366 Days

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June

News Headlines

1

ALLIES DISRUPT GERMAN DEFENSES IN FRANCE

London, England • June 1, 1944 In June 1942 members of the French Resis­tance pro­vided British intel­li­gence with a copy of the top-secret blue­print of portions of Adolf Hitler’s Atlan­tic Wall—part of the defenses against the anti­ci­pated Allied in­va­sion of West­ern Europe. The map had been spirited from the office of the German public works […]

2

CHURCHILL-DE GAULLE RIFT ON EVE OF D-DAY

London, England • June 2, 1944 In June 1943 in Algeria, North Africa, the Free French founded the Comité Fran­çais de Libéra­tion Nationale (CFNL). Much poli­tical maneu­vering was needed to merge the Free French, whose nu­cleus con­sisted of French­men who had escaped Ger­man cap­ture at Dun­kirk, the Channel port in North­western France (May 26 to June 4, […]

3

GLIDER PHASE OF D-DAY BEGINS

RAF Aldermaston and Ramsbury Airfields, England • June 3, 1944 On this date in 1944 in Aldermaston, England, men of the 434th Troop Carrier Group and the 101st Air­borne Divi­sion (“Screaming Eagles”) began moving 52 CG‑4A engine­less combat gliders and C‑47 Sky­train tug planes onto the air­field to lead the glider phase of Oper­a­tion Over­lord, the in­va­sion […]

4

NORMANDY INVASION SET FOR JUNE 6

Southwick House, Southeast England • June 4, 1944 Tomorrow, June 5, 1944, a Monday, was to have been an epic day—the day Allied forces invaded a 50‑mile stretch of Ger­man-occu­pied beach on the French Nor­mandy coast. The cross-Chan­nel inva­sion of North­western France, code­named Oper­a­tion Over­lord, had been pushed from May, when there had been roughly […]

5

CITIZENS WITNESS LIBERATION BY FIRELIGHT

Sainte-Mère-Église, Liberated France • June 5, 1944 On this date in 1944 the stolid citizens of Sainte-Mère-Église on the Coten­tin Penin­sula in Nor­mandy, France, retired to their beds on the eve of the largest air- and sea­borne inva­sion in history—Oper­a­tion Over­lord. As early as 1942, U.S. mili­tary planners had been eyeing this cross­roads town of […]

6

ALLIES ASSAULT NORMANDY’S BEACHES

Normandy, Liberated France • June 6, 1944 It was a cloudy late spring day, D-Day. Already Hermann Goering’s Luft­waffe, stalked relent­lessly by Anglo-Ameri­can air forces, had sur­ren­dered air suprem­acy over the English Chan­nel. Sadly, the Luft­waffe chief had just 327 air­craft to oppose the Allied inva­sion of North­western France! Equally embar­rassing, not one stealthy U‑boat of Adm. […]

7

KING, GOVERNMENT FLEE NORWAY TO ENGLAND

Tromsø, Occupied Norway • June 7, 1940 Within days of the German invasion of neutral Denmark and Nor­way on April 9, 1940 (Oper­a­tion Weser­uebung), it became clear that the Nor­we­gian armed forces could not resist the more power­ful Wehr­macht (German armed forces), bris­tling with modern wea­ponry and sup­ported by highly effec­tive air cover. Caught largely […]

8

D-DAY CEMETERY ESTABLISHED IN FRANCE

Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy • June 8, 1944 On this date in 1944, two days after the D-Day landings, a small piece of Nor­man­dy, France, became the site of the first Amer­i­can mili­tary ceme­tery to be estab­lished in Europe during World War II. On that first day the make­shift grave­yard near the village of Colle­ville-sur-Mer was lined with […]

9

JEDBURGHS, FRENCH RESISTANCE TEST NAZI HOLD ON FRANCE

RAF Fairford, England and Blida near Algiers, Algeria • June 9/10, 1944 In planning the successful June 6, 1944, sea- and air­borne inva­sion of German-occupied Nor­mandy, France, Supreme Allied Com­mander of the Allied Expe­di­tionary Force, Gen. Dwight D. Eisen­hower, fully appre­ci­ated the neces­sity of coor­di­nating French Resis­tance actions with the Allies’ stra­te­gic and tac­ti­cal plans […]

10

U.S., BRITISH AIR FORCES KICK OFF COMBINED BOMBER OFFENSIVE

London, England • June 10, 1943 On this date in 1943 U.S. and British air forces unleashed their Com­bined Bomber Offen­sive (CBO) against indus­trial targets valu­able to Nazi Germany’s war machine, partic­u­larly to the Luft­waffe. The CBO had several ante­cedents. In late 1942 both the British and the Amer­i­cans had iden­tified “bottle­neck” German indus­tries (Great […]

11

ITALY BOMBS MALTA, BRITISH ISLAND FORTRESS

Malta, Central Mediterranean • June 11, 1940 On this date in 1940, one day after Italy entered World War II on the side of Axis part­ner Nazi Germany, the Ital­ian Royal Air Force opened a nearly non­stop series of air raids on the Medi­ter­ra­nean is­land of Malta, a British pos­ses­sion since 1800. Benito Mus­so­lini spec­u­lated […]

12

U.S. NAVY FLIERS FIND RICH TARGETS IN MARIANAS

Off the Mariana Islands, Central Pacific • June 12, 1944 On this date in 1944 in the Marianas, U.S. carrier aircraft began attacking Japa­nese defenses on Saipan, Tinian, and Guam in prep­a­ra­tion for the three-week battle for the archip­el­ago’s admin­is­tra­tive center, Saipan. Eight hun­dred U.S. war­ships carrying 162,000 fighting men were set to smash into the […]

13

U.S. AIRBORNE TROOPS LIBERATE FIRST FRENCH TOWN

Carentan, Cotentin Peninsula, France • June 13, 1944 Late Monday, June 5, 1944, the largest amphib­ious inva­sion in his­tory was set to launch. The next day, June 6, D-Day, three Allied armies began depo­siting their pre­cious cargo of men and equip­ment on five Nor­mandy beaches and in mul­tiple aerial drop zones behind them. By evening […]

14

HOLOCAUST AND GERMAN BUSINESSES JOINED AT HIP

Auschwitz, German-Occupied Poland • June 14, 1940 On this date in German-occupied Poland 728 male polit­ical pri­soners, Catho­lic priests, and Jews left Tarnów’s train station for Auschwitz con­cen­tra­tion camp (Konzen­tra­tions­lager Auschwitz), 80 miles away. It was the first mass trans­port of pri­soners to Auschwitz (Polish name, Oświę­cim) since the camp was opened for busi­ness on April 27, 1940, […]

15

ARADO AR 234 BLITZ FLIGHT TESTING BEGINS

Rheine Airfield, Lower Saxony, Germany • June 15, 1943 On this date in 1943 the world’s first jet-powered bomber, the Arado Ar 234 Blitz (English, Light­ning), made its appear­ance in the skies over North­western Germany. The flight of this all-metal, single-seat, twin-jet proto­type came 11 months after the first flight test of a fully con­figured Messer­schmitt Me 262 […]

16

BOMBERS BLAST VIENNA OIL REFINERIES

Foggia Airfield Complex, Southeast Italy • June 16, 1944 On this date in 1944 nearly 600 B‑17 Flying Fortresses and B‑24 Liberators from the U.S. Fifteenth Air Force took off from bases in Foggia, South­eastern Italy, to attack oil refin­er­ies around Vienna, Austria, and Bra­tislava, Czecho­slo­va­kia. After Romania, Austria was the big­gest Axis crude oil […]

17

STALIN SNATCHES LATVIA, HITLER HALTS WAR AGAINST FRANCE

Munich, Germany • June 17, 1940 On this date in 1940 Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union, drawing on pro­vi­sions of the sec­ret pro­to­col in the August 1939 Molotov-Rib­ben­trop Non­aggression Pact with his Nazi ally, ordered an attack on the Baltic state of Lat­via. (The 1939 pro­to­col had already returned divi­dends to the two con­spira­tor […]

18

“BRACE YOURSELVES” CHURCHILL TELLS BRITISH

London, England • June 18, 1940 Four days after the fall of Paris to German invaders, Charles de Gaulle, a tall (6 ft, 4 in), young (49), rela­tively un­known French brig­a­dier gene­ral who had escaped to England on June 15, 1940, addressed the French people in a radio broad­cast from the BBC in London on this date in 1940. […]

19

U.S. ARMY ACTIVATES SECRET INTELLIGENCE SCHOOL

Camp Ritchie, Maryland • June 19, 1942 On this date in 1942 the U.S. Army activated the Mili­tary Intel­li­gence Training Center (MITC) at Camp Ritchie. Former pro­perty of a failed ice com­pany, the rural site was con­verted into a sum­mer training camp for the Mary­land National Guard in 1926. Six­teen years later the U.S. Army […]

20

FRENCH RESISTANCE, WEHRMACHT CLASH

Mont Mouchet, South-Central France • June 20, 1944 During the Allied invasion of France (Operation Overlord), the Maquis and other French resis­tance groups played a vital role in delaying the arri­val of German rein­force­ments to the Normandy beach­head as well as in the even­tual Allied vic­tory in France. The FFI, or Fifis (Forces Fran­çaises de […]

21

U.S. LAUNCHES NEW GEORGIA CAMPAIGN IN SOUTH PACIFIC

New Georgia Islands, Solomon Islands • June 21, 1943 On this date in 1943, the U.S. kicked off Operation Toenails, as the New Georgia cam­paign was called, with unopposed landings by the elite 4th Marine Raider Bat­talion followed the next day by the Army’s 43rd Infan­try Divi­sion. The year before, in Octo­ber, the Japa­nese had recon­noitered […]

22

GERMANS BOMB U.S. AIR BASE IN UKRAINE

Poltava, Ukraine SSR, Soviet Union • June 22, 1944 Since mid-1942 U.S. Army Air Forces brass had pro­posed to the Soviets an expan­sion of shuttle bombing mis­sions that would strike hard-to-reach tar­gets in Central and Eastern Europe. The con­cept of shuttle bombing was straight-forward: Allied bombers and fighter escorts would launch them­selves from one air­field, […]

23

SOVIET BLITZKRIEG KNOCKS GERMANS OFF BALANCE

Moscow, Soviet Union • June 23, 1944 On this date in 1944 along a 450-mile front some 2.4 mil­lion Soviet front­line and support troops, 5,200 tanks, and 5,300 air­craft smashed through German lines in present-day Bela­rus (White Russia and Belo­russia in some earlier sources). Sabo­tage of rail net­works and bridges by guer­rillas several days before June 23 impeded German […]

24

EISENHOWER TO COMMAND U.S. FORCES IN EUROPE

London, England • June 24, 1942 On this date in 1942 Maj. Gen. Dwight D. Eisen­hower arrived in London, England, to assume adminis­tra­tive and opera­tional com­mand of the Euro­pean Theater of Opera­tions, United States Army. At the time (end of May) the U.S. Army in Europe con­sisted of three infan­try regi­ments. Set up 16 days prior […]

25

BRITISH INTERN SUSPECT GERMANS, ITALIANS

London, England • June 25, 1940 Under the threat of imminent invasion from Nazi Ger­many, the Brit­ish govern­ment on this date in 1940 began in­terning all sus­pect aliens living in the United King­dom. Thou­sands of Germans, Austrians, and Italians, including Jewish refugees from the Nazis, were placed behind barbed wire in England (race­tracks and unfinished […]

26

CHERBOURG’S CAPTURE TO REPLACE LOST MULBERRY HARBOR

Cherbourg, France • June 26, 1944 On June 19–22, 1944, a violent gale featuring 32‑knot winds hit the two huge Mul­berry arti­ficial har­bors that the Allies had built in Eng­land, towed across the Eng­lish Chan­nel under danger of wind, weather, and enemy air attack, and planted off the Nor­mandy invasion beaches, one off Omaha, the […]

27

SOVIETS OVERRUN PARTS OF ROMANIA

Bucharest, Romania • June 27, 1940 On this date in 1940 Red Army troops invaded Roma­nia in the wake of Roma­nian King Carol II’s refusal to cede the east­ern terri­tories of Bes­sa­rabia and North­ern Buko­vina to the Soviet Union (see map). These terri­tories, once part of Czarist Russia and Austria-Hungary before 1918, had been assigned to […]

28

NAZIS MOVE TO STRENGTHEN LAWS AGAINST SEX OFFENDERS

Berlin, Germany • June 28, 1935 On this date in 1935, Nazi Germany amended Para­graph 175 of the German penal code that had been in place since 1871 during the chan­cel­lorship of Prince Otto von Bis­marck, the Iron Chan­cellor in Kaiser Wilhelm I’s Second Reich. Para­graph 175 out­lawed acts of “unna­tural inde­cency” only between men. Six years later […]

29

GERMAN CAPITAL, OTHER CITIES SCENES OF CARNAGE

Berlin, Germany • June 29, 1934 Late on this date in 1934 German Chancellor Adolf Hitler unleashed an extraor­di­nary mur­der spree known as the “Night of the Long Knives” (“Nacht der Langen Messer”). Presi­dent Paul von Hinden­burg’s doctors had leaked news that the 86‑year-old German military hero had only months to live. Hitler feared that […]

30

JAPAN SHELVES WAR PLANS AGAINST SOVIETS

Tokyo, Japan • June 30, 1941 On September 19, 1931, soldiers of the Kwantung Army (even­tually the largest, most pres­ti­gious branch of the Impe­rial Japa­nese Army) invaded Man­chu­ria in North­east China from their Chi­nese base at Port Arthur (known as Ryojun in Japa­nese; present-day Dalian or Lüshun Port) and estab­lished a pup­pet state they called […]

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