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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 Saturday WW2 Events: 145

1939
Saturday
September 9th

Polish Poznan army units launch a counter-offensive against the German army at Kutno on the Bzura.

1939
Saturday
September 30th

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

1939
Saturday
December 9th

As the Finnish winter worsens, Soviet attacks on Helsinki stall.

1939
Saturday
December 9th

The Soviet 44th and 163rd Divisions take the Finnish town of Soumussalmi.

1940
Saturday
May 11th

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

1940
Saturday
May 25th

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

1940
Saturday
May 25th

The German Army takes Boulogne.

1940
Saturday
June 1st - August 12th

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

1940
Saturday
June 1st

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

1940
Saturday
July 6th

German ships begin operating out of captured bases along the French coast.

1940
Saturday
August 17th

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

1940
Saturday
August 17th

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

1940
Saturday
August 24th - August 31st

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

1940
Saturday
September 7th

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

1940
Saturday
September 7th

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

1940
Saturday
November 9th

A Swordfish biplane torpedo bomber is lost to engine failure.

1940
Saturday
November 9th

The HMS Illustrious moves on Taranto.

1941
Saturday
April 12th

German forces launching from Romania, Austria, Hungary and Bulgaria along with an Italian contigent from Albania capture and secure the Yugoslavian capital of Belgrade.

1941
Saturday
April 12th

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

1941
Saturday
April 26th

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

1941
Saturday
April 26th

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

1941
Saturday
May 24th

The HMS Suffolk loses track of the KMS Bismarck.

1941
Saturday
May 24th

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

1941
Saturday
May 24th

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

1941
Saturday
May 24th

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

1941
Saturday
May 31st

By this date, Crete is firmly entrenched under German rule.

1941
Saturday
July 19th

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.

1941
Saturday
December 6th

An attack against America is now deemed imminent though the consensus being that it will occur against interests somehwere in Southeast Asia.

1941
Saturday
December 6th

No fewer than 17 German motorized divisions retreat from the Soviet advance.

1941
Saturday
December 6th

American codebreakers begin tracking down a multi-part message - made up of 14 total components. Only the first 13 are actually deciphered, each being passed on to the President and the Secretary of State.

1941
Saturday
December 6th

American President Franklin Roosevelt sends a final peace appeal to the Empire of Japan to which there is no answer.

1941
Saturday
December 6th

The Soviet 31st Army cuts 12 miles into the German lines.

1941
Saturday
December 27th

The Philippine capital city of Manila eventually falls to the invading Japanese Army.

1942
Saturday
February 14th - February 18th

Street fighting begins between the German I SS Panzer Corps and the Russian 3rd Tank Army and 40th Army forces in Kharkov.

1942
Saturday
February 14th

By this time, the Japanese have captured Borneo, Celebes and Sarawak.

1942
Saturday
February 14th

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

1942
Saturday
February 14th

Russian General Vatutin and his South-West Front army reach the city of Kharkov.

1942
Saturday
February 28th

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.

1942
Saturday
March 7th

German General Hoth and his 4th Panzer Army form up and launch an offensive against the Voronezh Front near Kharkov.

1942
Saturday
March 14th

The 4th Panzer Army surrounds the city of Kharkov.

1942
Saturday
March 28th

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

1942
Saturday
March 28th

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

1942
Saturday
April 4th

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

1942
Saturday
April 4th

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

1942
Saturday
May 9th

Despite numbers against him, Japanese Vice-Admiral Takagi is ordered to send his warplanes aloft.

1942
Saturday
May 9th

The Japanese aircraft do not locate the American fleet and any further actions are called off, effectively ending the Battle of Coral Sea.

1942
Saturday
May 30th

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

1942
Saturday
June 6th

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

1942
Saturday
June 6th

The island of Kiska is taken by Japanese forces.

1942
Saturday
June 6th

The USS Yorktown, now severely damaged and in tow of US Navy forces, is targeted and sunk by a Japanese submarine.

1942
Saturday
June 6th

The German Luftwaffe is called in to bomb Sevastopol.

1942
Saturday
June 20th

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.

1942
Saturday
June 20th

Artillery shells and Luftwaffe bombs rain upon Tobruk.

1942
Saturday
June 20th

Rommel begins his offensive against the defenders in Tobruk.

1942
Saturday
June 27th

The Romanian and German army forces capture key hilltop positions near Sevastopol.

1942
Saturday
June 27th

British convoy PQ17 sets sail from Reykjavik, Iceland.

1942
Saturday
June 27th - July 28th

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

1942
Saturday
June 27th

German forces complete their capture of Izyum.

1942
Saturday
June 27th

The Soviet Army is encircled and defeated at Kharkov, netting the Germans some 250,000 Soviet prisoners.

1942
Saturday
July 4th

Sevastopol officially falls to German control.

1942
Saturday
July 4th

German control and the subsequent round up on the city nets some 90,000 Soviet army prisoners of war.

1942
Saturday
August 1st - August 30th

German forces are strengthened by the arrival of another Italian division, a German parachute brigade and more tanks.

1942
Saturday
August 1st - August 31st

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

1942
Saturday
August 1st - August 30th

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

1942
Saturday
August 1st - August 30th

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

1942
Saturday
August 1st

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

1942
Saturday
August 8th

Japanese bombers attack US forces at Henderson Field.

1942
Saturday
August 8th

Naval battles ultimately ensure between the Imperial Japanese Navy and the United States Navy for control of Guadalcanal.

1942
Saturday
August 8th

By the end of the day and facing next to no opposition, the US soldiers capture and secure Henderson Field.

1942
Saturday
August 8th

Just outside of Guadalcanal, the islands of Tulagi and Gavutu fall to the Allies.

1942
Saturday
August 8th

The amphibious landings largely conclude by this date.

1942
Saturday
August 8th

A large contingent of Imperial Japanese Navy warships heads out of Rabaul towards Savo Island to strike at US Navy transports there.

1942
Saturday
August 22nd

German land forces advancing into the Caucasus are stopped.

1942
Saturday
August 22nd

The Japanese attackers at Henderson Field and Tenaru are ultimately destroyed, forcing Colonel Ichiki to commit ritual suicide.

1942
Saturday
August 29th

A further 600 Japanese Army soldiers are landed at Milne Bay to help strengthen the beachhead.

1942
Saturday
September 12th

Some 6,000 Japanese Army personnel are used in a final thrust against the Americans at Henderson field. Among the attackers is the Japanese 35th Brigade.

1942
Saturday
September 26th

Despite gains along the Kokoda Trail, the Japanese supply line begins to run thin and halt any further advance.

1942
Saturday
September 26th

The Japanese Army slowly begins to retreat back through the Kokoda Trail, finally realizing its perilous stuation.

1942
Saturday
September 26th

Australian Army forces hold fast to territory near Toribaiwa.

1942
Saturday
October 10th

Japanese reinforcements are shipped to the west and disembarked at Tenaro, some 20 miles from American forces.

1942
Saturday
November 7th

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

1942
Saturday
December 12th

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.

1943
Saturday
February 20th

The Americans fold under the immense German assault and Kasserine Pass falls to the invaders.

1943
Saturday
February 20th

Allied units move from Le Kef for the counter-attack.

1943
Saturday
February 20th

The British 6th Armored Brigade moves towards Thala and Sbiba.

1943
Saturday
February 20th

US forces move in to stop the German advance around Tebessa.

1943
Saturday
May 1st - May 31st

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

1943
Saturday
May 1st

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

1943
Saturday
July 10th

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

1943
Saturday
July 10th

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

1943
Saturday
July 10th

The British 5th Division takes Cassibile.

1943
Saturday
July 10th

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

1943
Saturday
July 10th

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.

1943
Saturday
July 17th

The Primsole bridge is recaptured from the Germans.

1943
Saturday
November 13th

US Navy warplanes and warships begin the bombardment of Japanese positions at Makin and Tarawa in preparation for the planned amphibious assaults.

1943
Saturday
November 20th

By the end of the first day of operations, some three US Marine battalions have made it onto the beaches.

1943
Saturday
November 20th

US tanks and armored vehicles finally make it ashore and strengthen the US Marine presence on the beaches.

1943
Saturday
November 20th

US Navy warplanes and warships conclude their bombardment of Japanese positions.

1943
Saturday
November 20th

At 9:10AM, the first US Marine soldiers make it ashore at Betio during the initial amphibious landings. Nearly half are cut down in low waters by the waiting Japanese defenders.

1944
Saturday
January 1st

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.

1944
Saturday
January 22nd

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

1944
Saturday
January 22nd

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

1944
Saturday
January 22nd

British forces hold the line at River Moletta.

1944
Saturday
January 22nd

American forces hold the line at Mussolini Canal.

1944
Saturday
February 12th

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

1944
Saturday
February 19th

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

1944
Saturday
February 19th - March 13th

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

1944
Saturday
April 1st - June 5th

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

1944
Saturday
May 13th

German paratrooper forces defending Cassino being their evacuation.

1944
Saturday
May 20th

The Soviet offensive is detailed under the codename of "Operation Bagration".

1944
Saturday
May 20th

The launch date for Operation Bagration is set for June 22nd.

1944
Saturday
June 17th

US amphibious assault elements arrive to take Saipan.

1944
Saturday
July 1st

Plans by the Polish Army are laid out for a resistance and uprising in the Capital City of Warsaw against their German overseers.

1944
Saturday
July 1st

Lieutenant-General Komorowski heads up the resistance plans as Commander-in-Chief of the Polish Home Army in Warsaw.

1944
Saturday
August 19th

At Mantes Grassicourt, a division of the American XV Corps manages to cross the Seine River.

1944
Saturday
August 26th

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

1944
Saturday
September 16th

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.

1944
Saturday
September 16th

Pressured by the Americans and British, Stalin gives in - just a little - and delivers a meager air drop of arms consisting of just fifty pistols and a pair of machine guns.

1944
Saturday
December 16th

Bad weather soon sets in over the Ardennes region, limiting Allied air support to counter the German advances.

1944
Saturday
December 16th

Initial progress on the assault is good for the Germans, however, the US 2nd and 99th Divisions hold fast at Elsenborn and Malmedy.

1944
Saturday
December 16th

The German Army launch their Ardennes offensive against elements of the American US VIII located between Aachen and Bastogne.

1944
Saturday
December 23rd

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

1944
Saturday
December 23rd

The foul weather over the Ardennes begins to clear.

1944
Saturday
December 23rd

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

1944
Saturday
December 23rd

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

1945
Saturday
January 6th

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

1945
Saturday
January 20th

Hitler orders his 6th SS Panzer Army out of the Ardennes forrest on the West Front towards Budapest, Hungary in the east.

1945
Saturday
February 3rd

General Zhukov and his 1st Belorussian Front combine forces with General Konev's 1st Ukrainian Front along the Oder River near Kustrin.

1945
Saturday
February 3rd

The Soviet front lines total some 50 miles along the Oder River by this time.

1945
Saturday
February 24th

General Konev's 1st Ukranian Front claims Lower Silesia.

1945
Saturday
March 24th

In preparation for the amphibious assault landings on the island of Okinawa, US Naval elements begin bombardment of shoreline positions.

1945
Saturday
March 24th

The US 77th Infantry Division lands at the Kerama Islands to secure a staging post for the eventual invasion of Okinawa.

1945
Saturday
March 31st

The US Navy lobs some 30,000 explosive shells on the Okinawa coastline by this time, ending a week of bombardment.

1945
Saturday
March 31st

The Soviet Front gains tremendous ground since the start of the offensive back in January. Forces are a mere 50 miles from Berlin.

1945
Saturday
March 31st

Preparations for the final battle of Berlin are made.

1945
Saturday
April 7th

The IJN Yamato, having already been spotted by an American submarine, makes its way to the fighting at Okinawa. The crew understand that this is a suicide mission at this point in the war.

1945
Saturday
April 7th

In the early morning hours, US Navy reconnaissance aircraft spot the IJN Yamato and relay her position.

1945
Saturday
April 7th

Task Force 38 launches some 380 aircraft against IJN Yamato.

1945
Saturday
April 7th

With no air cover, the IJN Yamato is blasted to pieces by the American Navy warplanes. Her magazine stores explode in a fantastic display as she goes up in smoke. Most of her crew is lost with the ship in the afternoon hours.

1945
Saturday
April 21st

The offensive to take Ie Shima is completed.

1945
Saturday
April 25th

All access points west of the German capital are cutt off by Soviet forces.

1945
Saturday
April 25th

Over 2 million Berlin civilians hunker down for the violent fighting ahead.

1945
Saturday
April 25th

Some 30,000 German soldiers ready themselves for the bloody business of the day.

1945
Saturday
April 25th

Elements of the 5th Guards Army reach the Elbe River at Torgau and celebrate with the arriving US 1st Army.

1945
Saturday
April 25th

The 1st Belorussian Front meets up with the st Ukranian Front, formally encircling Berlin.
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EVENTS BY WAR YEAR:

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1945


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