German World War 2 Events

German World War 2 Events

Although fielding new doctrine and technology during the conflict, the German war machine was stopped - for a second time - after six long bloody years of fighting.





There are a total of (815) entries in the German World War 2 Events. Entries are listed below by earliest date to latest date.


August 21st
1939
The German battleship Graf Spee leaves Wilhelmshaven for the North Atlantic. She is commanded by Captain Hans Langsdorff. Her supply ship is the Altmark, which also leaves Wilhelmshaven.
August 31st
1939
Adolf Hitler provides the final orders for the invasion of Poland.
September 1st
1939
German airborne elements begin bombardment of Polish defensive targets. At 6:00 AM, 50 German divisions making up Army Group North and Army Group South flood into Poland. Army Group South's mission is the capture of the Polish capital of Warsaw.
September 2nd
1939
The governments of Britain and France deliver their ultimatums to German officials in regards to the German invasion of Poland.
September 3rd
1939
The British transatlantic passenger liner SS Athenia is sunk by German U-boat U-30, killing 128 aboard.
September 3rd
1939
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.
September 3rd
1939
Britain declares war on Germany leading British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain to arrange a war cabinet.
September 4th
1939
The British Royal Air Force launches its first bombing missions against German targets - these being warships stationed off of the northwest coast of Germany.
September 5th
1939
The government of South Africa declares war on Germany.
September 5th
1939
The Bosnia becomes the first merchantman to be sunk by the German U-boats.
September 6th
1939
The Polish government and military command flee Warsaw.
September 6th
1939
German forces advance beyond Lodz.
September 6th
1939
Thirty-six Allied ships set out across the Atlantic in the first coordinated convoy crossing attempt.
September 6th
1939
German forces take Krakow.
September 7th
1939
French forces begin light fighting against German elements near Saarbrucken.
September 7th
1939
Britain launches the first of many convoys across challenged Atlantic waters.
September 8th
1939
German ground forces arrive at the outskirts of the Polish capital of Warsaw, covering an astounding 200 miles in a single week.
September 8th
1939
The German Tenth Army reaches the Warsaw perimeter.
September 8th
1939
The German Fourteenth Army arrives near Przemysl.
September 8th
1939
General Guderian's tank force reaches the Bug River just east of the Polish capital.
September 9th
1939
Polish Poznan army units launch a counter-offensive against the German army at Kutno on the Bzura.
September 10th
1939
Polish forces at the Modline fortress some 20 miles north of Warsaw fall under siege to the German Army.
September 10th
1939
Canada declares war on Germany.
September 17th
1939
Polish resistance at the Bzura River north of Lodz finally surrender to the Germans. Some 170,000 Polish prisoners are taken captive.
September 17th
1939
The British aricraft carrier HMS Courageous is sunk southwest of the Irish coast by German U-boat U-29.
September 19th
1939
German and Soviet army elements finally meet one another in Poland at Brest-Litovsk.
September 27th
1939
The German battleships Deutschland and Graf Spee are let loose on Allied shipping convoys in the North Atlantic.
September 27th
1939
The Polish capital of Warsaw officially falls.
September 28th
1939
Polish forces fighting it out at the Modline fortress officially surrender.
September 29th
1939
The German-Soviet Boundary Friendship Treaty is signed between German representative von Ribbentrop and Soviet representative Molotov. Poland is divided into a western zone under German control and an eastern zone under Soviet control.
September 30th
1939
The Graf Spee claims her first merchant vessel, the British freighter Clement, in the waters of the South Atlantic.
October 1st
1939
The Graf Spee goes on to sink four more Allied merchant vessels during the month of October.
October 2nd
1939
The last valiant gap of Polish resistance - numbering some 4,500 soldiers under the command of Admiral Unruh - north of Danzig on the Polwysep Helski peninsula falls to the Germans.
October 14th
1939
The British Royal Navy battleship Royal Oak is sunk by U-47 with 833 lives lost.
November 15th
1939
The Graf Spee sinks the oil tanker Africa Shell off the coast of Madagascar.
November 20th
1939
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.
December 13th
1939
The Graf Spee is spotted in the early morning hours by Commodore H. H. Harwood's British cruiser squadron.
December 13th
1939
At 6:40 AM, the British cruiser Achilles is damaged by shell splinters from the Graf Spee's guns.
December 13th
1939
At 6:14 AM, the Graf Spee opens fire on the British heavy cruisers Ajaz and Exeter.
December 13th
1939
At 6:50 AM, the British cruiser Exeter is heavily damaged by the Graf Spee, leaving only one turret functional and in flames.
December 13th
1939
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.
December 13th
1939
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.
December 13th
1939
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.
December 13th
1939
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.
December 13th
1939
At 7:25 AM, the British cruiser Ajax loses two of her turrets to the Graf Spee.
December 17th
1939
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.
December 20th
1939
Choosing honor over justice, Captain Hans Langsdorff commits suicide, officially ending the reign of the Graf Spee.
January 1st
1940
Only 21 operational boats make up the German U-boat fleet at this time.
January 10th
1940
A German plane carrying two officers and the German invasion plans of Western Europe scheduled for January 17th mistakenly lands in Belgium. This forces Hitler to push the invasion back.
February 5th
1940
The Allied Supreme War Council agrees to come to the aid of Finland and Norway - if only to protect valuable Swedish ore from falling to the Germans.
February 16th
1940
HMS Cossack, a Royal Navy destroyer, moves into neutral Norwegian waters to claim its merchant men from the German ship Altmark. Germany and Norway both protest the action.
February 24th
1940
Following General von Manstein's recommendation, the German invasion plans of Western Europe are revised to send armored forces through the "impassable" Ardennes Forest.
April 8th
1940
HMS Glowworm intercepts a portion of the German invasion fleet headed to Norway.
April 9th
1940
Norwegian royalty and its government flee northward from the invasion.
April 9th
1940
HMS Rodney, a British battlecruiser, engages the German warships KMS Gneisenau and KMS Scharnhorst.
April 9th
1940
Norwegian coastal guns sink the German cruiser Blucher with 1,600 lives being lost.
April 9th
1940
The German invasion force strikes Norway and Denmark.
April 10th
1940
KMS Konigsberg, a German light cruiser, becomes the first warship sunk by dive bombing at Bergen.
April 10th
1940
Five British destroyers surprise a German force of ten destroyers near Narvik. Nine German cargo ships are lost as well as two destroyers. The British also lose a pair of destroyers in the action.
April 12th
1940
British aerial bombing of KMS Admiral Hipper, KMS Gneisenau, and KMS Scharnhorst fail to net the needed results.
April 13th
1940
The Second Battle of Narvik nets the British eight German destroyers and a submarine.
April 14th
1940
An Allied rescue force made up of British, Polish, and French begin arriving at Namsos, Alesund, and Narvik.
April 20th - April 30th
1940
The German defense at Trondheim holds and prepares for reinforcements.
April 24th
1940
Allied naval guns open up on German positions at Narvik in preparation for a ground assault.
May 1st - May 2nd
1940
Allied forces abandon their missions at Namsos and Andalsnes.
May 2nd
1940
German forces arrive at Andalsnas.
May 3rd
1940
Duringan evacuation operation, the French destroyer Bison and the British destroyer Afridi are sunk by air attack.
May 10th
1940
89 German paratroopers land and take the Belgium fortress of Eben Emael with its garrison of 2,000 soldiers.
May 10th
1940
German airborne elements land across Belgium and Holland in advance of ground forces, capturing key bridges and routes.
May 10th
1940
German paratroopers land in The Hague and Rotterdam.
May 11th
1940
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.
May 14th
1940
Facing light opposition, German Panzer Corps XV, XLI and XIX are free to set up three key bridge-heads covering Dinant, Montherme and Sedan.
May 14th
1940
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.
May 15th
1940
The RAF sends up its first night-time bombing raid against Germany. Of the 99 aircraft sent, only one fails to return home.
May 15th
1940
German Panzer Corps cross into the north of France.
May 15th
1940
After periods of heavy bombing all across Rotterdam, the Dutch surrender to the Germans.
May 17th - May 18th
1940
Allied forces are in full retreat of the Germans, making their way towards the French coastline.
May 17th - May 18th
1940
Antwerp falls to the German Army.
May 17th - May 18th
1940
Brussels falls to the German Army.
May 21st
1940
The Allies are able to make some gains near Narvik.
May 21st
1940
An Allied counterattack against the German Army near Arras ends in failure as the attack is itself countered by another advancing German land force.
May 24th
1940
German Luftwaffe bombers hammer Allied defensive positions in and around the French port city of Dunkirk.
May 24th
1940
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.
May 25th
1940
The German Army takes Boulogne.
May 25th
1940
More and more retreating Allied units arrive at the French port city of Dunkirk.
May 26th
1940
Hitler orders his army forces towards Dunkirk for the final blow to the Allied cause.
May 26th
1940
Operation Dynamo - the all-out evacuation of Allied forces from Dunkirk - officially begins at 6:57 PM.
May 26th
1940
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.
May 27th
1940
German warplanes destroyer the city of Bodo.
May 27th
1940
The Allies enter Narvik.
May 28th
1940
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.
May 28th
1940
Belgium falls to Germany in just 18 days.
May 28th
1940
King Leopold of Belgium orders his army to surrender to the Germans. By this time, his government has already relocated to Paris, France.
May 28th
1940
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.
May 31st
1940
British forces at Bodo evacuate.
June 1st - August 12th
1940
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.
June 4th
1940
German Luftwaffe bombers cease bombardment of Dunkirk.
June 4th
1940
Operation Dynamo - the evacuation of Allied forces at Dunkirk - officially ends. 338,326 total soldiers are saved including 113,000 French troops.
June 4th
1940
Some 40,000 French soldiers are taken prisoner by Germany at the fall of Dunkirk.
June 8th
1940
HMS Glorious is sunk by KMS Scharnhorst and KMS Gneisenau.
June 8th
1940
The Germans enact Operation Juno to relieve its forces at Narvik.
June 9th
1940
The Norwegian military is ordered to surrender.
June 10th
1940
The invasion of Norway is complete, the victory going to the Germans.
June 17th
1940
French Marshal Henri-Philippe Petain, having replaced outsted Prime Minister Paul Reynaud, ask Germany for armistice terms.
June 24th
1940
The formal signing of the French surrender takes place at Compiegne - site of the original German surrender of World War 1.
July 6th
1940
German ships begin operating out of captured bases along the French coast.
July 16th
1940
Hitler delivers Fuhrer Directive 17 as Operation Sea Lion - the land invasion of the British mainland to occur between September 19th and September 26th.
August 1st
1940
Hitler reveals Directive Number 17 which calls for finalization of the invasion of Great Britain for September 15th.
August 5th
1940
The initial German plans for the invasion of the Soviet Union are reviewed by German commanders.
August 12th
1940
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.
August 13th
1940
At least 40 total Luftwaffe aircraft are destroyed by the RAF and ground-based flak teams.
August 13th
1940
Southampton is heavily bombed by the German Luftwaffe.
August 13th
1940
Andover is heavily bombed by the German Luftwaffe.
August 13th
1940
Portland is heavily bombed by the German Luftwaffe.
August 13th
1940
"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.
August 15th
1940
74 Luftwaffe aircraft launched from bases in Denmark and Norway are lost on what will be remembered as "Black Thursday".
August 17th
1940
The RAF is forced to poach the ranks of Bomber Command in an effort to fill its dwindling supply of capable fighter pilots.
August 17th
1940
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.
August 17th
1940
The German government declares a naval blockade of the British Isles freeing its forces to attack any and all targets in the region.
August 19th - August 24th
1940
Poor weather and overcast skies limit any major German bombing efforts over Britain.
August 19th
1940
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.
August 24th - August 31st
1940
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.
August 26th
1940
The first RAF attack on the German capital of Berlin takes place. Some 81 aircraft are part of the airborne raid.
September 3rd
1940
Due to consistent Luftwaffe losses and inconclusive results across the entire campaign, Hitler postpones Operation Sea Lion to September 21st.
September 7th
1940
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.
September 7th
1940
348 bombers and 617 fighters of the German Luftwaffe descend on the British capital city of London in a massive bombing raid.
September 15th
1940
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".
September 16th
1940
The German Luftwaffe redirects it sbombing campaign to now cover night-bombing of British cities.
September 17th
1940
With the unexpected results of his campaign against Britain, Hitler officially postpones Operation Sea Lion indefinitely.
September 20th
1940
Massive convoys breed equal massive measures - German U-boats begin operating in 20-strong "Wolf Packs" with coordinated attacks.
September 27th
1940
The Axis powers of Germany, Italy, and Japan strengthen their ties through the Tripartite Act which makes an enemy of an ally an enemy to all.
October 1st - October 30th
1940
German BF 110 twin-engine nightfighters take advantage of the new Lichtenstein radar systems to track, target and engage RAF bombers.
October 7th
1940
German forces cross onto Romanian soil to train the national military as a means to position themselves closer to the vital Ploesti oil fields.
October 12th
1940
Hitler is forced to postpone the British mainland invasion until the Spring of 1941.
October 18th - October 19th
1940
An attack on two Allied convoys yields 36 sunken ships by the attacking German U-boats.
November 18th
1940
A Sunderland flying boat aircraft - fitted with new radar - locates its first German U-boat submarine.
November 20th
1940
The Hungarian government formally allys with the Axis powers.
November 23rd
1940
The Romanian government formally allys with the Acis powers.
November 26th
1940
The construction of a ghetto in the Polish capital of Warsaw is begun in an effort to corral the local Jewish populations.
December 16th
1940
RAF bombers strike on Mannheim as revenge for the German air raids over Coventry.
December 18th
1940
Hiter's Directive Number 21 is revealed as the invasion of the Soviet Union through Operation Barbarossa.
January 29th
1941
High level talks between the British and the Americans results in strengthening ties for the nations in the event of an American declaration of war with Germany.
February 14th
1941
Erwin Rommel's Afrika Corps arrives in Tripoli to bolster the wavering Italian forces in North Africa.
February 14th
1941
Bulgaria agrees to allow Germany use of its soil bordering Greece for the upcoming invasion.
March 11th
1941
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.
March 24th
1941
German forces drive the British from El Agheila in Libya.
March 24th
1941
Rommel begins his attack near El Agheila.
March 25th
1941
Prince Paul of Yugoslavia offers his allegiance to the Axis, signing the Tripartite Pact.
March 25th
1941
The Yugoslavian government formally signs support for the Axis powers.
March 26th
1941
In Berlin, Hitler reportedly tells his high level officers "I have decided to destroy Yugoslavia".
March 27th
1941
Prince Paul of Yugoslavia is forceably removed from power via a coup led by Bora Mirkovic and Dusan Simovic. Simovic is installed as the new ruler of Yugoslavia and quickly makes an effort to break Yugoslavia's commitment to the Tripartite Pact with the Axis.
March 31st
1941
The recent unrest in Yugoslavia forces the Germans to draw up plans of the invasion of Yugoslavia through Directive Number 25.
March 30th
1941
United States vessels capture some sixty-five ships aligned with the Axis powers.
April 1st
1941
The German port of Emden is bombed by six Wellington bomber aircraft.
April 2nd
1941
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.
April 2nd
1941
Rommel's forces reach Agedabia.
April 6th
1941
Rommel reaches Mechili.
April 6th
1941
Operation Marita - the dual Germany invasion of Greece and Yugoslavia - is put into action. Twenty-four total divisions are involved, including some 1200 tanks.
April 7th
1941
Rommel reaches Derna.
April 8th
1941
229 RAF bomber aircraft rain 40,000 incendiary ordnance on the German naval base at Kiel.
April 8th
1941
A massive German bombing raid on the Yugoslavian capital city of Belgrade nets over 300,000 civilian casualties.
April 9th
1941
The German Army moves on and captures the strategic port city of Salonika.
April 9th
1941
The German 12th Army encircles and defeats the Greek defensive line known as the "Metaxas Line".
April 10th
1941
The first US combat action against Germany occurs - this being the USS Niblack destroyer firing on a marauding German U-boat violating the US security zone.
April 10th - April 16th
1941
Three divisions of British, Australian and New Zealand troops at the Aliakmon Line in the Vermion Mountains are defeated.
April 12th
1941
German forces launching from Romania, Austria, Hungary and Bulgaria along with an Italian contigent from Albania capture and secure the Yugoslavian capital of Belgrade.
April 12th
1941
Vermion Line Allied troops are now redeployed to defensive positions around Mount Olympus.
April 14th
1941
The German Army destroys Yugoslavian forces at Monistar Gap, clearing a path into Greece. Greece units fighting in Albania are effectively cut off.
April 16th
1941
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.
April 17th
1941
Yugoslavian leadership, along with the army, surrenders to the Germans.
April 20th
1941
The Greek Army surrenders to the Germans and Italians.
April 25th
1941
Fuhrer Directive No.28 is issued by Adolf Hitler, calling for the invasion of the island of Crete through Operation Mercury led by General Kurt Student.
April 26th
1941
Allied codebreakers intercept word of the impending German invasion of Crete.
April 26th
1941
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.
April 27th
1941
Axis forces officially occupy Athens, effectively signaling the end of Greek resistance.
April 30th
1941
Allied forces based on Crete receive a new leader in the form of Major-General Bernard Freyberg.
May 9th
1941
HMS Bulldog acquires the first Enigma code machine during the capture of the U-110. British codebreakers set to work on deciphering the device.
May 15th
1941
The British launch Operation Brevity against Rommel's dug-in forces, making little progress against the prepared defenders.
May 19th
1941
In advance of the Crete invasion, RAF fighters are relocated to Egypt for safe-keeping.
May 19th
1941
Allied codebreakers intercept word that Operation Mercury will commence the very next day. The Allies begin preparations.
May 20th
1941
Between 1:30 and 2:00 PM, the second wave of German airborne troops take off from Greece towards drop zones in Crete.
May 20th
1941
The German heavy cruiser KMS Prinz Eugen and the battleship KMS Bismarck leave port for the North Sea.
May 20th
1941
At about 2:00 PM, the second wave of German paratroops land around Heraklion and Rethymnon.
May 20th
1941
The first day of the German invasion of Crete sees little progress as many strategic positions are not under German control yet.
May 20th
1941
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.
May 20th
1941
Allied flak teams destroy as many as 50% of the invading German transport planes in the first few hours of the operation.
May 20th
1941
Operation Mercury is officially launched.
May 20th
1941
At approximately 7:00 AM, the first German airborne troops land at locations near Maleme and Khania.
May 20th
1941
At least 500 Junkers Ju 52 transport aircraft are utilized in the first wave of airdrops over Crete.
May 21st
1941
The British Navy is notified of the increase in German warship activity in the North Sea.
May 21st
1941
A German offensive against Heraklion is pushed away by at least 8,000 dug-in Allied soldiers.
May 21st
1941
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.
May 21st
1941
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.
May 22nd
1941
The HMS Greyhound, a British destroyer, is downed by German bombers.
May 22nd
1941
New Zealand troops are repelled from an attempt to retake the airfield at Maleme from the Germans.
May 22nd
1941
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.
May 23rd
1941
German dive bombers destroy the HMS Kelly and HMS Kashmir, two Royal Navy destroyers.
May 23rd
1941
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.
May 23rd
1941
German dive bombers destroy the HMS Gloucester and the HMS Fiji, two Royal Navy cruisers.
May 24th
1941
The HMS Suffolk loses track of the KMS Bismarck.
May 24th
1941
At 5:52 AM, the Bismarck and the Prinz Eugen fall under attack from Royal Navy ships.
May 24th
1941
At 6:13 AM, the battleship Prince of Wales is damaged enough to pull out of the battle.
May 24th
1941
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.
May 25th
1941
German Admiral Lutjens orders that the Prinz Eugen break from the Bismarck.
May 26th
1941
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.
May 26th
1941
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.
May 26th
1941
A British Coastal Command PBY Catalina flying boat spots the KMS Bismarck 700 miles from Brest.
May 26th
1941
Royal Navy ships open fire with their long range guns and close in on their prey.
May 26th
1941
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.
May 27th
1941
At 10:36 AM, the mighty German battleship Bismarck sinks into blue depths, leaving only 115 German sailors to recount her story.
May 27th
1941
At 10:00 AM, the Bismarck's guns fall silent s she takes on water and burns.
May 27th
1941
The first escorted convoy - HX129 - crosses the Atlantic.
May 27th
1941
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.
May 27th
1941
The German Army takes Heraklion and her all-important airfield.
May 30th
1941
The brave defense of Rethymnon by Australian soldiers finally falters under intense pressure from the German Army.
May 31st
1941
By this date, Crete is firmly entrenched under German rule.
June 22nd
1941
Operation Barbossa is put into effect - the German invasion of the Soviet Union.
June 29th
1941
General Guderian's Panzergruppe 2 meets General Hoth's Panzergruppe 3 in Minsk.
June 29th
1941
Russian army forces are encirlced at key cities across the Soviet Union.
July 1st
1941
Panzergruppe 2 and Panzergruppe 3 cross the Berezina River west of Minsk, heading towards Smolensk and Vitebsk.
July 3rd
1941
Panzergruppe 2 and Panzergruppe 3 now form up as part of General Gunther von Kluge's 4th Panzer Army.
July 9th
1941
Gurderian's army moves south towards Mogliev.
July 9th
1941
Panzergruppe 3 continues north to Vitebsk.
July 9th
1941
Soviet defenses at Brest-Litovsk, Bialystok, Volkovysk, Gorodishche and Minsk fall to the invading German Army.
July 10th
1941
Guderian's forces cross the Dniepr River 50 miles outside of Smolensk.
July 13th
1941
The Soviet 19th Army makes its way into Smolensk.
July 13th
1941
The Soviet 20th Army arrives in Smolensk.
July 13th
1941
Defenses across Smolensk are prepared under the direction of the Soviet 16th Army.
July 16th
1941
Panzergruppe 3 heads towards Yartsevo.
July 16th
1941
Marshal Timoshenko and his 4th and 13th Armies near the Sohz River counterattack the Germans at Smolensk.
July 16th
1941
Smolensk falls to the German 29th Motorized Division.
July 17th
1941
The German Army begins to tighten the noose around the encircled Soviet forces numbering some 25 divisions.
July 19th
1941
A German High Command directive calls for the army to complete the destruction of Soviet forces around Smolensk and then head south to tackle forces in Kiev instead of marching on Moscow herself - this decision is viewed as the turning point to Germany's defeat in Russia.
July 22nd
1941
The Soviet counterattack at Smolensk is driven back by Guderian's forces.
July 22nd
1941
The German Army begins to encircled in Soviet Army pockets held up outside of Smolensk, Vitebsk and Mogilev.
July 22nd
1941
A Soviet offensive meant to break the German stranglehold fails due to poor coordination.
July 24th
1941
The German encirclement of Soviet forces is completed.
August 5th
1941
300,000 Soviet prisoners, 3,200 tanks and 3,100 artillery guns are captured by the Germans at Smolensk.
August 5th
1941
The drive to Smolensk nets a total of 600,000 Russian prisoners of war, 5,700 tanks and 4,600 artillery pieces.
August 5th
1941
The Soviet defense of Smolensk is obliterated and falls taking with it the end of the Soviet 16th and 20th Armies.
August 21st
1941
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.
August 31st
1941
A report stuns the RAF by showcasing how only one-in-every-three RAF bombers actually it their targets.
September 1st
1941
German Army elements begin the shelling of Leningrad.
September 15th
1941
The Germans now control the southern end of Leningrad, cutting its citizens off from the rest of the Soviet Union.
September 15th
1941
Finnish forces, siding with the Germans, now control the Karelian isthmus, covering Leningrad from both sides.
September 15th
1941
The Soviet fortress at Shlusselburg southeast of Leningrad falls to the Germans.
September 25th
1941
The Crimea finds itself cutoff from the rest of the Soviet Union by German Army forces made up of German Army Group South.
September 26th - November 26th
1941
Over the course of two months, Soviet Major-General I.Y. Pretov and his band of 32,000 Independent Maritime Army soldiers set up a vast network of defenses at the fortress in Sevastopol. The defense consists of three well-defended rings.
October 1st - December 31st
1941
As rations begin to run out in the encircled city of Leningrad, its citizens begin to starve.
November 9th
1941
The Germans take the supply line route of Tikhvin, located east of Schlusselburg.
November 16th
1941
By this date, Lieutenant-General von Manstein and his German 11th Army take most of Crimea with the exception of Sevastapol.
December 5th
1941
The Soviets launch a full-scale counter-attack along a 500-mile front encompassing 19 Russian armies against Field Marshal von Bock's German Army Group Centre near Moscow.
December 6th
1941
The Soviet 31st Army cuts 12 miles into the German lines.
December 6th
1941
No fewer than 17 German motorized divisions retreat from the Soviet advance.
December 9th - December 13th
1941
General Guderian's Panzergruppe 2 is cut off from General Kluge's 4th Army.
December 10th
1941
The Soviet supply route is restarted across frozen Lake Lagoda.
December 10th
1941
The Soviets retake the town of Tikhvin.
December 11th
1941
As expected, Germany and Italy side with Japan and officially declare war on the United States
December 16th
1941
Amid the mounting pressures and expectations of his superiors back in Germany, Field Marshal von Bock requests reassignment away from Army Group Centre.
December 17th
1941
Lieutenant-General von Manstein launches a major offensive against the Soviet soldiers holed up in the Sevastopol fortress.
December 17th
1941
Field Marshal von Kluge is tapped to replace Field Marshal von Bock as leader of Army Group Centre.
December 26th
1941
Soviet naval forces land army troops near Kerch.
December 26th
1941
Manstein's offensive gains substantial ground, piercing the first two Soviet defensive rings.
December 28th
1941
In the face of growing Soviet Army opposition, von Manstein calls off his offensive on Sevastopol.
December 28th
1941
More Soviet forces land near Kerch via amphibious transports, bolstering Red Army power in the area.
January 1st - January 31st
1942
Over the course of the month, three Soviet armies, under the command of Major-General D.T. Kozlov, are called to the newly created "Crimea Front".
January 1st - July 31st
1942
Some 800,000 of Leningrad's citizens are evacuated through the frozen passage above Lake Lagoda.
January 1st
1942
The German U-boat fleet now numbers some 331 operational vessels.
January 1st - March 1st
1942
Off the east coast of the United States, some 216 vessels fall prey to the German U-boat scourge in this span.
January 7th
1942
Along the Volkhov Front to the south of Novgorod, the Soviets launch a major offensive.
January 7th
1942
With progress over the Germans being made on several fronts, Soviet forces launch another offensive to try and encircle Army Group Centre.
January 25th
1942
The Soviet movement begins losing steam after consecutive weeks of fighting. Man and machine are beginning to show their limitations.
February 2nd
1942
Adolph Hitler approves of the order for retreat for German forces at Rostov.
February 5th
1942
Rostov is officially abandoned by General Manstein's forces.
February 6th
1942
German General Manstein meets with Hitler and proposes a new German counter-attack against the Russians.
February 12th
1942
German Army Group B is renamed Army Group Center.
February 12th
1942
German Army Group Don is renamed Army Group South.
February 14th - February 18th
1942
Street fighting begins between the German I SS Panzer Corps and the Russian 3rd Tank Army and 40th Army forces in Kharkov.
February 14th
1942
RAF Bomber Command issues its "Area Bombing Directive", allowing the legitimate bombing of civilian areas.
February 17th
1942
Adolph Hitler meets with General Manstein to plan a German counter-offensive.
February 18th
1942
German forces are officially driven from the Russian city of Kharkov.
February 20th
1942
The Germans unleash their counterattack using the 4th Panzer Amry, 1st Panzer Army and the II SS Panzer Corps.
February 28th
1942
The Germans recapture lost ground and push elements of the Russian Army back. The German army reaches as far in as the River Donets while General Vatutin's forces are surrounded.
March 1st - April 30th
1942
Hitler and his commanders flesh out Operation Blue - in invasion of the oil-rich, Russian-held Caucasus.
March 1st - March 30th
1942
The whole Soviet 2nd Shock Army is lost near Novgorod.
March 1st - March 30th
1942
The Soviet offensive near Novgorod is stopped by German ground and air elements.
March 1st
1942
The Avro Lancaster heavy bomber is inducted into RAF service.
March 7th
1942
German General Hoth and his 4th Panzer Army form up and launch an offensive against the Voronezh Front near Kharkov.
March 12th
1942
Street fighting throughout Kharkov erupts once more as German forces enter Kharkov.
March 14th
1942
The 4th Panzer Army surrounds the city of Kharkov.
March 18th - March 26th
1942
The Soviets and Germans both dig in within and around the city of Kharkov, preparing to fight another day.
March 18th
1942
The Germans complete the retaking of Kharkov.
March 20th
1942
British Convoy PQ13 sets sail for Russia but comes under fire from German U-Boats. Five of the 19 ships are lost.
March 28th
1942
234 RAF bombers drop incendiaries on Lubeck. 12 aircraft are lost.
March 28th
1942
The British utilize the "Gee" electronic navigation system for the first time.
April 1st - May 31st
1942
Over a two month period, German forces are resupplied and strengthened before a major offensive - Operation Bustard - to remove the Soviets from the Kerch peninsula. Among the resupply deliveries are 33 massive artillery pieces meant to destroy the Soviet defensive works at the fort in Sevastopol.
April 5th
1942
Hitler issues the official Fuhrer Directive for Operation Blue.
April 30th
1942
Spring over Russia brings about seasonal rains turning once solid and dependable ground into a muddy nightmare for both armies. As such, offensives are limited or stalled altogether.
April 30th
1942
German Army forces partially regroup and recover from the constant barrage of Soviet offensives.
April 30th
1942
By this time, over 1 million German soldiers have been killed in action since the start of Operation Barbarossa.
May 8th
1942
Lieutenant-General von Manstein launches his assault.
May 8th
1942
Operation Blue begins.
May 8th
1942
German General Manstein leads his 11th Army onto the Kerch Peninsula towards the city of Sevastopol.
May 12th
1942
German forces enact Operation Fridericus and attempt to take Izyum.
May 12th
1942
Soviet ground forces launch a pre-emptive offensive against German-held Kharkov.
May 14th
1942
The convoy system is formally adopted by the United States in an effort to protect its merchant shipping in the Atlantic.
May 15th
1942
Sevastopol is cutt off from the rest of the Soviet Union by German Army elements.
May 15th
1942
Manstein's offensive results in the taking of the Kerch peninsula from the Soviets.
May 15th
1942
Manstein begins planning his next major offensive to take Sevastopol - this becomes Operation Sturgeon.
May 20th
1942
The 2nd Canadian Infantry Division begins training for Operation Rutter on the Isle of Wight.
May 26th
1942
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.
May 26th
1942
Rommel begins his offense against the Gazala Line, made up of some 50 miles of British defenses.
May 27th
1942
The 1st Free French Brigade at Bir Hacheim holds off the German progress.
May 27th
1942
German forces south of Bir Hacheim make progress and begin to move northwards.
May 28th
1942
While trying to take Sidra Ridge, German Panzer force casaulties begin to mount significantly.
May 30th
1942
RAF Bomber Command attack Cologne with 1,046 aircraft in the first of their "1,000 Bomber" raids.
May 31st
1942
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.
May 31st
1942
Rommel orders his forces to begin defensive preparations across a 10 mile stretch.
June 1st - June 30th
1942
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.
June 1st
1942
Nearly 30% of German tanks have been lost in Rommel's offensive.
June 1st - June 3rd
1942
A German pocket develops near Sidi Muftah.
June 2nd
1942
600 German artillery guns open fire on Sevastopol.
June 5th
1942
The Allies attempt an offensive to drive the German pocket back from Sidi Muftah and fail. 230 Allied tanks are lost in the attack.
June 6th
1942
The British 150th Brigade is utterly destroyed under the German assault, resulting in 4,000 British prisoners of war.
June 6th
1942
The German Luftwaffe is called in to bomb Sevastopol.
June 7th
1942
The German 11th Army begins their assault on Sevastopol from the north at 2:30AM.
June 7th
1942
The German artillery guns cease fire on Sevastopol. The bombardment on the Soviets has spanned five days.
June 10th
1942
The 1st Free French Brigade at Bir Hacheim can hold no more and retreat under the mounting German pressure.
June 11th
1942
The Allies go into full retreat as the Germans advance.
June 11th
1942
The German Army breaks out of their pocket near Sidi Muftah.
June 11th
1942
German forces breaking out near Sidi Muftah target the British 7th Armored Division near El Adem.
June 11th
1942
The German-allied Romanian Mountain Corps and 30th Army Corps launch their attack on Sevastopol.
June 12th - June 16th
1942
The German offensive against Sevastopol is repulsed by the 180,000 or so Russian soldiers holed up in the city.
June 17th
1942
Manstein launches another assault on Sevastopol.
June 18th
1942
The city of Tobruk, defended by the 2nd South African Division, is completely surrounded by German forces.
June 20th
1942
At 7:00PM, the German 15th and 21st Panzer Divisions have made it past Tobruk's first line of defense, making headway into the city.
June 20th
1942
Artillery shells and Luftwaffe bombs rain upon Tobruk.
June 20th
1942
Rommel begins his offensive against the defenders in Tobruk.
June 21st
1942
The 2nd South African Division under Allied General Klopper officially concede defeat and hand control of Tobruk to the Germans.
June 27th - July 28th
1942
Convoy PQ17 loses 34 of its 36 ships to Geman U-Boats and surface ships.
June 27th
1942
German forces complete their capture of Izyum.
June 27th
1942
The Soviet Army is encircled and defeated at Kharkov, netting the Germans some 250,000 Soviet prisoners.
June 27th
1942
The Romanian and German army forces capture key hilltop positions near Sevastopol.
June 28th
1942
By this date, over 90% of the Soviet defensive fortifications have fallen to the Germans.
June 28th
1942
German forces reach the outskirts of Sevastopol.
June 28th
1942
The German 2nd Army and 4th Panzer Army launch their attack towards Voronezh near Kursk.
June 28th
1942
The German Army turns its attention towards the Volga.
June 30th
1942
Evacuation of Russian soldiers from Sevastopol begins with help from the Soviet Black Sea Fleet under Vice-Admiral F.S. Oktyabrsky.
June 30th
1942
German General Paulus attacks at Belgorod.
July 1st
1942
One last German push secures strategic positions throughout the city of Sevastopol.
July 1st
1942
German General Erwin Rommel attempts to break through the Allied defensive perimeter at El Alamein.
July 1st - July 31st
1942
Hitler orders two directives in the operation against Leningrad. The first calls for its immediate encirclement and the second for its immediate destruction from land and air.
July 1st - July 22nd
1942
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.
July 2nd
1942
The last of the Soviet forces are evacuated by sea leaving little to stop the German onslaught.
July 2nd
1942
The Soviet city of Sevastopol officially falls to the Germans.
July 3rd
1942
The Allies put up a stubborn defense, repelling Rommel's offensive.
July 4th
1942
Sevastopol officially falls to German control.
July 4th
1942
German control and the subsequent round up on the city nets some 90,000 Soviet army prisoners of war.
July 6th
1942
The Soviet city of Voronezh falls to the German Army.
July 6th
1942
The German 6th Army reaches the Don River.
July 6th
1942
The German 6th Army moves on Stalingrad.
July 7th
1942
This date is set aside for Operation Rutter - the amphibious landing at the port city of Dieppe in occupied France.
July 7th
1942
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.
July 7th
1942
German General Field Marshal List takes command of the new Army Goup A, made up of the 1st Panzer Army and the 17th Army.
July 9th
1942
German Army Group South is renamed Army Group B and placed under the control of Field Marshal von Bock.
July 9th
1942
The German Army begins its move towards Rostov.
July 13th
1942
Adolf Hitler assigns General Paulus and his 6th Army to take Stalingrad.
July 13th
1942
General von Weichs takes control of Army Group B from Bock.
July 17th
1942
Hitler diverts the 4th Panzer Army away from Stalingrad and sends them towards the Caucasus.
July 19th
1942
German U-boats off the eastern coast of the US are relocated to better assault the merchant fleets streaming across the Atlantic.
July 23rd
1942
Rostov falls to the German Army Group A, netting some 83,000 Soviet prisoners as a result.
July 23rd
1942
Hitler issues a supplemental directive to Operation Blue requiring his 6th Army to take Stalingrad.
July 28th
1942
The macabre resolution of "not one step backwards" is issued by Stalin to his generals and troops.
August 1st
1942
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.
August 1st - August 31st
1942
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.
August 1st - August 30th
1942
German forces are strengthened by the arrival of another Italian division, a German parachute brigade and more tanks.
August 4th
1942
Elements of the German Army cross the Aksay River towards Stalingrad.
August 6th
1942
The German Army crosses the Kuban River near Armavir.
August 7th
1942
Elements of the German Army attack Soviet forces near Kalach.
August 9th
1942
The German German Army captures the strategic port of Yeysk and Krasnador on the Sea of Azov.
August 9th
1942
Army Group A captures the Maikop oil field on the Black Sea.
August 14th
1942
German forces cross the Kuban river near Krasnador.
August 19th
1942
At 4:30 AM, Canadian soldiers wade ashore and take on the German coastal batteries at Berneval, Puys, Pourville and Varengville.
August 19th
1942
This date is targeted for Operation Jubilee.
August 19th
1942
Operation Jubilee is officially put into action.
August 19th
1942
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.
August 19th - September 30th
1942
A Soviet offensive aimed at smashing through the German lines fails.
August 19th
1942
At 5:20 AM, the main invasion force - made up of the 14th Army Tank Regiment, the Essex Scottish Regiment, and the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry - come ashore.
August 19th
1942
At 5:35 AM, Allied armor makes it to the beach. Over half of the tanks are lost in the action.
August 19th
1942
By 11:00 AM, disaster has completely befallen the invaders. Many are trapped, forced back or dead to a prepared German defense.
August 19th
1942
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.
August 19th
1942
German General Paulus and his 6th Army is ordered to attack the Soviet city of Stalingrad.
August 19th
1942
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.
August 21st
1942
Nazi-allied French leader Marshal Petain celebrates the German victory over the Allied invasion at Dieppe.
August 22nd
1942
German land forces advancing into the Caucasus are stopped.
August 23rd
1942
Army Group B reaches the Volga River.
August 25th
1942
Stalingard is officially under siege by the Germans Army.
August 30th
1942
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.
September 1st - September 30th
1942
The month is spent ironing out plans for the Allied invasion of German-occupied North Africa.
September 1st
1942
Germany Army elements, backed by Romanians cross the Kerch Straits.
September 1st
1942
The Germans establish a bridgehead over the Terek River.
September 1st - September 30th
1942
German progress throughout the Casucasus is slowed by Soviet resistance and fuel/supply shortages.
September 2nd
1942
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.
September 2
1942
Rommel's assault is thwarted, his tank forces suffering high losses in the attack - and his army is pushed back to Bab el Qattara.
Setember 2nd - September 26th
1942
Convoy PQ18 reaches Russia despite losing 13 of her ships.
September 3rd - October 23rd
1942
General Montgomery decides to make El Alamein a war of numbers and stockpiles his supplies to eventually try to overwhelm the Germans.
September 3rd
1942
The Germans enact an offensive aimed at the heart of Stalingrad.
September 6th
1942
The strategic Black Sea port city Novorossiysk falls to the Germans.
September 10th
1942
100,000 incendiary bombs are dropped on Dusseldorf by no fewer than 476 RAF bombers.
September 15th
1942
The Soviet Army is unleashed on Voronezh.
September 24th
1942
The German Army makes headway toward Tuapse.
September 25th
1942
With winter upon the German Army once more, Hitler orders a halt to any major offensives around Leningrad.
October 1st - October 31st
1942
With a lull in the fighting, Soviet forces near Leningrad are able to receive much needed supplies and reinforcements.
October 6th
1942
Malgobek falls to the German Army.
October 9th
1942
The Soviet government hands all military powers to the Soviet Army.
October 18th
1942
The German drive against Tuapse is stopped by the Soviets.
October 23rd
1942
XXX and X Corps begin their assault on Axis nothern positions.
October 23rd
1942
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.
October 23rd
1942
The Allied counter-offensive begins through Operation Lightfoot, a massive artillery bombardment of dug-in German forces.
October 14th
1942
Adolf Hitler stops all further offensives against Soviet targets in the region for the year and orders his commanders to hold their positions until 1943.
October 25th
1942
Montgomery enacts Operation Supercharge and pulls some diversionary forces from his southern attacks to reinforce the north where losses continue to mount.
October 25th
1942
Allied mine-clearing operations begin while combat continues
October 25th
1942
Four Allied brigades have managed to break through the German defensive lines.
October 25th
1942
The Germans enact a new offensive in the Caucasus.
November 1st
1942
The Caucasus town of Alagir is captured by the Germans.
November 2nd
1942
The Caucasus town of Ordzhonikidse is captured by the Germans.
November 2nd
1942
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.
November 4th
1942
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.
November 7th
1942
Three Allied task forces - the US Western, Central and the British Eastern - approach the coast of North Africa.
November 8th
1942
The Allied invasion forces reach North African shores.
November 12th
1942
German paratroopers move into the area near the airfield at Bone.
November 12th
1942
German paratrooper forces attack the British paratroopers near Bone but are repelled.
November 12th
1942
British paratroopers land near Bone and take the nearby airfield.
November 15th
1942
Army Group A reaches as far as Ordzhonikidze and Mt. Elbus.
November 16th
1942
Allied forces begin their move into German-held Tunisia.
November 17th
1942
The Allies capture Beja.
November 18th
1942
The Allies take Sidi Nsir.
November 19th
1942
The Soviets push forward a new two-part offensive - Operation Uranus - north of Stalingrad and break through the Romanian-held defenses.
November 20th
1942
The Allied assault on the strategic city of Medjez el Bab begins.
November 20th
1942
Part 2 of Operation Uranus is enacted at the southern end of Stalingrad.
November 20th
1942
German General Manstein is appointed the commander of Army Group Don.
November 22nd
1942
Two elements of the Soviet Army meets at Kalach, effectively encircling the German 6th Army at Stalingrad.
November 25th
1942
In an effort to resupply their troops, the German Luftwaffe is called upon to exercise airdrops of vital supplies to the German 6th Army.
November 26th
1942
Medjez el Bab falls to the Allies.
November 30th
1942
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.
November 30th
1942
German General Paulus and his 6th Army is contained by the fierce resisting Soviets in Stalingrad, putting Hitler's plans on hold.
December 12th
1942
While Hitler rejects any plea from the German 6th Army to retreat from their position, the 4th Panzer Army is used through Operation Winter Storm in an attempt to relieve the beleaguered German troops at Stalingrad.
December 16th
1942
The Soviet Army puts Operation Little Saturn into effect and attacks Rostov.
December 16th
1942
The Italian Army goes into full retreat from the Soviet advance.
December 16th
1942
German Army forces are called off from further offensives at Tuapse.
December 21st
1942
Soviet relief forces and supplies headed for Stalingrad are stopped at Myshkova.
December 23rd
1942
All further attempts to relieve Stalingrad are put on hold, indefinitely.
December 24th
1942
The Soviet Army launches a fresh attack at Kotelnikovo, routing its Romanian defenders and putting them into full retreat.
December 28th
1942
German Army Group A is given the official order to retreat from the Caucasus region.
December 31st
1942
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.
January 1st
1943
German forces at Terek retreat.
January 1st
1943
The H2S navigation system is delivered to the RAF for installation into bombers.
January 8th
1943
Soviet generals send in the formal request for surrender of the German 6th Army at Stalingrad, a request which is formally rejected.
January 10th
1943
Soviet General Rokossovsky unleashes hell on the German 6th Army through thousands of artillery cannons and Katyusha rockets.
January 12th
1943
German Caucasus elements make it to their bridgehead over the Kuban River.
January 12th
1943
Soviet troops make headway against the defensive lines at the Don River held by Hungarian and Italian troops.
January 12th
1943
The Soviets enact Operation Spark and cut a path through the German lines clearing a path to Leningrad. This offers the citizens of the city some much needed foot rations.
January 13th
1943
German Army elements at Terek retreat to the Nagutskoye-Alexsandrovskoye position.
January 14th
1943
U-boat bases at Cherbourg and Lorient are targeted by the Royal Air Force.
January 14th
1943
In an effort to replenish and build up their army ranks along the East Front, German Generals proposed conscription service of the Baltic people for service .
January 17th
1943
The German Panzer Corps at the Don are officially surrounded.
January 19th
1943
The Soviets retake the city of Shlusselburg.
January 25th
1943
A Soviet offensive splits the German 6th Army at Stalingrad.
January 25th
1943
German forces at Armavir retreat.
January 25th
1943
German forces at Voronezh retreat.
January 31st
1943
German General Paulus formally surrenders his southern Stalingrad army to the Soviets.
February 1st
1943
A Presidential directive calls for some 250 American aircraft to begin offensive actions in the Atlantic.
February 2nd
1943
The German Army north pocket at Stalingrad formally surrenders to the Soviet Army.
February 2nd
1943
The liberation of Stalingrad is officially over.
February 14th
1943
At 4AM, elements of the 10th Panzer Division and 21st Panzer Division under General von Arnim, launch their attack at Allied forces near Sidi Bou Zid and Bir el Hafey.
February 15th
1943
German General Erwin Rommel commences with his assault through Operation Morgenluft. His attack takes him towards Gafsa, Feriana and Thelepte.
February 18th
1943
General von Arnim and General Rommels forces finally meet at Kasserine.
February 19th
1943
American armored forces hold up the German advanced at Kasserine Pass.
February 20th
1943
Allied units move from Le Kef for the counter-attack.
February 20th
1943
The British 6th Armored Brigade moves towards Thala and Sbiba.
February 20th
1943
US forces move in to stop the German advance around Tebessa.
February 20th
1943
The Americans fold under the immense German assault and Kasserine Pass falls to the invaders.
February 21st
1943
The German forces at Kasserine Pass under Rommel await the Allied counter-offensive that never materializes.
February 22nd
1943
Allied forces hold the Germans in check at Sbiba, Tebessa and Thala, inflicting 2,000 German casualties and forcing Rommel to call for a retreat.
February 25th
1943
Kasserine is now firmly in Allied control, the Germans having retreated and Rommel's attention now elsewhere.
February 25th
1943
Rommel relocates his forces east and plans his defense against Montgomery and his 8th Army at the Mareth line.
March 1st - March 31st
1943
The German battleship KMS Scharnhorst makes its way to Norway, building up the already potent German Navy force that includes the KMS Tirpitz and KMS Lutzow.
March 1st - July 31st
1943
Any further British convoy runs to Russia are postponed as supplies are funneled to other areas of the Atlantic.
March 4th
1943
RAF Bomber Command numbers total some 950 bombers of various types. Most important are the Avro Lancasters.
March 5th
1943
For the first time, RAF bombers make use of the "Oboe" navigational aid in a large-scale operation.
May 1st - May 31st
1943
By the end of May, 43 U-boats are sunk to just 34 merchant vessels.
May 1st
1943
Allied aircraft are fitted with U-boat detecting radar systems.
May 16th
1943
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.
May 19th
1943
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.
May 24th
1943
Due to dwindling results, German Admiral Karl Donitz calls back his U-boats from operations in the Atlantic.
June 1st - June 30th
1943
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.
June 1st
1943
The German U-boats are unleashed once more, this time operating in substantially smaller groups.
June 6th
1943
The Allied D-Day landings in the North of France eventually render the French-German U-boat bases inoperable.
July 1st
1943
No fewer than eight German U-Boats shadow convoy PQ17.
July 5th
1943
The Germans enact Operation Citadel - the assault on the Kursk salient. The operation begins at 4:30am but major elements are delayed until 5:00am thanks to intense artillery attacks by the prepared Russians.
July 6th
1943
Soviet Marshal-General Rokossovsky and his Central Front army engage in a counter-attack against the German offensive. The counter-attack fails but is enough to slow the German 9th Army some. A measly 6 miles of territory is gained by the Germans.
July 7th
1943
German General Hoth and his 4th Panzer Army move into the salient, covering some 20 miles of territory. Their advantage brings them near Pokrovka.
July 9th
1943
The Allied invasion fleets sail out to Sicily.
July 10th
1943
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.
July 10th
1943
Soviet resistance to the German offensives is so intense that German General Hoth is forced to bring up his reserves and commit them to the fight. The advancing Germans are slowed evermore by the stinky Soviet defenders, also made up of deadly anti-tank teams.
July 10th
1943
The British 5th Division takes Cassibile.
July 10th
1943
US 82nd Airborne Division and British 1st Airborne Division paratroopers land at strategic locations across Sicily prior to the invasion force's arrival.
July 10th
1943
15th Army Group begins their initial assault to the south.
July 11th
1943
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.
July 11th
1943
The Soviet Bryansk Front northeast of Kursk moves in on German General Model's 9th Army.
July 11th
1943
Soviet generals Zhukov and Vassilevky are given total control of the actions in and around Kursk by Stalin himself.
July 12th
1943
A huge battle involving more than 1,000 tanks of the German and Soviet armies duke it out near Pokrovka.
July 12th
1943
Soviet General Sokolosky moves against German Army Group Center and the 9th Army in a counter-offensive.
July 12th
1943
The Soviets commit more tanks against Hoth and his 4th Panzer Army.
July 13th
1943
Adolph Hitler orders an end to Operation Citadel.
July 13th
1943
By this date, some 478,000 Allied troops have landed on Sicily.
July 13th
1943
Allied airborne elements parachute into Sicily and capture key bridges. However, a German counter-attack drives back any gains of the day.
July 14th
1943
German Paratroopers repel Allied forces from the Primasole bridge.
July 14th
1943
The Allies control key airfields across the island, allowing air support more resources from which to work with.
July 14th
1943
British and American forces finally meet at Comiso and Ragusa.
July 15th
1943
Fighting in the Kursk salient officially ends.
July 17th
1943
The Primsole bridge is recaptured from the Germans.
July 22nd
1943
US General George C. Patton and his fabled 7th Army move along the west of the island at speed, claiming the Sicilian capital of Palermo in the process.
July 23rd
1943
German Army forces are pushed back to their original starting positions by this date.
July 25th
1943
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.
July 27th
1943
RAF bombers make use of "Window" foil strips to disrupt enemy tracking radars.
July 27th
1943
44,600 Hamburg civilians are killed by RAF bomber attacks.
August 3rd
1943
Soviet forces of the Steppe, Voronezh and South-West Fronts initiate a new offensive against German Army Group South just outside of the Kursk salient.
August 5th
1943
After some time, the British finally capture the port at Catania. Though a vital and strategic victory, their advance delays the operation some.
August 5th
1943
Soviet Army forces move towards Kharkov, liberating the city of Belgorod in the process.
August 8th
1943
In an attempt to cut off the retreating Germans, the US 7th Army conducts a flanking amphibious attack.
August 11th
1943
The US 7th Army undertakes another amphibious jump to head off the German retreat.
August 11th
1943
The evacuation of Axis forces from Sicily begins.
August 12th
1943
Some 100,000 Axis soldiers are successfully rescued from Sicily. The rest are captured by advancing Allied forces.
August 15th
1943
One last amphibious assault by the 7th Army is conducted. The Germans now in full retreat to the northern tip of Sicily.
August 17th
1943
At approximately 3:00PM, the 1st Bomber Group finally reaches its targets after incurring heavy losses from German fighters. Their bombing run ensues over Schweinfurt.
August 17th
1943
Aircraft of the 4th Bombardment Wing take-off at 6:20AM in an effort to reach its target in daylight.
August 17th
1943
Bad weather delays the original 5:30AM launch time of the operation.
August 17th
1943
At approximately 6:00PM, elements of the 1st Bomber Group begin landing back at their UK bases. Some 36 aircraft are missing.
August 17th
1943
Some 250 German fighters, already alerted to the bomber group presence, are launched to repel subsequent air attacks.
August 17th
1943
At around 4:50PM, elements of the 4th Bomber Group begin landing at their pre-determined bases in North Africa. Twenty-four aircraft from the group are noted lost.
August 17th
1943
German Luftwaffe defense fighters attack the 4th Bombardment Wing formations passing over Germany.
August 17th
1943
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.
August 17th
1943
With only limited-range Allied fighter escorts, the first major air raid on Schweinfurt and Regensburg is launched. The air raid consists of 230 aircraft from the 1st Bombardment Wing and 146 aircraft of the 4th Bombardment Wing.
August 17th
1943
Sometime between 11:46AM and 12:09M, the 4th Bomber Group makes their bombing run on targets at Regensburg.
August 17th
1943
At 11:18AM, the 1st Bombardment Wing finally takes off.
August 23rd
1943
Kharkov is retaken by the Soviet Army.
August 30th
1943
German Army Group Center is in full retreat.
September 22nd
1943
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.
September 30th
1943
The German Army falls as far back as the Dniepr River.
September 30th
1943
By this date, the Soviet Army has established no less than five bridgeheads crossing the Dniepr River, keeping the Germans at bay for the time being.
October 14th
1943
Some 291 USAAF bombers of the 13th Bombardment Wing are once-again launched against Schweinfurt. Though 30% of German ball-bearing production is knocked out, 60 American aircraft do not return to home bases in the UK. The high level of losses in these raids forces the USAAF to temporarily suspend long-range bombing attacks into Germany.
November 18th
1943
444 RAF bombs drop ordnance on the German capital of Berlin with only 9 loss to enemy fire.
November 30th
1943
The British and Americans devise Operation Argument to counter the Luftwaffe threat through a round-the-clock bombing offensive; bad weather postpones any action.
December 26th
1943
The German battleship KMS Scharnhorst and 5 destroyers engage convoy JW55B.
December 26th
1943
At 7:30 PM, the KMS Scharnhorst is lost to action by Royal Navy surface warships, leaving just 36 of her crew alive.
January 1st
1944
A message to subordinates by US Army Air Force commanding general General H.H. Hap Arnold calls for the destruction of the German Luftwaffe before Allied landings can begin.
January 11th
1944
The first major Allied offensive to take Cassino is launched.
January 11th
1944
French Expeditionary Corps assail the outer defences at Cassino, achieving modest gains.
January 14th
1944
Soviet armies from the 2nd Baltic, Volkov and Leningrad fronts overtake German Army Group North in a massive two-week offensive.
January 17th
1944
The US is involved in their first major assault on Cassino.
January 18th - February 9th
1944
US forces begin making headway through the Liri Valley, capturing ground at Monte Calvario.
January 21st
1944
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.
January 22nd
1944
American forces hold the line at Mussolini Canal.
January 22nd
1944
British forces hold the line at River Moletta.
January 22nd
1944
Operation Shingle, the amphibious landings at Anzio, is enacted by the Allied. In lead is the US VI Corps under Major-General John Lucas.
January 22nd
1944
By 12AM midnight, some 45,000 Allied troops and 3,000 vehicles are on the beaches.
January 23rd
1944
German Colonel-General von Mackensen takes control of the new 14th Army headquartered 30 miles west of Rome.
January 23rd
1944
The Anzio beachhead is consolidated into a concentrated pocket on the orders of Lucas.
January 23rd
1944
The German Luftwaffe begins heavy strafing attacks and bombardment of Allied forces.
January 25th
1944
The Anzio beachhead continues to grow with Allied troops and equipment, making it a prime target for the regrouping Germans.
January 27th
1944
The siege of Leningrad is declared by Soviet leader Stalin as over.
January 27th
1944
The Moscow-Leningrad railway route is reopened in favor of the Soviets.
January 28th
1944
Von Mackensen moves six divisions to Anzio, some ten miles of the Allied beachhead.
January 28th
1944
The US 1st Armored Division captures the town of Aprilia.
January 28th
1944
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.
January 28th
1944
The Germans are driven back at Cisterna.
January 28th
1944
By this date, some 70,000 men, 27,000 tons of goods, 508 artillery guns and 237 tanks are ashore on the beachhead.
January 28th
1944
German Army Group North is pushed away from the city of Leningrad.
January 30th
1944
The Allies suffer some 5,000 casualties in the Anzio action by this date.
January 31st
1944
Von Mackensen's forces now number some eight divisions in strength.
February 10th
1944
In a counter offensive, crack German paratroopers repel US forces and previous Allied gains are lost.
February 11th
1944
The entire US 142nd Regiment is destroyed.
February 11th
1944
US and Indian losses mount in the offensives against German positions in Calvario, the town of Cassino and Monte Cassino itself.
February 11th
1944
A blanket retreat is enacted by the Allies in an attempt to regroup and plan a new strategy to take Cassino.
February 11th
1944
The 34th and 36th US Divisions both report a high number of casualties from the ensuing offensives.
February 11th
1944
The 4th Indian Division reports unacceptably high casualties when coming up against the stout German defenders.
February 12th
1944
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".
February 14th
1944
The offensive is detailed further, taking the latest developments into account.
February 14th
1944
American bombers strike the production facilities at Schweinfurt.
February 15th - February 18th
1944
The 2nd New Zealand Division assault is twarted and driven back, suffering high casualties.
February 15th - February 18th
1944
The 4th Indian Division is charged with taking both Monte Calvario and Monastary Hill.
February 15th - February 18th
1944
The 2nd New Zealand Division is charged with taking the railway station at Cassino.
February 15th
1944
Following the Allied aerial bombardment, the second major Allied offensive to take Cassino is launched.
February 15th
1944
German forces, having never held a defensive position in the monestary proper, move into the resulting debris from the surrounding mountain slopes and set up solid defensive positions within the rubble.
February 15th
1944
In an effort to destroy the believed German defensive positions atop Monte Cassino, Allied bombers numbering 229 strong, lay waste to the monestary.
February 16th
1944
Kesselring launches a large counterattack against the invading Allied forces.
February 17th
1944
The Allies lose some four miles of territory but stand fast outside of Anzio.
February 19th
1944
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.
February 19th - March 13th
1944
The Italian winter makes its arrival and postpones any further Allied offensives for the next month.
February 20th
1944
American bombers and fighters take to the skies in force in support of the new bombing campaign. They number over 1,000 bombers and 660 fighters in escort. Twelve industrial target locations across Germany are hit. 21 American aircraft are lost.
February 20th
1944
The German attack is more or less repelled, at the cost of 5,500 German casualties.
February 22nd
1944
The Allies replace the ineffective Major-General Lucas with Major-General Lucius Truscott.
February 23rd
1944
Bad weather postpones any further bombing actions for the time being. The Allies take this time to recoup and repair.
February 24th
1944
733 RAF bombers strike at Schweinfurt in a night time raid. 33 aircraft are lost.
February 24th
1944
Over 900 American bombers are sent airborne to bomb aircraft-producing factories including Schweinfurt.
February 24th
1944
With weather clearing, operations of Big Week continue. 266 American bombers strike Schweinfurt.
February 24th
1944
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.
February 24th
1944
The USAAF 1st Division launches another bombing raid on Schweinfurt through 238 bombers and long-range escort fighters. Eleven aircraft are lost.
February 25th
1944
RAF bombers hit Augsburg with 594 aircraft in a night time raid.
February 25th
1944
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.
February 25th
1944
The final American air raid of Big Week is launched with 900 bombers against Regensburg, Augsburg and Forth.
February 29th
1944
Von Mackensen cancels the German offensive amidst mounting casualties and little gain.
March 1st - May 22nd
1944
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.
March 15th - March 21st
1944
The 78th British Division makes headway thanks to the support of Allied armor.
March 15th - March 21st
1944
Positions on Monte Cassino are officially in Allied hands.
March 15th - March 21st
1944
The 2nd New Zealand Division captures German-held position with the help of Allied armor support.
March 15th
1944
A third major Allied offensive is put into action.
March 15th
1944
Artillery guns open up on Cassino while 600-plus Allied bombers attempt to shake the German defenders.
March 15th - March 21st
1944
Against mounting casualties but with tank support, the 4th Indian Division gains ground.
March 22nd
1944
With mounting losses in both manpower and tanks, further Allied thrusts are called off.
March 23rd - May 10th
1944
A lengthy six-week period allows the Allies to rebuild their forces - though this period allows the Germans to increase their defensive foothold.
March 30th
1944
795 RAF bombers attack Nuremburg with 95 aircraft lost to action. This mission marks the biggest RAF loss to date.
March 30th - March 31st
1944
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.
April 3rd
1944
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.
May 1st - July 31st
1944
The upcoming invasion at Normany puts a temporary halt on further convoy runs into Russia.
May 1st - May 31st
1944
Plans begin for a major Soviet offensive against the German Army in the East.
May 11th
1944
A combined British, Polish and American assault converge on Cassino involving the British 13th Corps, the Polish II Corps and the US 5th Army.
May 11th
1944
The fourth offensive to take Cassino is put into action.
May 11th
1944
Approximately 2,000 Allied artillery guns open up on Cassino.
May 13th
1944
German paratrooper forces defending Cassino being their evacuation.
May 17th
1944
This date became one of the two best weather options for the Allied invasion of France.
May 17th
1944
German paratrooper forces exit the Cassino region.
May 17th
1944
June 5th is selected as the next official launch date for D-Day.
May 17th
1944
Weather on May 17th cancels the D-Day operation. Leaving the next best weather window of opportunity to be June 5th.
May 18th
1944
The British take the town of Cassino.
May 18th
1944
The Poles take Monte Calvario.
May 18th
1944
Monte Cassino falls to the Allies, costing some 50,000 casualties along both sides of the battlefield.
May 20th
1944
The Soviet offensive is detailed under the codename of "Operation Bagration".
May 20th
1944
The launch date for Operation Bagration is set for June 22nd.
May 23rd
1944
The US VI Corps breaks out of the Anzio perimeter and takes ground well into the Alban Hills.
May 25th
1944
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.
June 6th
1944
American forces at Utah beach hold pockets of land totaling just over 6 miles.
June 6th
1944
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.
June 6th
1944
Omaha statistics are grim and the group holds the least amount of real estate at just 4.3 miles across and 1.2 miles inland. However, they do hold positions in Vierville sur Mer, Colleville and St-Laurent sur Mer.
June 6th
1944
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.
June 6th
1944
The first town in France - Ste Mere Eglise - is liberated by the Allies, this honor falling to the American forces from Utah beach and paratroopers from the previous day's drops.
June 19th
1944
Soviet partisan groups spring into action along the German rear guard and wreak havoc for days. Targets include supply and communication lines. Tens of thousands of explosive acts of sabotage are noted.
June 22nd
1944
Operation Bagration is put into action with General Zhukov in command.
June 22nd
1944
Totaling over 1.2 million troops, the 1st Baltic Front - along with the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Belorussian Fronts - are put into action along four fronts. Vitebsk is quickly taken and controlled. The 3rd Panzer Army suffers heavy losses.
June 23rd
1944
The 1st and 3rd Belorussian Fronts advanced to northeast of Minsk, surrounding the German 4th Army.
June 23rd
1944
By this date, the partisan actions along the German rear dwindle in preparation for the upcoming offensive.
June 26th
1944
With the 1st and 2nd Belorussian Fronts closing, Hitler okays the order for the 9th Army to retreat to more favorable ground.
June 28th
1944
Hitler replaces Field Marshal Busch with General Model to help stem his losses.
June 29th
1944
The Soviets take Bobruysk.
June 29th
1944
The 1st and 2nd Belorussian Fronts close in and around the city of Minsk, attempting to join forces of the 3rd Belorussian Front.
June 30th
1944
By this date, the German Army has recorded some 200,000 casualties from the aggressive Soviet offensive.
July 1st
1944
Plans by the Polish Army are laid out for a resistance and uprising in the Capital City of Warsaw against their German overseers.
July 1st
1944
Lieutenant-General Komorowski heads up the resistance plans as Commander-in-Chief of the Polish Home Army in Warsaw.
July 4th
1944
Minsk falls to the Soviet offensive.
July 4th
1944
By this date, the 160,000-strong German 4th Army alone reports losses of 130,000 troops.
July 4th
1944
German losses total 400,000 personnel.
July 5th
1944
Encircled, remnants of the German 4th Army are captured or killed trying to flee.
July 7th
1944
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.
July 11th
1944
The German 9th Army is obliterated under the might of the Red Army.
July 13th
1944
A new Soviet land offensive is launched with elements of the Soviet 1st and 4th Ukranian Fronts. Their target is Germany Army Group North in the Ukraine on their way to southern Poland.
July 13th
1944
Vilnius, Lithuania is captured by Soviet ground troops.
July 13th
1944
A combined British and Canadian force is stopped outside of Caen by a determined German defense.
July 17th
1944
German Army Group Center is completely annihilated from the German ranks.
July 17th
1944
White Russia is cleansed of all German invaders, leading celebrations in the Soviet capital of Moscow.
July 17th
1944
Some 57,000 German captives are paraded through the streets of Moscow.
July 18th
1944
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.
July 18th
1944
US Army forces seize complete control of the town of St. Lo on the Contentin peninsula. Control of this strategic zone now allows for larger, prepared and controlled Allied offensives towards inland France.
July 20th
1944
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.
July 21st
1944
8th Air Force B-17 and B-24 bombers are launched on Schweinfurt.
July 24th
1944
American forces enact Operation Cobra, this stemming from control of the Contentin peninsula. The goal is to smash through the German defenses and create a road through the Avranches, exposing inland France to future Allied assaults.
July 26th
1944
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.
July 27th
1944
The British government promises what it can and this emerges in the form of scattered air drops of weapons and supplies.
July 27th
1944
Lvov is clamed by the Ukranian Fronts.
July 28th
1944
Soviet forces lay claim to Brest-Litovsk.
July 30th
1944
The German 7th Army attempts a counter-attack at Avranches but the Americans manage to hold their ground.
July 30th
1944
US Army forces reach Avranches and lay control the region.
July 31st
1944
Soviet Army forces close in on German defenders in Warsaw.
August 1st
1944
US General George S. Patton and his 3rd Army manage their way through Avranches towards Liore and Brittany.
August 1st
1944
The move westward continues.
August 1st
1944
Uprisings begin across the Polish capital of Warsaw.
August 1st
1944
Roughly 30,000 Poles and scattered firearms make up the beginning of the Warsaw Uprising.
August 1st
1944
Three Soviet Army Fronts converge on the outskirts of Warsaw, prompting Polish General Komorowski to greenlight the uprising.
August 1st
1944
Upon hearing of news of the Polish uprising, an infuriated Adolph Hitler swears punishment and commits more of his troops within the Capital limits.
August 4th
1944
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.
August 7th
1944
The 1st Canadian Army supports Allied elements just south of Caen, making their way towards Falaise.
August 7th
1944
A determined German counter-attack takes Mortain and heads towards Avranches before being stopped. Allied airstrikes and artillery stall the German advance.
August 8th
1944
General Patton reaches Le Mans and then heads north to Argentan.
August 8th
1944
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.
August 10th
1944
German Army forces continue to relocate to Warsaw in an attempt to quell the Polish uprising.
August 11th
1944
Sensing complete destruction of Warsaw and its people, the Pope himself appeals to the Allies for help.
August 13th
1944
Patton's 3rd Army arrives at Argentan.
August 14th
1944
Elements of Patton's 3rd Army are sent from Falaise to the east towards Chartres and in the direction of Paris proper.
August 15th - August 29th
1944
During another running battle, convoy JW59 and her surface warships inflict damage on the KMS Tirpitz.
August 15th
1944
Stretched and strained supply lines bring the Soviet war machine to a halt.
August 16th
1944
The American 3rd Army reaches Chartres.
August 16th
1944
German forces in Falaise are given the okay from Hitler to retreat to a more favorable position. The encirclement of German forces prompts the action from High Command.
August 16th
1944
After seven days of continuous and bitter fighting, Canadian Army forces reach Falaise.
August 20th
1944
The German Army begins their final push to crush the Polish response.
August 20th
1944
The Falaise pocket is finally closed by the Allies. American and Canadian forces meet to complete the encirclement. German forces in Normandy are now trapped.
August 20th
1944
The swift and thorough German response has divided the Polish resistance into three distinct groups, all cut off from one another.
August 20th
1944
German Army soldiers now number some 21,300 personnel in Warsaw.
August 22nd
1944
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.
August 25th
1944
The Germans begin their counter-offensive against the remaining Pole units.
August 25th
1944
SS Obergruppenfuhrer Erich von dem Bach-Zelweski details the final German push.
August 30th
1944
The massive Soviet offensive ends with much of the German-held territories now in Russian hands. The Soviet Army has made it as far as the outskirts of Warsaw in Poland with a front running from Lithuania in the north, through Belorussia in the center and Poland/Ukraine in the south.
September 16th
1944
Polish Army units fighting alongside the Soviet Army make a dash to support their comrades in Warsaw, this against the orders of Soviet High Command.
September 17th
1944
The US 101st Airborne Division landing at Eindhoven and Veghel are successful in their capturing of bridges.
September 17th
1944
The US 82nd Airborne Division landing at Grave is successful in capturing its target bridge.
September 17th
1944
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.
September 17th
1944
Operation Market Garden is activated. Parachute landings take place at Eindhoven, Veghel, Grave and Oosterbeek.
September 17th
1944
Under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Zygmunt Berling, the 1st Polish Army forces engage the Germans in Warsaw but are ultimately driven back in retreat.
September 18th
1944
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.
September 20th
1944
British XXX Corps is delayed a full day from reaching beleagured paratrooper forces at Arnhem.
September 20th
1944
The US 82nd Airborne, backed by the British XXX Corps, take the bridge over the Waal River at Nijmegen.
September 21st
1944
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.
September 21st
1944
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.
September 22nd
1944
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.
September 23rd
1944
141 RAF bombers take on the Dortmund-Ems Canal. Some of these bombers make use of the massive "Tallboy" 12,000lb bomb.
September 25th
1944
At Arnhem, some 6,000 Allied soldiers are taken prison by the Germans. A further 1,000 lay dead from the fighting.
September 25th
1944
American air drops deliver their much-needed cargo to the Polish resistance below. However, the drop zones are in firm German control and supplies are captured soon after landing.
September 25th
1944
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.
September 27th
1944
South of Arnhem, Allied forces continue to hold their gains. Over the next few months, some 3,500 casualties will be counted.
September 27th
1944
Despite valliant actions, the Polish Parachute Brigade is forced to surrender at Arnhem.
October 2nd
1944
Polish General Komorowski, sensing total defeat imminent, orders his Polish insurgents to surrender to the Germans.
October 3rd
1944
Polish military forces all surrender to the German Army, ending the valliant uprising.
October 9th
1944
8th Air Force B-17 and B-24 bombers are once again launched on Schweinfurt.
October 31st
1944
Some 250,000 Polish civilians and soldiers of Warsaw will meet their end through execution or deportation to Nazi concentration camps as a result of the Warsaw uprising.
November 1st - November 30th
1944
As the German defensive circle shrinks througout Europe, the Artic Convoys enjoy their best month, seeing not one vessel lost to enemy action.
November 12th
1944
The KMS Tirpitz is finally destroyed at Troms by forces of the RAF.
December 16th
1944
The German Army launch their Ardennes offensive against elements of the American US VIII located between Aachen and Bastogne.
December 16th
1944
Initial progress on the assault is good for the Germans, however, the US 2nd and 99th Divisions hold fast at Elsenborn and Malmedy.
December 16th
1944
Bad weather soon sets in over the Ardennes region, limiting Allied air support to counter the German advances.
December 17th
1944
Allied prisoners of war are executed in cold blood by elements of the 6th SS Panzer Army. Some 87 prisoners are killed where they stand on direct orders from German Colonel Joachim Peiper.
December 17th
1944
The town of Stavelot is lost to the invading German Army.
December 19th
1944
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.
December 19th
1944
By this date, two components making up the US 106th Division at the Schnee Eiffel region are surrounded by the Germans.
December 19th
1944
Some 6,000 Allied troops surrender to the encircling German Army at Schnee Eiffel.
December 19th
1944
Along the Ardennes line, US forces reform into intense defensive lines and some forces eventually mount counter attacks against the invading Germans.
December 19th
1944
The town of Stavelot is recaptured by the Allies.
December 20th
1944
By this date, the 101st Airborne Division at Bastogne is completely encircled by the German XLVII Panzer Corps.
December 20th
1944
The US 10th and 19th Armored Divisions are completely encircled by the German advance.
December 20th
1944
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.
December 22nd
1944
As the German advance continues, supply lines are stretched to the limit and flanks become over exposed prompting German General Rundstedt to ask Hitler to halt the advance - Hitler refuses.
December 23rd
1944
2,000 Allied air sorties are launched in improving skies against the Germans on the ground.
December 23rd
1944
Supplies are dropped from Allied transport planes to the beleagured forces held up at Bastogne.
December 23rd
1944
The foul weather over the Ardennes begins to clear.
December 23rd
1944
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.
December 25th
1944
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.
December 25th
1944
German losses on Christmas Day include 3,500 infantrymen and 400 vehicles, 81 of these being tanks.
December 26th
1944
The American 4th Armored Division makes its way to the beleagured 101st Airborne forces at Bastogne and the situation at the village is stabilized.
December 28th
1944
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.
January 1st
1945
Weeks of fighting see German forces destroyed, taken prisoner or sent packing as the Allies regroup and respond.
January 6th
1945
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.
January 7th
1945
Stalin moves the offensive launch date forward to January 12th.
January 12th
1945
The Red Army enacts a massive offensive against German foes along the East Front. His targets are German Army Group A and Army Group Center located in East Prussia and Poland. The battle line is a long running front from the Lithuanian coast down to the Balkans region.
January 12th
1945
The Red Army offensive is spear-headed by the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Belorussian Fronts as well as the 1st Baltic Front joined by the 1st Ukrainian Front.
January 14th
1945
Initial thrusts by the Soviet Army prove positive against the German defense.
January 16th
1945
Adolf Hitler reorders his forces, weakening key areas of defense, to attempt a flanking manuever against the Red Army near Poznan.
January 17th
1945
Soviet forces engage German foes in East Prussia with gains being made towards Danzig and Konigsberg.
January 17th
1945
The Polish capital city of Warsaw officially falls to the advancing Soviet Army.
January 20th
1945
Hitler orders his 6th SS Panzer Army out of the Ardennes forrest on the West Front towards Budapest, Hungary in the east.
January 22nd
1945
Soviet General Konev and his 1st Ukranian Front cross the Oder River at Steinau.
January 25th
1945
Hitler reorganizes his forces under the new names of Army Group North, Army Group Center and Army Group Vistula.
February 1st
1945
German forces at Kustrin derail any further Soviet advance towards Berlin. General Zhukov's 1st Belorussian Front is halted.
February 3rd
1945
General Zhukov and his 1st Belorussian Front combine forces with General Konev's 1st Ukrainian Front along the Oder River near Kustrin.
February 3rd
1945
The Soviet front lines total some 50 miles along the Oder River by this time.
February 5th
1945
Soviet Army forces begin to cross the Oder River into Germany.
February 7th
1945
The German loss of life is a staggering 82,000 men, matched only by the 77,000 casualties suffered by the American Army.
February 7th
1945
By this date, all of the German gains of the Ardennes Offensive have been erased.
February 13th
1945
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.
February 15th
1945
The German city of Breslau is surrounded by Soviet troops.
February 22nd
1945
Poznan falls to the Soviet Army after the defending German troops surrender.
February 24th
1945
General Konev's 1st Ukranian Front claims Lower Silesia.
March 16th
1945
From Hungary, Soviet Army groups begin their offensive into Austria along the Danube River. The target is Vienna.
March 31st
1945
Preparations for the final battle of Berlin are made.
March 31st
1945
The Soviet Front gains tremendous ground since the start of the offensive back in January. Forces are a mere 50 miles from Berlin.
April 1st - April 31st
1945
The final raid, this by American medium bombers, is launched against Schweinfurt.
April 1st - April 30th
1945
The USN is credited with sinking four German U-boats in what turns out to be the last recorded combat actions in the Atlantic Theater of War.
April 16th
1945
The Soviet Army begins its Berlin campaign with spectacular display of artillery, exploding targets throughout Berlin and its surrounding areas. The bombardment signals the beginning of the offensive to take the German capital.
April 20th
1945
Soviet Army groups advance against German defenses at the Oder River.
April 20th
1945
Adolf Hitler celebrates his final (56th) birthday, seemingly unaware of the fate to befall him and his Germany.
April 21st
1945
General Zhukov and his 1st Belorussian army break into the Berlin suburbs.
April 22nd
1945
Soviet leader Stalin sends his final assault orders to generals Zhukov and Koniev.
April 23rd
1945
The Berlin suburbs gradually fall under Soviet control as fighting rages on everywhere.
April 24th
1945
The British Royal Air Force slow down the 12th Army offensive through intense bombing.
April 24th
1945
German General Wenck of the 12th Army launches a futile counter-offensive against the Soviet onslaught.
April 25th
1945
The 1st Belorussian Front meets up with the st Ukranian Front, formally encircling Berlin.
April 25th
1945
Over 2 million Berlin civilians hunker down for the violent fighting ahead.
April 25th
1945
Some 30,000 German soldiers ready themselves for the bloody business of the day.
April 25th
1945
All access points west of the German capital are cutt off by Soviet forces.
April 26th
1945
Soviet forces advance towards Unter den Linden.
April 26th
1945
Soviet forces advance across the Spree River.
April 26th
1945
Twin Soviet offensives break the final defensive fronts of the Germans.
April 27th
1945
The Soviet Army remains just 15 miles from the center of Berlin.
April 27th
1945
General Wenck's 12th Army is halted by the Soviet Army.
April 27th
1945
German soldiers set up defensive areas across a small 10 mile long front for their ultimate "last stand".
April 30th
1945
The bodies of Adolph Hitler and Eva Braun are taken to the Chancellery Gardens and incinerated under previous orders from Hitler, this to avoid capture and ultimate humiliation at the hands of the progressing Soviet Army.
April 30th
1945
German leader Adolf Hitler weds his mistress, Eva Braun, in his underground bunker under Berlin. After giving a final speech to his remaining supporters, he poisons his dog, then Braun and ultimately takes his own life. In his will, he leaves his authority to Admiral Doenitz.
April 30th
1945
The Soviets capture the Reichstag.
May 1st
1945
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.
May 1st
1945
German Generaloberst Hans Krebs approaches Chuikov with the formal German surrender.
May 1st
1945
General Chuikov makes his way into the center of Berlin.
May 1st
1945
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.
May 1st
1945
German propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels murders his wife and six children before taking his own life.
May 1st
1945
Soviet artillery opens up once again, this time in a massive barrage against the Chancellery and surrounding areas.
May 2nd
1945
The war in Europe officially comes to a close.
May 2nd
1945
German forces across Berlin begin surrendering.
May 2nd
1945
The Fall of Berlin is complete - Soviet forces occupy all major sections of the German capital.
May 8th
1945
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.