• 2021 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    June 28th 1944: Colonel General Friedrich Dollmannn died of a heart attack, or possibly of suicide.
    He had commanded 7th Army since October of 1939 and had taken part in the invasion of France as part of Leeb’s AG C. Since the fall of France his army had commanded the forces in Normandy and Brittany as half of AG B’s important Channel and Northern France’s defences. His was the weaker of the two and he had seen his army weakened by three weeks of Allied pressure. On the 26th June he had lost the port of Cherbourg to US 7Corps and Hitler had said he would face a Court Martial. He died aged 62 at his Le Mans HQ.
    He was born in Wurzburg in northern Bavaria and joined the army in 1899. He rose to Battalion command of an Artillery unit in WW1 and remained in the army, slowly being promoted until he held Corps command in Poland.
    His job, like Marcks’ one commanding 84Corps, was not made easy by the Allies’ early successes in Normandy.

  • 2021 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    Not sure he was in Poland.
    I read he was, but cannot corroborate this with a list of Division and Corps commanders for the invasion.  Now I have read elsewhere(in German!) that he was given command of 7th Army on August 31st.
    He may have been in France for the  whole of the Polish campaign.

  • Today is july 5th 2013, the 70th anniversary of the battle of kursk, hitlers last gamble to re-gain the strategic initiative in the east.

    I just wanted to note that, I am fascinated by this battle.

  • 2021 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    7th July 1944: the largest Banzai attack of the war occured. The island of Saipan, Mariana Islands, was set to fall to the Americans. The Japanese commander, General Yoshitsugu Saitō, called for a Banzai attack. Some of the Japanese were on crutches, others had bandages heads. 4000 would fall, but the 1st and 2nd Battalion of the 25th Regiment of Marines were almost destroyed in the attack.
    All was for nought: Saipan fell on the 9th.
    American casualties were the highest to date: 3000 killed and 10000 wounded.
    The Japanese died almost to a man, many a civilian, including women and children commited suicude, some jumped  from the cliffs.

  • 2021 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    10th July 1943 and 5 days after the Ostheer’s Kursk offensive, two Allied armies landed in Southern Sicily. The Western Landing was the American 7th Army, commanded by Lt Gen George Patton. The Eastern One the British 8th Army, under the successful General Bernard Montgomery.
    Most of the elements were veteran ones that had fought in North Africa. The British had 2 Corps, the 13th and 30th, the Americans had Bradley’s II Corps, formerly Patton’s own.
    The Allies were lucky that the Axis had fallen for their deception plans, heavily reinforcing the Balkans, but only sending 2 Divisions to Sicily to bolster the mainly weak Italian Coastal Divisions. Expecting an Italian switch of sides(his rude!)the  Germans had Rommel in Northern Italy waiting to takeover its defence.
    The Italians did have 250000 men on Sicily under the 66 year old Generale D’Armata Guzzoni. His forces were divided into two Corps: the XII in the West and the XVI in the East.
    The two German Divisions were the 15th Pzg and the HG Panzer.
    The Germans and Italians put  up a good fight, but were no match for the Aliies.
    Disturbingly, the better part of both German Divisions were allowed to escapes over the Straits of Messina and form part of the later defence of the Italian mainland.
    Possibly the greatest casualty of the campaign, was Patton, who was passed over for command of American troops in Italy, because he slapped a shell shocked  soldier.

  • 2021 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    After Tunisia, Sicily was another disaster for Italy.
    160000 men became casualties, mostly prisoners. This was the last straw and would see Italy pull out of the war in early September. (Mussolini was deposed on the 25th July.)
    This added enormous strain to the German war effort, heavily engaged in the East. They now had to replace the Italian garrisons in the Balkans and double the number of troops in Southern France.
    Allied casualties were about 20000.

  • three years earlier, on july 10 1940, the vichy government in southern france is established.

  • Today in 1943, the Germans and Soviets clashed in what would become one of the biggest tank battles of history.

    The battle took place near the town of Prokhorovka, 87 km south of kursk. (which was the german objective for operation zitadelle as a whole)

  • 2021 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10


    three years earlier, on july 10 1940, the vichy government in southern france is established.

    The spa town of Vichy was chosen as the seat of the new government because, as a popular resort, it had a large number of hotels which it was hoped would be able to accommodate the new regime’s personnel and departments.  Space nevertheless turned out to be tight.  In addition, Vichy was hardly an exciting place to be, especially during wartime and under Petain’s authoritarian regime; it was known as “The Capital of Boredom.”

  • 2021 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    6th August 1945: an atomic bomb, named “Little Boy” was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima by a B29, with the name of “Enola Gay”.
    Seventy thousand people died instantly. Tens of thousands would die of the after effects.

  • 2021 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    August 7th 1942: the Allies land on Guadalcanal, Tulagi and Florida,  all islands of the Solomons.
    It was the beginning of offensive operations, designed to secure communications between the US and Australia and take the war to Japan. The islands of  Tulagi ,Gavatu, Tanambogo and Florida were captured today and tomorrow by 3000 Marines with minimal losses. The Japanese were killed almost to a man.
    11000 Marines landed on Guadalcanal, building a bridgehead and moving 1km inland. The all important airfield, soon named Henderson, in honour of a pilot killed at Midway, would be captured tomorrow.
    Despite these early gains, Guadalcanal would prove a long six month campaign, as Japan knew its strategic importance and reinforced it from nearby Rabaul, New Britain.

  • Today in 1940:

    The Third Reich annexes Alsace and Lorraine.

  • 2021 '19 '18 '17

    We really can’t do without August 15, a day that saw significant or even major allied successes in every single year of the war.

    August 15, 1940:
    “The Greatest Day” of the RAF, when major German attacks were defeated during the Battle of Britain. On this day, the Germans not only sent a massive airfleet across the English Channel, but also attacked Scotland and Northern England from Norway, expecting Fighter Command to have moved all its forces south. That turned out to be a big mistake. At the end of the day, the Luftwaffe had lost at least 161 planes and probably well over 200, to the RAF’s 34.

    August 15, 1941:
    Roosevelt and Churchill sent a joint message of assistance to Stalin, and proposed a meeting to be held in Moscow to discuss long term policies. The message concludes:

    We realize fully how vitally important to the defeat of Hitlerism is the brave and steadfast resistance of the Soviet Union and we feel therefore that we must not in any circumstances fail to act quickly and immediately in this matter on planning the program for the future allocation of our joint resources.

    American and British diplomats indeed met Stalin in Moscow later that year.

    August 15, 1942:
    After days of heavy Italian and German attacks, SS Ohio was towed into the harbor of Malta, severely damaged, but carrying a desperately needed fuel supply. An Axis blockade had virtually sealed off Malta from the outside world, and after several attempts had failed, Ohio and several other supply ships in the same convoy finally made it. Naval losses were disastrous, but keeping Malta in British hands was crucially important to breaking the Axis supply line into North Africa.

    August 15, 1943:
    US and Canadian troops took the isle of Kiska, concluding the reconquest of the Aleutian Isles. Despite the territorial gain, this wasn’t the most glorious of the August 15 success series: the Japanese had already left, and there significant casualties through friendly fire and booby traps.

    August 15, 1944:
    The Allies start Operation Dragoon, a major amphibious invasion of southern France. It was a major success, forcing the Germans out of the entire southern part of France and capturing large contingents of German soldiers who failed to do so in time.

    August 15, 1945:
    THE END.
    On this day, emperor Hirohito announced that Japan would accept the terms proposed by the Allies at the Potsdam Conference, which effectively meant the surrender of Japan and the end of World War 2. It was still August 14 in Washington when president Truman made the public announcement, but massive celebrations had already started all over the world. Here’s the iconic photograph:

  • 2021 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    Thank you Herr KaLeun.
    Glad you found time to post. I enjoyed that.
    I can never remember the date the Germans called Eagle Day, the day they thought they would finish off the RAF. They made many attacks, but lost over 100 planes.
    Will look it up tomorrow.

  • 2021 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    Adler Tag was the 13th August.
    It was not the day they lost over 100 planes. Also, I am unable to find my book on the one day they suffered the largest number of losses. (Maybe it was the 15th!). I may have lost that book when I moved house. I have tried to find it before.
    I used it a lot for reference 10-15 years ago.

  • 2021 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    August 24th 1942: In what may have been a decoy mission by Vice Admiral Nagumo, the Light Carrier, Ryujo, Heavy Cruiser, Tone and two Destroyers were sent ahead of the main Japanese force with the purpose of attacking Henderson Field on the Island of Guadalcanal.
    This force was intercepted by the two US Carriers, Enterprise and Saratoga. Ryujo was hit by at least 3 bombs and sank, with the loss of 120 of her crew.  Some B17s had also attacked the Carrier and its escorts. The remaining three ships returned to Nagumo’s main force.
    The Americans did not have it all their way as the Enterprise was hit by 3 bombs from “Val” Dive Bombers. At least 70 of her crew were killed.
    No significant damage was caused  to Henderson Field by the Ryujo’s 6 “Kate” Torpedo Bombers and 15 Zeros and the accompanying 24 “Betty” Bombers and 14 Zeros from Rabaul.
    The battle was the first day of the battle that became to be known as The Battle of the Eastern Solomons.

  • Today in 1896, the shortest war ever happend.

    This war was between Great Britain and Zanzibar, (a group of islands just off the coast of modern day tanzania) and lasted only 40 minutes.

    It started at 09:00 EAT, and ended at 09:40 EAT with Zanzibar surrendering.

  • 2021 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    Who won?

  • @wittmann:

    Who won?

    (who do you think??)


  • 2021 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    1st Sept everyone: Blitzkrieg was born in 1939.
    Poland was the unlucky recipient.
    Two German Army Groups, under  Von Bock and Von Rundstedt, poured out of  the Pomeranian and  East Prussian borders and out of Silesia. They Comprised five armies, 3, 4, 8, 10 and 14, for a total of 1.5 million men. This was about  double the Polish forces, but it was in Mechanised units the difference would be felt. The Germans had 6 Panzer Divisions and 4 Light(only one Battalion of tanks)Divisions.
    In the air the Germans disposed of about 2500 modern aircraft, whereas the Poles only  had 300 modern ones. German Artillery was also more numerous and of a larger calibre. The use of radios also ensured the Germans could replenish their units’ ammo much better.
    Overall on the first day, the Poles defended well in the North, holding up the Germans, but found it harder in the South, as the enemy had stronger units there.

  • 2021 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    3rd September 1939: Britain and France declare war on Germany as the ultimatum for Germany to  pull out of Poland (in Britain’s case by 11am) today was ignored.
    The PM Neville Chamberlain announced it to a cheering Commons at 11.15am.
    France’s ultimatum was set for 5pm.
    The 64 year old Winston Churchill was recalled to Cabinet as First Lord  of the Admiralty, the post he had held in 1914.

  • Sept 10 1938
    Roosevelt told the White House reporters it would be 100% wrong  to assume the U.S. would join Britain and France in Joint action on Czechoslovakia

    Canada declared war on Germany
    The main body of British forces began moving to France under the command of Lord Gort.

    With the Norwegian trade unions threatening a general strike, German occupation authorities imposed martial law in Oslo

    German troops marched into Rome and seized control of the Italian capital. Italian solders were disarmed by the Germans (Subsequently. Italian units were disbanded in the Balkans and France as well. The Germans neutralized a total of 43 Italian divisions.)

    Thats all for now…I’m sure there is more

  • Something I forgot to say yesterday:

    Yesterday in 1891, Karl Dönitz was born.

    He started the war as the commander of the u-boat fleet, and ended the war as the second and last Führer of the third reich.

  • Sept 29 1939
    Germany and the Soviet Union signed a boundary and friendship treaty. It formally divided Poland, giving the Germans control over the area generally west of the Bug River. The occupying governments said the partition was necessary “after the disintegration of the former Polish state” and Moscow and Berlin “consider it their task to restore in this region law and order and to insure nationals living there an existence corresponding to their national character.” Germany got nearly 73,000 square miles of Polish territory
    , Russia,78,000. The Russians were permitted all of Lithuania  ion their sphere of influence. An economic  was also signed which extended the previous trade pact. Moscow also promised the Germans the entire oil output of the Dohowicz fields, an action which infuriated the British and the French. Russia achieved its gains through an invasion against an overwhelmed Poland and lost only 737 men in the brief conflict

  • Dec 2 1941
    Roosevelt - in a personal note to the Japanese envoys in Washington…asked Tokyo for an explanation of the Japanese troop build up in Indochina. The President said, "The stationing of these increased forces in Indochina would seem to imply the utilization or those forces by Japan for purposes of further aggression, since no such number of forces could possibly be required for the policing of that region.
    Japans Cabinet was reshuffled because of “the deteriorating international situation.” The new cabinet affirmed the final decision to attack Pearl Harbor, and the code message to proceed, “Climb Mount Niitaka.” was flashed to the Naval attack force the next day.
    The Japanese Embassy in Washington was ordered to destroy all but its most secret coding facilities . Similar orders went to Japanese missions in British, Dutch, and Canadian cities, Cuba, and the Philippines , and the
    South Pacific
    London announced  the formation of a new and expanded  Eastern Fleet. Britain in the past had maintained  a crusier squadron, but its naval presence in Asia would now be led by more powerful men-of-war., The Battle ship “Prince of Wales” and the Battle cruiser “Repulse” arrived in Singapore this date. This announced action indicated the concern of Britain as it viewed Japan’s southward penetration.

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