366 Days

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November

News Headlines

1

U.S. LAUNCHES BOUGAINVILLE CAMPAIGN IN SOUTHWEST PACIFIC

Cape Torokina, Bougainville, Northern Solomon Islands • November 1, 1943 Guadalcanal, the largest island in the southern Solo­mon Islands, was the site where the string of Japa­nese con­quests, starting in Janunary 1942, finally ran its course. The bloody fight for Gua­dal­canal (August 7, 1942 to Feb­ru­ary 9, 1943) was a recog­nized turning point in the Pacific […]

2

KOKODA TRAIL SWEEP IS LEAD-UP TO CAPTURING BUNA-GONA

Port Moresby, New Guinea • November 2, 1942 After failing in the Battle of the Coral Sea (May 4–8, 1942) to take the Austra­lian admin­is­tra­tive capital of Port Moresby on the island of New Gui­nea (see map), 4,400 Japa­nese troops landed on the island’s north­eastern shore on the night of July 21/22, 1942, and estab­lished beach­heads at […]

3

JAPANESE BALLOON BOMBS STRIKE U.S. WEST COAST

Seattle, Washington • November 3, 1944 On this date in 1944 Japan began an explosive balloon cam­paign against the U.S. and Canada. Over the next five months the Special Bal­loon Regi­ment of the Japa­nese Army launched some 6,000 to 9,300 (sources vary) hydro­gen-filled rubberized-silk or paper “fire bal­loons” (fūsen bakudan, lit. “balloon bomb”), or Fu-Go’s […]

4

POLISH GHETTO BLUEPRINT FOR HOLLAND

Warsaw, Occupied Poland • November 4, 1939 On this date in 1939 in Nazi-occupied Poland, newly appointed Governor-Gen­er­al Hans Frank estab­lished the War­saw ghetto and began forcing the city’s Jews into a single area. Ten days later Frank and his deputy Arthur Seyss-Inquart ordered Jews in Poland to wear a white brace­let bearing a hexa­gonal […]

5

HIROHITO SANCTIONS WAR WITH U.S.

Tokyo, Japan • November 5, 1941 On September 6, 1941, Japanese officials, in a decision endorsed by Shōwa Emperor Hiro­hito, gave their diplo­mats until mid-Octo­ber to reverse the policy of the West­ern powers—prin­ci­pally the U.S., Great Britain, and the Nether­lands—of restricting Japan’s access to vital South­east Asian resources, among them oil, rubber, tin, bauxite, timber, […]

6

BRITISH RETRIEVE GERMAN SECRET WEAPON FROM WRECK

London, England • November 6, 1940 On this date in 1940 a two-engine German Heinkel He 111 bomber was shot down and sank in the shal­lows off South­ern England. A water­logged X‑Geraet (“X‑device”) was recovered. The X‑Geraet played a role in the Battle of the Beams, a period early in the war when German bombers were […]

7

U.S. EXTENDS LEND-LEASE TO SOVIET UNION

Washington, D.C. • November 7, 1941 On March 11, 1941, U.S. President Franklin D. Roose­velt signed into law the Lend-Lease Act, which was a govern­ment-back pro­gram under which the still-neutral United States would begin supplying Great Britain and mem­bers of the British Common­wealth (Aus­tralia and New Zea­land, for instance), Free French Forces led by Gen. […]

8

ALLIES ESTABLISH PRESENCE IN FRENCH NORTH AFRICA

Gibraltar Mediterranean Forward Operating Base • November 8, 1942 Within four weeks of the massive German invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941 (Oper­a­tion Bar­ba­rossa), with Adolf Hitler’s Wehr­macht (German armed forces) easily and quickly advancing on the Soviet capital, Moscow, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin on July 19, 1941, and again in Septem­ber pressed Great Britain […]

9

GERMANS POUR INTO TUNISIA AFTER TORCH LANDINGS

Tunis, Tunisia • November 9, 1942 On this date in 1942, one day after the largest amphi­bious inva­sion force in his­tory to that time landed Allied troops on the French Alge­ri­an and Moroc­can coasts, German troops, tanks, and air­craft started pouring into neigh­boring Tunisia from nearby bases in Italy. Opera­tion Torch, under the command of […]

10

GERMANS, ITALIANS HUDDLE AFTER TORCH LANDINGS

Munich, Germany • November 10, 1942 On this date in 1942, two days after Allied landings in Vichy French-held Morocco and Algeria (Opera­tion Torch), Itali­an dicta­tor Benito Musso­lini sent his son-in-law, foreign minis­ter Gale­azzo Ciano, to Munich in his stead to speak with Adolf Hitler. Musso­lini had wanted to meet the Fuehrer in Salz­burg, in […]

11

BRITISH NAVY ENJOYS CAPITAL VICTORY AT TARANTO

Alexandria, Egypt • November 11, 1940 Italian Army operations in North Africa, based in Libya, required a supply line from the Ital­ian main­land. The British Army’s North African Cam­paign, based in Egypt, suffered from supply diffi­cul­ties in the Medi­ter­ranean Thea­ter due to the proxi­mity of Italy’s Regia Marina naval base at Taranto on the Italian […]

12

RAF ENDS GERMAN BATTLESHIP TIRPITZ’S CAREER

Tromsø Fjord, Occupied Norway • November 12, 1944 On this date in Norway’s Tromsø Fjord the British Royal Air Force dropped three 13,000-pound “Tallboy” bombs to cap­size the German battle­ship Tirpitz, the Kriegs­marine’s ill-starred wan­nabe sur­face raider. Ever since Septem­ber 22, 1943, when a pair of Royal Navy mid­get sub­marines engineered a hair-raising day­light attack on […]

13

RED BALL EXPRESS TO CEASE CONVOY OPERATIONS

Utah Beach, Liberated France • November 13, 1944 On this date in 1944 Utah Beach ceased operations as an off­loading site for men and supplies intended for Allied armies chasing east­ward-fleeing Germans across France. Utah Beach was one of five Nor­mandy invasion beaches where Allied men at arms and equip­ment came ashore to liber­ate German-occupied […]

14

NAZIS BACK VLASOV’S RUSSIAN LIBERATION ARMY AND COMMITTEE

Prague, Occupied Czechoslovakia • November 14, 1944 On this date in German-occupied Czechoslovakia Lt. Gen. Andrei (Andrey) Andreie­vich Vlasov read aloud the Prague Mani­festo to members of the newly created Com­mit­tee for the Lib­er­a­tion of the Peoples of Russia. Among its 14 prin­ci­ples, the Prague Mani­festo guaran­teed free­dom of speech, press, religion, and assem­bly, as well […]

15

GERMANS PREPARE SURPRISE OFFENSIVE IN ARDENNES FOREST

Cologne, Germany • November 15, 1944 As the Allied offensive ground on west of the Rhine River, dozens of German tank and infan­try divi­sions gathered in assem­bly areas north­west of the city of Cologne and in the thick forest cover of the Eiffel moun­tains on this date in 1944. Con­ceived by Adolf Hitler, the multi-stage […]

16

U.S. ARMY BOGS DOWN IN HUERTGEN FOREST

Huertgen, Germany • November 16, 1944 On September 19, 1944, elements of Lt. Gen. Courtney Hodges’ First U.S. Army entered the 10‑mile-wide, 20‑mile-long Huertgen (Hürtgen) Forest south­east of Aachen. The ancient capital of Holy Roman emperor Charlemagne and a node on Germany’s “dragons’ teeth” defensive West­wall (known to the Allies as the Sieg­fried Line), Aachen […]

17

ITALY EMBARKS ON ANTI-SEMITIC CAMPAIGN

Rome, Italy • November 17, 1938 On July 14, 1938, Italy’s Manifesto of Racial Scientists (Mani­festo Degli Scien­ziati Raz­zisti) laid out a scien­ti­fic expla­na­tion for the poli­tics of bio­logical racism. Signed by 42 emi­nent Italians, the mani­festo, published in Il Giornale d’Italia, a news­paper strongly supporting Benito Mus­so­lini’s Fascist regime, declared that Ital­ians belonged to the […]

18

OPERATION CRUSADER TO LIFT AXIS SIEGE OF TOBRUK

Tobruk, Cyrenaica, Eastern Libya • November 18, 1941 On this date in 1941 the British Eighth Army, an assort­ment of British, Com­mon­wealth, Indian, and other Allied service­men com­manded by Lt. Gen. Alan Cunning­ham (from Novem­ber 26 by Lt. Gen. Neil Ritchie), launched a sur­prise mili­tary oper­a­tion from Egyp­tian ter­ritory against Axis forces in Eastern Libya […]

19

SOVIETS MOVE TO TRAP GERMAN SIXTH ARMY

Stalingrad, Soviet Union • November 19, 1942 On this date in 1942 the Soviets kicked off Operation Uranus, Phase I of the Red Army’s en­circle­ment of Gen. Fried­rich Paulus’ Sixth Army (the single-largest German troop for­ma­tion), as well as the German Fourth Panzer Army and the Third and Fourth Roma­nian armies at Stalin­grad (today’s Volgo­grad). The […]

20

LANDING VEHICLE TRACKED MAKES COMBAT DEBUT

Tarawa, Gilbert Islands • November 20, 1943 On this date in 1943 the Alligator LVT-1, or Landing Vehicle Tracked‑1, made its first com­bat debut. Actually, the LVT‑1 saw use in landings on Guadal­canal and the adja­cent islands of Tulagi, Tanam­bogo, and Gavutu over a year earlier, in August 1942, but only as a logis­ti­cal support […]

21

WAR CRIMES TRIAL BEGINS FOR HITLER’S HENCHMEN

Nuremberg, Germany • November 21, 1945 On this date in 1945 in Germany the International Mili­tary Tri­bu­nal (Nurem­berg Trials) of Nazi leaders got down to busi­ness in the Bava­rian city where Adolf Hitler had staged his 1930s showy Nazi Party rallies. The legal basis for the trials was estab­lished by the London Char­ter, issued by […]

22

FOREIGN NATIONALS CREATE NANKING SAFETY ZONE

Nanking, China • November 22, 1937 On this date in 1937 in Nanking (today’s Nanjing), China’s capi­tal at the time, fifteen foreign busi­ness­men, mission­aries, and jour­nalists under the leader­ship of German national and Nazi Party mem­ber John Rabe organ­ized the Inter­na­tional Com­mit­tee for the Nan­king Safety Zone. The mission of the com­mittee was to shel­ter […]

23

U.S. MARINES SCORE VICTORY AT TARAWA

Tarawa, Gilbert Islands • November 23, 1943 On this date in 1943 the first U.S. offensive in the Central Pacific region was declared won after 76 hours of fierce fighting. The 4,800 Japa­nese defenders (soldiers, marines, and Jap­anese and Korean construc­tion workers) on Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands were well-supplied and well-prepared, and they fought […]

24

ALLIES ADOPT WAR PLANS FOR 1944 AGAINST AXIS

Cairo, Egypt • November 24, 1943 On this date in 1943 in Egypt, U.S. President Franklin D. Roose­velt, British Prime Minis­ter Winston Chur­chill, and Chi­nese leader Gener­al­is­simo Chiang Kai-shek (leader of a some­times forgotten ally) con­tinued their series of talks during their Cairo Con­fer­ence (Novem­ber 23–27, 1943). Churchill and his party had hoped to estab­lish a […]

25

V-2 ROCKET KILLS/INJURES HUNDREDS

London, England • November 25, 1944 On this date in 1944 a German ballistic missile slammed into a crowded Wool­worths store in London, England, killing 160 civil­ians and seri­ously injuring 108 more. The 42‑ft‑tall, 12‑ton V‑2 (Ver­geltungs­waffe 2, “Retri­bution [or Ven­geance] Wea­pon 2”) rocket with its one-ton pay­load of high explo­sives was truly a wea­pon of mass destruc­tion. […]

26

JAPANESE CARRIERS SET OUT FOR PEARL HARBOR

Hitokappu Bay, Kurile Islands, Northern Japan • November 26, 1941 For several months the airmen of Japan’s First Naval Air Fleet had trained for an attack on the main base of the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor on the Hawai­ian is­land of Oahu. Squa­drons of naval planes flew low over the city of Kago­shima on […]

27

FRENCH SCUTTLE MEDITERRANEAN FLEET

Toulon Harbor, French Mediterranean • November 27, 1942 Between November 10 and 12, 1942, Germany and Italy engaged in a joint opera­tion (German, Unter­nehmen Anton, or Case Anton) to occupy Marshal Philippe Pétain’s Vichy France, the French Riviera, and the French Medi­ter­ra­nean island of Cor­sica. These three areas com­prised the so-called “Free Zone,” which was an […]

28

TEHRAN CONFERENCE TO SHAPE POSTWAR WORLD

Tehran, Iran • November 28, 1943 On November 27, 1943, U.S. President Frank­lin D. Roose­velt left Cairo for Tehran, Iran’s capi­tal. The Egyp­tian capi­tal had hosted two Western leaders, Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Win­ston Chur­chill, and Chi­nese Nationalist leader Gener­al­is­simo Chiang Kai-shek. The Cairo Con­fer­ence, code­named Sex­tant, was a feeder con­fer­ence to a weightier […]

29

HITLER: GERMAN NAVY TO BRING ENGLAND TO HEEL

Berlin, Germany • November 29, 1939 On this date in 1939, nearly three months after the Wehr­macht (German armed forces) over­ran neigh­boring Poland, launching World War II in Europe, German dicta­tor Adolf Hitler issued Fuehrer Direc­tive Num­ber 9, the first of two direc­tives on mea­sures his coun­try would have to take to ren­der the British econ­omy and […]

30

NAZI MASSACRE IN RUMBULA FOREST

Riga, German-Occupied Latvia • November 30, 1941 On November 25 and 29, 1941, Einsatz­gruppe 3 (Special Task Group 3), one of many SS (short for Schutz­staffel) mobile death squads oper­ating behind German front lines, mur­dered 5,000 “Reich Jews,” that is, German- and Austrian-born Jews. These men, women, and chil­dren had arrived in the Baltic ghetto at Kaunas, Lithuania’s […]

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