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Posts Categorized: Today WWII History

Today in World War II History—May 26, 1940 & 1945

British troops in a ship evacuating from Dunkirk, France, late May 1940 (US Government photo)

80 Years Ago—May 26, 1940: Operation Dynamo, the evacuation at Dunkirk begins, 300,000 British and French troops will be evacuated from French beaches by everything from destroyers to civilian fishing boats, through June 4. In Britain, Empire Day is declared a national day of prayer. British Gen. Sir John Dill is named Chief of Imperial… Read more »

Today in World War II History—May 25, 1940 & 1945

British Cruiser Mk IV tank crew repairing tank track, Blangy-sur-Ternoise, France, 26-29 May 1940 (Imperial War Museum: 2012-11-26)

80 Years Ago—May 25, 1940: Germans take Boulogne, France. British troops are ordered to retreat to Dunkirk. First clinical use of penicillin: Howard Florey successfully treats mice. The Golden Gate International Exposition opens on Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay, will run through September 29. 75 Years Ago—May 25, 1945: Last major US B-29 fire… Read more »

Today in World War II History—May 24, 1940 & 1945

Lt. Gen. Simon Buckner, Jr., Maj. Gen. Lemuel Shepperd, and Brig. Gen. William Clement on Okinawa, 22 May 1945 (US Marine Corps photo)

80 Years Ago—May 24, 1940: Hitler orders panzers to halt and allow the Luftwaffe to destroy the Allies at Dunkirk. Britain orders the withdrawal of the remaining British troops in Norway. 75 Years Ago—May 24, 1945: Japanese make a suicide attack on Okinawa, landing bombers at Yontan Airfield and destroying seven US aircraft.

Today in World War II History—May 23, 1940 & 1945

British arrest German leaders Adm. Karl Dönitz, Gen. Alfred Jodl, and Reich minister Albert Speer, 23 May 1945 (German Federal Archive, Bild 146-1985-079-3)

80 Years Ago—May 23, 1940: British troops begin evacuation from port of Boulogne, France by sea. Britain arrests British fascists, including 747 members of the British Union and its leader Sir Oswald Mosley. 75 Years Ago—May 23, 1945: German government under Adm. Karl Dönitz is dissolved, members of government and general staff are interned on… Read more »

Today in World War II History—May 22, 1940 & 1945

German SdKfz 10/4 vehicle with a mounted 2 cm FlaK 30 anti-aircraft gun, France, May 1940 (German Federal Archive, Bild 101I-055-1551-10)

80 Years Ago—May 22, 1940: German panzers strike north from Abbeville, France toward Dunkirk. British codebreakers at Bletchley Park decode new German Luftwaffe Enigma code. Britain passes Emergency Powers Act, giving government authority over persons & property. 75 Years Ago—May 22, 1945: Due to continuing shortages, Britain cuts rations of fats, bacon, meat, and soap.

Today in World War II History—May 21, 1940 & 1945

Map noting German advances in France and the Low Countries between 16 and 21 May 1940 (US Military Academy map)

80 Years Ago—May 21, 1940: British driving south from Belgium and French troops driving north attempt to link at Arras, France, but fail. French 9th Army surrenders, along with Gen. Henri Giraud, who will escape in 1942 and lead Free French forces in North Africa. 75 Years Ago—May 21, 1945: Heinrich Himmler is arrested by… Read more »

Today in World War II History—May 20, 1940 & 1945

German troops look out over the English Channel with the wreckage of British equipment behind them (German Federal Archive: Bild 121-0443)

80 Years Ago—May 20, 1940: German army reaches the English Channel at Abbeville, France, splitting Allied forces in two and isolating 16 French & 9 British divisions in Belgium. In the US, the Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies (the White Committee) is formed by interventionist journalist William A. White. 75 Years Ago—May… Read more »

Today in World War II History—May 19, 1940 & 1945

British poster, WWII

80 Years Ago—May 19, 1940: In France, Marshal Philippe Pétain is named Vice Premier, and Gen. Maxime Weygand replaces Gen. Maurice Gamelin as commander-in-chief of French forces. 75 Years Ago—May 19, 1945: Allies discontinue trans-Atlantic and Mediterranean convoys.

Today in World War II History—May 18, 1940 & 1945

US Marine running through Japanese fire at ‘Death Valley,’ Okinawa, Japan, 10 May 1945 (US National Archives: 41607-FMC)

80 Years Ago—May 18, 1940: Germans take Antwerp, Belgium. In a radio address, aviator and isolationist Charles Lindbergh accuses President Roosevelt of creating “a defense hysteria” and states, “If we desire peace, we have only to stop asking for war.” 75 Years Ago—May 18, 1945: An RAF Lancaster is the first plane in history to… Read more »

Today in World War II History—May 17, 1940 & 1945

Ipo Dam on Luzon (US Army Center of Military History)

80 Years Ago—May 17, 1940: Germans take Brussels, Belgium. French 4th Armored Division under Gen. Charles de Gaulle attacks the German southern flank at Laon, France, but fails. Paris is declared a military zone, martial law is declared, and police begin carrying rifles. Movie premiere of comedy My Favorite Wife, starring Irene Dunne & Cary… Read more »