German troops marching through Warsaw, September 1939 (US National Archives)
80 Years Ago—September 27, 1939: Warsaw, Poland surrenders to Germany.
Polish government-in-exile is established in Paris.
German Reich Security Main Office (Reichssicherheitshauptamt—RSHA) is established under Reinhard Heydrich, consolidating Gestapo state police, Kripo criminal police, and SD Nazi party police.
75 Years Ago—Sept. 27, 1944: In the US Eighth Air Force, the 445th Bomb Group experiences the highest single loss of any US group in the war (25 of 37 B-24 Liberators) on a mission to Kassel, Germany.
C-47 carrying flight nurse Reba Whittle (813rd MAES) crash-lands behind enemy lines in Germany; she becomes the only female US POW in the European Theater in WWII; she will treat patients in German POW camp hospitals and will be repatriated to the US in February 1945. (Read more about flight nursing—“Medical Air Evacuation in World War—The Flight Nurse.”)
Interior of a B-29 Superfortress, showing the rear pressurized cabin, equipped with four bunks to give crew members a chance for rest on a long mission, June 1944 (US Air Force photo)
80 Years Ago—September 26, 1939: British first use naval air warning radar, during a Luftwaffe attack on carrier HMS Ark Royal.
Polish Home Army (Armia Krajowa) is established in Warsaw.
75 Years Ago—Sept. 26, 1944: US 20th Bomber Command B-29 Superfortresses bomb Manchuria, the command’s largest mission to date (98 bombers).
German Heinkel He 111 bomber over Warsaw, September 1939 (public domain via WW2 Database)
80 Years Ago—September 25, 1939: German Luftwaffe drops incendiary bombs on Warsaw, Poland.
Germany issues new ration cards: 1 lb. meat, 5 lb. bread, ¾ lb. fats, ¾ lb. sugar, and 1 lb. coffee or ersatz coffee per week.
Bridge at Arnhem, the Netherlands after the British paratroopers had been driven back, 17-25 Sept 1944 (Imperial War Museum 5404-02 HU 2127)
75 Years Ago—Sept. 25, 1944: Operation Market Garden ends as British troops withdraw from Arnhem, Holland; two-thirds of the British paratroopers have been killed or captured.
Free French troops launch assault toward Belfort Gap in France.
Flight nurse Lt. Mary Louise Hawkins, WWII (US Air Force photo)
80 Years Ago—September 24, 1939: German SS Einsatzgruppe murders 800 Polish intelligentsia in Bydgoszcz.
75 Years Ago—Sept. 24, 1944: US C-47 cargo plane en route from Palau to Guadalcanal makes a forced landing on Bellona Island; flight nurse Lt. Mary Louise Hawkins treats a patient’s severed trachea using parts from a life vest, all 24 patients survive; Hawkins receives the Distinguished Flying Cross. (Read more about flight nursing—“Medical Air Evacuation in World War—The Flight Nurse.”)
Sigmund Freud, 1922 (LIFE, public domain)
80 Years Ago—September 23, 1939: Sigmund Freud dies in London of cancer of the mouth and jaw, age 83; he had fled Nazi-occupied Austria the year before.
Polish cavalry retakes Krasnobrod, one of the last battles in military history between opposing cavalry.
75 Years Ago—Sept. 23, 1944: Soviets reach Gulf of Riga on the Baltic.
Soviets enter Hungary near Arad.
British poster, WWII
80 Years Ago—September 22, 1939: Britain begins rationing of petrol (20 gallons/month for automobiles).
London officials report car accidents have tripled since the blackout started.
CBS radio correspondent Edward R. Murrow first uses his catchphrase “This is London.”
North anchorage at Ulithi Atoll seen from Sorlen Island, 1945 (US Navy photo)
75 Years Ago—Sept. 22, 1944: In the Pacific, US 81st Infantry Division lands on Ulithi Atoll unopposed, to be used as a supply base.
Armand Călinescu, 1938 (public domain via Wikipedia)
80 Years Ago—September 21, 1939: German SS Gen. Reinhard Heydrich produces plan to remove Polish Jews, intelligentsia, clergy, and nobility to ghettoes.
Romanian Prime Minister Armand Călinescu is assassinated by the Fascist Iron Guard for supporting Poland.
The bridge over the Nederrijn near Arhnem, the Netherlands, circa 19 September 1944. (Imperial War Museum)
75 Years Ago—Sept. 21, 1944: In Operation Market Garden, Germans retake bridge in Arnhem from British paratroopers.
US Navy Task Force 38 carrier aircraft strike Manila Harbor in the Philippines, sinking 28 Japanese ships.
Cromwell tanks of Guard’s Armoured Division, British XXX Corps driving toward Nijmegen, the Netherlands, 20 September 1944 (Imperial War Museum)
80 Years Ago—September 20, 1939: Germany announces Jews must surrender radios.
Over France, the first aerial engagement of the war between the RAF and the Luftwaffe takes place.
75 Years Ago—Sept. 20, 1944: In Operation Market Garden, British ground troops and US 82nd Airborne take Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
In British Eighth Army area, Indian troops occupy the Republic of San Marino.
Men of the Guards Armoured Division of the British XXX Corps passing through Grave, the Netherlands, 19 Sept 1944 (Imperial War Museum 4700-29 B 10133)
80 Years Ago—September 19, 1939: Japanese use poison gas against Chinese troops along Sinchiang River in drive to Changsha, China.
75 Years Ago—Sept. 19, 1944: Belgian Parliament meets for the first time since 1940.
US Ninth Army clears Brittany region of France.
In Operation Market Garden, British ground troops link with US 82nd Airborne Division at Grave, the Netherlands.
Germans begin arresting Danish policemen for refusing to protect enterprises from the Danish resistance; 81-90 will die in concentration camps.
German Lt. Gen. Heinz Guderian and Soviet Brig. Gen. Semyon Krivoshein in victory parade in Brest-Litovsk, Poland, 22 Sept 1939 (German Federal Archive, Bild 101I-121-0011A-23)
80 Years Ago—September 18, 1939: German and Soviet troops link at Brest-Litovsk, Poland.
Polish cryptographers flee to Paris with vital information on German Enigma codes.
People of Eindhoven, the Netherlands, dance in the town square after liberation, 20 Sept 1944 (Imperial War Museum 4905-03 TR 2369)
75 Years Ago—Sept. 18, 1944: In Operation Market Garden, British ground troops link with US 101st Airborne Division in Eindhoven, Holland.
US Ninth Army takes crucial port of Brest, France.
South of Sumatra, sub HMS Tradewind sinks Japanese army cargo ship Junyo Maru; 5620 killed, including Javanese slave laborers and 1477 Allied POWs, the worst maritime loss in history to date.
US troops fighting in Brest, Brittany, France, September 1944 (US Army Center of Military History)