World War 2 Events

World War 2 Events

World War 2 was one of the most bloody conflicts of the 20th Century, crossing borders and spanning years.



There are a total of (1284) entries in the 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
France declares war on Germany.
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 3rd
1939
The government of Australia declares war on Germany.
September 3rd
1939
New Zealand declares war on Germany.
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 United States government declares its neutrality in the European conflict.
September 5th
1939
The Bosnia becomes the first merchantman to be sunk by the German U-boats.
September 5th
1939
The government of South Africa declares war on Germany.
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
Britain launches the first of many convoys across challenged Atlantic waters.
September 7th
1939
French forces begin light fighting against German elements near Saarbrucken.
September 8th
1939
The German Fourteenth Army arrives near Przemysl.
September 8th
1939
The German Tenth Army reaches the Warsaw perimeter.
September 8th
1939
General Guderian's tank force reaches the Bug River just east of the Polish capital.
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 9th
1939
Polish Poznan army units launch a counter-offensive against the German army at Kutno on the Bzura.
September 10th
1939
General Lord Gort and his British Expeditionary Force begin to arrive on French soil.
September 10th
1939
Canada declares war on Germany.
September 10th
1939
Polish forces at the Modline fortress some 20 miles north of Warsaw fall under siege to the German Army.
September 13th
1939
French Prime Minister Edouard Daladier begins setting up his war cabinet.
September 17th
1939
The British aricraft carrier HMS Courageous is sunk southwest of the Irish coast by German U-boat U-29.
September 17th
1939
Soviet army elements begin their invasion of Poland from the east. Attacks occur near Vilnius and Bialystok.
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 18th
1939
The Polish government flees to Romania and is held. A government-in-exile is hastily arranged.
September 18th
1939
The Polish city of Vilnius falls to the Soviet army.
September 19th
1939
German and Soviet army elements finally meet one another in Poland at Brest-Litovsk.
September 21st
1939
Romanian Prime Minister Armand Calinescu is assassinated by elements of the fascist group "Iron Guard".
September 22nd
1939
The Polish City of Lwow falls to the Soviet Army.
September 22nd
1939
The Polish city of Bialystok falls to the Soviet Army.
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 4th
1939
The United States government revises its neutral stance and allows for sales of military goods to occur - the buyer responsible for payment and transport.
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.
November 26th
1939
With worsening relations between Finland and the Soviet Union, the Soviets pull out of their non-aggression pact with Finland.
November 30th
1939
Five Soviet armies cross into Finland, beginning the Winter War.
December 1st
1939
The Soviet Union installs a Finnish-Soviet puppet government in Terijoki to be led by Otto Kuusinen.
December 2nd
1939
The Finnish government seeks assistance from the League of Nations.
December 5th
1939
After some initial advances, the Soviet Army if forced to stop by the Finnish defenses at the Mannerheim Line.
December 9th
1939
As the Finnish winter worsens, Soviet attacks on Helsinki stall.
December 9th
1939
The Soviet 44th and 163rd Divisions take the Finnish town of Soumussalmi.
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 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
At 7:25 AM, the British cruiser Ajax loses two of her turrets to the Graf Spee.
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
At 6:14 AM, the Graf Spee opens fire on the British heavy cruisers Ajaz and Exeter.
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 14th
1939
The Soviet Union is expelled from the League of Nations.
December 15th
1939
The deteriorating conditions of a Finnish winter protect Helsinki from additional Soviet attacks.
December 15th
1939
The Mannerheim Line holds as Soviet Army elements are kept at bay.
December 15th
1939
Valliant Finnish forces repel the Soviet Army out of Soumussalmi, retaking the town.
December 15th
1939
The Soviet 14th Army takes Petsamo.
December 15th
1939
Finnish defenders keep the town of Nautsi from falling under Soviet control.
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 17th - December 31st
1939
Finnish Army elements cross into Soviet Karelia, unleashing hell on the Russian 44th and 163rd Divisions. Some 27,000 Russian soldiers are killed.
December 20th
1939
Choosing honor over justice, Captain Hans Langsdorff commits suicide, officially ending the reign of the Graf Spee.
December 23rd
1939
7,500 Canadian soldiers arrive in Britain.
January 1st
1940
Only 21 operational boats make up the German U-boat fleet at this time.
January 2nd
1940
A new Soviet offensive on the Karelian isthmus fails.
January 7th
1940
Stalin appoints a new commander to oversee the Winter War - General Semyon Timoshenko.
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.
January 14th
1940
A new government is formed in Japan under Admiral Mitsumasa Yonai following the resignation of PM Nobuyuki Abe.
January 28th
1940
Finnish ground forces recover territory from the Soviet 54th Division at Kuhmo.
February 1st
1940
The Soviets enact a new offensive against Finnish positions along the Mannerheim Line, beginning with artillery attack accounting for some 300,000 shells.
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 11th - February 17th
1940
The Soviet Army breaks through the defenses at the Mannerheim Line at Summa. Finnish Army units retreat.
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 23rd
1940
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.
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.
March 5th
1940
Finland responds to the Soviet surrender overture with negotiations.
March 11th
1940
The Finns agree to the Treaty of Moscow with the Soviets. 10 percent of Finnish territory is ceded to the invaders at the cost of 25,000 Finns to 200,000 Soviets.
March 12th
1940
After months of fighting and countless lives lost on both sides, the Finnish government officially accepts the surrender terms of the Russian proposal in an internal vote numbering 145 to 3.
March 20th
1940
French PM Daladier resigns his post after the failure to save Finland.
March 21st
1940
Paul Reynaud succeeds Edouard Daladier as France's Prime Minister.
March 28th
1940
The governments of France and Britain agree to not make any secret peace treaties with the Germans and remain a unified front.
April 8th
1940
HMS Glowworm intercepts a portion of the German invasion fleet headed to Norway.
April 9th
1940
HMS Rodney, a British battlecruiser, engages the German warships KMS Gneisenau and KMS Scharnhorst.
April 9th
1940
The German invasion force strikes Norway and Denmark.
April 9th
1940
Norwegian coastal guns sink the German cruiser Blucher with 1,600 lives being lost.
April 9th
1940
Norwegian royalty and its government flee northward from the invasion.
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 10th
1940
KMS Konigsberg, a German light cruiser, becomes the first warship sunk by dive bombing at Bergen.
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 5th
1940
French and Polish forces land at Tromso and Harstad.
May 8th
1940
General Semyon Timoshenko succeeds Marshal Kliment Voroshilov as Commissar for Defense.
May 10th
1940
British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain resigns.
May 10th
1940
German paratroopers land in The Hague and Rotterdam.
May 10th
1940
German airborne elements land across Belgium and Holland in advance of ground forces, capturing key bridges and routes.
May 10th
1940
89 German paratroopers land and take the Belgium fortress of Eben Emael with its garrison of 2,000 soldiers.
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 13th
1940
Norwegian forces move on Narvik.
May 13th
1940
French forces land at Bjerkvik.
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
After periods of heavy bombing all across Rotterdam, the Dutch surrender to the Germans.
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 17th
1940
The British lose HMS Effingham when it runs aground near Narvik.
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
Brussels falls to the German Army.
May 17th - May 18th
1940
Antwerp falls to the German Army.
May 20th
1940
Sensing a catastrophic loss in the making, Winston Churchill orders preparation of vessels to evacuate the British Expeditionary Forces from northern France.
May 20th
1940
Compounding battlefield losses across France and the Low Countries force a change at the helm - General Maxime Weygand replaces General Maurice-Gustave Gamelin as supreme Allied commander.
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 21st
1940
The Allies are able to make some gains near Narvik.
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 24th
1940
German Luftwaffe bombers hammer Allied defensive positions in and around the French port city of Dunkirk.
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
The British lose HMS Curlew in an attack from the air.
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 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 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 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
By the end of this day, some 25,473 British soldiers have been evacuated from France.
May 29th
1940
Another 47,000 British troops are evacuated from Dunkirk.
May 30th
1940
6,000 French soldiers join some 120,000 total Allied soldiers evacuated from Dunkirk on this day.
May 31st
1940
Over 150,000 Allied soldiers (including some 15,000 French) arrive in Britain.
May 31st
1940
British forces at Bodo evacuate.
May 31st
1940
The U.S. government commits millions to a new defense program aimed at modernizing and strengthening the current force.
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 1st
1940
The British and French governments notify the Norwegian government of their plans to evacuate.
June 1st
1940
Defense of the outlying region near Dunkirk now passes to French XVI Corps.
June 4th
1940
Some 40,000 French soldiers are taken prisoner by Germany at the fall 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
German Luftwaffe bombers cease bombardment of Dunkirk.
June 4th
1940
Allied forces at Harstad begin their evacuation of the area.
June 7th
1940
The Norwegian government joins several other powers as a government-in-exile. Its officials board HMS Devonshire for their escape.
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
Canada declares war on Italy.
June 10th
1940
The invasion of Norway is complete, the victory going to the Germans.
June 11th
1940
Australia declares war on Italy.
June 11th
1940
New Zealand declares war on Italy.
June 11th
1940
South Africa declares war on Italy.
June 13th
1940
War goods begin leaving U.S. shores bound for Britain.
June 13th
1940
U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt signs a $1.3 billion dollar commitment to modernize the United States Navy fleet in preparation for possible war.
June 17th
1940
French Marshal Henri-Philippe Petain, having replaced outsted Prime Minister Paul Reynaud, ask Germany for armistice terms.
June 20th
1940
Republican Frank Knox is appointed Secretary for the Navy by President Roosevelt.
June 20th
1940
Republican Henry Stimson is appointed Secretary for War by President Roosevelt.
June 24th
1940
The formal signing of the French surrender takes place at Compiegne - site of the original German surrender of World War 1.
June 26th
1940
The Romanian government agrees to allow Soviets into Bessarabia and part of Bukovina.
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.
July 18th
1940
The British close down the Burma Road supply route to China in an effort to avoid war with Japan.
July 25th
1940
In an effort to disrupt the Japanese war economy, the U.S. government enacts a restrictive licensing program for its export of important steel and oil products.
August 1st
1940
Hitler reveals Directive Number 17 which calls for finalization of the invasion of Great Britain for September 15th.
August 3rd
1940
Italian Army elements attack a small British force stationed in British Somaliland from positions in Ethiopia.
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
Southampton 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 13th
1940
Portland is heavily bombed by the German Luftwaffe.
August 13th
1940
Andover is heavily bombed by the German Luftwaffe.
August 13th
1940
At least 40 total Luftwaffe aircraft are destroyed by the RAF and ground-based flak teams.
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
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 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
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
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 19th - August 24th
1940
Poor weather and overcast skies limit any major German bombing efforts over Britain.
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 1st - September 30th
1940
Italian forces, led by Marshal Graziani invade Egypt. During the month, the Italian army sets up a series of six defensive positions south of occupied Sidi Barrani known simply as Nibeiwa, Tummar East, Tummar West, North Sofafi, East Sofafi and West Sofafi.
September 2nd
1940
The British and American governments agree to a deal for the British to receive some 50 old USN destroyers.
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
The Soviet government announces conscription of males between the ages of 19 and 20.
September 15th
1940
The Canadian government announces conscription of males between the ages of 21 and 24.
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
The British government announces conscription of males between the ages of 21 and 35.
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 21st
1940
Incumbent Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies wins reelection.
September 22nd
1940
Japanese forces enter French Indochina now being governed by French Vichy.
September 23rd
1940
A combined force of Free French and British personnel attempt to take Dakar of French West Africa but the invasion falters after several days.
September 24th
1940
Vichy French air elements launch unsuccessful attacks on British positions at Gibraltar.
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 9th
1940
Winston Churchill succeeds beleagured Neville Chamberlain as Prime Minister.
October 12th
1940
Hitler is forced to postpone the British mainland invasion until the Spring of 1941.
October 15th
1940
Unknown to the Germans, the Italians decide on an operation to invade Greece.
October 16th
1940
The Dutch East Indies government and Japan agree to a six-months-long transfer of oil.
October 18th
1940
The Vichy French government imposes anti-semitic laws upon the local Jewish population.
October 18th - October 19th
1940
An attack on two Allied convoys yields 36 sunken ships by the attacking German U-boats.
October 21st
1940
Operation Judgement - the Allied attack on the Italian naval base at Taranto - is postponed due to mechanical issues aboard the carrier HMS Eagle and a fire aboard the carrier HMS Illustrious.
October 28th
1940
An Italian force of 70,000 soldiers invades Greece.
October 28th
1940
The Italian government issues an ultimatum to Greece to accept occupation or war.
October 28th
1940
Italian forces begin launching attacks into Greece from positions in Albania.
October 30th - October 31st
1940
British forces begin to occupy positions on the island of Crete.
November 5th
1940
Franklin Roosevelt is reelected to a third term as President of the United States.
November 9th
1940
The HMS Illustrious moves on Taranto.
November 9th
1940
A Swordfish biplane torpedo bomber is lost to engine failure.
November 10th
1940
The British naval force moving against Taranto comes under attack from Italian aircraft near Malta.
November 10th
1940
Another Swordfish torpedo bomber is lost to mechnical failure.
November 10th
1940
Italian General Ubaldo Soddu succeeds General Sabasiano Viscounti-Prasca as Commander-in-Chief over operations from Albania into Greece.
November 10th
1940
An Italian bomber is downed in the fighting near Malta.
November 10th
1940
The Italian invasion force is in full retreat, repelled by a combined Greek resistance and RAF effort after just two weeks.
November 11th
1940
The Italian battleship Caio Duilio is struck at her bow by a Royal Navy torpedo.
November 11th
1940
At 11:35 PM, the second wave of Royal Navy torpedo-laden aircraft moves into position.
November 11th
1940
The Libeccio is hit by a Royal Navy torpedo but the munition fails to explode.
November 11th
1940
A Swordfish torpedo meant for the Vittorio Veneto fails to reach its mark, exploding harmlessly on the sea floor.
November 11th
1940
The Italian ship Littorio is struck by a torpedo along her starboard side. Swordfish L4M follows with another strike to the same side.
November 11th
1940
At 11:15 PM, the Italian vessel Doria is struck twice by torpedoes in her forward section.
November 11th
1940
At 11:14 PM, the Italian battleship Cavour is struck by a Royal Navy torpedo delivered via Swordfish L4A. L4A is later downed by anti-aircraft fire, though both crewmembers survive.
November 11th
1940
At 10:58 PM, signal aircraft lead the first wave over Taranto, marking torpedo targets as they pass.
November 11th
1940
At 10:00 PM, the first wave of Swordfish bombers is launched from HMS Illustrious, now stationed off of Cephalonia.
November 11th
1940
A third Royal Navy Swordfish aircraft is lost to engine malfunction. A bad batch of gasoline is centered on as the source of the Swordfish issues.
November 11th
1940
Once again, the bombing wave is led by signal aircraft marking targets with flares.
November 11th
1940
Two signal aircraft attack the oil depot at Taranto but fail to produce much damage.
November 12th
1940
Swordfish E5H misses her mark against the Vittorio Veneto.
November 12th
1940
At 1:01 AM, The sinking Littorio is struck by another torpedo.
November 12th
1940
Swordfish E4H is downed by enemy anti-aircraft fire, killing her co-pilot.
November 12th
1940
Swordfish L5F scored a direct hit via bomb on the Trento.
November 12th
1940
By 1:22 AM, the attack on Taranto harbor is officially over.
November 12th
1940
By 3:30 AM, all but two Swordfish aircraft are accounted for.
November 14th - November 22nd
1940
A combined British-Greek force begins an offensive against the Italians in Greece, forcing the invaders into retreat.
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.
November 30th
1940
Japan formally recognizes the puppet regime of China led by President Wang Ching-wei.
December 6th - December 8th
1940
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.
December 6th
1940
Italian Commander-in-Chief Marshal Pietro Badoglio tenders his resignation.
December 8th - December 9th
1940
Aircraft of the Royal Navy are put into action against Italian forces dug in at Maktila and Barrani. Bombers are sent in to soften targets for the initial ground assault.
December 9th
1940
Operation Compass is officially launched.
December 9th
1940
The British 7th Armored Division launches attacks on the Italian camps positioned near Sofafi and Rabia and makes its way toward the critical ocean-side road near Buqbug.
December 9th
1940
The British 7th Tank Regiment, along with the 4th Indian Division, attack Italian positions at Tummar West and Nibeiwa.
December 10th
1940
Selby Force sets its eyes on Sidi Barrani.
December 10th
1940
Selby Force has removed the Italian 1st Libyan Division out of Maktila.
December 10th
1940
Some 38,000 Italian soldiers are taken prisoner by the Allies.
December 10th
1940
The Italian XXI Corps is in full retreat.
December 10th
1940
Italian forces stationed at Sidi Barrani are all but surrounded by the Allies.
December 10th
1940
The Italian camps at Tummar East fall to the Allies.
December 11th
1940
Royal Navy bombers begin attacks on Italian-held Sollum.
December 11th
1940
The Italian Catanzaro Division is captured, delivering another 30,000 Italian prisoners of war.
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.
December 29th
1940
Roosevelt's Fireside Chat radio program attempts to strengthen American support for the war against the Axis through supporting the British effort.
January 2nd
1941
The U.S. government commits to construction of some 200 merchant ships to support the Allied cause in the Atlantic.
January 15th
1941
The Australian Army begins actions against the Italians in Libya.
January 22nd
1941
The Allies take Tobruk, a key port city vital to North Africa operations.
January 22nd
1941
Operation Compass is effectively over, netting some 130,000 total Italian prisoners.
January 29th
1941
British forces take on Italian positions in Kenya.
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 1st
1941
The United States Navy reorganizes into three independent fleets to cover possible battlefronts in the Atlantic, Pacific, and the Asia-Pacific regions.
February 14th
1941
Bulgaria agrees to allow Germany use of its soil bordering Greece for the upcoming invasion.
February 14th
1941
Erwin Rommel's Afrika Corps arrives in Tripoli to bolster the wavering Italian forces in North Africa.
February 19th - February 23rd
1941
Allied authorities meet in Cairo, Egypt to review the situation in Greece. It is agree upon to commit some 100,000 British soldiers to the fighting.
March 5th
1941
The first elements of British reinforcements departs Egyptian shores en route to the Balkan Front.
March 9th
1941
The Italians launch a new offensive in Greece to recover lost ground.
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 11th
1941
President Roosevelt signs the Lend-Lease Act into law allowing the United States government to militarily support - with delayed payments - any and all allies when U.S. interests are threatened.
March 24th
1941
Rommel begins his attack near El Agheila.
March 24th
1941
German forces drive the British from El Agheila in Libya.
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 27th
1941
The Italians are forced by the British to retreat in the Battle of Keren, Eritrea.
March 21st
1941
A coup by Yugoslav Air Force personnel overthrows Prince Paul.
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
Italian-held Asmara falls to the British.
April 1st - April 18th
1941
Internal unrest in Iraq leads to an overthrow of the pro-British government. The new government aligns itself with the Axis.
April 1st
1941
The German port of Emden is bombed by six Wellington bomber aircraft.
April 2nd
1941
Rommel's forces reach Agedabia.
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 5th
1941
The number of British troops having arrived in Greece numbers 58,000.
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
A massive German bombing raid on the Yugoslavian capital city of Belgrade nets over 300,000 civilian casualties.
April 8th
1941
229 RAF bomber aircraft rain 40,000 incendiary ordnance on the German naval base at Kiel.
April 9th
1941
The German 12th Army encircles and defeats the Greek defensive line known as the "Metaxas Line".
April 9th
1941
The German Army moves on and captures the strategic port city of Salonika.
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
Vermion Line Allied troops are now redeployed to defensive positions around Mount Olympus.
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 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 18th
1941
In an effort to safeguard its vital oil supply chain, British forces arrive in Iraq.
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 - April 30th
1941
Operation Demon is activated, covering the evacuation of some 51,000 Allied troops from southern Greece via the Royal Navy.
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
Operation Mercury is officially launched.
May 20th
1941
At least 500 Junkers Ju 52 transport aircraft are utilized in the first wave of airdrops over Crete.
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
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
The German heavy cruiser KMS Prinz Eugen and the battleship KMS Bismarck leave port for the North Sea.
May 20th
1941
At approximately 7:00 AM, the first German airborne troops land at locations near Maleme and Khania.
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
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 21st
1941
The British Navy is notified of the increase in German warship activity in the North Sea.
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 21st
1941
A German offensive against Heraklion is pushed away by at least 8,000 dug-in Allied soldiers.
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 22nd
1941
New Zealand troops are repelled from an attempt to retake the airfield at Maleme from the Germans.
May 22nd
1941
The HMS Greyhound, a British destroyer, is downed by German bombers.
May 23rd
1941
German dive bombers destroy the HMS Gloucester and the HMS Fiji, two Royal Navy cruisers.
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 24th
1941
At 5:52 AM, the Bismarck and the Prinz Eugen fall under attack from Royal Navy ships.
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 24th
1941
At 6:13 AM, the battleship Prince of Wales is damaged enough to pull out of the battle.
May 24th
1941
The HMS Suffolk loses track of the KMS Bismarck.
May 25th
1941
German Admiral Lutjens orders that the Prinz Eugen break from the Bismarck.
May 26th
1941
Royal Navy ships open fire with their long range guns and close in on their prey.
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
A British Coastal Command PBY Catalina flying boat spots the KMS Bismarck 700 miles from Brest.
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 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 27th
1941
Allied forces retreat to defensive positions at Galatas.
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 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 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 28th
1941
The evacuation order is given by Major-General Freyberg for the gradual withdrawel of Allied troops from the island of Crete.
May 28th
1941
Heraklion in the north and Sphakia in the south of Crete will serve as major evacuation junctions for the Allies.
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
Russian army forces are encirlced at key cities across the Soviet Union.
June 29th
1941
General Guderian's Panzergruppe 2 meets General Hoth's Panzergruppe 3 in Minsk.
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
Soviet defenses at Brest-Litovsk, Bialystok, Volkovysk, Gorodishche and Minsk fall to the invading German Army.
July 9th
1941
Panzergruppe 3 continues north to Vitebsk.
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
Smolensk falls to the German 29th Motorized Division.
July 16th
1941
Marshal Timoshenko and his 4th and 13th Armies near the Sohz River counterattack the Germans at Smolensk.
July 16th
1941
Panzergruppe 3 heads towards Yartsevo.
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 German Army begins to encircled in Soviet Army pockets held up outside of Smolensk, Vitebsk and Mogilev.
July 22nd
1941
The Soviet counterattack at Smolensk is driven back by Guderian's forces.
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
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
300,000 Soviet prisoners, 3,200 tanks and 3,100 artillery guns are captured by the Germans at Smolensk.
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.
August 31st
1941
The first seven-ship Royal Navy convoy arrives in Russia without incident, bringing with her supplies and Hawker Hurricane fighters.
September 1st
1941
German Army elements begin the shelling of Leningrad.
September 15th
1941
The Soviet fortress at Shlusselburg southeast of Leningrad falls to the Germans.
September 15th
1941
Finnish forces, siding with the Germans, now control the Karelian isthmus, covering Leningrad from both sides.
September 15th
1941
The Germans now control the southern end of Leningrad, cutting its citizens off from the rest of the Soviet Union.
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.
November 26th
1941
The Japanese naval fleet leaves home port and heads to Hawaii.
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
An attack against America is now deemed imminent though the consensus being that it will occur against interests somehwere in Southeast Asia.
December 6th
1941
The Soviet 31st Army cuts 12 miles into the German lines.
December 6th
1941
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.
December 6th
1941
No fewer than 17 German motorized divisions retreat from the Soviet advance.
December 6th
1941
American President Franklin Roosevelt sends a final peace appeal to the Empire of Japan to which there is no answer.
December 7th
1941
At 6:00AM, the first wave of 183 Japanese Navy aircraft takes off from their carriers, just north of Oahu, to make the 230 mile trek. The target is the US Pacific Fleet.
December 7th
1941
In conjunction with the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Wake Island is assaulted by a Japanese invasion force all its own - this under the command of Rear-Admiral Kajioka Sadamichi.
December 7th
1941
The Imperial Japanese Navy attack commences with their assault. The force is made up of 423 aircraft and converges on the Hawaiian Islands.
December 7th
1941
At 9AM, the final Japanese message is broken down. It essentially directs its Washington envoy to break off diplomatic relations with America.
December 7th
1941
At approximately 10AM, a follow-up message is intercepted - meant for the Japanese diplomats in Washington - to delay handling of the previous message to the Americans until 1PM. The Americans now understand that an attack is imminent and the target is the US Naval fleet at Pearl Harbor.
December 7th
1941
At approximately 7:15AM, the second wave of 167 Japanese Navy planes takes off from their carriers towards Pearl.
December 7th
1941
It is discovered that communication lines from Washington to Hawaii are down for the moment, forcing the US War Department to use a commercial telegraph service to warn forces on the Hawaiian Islands.
December 7th
1941
At 2:30PM Eastern Time, the Japanese diplomats in Washington finally visit with US Secretary of State Cordell Hull. With them is the Japanese declaration of war.
December 7th
1941
At 7:02AM, the Japanese attack wave is located on American radar by two US Army personnel who bring it to the attention of a junior officer. The officer, expecting a flight of Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses to arrive that day, disregards the alert.
December 7th
1941
At 7:53AM, complete surprise by the Japanese Navy and the first wave begins their initial strike. This force is made up of 50 medium bombers, 43 A6M Zero fighters and 40 Kate torpedo bombers. Targets are the battleships hunkered down in the harbor and airfields used by the USAAF.
December 7th
1941
The second wave of Japanese Navy aircraft swoops in attacking targets of opportunity including auxiliary ships in the harbor and the all-important harbor facilities.
December 7th
1941
The attack on Pearl Harbor is over at 9:45AM. Over 2,400 people are killed and a further 1,178 are wounded. More die in the ensuing days while 1,104 sailors eventually perish within the hull of the battleship USS Arizona, its magazine stores ignited by a single Japanese bomb.
December 8th
1941
The United States, along with Britain, formally declare war on the Empire of Japan.
December 9th - December 13th
1941
General Guderian's Panzergruppe 2 is cut off from General Kluge's 4th Army.
December 10th
1941
Along the north of Luzon - at Aparri, Gonzago and Vigan - two large Japanese Army forces land via amphibious assault.
December 10th
1941
The Soviets retake the town of Tikhvin.
December 10th
1941
The Soviet supply route is restarted across frozen Lake Lagoda.
December 11th
1941
As expected, Germany and Italy side with Japan and officially declare war on the United States
December 12th
1941
The airfields at Laoang and Tuguegarao fall to the Japanese invaders.
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
Field Marshal von Kluge is tapped to replace Field Marshal von Bock as leader of 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 22nd
1941
The Japanese 48th Division lands at Lingayen Bay on Luzon.
December 23rd
1941
The order is given by American General Douglas MacArthur to retreat from Luzon and take up positions on the Bataan Peninsula.
December 23rd
1941
The American military detachment at Wake Island surrenders. During their stand, the Americans accounted for at least 1,000 Japanese casualties and 4 Japanese navy warships.
December 23rd
1941
MacArthur's forces are cut-off from further retreat by a Japanese Army force advancing from the south.
December 23rd
1941
Despite an out-numbered yet heroic resistance on the part of American forces, Wake Island falls to the Japanese.
December 25th
1941
The Japanese 48th Division makes substantial progress against American forces, working their way towards the capital city of Manila.
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 27th
1941
The Philippine capital city of Manila eventually falls to the invading Japanese Army.
December 28th
1941
More Soviet forces land near Kerch via amphibious transports, bolstering Red Army power in the area.
December 28th
1941
In the face of growing Soviet Army opposition, von Manstein calls off his offensive on Sevastopol.
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 1st
1942
The German U-boat fleet now numbers some 331 operational vessels.
January 1st - July 31st
1942
Some 800,000 of Leningrad's citizens are evacuated through the frozen passage above Lake Lagoda.
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 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 7th
1942
Along the Volkhov Front to the south of Novgorod, the Soviets launch a major offensive.
January 9th
1942
The Japanese begin their offensive against the dug-in American forces on the Bataan Peninsula.
January 11th
1942
Three Japanese amphibious forces take on the Dutch East Indies.
January 11th
1942
Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaya, falls to the invading Japanese 5th Division.
January 15th
1942
Japanese forces invade Burma beginning their assault at Victoria Point.
January 19th
1942
The Japanese Army makes short work of the light British defenses, covering some 230 miles in reaching Tavoy.
January 23rd
1942
The American defensive lines finally break.
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 8th
1942
The Soviet Army officially retakes the Russian city of Kursk.
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
1942
Russian General Vatutin and his South-West Front army reach the city of Kharkov.
February 14th
1942
By this time, the Japanese have captured Borneo, Celebes and Sarawak.
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 15th
1942
Singapore eventually falls to the might of the Japanese assault resulting in the capture of some 60,000 Allied prisoners against the cost of 2,000 Japanese soldiers.
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 19th
1942
The Japanese 1st Air Fleet conducts a surprise attack on Allied ships at Broome and Darwin. Twelve ships are sunk in the assault.
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 8th
1942
Japan invades New Guinea.
March 8th
1942
By this date, the Japanese capture the Dutch East Indies with the occupations of Bali, Timor and Java.
March 8th
1942
The British Burma Army escapes anhilation in Burma.
March 8th
1942
Japanese forces, numbering two battalions strong, land at Lae and Salamaua in New Guinea.
March 8th
1942
Rangoon, Burma falls to the Japanese.
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
The British utilize the "Gee" electronic navigation system for the first time.
March 28th
1942
234 RAF bombers drop incendiaries on Lubeck. 12 aircraft are lost.
April 1st
1942
The Japanese aircraft carrier Ryujo enters the Bay of Bengal.
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 3rd
1942
No fewer than five Japanese Navy aircraft carriers reach the Indian Ocean.
April 4th
1942
Admiral Sir James Somerville detaches a force to intercept the arriving Japanese fleet.
April 4th
1942
A small contingent of British Royal Navy vessels operating in the Indian Ocean are warned of the arriving Japanese Navy force.
April 5th
1942
Hitler issues the official Fuhrer Directive for Operation Blue.
April 6th
1942
The British Royal Navy destroyer HMS Tenedos is sunk by the Japanese air strike.
April 6th
1942
The Imperial Japanese Navy unleashes a surprise attack, with some 120 aircraft, on British forces at Columbo Harbor, Ceylon.
April 6th
1942
The British Royal Navy cruisers HMS Cornwall and HMS Dorsetshire are sunk by the Japanese air strike.
April 6th
1942
Twenty-six Allied aircraft are destroyed.
April 9th
1942
An 85-strong Japanese Navy aircraft contingent attacks airfields and targets of opportunity at Trincomalee, Ceylon.
April 9th
1942
American forces fighting on the Bataan Peninsula finally surrender to the Japanese.
April 9th
1942
The HMS Hermes is one of four Royal Navy ships sunk by Japanese Navy aircraft.
April 30th
1942
By this time, over 1 million German soldiers have been killed in action since the start of Operation Barbarossa.
April 30th
1942
German Army forces partially regroup and recover from the constant barrage of Soviet offensives.
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.
May 3rd
1942
An Imperial Japanese Navy carrier force sets sail on patrol around the Solomons looking for American carrier battle groups.
May 3rd
1942
Forces of the Imperial Japanese Army land at Tulagi of the Solomons island group. Subsequent develop ensures a base of operations for Japanese logistics in the region.
May 3rd
1942
American intelligence intercepts various Japanese communications and is able to piece together the intention to invade Port Moresby, New Guinea.
May 4th
1942
USS Yorktown launched strike aircraft south of Guadalcanal. At 6:30AM, the American Navy aircraft spot and subsequently target Japanese land emplacements and sea vessels in the area.
May 4th
1942
The Japanese invasion force leaves Rabaul, New Britain, heading towards Port Moresby, New Guinea.
May 5th - May 6th
1942
Foul weather limits detection of either carrier force across a two day span.
May 5th
1942
The Japanese enact an offensive to take Corregidor Island, a strategic point providing access to Manila Bay.
May 6th
1942
Corregidor Island falls to the Japanese, giving the invaders control over Manila Bay.
May 7th
1942
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.
May 7th
1942
The USS Lexington and the USS Yorktown launch their attack planes and sink the Japanese aircraft carrier Shoho in the process.
May 7th
1942
The USS Neosho and the USS Sims are sunk by Japanese aircraft.
May 7th
1942
The Allies spot the Japanese Covering Group escorting the invasion force.
May 7th
1942
The Japanese invasion of Port Moresby is called off.
May 8th
1942
Operation Blue begins.
May 8th
1942
Lieutenant-General von Manstein launches his assault.
May 8th
1942
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.
May 8th
1942
German General Manstein leads his 11th Army onto the Kerch Peninsula towards the city of Sevastopol.
May 8th
1942
The Japanese invasion force heads back to New Britain.
May 8th
1942
Just past dawn, the Japanese and American carrier groups spot one another.
May 8th
1942
At 9:25AM, Japanese and American warplanes take to the skies.
May 8th
1942
At 11:40AM, US Navy warplanes manage to score devastating hits to the Japanese aircraft carrier Shokaku, severely damaging her.
May 8th
1942
At 2:47PM, the American carrier USS Lexington is hit by a Japanese torpedo, causing a major explosion in her generator room.
May 8th
1942
By 6:00PM that evening, nearly all of the USS Lexington's sailors have been rescued.
May 8th
1942
At 6:10PM, the USS Lexington is a complete loss. She is scuttled and sunk.
May 9th
1942
Despite numbers against him, Japanese Vice-Admiral Takagi is ordered to send his warplanes aloft.
May 9th
1942
The Japanese aircraft do not locate the American fleet and any further actions are called off, effectively ending the Battle of Coral Sea.
May 12th
1942
Soviet ground forces launch a pre-emptive offensive against German-held Kharkov.
May 12th
1942
German forces enact Operation Fridericus and attempt to take Izyum.
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
Manstein begins planning his next major offensive to take Sevastopol - this becomes Operation Sturgeon.
May 15th
1942
Burma falls to the Japanese.
May 15th
1942
Manstein's offensive results in the taking of the Kerch peninsula from the Soviets.
May 15th
1942
Sevastopol is cutt off from the rest of the Soviet Union by German Army elements.
May 20th
1942
The 2nd Canadian Infantry Division begins training for Operation Rutter on the Isle of Wight.
May 25th
1942
A large Imperial Japanese Naval force sails for Japan towards Midway Island. The force Is made up of four task forces. One is charged with the invasion of the Aleutian Islands off of Alaska while the other three are to take Midway Island itself and assail the responding USN fleet. One group contains the required four aircraft carriers.
May 26th
1942
Rommel begins his offense against the Gazala Line, made up of some 50 miles of British defenses.
May 26th
1942
Group Cruewell, made up of the Italian X and XI Corps, launches an assault on the northern portion of the Gazala Line in an attempt to divert Allied forces from the real attack coming from the south.
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 27th
1942
German forces south of Bir Hacheim make progress and begin to move northwards.
May 27th
1942
The 1st Free French Brigade at Bir Hacheim holds off the German progress.
May 28th
1942
The final Imperial Japanese Task Force leaves mainland Japan.
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 3rd
1942
A German pocket develops near Sidi Muftah.
June 1st
1942
Nearly 30% of German tanks have been lost in Rommel's offensive.
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 2nd
1942
600 German artillery guns open fire on Sevastopol.
June 3rd
1942
The Northern Task Force begins its operation to take the Aleutian Island chain and divert USN forces to the region.
June 4th
1942
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.
June 4th
1942
At 7:52AM, USS Enterprise and USS Hornet launch their dive bombers and torpedo planes.
June 4th
1942
At 7:28AM, a Japanese reconniassance plane spots spots ten undetermined USN surface ships 200 miles northeast of the Japanese Midway invasion force.
June 4th
1942
At 8:20AM, a surprised Nagumo receives his first report of American carriers in the area.
June 4th
1942
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.
June 4th
1942
By 3:00PM, the crew of the USS Yorktown has abandoned their carrier. The damaged vessel is towed by USN ships.
June 4th
1942
By 2:30PM, the USS Yorktown is severely damaged but does not sink.
June 4th
1942
The initial American assault on the Japanese carrier strike force is over by 10:00AM.
June 4th
1942
The three Japanese carriers - Kaga, Soryu and Akagi - are struck with bombs and ultimately sunk.
June 4th
1942
All incoming USN Devastator attackers are shot down by Japanese Zero fighters in the span of six minutes.
June 4th
1942
American fighter aircraft take heavy losses but force the Japanese Navy to launch a second attack.
June 4th
1942
At 4:30AM, the bombing of Midway Island begins with aircraft from Vice-Admiral Nagumo's First Carrier Strike Force.
June 4th
1942
At 8:37AM, aircraft of the second Japanese strike force returns to their respective carriers for rearming and refueling.
June 4th
1942
At 9:00AM, USS Yorktown launches her aircraft with Nagumo's carrier force as the prime target.
June 4th
1942
Between 9:30AM and 10:00AM, Torpedo planes from the USS Enterprise and USS Hornet begin their attacks on the Japanese carriers.
June 4th
1942
At 9:18AM, Nagumo reacts to the American presence and changes the course of his Carrier Strike Force.
June 4th
1942
The first wave of USN carrier dive-bombers has difficulty in locating their Japanese targets.
June 4th
1942
At 12:00PM, Imperial Japanese Navy bomber aircraft strike against the attacking USS Yorktown.
June 5th
1942
The Japanese carrier Hiryu is scuttled.
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 German Luftwaffe is called in to bomb Sevastopol.
June 6th
1942
The island of Kiska is taken by Japanese forces.
June 6th
1942
The USS Yorktown, now severely damaged and in tow of US Navy forces, is targeted and sunk by a Japanese submarine.
June 6th
1942
The British 150th Brigade is utterly destroyed under the German assault, resulting in 4,000 British prisoners of war.
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 7th
1942
The island of Attu is taken by Japanese forces.
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
Rommel begins his offensive against the defenders in Tobruk.
June 20th
1942
Artillery shells and Luftwaffe bombs rain upon 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
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 - July 28th
1942
Convoy PQ17 loses 34 of its 36 ships to Geman U-Boats and surface ships.
June 27th
1942
The Romanian and German army forces capture key hilltop positions near Sevastopol.
June 27th
1942
British convoy PQ17 sets sail from Reykjavik, Iceland.
June 28th
1942
The German Army turns its attention towards the Volga.
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 30th
1942
German General Paulus attacks at Belgorod.
June 30th
1942
Evacuation of Russian soldiers from Sevastopol begins with help from the Soviet Black Sea Fleet under Vice-Admiral F.S. Oktyabrsky.
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 1st
1942
German General Erwin Rommel attempts to break through the Allied defensive perimeter at El Alamein.
July 1st - July 31st
1942
The Allies received word on the construction of a strategic Japanese airfield (Henderson Field) on the island of Guadalcanal, part of the Solomon Islands. As such, plans are set in motion to curtail construction of the endeavor. US Navy and Marine forces spring into action.
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
1942
One last German push secures strategic positions throughout the city of Sevastopol.
July 2nd
1942
The Soviet city of Sevastopol officially falls to the Germans.
July 2nd
1942
The last of the Soviet forces are evacuated by sea leaving little to stop the German onslaught.
July 3rd
1942
The Allies put up a stubborn defense, repelling Rommel's offensive.
July 4th
1942
German control and the subsequent round up on the city nets some 90,000 Soviet army prisoners of war.
July 4th
1942
Sevastopol officially falls to German control.
July 6th
1942
The German 6th Army moves on Stalingrad.
July 6th
1942
The German 6th Army reaches the Don River.
July 6th
1942
The Soviet city of Voronezh falls to the German Army.
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
This date is set aside for Operation Rutter - the amphibious landing at the port city of Dieppe in occupied France.
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
The German Army begins its move towards Rostov.
July 9th
1942
German Army Group South is renamed Army Group B and placed under the control of Field Marshal von Bock.
July 13th
1942
General von Weichs takes control of Army Group B from Bock.
July 13th
1942
Adolf Hitler assigns General Paulus and his 6th Army to take Stalingrad.
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 21st
1942
Japanese Major General Horii and his 18th Army land near Buna.
July 22nd
1942
Major General Horii and his 18th Army march towards Port Moresby.
July 22nd
1942
The Japanese Army gain ground on the US, Australian and Papuan Infantry Regiment defenders.
July 23rd
1942
Hitler issues a supplemental directive to Operation Blue requiring his 6th Army to take Stalingrad.
July 23rd
1942
Rostov falls to the German Army Group A, netting some 83,000 Soviet prisoners as a result.
July 28th
1942
The macabre resolution of "not one step backwards" is issued by Stalin to his generals and troops.
August 1st - August 30th
1942
Churchill replaces 8th Army leader Major-General Neil Ritchie with General Bernard Montgomery.
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 1st - August 30th
1942
British Prime Minister relieves General Auchinleck with General Harold Alexander as Commander-in-Chief, Middle East.
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 4th
1942
Elements of the German Army cross the Aksay River towards Stalingrad.
August 6th
1942
US Navy and Marine forces position themselves near Guadalcanal.
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 7th
1942
Amphibious forces spearheaded by the United States Marines begin against the Japanese-held island of Guadalcanal.
August 8th
1942
A large contingent of Imperial Japanese Navy warships heads out of Rabaul towards Savo Island to strike at US Navy transports there.
August 8th
1942
Just outside of Guadalcanal, the islands of Tulagi and Gavutu fall to the Allies.
August 8th
1942
Japanese bombers attack US forces at Henderson Field.
August 8th
1942
Naval battles ultimately ensure between the Imperial Japanese Navy and the United States Navy for control of Guadalcanal.
August 8th
1942
The amphibious landings largely conclude by this date.
August 8th
1942
By the end of the day and facing next to no opposition, the US soldiers capture and secure Henderson Field.
August 9th
1942
Three US and one Australian cruiser are sunk by the Japanese Navy during the morning hours.
August 9th
1942
Army Group A captures the Maikop oil field on the Black Sea.
August 9th
1942
The German German Army captures the strategic port of Yeysk and Krasnador on the Sea of Azov.
August 14th
1942
The Japanese Army gains vital territory leading up and into the Owen Stanley Range.
August 14th
1942
The Japanese Army reaches Isurava just outside of Port Moresby.
August 14th
1942
The Japanese Army takes control of the village of Kokoda.
August 14th
1942
German forces cross the Kuban river near Krasnador.
August 18th
1942
A Japanese counteroffensive sees an amphibious landing take place at Taivu. This landing zone is just 32 miles east of Henderson Field.
August 19th
1942
German General Paulus and his 6th Army is ordered to attack the Soviet city of Stalingrad.
August 19th - September 30th
1942
A Soviet offensive aimed at smashing through the German lines fails.
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 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
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 4:30 AM, Canadian soldiers wade ashore and take on the German coastal batteries at Berneval, Puys, Pourville and Varengville.
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
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 19th
1942
Operation Jubilee is officially put into action.
August 19th
1942
This date is targeted for Operation Jubilee.
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 20th
1942
The first of thirty-one US fighter aircraft arrive at Henderson Field.
August 21st
1942
Japanese ground forces attempt attacks against Henderson Field and American forces at Tenaru. The Japanese troops make little headway and are themselves encircled.
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 22nd
1942
The Japanese attackers at Henderson Field and Tenaru are ultimately destroyed, forcing Colonel Ichiki to commit ritual suicide.
August 23rd
1942
US naval patrol aircraft spot the incoming Japanese convoy, radioing positions back to the main task force.
August 23rd
1942
Army Group B reaches the Volga River.
August 23rd
1942
The Battle of the Eastern Solomons begins.
August 23rd
1942
The Imperial Japanese Navy enacts a plan to resupply their forces at Guadalcanal under the cover of three aircraft carriers made up of the IJN Ryujo, the IJN Shokaku and the IJN Zuikaku.
August 24th
1942
The US Navy claims a Japanese aircraft carrier. The carrier is attacked and sunk.
August 24th
1942
US naval patrol aircraft once again spot the incoming Japanese convoy. Positions are sent to Task Force 61.
August 24th
1942
Task Force 61, comprised of the USS Enterprise, USS Saratoga and the USS Wasp head to intercept the Japanese convoy.
August 24th
1942
Task Force 61 sets up at locations east of Malaita Island in preparation for the battle. Aircraft are launched form the American carriers beginning what is known as the Battle of the Eastern Solomons.
August 24th
1942
At 3:15PM, American carrier aircaft from the USS Enterprise manage hits on the IJN Shokaku.
August 24th
1942
Dive bombers and torpedo bombers from the USS Enterprise manage critical hits against the IJN Ryujo and sink here where she stood at 3:50PM.
August 24th
1942
The Japanese Navy lose their seaplane carrier - the IJN Chitose - to American dive bombers at 5:40PM.
August 24th
1942
At about 4:41PM, the USS Enterprise is the victim of Japanese dive bombers and takes several direct hits but manages to keep fighting.
August 25th
1942
The Japanese Navy completes an amphibious landing at Milne Bay to establish a beachhead and open a second front on New Guinea.
August 25th
1942
Stalingard is officially under siege by the Germans Army.
August 25th
1942
The Battle of the Eastern Solomons ends with the Japanese Navy claiming at least 90 aircraft lost while the American Navy enjoys victory with 20 aircraft lost in the fray.
August 25th
1942
The Japanese Navy loses a pair of transport ships enroute to the Solomon Island chain.
August 26th
1942
The 18th Australian Brigade, utilizing valuable intelligence reports, meet the arriving Japanese amphibious forces head-on and hold the Japanese beachhead at Milne Bay.
August 29th
1942
A further 600 Japanese Army soldiers are landed at Milne Bay to help strengthen the beachhead.
August 30th
1942
American General Douglas MacArthur employs his superiors for additional firepower and troop strength to help hold Papua.
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.
August 31st
1942
By this date, the Japanese have completed their takeovers of the Caroline Islands, the Gilbert Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Marianas Islands and a portion of the Solomon Islands. This is the farthest that the Japanese Empire would reach in the Pacific.
September 1st - September 30th
1942
The month is spent ironing out plans for the Allied invasion of German-occupied North Africa.
September 1st - September 30th
1942
German progress throughout the Casucasus is slowed by Soviet resistance and fuel/supply shortages.
September 1st
1942
The Germans establish a bridgehead over the Terek River.
September 1st
1942
Germany Army elements, backed by Romanians cross the Kerch Straits.
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.
Setember 2nd - September 26th
1942
Convoy PQ18 reaches Russia despite losing 13 of her ships.
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.
September 3rd
1942
The Germans enact an offensive aimed at the heart of Stalingrad.
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 4th
1942
Japanese casualties at Milne Bay amount to 1,000 killed amidst the fighting.
September 4th
1942
With the Allied resistance holding off further advance, the Japanese Army begins a formal withdrawal of the island.
September 6th
1942
The strategic Black Sea port city Novorossiysk falls to the Germans.
September 7th
1942
US Marines enact a surprise amphibious landing against Japanese strongholds at Taivu.
September 8th
1942
The US Marine landings result in the destruction of vital Japanese supplies and the recovery of important operational data.
September 10th
1942
100,000 incendiary bombs are dropped on Dusseldorf by no fewer than 476 RAF bombers.
September 12th
1942
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.
September 13th
1942
Japanese forces come within a half-a-mile of Henderson Field before being stopped and, ultimately, driven back.
September 14th
1942
At the end of the Henderson Field offensive, the fanatical Japanese have lost at least 1,200 soldiers in the fighting.
September 15th
1942
The Soviet Army is unleashed on Voronezh.
September 15th - October 7th
1942
The Japanese begin building up their forces to reclaim Henderson Field.
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.
September 26th
1942
Australian Army forces hold fast to territory near Toribaiwa.
September 26th
1942
Despite gains along the Kokoda Trail, the Japanese supply line begins to run thin and halt any further advance.
September 26th
1942
The Japanese Army slowly begins to retreat back through the Kokoda Trail, finally realizing its perilous stuation.
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 10th
1942
Japanese reinforcements are shipped to the west and disembarked at Tenaro, some 20 miles from American forces.
October 11th
1942
At midnight, the Japanese convoy is in retreat and gone from the region in roughly 30 minutes.
October 11th
1942
At 11:32PM, US Navy warships fire upon IJN vessels in the convoy, sinking the IJN Fubuki and damaging the IJN Furutaka and IJN Aoba, which themselves begin sinking.
October 11th
1942
The IJN Furutaka officially sinks at 12:40AM.
October 11th
1942
A Japanese Navy convoy headed through the Eastern and Western Solomons is intercepted by a US Navy force, beginning what is known as the Battle of Cape Esperance.
October 15th
1942
American soldiers of the 32nd US Division complete an amphibious assault near Pongani and Wanigela on Papua.
October 18th
1942
The German drive against Tuapse is stopped by the Soviets.
October 23rd
1942
The Allied counter-offensive begins through Operation Lightfoot, a massive artillery bombardment of dug-in German forces.
October 23rd
1942
Some 20,000 Japanese fighters, including elements of the 2nd Division and 17th Army, undertake a new offensive under the direction of General Maruyama.
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 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
Japanese Navy supply ships make their way offshore of Guadalcanal where land forces there are attempting to take Henderson Field.
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
Four Allied brigades have managed to break through the German defensive lines.
October 25th
1942
The Germans enact a new offensive in the Caucasus.
October 25th
1942
Allied mine-clearing operations begin while combat continues
October 26th
1942
The Americans signal a withdrawal of all forces form the battle.
October 26th
1942
The US Navy sends Task Force 16 and 17 to intercept the Japanese resupply action.
October 26th
1942
US Navy aircraft are launched from USS Enterprise and USS Hornet but fail to locate the Japanese ships.
October 26th
1942
A USN Consolidated PBY Catalina flying boat scout plane spots the Japanese waterforce and relays their position.
October 26th
1942
USS Enterprise receives several direct hits from IJN dive bombers against her flight deck and forward elevator.
October 26th
1942
At 7:40AM, USN dive bombers damage the IJN carrier Zuiho.
October 26th
1942
72 aircraft are launched as a combined force from USS Enterprise and USS Hornet.
October 26th
1942
The USS Hornet takes a critical hit at 9:15AM from attacking Japanese Navy dive bombers and torpedo bombers. The IJN forces claim two torpedo hits and a further six bomb hits against her.
October 26th
1942
The IJN carrier launch around 110 aircraft in response.
October 26th
1942
The USS Hornet is cleared of all crew by 11:40AM.
October 26th
1942
USN bombers score several key direct hits against the carrier IJN Shokaku at 9:30AM.
October 26th
1942
The crippled IJN carrier Zuiho is hit by another four bombs, bringing her tenure at sea to an official close at 9:18AM.
October 26th
1942
The crew of the USS Hornet begin evacuation procedures aboard their doomed ship.
October 26th
1942
US Navy and IJN aircraft formally meet in air to air combat by 8:15AM.
October 26th
1942
USS Enterprise launches a wave of Dauntless dive bombers in search of the Japanese group. Some 22 total aircraft are launched.
October 26th
1942
After some 3,500 casualties are netted against the Japanese attackers, the offensive stalls and is ultimately called off.
October 26th
1942
A PBY Catalina, capable of limited bombing, misses its mark as it attempts to hit several Japanese aircraft carriers at 2:50AM.
October 27th
1942
Destroyers of the IJN come across the remains of the USS Hornet and launch torpedoes against her, sending her to the bottom of the Pacific.
November 1st
1942
The Caucasus town of Alagir is captured by the Germans.
November 1st
1942
Japanese Army troops have taken to reinforcing their existing defenses at Buna, Gona and Sanananda.
November 1st - January 31st
1942
Neither force can claim much action during this span. In time, US forces number some 58,000 troops while Japan can claim 20,000-strong.
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 2nd
1942
The Caucasus town of Ordzhonikidse is captured by the Germans.
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 8th
1942
The US Western and Central task forces tangle with Vichy French opposition.
November 8th
1942
At Oran, French coastal guns destroya US transport with 200 soldiers aboard.
November 8th
1942
French General Mast surrenders to the British Eastern Task Force.
November 9th
1942
US forces tangle with a suprisingly stout French defense. It was believed that the two country's histories would have brought France to surrender rather than fight a former ally.
November 9th
1942
The first French cease-fires begin to ring out across Algeria and Morocco.
November 11th
1942
The British Eastern Task force capture the strategic airfield at Djidjelli via Bougie from Algiers.
November 11th
1942
French Admiral Jean Francios Darlan joins French General Alphonse Juin in calling an all-out cease fire for French forces throughout Africa.
November 12th
1942
British paratroopers land near Bone and take the nearby airfield.
November 12th
1942
German paratrooper forces attack the British paratroopers near Bone but are repelled.
November 12th
1942
German paratroopers move into the area near the airfield at Bone.
November 15th
1942
American paratroopers land at the airfield near Youks les Bains
November 15th
1942
Australian forces continue their march from the west against Japanese-held areas.
November 15th
1942
US forces continue their march from the south against Japanese-held areas.
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 16th
1942
British paratroopers land and capture the airfield at Soul el Arba.
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
Part 2 of Operation Uranus is enacted at the southern end of Stalingrad.
November 20th
1942
The Allied assault on the strategic city of Medjez el Bab begins.
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
German General Paulus and his 6th Army is contained by the fierce resisting Soviets in Stalingrad, putting Hitler's plans on hold.
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.
December 9th
1942
The Australian Army liberates the village of Gona from the hold of the Japanese Amry.
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 14th
1942
Allied Australian and US forces continued their maches against the Japanese, taking territory through fierce firefights.
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 3rd
1943
American forces lay claim to Buna.
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
The decision to abandon Guadalcanal is made by Japanese autorities.
January 10th
1943
Soviet General Rokossovsky unleashes hell on the German 6th Army through thousands of artillery cannons and Katyusha rockets.
January 12th
1943
Soviet troops make headway against the defensive lines at the Don River held by Hungarian and Italian troops.
January 12th
1943
German Caucasus elements make it to their bridgehead over the Kuban River.
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 Japanese begin to withdraw their battered army units from Guadalcanal.
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
German forces at Armavir retreat.
January 25th
1943
A Soviet offensive splits the German 6th Army at Stalingrad.
January 25th
1943
German forces at Voronezh retreat.
January 31st
1943
German General Paulus formally surrenders his southern Stalingrad army to the Soviets.
January 31st
1943
Sananada is officially in Allied hands.
January 31st
1943
The Kokoda Trail is firmly in Allied hands by this date.
February 1st
1943
A massive evacuation effort sees some 11,000 Japanese personnel moved fom Tenaro, Gaudalcanal.
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 7th
1943
The last remnants of the Japanese Army on Guadalcanal is evacuated from the island.
February 7th
1943
Gaudalcanal officially falls to the Americans.
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
The Americans fold under the immense German assault and Kasserine Pass falls to the invaders.
February 20th
1943
US forces move in to stop the German advance around Tebessa.
February 20th
1943
The British 6th Armored Brigade moves towards Thala and Sbiba.
February 20th
1943
Allied units move from Le Kef for the counter-attack.
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
Rommel relocates his forces east and plans his defense against Montgomery and his 8th Army at the Mareth line.
February 25th
1943
Kasserine is now firmly in Allied control, the Germans having retreated and Rommel's attention now elsewhere.
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 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 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
1943
Allied aircraft are fitted with U-boat detecting radar systems.
May 1st - May 31st
1943
By the end of May, 43 U-boats are sunk to just 34 merchant vessels.
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
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
The British 5th Division takes Cassibile.
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
15th Army Group begins their initial assault to the south.
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 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
Allied airborne elements parachute into Sicily and capture key bridges. However, a German counter-attack drives back any gains of the day.
July 13th
1943
By this date, some 478,000 Allied troops have landed on Sicily.
July 13th
1943
Adolph Hitler orders an end to Operation Citadel.
July 14th
1943
British and American forces finally meet at Comiso and Ragusa.
July 14th
1943
The Allies control key airfields across the island, allowing air support more resources from which to work with.
July 14th
1943
German Paratroopers repel Allied forces from the Primasole bridge.
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
44,600 Hamburg civilians are killed by RAF bomber attacks.
July 27th
1943
RAF bombers make use of "Window" foil strips to disrupt enemy tracking radars.
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 15th
1943
The Aleutian Islands Campaign comes to a close. The Japanese invasion is ultimately repelled.
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
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
At 11:18AM, the 1st Bombardment Wing finally takes off.
August 17th
1943
Bad weather delays the original 5:30AM launch time of the operation.
August 17th
1943
Some 250 German fighters, already alerted to the bomber group presence, are launched to repel subsequent air attacks.
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 approximately 6:00PM, elements of the 1st Bomber Group begin landing back at their UK bases. Some 36 aircraft are missing.
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
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
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
German Luftwaffe defense fighters attack the 4th Bombardment Wing formations passing over Germany.
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 1st - November 30th
1943
In this month, Allies convoys in the Artic resume their activities.
November 10th
1943
The combined force of US Army and Marine Corps troops numbering 35,000 personnel heads towards Betio on the Tarawa Atoll.
November 13th
1943
US Navy warplanes and warships begin the bombardment of Japanese positions at Makin and Tarawa in preparation for the planned amphibious assaults.
November 18th
1943
444 RAF bombs drop ordnance on the German capital of Berlin with only 9 loss to enemy fire.
November 20th
1943
By the end of the first day of operations, some three US Marine battalions have made it onto the beaches.
November 20th
1943
US tanks and armored vehicles finally make it ashore and strengthen the US Marine presence on the beaches.
November 20th
1943
US Navy warplanes and warships conclude their bombardment of Japanese positions.
November 20th
1943
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.
November 21st
1943
Another US amphibious landing, this consisting of both Army and Marine elements, makes it to the shores on Makin.
November 21st
1943
US forces at Makin kill some 800 defending Japanese soldiers, leaving just a lone survivor.
November 21st
1943
US forces officially take Makin and give the "Makin Taken" signal.
November 21st
1943
US forces take Apamama after the suicide of its 22-strong Japanese garrison.
November 21st
1943
US forces continue their progress against the Gilberts though a dogged Japanese resistance makes for slow progress.
November 22nd
1943
By 8PM on this date, US forces lay claim to portions of the Gilberts at its east and central regions.
November 22nd
1943
By night time hours, the Japanese enact a counter-attack against US forces, hoping to regain lost ground and take their invaders by surprise.
November 23rd
1943
The Japanese assault is repelled with a tremendous loss of life for the IJA. The dead number some 500 personnel in hours of fighting.
November 23rd
1943
The final Japanese defenders at Betio capitulate.
November 23rd
1943
With the fall of Betio, the Gilbert Islands are now under control of US forces.
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
French Expeditionary Corps assail the outer defences at Cassino, achieving modest gains.
January 11th
1944
The first major Allied offensive to take Cassino is launched.
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 16th
1944
The US IC Corps and the French Expeditionary Corps arrive at Rapido River.
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
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 22nd
1944
British forces hold the line at River Moletta.
January 22nd
1944
American forces hold the line at Mussolini Canal.
January 23rd
1944
The German Luftwaffe begins heavy strafing attacks and bombardment of Allied forces.
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 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
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
The Germans are driven back at Cisterna.
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
German Army Group North is pushed away from the city of Leningrad.
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 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
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 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
The entire US 142nd Regiment is destroyed.
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
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 15th - February 18th
1944
The 2nd New Zealand Division is charged with taking the railway station at Cassino.
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 assault is twarted and driven back, suffering high casualties.
February 15th - February 18th
1944
The 4th Indian Division assault is repelled and driven away, suffering high casualties.
February 15th
1944
Following the Allied aerial bombardment, the second major Allied offensive to take Cassino is launched.
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
Some 598 RAF bombers are sent airborne.
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 21st
1944
The Americans respond with another wave of 861 bombers with escorts. The target is the Luftwaffe production center in Brunswick.
February 22nd
1944
American bomber groups begin medium bombing operations from bases within Italy.
February 22nd
1944
The Allies replace the ineffective Major-General Lucas with Major-General Lucius Truscott.
February 22nd
1944
Bad weather forces many-an-inflight accident for US bomber groups. Some 41 aircraft are lost. Nijmegen is accidentally bombed, causing over 200 civilian deaths.
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
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
With weather clearing, operations of Big Week continue. 266 American bombers strike Schweinfurt.
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 24th
1944
Over 900 American bombers are sent airborne to bomb aircraft-producing factories including Schweinfurt.
February 24th
1944
733 RAF bombers strike at Schweinfurt in a night time raid. 33 aircraft are lost.
February 25th
1944
RAF bombers hit Augsburg with 594 aircraft in a night time raid.
February 25th
1944
The final American air raid of Big Week is launched with 900 bombers against Regensburg, Augsburg and Forth.
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 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
Positions on Monte Cassino are officially in Allied hands.
March 15th - March 21st
1944
The 78th British Division makes headway thanks to the support of Allied armor.
March 15th
1944
A third major Allied offensive is put into action.
March 15th - March 21st
1944
The 2nd New Zealand Division captures German-held position with the help of Allied armor support.
March 15th - March 21st
1944
Against mounting casualties but with tank support, the 4th Indian Division gains ground.
March 15th
1944
Artillery guns open up on Cassino while 600-plus Allied bombers attempt to shake the German defenders.
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 - 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.
March 30th
1944
795 RAF bombers attack Nuremburg with 95 aircraft lost to action. This mission marks the biggest RAF loss to date.
April 1st - June 5th
1944
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.
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 - May 31st
1944
Plans begin for a major Soviet offensive against the German Army in the East.
May 1st - July 31st
1944
The upcoming invasion at Normany puts a temporary halt on further convoy runs into Russia.
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
Approximately 2,000 Allied artillery guns open up on Cassino.
May 11th
1944
The fourth offensive to take Cassino is put into action.
May 13th
1944
German paratrooper forces defending Cassino being their evacuation.
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 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
This date became one of the two best weather options for the Allied invasion of France.
May 18th
1944
Monte Cassino falls to the Allies, costing some 50,000 casualties along both sides of the battlefield.
May 18th
1944
The Poles take Monte Calvario.
May 18th
1944
The British take the town of Cassino.
May 20th
1944
The launch date for Operation Bagration is set for June 22nd.
May 20th
1944
The Soviet offensive is detailed under the codename of "Operation Bagration".
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 4th
1944
Official word comes down that the June 5th landings will be postponed due to inclement weather across the North Sea.
June 5th
1944
Some 6,000 naval vessels depart from the south of England towards France.
June 6th
1944
American forces at Utah beach hold pockets of land totaling just over 6 miles.
June 6th
1944
Near the town of Pouppeville, the US 4th Infantry Division at Utah beach connects with the 101st Airborne Division paratroopers.
June 6th
1944
British and French special forces elements out of Sword beach connect with the British paratroopers holding the key bridges over the Orne River.
June 6th
1944
At 4:00PM, the mobilized German 21st Panzer Division launches a counter-attack.
June 6th
1944
The German counter-attack reaches the beachhead at Sword.
June 6th
1944
The German 21st Panzer Division is repelled by a combined Allied armor and air assault, saving further actions at Sword.
June 6th
1944
By midnight, D-Day is more or less over. Not all objectives are captured but progress is made nonetheless.
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
The Canadians out of Juno beach take Bernieres at about 11:00AM.
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 6th
1944
By 8:00PM, the Canadian 3rd Infantry Division out of Juno beach connects with the British 50th Division out of Gold beach. This union becomes the largest Allied-held pocket in the north of France to this point.
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
Despite the confusion on the part of the misdropped Allied paratroopers, the defending Germans are thrown into an equal level of confusion, noting Allied airdrops all around them.
June 6th
1944
British paratroopers of the 6th British Airborne Brigade land near Benouville.
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
Elements of the US 82nd and 101st Airborne divisions land across the Cotentin Peninsula. Despite all the planning, their dropzones are widely scattered.
June 6th
1944
At approximately 10:00AM, British forces out of Gold beach take La Riviere.
June 6th
1944
In preparation for the arrival of the regular armies by way of amphibious landing, British and American airborne paratroopers arrive in France just after midnight.
June 6th
1944
The British paratroopers take the bridges over the Caen Canal and the Orne River.
June 6th
1944
No less than five key bridges over the Dives River are blown up by British paratroopers.
June 6th
1944
Allied naval warships open up with their guns on German defensive positions along the French coast.
June 6th
1944
At approximately 6:30AM, American Army forces begin landing at two key beaches, codenamed Utah and Omaha.
June 6th
1944
US Army forces arriving at Utah beach find themselves some 2,000 yards away from where they should be. The result is the force finds little German opposition at Utah. Their original landing zone was to be centered around Les-Dunes-de-Varreville. Total casualties from the landing are 300 personnel.
June 6th
1944
The US Army forces arriving at Omaha beach face a prepared, stout and veteran defense made possible by the German 352nd Division. After 2,400 casualties, the 1st US Infantry Division holds a beachhead.
June 6th
1944
At approximately 7:25AM, forces of the British and Canadian armies wade ashore at beaches codenamed Gold and Juno.
June 6th
1944
The combined British and Canadian forces at Gold face little opposition and claim their objectives with little incident.
June 6th
1944
The British 50th Division pushed some 6 miles inland.
June 6th
1944
The British 3rd Division arriving at Sword beach face a stouter German defense but are able to overwhelm the enemy and establish a foothold.
June 6th
1944
By 8:00AM, most of the German defenders at or near Gold and Sword beaches have been cleared or are on the run.
June 6th
1944
The Canadian 3rd Infantry Division makes its way towards Juno beach. The German defenses, heavy seas and underwater obstacles cause a loss of 30 percent of the landing craft. The onshore result is equally grim as the Canadians are assaulted by the prepared Germans.
June 6th
1944
British paratroopers destroy the coastal fortifications at Merville.
June 16th
1944
The 1st Mobile Fleet of the IJN meets up with the Japanese Southern Force west of the Philippines.
June 17th
1944
US amphibious assault elements arrive to take Saipan.
June 19th
1944
At approximately 4:24pm, the carrier IJN Shokaku, suffering extensive damage from American warplanes, goes under.
June 19th
1944
A fourth Japanese flight group of 49 aircraft is assailed by 27 American Hellcats netting 30 more Japanese targets.
June 19th
1944
Around 4:28pm, the carrier IJN Taiho joins the IJN Shokaku.
June 19th
1944
The third Japanese