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 »
Posts Categorized: Today WWII History
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 »
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.
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 »
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.
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 »
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 »
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.
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 »
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 »