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Posts Categorized: Today WWII History

Today in World War II History—July 7, 1940 & 1945

French battleship Richelieu at Dakar, 1941 (US Navy photo)

80 Years Ago—July 7, 1940: At Dakar, French West Africa, Swordfish torpedo bombers from carrier HMS Hermes damage French battleship Richelieu when she refuses to surrender. British disarm all French ships in port at Alexandria, Egypt. British actors in America are ordered to come home and report for the draft. 75 Years Ago—July 7, 1945:… Read more »

Today in World War II History—July 6, 1940 & 1945

German U-boat U-37 at Lorient, France, 1940 (German Federal Archive: Bild 101II-MW-1032-11A)

80 Years Ago—July 6, 1940: First German U-boat base opens in France, at Lorient. 75 Years Ago—July 6, 1945: Nicaragua becomes the first nation to ratify the United Nations Charter. US President Harry Truman establishes the Medal of Freedom, the highest honor for US civilians. US launches Operation Overcast to bring German scientists to America.

Today in World War II History—July 5, 1940 & 1945

US Gen. Douglas MacArthur and Australian Prime Minister John Curtin meet at Australian Parliament House, 26 March 1942 (Australian government photo NAA A1200, L36449, public domain)

80 Years Ago—July 5, 1940: Vichy France breaks relations with the United Kingdom. In occupied France, Germans ban signs of national identity: the Tricolor flag, the “Marseillaise,” and berets. Due to Japanese pressure on French Indochina, US President Franklin Roosevelt bans export to Japan of strategic minerals and chemicals, aircraft engines and parts, and machine… Read more »

Today in World War II History—July 4, 1940 & 1945

Ruins of the German Reichstag building in Berlin, Germany, covered with graffiti from Soviet soldiers, 3 Jul 1945 (Imperial War Museum: 4700-30 BU 8582)

80 Years Ago—July 4, 1940: At Portland, England, the Luftwaffe sinks antiaircraft ship HMS Foylebank (176 killed). After the Luftwaffe destroys a British convoy off Sussex, Churchill orders fighter protection for convoys. At the New York World’s Fair, a bomb explodes in the British Pavilion, killing 2 policemen; the case is never solved and was… Read more »

Today in World War II History—July 3, 1940 & 1945

Private Aubrey Carl Kotz and Private W. Spence of 7 Platoon, A Company, Australian 2/10 Battalion during Battle of Balikpapan, Borneo, 3 Jul 1945 (Australian War Memorial 111069)

80 Years Ago—July 3, 1940: British seize all French ships at port in Britain to prevent them from falling into Nazi hands. At Mers-el-Kébir Algeria, when French warships refuse to fight for the Royal Navy or surrender, British warships sink French battleship Bretagne and French destroyer Mogador and damage two battleships—1297 French sailors are killed,… Read more »

Today in World War II History—July 2, 1940 & 1945

Ocean liner Arandora Star in use as a troop transport, 1940 (Royal Navy photograph)

80 Years Ago—July 2, 1940: Off Ireland, German U-boat U-47 sinks British ocean liner Arandora Star; 805/1673 killed, mostly Axis POWs, civilian internees, and Jewish refugees bound for Canada. US Congress passes Export Control Act, giving the president power to control or ban exports of munitions and critical materials. Hatch Shell is dedicated on the… Read more »

Today in World War II History—July 1, 1940 & 1945

Scene of destruction in the Linden Passage, the famous Berlin, Germany shopping area on the Unter den Linden, 3 Jul 1945 (Imperial War Museum 4700-30 BU 8608)

80 Years Ago—July 1, 1940: Beginning of the “Happy Time” for German U-boats, as they successfully hunt Allied shipping, to last through October. 75 Years Ago—July 1, 1945: Australians land at Balikpapan, Borneo. US occupation forces arrive in Berlin. Col. Benjamin O. Davis Jr. (former commander of the Tuskegee Airmen) assumes command of Godman Field,… Read more »

Today in World War II History—June 30, 1940 & 1945

German troops in the Channel Islands, 1 August 1941 (German Federal Archive: Bild 1011-228-0326-34A)

80 Years Ago—June 30, 1940: Germans occupy Guernsey in the British Channel Islands. Evacuation of European women and children from Hong Kong begins. Havana Conference declares the transfer of territory in Americas from one country to another (ie: French territory to Germany) will not be tolerated. US establishes Fish and Wildlife Services. 75 Years Ago—June… Read more »

Today in World War II History—June 29, 1940 & 1945

Map depicting the proposed invasion routes of Operations Olympic and Coronet, with Japanese defensive positions as of Aug 1945 (US Military Academy)

80 Years Ago—June 29, 1940: Japan declares the South Seas to be in its sphere of influence. Roosevelt signs the Alien Registration Act; 5 million foreigners will register and be fingerprinted. New song in the Top Ten: “Fools Rush In.” Premiere of “Batman” solo comic book, introducing the Joker and Catwoman. 75 Years Ago—June 29,… Read more »

Today in World War II History—June 28, 1940 & 1945

Governor-General Italo Balbo, 1938-40 (public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

80 Years Ago—June 28, 1940: At the Republican Convention, Wendell Willkie upsets Thomas Dewey on the sixth ballot to become the party’s nominee for president. Luftwaffe bombs Jersey and Guernsey in the Channel Islands. Italo Balbo, Governor-General of Italian Libya and Commander-in-Chief of Italian North Africa, is shot down and killed by Italian antiaircraft fire… Read more »