World War 2 Events by Country - Britain


Listing of all day-by-day events of the Second World War related to the nation of Britain.

World War 2 spanned across language barriers, cultures, and borders as it wreaked havoc around the globe. The conflict was made up of several major theaters - spanning nearly all oceans and continents - which contained many individual campaigns and, within these, key battles and events on both the military and political spectrums. The war was fought with equal fervor and verocity across the land, on the sea (and under it), and in the air as millions of men and women answered the call of their respective flags - or happened to find themselves in the war's path with no option but to fight. In the end, the fractured world opened its eyes to a new order - one that would usher in a whole new trial in the Cold War and lead to the establishment of dozens of independent countries heading towards the end of the century.


There are a total of (484) World War 2 Events by Country - Britain events in the Second World War timeline database. Entries are listed below by date-of-occurrence ascending (first-to-last). Other leading and trailing events may also be included for perspective.





Wednesday, April 10th, 1940

KMS Konigsberg, a German light cruiser, becomes the first warship sunk by dive bombing at Bergen.
Wednesday, 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.
Thursday, April 10th - April 16th, 1941

Three divisions of British, Australian and New Zealand troops at the Aliakmon Line in the Vermion Mountains are defeated.
Saturday, April 12th, 1941

Vermion Line Allied troops are now redeployed to defensive positions around Mount Olympus.
Friday, April 12th, 1940

British aerial bombing of KMS Admiral Hipper, KMS Gneisenau, and KMS Scharnhorst fail to net the needed results.
Saturday, April 13th, 1940

The Second Battle of Narvik nets the British eight German destroyers and a submarine.
Sunday, April 14th, 1940

An Allied rescue force made up of British, Polish, and French begin arriving at Namsos, Alesund, and Narvik.
Wednesday, 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.
Friday, April 18th, 1941

In an effort to safeguard its vital oil supply chain, British forces arrive in Iraq.
Tuesday, April 1st, 1941

The German port of Emden is bombed by six Wellington bomber aircraft.
Thursday, April 1st, 1942

The Japanese aircraft carrier Ryujo enters the Bay of Bengal.
Tuesday, April 1st, 1941

Italian-held Asmara falls to the British.
Monday, 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.
Saturday, 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.
Saturday, April 20th - April 30th, 1940

The German defense at Trondheim holds and prepares for reinforcements.
Friday, April 24th, 1945

The British Royal Air Force slow down the 12th Army offensive through intense bombing.
Wednesday, April 24th, 1940

Allied naval guns open up on German positions at Narvik in preparation for a ground assault.
Saturday, 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.
Saturday, April 26th, 1941

Allied codebreakers intercept word of the impending German invasion of Crete.
Sunday, 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.
Wednesday, 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.
Wednesday, April 2nd, 1941

Rommel's forces reach Agedabia.
Wednesday, April 30th, 1941

Allied forces based on Crete receive a new leader in the form of Major-General Bernard Freyberg.
Monday, 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.
Friday, April 3rd, 1942

No fewer than five Japanese Navy aircraft carriers reach the Indian Ocean.
Saturday, April 4th, 1942

A small contingent of British Royal Navy vessels operating in the Indian Ocean are warned of the arriving Japanese Navy force.
Saturday, April 4th, 1942

Admiral Sir James Somerville detaches a force to intercept the arriving Japanese fleet.
Saturday, April 5th, 1941

The number of British troops having arrived in Greece numbers 58,000.
Sunday, April 6th, 1941

Rommel reaches Mechili.
Monday, April 6th, 1942

The Imperial Japanese Navy unleashes a surprise attack, with some 120 aircraft, on British forces at Columbo Harbor, Ceylon.
Monday, April 6th, 1942

Twenty-six Allied aircraft are destroyed.
Monday, April 6th, 1942

The British Royal Navy cruisers HMS Cornwall and HMS Dorsetshire are sunk by the Japanese air strike.
Monday, April 6th, 1942

The British Royal Navy destroyer HMS Tenedos is sunk by the Japanese air strike.
Monday, April 7th, 1941

Rommel reaches Derna.
Tuesday, April 8th, 1941

229 RAF bomber aircraft rain 40,000 incendiary ordnance on the German naval base at Kiel.
Monday, April 8th, 1940

HMS Glowworm intercepts a portion of the German invasion fleet headed to Norway.
Thursday, April 9th, 1942

An 85-strong Japanese Navy aircraft contingent attacks airfields and targets of opportunity at Trincomalee, Ceylon.
Thursday, April 9th, 1942

The HMS Hermes is one of four Royal Navy ships sunk by Japanese Navy aircraft.
Tuesday, April 9th, 1940

HMS Rodney, a British battlecruiser, engages the German warships KMS Gneisenau and KMS Scharnhorst.
Friday, August 11th, 1944

Sensing complete destruction of Warsaw and its people, the Pope himself appeals to the Allies for help.
Monday, 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.
Tuesday, 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.
Tuesday, August 13th, 1940

Portland is heavily bombed by the German Luftwaffe.
Tuesday, August 13th, 1940

Andover is heavily bombed by the German Luftwaffe.
Tuesday, August 13th, 1940

Southampton is heavily bombed by the German Luftwaffe.
Tuesday, August 13th, 1940

At least 40 total Luftwaffe aircraft are destroyed by the RAF and ground-based flak teams.
Thursday, August 15th, 1940

74 Luftwaffe aircraft launched from bases in Denmark and Norway are lost on what will be remembered as "Black Thursday".
Tuesday, August 15th - August 29th, 1944

During another running battle, convoy JW59 and her surface warships inflict damage on the KMS Tirpitz.
Saturday, 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.
Tuesday, 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.
Saturday, 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.
Saturday, 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.
Monday, 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.
Wednesday, August 19th, 1942

This date is targeted for Operation Jubilee.
Wednesday, August 19th, 1942

Operation Jubilee is officially put into action.
Wednesday, 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.
Wednesday, 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.
Wednesday, August 19th, 1942

At 5:35 AM, Allied armor makes it to the beach. Over half of the tanks are lost in the action.
Wednesday, 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.
Wednesday, 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.
Monday, August 19th - August 24th, 1940

Poor weather and overcast skies limit any major German bombing efforts over Britain.
Saturday, 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.
Thursday, August 1st, 1940

Hitler reveals Directive Number 17 which calls for finalization of the invasion of Great Britain for September 15th.
Saturday, August 1st - August 30th, 1942

British Prime Minister relieves General Auchinleck with General Harold Alexander as Commander-in-Chief, Middle East.
Saturday, August 1st - August 30th, 1942

Churchill replaces 8th Army leader Major-General Neil Ritchie with General Bernard Montgomery.
Saturday, 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.
Thursday, 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.
Friday, August 21st, 1942

Nazi-allied French leader Marshal Petain celebrates the German victory over the Allied invasion at Dieppe.
Tuesday, August 22nd, 1944

After some additional fighting that results in a further 10,000 German soldiers killed, the trapped elements of the German Army at Normandy surrender to the Allies. In all, some 50,000 soldiers of the German Army are taken prisoner.
Saturday, 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.
Friday, August 25th, 1944

The Allies reach the French capital of Paris.
Friday, August 25th, 1944

Paris is liberated by the arriving Allies.
Monday, August 26th, 1940

The first RAF attack on the German capital of Berlin takes place. Some 81 aircraft are part of the airborne raid.
Saturday, August 26th, 1944

Brigadier-General Charles de Gaulle, leader of the Free French forces, leads a contingent of Allied troops on a march down the Champs Elysees to a thunderous reception by liberated French citizens.
Sunday, 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.
Sunday, August 31st, 1941

The first seven-ship Royal Navy convoy arrives in Russia without incident, bringing with her supplies and Hawker Hurricane fighters.
Sunday, August 31st, 1941

A report stuns the RAF by showcasing how only one-in-every-three RAF bombers actually it their targets.
Saturday, August 3rd, 1940

Italian Army elements attack a small British force stationed in British Somaliland from positions in Ethiopia.
Friday, August 4th, 1944

Realizing their chances of victory are slim against well-trained and well-armed Germans, Polish Authorities once again ask the Allies - including the Soviets - for assistance in maintaining the uprising.
Thursday, 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.
Monday, August 7th, 1944

A determined German counter-attack takes Mortain and heads towards Avranches before being stopped. Allied airstrikes and artillery stall the German advance.
Tuesday, August 8th, 1944

US General Omar Bradley talks with British General Benard Law Montgomery about a plan to encircle some 21 divsions of Germans in the Falaise-Argentan pocket. Montgomery likes what he hears and give the plan the green light.
Tuesday, December 10th, 1940

The Italian camps at Tummar East fall to the Allies.
Tuesday, December 10th, 1940

Italian forces stationed at Sidi Barrani are all but surrounded by the Allies.
Tuesday, December 10th, 1940

Selby Force has removed the Italian 1st Libyan Division out of Maktila.
Tuesday, December 10th, 1940

Selby Force sets its eyes on Sidi Barrani.
Tuesday, December 10th, 1940

The Italian XXI Corps is in full retreat.
Tuesday, December 10th, 1940

Some 38,000 Italian soldiers are taken prisoner by the Allies.
Wednesday, December 11th, 1940

Royal Navy bombers begin attacks on Italian-held Sollum.
Wednesday, December 11th, 1940

The Italian Catanzaro Division is captured, delivering another 30,000 Italian prisoners of war.
Wednesday, 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.
Wednesday, December 13th, 1939

The Graf Spee is spotted in the early morning hours by Commodore H. H. Harwood's British cruiser squadron.
Wednesday, December 13th, 1939

At 6:14 AM, the Graf Spee opens fire on the British heavy cruisers Ajaz and Exeter.
Wednesday, December 13th, 1939

At 6:40 AM, the British cruiser Achilles is damaged by shell splinters from the Graf Spee's guns.
Wednesday, 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.
Wednesday, December 13th, 1939

At 7:25 AM, the British cruiser Ajax loses two of her turrets to the Graf Spee.
Wednesday, 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.
Wednesday, 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.
Wednesday, 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.
Thursday, December 14th, 1939

The Soviet Union is expelled from the League of Nations.
Monday, December 16th, 1940

RAF bombers strike on Mannheim as revenge for the German air raids over Coventry.
Sunday, 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.
Tuesday, December 19th, 1944

Allied generals agree to commit elements of the Saar Front against the southern flanks of the German advance, this in the area between Bastogne and Echternach.
Wednesday, December 20th, 1939

Choosing honor over justice, Captain Hans Langsdorff commits suicide, officially ending the reign of the Graf Spee.
Wednesday, December 20th, 1944

British General Montgomery is charged with heading up the progress along the north line of defense while American General Bradley is given command of the south.
Saturday, December 23rd, 1944

2,000 Allied air sorties are launched in improving skies against the Germans on the ground.
Saturday, December 23rd, 1944

Supplies are dropped from Allied transport planes to the beleagured forces held up at Bastogne.
Saturday, December 23rd, 1944

Allied ground attack fighters target and destroy German ground vehicles and troop concentrations. Without air support of their own, there is little that the Germans can do in response.
Saturday, December 23rd, 1939

7,500 Canadian soldiers arrive in Britain.
Monday, December 25th, 1944

After achieving 60 miles of territory - the farthest march of the German Ardennes Offensive - the 2nd Panzer Division under Lieutenant-General von Lauchert is stopped by a combined force of British and American armor made up of the British 29th Armored Brigade and the American 2nd Armored Division.
Sunday, December 26th, 1943

The German battleship KMS Scharnhorst and 5 destroyers engage convoy JW55B.
Sunday, 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.
Thursday, December 28th, 1944

Hitler orders a halt to the advance - but no retreat - leaving his exposed and tired units at the mercy of the replenished Allied forces across the Ardennes Front.
Sunday, 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.
Saturday, December 2nd, 1939

The Finnish government seeks assistance from the League of Nations.
Thursday, 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.
Friday, 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.
Monday, December 8th, 1941

The United States, along with Britain, formally declare war on the Empire of Japan.
Sunday, 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.
Monday, December 9th, 1940

Operation Compass is officially launched.
Monday, 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.
Monday, December 9th, 1940

The British 7th Tank Regiment, along with the 4th Indian Division, attack Italian positions at Tummar West and Nibeiwa.
Friday, February 11th, 1944

A blanket retreat is enacted by the Allies in an attempt to regroup and plan a new strategy to take Cassino.
Saturday, 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".
Tuesday, February 13th, 1945

805 RAF bombers level the German city of Dresden, killing up to 130,000 of its inhabitants. The attack is notable for Dresden held little to no military or strategic value for Germany.
Saturday, February 14th, 1942

RAF Bomber Command issues its "Area Bombing Directive", allowing the legitimate bombing of civilian areas.
Monday, February 14th, 1944

The offensive is detailed further, taking the latest developments into account.
Tuesday, 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.
Tuesday, February 15th, 1944

Following the Allied aerial bombardment, the second major Allied offensive to take Cassino is launched.
Sunday, 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.
Wednesday, February 16th, 1944

Kesselring launches a large counterattack against the invading Allied forces.
Friday, 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.
Thursday, February 17th, 1944

The Allies lose some four miles of territory but stand fast outside of Anzio.
Saturday, 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.
Wednesday, 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.
Saturday, February 19th - March 13th, 1944

The Italian winter makes its arrival and postpones any further Allied offensives for the next month.
Sunday, February 20th, 1944

Some 598 RAF bombers are sent airborne.
Sunday, February 20th, 1944

The German attack is more or less repelled, at the cost of 5,500 German casualties.
Tuesday, February 22nd, 1944

The Allies replace the ineffective Major-General Lucas with Major-General Lucius Truscott.
Wednesday, February 23rd, 1944

Bad weather postpones any further bombing actions for the time being. The Allies take this time to recoup and repair.
Thursday, 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.
Thursday, February 24th, 1944

With weather clearing, operations of Big Week continue. 266 American bombers strike Schweinfurt.
Thursday, February 24th, 1944

733 RAF bombers strike at Schweinfurt in a night time raid. 33 aircraft are lost.
Friday, 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.
Friday, February 25th, 1944

RAF bombers hit Augsburg with 594 aircraft in a night time raid.
Tuesday, February 29th, 1944

Von Mackensen cancels the German offensive amidst mounting casualties and little gain.
Monday, 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.
Wednesday, February 7th, 1945

By this date, all of the German gains of the Ardennes Offensive have been erased.
Tuesday, January 11th, 1944

The first major Allied offensive to take Cassino is launched.
Sunday, January 11th, 1942

Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaya, falls to the invading Japanese 5th Division.
Thursday, January 14th, 1943

U-boat bases at Cherbourg and Lorient are targeted by the Royal Air Force.
Thursday, January 15th, 1942

Japanese forces invade Burma beginning their assault at Victoria Point.
Monday, January 19th, 1942

The Japanese Army makes short work of the light British defenses, covering some 230 miles in reaching Tavoy.
Friday, January 1st, 1943

The H2S navigation system is delivered to the RAF for installation into bombers.
Monday, January 1st, 1945

Weeks of fighting see German forces destroyed, taken prisoner or sent packing as the Allies regroup and respond.
Friday, 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.
Wednesday, January 22nd, 1941

The Allies take Tobruk, a key port city vital to North Africa operations.
Wednesday, January 22nd, 1941

Operation Compass is effectively over, netting some 130,000 total Italian prisoners.
Saturday, 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.
Saturday, January 22nd, 1944

By 12AM midnight, some 45,000 Allied troops and 3,000 vehicles are on the beaches.
Saturday, January 22nd, 1944

British forces hold the line at River Moletta.
Saturday, January 22nd, 1944

American forces hold the line at Mussolini Canal.
Sunday, January 23rd, 1944

The Anzio beachhead is consolidated into a concentrated pocket on the orders of Lucas.
Sunday, January 23rd, 1944

German Colonel-General von Mackensen takes control of the new 14th Army headquartered 30 miles west of Rome.
Sunday, January 23rd, 1944

The German Luftwaffe begins heavy strafing attacks and bombardment of Allied forces.
Tuesday, January 25th, 1944

The Anzio beachhead continues to grow with Allied troops and equipment, making it a prime target for the regrouping Germans.
Friday, January 28th, 1944

The US 1st Armored Division captures the town of Aprilia.
Friday, January 28th, 1944

Von Mackensen moves six divisions to Anzio, some ten miles of the Allied beachhead.
Friday, January 28th, 1944

The Germans are driven back at Cisterna.
Friday, 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.
Friday, 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.
Wednesday, 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.
Wednesday, January 29th, 1941

British forces take on Italian positions in Kenya.
Thursday, January 2nd, 1941

The U.S. government commits to construction of some 200 merchant ships to support the Allied cause in the Atlantic.
Sunday, January 30th, 1944

The Allies suffer some 5,000 casualties in the Anzio action by this date.
Monday, January 31st, 1944

Von Mackensen's forces now number some eight divisions in strength.
Saturday, January 6th, 1945

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in the west coordinates via telegram with Soviet leader Joseph Stalin in the east on launching a combined January offensive. Churchill plans on the 20th as the target date.
Saturday, 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.
Saturday, 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.
Saturday, July 10th, 1943

15th Army Group begins their initial assault to the south.
Saturday, July 10th, 1943

The British 5th Division takes Cassibile.
Sunday, 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.
Tuesday, 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.
Tuesday, July 13th, 1943

By this date, some 478,000 Allied troops have landed on Sicily.
Thursday, July 13th, 1944

A combined British and Canadian force is stopped outside of Caen by a determined German defense.
Wednesday, July 14th, 1943

German Paratroopers repel Allied forces from the Primasole bridge.
Wednesday, July 14th, 1943

British and American forces finally meet at Comiso and Ragusa.
Wednesday, July 14th, 1943

The Allies control key airfields across the island, allowing air support more resources from which to work with.
Tuesday, 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.
Saturday, July 17th, 1943

The Primsole bridge is recaptured from the Germans.
Tuesday, July 17th - August 2nd, 1945

Allied leaders meet for the Potsdam Conference to discuss the post-war world order. Chuchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin are the primary leaders in attendance.
Tuesday, July 18th, 1944

The British and Canadian launch Operation Goodwood against Caen. British armored elements are brought to bear against the dug-in and prepared Germans. The goal is to take all of Caen before focusing on Falaise.
Thursday, July 18th, 1940

The British close down the Burma Road supply route to China in an effort to avoid war with Japan.
Thursday, July 1st, 1943

No fewer than eight German U-Boats shadow convoy PQ17.
Wednesday, July 1st, 1942

German General Erwin Rommel attempts to break through the Allied defensive perimeter at El Alamein.
Wednesday, 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.
Thursday, July 20th, 1944

While the British 2nd Army and 2nd Canadian Division can now lay claim to Caen, they fall short of advancement against Falaise. As such, Operation Goodwood is stopped.
Sunday, 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.
Wednesday, July 26th, 1944

The Polish government, in exile since the fall of their country to the invading Germans, communicates with the British government for help in staging the uprising.
Tuesday, July 27th, 1943

44,600 Hamburg civilians are killed by RAF bomber attacks.
Tuesday, July 27th, 1943

RAF bombers make use of "Window" foil strips to disrupt enemy tracking radars.
Thursday, July 27th, 1944

The British government promises what it can and this emerges in the form of scattered air drops of weapons and supplies.
Friday, July 3rd, 1942

The Allies put up a stubborn defense, repelling Rommel's offensive.
Tuesday, July 3rd - 11th, 1945

About 6,000 men, left over from the decimated Japanese 33rd Army, assail Allied positions at Waw. The fighting lasts until July 11th when the attackers are finally driven off by combined Allied air and ground assaults.
Tuesday, July 7th, 1942

This date is set aside for Operation Rutter - the amphibious landing at the port city of Dieppe in occupied France.
Tuesday, 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.
Friday, July 7th, 1944

After heavy bombing by British Royal Air Force elements, British and Canadian army forces regroup and begin their offensive to take Caen from the Germans.
Friday, July 9th, 1943

The Allied invasion fleets sail out to Sicily.
Thursday, June 11th, 1942

The German Army breaks out of their pocket near Sidi Muftah.
Thursday, June 11th, 1942

German forces breaking out near Sidi Muftah target the British 7th Armored Division near El Adem.
Thursday, June 11th, 1942

The Allies go into full retreat as the Germans advance.
Thursday, June 13th, 1940

War goods begin leaving U.S. shores bound for Britain.
Saturday, June 1st, 1940

Defense of the outlying region near Dunkirk now passes to French XVI Corps.
Monday, June 1st, 1942

Nearly 30% of German tanks have been lost in Rommel's offensive.
Tuesday, June 1st, 1943

The German U-boats are unleashed once more, this time operating in substantially smaller groups.
Saturday, June 1st, 1940

The British and French governments notify the Norwegian government of their plans to evacuate.
Saturday, 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.
Tuesday, 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.
Monday, 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.
Monday, June 1st - June 3rd, 1942

A German pocket develops near Sidi Muftah.
Saturday, June 27th, 1942

British convoy PQ17 sets sail from Reykjavik, Iceland.
Saturday, June 27th - July 28th, 1942

Convoy PQ17 loses 34 of its 36 ships to Geman U-Boats and surface ships.
Tuesday, June 4th, 1940

German Luftwaffe bombers cease bombardment of Dunkirk.
Tuesday, 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.
Sunday, June 4th, 1944

Official word comes down that the June 5th landings will be postponed due to inclement weather across the North Sea.
Tuesday, June 4th, 1940

Allied forces at Harstad begin their evacuation of the area.
Friday, 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.
Monday, June 5th, 1944

Some 6,000 naval vessels depart from the south of England towards France.
Saturday, June 6th, 1942

The British 150th Brigade is utterly destroyed under the German assault, resulting in 4,000 British prisoners of war.
Sunday, June 6th, 1943

The Allied D-Day landings in the North of France eventually render the French-German U-boat bases inoperable.
Tuesday, 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.
Tuesday, June 6th, 1944

British paratroopers of the 6th British Airborne Brigade land near Benouville.
Tuesday, June 6th, 1944

The British paratroopers take the bridges over the Caen Canal and the Orne River.
Tuesday, June 6th, 1944

British paratroopers destroy the coastal fortifications at Merville.
Tuesday, June 6th, 1944

No less than five key bridges over the Dives River are blown up by British paratroopers.
Tuesday, 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.
Tuesday, June 6th, 1944

Allied naval warships open up with their guns on German defensive positions along the French coast.
Tuesday, June 6th, 1944

At approximately 7:25AM, forces of the British and Canadian armies wade ashore at beaches codenamed Gold and Juno.
Tuesday, June 6th, 1944

The combined British and Canadian forces at Gold face little opposition and claim their objectives with little incident.
Tuesday, June 6th, 1944

The British 50th Division pushed some 6 miles inland.
Tuesday, 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.
Tuesday, 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.
Tuesday, 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.
Tuesday, June 6th, 1944

At approximately 10:00AM, British forces out of Gold beach take La Riviere.
Tuesday, 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.
Tuesday, June 6th, 1944

At 4:00PM, the mobilized German 21st Panzer Division launches a counter-attack.
Tuesday, June 6th, 1944

The German counter-attack reaches the beachhead at Sword.
Tuesday, June 6th, 1944

The German 21st Panzer Division is repelled by a combined Allied armor and air assault, saving further actions at Sword.
Tuesday, 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.
Tuesday, June 6th, 1944

By midnight, D-Day is more or less over. Not all objectives are captured but progress is made nonetheless.
Tuesday, 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.
Tuesday, 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.
Friday, June 7th, 1940

The Norwegian government joins several other powers as a government-in-exile. Its officials board HMS Devonshire for their escape.
Saturday, June 8th, 1940

HMS Glorious is sunk by KMS Scharnhorst and KMS Gneisenau.
Tuesday, 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.
Tuesday, 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.
Wednesday, March 15th, 1944

A third major Allied offensive is put into action.
Wednesday, March 15th, 1944

Artillery guns open up on Cassino while 600-plus Allied bombers attempt to shake the German defenders.
Wednesday, March 15th - March 21st, 1944

Against mounting casualties but with tank support, the 4th Indian Division gains ground.
Wednesday, March 15th - March 21st, 1944

The 2nd New Zealand Division captures German-held position with the help of Allied armor support.
Wednesday, March 15th - March 21st, 1944

The 78th British Division makes headway thanks to the support of Allied armor.
Wednesday, March 15th - March 21st, 1944

Positions on Monte Cassino are officially in Allied hands.
Sunday, March 1st, 1942

The Avro Lancaster heavy bomber is inducted into RAF service.
Monday, March 1st - July 31st, 1943

Any further British convoy runs to Russia are postponed as supplies are funneled to other areas of the Atlantic.
Wednesday, 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.
Friday, 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.
Wednesday, March 22nd, 1944

With mounting losses in both manpower and tanks, further Allied thrusts are called off.
Thursday, 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.
Monday, March 24th, 1941

Rommel begins his attack near El Agheila.
Monday, March 24th, 1941

German forces drive the British from El Agheila in Libya.
Thursday, March 27th, 1941

The Italians are forced by the British to retreat during the Battle of Keren in Eritrea.
Saturday, March 28th, 1942

234 RAF bombers drop incendiaries on Lubeck. 12 aircraft are lost.
Saturday, March 28th, 1942

The British utilize the "Gee" electronic navigation system for the first time.
Thursday, 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.
Thursday, March 30th, 1944

795 RAF bombers attack Nuremburg with 95 aircraft lost to action. This mission marks the biggest RAF loss to date.
Thursday, 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.
Thursday, March 4th, 1943

RAF Bomber Command numbers total some 950 bombers of various types. Most important are the Avro Lancasters.
Friday, March 5th, 1943

For the first time, RAF bombers make use of the "Oboe" navigational aid in a large-scale operation.
Wednesday, March 5th, 1941

The first elements of British reinforcements departs Egyptian shores en route to the Balkan Front.
Sunday, March 8th, 1942

Rangoon, Burma falls to the Japanese.
Sunday, March 8th, 1942

The British Burma Army escapes anhilation in Burma.
Friday, May 10th, 1940

British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain resigns.
Saturday, 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.
Thursday, May 11th, 1944

The fourth offensive to take Cassino is put into action.
Thursday, May 11th, 1944

Approximately 2,000 Allied artillery guns open up on Cassino.
Thursday, 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.
Tuesday, 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.
Thursday, May 15th, 1941

The British launch Operation Brevity against Rommel's dug-in forces, making little progress against the prepared defenders.
Wednesday, 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.
Friday, May 15th, 1942

Burma falls to the Japanese.
Sunday, 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.
Wednesday, May 17th, 1944

This date became one of the two best weather options for the Allied invasion of France.
Wednesday, May 17th, 1944

Weather on May 17th cancels the D-Day operation. Leaving the next best weather window of opportunity to be June 5th.
Wednesday, May 17th, 1944

June 5th is selected as the next official launch date for D-Day.
Friday, May 17th, 1940

The British lose HMS Effingham when it runs aground near Narvik.
Friday, May 17th - May 18th, 1940

Allied forces are in full retreat of the Germans, making their way towards the French coastline.
Thursday, May 18th, 1944

The British take the town of Cassino.
Thursday, May 18th, 1944

Monte Cassino falls to the Allies, costing some 50,000 casualties along both sides of the battlefield.
Monday, May 19th, 1941

In advance of the Crete invasion, RAF fighters are relocated to Egypt for safe-keeping.
Monday, May 19th, 1941

Allied codebreakers intercept word that Operation Mercury will commence the very next day. The Allies begin preparations.
Wednesday, 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.
Saturday, May 1st, 1943

Allied aircraft are fitted with U-boat detecting radar systems.
Tuesday, May 1st, 1945

By May of 1945, the U-boat scourge in the Atlantic is over, completing one of the more important battles in all of World War 2.
Tuesday, May 1st, 1945

Berlin formally and unconditionally surrenders to the Soviet legions and Western Allies. General Jodl signs for the defeated Germans and Generals Bedell Smith and Suslaparov for the Allies.
Monday, May 1st - July 31st, 1944

The upcoming invasion at Normany puts a temporary halt on further convoy runs into Russia.
Wednesday, May 1st - May 2nd, 1940

Allied forces abandon their missions at Namsos and Andalsnes.
Tuesday, May 1st - May 31st, 1945

The last Artic Convoy voyage - with the designation of JW67 - between Britian and Russia is completed.
Saturday, May 1st - May 31st, 1943

By the end of May, 43 U-boats are sunk to just 34 merchant vessels.
Monday, 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.
Monday, 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.
Tuesday, 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.
Tuesday, 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.
Tuesday, May 20th, 1941

The German heavy cruiser KMS Prinz Eugen and the battleship KMS Bismarck leave port for the North Sea.
Wednesday, May 20th, 1942

The 2nd Canadian Infantry Division begins training for Operation Rutter on the Isle of Wight.
Tuesday, 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.
Wednesday, May 21st, 1941

A German offensive against Heraklion is pushed away by at least 8,000 dug-in Allied soldiers.
Wednesday, 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.
Wednesday, May 21st, 1941

The British Navy is notified of the increase in German warship activity in the North Sea.
Wednesday, 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.
Tuesday, May 21st, 1940

The Allies are able to make some gains near Narvik.
Thursday, May 22nd, 1941

The HMS Greyhound, a British destroyer, is downed by German bombers.
Thursday, 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.
Friday, May 23rd, 1941

German dive bombers destroy the HMS Kelly and HMS Kashmir, two Royal Navy destroyers.
Friday, May 23rd, 1941

German dive bombers destroy the HMS Gloucester and the HMS Fiji, two Royal Navy cruisers.
Friday, 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.
Tuesday, May 23rd, 1944

The US VI Corps breaks out of the Anzio perimeter and takes ground well into the Alban Hills.
Friday, 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.
Friday, May 24th, 1940

German Luftwaffe bombers hammer Allied defensive positions in and around the French port city of Dunkirk.
Saturday, May 24th, 1941

At 5:52 AM, the Bismarck and the Prinz Eugen fall under attack from Royal Navy ships.
Saturday, 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.
Saturday, May 24th, 1941

At 6:13 AM, the battleship Prince of Wales is damaged enough to pull out of the battle.
Saturday, May 24th, 1941

The HMS Suffolk loses track of the KMS Bismarck.
Saturday, May 25th, 1940

More and more retreating Allied units arrive at the French port city of Dunkirk.
Sunday, May 25th, 1941

German Admiral Lutjens orders that the Prinz Eugen break from the Bismarck.
Thursday, 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.
Sunday, May 26th, 1940

Hitler orders his army forces towards Dunkirk for the final blow to the Allied cause.
Sunday, May 26th, 1940

Operation Dynamo - the all-out evacuation of Allied forces from Dunkirk - officially begins at 6:57 PM.
Sunday, 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.
Monday, May 26th, 1941

A British Coastal Command PBY Catalina flying boat spots the KMS Bismarck 700 miles from Brest.
Monday, 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.
Monday, 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.
Monday, 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.
Monday, May 26th, 1941

Royal Navy ships open fire with their long range guns and close in on their prey.
Tuesday, 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.
Tuesday, May 26th, 1942

Rommel begins his offense against the Gazala Line, made up of some 50 miles of British defenses.
Tuesday, 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.
Sunday, May 26th, 1940

The British lose HMS Curlew in an attack from the air.
Tuesday, May 27th, 1941

Allied forces retreat to defensive positions at Galatas.
Tuesday, 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.
Tuesday, May 27th, 1941

At 10:00 AM, the Bismarck's guns fall silent s she takes on water and burns.
Tuesday, 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.
Wednesday, May 27th, 1942

German forces south of Bir Hacheim make progress and begin to move northwards.
Tuesday, May 27th, 1941

The first escorted convoy - HX129 - crosses the Atlantic.
Monday, May 27th, 1940

The Allies enter Narvik.
Monday, May 27th, 1940

German warplanes destroyer the city of Bodo.
Tuesday, 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.
Tuesday, 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.
Tuesday, May 28th, 1940

By the end of this day, some 25,473 British soldiers have been evacuated from France.
Wednesday, May 28th, 1941

Heraklion in the north and Sphakia in the south of Crete will serve as major evacuation junctions for the Allies.
Wednesday, May 28th, 1941

The evacuation order is given by Major-General Freyberg for the gradual withdrawel of Allied troops from the island of Crete.
Thursday, May 28th, 1942

While trying to take Sidra Ridge, German Panzer force casaulties begin to mount significantly.
Wednesday, May 29th, 1940

Another 47,000 British troops are evacuated from Dunkirk.
Thursday, May 30th, 1940

6,000 French soldiers join some 120,000 total Allied soldiers evacuated from Dunkirk on this day.
Saturday, May 30th, 1942

RAF Bomber Command attack Cologne with 1,046 aircraft in the first of their "1,000 Bomber" raids.
Friday, May 31st, 1940

Over 150,000 Allied soldiers (including some 15,000 French) arrive in Britain.
Sunday, 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.
Sunday, May 31st, 1942

Rommel orders his forces to begin defensive preparations across a 10 mile stretch.
Friday, May 31st, 1940

British forces at Bodo evacuate.
Friday, May 3rd, 1940

Duringan evacuation operation, the French destroyer Bison and the British destroyer Afridi are sunk by air attack.
Thursday, 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.
Friday, 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.
Tuesday, May 8th, 1945

This day is formally announced as "VE Day" and celebrations break out across the world, though fighting in the Pacific against the Japanese Empire is ongoing.
Friday, 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.
Sunday, November 10th, 1940

Another Swordfish torpedo bomber is lost to mechnical failure.
Sunday, November 10th, 1940

The British naval force moving against Taranto comes under attack from Italian aircraft near Malta.
Sunday, November 10th, 1940

An Italian bomber is downed in the fighting near Malta.
Sunday, November 10th, 1940

The Italian invasion force is in full retreat, repelled by a combined Greek resistance and RAF effort after just two weeks.
Monday, 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.
Monday, November 11th, 1940

At 10:00 PM, the first wave of Swordfish bombers is launched from HMS Illustrious, now stationed off of Cephalonia.
Monday, November 11th, 1940

At 10:58 PM, signal aircraft lead the first wave over Taranto, marking torpedo targets as they pass.
Monday, 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.
Monday, November 11th, 1940

At 11:15 PM, the Italian vessel Doria is struck twice by torpedoes in her forward section.
Monday, 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.
Monday, November 11th, 1940

A Swordfish torpedo meant for the Vittorio Veneto fails to reach its mark, exploding harmlessly on the sea floor.
Monday, November 11th, 1940

The Libeccio is hit by a Royal Navy torpedo but the munition fails to explode.
Monday, November 11th, 1940

At 11:35 PM, the second wave of Royal Navy torpedo-laden aircraft moves into position.
Monday, November 11th, 1940

Once again, the bombing wave is led by signal aircraft marking targets with flares.
Monday, November 11th, 1940

Two signal aircraft attack the oil depot at Taranto but fail to produce much damage.
Monday, November 11th, 1940

The Italian battleship Caio Duilio is struck at her bow by a Royal Navy torpedo.
Wednesday, November 11th, 1942

The British Eastern Task force capture the strategic airfield at Djidjelli via Bougie from Algiers.
Tuesday, November 12th, 1940

At 1:01 AM, The sinking Littorio is struck by another torpedo.
Tuesday, November 12th, 1940

Swordfish E4H is downed by enemy anti-aircraft fire, killing her co-pilot.
Tuesday, November 12th, 1940

Swordfish E5H misses her mark against the Vittorio Veneto.
Tuesday, November 12th, 1940

Swordfish L5F scored a direct hit via bomb on the Trento.
Tuesday, November 12th, 1940

By 1:22 AM, the attack on Taranto harbor is officially over.
Tuesday, November 12th, 1940

By 3:30 AM, all but two Swordfish aircraft are accounted for.
Sunday, November 12th, 1944

The KMS Tirpitz is finally destroyed at Troms by forces of the RAF.
Thursday, November 12th, 1942

British paratroopers land near Bone and take the nearby airfield.
Thursday, November 12th, 1942

German paratrooper forces attack the British paratroopers near Bone but are repelled.
Thursday, November 12th, 1942

German paratroopers move into the area near the airfield at Bone.
Thursday, November 14th - November 22nd, 1940

A combined British-Greek force begins an offensive against the Italians in Greece, forcing the invaders into retreat.
Wednesday, November 15th, 1939

The Graf Spee sinks the oil tanker Africa Shell off the coast of Madagascar.
Monday, November 16th, 1942

British paratroopers land and capture the airfield at Soul el Arba.
Monday, November 16th, 1942

Allied forces begin their move into German-held Tunisia.
Tuesday, November 17th, 1942

The Allies capture Beja.
Wednesday, November 18th, 1942

The Allies take Sidi Nsir.
Thursday, November 18th, 1943

444 RAF bombs drop ordnance on the German capital of Berlin with only 9 loss to enemy fire.
Monday, November 18th, 1940

A Sunderland flying boat aircraft - fitted with new radar - locates its first German U-boat submarine.
Monday, November 1st - November 30th, 1943

In this month, Allies convoys in the Artic resume their activities.
Wednesday, November 1st - November 30th, 1944

As the German defensive circle shrinks througout Europe, the Artic Convoys enjoy their best month, seeing not one vessel lost to enemy action.
Monday, 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.
Friday, November 20th, 1942

The Allied assault on the strategic city of Medjez el Bab begins.
Thursday, November 26th, 1942

Medjez el Bab falls to the Allies.
Monday, 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.
Monday, 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.
Tuesday, 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.
Wednesday, 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.
Saturday, 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.
Saturday, November 7th, 1942

Three Allied task forces - the US Western, Central and the British Eastern - approach the coast of North Africa.
Sunday, November 8th, 1942

The Allied invasion forces reach North African shores.
Sunday, November 8th, 1942

French General Mast surrenders to the British Eastern Task Force.
Saturday, November 9th, 1940

The HMS Illustrious moves on Taranto.
Saturday, November 9th, 1940

A Swordfish biplane torpedo bomber is lost to engine failure.
Monday, November 9th, 1942

The first French cease-fires begin to ring out across Algeria and Morocco.
Saturday, October 12th, 1940

Hitler is forced to postpone the British mainland invasion until the Spring of 1941.
Saturday, October 14th, 1939

The British Royal Navy battleship HMS Royal Oak is sunk by U-47 with 833 lives lost.
Friday, October 18th - October 19th, 1940

An attack on two Allied convoys yields 36 sunken ships by the attacking German U-boats.
Sunday, October 1st, 1939

The Graf Spee goes on to sink four more Allied merchant vessels during the month of October.
Tuesday, 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.
Monday, 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.
Friday, October 23rd, 1942

The Allied counter-offensive begins through Operation Lightfoot, a massive artillery bombardment of dug-in German forces.
Friday, 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.
Friday, October 23rd, 1942

XXX and X Corps begin their assault on Axis nothern positions.
Sunday, 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.
Sunday, October 25th, 1942

Four Allied brigades have managed to break through the German defensive lines.
Sunday, October 25th, 1942

Allied mine-clearing operations begin while combat continues
Wednesday, October 30th - October 31st, 1940

British forces begin to occupy positions on the island of Crete.
Wednesday, October 9th, 1940

Winston Churchill succeeds beleagured Neville Chamberlain as Prime Minister.
Thursday, September 10th, 1942

100,000 incendiary bombs are dropped on Dusseldorf by no fewer than 476 RAF bombers.
Monday, September 10th, 1939

General Lord Gort and his British Expeditionary Force begin to arrive on French soil.
Sunday, 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".
Monday, September 16th, 1940

The German Luftwaffe redirects it sbombing campaign to now cover night-bombing of British cities.
Tuesday, September 17th, 1940

With the unexpected results of his campaign against Britain, Hitler officially postpones Operation Sea Lion indefinitely.
Sunday, September 17th, 1944

General Dwight Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe, approves General Montgomery's Operation Market Garden.
Sunday, September 17th, 1944

Operation Market Garden is activated. Parachute landings take place at Eindhoven, Veghel, Grave and Oosterbeek.
Sunday, September 17th, 1944

British paratroopers landing at Arnhem run straight into the 9th and 10th SS Panzer Divisions who are in the area ungoing refitting. The bridge at Arnhem is captured by British forces but the group is quickly cut off from help by the Germans.
Sunday, September 17th, 1939

The British aricraft carrier HMS Courageous is sunk southwest of the Irish coast by German U-boat U-29.
Tuesday, September 17th, 1940

The British government announces conscription of males between the ages of 21 and 35.
Monday, September 18th, 1944

The British XXX Corps fights its way through a dedicated German resistance up the main artery road leading to Eindhoven. They finally unite with the 101st Airborne forces having landed at Eindhoven and Veghel.
Monday, September 18th, 1944

Josef Stalin refuses further Allied use of his forward airfields to resupply the Polish insurgents.
Tuesday, September 19th, 1944

The British XXX Corps officially unites with the US 82nd Airborne Division forces having landed at Grave.
Sunday, 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.
Tuesday, September 1st - September 30th, 1942

The month is spent ironing out plans for the Allied invasion of German-occupied North Africa.
Friday, September 20th, 1940

Massive convoys breed equal massive measures - German U-boats begin operating in 20-strong "Wolf Packs" with coordinated attacks.
Wednesday, September 20th, 1944

The US 82nd Airborne, backed by the British XXX Corps, take the bridge over the Waal River at Nijmegen.
Wednesday, September 20th, 1944

British XXX Corps is delayed a full day from reaching beleagured paratrooper forces at Arnhem.
Thursday, September 21st, 1944

British paratroopers at Arnhem give up control of their bridge against a stronger German foe and instead concentrate on surviving by utilizing the town of Arnhem itself as a defense.
Thursday, September 21st, 1944

British XXX Corps is slowed down once more, this time by German anti-tank forces and artillery emplacements north of Nijmegen and along the route to Arnhem.
Wednesday, 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.
Friday, September 22nd, 1944

Elements of the Polish Parachute Brigade, delayed multiple times from earlier participation in the operation, finally land south of Arnhem. Their mission is to reinforce the battered British 1st Airborne Division.
Monday, September 23rd, 1944

141 RAF bombers take on the Dortmund-Ems Canal. Some of these bombers make use of the massive "Tallboy" 12,000lb bomb.
Monday, 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.
Monday, September 24th, 1940

Vichy French air elements launch unsuccessful attacks on British positions at Gibraltar.
Monday, September 25th, 1944

Remaining elements of the British 1st Airborne Division out of Arnhem make their way across the Neder Rijn River in retreat. They intend on meeting up with XXX Corps still making their way to the area.
Monday, September 25th, 1944

At Arnhem, some 6,000 Allied soldiers are taken prison by the Germans. A further 1,000 lay dead from the fighting.
Wednesday, September 27th, 1939

The German battleships Deutschland and Graf Spee are let loose on Allied shipping convoys in the North Atlantic.
Wednesday, September 27th, 1944

South of Arnhem, Allied forces continue to hold their gains. Over the next few months, some 3,500 casualties will be counted.
Wednesday, 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.
Wednesday, September 2nd, 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.
Saturday, September 2nd, 1939

The governments of Britain and France deliver their ultimatums to German officials in regards to the German invasion of Poland.
Monday, September 2nd, 1940

The British and American governments agree to a deal for the British to receive some 50 old USN destroyers.
Saturday, September 30th, 1939

The Graf Spee claims her first merchant vessel, the British freighter Clement, in the waters of the South Atlantic.
Sunday, September 3rd, 1939

Britain declares war on Germany leading British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain to arrange a war cabinet.
Tuesday, September 3rd, 1940

Due to consistent Luftwaffe losses and inconclusive results across the entire campaign, Hitler postpones Operation Sea Lion to September 21st.
Sunday, 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.
Sunday, September 3rd, 1939

The British transatlantic passenger liner SS Athenia is sunk by German U-boat U-30, killing 128 aboard.
Thursday, 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.
Monday, 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.
Tuesday, September 5th, 1939

The Bosnia becomes the first merchantman to be sunk by the German U-boats.
Wednesday, September 6th, 1939

Thirty-six Allied ships set out across the Atlantic in the first coordinated convoy crossing attempt.
Saturday, 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.
Saturday, 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.
Thursday, September 7th, 1939

Britain launches the first of many convoys across challenged Atlantic waters.
Wednesday, Setember 2nd - September 26th, 1942

Convoy PQ18 reaches Russia despite losing 13 of her ships.