1,369) The Soviet air force raided Berlin for the first time, in revenge for the 22 July raid.

7/8/1941, Thursday (-1,370) Smolensk taken by the Germans.

6/8/1941, Wednesday (-1,371) German forces reached the edge of Kiev but were halted there by Vlasov�s 37th Army.

5/8/1941, Tuesday (-1,372) The First Battle of Smolensk ended in German victory. 310,000 Soviets were taken prisoner.

4/8/1941, Monday (-1,373) Martin Jarvis, actor, was born

3/8/1941, Sunday (-1,374) Joshua Gifford, champion jockey, was born.

2/8/1941, Saturday (-1,375) All civilian radios in Norway were confiscated by the Germans.

1/8/1941, Friday (-1,376) The US imposed an embargo on oil sales to Japan.


31/7/1941, Thursday (-1,377) Goering issued an order to Heydrich, a subordinate of Himmler, to draw up a plan for the total extinction of all non-Russian Jews. Heydrich called a conference on 20/1/1942 at Wannsee, a picnic area outside Berlin. Reich administrators were to arrange for this genocide via the concentration camps. Jews were to be forced to labour building roads and many were expected to die of over-work.

30/7/1941, Wednesday (-1,378) (Japan) The US gunboat Tutuila was bombed by Japanese aircraft. Japan later apologised for the incident.

29/7/1941, Tuesday (-1,379) The Vichy French Government gave Japanese forces use of the air bases in Indo China.

28/7/1941, Monday (-1,380) Colin Higgins, US film director, was born.

27/7/1941, Sunday (-1,381) (1) Japanese troops moved into Cambodia and Thailand, and captured Saigon.

(2) German forces entered the Ukraine.

26/7/1941, Saturday (-1,382) Britain and the USA froze Japanese assets. US codebreakers had been reading Japanese government communications and along with Britain and The Netherlands were convinced of Japanese aggressive intentions. Japan was now cut off from 90% of its oil supplies, and felt it had no option but to invade the oil-rich Dutch East Indies.

25/7/1941, Friday (-1,383) RAF raid on Berlin.

24/7/1941, Thursday (-1,384) Japan announced that Vichy France had consented to Japanese �protection� of the French colonies in Indo-China.

23/7/1941, Wednesday (-1,385) The German battleship Scharnhorst was bombed at La Pallice (where she had been moved from Brest).

22/7/1941, Tuesday (-1,386) Germany made its first bombing raid on Moscow.

21/7/1941, Monday (-1,387) First German air raid on Monaco.

20/7/1941, Sunday (-1,388) As Axis forces approached Leningrad, art treasures from The Hermitage were shipped out to the relative safety of Sverdlovsk in the Urals.

19/7/1941, Saturday (-1,389) Hitler was concerned that Russian forces were simply retreating further into Russia, then regrouping to counter attack.

18/7/1941, Friday (-1,390) The belligerent Yosuke Matsuoka, who had advocated an attack on the USA. was replaced as Japanese Foreign Minister by the more moderate Teijiro Toyoda. This move was intended to appease the US and keep them out of a war with Japan.

17/7/1941, Thursday (-1,391) Hitler gave Himmler full authority for �police security� in the newly-occupied areas of Russia. This meant that all Jews in these areas were to be massacred.

16/7/1941, Wednesday (-1,392) German troops began the encirclement of Smolensk, a Soviet city halfway between Minsk and Moscow.

15/7/1941, Tuesday (-1,393) The 7th Panzer Division captured Yartsevo, Russia.

14/7/1941, Monday (-1,394) A crisis caused by a pro-Axis coup in Syria in May 1941 came to a conclusion. The Vichy French administration in Syria had allowed Germans the use of Syrian airfields to support Iraqi Nationalist rebels fighting British administration in Iraq. Britain declared that Marshal Petain had breached an undertaking not to act against the former allies of France, and invaded Syria with a mixed army of British and Free French troops. Heavy fighting occurred around Beirut between 8/7 and 14/7, although Damascus was spared. An armistice signed on 14/7 gave French troops and civilians in Syria and Lebanon the choice of repatriation to France or joining Free French forces.

13/7/1941, Sunday (-1,395) Britain and the USSR concluded an assistance pact.

12/7/1941, Saturday (-1,396) The Russians at Brest finally surrendered, having held out against the invading Germans.

11/7/1941, Friday (-1,397) German forces captured Vitebsk.

10/7/1941, Thursday (-1,398) �Jelly Roll� Morton, jazz band leader and pianist, died.

9/7/1941, Wednesday (-1,399) Allied forces invading the Levant against the Vichy French regime occupied Tyre. On the Russian front, Hitler stated his priorities before winter set in; to push back Soviet forces out of bomber range of the Romanian oilfields, and to capture the Ukrainian grain fields. Moscow was now, therefore, as less significant objective than the industrial Leningrad region and the SE front towards Stalingrad.

8/7/1941, Tuesday (-1,400) German forces entered Pskov, just 180 km from Leningrad.

7/7/1941, Monday (-1,401) American troops joined the British force occupying Iceland. This released 20,000 British troops.

6/7/1941, Sunday (-1,401) (Jewish) Over 2,500 Jews were murdered by Lithuanian militia under German direction.

5/7/1941, Saturday (-1,403) Ukrainians seized control in Buczacz, Poland. They were backed by the Nazis. The Ukrainians massacred any Poles, Jews, or Russians they caught, and proclaimed an �Independent Ukrainian State�. In September 1939 the Jews of Buczacz had been relieved to be included in the Soviet-occupied sector of Poland, and therefore not under Nazi rule in German occupied western Poland. At that time, Jews, backed by the Russians, took over the local administration and assisted the Russians in deporting many Poles.. However the German attack on Soviet Russia of June 1941 caught them by surprise.

4/7/1941, Friday (-1,404) In the UK, coal rationing began.

3/7/1941, Thursday (-1,405) Allied forces took Palmyra (Syria) and Tabor (Abyssinia).

2/7/1941, Wednesday (-1,406) Japan called up over one million conscripts, and pulled its merchant ships out of the Atlantic.

1/7/1941. Tuesday (-1,407)(1) The first TV commercial was shown; on WNBT in New York, USA.It was for the Bulova clock and Watch company.

(2) In Britain a pint of beer cost 10d (4p), up from 9d. A pair of �Land Girl� tailored cord breeches cost 17s 6d (88p), half a dozen medium eggs cost 7 1/2d (3p) from J Sainsbury. Income tax was 8s 6d (43p) in the pound. A tax inspector earned �975 a year, the Secretary of State for War was paid �5,000 per annum.

(3) German forces entered Riga.


30/6/1941, Monday (-1,408) German forces took Lvov from Russia.

29/6/1941, Sunday (1,409) Germany demanded that Japan open an attack on Russia. Japan considered this on 2/7/1941, but their preference was merely to maintain their military presence in Manchukuo as a rear guard against a Russian attack whilst they thrust southwards where greater resources for their economy were to be found. They would only mount a greater attack on Russia if Russia increased its threat to them.

28/6/1941, Saturday (-1,410) Germany captured Minsk.

27/6/1941, Friday (-1,411) (1) Finland joined with Germany in attacking Russia, to recover territory lost in 1939/40.

(2) Hungary declared war on Russia.

26/6/1941, Thursday (-1,412) The Kosice (Hungarian name, Kassa) incident. Kosice, the principal town of eastern Slovakia, became part of Hungary on 12/11/1938. On this day, four days after Hitler invaded Russia, and when Hungary was still a non-combatant in the war, three airplanes bombed Kasice. The official story was that these planes were Russian, and this incident helped bring in Hungary against Russia. However the planes were far more likely to have been German, to provoke aggression by Hungary against Russia.

25/6/1941, Wednesday (-1,413) US President Roosevelt appointed an Employment Practices Committee to ensure reasonable employment conditions.

24/6/1941, Tuesday (-1,414) Russian General Pavlov, trying to prevent a German encirclement of Belostock, attacked towards Grodno.

23/6/1941, Monday (-1,415) German forces reached Vilnius by the evening.

22/6/1941. Sunday (-1,416) (1) Germany invaded Russia. Hitler expected the war in Russia to be over by Christmas 1941, saying �We only have to kick in the door and the whole rotten structure will come crashing down�. Hitler calculated that Stalin�s purges of the officer class had badly weakened the Red Army. The invasion plan, called Operation Barbarossa (see 21/12/1187) had been announced by Hitler to his generals on 30/3/1941 in a speech to 200 senior army officers. At on 22 June the greatest offensive in history was launched. Three million men poured across a front nearly a thousand miles long. Hitler had said that the Communists must be not only beaten but annihilated, or �in 30 years we shall have to fight them again�. By the end of World War Two, four million Russians had died in battle and a further 3.5 million had been taken captive. 97% of these died in captivity; Hitler had decided that the Geneva Convention did not apply to them, or to millions more captured later. 17,000 Russian villages were wiped off the map by the Germans. Stalin had not believed Germany would attack, despite troop movements on the frontier in the weeks before the invasion. The German invasion was to have begun on 15/5/1941, but the need to intervene in the Balkans against Greece and Yugoslavia delayed the Russian invasion by seven (crucial) weeks.The original plan was for German forces to have reached a line from Archangel to the Volga by autumn 1941.Russian resistance was greater than Hitler anticipated, and Hitler�s orders to try and capture Moscow whilst Leningrad was already besieged, whilst simultaneously taking tanks from the Moscow front to the southern front gave a respite to the defence of Moscow. The Germans correctly estimated Russian military strength in the west at 150 divisions but thought the Soviets had just 50 further divisions in reserve; in fact the Red Army summoned up over 200 reserve divisions. Unexpected July rains turned unsurfaced Russian roads into mud whilst the scorched earth policy meant roads, bridges, railways and factories were destroyed before the Germans advanced. The Russians also destroyed the railway rolling stock and because the Russian gauge was different from the German one, the Nazis could not use the Russian rail network.

(2) Romania joined in with Germany in attacking Russia. Rumania was led by Ion Antonescu (born 2/6/1882 in Transylvania). Antonescu was pro-Nazi, and during a period of serious internal disorder in Rumania, King Carol of Rumania was compelled to offer Antonescu the Premiership on 5/9/1940. Antonescu then demanded the abdication of Carol. In 1944 Russia counterattacked into Rumania and King Michael I, who had succeeded Carol, arrested Antonescu. Antonescu was convicted of war crimes on 17/5/1946 and executed near the Rumanian fort of Jilava on 1/6/1946.

21/6/1941. Saturday (-1,417) British forces took Damascus, Syria.

20/6/1941, Friday (-1,418) Stephen Frears, film director, was born.

19/6/1941. Thursday (-1,419) Germany and Italy expelled US consuls.

18/6/1941, Wednesday (-1,420) (1) Turkey concluded a two-year non-aggression pact with Germany.

(2) Delia Smith was born.

17/6/1941, Tuesday (-1,421) Hitler issued the final order for Operation Barbarossa to begin on June 22 at 3:00 am.

16/6/1941, Monday (-1,422) Germany evacuated its embassy in Moscow. By 21/6/1941 no German ships remained in Russian controlled ports.

15/6/1941, Sunday (-1,423) British forces in Egypt launched Operation Battleaxe, to force the Italian army back through Libya and even relieve Tobruk.

14/6/1941, Saturday (-1,424) Soviet newspapers denied that Germany was about to attack. However a Soviet spy in Berlin, codenamed �Lucy�, now passed the proposed invasion date, 22 June, back to Moscow.

13/6/1941, Friday (-1,425) Churchill offered to send Stalin a British military mission should Germany attack the USSR. However Stalin was suspicious of Churchill�s offer, regarding it as an attempt to precipitate him into war with Germany.

12/6/1941, Thursday (-1,426) the Allies signed the Inter-Allied Declaration, setting the scene for the future United Nations.

10/6/1941, Tuesday (-1,428)

9/6/1941, Monday (-1,429) Allied forces occupied Tyre.

8/6/1941. Sunday (-1,430) A combined force of British and Free French invaded Syria.

7/6/1941, Saturday (-1,431) Allied air raid on German navy at Brest, France.

6/6/1941, Friday (-1,432) Louis Chevrolet, American car designer, died.

5/6/1941, Thursday (-1,433) Heavy Japanese air raid on Chonqquing, where the Chinese Nationalists had moved their capital to in 1937 when the Japanese invaded China. Many died of suffocation as the underground tunnels they were sheltering in collapsed.

4/6/1941, Wednesday (-1,434) Kaiser Wilhelm II, exiled German Emperor, died in exile in The Netherlands.

3/6/1941, Tuesday (-1,435) Britain installed a pro-British regime in Baghdad.

2/6/1941. Monday (-1,436) Clothes rationing was introduced in Britain, and not lifted until 15/3/1949. 60 clothes coupons were allowed a year; for all except baby clothes; a dress cost 11 coupons, a man�s suit, 26.

1/6/1941, Sunday (-1,437) British forces occupied Baghdad.


31/5/1941, Saturday (-1,438) Expropriation of Jewish property began in Belgium.

30/5/1941, Friday (-1,439) Anti-British politicians fled from Baghdad and Iraq asked for an armistice as British forces occupied the country.

29/5/1941. Thursday (-1,440) Axis forces took the capital of Crete, Canea.

27/5/1941. Tuesday (-1,442) (1) The German battleship Bismarck was sunk by the battleships Prince of Wales, King George V, and Rodney, after torpedo attacks by Swordfish aircraft from the carrier Ark Royal.

(2) British plans to extend conscription to Northern Ireland were cancelled after Dublin protested,

(3) The British decided to make a tactical withdrawal from Crete.

25/5/1941, Sunday (-1,444) German offensive in Crete, with reinforcements landing at Maleme.

24/5/1941. Saturday (-1,445) The German battleship Bismarck sank the 42,000 ton battle cruiser HMS Hood 13 miles off the coast of Greenland. Only 3 of her crew of 1,421 survived.

23/5/1941, Friday (-1,446) Herbert Austin, British motor mechanic and manufacturer of the Austin car, died near Bromsgrove.

22/5/1941, Thursday (-1,447) Allied forces captured Soddu, Somalia, from the Italians.

21/5/1941, Wednesday (+1,448) British RAF reconnaissance spotted the German battleship Bismarck and heavy cruiser Prince Eugen in Bergan Harbour, Norway. The British sent ships to attack them early next day.

20/5/1941. Tuesday (-1,449) (1) Germany began an aerial invasion of Crete. King George II of Greece fled Crete on 23/5/1941. By 1/6/1941 the German occupation of Crete was complete.Guerrilla action continued on Crete until its liberation in 1945.

(2) Italian East Africa forces surrendered to British Empire forces.

19/5/1941, Monday (-1,450) British forces occupied Falluja, Iraq.

18/5/1941, Sunday (-1,451) Allied forces captured Amba Alagi, Somalia, from the Italians.

17/5/1941, Saturday (-1,452)

15/5/1941. Thursday (-1,454) In the UK, the first aircraft with a jet engine, invented by Frank Whittle, flew from Cranwell.

14/5/1941. Wednesday (-1,455) (1) Germany began a week-long bombing of Crete. On 20/5/1941 German paratroopers attacked the islands three airfields. They managed to seize only one airfield, Maleme, but this was enough, and the British had to evacuate Crete, leaving 13,000 wounded behind.

(2) The first of a series of mass arrests of Parisian Jews took place, affecting 4,000 non-French Jews. SS officer Dannecker, who had arrived in Paris in September 1941 to oversee the �Jewish Question�, sent these detainees to the prisons at Pithiviers and Beaune la Rolande.

13/5/1941, Tuesday (-1,456) The Royal Air Force bombed Heligoland.

12/5/1941. Monday (-1,457) Urgently-needed reinforcements, tanks and aircraft, arrived at Alexandria, Egypt, to assist in driving Rommel out of Egypt back into Libya.

11/5/1941. Sunday (-1,458) Japan demanded that the US cease aid to China and restore normal trade links with Japan. The US declined these demands but continued negotiating with Japan so as to avoid war; japan meanwhile, not yet ready for war, was happy to continue talking.

10/5/1941. Saturday (-1,459) (1) Rudolph Hess, Hitler�s deputy, parachuted into Scotland to try and negotiate a peace settlementbut was arrested and imprisoned for the remainder of the war. He landed at Eaglesham. After the war, Hess was tried at Nuremberg and found guilty of war crimes.

(2) The House of Commons was almost destroyed by incendiary bombs. It was rebuilt, and reopened by George VI on 26/10/1950. This was the worst night of the Blitz; 550 German bombers dropped 100,000 incendiaries, and over 1,400 people were killed. The House of Commons had to meet in the Lords.

9/5/1941, Friday (-1,460) British forces occupied Rutba, Iraq.

8/5/1941, Thursday (-1,461) Allied air raid on Bremen.

7/5/1941, Wednesday (-1,462) The British Air Force forced the relief of the base at Habbaniya, see 29/4/1941.See 9/5/1941.

6/5/1941, Tuesday (-1,463) (Britain) The Luftwaffe bombed the town of Greenock, Scotland.

5/5/1941, Monday (-1,464) British forces expelled the Italians and restored Haile Selassie. Selassie set up a constitution, Parliament and Cabinet, but in practice ruled as an absolute feudal monarch.

4/5/1941, Sunday (-1,465) Emperor Haile Selassie returned to Ethiopia from exile in England, after the liberation of his country by British forces.

3/5/1941, Saturday (-1,466) The first successful treatment by penicillin. A patient was treated for a 4 inch carbuncle, which was cleared and the patient was discharged on 15/5/1941.

2/5/1941, Friday (-1,467) (Germany) Germany�s Staatssekretare met to discuss the invasion of Russia.

1/5/1941, Thursday (-1,468) The first of seven consecutive nights of bombing raids on Liverpool began.


30/4/1941, Wednesday (-1,469) (Germany) Major General Bernard Freyberg took command of all Allied forces on Crete.

29/4/1941, Tuesday (-1,470) The Iraqi Army laid siege to the British airbase at Habbaniya, see 7/5/1941.

28/4/1941, Monday (-1,471) Lucien Aimar, French sports cyclist, was born.

27/4/1941. Sunday (-1,472) The Germans occupied Athens. They held it until 12/10/1944.

26/4/1941, Saturday (-1,473) (Germany) Allied codebreakers decoded Nazi communications relating to an operation on Crete.

25/4/1941, Friday (-1,474) (Germany) Hitler issued Fuhrer Directive No.28, ordering the airborne invasion of Crete. The operation would be led by the commander of German airborne forces, General Kurt Student.

24/4/1941, Thursday (-1,475) Karin Boye, Swedish poet and novelist, died aged 40.

23/4/1941, Wednesday (-1,476) Greece formally surrendered to Germany and Italy.

22/4/1941. Tuesday (-1,477) British forces left Greece.

21/4/1941, Monday (-1,478) The Greek destroyer Thyella was bombed and sunk by the Luftwaffe off Vouliagmeni.

20/4/1941. Sunday (-1,479) The German Afrika Corps attacked Tobruk, Libya.

19/4/1941, Saturday (-1,480) The Germans captured Larissa, Greece.

18/4/1941, Friday (-1,481) A British brigade landed at Basra, on the Persian Gulf, to challenge the pro-German regime of General Rashid Ali in Iraq.

17/4/1941, Thursday (-1,482) Yugoslavia capitulated to Germany.

16/4/1941, Wednesday (-1,483) Belfast was bombed by the Luftwaffe.

15/4/1941, Tuesday (-1,484) Sarajevo surrendered to the Germans.

14/4/1941, Monday (-1,485) Stalin ordered a heightened state of combat-readiness against a possible German invasion.

13/4/1941. Sunday (-1,486) Easter Sunday (1) Stalin signed a neutrality pact with Japan; Russia was concerned that Japanese conquests in Manchuria had brought Japanese forces up to Russian territory.

(2) The German Afrika Corps recaptured Bardia. Germany occupied Belgrade.

12/4/1941. Saturday (-1,487) Allied troops in Greece withdrew to the Olympus Line.

11/4/1941. Friday (-1,488) (1) Hungary regained the Bacska region from Yugoslavia.

(2) Major German air raid on Coventry.

10/4/1941. Thursday (-1,489) The USA sent troops to Greenland to protect arms supply lines from the USA to Britain.

9/4/1941, Wednesday (-1,490) Salonika was taken by the Germans.This cut off Thrace from Greece and divided Macedonia in two.

8/4/1941, Tuesday (-1,491) Germans retook Doiran (Libya); heavy air raid on Coventry,

7/4/1941, Monday (-1,492) German breakthrough, with Yugoslav forces, towards Salonika.

6/4/1941. Sunday (-1,493) (1) (Germany, Yugoslavia) Axis troops invaded Yugoslavia. Belgrade fell on 13/4/1941. Yugoslavia fell on 16/4/1941. The Croats, who had been irritated by Belgrade�s treatment of non-Serb minorities within Yugoslavia, often welcomed the German invaders. Belgrade was recaptured by the Soviets and Tito�s forces on 20/10/1944.

(2) Allied forces, including British, Indian, and South African troops, recaptured the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, from the Italians.

5/4/1941, Saturday (-1,494) The British army took Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

4/4/1941, Friday (-1,495) Andre Michelin, French industrialist who built the first factories that mass-produced tyres, died in Paris.

3/4/1941. Thursday (-1,496) Allied troops evacuated Benghazi in the face of Rommel�s advance. There was a pro-Axis coup d�etat in Iraq.

2/4/1941, Wednesday (-1,497) Germany tested the world�s first aircraft ejector seat, powered by compressed air.

1/4/1941. Tuesday (-1,498) Allied troops took the Eritrean capital, Asmara, four days after storming Keren.


31/3/1941, Monday (-1,499) Allied air raid on Emden.

30/3/1941. Sunday (-1,500) Hitler outlined, to his generals, plans for the invasion of Russia � see 22/6/1941.

29/3/1941, Saturday (-1,501) The Abyssinian town of Dire Dawa was captured by South African forces from the Italians, This cut the Addis Ababa to Djibouti railway and opened the way to attack the Ethiopian capital.

28/3/1941, Friday (-1,502) The Battle of Matapan, off the coast of Crete. The British navy beat an Italian fleet, sinking seven warships for no loss of its own.

27/3/1941. Thursday (-1,503) The British took Keren and Hasara in Ethiopia, defeating an Eritrean-Italian force. At the Battle of Kerem, nearly 4,000 British and Indian soldiers had died.

26/3/1941, Wednesday (-1,504) Britain passed the National Service Bill, making civil defence duties compulsory.

25/3/1941. Tuesday (-1,505) (Yugoslavia, Germany) Prince Paul, the Yugoslav Regent, signed a pact with the Nazis; in return for neutrality and the demilitarisation of the Adriatic coast, Germany would respect Yugoslav neutrality. However the Yugoslav Army, with popular backing, then deposed Prince Paul on 27/3/1941, and 17-year-old King Peter II took the throne. The move angered Hitler and he prepared Operation Strafgericht (Punishment), the invasion of Yugoslavia. See 6/4/1941.

24/3/1941, Monday (-1,506) The Battle of the Bismark began; Allied forces sunk the German battleship Bismark on 27/3/1941.

23/3/1941, Sunday (-1,507) RAF raids on Berlin, Kiel and Hanover.

22/3/1941, Saturday (-1,508) The Grand Coulee Dam, on the Columbia River, Washington State, began operating.

21/3/1941, Friday, (-1,509) The Allies captured Jarabub.

20/3/1941, Thursday (-1,510) The Allies retook Hargeisa.

19/3/1941. Wednesday (-1,511) The Luftwaffe resumed raids on London, following its failure in the Battle of Britain.
18/3/1941, Tuesday (-1,512) Wolfgang Bauer, writer, was born.

17/3/1941. Monday (-1,513) (1) Britain learned, through its decoding of German enigma messages, that as part of preparations to invade Russia, the Nazis had moved armoured units of Army Group South to Cracow.

(2) The UK Labour Minister, Ernest Bevin, called for women to fill vital jobs.

16/3/1941, Sunday (-1,514) The Allies recaptured Berbera. Heavy air raid on Bristol.

15/3/1941, Saturday (-1,515) Alexej von Jawlensky, Russian expressionist painter, died aged 77.

14/3/1941, Friday (-1,516) RAF raids on Dusseldorf and Lorient.

13/3/1941, Thursday (-1,517) Heavy German air raid on Clydebank, 1,100 killed.

12/3/1941, Wednesday (-1,518) The first issue of Die Zeitung, a Free German (anti-Hitler) newspaper appeared in London.

11/3/1941. Tuesday (-1,519) In the USA, the Lend Lease Bill became law. In May 1940 Churchill had asked President Roosevelt for both arms and financial assistance in the war, which the USA was not to enter as a combatant until Pearl Harbour on 7/12/1941. Roosevelt was sympathetic to the British cause but had three obstacles to face. 1) Congress was isolationist, and Roosevelt did not wish to do anything to jeopardise his re-election prospects before November 1940. 2) The neutrality Act had to be amended to allow Britain and France to purchase arms for cash; this was done in November 1939. 3) The Johnson Act, 1934, forbade loans to any country defaulting on its loans, and Britain had still not paid back money it borrowed during World War One. In May 1940 Roosevelt authorised Congress to release from ordnance stores 500,000 WW1 rifles and 900 75mm field guns. In September 1940 Roosevelt provided Britain with 50 old destroyers in return for 99 year leases on British islands in the Caribbean and Newfoundland. In December 1940 Churchill requested American protection of Atlantic convoys and financial assistance to purchase further American arms. Roosevelt was advised that Britain had less than US$2 billion to meet arms purchases of US$ 5billion. Roosevelt coined the term �lend lease�, on the analogy of a neighbour who lends his hose if the house is on fire.

10/3/1941, Monday (-1,520) Japanese Rear Admiral Takijiro Onishi gave Isoroku Yamamoto a draft of the Pearl Harbour attack plan.

9/3/1941, Sunday (-1,521) The Italians launched an offensive to drive Greek-Allied forces out of Albania.

8/3/1941, Saturday (-1,522) Sherwood Anderson, US novelist, died aged 65.

7/3/1941. Friday (-1,523) (1) Compulsory labour for German Jews began.

(2) The British army entered Ethiopia.

6/3/1941. Thursday (-1,524) (1) Haile Selassie�s troops recaptured Burye from Italy.

(2) Gutzon Borglum, American sculptor noted for his work on the Mount Rushmore heads of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt, died.

5/3/1941, Wednesday (-1,525) Germany dropped acoustic mines in the Suez Canal, closing it for 3 weeks whilst it was cleared, and delaying British war supplies to Greece and North Africa.

4/3/1941. Tuesday (-1,526) British forces, assisted by Norwegian resistance fighters, raided the German-occupied Lofoten Islands; 11 German boats were destroyed.

3/3/1941, Monday (-1,527) Nazi troops entered Bulgaria, occupying its Black Sea ports.

2/3/1941, Sunday (-1,528) Turkey made passage of the Dardanelles by permit only.

1/3/1941. Saturday (-1,529) Bulgaria joined the Axis. Bulgaria then allowed German troops to mount operations against Yugoslavia and Greece from its territory.However on 4/3/1941 Turkey refused to join the Axis.


28/2/1941, Friday (-1,530) Alfonso I, former King of Spain, who had been forced into exile when Spain became a Republic in 1931, died in Rome.

27/2/1941, Thursday (-1,531) Jeremy (Paddy) Ashdown, Liberal leader, was born.

26/2/1941, Wednesday (-1,532)

25/2/1941. Tuesday (-1,533) Mogadishu, the main port of British Somaliland, was recaptured by the British from the Italians.

24/2/1941, Monday (-1,534) First clashes between German troops and the British in Libya. The fighting took place at Nofilia, on the coast road between Sirte and El Agheila.

23/2/1941, Sunday (-1,535) German stukas sank a British destroyer off Tobruk.

22/2/1941, Saturday (-1,536) (Science) Dayton Clarence Miller, US physicist, died in Cleveland, Ohio.

21/2/1941, Friday (-1,537) Sir Frederick Banting, Canadian scientist who along with Charles Best discovered insulin in 1921, was killed in an air crash.

20/2/1941, Thursday (-1,538) Buffy Sainte-Marie, musician was born in Qu'Appelle Valley, Saskatchewan, Canada

19/2/1941, Wednesday (-1,539) Start of a devastating 48-hour air raid on Swansea. 230 were killed and over 400 injured as 41 acres of the city and its docks were destroyed by the Luftwaffe. Previously it had been hoped that Swansea was too far west to be at risk of air raids.

18/2/1941, Tuesday (-1,540) Soviet Generals urged Stalin to allocate more resources to road building to improve the mobility of Russian forces.

17/2/1941, Monday (-1,541) The British ship SS Gairsoppa was torpedoed and sunk 300 miles southwest of Ireland. She had been carrying 110 tons of silver, in the form of 2,792 bars, to boost Britain�s funds as War costs mounted.

16/2/1941. Sunday (-1,542) The last Italians were expelled from Sudan.

15/2/1941, Saturday (-1,543) Allied forces took Kismaya.

14/2/1941. Friday (-1,544) The first of Rommel�s Afrika Corps arrived in Tripoli.

13/2/1941, Thursday (-1,545) The �miracle drug� penicillin was used on a human for the first time; a policeman from Oxford, UK. However he died on 15/3/1941 because not enough was available. See 31/12/1943.

12/2/1941, Wednesday (-1,546) General Franco travelled to Bordighera, Italy, to meet Mussolini.Again Franco avoided any significant commitment to the Axis cause.

11/2/1941, Tuesday (-1,547) Britain learned that Germany now had 23 divisions in Romania, with a further 12 soon to arrive there. This posed a severe threat to Greece.

10/2/1941. Monday (-1,548) The Luftwaffe bombed Iceland.

9/2/1941, Sunday (-1,549) Allied naval bombardment of Genoa.

8/2/1941, Saturday (-1,550) Nick Nolte, US actor, was born in Omaha, Nebraska.

7/2/1941, Friday (-1,551) End of the Battle of Beda Fomm, north Africa (began 5/2/1941). Allied forces launched a surprise attack on the withdrawing Italian Tenth Army, at a point 96 km south of Benghazi. The Allies cut the coast road along which the Italians were retreating, capturing some 25,000 Italian PoWs.

6/2/1941. Thursday (-1,552) (1) The British 8th Army captured Benghazi in Libya.

(2) Hitler made one last appeal to Franco to enter the War. Franco declined, as Spain had not fully recovered from the Civil War. Franco therefore remained neutral and did not attack Gibraltar, but he did send volunteers, the Spanish Blue Division, to the eastern front.

5/2/1941, Wednesday (-1,553) The War was costing Britain �11 million per day.

4/2/1941, Tuesday (-1,554) British forces occupied Maus, Libya.

3/2/1941, Monday (-1,555) Cyrene re-occupied by the British.

2/2/1941, Sunday (-1,556) The German War council discussed a report by General Haider that 190 German and Axis units would face 211 Soviet formations and divisions; however the Axis forces would have better technology.

1/2/1941. Saturday (-1,557) (1) The RAF raided Tripoli, Libya.

(2) The Air Training Corps, the junior arm of the Royal Air Force, was formed.

(3) Vidkun Quisling was appointed puppet Prime Minister of Norway by the Germans.


31/1/1941, Friday (-1,558) Allied forces captured the Italian garrison of Metemma. Somaliland.

30/1/1941, Thursday (-1.559) Dick Cheney, US Vice-President, was born.

29/1/1941, Wednesday (-1,560) The Battle of Trebeshina began in south-eastern Albania.

28/1/1941, Tuesday (-1,561) Doreen Denny, ice dancer, was born.

27/1/1941, Monday (-1.562) The 4th Indian Division captured the town of Agordat in Eritrea.

26/1/1941, Sunday (-1,563) Scott Glen, actor, was born.

25/1/1941, Saturday (-1,564) Gregory Sierra, US actor, wasborn in New York City (died 2021)

24/1/1941, Friday (-1,565) British forces under Cunningham invaded Italian Somaliland from Garissa and Bura in Kenya.

23/1/1941, Thursday (-1,566) Nylon was first produced in Britain, at Coventry.

22/1/1941. Wednesday (-1,567) Allied forces recaptured the Libyan port of Tobruk from Italy.

21/1/1941, Tuesday (-1,568) (1) InBritain the Communist newspaper The Daily Worker was banned.

(2) Placido Domingo, Spanish operatic tenor, was born in Madrid.

20/1/1941, Monday (-1,569) Pierre Lalonde, Canadian singer, was born.

19/1/1941, Sunday (-1,570) Kassala in Sudan re-occupied by the British.

18/1/1941, Saturday (-1,571) Dive-bomber raid on Malta.

17/1/1941, Friday (-1,572) Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov warned Germany against deploying troops in Bulgaria by stating that the Soviet Union considered Bulgaria a security zone.

16/1/1941, Thursday (-1,573) The Germans heavily bombed Malta, killing 50 people, destroying 200 buildings and damaging the capital city of Valletta. The British aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious was hit and damaged again in Grand Harbour.

15/1/1941, Wednesday (-1,574) Heavy air raid by 126 bombers on Avonmouth Docks, Bristol.

14/1/1941, Tuesday (-1,575) King George V signed a royal warrant authorising the formation of the Reconnaissance Corps.

13/1/1941. Monday (-1,576) Hitler summoned King Boris of Bulgaria to Berlin and demanded that Bulgaria join the Axis and permit passage of troops across her territory to attack Greece. However, as with Franco of Spain, Bulgaria procrastinated and made no commitment. Meanwhile Stalin began to consider the possibility that Russia would have to fight a 2-front war, against both Germany and Japan. To this end, said Stalin, the Russian Army must be made more nimble and manoeuvrable, and supplies such as food must be guaranteed along affective supply lines.

12/1/1941, Sunday (-1,577) Chet Jastremski, US champion swimmer, was born.

11/1/1941, Saturday (-1,579) (1) (London, London Underground) Bank Underground station, London, received a direct bomb hit during the Blitz. 51 died.

(2) Hitler issued Directive No. 22, German Support for Battles in the Mediterranean Area.

10/1/1941, Friday (-1,579) British bases on Malta were bombed.

9/1/1941, Thursday (-1,580) At a conference with his Generals, Hitler stated that the territory of Russia contained vast riches which Germany should dominate economically and politically, but not incorporate into the Third Reich. German military leaders expected Russia to crumble quickly under a German invasion. In February 1941 German plans for the invasion of Afghanistan and India were being prepared.

8/1/1941. Wednesday (-1,581) Lord Baden Powell, British soldier and Boer War hero, also founder of the Boy Scouts in 1908, died aged 83.

7/1/1941, Tuesday (-1,582) A special committee of the Canadian government recommended that Japanese Canadians not be allowed to volunteer for the armed forces on the grounds of strong public opinion against them.

6/1/1941. Monday (-1,583) Roosevelt sent the Lend Lease Bill to Congress. Congress agreed the Bill on 11/3/1941.

5/1/1941. Sunday (-1,584) (1) The Italian garrison of Bardia in the Western Desert fell to the Allies, 5,000 Italians were taken as POWs. On 30/1/1941 the Italian garrison of Derna fell to General Wavell. Benghazi fell to the Allies on 6/2/1941.

(2) Amy Johnson disappeared, presumed drowned, in a mysterious flying accident on a routine flight over the Thames estuary. She was the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia.

(3) A bomb hit Wormwood Scrubs prison, west London.

4/1/1941. Saturday (-1,585) The German-born actress Marlene Dietrich became a US citizen.

3/1/1941, Friday (-1,586) Martin Bormann promulgated a Nazi decree banning gothic typefaces in all printing and proclaiming roman type as the new standard. The order sought to make Nazi communications more understandable in occupied France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Norway, where roman type was used

2/1/1941, Thursday (-1,587) Germany bombed Southern Ireland, despite its neutrality in the War.

1/1/1941, Wednesday (-1,588) 141 aircraft of the Royal Air Force bombed the Focke-Wulf aircraft production plant south of Bremen.


31/12/1940. Tuesday (-1,589) Fire-watching became compulsory in wartime Britain.

30/12/1940, Monday (-1,590) 136 German bombers dropped 22,000 incendiary bombs and 127 tons of high explosive on London on one of the worst nights of the Blitz, in the early hours of the morning. Eight Wren churches and Guildhall were destroyed, but St Paul�s survived. Overall one third of the City of London was razed.

28/12/1940, Saturday (-1,592) British Bomber Command learned that despite 28 raids over 7 months on German oil installations, damage done had not been that extensive.

26/12/1940, Thursday (-1,594) Oley Speaks, US composer, was born in New York

24/12/1940, Tuesday (-1,596) Billy Hill, US composer, died in Boston (born 14/7/1899 in Boston)

23/12/1940, Monday (-1,597) Eugene Record, lead singer of the band Chi-Lites, was born (died 22/7/2005)

22/12/1940, Sunday (-1,598) The heaviest raids of the Manchester Blitz began. Over the next two days a total of 654 people were killed and over 2,000 injured.

21/12/1940. Saturday (-1,599) F Scott Fitzgerald, US author, died.

20/12/1940, Friday (-1,600) (Britain) Heavy German bombing raid on Liverpool.

19/12/1940, Thursday (-1,601) (Britain) The British Purchasing Commission placed an order with the US for U$750 million of military equipment, including 12,000 aircraft.

18/12/1940, Wednesday (-1,602) Hitler signed the directive for Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of Soviet Russia.

17/12/1940, Tuesday (-1,603) US President Franklin Roosevelt proposed �Lend Lease� for Britain.

16/12/1940, Monday (-1,604) Bombing of Mannheim: The first area bombardment of a German city was conducted by the Royal Air Force when 134 bombers attacked Mannheim during the night, starting large fires on both banks of the Rhine.

15/12/1940. Sunday (-1,605) Italian troops were driven by the British back across the Libyan border from Egypt.

14/12/1940, Saturday (-1,606) Plutonium was first produced by Dr Glenn Seaborg, Joseph Kennedy, Edwin McMillan and Arthur Wall at the University of California, Berkeley.

13/12/1940, Friday (-1,607) Hitler issued Directive No. 20 on the German invasion of Greece, codenamed Operation Marita. This would secure his southern flank for the invasion of Russia.

12/12/1940, Thursday (-1,608) Heavy bombing of Sheffield; a further raid followed on 15/12/1940. The weather was clear with a full moon; massive fires from the city�s steelworks further illuminated the city. 600 people were killed and a further 1,500 injured; 40,000 were made homeless.

11/12/1940, Wednesday (-1,609) British forces recaptured Sidi Barrani, western Egypt, from the Italians.

10/12/1940, Tuesday (-1,610) In London, two Germans were hanged after being convicted as spies.

9/12/1940. Monday (-1,611) British troops launched an attack on the Italians in the Western Desert.

8/12/1940, Sunday (-1,612) Jenny Linden, English actress, was born.

7/12/1940, Saturday (-1,613) British bombers raided the German industrial town of Dusseldorf.

6/12/1940, Friday (-1,614) The Greeks occupied Sarande.

5/12/1940, Thursday (-1,615) Hitler�s Staff presented their plan, codenamed Otto, for an invasion of Russia. Moscow was not important, as a military target. The objective was to surround and destroy the Soviet Army in the Pripet Marshes.

4/12/1940, Wednesday (-1,616) John Cale, musician, was born.

3/12/1940, Tuesday (-1,617) The Greeks captured Sarande from the Italians.

2/12/1940, Monday (-1,618) John Ball, golf player, died (born 24/12/1861)

1/12/1940, Sunday (-1,619) Michael Denness, cricketer, was born.


29/11/1940, Friday (-1,621)

27/11/1940. Wednesday (-1,623) The last of the Italian forces occupying Abyssinia surrendered to the British.

26/11/1940, Tuesday (-1,624) RAF raid on Cologne,

25/11/1940, Monday (-1,625) The ship Patria, carrying illegal Jewish migrants, sank in the port of Haifa, 200 died.

24/11/1940, Sunday (-1,626) The first large scale air raid on Bristol, by 135 bombers.

23/11/1940, Saturday (-1,627) The Willys-Overland company launched its new General Purpose vehicle, known as a jeep (GP)., for the US army.

22/11/1940. Friday (-1,628) The Greeks routed the Italians at Koritza.

20/11/1940, Wednesday (-1,630)

19/11/1940, Tuesday (-1,631) Spanish Foreign Minister Serano Suner told Hitler that Spain would have to receive 400,000 tons of grain before it would consider joining the War against Britain. This was of course merely a delaying tactic to avoid making any real commitment to the Axis cause. However after the Italian fiasco in invading Greece, which had gone badly for the Italians, and risked turning Greece into an Allied springboard from which the Romanian Ploesti oilfields could be threatened, Hitler was desperate to close the Mediterranean to Allied shipping, occupy Gibraltar, thereby isolating Malta and Egypt and forestalling a possible Allied attack on Italy itself.

18/11/1940, Monday (-1,632) RAF raid on Pilsen.

17/11/1940, Sunday (-1,633) Eric Gill, English sculptor, died aged 58.

16/11/1940, Saturday (-1,634) Donna McKechnie, US actress, was born.

15/11/1940. Friday (-1,635) Warsaw�s 35,000 Jews were confined to the ghetto.

14/11/1940. Thursday (-1,636) Coventry Cathedral was destroyed by German bombing. Over 1,000 civilians died in the raid, of a population of 250,000. 449 Luftwaffe bombers dropped 503 tons of bombs and 881 incendiaries.

13/11/1940, Wednesday (-1,637) (1) HMS Ark Royal was sunk by an Italian submarine, near Gibraltar.

(2) The Walt Disney film Fantasia had its first showing.

12/11/1940, Tuesday (-1,638) (1) Molotov was invited to Berlin for Nazi-Russian talks.

(2) (London, London Underground) Sloane Square London Underground station received a direct bomb hit just as a train was leaving in the evening. 35 people were known killed and 2 hospitalised (some estimate a death toll of 79) with three missing. Train services were running again 2 weeks after the event.

11/11/1940, Monday (-1,639) The Italian Fleet at Tarantino was crippled in a raid by naval planes of the British Fleet Air Arm.

10/11/1940, Sunday (-1,640) Screaming Lord Sutch, British politician, was born.

9/11/1940. Saturday (-1,641) The former British Prime Minister (1937-1940), Neville Chamberlain, died of cancer, at Heckfield, near Reading.

8/11/1940, Friday (-1,642) British air raid on Munich.

7/11/1940. Thursday (-1,643) Britain, the USA, and Australia agreed on the defence of the Pacific.

6/11/1940, Wednesday (-1,644) Free French forces under General de Larminat captured the fort of Lambarene in the French colony of Gabon. Unlike Chad, which had declared its allegiance to De Gaulle on 26/81/940, Gabon had not so declared. On 9/11/1940 the Gabon capital, Libreville, was taken. On 12/11/1940 Lambarene�s forces completed their occupation of Gabon when Port Gentil surrendered to them.

5/11/1940. Tuesday (-1,645) (1) Roosevelt was elected President of the USA for a record third term.

(2) HMS Jervis Bay was lost defending an Atlantic convoy from the German battleship Admiral Scheer.

4/11/1940, Monday (-1,646) Night air raid on London.

3/11/1940, Sunday (-1,647) (1) The Greeks recaptured Samarina from the Italians.

(2) German aircraft losses over England to date amounted to 2.433 planes

2/11/1940, Saturday (-1,648) The only air-raid free night in London during the period 7 September to 13 November, due to bad weather that night. Over this period, 27,500 high explosive bombs had fallen on London, along with incendiaries, parachute mines and oil explosive bombs.

1/11/1940, Friday (-1,649) Allied air raid on Naples.


31/10/1940, Thursday (-1,650) Craig Rodwell, gay rights activist, was born in Chicago, Illinois (died 1993).

30/10/1940, Wednesday (-1,651) Sabotage attempt by Italian divers on British ships in Gibraltar Harbour; no damage resulted.

29/10/1940, Tuesday (-1,652) British troops landed in Greece.

28/10/1940. Monday (-1,653) Italy invaded Greece, from Albania.This opened a Balkan Front, and was a complication to Hitler�s plans to invade Russia, as the British would become involved.

27/10/1940, Sunday (-1,654) A German bomb fell on Scunthorpe, killing 11.

26/10/1940, Saturday (-1,655) German U-boats used new tactics developed by Admiral Karl Donitz to sink much Allied supply shipping. The U-boats operated in �wolf packs�, forming long lines then gathering when one boat spotted a convoy. They then outnumbered the defence ships. Allied shipping losses in October 1940 rose to 88,000 tons a week, eight times the average weekly loss in January 1940. Worse for the Allies, the U-boats could only be detected when underwater, not on the surface, where their low profile made them almost invisible. However see 22/5/1943.

25/10/1940, Friday (-1,656) Air raid on Birmingham.

24/10/1940. Thursday (-1,657) Hitler failed to persuade Franco or Petain to help invade Britain.

23/10/1940, Wednesday (-1,658) General Franco travelled to Hendaye, France, to meet with Hitler.Franco avoided making a serious commitment to the Axis cause.

22/10/1940, Tuesday (-1,659) German Jews were deported from the regions of Baden, Saar, and Alsace-Lorraine.

21/10/1940. Monday (-1,660) (1) Purchase Tax was introduced in Britain.

(2) The �Empress of Britain�, en route to Canada with child refugees, was sunk by a German submarine. British warships rescued most of the 634 crew and passengers.

20/10/1940, Sunday (-1,661) (France) Andre Santini, French politician, was born.

19/10/1940, Saturday (-1,662) British destroyer Venetia struck a mine and sank in the Thames Estuary.

18/10/1940, Friday (-1,663) A Second Nazi Ordinance was issued in Paris relating to the city�s Jews (see 27/9/1940).Jews were now excluded from a number of occupations, including banking.

17/10/1940, Thursday (-1,664) A bomb knocked out all the automatic railway signalling within two and half miles of Waterloo Station, London.

16/10/1940, Wednesday (-1,665) (USA) The first lottery to select US citizens for the military draft began; 158 were drawn this day.

15/10/1940, Tuesday (-1,666) Over London, a full Moon coincided with clear weather, leading to heavy German bombing raids. 410 German aircraft dropped 538 tons of high explosive bombs, killing 400 people.

14/10/1940, Monday (-1,667) (London, London Underground) At 8.02pm, a German bomb made a direct hit on Balham underground station, where hundreds of people were sheltering from the air raid. Water rushed in as water mains and sewage pipes burst. 68 people were killed.

13/10/1940, Sunday (-1,668) (London, London Underground) Bounds Green Underground station was hit by a German bomb; 17 died and 20 were injured.

12/10/1940, Saturday (-1,669) Germany captured Bucharest.

11/10/1940, Friday (-1,670) German air raids on London and Liverpool.

10/10/1940, Thursday (-1,671) Hitler began an emergency program called the Sofortprogramm to build protective shelters for the civilian population and essential personnel. Aiming to build 6,000 bunkers across 92 cities, it was the largest public works program in history.

9/10/1940. Wednesday (-1,672) (1) St Paul�s Cathedral was bombed as the Luftwaffe made heavy raids on London. A German bomb went through the dome of the cathedral, destroying the high altar. An unexploded bomb had to be removed from the cathedral roof. German air raids continued throughout the rest of 1940 but the cathedral suffered little more damage. Surrounding buildings were destroyed, but the image of the dome standing intact amidst smoke and rubble became a national image symbolising the fighting spirit of Britain against Nazi Germany.

(2) John Lennon, songwriter and musician in The Beatles pop group, was born in Liverpool.He was the son of a ship�s steward.

8/10/1940. Tuesday (-1,673) German and Italian troops invaded the Romanian oilfields. Bucharest was occupied on 12/10/1940.

7/10/1940, Monday (-1,674) German air raids on London, Liverpool and Wales.

6/10/1940, Sunday (-1,675) Sukumari, Indian film actress, was born in Nagercoil, British India (died 2013)

5/10/1940, Saturday (-1,676) Hitler, faced with heavy losses of fighter aircraft, ordered an end to daytime bombing raids in Britain. From now, raids would only take place at night.

4/10/1940, Friday (-1,677) Susan Platt, athlete (javelin), was born.

3/10/1940, Thursday (-1,678) 150,000 Jews living across Warsaw were ordered to move into a ghetto area where 250,000 Jews already lived. They were only allowed to take what they could carry in hand carts.

2/10/1940, Wednesday (-1,679) Prince Muhammad bin Talal of Jordan was born in Amman

1/10/1940. Tuesday (-1,680) Finland signed a military and economic treaty with Germany.


30/9/1940, Monday (-1,681) The last Luftwaffe major daylight bombing raid on England; London and te aircraft factory at Yeovil were hit. However the Luftwaffe lost 43 aircraft against 16 for the RAF. These losses convince the Luftwaffe to switch to nigh time attacks.

29/9/1940, Sunday (-1,682) British warships bombarded the coastal road of Italian Libya.

28/9/1940, Saturday (-1,683) In France, the writings of 842 authors, many Jewish or French patriots, were withdrawn from sale.

27/9/1940. Friday (-1,684) (1) Imperial Japan signed a 10-year military and economic alliance with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. This was greatly disturbing to both the USSR and the USA; Japan and Russia had been enemies since the 1905 war, and Hitler�s alliance with Russia, signed in 1939,was looking more uncertain.. The USA now realised that entering the war on the side of the Allies would now entail a war in the Pacific.

(2) The Nazi Governor of Paris, Helmut Knochen, issued an Ordinance relating to the city�s Jews. A census of Jews was to be taken, all Jewish households had to report to the Prefecture of Police by 20/10/1940 (149,734 Jews registered) and all Jewish owned businesses had to put up a sign indicating Jewish ownership, in both French and German; Enterprise Juif and Judisches Geschaft. See 18/10/1940.

26/9/1940, Thursday (-1,685) Walter Benjamin, 48, German Jewish philosopher and social critic, committed suicide.

25/9/1940, Wednesday (-1,686) Heavy British air raids on Berlin.

24/9/1940, Tuesday (-1,687) Gibraltar was bombed by French aircraft.

23/9/1940. Monday (-1,688) The George Cross was instituted. This was the highest British civilian award for acts of courage.The George Medal was also instituted.

22/9/1940. Sunday (-1,689) Japanese forces entered Indo-China.

21/9/1940, Saturday (-1,690) The day scheduled for the opening of the 12th Olympic Games in Tokyo. However they were cancelled due to the War.

20/9/1940, Friday (-1,691) Taro Aso, 59th Prime Minister of Japan,was bornin Iizuka, Fukuoka, Japan.

19/9/1940, Thursday (-1,692) Arthur Owens, whom Germany believed to be working for them as a spy, began transmitting messages recommending targets for German bombers. In fact he was a double agent, his messages being prepared by British Air Ministry Intelligence.

18/9/1940, Wednesday (-1,693) German air raids in SE England and Merseyside.

17/9/1940. Tuesday (-1,694) (1) Hitler ordered the indefinite postponing of the invasion of Britain, after the Luftwaffe had failed to establish command of the air over Britain.

(2) The first women workers on the London Underground began work, as ticket collectors and porters.

(3) (London, London Underground) Marble Arch became the first tube station to be hit by German bombs. 20 died and over 40 were injured.

16/9/1940. Monday (-1,695) Italian forces reached Sidi Barani in the Western Desert, Egypt.Their aim was to capture the Suez Canal and open a route to the Persian oil fields.

15/9/1940, Sunday (-1,696) The Battle of Britain ended with victory to the Allies.1,733 German planes were destroyed as against 915 lost by the RAF. It began on 8/8/1940. The Nazis had given up hope of achieving air superiority and invading Britain. The RAF had also destroyed much of the shipping that was to carry German troops to England.

14/9/1940, Saturday (-1,697) (Germany) The RAF heavily bombed Antwerp.

13/9/1940, Friday (-1,698) Buckingham Palace hit by German bombs. The King and Queen would have been seriously injured by flying glass had the windows been closed. The incident was a PR blunder for the Germans, as now the monarch could claim to have shared the privations of London�s east enders.

12/9/1940. Thursday (-1,699) (1) Italian forces advanced on Egypt from Libya.

(2) A group of five boys discovered a cave at Lascaux, in the Dordogne, south west France, which was to become famous because it contained fine examples of prehistoric cave paintings.

11/9/1940. Wednesday (-1,700) The Lord Mayor of London launched the Mansion House Fund to relieve the suffering of those made homeless by bombing.

10/9/1940, Tuesday (-1,701) (Germany) Italy began a build-up of 200,000 troops in Albania, for the invasion of Greece.

9/9/1940. Monday (-1,702) The RAF carried out a three-hour raid on Hamburg.

8/9/1940, Sunday (-1,703) A heavy German air raid on the London Docks area; 400 died. The following day, 200 bombers came in the daytime and another 170 after darkness. A further 370 east enders died on 9/9/1940.

7/9/1940, Saturday (-1,704) The Germans imposed the Treaty of Craiova on Romania, by which southern Dobruja was ceded to Bulgaria.This frontier was reconfirmed by Treaty in February 1947.

6/9/1940, Friday (-1,705) King Carol II of Romania abdicated in favour of his son Michael, by pro-Nazi Ion Antonescu.

5/9/1940, Thursday (-1,706) Luxembourg was made subject to the German Nuremberg Laws of 1935, reducing Jews to second-class citizens, and all 555 Jewish-owned businesses in Luxembourg were seized by the Nazis.

4/9/1940, Wednesday (-1,707) Hans Zinsser, US medicalwriter, died aged 61.

3/9/1940, Tuesday (-1,708) 4 Nazi spies, 1 German and 3 Dutch, landed by boat on the south coast of Britain, to report on coastal defences. They were caught within hours, tried in November, and 3 executed. The 4th, Dutch, was imprisoned, and remained in custody in Holland after the war.

2/9/1940, Monday (-1,709) To bring Bulgaria onto the Axis side, Germany awarded it the Southern Dobruja, from Romania.See 1/3/1941.

1/9/1940, Sunday (-1,701) Biggin Hill aerodrome in Kent was heavily damaged by a German bombing raid.


31/8/1940, Saturday (-1,711) Paul Kelleway, horse racing champion, was born in London.

30/8/1940, Friday (-1,712) (1) The Second Vienna Award restored the territory of Northern Transylvania to Hungary, from Romania. However Hungary, although succeeding in breaking the power of the �Little Entente� against it (the nations of Czechoslovakia, Romania, Serbia), had only managed to regain some of its lost territories (from the pre-World War One era) by becoming almost totally dependent on the Nazi economy and politics of Germany.

(2) Sir Joseph John Thomson, British scientist who discovered the electron in 1897, died in Cambridge.He was buried near Isaac Newton in the nave of Westminster Abbey.

29/8/1940, Thursday (-1,713) Vichy France acceded to Japanese demands to station their forces in northern Indo-China.

28/8/1940, Wednesday (-1,714) Heavy German bombing raid on Liverpool

27/8/1940, Tuesday (-1,715) US Congress authorised the US President to call up the National Guard and other reservists for 1 year�s service.

26/8/1940, Monday (-1,716) Mr Eboue, the Black Governor of the French colony of Chad, promised allegiance to General de Gaulle and Free France.

25/8/1940. Sunday (-1,717) First British air raid on Berlin.

24/8/1940, Saturday (-1,718) The Lancet reported on the first purification of penicillin by professors Howard Florey and Ernest Chain.

23/8/1940. Friday (-1,719) The Blitz on London began. Bombs initially fell on the Docks and the East End, but then hit targets further west, including Buckingham Palace.

22/8/1940, Thursday (-1,720) Sir Oliver Lodge, pioneer of wireless telegraphy, died.

21/8/1940, Wednesday (-1,721) The �tree of liberty�, planted in Saverne after Alsace was restored to France at the end of World War I, was chopped down by members of the Hitler Youth.

20/8/1940. Tuesday (-1,722) Leon Trotsky was assassinated in Coyoacan, Mexico, where the exiled Bolshevik leader had fled to. He was struck several blows on the head with an ice pick by Ramon Mercader del Rio, one of Stalin�s agents. Aged 61, he had been outmanoeuvred for power by Stalin in 1923.

19/8/1940, Monday (-1,723) British Somaliland fell to the Italians.See 4/8/1940.

18/8/1940. Sunday (-1,724) The first German plane was shot down over London.