Category Archives: African Theater

WWII History – April 22

WWII Events Today, April 22

Apr 22, 1941 - Emmanuel Tsouderos was named premier of Greece.

Apr 22, 1941 - Two thousand US Army reinforcements were sent to the Philippines.

Apr 22, 1942 – Apr 23, 1942 - 14 German U-boats were refueled and resupplied 500 miles from Bermuda, giving the Germans a total of 18 submarines to operate almost unmolested from Nova Scotia to Florida.

Apr 22, 1942 – 15 French hostages were executed by the Germans in Paris.

Apr 22, 1942 - A Joint US-New Zealand Naval Command was established.

USS Lexington CV-2 October 1941Apr 22, 1942 – Lexington joins Yorktown at Tongutabu to prepare for expected battle.

Apr 22, 1942 - Washington announced that US forces had arrived in India.

Apr 22, 1942 - Yenangyaung in Burma was evacuated by British forces.

Apr 22, 1943 - Allied forces in Tunisia began the final phase of the North African campaign. The main thrust was directed at the capture of Tunis and Bizerte.

Apr 22, 1944 - Fighting ended on New Britain.

Apr 22, 1944 - Russia concluded peace talks with Finland.

Apr 22, 1944 - US Army amphibious forces landed near Hollandia, New Guinea.

Apr 22, 1944 - Yugoslav Partisans occupied the German-held island of Korcula in the Adriatic.

Apr 22, 1945 - Hitler refused to leave Berlin although its encirclement was imminent. Units of the First White Russian Front continued to advance in the eastern suburbs.

Apr 22, 1945 –  Indian troops of the Fourteenth Army recaptured the Yenangyaung oil fields, the largest in Burma. Most Japanese forces were ordered to withdraw from Rangoon and move back to Pegu and Moulmein.

Apr 22, 1945 - Mindanao’s Japanese force was split in two as the US X Corps landed as a blocking force.

Apr 22, 1945 - Palawan is declared secure.

Apr 22, 1945 - The French First Army reached Lake Constance. US Seventh Army forces swept to the Danube. Field Marshal Alexander said German units in Northern Italy had “no hope of escaping.” Allied planes hammered at the Alpine escape passes.

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WWII History for Oct 26

World War II History for October 26

Audio Clip: Winston Churchill Speech October 29, 1941 – These Are Great Days

Oct 26, 1941 – The Australians were relieved at Tobruk by the British 70th Division, the Polish Carpathian Brigade and British tank elements.

Oct 26, 1942 – USS Enterprise was hit twice during the Battle of Santa Cruz. She suffered 44 killed and 75 wounded, but also planted several bombs on Shokaku, taking her out of the war for 9 months for repairs. (Image Gallery – Battle of Santa Cruz)

USS Enterprise - Battle of Santa Cruz - 26 October 1942 - Painting

Oct 26, 1942 – The US carrier USS Hornet and destroyer USS Porter were sunk in the Battle of Santa Cruz. It was the last time carrier based aircraft were used by the Japanese in the Guadalcanal campaign.

Oct 26, 1944 – The Battle of Leyte Gulf comes to an end with a decisive American victory as U.S. carrier aircraft and B-24s pound the retiring Japanese squadrons.

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World War II History for April 14

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World War II History for April 14

Audio Clip: CBS Reports on FDR’s Death Apr 13, 1945

Apr 14, 1931 – Spanish Republic proclaimed; recognized by US and western nations. (More…)

Apr 14, 1940 – 350 British Royal Marines landed at Namsos, Norway to prepare for the arrival of the 146th Territorial Brigade. These Marines were the first British forces to land in Norway. (More…)

Apr 14, 1941 – German troops reached the Aliakmon River in Greece. (More…)

Apr 14, 1941 – Tobruk’s defenders beat back a determined assault by the German 5th Light Div on the encircled city. (More…)

Apr 14, 1941 – Yugoslavia sues for peace, seeking to negotiate a surrender with Germany. (More…)

Apr 14, 1942 – Adm Nimitz assigned to South Pacific. Sends Yorktown (CV-5, RAdm Fletcher) to Tongatabu, south of Samoa, to replenish for anticipated defense of New Guinea and Solomon Islands at the end of the month. (More…)

Apr 14, 1942 – Destroyer USS Roper sinks U-85, the 1st submarine kill by a US ship. (More…)

Apr 14, 1942 – Marshal Petain became Vichy French chief of state, and Pierre Laval became chief of government. Laval thus assumed actual direction of the Vichy administration, and the aging Petain remained to perform an essentially ceremonial function. (More…)

Apr 14, 1942 – British forces began destroying the Yenangyaung oil fields in Burma as the Japanese pressed their drive northward. (More…)

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World War II History for March 17

Today in WWII History

World War II History for March 17

*St. Patricks Day*

Audio Clip: CBS World News Today (03.14.1943)

17 Mar 1940 - Dr. Fritz Todt was appointed Germany’s Minister for Weapons and Munitions.

17 Mar 1941 – The US Senate begins debating the Lend-Lease bill.

17 Mar 1942 – United States assumes strategic defense of the Pacific Ocean.

17 Mar 1942 – MacArthur arrives Australia by B-17 during Japanese attack and became the Supreme Commander of the United Nations forces in the Southwestern Pacific.

17 Mar 1943 – British forces capture Medenine in Tunisia, but US and British forces in other North African fronts begin falling back in the face of heavy German armor attacks. The Mark IV tanks prove effective for the Germans since their introduction.

17 Mar 1944 – US forces bomb Vienna.

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World War II History for February 19

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World War II History for February 19

Audio Clip: 02.18.1943 Soong Mei-Ling Appeals to Congress to Aid Chinese Nationalists

02.19.1932 – The Sino-Japanese dispute was referred to the Assembly by the League of Nations Council.

02.19.1937 – An attempt was made in Addis Ababa to assassinate the Italian viceroy of Ethiopia, General Rodolfo Graziani. Though he was only wounded, the Italians launched large scale reprisals vowing to keep the Ethiopians in line.

02.19.1938 – The British Cabinet rejects Foreign Secretary Eden’s proposal to have Italian troops withdraw from Spain. Their hope was misplaced, believing that Italy would check any further advances by Germany (they had already occupied Austria).

02.19.1938 – Nazis were permitted to join the ruling party of Austria, the Fatherland Front.

02.19.1939 – A trade agreement was signed between the Soviet Union and Poland in an attempt to strengthen Poland as a buffer against Germany.

02.19.1940 – Ambassador Hull extends the US moral embargo to the Soviet Union.

02.19.1941 – The 8th Australian Division lands in Singapore.

02.19.1942 – Executive Order 9066 is signed by President Roosevelt, authorizing the transfer of more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans living in coastal Pacific areas to concentration camps in various inland states (and including inland areas of California). The interned Japanese-Americans lose an estimated 400 million dollars in property, as their homes and possessions are taken from them.

02.19.1942 – Japanese air raids on Darwin, Australia. Considered the “Pearl Harbor of Australia”, they largest attacks ever mounted by a foreign power against Australia. The raids were the first of almost 100 air raids against Australia during 1942-43.

02.19.1942 – Battle of Badoeng Strait begins; ABDA force attacks retiring Japanese Bali occupation force with 1 Dutch DD sunk, 2 CL and 1 DD damaged.

02.19.1942 – Mandalay came under aerial attack for the first time. Defending forces are ordered back from the Bilin River.

02.19.1942 – Japanese troops landed on the Portuguese island of Timor in the East Indies. Tokyo says the action is taken in self-defense and that its forces would withdraw when the area was secure. The neutral Portuguese accept the occupation.

02.19.1942 – Canada’s Parliament vote to begin military conscription.

02.19.1942 – The Supreme Court of Vichy France begin trials in Riom to establish responsibility for the defeat in 1940.

02.19.1943 – Allied defenses in Tunisia are restructured in the face of a deteriorating position. The Axis forces begin frontal assaults on American positions in the Kasserine Pass.

02.19.1943 – German Army Group South opens a counteroffensive toward Kharkov and Belgorod.

02.19.1944 – US forces land on Engebi Island, Eniwetok Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

02.19.1945 – Units of the US 8th Div begin encircling German troops trapped within the Siegfried Line.

02.19.1945 – Himmler makes his first peace overtures to Swedish Count Folke Bernadotte of the Red Cross.

02.19.1945 US troops land on Samar and Capul Islands in the Philippines.

02.19.1945 (0905 hrs) – The first of 30,000 US Marines land on Iwo Jima. /via World War II Database

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World War II History for October 22

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World War II History for October 22

22 Oct 1942 – The Allies met to discuss Operation Torch. Operation Torch was to be the first Allied amphibious landing of World War II (North Africa), mainly as an induction of US ground forces against the Germans. Operation Torch takes place 8 Nov 1942.

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World War II History for August 3

Audio Clip: 1945-07-29 Truman Speaks Of Japanese Rejection Of US Ultimatum. This was to be the herald of the upcoming atomic attacks on the Japanese homeland and Japan’s last opportunity for surrender.

Today in WWII History

World War II History for August 3

1940 - Italy began its occupation of British Somaliland in East Africa.

Italy begins its offensive against the British colony of Somaliland, in East Africa, territory contiguous with Italian Somaliland.

Italy had occupied parts of East Africa since 1936 and by 1940, when it officially entered the war, had troops far outnumbering British forces in the region. Despite their numerical superiority, the Italians had been slow to make offensive moves for fear that the British blockade in North Africa would make it impossible to get much-needed supplies, such as fuel and weapons, to sustain long engagements. But if Italy was to make greater territorial gains, it had to act, while British numbers were still relatively small.

After several forays a few miles into Sudan and Kenya, the Italians were ready for a bigger push: British Somaliland. The rationale was that it was actually a defensive move. Afraid that the British could enter Italian-occupied Ethiopia through French Somaliland, the Duke of Aosta (who was also Viceroy of Ethiopia and supreme Italian military commander of the region) ordered an invasion of British Somaliland. The British defenders at the garrison put up a fierce struggle; although they had to eventually withdraw, they inflicted 2,000 casualties on the Italian forces, while suffering only 250 of their own.

Italy would not enter the Somaliland capital, Berbera, until August 19, while Britain built up its African forces in Kenya. The war for East Africa was not over.

1941 - Catholic Bishop Clemems von Galen delivered a sermon in Münster Cathedral in which he attacked the Nazi euthanasia program calling it “plain murder.”

1943 - Gen. George S. Patton verbally abused and slapped a private. Later, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered him to apologize for the incident.

[1] “Italians move on British Somaliland,”, (accessed Aug 3, 2009).

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World War II History for July 14

Audio: General Charles de Gaulle urges America to Join the Allies (14 July 1941)

Charles de Gaulle 1942

A 1942 WWII photo portrait of General Charles de Gaulle of the Free French Forces and first president of the Fifth Republic serving from 1958 to 1969.

Today in WWII History

World War II History for July 14

14 July 1933 - All German political parties except the Nazi Party were outlawed.

14 July 1940 - British Prime Minister Winston Churchill delivers War of the Unknown Warriors BBC Broadcast in London. [1]

14 July 1941 - A force of German Ju-88 bombers attacked Suez, Egypt, from bases in Crete.

14 July 1941 - Vichy French Foreign Legionaries signed an armistice in Damascus, which allowed them to join the Free French Foreign Legion.

14 July 1941 - Free French General Charles de Gaulle urges America to Join the Allies.

14 July 1941 - British Prime Minister Winston Churchill delivers You Do Your Worst — And We Will Do Our Best speech to the House of Commons. [1]

14 July 1945 - American battleships and cruisers bombarded the Japanese home islands for the first time.

[1] Selected Speeches of Winston Churchill –

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World War II History for June 8

Today in WWII History

World War II History for June 8

8 Jun 1941 - The Allies, British and Free French forces, invaded Syria and Lebanon.

8 Jun 1944 - Russian Premier Joseph Stalin telegraphed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to announce that the Allied success at Normandy “is a source of joy to us all,” and promised to launch his own offensive on the Eastern Front.

8 Jun 1944 - U.S. General Omar Bradley, following orders from General Eisenhower, linked up American troops from Omaha Beach with British troops from Gold Beach at Colleville-sur-Mer.

Gen. Bradley on Omaha Beach
General Bradley and other High Brass on Omaha Beach

8 Jun 1946 - BBC-TV began airing again to cover the Victory Parade. The television service had been blacked out since September 1, 1939 for defense reasons.

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World War II History for April 14

Today in WWII History

Audio Clip: News clip of the End of the Russo Finnish War from 13 April 1940.

World War II History for April 14

14 Apr 1941 - Rommel attacks Tobruk.[1]

14 Apr 1945 - The U.S. Fifth Army joined the British in the assault on the German occupiers of Italy.


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