Chronography of events from 1 January 1940 to 31 December 1949

Page last modified 6/11/2021


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(-9999 / +9999) = Days before / after end of World War Two in Europe (day zero = Tuesday). Easter Sundays derived from


For dates from 1/1/1950 click here


30/12/1949. Friday (+1,697) Vietnam gained sovereignty from France.

28/12/1949, Wednesday (+1,695) Ahmed Sukarno, aged 48, leader of the Indonesian Nationalist Party, arrived in Batavia (Djakarta) to take up residence on the former Dutch Governor�s Palace. Since the end of the Japanese occupation of Indonesia in 1945, Sukarno had fought hard for independence from the Netherlands.

27/12/1949. Tuesday (+1,694) Holland recognised the independence of Indonesia.

26/12/1949. Monday (+1,693) Einstein's Theory of Relativity was announced.

21/12/1949, Wednesday (+1,688)

19/12/1949, Monday (+1,686) Britain passed the National Parks Act.

18/12/1949, Sunday (+1,685) Sotiris Kaiafas, Cypriot footballer, was born.

16/12/1949, Friday (+1,683) (South Africa) A quarter of a million Afrikaners attended the unveiling of the Voortrekker Memorial to South Africa�s Boer pioneers in Pretoria.

13/12/1949, Tuesday (+1,680) Israel officially moved its capital from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

12/12/1949, Monday (+1,679) Chris Baillieu, British rowing champion, was born.

8/12/1949, Thursday (+1,675) (China) Taipei, Taiwan, was formally chosen as the capital of Nationalist China. Chiang Kai Shek�s Nationalist Government fled to Taiwan from China to escape the advancing Communists.

5/12/1949, Monday (+1,672) (Jewish) David Ben Gurion, Israel�s first prime minister, proclaimed Jerusalem as Israel�s capital.

1/12/1949, Thursday (+1,668) (Atomic) US Physicist Willard Libby invented carbon dating.


29/11/1949, Tuesday (+1,666) The Parliament Act was passed in the UK, restricting the Lords delaying abilities. The House of Lords had rejected this Bill but it still became law as MPs had voted for it three times.

25/11/1949, Friday (+1,662) Anthony Neary, rugby player, was born.

23/11/1949, Wednesday (+1,660) The Mashhad University Faculty of Medicine was officially opened by Dr Zanganeh, the Iranian minister of culture.

21/11/1949, Monday (+1,658) The United Nations declared that Tripolitania should form part of the independent state of Libya.

19/11/1949. Saturday (+1,656) Prince Ranier III was sworn in as the 30th ruling Prince of Monaco.

15/11/1949, Tuesday (+1,652) (India) In India, Nathuram Godse was hanged for the murder of Ghandi.

8/11/1949, Tuesday (+1,645) (South America) Costa Rica abolished its army, under the rule of President Figueres Ferrer, an associate of Fidel Castro. It also gave women and people of African descent the vote.

7/11/1949, Monday (+1,644) The first meeting of the Council of Europe; Spaak was the Chairman.

3/11/1949, Thursday (+1,640) The BBC bought the Rank Studios in Shepherds Bush for programme making.


28/10/1949, Friday (+1,634) Barbara Lawton, athletics (high jump) champion, was born.

21/10/1949, Friday (+1,627) Jacques Copeau, French actor, died in Beaune.

20/10/1949,Thursday (+1,626) Britain recognised the People�s Republic of China, under Chairman Mao.

19/10/1949, Wednesday (+1,625) Ian Thompson, marathon runner, was born.

16/10/1949, Sunday (+1,622) The Greek civil war ended with the defeat of the rebels.

14/10/1949, Friday (+1,620) Through train services from Kowloon (Hong Kong) to Canton were withdrawn, but restored on 4.4.1979.

7/10/1949, Friday (+1,613) The German Democratic Republic was set up in East Germany.

6/10/1949, Thursday (+1,612) (1) The USA granted South Korea US$ 10.2 million for military aid and US$ 110 million for economic aid for the year 1950.

(2) The Berlin airlift ended.It had carried on from 12/5/1949 despite the Soviet lifting of the land blockade.

(3) Aneurin Bevan gave some figures for the demand on Britain�s new NHS since its inception on 5/7/1948. 187,000,000 prescriptions had been dispensed at a cost of 2s 9d (14p) each; 5,250,000 pairs of glasses had been given out, with another 3,000,000 on order; 8,500,000 dental patients had been treated. The Government Actuary, Sir George Epps, had estimated that the cost of the NHS in its first year would be �170 million; the actual figure turned out to be �242 million. Annual costs were expected to fall as the population grew fitter; in fact annual costs rose to �384 million in 1952/3.

5/10/1949, Wednesday (+1,611) Major Greenwood (born 9/8/1880) English epidemiologist and medical statistician, died.

1/10/1949. Saturday (+1,607) The Chinese Communists set up a government in Peking, The People�s Republic of China, under Mao. Taiwan remained independent. Chinese Party Chairman Mao Tse Tung made no secret of the fact that he considered Tibet part of China.


27/9/1949, Tuesday (+1,603) Geofftrey Peck, orienteering, was born.

26/9/1949, Monday (+1,602) (UK Railways) Electrification began on the railway from Liverpool Street, London, to Shenfield,

25/9/1949, Sunday (+1,601) Anson Williams, US actor, was born in Los Angeles, California.

24/9/1949, Saturday (+1,600) Pierre Breville, composer, died aged 88.

23/9/1949, Friday (+1,599) Bruce Springsteen, US musician, was born.

22/9/1949, Thursday (+1,598) David Coverdale, English rock musician, was born.

21/9/1949, Wednesday (+1,597) The first comprehensive school in Britain opened, at Holyhead, Anglesey, formed by the merger of two local schools.

20/9/1949, Tuesday (+1,596) The Dutch Guilder was devalued by 30.3%.

19/9/1949, Monday (+1,595) �Twiggy�, British model, actress, and singer, was born in Neasden, London, as Lesley Hornby.

18/9/1949. Sunday (+1,594) The British Pound was devalued by 30% by the Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir Stafford Cripps. The exchange rate to the US$ fell from 4.03 to 2.80. This would raise the cost of living by 5%. Britain faced a severe Dollar deficit, and in the first quarter of 1949 alone had to sell US$ 160 million of gold. On the same day the milk ration was reduced to 2 pints per person per week. The milk ration had been reduced to 2 � pints a week on 11/9/1949.

17/9/1949, Saturday (+1,593) The first meeting of NATO was held.

16/9/1949, Friday (+1,592) Susan Ruttan, US actress, was born in Oregon City, Oregon.

15/9/1949, Thursday (+1,591) Konrad Adenauer was elected Chancellor of Germany.

11/9/1949, Sunday (+1,587) Roger Uttley, rugby player, was born.

9/9/1949, Friday (+1,585) John Curry, figure skater, was born (died 15/4/1994).

8/9/1949, Thursday (+1,584) Richard Strauss, composer, died.

7/9/1949, Wednesday (+1,583) Jose Clemente Orozco, painter, died in Mexico City aged 65.

4/9/1949, Sunday (+1,580) Britain�s largest ever aircraft, the 130-ton 8-engined Bristol Brabazon, made its first flight.

2/9/1949, Friday (+1,578) The redistribution of land became an official part of Chinese Communist policy.


29/8/1949, Monday (+1,574) The Soviet Union successfully tested its first nuclear device, in what is now Kazakhstan.

25/8/1949. Thursday (+1,570) The UK began experiments with colour TV transmission.

24/8/1949, Wednesday (+1,569) The North Atlantic Treaty, NATO, came into force.

21/8/1949, Sunday (+1,566) Geoffrey Capes, athlete (shot put), was born.

14/8/1949, Sunday (+1,559) Morten Olsen, Danish footballer, was born.

6/8/1949, Saturday (+1,551) John Haugh, the �acid bath murderer� was executed.

3/8/1949, Wednesday (+1,548) The Council of Europe came into being.


30/7/1949, Saturday (+1,544) The HMS Amethyst successfully sailed 140 miles down the Yangtse River overnight to escape Chinese Communist forces, see 20/4/1949.

29/7/1949, Friday (+1,543) The BBC issued its first televised weather forecast.

27/7/1949, Wednesday (+1,541) The world�s first jet-propelled airliner built in the UK, the De Havilland DH 106 Comet, flew at Hatfield.

22/7/1949, Friday (+1,536) The London docks strike ended.

20/7/1949, Wednesday (+1,534) Syria signed an armistice with Israel.

19/7/1949, Tuesday (+1,533) Laos became independent within the French Union.

15/7/1949, Friday (+1,529)

12/7/1949, Tuesday (+1,526) Douglas Hyde, President of Ireland, died.

11/7/1949. Monday (+1,525) (1) The first film made specifically for television, �A Dinner date With Death� was shot at Marylebone Studios between 11 and 14 July 1949.

(2) (Science, technology) In the USA, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) began hearings regarding the possible introduction of a colour TV service. There were three possible systems, the Field sequential Method of CBS, the Dot Sequential approach of RCA, and the Line Sequential proposed by Color Television Incorporated (CTI). The CBS Field System was te simplest, and produced better quality images than the other two methods, so in 1950 the FCC adopted the CBS method. However the CBS approach was incompatible with current black and white TV sets, whereas the other two methods were not, see 28/5/1951.

10/7/1949, Sunday (+1,524) The last tramcar ran in Dublin.

6/7/1949, Wednesday (+1,520) Georgina Hathorn, champion skier, was born.

1/7/1949. Friday (+1,515) The maximum wage for footballers in the UK was set at �12 per week. A nurse was paid �350 a year. A pint of milk cost 5d (2p), the same as a Mars bar, which went on sale in the UK for the first time. 20 Woodbines cost 2s 9d (14p).


29/6/1949, Wednesday (+1,513) (1) US troops completed their withdrawal from South Korea, leaving behind just 500 men to serve as advisors to the 98,000-strong South Korean armed forces, a body barely large enough to maintain internal order, let alone deal with any threat from North Korea.

(2) A docks strike began in London.

22/6/1949, Wednesday (+1,506) Meryl Streep, actress, was born.

20/6/1949, Monday (+1,504) The USA, the USSR, France, and the UK signed a Four-Power agreement on Berlin, including a clause ensuring the freedom of movement within the entire city.

7/6/1949, Tuesday (+1,491) In a statement to US Congress, President Harry S Truman, talking about measures necessary to prevent Communist domination of the Pacific, declared that Korea had become a testing ground in the ideological conflict between Communism and democracy.

6/6/1949, Monday (+1,490) George Orwell�s book Nineteen Eighty Four was published. Suffering from tuberculosis, Orwell completed the book between periods of hospitalisation in a remote house in The Hebrides.

4/6/1949, Saturday (+1,488)

3/6/1949, Friday (+1,487) Wesley Anthony Brown became the first African-American to graduate from the US Naval Academy.

2/6/1949. Thursday (+1,486) Transjordan was renamed Jordan.


30/5/1949, Monday (+1,483) Robert Williams, cricketer, was born.

26/5/1949. Thursday (+1,479) Chinese Communists captured Shanghai.

23/5/1949. Monday (+1,476) (1) Chinese Communists drove the Nationalists off the mainland to Taiwan.

(2) The Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) was formally established, with its capital at Bonn.

13/5/1949, Friday (+1,466) Britain flew its first jet bomber, the Canberra, from Warton airfield, Canberra.

12/5/1949. Thursday (+1,465) The Soviet blockade of West Berlin was called off after 11 months, it began 28 June 1948. It had cost the Allies �200 million to fly in food and essential supplies, with up to 200 flights a day.

11/5/1949. Wednesday (+1,464) (1) Israel was voted into the UN.

(2) Siam changed its name to Thailand.

9/5/1949. Monday (+1,462) (1) Prince Ranier III became Head of State of Monaco, succeeding his grandfather Prince Louis II.

(2) Britain�s first launderette opened in Queensway, London.

(3) Billy Joel, American singer and songwriter, was born in the Bronx, New York.

6/5/1949, Friday (+1,459) Maurice Maeterlinck, Belgian playwright, died aged 86.

5/5/1949, Thursday (+1,458) The USSR announced it would lift the blockade of Berlin on 12.5.1949.

4/5/1949, Wednesday (+1,457) John Force, racing driver, was born in Bell Gardens, California

3/5/1949. Tuesday (+1,456) The Council of Europe was established, after a ten-state conference in London.

2/5/1949, Monday (+1,455) Alan Titchmarsh, gardener and TV personality, was born in Ilkley, England

1/5/1949. Sunday (+1,454) In the UK, the gas industry was nationalised.


30/4/1949, Saturday (+1,453) Karl Meiler, German tennis player was born (died 2014).

29/4/1949, Friday (+1,452) Mary McKenna, golfing champion, was born.

28/4/1949, Thursday (+1,451), The Allies set up the International Authority for the Ruhr, or IAR.This was dissolved on 10/8/1952 when the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) came into force.

27/4/1949, Wednesday (+1,450) The Commonwealth was founded in London.

24/4/1949. Sunday (+1,447) Sweets and chocolates came off rations in Britain. Clothes rationing, which began on 2/6/1941, ceased on 15/3/1949. All food rationing ended on 3/7/1954. Identity cards were abolished in Britain on 21/2/1952.

20/4/1949, Wednesday (+1,443) The HMS Amethyst was fired upon by Chinese whilst sailing up the Yangtse River with supplies for the British community in Nanking.She was trapped until the night of 30/7/1949 when she successfully sailed downriver 140 miles, under fire from further Chinese forces.

18/4/1949. Monday (1,441) (1) The Boy Scouts began their first �bob-a-job� (5p) week.

(2) Ireland was formally proclaimed a Republic (by the Republic of Ireland Act), on an Easter Monday (Easter Rising), at the General Post Office in Dublin, a place with many historical associations with the Rising. See 17/11/1948. Ireland asserted its independence from Britain by leaving the Commonwealth.

17/4/1949, Sunday (+1,440) Easter Sunday.

9/4/1949, Saturday (+1,432) (International) The International Court of Justice of the UN handed down its first judgement. It held Albania responsible for incidents in the Corfu Channel, 1946, and awarded damages to the UK.

5/4/1949, Tuesday (+1,428) Mike Tredgett, badminton champion, was born.

4/4/1949. Monday (+1,427) The North Atlantic Treaty was signed in Washington. NATO was set up on 18/3/1949, by Britain and seven other European countries. Denmark had agreed to join on 25/3/1949. Eleven countries signed in total.

3/4/1949, Sunday (+1,426) Jordan signed an armistice with Israel.

2/4/1949, Saturday (+1,425) (Football) Bernd Muller, German footballer, was born.

1/4/1949, Friday (+1,424) (1) The National Parks Bill was approved by the UK Parliament. 12 National Parks were created, covering 9% of thearea of England and Wales; none were created in Scotland or Northern Ireland.

(2) The 6th Marquess of Bath took the unprecedented step of opening his house to visits by paying tourists. 135,000 came in the first 12 months. As he later explained, aristocratic homes had to be run as businesses, to gain the same tax regime as other businesses. The assets of the wealthy had been shrunk by heavy taxation, including Death Duties of 75% on estates of over �1million.


31/3/1949. Thursday (+1,423) Newfoundland, with its dependency Labrador, joined Canada as the 10th province of the dominion.

30/3/1949, Wednesday (+1,422) (Chemistry) Friedirch Karl Rudolf Bergius, German chemist, died in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

29/3/1949, Tuesday (+1,421)

24/3/1949, Thursday (+1,416) Ruud Krol, Dutch footballer, was born.

23/3/1949, Wednesday (+1,415) Lebanon and Israel signed an armistice.

20/3/1949, Sunday (+1,412)

18/3/1949, Friday (+1,410) Alex Higgins, snooker champion, was born.

17/3/1949, Thursday (+1,409) The USSR agreed to provide heavy military equipment to North Korea.

16/3/1949, Wednesday (+1,408) Leyland Hodgson, British-born US actor, died aged 56.

15/3/1949, Tuesday (+1,407) Clothes rationing ended in Britain. See 24/4/1949.

12/3/1949, Saturday (+1,404)

8/3/1949, Tuesday (+1,400) Vietnam became independent within the French Union.

7/3/1949, Monday (+1,399) Ghulam Nabi Azad, Indian politician, was born.

4/3/1949, Friday (+1,396) George Larner, Olympic walker, died.

2/3/1949. Wednesday (+1,394) A crew of US Air Force personnel completed the first non stop round the world flight, refuelling four times mid-air, taking 94 hours. See 21/5/1927, first transatlantic flight. The flight captain was James Gallagher, flying the US Air Force B50 �Lucky Lady�.

1/3/1949, Tuesday (+1,393) Joe Louis retired as world heavyweight boxing champion.


28/2/1949, Monday (+1,392)

24/2/1949, Thursday (+1,388) John Lever, cricketer, was born.

23/2/1949, Wednesday (+1,387) Jews in Berlin protested at the portrayal of Jewish character Fagin in Alec Guinness�s film Oliver Twist.

16/2/1949, Wednesday (+1,380) Chaim Weizmann was sworn in as first President of Israel.

14/2/1949, Monday (+1,378) Egypt and Israel signed an armistice.

13/2/1949, Sunday (+1,377) Thomas Palmer, boxer, died (born 19/1/1876).

12/2/1949, Saturday (+1,376) Fergus Slattery, rugby player, was born.

11/2/1949, Friday (+1,375)

9/2/1949, Wednesday (+1,373) US actor Robert Mitchum was jailed for 2 months for smoking marijuana.

8/2/1949, Tuesday (+1,372) The Irish Government refused to join NATO whilst Ireland remained divided between South and North.

1/2/1949, Tuesday (-1,365) the People�s Republic of H8ungary was officially proclaimed.


27/1/1949, Thursday (+1,360) Graham Thorner, champion jockey, was born.

26/1/1949, Wednesday (+1,359) The first test photograph was made at Mount Palomar observatory.

25/1/1949. Tuesday (+1,358) (1) COMECON (Council for Mutual Economic Assistance) was founded in Moscow.

(2) Ben Gurion's Mapai Party won the Israeli elections.

24/1/1949, Monday (+1,357)

22/1/1949 Saturday (+1,355) The Chinese Communists under Mao Tse Tung captured Peking. The Nationalists under Chaing Kai Shek were defeated at Huai Hai north of Beijing.

21/1/1949, Friday (+1,354) Chiang Kai Shek resigned

20/1/1949, Thursday (+1,353) Attlee set up a Royal Commission on capital punishment.

19/1/1949. Wednesday (+1,352) In the US, President Truman was inaugurated.

15/1/1949. Saturday (+1,348) (1) Konrad Adenauer became Chancellor of West Germany (born 15/1/1876).

(2) Chinese Communists captured Tientsin.

13/1/1949, Thursday (+1,346) In Durban, South Africa, three days of rioting between Africans and Indians began overa rumour that an Indian had killed an African. 105 people were killed.

12/1/1949. Wednesday (+1,345) In Britain, Margaret Allen was hanged, the first woman hanged for 12 years.

10/1/1949 Monday (+1,343) 33.3 and 45 rpm vinyl records went on sale in the USA.

7/1/1949, Friday (+1,340) Marshall was succeeded by Acheson as US Secretary of State.

4/1/1949, Tuesday (+1,337) Michael Mills, footballer, was born.

3/1/1949, Monday (+1,336) Robert Aitken, US sculptor (born 8/5/1878) died.

2/1/1949, Sunday (+1,335) The Battle of the Sinai in the Arab-Israeli War ended when Israeli forces withdrew from the Sinai Peninsula.

1/1/1949. Saturday (+1,334) India and Pakistan agreed a truce in the war over Kashmir.


31/12/1948, Friday (+1,333) Donna Summer, US singer, was born.

29/12/1948, Wednesday (+1,331)

27/12/1948, Monday (+1,329) Gerard Depardieu, French actor, was born.

26/12/1948, Sunday (+1,328) In Hungary, the Protestant and Jewish communities accepted compensation payments for the government nationalisation of their religious schools. However the Hungarian Catholic Church, under the authority of Cardinal Jozsef Mindszenty, refused to accept this measure. On this day Mindszenty was arrested, and on 8/2/1949 sentenced to life imprisonment.

25/12/1948, Saturday (+1,327)

23/12/1948, Thursday (+1,325) Hideki Tojo, Japanese Prime Minister 1941-44, who attacked Pearl Harbour and so provoked the entry of the USA into the War, was hanged as a war criminal.

22/12/1948, Wednesday (+1,324) Chris Old, cricketer, was born.

20/12/1948, Monday (+1,322) Eustace Miles, rackets and tennis player, died (born 22/9/1868).

15/12/1948. Wednesday (+1,317) (1) France�s first nuclear reactor began operating.

(2) In Indonesia, Dutch troops seized Jakarta.

14/12/1948, Tuesday (+1,316) South Korea formed a Department of National Defence.

13/12/1948, Monday (+1,315) Lilian Board, athletics champion, was born (died 26/12/1970)

12/12/1948, Sunday (+1,314) Colin Todd, footballer, was born.

11/12/1948, Saturday (+1,313) At a ceremony in Ottawa, terms of union were signed between Canada and the Dominion of Newfoundland by which Newfoundland would become a province of Canada.

10/12/1948, Friday (+1,312) The United Nations issued the Declaration of Human Rights.

6/12/1948, Monday (+1,308)

3/12/1948, Friday (+1,305) Colonel Mary Agnes Hallaren became the first female officer in the US Army.

2/12/1948, Thursday (+1,304) Antonin Panenka, Czech footballer, was born.

1/12/1948. Wednesday (+1,303) National Service in Britain was increased from 12 to 18 months.


28/11/1948. Sunday (+1,300) The first Polaroid cameras went on sale, in Boston, USA. The price was US$ 89.75 � the equivalent of US$ 900, or UK�595 in 2015. All 37 had sold by the end of the day.

26/11/1948, Friday (+1,298) Peter Wheeler, rugby player, was born.

24/11/1948, Wednesday (+1,296) Ian Hallam, cycling champion, was born in Nottingham.

17/11/1948, Wednesday (+1,289) In Dublin, a�Republic of Ireland� Bill was introduced to the Parliament, severing all links with Britain; Ireland left the Commonwealth.See 18/4/1949.

16/11/1948, Tuesday (+1,288) US President Truman refused to participate in talks with the Soviets on the future of Berlin until the blockade was lifted.

15/11/1948, Monday (+1,287) (1) (Aviation, Israel) The Israeli airline El Al was founded.

(2) (Canada) W L Mackenzie-King, Prime Minister of Canada, resigned and entered retirement. He was succeeded by Louis St Laurent.

14/11/1948. Sunday (+1,286) Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, was born in Buckingham Palace, as Charles Philip Arthur George.

12/11/1948, Friday (+1,284) The main War Crimes trials ended in Japan. Hideki Tojo and 6 others were sentenced to death by hanging; 16 received life imprisonment, and 2 were given shorter prison terms. The hangings were carried out on 23/12/1948.

4/11/1948, Thursday (+1,276) The new Indian Constitution was formally introduced to the Constituent Assembly.

2/11/1948. Tuesday (+1,274) Harry S Truman was re-elected as President of the USA.


29/10/1948, Friday (+1,270) Chinese Communist forces captured the important city of Mukden, and its arsenal, from Kuomintang forces.

24/10/1948, Sunday (+1,265) Philip Bennett, rugby player, was born.

15/10/1948, Friday (+1,256) US President Gerald Ford married widow Elizabeth Bloomer Warren.

12/10/1948. Tuesday (+1,253) First Morris Minor came off the production line at Cowley, Oxfordshire.The car was designed by Alex Issigonis.

7/10/1948, Thursday (+1,248) In Japan, Shigeru Yoshida formed a Democratic-Liberal Government.

6/10/1948, Wednesday (+1,247) Gerry Adams, Irish Republican politician, was born.

2/10/1948, Saturday (+1,243) Trevor Brooking, footballer, was born.


30/9/1948, Thursday (+1,241) Edward Bourne, fencer, was born.

28/9/1948. Tuesday (+1,239) First British Grand Prix held at Silverstone.

22/9/1948, Wednesday (+1,233) Captain Mark Phillips, husband of Princess Anne, was born in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire.

20/9/1948, Sunday (+1,231) In Israel, the Stern Gang was declared illegal.

17/9/1948. Friday (+1,228) Jewish terrorists assassinated Count Folke Bernadotte, Swedish UN mediator, in Jerusalem.

16/9/1948, Thursday (+1,227) Julia Donaldson, English children's writer, was born in London, England.

15/9/1948, Wednesday (+1,226) (Aviation) R Johnson, USA, set a new aviation speed record of 670.98 mph.

14/9/1948, Tuesday (+1,225) Marc Reisner, US environmental author, was born.

13/9/1948, Monday (+1,224) Nehru sent Indian troops to occupy the State of Hyderabad, whose ruler, the Nizam, had declined to join India. An appeal by the Nizam to the United Nations was in vain. The Nizam was allowed to keep his palaces and other private property.

12/9/1948, Sunday (+1,223) Max Walker, Australian cricket player, was born.

11/9/1948, Saturday (+1,222) Death of Muhammed Ali Jinnah, first Governor-General of Pakistan.

10/9/1948, Friday (+1,221) Margaret Trudeau, former Canadian 1st lady, was born in Vancouver, British Columbia.

9/9/1948 Thursday (+1,220) (1) Footwear rationing ended in the UK.

(2) Following the withdrawal of Russian troops, North Korea became independent as the People�s Democratic Republic of North Korea.

7/9/1948, Tuesday (+1,218)

6/9/1948, Monday (+1,217) John Derry, piloting a De Havilland DH 108, in a dive, became the first pilot to fly at supersonic speed in Britain.

5/9/1948, Sunday (+1,216) In France, Robert Schuman became President of the Council while being Foreign Minister, As such, he was the negotiator of the major treaties of the end of World War II.

4/9/1948. Saturday (+1,215) Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, aged 68, Queen since 1890, abdicated. Juliana, her daughter,39, became Queen on 6/9/1948.

3/9/1948, Friday (+1,214) Eduard Benes, Czech President until the Communist take-over, died.See 6/6/1948.

2/9/1948, Thursday (+1,213) Christa McAuliffe, US teacher who died in the Challenger space shuttle disaster in 1986, was born in Boston, Massachusetts.

1/9/1948. Wednesday (+1,212) The North China People�s Republic was formed by the Communists, under Chairman Mao.


23/8/1948, Monday (+1,203) The World Council of Churches was formed.

16/8/1948, Monday (+1,196) George Herman Ruth, US professional baseball player, died aged 53.

15/8/1948. Sunday (+1,195) The Republic of Korea was proclaimed in the south of the peninsula; Syngman Rhee was the first President. On 9/9/1948 a Communist republic was set up in North Korea.

14/8/1948, Saturday (+1,194) The London Olympics closed.

5/8/1948, Thursday (+1,185) Ray Clemence, footballer, was born.

2/8/1948, Monday (+1,182) Alger Hiss testified in the US McCarthy anti-Communist hearings, using the phrase �Reds under the bed�.


31/7/1948, Saturday (+1,180) (Aviation) Idlewild Airport, New York, opened (4,900 acres).

30/7/1948, Friday (+1,179) The world�s first radar station designed to assist shipping was opened at Liverpool, UK.

29/7/1948. Thursday (+1,178) The first post-war Olympic Games, the 14th, opened in London. Opened by King George V at Wembley Stadium, these were the first Games since those in Berlin in 1936. The atmosphere was one of post-war austerity and reconstruction, and Japan, the USSR, and Germany were not present. The USA won 38 gold medals.The UK came 12th.

27/7/1948, Tuesday (+1,176) Woolf Barnato, motor racing champion, died.

25/7/1948. Sunday (+1,174) Bread rationing ended in Britain.

18/7/1948, Sunday (+1,167) James Watt, boxer, was born.

15/7/1948. Thursday (+1,164) (1) The UN ordered a ceasefire in Palestine.

(2) Alcoholics Anonymous was founded in London, having been in existence in America since 1935.

(3) John Pershing, commander of the US Army in France in World War One, nicknamed �Black Jack�, died in Washington DC.

13/7/1948, Tuesday (+1,162) It was announced that the UK coal industry lost �13 million in its first year of nationalisation.

10/7/1948, Saturday (+1,159) Full university status was granted to University College, Nottingham.

5/7/1948. Monday (+1,154) The National Health Service was established in the UK (see 6/11/1946). Introduced under a Labour government, it provided free medical treatment, and free prescriptions for glasses, teeth, and wigs. In its first year the NHS cared for 47.5 million patients, provided 5.25 million pairs of glasses, 7,000 artificial eyes and 5,000 wigs. Doctors wrote 187 million NHS prescriptions, and by 1950, 95% of UK citizens were using the NHS.

3/7/1948, Saturday (+1,152) Painter Arshile Gorky committed suicide in New York, aged 43.

1/7/1948. Thursday (+1,150) (1) The first Oxfam shop opened in the UK. See 1/7/1942.

(2) A secondary school teacher with a degree earned �615 a year, a baker was paid �5 5s(�5.25) a week. The air fare from London to New York was �86 17s (�86.85p). The standard rail fare from Manchester to London return was �1 17s (�1.85p). The return bus fare from Manchester to Wythenshawe, 8 miles, was 1 shilling (5p).


30/6/1948, Wednesday (+1,149) The last British troops left Palestine.

28/6/1948. Monday (+1,147) (1) Yugoslavia ceased to be a Soviet satellite. Yugoslavia strengthened its ties with the West, and with Turkey and Greece. On 14/11/1951 a US-Yugoslav military agreement was reached providing for supply of tanks and heavy artillery to the Yugoslav Army. On 28/2/1953 a Turkish-Greek-Yugoslav treaty of friendship and co-operation was signed in Ankara, and on 9/8/1954 the three governments strengthened this treaty into a military and defensive alliance.

(2) The Anglo-US airlift to Berlin began; see 12/5/1949.

26/6/1948, Saturday (+1,145) Columbia officially released its new 33.3 rpm long playing records.

24/6/1948. Thursday (+1,143) The Russians began a blockade of West Berlin.The Berlin Airlift began on 28/6/1948 and delivered some 7,000 tons of food supplies to the city over a period of three months by British and American aircraft, defying the Soviet land blockade. The airlift continued until 30/9/1949, although the Soviet blockade was lifted on 12/5/1949. See 30/3/1948.

22/6/1948. Tuesday (+1,141) Dr Peter Goldmark of Columbia Records unveiled the first successfully produced micro-groove, or long playing, record.

21/6/1948, Monday (+1,140) The first computer using stored programmes was built at Manchester University, UK.

19/6/1948, Saturday (+1,138)

18/6/1948, Friday (+1,137) Germany replaced the old Reichsmark with the Deutschemark.

17/6/1948, Thursday (+1,136) (Innovation) The transistor was patented in New Jersey for Bell Telephones.

16/6/1948, Wednesday (+1,135) (1) (Aviation) The first airline hijack took place.A gang of Chinese bandits took over a Cathay Pacific flying boat, Miss Macao, on a scheduled flight to Hong Kong. The crew fought back and the aircraft crashed, killing everyone except the hijack gang leader. Foul play was at first not suspected, until salvagers recovered the bullet-ridden plane. Police then placed an informer next to Wong yu Man�s hospital bed with a tape recorder and recorded conversations between them.

(2)Britain was reluctant to grant full independence to Malaysia, due to the ongoing Cold War between Communism and the West, with China so close by. The UK did, this day, grant �autonomy� of Malay rule; this reaffirmation of Anglo-Malay relations angered China, who sponsored the formation of the Malayan Races Liberation Army (MNLA), led by Chin Peng. The MNLA began an armed insurrection against the British. There were some 500,000 MNLA sympathisers within Malaysia, and this conflict delayed further the departure of the UK, who feared a Communist Chinese takeover of the region if they did leave.

15/6/1948, Tuesday (+1,134) (Israel) The Israeli Herut Party was founded by Menachim Begin.

14/6/1948, Monday (+1,133) In Hungary the Social Democrats, under force-majeure, reluctantly agreed to merge with the Communists to form the Hungarian Workers Party.

13/6/1948, Sunday (+1,132) Sandy Barclay, jockey, was born.

10/6/1948, Thursday (+1,129)

7/6/1948, Monday (+1,126) Over half of UK doctors agreed to join the NHS.

6/6/1948, Sunday (+1.125) In Prague, President Benes resigned.He had been attempted to maintain a neutral government in Czechoslovakia but the Communist, Klement Gottwald succeeded in introducing a Russian-oriented political system.Benes died three months later (3/9/1948), a broken man.

5/6/1948, Saturday (-1,124) Claude Spanghero, French rugby player, was born.

4/6/1948, Friday (+1,123) Robert Champion, horse racing, was born

3/6/1948, Thursday (+1,122) (Space) The large telescope on Mount Palomar, California, with its 5 metre aperture lens, came into service.


31/5/1948, Monday (+1,119) The South Korean National Assembly elected Syngman Rhee as Chairman.

27/5/1948, Thursday (+1,115) (Israel) The Israeli Air Force, the Chel Ha�vir, was founded today. The newly formed State of Israel was under attack from the Arabs, but both Israelis and Arabs were very short of planes for aerial operations. The Arabs could muster only ten Spitfires. The Israelis had a dozen Auster air-observation planes. Due to many international arms dealers being unwilling to supply military hardware to Israel, the Israelis had to use considerable ingenuity in assembling an air force. However they were aided not just by Jews and Zionists abroad but by foreign volunteers, mahals, who wanted a fair deal for the race that Hitler attempted to exterminate. The Israelis had previously registered planes (that could be used by their air force) as �sports planes�, and they were very efficient at scouring scrap yards and air crash sites for any spare parts, which could be assembled into a plane that could fly. Another ruse was to form a film company, that was making war epic films, that needed military aircraft for the filming.

26/5/1948. Wednesday (+1,114) (1) South Africa elected a Nationalist government with apartheid policies.

(2) The Israeli Defence Force was set up on the orders of Defence Minister David Ben Gurion, formed out of the paramilitary group Haganah.

25/5/1948, Tuesday (+1,113) Moshe Dayan assisted Israeli General Yigael Yadin to mount a counter offensive against Arab troops, checking their invasion.

24/5/1948, Monday(+1,112) The Battle of Yad Mordechai ended in a successful Israeli delaying action.

23/5/1948. Sunday (+1,111) The Empire Windrush sailed from Jamaica with the first West Indian migrants, to alleviate Britain�s severe labour shortage. It arrived in Britain on 22/6/1948.

22/5/1948, Saturday (+1,110) By a vote of 8-0, the United Nations Security Council ordered a ceasefire in Palestine within 36 hours from midnight, New York time.

21/5/1948, Friday (+1,109) Egyptian forces were reported to be only 4 miles from Bethlehem.

20/5/1948, Thursday (+1,108) Egyptian forces captured Beersheba.

19/5/1948, Wednesday (+1,107) Maximilian Lenz, Austrian artist, died aged 87.

18/5/1948, Tuesday (+1,106) Keith Jarrett, rugby player, was born.

17/5/1948, Monday (+1,105) The USSR recognised the State of Israel.

16/5/1948. Sunday (+1,104) Chaim Weitzmann was named first President of Israel.

15/5/1948, Saturday (+1,103), Egyptian forces invaded Israel.

14/5/1948. Friday (+1,102) The State of Israel was created (see 16/2/1949, 27/4/1950), after the British Mandate ended in Palestine, and the first Arab-Israeli war began. Arab forces invaded from Jordan. See also 2/11/1917, Balfour Declaration. Ben Gurion was the head of the provisional Israeli Government. The nation�s 400,000 Jews at once opened the country to unrestricted Jewish immigration, which had been banned since 1944. US President Harry Truman immediately recognised the new State. On 15/5/1948 the British left Palestine, and Egypt invaded, as did Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq. The 30,000-strong Israeli defence force, the Haganah, assumed a war footing. However the Arab attacks were uncoordinated and by the end of 1948 the Israeli Army, by then 100,000 strong, had achieved conclusive victory.

11/5/1948, Thursday (+1,094) Luigi Einaudi was elected President of Italy.

3/5/1948, Monday (+1,091) Peter Oosterhuis, golfer, was born.


30/4/1948. Friday (+1,088) (1) First Land Rover exhibited at the Amsterdam Motor Show.

(2) The Organisation of American States was set up. The agreement, covering all 21 of the republics in the Americas, was signed at Bogota, Colombia. The fourteenth state ratified the treaty on 13/12/1951, thereby formally legally validating the treaty.

19/4/1948, Monday (+1,077) The USA tested a plutonium bomb at Eniwetok Atoll.

18/4/1948, Sunday (+1,076) (1) The Christian Democrats won an absolute majority in Italian elections, securing 305 out of 574 seats.

(2) All roads between Berlin and West Germany were now blocked by the Soviets.

16/4/1948. Friday (+1,074) The Organisation for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC) was set up, see 14/12/1960.

13/4/1948, Tuesday (+1,071) The Romanian Constitution was redrafted, on Soviet lines.

12/4/1948. Monday (+1,070) The Roosevelt Memorial was unveiled in Grosvenor Square, London.

11/4/1948, Sunday (+1,069) The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls was announced.

9/4/1948, Friday (+1,067) (1) (Israel) The Irgun, under Begin, massacred between 116 and 254 Palestinians in the village of Deir Yassin. Three days later a retaliatory attack killed 77 Jews.

(2) Major riots in Bogota, Colombia, following the assassination of the popular liberal-nationalist politician, Jorge Eliecer Gaitan. Martial law was declared under moderate-conservative Mariano Ospina Perez; the pro-Nazi Gomez became President of Colombia in 1950.

7/4/1948. Wednesday (+1,065) The World Health Organisation was set up with its headquarters in Geneva. Its aim was to attain the highest possible level of health for all peoples.

3/4/1948, Saturday (+1,061) Mary Gordon-Watson, equestrian champion, was born.

1/4/1948. Thursday (+1,059) (1) Britain nationalised the electricity industry. Average weekly earnings for men aged over 21 were �6, 14 shillings �6.70). For women over 18 full time they were �3, 12 shillings, 11d (�3.64.5p). Adult men worked an average 46.5 hours a week; adult women worked 41.6 hours average. The food and drink industry paid some of the lowest wages, at average weekly wage �6, 4 shillings, 1d (�6.20.5p) for men and �3, 8 shillings, 7d (�3.43) for women.

(2) The Soviets suspended all rail services between Berlin and West Germany.

(3) The Big Bang Theory was first proposed as to how the Universe began.


31/3/1948. Wednesday (+1,058) (1) US Congress passed the Marshall Aid Bill. On 3/4/1948 President Truman signed the Economic Assistance Act, putting in effect Marshall aid for 16 countries in war-torn Europe. The first aid shipments to Europe left the USA on 5/4/1948.

(2) Al Gore, US Vice President under Bill Clinton, noted for his strong pro-environmental stance, was born.

30/3/1948, Tuesday (+1,057) The Russians imposed restrictions on Western traffic into West Berlin. See 26/4/1948. The West feared that the USSR was trying to absorb West Berlin; Moscow said it was responding to the West creating West Germany out of the three western occupation zones.

29/3/1948, Monday (+1,056) Chiang Kai Shek was re-elected President of China by the Nanjing Assembly.

28/3/1948, Sunday (+1,055) Easter Sunday.

25/3/1948, Thursday (+1,052)

23/3/1948, Tuesday (+1,050) (Aviation) J Cunningham, UK, set a new aviation altitude record of 59,445 feet.

22/3/1948, Monday (+1,049) Andrew Lloyd Webber, British composer, was born.

17/3/1948. Wednesday (+1,044) (1) King Farouk of Egypt laid the foundation stone of the Aswan Dam.

(2) Britain, France, and the Benelux countries signed the Brussels Treaty, a pact of economic, military, political, and cultural alliance. The Treaty came into effect on 25/7/1948.

15/3/1948. Monday (+1,042) (1) The UK Civil Service was closed to Fascists and Communists regarding posts vital to State Security.

(2) US coal miners went on strike for better pensions.

11/3/1948. Thursday (+1,038) The offices of the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem were blown up.

10/3/1948, Wednesday (+1,037) Ian Masaryk, Czech politician, died in Prague under suspicious circumstances after the Communists gained control.

9/3/1948, Tuesday (+1,036)

8/3/1948, Monday (+1,035) Johnathan Sacks, British Orthodox Jew, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth from 1991 to 2013, was born.

7/3/1948. Sunday (+1,034) Juan Peron won elections in Argentina.

4/3/1948, Thursday (+1,031)


29/2/1948, Sunday (+1,027) Dermot Weld, champion jockey, was born.

28/2/1948. Saturday (+1,026) Last British troops left India.

25/2/1948. Wednesday (+1,023) Communists seized power in Czechoslovakia.In Czech elections in May 1946 the Communists, under Gottwald, secured 114 of the 300 seats and became leader of a coalition government.However by 1948 the Communists were losing popularity in Czechoslovakia, because Gottwald had declined Marshall Aid and because he was appointing his own supporters to senior positions in the police force.A new Czech election was due in May 1948; before this could take place Gottwald organised what was effectively a Communist Revolution, backed by the workers militia and the police; there were no Soviet troops in Czechoslovakia at this time.Gottwald died in March 1953 and was succeeded as Communist dictator by Novotny, who ruled until early 1968.See 5/1/1968.

20/2/1948, Friday (+1,018) The 863 kilometre railway from Salta, Argentina, to Antofagasta, Chile, was completed.

18/2/1948. Wednesday (+1,016) (1) In a poll by the British Medical Association, 86% of doctors voted against joining the NHS.

(2) In Ireland, John Costello became Head of a new Coalition Government, see 4/2/1948. Fianna Fail, which had held power since 1932, lost votes to Clann na Poblachta, a party headed by Sean McBride, former Chief of Staff of the IRA, and offering a brand of radical republicanism similar to that of Fianna Fail in 1932. Fianna Fail remained the largest party, and Clann na Poblachta with 10 seats was now the junior partner in a coalition with Fine Gael and Labour.

16/2/1948, Monday (+1,014) Britain warned off Argentina as the Argentines conducted naval exercise near the Falkland Islands.

12/2/1948, Thursday (+1,010) (India) The ashes of Mahatma Gandhi were placed in the �holy waters� of the River Ganges at Allahabad.

5/2/1948, Thursday (+1,003) Sven Goran Eriksson, footballer, was born.

4/2/1948. Wednesday (+1,002) (1) (Ireland) De Valera lost his overall majority at the Irish elections, see 18/2/1948.

(2) (India) Ceylon became a self-governing dominion; it had been a British colony since 1802. It achieved full independence on 22/5/1972.

3/2/1948, Tuesday (+1,001) (Innovation, Light) The instant Polaroid camera was patented by Edwin Herbert Land in Massachusetts.

1/2/1948, Sunday (+999)


30/1/1948. Friday (+997) (1) (India) The Indian leader Mahatma (= �Great Soul) or Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was assassinated by a Hindu fanatic. Ghandi had been at a prayer meeting when he was shot by Nathuram Godse, a fanatic who totally rejected Ghandi's message of goodwill, peace, and love.Some extremist Hindus saw that India could never become a Hindu-dominated state whilst Ghandi was still alive; Ghandi had preached tolerance between Hindus and Moslems. Nathuram Godse was hanged on 15/11/1949. A previous attempt on Ghandi�s life had been made on 20/1/1948.

(2) (Aviation) The US aviator Orville Wright, younger of the two Wright brothers, died.

29/1/1948, Thursday (+996) The first flying car, the Hall Flying Automobile, took off.

27/1/1948, Tuesday (+994) UK medical consultants threatened to boycott the new National Health Service.

13/1/1948, Tuesday (+980), Mahatma Ghandi began a six-day fast, in order to promote harmony between Muslims and Hindus.

12/1/1948. Monday (+979) (1) A law school in Oklahoma was ordered to admit a Black student.

(2) The Co-op opened the first supermarket in Britain, at Manor Park.

10/1/1948, Saturday (+977)

8/1/1948, Thursday (+975) Kurt Schwitters, German artist, died.

7/1/1948, Wednesday (+974) Jane Bullen, equestrian events champion, was born.

6/1/1948, Tuesday (+973) The Ministries Trial began in Nuremberg. Twenty-one officials of various ministries of the Third Reich went on trial, facing charges for their roles in atrocities committed by the Nazis.

5/1/1948, Monday (+972) In Jerusalem, the Arab-owned Semiramis Hotel was destroyed by a bomb explosion; 20 people were killed.

4/1/1948. Sunday (+971) Burma became independent from Britain, and joined the Commonwealth.The new Republic was troubled by civil war; general Ne Win was in charge of military action against the Karen and their Communist guerrilla allies. U Nu (see 19/7/1947), a devout Buddhist, was Burmese leader until 1962 when Ne Win took over in an army coup.

3/1/1948, Saturday (+970) Alice Lee, archery champion, was born.

2/1/1948, Friday (+969) Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru threatened to invade Pakistan to stop Muslim attacks in Kashmir.

1/1/1948. Thursday (+968) Britain�s railways were nationalised.


31/12/1947, Wednesday (+967) Burton Cummings, musician, was born.

30/12/1947. Tuesday (+966) (1) The Kashmir problem went before the UN.

(2) King Michael of Romania abdicated, and a Communist republic was set up.

29/12/1947, Monday (+965) Ted Danson, actor, was born in San Diego.

28/12/1947, Sunday (+964) Victor Emmanuel III, King of Italy from 1900 until he abdicated in 1946, died.

27/12/1947, Saturday (+963) The Greek Government banned the Communist Party.

20/12/1947, Saturday (+956) Malcolm Cooper, Olympic shooter, was born.

17/12/1947. Wednesday (+953) A blizzard dumped 27 inches of snow on New York.

14/12/1947, Sunday (+950) Stanley Baldwin, British Conservative politician, three times Prime Minister, who became Earl Baldwin of Bewdley, died.

2/12/1947, Tuesday (+938) Anti-Jewish riots broke out in the British colony of Aden (90% Muslim, 5% Jewish, 5% other). 82 Jews, 38 Arabs and 3 others were killed.

1/12/1947, Monday (+937) Samuel Courtauld, silk and nylon manufacturer, and patron of the arts, died in London.


30/11/1947. Sunday (+936) In London, steam trains from Liverpool Street ceased to run on the Chigwell to Newbury Park loop.

29/11/1947, Saturday (+935) The United Nations voted to partition Palestine between Jewish and Arab areas.

27/11/1947. Thursday (+933) Austrian banks were nationalised.

25/11/1947. Tuesday (+931) The USSR demanded war reparations from Germany.

20/11/1947. Thursday (+926) Princess Elizabeth married Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh, in Westminster Abbey. Austerity and rationing were temporarily forgotten.

14/11/1947. Friday (+920) The UN recognised the independence of Korea.

13/11/1947. Thursday (+919) Chancellor Hugh Dalton resigned after admitting passing tax details to a reporter minutes before the Budget speech.

10/11/1947, Monday (+916) Strachey admitted to the House of Commons that because of food shortages and rationing, the average daily Calorie intake per head was down to 2,700, as opposed to a British Medical Association recommendation of 3,386 made in July 1933.

7/11/1947, Friday (+913) The first railway in Albania opened. It ran from Durres to Pekinj, 42km.

1/11/1947. Saturday (+907) Sports Report, the BBC radio Saturday afternoon programme, went on the air. The Benelux customs union, officially created on 29/10/1947, became active.


31/10/1947, Friday (+906) Sidney Webb, British economist, socialist and reformer, died aged 88.

26/10/1947. Sunday (+901) Kashmir joined India despite Pakistani protests.

23/10/1947, Thursday (+898) Kazimierz Deyna, Polish footballer, was born.

16/10/1947, Thursday (+891) Terence Griffiths, snooker champion, was born.

14/10/1947. Tuesday (+889) The first supersonic flight was made, by Charles Yeager of California.Major Charles Yeager was taken to 30,000 feet from Edwards Air Base, Muroc, California, in a Bell X-1, underneath a B-29 Superfortress plane, and released. He flew at 670mph, (Mach 1.05), held for several seconds, then landed at Edwards Air Base again.

11/10/1947, Saturday (+886) Alan Pascoe, athletics (hurdles), was born.

9/10/1947. Thursday (+884) The first radio-telephone call was made, from a car to a plane, above Wimington, Delaware, USA. However radio contact between a person in a car and a person on the ground had been made in 1922. This was at Brooklands motor circuit where a Morse message was transmitted from a racing car at 80mph. The aerial was on large poles propped up on the car.

5/10/1947. Sunday (+880) In the US, President Truman urged Americans to give up meat on Tuesdays and poultry and eggs on Thursday to aid Europe.

4/10/1947, Saturday (+879) (1) The German physicist, Max Planck, died at his home in Gottingen, aged 89. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1918 for his work on quantum physics and black-body radiation.

(2) Ann Widdecombe, British politician, was born.

2/10/1947, Thursday (+877)

1/10/1947, Wednesday (+876) The powers of the Governor-General of Canada were increased by lettrers pa5tent signed by King George V of Britain, this role now having �full royal powers�.


30/9/1947, Tuesday (+875) (1) The UK Government asked women to wear shorter skirts, to save cloth.

(2) Pakistan and Yemen joined the UN.

29/9/1947, Monday (+874) Sir Stafford Cripps was appointed by PM Attlee, as Minister of Economic Affairs. He went on to replace Hugh Dalton as Chancellor of the Exchequer following Dalton�s resignation on 13/11/1947. Sir Cripps was a keen advocate of austerity, as the UK made efforts to cut back on imports from outside the Sterling Area.

28/9/1947, Sunday (+873) Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh from 2009, was born in Tungipara, East Pakistan

27/9/1947, Saturday (+872) Bernard Ford, ice skater, was born.

26/9/1947, Friday (+871) In Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Don Stephen Senanayake became Prime Minister.

25/9/1947, Thursday (+870) Cheryl Tiegs, US fashion designer, was born in Breckenridge, Minnesota.

24/9/1947. Wednesday (+869) 1,200 Muslims fleeing India for Pakistan on a train were massacred by Sikhs at Amritsar in the Punjab.

21/9/1947, Sunday (+866)

18/9/1947, Thursday (+863) The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was founded, under the 1947 National Security Act. Created by President Truman, it was a response to the Cold war with the Soviet Union.

17/9/1947, Wednesday (+862) Tessa Jowell, UK politician, was born.

16/9/1947. Tuesday (+861) John Cobb broke the world land speed record at 394 mph.

15/9/1947, Monday (+860) The Free Territory of Trieste was created as the Peace Treaty with Italy came into effect.

14/9/1947, Sunday (+859) Baldwin retired in May 1937 and was made Earl Baldwin of Bewdley. He died on 14 September 1947.

8/9/1947, Monday (+853) Linda Ludgrove, swimming champion, was born.

2/9/1947, Tuesday (+847) The Organisation of American States (OAS) was set up.

1/9/1947, Monday (+846) 31 people were killed in the Dugald rail accident in Dugald, Manitoba, Canada.


31/8/1947. Sunday (+845) The Communists won Hungarian elections.

30/8/1947, Saturday (+844) About 90 people were killed and 60 injured in a cinema fire in the Rueil district of Paris, France. Police said the blaze was caused by a wire in the second balcony that short-circuited

29/8/1947, Friday (+843) James Hunt, British motor racing champion, was born in Belmont, Surrey.

28/8/1947, Thursday (+842) Ecuador's new dictator Carlos Mancheno abolished the country's 1944 constitution and proclaimed himself President.

27/8/1947. Wednesday (+841) The UK Government announced cuts to deal with an economic crisis.

26/8/1947, Tuesday (+840) Anne Archer, actress, was born.

25/8/1947, Monday (+839) Franz Cumont, Belgian historian of religion (born 3/1/1868) died in Brussels.

24/8/1947, Sunday (+838) The Edinburgh International Festival of Music and Drama was launched. It was an antidote to the prevailing austerity.

22/8/1947, Friday (+836)

21/8/1947, Thursday (+835) Ettore Bugatti, Italian-born French car designer, died aged 65.

20/8/1947, Wednesday (+834) (Aviation) TF Caldwell, USA, set a new aviation speed record of 640.74 mph.

19/8/1947, Tuesday (+833)

15/8/1947. Friday (+829) (1) India became independent; the Union Jack was run down for the last time in New Delhi. Pandit Nehru was the first Indian Prime Minister.Ali Khan became first PM of the newly created Pakistan.See 4/6/1947 for more details.

(2) The UK�s first atomic reactor, at Harwell, began operating.

14/8/1947, Thursday (+828) Pakistan became independent from Britain.

13/8/1947, Wednesday (+827) (Electricity) In Britain the Electricity Bill received Royal Assent. This provided for the nationalisation of the electricity supply industry.

3/8/1947, Sunday (+817) Ceasefire in Indonesia between Dutch troops and Indonesian nationalists took effect.

1/8/1947. Friday (+815) The UN Security Council asked for a ceasefire in Indonesia.


30/7/1947, Wednesday (+813) Arnold Schwarzenegger, star of the Terminator films and Governor of California 2003-11, was born.

28/7/1947, Monday (+811) In Romania the National Peasant Party, the most popular Party, was dissolved.

21/7/1947, Monday (+804) Gareth Edwards, rugby player, was born in Swansea.

20/7/1947. Sunday (+803) Dutch troops attacked Indonesian forces in Java.

19/7/1947, Saturday (+802) The Burmese leader Aung San was assassinated by gunmen in the pay of a political rival, shortly before Burma was to gain independence from Britain, see 4/1/1948.U Nu became leader of Burma.

6/7/1947. Sunday (+789) Spain voted to have a King when Franco died.

3/7/1947. Thursday (+786) The Benelux Union Bill was ratified, creating an economic union of 18 million people.

2/1/1947, Wednesday (+785) Larry David, comedy writer, actor and TV producer, was born in Brooklyn, New York

1//7/1947. Tuesday (+784) A Police Constable was paid �273 a year. A pint of beer rose from 1s 1d (5.5p) to 1s 4d (7p). A �New Length Cardigan� from Debenham and Freebody cost �(�4.16p) plus 6 coupons. A man�s watch cost �6.40. The average UK wage was �351 a year. The average UK house cost �1,577. A 6-bed house in Wimbledon cost �7,250 (4.60 x average).Road tax for a car cost ��1. 2 weeks in Lucerne cost �57.

500g of streaky bacon cost 8p.500g of beef cost 7p.250g of cheddar cheese cost 2p.250g of butter cost 4p.500g of margarine cost 4p.1 kg old potatoes cost 1p.125g of loose tea cost 4p.�� 6 eggs cost 4p.1 kg granulated sugar cost 3p.800g sliced white bread cost 2p.1 pint of pasteurised milk cost 2p. The Observer newspaper cost 1p.


30/6/1947. Monday (+783) In the UK, food rations were cut further in the midst of an economic crisis.

29/6/1947, Sunday (+782) William Surtees, rackets champion, was born.

28/6/1947, Saturday (+781) The statue of Eros returned to Piccadilly Circus.

26/6/1946, Thursday (+779)

24/6/1947, Tuesday (+777) US pilot Kenneth Arnold, flying over Mount Ranier, Washington State, filed the first report of flying saucers; he reported seeing nine flying disc-shaped objects.

23/6/1946, Monday (+776) In the USA, the closed shop, compulsory trades union membership, was banned.

22/6/1947, Sunday (+775) Jerry Rawlings, President of Ghana, was born.

19/6/1947, Thursday (+772) Salman Rushdie was born.

6/6/1947, Friday (+759) Marion Mould, equestrian champion, was born.

5/6/1947. Thursday (+758) US Secretary of State George Marshall announced the Marshall Plan to help Europe recover from near � bankruptcy following the War.See 16/4/1947.

4/6/1947. Wednesday (+757) (India) The last British viceroy to India, Lord Mountbatten, announced that plans for Indian independence from Britain would be speeded up and completed in just 70 days, not the 12 months previously envisaged (see 20/2/1947). Britain was deep in economic crisis and wanted to shed Empire as fast as possible. As a result of this haste, the subcontinent was hacked crudely into three states, and following this a million people were massacred and one of the greatest forced migrations in history began as Muslims fled India and Hindus fled East and West. Pakistan. This was the start of the Kashmir problem. The Maharajah of Kashmir was faced with a choice of joining Pakistan, effectively ending his own rule, or of joining India with his mainly Muslim population. On Independence Day, 15/8/1947, Kashmir had still not decided who to join. In October 1947 Afghan tribesmen, backed by Pakistan, began invading Kashmir from Pakistan and in response India sent tens of thousands of troops to repel them, one day after the Maharajah had decided to join India. Had Britain not pulled out of India in such haste, more orderly arrangements for Kashmir could have been set up whilst Britain was still in a position to enforce them.

2/6/1947, Monday (+755) (Food, Kitchens) Tupperware sealable plastic containers were patented by Earl Elias Tupper in Massachusetts.


29/5/1947. Thursday (+751) (India) The Indian Parliament banned 'untouchables'.

25/5/1947, Sunday (+747) (Aviation) Pacific Overseas Airlines (Siam) was founded,

23/5/1947, Friday (+745) (India) Britain agreed to the partition of India.Muslims wanted a separate state (Pakistan), fearing they would be subsumed in a Hindi India.

16/5/1947, Friday (+738) (Biology) Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins, English biochemist, died in Cambridge.

15/5/1947, Thursday (+737) The United Nations set up a special committee to decide the future of Palestine.

8/5/1947. Thursday (+730) Death of the American department store founder, Henry Gordon Selfridge.

5/5/1947, Monday (+727) (London Underground) In London, Central Line trains began running to Leytonstone.

3/5/1947, Saturday (+725) (Japan) A new Constitution was approved in Japan by means of a referendum. Women voted in Japan for the first time. The Emperor�s powers were limited, and the country renounced the use of war.


27/4/1947, Sunday (+719) Thor Heyerdahl set sail on a balsa wood raft from Callao in Peru to Raroia in Polynesia in order to prove that Peruvians could have settled in Polynesia.

26/4/1947. Saturday (+718) The English FA Cup Final, between Charlton Athletic and Burnley, was televised in its entirety for the first time.

25/4/1947, Friday (+717) Johann Cruyff, Dutch footballer, was born.

24/4/1947, Thursday (+716) In Palestine the Zionist Stern Gang attacked a police barracks at Sarona, near Tel Aviv; 4 were killed.

22/4/1947, Tuesday (+714)

21/4/1947, Monday (+713) (Aviation) The world�s first duty-free airport shop opened, at Shannon Airport, Ireland.

20/4/1947, Sunday (+712) Christian X, King of Denmark, died aged 76. He was succeeded by his son Frederick IX, aged 48.

19/4/1947, Saturday (+711) The Flick Trial began in Nuremberg. Friedrich Flick and five other leading Nazi industrialists were put on trial for using slave labour, among other crimes.

18/4/1947, Friday (+710) Tiso was executed, see 22/5/1945.

17/4/1947, Thursday (+709) In Rome, a mob of about a thousand unemployed workers staged a noisy protest outside the Parliament building, stopping private cars and sometimes beating the occupants. One of those assaulted was Italian Foreign Minister Carlo Sforza, who was struck by several fists as he stepped out of his car to go to his office. The Foreign Ministry said that Sforza had been shaken but not seriously hurt.

16/4/1947, Wednesday (+708) (1) The phrase �Cold War� was first used, in a speech by Bernard Baruch in Columbia, South Carolina, when the US Congress was discussing the �Truman Doctrine�.This was a doctrine of checking further Communist expansion into Europe by giving economic and military aid to governments threatened by communist subversion.This was followed within 2 months by the Marshall Plan (5/6/1947).

(2) Ammonium nitrate stored aboard the freighter Grandcamp exploded in Texas City Port, killing 752.

14/4/1947, Monday (+706) In France, De Gaulle organised the RPF (Rassemblement du Peuple Francais) Party, also known as �Gaullists�, to unite and reform anti-Communists.

9/4/1947, Wednesday (+701) The first food packages from the USA for Britain arrived at Liverpool. They were sent by the charity organisation CARE (Co-operative for Remittance to Europe) and intended for unemployed widows who had children to look after.

8/4/1947, Tuesday (+700) Following a series of killings due to labour strife, the Cuban Interior Ministry banned all political meetings that might provoke disorder.

7/4/1947. Monday (+699) Henry Ford, American motor car manufacturer who pioneered techniques of mass-production, died aged 83.

6/4/1947, Sunday (+698) Easter Sunday.

5/4/1947, Saturday (+697)

3/4/1947. Thursday (+695) In the UK, the private medical company BUPA was founded.

2/4/1947. Wednesday (+694) Britain passed the Palestine problem to the UN.

1/4/1947. Tuesday (+693) King George II of Greece died aged 56, and was succeeded by his brother, 45, as King Paul I.


29/3/1947. Saturday (+690) Nationalist uprising in Madagascar against the French.

27/3/1947, Thursday (+688) To stem the rising tide of divorce, the British Government pledged more funding for the Marriage Guidance Council.

25/3/1947. Tuesday (+686) Elton John, British musician, was born in Pinner, London, as Reginald Kenneth Dwight.

23/3/1947, Sunday (+684) Lord Wavell resigned as Viceroy of India. He was succeeded by Lord Mountbatten, who announced, after consultation with local leaders, that the Muslim-dominated areas must become a separate State.

15/3/1947. Saturday (+676) Almost 600,000 acres of farmland were flooded in The Fens as the River Ouse overflowed, following a thaw of deep snow, drowning 2 million sheep. See 6/3/1947.

12/3/1947, Wednesday (+673) US President Truman spoke of a Cold War (see 5/3/1946) against Communism. He instituted the �Truman Doctrine�, whereby the US would give military and economic access to any countries deemed to be under Soviet threat, such as Greece or Turkey.

9/3/1947, Sunday (+670) Stanley Jackson, cricketer, died (born 21/11/1870).

6/3/1947, Thursday (+667) Deep snow cut off 13 towns in Britain. See 15/3/1947.

3/3/1947, Monday (+664) Japan adopted a new Constitution, renouncing war.

1/3/1947. Saturday (+662) The International Monetary Fund began operating.


28/2/1947, Friday (+661) Wlodzimierz Lubanski, Polish footballer, was born.

27/2/1947, Thursday (+660) (USA) In the USA, Donald Acheson outlined, in the State Department, what was to become known as the Truman Doctrine, aimed at containing Soviet expansion.

26/2/1947, Wednesday (+659) The UK Government considered rationing coal as a cold snap entered its fifth week. The winter was the coldest since 1880/81. Coal was piling up at the pit heads, unable to move as railways were blocked by snow. Buxton and Bridlington were cut off by snowdrifts as high as 20 feet. Blizzards at sea kept fishing fleets in port, worsening food shortages.

25/2/1947, Tuesday (+658) (Science) Louis Carl Heinrich Paschen, German physicist, died in Potsdam, East Germany.

24/2/1947, Monday (+657)

21/2/1947. Friday (+654) The world�s first soap opera, �A woman to remember�, began on USA television.

20/2/1947, Thursday (+653) (1) (Weather) In Britain, very cold weather along with fuel shortages threatened to damage the economy.

(2) Lord Louis Mountbatten was appointed the last Viceroy of India, the same day the British government announced that the British would leave India by June 1948. See 4/6/1947. Mountbatten was to supervise the peaceful transition to independence of India, despite major difference between Hindus and Muslims. Winston Churchill opposed Indian independence.

17/2/1947, Monday (+650) The USA began broadcasting �Voice of America� in Russian.

14/2/1947, Friday (+647) John Page, figure skating champion, died.

10/2/1947. Monday (+643) (1) A Peace Treaty concluded in Paris between Italy, Romania, and Bulgaria made the following provisions. a) Most of the Italian province of Venezia Giulia, with its predominantly Slovene and Croat population, as well as the enclave of Zadar (Zara) and all the Adriatic Islands were ceded to Yugoslavia. b) A Free Territory of Trieste, demilitarised and neutral, was to be formed. However this was impractical and on 5/10/1954 the British, US, Italian, and Yugoslav governments agreed to divide the territory between Italy and Yugoslavia. c) Romania ceded Northern Bukovina and Bessarabia to the USSR. The Russian occupation of these areas had been by aggression on 27/6/1940; the population of Bessarabia was however mainly Romanian.

(2) The USSR concluded a peace treaty with Finland.

7/2/1947. Friday (+640) (1) (Britain) The Minister of Fuel and Power, Emanuel Shinwell, startled the House of Commons by announcing that Britain�s power stations were running out of coal, as very cold snowy weather paralysed the rail system. Four weeks of intermittent power cuts followed, with two million workers suspended. Greyhound racing, TV and magazine production were halted.

(2) Britain proposed dividing Palestine into Jewish and Arab zones but both sides rejected the plan.

6/2/1947, Thursday (+639) Hans Fallada, German novelist, died in Berlin (born 21/7/1893 in Greifswald, Germany).

5/2/1947, Wednesday (+638)

4/2/1947, Tuesday (+637) (USA) US politician Dan Quayle was born.

3/2/1947, Monday (+636) Hristo Bonev, Bulgarian footballer, was born.

2/2/1947. Sunday (+635) The RAF began evacuating Britons from Palestine.

1/2/1947, Saturday (+634) In Italy, Alcide de Gasperi formed a government of Christian Democrats, Communists and Left-Socialists.


29/1/1947, Wednesday (+631) In the UK, record low temperatures caused power cuts.

26/1/1947, Sunday (+628) Prince Gustav of Sweden was killed in an air crash near Copenhagen.

25/1/1947, Saturday (+627) Al Capone, American gangster and leader of organised crime in Chicago during the Prohibition era, died aged 48 due to a major brain haemorrhage, virtually penniless. In 1931 he was jailed for 11 years income tax evasion; he was released from Alcatraz in 1939, suffering from syphilis and prematurely aged.

24/1/1947, Friday (+626)

23/1/1947, Thursday (+625) Snow began falling in south east England. It was the start of a protracted period of extremely cold weather.

22/1/1947. Wednesday (+624) The meat ration in Britain was reduced, again, to 1 shilling (5p) worth weekly.

21/1/1947, Tuesday (+623) South African President J C Smuts refused to place South West Africa under UN Trusteeship.

16/1/1947 Thursday (+618) In France, Vincent Auriol was elected President.

14/1/1947, Tuesday (+616) The newly-renovated Covent Garden Opera House in London opened, with a performance of Bizet�s Carmen.

13/1/1947, Monday (+615) In Britain, top radio shows included Woman�s Hour, Dick Barton, and Radio Forfeits.

12/1/1947, Sunday (+614) Joe Frazier, heavyweight boxing champion in the 1970s, was born.

10/1/1947, Friday (+612)

8/1/1947. Wednesday (+610) (1) In Britain, a shortage of coal caused closures of steel works. There were also food shortages because of the hauliers� strike. Troops were called in to move supplies.

(2) David Bowie, British musician and rock star, was born in London as David Jones.

7/1/1947, Tuesday (+609) George Marshall was appointed US Secretary of State.

4/1/1947, Saturday (+606)

3/1/1947, Friday (+605) Fran Cotton, rugby player, was born.

2/1/1947, Thursday (+604) Lanny Bassham, US sports shooter, was born

1/1/1947. Wednesday (+603) (1) Britain�s coal industry was nationalised under the Coal industry Nationalisation Act, 1946. The National Coal Board (NCB) was set up, to control 1,647 mines, 100,000 miners homes and over a million acres of land. The NCB was chaired by Lord Hyndley. Cable and Wireless was also nationalised this day.

(2) All British �silver coins�, except Maundy Money, now made from cupro-nickel, 75% copper and 25% nickel.

(3) The USA and British zones in West Germany were merged.Russia objected, and so did France, who wanted a divided Germany, and had annexed the Saar from French-occupied Germany.


31/12/1946, Tuesday (+602) In Britain, people were eating horsemeat as the food, fuel and transport crisis continued.

30/12/1946, |Monday (+601) Hans Hubert Vogts, West German footballer, was born.

27/12/1946, Friday (+598) In Britain, 12 cotton mills closed today and much industry in the Midlands went on a 4-day week as a fuel shortage deepened. Meanwhile a world food shortage, compounded by a global shipping shortage, and, for the UK, a lack of foreign exchange, caused UK rations to be cut. In February 1946 butter, margarine and cooking fat rations were reduced from 8 to 7 ounces per person per week. In May 1946 bread, previously un-rationed, came on-ration.

25/12/1946, Wednesday (+596) William Claude Dukenfield (WC Fields), actor, died (born 29/1/1880).

20/12/1946. Friday (+591) Uri Geller was born in Tel Aviv.

19/12/1946, Thursday (+590) An uneasy post-War period of tactical co-operation between the French and the Vietcong Communist forces ended. The French had wanted to regain their colony of Vietnam; the Vietcong also wanted Nationalist factions in the country eliminated. But on this day the Vietcong attacked French troops at Hanoi, starting the First Indo-China War. The Vietcong began a campaign of guerrilla warfare.

18/12/1946. Wednesday (+589) Labour MPs triumphantly sang The Red Flag as the House of Commons voted to nationalise the railways, road haulage, and ports. This was under Clement Attlee�s Labour Government. The Bank of England had already been nationalised and, despite the UK�s economic problems, civil aviation, broadcasting, road transport and steel would soon follow. Attlee also proposed independence for Burma and India.

16/12/1946, Monday (+587) In France, Leon Blum formed a Socialist government.

11/12/1946, Wednesday (+582) The UN International Children�s Emergency Fund was set up to provide aid to children in war-torn countries.

10/12/1946, Tuesday (+581) Heavy smog in London caused bus conductors to have to walk in front of their buses, carrying lighted newspapers.

9/12/1946, Monday (+580) In India the Constituent Assembly met to discuss independence; but it was boycotted by the Muslim League.

7/12/1946, Saturday (+578)

5/12/1946. Thursday (+576) New York was chosen as the permanent site of the UN.

4/12/1946, Wednesday (+575) In London, Central Line trains began running to Stratford.


30/11/1946, Saturday (+571)

28/11/1946, Thursday (+569) In Britain the House of Lords was told of a �tidal wave of divorce sweeping Britain�.

27/11/1946, Wednesday (+568) New Zealand elections gave 42 seats to Labour, which retained power, against 38 seats for the National Party.

25/11/1946, Monday (+566\)

24/11/1946, Sunday (+565) Vivien Saunders, champion golfer, was born.

23/11/1946, Saturday (+564) French troops bombarded Haiphong in NE Vietnam. This was the start of the French Indo-China War, which lasted until 1954.

22/11/1946. Friday (+563) The first ball point pen went on sale, invented by the Hungarian Laslo Biro. The pen, which would write 200,000 words without refilling, went on sale for �2.75.

21/11/1946, Thursday (+562) 1) The first commercial aerosol sprays were marketed in the US by Airosol Inc of Kansas. The US army had discovered the usefulness of aerosol insect sprays whilst fighting the Japanese in the rainforests of south east Asia.

2) Bulgarian Communist Georgi Dimitrov returned from Moscow to become President of Bulgaria.

19/11/1946, Tuesday (+560) The first General Conference of UNESCO was held at Paris.

15/11/1946, Friday (+556) Alec Jackson, footballer, died.

11/11/1946. Monday (+552) Stevenage, Hertfordshire, became the first �New Town� to be designated in Britain.

10/11/1946, Sunday (+551) In France, elections to the National Assembly produced 166 seats for the Communists, 158 for the Popular Republican Movement, 90 for the Socialists, 55 for the Radical Socialists, 70 for the Conservatives and 5 for the Gaullists. There was political deadlock.

8/11/1946, Friday (+549)

6/11/1946. Wednesday (+547) In the UK, the National Health Act came into force, see 5/7/1948.

5/11/1946, Tuesday (+546) In the US, Republicans gained control of Congress.

4/11/1946. Monday (+545) (1) US and China signed a friendship pact.

(2) UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation, was established, with headquarters in Paris.


30/10/1946, Wednesday (+540) John Atkinson, British rugby league player, was born.

26/10/1946, Saturday (+536) Otto Thierack, German Reich minister of Justice 1942-45, hanged himself in Neumunster internment camp to avoid being brought to trial.

23/10/1946, Wednesday (+533) The first New York meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations Organisation took place.

20/10/1946. Sunday (+530) Muffin the Mule, a wooden puppet, first appeared on BBC TV.

16/10/1946. Wednesday (+526) (1) The liner Queen Elizabeth made her first commercial voyage, after serving as a troopship during the War.

(2) After 216 meetings of the Nuremberg Tribunal, from 20/11/1945, the verdicts on 24 top Nazis charged with war crimes were delivered on 30/9/1946. 3 Nazis were acquitted; Hjalmar Schacht, Franz von Papen and Hans Fritzsche. A fourth defendant, Robert Ley, had committed suicide in prison before the trials were completed. The industrialist Gustav Krupp was judged to be unfit to stand trial through senile dementia. The remaining 19 defendants were found guilty. Four of them, Karl Donitz, Baldur von Shirach, Albert Speer and Konstantin von Neurath, received sentences of between 10 and 20 years. Three defendants, Rudolf Hess, Walther Funk and Erich Raeder, received life sentences. Rudolf Hess was detained at Spandau Prison, Berlin, until his death in 1987. The remaining 12 defendants were sentenced to death. Martin Bormann was not executed as he had been tried in absentia having escaped the Allied authorities. Hermann Goering committed suicide by self-poisoning in prison a few hours before he was due to be hanged. The remaining ten, Hans Frank, Willhelm Frick, Julius Streicher, Alfred Rosenberg, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Fritz Sauckel, Alfred Jodl, Wilhelm Keitel and Arthur Seiss-Inquart, were hanged on 16/10/1946.

As regards lesser Nazis, the problem facing the Allies was that millions of Germans had joined the Nazi Party, some merely for reasons of self-preservation, so it was impractical to prosecute all those who had served Hitler. Ultimately, out of a population of 44.5 million Germans in West Germany,209,000 were prosecuted. In East Germany the Soviets prosecuted a much smaller number, just over 17,000. This was because many Nazis were executed by the Soviets without a formal legal process.

13/10/1946, Sunday (+523) Thailand accepted a UN ruling that it return the provinces of Indo-China that it had acquired in 1941 as an ally of Japan.

10/10/1946, Thursday (+520) In China the Kuomintang re-elected Chiang Kai Shek as President.

8/10/1946, Tuesday (+518)

6/10/1946, Sunday (+516) Anthony Grieg, cricketer, was born.

5/10/1946, Saturday (+515) Brian Jacks, judo champion, was born.

4/10/1946, Friday (+514) From Our Own Correspondent was first broadcast on UK radio.

2/10/1946, Wednesday (+512)


29/9/1946, Sunday (+509) BBC Radio�s Third Programme, later to become Radio Three, began broadcasting.

28/9/1946, Saturday (+508) (Greece) King George II returned to Greece. A referendum had shown a majority in favour of restoring the monarchy.

21/9/1946, Saturday (+501)

20/9/1946. Friday (+500) The first Cannes Film Festival opened.

19/9/1946. Thursday (+499) Winston Churchill, in Zurich, urged Franco-German reconciliation and a �kind of United States of Europe�.

18/9/1946, Wednesday (+498) Otis Sistrunk, US footballer, was born in Columbus, Georgia.

17/9/1946, Tuesday (+497) (Astronomy) Sir James Hopwood Jeans, English astronomer, died in Dorking, Surrey.

16/9/1946, Monday (+496) King Simeon and the Queen Mother left Bulgaria

15/9/1946, Sunday (+495) (1) The Bulgarian People�s Republic was proclaimed.

(2) Alitalia (Aerolinee Italiane Internaziolali) was formed.

14/9/1946, Saturday (+494) The U.S. Census Bureau forecast that the United States population in 1990 would peak at 165,000,000 and that it would decline to 168,177,000 by 2000. The actual figures for the two censuses were 248,709,873 in 1990 and 281,421,906 in 2000.

13/9/1946, Friday (+493) Captain Amon Goth, 37, Nazi SS officer who had carried out the mass executions of more than 13,000 Jews in Krakow and Tarnow, and the Szebnia concentration camp, was hanged, along with Dr. Leon Gross, a Jew who had collaborated with him at the Plaszow concentration camp.

12/9/1946, Thursday (+492) Albert le Tyrant, French archery champion, was born.

11/9/1946, Wednesday (+491) Mike Bull, athletics (pole vault), was born in Belfast.

10/9/1946, Tuesday (+490) A referendum in Bulgaria gave a 92% vote in favour of a Republic.

9/9/1946, Monday (+489) Trans Australia Airlines made its first flight, from Melbourne to Sydney. The government-owned carrier changed its name to Australian Airlines in 1986, and then was merged with Qantas in 1993.

8/9/1946. Sunday (+488) Communists took control in Bulgaria.

7/9/1946, Saturday (+487) (Aviation) EM Donaldson, UK, set a new aviation speed record of 615.78 mph.

4/9/1946, Wednesday (+484)

1/9/1946. Sunday (+481) (1) The jet aircraft Meteor EE549 reached the record speed of 616 mph

(2) A Greek plebiscite favoured return the of the monarchy.


31/8/1946, Saturday (+480) Harley Granville-Barker, English playwright, died aged 69.

28/8/1946, Wednesday (+477)

25/8/1946, Sunday (+474) In Britain, a flourishing black market existed in nylons, chocolate and perfumes.

24/8/1946, Saturday (+473) Elijah Muhammad was released from prison in Milan, Michigan after four years, and became the Nation of Islam's undisputed leader.

23/8/1946, Friday (+472) In North Korea, the Workers Party was established. By December 1946 its membership reached 600,000 (total population of North Korea was then 9 million).

22/8/1946, Thursday (+470)

20/8/1946, Tuesday (+469) The German Army was officially dissolved by the Allied Control Commission.

19/8/1946, Monday (+468) (1) Violence in Calcutta between Hindus and Moslems, thousands were killed.

(2) Bill Clinton, US President, was born.

16/8/1946, Friday (+465) Major riots against the British salt tax began in Calcutta, inspired by Ghandi�s campaign of disobedience.The riots lasted till 20/8/1946.

13/8/1946. Tuesday (+462) (1) The United Nations refused to admit Ireland because of opposition from the Soviet Union. The War years, known in Ireland as �The Emergency�, resulted in agricultural and economic crisis, strikes, unemployment and rising emigration. Ireland now had a small and ageing population, and widespread dissatisfaction with the ruling Fianna Fail Party. Small parties such as Clann na Talmhan, the Farmers Party, proliferated.

(2) Author H G Wells; born on 21/9/1866, died in London, aged 76.

12/8/1946, Monday (+461) (Chemistry) Alfred Stock, German chemist, died in Karlsruhe.

9/8/1946, Friday (+458) The Arts Council of Great Britain was incorporated.

6/8/1946, Tuesday (+455) Blanche Bingley, tennis player, died (born 3/11/1863).

1/8/1946, Thursday (+450) British European Airways, BEA, was formed.


29/7/1946, Monday (+447) (1) The Paris Peace Conference began.

(2) Air India was formed by a reorganisation of Tata Air Lines.

28/7/1946, Sunday (+448) Howard C. Petersen, US Assistant Secretary of War, announced that, in addition to deaths in combat, 131,028 American and Filipino citizens, mostly civilians, had died "as a result of war crimes" from December 7, 1941 until the end of World War II.

27/7/1946, Saturday (+445) The US writer Gertrude Stein (born 3/2/1874 in Allegheny, Pennsylvania), died in Paris, France.

25/7/1936, Thursday (+443)

24/7/1946, Wednesday (+442) Aircraft fitter Benny Lynch tested the first British ejector seat. Bailing out 8,000 feet above Chalgrove, Oxfordshire, he landed safely in the back yard of pub, and was recovered later from the bar.

23/7/1946, Tuesday (+441) The last German prisoners of war in the United States were released, as 1,385 POWs were placed on the ship General Yates, following detention at Camp Shanks in New York. In all, there had been 375,000 German prisoners kept in the US at the end of World War II.

22/7/1946. Monday (+440) The King David Hotel, Jerusalem, HQ of the British Palestine Army, was destroyed by a Zionist bomb planted by Irgun, killing 91 and injuring 45. Many Jews wanted Britain to withdraw so a Jewish State could be established.

21/7/1946. Sunday (+439) Bread rationing began in Britain because of a world shortage of wheat, caused by a poor harvest and shortages of transport and fertilisers.

18/7/1946, Thursday (+436)

14/7/1946, Sunday (+432) Jews who had survived World War Two were massacred in a pogrom at Kielce, Poland.

13/7/1946, Saturday (+431) The US House of Representatives approved a loan to Europe.

10/7/1946, Thursday (+429)

8/7/1946. Monday (+426) Margaret Roberts, later Margaret Thatcher, was elected president of the Oxford University Conservatives.

7/7/1946, Sunday (+425) M|iguel Aleman, a civilian, was elected as President of Mexico. This led to closer ties between the US and Mexico.

6/7/1946, Saturday (+424) The Young Conservatives political organisation was founded in Britain.

5/7/1946. Friday (+423) The bikini was officially invented by French engineer Louis Reard. �It is a two-piece bathing suit that reveals everything about a girl except her mother�s maiden name�,said the Americans about the bikini. Two months earlier the French designer Jacques Heim had created the Atome, another two-piece bathing suit, so Louis Reard was inspired to create an even smaller bathing suit. Reard knew he had created an explosive item, so he called it the bikini, as the US military exploded an atom bomb on the south Pacific island of Bikini atoll. No Parisian model would wear the bikini at the time as it was considered indecent, but Reard hired a nude dancer, Micheline Bernardini, to wear it at his presentation. The bikini was banned in several Catholic countries such as Spain and Italy, but Reard kept promoting the garment, insisting it was not a real bikini unless �it could be pulled through a wedding ring�. In the 1950s Brigitte Bardot helped promote the bikini and by the 1970s it was more or less accepted in most countries.

4/7/1946. Thursday (+422) (Philippines) The Philippines was granted independence from the USA.Manual Roxas was elected as the first President.

1/7/1946. Monday (+419) (1) The first US atom bomb test at Eniwetok atoll. A second test with an underwater bomb was on 25/7/1946.

(2) Bananas, available for the first time since the war, cost 1s 1d (5.5p) per pound. A pound of pork sausages cost 14s 5d (72.5p). A whole haddock cost 9d (4p). The average weekly wage for a farm labourer was 72s 2d (�3.61p), and a weaver in the textiles industry got 84s 7d (�4.23p) a week.

(3) London�s Aldwych to Holborn spur line re-opened.It had been closed during the War and used as an air raid shelter.

(4) British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) began transatlantic flights between London and New York, in 19 � hours.


28/6/1946, Friday (+416) Enrico de Nicola became first President of Italy.

27/6/1946, Thursday (+415) Italy ceded the Dodecanese islands to Greece.

23/6/1946, Sunday (+411) Julian Hipwood, polo champion, was born.

17/6/1946, Monday (+405) (1) The Allied decided not to try Hirohito as a war criminal.

(2) Barry Manilow, American singer and songwriter, was born in New York City.

14/6/1946. Friday (+402) (1) Demis Roussos, Greek operatic singer, was born; see 25/1/2015.

(2) Death of John Logie Baird, at Bexhill on Sea, Sussex, aged 58. He was born on 13/8/1888 at Helensburgh, Scotland. In 1926 he demonstrated the first true television before the Royal Institution of Great Britain, following developments on the first prototype in his laboratory in Hastings in 1924. In 1939 Baird demonstrated colour television, and had reportedly developed stereoscopic television by April 1946.

13/6/1946, Thursday (+401) Pro-monarchist riots in Rome over the departure of King Umberto II.

12/6/1946, Wednesday (+400)

11/6/1946, Tuesday (+399) Italy was officially declared a Republic.

10/6/1946, Monday (+398) Jack Johnson, US boxer, died aged 68.

9/6/1946, Sunday (+397) King Rama VIII was assassinated, aged 21, after an 11-year reign. His brother Phumiphon Aduldet now reigned as Rama IX, after 5/5/1950 when he left school in Switzerland.

8/6/1946, Saturday (+396) Gerhart Hauptmann, German novelist, died aged 83.

7/6/1946, Friday (+395) In Britain the BBC resumed TV broadcasts this day; the initial audience was fewer than 12,000 people.

6/6/1946, Thursday (+394)

5/6/1946, Wednesday (+393) King George V took the salute at the Victory Parade in The Mall, London.

4/6/1946. Tuesday (+392) General Juan Peron became President of Argentina.

3/6/1946, Monday (+391) King Umberto II left Italy, to join his family in Lisbon.

2/6/1946, Sunday (+390) A referendum in Italy produced 12.7 million votes for a Republic and 10.7 million votes for continuing the monarchy.

1/6/1946. Saturday (+389) (1) The first TV licences issued in Britain, at a cost of �2. TV broadcasting resumed in Britain.

(2) (Romania) Antonescu was shot as a war criminal, see 23/8/1944.


31/5/1946, Friday (+388) Heathrow was officially opened as London Airport.

30/5/1946. Thursday (+387) The Labour Minister of Food, John Strachey, announced that bread would be rationed. The greatest allowance would go to manual workers in heavy industry.

28/5/1946, Tuesday (+385)

27/5/1946, Monday (+384) The Bank for Reconstruction and Development, an organisation first proposed at the Bretton Woods Conference and constituted in 1945, began operations.

26/5/1946. Sunday (+383) The Communists gained power in Czechoslovakia.

25/5/1946. Saturday (+382) Transjordan (Jordan) proclaimed its independence, with Emir Abdullah ibn Husayn as King. Husayn (born 1882) was assassinated in Jerusalem in 1951.

22/5/1946, Wednesday (+379) Karl Hermann Frank, the Nazi ruler in Czechoslovakia who ordered the massacre at Lidice, was hanged in Prague.

20/5/1946, Monday (+377) The British Government announced plans for student grants.

17/5/1946. Friday (+374) France nationalised its coal mines.

14/5/1946, Tuesday (+371) Robert Davies, horse racing, was born.

9/5/1946. Thursday (+366) King Victor Emmanuel III, monarch of Italy since 1900, abdicated. He was succeeded by Umberto II. A referendum voted narrowly for a republic on 2/6/1946. Enrico de Nicola became the first President of Italy on 28/6/1946, and Umberto II left Italy on 3/6/1946.

7/5/1946, Tuesday (+364) Anton Mussert, founder of the Dutch National socialist Movement and a staunch supporter of Nazi rule in Holland, was hanged.

4/5/1946, Saturday (+361) John Watson, motor racing champion, was born.

3/5/1946, Friday (+360) Arabs rioted in Jerusalem over British plans to partition Jerusalem.


25/4/1946, Thursday (+352) The USSR agreed to withdraw its troops from Iran.

22/4/1946, Monday (+349) Samuel John :Latta, Canadian politician, died.

21/4/1946, Sunday (+348) Easter Sunday. The economist Lord Keynes died of a heart attack. He believed that unemployment could only be eased by public spending.

20/4/1946, Saturday (+347)

19/4/1946, Friday (+346) The USSR recognised the Republic of Yugoslavia.

18/4/1946. Thursday (+345) The League of Nations was formally dissolved, after the United Nations had been set up on 24/10/1945. See 26/6/1945.

17/4/1946, Wednesday (+344) George Kohler, German biologist, was born (died 1995).

14/4/1946, Sunday (+341) Caroline Bradley, equestrian showjumping, was born (died 1/6/1983).

7/4/1946, Sunday (+334)

3/4/1946, Wednesday (+330) Alf Common, footballer, died (born 25/5/1880).

2/4/1946. Tuesday (+329) The Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst was founded.The Woolwich Academy was merged with Sandhurst.

1/4/1946, Monday (+328) Major earthquake in the Aleutian Islands.


31/3/1946, Sunday (+327) General Gort, British commander of the British Expeditionary Forcethat entered France in 1939 and retreated again in 1940, died.

28/3/1946, Thursday (+324) The British Government announced plans for free school dinners and free milk at school.

26/3/1946, Tuesday (+322) Allied Control Commission set limits on the level of German industrial production.

24/3/1946, Sunday (+320) BBC radio began broadcasting Letter from America, a weekly talk by Alistair Cook, on topical matters in the USA.

21/3/1946. Thursday (+317) (1) Aneurin Bevan announced Labour Government plans for a National Health Service to become operational in 1948. The cost per year was expected to be around �152 million (�5,000 million in 2015 prices; actual 2015 NHS spending is more like �115,000 million).

(2) Goering denied he knew anything of the �final solution�.

15/3/1946. Friday (+311) The USSR began its 4th 5-Year Plan.

14/3/1946, Thursday (+310) Alison Dawes, show jumper, was born.

12/3/1946, Tuesday (+308) Liza Minelli, US actress, was born.

10/3/1946. Sunday (+306) Britain and France began to withdraw from Lebanon.

9/3/1946, Saturday (+305) 33 football fans were crushed to death at Bolton Wanderer�s Football Ground when a barrier collapsed.

8/3/1946, Friday (+304) In Covent Garden, London, bananas went on sale for the first time since the War.

6/3/1946, Wednesday (+302)

5/3/1946. Tuesday (+301) (UK, USA) Winston Churchill referred to an �Iron Curtain� descending across Europe, in a speech at Fulton, USA. The first public acknowledgement that the Cold War had begun. See 12/3/1947.

4/3/1946, Monday (+300) The USA, Britain and France appealed to the Spanish to depose General Franco.

3/3/1946, Sunday (+299) John Virgo, English snooker player, was born.

2/3/1946. Saturday (+298) In North Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh was elected President.

1/3/1946, Friday (+297) The Bank of England was nationalised by Act of Parliament.


28/2/1946, Thursday (+296) Robin Cook, British politician, was born.

27/2/1946, Wednesday (+295) Thomas Hauser, author, was born.

26/2/1946, Tuesday (+294) Colin Bell, footballer, was born.

25/2/1946, Monday (+923) Franz Kroetz, German author, was born.

24/2/1946. Sunday (+292) Juan Peron was elected President of Argentina.

23/2/1946, Saturday (+291) Lt. Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita, who led the Japanese conquest of Singapore and the Philippines, was executed by hanging in Manila for war crimes, followed by Lt. Col. Seichi Ohta, who headed security for Japan's �thought police� (kempei tai), also interpreter Takuma Higashigi.

22/2/1946, Friday (+290) Dr Selman Abrahams announced the discovery of streptomycin, an antibiotic for treating tuberculosis.

21/2/1946, Thursday (+289) Indian naval mutiny at Bombay.

19/2/1946, Tuesday (+287)

16/2/1946, Saturday (+284) Edgar Syers, ice skater, died (born 18/3/1863).

15/2/1946, Friday (+283) (Computing) ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator And Calculator) was put into operation at the University of Pennsylvania; the first completely electronic (valve-driven) computer. It weighed 31 tons. It was primarily used to calculate the yields for the thermonuclear bombs being developed.

10/2/1946, Sunday (+278) The first �GI brides� arrived in the USA to live with their new partners. When US servicemen were stationed in the UK, British males complained they were �overpaid, oversexed, and over here�. Many British women became engaged or married to them. Now the GI brides assembled at camps in Hampshire, to be shipped over to the USA aboard the Queen Mary.

7/2/1946. Thursday (+275) (1) In response to world food shortages, UK food rations were reduced.

(2) Hess was on trial at Nuremberg for war crimes.

3/2/1946, Sunday (+271) The Hosiery Designers of America chose actress Jane Russell�s legs as the �perfect pair�.

2/2/1946, Saturday (+270) Farrah Fawcett, US actress, was born.

1/2/1946. Friday (+269) Hungary declared itself a republic.


31/1/1946, Thursday (+268) Yugoslavia introduced a new Constitution, creating six constituent Republics; Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia-Hercegovina and Macedonia. However these were subordinated to the centre, on the model of the USSR.

30/1/1946. Wednesday (+267) UN General Assembly met for the first time, in London.

29/1/1946, Tuesday (+266) Harry L Hopkins, US government social administrator, died aged 56.

27/1/1946, Sunday (+264) In the Far East, more than 2,000 airmen went on strike at the slow pace of demobilisation.

22/1/1946, Tuesday (+259) UK pit owners protested at plans to nationalise the coal industry.

20/1/1946. Sunday (+257) De Gaulle resigned.Goiun became President of France.

19/1/1946, Saturday (+256) Dolly Parton, American Country and Western singer, was born in Sevierville, Tennessee.

18/1/1946, Friday (+255) Poland appropriated all farms of over 100 hectares (50 hectares for arable land) and redistributed the land to farm labourers. 6 million hectares of land were reassigned, resulting in the disappearance of the landowning gentry class.

15/1/1946, Tuesday (+252)

11/1/1946. Friday (+248) General Enver Hoxha�s Democratic Front won 95% of the vote in Albania and proclaimed a People's Republic. King Zog of Albania had been deposed on 2/1/1946. See 7/4/1939.

10/1/1946, Thursday (+247) The League of Nations was officially dissolved, after 26 years, and replaced by the United Nations.

9/1/1946, Wednesday (+246)

8/1/1946. Tuesday (+245) The trial of Goering and Von Ribbentrop began.

7/1/1946. Monday (+244) Austria was established as a de facto independent state, divided into four zones of military occupation, as was Germany. See 15/5/1955. Vienna was also divided into four zones, apart from the Innere Stadt district which was occupied jointly by all four powers (Britain, France, the USA, and the USSR).

4/1/1946, Friday (+241)

3/1/1946. Thursday (+240) Nazi propagandist William Joyce, the notorious Lord Haw Haw, was hanged in London for treason. He was known as Lord Haw Haw for the falsely posh nasal tones of his radio broadcasts telling of German military �successes� (often false). He had been convicted on 19/9/1945.

2/1/1946. Wednesday (+239) King Zog of Albania was deposed in his absence. He was born Ahmed Bey Zogu, a member of the Zogolli family. The Zogolli led a powerful Moslem faction in the mountains of Albania, so when in 1912 Zog joined the powerful anti-Turkish movement, pressing for Albanian independence, Muslims abandoned traditional religious ties in a push for national freedom. Under King William, Zog achieved high office and in 1922 became Prime Minister. He was forced to flee abroad in 1924 but returned to Albania in 1925 to become President of Albania. He played off various opposing factions within the religiously divided state and gathered enough personal power to have himself declared King in 1928. However he was unable to withstand Mussolini in Italy and had to allow the Italians to invade in 1939 to prepare to invade Greece. His credibility ruined, Zog was easily ousted by the Communists in 1946.

1/1/1946, Tuesday (+238) Test flights began at an airfield west of London, called Heathrow, to be developed as a major civilian airport.


31/12/1945, Monday (+237) Most Berliners were subsisting on just 800 calories a day; in 1946 in the British sector rations dropped on occasion to a slow as 400 calories a day, less than was received by the inmates at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Not only was food desperately short but numbers to be fed were swollen by huge numbers of German refugees from eastern Europe. Medical supplies were also virtually non-existent, and 43 of Berlin�s 44 hospitals had been destroyed or badly damaged. Typhoid spread due to broken water mains and damaged sewers. Then mosquitoes and other insects feeding on corpses spread disease, and dysentery killed 6 out of 10 babies born in Berlin in July 1945. Another lethal hazard was unexploded ordnance, shells, mines and grenades. In 1945 Berlin women outnumbered men by 3 to 1.

30/12/1945, Sunday (+236) (Britain, Food) The SS Tilapia docked in Bristol with the first cargo of bananas to enter the UK since the War, since 11/1940, when the UK Government banned all fruit imports except oranges.

29/12/1945, Saturday (+235)

28/12/1945, Friday (+234) Theodore Dreiser, US author (born 27/8/1871 in Terre Haute, Indiana), died in Hollywood, California.

27/12/1945. Thursday (+233) The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, commonly known as the �World Bank�, was established. The Bank began operations, officially, in June 1946 at its headquarters at Washington, DC. The IMF was also established this day.

21/12/1945, Friday (+227) (1) France appointed Jean Monnet as head of a commission to repair and develop French industry.He evolved the Monnet Plan which with 5 years enabled French industry to surpass its per-war output level.

(2) US General Patton was killed in a road accident whilst commanding the 5th US Army in West Germany.

15/12/1945. Saturday (+221) Iranian Azerbaijan declared itself an independent republic, following a Communist-led revolt there against Tehran in November 1945. On 11/12/1946 Iranian troops re-conquered the province.

12/12/1945, Wednesday (+218) Frederick Fox, champion jockey, died (born 2/1888).

11/12/1945. Tuesday (+217) The new Waterloo Bridge, London, designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, fully opened.Half its width had been in use since 1942.

10/12/1945, Monday (+216)

8/12/1945, Saturday (+214)At the Nuremberg Trials it emerged that Hitler had expected the Spanish General Franco to seize Gibraltar from Britain.

7/12/1945. Friday (+213) The Japanese General Yamashita was sentenced to death as a war criminal � on the anniversary of Pearl Harbour � and was hanged the following month.

6/12/1945, Thursday (+212) U.S. General George C. Marshall testified at the Pearl Harbour inquiry that he did not anticipate the attack but that an "alert" defence would have prevented all but "limited harm�.

5/12/1945. Wednesday (+211) Five US Navy bombers on a training flight from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, disappeared over the area later known as the Bermuda Triangle, with 27 crew. When radio contact with the 5 planes was lost, a 6th plane was sent to search for them; it too disappeared without trace.

4/12/1945, Tuesday (+210) T H Morgan, US biologist, died aged 79.

3/12/1945, Monday (+209) The Arab League voted in Cairo to boycott all goods from Jewish Palestine.

2/12/1945, Sunday (+208) (US, Islam, Jewish) The Arab world began a general boycott of Israel, to geographically isolate the country. The boycott was to cover not just companies trading with Israel or with Israeli companies but also companies doing business with these companies. In 1977 the US, under President Carter, declared it illegal for US companies to participate in this boycott. In the 1990s Israel insisted upon the dismantling of the boycott, which was estimated to have cost the country some US$ 40 billion, as part of the Peace Process. In 2001, however, the Arab League�s Boycott Office resumed activities as part of its support for the Palestinians during the Intifada.

1/12/1945, Saturday (+207) Soviet and US troops, which had jointly occupied Czechoslovakia since the War, now pulled out. However the USSR kept divisions close to its border with Czechoslovakia.


30/11/1945, Friday (+206) Roger Glove, Welsh bass player songwriter, was born.

29/11/1945. Thursday (+205) King Peter of Yugoslavia was ousted from power and a Communist Republic declared.

28/11/1945, Wednesday (+204) Dwight F Davis, founder of the Davis Cup tennis tournament, died.

20/11/1945. Tuesday (+196) The Nuremberg Trials began. Setting up a war crimes tribunal was unprecedented and an act of doubtful legality, but the world had a keen desire to see revenge for the atrocities the Nazis had committees, especially in their concentration camps. 24 Nazi leaders were on trial. Defendants included Goering, Hess, and Ribbentrop. On 16/10/1946 the executions of the guilty began. These included Von Ribbentrop, Rosenberg, and Streicher.

18/11/1945, Sunday (+194) Dr W N Leek, in Cheshire, claimed that the falling UK birth-rate was due to people wearing pyjamas in bed instead of nightshirts.

15/11/1945, Thursday (+191) Thomas Stack, champion jockey, was born.

14/11/1945, Wednesday (+190) Riots broke out in Tel Aviv over the U.S.-British statement on Palestine, killing two and wounding 57.

13/11/1945. Tuesday (+189) (1) De Gaulle was elected President of France by the unanimous vote of all 555 deputies.However he resigned within ten weeks when the Fourth Republic disagreed with his idea for a strong US-style Presidency.See 21/12/1958.

(2) Britain and the USA announced the creation of a joint committee to decide the future of Palestine.

12/11/1945. Monday (+188) Marshall Tito�s National Front Party secured an overwhelming majority in general elections.

11/11/1945, Sunday (+187) Daniel Ortega, President of Nicaragua, was born.

10/11/1945, Saturday (+186) (1) The Communist Enver Hoxha established a Republican government in Albania, recognised by the UK, USA, and the USSR.

(2) In Poland a Central Planning Office was established; renamed as the State Planning Commission in 1949.

9/11/1945, Friday (+185) Martial law ended in Bulgaria and demobilization began.

8/11/1845, Thursday (+184) British commander E.C. Mansergh ordered all Indonesians to surrender their arms by 6 a.m. Saturday or face �all the naval, army and air forces under my command�. That night President Sukarno of the unrecognized Indonesian Republic appealed to President Truman and Prime Minister Attlee to intervene in the conflict to prevent bloodshed.

7/11/1945, Wednesday (+183) The jet aircraft Meteor EE454 reached the record speed of 606 mph.

6/11/1945. Tuesday (+182) The USSR said it would build its own atom bomb.

5/11/1945, Monday (+181) In Britain, a seven-week dock strike ended.

4/11/1945. Sunday (+180) General election in Hungary. Communists won just 17% of the vote, with the Smallholders Party winning with 60% of the vote. Zoltan Tildy of the Smallholders Party formed a coalition government.

3/11/1945. Saturday (+179) Gerd Muller, German footballer, was born in Nordlingen.

1/11/1945, Thursday (+177) (Innovation) The Slinky coil was patented by Richard James in Pennsylvania.


29/10/1945. Monday (+174) (1) Biro pens went on sale in New York for the first time. Priced at US$1.25 at Gimbels store, some 10,000 were sold in one day.

(2) The Harwell Atomic Energy Research Establishment was set up.

25/10/1945, Thursday (+170) (China) Taiwan was formally ceded by Japan to China.

24/10/1945. Wednesday (+169) (1) The United Nations Charter came into force, see 18/4/1946.

(2) Vidkun Quisling was hanged as a war criminal, at Askerhus Fortress, Oslo. He had joined the Norwegian Fascist Party (Nasjonal Samlung) in 1933, and had encouraged Hitler to invade Norway. He was also held responsible for sending nearly 1,000 Norwegian Jews to Nazi concentration camps. See 10/9/1945.

(3) In Hungary, key industries and the banking sector were nationalised, as part of the Kosice Programme.

23/10/1945, Tuesday (+168) Kim Larsen, rock musician, was born in Copenhagen, Denmark.

22/10/1945, Monday (+167) Sheila Sherwood, athlete (long jump), was born.

21/10/1945, Sunday (+166) Elections in France provided gains for the Left. The Communists won 148 seats, the Socialists 134, Radical Socialists 35 (the Popular Republican Movement won 141 seats), Conservatives 62 seats, others 2 seats.

18/10/1945, Thursday (+163)

16/10/1945, Tuesday (+161) The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) was established.Its aim was to raise levels of nutrition and standards of living.

15/10/1945, Monday (+160) Pierre Laval, leader of the French Vichy government, was executed for treason for collaboration with the Nazis.

14/10/1945, Sunday (+159) Kim Il Sung returned to North Korea (in the uniform of a Soviet Red Army Major) to receive a hero�s welcome. Soviet policy in North Korea was to install North Korean Communists in key positions swiftly after the War ended to reinforce Communist rule in the northern half of the country.

12/10/1945, Friday (+157)

11/10/1945. Thursday (+156) Fighting broke out in China between the Nationalists under Chiang Kai Shek and the Communists under Mao Tse Tung.

10/10/1945, Wednesday (+155) The Communist Party of Korea was founded. North Korea observes Party Foundation Day every October 10 as a national holiday.

9/10/1945. Tuesday (+154) Pierre Laval, Prime Minister of Vichy France, was sentenced to death.

8/10/1945, Monday (+153) Percy Spencer, a radar expert, patented the first microwave oven. His employer gave him a bonus of 2 US$. US engineers working on the magnetron, a crucial component of radar systems in World war Two, had noticed how food items in the lab would warm up when near this apparatus; in fact engineers used to test if the magnetron was working by putting their finger near it to see if it warmed up

1/10/1945, Monday (+146)


26/9/1945. Wednesday (+141) Bela Bartok, composer, died.

20/9/1945, Thursday (+135) Alexander Purves, rugby player, was born.

19/9/1945. Wednesday (+134) Clement Attlee, UK Prime Minister, promised India will have independence.

15/9/1945, Saturday (+130) Japan was occupied by Allied forces under General MacArthur.See 28/4/1952, and 14/8/1945.

13/9/1945, Thursday (+128) Lieutenant General Hatazo Adachi of Japan surrendered. Just 13,000 of his orig8inal 65,000 men were left alive. He was sentenced to life imprisonment as a war criminal, and committed suicide in 1947.

12/9/1945, Wednesday (+127) An estimate of War casualties reckoned that Britain had lost 420,000 members of the armed forces; the US had lost 292,000, and the USSR, 13 million. German loss of military men was put at 3.9 million, Japan�s at 2.6 million. British civilian casualties from air raids were set at 60,000, with 860,000 severely injured.

11/9/1945, Tuesday (+126) Japanese General Hideki Tojo attempted suicide when American troops arrived at his home to arrest him as a war criminal. Tojo shot himself below the heart with a revolver, but survived.

10/9/1945. Monday (+125) Vidkun Quisling was sentenced to death at Oslo for collaborating with the Nazis. He had been puppet Prime Minister during the Nazi occupation of Norway. He was executed on 24/10/1945, by firing squad, at Akershus Fortress, Oslo.

9/9/1945, Sunday (+124) Japanese forces in China formally surrendered to Chiank Kai Shek in Nanking.

8/9/1945. Saturday (+123) The USA and USSR agreed to divide the Korean Peninsula.

7/9/1945, Friday (+122) Berlin Victory Parade of 1945: The Allies held a victory parade in Berlin. The Soviet JS-3 heavy tank was displayed in public for the first time.

6/9/1945, Thursday (+121) A leftist committee led by Woon Hyung Lyuh proclaimed itself the official Government of an independent South Korea. However the US under Lieutenant John R Hodge, Commanding General of US forces in Korea, refused to recognise this Government. The US wanted to establish a trusteeship to supersede both the US military administration in the South and the Soviet-backed administration in the North. The Korean Government in exile declared itself as a political party, not the government.

5/9/1945. Wednesday (+120) Singapore re-occupied by the British. See 15/2/1942.

4/9/1945, Tuesday (+119) The Japanese garrison on Wake Island formally surrendered to the USA, see 23/12/1941..

3/9/1945, Monday (+118) General Tomoyuki Yamashita formally surrendered the remaining Japanese troops in the Philippines to United States Army General Jonathan M. Wainwright, the same commander who was compelled to surrender to Yamashita at Corregidor in 1942.

2/9/1945, Sunday (+117) Formal surrender of Japan, see 14/8/1945. The Japanese Chief of Staff, General Yoshijiro Umezo, signed the surrender document on board the USS Missouri, in front of General McArthur.

1/9/1945. Saturday (+116) British troops took control of Hong Kong.


31/8/1945, Friday (+115) Douglas MacArthur established the Supreme Allied Command in Tokyo.

30/8/1945, Thursday (+114) The British Royal Navy returned to Hong Kong.

29/8/1945, Wednesday (+113) The Xinghua Campaign began in China.

28/8/1945. Tuesday (+112) US troops landed in Japan.

25/8/1945, Saturday (+109)

20/8/1945, Monday (+104) The US terminated the Lend Lease Act, as hostilities had ceasedPassed by US Congress in 1941, it offered help to the UK, under attack from the Nazis.However US aid to Europe continued under the Marshall Plan.

19/8/1945. Sunday (+103) Soviet troops occupied Harbin and Mukden in Manchuria; 100,000 Japanese there surrendered.

18/8/1945 Saturday (+102) The Soviet invasion of the Kuril Islands began, opening with the Battle of Shumshu.

17/8/1945, Friday (+101) Indonesia was proclaimed an independent republic, under Dr Sukarno, after its liberation from Japanese forces.The PNI (Indonesian Nationalist Party) proclaimed a Republic in the city they called Jakarta, and the Dutch called Batavia.The Dutch and the PNI began fighting.

16/8/1945, Thursday (+100) Emperor Hirohito issued a decree at 4:00 p.m. local time ordering all Japanese forces to cease fire. The Japanese cabinet resigned.

15/8/1945, Wednesday (+99) Marshal Petain was convicted of treason (see 23/7/1945) and sentenced to death. Like all death sentences on minors and women, this was commuted by President De Gaulle to life and the 90-year-old Marshal was confined to the Ile de Yeu off the Vendee coast. In June 1951 Petain, feeble and devoid of mental faculties, was released; he died less than a month later. Overall in France the purge of collaborators, known as l�epuration (the purification) lasted from September 1944 to the end of 1949. Just over 2,000 death sentences were handed down, of which 768 were carried out. Even the entertainer Maurice Chevalier, who had merely entertained French PoWs in Germany, narrowly escaped a firing squad. Some 12x this number of those officially executed were summarily shot by firing squad immediately after liberation.

14/8/1945. Tuesday (+98) (1) Japan surrendered unconditionally. This marked the end of World War II. VJ day was officially celebrated on the following day, the 15th August. The Japanese surrender was officially accepted by General Douglas MacArthur on the US aircraft carrier Missouri on 2/9/1945. Between November 1944 and August 1945 nearly 70 Japanese cities were pulverised, with around 300,000, mostly civilians, killed.

(2) J M Keynes warned that Britain was facing a �financial Dunkirk� as Lend Lease was ended (see 20/8/1945). Britain�s overseas debts had risen from UK� 496 million in 1939 to UK� 3,500 million in 1945. Pre-War gold and Dollar reserves had been used up, along with UK�1,118 million of overseas investments. The UK only avoided bankruptcy with a US$ 4,000 million loan from the USA, granted on strict terms including abandoning the trade preferences granted to Commonwealth countries and making Sterling fully convertible. When these terms were implemented in 1947, Sterling crashed.

(3) (China, Russia) The Soviet Union concluded a Treaty of Friendship with Nationalist China. This included handing over Manchuria, which the Soviets had conquered from Japanese forces, to China. However before the Soviets moved out, they stripped the region of all the military and industrial equipment they could move, and took this, along with many Japanese PoWs, back to Russia to support their own industrial reconstruction.

13/8/1945, Monday (+97) The World Zionist Congress demanded the admission of 1 million Jews to Palestine.

12/8/1945, Sunday (+96) Soviet forces occupied North Korea, Sakhalin and the Kurile islands.

11/8/1945, Saturday (+95) The US drafted General Order No.1, providing for Japanese forces in Korea north of the 38th parallel to surrender to the Soviets; those south of the 38th parallel to surrender to the Americans. The Soviets began to seal off the North at the 38th parallel, whilst the US was keen to halt any further southwards penetration by Russian soldiers.

10/8/1945, Friday (+94) Emperor Hirohito of Japan announced he was prepared to surrender unconditionally. The US cancelled plans to drop two further atoms bombs, scheduled for 13 and 16 August.

9/8/1945. Thursday (+93) The second atomic bomb was dropped, on Nagasaki. 40,000 were killed here.The intended target, Kokura, was obscured by cloud.

8/8/1945. Wednesday (+92) The USSR, under Stalin, declared war on Japan. The USSR invaded Japanese-held Manchuria, and northern Korea.

7/8/1945, Tuesday (+91) Radio Tokyo reported unspecifically about an attack on Hiroshima. The Americans were unable to immediately assess the results for themselves because of impenetrable cloud over the detonation site. Late in the day, Imperial Japanese headquarters referred to a "new type of bomb" used on Hiroshima, admitting that "only a small number of the new bombs were released, yet they did substantial damage.

6/8/1945. Monday (+90) The first atomic bomb was dropped, on Hiroshima, Japan, from the B29 bomber Enola Gay. At 8.15 in the morning a nuclear chain reaction in the bomb built up a temperature of several million degrees centigrade. In 0.1 milliseconds a fireball at 300,000 degrees centigrade was created, and this expanded to 250 yards in diameter one second after detonation. The mushroom cloud reached 23,000 feet into the sky. 78,000 of the city�s population of 300,000 was killed, some instantaneously, by the blast, some later by the firestorm that the bomb created, and another 90,000 injured, many seriously.

5/8/1945, Sunday (+89) The U.S. Twentieth Air Force flew over twelve Japanese cities and dropped 720,000 pamphlets warning their populations to surrender or face devastation.

4/8/1945, Saturday (+88) The US dropped leaflets over Hiroshima, warning that their city was to be obliterated.

3/8/1945, Friday (+87) The American government announced that every Japanese and Korean harbour of consequence had been mined, leaving Japan totally blockaded.

2/8/1945, Thursday (+86) The Potsdam Conference (began 16/7/1945) ended without agreement on the future of Europe. The Soviets would not agree to free elections in Eastern Europe.

1/8/1945. Wednesday (+85) Family Favourites record request programme began on the BBC.


31/7/1945, Tuesday (+84) On Tinian, the assembly of the Little Boy atomic bomb was completed.

30/7/1945, Monday (+83) The Japanese submarine I-58 sank the USS Indianapolis, killing 833 seamen.

29/7/1945, Sunday (+82) (1) The BBC Light Programme began broadcasting.

(2) Japan rejected a US ultimatum to surrender. The US estimated that 1 million Allied casualties would ensue from a land invasion of Japan.

28/7/1945, Saturday (+81) A B-25 bomber crashed into the 78th floor of the Empire State Building, killing the 3 crew and 11 passengers.

27/7/1945, Friday (+80) On the Philippine island of Tinian, the Little Boy atomic bomb began being prepared for use.

26/7/1945. Thursday (+79) (1) Clement Attlee�s Labour Government came to power with a huge majority of 173 seats. The result was Labour, 412 seats, Conservative 213 seats, and Liberals 12 seats. Clement Attlee was born in Putney, London, on 3/1/1883. The former government of Winston Churchill was defeated. Churchill�s warning that �no Socialist system can be established without some form of political police or Gestapo� did the Conservatives more harm than Labour, as voters thought it ridiculous to compare politicians like Attlee and Bevan to Hitler. However the new Labour Government now faced severe economic problems. �4 billion of British foreign investments had gone, exports were half the 1938 level, industry was damaged and run-down, and 700,000 houses in London alone were bomb damaged. Then there were the Labour commitments to a Welfare State, free healthcare, and the nationalisation of major industries. Politically the USA and USSR emerged as superpowers, but Britain had lost its premier standing in the world forever.

(2) In the Soviet-occupied zone of Germany, the banks were closed and citizens ordered to hand over all their gold, silver, foreign currency and other valuables to the Russians, who were also dismantling factories and taking them to Russia as reparations.

(3) In the war against Japan, the Allies issued their final terms for peace; the Potsdam Declaration. This failed to guarantee the post-surrender retention of the Japanese Emperor, Hirohito; which was the only guarantee the Japanese were seeking for surrender. Therefore the war continued, culminating in the dropping of atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In fact the Emperor was allowed to remain, post-surrender.

25/7/1945, Wednesday (+78) The British 14th Army captured the railhead of Taunggyi in Shan State, north eastern Burma.

24/7/1945, Tuesday (+77) (Japan) US President Harry Truman told Joseph Stalin that a new and powerful weapon was ready to be deployed against Japan, but did not provide any specific information. Truman was relieved that Stalin did not ask for further details; in fact the Russians already knew from their spies. The atom bomb was used against Japan, but it was also intended to deter Russia from attempting to occupy Japan.

23/7/1945, Monday (+76) Marshal Petain was charged with treason, see 15/8/1945.

22/7/1945, Sunday (+75) Art treasures worth an estimated $500 million U.S. that had been looted by the Germans during the war were returned to Florence, Italy.

21/7/1945, Saturday (+74) John Lowe, darts champion, was born.

20/7/1945, Friday (+73) Paul Valery, French poet, died aged 74.

19/7/1945, Thursday (+72) Heinrich Wolfflin, Swiss art historian, died aged 81.

18/7/1945, Wednesday (+71) The Belgian senate voted to forbid the return of Leopold III.

17/7/1945, Tuesday (+70) The Potsdam Conference began, attended by Allied leaders Truman, Stalin, and Churchill (later replaced by Attlee).

16/7/1945. Monday (+69) The atom bomb, produced at Los Alamos, was tested at Alamogordo airbase in the desert of New Mexico. See 8/3/1950.

12/7/1945, Thursday (+65) John Taylor, rugby player, was born.

10/7/1945, Tuesday (+63) Virginia Wade, tennis champion, was born.

7/7/1945, Saturday (+60) Trains carried a record 102,889 holidaymakers to Blackpool. UK beaches had been off limits to civilians since the War began in 1939. In 1948 the Holidays With Pay Act increased the holiday trade even more.

5/7/1945, Thursday (+58) UK General Election. The results were delayed three weeks to allow for postal votes cast overseas by members of the armed forces.

1/7/1945. Sunday (+54) The average wage of a bricklayer on London was 2s (10p) an hour; in Glasgow it was 2s 2d (11p) an hour. A 4lb (1.75 kg) loaf of bread cost 8d (3.3p) A gallon of petrol cost 1s 11d (9 �p). A week at the Victoria Hotel, Buttermere, Lake District, with full board, cost �5 5s (�5.25). Quite expensive for the London bricklayer.


28/6/1945, Thursday (+51) Kenneth Buchanan, boxer, was born in Edinburgh.

27/6/1945, Wednesday (+50) William Sturgess, champion walker, died (born 2/4/1871).

26/6/1945, Tuesday (+49) The Charter for the United Nations was signed by the US.

25/6/1945. Monday (+48) The Charter for the United Nations was drawn up in San Francisco, and signed by 50 countries. This was the successor to the League of Nations. See 18/4/1946.

24/6/1945, Sunday (+47) In Thailand, British bombers destroyed the two railway bridges over the notorious River Kwai, built with slave labour

22/6/1945. Friday (+45) US troops captured Okinawa.

18/6/1945, Monday (+41) (1) The first demobilisations began in Britain (see 22/9/1944).

(2) In Hungary, as part of the Kosice Programme, the expulsion of all Germans and Magyars who had not been anti-Fascists was ordered. They had mostly left by the end of 1946. Large Hungarian estates were expropriated and converted into State farms.

16/6/1945, Saturday (+39) Sean Kelly was elected President of Ireland.

15/6/1945. Friday (+38) Family Allowance payments were introduced in Britain. The rates were 5 shillings (25 pence) for the second child and subsequent ones, but nothing for the first child.

14/6/1945, Thursday (+37)

13/6/1945, Wednesday (+36) Australian forces captured Brunei City.

12/6/1945, Tuesday (+35) Patrick Jennings, footballer, was born.

8/6/1945, Friday (+31) Derek Underwood, cricketer, was born.

5/6/1945. Tuesday (+28) Allied commanders signed a pact for the occupation of Germany; it was t be divided into 4 zones, British, French, USA, and USSR.

4/6/1945, Monday (+27) US forces landed on the Oruku peninsula, Okinawa, in an attempt to outflank Japanese defensive positions.

3/6/1945, Sunday (+26) Brian W Barnes, golfer, was born.

2/6/1945, Saturday (+25) Jon Peters, film producer, was born in Van Nuys, Los Angeles, California.

1/6/1945, Friday (+24) Heavy air raid on Osaka, Japan; 20 square km of the city was totally destroyed.


31/5/1945, Thursday (+23) The Norwegian Government returned to govern in Oslo, having been in exile in London.King Haakon returned from London a week later.

30/5/1945, Wednesday (+24) Several thousand ethnic Germans were expelled from the Czech city of Brno. Many did not make it as far as the Austrian border but died en route; the Brno Death March.

29/5/1945, Tuesday (+21) Martin Pipe, champion jockey, was born.

28/5/1945, Monday (+20) Lord Haw Haw, William Joyce, was arrested, see 3/1/1946.

26/5/1945, Saturday (+18)

24/5/1945, Thursday (+16) The University of Lodz, Poland, was founded.

23/5/1945. Wednesday (+15) Heinrich Himmler, former Nazi Chief of Police, killed himself whilst in British custody. He had joined the waves of German civilian refugees unnoticed after VE Day and wandered aimlessly until he encountered a British checkpoint at Bremervorde, where his true identity was uncovered. As he was being searched he bit into a cyanide capsule and died.

22/5/1945, Tuesday (+14) Tiso, President of �Slovakia�, was arrested whilst in hiding in Austria.He was tried for wartime collaboration in a Czechoslovak court and sentenced to death in April 1947.Some Czechoslovaks pressed for a reprieve but the national government wanted the death sentence and he was executed, see 26/10/1939 and 18/4/1947.

21/5/1945, Monday (+13) Herbert Adams, US sculptor (born 28/1/1858) died.

18/5/1945, Friday (+10)

15/5/1945, Tuesday (+7) The last Nazi fighters in Yugoslavia ceased resistance.

14/5/1945, Monday (+6) The last of Germany�s U-Boats in the Atlantic surrendered at Londonderry.

13/5/1945, Sunday (+5) Rioting outside a Catholic church in Santiago, Chile which was holding a mass in memory of Benito Mussolini. Several people were injured and four arrests were made.

12/5/1945, Saturday (+4) Alan Ball, footballer, was born.

11/5/1945. Friday (+3) Prague, the last European capital under Nazi occupation, was liberated.

10/5/1945, Thursday (+2) Vidkun Quisling was captured by Resistance fighters in Norway.

9/5/1945, Wednesday (+1) The German occupation of the Channel Islands ended. The German commander of the Channel Islands, Vice-Admiral Huffmeier, had threatened to fight on but his 10,000 men ignored him and surrendered without a shot being fired. The ordinary people had come close to starvation, subsisting on stewed rabbits and cabbage. As late as 7/5/1945 the German occupiers had been issuing orders to improve coastal fortifications.

8/5/1945. Tuesday (0) (1) VE Day. The Second World War officially ended in Europe, at one minute past midnight. Field Marshall Keitel signed the final capitulation. The Channel Islands remained under Nazi occupation till the following day, 9/5/1945. Street parties were held all over Britain.

UK Bomber Command has calculated the following statistics relating to the Second World War. 55,573 aircrew were killed, of whom 47,130 died on operations, 138 died as PoWs, and 8,090 were killed in �mon-operational incidents� (mostly flying accidents). Of those killed, 38,462 were British, 9,980 were Canadian, 4,050 were Australian and 1,703 were New Zealanders. 530 RAF groundcrew were killed, and 759 injured, in incidents such as bombs detonating when being loaded onto aircraft or being jammed in the bomb bay. Total bombs dropped on Axis countries amounted to 955,044 tons, of which 657,674 tons was dropped on Germany itself. 336,037 bombing raids were carried out by the RAF. 8,655 aircraft were reported as missing (failed to return). By the end of 1944 Allied raids had reduced German oil production by 40%, so that many German tanks and aircraft became unusable due to lack of fuel, even if they were serviceable.

German civilian casualties have been estimated at between 350,000 and 600,000.

Some 3.4 million German houses and flats had been destroyed out of a total of 17.1 million; a further 30% of homes had been severely damaged by bombing. The desperate housing shortage was exacerbated by an influx of some 10 million refugees from eastern Europe. Many Germans lived 5 or 6 to a room, or existed in makeshift shelters. Some, as at Dachau near Munich, lived in former concentration camps.

In Greater Manchester 684 people died in the bombing, and an additional 2,364 were injured.

See also Hungary for other War damage tolls.

(2) During French VE celebrations in Setif, Algerian nationalists again agitated for independence. An Algerian carried the forbidden Algerian green and white flag; he was shot dead by French police. The French aftermath was heavy handed, with mass arrests, and the deaths of several tens of thousands of Algerians; 103 Europeans also died.

7/5/1945. Monday (-1) German Chief of Staff Jodl unconditionally surrendered to Allied forces at Reims, ending the fighting in Europe. The surrender was at 2.40 am in a small schoolhouse that served as General Eisenhower�s headquarters. The last ship sunk by German forces, the Avondale Park, was lost. See 4/9/1939. Soviet forces took Wroclaw, south-west Poland.

6/5/1945, Sunday (-2) German forces in Norway surrendered.

5/5/1945. Saturday (-3) (1) Denmark liberated from Nazi occupationsee 9/4/1940.German troops in Holland under General Johannes von Blaskowitz also surrendered to the Canadian Commander Charles Foulkes.

(2) Elsie Mitchell and the five children she was looking after were killed in Oregon by a Japanese balloon bomb.They ware the only people killed in enemy action on the US mainland during World War Two.

4/5/1945, Friday (-4) German troops in The Netherlands, Denmark, north-west Germany surrendered.

3/5/1945, Thursday (-5) (1) Hamburg capturedby the British.

(2) Rijeka (Fiume) was captured by the Yugoslavs; the Germans left, but blew up the port installations first.

(3) British forces took Rangoon, Burma.

2/5/1945. Wednesday (-6) The one million German soldiers in Austria surrendered. Berlin finally surrendered to the Russians at 3 pm. British and Russian troops linked up at Wismar on the Baltic. Trieste captured by New Zealand forces.

1/5/1945, Tuesday (-7) (France-Germany) (1) Joseph Goebbels and his wife Magda committed suicide, having killed their six children with poison. US troops entered Bavaria. Berlin was totally in Russian hands.

(2) During May Day celebrations in Algiers, Algerian nationalist demonstrators staged an unauthorised march, with banners demanding independence from France. French attempts to halt the march led to the deaths of 10 Algerians and one Frenchman.


30/4/1945. Monday (-8) (1) Adolf Hitler poisoned his wife Eva Braun with cyanide, then shot himself, in his Berlin bunker. They had married two days earlier. Hitler ordered that his body be burned; he was determined to avoid its being displayed as Mussolini�s had (28/4/1945). He feared even more being captured alive and taken to Moscow. German radio announced that Grand Admiral Doenitz was now leader of the Reich. Doenitz stated that the main aim was �to defend Germany from Bolshevism�; Doenitz and his supporters wanted to fight on, whilst another faction led by Heinrich Himmler wanted to surrender to both the Western Allies and Russia. As Hitler died, Soviet tanks were entering the ruins of central Berlin. There was panic on the Berlin streets as SS men shot deserting Nazi soldiers, whilst low-flying Soviet biplanes machine-gunned bread queues. Bodies littered once elegant streets, looted of all valuables.

(2) Turin entered by US forces.

(3) The face of Big Ben, London, was lit once more for the first time in 5 years 123 days, an important sign that the War was nearly over.

29/4/1945. Sunday (-9) (1) The Allies took Venice. German troops in Italy unconditionally surrendered at 12 noon on 29/4/1945. Munich entered by US forces. British troops crossed the Elbe near Hamburg. At 1am on 30/4/1945 Hitler was informed that all Nazi forces he had been hoping would relieve Berlin were now encircled or on the defensive.

(2) Allied planes began Operation Manna, a 10-day long food drop for the starving Dutch. During the �Hongerwinter� of 1944/5 severe cold weather had combined with a Nazi ban on food imports to The Netherlands and the scorched earth policy of the retreating Nazis to create a famine that killed 20,000 Dutch civilians, who had been reduced to eating tulip bulbs and stinging nettles. The RAF dropped 7,030 tons of food, and the US Air Force dropped a further 4,150 tons under Operation Chowhound; 3.5 million Dutch were saved from starvation before the German surrender of 8/5/1945. German forces still occupying Holland did not fire upon the food relief planes, flying at just 100 metres above ground.

28/4/1945, Saturday (-10) (1) Hitler married his mistress, Eva Braun, in his Berlin bunker, in the early hours of the morning. The act was a symbolic abandonment of Hitler�s plans for �national socialism�- he had insisted that, as Fuhrer, he would have no ties to another human being. Meanwhile the Wehrmacht withdrew from the town of Demmin, north-eastern Germany, blowing up bridges as they retreated and abandoning the town�s civilians to the oncoming Red Army.

(2) Mussolini and his mistress Clara Petacci were caught and shot in Azzano, near Milan, by Italian partisans, as they tried to flee Italy. Born in 1883, Mussolini allied with Nazi Germany in WW2. However as the allies invaded Italy the Italian Communist partisans decided to execute him. He tried to cross the frontier disguised as a German soldier retreating towards Innsbruck, Austria, but was recognised. Democracy was restored to Italy after 20 years and a neo � Fascist party supporting Mussolini�s ideals won only 2% of the vote in the Italian elections of 1948. The body of Mussolini, his mistress, and other government officials, were hung upside down in Milan.

(3) US General George Patton ordered that German civilians be taken to see the Dachau concentration camp.

27/4/1945, Friday (-11) Genoa captured by US forces. Berlin was now totally surrounded by Soviet forces, and Hitler received reports that Heinrich Himmler, leader of the SS, had offered to surrender to the western Allies.

26/4/1945, Thursday (-12) Bremen captured by Allied forces.

25/4/1945, Wednesday (-13) (1) US and Soviet forces met on the Elbe near Torgau. The Allies captured Verona. Italian partisans liberated Milan. Marshal Petain was arrested. Zhukov�s and Koniev�s armies met west of Berlin, surrounding it.

(2) An international conference to establish a world security organisation, the �United Nations�, opened in San Francisco.

24/4/1945, Tuesday (-14) Himmler offered to surrender the German Reich to the governments of Great Britain and the USA.

23/4/1945, Monday (-15) River Po reached by the Allies. Blackout restrictions removed in Britain.

22/4/1945, Sunday (-16) Stuttgart taken by French forces. Hitler was told that forces under SS General Felix Steiner were unable to rescue Berlin from Soviet occupation.

21/4/1945, Saturday (-17) (1) (Germany) Soviet forces under Zhukov (1st Belorussian Front) entered the suburbs of Berlin. Dessau entered by US forces.

(2) Bologna, Italy, was liberated by the Allies, cutting links between the German 10th and 14th Armies. It had been under German occupation from September 1943, when Italy switched sides in the War.

20/4/1945, Friday (-18) (1) Britain estimated its civilian casualties from the war at 146,760. Civilian casualties in London amounted to 80,307.

(2) Nuremberg, once the scene of huge Nazi rallies, fell to the Allies, on Hitler�s 56th birthday. There was also the last air raid on Berlin. Soviet forces were to enter Berlin tomorrow. Since the first raid on 29/8/1940, some 76,652 tons of explosives and incendiary bombs had been dropped on the German capital. 50,692 tons were British, and 25,962 American. Soviet artillery also rained down some 40,000 tons of shells during the final stages of the war.

19/4/1945, Thursday (-19) US forces took Leipzig; the city was later handed to the Soviet sector, East Germany.

18/4/1945, Wednesday (-20) (1) Russians fighting on the Seelow Heights broke through westwards towards Berlin.The US took Magdeburg (later handed to the Soviet Zone).

(2) US troops under General Patton entered Czechoslovakia.

(3) Dachau concentration camp was liberated by the Allies.

17/4/1945, Tuesday (-21) The Battle of the Hongorai River began in New Guinea.

16/4/1945, Monday (-22) The Russians began a major assault on the Seelow Heights, crossing the Oder River.

15/4/1945. Sunday (-23) The Allies captured the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.Eva Braun descended to Hitler�s bunker; she had previously resided in a private apartment in the Chancellery, since March 1945.

14/4/1945, Saturday (-24) Canadian forces in Holland reached the North Sea and captured Leeuwarden. French and US forces attacked Germans in the Bordeaux area. The Americans crossed the Elbe south of Dessau.

13/4/1945. Friday (-25) Vienna was capturedby Soviet troops from the Germans.

12/4/1945. Thursday (-26) (1) The Scottish Nationalists won their first by-election, gaining a seat from Labour at Motherwell. However Labour regained the seat at the General Election a few months later.

(2) Franklin D Roosevelt, 32nd President from 1933, Democrat, died, aged 63, having suffered a massive stroke that day at Warm Springs, Georgia.. He was succeeded by Vice President Harry S Truman, as 33rd President of the USA.

11/4/1945, Wednesday (-27) Buchenwald concentration camp, near Weimar, was liberated by US forces. On the Western Front, the Allies reached the Elbe, 60 miles from Berlin.

10/4/1945, Tuesday (-28) Hanover taken by US forces. The Nordhausen underground V2 assembly plant was overrun by US forces.

9/4/1945, Monday (-29) (1) Konigsberg, capital of east Prussia, taken by the Russians.

(2) Dietrich Bonhoeffer, German theologian involved with anti-Hitler conspirators, was hanged in Flossenburg concentration camp.

8/4/1945, Sunday (-30) Cebu City fell to the Allies.

7/4/1945, Saturday (-31) Germany sent out 120 student pilots to face 1,000 American bomber planes with the objective of ramming their planes into the U.S. aircraft and then parachuting to safety. Only a few of the pilots managed to hit the bombers and three-quarters of the Luftwaffe pilots were shot down.

6/4/1945, Friday (-32) Allied forces began Operation Grapeshot, a renewed Spring offensive in Italy.

5/4/1945, Thursday (-33) British forces reached Minden.

4/4/1945, Wednesday (-34) Bratislava, capital of Slovakia, captured by Soviet forces. The last Wermacht forces evacuated Hungary. French forces entered Karlsruhe.

3/4/1945, Tuesday (-35) Hamm and Cassel captured by US forces.

2/4/1945, Monday (-36) The Soviet Army began an offensive to take Vienna.

1/4/1945, Sunday (-37) Easter Sunday (1) German forces in the Ruhr area trapped, and 21 German divisions destroyed.

(2) The Battle of Okinawa began as US troops landed on the island. US victory came 83 days later.


31/3/1945, Saturday (-38) In the last days of war, Berlin maintained a surreal normality. The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra continued recitals until now. Telephones functioned, the underground railway ran, and post continued to be delivered right up to the last few days of the war. Berlin workers still picked their way through rubble filled streets to work, often in offices whose windows had all been blown out.

30/3/1945. Friday (-39) The Russians took Danzig (Gdansk), Poland, also the town of Ratibor in Silesia.The Poles renamed the city Gdansk,from Danzig, expelled the Germans, and linked the city administratively with the neighbouring port of Gdynia, built on Polish territory in the 1920s.

29/3/1945, Thursday (-40) (1) Mannheim captured by US forces.

(2) Soviet troops entered Austria.

28/3/1945, Wednesday (-41) Gdynia captured by the Russians. Last air raid warning siren sounded in London.

27/3/1945. Tuesday (-42) The last German V-2 rocket fell on Britain, at Orpington. (see 8/9/1944).The Allies then overran the last V-2 launching site. In all, 1,050 rockets fell on England, each carrying a ton of explosive with a range of 200 miles. 518 of these V2s hit London, killing 2,754 people and seriously injuring a further 6,523. The V-2s were designed by Werner von Braun, who surrendered to the Americans in 1945.Von Braun was given US citizenship and helped design the rockets for the US space programme, including the Saturn rockets and the Apollo missions.

26/3/1945. Monday (-43) David Lloyd George, British Liberal Prime Minister from 1916 to 1922, died in Llanystundwy, near Criccieth, north Wales, aged 82.

25/3/1945, Sunday (-44) The US Army broke out of the bridgehead at Remagen and advanced 6 miles east (see 7/3/1945). After their failure to destroy the bridge, Germany sent the Luftwaffe to bomb it; 5 out of 20 Luftwaffe aircraft were lost, the bridge was successfully destroyed, but the Americans, holding both river banks, had laid temporary bridges alongside.

24/3/1945, Saturday (-45) Darmstadt captured by US forces.

23/3/1945. Friday (-46) The US 2nd Army crossed the Rhine at Oppenheim. By 20/4/1945 British troops had advanced 200 miles into Germany.

22/3/1945, Thursday (-47) (1) Soviet forces broke the Danzig / Gdynia defence perimeter.

(2) The Arab League was formed.The treaty was signed in Cairo this day, with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan and Yemen as members.The League was intended to promote inter-Arab cultural, technical, and economic links, and to minimise conflict between Arab states, but it remained a loose association with no central authority. In 1979 the headquarters of the Arab league was moved from Cairo to Tunis, after Egypt was suspended for signing a peace treaty with Israel. It returned to Cairo in 1992.

21/3/1945, Wednesday (-48) Ludwigshaven entered by US forces.

20/3/1945. Tuesday (-49) Mandalay was recaptured from the Japanese.

19/3/1945, Monday (-50) Worms and Saarbrucken captured by US forces. Hitler issued an order to destroy all German industrial infrastructure, so the invading Allies would find nothing of value, but this order was ignored.

18/3/1945, Sunday (-51) Major air raid on Berlin.

17/3/1945. Saturday (-52) Coblenz captured by the Americans, and Brandenburg, East Prussia, captured by the Russians.

16/3/1945, Friday (-53) Iwo Jima was totally occupied by US forces; 4,590 US soldiers were killed, out of a force of 30,000 attacking 23,000 Japanese who were heavily dug in with underground bunkers. See 19/2/1945. Iwo Jima, just 750 miles from Tokyo, could now be used as a base to bomb some 66 Japanese cities in an attempt to force a Japanese surrender.

15/3/1945, Thursday (-54) The Soviet Army launched the Upper Silesian offensive.

14/3/1945, Wednesday (-55) First use of ten-ton bombs by the RAF. The �Grand Slam�, 22,000 lbs, was dropped on Bielefeld railway viaduct.

13/3/1945, Tuesday (-56) The Battle of Kiauneliskis, Lithuania.

12/3/1945. Monday (-57) The young Jewish diarist Anne Frank died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

11/3/1945. Sunday (-58) (1) The huge Krupps factory in Germany was destroyed when 1,000 allied bombers took part in the biggest ever daylight raid.

(2) Cambodia declared its independence.

(3) Essen taken by US forces.

10/3/1945. Saturday (-59) Tran Kim declared Vietnam independent.

9/3/1945, Friday (-60) A night of major firebombing of Tokyo began. Around 100,000 died, mostly the elderly, women and children; men were away fighting a war that Japan was by then losing badly.

8/3/1945, Thursday (-61) Canadian forces took Xanten, Germany.

7/3/1945. Wednesday (-62) Cologne fell to the Allies. Allied troops crossed the Rhine by the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen. The Germans had intended to destroy this bridge like all others on the Rhine, as German resistance west of the Rhine had been crushed; however the explosive charges failed to detonate and US forces found the bridge intact and defended only by a few engineers and teenagers from the Volkssturm Stalin became alarmed that the western Allies crossing of the Rhine so quickly meant the Americans would take Berlin, not the Russians. Stalin wanted the Nazi stores of uranium and above all their A-bomb expertise, located in a research facility in the south western Berlin suburb of Dahlem. However the US was concentrating on southern Germany.

6/3/1945, Tuesday (-63) German forces launched Operation Spring Awakening, their last offensive of the war. This was in Hungary, near Lake Balaton, and was aimed at securing some of the last oil supplies still available to the Germans, the Nagyakanisza oilfield. Troops from the failed Ardennes offensive were utilised. However by mid-March the operation had failed and the Germans were being pushed back by overwhelming Soviet strength. Also on this day the Soviets began arresting and executing any members of the Polish Home Army of Polish Government in Exile they could find.

5/3/1945. Monday (-64) The British captured the Japanese base of Meiktilla in Burma, cutting Japanese-occupied Burma in two.

4/3/1945, Sunday (-65) (Germany) Finland declared war on Nazi Germany.

3/3/1945, Saturday (-66) (Germany) Germany deployed 30 of its latest jet fighters against the Allies. The jets were individually superior to the Allied planes, but were too few in number, with too short an operational time, to significantly hamper allied operations.

2/3/1945, Friday (-67) (1) Trier and Krefeld captured by US forces.

(2) The British 14th army entered Mandalay, Burma.

(3) At Soviet insistence, Petru Groza was appointed Prime Minister of Romania and formed a pro-Soviet government.


27/2/1945, Tuesday (-70)

25/2/1945, Sunday (-72) (Japan) Tokyowas devastated by a firestorm in a raid by 172 B-29 bombers.

24/2/1945, Saturday (-73) Egypt declared war on Germany, largely to secure a place in the post-War United Nations. The announcement of war was made to the Egyptian Parliament by Ahmed Maher; as Maher left the Parliament he was assassinated, probably by the Muslim Brotherhood.

23/2/1945, Friday (-74) Turkey, reluctantly, declared war on Germany � only because the Allies had announced that only those nations who did so would be invited to take part in the United Nations Conference at San Francisco.

22/2/1945, Thursday (-75) (Germany) Poznan, on the Berlin to Warsaw road, fell to the 1st Belorussian Front after a pocket of German soldiers there had been surrounded but held out.

21/2/1945, Wednesday (-76) (Japan) Japanese kamikaze airstrikes sank the US aircraft carrier Bismarck Sea and damaged the Saratoga.

20/2/1945, Tuesday (-77) (Japan) US marines captured the first airfield on Mindanao.

19/2/1945, Monday (-78) US forces began the invasion of Iwo Jima, see 16/3/1945.

18/2/1945, Sunday (-79) Judy Rankin, US golfer, was born.

17/2/1945, Saturday (-80) (Japan) Indian forces broke out of the bridgehead of Nyaungu against Japanese forces towards Mektila.

16/2/1945, Friday (-81) (1) US Air Force began heavy raids on Tokyo.

(2) The US took Bataan, Philippines.

15/2/1945, Thursday (-82) British troops reached the Rhine.

14/2/1945, Wednesday (-83) U.S. Army Air Forces bombed Prague. 701 people were killed and about 100 houses and historical sites were destroyed in what was attributed to a navigation mistake.

13/2/1945, Tuesday (-84) (1) Allied bombers devastated the German city of Dresden. Many civilians had moved to the cultural city of Dresden, and its population in 1945 was over 1,000,000. There were up to 400,000 casualties, including 130,000 civilian deaths. Dresden was famous for its 17th and 18th century architecture, but was also an industrial centre and was a key communications centre for the German armies on the Eastern Front. 1,400 RAF fighters and 450 US planes bombed Dresden over a 14 hour period.

(2) Soviet forces took Budapest.

(3) Soviet forces took Sommerfeld, just 80 miles from Berlin.

12/2/1945, Monday (-85) The Treaty of Varkiza was signed. The Greek resistance agreed to disarm and relinquish control of all the territory it occupied in exchange for legal recognition, free elections, and the removal of Nazi collaborators from the armed forces and police.

11/2/1945, Sunday (-86) The Yalta Conference ended. See 4/2/1945.

10/2/1945, Saturday (-87) Juan de Hernandez, composer, died aged 63.

9/2/1945, Friday (-88) (Germany) 2,000 US Air Force bombers, escorted by 900 fighter aircraft, hit oil targets across Germany. By now the entire Western Luftwaffe�s fighter strength was only around 900 aircraft; this US offensive cost the Luftwaffe a further 80 aircraft.

8/2/1945, Thursday (-89) British and Canadian troops broke through the northern, weaker, section of the Seigfried Line near Millingen.

7/2/1945, Wednesday (-90) (Germany) All gains made by Germany in the Ardennes Offensive have now been erased, with the loss of 82,000 German soldiers and 77,000 US casualties.

6/2/1945, Tuesday (-91) (Germany) The US 8th Air Force bombed Magdeburg and Chemnitz.

5/2/1945, Monday (-92) (Germany) Soviet forces crossed the River Oder, and pushed deeper into Germany.

4/2/1945. Sunday (-93) (1) The Yalta Conference between the Allied leaders Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill opened in the Crimea. This conference concluded on 11/2/1945. Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin all had very different aims. Roosevelt wanted to disengage US troops from Europe to defeat Japan. Stalin wanted to extend Soviet influence as far west into Europe as possible. Stalin got to occupy eastern Poland, as agreed in Tehran on 28/11/1943. Churchill wanted to build a democracy from the ruins of Germany. The ailing Roosevelt trusted Stalin�s assurance that he would work to build a �peaceful and democratic world�. The West insisted that Greece be given a western-style democracy, but otherwise all of eastern Europe fell under the Soviet sphere. Stalin also gained Sakhalin and the Kurile Islands in return for a war effort against Japan that was never made. Yalta set the world order for the next 45 years.

(2) Belgium liberated of German forces.

3/2/1945. Saturday (-94) The US recaptured Manila, which had fallen to the Japanese on 2/1/1942. Manila was not totally cleared of Japanese soldiers till 24/2/1945.

2/2/1945, Friday (-95) (1) (See 28/10/1944) Under Soviet occupation, the Bulgarian authorities began to try and execute various �war criminals� including Prince Cyril, former government ministers, and businessmen.Further trials and executions continued till June 1945, when the legal process was declared complete.

(2) The French took Colmar.

1/2/1945, Thursday (-96) US forces reached the Seigfried Line, see 8/2/1945.


31/1/1945. Wednesday (-97) Soviet troops crossed the River Oder into the province of Brandenburg, north of Frankfurt, 40 miles from Berlin.

30/1/1945, Tuesday (-98) Adolf Hitler made his very last radio broadcast to Germany, marking 12 years of Nazi rule.

29/1/1945, Monday (-99) The Soviet 3rd Belorussian Front advanced into the city of Konigsberg.

28/1/1945, Sunday (-100) Soviet forces invaded Pomerania.

27/1/1945. Saturday (-101) (1) The Red Army captured Auschwitz. They found 8,000 prisoners remaining there; a further 80,000 had been forced to leave on a death march. However, of the 1.3 million who had entered Auschwitz during World war Two, 1.1 million died there; 6,000 a day were murdered there. The Red Army now captured Silesia, and the loss of the mines and factories there was a severe blow to Nazi war production.

(2) Russian forces captured Memel, liberating all of Lithuania.

26/1/1945, Friday (-102) German troops from the Battle of the Bulge now forced back to the German frontier.

25/1/1945, Thursday (-103) The Battle of the Bulge ended in Allied victory.

24/1/1945, Wednesday (-104) Gleiwicz in Silesia taken by the Russians, as was the key fortress of Lotzen in East Prussia. The Russians were now close to Konigsberg, capital of East Prussia.

23/1/1945, Tuesday (-105) Bromberg taken by the Russians.

22/1/1945, Monday (-106) Allenstein taken by the Russians.

21/1/1945, Sunday (-107) Russia and Hungary signed an armistice. Hungarian borders were returned to their position at 31/12/1937, renouncing the Vienna Awards.

20/1/1945, Saturday (-108) The German evacuation of East Prussia began. The 4th Ukrainian Front advancing through Slovakia took Presov.

19/1/1945, Friday (-109) Russian troops took Tilsit. They were now on the pre-War frontier of Germany.

18/1/1945, Thursday (-110) Soviet troops took Lodz.

17/1/1945, Wednesday (-111) Soviet and Polish troops captured Warsaw. Only 162,000 citizens remained, compared to a pre-war population of 1,310,000.See 14/9/1945.

16/1/1945, Tuesday (-112) Hitler left his office in the Reich Chancellery, Berlin, for the last time, and descended to his bunker, 15 metres underground. By now most of Berlin�s buildings had been destroyed by Allied bombing.

15/1/1945, Monday (-113) Soviet forces captured Cracow from Germany.

14/1/1945, Sunday (-114) Radom in central Poland taken by the Russians.

13/1/1945. Saturday (-115) Budapest was completely in Soviet hands. Hungary, Nazi Germany�s last ally in the Balkans, was now siding openly with Russia.

12/1/1945, Friday (-116), Moscow time, Konev�s 1st Ukrainian Front began an offensive against Nazi forces from the Sandomierz bridgehead, north east of Cracow.

11/1/1945, Thursday (-117) The British escort carrier HMS Thane was torpedoed in the Irish Sea and declared a total loss.

10/1/1945, Wednesday (-118) Rod Stewart, British rock singer, was born in London.

9/1/1945. Tuesday (-119) Luzon in the Philippines was taken by the US from the Japanese. General Guderian warned Hitler that the eastern front was like a house of cards, ready to collapse at any time; Hitler dismissed reports of superior Russian military strength as �the greatest bluff since Genghis Khan�. In fact, the Soviets possessed a 5:1 advantage in manpower, a 7:1 advantage in artillery, and a 17:1 advantage in aircraft.

8/1/1945, Monday (-120) A general election in Egypt, boycotted by the Wafd Nationalists, was won by Ahmed Pasha.

7/1/1945, Sunday (-121) Raila Odinga, Prime Minister of Kenya (2008-2013),was born in Maseno, Kenya

6/1/1945, Saturday (-122) The Battle of the Bulge ended as German forces under Gerd von Rundstedt and Hasso von Manteuffel in the Ardennes were forced back by Allied forces under US General George Patton. See 16/12/1944. Hitler, to the despair of his Generals, started fantasising of a great offensive in the Alsace-Lorraine area, seemingly oblivious of the Russians advancing to the east.

5/1/1945, Friday (-123) Roger Spottiswoode, film director, was born in Ottawa, Canada

4/1/1945, Thursday (-124) Severe Kamikaze attacks on US ships.

3/1/1945, Wednesday (-125) The Dies Committee (see 26/5/1938), formed to monitor activities by Nazis and Communists within the USA, was given permanent status as the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC)

2/1/1945, Tuesday (-126) Allied air raid on Nuremberg.

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.

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.

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.

15/11/1944, Wednesday (-174)

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) 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) (Germany) 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) 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, 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) Marc Bloch, French historian, died aged 57.

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) Roscoe Orman, US actor, was born.

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.

29/5/1933, 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 f 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.

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.

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.

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.

16/5/1944, Tuesday (-357) George Ade, US author (born 9/2/1866) died.

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 thbis 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.

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) Bernardino Machado, President of Portugal, died.

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)

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) John Hearne, cricketer, died (born 3/5/1867).

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 fromtier.

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

28/3/1944, Tuesday (-406) Stephen Leacock, Canadian writer, died aged 74.

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

26/3/1944, Sunday (-408) Diana Ross, US actress, was born.

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.

21/3/1944, Tuesday (-413)

20/3/1944, Monday (-414) Soviet forces took Vinnitsa, on the Southern Bug,and crossed the Dneister 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.

1/3/1944, Wednesday (-433)


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) (Cape Verde) Ant�nio Mascarenhas Monteiro, the second President of Cape Verde, was born.

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.

9/2/1944, Wednesday (-453) Alice Walker, African-American author and social activist, was born.

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) John Tavener, English composer, was born (died 2013)

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) Klaus Nomi, German singer was born (died 1983).

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.

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.

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

5/1/1944, Wednesday (-489) Marshall Brooks, athletics (high jump) died (born 30/5/1855).

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

6/12/1943, Monday (-519) Gilbert Smith, footballer, died (born 25/11/1872).

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

13/11/1943, Saturday (-542) Roberto Bonninsegna, Italian footballer, was born.

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

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) Martin Peters, footballer, was born.

7/11/1943, Sunday (-548)

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

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

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

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.


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.

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

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 tye German ball bearings factory at Schweinfurt. However little damage was done but US losses were heavy.

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

10/10/1943, Sunday (-576)

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)

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.


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.

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

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) Tuesday Weld, US film and TV actress, was born.

26/8/1943, Thursday (-621) Edward Ray, golfing champion, died (born 28/3/1877).

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.

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

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.

7/8/1943, Saturday (-640)

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) Hedley Verity, cricketer, died (born 18/5/1905).

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.

27/7/2943, Tuesday (-651) Herbert Roper Barrett, tennis champion, died (born 24/11/1873).

26/7/1943, Monday (-652) 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)

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).

16/7/1943, Friday (-662)

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) Bruce Taylor, New Zealand cricketer, was born.

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) Victor Cazelet, squash player, died (born 27/12/1879).


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

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)

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)

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.

12/6/1943, Saturday (-696)

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.

6/6/1943, Sunday (-702)

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.


31/5/1942, Monday (-708) Major 1,000 bomber Allied raid against Cologne.

29/5/1943, Saturday (-710)

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.

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.

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

4/5/1943, Tuesday (-735) Georgi Asparoukhov, Bulgarian footballer, was born.

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.


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

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.

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

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.

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.

17/4/1943, Sunday (-751) 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.

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.

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) Christopher Walken, US actor, was born in Queens, New York City.

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.

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

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

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)

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) Carolyn Carlson, American ballet dancer, was born.

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) Ron Barry, champion jockey, was born in Limerick, Ireland.

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

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 b