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Today in
World War II History

Today in World War II History—July 12, 1944

Gen. Theodore Roosevelt Jr. in Normandy, July 1944 (US National Archives)

Gen. Theodore Roosevelt Jr. in Normandy, July 1944 (US National Archives)

75 Years Ago—July 12, 1944: Gen. Theodore Roosevelt Jr., son of the former president, dies of a heart attack in Normandy; he had landed with his troops on Utah Beach on D-day.

Today in World War II History—July 11, 1944

Captured German Fourth Army being paraded through Moscow, 17 July 1944 (Russian Archives)

Captured German Fourth Army being paraded through Moscow, 17 July 1944 (Russian Archives)

75 Years Ago—July 11, 1944: Soviets capture the surrounded German Fourth Army near Minsk in Byelorussia and take 37,000 POWs.

Today in World War II History—July 10, 1944

Raoul Wallenberg, June 1944 (public domain via Wikipedia)

Raoul Wallenberg, June 1944 (public domain via Wikipedia)

75 Years Ago—July 10, 1944: Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg reports to the Swedish embassy in Budapest, Hungary as a secretary; he will issue protective passports and save the lives of thousands of Jews.

Today in World War II History—July 9, 1944

US Marines in northern Saipan, 8 Jul 1944 (US Marine Corps)

US Marines in northern Saipan, 8 Jul 1944 (US Marine Corps)

British soldier in Caen, France, 9 July 1944 (Imperial War Museum)

British soldier in Caen, France, 9 July 1944 (Imperial War Museum)

75 Years Ago—July 9, 1944: US secures Saipan in the Mariana Islands.

British Second Army and Canadian II Corps take crucial city of Caen in Normandy.

In Hungary, Prime Minister Miklós Horthy temporarily stops deportation of the Jews, an attempt to curry favor with the Allies in case of the need to negotiate for surrender.

Today in World War II History—July 8, 1944

Barrage balloons over Buckingham Palace in London during WWII (RAF photo)

Barrage balloons over Buckingham Palace in London during WWII (RAF photo)

British Sherman tanks in the assault on Caen, France, 8 July 1944 (Imperial War Museum: 4700-29 B 6642)

British Sherman tanks in the assault on Caen, France, 8 July 1944 (Imperial War Museum: 4700-29 B 6642)

75 Years Ago—July 8, 1944: In Normandy, British & Canadians launch assault on Caen and enter the city.

British launch 1750 barrage balloons south of London to combat German V-1 buzz bombs.

US Army commands all Post Exchanges, theaters, and transportation to be open to all races.

Today in World War II History—July 7, 1944

Ruins of Caen, France, including Église Saint-Pierre, 10 July 1944 (public domain via WW2 Database)

Ruins of Caen, France, including Église Saint-Pierre, 10 July 1944 (public domain via WW2 Database)

75 Years Ago—July 7, 1944: Japanese launch final banzai charge on Saipan; 500 US troops killed, 2000 Japanese.

RAF sends 467 bombers to Caen, France; over the next three days, most of the city will be destroyed by bombing.

Today in World War II History—July 6, 1944

Princess Elizabeth with B-17G Rose of York of the US 306th Bombardment Group, Thurleigh, England, 6 July 1944 (US Army Air Forces photo)

Princess Elizabeth with B-17G Rose of York of the US 306th Bombardment Group, Thurleigh, England, 6 July 1944 (US Army Air Forces photo)

75 Years Ago—July 6, 1944: A fire erupts in the Barnum & Bailey big top in Hartford, CT; 169 are killed, including 80 children.

King George VI and Princess Elizabeth visit US 306th Bomb Group at Thurleigh and christen B-17 Rose of York in honor of the princess’s 18th birthday. Read more: “The Royal Family in World War II.”

Future baseball star Lt. Jackie Robinson refuses to give up a bus seat at Camp Hood, TX; he is arrested, court-martialed, and later acquitted.

Today in World War II History—July 5, 1944

US poster, WWII

US poster, WWII

75 Years Ago—July 5, 1944: In US, inner tubes are removed from rationing, but tires are still rationed. Read more: “Make It Do—Tire Rationing in World War II.”

US Fifteenth Air Force bombs German submarine pens at Toulon, France, sinking two of the ten U-boats remaining in the Mediterranean and damaging five.

Today in World War II History—July 4, 1944

US poster, WWII

US poster, WWII

75 Years Ago—July 4, 1944: Millionth Allied soldier lands in Normandy, less than one month after D-day.

In Normandy, 1100 US guns fire a Fourth of July salute at the German lines.

Soviets launch offensive into the Baltic States.

US Navy Task Force 58 bombards and bombs Iwo Jima, Haha Jima, and Chichi Jima, forcing the Japanese air force to leave the islands.

Today in World War II History—July 3, 1944

US tank, modified with iron teeth, cuts through the bocage (hedgerows) in Normandy, France, July 1944 (US Army Center of Military History)

US tank, modified with iron teeth, cuts through the bocage (hedgerows) in Normandy, France, July 1944 (US Army Center of Military History)

75 Years Ago—July 3, 1944: French and Algerian forces take Siena, Italy.

Soviets take Minsk in Byelorussia.

US First Army VIII Corps launches drive south from Cherbourg peninsula, the “Battle of the Hedgerows,” advancing only 7 miles in 12 days.

Embers in the London Sky cover
“Another masterful installment in Sundin’s roster of WWII novels.”
—Booklist starred review for Embers in the London Sky
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