|World War II|
|Timelines of World War II|
This is a timeline of events that occurred during 1944 in World War II.
January 1944[edit | edit source]
- 4: The Battle of Monte Cassino begins.
- 4: The 1st Ukrainian Front of the Red Army enters Poland.
- 8: Filipino troops enter the province of Ilocos Sur in the Philippines against the Japanese forces.
- 9: British forces take Maungdaw, Burma, a critical port for Allied supplies.
- 11: The first battle of Monte Cassino. The Americans are driven off.
- 12: Count Ciano, the Italian Foreign Minister and Mussolini's son-in-law is executed by Mussolini's revived Fascist government sympathisers.
- 17: British forces, in Italy, cross the Garigliano River
- 19: Red Army troops push westward toward the Baltic countries.
- 19: British Operation Outward accidentally claims lives in Sweden by causing a train crash by knocking out lighting
- 20: The Royal Air Force drops 2,300 tons of bombs on Berlin
- 20: The U.S. Army 36th Infantry Division, in Italy, attempts to cross the Rapido River but suffers heavy losses.
- 22: Allies begin Operation Shingle, the landing at Anzio, Italy. The U.S. Army 45th Infantry Division stand their ground at Anzio against violent assaults for 4 months. Time and again aggressive German artillery and troop attacks nearly overwhelm the beachhead.
- 24: The Allied forces have a major setback on the Rapido River.
- 30: United States troops invade Majuro, Marshall Islands.
- 30: The Japanese kill 44 suspected spies in the Homfreyganj massacre
- 31: American forces land on Kwajalein Atoll and other islands in the Japanese-held Marshall Islands.
- 31: Americans are still struggling to protect the beachhead at Anzio.
February 1944[edit | edit source]
- 1: United States Marines mop up on Roi and Namur in the Marshall Islands.
- 1: The battles at both Monte Cassino and Anzio intensify.
- 2: Narva front near the east border of Estonia is formed between the Soviet and German forces.
- 3: United States taking of the Marshall Islands is nearing completion.
- 3: The Red Army take prisoner two German Army corps at the Korsun pocket, south of Kiev.
- 3: American planes bomb Eniwetok in the Marshalls, later to be a major B-29 base.
- 4: Kwajalein, the world's largest atoll and a major Japanese naval base is secured.
- 5: American Navy bombards the Kuril Islands, northernmost in the Japanese homelands.
- 6: Germans have continuing success in staving off the Allies at Cassino.
- 7: In Anzio, the Allies continue to be threatened by German artillery attacks.
- 7: In a radio interview, the last Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Uluots as acting Head of State supports mobilisation.
- 8: The plan for the invasion of France, Operation Overlord, is confirmed.
- 11: German forces sent to relieve the Korsun pocket in Ukraine were now only 10 miles away.
- 14: Meerapalu Landing of the 374th Rifle Regiment forms a bridgehead on the western shore of Lake Peipus.
- 14: Mereküla Landing of the special unit of the Soviet Baltic Sea Fleet in the rear of the Germans at the Narva front at Mereküla is resisted.
- 14: The underground organisation, the National Committee of the Republic of Estonia, is formed in Tallinn.
- 14: SHAEF headquarters are established in Britain by U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower
- 14: Anti-Japanese revolt on Java.
- 15: The Soviet bridgehead on the west coast of Lake Peipus is annihilated
- 15: Soviet Leningrad Front initiates the Narva Offensive, February 15–28.
- 15: The "second" Battle of Monte Cassino begins. The history-rich monastery atop Monte Cassino is destroyed by Allied bombing. The bombing is controversial since the Germans deny the Allied charge that the grounds were used as observation posts.
- 16: Germans launch a major counter-attack at Anzio, threatening the American beachhead.
- 16: Germans, with Panzer forces leading, fail to break out of the Korsun pocket.
- 16: Diplomats from the USSR and Finland meet to sign an armistice.
- 17: American Marines land on Eniwetok Atoll.
- 18: The Light Cruiser HMS Penelope is torpedoed and sunk off the coast of Anzio, Italy with a loss of 415 crew
- 18: American naval air raids on the Truk islands, a major Japanese naval base, but it will be one of the bypassed fortresses of the Japanese outer defence ring.
- 19: Leipzig, Germany is bombed for two straight nights. This marks the beginning of a "Big Week" bombing campaign against German industrial cities by Allied bombers.
- 20: A colonial military garrison in Luluabourg in the Belgian Congo mutinies, killing three.
- 23: US Navy planes attack the Mariana Islands of Saipan, Guam, Tinian.
- 26: The "Big Week" bombing campaign comes to a successful conclusion; the American P-51 Mustang fighter with its long range proves invaluable in protecting American bombers over Germany.
- 26: Red Air Force continues to bomb Helsinki, as Finland continues peace talks.
- 27: USS Cod sunk a Japanese merchant ship by torpedo.
- 28: The Admiralty Islands are invaded by U.S. forces, marked by the Battle of Los Negros and Operation Brewer. The struggle for this important fleet anchorage will continue until May. Rabaul is now completely isolated.
- 28: Belgian industrialist Alexandre Galopin is assassinated in occupied Belgium by Flemish paramilitaries.
March 1944[edit | edit source]
- 1: The keels of USS Tarawa and USS Kearsarge are laid down.
: Anti-fascist strikes occur in northern Italy.
: Leningrad Front initiate the Narva Offensive, March 1–4
- 6: Wingate's Chindits make several successful forays in Burma.
: The Soviet Air Force bombs Narva, the city is destroyed. The Leningrad Front initiates the Narva Offensive, March 6–24
: The Australians receive faulty intelligence that the Japanese are about to mount an attack on Western Australia, causing them to greatly bolster defenses there. When no attack comes, they return to their regular stations on the 20th
- 7: Japanese begin an invasion attempt on India, starting a four-month battle around Imphal.
- 8: American forces are attacked by Japanese troops on Hill 700 in the Bougainville; the battle that will last five days.
: A Red Army offensive on a wide front west of the Dnieper in the Ukraine forces the Germans into a major retreat.
- 9: The Soviet Long Range Aviation carries out an air raid on Tallinn, Estonia. The military objects are almost untouched. Approx. 800 civilians die and 20,000 people are left without a shelter.
- 12: The creation of the Political Committee of National Liberation in Greece.
- 13: On Bougainville, Japanese troops end their failed assault on American forces at Hill 700.
- 15: The National Council of the French Resistance approves the Resistance programme.
: The "third" Battle of Cassino begins with the small town of Cassino destroyed.
: Americans take Manus Island in the Admiralty chain.
- 16: United States XI Corps arrives in Pacific Theater.
- 17: Heavy bombing of Vienna.
- 18: German forces occupy Hungary. The Red Army approach Romanian border.
- 19: Yugoslav partisans attack Trieste, on the border of Italy and Croatia.
- 20: Red Army advances in the Ukraine continue with great success.
- 21: Finland rejects Soviet peace terms.
- 22: Japanese forces cross the Indian border all along the Imphal front.
: Frankfurt is bombed with heavy civilian losses.
- 24: The Fosse Ardeatine massacre in Rome, Italy. 335 Italians are killed, including 75 Jews and over 200 members various groups in the Italian Resistance; this is a German response to a bomb blast that killed German troops.
: Orde Wingate is killed in a plane crash.
: Heavy bombings of German cities at various strategic locations last for 24 hours.
- 25: Soviet air force bombs the city of Tartu, Estonia.
- 26: On Narva front, Strachwitz Offensive destroys part of the Soviet bridgehead.
- 28: Japanese troops are in retreat in Burma.
- 30: RAF suffers grievous losses in a huge air raid on Nuremberg.
April 1944[edit | edit source]
- 3: Allied bombers hit Budapest in Hungary, now occupied by the Germans, and Bucharest in Romania, ahead of the advancing Red Army.
- 4: General Charles de Gaulle takes command of all Free French forces.
- 5: US Air Force bombs Ploesti oil fields in Romania, with heavy losses.
- 6: The Japanese drive on the Plain of Imphal, supposedly halted, proves strong enough to surround British forces at Imphal and Kohima, in India.
- 7: The Red Army takes Kerch in the eastern Crimea and drives toward Sevastopol
- 12: German troops begin evacuation of the Crimea.
- 14: Crimea and Odessa are liberated by Soviet forces.
- 15: Heavy air raids on Ploesti oil fields (Romania) by both the RAF and the US Air Force.
- 17: Americans land on Mindanao, in the southern Philippines.
- 17: Japanese launch a major offensive in central China, aiming toward southeast China air bases where American bombers are located. By the next day they have had some successes.
- 17: Yalta, an important port in the southeast Crimea, is taken by the Red Army.
- 21: The Badoglio government in Italy falls and he is quickly asked to form another.
- 21: An Allied air raid on Paris kills a large number of civilians.
- 22: American navy planes carry out widespread attacks in New Guinea. US troops land at Hollandia and Aitape in northern New Guinea. Japanese forces in New Guinea will now be cut off.
- 24: British troops force open the road from Imphal to Kohima in India.
- 27: The Slapton Sands tragedy: American soldiers are killed in a training exercise in preparation for D-Day at Slapton in Devon.
- 30: Vast preparations for D-Day are going on all over southern England.
- 30: American navy air raids continue in the Carolina Islands, including Truk.
May 1944[edit | edit source]
- 6: Heavy Allied bombings of the Continent in preparation for D-Day.
- 8: D-Day for Operation Overlord set for June 5.
- 9: The German Army evacuates Sevastopol the largest city and an important port in the Crimea; the Red Army moves in.
: The Battle at the "Gustav line" near Monte Cassino continues without resolution.
- 11: The British cross the Rapido River. A "fourth" battle of Monte Cassino begins, concurrent with the opening of an offensive campaign toward Rome.
- 12: Soviet troops finalise the liberation of Crimea.
: Large numbers of Chinese troops invade northern Burma.
- 13: The bridgehead over the Rapido River is reinforced.
- 18: Battle of Monte Cassino ends with an Allied victory; Polish troops hoist their red and white flag on the ruins of Monte Cassino. The Germans have ceded it and departed.
: Allied troops take airfields at Myitkyina, Burma, an important air base; the struggle over the city itself will continue for nearly three months.
: The last Japanese resistance in the Admiralty Islands, off New Guinea comes to an end.
- 21: Increased Allied bombing of targets in France in preparation for D-Day.
- 23: Allies advance toward Rome, after a linkup of American II and III corps.
- 25: Germans are now in retreat in the Anzio area. American forces break out of the beachhead and link up with the Fifth Army; both then begin their advance on Rome.
- 27: Operation Hurricane starts. Americans land on Biak, Dutch New Guinea, a key Japanese air base; stubborn Japanese resistance until August.
- 31: The Japanese retreat from Imphal (India) with heavy losses; their invasion of India is over.
June 1944[edit | edit source]
- 2: The provisional French government is established.
- 3: There are daily bombings of the Cherbourg peninsula and the Normandy area.
- 4: Operation Overlord is postponed 24 hours due to high seas.
: American, British, and French troops enter Rome.
- 5: Rome falls to the Allies, becoming the first capital of an Axis nation to do so.
: Operation Overlord commences when more than 1,000 British bombers drop 5,000 tons of bombs on German gun batteries on the Normandy coast in preparation for D-Day. And the first Allied troops land in Normandy; paratroopers are scattered from Caen southward.
: In the Pacific, the U.S. fleet transporting the expeditionary forces for the invasion of Saipan in the Mariana Islands leaves Pearl Harbor.
- 6: D-Day begins with the landing of 155,000 Allied troops on the beaches of Normandy in France. The allied soldiers quickly break through the Atlantic Wall and push inland in the largest amphibious military operation in history.
- 7: Bayeux is liberated by British troops.
- 9: No agreement having been reached on their mutual borders, Joseph Stalin launches an offensive against Finland with the intent of defeating Finland before pushing for Berlin.
- 10: At Oradour-sur-Glane (a town near Limoges), France, 642 men, women, and children are killed in a German response to local Resistance activities.
: In the Distomo massacre in Greece, 218 civilians are killed.
- 12: American aircraft carriers commence air strikes on the Marianas, including Saipan, preparing for invasion.
- 13: Germany launches a V1 Flying Bomb attack on England, in Hitler's view a kind of revenge for the invasion. He believes in Germany's victory with this "secret weapon." The V-1 attacks will continue through June.
: The U.S. Naval bombardment of Saipan begins. In response, Admiral Toyoda Soemu, commander-in-chief of the Japanese Navy, orders his fleet to attack U.S. Navy forces around Saipan.
- 15: U.S. Marine and Army forces invade the island of Saipan. U.S. submarines sight the Japanese fleet en-route.
- 16: The main portions of the Japanese fleet rendezvous in the western part of the Philippine Sea, completing their refueling the next day.
- 17: Free French troops land on Elba.
- 18: Elba is declared liberated.
: Allies capture Assisi, Italy.
- 19: With the U.S. Navy in position, the Battle of the Philippine Sea begins. It will be the largest aircraft carrier battle in history. Known by navy pilots as "the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot," large numbers of Japanese planes are destroyed and pilots shot down.
: A severe Channel storm destroys one of the Allies' Mulberry harbours in Normandy.
: The Red Army prepares for "Operation Bagration," a huge offensive in Byelorussia (White Russia).
- 20: The Battle of the Philippine Sea ends with three Japanese carriers sunk and three more damaged, forcing the fleet to withdraw.
: The British take Perugia, Italy.
: The Siege of Imphal is lifted after three months.
- 21: Allied offensive in Burma.
- 22: V-1's continue to hit England, especially London, sometimes with horrifying losses.
: Operation Bagration: General attack by Soviet forces to clear the German forces from Belarus This results in the destruction of the German Army Group Centre, possibly the greatest defeat of the Wehrmacht during World War II.
: In the Burma Campaign, the Battle of Kohima ends with a British victory.
- 23: The National Committee of the Republic of Estonia makes a declaration “to the Estonian People.” The declaration was made public to the world press in Stockholm in July 1944 and in Tallinn on 1 August 1944.
- 25: The Battle of Tali-Ihantala between Finnish and Soviet troops begins. Largest battle ever to be fought in the Nordic countries.
- 26: Cherbourg is liberated by American troops.
July 1944[edit | edit source]
- 1: The Leningrad diarist Tanya Savicheva dies of starvation at the age of 14. Her diary of her family's death during the siege becomes famous.
- 2: V-1's continue to have devastating effects in south-east England in terms of material destruction and losses of life.
- 3: Minsk in Belarus is liberated by Soviet forces.
- 3: The Allies find themselves in the "battle of the hedgerows", as they are stymied by the agricultural hedges in Western France which intelligence had not properly evaluated.
- 3: Siena, Italy falls to Algerian troops of the French forces.
- 6: Largest Banzai charge of the war: 4,300 Japanese troops are slaughtered on Saipan.
- 7: Soviet troops enter Vilnius, Lithuania.
- 9: After heavy resistance Caen, France is liberated by the British troops on the left flank of the Allied advance.
- 9: Saipan is declared secure, the Japanese having lost over 30,000 troops; in the last stages numerous civilians commit suicide with the encouragement of Japanese military.
- 10: Japanese are still resisting on New Guinea.
- 10: Tokyo is bombed for the first time since the Doolittle raid of April, 1942.
- 11: President Roosevelt announces that he will run for an unprecedented fourth term as U.S. President.
- 12: Hitler rejects General Field Marshal Walther Model’s proposal to withdraw the German forces from Estonia and Northern Latvia and retreat to the Daugava River.
- 13: The Soviets take Vilnius, Lithuania.
- 13: The Lvov-Sandomierz Offensive begins.
- 16: First troops of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force (FEB) arrive in Italy
- 17: Field Marshal Rommel is badly wounded when his car is strafed from the air in France.
- 18: St. Lo, France is taken, and the Allied breakout from hedgerow country in Normandy begins.
- 18: General Hideki Tojo resigns as chief minister of the Japanese government as the defeats of the Japanese military forces continue to mount. Emperor Hirohito asks General Kuniaki Koiso to form a new government.
- 19: American forces take Leghorn (Livorno), Italy far up the Italian boot.
- 20: The July 20 Plot is carried out by Col. Claus von Stauffenberg in a failed attempt to assassinate Hitler. Hitler was visiting headquarters at Rastenburg, East Prussia. Reprisals follow against the plotters and their families, and even include Rommel.
- 21: US Marines land on Guam.
- 22: Hitler gives permission to retreat from the Narva River to the Tannenberg defence line in the Sinimäed hills 20 km West from Narva.
- 23: The Poles rise up against the Germans in the Lwow Uprising
- 24: At the start of the Soviet Narva Offensive, July 24–30, the Soviet 8th Army is beaten by the Estonian 45th Regiment and East Prussian 44th Regiment. The army detachment "Narwa" begins to retreat to the Tannenberg line.
- 24: Majdanek Concentration Camp is liberated by Soviet forces, the first among many. The Soviet Union is now in control of several large cities in Poland, including Lublin.
- 24: US bombers mistakenly bomb American troops near St. Lo, France.
- 24: Marines land on Tinian Island, last of the Marianas (after Saipan and Guam); Tinian will eventually be a B-29 base, and the base from which the atomic bombers departed.
- 24: Operation Cobra is now in full swing: the breakout at St. Lo in Normandy with American troops taking Coutances.
- 26: The Leningrad Front's Narva Offensive captures the town.
- 26: The first aerial victory for a jet fighter occurs, with an Me 262 of the Luftwaffe's Ekdo 262 damaging a de Havilland Mosquito reconnaissance aircraft of the Royal Air Force's No. 540 Squadron RAF.
- 27 July to 10 August: Battles on the Tannenberg Line. At the start of the battles there are 25 Estonian and 24 Dutch, Danish and Flemish infantry battalions on the German side at the Narva Front. The artillery forces, and the tank, engineer and other special units are composed mainly of Germans. The attack by the Soviet Armed Forces is stopped, tens of thousands of men are killed in both sides.
- 28: The Red Army take Brest-Litovsk, the site of the Russo-German peace treaty in World War I.
- 29: A decisive day in the Battle of Narva, allowing the German army detachment "Narwa", including Estonian conscript formations to delay the Soviet Baltic Offensive for another one and a half months.
August 1944[edit | edit source]
- 1: The Second Warsaw Uprising, this time by the Polish Home Army commences; the Polish people rise up, expecting aid from the approaching Soviet Union armies. The tragic event will last 63 days.
- 1: The Red Army isolates the Baltic States from East Prussia by taking Kaunas.
- 1: The Americans complete the capture the island of Tinian.
- 2: The battle for Guam, another island in the Marianas, however, continues.
- 3: Myitkyina in northern Burma, falls to the Allies (the Chinese and Americans under Stilwell), after a vigorous defence by the Japanese.
- 4: Florence is liberated by the Allies, particularly British and South African troops; before exiting, however, the Germans under General Kesselring destroy some historic bridges and historically valuable buildings.
- 4: The trials of the bomb conspirators against Hitler are underway in a court presided over by notorious Judge Roland Freisler.
- 4: Rennes is liberated by American forces.
- 5: Japanese POWs escape from an Australian prison near the town of Cowra. Two guards are killed and posthumously awarded the George Cross (See: Cowra breakout)
- 6: Germans round up young men in Krakow to stop the potential Krakow Uprising
- 6: Ukrainian insurgents kill 42 Polish civilians in the Baligrod massacre.
- 8: Plotters in the bomb plot against Hitler are hanged, their bodies hung on meat hooks; reprisals against their families continue.
- 10: Guam is liberated by American troops and all of the Marianas are now in American hands. They will be turned into a major air and naval centre against the Japanese homeland.
- 11: The Warsaw Rising continues; the Red Army remain on the west side of the Vistula, apparently unwilling to help their supposed allies against the occupying Germans.
- 14: The failure of the Allies to close the Falaise gap in France, proves advantageous to the Germans fleeing to the east who escape the pincer movement of the Allies.
- 14: A clash between Italian POWs and American servicemen ends in the Fort Lawton Riot
- 15: The Allies reach the "Gothic Line", the last German strategic position in North Italy.
- 15: Operation Dragoon begins, marked by amphibious Allied landings in southern France.
- 16: The Red Armies makes moves to close in on Warsaw.
- 18: The Red Army reaches the East Prussian border.
- 18: Following the assassination of a collaborationist politician in Belgium by the resistance, 20 civilians are massacred in Courcelles by paramilitaries in retaliation
- 19: French Resistance begins uprising in Paris, partly inspired by the Allied approach to the Seine River.
- 19: In a radio broadcast, Jüri Uluots, the acting Head of State of Estonia, calls the Estonian conscripts to hold the Soviet Armed Forces back until a peace treaty with Germany is signed.
- 20: The Red Army relaunches its offensive into Romania.
- 21: The Dumbarton Oaks Conference begins, setting up the basic structure of the United Nations.
- 22: The Japanese are now in total retreat from India.
- 23: Romania breaks with the Axis, surrenders to the Soviet Union, and joins the Allies.
- 24: 168 Allied airmen arrive at Buchenwald concentration camp.
- 25: Paris is liberated; De Gaulle and Free French parade triumphantly down the Champs-Élysées. The German military disobeys Hitler's orders to burn the city. Meanwhile the southern Allied forces move up from the Riviera, take Grenoble and Avignon.
- 28: The Germans surrender at Toulon and Marseilles, in southern France.
- 28: Patton's tanks cross the Marne.
- 29: The anti-German Slovak National Uprising starts in Slovakia.
- 30: The Allies enter Rouen, in northwestern France.
- 31: The Soviet army enters Bucharest.
- 31: American forces turn over the government of France to Free French troops.
September 1944[edit | edit source]
- 1: Canadian troops capture Dieppe, France.
- 2: Allied troops enter Belgium.
- 2: Finland agrees to an armistice with the Soviet Union and demands a withdrawal of German troops.
- 3: Brussels liberated by British Second Army.
: Lyon is liberated by French and American troops.
- 4: Operation Outward ends
- 5: Antwerp is liberated by British 11th Armoured Division and local resistance.
: The uprising in Warsaw continues; Red Army forces are available for relief and reinforcement, but are apparently unable to move without Stalin's order.
: United States III Corps arrives in European Theater.
: Belgian, Dutch and Luxembourgish governments in exile sign the London Customs Convention, laying the foundations for the Benelux economic union.
- 6: The "blackout" is diminished to a "dim-out) as threat of invasion and further bombing seems an unlikely possibility.
: Ghent and Liège are liberated by British troops.
- 8: Ostend is liberated by Canadian troops.
: Soviet Union invades Bulgaria. Bulgaria declares war on Germany.
: The Belgian government in exile returns to the Belgium from London where it has spent the war.
- 9: The first V-2 rocket lands on London.
: De Gaulle forms a provisional government in France
: Bulgaria makes peace with the USSR then declares war on Germany.
- 10: Luxembourg is liberated by U.S. First Army.
: Two Allied forces meet at Dijon, cutting France in half.
: First Allied troops enter Germany, entering Aachen, a city on the border.
: Dutch railway workers go on strike. The German response results in the Dutch famine of 1944.
- 11: United States XXI Corps arrives in European Theater.
- 13: American troops reach the Siegfried line, the West wall of Germany's defence system.
- 14: Soviet Baltic Offensive commences.
- 15: American Marines land on Peleliu in the Palau Islands; a bloody battle of attrition continues for two and a half months.
- 16: The Red Army enters Sofia, Bulgaria.
- 17: Operation Market Garden, the attempted liberation of Arnhem and turning of the German flank begins.
- 17: Assorted British and commonwealth forces enter neutral San Marino and engage German forces in a small-scale conflict known as the Battle of San Marino
- 18: Brest, France, an important Channel port, falls to the Allies.
: Jüri Uluots proclaims the Government of Estonia headed by Deputy Prime Minister Otto Tief.
- 19: Armistice is signed between the Soviet Union and Finland.
: Nancy liberated by U.S. First Army
- 20: The Government of Estonia seizes the government buildings of Toompea from the German forces and appeals to the Soviet Union for the independence of Estonia.
: United States XVI Corps arrives in European Theater.
- 20: The Battle of San Marino ends
- 21: British forces take Rimini, Italy.
: The Second Dumbarton Oaks Conference begins: it will set guidelines for the United Nations.
: In Belgium, Charles of Flanders is sworn in as Prince-Regent while a decision is delayed about whether King Leopold III can ever return to his functions after being accused of collaboration.
: San Marino declares war on the Axis
: The Government of Estonia prints a few hundred copies of the Riigi Teataja (State Gazette) and is forced to flee under the Soviet pressure.
- 22: The Red Army takes Tallinn, the first Baltic harbour outside the minefields of the Gulf of Finland.
: The Germans surrender at Boulogne.
- 23: Americans take Ulithi atoll in the Carolina Islands; it is a massive atoll that will later become an important naval base.
- 24: The Red Army is well into Poland at this time.
- 25: British troops pull out of Arnhem with failure of Operation Market Garden. Over 6,000 paratroopers are captured. Hopes of an early end to the war are abandoned.
: United States IX Corps arrives in Pacific Theater.
- 26: There are signs of civil war in Greece as the Communist-controlled National Liberation Front and the British-backed government seem irreconcilable.
- 30: German garrison in Calais surrenders to Canadian troops. At one time, Hitler thought it would be the focus of the cross-Channel invasion.
October 1944[edit | edit source]
- 1: Soviet troops enter Yugoslavia.
- 2: Germans finally succeed in putting down Warsaw Uprising by Polish Home Army. The Soviet Union armies have never moved to assist the Polish Home Army.
: American troops are now in a full-scale attack on the German "West Wall".
: Allied forces land on Crete.
- 5: Canadian troops cross the border into the Netherlands.
: Red Army enters Hungary; meanwhile they launch an offensive to capture Riga, Latvia.
- 6: Soviet and Czechoslovak troops enter northeastern Slovakia.
: The Battle of Debrecen begins as German and Soviet forces advance against each other in eastern Hungary.
- 9: Allied Conference ("Tolstoy") in Moscow: Churchill and Stalin discuss spheres of influence in the postwar Balkans.
- 10: The Red Army reach the Niemen River in Prussia and continue the battle around Riga.
: The Allied combined forces take Corinth, in southern Greece.
- 12: Athens is liberated by EAM and evacuated by German troops.
US Navy carriers attack Formosa (Taiwan).
: The Second Quebec Conference ("Octagon"). President Roosevelt and Churchill discuss military cooperation in the Pacific, and the division of Germany.
: United States XXIII Corps Arrives in European Theater.
- 14: British troops entering Athens.
: Field Marshal Rommel, under suspicion as one of the "bomb plotters" voluntarily commits suicide to save his family. He is later buried with full military honors.
- 15: Allied bombardment of Aachen continues, the first major battle on German soil.
- 16: The Germans depose Admiral Horthy, regent and dictator of Hungary; once a fervent ally of Germany, he had lost the trust of the German government.
: The Red Army and Yugoslav partisans under the command of Josip Broz Tito liberate Belgrade. The Red Army forces are also in East Prussia.
- 18: Hitler orders a call-up of all men from 16 to 60 for Home Guard duties.
- 20: Soviet forces in command of General Zhukov, with help of Yugoslavia Partizan and Chetnik forces liberated Belgrade.
- 21: Aachen is occupied by U.S. First Army; it is the first major German city to be captured.
- 23: The Allies recognise General de Gaulle as the head of a provisional government of France.
: Battle of Leyte Gulf begins. Largest sea battle in history. Americans experience more kamikaze attacks from Japanese aircraft; the USS Princeton is hit with grave damage.
: The battle of San Bernardino Strait; the Japanese attempt to stop MacArthur's landing on Leyte. Small aircraft carriers save the day as Admiral Halsey is lured north out of the action.
: B-29's are now using Tinian Island, in the Marianas, as a base for the systematic bombing of Japan. Soviet forces in cooperation with Tito's Partizan forces, liberated Novi Sad in Yugoslavia (Serbia today)
- 25: Romania is fully liberated by Red Army and Romanian troops.
- 27: The Battle of Hürtgen Forest is developing, and will continue through October and November and have its last spasms in December.
November 1944[edit | edit source]
- 1: British forces take Salonika in northern Greece. The situation for civilians in Athens is now desperate.
: "Operation Infatuate": An Allied attempt to free the approaches to Antwerp; notably there are amphibious landings on Walcheren Island.
- 2: Canadian troops take Zeebrugge in Belgium; Belgium is now entirely liberated.
- 4: Remaining Axis forces withdraw from the Greek mainland. German occupation forces will remain in several Greek islands until capitulation.
- British Gen. John Dill dies in Washington, D.C., and is buried in Arlington Cemetery, the only foreigner to be so honored.
- 5: US planes bomb Singapore, under Japanese control since 1942.
: Zionist terrorists assassinate the British government representative in the Middle East.
- 6: Franklin Delano Roosevelt wins a fourth term.
: The aircraft carrier USS Lexington is heavily damaged by kamikazes.
- 9: General Patton's troops and tanks cross the Moselle River and threaten the city of Metz.
- 10: V-2 rockets continue to hit Britain, at the rate of about eight a day.
- 12: After numerous bombings while anchored in a fjord at Tromso, Norway, the German battleship Tirpitz is sunk.
- 17: The Germans give up Tirana, Albania, and the capital is liberated by the Albanian partisans (Allies).
- 21: San Marino declares war on Germany
- 20: Hitler leaves his wartime headquarters at Rastenberg, East Prussia, never to return; he goes to Berlin, where he will soon establish himself at the bunker.
- 23: Metz, France is taken, and Strasbourg, in eastern France, is liberated by French troops.
- 24: The first B-29 originating from Tinian, in the Marianas, raid Tokyo.
: The USS Intrepid is hit by kamikazes for the third time; other American ships are heavily damaged.
- 25: Japanese take Nanning in south China, as the war in that theatre continues.
- 26: The war in Italy is at a stalemate, partly because of heavy rains.
- 28: Antwerp is now a major supply port for the onward moving Allies.
- 30: Kunming, China, an important air base, is threatened by Japanese attacks.
: United States XXII Corps Arrives in European Theater.
December 1944[edit | edit source]
- 1: Heinrich Himmler ordered the crematoriums and gas chambers of Auschwitz Concentration Camp dismantled and blown up.
- 3: The Dekemvriana ("December events") begin in the Greek capital, Athens, between members of the leftist National Liberation Front and government forces, backed by the British. The clashes are limited to Athens however, and the rest of the country remains relatively tranquil.
- 3: The British Home Guard is stood down.
- 5: The Allies are now in control of Ravenna, Italy.
- 8: The softening up bombardment of Iwo Jima begins.
- 14: Air Group 80 aircraft from USS Ticonderoga flew 7 strikes against Japanese positions in northern Luzon Philippine Islands.
- 15: Americans and Filipinos land troops at Mindoro, the Philippines.
- 16: The Battle of the Bulge begins as German forces attempt a breakthrough in the Ardennes region. The main object of Hitler's plan is the taking of Antwerp.
- 17: A typhoon hits the Third Fleet of Admiral Halsey; three destroyers capsize.
- 17: The Malmedy massacre: SS troops execute 86 American prisoners in the Ardennes offensive. The SS troops are led by SS commander Jochen Peiper.
- 18: Bastogne, an important crossroads, is surrounded.
- 20: General McAuliff's famous message of "Nuts" is sent to German officers at Bastogne demanding surrender.
- 22: The battle for Bastogne is at its height, with Americans running low on ammunition.
- 23: The skies clear over the Ardennes, permitting Allied aircraft to begin their attacks on the German offensive, the one factor that Hitler feared in his planning.
- 24: The American counter-attack at the "Bulge" begins.
- 24: The Belgian transport ship SS Leopoldville is sunk off the coast of France. More than 800 lives, predominantly those of American servicemen, are lost.
- 24: Manchester is attacked by V1 flying bombs
- 26: The siege of Bastogne is broken, and with it the Ardennes offensive proves a failure.
- 26: Racial tensions within the US military boil over into the Agana race riot on Guam
- 28: Churchill and his Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden are in Athens in an attempt to reconcile the warring factions.
- 29: Soviets launch the Battle of Budapest against German and Hungarian forces in and around the Hungarian capital city.
- 31: Hungary, now led by a Soviet-controlled government, declares war on Germany.
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- "1944 Timeline". WW2DB. http://ww2db.com/event/timeline/1944/. Retrieved 2011-02-09.
- David M. Glantz (2001). The Soviet-German War 1941-1945: Myths and Realities. Glemson, South Carolina: Strom Thurmond Institute of Government and Public Affairs, Clemson University. http://www.strom.clemson.edu/publications/sg-war41-45.pdf.
- Estonian State Commission on Examination of Policies of Repression (2005) (PDF). The White Book: Losses inflicted on the Estonian nation by occupation regimes. 1940–1991. Estonian Encyclopedia Publishers. http://www.just.ee/orb.aw/class=file/action=preview/id=12709/TheWhiteBook.pdf.
- Toomas Hiio (2006). Combat in Estonia in 1944. In: Toomas Hiio, Meelis Maripuu, Indrek Paavle (Eds.). Estonia 1940–1945: Reports of the Estonian International Commission for the Investigation of Crimes Against Humanity. Tallinn.
- Werner Haupt (1997). Army group North: the Wehrmacht in Russia, 1941-1945. Atglen, Philadelphia: Schiffer Books.
- By Royal Institute of International Affairs. Information Dept. Published 1945
- D.D. (27 September 1944). "Le Prince Charles est nommé Regent de la Belgique".
- Chronology of Events in 1939–1945 Estonia 1940–1945. Reports of the Estonian International Commission for the Investigation of Crimes Against Humanity
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