The Arrowhead Club

Home » Posts tagged 'WWII Timeline'

Tag Archives: WWII Timeline

WWII Timeline – Spring 1945

I’m continuing my WWII Timeline series with a look at April – June 1945 in this post.

A Timeline of WWII, Spring 1945

Spring 1945

The Nazis continued marches of concentration camp and prisoner of war camp inmates. Some were marched westward away from advancing Soviet troops and some were marched eastward away from advancing American and British troops. At the same time, German civilians fleeing the advancing Russians often shared the road with the inmates marching. 

April 1945

The Allies discovered stolen Nazi art and wealth hidden in German salt mines.

Yugoslav Communist leader Josip Tito’s Partisan units captured Zagreb and toppled the Ustasa regime. Top Ustasa leaders fled to Italy and Austria.

Early April 1945

The Soviets drove the Germans and their Hungarian collaborators out of Hungary.

April 1, 1945

American troops encircled German forces in the Ruhr.

In the Pacific Theater, the Battle of Okinawa began with the final amphibious landing of the war when the U.S. Tenth Army invaded Okinawa.

April 4, 1945

The Soviets forced the surrender of Slovakia with the capture of Bratislava.

The Ohrdruf camp, a subcamp of the Buchenwald Concentration Camp, was liberated. It was the first Nazi camp liberated by U.S. troops. It was later visited by General Dwight D. Eisenhower (on April 12).

April 6, 1945

Codename “Operation Grapeshot” began. It was the Spring 1945 Allied offensive in Italy, the final Allied attack during the Italian Campaign near the end of WWII. This attack into the Lombardy Plain in Northern Italy by the 15th Allied Army Group ended on May 2 with the formal surrender of German forces in Italy.

April 7, 1945

American fighter pilots based on Iwo Jima escorted Boeing B-29 Superfortress bombers in their first P-51 Mustang fighter-escorted mission against Japan.

U.S. Aircraft Carrier-based fighters sank the Japanese super-battleship Yamato and several Japanese escort vessels which planned to attack U.S. Forces at Okinawa.

April 11, 1945

U.S. troops from the 6th Armored Division of the Third Army liberated the Buchenwald concentration camp shortly after the prisoners stormed the watchtowers and seized control of the camp.

U.S. forces liberated the Dora-Mittelbau camp.

April 12, 1945

President Franklin D. Roosevelt died of a cerebral hemorrhage at his Warm Springs, Georgia vacation home. Vice President Harry Truman, who had held the office for eighty-three days and had had little contact with Roosevelt, was summoned to the White House. Truman was unaware that Roosevelt had died. After being sworn in as President, one of Truman’s first acts was to meet with Roosevelt’s advisers to learn of matters of national security, including the existence of the atomic bomb.

Canadian forces liberated prisoners at the Westerbork camp in the Netherlands.

April 13, 1945

The Soviets captured Vienna, Austria.

April 15, 1945

British troops liberated the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Anne Frank and her sister Margot died of typhus at this camp a month earlier.

April 16, 1945

The Soviets launched their final offensive and encircled Berlin.

April 18, 1945

German forces in the Ruhr surrendered.

Pulitizer prize winner Ernie Pyle was killed by a Japanese sniper’s bullet while reporting on the Battle of Okinawa.

April 23, 1945

Soviets troops reached Berlin.

The 358th and 359th U.S. Infantry Regiments (90th US Infantry Division) liberated Flossenbürg.

April 28, 1945

The Allies took Venice.

Benito Mussolini and his mistress, Clara Petacci, captured as they attempted to flee to Switzerland, were executed by Italian partisans.

April 29, 1945

The U.S. 7th Army liberated the Dachau Concentration Camp.

Adolf Hitler married longtime mistress, Eva Braun.

April 30, 1945

Holed up in a bunker under his headquarters in Berlin, Adolf Hitler committed suicide. He and Eva Braun poisoned themselves and their dogs with cyanide capsules and Hitler shot himself in the head with his service pistol.

May 1945

Allied troops conquered Okinawa, the last island stop before the Japanese islands.

May 1, 1945

Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Reich Minister of Propaganda, and his wife Magda committed suicide after murdering their six children.

May 2, 1945

German troops in Italy surrendered.

The Theresienstadt Ghetto/Concentration Camp in the Czech Republic was taken over by the Red Cross.

The BBC History website reported about this date,

…After one of the most intense battles in human history, the guns at last stopped firing amongst the ruins of Berlin. According to Soviet veterans, the silence that followed the fighting was literally deafening. Less than four years after his attack on the Soviet Union, Hitler’s self-proclaimed thousand-year Reich had ceased to exist.

George Edwin Farrar, Lawrence Newbold, and other POW’s of Stalag Luft IV were liberated on the road near Gudow, Germany by the British Royal Dragoons.

May 5, 1945

The Mauthausen Concentration Camp was liberated. The camp was known for its “Todesstiege” (Stairs of Death) in the rock quarry at Mauthausen. The Nazis forced prisoners to repeatedly carry heavy granite blocks up 186 stairs until they died or were murdered if they failed.

May 7, 1945

Germany surrendered to the western Allies at General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Headquarters in Reims, France. German Chief-of-Staff, General Alfred Jodl, signed the unconditional surrender, to take effect the following day.

May 8, 1945

V-E (Victory in Europe) Day was declared as German troops continued to surrender to the Allies throughout Europe.

May 9, 1945

Germany surrendered to Russia at Soviet headquarters in Berlin. The Soviets had insisted that a second ceremonial signing take place in Soviet-occupied Berlin.

Hermann Göring was captured by members of the U.S. 7th Army.

May 14, 1945

The Austrian Republic was re-established.

May 20, 1945

The Japanese began withdrawal from China.

May 23, 1945

The German High Command and Provisional Government were imprisoned.

SS-Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler committed suicide while in British custody.

May 25, 1945

The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff approved “Operation Olympic,” the invasion of Japan, scheduled for November 1, 1945.

June 5, 1945

The Allies divided up Germany into four Zones of Occupation and took over the government.

June 9, 1945

Japanese Premier Suzuki announced Japan would fight to the very end rather than unconditionally surrender.

June 18, 1945

Japanese resistance ended on Mindanao in the Philippines.

American President Harry Truman authorized “Operation Olympic.”

June 22, 1945

In the Battle of Okinawa, which had begun on April 1, Japanese resistance ended as the U.S. Tenth Army completed its capture of Okinawa.

June 26, 1945

The United Nations charter was signed by fifty nations in San Francisco, California, USA.

June 28, 1945

General Douglas MacArthur’s headquarters announced the end of all Japanese resistance in the Philippines.

Sources:

This series of posts is based on a compilation of timelines from:

The Holocaust Encyclopedia

The History Place:

The National WWII Museum Interactive Timeline

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

World War II Chronicle by the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

Spring 1945 Offensive in Italy

Battle of Okinawa

Ohrdruf Camp

Adolf Hitler Suicide

The Battle for Berlin

Mauthausen Concentration Camp

Joseph Goebbels

Most recent post from the series:

Winter 1945

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2020

WWII Timeline – Winter 1945

I’m continuing my WWII Timeline series with a look at January – March 1945 in this post.

A Timeline of WWII, Winter 1945

1945

As Allied troops advanced, the Nazis conducted marches of concentration camp and prisoner of war camp inmates away from outlying areas. Some were marched westward away from advancing Soviet troops and some were marched eastward away from advancing American and British troops. Prisoners received little aid from people in towns they passed through, and in some cases were harassed and assaulted. At the same time, German civilians fleeing the advancing Russians often shared the road with the marching camp inmates. 

January 1945

By January of 1945, the combined efforts of the Allied armies drove the Germans back to their original starting positions in the Battle of the Bulge. American troops reached the sight of the Malmedy Massacre of December 17, 1944 (see Fall 1944 post), now buried under two feet of winter snow.

The bodies of the eighty-one American POW’s lay frozen in the same spot they were murdered the previous month. They were located through the use of mine detectors and were numbered as each was uncovered. Forty-one of the POW’s had been shot in the head.

Columns of German POW’s were led by the site by their American captors during the U.S. medical team’s identification and recovery process, but no act of vengeance was perpetuated on the enemy soldiers.

January 1-17, 1945

German forces withdrew from the Ardennes.

January 3, 1945

In preparation for planned assaults against Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and mainland Japan, American General Douglas MacArthur was placed in command of all U.S. ground forces and American Admiral Chester Nimitz in command of all U.S. naval forces.

January 4, 1945

The British occupied Akyab in Burma.

January 6, 1945

The Russians liberated Budapest, Hungary, and in doing so, freed over 80,000 Jews.

January 9, 1945

The U.S. Sixth Army invaded Lingayen Gulf and landed on the island of Luzon in the Philippines.

January 11, 1945

U.S. Aircraft Carrier-based planes carried out an air raid against Japanese bases in Indochina.

January 12, 1945

In the Vistula–Oder Offensive, the Soviet Red Army made a major advance into German-held territory in Poland.

January 14, 1945

Russian troops invaded eastern Germany.

January 16, 1945

The U.S. 1st and 3rd Armies reconnected after a month-long separation during the Battle of the Bulge.

January 17, 1945

As part of the Vistula–Oder Offensive, Soviet troops captured and liberated Warsaw, Poland.

Swedish Foreign Ministry diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who in 1944 had saved nearly 33,000 Jews, was detained by Soviet agents and was never heard from again. (See post for July 1944 in Summer 1944 timeline series).

January 18, 1945

The Nazis evacuated 66,000 prisoners from Auschwitz.

January 19, 1945

As part of the Vistula–Oder Offensive, Soviet troops captured and liberated Krakow, Poland.

January 20, 1945

Crematory II at Auschwitz-Birkenau was destroyed by the SS using explosives, along with Crematory III, just seven days before the death camp was liberated by the Soviets.

U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was sworn in for his fourth and final term in office.

January 26, 1945

Crematory V at Auschwitz-Birkenau was blown up by the SS as the Soviets were approaching.

January 27, 1945

Soviet troops liberated the remaining prisoners at the Auschwitz death camp in Poland. By this time, an estimated 2,000,000 persons, including 1,500,000 Jews, had been murdered there.

January 28, 1945

The Allies finally eradicated the Ardennes salient (the Bulge).

The Burma road was reopened.

January 30, 1945

Adolf Hitler delivered his final radio address.

A Soviet submarine sank the MV Wilhelm Gustloff, a German armed military transport ship, in the Baltic Sea while evacuating German civilian refugees from East Prussia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, and Estonia and military personnel from Gotenhafen as the Red Army advanced. An estimated seven thousand to more than nine thousand died.

February 1945

Peru, Lebanon, Turkey, Uruguay, Paraguay, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Egypt joined the Allies and declared war on Nazi Germany and Japan.

Iran declared war against Japan.

February 3, 1945

The U.S. Sixth Army attacked the Japanese in Manila.

February 4, 1945

The U.S. First Army took the first of seven Ruhr Valley dams in Germany.

February 4 – 11, 1945

American President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet Union Premier Joseph Stalin attended the conference at Yalta on the Crimean Peninsula to discuss post-war spheres of influence.

February 6, 1945

The march of prisoners of war of Stalag Luft IV, of which my father George Edwin Farrar was one, began.

Tens of thousands of German civilians fled Breslau (now Wrocław), Poland before the westward advance of the Soviet Red Army.

February 12, 1945

All German women between the ages of 16 and 60 were called to service in the Volkssturm, the German people’s army.

February 13, 1945

The Soviets captured Budapest, Hungary after a two-month siege.

The 70th motorized infantry brigade of the Soviet Red Army liberated the Gross-Rosen concentration camp.

February 13 – 15, 1945

The German city of Dresden was destroyed by firestorm after Allied (British Royal Air Force and United States Army Air Forces) aircraft conducted bombing raids. Between 20,000 and 45,000 civilians were killed.

February 16, 1945

U.S. troops recaptured Bataan, a province on the Philippine island of Luzon, in the Philippines.

February 19, 1945

U.S. Marines invaded Iwo Jima with an amphibious assault.

February 23, 1945

U.S. Marines raised the flag atop Mt. Suribachi on Iwo Jima.

March 1, 1945

A U.S. submarine sank a Japanese merchant ship loaded with supplies for Allied POWs. The act resulted in a court martial for the captain of the submarine since the ship had been granted safe passage by the U.S. Government.

March 2, 1945

U.S. airborne troops recaptured Corregidor, an island located at the entrance of Manila Bay in southwestern part of Luzon Island in the Philippines.

March 3, 1945

U.S. And Filipino troops took Manila.

March 6, 1945

The last German offensive of the war began in an effort to defend the oil fields in Hungary.

March 7, 1945

The Allies took Cologne.

U.S. troops of the US 9th Armored Division captured the Ludendorff Railroad Bridge at Remagen, between Koblenz and Bonn, Germany, and crossed the Rhine River .

March 9/10, 1945

U.S. B-29 aircraft firebombing raids on Tokyo destroyed sixteen square miles of the city and killed an estimated 100,000 people.

March 10, 1945

The U.S. Eighth Army invaded the Zamboanga Peninsula on Mindanao in the Philippines.

March 15, 1945

Anne Frank died of typhus at the Bergen-Belsen Nazi Concentration Camp.

March 20, 1945

British troops liberated Mandalay, Burma.

March 26, 1945

The Battle for Iwo Jima ended with the Allied capture of the island from the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA).

March 27, 1945

The last German V-2 rocket struck Great Britain. The V-2 campaign killed nearly three thousand Britains.

B-29 aircraft laid mines in Japan’s Shimonoseki Strait to interrupt shipping.

March 30, 1945

Soviet troops captured Danzig, a port city on the Baltic Sea.

Sources:

This series of posts is based on a compilation of timelines from:

The Holocaust Encyclopedia

The History Place:

The National WWII Museum Interactive Timeline

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

World War II Chronicle by the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

Most recent post from the series:

Fall 1944

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2020

WWII Timeline – Fall 1944

I’m continuing my WWII Timeline series with a look at October – December 1944 in this post.

A Timeline of WWII, Fall 1944

Late 1944

Oskar Schindler saved 1200 Jews by moving them from the Plaszow labor camp in the southern suburb of Kraków, Poland to his hometown of Brunnlitz, Czechoslovakia.

October 2 – 5, 1944

The Polish Home Army surrendered to the Nazis ending the Warsaw Uprising.

October 7, 1944

After learning that they were going to be killed, the Sonderkommando (special work units who were made up of Nazi death camp prisoners, usually Jews, and were forced to aid with the disposal of gas chamber victims) revolted at Auschwitz-Birkenau resulting in the complete destruction of Crematory IV.

October 10-29

Soviet troops captured Riga, the capital of Latvia on the Baltic Sea.

October 11, 1944

The U.S. began air raids against Okinawa.

October 14, 1944

German Field Marshall Erwin Rommel committed forced suicide by cyanide poisoning after being implicated in the July 20, 1944 attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler. His death was announced to be due to battle wounds suffered on July 17, 1944.

The Allies liberated Athens, Greece.

October 15, 1944

As the Hungarian government was pursuing negotiations for surrendering to the Soviets, the Hungarian fascist Arrow Cross movement, with German support, carried out a coup d’état (a revolt performed through violence), allowing the Nazis to seize control of the Hungarian puppet government. The deportation of Jews, which had been temporarily halted due to international political pressure, resumed.

October 17, 1944

SS leader Adolf Eichmann arrived in Hungary.

October 18, 1944

Fourteen American B-29 Superfortress aircraft based on the Mariana Islands attacked the Japanese base at Truk.

October 20, 1944

The U.S. Sixth Army invaded Leyte in the Philippines.

Soviet forces captured Belgrade, the capital of Yugoslavia, from the Germans.

October 21, 1944

The Germans surrendered at Aachen, Germany in the Battle of Aachen. It was the first German city to fall to the Allies.

October 23-26, 1944

The three-day Battle of Leyte Gulf, one of the largest naval battles in history, resulted in a decisive U.S. Naval victory over Japan.

George Edwin Farrar’s younger brother Robert (my Uncle Bob) Burnham Farrar served aboard the USS Intrepid, which was involved in the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

October 25, 1944

In World War II, a Japanese aircraft loaded with explosives and making a deliberate suicidal crash on an enemy target was known as a Kamikaze (meaning “Divine Wind”) attack. Fleet Admiral William Halsey called it the “only weapon I feared in the war.” The first recorded Kamikaze attack occurred against U.S. warships during the three-day Battle of Leyte Gulf.

October 28, 1944

Two thousand Jews in the last transport from Theresienstadt (a hybrid concentration camp and ghetto in the town of  Terezín, located in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia), arrived at Auschwitz.

October 29, 1944

A Japanese Kamikaze hit Bob Farrar’s ship, the USS Intrepid, on one of her port side gun positions. Damage to the ship was minimal, but ten men were killed and six were wounded. 

October 30, 1944

The last transport of Jews from Theresienstadt arrived at Auschwitz and the gas chambers there were used for the last time.

November 8, 1944

The Nazis forced 25,000 Jews to walk over 100 miles in rain and snow from Budapest to the Austrian border. A second forced march of 50,000 persons followed, ending at the Mauthausen Concentration Camp.

For the first time since 1933, Adolf Hitler failed to appear in Munich on the anniversary of the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch.

November 7, 1944

Franklin Roosevelt won his fourth consecutive term as U.S. President.

November 11, 1944

The U.S. navy bombed Iwo Jima.

November 18, 1944

The U.S. Third Army crossed the German frontier.

November 20, 1944

French troops drove through the ‘Beffort Gap’ in southwestern France to reach the Rhine.

November 23, 1944

American troops liberated the Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp, located in the Vosges Mountains close to the Alsatian village of Natzwiller in France.

November 24, 1944

The French captured Strasbourg, France.

Twenty-four B-29 Superfortresses bombed the Nakajima aircraft factory near Tokyo.

November 25, 1944

SS Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler ordered the destruction of the crematories at Auschwitz. Crematory IV had already been destroyed by inmates during a revolt on October 7, 1944.

Shortly after noon, two Japanese Kamikazes crashed into Bob Farrar’s ship, the USS Intrepid, killing sixty-six men and causing a serious fire. Bob Farrar was injured in the attack, mainly due to smoke inhalation. The ship remained on station, however, and the fires were extinguished within two hours. She was detached for repairs the following day.

December 4, 1944

Athens, Greece was placed under martial law during a Civil War.

December 11, 1944

At Hartheim Castle, near Linz Austria, German authorities carried out the last gassing of inmates, and under SS guard, Mauthausen (Austria) concentration camp prisoners dismantled the killing facility. Hartheim was one of six gassing installations for adults, the majority of them mentally and physically disabled patients, established as part of the Nazi’s “euthanasia” program.

December 15, 1944

U.S. Troops invaded Mindoro in the Philippines.

In the summer of 1944, bandleader Glenn Miller (a member of the U.S. Army since late 1942 and later Army Air Forces) formed a fifty-piece USAAF (United States Army Air Forces) band and departed for England where he gave hundreds of performances to Allied troops over the next six months. On this date, he left England to entertain American troops in France in a UC-64 Norseman (a Canadian single-engine bush plane), traveling over the English Channel, but never arrived. The wreckage of his plane was never found and his official military status remains Missing in Action.

December 16, 1944

The Battle of the Bulge in Luxembourg’s Ardennes Forest began as the Germans launched a final offensive in the west known as Operation Wacht am Rhein. The objectives were to re-conquer Belgium, split the allied forces along the German border, and capture the strategic port of Antwerp. Three German Armies conducted a surprise attack along a 70-miles front and quickly overtook the American line.

December 17, 1944

On the second day of the Battle of the Bulge, the Nazi Waffen-SS (the military branch of the Nazi Party’s SS organization) murdered eighty-one American POW’s in the Malmedy Massacre.

A regiment of the 1st SS Panzer Division of the Leibstandarte-SS, commanded by SS Lt. Col. Jochen Peiper, intercepted a truck convoy of the U.S. 285th Field Artillery Observation Battalion’s Battery B southeast of Malmedy. Peiper’s troops, called the Blowtorch Battalion, had burned their way across Russia and had slaughtered civilians in two separate villages.

The Panzer tanks fired upon and destroyed the lead vehicles in the truck convoy. The convoy halted while the tank fire continued. The Americans were forced to abandon their vehicles and surrendered.

The captured American Battery B soldiers were herded into a nearby field where an SS tank commander ordered an SS private to shoot into the prisoners. The SS opened fire on the unarmed Americans with machine guns.

When the machine gunfire ceased, an English speaking SS man walked among the victims on the ground asking if anyone was injured or needed help. Those survivors who responded were killed by a pistol shot to the head. In what was the single worst atrocity against American troops during World War II in Europe, a total of eighty-one Americans were killed.

Three American survivors reported the massacre to a U.S. Army Colonel stationed at Malmedy. Because the news spread quickly that Germans were shooting POW’s, the American troops became determined to hold the lines against the German advance.

The same day, in the Pacific Theater of Operations, the U.S. Army Air Forces established the 509th Composite Group to operate the B-29 Superfortresses that would drop the atomic bombs.

December 20, 1944

Bob Farrar’s ship, the USS Intrepid, reached San Francisco for repairs.

December 21, 1944

The Germans besieged U.S. paratroopers in Bastogne, Belgium. Units of Germany’s 5th Panzer Army captured St. Vith, Belgium.

December 22, 1944

Surrounded in the Battle of the Bulge, American Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe of the 101st Airborne Division received a surrender ultimatum from the Germans. His immortal reply: NUTS! [Use the link in Sources below to read the fascinating story.]

December 26, 1944

The 4th Armored Division, leading the attack by General George S. Patton’s Third Army, attacked the Germans at Bastogne and was the first unit to break through to relieve the besieged 101st Airborne Division of paratroopers. While American troops held the town, refugees were able to evacuate.

December 27, 1944

Soviet troops besieged Budapest.

Sources:

This series of posts is based on a compilation of timelines from:

The Holocaust Encyclopedia

The History Place:

The National WWII Museum Interactive Timeline

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

World War II Chronicle by the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

Oskar Schindler

The Forced Suicide of Erwin Rommel

USS Intrepid

Last Gassing at Hartheim

The Malmedy Massacre

The Story of Anthony McAuliffe’s NUTS! Reply

Most recent post from the series:

Summer 1944

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2020

WWII Timeline – Summer 1944

I’m continuing my WWII Timeline series with a look at July – September 1944 in this post.

A Timeline of WWII, Summer 1944

Summer 1944

The highest-ever daily number of those gassed and cremated at Auschwitz-Birkenau was recorded at just over 9,000. This overwhelmed the capacity of the crematories and required six huge pits to burn the bodies.

July 1944

The Swedish Foreign Ministry sent diplomat Raoul Wallenberg to Budapest, Hungary with the support of the World Jewish Congress and American War Refugee Board to aid the 200,000 Jews left in the Hungarian capital. He saved nearly 33,000 Jews by securing their release from deportation trains, death march convoys, and labor service brigades, and by issuing diplomatic papers (protective documents) and establishing a network of thirty-one safe, or protected, houses in Budapest, called the International Ghetto. On January 17, 1945, Wallenberg was detained by Soviet agents and was never heard from again. 

July 3, 1944

The Battle of the Hedgerows began in Normandy, named so because the Allies were hindered by the agricultural hedges in Western France which intelligence had not properly evaluated. The US First Army VIII Corps advanced only seven miles in twelve days.

The Soviets captured Minsk.

July 4, 1944

Less than one month since D-Day on June 6, the Allies had landed 920,000 troops, and lost 62,000 men, the count including those killed, wounded, and missing.

July 8, 1944

The Japanese withdrew from Imphal, the capital city of the northeastern Indian state of Manipur. They had invaded Imphal in a bid to capture British Colonies, but were defeated.

July 9, 1944

British and Canadian troops captured Caen, France.

Raoul Wallenberg arrived in Budapest as first secretary to the Swedish legation in Hungary and with financing from the US War Refugee Board.

July 11, 1944

The Czech family camp at Auschwitz was liquidated.

July 17, 1944

German General Erwin Rommel was seriously injured in Normandy when a British Royal Air Force (RAF) fighter plane strafed his staff car, injuring the driver, which caused it to crash into trees. Rommel was thrown from the car, suffering cuts to his face from glass shards and three fractures to his skull. He was taken to a hospital with major head injuries and then to his home in Germany to convalesce.

July 18, 1944

British General Bernard Montgomery, the commander of all the Allied ground forces in Normandy, launched Operation Goodwood 40 miles east of Caen.

U.S. troops reached and captured St. Lô, France.

July 20, 1944

German Army officers who were part of the German resistance attempted to assassinate Adolf Hitler, but failed when a heavy conference table deflected the blast from a bomb placed under it. Hitler was only slightly wounded.

July 21, 1944

U.S. Marines invaded Guam in the Mariana Islands. In Operation Stevedore, Task Force 53, commanded by Rear Admiral Richard L. Connolly of the U.S. Navy, the Third Marine Division and the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, along with the U.S. Army 77th Infantry Division, landed on Guam.

July 24, 1944

Soviet troops liberated the first concentration camp at Majdanek where over 360,000 had been murdered.

U.S. Marines invaded Tinian, an Island in the Northern Mariana Islands.

July 25, 1944

The U.S. Army began Operation Cobra in Normandy.

The II Canadian Corps began Operation Spring, an offensive south of Caen.

July 27, 1944

American troops completed the liberation of Guam.

July 28, 1944

Soviet troops took Brest-Litovsk, Belarus.

U.S. troops took Coutances, France.

August 1, 1944 – October 5, 1944

The non-communist underground Home Army in Poland, the dominant Polish resistance movement when Poland was occupied by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union during World War II, rose up against the Nazis in an attempt to liberate Warsaw before the arrival of Soviet troops. The Soviet advance stopped on the east bank of the Vistula River. On October 5, the remnants of the Polish Home Army fighting in Warsaw surrendered to the Nazis.

August 1, 1944

Patton’s U.S. Third Army was activated in Normandy, France.

U.S. troops reached Avranches, France.

August 2, 1944

The SS liquidated the Gypsy family camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

August 3, 1944

U.S. And Chinese troops took Myitkyina, the capital city of Kachin State in Myanmar (Burma), after a two month siege.

August 4, 1944

Anne Frank and her family were arrested by the Gestapo in Amsterdam, Holland. They were first sent to the Westerbork Transit Camp and then on to Auschwitz. Anne and her sister Margot were later sent to Bergen-Belsen where Anne died of typhus on March 15, 1945.

August 6, 1944

Lodz, the last Jewish ghetto in Poland, was liquidated with 60,000 Jews sent to Auschwitz.

August 7, 1944

The Germans began a major counter-attack toward Avranches, France.

August 8, 1944

American troops completed the capture of the Mariana Islands.

The Canadians launched Operation Totalize south of Caen, France with 600 tanks and 720 guns.

August 15, 1944

In Operation Dragoon, Allied forces landed in southern France near Nice and advanced rapidly towards the Rhine River to the northeast.

August 19, 1944

The French Resistance caused an uprising in Paris against the Germans.

August 19/20, 1944

A Soviet offensive in the Balkans (an area comprising Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, and Slovenia) began with an attack on Romania.

August 20 – 25, 1944

Allied troops reached Paris. On August 25, Free French forces, supported by Allied troops, entered the French capital. By September, the Allies reach the German border; by December, virtually all of France, most of Belgium, and part of the southern Netherlands were liberated.

August 20, 1944

The Falaise Pocket or Battle of the Falaise Pocket was the decisive engagement of the Battle of Normandy in WWII. The Western Allies encircled the German Army Group B, 7th Army, and Fifth Panzer Army, in the Falaise Pocket, a pocket formed around Falaise, Calvados, in the Normandy region of France.

August 23, 1944

The appearance of Soviet troops on the Prut River induced the Romanian opposition to overthrow the Antonescu regime. The new government concluded an armistice and immediately switched sides in the war. The Romanian turnaround compelled Bulgaria to surrender on September 8, and the Germans to evacuate Greece, Albania, and southern Yugoslavia in October.

August 25, 1944

Paris was liberated when Germany surrendered Paris to the Allied forces, ending four years of occupation.

August 29, 1944 – October 28, 1944

The underground Slovak resistance uprising began under the leadership of the Slovak National Council, consisting of both Communists and non-Communists, against the Germans and the indigenous fascist Slovak regime. In late October, the Germans captured the headquarters of the uprising at Banská Bystrica in central Slovakia and ended the organized resistance.

August 31, 1944

Soviet troops took Bucharest, the largest and capital city in Romania.

September 1944

As the British and American Air Forces destroyed most of the V-1 launch sites, by September of 1944, the Nazis introduced the V-2 rocket. The V-2 was much more sophisticated, a liquid-fueled rocket that traveled at supersonic speeds as high as 50 miles. It would plunge toward its target at a speed of nearly 4,000 miles per hour, smashing its 2,000 pound high explosive warhead into the ground without warning. Unlike the V-1, the V-2 rockets could not be intercepted. Over a thousand were fired at London.

September 1-4

The cities of Verdun, Dieppe, Artois, Rouen, and Abbeville in France, and Antwerp and Brussels in Belgium, were liberated by Allies.

September 3, 1944

The British Second Army liberated Brussels, Belgium.

Field Marshal Karl Rudolf Gerd von Rundstedt assumed command of the German armies in the West.

September 4, 1944

Finland and the Soviet Union agreed to a cease-fire.

September 13, 1944

U.S. troops reached the Siegfried Line in western Germany.

September 15, 1944

U.S. Troops invaded Morotai Island in Indonesia.

September 17 – 25, 1944

The Allied assault known as “Operation Market-Garden” was an attempt by combined Allied airborne and ground assault troops to capture bridges over Dutch waterways in order to open a rapid northern route for the Allied advance into Germany.

The First Allied Airborne Army dropped at Eindhoven, Nijmegen and Arnhem to secure bridgeheads and the British Second Army pushed north into Holland from Belgium, to link up.

It was the largest Allied airborne operation of the war and the most costly. The third of the three airborne landings, at Arnhem, proved to be a complete failure as British troops landed too far from the Arnhem bridges and the Germans quickly recovered from the surprise of the aerial assault. Of 10,000 British troops at Arnhem, 1,400 were killed while over 6,000 were taken prisoner.

September 19, 1944

The Moscow Armistice ended the Continuation War when it was signed by Finland on one side and the Soviet Union and United Kingdom on the other side. Finland had participated in the Continuation War in an Axis partnership with Nazi Germany against the Soviet Union from 1941 to 1944.

September 25, 1944

The British evacuated the remaining paratroopers from Arnhem in the Netherlands, but only 2,163 men out of nearly 10,000 returned.

Adolf Hitler ordered the formation of the Volkssturm (the “people’s storm”), the German home guard or national militia. It was created not by the formal German Armed Forces, but rather by the Nazi Party on Hitler’s order. Members were conscripted from those between sixteen and sixty years of age who were not already serving in a military unit. It was not officially announced until October 16, 1944.

September 26, 1944

Soviet troops occupied Estonia.

September 28, 1944

Frogmen from the German Marine Einsatzkommando demolished the Nijmegen, Holland railway bridge, which had been a key objective for the Allies to hold in Operation Market Garden.

The two B-17’s of the John Oliver Buslee crew and the James Jospeh Brodie crew of the 384th Bomb Group of the 8th Air Force collided after coming off the target at Magdeburg, Germany. Four of the eighteen airmen aboard the two ships survived: George Edwin Farrar (my father), Harry Allen Liniger, Wilfred Frank Miller, and George Marshall Hawkins, Jr.

Sources:

This series of posts is based on a compilation of timelines from:

The Holocaust Encyclopedia

The History Place:

The National WWII Museum Interactive Timeline

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

World War II Chronicle by the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

Raoul Wallenberg

Hedgerow Warfare During the Battle of Normandy

Battle of the Hedgerows

Erwin Rommel

Volkssturm

Operation Market Garden

Nijmegen Railway Bridge

Most recent post from the series:

Spring 1944

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2020

WWII Timeline – Spring 1944

I’m continuing my WWII Timeline series with a look at April – June 1944 in this post.

A Timeline of WWII, Spring 1944

April 5, 1944

Siegfried Lederer, a Jewish inmate of Auschwitz-Birkenau, escaped to the Theresienstadt Ghetto in Terezin, Czechoslovakia where he warned the Elders of the Council about Auschwitz.

April 6, 1944

The Lyon (France) Gestapo, headed by Klaus Barbie, raided the Jewish children’s home at Izieu. The home was a refuge for children who had come to France to escape Nazi persecution. Fifty-one people were arrested during the raid and forty-four of them were children. They were all first sent to Drancy, and then were one of the last transports from France to Auschwitz. Only one survived.

April 7, 1944

Two days after Siegfried Lederer’s escape from Auschwitz-Birkenau, two more Jewish inmates, Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler, escaped and made it safely to Czechoslovakia. Vrba submitted a report to the Papal Nuncio in Slovakia which was forwarded to the Vatican, and received there in mid-June.

Paul Joseph Goebbels, German Nazi politician and Reich Minister of Propaganda, took overall control of Berlin.

April 8, 1944

Soviet troops began an offensive to liberate Crimea.

April 14, 1944

A total of 5,200 Greek Jews were moved in the first transports of Jews from Athens, Greece to Auschwitz.

April 17, 1944

The Japanese began their last offensive in China, attacking U.S. air bases in eastern China.

April 22, 1944

In the Japanese theater, the Allies invaded Aitape and Hollandia in New Guinea.

April 28, 1944

German E-boats (the western Allies name for the fast German attack craft or fast boat, Schnellboot) attacked Allied forces training for D-Day at Slapton Sands, in Southwest England, killing more than 600 US Army and Navy personnel (1/3 the number killed on D-Day on Utah Beach).

May 1944

Nazi SS Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler’s agents secretly proposed to trade Jews for trucks, other commodities, or money to the western Allies.

May 8, 1944

Rudolf Höss of the Nazi SS returned to Auschwitz to oversee the extermination of Hungarian Jews on the order of Heinrich Himmler.

May 9, 1944

Soviet troops recaptured Sevastopol.

May 11, 1944

The Allies attacked the Gustav Line south of Rome.

May 12, 1944

The Germans surrendered to the Soviets in the Crimea.

May 15, 1944

The Germans withdrew to the Adolf Hitler Line in central Italy.

The Nazis began the deportation of Jews from Hungary to Auschwitz. Eventually, 440,000 Hungarian Jews would be deported with two-thirds of those murdered in the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

May 16, 1944

Hungarian Jews arrived at Auschwitz. German-Austrian SS-Obersturmbannführer Adolf Eichmann, one of the major organizers of the Holocaust, arrived to personally oversee and hasten the extermination process. An estimated 100,000 Jews were gassed in the following eight days, by May 24. By the end of the month, May 31, the SS reported collecting 88 pounds of gold and white metal from the teeth of those gassed. By the end of June, half the Jews in Hungary (381,661 persons) had arrived at Auschwitz.

May 18, 1944

The Allies captured the town of Monte Cassino in the province of Frosinone, Italy after four months of battle and the cost of 20,000 lives.

May 19, 1944

Around fifty of the Stalag Luft III Allied POW underground tunnel escapees were executed. Almost all of those who escaped were recaptured, with about twenty returned to the camp to serve as a warning to other prisoners.

May 25, 1944

The Germans retreated from Anzio, on the coast of Italy, south of Rome.

May 26, 1944

Charles de Gaulle proclaimed his Free French movement to be the “Provisional Government of the French Republic.” The new government was recognized by Czechoslovakia, Poland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Yugoslavia, and Norway, but an infuriated Roosevelt and Churchill refused to recognize it and retaliated by excluding de Gaulle from the final planning for Operation Overlord (codename for the Battle of Normandy, which was launched on June 6, 1944 with the Normandy landings).

May 27, 1944

The Allies invaded Biak Island, New Guinea.

June 1944

The Nazis carefully prepared and “beautified” the Theresienstadt Ghetto (in Terezín located in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia) and its Jewish inmates for a Red Cross delegation visit which resulted in a favorable report.

June 4, 1944

Allied troops liberated Rome, the first Axis capital to be liberated.

June 5, 1944

The first B-29 Superfortress combat mission was flown as seventy-seven planes bombed the Japanese Makasan railway yards in Bangkok, Thailand.

June 6, 1944

D-Day (Operation Overlord), the long-awaited Allied (Allied Expeditionary Force of British, American, Canadian, Polish, and Free French troops) invasion of Normandy, on the northern coast of France, began before dawn with naval and aerial bombardments. The British 6th Airborne Division landed near Caen, and 12,000 U.S. 82nd and 101st Airborne Division troops were dropped on the Cotentin peninsula overnight June 5/6.

The first wave followed when five divisions (156,115 men) landed at the Normandy beaches code-named Sword, Juno, Gold, Omaha and Utah.

Naval support for D-Day included 1,213 warships (including seven battleships and 23 cruisers), 1,600 auxiliary ships, and 4,126 landing craft. The British and American Air Forces flew 14,674 sorties that day.

Opposition included five German infantry divisions with about 50,000 men, 100 tanks, and assault guns in bunkers and on the beaches.

The Americans on Omaha Beach suffered especially heavy casualties, but the surprised Germans were overwhelmed and most of the allied objectives were reached and secured by nightfall. The German Air Force (Luftwaffe) and Navy Kriegsmarine provided very little opposition.

June 7, 1944

British troops liberated Bayeux, five miles inland from the Normandy coast. All beachheads were reported established.

June 9, 1944

The Soviet offensive against the Finnish front began.

June 10, 1944

The Nazis massacred the town of Oradour-sur-Glane, population 652, in France. A Nazi SS Division (Das Reich) surrounded the village and ordered everyone to gather in the town square. The Nazi commandant accused them of hiding explosives and announced a search and check of identity papers.

The men were locked in barns and the women and children were locked in the church. The men were executed with machine guns. The Nazis then set fire to the entire village, including the barns and church, to cover up the massacre, burning the few male survivors in the barn, and the women and children in the church, alive. A total of 642 townspeople – 245 women, 207 children, and 190 men – were slaughtered. A few men in the barn and a few townspeople who were not in the town at the time of the massacre survived.

The village of Oradour-sur-Glane was never rebuilt, and still stands as a silent monument to Nazi atrocities.

June 12, 1944

Alfred Rosenberg, Reich Minister for the Eastern Occupied Territories, ordered the kidnapping of 40,000 Polish children aged ten to fourteen during the “Heuaktion” (Hay Action). They were first imprisoned in a camp in Poland and then transferred to Germany to be used as slave laborers in the Reich.

June 13, 1944

One week after the D-Day invasion of Normandy, the first German V-1 rocket (“buzz bomb”) raid on Great Britain was launched against London. The ‘V’ stood for the German word Vergeltungswaffen, meaning weapons of reprisal. The British nicknamed them “buzz bombs” due to the distinct buzzing sound made by the pulse-jet engines powering the bombs.

Wernher von Braun and Walter Dornberger directed the development of the V-1, which resembled a small aircraft, by German scientists at the Peenemünde research facility on the Baltic Sea.

After launch from a short-length catapult, the bomb then climbed to about 3,000 feet at speeds up to 350 miles per hour. As it approached its target, the buzzing of the V-1 could be heard on the ground. Then the engine would cut out and in a moment of silence, the bomb plunged toward the ground, ending with the explosion of the 1,870 pound warhead.

During this first V-1 bombing campaign, up to 100 V-1’s fell every hour on London. Over the next eighty days, more than 6,000 people were killed, over 17,000 injured, and a million buildings destroyed or damaged.

V-1 bombing raids occurred constantly at all times of day and night, and in all types of weather, terrorizing the populations of London and parts of Kent and Sussex.

According to German records, of the 8,564 V-1’s launched against England and the port of Antwerp, Belgium, about 57 percent hit their targets. Anti-aircraft guns, barrage balloons, and fighter planes intercepted the remainder.

Using mainly slave labor at the huge underground V-1 factory near Nordhausen, the Germans built over 29,000 V-1 bombs. In Operation Crossbow, nearly 2,000 Allied airmen were killed in bombing raids against V-1 launch sites and factories.

June 15, 1944

The U.S. Marines invaded Saipan in the Mariana Islands.

June 15/16, 1944

The first bombing raid on Japan since the Doolittle raid of April 1942 was carried out with forty-seven B-29’s based in Bengel, India, targeting the steel works at Yawata, Japan.

June 18 – 22, 1944

The “Auschwitz Report,” written by Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler, the two Slovak Jewish prisoners who escaped from Auschwitz on April 7, 1944, went public worldwide through media channels in Switzerland.

June 19 – 20, 1944

American aircraft carrier-based fighters shot down 220 Japanese planes in the Battle of the Philippine Sea, nicknamed the “Great Marianas Turkey Shoot” by American aviators. Only twenty American planes were lost.

June 22, 1944

The Soviets launched a massive offensive in eastern Byelorussia (Belarus). They destroyed the German Army Group Center and by August 1, drove westward to the Vistula River across from Warsaw in central Poland.

Operation Bagration (the Soviet summer offensive) began.

June 27, 1944

U.S. troops liberated Cherbourg, France.

Sources:

This series of posts is based on a compilation of timelines from:

The Holocaust Encyclopedia

The History Place:

The National WWII Museum Interactive Timeline

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

World War II Chronicle by the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

Escape from Auschwitz

German E-boat

Hitler Line

Theresienstadt Ghetto

Oradour-sur-Glane

Most recent post from the series:

Winter 1944

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2020

 

WWII Timeline – Winter 1944

I’m continuing my WWII Timeline series with a look at January – March 1944 in this post.

A Timeline of WWII, Winter 1944

January 6, 1944

Soviet troops reached the Polish border and advanced into Poland.

January 9, 1944

British and Indian troops recaptured Maungdaw in Burma.

January 17, 1944

The Allies launched their first attack against the Nazis at Cassino, Italy.

January 22, 1944

The U.S. Fifth Army successfully landed two divisions at Anzio in Italy, 30 miles south of Rome.

January 24, 1944

American president Franklin D. Roosevelt created the War Refugee Board to help Jews under Nazi control. His action was due to political pressure.

January 25, 1944

German politician and lawyer, Hans Frank, who served as Gauleiter (a regional party leader or Governor General) of Poland, recorded on this day in his diary,

At the present time we still have in the General Government perhaps 100,000 Jews.

Frank, who at one time was personal legal adviser to Adolf Hitler, was referencing the fate of the 2.5 million Jews originally under his jurisdiction. After the war, Frank was found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity and sentenced to death. He was executed on October 16, 1946.

January 27, 1944

The German siege of Leningrad ended after nearly 900 days, since July 8, 1941. Soviet soldiers broke through the German line of defense and recaptured hundreds of towns and villages in the region of Leningrad. Estimates of hundreds of thousands to more than one million civilians are thought to have starved to death in the city during that time.

January 31, 1944

American troops invaded Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands.

February 1944

Nazi SS leader Adolf Eichmann visited Auschwitz.

February 1-7, 1944

American troops captured Kwajalein and Majura Atolls in the Marshall Islands.

February 15, 1944

Due to an error in translation, the Allies bombed and destroyed the Benedictine monastery at Monte Cassino, Italy.

February 16, 1944

On orders of German Field Marshal Albert Kesselring, the Nazis carried out a counterattack against the Allied beachhead at Anzio, Italy.

February 17/18, 1944

American aircraft carrier-based planes destroyed the Japanese naval base at Truk in the Caroline Islands.

February 20, 1944

American aircraft carrier-based and land-based planes destroyed the Japanese base at Rabaul.

February 20-25, 1944

During “Big Week,” the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) and British Royal Air Force (RAF) Bomber Command carried out a joint bombing campaign in a sequence of raids against Nazi Germany. The 384th Bomb Group of the 8th AF participated daily in missions against,

  • Aircraft Industry in Leipzig, Germany
  • Junkers Aircraft Plant & Airfield, Aircraft Industry in Bernburg, Germany
  • Fighter Field & Aircraft Storage Depot, German Air Force (Luftwaffe) in Werl, Germany
  • Aircraft Factory, Aircraft Industry in Halberstadt, Germany
  • Aircraft Factory, Aircraft Industry in Aschersleben, Germany
  • Ball-Bearing Plant, Bearings Industry in Schweinfurt, Germany
  • Aircraft Assembly Plant, Aircraft Industry in Augsburg, Germany
  • Ball Bearing Plant, Bearings Industry in Stuttgart, Germany

February 23, 1944

American aircraft carrier-based planes attacked the Mariana Islands.

February 24, 1944

Merrill’s “Marauders” (U.S. 5307th Composite Unit, also known as Unit Galahad) began their ground campaign into northern Burma. The unit was named for US Army General Frank Merrill. 

March 4, 1944

The Allies bombed Berlin in the first major daylight bombing raid of WWII on Berlin. The mission was originally scheduled for the day before, March 3, but the 8th Air Force recalled it after entering enemy airspace, due to a fuel shortage caused by unexpected maneuvering necessitated by the weather.

Soviet troops began a major offensive along the Belorussian front.

Merrill’s “Marauders” fought their first major action in Burma.

March 5, 1944

British army officer General Orde Wingate’s groups began operations behind the Japanese lines in Burma.

March 15, 1944

The second Allied attempt to capture Monte Cassino, Italy began.

The Japanese began an offensive toward Imphal and Kohima in northeast India.

March 18, 1944

In an air raid, the British dropped 3000 tons of bombs on Hamburg, Germany.

March 19, 1944

Believing Hungary, with its Jewish population of 725,000, intended to leave the Axis, Adolf Eichmann arrived with his Gestapo “Special Section Commandos.” The Nazis occupied Hungary and forced Admiral Miklos Horthy, the regent, to appoint a pro-German minister president, General Dome Sztojay.

March 24, 1944

British army officer General Orde Wingate flew to assess the situations in three Chindit-held bases in Burma and on the return flight the USAAF B-25 Mitchell bomber on which he was flying crashed in India. He and nine others died.

Overnight March 24/25, seventy-six Allied airmen escaped German POW camp Stalag Luft III through an underground tunnel.

American President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued a statement condemning both German and Japanese ongoing “crimes against humanity.”

The United Nations are fighting to make a world in which tyranny and aggression cannot exist; a world based upon freedom, equality, and justice; a world in which all persons regardless of race, color, or creed may live in peace, honor, and dignity.

In the meantime in most of Europe and in parts of Asia the systematic torture and murder of civilians — men, women, and children — by the Nazis and the Japanese continue unabated. In areas subjugated by the aggressors, innocent Poles, Czechs, Norwegians, Dutch, Danes, French, Greeks, Russians, Chinese, Filipinos — and many others — are being starved or frozen to death or murdered in cold blood in a campaign of savagery.

The slaughters of Warsaw, Lidice, Kharkov, and Nanking — the brutal torture and murder by the Japanese, not only of civilians but of our own gallant American soldiers and fliers — these are startling examples of what goes on day by day, year in and year out, wherever the Nazis and the Japs are in military control — free to follow their barbaric purpose.

In one of the blackest crimes of all history — begun by the Nazis in the day of peace and multiplied by them a hundred times in time of war — the wholesale systematic murder of the Jews of Europe goes on unabated every hour. As a result of the events of the last few days hundreds of thousands of Jews, who while living under persecution have at least found a haven from death in Hungary and the Balkans, are now threatened with annihilation as Hitler’s forces descend more heavily upon these lands. That these innocent people, who have already survived a decade of Hitler’s fury, should perish on the very eve of triumph over the barbarism which their persecution symbolizes would be a major tragedy.

It is therefore fitting that we should again proclaim our determination that none who participate in these acts of savagery shall go unpunished. The United Nations have made it clear that they will pursue the guilty and deliver them up in order that justice be done. That warning applies not only to the leaders but also to their functionaries and subordinates in Germany and in the satellite countries. All who knowingly take part in the deportation of Jews to their death in Poland or Norwegians and French to their death in Germany are equally guilty with the executioner. All who share the guilt shall share the punishment.

Hitler is committing these crimes against humanity in the name of the German people. I ask every German and every man everywhere under Nazi domination to show the world by his action that in his heart he does not share these insane criminal desires. Let him hide these pursued victims, help them to get over their borders, and do what he can to save them from the Nazi hangman. I ask him also to keep watch, and to record the evidence that will one day be used to convict the guilty.

In the meantime, and until the victory that is now assured is won, the United States will persevere in its efforts to rescue the victims of brutality of the Nazis and the Japs. Insofar as the necessity of military operations permit, this government will use all means at its command to aid the escape of all intended victims of the Nazi and Jap executioner — regardless of race or religion or color. We call upon the free peoples of Europe and Asia temporarily to open their frontiers to all victims of oppression. We shall find havens of refuge for them, and we shall find the means for their maintenance and support until the tyrant is driven from their homelands and they may return.

In the name of justice and humanity let all freedom-loving people rally to this righteous undertaking.

~Franklin D. Roosevelt – March 24, 1944

Sources:

This series of posts is based on a compilation of timelines from:

The Holocaust Encyclopedia

The History Place:

The National WWII Museum Interactive Timeline

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

World War II Chronicle by the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

Hans Frank

The 900-day Siege of Leningrad

The Bombing of Monte Cassino

8th AF Mission of March 3, 1944

384th Bomb Group Mission List, 1944

Stalag Luft III

Most recent post from the series:

Fall 1943

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2020

WWII Timeline – Fall 1943

I’m continuing my WWII Timeline series with a look at October – December 1943 in this post.

A Timeline of WWII, Fall 1943

October 1943

The Danish Underground movement transported over 7,200 Danish Jews to safety in Sweden by sea.

October 1, 1943

The Allies entered Naples, Italy.

October 4, 1943

Heinrich Himmler, who was appointed chief of the German Police (SS) in 1936, delivered a speech about the “Final Solution” to SS Group leaders at Posen, saying in part,

…It is one of those things which is easy to say. ‘The Jewish race is to be exterminated,’ says every party member. ‘That’s clear, it’s part of our program, elimination of the Jews, extermination, right, we’ll do it.’ And then they all come along, the eighty million good Germans, and each one has his decent Jew. Of course the others are swine, but this one is a first-class Jew. Of all those who talk like this, not one has watched, not one has stood up to it. Most of you know what it means to see a hundred corpses lying together, five hundred, or a thousand. To have gone through this and yet – apart from a few exceptions, examples of human weakness – to have remained decent fellows, this is what has made us hard.

We have taken from them what wealth they had. I have issued a strict order, which SS-Obergruppenführer Pohl has carried out, that this wealth should, as a matter of course, be handed over to the Reich without reserve.

We had the moral right, we had the duty to our people, to destroy this people which wanted to destroy us. Altogether, however, we can say that we have fulfilled this most difficult duty for the love of our people. And our spirit, our soul, our character has not suffered injury from it.

October 7, 1943

The Japanese executed approximately one hundred American POW’s on Wake Island.

October 13, 1943

Italy declared war on Germany.

October 14, 1943

Jews and Soviet POW’s broke out of the Sobibor extermination camp. At the time, three hundred made it into the woods, but only fifty of those would survive. Afterwards, exterminations at Sobibor ceased, but over 250,000 had already been murdered. All traces of the camp were removed and trees were planted.

The second American air raid on Schweinfurt was carried out at the culmination of seven days of intense Allied bombing. More than 3,000 Airmen took part in 8th AF Mission 115/384th Bomb Group Mission 32. The mission, also known as Black Thursday, was to destroy Schweinfurt’s ball bearings factory.

According to the Mission Comments on 384thBombGroup.com,

The 384th Bombardment Group (H) put up three squadrons on today’s mission. However, six aircraft aborted, reducing the number that bombed the primary target. A further six aircraft were knocked out by enemy action. An all-too-familiar situation faced the returning crews – bad weather over East Anglia. Three Aircraft were lost when the crews, unable to locate a suitable place to land in England, bailed out and abandoned them, while most of the remainder landed at other airfields.

October 16, 1943

Jews were rounded up in Rome, Italy, with over one thousand sent to Auschwitz.

October 25, 1943

The Japanese opened the Burma-Siam railway, also known as the Death Railway. It was 258 miles (415 km) long and ran between Ban Pong, Thailand and Thanbyuzayat, Burma. It was built to support the Japanese Empire forces in the Burma Campaign of WWII. The railroad was built with Southeast Asian civilian laborers and about 61,000 forced Allied POW laborers. It was called the Death Railway because about 90,000 civilian and 12,000 Allied prisoner laborers died during the construction.

October 26, 1943

Japanese Emperor Hirohito stated that the United States was “rising from its defeat” at the beginning of the war and that Japan’s military situation was now “truly grave.”

November 1943

The Riga, Latvia Ghetto was liquidated.

The U.S. Congress held hearings regarding the U.S. State Department’s inaction regarding European Jews despite the many reports of mass extermination.

November 1, 1943

U.S. Marines invaded Bougainville in the Solomon Islands.

November 1-2, 1943

A naval battle (which was a result of Allied landings on Bougainville), called the Battle of Empress Augusta Bay, also known as Operation Cherry Blossom, was fought near the island of Bougainville in Empress Augusta Bay in the Soloman Islands.

November 3-4, 1943

The Nazis (the SS, the Order Police battalions, and the Ukrainian Sonderdienst) murdered 42,000 to 43,000 Jews at the Majdanek, Poniatowa and Trawniki concentration camps in occupied Poland during Operation Harvest Festival.

November 4, 1943

The Nazi newspaper, Der Stürmer, published by Julius Streicher, reported,

It is actually true that the Jews have, so to speak, disappeared from Europe and that the Jewish ‘Reservoir of the East’ from which the Jewish pestilence has for centuries beset the peoples of Europe has ceased to exist. But the Führer of the German people at the beginning of the war prophesied what has now come to pass.

The U.S. began to manufacture plutonium at a reactor facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

November 6, 1943

Soviet troops recaptured Kiev in the Ukraine.

November 11, 1943

Auschwitz Kommandant Rudolf Höss was promoted to chief inspector of concentration camps. The new Kommandant, Arthur Liebehenschel, divided up the Auschwitz complex of over 30 sub-camps into three main sections.

November 15, 1943

Nazi SS Chief Heinrich Himmler ordered all Roma people (often referred to as Gypsies) in Germany to be deported to concentration or death camps.

November 18/19, 1943

The first British Bomber Command air raid in the Battle of Berlin was carried out overnight. The RAF attacked Berlin with 440 Avro Lancaster heavy bombers and four de Havilland Mosquitos. Due to heavy cloud cover the damage was not severe.

November 20, 1943

U.S. troops invaded Makin and Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands.

November 22 – 26, 1943

American President Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Churchill, and Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek met in Eqypt for the Cairo Conference to discuss strategy for the Burma front. They outlined the Allied position against Japan and announced that all areas seized by Japan since 1894 would be returned to the former owners.

November 23, 1943

Japanese resistance ended on Makin and Tarawa.

November 28 – December 1, 1943

The Big Three – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet Union leader Josef Stalin – met at the Tehran Conference in Tehran, Iran.  Topics during the four-day conference included:

  • Confirmation of the decision for the U.S. and Britain to invade Western Europe (a “Second Front”) in the Spring of 1944
  • Plans for the invasion of Southern France
  • A promise by Stalin to join in the war against Japan when Germany was defeated

December 2, 1943

The first transport of Jews from Vienna arrived at Auschwitz.

December 12, 1943

Adolf Hitler sent Nazi General Erwin Rommel (the “Desert Fox”) to mobilize forces along the French coast at Normandy to defend against the anticipated Allied invasion.

December 15, 1943

American troops landed on the Arawe Peninsula of New Britain in the Solomon Islands.

December 16, 1943

The chief surgeon at Auschwitz reported the completion of 106 castration operations.

December 17, 1943

President Roosevelt signed the Magnuson Act in gratitude for Chinese assistance in the Pacific Theater. The Magnuson Act repealed the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act and allowed for limited Chinese immigration to the United States.

December 24, 1943

Allied commanders of the “Second Front” were announced: American General Dwight D. Eisenhower as Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force and British General Sir Bernard Montgomery as the Commander-in-Chief of the 21st Army Group.

December 24-26, 1943

The Soviets launched offensives on the Ukrainian front.

December 26, 1943

1st Division Marines invaded Cape Gloucester in a full Allied assault on New Britain in the Solomon Islands.

Sources:

This series of posts is based on a compilation of timelines from:

The Holocaust Encyclopedia

The History Place:

The National WWII Museum Interactive Timeline

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

World War II Chronicle by the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

Heinrich Himmler’s Speech at Posen

384th Bomb Group: Second Schweinfurt Raid/Black Thursday

Wikipedia: Magnuson Act

Most recent post from the series:

Summer 1943

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2020

WWII Timeline – Summer 1943

I’m continuing my WWII Timeline series with a look at July – September 1943 in this post.

A Timeline of WWII, Summer 1943

July 5, 1943

The Germans launched a massive tank offensive called “Operation Citadel” near Kursk in the Soviet Union. It was the largest tank battle in history. The operation ended with a Soviet victory.

A U.S. B-17 bomber crew accidentally bombed Boise City, Oklahoma when the pilots performing target practice mistook the lights on the town square for their training target. Only practice bombs were used and the square was empty at the time (12:30 a.m). There were no fatalities.

July 8, 1943

B-24 Liberators flying from Midway Island bombed the Japanese on Wake Island.

July 9/10, 1943

The Allied invasion called “Operation Husky” began when US and British troops landed on the Italian island of Sicily.

July 19, 1943

The Allies bombed Rome.

July 22, 1943

The Americans, led by General George S. Patton and the U.S. 7th Army captured Palermo, Sicily.

July 24, 1943

The British carried out a bombing raid on Hamburg.

July 25, 1943 

Italian Marshal Pietro Badoglio formed a new government in Italy after the Fascist regime in Italy ended upon the deposition and arrest of Benito Mussolini.

July 27/28, 1943

An Allied air raid caused a firestorm in Hamburg.

August 1943

Exterminations ceased at the Treblinka extermination camp after an estimated 870,000 deaths.

August 1-2, 1944

A group of fifteen American PT boats attempted to block Japanese convoys south of Kolombangra Island in the Solomon Islands. PT-109, which was commanded by future American President, then Lieutenant, John F. Kennedy, was rammed and sunk by the Japanese Cruiser AMAGIRI, resulting in two killed and others badly injured. The remaining crew survived, including one badly injured man who Kennedy aided by towing him to a nearby atoll.

August 2, 1943

During an uprising at the Treblinka extermination camp, Jewish prisoners destroyed the camp’s gas chambers and two hundred Jews escaped. The Nazis hunted down the escapees one by one.

August 6, 1943

The Battle of Vella Lavella, an island in the Solomon Islands, between the Japanese and Allied forces from New Zealand and the United States began.

August 12-17, 1943

The Allies gained control of Sicily as the Germans evacuated.

August 16, 1943

The Bialystok, Poland Ghetto was liquidated. Remaining inhabitants were sent to the death camps at Majdanek and Treblinka.

August 17, 1943

In “Operation Husky,” the Allies reached Messina, Sicily.

The Americans held daylight air raids on Regensburg and Schweinfurt in Germany, known to the 8th Air Force as the “First Schweinfurt” mission. According to the Mission Comments on 384thBombGroup.com,

The 384th Bombardment Group (H) flew as the low group of the 202nd Provisional Combat Bomb Wing on today’s mission. The mission was planned as a ‘Double Strike’ against Schweinfurt-Regensburg industrial plants. [Note: contrary to the implication in naming the raid, Schweinfurt and Regensburg are not neighboring cities; they are, in fact, over 100 miles apart.] The first air strike task force was supplied by the 4th Bomb Wing, which took off late due to heavy fog: they could still reach Africa by dark, but just barely. The second task force – the 1st Bomb Wing, including the 384th BG – was scheduled to take off 90-minutes after the 4th BW, to ensure the enemy fighters had exhausted their fuel and would be limited in their ability to mount a defense. In the event, the 1st BW was repeatedly delayed, also by weather, for almost four hours, allowing the enemy pilots ample time to refuel, rearm (and have a meal, if they wished!). As a consequence, losses were heavy. Both forces, however, inflicted enormous damage on their assigned targets, but the cost was immense.

August 19, 1943

Klaus Fuchs, a Soviet spy, joined the Manhattan Project.

August 23, 1943

Soviet troops recaptured Kharkov.

August 25, 1943

The Allies completed the occupation of New Georgia.

August 28, 1943

Japanese resistance on New Guinea ended.

September 1943

The Vilna and Minsk Ghettos were liquidated.

September 4, 1943

The Allies recaptured Lae-Salamaua, New Guinea.

September 8, 1943 

German forces rushed to Italy as Italy’s Badoglio government unconditionally surrendered to the Allies.

September 9, 1943

The Allies landed on the beaches of Salerno, Italy near Naples, and at Taranto, Italy.

September 11, 1943

The Germans seized control of and occupied Rome, and central and northern Italy, which contained about 35,000 Jews.

Jewish family transports from Theresienstadt (a concentration camp/ghetto established by the SS in the fortress town of Terezín, located in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia) to Auschwitz began.

September 12, 1943

German paratroopers/commandos freed Benito Mussolini from imprisonment.

September 13, 1943

The Chinese Parliament elected General Chiang Kai-shek president of the Chinese Republic.

September 20, 1943

From September 20 into October 1943, approximately 7,200 Danish Jews escaped to Sweden with the help of the Danish resistance movement.

September 23, 1943

The Germans established a puppet Fascist regime under Mussolini in Italy.

Sources:

This series of posts is based on a compilation of timelines from:

The Holocaust Encyclopedia

The History Place:

The National WWII Museum Interactive Timeline

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

World War II Chronicle by the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

384th Bomb Group: First Schweinfurt Raid

Most recent post from the series:

Spring 1943

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2020

WWII Timeline – Spring 1943

I’m continuing my WWII Timeline series with a look at April – June 1943 in this post.

A Timeline of WWII, Spring 1943

April 4, 1943

A newly built gas chamber and Crematoria V became operational at Auschwitz.

April 6/7, 1943

Axis forces in Tunisia began withdrawing toward Enfidaville, in northeastern Tunisia, from American and British forces.

April 9, 1943

Exterminations at the Chelmno termination camp temporarily ceased, although it would be reactivated in the spring of 1944.

April 18, 1943

Japanese Fleet Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto was shot down and killed by American P-38’s over the Solomon Islands after U.S. code breakers were able to locate him flying in a Japanese bomber near Bougainville. (Yamamoto planned and executed the attack on Pearl Harbor).

April 19-30

Representatives from the United States and Britain met in Hamilton, Bermuda for the Bermuda Conference. They discussed Jewish refugees from Nazi-occupied countries, but declined any assistance to those liberated by the Allies or those who still remained under Nazi control.

April 19, 1943

In the spring of 1943, Heinrich Himmler, Reichsführer of the Schutzstaffel (SS), ordered the SS to conduct a “special action” against the Jews remaining in the Warsaw Ghetto to clear it out.

On April 19, the Waffen SS (the military rather than the domestic branch of the SS) launched a major attack against the Jewish resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto. It was a Monday and was the eve of Passover. Twelve hundred Jews armed with pistols, rifles, a few machine guns, grenades, and Molotov cocktails (which had been smuggled into the ghetto) were attacked by over two thousand of SS General Jürgen Stroop’s Waffen SS soldiers, heavily armed with tanks, artillery, and flame throwers.

The first attack left twelve Nazis dead and the Jewish fighters escaped capture by retreating through hidden passageways, cellars, and sewers. By the fifth day, SS General Stroop, on the orders of Himmler, decided to burn the entire ghetto. The Jews in Warsaw managed to resist for a total of twenty-eight days.

April 21, 1943

American President Franklin Roosevelt announced that the Japanese had executed several airmen from the Doolittle Raid (aka the Tokyo Raid, the air raid of April 18, 1942 by the United States on the Japanese capital of Tokyo, led by Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle).

April 22, 1943

Japan announced that captured Allied pilots will be given “one way tickets to hell.”

April 30, 1943

The British launched Operation Mincemeat. In the operation, a corpse was dressed as a British military officer carrying fake war plans and released off the coast of Spain. He was given the identity of Major William Martin of Britain’s Royal Marines. The fake plans indicated that the Allies would attack Greece and Sardinia rather than Sicily as expected. The ruse successfully diverted Axis defenses.

May 1943

SS doctor Josef Mengele, who would perform deadly experiments on prisoners, arrived at Auschwitz Concentration Camp.

May 1, 1943

In May of 1943, known as “Black May,” the Allies sank thirty-eight German U-boats. It was considered a turning point in the Battle of the Atlantic.

May 7, 1943

The Allies took Tunisia.

May 10, 1943

U.S. Troops invaded the Japanese-held island of Attu in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands.

May 13, 1943

German and Italian troops of the Axis powers surrendered to the Allies in Tunisia, bringing an end to the North African campaign.

May 14, 1943

A Japanese submarine sank Australian hospital ship Centaur off the coast of Queensland, Australia. Of the 332 medical personnel and civilian crew aboard, 268 died (299 in another report), including 63 of the 65 army personnel aboard.

May 16, 1943

Jewish resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto ended. SS General Jürgen Stroop reported,

The former Jewish quarter of Warsaw is no longer in existence. The large scale action was terminated at 2015 hours by blowing up the Warsaw synagogue…Total number of Jews dealt with: 56,065, including both Jews caught and Jews whose extermination can be proved.

Polish sources estimated that in the uprising, three hundred Germans were killed and one thousand were wounded.

May 16/17, 1943

The British carried out an air raid on the Ruhr.

May 19, 1943

The Nazis declared Berlin to be Judenfrei (cleansed of Jews).

May 22, 1943

Supreme Command of the German Navy, Admiral Karl Dönitz, suspended U-boat operations in the North Atlantic.

May 31, 1943

The Japanese ended their occupation of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands when the U.S. completed the capture of Attu.

June 1, 1943

The United States began submarine warfare against Japanese shipping.

June 3, 1943

Actor Leslie Howard, who played Ashley Wilkes in the movie Gone with the Wind, was aboard a plane shot down by the German Luftwaffe over the Bay of Biscay and killed along with sixteen others aboard. The Times (British daily national newspaper based in London) reported the news of Howard’s death and the death of Major William Martin (the fake name given to the corpse in Operation Mincement) in the same issue.

June 10, 1943

Operation Pointblank (or the Pointblank Directive) was issued regarding Allied bombing strategy. It ordered the Eighth Air Force (of which my dad would become a member in the 384th Bomb Group) to destroy the German aviation industry and gain air superiority over the continent of Europe.

June 11, 1943

SS Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler ordered the liquidation, or destruction, of all Jewish ghettos in occupied Poland.

June 21, 1943

The Allies advanced to New Georgia in the Solomon Islands.

June 25, 1943

A newly built gas chamber and Crematory III became operational at Auschwitz. With its completion, the four new crematories at Auschwitz had a daily capacity of 4,756 bodies.

June 30, 1943

The U.S. launched Operation Cartwheel, a combined operation by Supreme Allied Commander in the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) General Douglas MacArthur, and United States Navy Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr., then in command of the South Pacific Area, to neutralize the Japanese base on Rabaul.

Sources:

This series of posts is based on a compilation of timelines from:

The Holocaust Encyclopedia

The History Place:

The National WWII Museum Interactive Timeline

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

World War II Chronicle by the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

Auschwitz Concentration Camp: The Gas Chambers and Crematoria

The Warsaw Ghetto

Operation Mincemeat

Most recent post from the series:

Winter 1943

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2020

WWII Timeline – Winter 1943

I’m continuing my WWII Timeline series with a look at January – March 1943 in this post.

A Timeline of WWII, Winter 1943

1943

The Nazi SS Einsatzgruppen passed the one million mark in number of Jews murdered. Slave laborers were used to dig up the buried bodies and burn them to remove all traces of the crime.

January 2, 1943

The Allies took Buna in New Guinea in the War in the Pacific. 

January 2/3, 1943

The Germans began to withdraw from the Caucasus (also known as Caucasia), an area located between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, and mainly occupied by Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Russia.

January 10, 1943

The Soviets began an offensive against the Germans in Stalingrad, Russia.

January 14-24, 1943

Both US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill attended the Casablanca Conference at the Anfa Hotel in Casablanca, Morocco to plan the Allies’ European strategy for the next phase of World War II.

Roosevelt announced the war could only end with  the unconditional surrender of Germany, Italy, and Japan, which Churchill endorsed.

Generals Charles de Gaulle and Henri Giraud also attended, representing the Free French forces, but Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin declined due to the ongoing Battle of Stalingrad.

January 18, 1943

Jews in the Warsaw (Poland) Ghetto began their first resistance in an uprising after realizing that “resettlement” was a German ruse to lead them to their deaths.

January 22, 1943

The Allies defeated the Japanese at Sanananda on New Guinea.

January 23, 1943

General Bernard Montgomery’s British Eighth Army took Tripoli in North Africa.

January 27, 1943

The US Eighth Army Air Force conducted its first bombing raid from bases in England against Germany. The target was the port of Wilhelmshaven.

January 29, 1943

The Nazis ordered the arrest of all Gypsies and sent them to extermination camps.

January 30, 1943

Senior Nazi official Ernst Kaltenbrunner succeeded Reinhard Heydrich, who had been assassinated in June 1942, as head of the RSHA (Reichssicherheitshauptamt, the Reich Main Security Office).

February 1943

The Romanian government proposed the transfer of 70,000 Jews to Palestine to the Allies, but Britain and the US did not respond.

Greek Jews were ordered into ghettos.

February 1, 1943

Japan began the evacuation of Guadalcanal.

February 2, 1943

After the capture of German commanding officer Field Marshall Friedrich Paulus on January 31, the remainder of his 6th Army surrendered to the Soviets in Stalingrad. It was the first big defeat of Hitler’s armies.

February 8, 1943

In Burma, also known as Myanmar, in Southeast Asia, British-Indian forces began guerrilla operations against the Japanese.

February 9, 1943

The Japanese resistance on Guadalcanal ended.

February 14-25, 1943

The Battle of Kasserine Pass, between US 1st Armored Division and German Panzers, took place in Tunisia, North Africa. Kasserine Pass is a two-mile-wide gap in the Grand Dorsal chain of the Atlas Mountains.

February 16, 1943

The Soviets recaptured Kharkov.

February 18, 1943

The Nazis arrested the White Rose resistance leaders in Munich. The White Rose group was a non-violent, intellectual group of students who attended the University of Munich.

In Oak Ridge, Tennessee, construction began on a uranium enrichment facility.

A prototype of Boeing’s B-29 Superfortress bomber that took off from Boeing Field in Seattle crashed into the Frye Packing Plant. The crew of eleven and nineteen of the meat-processing factory workers perished. Although the event could not be concealed, the identity of the aircraft (which was the type to later drop the first atomic bombs on Japan, the Enola Gay) remained classified until the end of World War II.

February 22, 1943

White Rose anti-Nazi resistance leaders Christoph Probst and Hans and Sophie Scholl were tried and sentenced to death by guillotine. Their sentences were carried out that day at Stadelheim Prison in Munich.

February 251943

Twenty-four hour or “round-the-clock” bombing schedule started with USAAF planes bombing Germany in the daytime while the RAF bombed at night.

February 27, 1943

Jews working in the Berlin armaments industry were sent to Auschwitz.

March 1943

The deportation of Greek Jews to Auschwitz began and lasted until August, totaling 49,900 persons.

March 1, 1943

American Jews held a rally at Madison Square Garden in New York City with hopes of pressuring the U.S. government to help the Jews of Europe.

The U.S. began processed food rationing.

March 2, 1943

German forces began their withdrawal from Tunisia, Africa.

March 2-4, 1943

Aircraft of the US Fifth Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force attacked a Japanese convoy moving troops to Lae, New Guinea, defeating the Japanese in the Battle of the Bismarck Sea in the southwest Pacific.

March 13, 1943

An attempt on Adolf Hitler’s life failed when a bomb made of plastic explosives failed.

March 14, 1943

Between June 1942 and March 1943, the Jewish Krakow Ghetto was liquidated with inhabitants either killed in the streets, sent to the Płaszów slave-labor camp, Auschwitz concentration camp, or Belzec extermination camp.

March 15, 1943

German forces re-captured Kharkov, the second largest city in the Ukraine (also known as Kharkiv), from the Soviets.

March 16-20, 1943

At the climax of the Battle of the Atlantic, twenty-seven merchant ships were sunk by German U-boats, Unterseeboot (undersea boat/German submarines) in one week.

March 21, 1943

Another attempt on Adolf Hitler’s life, this time by suicide bomber, failed when Hitler left the area before the bomb could be detonated.

March 17, 1943

Bulgaria openly opposed deportation of its Jews.

March 20-28, 1943

General Bernard Montgomery’s British Eighth Army broke through the Mareth Line in Tunisia, Africa.

March 22, 1943

Gas chamber and Crematoria IV became operational at Auschwitz.

March 31, 1943

Gas chamber and Crematoria II became operational at Auschwitz.

Sources:

This series of posts is based on a compilation of timelines from:

The Holocaust Encyclopedia

The History Place:

The National WWII Museum Interactive Timeline

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

World War II Chronicle by the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

Wikipedia:  Krakow Ghetto

Auschwitz Concentration Camp: The Gas Chambers and Crematoria

B-29 Prototype Crash

Plots to Kill Hitler

Most recent post from the series:

Fall 1942

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2020