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Second World War History > WW2 Events Timeline by Day of the Week

WW2 Events Timeline by Day of the Week

Putting the conflict into a realistic and relatable perspective.

Authored By Staff Writer
Total Friday WW2 Events: 136

1939
Friday
September 1st

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.

1939
Friday
September 8th

German ground forces arrive at the outskirts of the Polish capital of Warsaw, covering an astounding 200 miles in a single week.

1939
Friday
September 22nd

The Polish City of Lwow falls to the Soviet Army.

1939
Friday
September 22nd

The Polish city of Bialystok falls to the Soviet Army.

1939
Friday
September 29th

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.

1939
Friday
December 1st

The Soviet Union installs a Finnish-Soviet puppet government in Terijoki to be led by Otto Kuusinen.

1939
Friday
December 15th

The Soviet 14th Army takes Petsamo.

1939
Friday
December 15th

The deteriorating conditions of a Finnish winter protect Helsinki from additional Soviet attacks.

1939
Friday
December 15th

The Mannerheim Line holds as Soviet Army elements are kept at bay.

1939
Friday
December 15th

Finnish defenders keep the town of Nautsi from falling under Soviet control.

1939
Friday
December 15th

Valliant Finnish forces repel the Soviet Army out of Soumussalmi, retaking the town.

1940
Friday
February 23rd

The Soviet government delivers terms of surrender to the Finnish government, claiming the Karelian isthmus and Lake Lagoda as their own. The Finns are required to defend the Soviet Union from the north if the empire is attacked.

1940
Friday
May 10th

89 German paratroopers land and take the Belgium fortress of Eben Emael with its garrison of 2,000 soldiers.

1940
Friday
May 10th

German paratroopers land in The Hague and Rotterdam.

1940
Friday
May 10th

German airborne elements land across Belgium and Holland in advance of ground forces, capturing key bridges and routes.

1940
Friday
May 17th - May 18th

Antwerp falls to the German Army.

1940
Friday
May 17th - May 18th

Brussels falls to the German Army.

1940
Friday
May 17th - May 18th

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

1940
Friday
May 24th

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

1940
Friday
May 24th

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

1940
Friday
May 31st

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

1940
Friday
September 20th

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

1940
Friday
October 18th - October 19th

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

1940
Friday
December 6th - December 8th

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

1941
Friday
April 25th

Fuhrer Directive No.28 is issued by Adolph Hitler, calling for the invasion of the island of Crete through Operation Mercury led by General Kurt Student.

1941
Friday
May 9th

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

1941
Friday
May 23rd

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

1941
Friday
May 23rd

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

1941
Friday
May 23rd

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

1941
Friday
May 30th

The brave defense of Rethymnon by Australian soldiers finally falters under intense pressure from the German Army.

1941
Friday
September 26th - November 26th

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.

1941
Friday
December 5th

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.

1941
Friday
December 12th

The airfields at Laoang and Tuguegarao fall to the Japanese invaders.

1941
Friday
December 26th

Manstein's offensive gains substantial ground, piercing the first two Soviet defensive rings.

1941
Friday
December 26th

Soviet naval forces land army troops near Kerch.

1942
Friday
January 9th

The Japanese begin their offensive against the dug-in American forces on the Bataan Peninsula.

1942
Friday
January 23rd

The American defensive lines finally break.

1942
Friday
February 6th

German General Manstein meets with Hitler and proposes a new German counter-attack against the Russians.

1942
Friday
February 20th

The Germans unleash their counterattack using the 4th Panzer Amry, 1st Panzer Army and the II SS Panzer Corps.

1942
Friday
March 20th

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

1942
Friday
April 3rd

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

1942
Friday
May 8th

Just past dawn, the Japanese and American carrier groups spot one another.

1942
Friday
May 8th

Operation Blue begins.

1942
Friday
May 8th

German General Manstein leads his 11th Army onto the Kerch Peninsula towards the city of Sevastopol.

1942
Friday
May 8th

Lieutenant-General von Manstein launches his assault.

1942
Friday
May 8th

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

1942
Friday
May 8th

At 9:25AM, Japanese and American warplanes take to the skies.

1942
Friday
May 8th

At 11:40AM, US Navy warplanes manage to score devastating hits to the Japanese aircraft carrier Shokaku, severely damaging her.

1942
Friday
May 8th

At 2:47PM, the American carrier USS Lexington is hit by a Japanese torpedo, causing a major explosion in her generator room.

1942
Friday
May 8th

By 6:00PM that evening, nearly all of the USS Lexington's sailors have been rescued.

1942
Friday
May 8th

At 6:10PM, the USS Lexington is a complete loss. She is scuttled and sunk.

1942
Friday
May 8th

The Japanese invasion force heads back to New Britain.

1942
Friday
May 15th

Manstein's offensive results in the taking of the Kerch peninsula from the Soviets.

1942
Friday
May 15th

Burma falls to the Japanese.

1942
Friday
May 15th

Manstein begins planning his next major offensive to take Sevastopol - this becomes Operation Sturgeon.

1942
Friday
May 15th

Sevastopol is cutt off from the rest of the Soviet Union by German Army elements.

1942
Friday
June 5th

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

1942
Friday
June 5th

The Japanese carrier Hiryu is scuttled.

1942
Friday
June 12th - June 16th

The German offensive against Sevastopol is repulsed by the 180,000 or so Russian soldiers holed up in the city.

1942
Friday
July 3rd

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

1942
Friday
July 17th

Hitler diverts the 4th Panzer Army away from Stalingrad and sends them towards the Caucasus.

1942
Friday
August 7th

Amphibious forces spearheaded by the United States Marines begin against the Japanese-held island of Guadalcanal.

1942
Friday
August 7th

Elements of the German Army attack Soviet forces near Kalach.

1942
Friday
August 14th

The Japanese Army gains vital territory leading up and into the Owen Stanley Range.

1942
Friday
August 14th

German forces cross the Kuban river near Krasnador.

1942
Friday
August 14th

The Japanese Army reaches Isurava just outside of Port Moresby.

1942
Friday
August 14th

The Japanese Army takes control of the village of Kokoda.

1942
Friday
August 21st

Japanese ground forces attempt attacks against Henderson Field and American forces at Tenaru. The Japanese troops make little headway and are themselves encircled.

1942
Friday
August 21st

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

1942
Friday
September 4th

With the Allied resistance holding off further advance, the Japanese Army begins a formal withdrawal of the island.

1942
Friday
September 4th

Japanese casualties at Milne Bay amount to 1,000 killed amidst the fighting.

1942
Friday
September 25th

With winter upon the German Army once more, Hitler orders a halt to any major offensives around Leningrad.

1942
Friday
October 9th

The Soviet government hands all military powers to the Soviet Army.

1942
Friday
October 23rd

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

1942
Friday
October 23rd

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

1942
Friday
October 23rd

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

1942
Friday
October 23rd

Some 20,000 Japanese fighters, including elements of the 2nd Division and 17th Army, undertake a new offensive under the direction of General Maruyama.

1942
Friday
November 20th

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

1942
Friday
November 20th

Part 2 of Operation Uranus is enacted at the southern end of Stalingrad.

1942
Friday
November 20th

German General Manstein is appointed the commander of Army Group Don.

1943
Friday
January 1st

German forces at Terek retreat.

1943
Friday
January 1st

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

1943
Friday
January 8th

Soviet generals send in the formal request for surrender of the German 6th Army at Stalingrad, a request which is formally rejected.

1943
Friday
February 19th

American armored forces hold up the German advanced at Kasserine Pass.

1943
Friday
March 5th

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

1943
Friday
July 9th

The Allied invasion fleets sail out to Sicily.

1943
Friday
July 23rd

German Army forces are pushed back to their original starting positions by this date.

1944
Friday
January 14th

Soviet armies from the 2nd Baltic, Volkov and Leningrad fronts overtake German Army Group North in a massive two-week offensive.

1944
Friday
January 21st

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

1944
Friday
January 28th

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

1944
Friday
January 28th

The Germans are driven back at Cisterna.

1944
Friday
January 28th

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

1944
Friday
January 28th

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

1944
Friday
January 28th

German Army Group North is pushed away from the city of Leningrad.

1944
Friday
January 28th

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

1944
Friday
February 11th

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

1944
Friday
February 11th

The 34th and 36th US Divisions both report a high number of casualties from the ensuing offensives.

1944
Friday
February 11th

The entire US 142nd Regiment is destroyed.

1944
Friday
February 11th

US and Indian losses mount in the offensives against German positions in Calvario, the town of Cassino and Monte Cassino itself.

1944
Friday
February 11th

The 4th Indian Division reports unacceptably high casualties when coming up against the stout German defenders.

1944
Friday
February 25th

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

1944
Friday
February 25th

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

1944
Friday
February 25th

The final American air raid of Big Week is launched with 900 bombers against Regensburg, Augsburg and Forth.

1944
Friday
June 16th

The 1st Mobile Fleet of the IJN meets up with the Japanese Southern Force west of the Philippines.

1944
Friday
June 23rd

By this date, the partisan actions along the German rear dwindle in preparation for the upcoming offensive.

1944
Friday
June 23rd

The 1st and 3rd Belorussian Fronts advanced to northeast of Minsk, surrounding the German 4th Army.

1944
Friday
June 30th

By this date, the German Army has recorded some 200,000 casualties from the aggressive Soviet offensive.

1944
Friday
July 7th

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

1944
Friday
July 21st

8th Air Force B-17 and B-24 bombers are launched on Schweinfurt.

1944
Friday
July 28th

Soviet forces lay claim to Brest-Litovsk.

1944
Friday
August 4th

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

1944
Friday
August 4th

Patton's 3rd Army arrived at Brittany. The German defense crumbles and relocates to defensive positions along the coast.

1944
Friday
August 11th

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

1944
Friday
August 11th

The Red Army finds themselves some 12 miles outside of Warsaw proper, having advanced into the Polish suburbs.

1944
Friday
August 25th

The Germans begin their counter-offensive against the remaining Pole units.

1944
Friday
August 25th

The Allies reach the French capital of Paris.

1944
Friday
August 25th

Paris is liberated by the arriving Allies.

1944
Friday
August 25th

Patton and his 3rd Army continue their march and setup critical strategic bridgeheads over the Seine River at Elbeuf and Louviers.

1944
Friday
August 25th

SS Obergruppenfuhrer Erich von dem Bach-Zelweski details the final German push.

1944
Friday
September 22nd

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

1944
Friday
December 22nd

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.

1945
Friday
January 12th

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.

1945
Friday
January 12th

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.

1945
Friday
March 16th

From Hungary, Soviet Army groups begin their offensive into Austria along the Danube River. The target is Vienna.

1945
Friday
April 6th

The deadly kamikaze air attack is unleashed on American Naval vessels in the Pacific. These aircraft appear as coordinated airstrikes and prove equally deadly to both sides. USN vessels off the coast of Okinawa itself are targeted. Some 34 US Navy ships fall victim.

1945
Friday
April 6th

As American forces move further inland, the battle for Okinawa intensifies. Pockets of dug-in Japanese defenders become evermore concentrated the more inland the Allied forces go.

1945
Friday
April 6th

American forces are now amassed as two separate assault fronts. To the north are the 1st and 6th Marine divisions. To the mountainous south are the 7th and 96th Infantry divisions.

1945
Friday
April 6th

The IJN Yamato, Japan's pride and joy and the largest battleship ever built, sails from the Inland Sea on a suicide mission at Okinawa. She is escorted by the light cruiser Yahagi and some eight destroyers on her final voyage.

1945
Friday
April 13th

US Marines reach Hedo Point in the north of Okinawa.

1945
Friday
April 20th

Motobu Peninsula falls to the Americans as the Japanese defenders are either killed or captured.

1945
Friday
April 24th

German General Wenck of the 12th Army launches a futile counter-offensive against the Soviet onslaught.

1945
Friday
April 24th

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

1945
Friday
May 4th

The Japanese enact a major offensive in the south of Okinawa. A coast-to-coast defensive front is established from Naha to Yonabaru. Regardless, the line is targeted by prolonged American firepower and infantry.

1945
Friday
June 22nd

The fighting on Okinawa comes to a close as American forces overwhelm the islands determined Japanese defenders. Those that are not taken prisoner or die in the fighting, subject themselves to ritual suicides.

1945
Friday
June 22nd

Understanding that defeat is iminent, Japanese Lieutenant General Mitsuru Ushjima commits ritual suicide with his staff after reporting the loss of Okinawa to his superiors.

1945
Friday
June 22nd

The Battle of Okinawa officially draws to a close and now represents the all-important staging area for the Allied invasion of the Japanese mainland.
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