Second World War History Logo

Britain WW2 Timeline

Authored By Dan Alex | Last Updated: 9/23/2014

The British fought for their very freedom in the mighty global war - their people led by the legendary Winston Churchill.

Tweet

There are a total of 419 WW2 Britain Timeline Events. Entries are listed below by date of occurrence ascending and are gathered from the overall SwwH site database as they relate to their particular series events.


Text ©2003-2014 www.SecondWorldWarHistory.com. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction Permitted. Email corrections/comments to SecondWorldWarHistory at Gmail dot com.

1939
Sunday
September 3rd

Athenia, a British passenger liner originating from Glasgow and traveling to Montreal, is targeted and sunk by German U-boat U-30 resulting the loss of 112 people. Athenia becomes the first naval casualty of the U-boat scourge in the Atlantic.

1939
Sunday
September 3rd

British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain announces that Britain is officially at war with Germany.

1939
Tuesday
September 5th

The Bosnia becomes the first merchantman to be sunk by the German U-boats.

1939
Wednesday
September 6th

Thirty-six Allied ships set out across the Atlantic in the first coordinated convoy crossing attempt.

1939
Wednesday
September 27th

The German battleships Deutschland and Graf Spee are let loose on Allied shipping convoys in the North Atlantic.

1939
Saturday
September 30th

The Graf Spee claims her first merchant vessel, the British freighter Clement, in the waters of the South Atlantic.

1939
Sunday
October 1st

The Graf Spee goes on to sink four more Allied merchant vessels during the month of October.

1939
Wednesday
November 15th

The Graf Spee sinks the oil tanker Africa Shell off the coast of Madagascar.

1939
Monday
November 20th

The Graf Spee begins her return to a pre-designated waiting area in the South Atlantic. British cruisers Ajax, Achilles, Exeter and Cumberland begin pursuit.

1939
Wednesday
December 13th

At approximately 12:00 PM, Graf Spee enters the harbor at Montevideo, Uruguay, with the intention on having her damaged repaired. With political pressure from Britain, the Uruguayan government offers the Graff Spee only 72 hours rest.

1939
Wednesday
December 13th

At 8:00 AM, Captain Langsdorff orders his lightly damaged Graf Spee towards the port at Montevideo in Uruguay with British ships in close pursuit.

1939
Wednesday
December 13th

By 7:40 AM, the British cruisers Ajax and Achilles break battle and trail out of range of the Graf Spee's guns, though still in pursuit.

1939
Wednesday
December 13th

At 7:25 AM, the British cruiser Ajax loses two of her turrets to the Graf Spee.

1939
Wednesday
December 13th

At 6:50 AM, the British cruiser Exeter is heavily damaged by the Graf Spee, leaving only one turret functional and in flames.

1939
Wednesday
December 13th

At 6:40 AM, the British cruiser Achilles is damaged by shell splinters from the Graf Spee's guns.

1939
Wednesday
December 13th

At 6:14 AM, the Graf Spee opens fire on the British heavy cruisers Ajaz and Exeter.

1939
Wednesday
December 13th

The Graf Spee adds three more vessels - the Doric Star, Tairoa, Streonshalh - to its list of sunken Allied targets. She begins her voyage towards River Plate near Uruguay for a final combat patrol.

1939
Wednesday
December 13th

The Graf Spee is spotted in the early morning hours by Commodore H. H. Harwood's British cruiser squadron.

1939
Sunday
December 17th

Graf Spee Captain Hans Langsdorff mistakenly believes there to be a large Royal Navy contingent waiting for his exit out of Montevideo harbor. As such, he orders the Graff Spee scuttled. The German vessel is effectively eliminated from the war.

1939
Wednesday
December 20th

Choosing honor over justice, Captain Hans Langsdorff commits suicide, officially ending the reign of the Graf Spee.

1940
Saturday
May 11th

British and French army forces begin defensive preparations in Belgium in an effort to stave off the German advance. A long line of strategic defenses is contructed.

1940
Tuesday
May 14th

Panzer Corps XV and XIX break through the Allied defenses at Sedan, allowing German forces to completely bypass the formidable defenses at the French Maginot Line.

1940
Wednesday
May 15th

The RAF sends up its first night-time bombing raid against Germany. Of the 99 aircraft sent, only one fails to return home.

1940
Friday
May 17th - May 18th

Allied forces are in full retreat of the Germans, making their way towards the French coastline.

1940
Monday
May 20th

Sensing a catastrophic loss in the making, Winston Churchill orders preparation of vessels to evacuate the British Expeditionary Forces from northern France.

1940
Monday
May 20th

Compounding battlefield losses across France and the Low Countries force a change at the helm - General Maxime Weygand replaces General Maurice-Gustave Gamelin as supreme Allied commander.

1940
Tuesday
May 21st

An Allied counterattack against the German Army near Arras ends in failure as the attack is itself countered by another advancing German land force.

1940
Friday
May 24th

In a stunning move, Hitler orders his forces not to cross the Lens-Bethune-St Omer-Gravelines line, allowing the retreating Allied forces more time to reach the French coast.

1940
Friday
May 24th

German Luftwaffe bombers hammer Allied defensive positions in and around the French port city of Dunkirk.

1940
Saturday
May 25th

More and more retreating Allied units arrive at the French port city of Dunkirk.

1940
Sunday
May 26th

Operation Dynamo - the all-out evacuation of Allied forces from Dunkirk - officially begins at 6:57 PM.

1940
Sunday
May 26th

Over 850 British civilian vessels take part in assisting military forces off of French soil to awaiting transports in what would become the largest military evacuation in history.

1940
Sunday
May 26th

Hitler orders his army forces towards Dunkirk for the final blow to the Allied cause.

1940
Tuesday
May 28th

With the fight gone out of them, the Belgian Army surrenders to the German 6th and 18th armies. Their actions, however, supply the evacuating Allies with much-needed time.

1940
Tuesday
May 28th

With Belgium out of the way, German Army elements begin making their way towards the French coastline in an attempt to completely eliminate Allied forces for good.

1940
Tuesday
May 28th

By the end of this day, some 25,473 British soldiers have been evacuated from France.

1940
Wednesday
May 29th

Another 47,000 British troops are evacuated from Dunkirk.

1940
Thursday
May 30th

6,000 French soldiers join some 120,000 total Allied soldiers evacuated from Dunkirk on this day.

1940
Friday
May 31st

Over 150,000 Allied soldiers (including some 15,000 French) arrive in Britain.

1940
Saturday
June 1st - August 12th

German Luftwaffe forces concentrate efforts on maintaining control over the vital shipping lanes of the North Sea. At least 30,000 merchant ships are destroyed during this period.

1940
Saturday
June 1st

Defense of the outlying region near Dunkirk now passes to French XVI Corps.

1940
Tuesday
June 4th

German Luftwaffe bombers cease bombardment of Dunkirk.

1940
Tuesday
June 4th

Operation Dynamo - the evacuation of Allied forces at Dunkirk - officially ends. 338,326 total soldiers are saved including 113,000 French troops.

1940
Tuesday
July 16th

Hitler delivers Fuhrer Directive 17 as Operation Sea Lion - the land invasion of the British mainland to occur between September 19th and September 26th.

1940
Monday
August 12th

The first attacks on RAF airfields and radar stations are conducted by German fighters and bombers. Germany intends on destroying RAF air supremacy before attempting its land invasion.

1940
Tuesday
August 13th

At least 40 total Luftwaffe aircraft are destroyed by the RAF and ground-based flak teams.

1940
Tuesday
August 13th

Southampton is heavily bombed by the German Luftwaffe.

1940
Tuesday
August 13th

Andover is heavily bombed by the German Luftwaffe.

1940
Tuesday
August 13th

Portland is heavily bombed by the German Luftwaffe.

1940
Tuesday
August 13th

"Eagle Day" is enacted - a four day bombardment of key RAF airfields and radar installations. Poor weather initially delays the assault and any bombing thereafter produces mixed results.

1940
Thursday
August 15th

74 Luftwaffe aircraft launched from bases in Denmark and Norway are lost on what will be remembered as "Black Thursday".

1940
Saturday
August 17th

German U-boats are given the green light to attack any and all merchant vessels - whether armed or not - in an attempt to stranglehold the British mainland into submission.

1940
Saturday
August 17th

The RAF is forced to poach the ranks of Bomber Command in an effort to fill its dwindling supply of capable fighter pilots.

1940
Monday
August 19th - August 24th

Poor weather and overcast skies limit any major German bombing efforts over Britain.

1940
Monday
August 19th

Underestimating overall RAF fighter strength, Luftwaffe commander Hermann Goering changes offensive tactics and orders his fighters to tempt RAF fighters to duke it out in the skies as opposed to bombing them while still on the ground.

1940
Saturday
August 24th - August 31st

Luftwaffe bombing resumes. During this period, RAF airfields are hammered with the loss of 200 fighters. However, losses for the Luftwaffe number some 330 aircraft.

1940
Monday
August 26th

The first RAF attack on the German capital of Berlin takes place. Some 81 aircraft are part of the airborne raid.

1940
Sunday
September 1st - September 30th

Italian forces, led by Marshal Graziani invade Egypt. During the month, the Italian army sets up a series of six defensive positions south of occupied Sidi Barrani known simply as Nibeiwa, Tummar East, Tummar West, North Sofafi, East Sofafi and West Sofafi.

1940
Tuesday
September 3rd

Due to consistent Luftwaffe losses and inconclusive results across the entire campaign, Hitler postpones Operation Sea Lion to September 21st.

1940
Saturday
September 7th

In an effort to break the resolve of the British people, Hitler orders the bombing of London over the bombing of strategic RAF airfields and installations.

1940
Saturday
September 7th

348 bombers and 617 fighters of the German Luftwaffe descend on the British capital city of London in a massive bombing raid.

1940
Sunday
September 15th

Two massive bombing raids are conducted against Britain. The German Luftwaffe sees some 300 total RAF fighters airborne, showcasing Goering's gross estimate of total RAF air power. 80 German aircraft are lost in total. This day would go on to become "Battle of Britain Day".

1940
Monday
September 16th

The German Luftwaffe redirects it sbombing campaign to now cover night-bombing of British cities.

1940
Tuesday
September 17th

With the unexpected results of his campaign against Britain, Hitler officially postpones Operation Sea Lion indefinitely.

1940
Friday
September 20th

Massive convoys breed equal massive measures - German U-boats begin operating in 20-strong "Wolf Packs" with coordinated attacks.

1940
Tuesday
October 1st - October 30th

German BF 110 twin-engine nightfighters take advantage of the new Lichtenstein radar systems to track, target and engage RAF bombers.

1940
Friday
October 18th - October 19th

An attack on two Allied convoys yields 36 sunken ships by the attacking German U-boats.

1940
Monday
October 21st

Operation Judgement - the Allied attack on the Italian naval base at Taranto - is postponed due to mechanical issues aboard the carrier HMS Eagle and a fire aboard the carrier HMS Illustrious.

1940
Saturday
November 9th

A Swordfish biplane torpedo bomber is lost to engine failure.

1940
Saturday
November 9th

The HMS Illustrious moves on Taranto.

1940
Sunday
November 10th

The Italian invasion force is in full retreat, repelled by a combined Greek resistance and RAF effort after just two weeks.

1940
Sunday
November 10th

The British naval force moving against Taranto comes under attack from Italian aircraft near Malta.

1940
Sunday
November 10th

An Italian bomber is downed in the fighting near Malta.

1940
Sunday
November 10th

Another Swordfish torpedo bomber is lost to mechnical failure.

1940
Monday
November 11th

At 10:58 PM, signal aircraft lead the first wave over Taranto, marking torpedo targets as they pass.

1940
Monday
November 11th

At 11:35 PM, the second wave of Royal Navy torpedo-laden aircraft moves into position.

1940
Monday
November 11th

Once again, the bombing wave is led by signal aircraft marking targets with flares.

1940
Monday
November 11th

Two signal aircraft attack the oil depot at Taranto but fail to produce much damage.

1940
Monday
November 11th

The Italian battleship Caio Duilio is struck at her bow by a Royal Navy torpedo.

1940
Monday
November 11th

A Swordfish torpedo meant for the Vittorio Veneto fails to reach its mark, exploding harmlessly on the sea floor.

1940
Monday
November 11th

The Italian ship Littorio is struck by a torpedo along her starboard side. Swordfish L4M follows with another strike to the same side.

1940
Monday
November 11th

The Libeccio is hit by a Royal Navy torpedo but the munition fails to explode.

1940
Monday
November 11th

At 11:14 PM, the Italian battleship Cavour is struck by a Royal Navy torpedo delivered via Swordfish L4A. L4A is later downed by anti-aircraft fire, though both crewmembers survive.

1940
Monday
November 11th

At 10:00 PM, the first wave of Swordfish bombers is launched from HMS Illustrious, now stationed off of Cephalonia.

1940
Monday
November 11th

A third Royal Navy Swordfish aircraft is lost to engine malfunction. A bad batch of gasoline is centered on as the source of the Swordfish issues.

1940
Monday
November 11th

At 11:15 PM, the Italian vessel Doria is struck twice by torpedoes in her forward section.

1940
Tuesday
November 12th

Swordfish E5H misses her mark against the Vittorio Veneto.

1940
Tuesday
November 12th

By 1:22 AM, the attack on Taranto harbor is officially over.

1940
Tuesday
November 12th

Swordfish L5F scored a direct hit via bomb on the Trento.

1940
Tuesday
November 12th

Swordfish E4H is downed by enemy anti-aircraft fire, killing her co-pilot.

1940
Tuesday
November 12th

At 1:01 AM, The sinking Littorio is struck by another torpedo.

1940
Tuesday
November 12th

By 3:30 AM, all but two Swordfish aircraft are accounted for.

1940
Friday
December 6th - December 8th

The Western Desert Force in Egypt, under the command of Major-General Richard O'Connor, set up pre-assault positions. The force includes 36,000 total men from the 7th Armored Division, 4th Indian Division and the New Zealand Division. They set up their initial position southeast of the Italian fort at Nibeiwa.

1940
Sunday
December 8th - December 9th

Aircraft of the Royal Navy are put into action against Italian forces dug in at Maktila and Barrani. Bombers are sent in to soften targets for the initial ground assault.

1940
Monday
December 9th

Operation Compass is officially launched.

1940
Monday
December 9th

The British 7th Armored Division launches attacks on the Italian camps positioned near Sofafi and Rabia and makes its way toward the critical ocean-side road near Buqbug.

1940
Monday
December 9th

The British 7th Tank Regiment, along with the 4th Indian Division, attack Italian positions at Tummar West and Nibeiwa.

1940
Tuesday
December 10th

The Italian camps at Tummar East fall to the Allies.

1940
Tuesday
December 10th

Selby Force has removed the Italian 1st Libyan Division out of Maktila.

1940
Tuesday
December 10th

Italian forces stationed at Sidi Barrani are all but surrounded by the Allies.

1940
Tuesday
December 10th

Selby Force sets its eyes on Sidi Barrani.

1940
Tuesday
December 10th

Some 38,000 Italian soldiers are taken prisoner by the Allies.

1940
Tuesday
December 10th

The Italian XXI Corps is in full retreat.

1940
Wednesday
December 11th

The Italian Catanzaro Division is captured, delivering another 30,000 Italian prisoners of war.

1940
Wednesday
December 11th

Royal Navy bombers begin attacks on Italian-held Sollum.

1940
Monday
December 16th

RAF bombers strike on Mannheim as revenge for the German air raids over Coventry.

1941
Wednesday
January 22nd

The Allies take Tobruk, a key port city vital to North Africa operations.

1941
Wednesday
January 22nd

Operation Compass is effectively over, netting some 130,000 total Italian prisoners.

1941
Tuesday
March 11th

The Lend-Lease Bill is signed into law by American President Franklin Roosevelt allowing the United States the unrestricted ability to help supply the Allies in their fight against the Axis.

1941
Monday
March 24th

Rommel begins his attack near El Agheila.

1941
Tuesday
April 1st

The German port of Emden is bombed by six Wellington bomber aircraft.

1941
Wednesday
April 2nd

Under the direction of German Navy Grand-Admiral Raeder, Operation Rheinubung is fleshed out. The operation calls for direct hit-and-run engagements with British merchant shipping across the Atlantic.

1941
Wednesday
April 2nd

Rommel's forces reach Agedabia.

1941
Sunday
April 6th

Rommel reaches Mechili.

1941
Monday
April 7th

Rommel reaches Derna.

1941
Tuesday
April 8th

229 RAF bomber aircraft rain 40,000 incendiary ordnance on the German naval base at Kiel.

1941
Thursday
April 10th - April 16th

Three divisions of British, Australian and New Zealand troops at the Aliakmon Line in the Vermion Mountains are defeated.

1941
Saturday
April 12th

Vermion Line Allied troops are now redeployed to defensive positions around Mount Olympus.

1941
Wednesday
April 16th

Allied forces in Greece are in full retreat at the request of Greek General Alexander Papagos who sees value is less fighting to save his country from total destruction. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill accepts the request.

1941
Saturday
April 26th

German airborne elements attempt to capture the bridge over the Corinth Canal in an attempt to encircle the retreating allies. The bridge is lost in the attack while the Allies have already moved on.

1941
Saturday
April 26th

Allied codebreakers intercept word of the impending German invasion of Crete.

1941
Sunday
April 27th - April 30th

Operation Demon is activated, covering the evacuation of some 51,000 Allied troops from southern Greece via the Royal Navy.

1941
Wednesday
April 30th

Allied forces based on Crete receive a new leader in the form of Major-General Bernard Freyberg.

1941
Friday
May 9th

HMS Bulldog acquires the first Enigma code machine during the capture of the U-110. British codebreakers set to work on deciphering the device.

1941
Thursday
May 15th

The British launch Operation Brevity against Rommel's dug-in forces, making little progress against the prepared defenders.

1941
Monday
May 19th

In advance of the Crete invasion, RAF fighters are relocated to Egypt for safe-keeping.

1941
Monday
May 19th

Allied codebreakers intercept word that Operation Mercury will commence the very next day. The Allies begin preparations.

1941
Tuesday
May 20th

Allied flak teams destroy as many as 50% of the invading German transport planes in the first few hours of the operation.

1941
Tuesday
May 20th

The German heavy cruiser KMS Prinz Eugen and the battleship KMS Bismarck leave port for the North Sea.

1941
Tuesday
May 20th

In-air losses for the second wave of German paratroopers is nearly equal to the first thanks to the stellar Allied flak defenses on Crete.

1941
Wednesday
May 21st

A German offensive against Heraklion is pushed away by at least 8,000 dug-in Allied soldiers.

1941
Wednesday
May 21st

German Army troops making their way to Crete via the sea are intercepted and pummeled by elements of the Royal Navy. Just 60 of these German soldiers live to see another day.

1941
Wednesday
May 21st

The British Navy is notified of the increase in German warship activity in the North Sea.

1941
Wednesday
May 21st

In an effort to beef up Royal Navy presence in the North Sea, the aircraft carrier HMS Victorious and the battlecruiser HMS Repulse are called to action in support of existing forces under the command of Admiral Sir John Tovey.

1941
Thursday
May 22nd

A hunter-killer group of 14 Royal Navy ships, including the battleships HMS King George V, HMS Hood and the HMS Prince of Wales, leave Scapa Flow.

1941
Thursday
May 22nd

The HMS Greyhound, a British destroyer, is downed by German bombers.

1941
Friday
May 23rd

German dive bombers destroy the HMS Kelly and HMS Kashmir, two Royal Navy destroyers.

1941
Friday
May 23rd

German dive bombers destroy the HMS Gloucester and the HMS Fiji, two Royal Navy cruisers.

1941
Friday
May 23rd

At 7:22 PM, the Royal Navy cruiser HMS Suffolk and the HMS Norfolk spot and shadow the mighty German battleship Bismarck. Its location is radioed in to Vice-Admiral L. E. Holland.

1941
Saturday
May 24th

At 6:00 AM, the Bismarck fires a salvo at the battleship HMS Hood, striker her ammunition magazine, with the resulting explosion destroying the British ship leaving only three sailors alive.

1941
Saturday
May 24th

At 6:13 AM, the battleship Prince of Wales is damaged enough to pull out of the battle.

1941
Saturday
May 24th

The HMS Suffolk loses track of the KMS Bismarck.

1941
Saturday
May 24th

At 5:52 AM, the Bismarck and the Prinz Eugen fall under attack from Royal Navy ships.

1941
Sunday
May 25th

German Admiral Lutjens orders that the Prinz Eugen break from the Bismarck.

1941
Monday
May 26th

A British Coastal Command PBY Catalina flying boat spots the KMS Bismarck 700 miles from Brest.

1941
Monday
May 26th

The Royal Navy hunter-killer group receives some help with the arrival of the HMS Renown, HMS Sheffield and the HMS Ark Royal arriving from Gibraltar.

1941
Monday
May 26th

At 2:50 PM, an attack group from the HMS Ark Royal consisting of Fairey Swordfish biplane torpedo bombers begins their attack on the Bismarck.

1941
Monday
May 26th

Between 8:47 and 9:25 PM, the Bismarck registers two direct torpedo hits. In a stroke of luck for the British, the second torpedo hits the stern section of the Bismarck, jamming her rudder to one side, forcing the vessel to go into an uncontrolled turn.

1941
Monday
May 26th

Royal Navy ships open fire with their long range guns and close in on their prey.

1941
Tuesday
May 27th

At 10:36 AM, the mighty German battleship Bismarck sinks into blue depths, leaving only 115 German sailors to recount her story.

1941
Tuesday
May 27th

The first escorted convoy - HX129 - crosses the Atlantic.

1941
Tuesday
May 27th

At 10:00 AM, the Bismarck's guns fall silent s she takes on water and burns.

1941
Tuesday
May 27th

Allied forces retreat to defensive positions at Galatas.

1941
Tuesday
May 27th

At 8:47 AM, the Bismarck is now being raked from front to rear by the guns of the Royal Navy warships. The battleship HMS King George V and the HMS Rodney unleash their short range armament on the hapless German ship.

1941
Wednesday
May 28th

The evacuation order is given by Major-General Freyberg for the gradual withdrawel of Allied troops from the island of Crete.

1941
Wednesday
May 28th

Heraklion in the north and Sphakia in the south of Crete will serve as major evacuation junctions for the Allies.

1941
Thursday
August 21st

The first Royal Navy convoy on its way to deliver supplies through Arctic waters into the Soviet Union leaves Scapa Flow comprised of 7 ships.

1941
Sunday
August 31st

The first seven-ship Royal Navy convoy arrives in Russia without incident, bringing with her supplies and Hawker Hurricane fighters.

1941
Sunday
August 31st

A report stuns the RAF by showcasing how only one-in-every-three RAF bombers actually it their targets.

1941
Monday
December 8th

The United States, along with Britain, formally declare war on the Empire of Japan.

1942
Sunday
January 11th

Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaya, falls to the invading Japanese 5th Division.

1942
Thursday
January 15th

Japanese forces invade Burma beginning their assault at Victoria Point.

1942
Monday
January 19th

The Japanese Army makes short work of the light British defenses, covering some 230 miles in reaching Tavoy.

1942
Saturday
February 14th

RAF Bomber Command issues its "Area Bombing Directive", allowing the legitimate bombing of civilian areas.

1942
Sunday
February 15th

Singapore eventually falls to the might of the Japanese assault resulting in the capture of some 60,000 Allied prisoners against the cost of 2,000 Japanese soldiers.

1942
Sunday
March 1st

The Avro Lancaster heavy bomber is inducted into RAF service.

1942
Sunday
March 8th

Rangoon, Burma falls to the Japanese.

1942
Sunday
March 8th

The British Burma Army escapes anhilation in Burma.

1942
Friday
March 20th

British Convoy PQ13 sets sail for Russia but comes under fire from German U-Boats. Five of the 19 ships are lost.

1942
Saturday
March 28th

The British utilize the "Gee" electronic navigation system for the first time.

1942
Saturday
March 28th

234 RAF bombers drop incendiaries on Lubeck. 12 aircraft are lost.

1942
Thursday
April 1st

The Japanese aircraft carrier Ryujo enters the Bay of Bengal.

1942
Friday
April 3rd

No fewer than five Japanese Navy aircraft carriers reach the Indian Ocean.

1942
Saturday
April 4th

A small contingent of British Royal Navy vessels operating in the Indian Ocean are warned of the arriving Japanese Navy force.

1942
Saturday
April 4th

Admiral Sir James Somerville detaches a force to intercept the arriving Japanese fleet.

1942
Monday
April 6th

The British Royal Navy destroyer HMS Tenedos is sunk by the Japanese air strike.

1942
Monday
April 6th

The Imperial Japanese Navy unleashes a surprise attack, with some 120 aircraft, on British forces at Columbo Harbor, Ceylon.

1942
Monday
April 6th

Twenty-six Allied aircraft are destroyed.

1942
Monday
April 6th

The British Royal Navy cruisers HMS Cornwall and HMS Dorsetshire are sunk by the Japanese air strike.

1942
Thursday
April 9th

The HMS Hermes is one of four Royal Navy ships sunk by Japanese Navy aircraft.

1942
Thursday
April 9th

An 85-strong Japanese Navy aircraft contingent attacks airfields and targets of opportunity at Trincomalee, Ceylon.

1942
Thursday
May 7th

Allied Task Force 44, headed by Royal Navy Rear-Admiral Crace, moves in to intercept the Japanese invasion force. However, the force is prematurely spotted by Japanese reconnaissance aircraft resulting in a counter-assault of the Task Force by Japanese Navy warplanes. Crace and his force never make the intercept.

1942
Friday
May 8th

Some 27 Japanese aircraft are launched under the cover of darkness in the hopes of locating the Allied Task Force. They come up empty and only six aircraft return safely home.

1942
Friday
May 15th

Burma falls to the Japanese.

1942
Wednesday
May 20th

The 2nd Canadian Infantry Division begins training for Operation Rutter on the Isle of Wight.

1942
Tuesday
May 26th

Rommel begins his offense against the Gazala Line, made up of some 50 miles of British defenses.

1942
Tuesday
May 26th

Group Cruewell, made up of the Italian X and XI Corps, launches an assault on the northern portion of the Gazala Line in an attempt to divert Allied forces from the real attack coming from the south.

1942
Tuesday
May 26th

Beginning at 7:00PM, the German 90th Infantry Division, the 15th and 21st Panzer Divisions and the Italian XX Corps under Rommel launch their offensive along the southern portion of the Gazala Line.

1942
Wednesday
May 27th

German forces south of Bir Hacheim make progress and begin to move northwards.

1942
Thursday
May 28th

While trying to take Sidra Ridge, German Panzer force casaulties begin to mount significantly.

1942
Saturday
May 30th

RAF Bomber Command attack Cologne with 1,046 aircraft in the first of their "1,000 Bomber" raids.

1942
Sunday
May 31st

As the Allied defense along the Gazala line holds, Rommel is forced to change tactics, now concentrating his forces against the British 150th Brigade near Sidi Muftah.

1942
Sunday
May 31st

Rommel orders his forces to begin defensive preparations across a 10 mile stretch.

1942
Monday
June 1st - June 3rd

A German pocket develops near Sidi Muftah.

1942
Monday
June 1st - June 30th

June of 1942 marks the single worst month of Allied shipping losses, totaling some 834,000 tons of goods at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

1942
Monday
June 1st

Nearly 30% of German tanks have been lost in Rommel's offensive.

1942
Friday
June 5th

The Allies attempt an offensive to drive the German pocket back from Sidi Muftah and fail. 230 Allied tanks are lost in the attack.

1942
Saturday
June 6th

The British 150th Brigade is utterly destroyed under the German assault, resulting in 4,000 British prisoners of war.

1942
Thursday
June 11th

The German Army breaks out of their pocket near Sidi Muftah.

1942
Thursday
June 11th

German forces breaking out near Sidi Muftah target the British 7th Armored Division near El Adem.

1942
Thursday
June 11th

The Allies go into full retreat as the Germans advance.

1942
Saturday
June 27th - July 28th

Convoy PQ17 loses 34 of its 36 ships to Geman U-Boats and surface ships.

1942
Saturday
June 27th

British convoy PQ17 sets sail from Reykjavik, Iceland.

1942
Wednesday
July 1st

German General Erwin Rommel attempts to break through the Allied defensive perimeter at El Alamein.

1942
Wednesday
July 1st - July 22nd

The First Battle of El Alamein takes place with Erwin Rommel hoping to put a dent in the Allied defense near El Alamain. Rommel's forces consist of his Afrika Corps and three Italian troop corps.

1942
Friday
July 3rd

The Allies put up a stubborn defense, repelling Rommel's offensive.

1942
Tuesday
July 7th

Bad weather cancels this original date for Operation Rutter. Discussions begin on whether or not to nix the entire endeavor. It returns to the planning stages under a new name - Operation Jubilee.

1942
Tuesday
July 7th

This date is set aside for Operation Rutter - the amphibious landing at the port city of Dieppe in occupied France.

1942
Saturday
August 1st

De Havilland DH 98 Mosquito twin-engine fighters are assigned as "Pathfinder" units charged with lighting up ground targets via flares and incendiary ordnance for ensuing RAF heavy bombers.

1942
Saturday
August 1st - August 30th

Churchill replaces 8th Army leader Major-General Neil Ritchie with General Bernard Montgomery.

1942
Saturday
August 1st - August 30th

British Prime Minister relieves General Auchinleck with General Harold Alexander as Commander-in-Chief, Middle East.

1942
Saturday
August 1st - August 31st

Any further convoys passing to the Arctic to Russia are suspended for the time being as resources are pressed for service in the Allied landings occurring in North Africa.

1942
Wednesday
August 19th

This date is targeted for Operation Jubilee.

1942
Wednesday
August 19th

By 2:00 PM, all survivors of the Dieppe invasion have been rescued. Left behind are 3,367 casualties, wounded, prisoners of war or missing.

1942
Wednesday
August 19th

By 11:00 AM, disaster has completely befallen the invaders. Many are trapped, forced back or dead to a prepared German defense.

1942
Wednesday
August 19th

At 5:35 AM, Allied armor makes it to the beach. Over half of the tanks are lost in the action.

1942
Wednesday
August 19th

At 3:48 AM, several Allied invasion vessels run into a German convoy, which actively engages the ships, ruining any chance the Allies held in the element of surprise. This event is a fore-telling of the day to follow.

1942
Wednesday
August 19th

Operation Jubilee is officially put into action.

1942
Wednesday
August 19th

4,962 Canadian soldiers, along with 1,000 British troops and a 50-man contingent of American US Army Rangers set sail on no fewer than 237 boats towards Dieppe.

1942
Friday
August 21st

Nazi-allied French leader Marshal Petain celebrates the German victory over the Allied invasion at Dieppe.

1942
Sunday
August 30th

Rommel begins a new offensive starting from Bab el Qattara that becomes the Battle of Alam Halfa near El Alamein. The objective is the high ridge at Alam Halfa some 13 miles through the Allied defensive perimeter in the south.

1942
Tuesday
September 1st - September 30th

The month is spent ironing out plans for the Allied invasion of German-occupied North Africa.

1942
Wednesday
Setember 2nd - September 26th

Convoy PQ18 reaches Russia despite losing 13 of her ships.

1942
Wednesday
September 2nd

Convoy PQ18 sets sail for Russia, comprised of some 40 ships and beefed up protection through 17 destroyers. The escort carrier HMS Avenger provides air cover.

1942
Wednesday
September 2

Rommel's assault is thwarted, his tank forces suffering high losses in the attack - and his army is pushed back to Bab el Qattara.

1942
Thursday
September 3rd - October 23rd

General Montgomery decides to make El Alamein a war of numbers and stockpiles his supplies to eventually try to overwhelm the Germans.

1942
Thursday
September 10th

100,000 incendiary bombs are dropped on Dusseldorf by no fewer than 476 RAF bombers.

1942
Friday
October 23rd

The Allied counter-offensive begins through Operation Lightfoot, a massive artillery bombardment of dug-in German forces.

1942
Friday
October 23rd

At 10:00PM, British XIII Corps hits the German 21st Panzer Division and Italian Brescia and Folgore Divisions in the south of the German defensive wall as a diversion to its north-bound actions.

1942
Friday
October 23rd

XXX and X Corps begin their assault on Axis nothern positions.

1942
Sunday
October 25th

Montgomery enacts Operation Supercharge and pulls some diversionary forces from his southern attacks to reinforce the north where losses continue to mount.

1942
Sunday
October 25th

Four Allied brigades have managed to break through the German defensive lines.

1942
Sunday
October 25th

Allied mine-clearing operations begin while combat continues

1942
Monday
November 2nd

As more and more Allied armor crosses through the German perimeter, Rommel orders his battle-weary forces on an eastward retreat, keeping his forces within easy access to the North African coast.

1942
Wednesday
November 4th

British X Corps makes a substantial gain in capturing Tel el Aqqaqir, running straight through the beleagured Axis lines, effectively ending the Battle of El Alamain in favor of the Allies. The victory is a major one for the Germans are in full retreat throughout North Africa. The action officially ends all Axis presence on the continent.

1942
Saturday
November 7th

Three Allied task forces - the US Western, Central and the British Eastern - approach the coast of North Africa.

1942
Sunday
November 8th

The Allied invasion forces reach North African shores.

1942
Sunday
November 8th

French General Mast surrenders to the British Eastern Task Force.

1942
Monday
November 9th

The first French cease-fires begin to ring out across Algeria and Morocco.

1942
Wednesday
November 11th

The British Eastern Task force capture the strategic airfield at Djidjelli via Bougie from Algiers.

1942
Thursday
November 12th

German paratroopers move into the area near the airfield at Bone.

1942
Thursday
November 12th

German paratrooper forces attack the British paratroopers near Bone but are repelled.

1942
Thursday
November 12th

British paratroopers land near Bone and take the nearby airfield.

1942
Monday
November 16th

British paratroopers land and capture the airfield at Soul el Arba.

1942
Monday
November 16th

Allied forces begin their move into German-held Tunisia.

1942
Tuesday
November 17th

The Allies capture Beja.

1942
Wednesday
November 18th

The Allies take Sidi Nsir.

1942
Friday
November 20th

The Allied assault on the strategic city of Medjez el Bab begins.

1942
Thursday
November 26th

Medjez el Bab falls to the Allies.

1942
Monday
November 30th

Despite the consistent progression throughout North Africa, the Allied invasion offensive grounds to a halt in the face of growing German resistance at key junctions. The total liberation of North Africa will have to wait.

1942
Thursday
December 31st

The Battle of Barents Sea takes place. Convoy JW51B comes under attack from German surface ships comrpised of the battleships KMS Admiral Hipper and KMS Lutzow along with 6 destroyers. Six British destroyers are up to the task as they repel the much larger force at the cost of two Royal Navy destroyers. No merchant vessels are lost to enemy fire. The loss in battle forces the resignation of German Navy Admiral Raeder and leaves Adolph Hitler hungry for blood.

1943
Friday
January 1st

The H2S navigation system is delivered to the RAF for installation into bombers.

1943
Thursday
January 14th

U-boat bases at Cherbourg and Lorient are targeted by the Royal Air Force.

1943
Monday
March 1st - July 31st

Any further British convoy runs to Russia are postponed as supplies are funneled to other areas of the Atlantic.

1943
Thursday
March 4th

RAF Bomber Command numbers total some 950 bombers of various types. Most important are the Avro Lancasters.

1943
Friday
March 5th

For the first time, RAF bombers make use of the "Oboe" navigational aid in a large-scale operation.

1943
Saturday
May 1st - May 31st

By the end of May, 43 U-boats are sunk to just 34 merchant vessels.

1943
Saturday
May 1st

Allied aircraft are fitted with U-boat detecting radar systems.

1943
Sunday
May 16th

RAF bombers make their most famous raid of the war to date - this through Operation Chastise - as 19 Lancasters attack the dams at Mohne, Eder, Sorpe and Schwelme supplying power to the Ruhr industrial sector. 9,000lb bouncing mines are used in the successful attack.

1943
Wednesday
May 19th

Some 33 U-boats assail an Allied convoy. However, the streamlined Allied response nets zero ship losses and fatalities. The U-boats come up empty.

1943
Tuesday
June 1st - June 30th

British and American authorities work together to formulate the Pointblank Directive - a combined air bombing campaign against the air production facilities of the German Luftwaffe.

1943
Tuesday
June 1st

The German U-boats are unleashed once more, this time operating in substantially smaller groups.

1943
Sunday
June 6th

The Allied D-Day landings in the North of France eventually render the French-German U-boat bases inoperable.

1943
Thursday
July 1st

No fewer than eight German U-Boats shadow convoy PQ17.

1943
Friday
July 9th

The Allied invasion fleets sail out to Sicily.

1943
Saturday
July 10th

15th Army Group begins their initial assault to the south.

1943
Saturday
July 10th

Operation Husky begins. Target - German-held Sicily. Some 2,590 naval vessels take part in the invasion which encompasses two army groups of American and British forces invading at two different coasts of the island.

1943
Saturday
July 10th

The British 5th Division takes Cassibile.

1943
Saturday
July 10th

US 82nd Airborne Division and British 1st Airborne Division paratroopers land at strategic locations across Sicily prior to the invasion force's arrival.

1943
Sunday
July 11th

The Hermann Goring Panzer Division engages the US 1st Infantry Division at Gela. US forces are assited by offshore bombardment from Royal Navy ships and repel the German attack.

1943
Tuesday
July 13th

By this date, some 478,000 Allied troops have landed on Sicily.

1943
Tuesday
July 13th

Allied airborne elements parachute into Sicily and capture key bridges. However, a German counter-attack drives back any gains of the day.

1943
Wednesday
July 14th

German Paratroopers repel Allied forces from the Primasole bridge.

1943
Wednesday
July 14th

British and American forces finally meet at Comiso and Ragusa.

1943
Wednesday
July 14th

The Allies control key airfields across the island, allowing air support more resources from which to work with.

1943
Saturday
July 17th

The Primsole bridge is recaptured from the Germans.

1943
Sunday
July 25th

With Mussolini deposed back in Rome, Hitler has few options but to plan a retreat for his overwhelmed forces in Sicily. As such, he orders an official withdrawel.

1943
Tuesday
July 27th

RAF bombers make use of "Window" foil strips to disrupt enemy tracking radars.

1943
Tuesday
July 27th

44,600 Hamburg civilians are killed by RAF bomber attacks.

1943
Thursday
August 5th

After some time, the British finally capture the port at Catania. Though a vital and strategic victory, their advance delays the operation some.

1943
Tuesday
August 17th

The US 3rd Division gives the official "all clear" from their position in Messina. Operation Husky is a success and Sicily is firmly in Allied hands.

1943
Wednesday
September 22nd

Royal Navy midget submarines attack the German battleship KMS Tirpitz. Though not sunk to action, she takes on enough damage to sideline her for six months.

1943
Monday
November 1st - November 30th

In this month, Allies convoys in the Artic resume their activities.

1943
Thursday
November 18th

444 RAF bombs drop ordnance on the German capital of Berlin with only 9 loss to enemy fire.

1943
Tuesday
November 30th

The British and Americans devise Operation Argument to counter the Luftwaffe threat through a round-the-clock bombing offensive; bad weather postpones any action.

1943
Sunday
December 26th

At 7:30 PM, the KMS Scharnhorst is lost to action by Royal Navy surface warships, leaving just 36 of her crew alive.

1943
Sunday
December 26th

The German battleship KMS Scharnhorst and 5 destroyers engage convoy JW55B.

1944
Tuesday
January 11th

The first major Allied offensive to take Cassino is launched.

1944
Friday
January 21st

In the afternoon hours, an Allied convoy of 243 ships sets sail from the Bay of Naples for the beaches at Anzio and nearby Nettuno.

1944
Saturday
January 22nd

British forces hold the line at River Moletta.

1944
Saturday
January 22nd

American forces hold the line at Mussolini Canal.

1944
Saturday
January 22nd

By 12AM midnight, some 45,000 Allied troops and 3,000 vehicles are on the beaches.

1944
Saturday
January 22nd

Operation Shingle, the amphibious landings at Anzio, is enacted by the Allied. In lead is the US VI Corps under Major-General John Lucas.

1944
Sunday
January 23rd

The Anzio beachhead is consolidated into a concentrated pocket on the orders of Lucas.

1944
Sunday
January 23rd

The German Luftwaffe begins heavy strafing attacks and bombardment of Allied forces.

1944
Sunday
January 23rd

German Colonel-General von Mackensen takes control of the new 14th Army headquartered 30 miles west of Rome.

1944
Tuesday
January 25th

The Anzio beachhead continues to grow with Allied troops and equipment, making it a prime target for the regrouping Germans.

1944
Friday
January 28th

By this date, some 70,000 men, 27,000 tons of goods, 508 artillery guns and 237 tanks are ashore on the beachhead.

1944
Friday
January 28th

The Germans are driven back at Cisterna.

1944
Friday
January 28th

Hitler delivers an ultimatum to supreme commander-in-chief over Italy operations, Field Marshall Kesselring, to fight to the death and drive the invading Allied forces into the sea.

1944
Friday
January 28th

The US 1st Armored Division captures the town of Aprilia.

1944
Friday
January 28th

Von Mackensen moves six divisions to Anzio, some ten miles of the Allied beachhead.

1944
Sunday
January 30th

The Allies suffer some 5,000 casualties in the Anzio action by this date.

1944
Monday
January 31st

Von Mackensen's forces now number some eight divisions in strength.

1944
Friday
February 11th

A blanket retreat is enacted by the Allies in an attempt to regroup and plan a new strategy to take Cassino.

1944
Saturday
February 12th

Winston Churchill pens a critical letter to supreme commander-in-chief of Allied operations in Italy. In his writings he claims he expected to see "a wild cat roaring" and has seen nothing but a "whale wallowing on the beaches".

1944
Monday
February 14th

The offensive is detailed further, taking the latest developments into account.

1944
Tuesday
February 15th

In an effort to destroy the believed German defensive positions atop Monte Cassino, Allied bombers numbering 229 strong, lay waste to the monestary.

1944
Tuesday
February 15th

Following the Allied aerial bombardment, the second major Allied offensive to take Cassino is launched.

1944
Wednesday
February 16th

Kesselring launches a large counterattack against the invading Allied forces.

1944
Thursday
February 17th

The Allies lose some four miles of territory but stand fast outside of Anzio.

1944
Saturday
February 19th

Better weather finally arrives allowing the RAF to send up its first 823-strong heavy bomber force. The target is Leipzig and 78 bombers are lost to the German defense.

1944
Saturday
February 19th - March 13th

The Italian winter makes its arrival and postpones any further Allied offensives for the next month.

1944
Sunday
February 20th

Some 598 RAF bombers are sent airborne.

1944
Sunday
February 20th

The German attack is more or less repelled, at the cost of 5,500 German casualties.

1944
Tuesday
February 22nd

The Allies replace the ineffective Major-General Lucas with Major-General Lucius Truscott.

1944
Wednesday
February 23rd

Bad weather postpones any further bombing actions for the time being. The Allies take this time to recoup and repair.

1944
Thursday
February 24th

With weather clearing, operations of Big Week continue. 266 American bombers strike Schweinfurt.

1944
Thursday
February 24th

A British bomber force made up of Handley Page Halifaxes and Avro Lancasters take part in a night-bombing raid on Schweinfurt, dropping some 2,000 tons of ordnance on the area.

1944
Thursday
February 24th

733 RAF bombers strike at Schweinfurt in a night time raid. 33 aircraft are lost.

1944
Friday
February 25th

RAF bombers hit Augsburg with 594 aircraft in a night time raid.

1944
Friday
February 25th

By the end of it all, 3,300 Allied sorties are launched in the offensive and 226 bombers are lost. 290 German fighters are destroyed and another further 90 are damaged.

1944
Tuesday
February 29th

Von Mackensen cancels the German offensive amidst mounting casualties and little gain.

1944
Wednesday
March 1st - May 22nd

The Anzio engagement is limited to minor activity for the time being, with the Allies dug in and the Germans trying to dislodge the invaders by limited means.

1944
Wednesday
March 15th - March 21st

Against mounting casualties but with tank support, the 4th Indian Division gains ground.

1944
Wednesday
March 15th

Artillery guns open up on Cassino while 600-plus Allied bombers attempt to shake the German defenders.

1944
Wednesday
March 15th - March 21st

Positions on Monte Cassino are officially in Allied hands.

1944
Wednesday
March 15th - March 21st

The 78th British Division makes headway thanks to the support of Allied armor.

1944
Wednesday
March 15th - March 21st

The 2nd New Zealand Division captures German-held position with the help of Allied armor support.

1944
Wednesday
March 15th

A third major Allied offensive is put into action.

1944
Wednesday
March 22nd

With mounting losses in both manpower and tanks, further Allied thrusts are called off.

1944
Thursday
March 23rd - May 10th

A lengthy six-week period allows the Allies to rebuild their forces - though this period allows the Germans to increase their defensive foothold.

1944
Thursday
March 30th

795 RAF bombers attack Nuremburg with 95 aircraft lost to action. This mission marks the biggest RAF loss to date.

1944
Thursday
March 30th - March 31st

Some 100 Avro Lancaster and Handley Page Halifax bombers mistakenly drop 400-tons of ordnance on Schweinfurt, thinking that it is their target of Nuremburg.

1944
Saturday
April 1st - June 5th

Allied bombers increase their sorties across Northern and Western France in preparations of the D-Day landings. Targets include the vital railways, railyards, bridges and roads dotting the French landscape. These facilities will prove crucial to the German response to the invasion.

1944
Monday
April 3rd

The KMS Tirpitz is targeted once more and attack, this time by air elements of the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm. The battleship lives through the attack but suffers three more months of repairs as a result.

1944
Monday
May 1st - July 31st

The upcoming invasion at Normany puts a temporary halt on further convoy runs into Russia.

1944
Thursday
May 11th

The fourth offensive to take Cassino is put into action.

1944
Thursday
May 11th

Approximately 2,000 Allied artillery guns open up on Cassino.

1944
Thursday
May 11th

A combined British, Polish and American assault converge on Cassino involving the British 13th Corps, the Polish II Corps and the US 5th Army.

1944
Wednesday
May 17th

June 5th is selected as the next official launch date for D-Day.

1944
Wednesday
May 17th

Weather on May 17th cancels the D-Day operation. Leaving the next best weather window of opportunity to be June 5th.

1944
Wednesday
May 17th

This date became one of the two best weather options for the Allied invasion of France.

1944
Thursday
May 18th

The British take the town of Cassino.

1944
Thursday
May 18th

Monte Cassino falls to the Allies, costing some 50,000 casualties along both sides of the battlefield.

1944
Tuesday
May 23rd

The US VI Corps breaks out of the Anzio perimeter and takes ground well into the Alban Hills.

1944
Thursday
May 25th

The US VI Corps continues its gains and eventually combines with the arriving UU Corps. The road to Rome is now in the hands of the US Army and steps are taken for the final assault on the capital.

1944
Sunday
June 4th

Official word comes down that the June 5th landings will be postponed due to inclement weather across the North Sea.

1944
Monday
June 5th

Some 6,000 naval vessels depart from the south of England towards France.

1944
Tuesday
June 6th

The British 50th Division pushed some 6 miles inland.

1944
Tuesday
June 6th

By 8:00AM, most of the German defenders at or near Gold and Sword beaches have been cleared or are on the run.

1944
Tuesday
June 6th

Despite the confusion on the part of the misdropped Allied paratroopers, the defending Germans are thrown into an equal level of confusion, noting Allied airdrops all around them.

1944
Tuesday
June 6th

At approximately 10:00AM, British forces out of Gold beach take La Riviere.

1944
Tuesday
June 6th

British and French special forces elements out of Sword beach connect with the British paratroopers holding the key bridges over the Orne River.

1944
Tuesday
June 6th

At 4:00PM, the mobilized German 21st Panzer Division launches a counter-attack.

1944
Tuesday
June 6th

The German counter-attack reaches the beachhead at Sword.

1944
Tuesday
June 6th

The combined British and Canadian forces at Gold face little opposition and claim their objectives with little incident.

1944
Tuesday
June 6th

At approximately 7:25AM, forces of the British and Canadian armies wade ashore at beaches codenamed Gold and Juno.

1944
Tuesday
June 6th

Allied naval warships open up with their guns on German defensive positions along the French coast.

1944
Tuesday
June 6th

The British 3rd Division arriving at Sword beach face a stouter German defense but are able to overwhelm the enemy and establish a foothold.

1944
Tuesday
June 6th

By midnight, D-Day is more or less over. Not all objectives are captured but progress is made nonetheless.

1944
Tuesday
June 6th

The Canadian 3rd Infantry Division makes its way towards Juno beach. The German defenses, heavy seas and underwater obstacles cause a loss of 30 percent of the landing craft. The onshore result is equally grim as the Canadians are assaulted by the prepared Germans.

1944
Tuesday
June 6th

The Allied elements at Sword beach hold onto a 6-by-6 mile piece of land though they are still cut off from the Allies at Juno.

1944
Tuesday
June 6th

No less than five key bridges over the Dives River are blown up by British paratroopers.

1944
Tuesday
June 6th

The British and Canadian forces out of Gold and Juno beaches enjoy the largest footholds in France, encompassing land holdings some 9 miles wide and 6.2 miles inland.

1944
Tuesday
June 6th

The German 21st Panzer Division is repelled by a combined Allied armor and air assault, saving further actions at Sword.

1944
Tuesday
June 6th

By 8:00PM, the Canadian 3rd Infantry Division out of Juno beach connects with the British 50th Division out of Gold beach. This union becomes the largest Allied-held pocket in the north of France to this point.

1944
Tuesday
June 6th

In preparation for the arrival of the regular armies by way of amphibious landing, British and American airborne paratroopers arrive in France just after midnight.

1944
Tuesday
June 6th

British paratroopers of the 6th British Airborne Brigade land near Benouville.

1944
Tuesday
June 6th

The British paratroopers take the bridges over the Caen Canal and the Orne River.

1944
Tuesday
June 6th

British paratroopers destroy the coastal fortifications at Merville.

1944
Friday
July 7th

After heavy bombing by British Royal Air Force elements, British and Canadian army forces regroup and begin their offensive to take Caen from the Germans.

1944
Thursday
July 13th

A combined British and Canadian force is stopped outside of Caen by a determined German defense.

1944
Tuesday
July 18th

The British and Canadian launch Operation Goodwood against Caen. British armored elements are brought to bear against the dug-in and prepared Germans. The goal is to take all of Caen before focusing on Falaise.

1944
Thursday
July 20th

While the British 2nd Army and 2nd Canadian Division can now lay claim to Caen, they fall short of advancement against Falaise. As such, Operation Goodwood is stopped.

1944
Wednesday
July 26th

The Polish government, in exile since the fall of their country to the invading Germans, communicates with the British government for help in staging the uprising.

1944
Thursday
July 27th

The British government promises what it can and this emerges in the form of scattered air drops of weapons and supplies.

1944
Friday
August 4th

Realizing their chances of victory are slim against well-trained and well-armed Germans, Polish Authorities once again ask the Allies - including the Soviets - for assistance in maintaining the uprising.

1944
Monday
August 7th

A determined German counter-attack takes Mortain and heads towards Avranches before being stopped. Allied airstrikes and artillery stall the German advance.

1944
Tuesday
August 8th

US General Omar Bradley talks with British General Benard Law Montgomery about a plan to encircle some 21 divsions of Germans in the Falaise-Argentan pocket. Montgomery likes what he hears and give the plan the green light.

1944
Friday
August 11th

Sensing complete destruction of Warsaw and its people, the Pope himself appeals to the Allies for help.

1944
Tuesday
August 15th - August 29th

During another running battle, convoy JW59 and her surface warships inflict damage on the KMS Tirpitz.

1944
Tuesday
August 22nd

After some additional fighting that results in a further 10,000 German soldiers killed, the trapped elements of the German Army at Normandy surrender to the Allies. In all, some 50,000 soldiers of the German Army are taken prisoner.

1944
Friday
August 25th

Paris is liberated by the arriving Allies.

1944
Friday
August 25th

The Allies reach the French capital of Paris.

1944
Saturday
August 26th

Brigadier-General Charles de Gaulle, leader of the Free French forces, leads a contingent of Allied troops on a march down the Champs Elysees to a thunderous reception by liberated French citizens.

1944
Sunday
September 17th

Operation Market Garden is activated. Parachute landings take place at Eindhoven, Veghel, Grave and Oosterbeek.

1944
Sunday
September 17th

British paratroopers landing at Arnhem run straight into the 9th and 10th SS Panzer Divisions who are in the area ungoing refitting. The bridge at Arnhem is captured by British forces but the group is quickly cut off from help by the Germans.

1944
Sunday
September 17th

General Dwight Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe, approves General Montgomery's Operation Market Garden.

1944
Monday
September 18th

The British XXX Corps fights its way through a dedicated German resistance up the main artery road leading to Eindhoven. They finally unite with the 101st Airborne forces having landed at Eindhoven and Veghel.

1944
Monday
September 18th

Josef Stalin refuses further Allied use of his forward airfields to resupply the Polish insurgents.

1944
Tuesday
September 19th

The British XXX Corps officially unites with the US 82nd Airborne Division forces having landed at Grave.

1944
Wednesday
September 20th

British XXX Corps is delayed a full day from reaching beleagured paratrooper forces at Arnhem.

1944
Wednesday
September 20th

The US 82nd Airborne, backed by the British XXX Corps, take the bridge over the Waal River at Nijmegen.

1944
Thursday
September 21st

British XXX Corps is slowed down once more, this time by German anti-tank forces and artillery emplacements north of Nijmegen and along the route to Arnhem.

1944
Thursday
September 21st

British paratroopers at Arnhem give up control of their bridge against a stronger German foe and instead concentrate on surviving by utilizing the town of Arnhem itself as a defense.

1944
Friday
September 22nd

Elements of the Polish Parachute Brigade, delayed multiple times from earlier participation in the operation, finally land south of Arnhem. Their mission is to reinforce the battered British 1st Airborne Division.

1944
Monday
September 23rd

141 RAF bombers take on the Dortmund-Ems Canal. Some of these bombers make use of the massive "Tallboy" 12,000lb bomb.

1944
Monday
September 25th

Remaining elements of the British 1st Airborne Division out of Arnhem make their way across the Neder Rijn River in retreat. They intend on meeting up with XXX Corps still making their way to the area.

1944
Monday
September 25th

At Arnhem, some 6,000 Allied soldiers are taken prison by the Germans. A further 1,000 lay dead from the fighting.

1944
Wednesday
September 27th

South of Arnhem, Allied forces continue to hold their gains. Over the next few months, some 3,500 casualties will be counted.

1944
Wednesday
November 1st - November 30th

As the German defensive circle shrinks througout Europe, the Artic Convoys enjoy their best month, seeing not one vessel lost to enemy action.

1944
Sunday
November 12th

The KMS Tirpitz is finally destroyed at Troms by forces of the RAF.

1944
Tuesday
December 19th

Allied generals agree to commit elements of the Saar Front against the southern flanks of the German advance, this in the area between Bastogne and Echternach.

1944
Wednesday
December 20th

British General Montgomery is charged with heading up the progress along the north line of defense while American General Bradley is given command of the south.

1944
Saturday
December 23rd

Supplies are dropped from Allied transport planes to the beleagured forces held up at Bastogne.

1944
Saturday
December 23rd

Allied ground attack fighters target and destroy German ground vehicles and troop concentrations. Without air support of their own, there is little that the Germans can do in response.

1944
Saturday
December 23rd

2,000 Allied air sorties are launched in improving skies against the Germans on the ground.

1944
Monday
December 25th

After achieving 60 miles of territory - the farthest march of the German Ardennes Offensive - the 2nd Panzer Division under Lieutenant-General von Lauchert is stopped by a combined force of British and American armor made up of the British 29th Armored Brigade and the American 2nd Armored Division.

1944
Thursday
December 28th

Hitler orders a halt to the advance - but no retreat - leaving his exposed and tired units at the mercy of the replenished Allied forces across the Ardennes Front.

1945
Monday
January 1st

Weeks of fighting see German forces destroyed, taken prisoner or sent packing as the Allies regroup and respond.

1945
Saturday
January 6th

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in the west coordinates via telegram with Soviet leader Joseph Stalin in the east on launching a combined January offensive. Churchill plans on the 20th as the target date.

1945
Wednesday
February 7th

By this date, all of the German gains of the Ardennes Offensive have been erased.

1945
Tuesday
February 13th

805 RAF bombers level the German city of Dresden, killing up to 130,000 of its inhabitants. The attack is notable for Dresden held little to no military or strategic value for Germany.

1945
Friday
April 24th

The British Royal Air Force slow down the 12th Army offensive through intense bombing.

1945
Tuesday
May 1st

By May of 1945, the U-boat scourge in the Atlantic is over, completing one of the more important battles in all of World War 2.

1945
Tuesday
May 1st - May 31st

The last Artic Convoy voyage - with the designation of JW67 - between Britian and Russia is completed.

1945
Tuesday
May 1st

Berlin formally and unconditionally surrenders to the Soviet legions and Western Allies. General Jodl signs for the defeated Germans and Generals Bedell Smith and Suslaparov for the Allies.

1945
Tuesday
May 8th

This day is formally announced as "VE Day" and celebrations break out across the world, though fighting in the Pacific against the Japanese Empire is ongoing.