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World War II Timeline

Current Events in the Timeline: 2054

Filters: Full List, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945

 

WWII Events for 1940

Jan 01, 1940 British authorities detaining U.S. vessels at Gibraltar to search for contraband, taking from a few hours to several weeks. Continues into mid-March. (...)
Jan 02, 1940 The Russian offensive in Finland is halted by several Finnish victories. (...)
Jan 04, 1940 Hermann Goring was given total authority over all German industries involved in the production of war materials. (...)
Jan 06, 1940 Finnish Air Force Lieutenant Jorma Sarvanto shot down 6 of 7 Soviet bombers he attacked in only 5 minutes. (...)
Jan 06, 1940 Hitler orders postponement of his attack in the west until spring. (...)
Jan 08, 1940 Finnish 9th division takes possession of Raate Road at dawn, as the last dug-in Soviet troops surrender around Lakes Kuivasjarvi and Kuomasjarvi (near Captain M?kinen?s original roadblock). Mopping up stragglers in the woods will take several days. Finns capture 43 tanks, 70 field guns, 278 trucks and other vehicles, 300 machine guns, 6,000 rifles & 1,170 horses. Another entire Soviet division is gone, estimated at 10-15,000 dead (not even the Soviet know how many men went onto the Raate Road; the Finns do not bother to count the frozen bodies). Finns take only 1000 prisoners and another 700 make it back to USSR. Many of those retreating are shot by NKVD and when Finland returns the prisoners, they are also executed for ?treason?. Finnish casualties in the Battle of Raate Road are 2,700 dead, missing and wounded. (...)
Jan 08, 1940 Italian dictator Benito Mussolini sent a message to Adolf Hitler that cautioned agaist waging war against Britain. (...)
Jan 08, 1940 Rationing began in Britain. Each person is allowed four ounces (112 g) of bacon and 12 ounces (336 g) of sugar per week. (...)
Jan 10, 1940 Hitler set start of French invasion at 1/17/40; compromise of plan in Beligum plane crash postponed it. (...)
Jan 12, 1940 RAdm Byrd, USN (Ret.) surveys the land and sea areas of Antarctica. (...)
Jan 20, 1940 In a speech admonishing neutral nations to support the Allied cause, Winston Churchill, Britain's first lord of the admiralty, claims, "Each one hopes that if he feeds the crocodile enough, the crocodile will eat him last." Churchill also denounces the Soviet Union's invasion of Finland. (...)
Jan 21, 1940 HMS Exmouth, sunk on January 21st 1940 by a torpedo from U-22, there were no survivors. (...)
Jan 21, 1940 The British cruiser Liverpool stopped the Japanese ship Asamu Maru off the coast of Honshu, Japan, and removed twenty-one German male passengers. Tokyo protested the action but subsequntly agreed not to transport German military reservists attempting to return home. (...)
Jan 22, 1940 U.51 sank Swedish steamer GOTHIA (1640grt), 45 miles W by N of St Kilda in 57-46N, 09-50W, with the loss of twelve crew. (...)
Jan 22, 1940 U.61 sank Norwegian steamer SYDVOLD (2434grt) in 58-40N, 00-30W. Five crew were lost, and 19 survivors rescued by Norwegian steamer RONA (1376grt). (...)
Jan 26, 1940 American minesweeper Quail arrived at Palmyra Atoll in the Pacific Ocean to construct a naval air station. (...)
Jan 26, 1940 believing that German would not be able to directly attack Britain, about half of the 750,000 children evacuated from London since Sep 1939 had returned to their homes in the city. (...)
Jan 26, 1940 The US permitted its 1911 commercial treaty with Japan to lapse. Ambassador Hull informed Japan that future trade would be conducted on a day to day basis. (...)
Jan 29, 1940 Soviets begin negotiating with Finland by sending a note stating "Soviet Union has no objection in principle to a possible agreement with the Ryti government" to Sweden. (...)
Jan 30, 1940 The U.S. government issues its first Social Security checks, totaling just over $75,000. (...)
Feb 01, 1940 German submarine U-13 torpedoed and sank Swedish steamer Fram in the Aberdour Bay, Scotland at 0143 hours. 9 were killed and 14 were rescued by destroyer HMS Khartoum and armed trawler HMS Viking Deeps. (...)
Feb 08, 1940 The Soviet Union asked Finland to choose an island in the Gulf of Finland for a Soviet military base as part of the terms of peace negotiations. Artillery and aerial bombardments on the Mannerheim Line continued, however, together with periodic assaults in the Summa sector. (...)
Feb 09, 1940 Admiral François Darlan became the new Vice Premier of Vichy France. (...)
Feb 12, 1940 British Royal Navy minesweeper HMS Gleaner located German submarine U-33 laying mines in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland at 0250 hours. U-33 was badly damaged by depth charges and surfaced at 0522 hours, but the submarine began to sink shortly after surfacing, killing 25 men, including comma...nding officer Kapitänleutnant Hans-Wilhelm von Dresky. One of the 17 survivors had 3 Enigma rotors in his pockets, which was sent to Alan Turing at the Government Code and Cypher School for further study. (...)
Feb 17, 1940 Norway protested British neutrality violation of attacking the German ship Altmark in Norwegian waters. (...)
Feb 19, 1940 Ambassador Hull extends the US moral embargo to the Soviet Union. (...)
Feb 22, 1940 Armed with Cutlasses and other weapons, Captain Philip Vian and his crew of the HMS Cossack board the German tender Altmark in Norwegian waters to rescue nearly 300 British merchant navy personnel. (...)
Feb 22, 1940 Six German destroyers were launched into the North Sea during Operation Wikinger with Luftwaffe knowledge. He 111 aircraft misidentified the destroyers and attacked them, sinking destroyer one destroyer (282 killed) and ran another one into a naval minefield (308 killed). (...)
Feb 22, 1940 The British Endeavour (Master Thomas Weatherhead) in convoy OGF-19 was torpedoed and sunk by U-50. Five crew members were lost. (...)
Feb 25, 1940 The first RCAF unit arrives in Britain, it is 110 (AC) Squadron flying Lysanders. The unit is later renamed 400 (City of Toronto) Squadron. (...)
Mar 02, 1940 A German He 111 aircraft bombed British India liner Domala in the English Channel, and then circled back to machine gun survivors in the water, killing 108. Dutch ship Jong Willem, which rescued 48 of the 183 survivors, was also strafed. (...)
Mar 04, 1940 Soviet and Finnish troops continued to fight near Viipuri, Finland, particularly near the Vuoksi River near Äyräpää church. (...)
Mar 05, 1940 The Soviet Politburo signed the order to eliminate captured Polish military officers to remove the possibility of these able men ever becoming resistance organizers. These POWs would be systematically killed in the following weeks in what was later called the Katyn Massacre. (...)
Mar 06, 1940 Finnish diplomats arrived in Moscow to negotiate an end to the Winter War. (...)
Mar 07, 1940 Soviet troops began to break through the final defense line at Viipuri, Finland. (...)
Mar 08, 1940 As Soviet troops entered the suburbs of Viipuri, Finnish diplomats in Moscow sought an immediate ceasefire while negotiations were still proceeding, but were refused as Soviet troops were on the verge of taking Viipuri. (...)
Mar 11, 1940 Blenheim bombers of 82 Squadron, RAF Bomber Command sank German submarine U-31, on sea trials, in Jade Bay near Wilhelmshaven, killing all 58 on board. U-31 would later be refloated only to be sunk again, the only WW2 ship to suffer the misfortune of being sunk twice in the war. (...)
Mar 12, 1940 During World War II, Finland and the Soviet Union concluded an armistice. (...)
Mar 14, 1940 The first "bombe" decipher machine became operational at Bletchley Park in England. (...)
Mar 16, 1940 German Luftwaffe aircraft bombed the Royal Navy base at Scapa Flow. James Isbister became the first British civilian to be killed by a German bomb when his house in the Orkney Islands was hit. (...)
Mar 17, 1940 Dr. Fritz Todt was appointed Germany's Minister for Weapons and Munitions. (...)
Mar 18, 1940 Mussolini and Hitler announce Italy's formal alliance with Germany against England and France. (...)
Apr 04, 1940 Aktion 14 F 13 began; it was the first documented proof that the Nazi German regime conducted mass extermination of the handicapped in concentration camps. This was the extension of the Nazi's T4 program which was initially formed in order to euthanize children that were born with mental or physical deformities. (...)
Apr 05, 1940 RAF attacked German shipping at Wilhelmshaven. (...)
Apr 08, 1940 German Field Marshal Keitel ordered the transfer of active military servicemen who were 50% Jewish and those who were married to women who were 50% Jewish to reserve or militia units. (...)
Apr 09, 1940 German troops crossed into Denmark; resistance would last only hours before capitulation. (...)
Apr 09, 1940 Germany invades Norway with aid of Quisling. (...)
Apr 09, 1940 Germany occupies Denmark. (...)
Apr 10, 1940 - Apr 13, 1940 Returning German fleet mauled by British. (...)
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. (...)
Apr 16, 1940 Iceland declares its independence from occupied Demark and asks the United States for recognition. (...)
Apr 18, 1940 British landing in Norway. (...)
Apr 18, 1940 US considers selective service (draft, one year). (...)
Apr 19, 1940 Japan informed the United States that Japan had no aggressive intentions toward the Dutch East Indies. (...)
Apr 20, 1940 The Danish military began to demobilize, replaced by German occupation personnel. (...)
Apr 23, 1940 The British Members of Parliament criticized the earlier estimate of 1940 war expenditures was too low. In related news, tax on beer was increased by 1 penny, whiskey by 9 pence, and postage by 1 penny. (...)
Apr 25, 1940 A new evacuation scheme was introduced in Britain as a Ministry of Health survey showed that only 8% of eligible children had been registered. Later studies revealed that 19% of parents refused to register their children, while 73% of them simply did not respond to the registration. (...)
Apr 25, 1940 USS Wasp (CV-7) commissioned. (...)
Apr 27, 1940 Following a number of inspections at various sites, Heinrich Himmler, Commander of the SS, gave out the order to establish a concentration camp in the former artillery barracks in Oświęcim, known at the time as Auschwitz. The basis for Auschwitz consisted of 22 prewar brick barracks buildings. Over time, the camp exp...anded steadily in both organizational and spatial terms. At its peak in the summer of 1944, Auschwitz covered about 40 sq. km. in the core area, and more than 40 branch camps dispersed within a radius of several hundred kilometers. At this time, there were about 135 thousand people (105 thousand registered prisoners and about 30 thousand unregistered) in the Auschwitz complex, which accounted for 25% of all the people in the entire concentration camp system (525 thousand). (...)
May 01, 1940 A German bomber crashed in Essex, England, United Kingdom, killing the crew and two civilians, wounding a further 150 people. (...)
May 02, 1940 British withdraw from Norway. (...)
May 03, 1940 Greenland, a crown colony of Denmark, seeks U.S. protection, so that Danish sovereignty can be maintained during the German occupation of the homeland. (...)
May 05, 1940 Norway established a government-in-exile in London. (...)
May 07, 1940 - May 10, 1940 British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlin resigns in disgrace. He will be replaced by Winston Churchill on 05.10. (...)
May 07, 1940 Pacific fleet ordered to Pearl Harbor as a warning to Japan (...)
May 10, 1940 The German Blitzkrieg ("lightning war") begins, as Rotterdam and other Dutch cities are attacked from the air. By the end of the month, the Dutch armies will have surrendered, Belgium will have surrendered, and the evacuation of British and French troops from Dunkirk will be underway. (...)
May 12, 1940 Germany invades France (...)
May 13, 1940 Winston Churchill told Britain's Parliament that "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat." (...)
May 14, 1940 Holland surrenders. (...)
May 24, 1940 French leaders concluded the war was lost. (...)
May 24, 1940 Hitler ordered German armored units to halt mop-up operations and continue toward Paris. If the panzers had continued they would have wiped out the Allied troops caught in ever-smaller pockets. Hitler overruled his commanders on the scene because he was sticking to the original plan of a southward thrust after the breakthrough to the English Channel. (...)
May 26, 1940 Hitler after a critical two-day delay, ordered German troops to attack Dunkirk. The first units could not advance until late in the day, but the main force could not be organized until the following day. "By then," said General Guderain, "it was too late to achieve a great victory." (...)
May 26, 1940 - Jun 04, 1940 Operation Dynamo, the evacuation of Allied troops at Dunkirk began. In one of the most dramatic withdrawls in military history, a hastily assembled fleet of 861 ships and boats began pulling what was left of the trapped Allied armies off the beaches of Dunkirk. In a week, 224,585 British and 112,546 French and Belgians were taken to safety. About 40,000 Frenchmen were left behind. A total of 231 of the rescue vessels were sunk, mostly by the Luftwaffe, but German air strikes were restricted by bad weather and the tenacious fighters of the RAF. For all the glory that accompanied the gallant retreat, Dunkirk represented the nadir of the war for Britain. (...)
May 26, 1940 U.S. President Roosevelt makes a radio appeal to the Red Cross due to the dire straits of Belgian and French civilians. (...)
May 27, 1940 - Jun 04, 1940 Dunkirk evacuation. (...)
May 28, 1940 Belgium surrenders. (...)
Jun 04, 1940 "We must be very careful not to assign to this deliverance the attributes of a victory. War's are not won by evacuations." - Winston Churchill - To Parliament (...)
Jun 07, 1940 British and French withdraw from Norway. (...)
Jun 09, 1940 Norway armistice (...)
Jun 10, 1940 Italy declares war on Britain and France, and U.S. President Roosevelt announces a shift from neutrality to "non-belligerency," meaning more active support for the Allies against the Axis. (...)
Jun 10, 1940 Italy declares war on Britain and France. "The hand that held the dagger has plunged it into the back of its neighbor." -- FDR (...)
Jun 10, 1940 USSR occupy Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia. (...)
Jun 11, 1940 British attack Italians in Libya (...)
Jun 11, 1940 The Italian Air Force bombed the British fortress at Malta in the Mediterranean. (...)
Jun 14, 1940 German troops enter Paris and, as a French appeal for U.S. aid is declined, the French fortress at Verdun falls to the Germans. (...)
Jun 14, 1940 Germany takes Paris. (...)
Jun 14, 1940 Philippe Pétain became the Prime Minister of France. (...)
Jun 16, 1940 Curie laboritory (Fr) transfer 410 pounds of Norwegian heavy water to the British. (...)
Jun 17, 1940 French armistice. Evacuation at St. Nazaire. Lancastria. (...)
Jun 17, 1940 The 16,000 ton Cunard liner Lancastria lay 5 miles off St Nazaire and embarked troops, RAF personnel, and civilian refugees, including women and children, who were being evacuated from France, which was then on the point of collapse. The number on board may never be known, but almost certainly exceeded 6,000; some estimates were as high as 9,000. The Lancastria was attacked and hit by bombs from German aircraft. The ship sank rapidly and, according to the estimate of the Captain, only around 2,500 of those on board were saved. (...)
Jun 22, 1940 USSR invades Romania which must join Axis (...)
Jun 23, 1940 Adolf Hitler surveyed notable sites in German-occupied Paris. (...)
Jun 27, 1940 All French ships in British ports are seized by the Royal Navy. (...)
Jun 28, 1940 In the U.S., the Alien Registration Act (the Smith Act) passed by Congress requires aliens to register and be fingerprinted; the Act makes it illegal to advocate the overthrow of the US government. (...)
Jun 29, 1940 Japan declared the South Seas as an area where it had a special interest, broadening its assumed sphere of influence. Foreign minister Arita said, "The countries of East Asia and the regions of the South Seas area geographically, historically, racially, and economically very closely related... The uniting of all those regions in a single sphere on a basis of common existence, insuring thereby the stability of that sphere, is a national conclusion." (...)
Jul 03, 1940 British attack French Fleet at Oran. (...)
Jul 04, 1940 Italians take cities in Sudan. (...)
Jul 05, 1940 Britain and the Vichy French government break off diplomatic relations. (...)
Jul 05, 1940 Romania allied itself with Nazi Germany. Germany would invade Romania on October 7, 1940, as part of Hitler's strategy of a single eastern front against the Soviet Union. (...)
Jul 05, 1940 Sweden authorizes Germany to use Swedish railways to transport troops to Norway. (...)
Jul 05, 1940 US bans strategic materials to Japan. (...)
Jul 07, 1940 British Swordfish torpedo bombers from carrier HMS Hermes attacked the French battleship Richelieu in dock at Dakar, sinking her in shallow water. (...)
Jul 08, 1940 Royal Navy aircraft from the carrier HMS Hermes torpedoed and immobilized the French battleship Richelieu at Dakar, French West Africa. (...)
Jul 09, 1940 As German air attacks over Britain intensify, the British Royal Air Force begins night bombing of German targets. (...)
Jul 10, 1940 Aerial Battle of Britain starts. (...)
Jul 10, 1940 Mitsubishi A6M2 "Zero" fighter enters service in China. (...)
Jul 11, 1940 A British Commando force was badly mauled in an attack on Guernsey. (...)
Jul 11, 1940 The Luftwaffe assured General Franz Halder, chief of the German army General Staff, that it could eliminate the RAF within a month or less. (...)
Jul 15, 1940 Italians take city in Kenya. (...)
Jul 15, 1940 RAF Blenheim bombers unsuccessfully attack Gazala. (...)
Jul 19, 1940 FDR authorizes two-ocean navy : 7 BB, 11 CV, 50 CL, 100 DD. (...)
Jul 25, 1940 The German Reich Economic Minister outlined the New Order for Europe, citing use of forced labor from occupied nations. (...)
Jul 25, 1940 US embargos scrap metal and petroleum to Japan. (...)
Aug 05, 1940 Italians invade, occupy British Somaliland (...)
Aug 13, 1940 Germany begans bombing airfields and factories in England. (...)
Aug 16, 1940 Southern England was subjected to heavy raids involving 1,720 Luftwaffe aircraft. (...)
Aug 16, 1940 Turin and Milan were attacked by RAF bombers. (...)
Aug 17, 1940 Germany declares a blockade of British waters, and begins a bombing campaign which, by September, will be killing hundreds each day. In November, German air raids will kill more than 4,500 Britons. (...)
Aug 18, 1940 Canada and the U.S. established a joint defense plan against the possible enemy attacks during World War II. (...)
Aug 20, 1940 Churchill's 'The Few' speech given to The House of Commons (...)
Aug 23, 1940 The first German air raids on Central London took place. (...)
Aug 24, 1940 German battleship Bismarck commissions. (...)
Aug 25, 1940 British air raids on Berlin began. RAF bombs Berlin, a feat the Nazis boasted was "impossible." (...)
Aug 26, 1940 Chad is the 1st French colony to join the Allies under Félix Éboué, France's 1st black colonial governor. (...)
Aug 29, 1940 Battle of Britain tally for today: Nazis lose 17, RAF loses 9 planes. (...)
Aug 29, 1940 British Tizard Mission shares radar information with US. (...)
Aug 30, 1940 Battle of Britain, RAF loses 26 and Nazis lose 36 planes. (...)
Sep 01, 1940 Gen. George Marshall was sworn in as chief of staff of US army. (...)
Sep 03, 1940 Adolf Hitler planned Operation Sealion. The plan was for the invasion of Britain. (...)
Sep 03, 1940 Adolf Hitler plans Operation Sealion. The plan was for the invasion of Britain. (...)
Sep 04, 1940 German sub aimed torpedoes @ US destroyer Greer, was 1st US vessel fired on in WWII-heightening tension. (...)
Sep 06, 1940 Contracts for prototypes of B-29 and B-32. (Upgraded B-17 and B-24). (...)
Sep 07, 1940 London received its first mass air raid from Nazi Germany during World War II. (...)
Sep 09, 1940 US Navy awards contracts for 210 new ships including 12 aircraft carriers and 7 battleships. (...)
Sep 10, 1940 In Britain, Buckingham Palace was hit by German bomb. (...)
Sep 10, 1940 In light of the destruction and terror inflicted on Londoners by a succession of German bombing raids, called "the Blitz," the British War Cabinet instructs British bombers over Germany to drop their bombs "anywhere" if unable to reach their targets. (...)
Sep 11, 1940 Adolf Hitler sent German army and air force reinforcements to Romania to protect oil reserves and to prepare for an Eastern European base for attacks against the Soviet Union. (...)
Sep 12, 1940 Peak day in Battle of Britain (...)
Sep 13, 1940 Italians invade Egypt. (...)
Sep 15, 1940 Bombing of London starts. (...)
Sep 15, 1940 The German Luftwaffe suffered the loss of 185 planes in the Battle of Britain. The change in tide forced Hitler to abandon his plans for invading Britain. (...)
Sep 16, 1940 The Burke-Wadsworth Act was passed by the U.S. Congress. The acted imposed the first peacetime draft in the history of the United States. The event was the beginning of Selective Service. (...)
Sep 16, 1940 US Selective Training and Service Act, first peacetime draft, men 21-35. (...)
Sep 17, 1940 Invasion of England canceled. (...)
Sep 18, 1940 Twenty-four British barrage balloons, driven by the wind, disrupted Swedish railway and electric power service last night and damaged homes in Denmark. (...)
Sep 21, 1940 Officials open the Tube as a bomb shelter. Some 170,000 Londoners begin sleeping nightly in the subway. (...)
Sep 21, 1940 Over the past 17 days, British aircraft had sunk 12.5% of the 1,865 German transport vessels preparing for an invasion of England. (...)
Sep 22, 1940 Japan was formally granted air bases and the rights to maintain troops in French Indochina under terms of a treaty signed in Hanoi. The governor general of Indochina, General Georges Catroux sought Allied air to fight the Japanese, but Britain (and the United States) said it was not possible to consider military action in Asia. (...)
Sep 22, 1940 Uruguay arrested eight Nazi leaders on charges of conspiring against the state. (...)
Sep 23, 1940 Nazi SS chief Heinrich Himmler orders gold teeth yanked from mouths of dead concentration camp victims. (...)
Sep 27, 1940 Germany, Italy and Japan enter into a 10-year military and economic alliance that comes to be known as the "Axis". Hungary and Romania will join the Axis in November. (...)
Sep 27, 1940 Japan, German and Italy Tripartite Pact -- ten year military agreement - forms Axis. (...)
Sep 28, 1940 The first of the 50 destoryers which the US turned over to Britain reached England. (...)
Sep 28, 1940 Under Secretary of State Sumner Welles outlined US policy in Asia toward Japan. He said Tokyo's intention to create a new order in Asia had resulted in Japan's reliance "upon the instrumentality of armed force, and it has made it very clear that it intents that it alone shall decide to what extent the historic interests of the United States and the treaty rights of American citizens in the Far East are to be observed." Welles called for "complete respect" for US rights, "equality of opportunity for the trade of all nations," and "respect" for all treaties and international agreements to which the US had agreed. "Modifications" through "peaceful negotiations" would be considered. (...)
Oct 02, 1940 During World War II, the HMS Empress was sunk while carrying child refugees from Britain to Canada. (...)
Oct 07, 1940 German troops entered Romania. Hitler's plan was to have a single easter front against the Soviet Union. Romania had allied itself with Nazi Germany on July 5, 1940. (...)
Oct 08, 1940 During the night, 17 British aircraft from Waddington, Lincolnshire attacked battleship Tirpitz to little effect. (...)
Oct 09, 1940 St. Paul's Cathedral in London was bombed by the Nazis. The dome was unharmed in the bombing. (...)
Oct 18, 1940 Britain reopened the Burma Road, again giving China access to the outside world over an overland route. (...)
Oct 18, 1940 Germany and Italy issued demands upon Greece, including the transfer of land to Italy and Bulgaria, use of air bases by the Axis, and a new, sympathetic government in Athens. (...)
Oct 18, 1940 Goring congratulated Luftwaffe crews on their attacks on Britain, which, he said, "caused the British world-enemy disastrous losses by uninterrupted, destructive blow. Your indefatigable, courageous attacks on the heart of the British Empire, the city of London with its 8 1/2 million inhabitants, have reduced British plutocracy to fear and terror. The losses which you have inflicted on the much vaunted Royal Air Force in determined fighter engagements are irreplaceable." (...)
Oct 20, 1940 Italian aircraft bomb Cairo and US-run oil facilities in Bahrain. (...)
Oct 21, 1940 German bombers attack Liverpool (...)
Oct 22, 1940 Hitler met with Laval in Montoire in occupied France to discuss France's future in the new order of Europe. (...)
Oct 22, 1940 Jews began to be deported from Alsace-Loraine and the Rhineland. (...)
Oct 25, 1940 USN mobilizes aviation squadrons at 1/3 per month. (...)
Oct 27, 1940 Free French forces attacked Vichy French-held Gabon. (...)
Oct 28, 1940 Greece rejected Italian ultimatum, and Italy responded with invasion; Winston Churchill promised aid. (...)
Oct 28, 1940 Italians invade Greece. (...)
Oct 28, 1940 Pilot armor and fuel protection begin to go into service and within a year all fleet aircraft would have it. (...)
Oct 29, 1940 Conscription begins in the U.S. It is the first military draft to occur during peacetime in American history. (...)
Oct 31, 1940 British occupy Crete (...)
Nov 02, 1940 Turkey moved 37 divisions to the Bulgarian border and warned Bulgaria not to participate in the Italo-Greek war. Meanwhile, Italian troops reached the main Greek defensive line on the Kalamas River between Elia and Kalamas. Off Suda Bay, Crete, as British warships departed after unloading troops, Italian bombers scored near misses against them but failed to cause damage. (...)
Nov 03, 1940 RAF to southern Greece (...)
Nov 05, 1940 Franklin D. Roosevelt is elected to an unprecedented third term as president, with 54 percent of the popular vote. He defeats Republican Wendell L. Willke. (...)
Nov 11, 1940 British Fleet Air Arm attack Italian fleet at Taranto (...)
Nov 14, 1940 Coventry bombed (...)
Nov 15, 1940 Jews of the Warsaw ghetto were prohibited from leaving the sealed-off area. (...)
Nov 19, 1940 Luftwaffe bombers attacked Birmingham. (...)
Nov 19, 1940 Switzerland banned the Nazi party, saying that "this movement was working for the transformation of public institutions by other than constitutional means." The action was particularly noteworthy because the Swiss were totally surrounded by Axis allies who had shown no respect for the neutrality declared by other nations. (...)
Nov 23, 1940 Rumania signs the Tripartite Pact, becomes part of the Axis. (...)
Nov 30, 1940 Russia attacks Finland in Winter War. (...)
Dec 01, 1940 FDR boots US ambassador Joe Kennedy for saying England's toast. (...)
Dec 06, 1940 - Dec 07, 1940 German Heavy Cruiser Admiral Hipper "Breaks out" unseen through the Denmark Strait into the N. Atlantic. (...)
Dec 10, 1940 - Dec 24, 1940 German Heavy Cruiser Admiral Hipper searches unsuccessfully for several reported convoys in extremely heavy seas and experiences a number of mechanical and electrical failures due to the pounding. She refuels on the 12th and 16th, and 22nd. She discovers a convoy with her radar the night of the 24th and shadows it to attack at first light, believing it to be lightly escorted. (...)
Dec 15, 1940 Italians expelled from Egypt. (...)
Dec 16, 1940 In Washington, the National Women's Party meets and urges the Congress to act on an Equal Rights Amendment. (...)
Dec 16, 1940 the German city of Mannheim was hit by 134 RAF bombers in retaliation for German raids on English cities. (...)
Dec 20, 1940 Liverpool was bombed by the Luftwaffe. (...)
Dec 23, 1940 Anthony Eden was appointed Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom. (...)
Dec 25, 1940 German Heavy Cruiser Admiral Hipper attacks British troop convoy WS 5A consisting of 20 MS and escorted by RN CA Berwick, and CLs Bonaventure and Dunedin with CV Furious loaded with crated aircraft about 700 nm W of Cape Finisterre. Spots Berwick while still unseen herself. Closes Benwick opening fire with her main battery at 0639. Benwick replies two minutes later. Hipper engages the other cruisers and some mercantile targets with her 105mm secondary battery. The conditions hampered sighting efforts, but at 0705 she hits Benwick's X turrent and at 0708 scores again with a hit below Berwick's waterline causing flooding. She got two more hits before breaking off action at 0714 in a rainsquall. Benwick's fire is ineffective. Hipper also damages two of the convoy's merchant ships, principally the 13,994 ton transport Empire Trooper. She fired 174 main battery rounds in this action. (...)
Dec 25, 1940 Given her engine problems and lack of fuel, German Heavy Cruiser Admiral Hipper shapes course for Brest. That afternoon she encounters a steamer of 6,078 tons displacement and sinks her with two torpedoes. (...)
Dec 27, 1940 German Heavy Cruiser Admiral Hipper arrives at Brest. (...)
Dec 27, 1940 IJN light carrier Zuiho commissioned. - Philippines, DutchEastIndies, Midway, Santa Cruz, Philippine Sea, - Leyte Gulf (...)
Dec 29, 1940 Germany began dropping incendiary bombs on London. (...)
Dec 30, 1940 Kaluga, 90 miles southwest of Moscow, was recaptured by the Russians. (...)