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United States in World War 2 - (December 7th, 1941 - September 2nd, 1945)


Timeline detailing the events of United States in World War 2 in day-by-day format.
  United States in World War 2: American soldiers in training.  
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The Allied advance on Rome, Berlin, and Tokyo was aided mightily by the industrial output and manpower supplied by the United States.



The United States entered World War 2 on the side of the Allies following the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7th, 1941. Prior to this event, the nation attempted to hold on to its isolationism stance and not get involved in another bloody war in Europe. The Japanese attack spurred the country to war and the declaration of war came with President Roosevelt's 'Day of Infamy' speech given on December 8th, 1941. America's industrial strength, coupled with its able, willing and resolute manpower, propelled the Allies to victory in the Grand Conflict - becoming one of the major players alongside Britain and the Soviet Union in helping to bring the war to a close during 1945. ©www.SecondWorldWarHistory.com


There are a total of (452) United States in World War 2 events in the SecondWorldWarHistory.com database. Entries are listed below by date-of-occurrence ascending (first-to-last). Other leading and trailing events are also included for perspective.




September 5th
1939

The United States government declares its neutrality in the European conflict.

September 27th
1939

The German battleships Deutschland and Graf Spee are let loose on Allied shipping convoys in the North Atlantic.

October 1st
1939

The Graf Spee goes on to sink four more Allied merchant vessels during the month of October.

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.

December 2nd
1939

The Finnish government seeks assistance from the League of Nations.

December 14th
1939

The Soviet Union is expelled from the League of Nations.

May 31st
1940

The U.S. government commits millions to a new defense program aimed at modernizing and strengthening the current force.

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 13th
1940

War goods begin leaving U.S. shores bound for Britain.

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.

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.

September 2nd
1940

The British and American governments agree to a deal for the British to receive some 50 old USN destroyers.

November 5th
1940

Franklin Roosevelt is reelected to a third term as President of the United States.

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 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.

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 30th
1941

United States vessels capture some sixty-five ships aligned with the Axis powers.

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.

November 26th
1941

The Japanese naval fleet leaves home port and heads to Hawaii.

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

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

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

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 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 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

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

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

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

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

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 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 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 8th
1941

The United States, along with Britain, formally declare war on the Empire of Japan.

December 10th
1941

Along the north of Luzon - at Aparri, Gonzago and Vigan - two large Japanese Army forces land via amphibious assault.

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 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

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 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 25th
1941

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

December 27th
1941

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

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 9th
1942

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

January 23rd
1942

The American defensive lines finally break.

April 9th
1942

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

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

An Imperial Japanese Navy carrier force sets sail on patrol around the Solomons looking for American carrier battle groups.

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
1942

The Japanese enact an offensive to take Corregidor Island, a strategic point providing access to Manila Bay.

May 5th - May 6th
1942

Foul weather limits detection of either carrier force across a two day span.

May 6th
1942

Corregidor Island falls to the Japanese, giving the invaders control over Manila Bay.

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 Allies spot the Japanese Covering Group escorting the invasion force.

May 7th
1942

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

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 8th
1942

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

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

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

May 8th
1942

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

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 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 14th
1942

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

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 28th
1942

The final Imperial Japanese Task Force leaves mainland Japan.

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 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

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

June 4th
1942

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

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

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

June 4th
1942

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

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 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

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

June 4th
1942

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

June 4th
1942

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

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

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

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

June 4th
1942

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

June 5th
1942

The Japanese carrier Hiryu is scuttled.

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 7th
1942

The island of Attu is taken by Japanese forces.

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 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

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 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 22nd
1942

The Japanese Army gain ground on the US, Australian and Papuan Infantry Regiment defenders.

August 6th
1942

US Navy and Marine forces position themselves near Guadalcanal.

August 7th
1942

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

August 8th
1942

Japanese bombers attack US forces at Henderson Field.

August 8th
1942

The amphibious landings largely conclude by this date.

August 8th
1942

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

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 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 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

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

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

By 11:00 AM, disaster has completely befallen the invaders. Many are trapped, forced back or dead to a prepared German defense.

August 19th
1942

This date is targeted for Operation Jubilee.

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 20th
1942

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

August 21st
1942

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

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 22nd
1942

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

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 23rd
1942

The Battle of the Eastern Solomons begins.

August 23rd
1942

US naval patrol aircraft spot the incoming Japanese convoy, radioing positions back to the main task force.

August 24th
1942

At 3:15PM, American carrier aircaft from the USS Enterprise manage hits on the IJN Shokaku.

August 24th
1942

The Japanese Navy lose their seaplane carrier - the IJN Chitose - to American dive bombers at 5:40PM.

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

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

Task Force 61, comprised of the USS Enterprise, USS Saratoga and the USS Wasp head to intercept the Japanese convoy.

August 24th
1942

US naval patrol aircraft once again spot the incoming Japanese convoy. Positions are sent to Task Force 61.

August 24th
1942

The US Navy claims a Japanese aircraft carrier. The carrier is attacked and sunk.

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 loses a pair of transport ships enroute to the Solomon Island chain.

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 30th
1942

American General Douglas MacArthur employs his superiors for additional firepower and troop strength to help hold Papua.

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 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 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 - October 7th
1942

The Japanese begin building up their forces to reclaim Henderson Field.

October 10th
1942

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

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 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 15th
1942

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

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 25th
1942

Japanese Navy supply ships make their way offshore of Guadalcanal where land forces there are attempting to take Henderson Field.

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

The USS Hornet is cleared of all crew by 11:40AM.

October 26th
1942

The Americans signal a withdrawal of all forces form the battle.

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

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

US Navy and IJN aircraft formally meet in air to air combat by 8:15AM.

October 26th
1942

A USN Consolidated PBY Catalina flying boat scout plane spots the Japanese waterforce and relays their position.

October 26th
1942

72 aircraft are launched as a combined force from USS Enterprise and USS Hornet.

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 26th
1942

US Navy aircraft are launched from USS Enterprise and USS Hornet but fail to locate the Japanese ships.

October 26th
1942

The US Navy sends Task Force 16 and 17 to intercept the Japanese resupply action.

October 26th
1942

At 7:40AM, USN dive bombers damage the IJN carrier Zuiho.

October 26th
1942

The IJN carrier launch around 110 aircraft in response.

October 26th
1942

USS Enterprise receives several direct hits from IJN dive bombers against her flight deck and forward elevator.

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 - 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 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 9th
1942

The first French cease-fires begin to ring out across Algeria and Morocco.

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 15th
1942

American paratroopers land at the airfield near Youks les Bains

November 15th
1942

US forces continue their march from the south against Japanese-held areas.

November 16th
1942

Allied forces begin their move into German-held Tunisia.

November 17th
1942

The Allies capture Beja.

November 18th
1942

The Allies take Sidi Nsir.

November 20th
1942

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

November 26th
1942

Medjez el Bab falls to the Allies.

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 14th
1942

Allied Australian and US forces continued their maches against the Japanese, taking territory through fierce firefights.

January 3rd
1943

American forces lay claim to Buna.

January 10th
1943

The decision to abandon Guadalcanal is made by Japanese autorities.

January 17th
1943

The Japanese begin to withdraw their battered army units from Guadalcanal.

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 Presidential directive calls for some 250 American aircraft to begin offensive actions in the Atlantic.

February 1st
1943

A massive evacuation effort sees some 11,000 Japanese personnel moved fom Tenaro, Gaudalcanal.

February 7th
1943

Gaudalcanal officially falls to the Americans.

February 7th
1943

The last remnants of the Japanese Army on Guadalcanal is evacuated from the island.

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

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

February 20th
1943

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

February 20th
1943

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

February 20th
1943

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

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

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

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 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.

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 6th
1943

The Allied D-Day landings in the North of France eventually render the French-German U-boat bases inoperable.

July 9th
1943

The Allied invasion fleets sail out to Sicily.

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 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 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 13th
1943

By this date, some 478,000 Allied troops have landed on Sicily.

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 14th
1943

German Paratroopers repel Allied forces from the Primasole bridge.

July 14th
1943

The Allies control key airfields across the island, allowing air support more resources from which to work with.

July 14th
1943

British and American forces finally meet at Comiso and Ragusa.

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 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.

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 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

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 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

Bad weather delays the original 5:30AM launch time of the operation.

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

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

German Luftwaffe defense fighters attack the 4th Bombardment Wing formations passing over Germany.

August 17th
1943

At 11:18AM, the 1st Bombardment Wing finally takes off.

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 approximately 6:00PM, elements of the 1st Bomber Group begin landing back at their UK bases. Some 36 aircraft are missing.

August 17th
1943

Aircraft of the 4th Bombardment Wing take-off at 6:20AM in an effort to reach its target in daylight.

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 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 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

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 20th
1943

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

November 21st
1943

US forces continue their progress against the Gilberts though a dogged Japanese resistance makes for slow progress.

November 21st
1943

US forces take Apamama after the suicide of its 22-strong Japanese garrison.

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 officially take Makin and give the "Makin Taken" signal.

November 21st
1943

US forces at Makin kill some 800 defending Japanese soldiers, leaving just a lone survivor.

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 22nd
1943

By 8PM on this date, US forces lay claim to portions of the Gilberts at its east and central regions.

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 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 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.

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

The first major Allied offensive to take Cassino is launched.

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

American forces hold the line at Mussolini Canal.

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

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 23rd
1944

The Anzio beachhead is consolidated into a concentrated pocket on the orders of Lucas.

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 25th
1944

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

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

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 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 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

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

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

American bombers strike the production facilities at Schweinfurt.

February 14th
1944

The offensive is detailed further, taking the latest developments into account.

February 15th
1944

Following the Allied aerial bombardment, the second major Allied offensive to take Cassino is launched.

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 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 - March 13th
1944

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

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

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 22nd
1944

The Allies replace the ineffective Major-General Lucas with Major-General Lucius Truscott.

February 22nd
1944

American bomber groups begin medium bombing operations from bases within Italy.

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

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

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

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

The 78th British Division makes headway thanks to the support of Allied armor.

March 15th - March 21st
1944

Against mounting casualties but with tank support, the 4th Indian Division gains ground.

March 15th - March 21st
1944

The 2nd New Zealand Division captures German-held position with the help of Allied armor support.

March 15th
1944

Artillery guns open up on Cassino while 600-plus Allied bombers attempt to shake the German defenders.

March 15th - March 21st
1944

Positions on Monte Cassino are officially in Allied hands.

March 15th
1944

A third major Allied offensive is put into action.

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.

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.

May 11th
1944

The fourth offensive to take Cassino is put into action.

May 11th
1944

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

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 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

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 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

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

At approximately 6:30AM, American Army forces begin landing at two key beaches, codenamed Utah and Omaha.

June 6th
1944

American forces at Utah beach hold pockets of land totaling just over 6 miles.

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

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

By midnight, D-Day is more or less over. Not all objectives are captured but progress is made nonetheless.

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

Near the town of Pouppeville, the US 4th Infantry Division at Utah beach connects with the 101st Airborne Division paratroopers.

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 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

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

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

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

Allied naval warships open up with their guns on German defensive positions along the French coast.

June 6th
1944

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

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

The second raid of arriving Japanese aerial strike force is identified and attacked by the Americans resulting in some 97 Japanese aircraft downed.

June 19th
1944

At 9:05am, the USS Albacore lands a fish into the side of the IJN Taiho aircraft carrier.

June 19th
1944

At 12:20pm, the USS Cavalla attack submarine hits the IJN Shokaku with torpedoes.

June 19th
1944

The third Japanese attack includes 47 aircraft which are met by 40 American fighters resulting in 7 enemies downed.

June 19th
1944

At approximately 4:24pm, the carrier IJN Shokaku, suffering extensive damage from American warplanes, goes under.

June 19th
1944

Around 4:28pm, the carrier IJN Taiho joins the IJN Shokaku.

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

The first Japanese raid assaults US Task Force 58 through a combined force of IJN and IJA aircraft commitment. The American response nets 35 enemies in the first phase of the attack.

June 20th
1944

At 4:30pm, some 216 American aircraft are launched in response to the Japanese attacks.

June 20th
1944

By 8:45pm, the American attack shows a loss of 100 aircraft with 80 being lost to landing accidents at night or lack of fuel, forcing many airmen to ditch into the sea.

June 20th
1944

During the attack, American fighter pilots score a further 65 enemy aircraft.

June 20th
1944

The aircraft carrier - IJN Chiyoda - takes heavy damage from American warplanes.

June 20th
1944

The aircraft carrier - IJN Zuikaku - takes heavy damage from American warplanes.

June 20th
1944

American dive bomber aircraft successfully attack, and subsequently sink, the aircraft carrier IJN Hiyo.

June 20th
1944

The American aerial force claims another two IJN tanker vessels.

July 18th
1944

US Army forces seize complete control of the town of St. Lo on the Contentin peninsula. Control of this strategic zone now allows for larger, prepared and controlled Allied offensives towards inland France.

July 21st
1944

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

July 24th
1944

American forces enact Operation Cobra, this stemming from control of the Contentin peninsula. The goal is to smash through the German defenses and create a road through the Avranches, exposing inland France to future Allied assaults.

July 30th
1944

The German 7th Army attempts a counter-attack at Avranches but the Americans manage to hold their ground.

July 30th
1944

US Army forces reach Avranches and lay control the region.

August 1st
1944

US General George S. Patton and his 3rd Army manage their way through Avranches towards Liore and Brittany.

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.

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.

August 8th
1944

General Patton reaches Le Mans and then heads north to Argentan.

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.

August 11th
1944

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

August 13th
1944

Patton's 3rd Army arrives at Argentan.

August 14th
1944

Elements of Patton's 3rd Army are sent from Falaise to the east towards Chartres and in the direction of Paris proper.

August 16th
1944

The American 3rd Army reaches Chartres.

August 19th
1944

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

August 20th
1944

The Falaise pocket is finally closed by the Allies. American and Canadian forces meet to complete the encirclement. German forces in Normandy are now trapped.

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.

August 25th
1944

The Allies reach the French capital of Paris.

August 25th
1944

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

August 25th
1944

Paris is liberated by the arriving Allies.

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.

September 17th
1944

The US 82nd Airborne Division landing at Grave is successful in capturing its target bridge.

September 17th
1944

The US 101st Airborne Division landing at Eindhoven and Veghel are successful in their capturing of bridges.

September 17th
1944

Operation Market Garden is activated. Parachute landings take place at Eindhoven, Veghel, Grave and Oosterbeek.

September 17th
1944

General Dwight Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe, approves General Montgomery's Operation Market Garden.

September 18th
1944

Josef Stalin refuses further Allied use of his forward airfields to resupply the Polish insurgents.

September 18th
1944

American B-17 bombers land at Poltava, now under Soviet control, to refuel. Onboard are arms and supplies meant for the Polish resistance.

September 19th
1944

The British XXX Corps officially unites with the US 82nd Airborne Division forces having landed at Grave.

September 20th
1944

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

September 25th
1944

American air drops deliver their much-needed cargo to the Polish resistance below. However, the drop zones are in firm German control and supplies are captured soon after landing.

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.

October 9th
1944

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

December 16th
1944

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

December 16th
1944

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

December 16th
1944

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

December 17th
1944

The town of Stavelot is lost to the invading German Army.

December 17th
1944

Allied prisoners of war are executed in cold blood by elements of the 6th SS Panzer Army. Some 87 prisoners are killed where they stand on direct orders from German Colonel Joachim Peiper.

December 19th
1944

By this date, two components making up the US 106th Division at the Schnee Eiffel region are surrounded by the Germans.

December 19th
1944

Some 6,000 Allied troops surrender to the encircling German Army at Schnee Eiffel.

December 19th
1944

Along the Ardennes line, US forces reform into intense defensive lines and some forces eventually mount counter attacks against the invading Germans.

December 19th
1944

The town of Stavelot is recaptured by the Allies.

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.

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.

December 20th
1944

The US 10th and 19th Armored Divisions are completely encircled by the German advance.

December 20th
1944

By this date, the 101st Airborne Division at Bastogne is completely encircled by the German XLVII Panzer Corps.

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.

December 23rd
1944

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

December 23rd
1944

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

December 23rd
1944

The foul weather over the Ardennes begins to clear.

December 25th
1944

German losses on Christmas Day include 3,500 infantrymen and 400 vehicles, 81 of these being tanks.

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.

December 26th
1944

The American 4th Armored Division makes its way to the beleagured 101st Airborne forces at Bastogne and the situation at the village is stabilized.

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.

January 1st
1945

Weeks of fighting see German forces destroyed, taken prisoner or sent packing as the Allies regroup and respond.

January 20th
1945

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

February 7th
1945

The German loss of life is a staggering 82,000 men, matched only by the 77,000 casualties suffered by the American Army.

February 7th
1945

By this date, all of the German gains of the Ardennes Offensive have been erased.

March 24th
1945

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

March 24th
1945

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

March 29th
1945

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

March 31st
1945

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

April 1st - April 30th
1945

The USN is credited with sinking four German U-boats in what turns out to be the last recorded combat actions in the Atlantic Theater of War.

April 1st - April 31st
1945

The final raid, this by American medium bombers, is launched against Schweinfurt.

April 1st
1945

Two US Army and USMC divisions land along the southwest coast of Okinawa near Hagushi, meeting little resistance. The US 10th Army is commanded by Lieutenant General Simon Bolivar Buckner. Some 550,000 personnel and 180,000 soldiers take part in the fray.

April 5th
1945

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

April 6th
1945

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

April 6th
1945

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

April 6th
1945

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

April 6th
1945

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

April 7th
1945

Task Force 38 launches some 380 aircraft against IJN Yamato.

April 7th
1945

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

April 7th
1945

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

April 7th
1945

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

April 10th
1945

The American 27th Infantry Division lands at Tsugen. The island is just to the east of Okinawa proper.

April 11th
1945

The conquest of Tsugen is completed by the 27th Infantry Division.

April 13th
1945

US Marines reach Hedo Point in the north of Okinawa.

April 16th
1945

A five-day offensive is undertaken involving the American 77th Infantry Division and the island of Ie Shima. Ie Shima represents the tip of the Motobu Peninsula. Motobu is a defensive Japanese stronghold located to the west of Okinawa proper.

April 19th
1945

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

April 20th
1945

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

April 21st
1945

The offensive to take Ie Shima is completed.

April 25th
1945

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

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.

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.

May 4th
1945

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

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.

May 27th
1945

Naha is officially captured by American forces. The Orouku Peninsula to the south is now within reach.

June 17th
1945

By this time, the Japanese defenders have been seperated into three major fighting groups. The more raw recruits find it somewhat easy to surrender than fight to the death.

June 22nd
1945

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

June 22nd
1945

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

June 22nd
1945

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