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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 Thursday WW2 Events: 150

1939
Thursday
August 31st

Adolph Hitler provides the final orders for the invasion of Poland.

1939
Thursday
September 28th

Polish forces fighting it out at the Modline fortress officially surrender.

1939
Thursday
November 30th

Five Soviet armies cross into Finland, beginning the Winter War.

1940
Thursday
February 1st

The Soviets enact a new offensive against Finnish positions along the Mannerheim Line, beginning with artillery attack accounting for some 300,000 shells.

1940
Thursday
May 30th

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

1940
Thursday
August 15th

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

1941
Thursday
March 27th

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.

1941
Thursday
April 10th - April 16th

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

1941
Thursday
April 10th

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.

1941
Thursday
April 17th

Yugoslavian leadership, along with the army, surrenders to the Germans.

1941
Thursday
May 15th

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

1941
Thursday
May 22nd

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

1941
Thursday
May 22nd

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

1941
Thursday
May 22nd

New Zealand troops are repelled from an attempt to retake the airfield at Maleme from the Germans.

1941
Thursday
July 3rd

Panzergruppe 2 and Panzergruppe 3 now form up as part of General Gunther von Kluge's 4th Panzer Army.

1941
Thursday
July 10th

Guderian's forces cross the Dniepr River 50 miles outside of Smolensk.

1941
Thursday
July 17th

The German Army begins to tighten the noose around the encircled Soviet forces numbering some 25 divisions.

1941
Thursday
July 24th

The German encirclement of Soviet forces is completed.

1941
Thursday
August 21st

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

1941
Thursday
September 25th

The Crimea finds itself cutoff from the rest of the Soviet Union by German Army forces made up of German Army Group South.

1941
Thursday
December 11th

As expected, Germany and Italy side with Japan and officially declare war on the United States

1941
Thursday
December 25th

The Japanese 48th Division makes substantial progress against American forces, working their way towards the capital city of Manila.

1942
Thursday
January 1st - July 31st

Some 800,000 of Leningrad's citizens are evacuated through the frozen passage above Lake Lagoda.

1942
Thursday
January 1st - January 31st

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".

1942
Thursday
January 1st - March 1st

Off the east coast of the United States, some 216 vessels fall prey to the German U-boat scourge in this span.

1942
Thursday
January 1st

The German U-boat fleet now numbers some 331 operational vessels.

1942
Thursday
January 15th

Japanese forces invade Burma beginning their assault at Victoria Point.

1942
Thursday
February 5th

Rostov is officially abandoned by General Manstein's forces.

1942
Thursday
February 12th

German Army Group B is renamed Army Group Center.

1942
Thursday
February 12th

German Army Group Don is renamed Army Group South.

1942
Thursday
February 19th

The Japanese 1st Air Fleet conducts a surprise attack on Allied ships at Broome and Darwin. Twelve ships are sunk in the assault.

1942
Thursday
March 12th

Street fighting throughout Kharkov erupts once more as German forces enter Kharkov.

1942
Thursday
April 1st

The Japanese aircraft carrier Ryujo enters the Bay of Bengal.

1942
Thursday
April 9th

American forces fighting on the Bataan Peninsula finally surrender to the Japanese.

1942
Thursday
April 9th

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

1942
Thursday
April 9th

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

1942
Thursday
April 30th

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.

1942
Thursday
April 30th

By this time, over 1 million German soldiers have been killed in action since the start of Operation Barbarossa.

1942
Thursday
April 30th

German Army forces partially regroup and recover from the constant barrage of Soviet offensives.

1942
Thursday
May 7th

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

1942
Thursday
May 7th

The USS Lexington and the USS Yorktown launch their attack planes and sink the Japanese aircraft carrier Shoho in the process.

1942
Thursday
May 7th

The Allies spot the Japanese Covering Group escorting the invasion force.

1942
Thursday
May 7th

The Japanese invasion of Port Moresby is called off.

1942
Thursday
May 7th

The USS Neosho and the USS Sims are sunk by Japanese aircraft.

1942
Thursday
May 14th

The convoy system is formally adopted by the United States in an effort to protect its merchant shipping in the Atlantic.

1942
Thursday
May 28th

The final Imperial Japanese Task Force leaves mainland Japan.

1942
Thursday
May 28th

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

1942
Thursday
June 4th

All incoming USN Devastator attackers are shot down by Japanese Zero fighters in the span of six minutes.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

The three Japanese carriers - Kaga, Soryu and Akagi - are struck with bombs and ultimately sunk.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

At 10:25AM, a follow-up strike made up of 37 Dauntless dive bombers finds the Japanese carriers - now stocked with armed and fueled aircraft on their decks.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

At 5:00PM, the Imperial Japanese aircraft carrier Hiryu is set ablaze after being struck by no fewer than five direct bomb hits from aircraft of the USS Enterprise.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

The first wave of USN carrier dive-bombers has difficulty in locating their Japanese targets.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

At 9:18AM, Nagumo reacts to the American presence and changes the course of his Carrier Strike Force.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

Between 9:30AM and 10:00AM, Torpedo planes from the USS Enterprise and USS Hornet begin their attacks on the Japanese carriers.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

At 9:00AM, USS Yorktown launches her aircraft with Nagumo's carrier force as the prime target.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

At 8:37AM, aircraft of the second Japanese strike force returns to their respective carriers for rearming and refueling.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

At 8:20AM, a surprised Nagumo receives his first report of American carriers in the area.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

At 4:30AM, the bombing of Midway Island begins with aircraft from Vice-Admiral Nagumo's First Carrier Strike Force.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

At 7:28AM, a Japanese reconniassance plane spots spots ten undetermined USN surface ships 200 miles northeast of the Japanese Midway invasion force.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

At 12:00PM, Imperial Japanese Navy bomber aircraft strike against the attacking USS Yorktown.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

American fighter aircraft take heavy losses but force the Japanese Navy to launch a second attack.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

By 3:00PM, the crew of the USS Yorktown has abandoned their carrier. The damaged vessel is towed by USN ships.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

By 2:30PM, the USS Yorktown is severely damaged but does not sink.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

At 7:52AM, USS Enterprise and USS Hornet launch their dive bombers and torpedo planes.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

The initial American assault on the Japanese carrier strike force is over by 10:00AM.

1942
Thursday
June 11th

The German-allied Romanian Mountain Corps and 30th Army Corps launch their attack on Sevastopol.

1942
Thursday
June 11th

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

1942
Thursday
June 11th

The Allies go into full retreat as the Germans advance.

1942
Thursday
June 11th

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

1942
Thursday
June 18th

The city of Tobruk, defended by the 2nd South African Division, is completely surrounded by German forces.

1942
Thursday
July 2nd

The Soviet city of Sevastopol officially falls to the Germans.

1942
Thursday
July 2nd

The last of the Soviet forces are evacuated by sea leaving little to stop the German onslaught.

1942
Thursday
July 9th

The German Army begins its move towards Rostov.

1942
Thursday
July 9th

German Army Group South is renamed Army Group B and placed under the control of Field Marshal von Bock.

1942
Thursday
July 23rd

Hitler issues a supplemental directive to Operation Blue requiring his 6th Army to take Stalingrad.

1942
Thursday
July 23rd

Rostov falls to the German Army Group A, netting some 83,000 Soviet prisoners as a result.

1942
Thursday
August 6th

The German Army crosses the Kuban River near Armavir.

1942
Thursday
August 6th

US Navy and Marine forces position themselves near Guadalcanal.

1942
Thursday
August 20th

The first of thirty-one US fighter aircraft arrive at Henderson Field.

1942
Thursday
September 3rd - October 23rd

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

1942
Thursday
September 3rd

The Germans enact an offensive aimed at the heart of Stalingrad.

1942
Thursday
September 10th

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

1942
Thursday
September 24th

The German Army makes headway toward Tuapse.

1942
Thursday
October 1st - October 31st

With a lull in the fighting, Soviet forces near Leningrad are able to receive much needed supplies and reinforcements.

1942
Thursday
October 15th

American soldiers of the 32nd US Division complete an amphibious assault near Pongani and Wanigela on Papua.

1942
Thursday
November 12th

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

1942
Thursday
November 12th

British paratroopers land near Bone and take the nearby airfield.

1942
Thursday
November 12th

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

1942
Thursday
November 19th

The Soviets push forward a new two-part offensive - Operation Uranus - north of Stalingrad and break through the Romanian-held defenses.

1942
Thursday
November 26th

Medjez el Bab falls to the Allies.

1942
Thursday
December 24th

The Soviet Army launches a fresh attack at Kotelnikovo, routing its Romanian defenders and putting them into full retreat.

1942
Thursday
December 31st

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

1943
Thursday
January 14th

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 .

1943
Thursday
January 14th

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

1943
Thursday
February 18th

General von Arnim and General Rommels forces finally meet at Kasserine.

1943
Thursday
February 25th

Kasserine is now firmly in Allied control, the Germans having retreated and Rommel's attention now elsewhere.

1943
Thursday
February 25th

Rommel relocates his forces east and plans his defense against Montgomery and his 8th Army at the Mareth ine.

1943
Thursday
March 4th

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

1943
Thursday
July 1st

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

1943
Thursday
July 15th

Fighting in the Kursk salient officially ends.

1943
Thursday
July 22nd

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.

1943
Thursday
August 5th

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

1943
Thursday
August 5th

Soviet Army forces move towards Kharkov, liberating the city of Belgorod in the process.

1943
Thursday
August 12th

Some 100,000 Axis soldiers are successfully rescued from Sicily. The rest are captured by advancing Allied forces.

1943
Thursday
September 30th

The German Army falls as far back as the Dniepr River.

1943
Thursday
September 30th

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.

1943
Thursday
October 14th

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.

1943
Thursday
November 18th

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

1944
Thursday
January 27th

The Moscow-Leningrad railway route is reopened in favor of the Soviets.

1944
Thursday
January 27th

The siege of Leningrad is declared by Soviet leader Stalin as over.

1944
Thursday
February 10th

In a counter offensive, crack German paratroopers repel US forces and previous Allied gains are lost.

1944
Thursday
February 17th

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

1944
Thursday
February 24th

The USAAF 1st Division launches another bombing raid on Schweinfurt through 238 bombers and long-range escort fighters. Eleven aircraft are lost.

1944
Thursday
February 24th

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

1944
Thursday
February 24th

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

1944
Thursday
February 24th

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

1944
Thursday
February 24th

Over 900 American bombers are sent airborne to bomb aircraft-producing factories including Schweinfurt.

1944
Thursday
March 23rd - May 10th

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

1944
Thursday
March 30th

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

1944
Thursday
March 30th - March 31st

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

1944
Thursday
May 11th

The fourth offensive to take Cassino is put into action.

1944
Thursday
May 11th

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

1944
Thursday
May 11th

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

1944
Thursday
May 18th

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

1944
Thursday
May 18th

The Poles take Monte Calvario.

1944
Thursday
May 18th

The British take the town of Cassino.

1944
Thursday
May 25th

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

1944
Thursday
June 22nd

Operation Bagration is put into action with General Zhukov in command.

1944
Thursday
June 22nd

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.

1944
Thursday
June 29th

The Soviets take Bobruysk.

1944
Thursday
June 29th

The 1st and 2nd Belorussian Fronts close in and around the city of Minsk, attempting to join forces of the 3rd Belorussian Front.

1944
Thursday
July 13th

Vilnius, Lithuania is captured by Soviet ground troops.

1944
Thursday
July 13th

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

1944
Thursday
July 13th

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.

1944
Thursday
July 20th

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

1944
Thursday
July 27th

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

1944
Thursday
July 27th

Lvov is clamed by the Ukranian Fronts.

1944
Thursday
August 10th

German Army forces continue to relocate to Warsaw in an attempt to quell the Polish uprising.

1944
Thursday
September 21st

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

1944
Thursday
September 21st

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

1944
Thursday
September 21st

For his actions in disobeying Soviet Army orders, Berling is stripped of his army command.

1944
Thursday
December 28th

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

1945
Thursday
January 25th

Hitler reorganizes his forces under the new names of Army Group North, Army Group Center and Army Group Vistula.

1945
Thursday
February 1st

German forces at Kustrin derail any further Soviet advance towards Berlin. General Zhukov's 1st Belorussian Front is halted.

1945
Thursday
February 15th

The German city of Breslau is surrounded by Soviet troops.

1945
Thursday
February 22nd

Poznan falls to the Soviet Army after the defending German troops surrender.

1945
Thursday
March 29th

Further landings of US forces on the Kerama Islands, complete its capture for the Allies.

1945
Thursday
April 5th

Allied forces find and locate the Japanese defenders along the southern portion of Okinawa. Heavy defenses are noted.

1945
Thursday
April 19th

Japanese defenders are pushed back towards Naha by American forces. The Japanese defensive lines are reset as territory is lost. The Americans report 1,000 casualties in their assaults.

1945
Thursday
April 23rd

The Berlin suburbs gradually fall under Soviet control as fighting rages on everywhere.
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