World War Two Timeline of Events - 1944

Sourced from the Forces War Records Historic Document Archives, the 'Timeline of Events from 1939-45' provide a fascinating picture of the war as it was viewed at the time. Looking at this detailed timeline of WWII you can see wht it was called a World War, with so many countries involved across land, sea and air.

Within this timeline you will also discover Victoria Cross recipients with citations, Shipping losses, Battles, actions, RAF operations and so much more.

World War II Day by Day - 1944

World War Two Timeline of Events - 1944

JANUARY 1944

January 1, 1944

  • Canadian troops repel an enemy counter-attack in the Adriatic coastal sector arid capture the village of San Tommaso; 5th Army American troops consolidate mountain positions previously gained.
  • More progress is made by the Soviet forces west and north-west of Nevel, and on the first Ukrainian front they capture three district centres, including Barashi, Samgorodok and Volodarka.
  • Powerful forces of R.A.F. fighters and fighter-bombers attack military objectives in Northern France.

January 2, 1944

  • Hard fighting continues on the coast road to the north of Ortona, but elsewhere on both 8th and 5th Army fronts bad weather conditions restrict operations. Medium bombers attack railway communications.
  • Red Army troops make further progress towards Vitebsk and to the north and north-west of Nevel; on the first Ukrainian front the Russians capture two district centres of the Zhitomir region and 150 other places, including Radovel, 35 miles north-west of Korosten.
  • Troops of the American 6th Army land at Saidor, on the north coast of New Guinea. During air attacks on aerodromes on Maloelap atoll, in the Marshall Islands, U.S. Liberators shoot down 10 Japanese fighters, and possibly seven others.
  • In the early hours of the morning a large force of Bomber Command Lancasters again attack Berlin, more than 1,000 tons of bombs being dropped; 28 aircraft are lost. At night another attack is made on the German capital by heavy aircraft of Bomber Command, another 1,000 tons of bombs being released on the city; 27 bombers are missing.
  • Four of a small force of enemy raiders which cross the South-East Coast are destroyed.
A German aircraft wreckage which was brought down by Dover's heavy anti-aircraft batteries
The remains of an FW190 which was brought down by Dover's heavy anti-aircraft
batteries on the night of 2nd January 1944

January 3, 1944

  • Indian troops with the 8th Army occupy a prominent enemy position overlooking the German lines, and on the western front there are patrol clashes. Strong forces of heavy bombers attack the ball-bearing factory at Villa Perosa and the important railway centre at Turin. British destroyers bombard Pesaro at night.
  • Novigrad Volynsk, on the first Ukrainian front, and 170 other places are taken by the Russians, including Olevsk farther to the north; a further 70 localities are liberated to the north of Novel.
  • U.S. troops which landed at Saidor, on the north coast of New Guinea, consolidate their hold on the airfield and harbour.
  • The War Office announces the arrival in England of General Sir Bernard Montgomery.

January 4, 1944

  • A commanding position is seized by the 8th Army Indian troops against considerable enemy opposition, and troops of the 5th Army capture an important height. The railway bridge and yards at Dupnitsa, near Sofia, are raided by heavy bombers.
  • In an Order of the Day Marshal Stalin announces the capture of Byelaya Tserkov, 40 miles south-west of Kiev, after four days’ fighting, and Pliska, in the direction of Vinnitsa, is also occupied; the Russian advance north-west of Berdichev is speeded up. The railway-line from Nevel north to Velikye Luki is completely cleared.
  • From General MacArthur’s headquarters it is announced that in an air attack on Kavieng, New Ireland, two big enemy cruisers and two destroyers were hit, the cruisers being set on fire.
  • Northern France coastal areas are subjected to the heaviest air attacks yet and U.S. heavy bombers raid shipbuilding yards at Kiel and marshal ling-yards at Muenster. At night Mosquitoes bomb Berlin.

January 5, 1944

  • American and British troops of the 5th Army launch an attack in rough mountain country and advances averaging a mile are made along a front of about 10 miles; American troops engage in street and house-to-house fighting in San Vittore; in the Adriatic sector 8th Army troops take part in stiff fighting.
  • Troops of the first Ukrainian front carry Berdichev by assault and 60 other inhabited localities are captured, including Tarashcha; in the Nevel area the Russians continue on the offensive and liberate more than 90 inhabited places.
  • In raids on Kavieng and Rabaul by allied aircraft two Japanese destroyers and a submarine chaser are damaged and 19 aircraft are shot down.
  • Two of a small number of enemy aircraft which raid South-East England and the London area in the early morning are destroyed.
  • Airfields at Bordeaux and Tours, in France, and shipyards at Kiel and other targets in Western Germany are attacked by U.S. heavy bombers. At night aircraft of Bomber Command make a heavy attack on Stettin: 15 aircraft are lost.
  • It is reported that Lieut.-General Sir Oliver Leese has been appointed commander of the 8th Army in succession to General Montgomery.

January 6, 1944

  • The 5th Army advance in the central sector continues, and there is bitter fighting in San Vittore; Indian troops on the 8th Army front improve their positions.
  • Russian troops of the first Ukrainian front continue their offensive, capturing more than 80 inhabited localities, including Rokitno, 12 miles inside Poland.
  • H.M. submarines, according to an Admiralty announcement, have sunk eight more vessels, including a tanker, in the Mediterranean.

January 7, 1944

  • American troops with the 5th Army clear the enemy out of San Vittore after two days of savage fighting and press the enemy back into the village of Giusto; a high peak in the Monte Majo sector is captured; snow on the 8th Army front limits activity to brisk patrolling.
  • U.S. bombers attack the railway-yards at Fiume, in Yugoslavia, and the harbour at Split and an aircraft engine factory at Maribor are also bombed.
  • Advancing farther into Poland the Red Army captures Klesov, several district centres and more than 70 other inhabited localities; troops of the second Ukrainian front go over to the offensive in the Kirovograd area and advance up to 25 miles on a 60-mile front.
  • Strong formations of the U.S. 8th Army Air Force heavy bombers attack targets in South-West Germany and shoot down 33 enemy fighters; 12 bombers are lost. More than 750 medium and light bombers make raids during the day on targets in France.

January 8, 1944

  • Giusto is captured by the 5th Army and continued progress is made against stiff opposition; more heights are seized and held against enemy counter-attacks; there is patrolling on the 8th Army front.
  • The Russians on the second Ukrainian front capture Kirovograd and widen the breach to 75 miles and extend its depth to 31 miles in the Vinnitsa region and more than 60 inhabited localities are taken.
  • An advance by Australians across the Ramu Valley, in North-East New Guinea, and further progress up the Huon peninsula are announced. In New Britain U.S. marines from Cape Gloucester take the offensive against the Japanese.
  • Air Marshal Sir John Slessor, K.C.B., D.S.O., M.C., is appointed deputy to General Ira C. Eaker, Air Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Air Forces, and Air Chief Marshal Sir Sholto Douglas. K.C.B., M.C., D.F.C., is appointed Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief. Coastal Command. R.A.F

January 9, 1944

  • At one point 5th Army troops move forward approximately two miles and further advances are made in other sectors, two more heights being captured. Harbour and rail facilities at Pola and Ancona are attacked from the air. British destroyers in the Adriatic shell trains and bombard San Benedetto.
  • More progress is made by the Russian forces of the first Ukrainian front, Polonnoye being captured, and the second Ukrainian front troops continue their offensive, taking Alexandrovka and more than 40 other inhabited places.
  • The appointments of Lieut.-General Gammell as Chief of Staff in the Mediterranean and Major-General Bedell Smith, of the U.S. Army, as Chief of Staff to General Eisenhower in the United Kingdom are announced.

January 10, 1944

  • American troops on the 5th Army front consolidate heights previously won and British troops advance about a mile and seize a hill overlooking the road to Cassino and the Garigliano River: there is increased patrol activity on the 8th Army front. Sofia, the Bulgarian capital, is attacked at night, and the important rail centre of Skoplje, in Yugoslavia, is bombed.
  • Continuing their advance, the first Ukrainian front troops capture Lyudvipol and Berezno, in Poland, and a district centre in each of the Zhitomir and Vinnitsa regions; the railway line from Smyela to Kristinovka is cut. North and north-west of Kirovograd the Red Army’s offensive is continued.

January 11, 1944

  • British and American troops on the 5th Army front continue to advance, and some further high ground is seized; on the 8th Army front patrols are active. Heavy bombers attack the Greek harbour of Piraeus.
  • In the Sarny area the Russians force the River Slucz and occupy Shelzk and Nemovich, and further advances are made in the Zhitomir region, west and south-west of Berdichev and west and north-west of Kirovograd.
  • Advancing in Burma allied troops, according to an official report, have captured Maungdaw.
  • Escorted Flying Fortresses and Liberators make a heavy attack on Oschersleben, Halberstadt, Brunswick, Bielefeld and Meppen in North-West Germany, and are engaged by the largest number of German fighters ever put into the air to oppose bombing aircraft; the U.S. aircraft shoot down 152 of the intercepting planes, 125 falling to bombers; 60 U.S. bombers and five fighters fail to return.

January 12, 1944

  • American troops of the 5th Army capture Cervaro and French troops advance against stiff enemy resistance to occupy several important heights; patrols are active on the 8th Army front.
  • In two days’, stubborn fighting Russian forces break through strong enemy defences in the Mozyr direction on the White Russia front, over an 18-mile stretch and to a depth of eight miles, and liberate Kozlovichi and more than 30 other places; troops of the first Ukrainian front capture the town of Sarny by assault; progress is made on other fronts.
  • Mr. Churchill and General de Gaulle meet in Marrakesh, French Morocco, where the Prime Minister is recuperating after his illness.

January 13, 1944

  • French and American troops of the 5th Army continue their drive through rugged country, taking several peaks, including Monna Casale and Monna Acquafondata, in spite of strong enemy resistance; an attempt by the Germans to retake Cervaro is frustrated. The positions of the New Zealand and British troops on the 8th Army front are improved. Strong forces of heavy and medium bombers attack enemy airfields; Guidonia, Centocelle and Perugia are also raided.
  • General Rokossovsky’s troops continue to press on towards Mozyr and Kalinkovichi, and west and south-west of Sarny Russian troops make a fighting advance; west of Novigrad Volynsk Soviet troops occupy the district centre of Korets.
  • Mosquitoes of Bomber Command attack objectives in Western Germany.
  • The Admiralty announces the loss of destroyer H.M.S Hurricane (Commander J. R. Westmacott, R.N.).

January 14, 1944

  • On the 5th Army front further progress is made, and three new heights and the town of Acquafondata are captured; enemy counter-attacks are repulsed; on the 8th Army front there is artillery activity.
  • Escorted heavy bombers attack Mostar airfield, in Yugoslavia.
  • Mozyr and Kalinkovichi are stormed by the Russians following a skilful outflanking movement, and west and south-west of Sarny the Soviet forces advance and take Stepan.
  • Following up the occupation of Maungdaw, the South-East Asia Command announces, forward elements of allied troops capture the villages of Dilpara and Kanyindan.
  • Seven people are killed and more than 30 injured when a lone raider drops a bomb on a cinema in a London district.
  • Large formations of U.S., R.A.F. and allied heavy, medium and light bombers resume the air offensive against enemy targets in Northern France. At night aircraft of Bomber Command make a very heavy and concentrated attack on Brunswick, some 2,000 tons of bombs being dropped and large fires left burning; Mosquitoes attack Magdeburg and Berlin; 38 aircraft are lost.

January 15, 1944

  • French and American troops of the 5th Army continue their steady march through the mountains; dominating hills are seized on the road leading to San Elia and an attack from two sides on Monte Trocchio is successful; Cardito is occupied. On the 8th Army front British and New Zealand troops raid enemy positions and take prisoners.
  • According to a German announcement the Red Army opens attacks at Oranienbaum, due west of Leningrad across Kronstadt Bay, and Novgorod. 110 miles south-south-east of Leningrad; in White Russia Soviet troops progress 25 miles beyond Mozyr and enemy counter-attacks in the Vinnitsa and Uman areas are beaten back.
  • General MacArthur’s South-West Pacific Head-quarters announce an important new advance on the coastal strip of the Huon peninsula, New Guinea.

January 16, 1944

  • Troops of the 5th Army continue their advance: the positions on Monte Trocchio are consolidated and forward troops reach the River Rapido. There is little beyond patrol activity on the 8th Army front.
  • Escorted heavy bombers make an attack on the Messerschmitt components plant at Klagenfurt.
  • North of Novo-Sokolniki Russian troops in a new sector break through German defences on a front eight miles wide and five miles deep, and cut the railway north to Leningrad above Velikye Luki; further progress is made west and north-west of Kalinkovichi and west and south-west of Sarny, where the town and railway-junction of Kostopol is captured.
  • U.S. troops attack enemy positions cast of Arawe, New Britain, and make a limited advance.

January 17, 1944

  • In a further advance on the 5th Army front French troops capture San Elia and U.S. troops cross the River Rapido; on the 8th Army front Canadians make a limited advance against stiff opposition.
  • North of Novo Sokolniki Russian troops make progress in spite of stem enemy resistance; west of Novigrad Volynsk Soviet troops occupy Tulchin, the district centre of Rovno.
  • It is announced that Lieut.-General Omar Bradley has been appointed to command the United States Army in the Field under General Eisenhower.
  • An official report from Japanese imperial head-quarters states that about 200 U.S. aircraft raid Rabaul and sink two ships in the harbour; the fantastic claim to have shot down 102 of the raiders is made.
German prisoners, taken when British troops made a surprise crossing of the Garigliano River
German prisoners, taken when British troops made a surprise crossing of the Garigliano River on the
night 17th-18th January 1944, being ferried to the southern bank

January 18, 1944

  • In face of fierce enemy opposition British troops of the 5th Army cross the Garigliano River and establish three bridgeheads; on the 8th Army front Canadian troops engage in severe fighting.
  • Heavy bombers continue their attacks on German rail communications, Pisa, Pistoia and other key points being bombed.
  • Moscow announces the offensives on the Leningrad front in the area of Oranienbaum and on the Volkhov front north of Novgorod where several days ago Russian troops are said to have broken through the strongly fortified enemy defence lines constructed over a long period; south-west of Novigrad Volynsk the Red Army captures the town and large railway-junction of Slavuta, thus cutting the line between Shepetovka and Rovno.
  • Mr. Churchill returns to London, having made a complete recovery from his illness.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Lieutenant 165583 Alec George HORWOOD, Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment) awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Lieutenant Alec George Horwood, 1/6th Battalion, The Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey), attached 1st Battalion, The Northamptonshire Regiment. On 18th January 1944 at Kyauchaw, Lieutenant Horwood accompanied a company into action with his forward mortar observation post. Throughout the day he was in an exposed position and under intense fire, but he came back at night with most valuable information about the enemy. On 19th January he moved forward and established another observation post, directing accurate mortar fire in support of two attacks, and also carrying out personal reconnaissance, deliberately drawing the enemy fire so that their position could be definitely located. On 20th January he volunteered to lead the attack and while doing so was mortally wounded.

January 19, 1944

  • British troops of the 5th Army continue to advance in the Tyrrhenian Sea area against strong resistance and beat back two heavy counter-attacks; Suio, Tufo and Argen to are captured. Elsewhere and on the 8th Army front there is active patrolling. Strong forces of heavy and medium bombers attack airfields in Central Italy. Shore positions are bombarded by British cruisers and destroyers supporting the 5th Army attack across the Garigliano River.
  • On the Leningrad front the Russians capture Krasnoye Selo, Ropsha and Peterhof and large quantities of booty are taken; on the Volkhov front, north of Novgorod, after five days of stubborn battles Soviet troops advance up to 19 miles and extend the breach up to 31 miles. Progress is also made on other fronts.

January 20, 1944

  • British troops of the 5th Army improve their positions and capture Minturno; several counter-attacks are repelled. Enemy airfields are attacked by heavy bombers escorted by long-range fighters.
  • Soviet troops force the River Volkhov and the upper tip of Lake Ilmen and capture Novgorod; on the Leningrad front the town and railway-junction of Ligovo is captured, and troops from the Pulkovo area join forces with those advancing south of Oranienbaum.
  • Albacores of a Royal Canadian Air Force squadron of Coastal Command attack two enemy destroyers in the Channel and set one on fire.
  • R.A.F. Lancasters and Halifaxes drop more than 2,300 tons of bombs on Berlin in 30 minutes; 35 aircraft fail to return.
  • The Admiralty announces the loss of destroyer H.M.S. Tynedale (Lieut.-Commander James John Simon Yorke, D.S.C., R.N.).

January 21, 1944

  • On the 5th Army front French troops advance and capture an important height and American troops force a crossing of the Rapido River under withering fire from the enemy; Trimonsuoli is occupied by British troops, who beat off counter-attacks at several points. Airfields are again attacked by escorted heavy bombers.
  • Mga, an important town and railway-junction 25 miles south-east of Leningrad, is captured by the Russians, who continue their offensive south and south-west of Krasnoye Selo; west of Novgorod further progress is made.
  • The Admiralty reports that one of H.M. submarines has sunk a Japanese cruiser of the “Kuma” class in the northern approaches of the Malacca Strait.
  • Allied land forces occupy Sinohbyin, in Arakan, Burma, and repel two counter-attacks.
  • In New Guinea Australian troops make important gains in the watershed of the upper Faria River, in the Finisterre range.
  • Sixteen of a force of about 90 enemy aircraft which cross the English coast are destroyed; a few reach the London area.

January 22, 1944

  • British and American troops of General Clark’s 5th Army land early in the morning on the west coast of Italy south of Rome deep in the rear of the enemy front-line positions, naval and air forces supporting the ground troops; the landing is made on a beach front extending several miles from north to south without opposition from shore batteries, and the beach head is widened and deepened. On the main 5th Army front the French continue to attack and U.S. troops enlarge their Rapido River bridgehead.
  • In the direction of Tosno the Red Army takes more than 30 places, including Shapki, and another 40 places south and south-west of Krasnoye Selo; more progress is made to the west of Novgorod.
  • A combined Admiralty and R.A.F. communique states that in a four-day attack by U-boats and long-range bombers on a convoy off Cape St. Vincent. Southern Portugal, allied naval and air units destroyed two of the enemy submarines and probably three others.
  • Australians in New Guinea capture the village of Kankiryo and clear Shaggy ridge, in the Finisterre range of the enemy.
  • Bomber Command aircraft drop more than 2,000 tons of bombs on Magdeburg, w here large fires are left burning; 52 aircraft are missing.

January 23, 1944

  • American and British troops and supplies flow steadily into the beach head south of Rome and the town of Nettuno is occupied. Numerous counter-attacks are launched against 5th Army troops on the main front and around the lower River Rapido U.S troops withdraw to the cast bank and reoccupy strong positions.
  • More progress is made by the Russians in the Leningrad region and several more places to the west of Novgorod fall into their hands; west of Mozyr Soviet forces fight their way into Lelchitsy.
  • Large forces of R.A.F. and U.S. aircraft attack targets in Northern France.
British troops moving up Anzio-Nettuno beachhead
British troops moving up Anzio-Nettuno beachhead

January 24, 1944

  • The beach head south of Rome is enlarged and strengthened and the port of Anzio is occupied; allied troops advance farther inland without meeting serious enemy opposition. On the southern 5th Army front counter-attacks are repulsed and advances are made at two points against heavy resistance.
  • To the south of Leningrad, the towns and railway junctions of Pushkin (formerly Tsarskoye Selo) and Pavlovsk are occupied by the Red Army and the railway line from Gatchina (Krasnogvardeisk) to Narva is cut; to the north-west of Tosno several in habited places are captured, including Ulianovka. Enemy attacks to the east of Vinnitsa are repelled.
  • There are more heavy air attacks by R.A.F. aircraft on objectives in Northern France, and U.S. heavy bombers raid targets in Western Germany.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Private 3252325 George Allan MITCHELL, Gordon Highlanders awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - No. 3252325 Private George Allan Mitchell, The London Scottish (Gordon Highlanders). On 23rd/24th January 1944 at Damiano Ridge, Italy, when an advance was held up by enemy machine-guns firing at point blank range, Private Mitchell charged alone up the hill through intense Spandau fire, jumped into the weapon pit and killed the crew. The advance then continued, but shortly afterwards was again held up and this time Private Mitchell's assault on the position resulted in six of the enemy killed and 12 taken prisoner. He led two more successful attacks before falling dead, shot by one of the enemy who had surrendered.

January 25, 1944

  • In the northern beach head allied troops press forward against gradually increasing resistance, and on the main 5th Army front French troops recapture Monte Croce and U.S. troops advance in the Cassino sector; 8th Army patrols have clashes with the enemy and take prisoners.
  • Soviet forces close in on Krasnogvardeisk and make further progress to the south and south-west of Pushkin: further progress is made elsewhere on the northern front. East of Vinnitsa and north of Kristinovka enemy counter-attacks are repelled.

January 26, 1944

  • The American and British forces which landed south of Rome are further reinforced and the beachhead is improved by some limited advances; farther south French troops gain important high ground on the main 5th Army front and U.S. troops make local advances against stiff opposition in the Cassino area.
  • Russian troops on the Leningrad front storm the town and railway-junction of Krasnogvardeisk, and west and north-west of Tosno the enemy’s resistance is broken and fighting advances are made; in the Novgorod area the Red Army ’s offensive continues. Enemy attacks east of Vinnitsa and north of Kristinovka are repelled.
  • The Admiralty announces the loss of the destroyer H.M.S. Holcombe (Lieut. F. M. Graves, R.N.).

January 27, 1944

  • British and American troops further enlarge their beach head in the Nettuno-Anzio area, and a strong counter-attack against the British is beaten off, some prisoners being taken; on the southern front 5th Army French troops advance west to the north of Cassino, and American forces scale the mountains west of the River Rapido.
  • Continuing to advance from Krasnogvardeisk the Russians capture the tow n and railway-junction of Volosovo, and farther cast the town of Tosno is occupied; farther east still there is fighting close to Lyuban.
  • American-trained Chinese troops make a further advance in Upper Burma.
  • Typhoon fighter-bombers, escorted by Typhoon fighters, attack the steel works at Ijmuiden in Holland, and at night a very strong force of Lancasters of Bomber Command attack Berlin dropping 1,500 tons of bombs in 20 minutes; 34 bombers are missing.
American and British troops chatting on a landing craft
American and British troops chatting on a landing craft in the Anzio-Nettuno beachead area.

January 28, 1944

  • Further local advances are made in the area north of Cassino against stiff enemy resistance and repeated counter-attacks, and in the Anzio area allied troops advance farther in land, while units of the Royal Navy give powerful support, silencing German batteries and bombarding enemy troops on the roads.
  • Russian troops of the Volkhov front capture the town and important railway-junction of Lyuban, and to the south the October Railway, the trunk line from Moscow to Leningrad, is almost entirely cleared of the enemy.
  • Mr. Anthony Eden, the Foreign Secretary, makes grave disclosures of the brutal treatment of prisoners by the Japanese.
  • Heavy bombers of the R.A.F. and U.S. air forces attack a variety of targets in Northern France, including the Pas de Calais.

January 29, 1944

  • Several determined counter-attacks are launched on the 5th Army front against French troops, who repel them and make a further advance, while British troops occupy several important heights; substantial numbers of prisoners are taken. Further advances inland are made from the Anzio beach head, and Carroceto is captured.
  • Chudovo, on the Leningrad front, Novo Sokolniki, 70 miles east of the Latvian frontier, and Smyela, a hedgehog in the upper part of the Dnieper bend, are occupied by the Russians.
  • Admiral Nimitz announces attacks by the Pacific Fleet carrier force on enemy bases in the Marshall Islands, including Taroa, Wotje and Kwajalein.
  • Early in the morning aircraft of Bomber Command make another heavy attack on Berlin and other objectives; 47 aircraft are lost. More than 800 escorted bombers of the U.S. Strategic Air Forces drop 1,800 tons of bombs on targets at Frankfort; 102 enemy machines are destroyed.
  • Six of a force of enemy aircraft which attack East Anglia, South-East England and the London area are destroyed.

January 30, 1944

  • On the main 5th Army front hard fighting continues; heights beyond the Rapido bridgehead north of Cassino are captured and local advances are made. In the Anzio area the bridgehead is enlarged and strengthened, and fresh troops and supplies arrive steadily.
  • Russian forces continue to develop the offensive north-west and west of Volosovo and to the south-west and south of Krasnogvardeisk, where the German garrison holding the village and railway-station of Siversky is completely wiped out.
  • A Far East official report states that 45 Japanese aeroplanes were shot down, and probably 14 others, for the loss of 10 allied aircraft, during two heavy attacks on Rabaul.
  • Brunswick and Hanover are targets for very large formations of heavy bombers of the U.S. Strategic Air Force escorted by fighters; 91 enemy planes are destroyed. At night Berlin is again attacked by a very strong force of Bomber Command heavy aircraft, the attack being followed by another by Mosquitoes; 33 aircraft are lost.

January 31, 1944

  • From positions in the Anzio beach head allied troops attack and reach the outskirts of Campoleone and Cisterna; on the southern 5th Army front French, British and American forces advance in a number of places.
  • The River Luga is forced by Russian troops advancing towards Estonia and the outskirts of Kingisepp are reached, the enemy being engaged in the suburbs; advances are made south-west and south of Lyuban, west and south-west of Novgorod and west and north-west of Novo Sokolniki.
  • Further advances on a limited scale in Burma are reported from Lord Louis Mountbatten’s headquarters.
  • U.S. Liberators, escorted by Thunderbolts, make an attack on the Pas de Calais area.

FEBRURY 1944

February 1, 1944

  • On a front of several miles’ French troops of the 5th Army advance farther west in the mountains north of Cassino and break through the Gustav Line on a front of several miles; in the Anzio area there is stiff fighting.
  • In a skilful outflanking manoeuvre Russian troops capture the town and railway-station of Kingisepp, an important enemy position in the Narva direction, and Orly, only a mile from the border of Estonia, is also occupied.
  • Admiral Nimitz announces from Pearl Harbour that U.S. amphibious forces have landed in the Roi and Kwajalein areas of the Marshall Islands.

February 2, 1944

  • The Anzio beachhead is enlarged in face of stiff resistance and counter-attacks are repelled; on the main 5th Army front French and U.S. troops move through the mountains north of Cassino, which is threatened.
  • Russian troops in the Narva area and south of Siversky continue their offensives, and in the former area capture Vanakula and reach the Estonian border; progress is also made south-west and south of Lyuban and west and south-west of Novgorod.
  • It is officially announced from General Nimitz’s headquarters that Roi Island, in the Marshall group, has been captured and that landings have been made on Kwajalein and Namur, where the action is progressing favourably; in all 10 islet beachheads have been captured.

February 3, 1944

  • Positions on the Anzio front are improved and on the main 5th Army front there is heavy fighting on the outskirts of Cassino, to the north of which enemy counter-attacks are repulsed. The village of Torricella is occupied by the 8th Army.
  • In the Ukraine the forces of the first and second fronts go over to the offensive and link up; as a result, they close the ring surrounding the enemy group operating north of the Zvenigorodka-Shpola line which consists of nine infantry and one tank division; more than 300 inhabited places, including several towns, are liberated. On other fronts progress continues.
  • Namur, an island adjoining Roi, in the Marshall Islands, is captured by the U.S. 4th Marines Division.
  • More than 1,100 U.S. bombers and fighters take part in an attack on Wilhelmshaven, and R.A.F. and U.S. escorted medium bombers attack military objectives in France.

February 4, 1944

  • Enemy counter-attacks on the Anzio front north of Carroceto (Aprilia) are beaten off, and on the main 5th Army front savage fighting in the precincts of Cassino continues, while in the Garigliano sector British troops resume the pressure and capture Monte Ornito.
  • On the northern front Soviet forces reach the mouth of the River Neva, clearing the Gulf of Finland coast to the eastward, and press forward to the shores of Lake Peipus. The enemy divisions trapped in the Ukraine are undergoing a process of extermination.
  • Wewak, the Japanese base in New Guinea, receives its most devastating air attack, more than 200 tons of bombs being dropped; 91 enemy aircraft are destroyed. In the early morning an American fleet shells Para-mushir, in the Kurile Islands, and naval aircraft follow up with a bomb attack.
  • Frankfort is the chief target for a major attack by U.S. heavy bombers escorted by fighters; 21 bombers and one fighter are lost.

February 5, 1944

  • There is bitter fighting in the streets of Cassino and in the mountains north and west of the town, where the 5th Army troops are repeatedly counter-attacked but continue to advance; positions on the Anzio front are adjusted and consolidated. Patrolling is actively engaged in on the 8th Army front.
  • The ring around the 10 trapped divisions of the enemy in the Ukraine pocket is tightened, and von Mannstein launches massive attacks for their relief; in Poland the Russians occupy Rovno and Luck, and in the north more gains are made in the direction of Luga.
  • Three more of the Marshall Islands - Kwajalein, Ebeye and Loi - are reported to have been captured by the U.S. troops.
  • Seven airfields in France are subjected to attack by strong forces of U.S. heavy bombers.

February 6, 1944

  • Hard fighting continues in the Cassino sector, where advances are made north and west of the town, and on the Anzio front American and British troops repel strong counter-attacks and take prisoners. The 8th Army advances and captures the towns of Pizzoferrato and Montenerodomo.
  • Russian troops on the third Ukrainian front break through the enemy’s defence lines between Krivoi Rog and Nikopol and advance from 28 to 38 miles, capturing the town of Apostolovo and the large, station of Marganets; the retreat of five German divisions in the Nikopol area is cut off, while during the fighting seven divisions are routed. Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is subjected to a mass raid by Soviet bombers.
  • An official report states that Gugegwe, Bigej and Ebler Islands, in the Marshall group, are in U.S occupation.
  • Another six airfields in France are attacked by heavy bombers of the U.S. Strategic Air Forces.

February 7, 1944

  • On the southern 5th Army front American troops continue to attack Cassino; on the Anzio front the allied troops consolidate their positions and shoot down 19 out of more than too aircraft which attack the beach-head. On the 8th Army front allied patrols are active.
  • The ring around the 10 trapped divisions on the middle Dnieper is further tightened, while the Russians close in on the Germans encircled in the bend and advance close to Nikopol; more progress is made on other fronts, including the capture of over 80 inhabited places north and north-west of Novo Sokolniki.
  • More than 200 allied bombers and fighters attack Rabaul, in New Guinea; an enemy submarine is hit and damaged.

February 8, 1944

  • Fighting continues in and near Cassino on a heavy scale, and on the Anzio front the enemy makes further efforts to probe the Anglo-American positions; a hospital is bombed by German aircraft. Two raids by allied aircraft are made on Cisterna, and naval units shell the Formia area. On the 8th Army front heavy casualties are inflicted on an enemy raiding party.
  • In an Order of the Day Marshal Stalin announces that troops of the fourth Ukrainian front inflicted a heavy defeat on the enemy south of Nikopol, during which the German bridgehead on the east bank of the Dnieper was cleared; in a second Order he announces the capture of Nikopol, the important manganese centre. The ring around the trapped enemy divisions in the middle Dnieper is further compressed.
  • Frankfort is again attacked by strong formations of U.S. Flying Fortresses.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Temp Major 42108 William Philip SIDNEY, Grenadier Guards awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Temporary Major William Philip Sidney (later Viscount De L'Isle), 5th Battalion, Grenadier Guards. During the period 7th/8th February 1944 at the Anzio beachhead, Italy, Major Sidney led a successful attack which drove the enemy out of the gully. Later he led another counter-attack and dashed forward, engaging the enemy with his tommy gun at point blank range, forcing a withdrawal. When the attack was renewed, Major Sidney and one guardsman were wounded and another killed, but he would not consent to have his wounds dressed until the enemy had been beaten off and the battalion's position was consolidated. During this time, although extremely weak from loss of blood, he continued to encourage and inspire his men.
General Alexander awards Victoria Cross to Major William Philip Sidney (Grenadier Guards)
General Alexander awards Victoria Cross to Major William Philip Sidney (Grenadier Guards)

February 9, 1944

  • Street fighting in Cassino continues against determined enemy resistance from pill-boxes and emplacements; many counter-attacks are repulsed. There is hard fighting on the Anzio front, where the Germans continue to probe our defences; medium bombers attack enemy communications to the rear of the beach-head.
  • The Russian ring round the trapped German troops in the Ukraine is tightened and, in the process, Goro-dishche is captured; further progress is made in the Nikopol. Novgorod and Luga areas, in the last-named the Soviet troops capturing Oredezh.
  • From a Japanese source it is reported that U.S. heavy bombers attack Wake Island for the third night in 10 days.
  • Military objectives in Northern France are again attacked by American and U.S. aircraft, more than 750 sorties being carried out by the R.A.F.

February 10, 1944

  • Fierce fighting goes on in the streets of Cassino, the enemy continuing to resist with the utmost tenacity; on the Anzio front the enemy makes efforts to find a weak spot in the allied defences; there is more bombing activity behind the German lines.
  • Russian troops continue to battle for the extermination of the Germans in the Korsun area, and several inhabited localities are captured. In the Luga direction the Red Army proceeds with its offensive, capturing the town and railway-station of Tolmchevo, and progress is made on other fronts.
  • American Flying Fortresses make a heavy attack on Brunswick and Liberators bomb the German fighter base at Gilze-Rijen in Holland; the bombers and their fighter escort also destroy 84 enemy aircraft. Mosquitoes attack targets in Berlin.

February 11, 1944

  • Hard fighting continues on both 5th Army fronts, allied troops making some progress in the Cassino area and repulsing an enemy counter-attack on the Anzio beachhead, where naval units give further support with gunfire.
  • First Ukrainian army troops outflank and capture Shepetovka, an important enemy defence position 35 miles east of the 1939 Polish frontier; pressure against the trapped enemy forces in the Korsun pocket increases and to the south-east the movement to envelop Krivoi Rog continues.
  • According to an official report heavy fighting continues east of the Mayu Range, in Arakan, Burma.
  • Allied aircraft drop 134 tons of bombs on airfields at Rabaul, New Britain.
  • U.S. Fortress bombers attack Frankfort again, the fourth time in 14 days.

February 12, 1944

  • Troops of the 5th Army make short advances against very stubborn resistance near Cassino, and counter-attacks are repelled; on the Anzio front there is bitter fighting for one point, which changes hands three times, but elsewhere there are only minor clashes. In a successful raid 8th Army troops inflict casualties on the enemy.
  • In a report to the Prime Minister General Wilson and General Alexander express their confidence that the battle for Rome will be won.
  • Russian forces open battles on the outskirts of Luga and capture the town and railway-junction of Batetskaya, 17 miles to the east; in the Korsun area the Soviet troops continue to eliminate the trapped Germans.
  • U.S. Liberators, escorted by Thunderbolts and Mustangs, bomb military installations in the Pas de Calais, France. It was their thirteenth operation in 16 days.
  • As the result of a nine days’ battle on the Arakan front it is reported that the Japanese attempt to infiltrate behind the British lines has been repulsed.

February 13, 1944

  • British troops of the 5th Army on the Anzio front make successful local attacks, and on the main front American troops continue to exert pressure in the Cassino area. There is patrolling on the 8th Army front. Medium and light bombers attack vehicles and troop concentrations in the Anzio and Cassino areas.
  • Soviet troops on the Leningrad front, by an out-flanking movement and frontal assault, occupy the town of Luga, a powerful German strong-point, and troops of the same front capture the towns of Gdov and Lyady and more than 800 other inhabited localities; elsewhere there is continued progress.
  • Strong formations of U.S. Flying Fortresses and Liberators, escorted by fighters, attack military objectives in Northern France.
  • Seven of a force of 50 or 60 enemy bombers which cross the south-east coast are destroyed; about 15 reach the London area.

February 14, 1944

  • Hard fighting continues in Cassino, and on the Anzio front a minor enemy attack is repulsed; 8th Army patrols are aggressive on the entire front.
  • Korsun, the main centre of resistance of the trapped German forces, is stormed by the Russians, and north-west of Zvenigorodka fierce battles are fought against enemy troops trying to break through to the besieged Korsun garrison; more progress is made in the Gdov area and to the south of Luga.
  • New Zealand and American troops, with air and naval support, occupy Green Islands, off the northern end of the Solomons.
  • The Admiralty announces the loss of submarine H.M.S. Simoom (Lieut. Geoffrey Deryck Nicholson Milner, D.S.C., R.N.).

February 15, 1944

  • The monastery at Monte Cassino is attacked by strong forces of heavy and medium bombers; on the 8th Army front a small enemy attack using tanks is smashed; except for artillery fire and patrol clashes there is little activity on either the main 5th Army or the Anzio fronts.
  • German troops endeavouring to relieve the trapped forces attack with tanks and infantry but are repelled with heavy loss; south of Luga, Gorodets and 40 other inhabited places are liberated by the Red Army.
  • Military objectives in Northern France are again bombed by U.S. Liberators and Thunderbolt fighter-bombers and by R.A.F. aircraft. Berlin gets its heaviest raid when about 1,000 aircraft drop 2,500 tons of bombs in 30 minutes; 43 aircraft are lost.

February 16, 1944

  • Troops of the 5th Army are heavily engaged with the enemy in the northern part of the Anzio beachhead, and on the main 5th Army front street fighting continues in Cassino; elsewhere there is active patrolling.
  • South-west of Gdov and south-west and south of Luga the Russians make further progress, and 30 inhabited places in the latter area, including Zapolye, are captured; enemy attempts to reach their trapped army on the Middle Dnieper fail and the ring is tightened still more.
  • At daylight powerful U.S. naval task forces begin an attack on the Japanese naval base of Truk, in the Caroline Islands; several hundred aircraft take part.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Temporary Major 71106 Charles Ferguson HOEY, Lincolnshire Regiment awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Temporary Major Charles Ferguson Hoey, 1st Battalion, the Lincolnshire Regiment. On 16th February 1944 near the Ngakyedauk Pass, Arakan, Burma, Major Hoey's company came under devastating machine-gun fire, but Major Hoey did not waver in his advance on the objective. Although wounded in the head and leg he went forward alone and tackled a troublesome enemy strong point, destroying it and killing all the occupants, but he was mortally wounded.

February 17, 1944

  • Heavy enemy attacks on the Anzio beachhead positions are beaten off, and on the main 5th Army front there is hard fighting around a height north-west of Cassino abbey.
  • The annihilation of the German divisions in the Kanyev trap is completed; 55,000 of the enemy are reported to have been killed and 18,000 taken prisoner.
  • The U.S. War Department announces that an allied ship carrying “substantial numbers” of American soldiers has been sunk; about 1,000 men are missing.

February 18, 1944

  • The allied troops continue to attack around Cassino and the Abbey Hill, and in the Garigliano sector break up two small enemy thrusts; heavy fighting continues in the beachhead area, where the 5th Army hits back.
  • South-west and south of Luga and west of Novgorod, where the large town and railway-station of Shimsk is captured, the Red Army continues to press forward, while south of Lake Ilmen the town of Staraya Russa is occupied. The German High Command reports heavy Russian attacks in the Krivoi Rog region.
  • More than half the Japanese force of 4,000 which had launched a campaign from Taung Bazar, Burma, is reported to have been trapped and 700 of them killed.
  • Allied destroyers heavily shell Rabaul, New Britain, and Kavieng, New Ireland, several ships in both harbours being hit and damaged.
  • The U.S. Navy Department announces that the capture of Eniwetok atoll, in the Marshall Islands, has been undertaken by forces of the Pacific Ocean area.

February 19, 1944

  • Following continuous and violent fighting 5th Army positions at Anzio are improved and heavy casualties are inflicted on the Germans; on the main 5th Army front newly won mountain positions are consolidated and elsewhere two counter-attacks are repelled.
  • In the area of Staraya Russa the Russians continue to advance, and progress is also made around Krivoi Rog; on other active fronts offensive measures continue.
  • Allied troops carry out a successful raid on enemy coastal defences west of the Mayu peninsula, some distance south of Maungdaw, in Burma.
  • Early in the morning there is enemy air activity over London, East Anglia and the South-East Coast; five of the raiding aircraft are destroyed.
  • Bomber Command aircraft drop more than 2,300 tons of bombs on Leipzig and Mosquitoes attack Berlin;79 aircraft are missing.

February 20, 1944

  • Tank and infantry units of the 5th Army throw the enemy back in the Anzio beachhead after resisting for 48 hours a fierce attack by six divisions; the Germans suffer heavy casualties and several hundred prisoners are taken; on the main front French troops repulse a strong enemy raid.
  • The Red Army troops press forward on the Luga front, and south-west of Novgorod capture Utorgorsh in making further progress towards Dno. More than 100 inhabited places are liberated to the south of Lake Ilmen.
  • Admiral Chester Nimitz reports that in the attack on Truk 19 enemy ships were sunk and 201 aircraft destroyed.
  • It is officially reported that Engebi atoll and several other islands in the Marshall group have been captured by U.S. forces.
  • U.S. 8th Air Force make a heavy attack on factories in Germany, the largest number of heavy bombers ever employed taking part in the assault; six centres are visited and 61 enemy fighters are shot down. At night Bomber Command aircraft make a heavy attack on Stuttgart, dropping more than 2,000 tons of bombs; 10 bombers are missing.
  • Five of a force of enemy bombers which attack London, East and South-East England are destroyed.
  • The Admiralty announces the loss of destroyer H.M.S. Janus (Lieut.-Commander William Brabazon Robert Morrison, R.N.).

February 21, 1944

  • A relatively quiet day is spent on all fronts in Italy; enemy E-boats attempting to approach Anzio are driven off by U.S. patrol craft and one is hit and blows up.
  • A fierce struggle is in progress for the occupation of Krivoi Rog, and fighting takes place in the suburbs of the town. Soltsa, Volot, Gorodishche and the town of Kholm are captured by the Russians in their drive west, south-west and south of Lake Ilmen.
  • Following heavy fighting, allied troops recapture some high ground in the Arakan peninsula, Burma.
  • Strong forces of U.S. bombers attack aircraft factories and other military objectives in Western Germany.

February 22, 1944

  • Two local enemy attacks in the beachhead are thrown back; on the main 5th and 8th Army fronts there is active patrolling and artillery fire.
  • Marshal Stalin issues an Order of the Day announcing the capture of Krivoi Rog and the mine area, which for long had been an enemy strong-point; in the north Soviet forces press on to within 10 miles of Dno, and further progress is made in the direction of Pskov.
  • Saipan and Tinian, islands in the Marianne group, are attacked by a strong U.S. Pacific fleet task force including several hundred carrier-based aircraft.
  • Strong forces of U.S. heavy bombers make a coordinated attack on Regensburg (from Italian bases) and Bernberg, Oschersleben and Halberstadt (from England); in three days 310 enemy fighters have been destroyed.
  • Thirteen enemy aircraft are destroyed during a widespread raid on the London area, East Anglia and South-East England.
  • In the House of Commons, the Prime Minister gives a survey of the war situation.

February 23, 1944

  • In Italy on the Anzio front there are sharp encounters; on the other fronts patrols are active. An attempt at night by enemy E-boats to attack the anchorage at Anzio is frustrated by patrol craft.
  • A strong force of Italian-based Liberators attack factories in Steyr, Austria.
  • The Russian offensives south-west and south of Lugaand south-west of Lake Ilmen are continued and the outskirts of Dno are reached; a number of inhabited places are liberated in the Krivoi Rog area.
  • Five enemy raiders of a force which cross the coast and penetrate to London are shot down.
  • Several groups of enemy E-boats which attack a small convoy off the East Coast are driven off by light naval forces; one E-boat is destroyed.

February 24, 1944

  • On both 5th Army fronts the allied positions are improved; enemy attacks are repulsed. At several points on the 8th Army front our troops inflict casualties on the Germans and take prisoners.
  • Two important victories are won by the Russians, troops of the second Baltic front in co-operation with troops of the Leningrad front capture Dno, and forces of the first White Russian front occupy Rogachev in a 30-mile advance; progress continues elsewhere.
  • U.S. troops in New Guinea are reported to be pressing through the mountains from Sagsag and Cape Gloucester.
  • Japanese troops still in the rear of the 7th Indian Division at Buthidaung, Burma, are being mopped up.
  • Steyr is again attacked by American aircraft based in Italy, while another strong force of American heavy bombers attack Schweinfurt and Gotha; targets in Holland and Northern France are also raided. At night R.A.F. aircraft make two more heavy attacks on Schweirifurt; 35 bombers are missing.
  • Ten enemy aircraft are destroyed during a raid on England, in which London was attacked: two others are destroyed over their bases.
  • The Admiralty announces the loss of destroyer H.M.S. Hardy (Captain William Geoffrey Arthur Robson, D.S.O., D.S.C., R.N.).

February 25, 1944

  • Indian troops of the 8th Army and French troops on the main 5th Army front repel enemy attacks: elsewhere there is vigorous patrolling.
  • North and south of Rogachev the Red Army continues to advance and further progress is made in the direction of Pskov; the Germans announce their evacuation of Vitebsk.
  • Heavy bombers of the U.S. 8th A.A.F. in very great strength attack the Messerschmitt assembly factory at Regensburg and targets at Stuttgart, Augsburg and Fuerth, and aircraft from Italy join in the raid on Regensburg; 142 enemy aircraft are also destroyed. At night 1,700 tons of bombs are dropped on Augsburg by R.A.F. Lancesters and Halifaxes in a double attack; 24 machines are missing in these and other raids.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Sergeant, B.46495 Aubrey COSENS, Canadian Infantry awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - No. B 46495 Sergeant Aubrey Cosens, The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, Canadian Infantry Corps. On the night of 25th/26th February 1945 at Mooshof, Holland, Sergeant Cosens assumed command of the four survivors of his platoon whom he placed in position to give him covering fire and then, running forward alone to a tank, took up an exposed position in front of the turret and directed its fire. When a further counter-attack had been repulsed and, on his orders, the tank had rammed some farm buildings, he went in alone, killing several of the defenders and taking the rest prisoners. He then dealt similarly with the occupants of two more buildings, but soon afterwards was killed by a sniper.

February 26, 1944

  • On the main 5th Army front two small-scale enemy attacks are repulsed; elsewhere there is only patrol activity.
  • In their drive towards Pskov the Russians capture Porkhov and Pokodkinye and liberate more than 100 other places; the railway from Dno to Novo Sokolniki is cleared. A mass raid lasting 12 hours is made on Helsinki by more than 600 bombers; many fires are raised and great devastation caused.

February 27, 1944

  • Two enemy strong-points on the Anzio front are captured, and enemy efforts to filter into our lines are frustrated by U.S. artillery; on both the other fronts our patrols probe the German positions.
  • Russian troops press on in the direction of Pskov and west of Kholm they make a fighting advance and occupy Bezhakitsy; in the Novo Sokolniki area they capture the railway-stations of Zabelye and Pustoshka and 50 inhabited localities. An enemy offensive west and north-west of Luck is repelled and south of Apostolovo a number of inhabited places are liberated.
  • An amended report states that the U.S. attack on Truk resulted in the Japanese losing 23 ships (not 19), with six probably sunk and 11 damaged.

February 28, 1944

  • British troops of the 8th Army advance locally and occupy some high ground, and patrols engage the enemy; our beachhead positions are improved, and two attempts to reach our defence positions are unsuccessful. On the main 5th Army front there is active patrolling and artillery fire.
  • In further progress towards Pskov the Red Army captures three district centres and 450 other inhabited places and six railway-stations, one of them only 11 miles from Pskov; pressing on from Novo Sokolniki Soviet troops take the town of Pustoshka.
  • U.S. Navy Liberators bomb enemy installations on Wake Island.
  • According to an official announcement the Japanese force of 6,000 which attacked the 7th Indian Division in Arakan, Burma, has been almost entirely liquidated.
  • U.S. Flying Fortresses and Liberators, escorted by Lightnings, Thunderbolts and Mustangs, attack military targets in Northern France.

February 29, 1944

  • The enemy exerts strong pressure along the eastern portion of the beachhead and some German troops are taken prisoner; there is active patrolling on both of the other fronts. Medium bombers attack Viterbo airfield.
  • The threat to Pskov increases with a further Russian advance to within six miles of the town in which Klimovo and Lapatovo are captured; the district centre of Novorzhev, north-west of Novo Sokolniki, is also taken, while in the Krivoi Rog area Shirokoye is among more than 70 inhabited places occupied.
  • The Soviet’s terms for an armistice with Finland are published.
  • U.S. troops make a landing in the Admiralty Islands, situated at the northern entrance to the Bismarck Sea.
  • American heavy bombers attack targets at Brunswick, in Germany, and in the Pas de Calais, France.
  • The Admiralty announces the loss of cruiser H.M.S. Spartan (Captain P. V. McLaughlin, R.N.).
  • Two more enemy aircraft are destroyed during a raid over the Home Counties, including London, and South-East England.

MARCH 1944

March 1, 1944

  • Allied beachhead forces in Italy throw back a strong enemy attack directed against the central portion of the 5th Army lines at Anzio; elsewhere there is patrol activity.
  • The Russians force the passage of the River Narva south of the town of Narva, achieving a break through over a 20-mile front to a depth of about 10 miles; the Narva-Tallinn railway is cut. On the Pskov front the Soviet forces continue to advance and elsewhere progress is made.
  • American forces consolidate their positions on Los Negros Island, in the Admiralty group, after an enemy counter-attack.
  • The Admiralty announces that H.M. submarines in Far Eastern waters have torpedoed a Japanese aircraft-carrier of about 7,000 tons and probably sunk it; a cruiser was also hit by a torpedo.
  • The Admiralty reports the loss of destroyer H.M.S. Warwick (Commander Denys Arthur Rayner, D.S.C., V.D., R.N.V.R.).
  • Stuttgart is attacked by a large force of Bomber Command aircraft and Mosquitoes visit Munich; four aircraft are missing.
H.M.S. Warwick
H.M.S. Warwick

March 2, 1944

  • The enemy offensive in the beachhead is halted, heavy casualties having been inflicted on the Germans; on the main 5th Army and 8th Army fronts there is active patrolling. The enemy’s positions in front of the allied troops in the beachhead are hammered by heavy and medium bombers.
  • Several enemy strong-points in the Narva direction are captured by the Red Army; further progress is made towards Pskov and to the south in the direction of the Latvian frontier, where Zamoshie is occupied.
  • British troops in Burma attack and capture enemy positions north-north-east of Buthidaung and West African troops attack Apaukwa and capture many of the Japanese positions.
  • Targets in South-West Germany are attacked by a strong force of U.S. Flying Fortresses and Liberators and objectives in France are also bombed. At night aircraft of Bomber Command visit Meulan-les-Mureaux, near Paris, and Albert, in Northern France.
  • About 100 enemy aircraft make attacks on South-East England and the London area in the early morning; five are destroyed.

March 3, 1944

  • There are localised enemy attacks in the beachhead area, which are repelled, and patrolling on the main 5th Army front; troops of the 8th Army beat off a small German attack in the mountainous sector. Railways at Rome, Littorio and other centres are bombed.
  • Soviet troops continue to wage engagements for the expansion of the Narva bridgehead and improve their positions and capture many populated places; numerous inhabited places are also taken in the advance towards Latvia.
  • Ponape and Kusaie, islands in the Caroline group, are bombed by U.S. Liberators.
  • Berlin is, for the first time, the daylight objective of U.S. aircraft, Lightnings carrying out a sweep over the German capital, while Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack targets in North-West Germany.

March 4, 1944

  • Allied beachhead forces repel an enemy attack in the Cisterna area, and at one point forward troops encircle and destroy an advanced German unit; on the other fronts there is patrol activity.
  • Soviet troops widen the Narva bridgehead and farther south advance to within eight miles of Ostrov, capturing Nemoyevo among a number of populated places; south of Krivoi Rog the Russians cross the Ingulets River.
  • In Burma the clearing up of the remaining enemy troops east of the Ngakyedauk Pass proceeds successfully.
  • Escorted by long-range fighters, U.S. heavy bombers make their first daylight attack on Berlin; 14 bombers and 23 fighters are lost.

March 5, 1944

  • An enemy attack in the beachhead and another on the 8th Army front are repelled; on the main 5th Army front there is only patrol activity.
  • On the first Ukrainian front Soviet forces under General Zhukov pass to the offensive and break through a heavily fortified enemy defence zone on a 110-mile front and advance from 15 to 30 miles; they capture the town and railway station of Izyaslaval and the towns of Shumsk, Yampol and Ostropol.
  • U.S. Liberators attack the German fighter and bomber base at Cognac, in South-West France.

March 6, 1944

  • Bad weather restricts activity in the beachhead area, where there are a few minor actions, and on the main 5th Army front there are some sharp patrol clashes.
  • Marauders of a U.S.A.A.F. Middle East squadron engage in a running battle with enemy fighters over the Aegean Sea and shoot down four of them.
  • Continuing to develop their offensive General Zhukov’s forces capture the important town and railway-station of Volochisk and a number of regional centres; in two days’ fighting more than 15,000 of the enemy are killed and masses of material destroyed or captured.
  • Berlin is again attacked by strong forces of U.S. heavy bombers, escorted by large formations of fighters; many targets are hit and 176 enemy fighters are destroyed; 68 bombers and 11 fighters are lost.
  • Bomber Command aircraft in force attack railway targets at Trappes, about 15 miles south-west of Paris.
  • The Admiralty announces the loss of destroyer H.M.S. Inglefield (Commander Charles Fraser Churchill, D.S.C., R.N.)

March 7, 1944

  • Activity on the three Italian fronts is limited to patrols, heavy snow making all movement difficult. Escorted heavy bombers attack Toulon, Prato, Orvieto and other targets.
  • The Russian advance in the Ukraine is rapidly developed and a number of enemy counter-attacks are repelled with heavy losses; more than 200 inhabited places are liberated.
  • In the House of Common Mr. A. V. Alexander announces that the Navy’s losses off Anzio were the cruisers H.M.S. Penelope and H.M.S. Spartan, two destroyers and five of the larger landing-craft.
  • The R.A.F. make a heavy attack on the railway-yards at Le Mans, 110 miles south-west of Paris.

March 8, 1944

  • American troops in the beachhead area in Italy repel two minor enemy attacks; elsewhere there is patrol activity.
  • Russian troops of the first Ukrainian front continue their offensive, capturing more than 100 inhabited places, including the district-centre of Cherno Ostrov; fighting takes place in the suburbs of Staro Konstantinov.
  • More than 350,000 incendiaries and 10,000 high-explosive bombs are dropped on Berlin in another big attack made in daylight by the U.S. Strategic Air Forces and 83 enemy fighters are shot down by escorting fighters-and 42 by the bombers; 38 bombers and 15 fighters are lost.

March 9, 1944

  • Activity on the Italian fronts is confined to patrolling; medium bombers attack Porto Santo Stefano and Montalto di Castro; over 800 sorties are flown.
  • First Ukrainian front troops capture Staro Konstantinov and more than 100 inhabited localities and also break into Tarnopol, where street fighting takes place; on the third Ukrainian front Soviet forces go over to the offensive and force a crossing of the Ingulets River.
  • Yet another attack on Berlin by daylight is made by strong forces of U.S. Flying Fortresses and Liberators escorted by fighters; an industrial target in Central Germany is also raided; seven bombers and one fighter are missing.
  • Lancasters of Bomber Command attack a large aircraft factory at Marignane, near Marseilles.
  • In February, according to an official report, more U-boats than merchant ships were sunk; allied losses of ships were the lowest since America entered the war.

March 10, 1944

  • In the beachhead and on the main 5th Army front bad weather restricts activity to patrolling; allied patrols on the 8th Army front clash with the enemy at many points and two small-scale German attacks are repelled; air attacks on military objectives continue.
  • Street fighting continues in Tamopol and in the Proskurov area the Soviet forces fight their way forward, occupying Krasilov and entering Novo Konstantinov; troops of the second Ukrainian front resume their offensive, advance 25 to 44 miles on a 110-mile front, and capture Uman and Kristinovka, among more than 300 inhabited places. On the third Ukrainian front good progress is also made.
  • It is announced that Eire has rejected an American request that Axis consular and diplomatic representatives should be removed.

March 11, 1944

  • Patrolling is continued on all three fronts in Italy.
  • Heavy bombers attack the docks at Toulon and railway-yards at Padua, while medium bombers visit the railway-yards at Florence and Orvieto.
  • All three Russian armies in the Ukraine continue to move forward, but in the Tarnopol area the Germans stiffen their resistance; in the Uman zone Ladyzhenka is occupied.
  • American and Chinese columns operating in the Hukawng valley in North Burma are reported to be advancing on Mogaung.
  • During an allied air attack on Wewak, in New Guinea, 26 enemy fighters are shot down.
  • U.S. Flying Fortresses, escorted by fighters, make an attack on military targets at Muenster and Liberators raid objectives in the Pas de Calais area of Northern France; no enemy fighter opposition is met.
  • King Peter of Yugoslavia arrives in England for urgent political discussions.

March 12, 1944

  • Bad weather continues to curtail operations in Italy to patrolling and artillery fire.
  • In the Ukraine the Russians cut the Proskurov-Gusiatyn railway-line and west and south-west of Uman the town of Gayvoron is occupied; further successes are achieved in the Krivoi Rog region, where Shevchenkovo and the railway-junction of Dolinskaya are captured.
  • Chinese and American forces in North Burma are reported to be mopping up remnants of the Japanese 18th Division in the Maingkwan and Walawbum areas; more than 2,000 of the enemy have been killed in recent fighting.
  • All travel between Britain and Northern Ireland and Eire, with certain exceptions, is suspended.
  • Fresh gains in the Arakan area of Burma are reported; during the operations Buthidaung is captured.
  • In the attack made by Japanese troops against U.S. forces on Bougainville Island, in the Solomons, the enemy suffers about 1,000 casualties.
  • Victoria Cross recipientNaik, Nand Singh, 11th Sikh Regiment awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - “On the night of 11-12 March 1944 on the Maungdaw-Buthidaung Road, Burma (now Myanmar), Naik Nand Singh, commanding a leading section of the attack, was ordered to recapture a position gained by the enemy. He led his section up a very steep knife-edged ridge under very heavy machine-gun and rifle fire and although wounded in the thigh, captured the first trench. He then crawled forward alone and, wounded again in the face and shoulder, nevertheless captured the second and third trenches.”

March 13, 1944

  • On the 8th Army front there are some sharp clashes with the enemy in the Orsogna area, but on the other fronts there is little activity.
  • The Russians press forward on all fronts in the Ukraine, where forces of the third front capture the towns of Berislavl and Kherson, the enemy’s last strong-hold on the Dnieper River; many other towns and district-centres are also liberated.
  • Military targets in Northern France are attacked by Flying Fortresses escorted by Thunderbolts; medium bombers attack objectives in the Pas de Calais area of Northern France. At night Bomber Command Halifaxes make a heavy attack on railway targets at Le Mans and Mosquitoes visit Frankfort.
  • In combat over Wewak, in New Guinea, the enemy loses another 26 fighters with seven others probably destroyed.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Lieutenant, 198186, George Albert CAIRNS, Somerset Light Infantry awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Lieutenant George Albert Cairns, The Somerset Light Infantry (Prince Albert's), attached The South Staffordshire Regiment. On 13th March 1944 at Henu Block, Burma, during an attack on a hill-top held by the Japanese, Lieutenant Cairns was attacked by a Japanese officer who with his sword hacked off the lieutenant's left arm. The latter killed the officer, picked up the sword and continued to lead his men, slashing left and right with the captured sword, killing and wounding several of the enemy before he himself fell to the ground. He later died of his wounds, but his action so inspired his comrades that the Japanese were completely routed, a very rare occurrence at that time.

March 14, 1944

  • There is again nothing to report on the three Italian fronts apart from patrol activity.
  • Forces on the third Ukrainian front develop their offensive in the Tarnopol direction and trap a large force of Germans consisting of several divisions, who vainly endeavour to break out and lose 10,000 in killed and 4,000 prisoners; many more towns and other inhabited places are liberated on the other fronts.
  • In New Guinea Australian troops capture Daumoina, in the Mintjim valley.
  • The South-East Asia Command announces that columns of the 14th Army have entered Upper Burma and crossed the Chindwin River.
  • In a fire-raising attack on London 14 enemy bombers are destroyed.
  • The unescorted Greek merchant SS Peleus was traveling from Freetown to Buenos Aires when it was hit by two torpedoes from U-852 and sank rapidly about 500 miles north of Ascension Island. The submarine tried to destroy all evidences of the sinking by shooting at debris and rafts from the ship. During this action some survivors were killed and only four men were alive when the submarine left the area. One of them later died before rescue over a month later. The U-boat Captain, Heinz-Wilhelm Eck and four crew members were later tried for war crimes for the shooting. Eck and two others were executed. The only U-boat crew to be found guilty of war crimes in World War 2.

March 15, 1944

  • More than 1,400 tons of bombs are dropped on Cassino by allied aircraft in three-and-a-half hours with the object of destroying every building in this German stronghold on the main 5th Army front; the beachhead positions of the British troops south of Carroceto are improved.
  • The Russians repel enemy counter-attacks in the Proskurov area and continue their advance in the Vinnitsa sector; south-west of Uman the Southern Bug is forced over a 60-mile front and four district-centres are captured; the German divisions trapped in the Ingulets valley are being split up and liquidated.
  • The Finnish Parliament rejects the Russian armistice terms, endorsing the Government’s view that they are unacceptable as a basis for negotiation.
  • American forces land on Manus Island, in the Admiralty group, near Lugos.
  • U.S. Flying Fortresses and Liberators, escorted by fighters, attack targets in Brunswick. At night more than 1,000 Bomber Command heavy bombers drop over 3,000 tons of bombs on Stuttgart; 40 aircraft are missing.

March 16, 1944

  • Allied tanks and infantry enter Cassino, but their advance is limited by the devastation which resulted from the bombing of the previous day; railway-yards at Sofia are attacked by Wellington aircraft.
  • On the second Ukrainian front the railway from Zhmerinka to Odessa is cut and in the Vinnitsa sector Nemirov and Tulchin are occupied; good progress is made in the Nikolaiev sector and the trapped German divisions in the Ingulets area are completely wiped out.
  • Further progress by the Chinese operating under General Stilwell in the Hukawng valley, in Northern Burma, is announced.
  • Industrial targets in Southern Germany are attacked by U.S. Flying Fortresses and Liberators in great strength, escorted by fighters, and 125 enemy aircraft are shot down; 22 bombers and 10 fighters are lost.
  • R.A.F. Lancasters attack the Michelin rubber tyre factory at Clermont-Ferrand, about 30 miles south of Vichy; Halifaxes and Stirlings visit Amiens.

March 17, 1944

  • Troops of the 5th Army gain all but the south-west part of Cassino and New Zealand troops and tanks drive into the railway-station south of the town; in the Anzio area three enemy attacks in the Carano area are repelled. There is some activity in the Orsogna sector of the 8th Army front. A strong force of 15th A.A.F. Liberators attack military objectives in Vienna.
  • Dubno, an important enemy strongpoint in the Lwow region on the first Ukrainian front, is captured by the Russians, and in the Uman area Bratislav is occupied.
  • It is reported that airborne troops have been landed in the rear of the Japanese in Northern Burma.
  • The Admiralty announces the loss of destroyer H.M.S. Mahratta (Lieut.-Commander Eric Arthur Forbes Drought, D.S.C.).

March 18, 1944

  • New Zealand troops continue to fight their way through the rubble in Cassino and positions won by Indian troops in recent fighting are consolidated and extended.
  • Driving towards Rumania the Red Army captures Yampol, on the River Dniester, and Rudnitsa, 20 miles to the east; the rout of the German 6th Army, which suffered 50,659 casualties, is announced; on the second Ukrainian front Pomoshnaya is occupied and first Ukrainian front troops take Zhmerinka.
  • U.S. troops capture Lorengau, the Japanese base on Manus Island, in the Admiralty group.
  • Escorted by fighters, very strong forces of U.S. 8th Air Force Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack Oberpfaffenhoffen, Lechfeld, Landsberg, Friedrichs-haven and Augsburg; 82 enemy fighters are shot down and the U.S. losses are 43 bombers and 10 fighters. At night Bomber Command send over 1,000 bombers to Frankfort and Bergerac; 22 aircraft are lost.

March 19, 1944

  • The Germans succeed in reinforcing their strong-points in Cassino and recapture one lower hill feature; fierce fighting continues in the town and on the hillside below the abbey ruins. There is sharp local fighting in the beachhead and active patrolling on the 8th Army front.
  • Military objectives in Klagenfurt and Graz are attacked by heavy bombers.
  • Troops of the second Ukrainian front cross the River Dniester on a 30-mile sector and capture Soroka, in Moldavia, and 20 miles west of the 1939 Polish frontier Krzemieniec, a powerful natural fortress, is occupied.
  • Japanese troops are reported to be developing a major offensive on the Indian frontier.
  • The Admiralty announces the sinking of six U-boats by British sloops, commanded by Captain F. J. Walker, C.B., D.S.O. (two Bars), R.N., in the North Atlantic.
  • Eight enemy aircraft are destroyed when attacks are made on East Anglia and the Midlands.

March 20, 1944

  • Enemy strongpoints at Cassino are slowly being reduced by New Zealanders and allied troops hang on grimly to their positions on Monastery Hill.
  • Mogilev Podolski, a powerful centre of resistance on the River Dniester, is captured by the second Ukrainian front forces, and on the first Ukrainian front Vinnitsa is occupied; the offensives elsewhere continue satisfactorily.
  • It is announced that a coastal belt about 10 miles in depth, but deeper at some points, from the Wash round the east and south coasts of England to Land’s End is to become a protected area from 1st April.
  • German troops are reported to be moving into Hungary.
  • Frankfort is the target for medium-sized forces of Flying Fortresses and Liberators, escorted by fighters. At night Bomber Command Lancasters attack an important explosive works at Angouleme, in France.
Crew leaving their aircraft after taking part in an attack on Frankfort
Crew leaving their aircraft after taking part in an attack on Frankfort a centre of
Germany's chemical and engineering industry

March 21, 1944

  • Heavy hand-to-hand fighting continues in Cassino and on the hills above the town; elsewhere patrols are active.
  • The Russians continue to advance’ south-west of Dubno, west and south-west of Vinnitsa, south of Zhmerinka and south of Mogilev Podolski; the Cernauti-Balti railway is cut.
  • Jambubum and Sumprabum, two important Japanese positions in Northern Burma, are captured.

March 22, 1944

  • In the Cassino area British pressure against the enemy positions in the town is maintained and enemy counter-attacks on Castle Hill are repelled; there are patrol clashes in the beachhead and on the 8th Army front. Verona is attacked by heavy bombers.
  • Russian troops on the second Ukrainian front capture Pervomaisk and there is good progress to the west of Vinnitsa; on other sectors the Red Army’s advance continues.
  • Japanese troops are reported to have crossed the Indian frontier in one or two places.
  • Allied aircraft make a two-hour attack on shipping and bases along the north coast of New Guinea.
  • In an attack on London and South-East England in the early morning the enemy loses 10 aircraft.
  • Berlin is attacked by strong divisions of Flying Fortresses and Liberators which meet no enemy fighter opposition; 13 bombers and nine of the large forces of escorting fighters are lost. At night more than 3,000 tons of bombs are dropped on Frankfort by Bomber Command aircraft, of which 23 are lost.
  • Control of Hungary by German troops has been taken over, according to an enemy report.
New Zealand orderlies bring in a soldier wounded during fighting on Castle Hill.
Led by a solider carrying a Red Cross flag, two New Zealand orderlies bring
in a soldier wounded during fighting on Castle Hill.

March 23, 1944

  • Very heavy fighting continues in Cassino, and else-where there are patrol clashes with the enemy. Night bombers attack railway facilities at Padua.
  • In the Tarnopol-Proskurov area the Soviet forces launch a fresh offensive, advancing up to 35 miles, and on the lower Bug they engage the enemy on the outskirts of Voznesensk; further progress is made south-west of Kremenets, on the right bank of the Dniester south of Mogilev Podolski, and in other areas.
  • General Stilwell’s Chinese division is reported to have entered the Mogaung Valley and to be fighting its way south.
  • In an attack against U.S. forces on Bougainville Island the Japanese are repelled with heavy losses.
  • According to an official report at least 326 factories in Berlin have been destroyed or damaged by R.A.F. night attacks between 18th November, 1943, and 15th February, 1944.
  • Military objectives at Hamm, Achmer, Handorf, Muenster and Brunswick are attacked by Flying Fortresses and Liberators escorted by fighters; 27 bombers and six fighters are missing. Targets at Laon and in the Lyons, area are attacked at night by Bomber Command aircraft.

March 24, 1944

  • 76 Allied POW’s escape from Stalag Luft III in Sagan, Germany (now Zagan, Poland). 50 are later captured and executed by the Gestapo. (short for 'Geheime Staats Polizei': secret state police). The escape will found the basis for the story of the film ‘The Great Escape’.
  • Heavy fighting continues in Cassino, but the general situation is unchanged; artillery and mortars are active on the 8th Army front. Heavy bombers attack the rail yards at Rimini and Ancona.
  • First Ukrainian front Soviet forces complete a 60-mile advance in four days and reach the Dniester after capturing three railway-junctions and liberating more than 400 inhabited localities, including Czortkov and Gusiatyn; north-west of Tarnopol the River Sereth is crossed and considerable booty captured, and in the lower Bug area Voznesensk is occupied.
  • The Japanese troops who crossed the Indian front in the direction of Imphal are reported to have made slight local advances.
  • U.S. Flying Fortresses attack industrial targets in Schweinfurt and Frankfort and Liberators bomb fighter airfields at Nancy and St. Dizier in France. At night Berlin is again the target for Bomber Command aircraft, which drop more than 2,500 tons of bombs, and Kiel and other targets are also visited; 79 aircraft are missing.
  • Eight enemy aircraft of a force of between 80 and 100 which attack London and South-East England are destroyed.

March 25, 1944

  • The Germans are reported to be bringing up reinforcements at Cassino by underground tunnels, but the intensity of the struggle slackens somewhat; elsewhere there is active patrolling.
  • The Red Army advances to within eight miles of the Rumanian frontier and captures more than 50 places in Bessarabia; Marshal Zhukov’s forces capture Proskurov and in the lower Bug area General Malinovsky’s troops are only two miles from Nikolaiev.
  • Allied troops in Burma are reported to be steadily closing in on Myitkyina; Shaduzup is occupied.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Lieutenant NX.24405 Albert CHOWNE, Australian Military Forces awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Lieutenant Albert Chowne, 2/2nd Battalion (New South Wales), Australian Military Forces. On 25th March 1945 near Dagua, New Guinea, Lieutenant Chowne attacked an enemy position which was holding up further movement towards Wewak. Seeing that the leading platoon was suffering heavy casualties, Lieutenant Chowne rushed forward and knocked out two light machine-guns with grenades and then, calling on his men to follow him and firing his sub-machine-gun from the hip, he charged the position. Although he was twice wounded in the chest, the impetus of his charge carried him forward 50 yards under intense machine-gun and rifle fire and he accounted for two more of the enemy before he was killed.

March 26, 1944

  • In the Cassino area rain and snow limit activity, but there is considerable artillery fire on both sides; in the beachhead enemy patrols are beaten off.
  • Marshal Koniev’s forces reach the frontier of Rumania on a 50-mile stretch of the River Pruth and Balti is captured; the German garrisons in Tarnopol and Kamenets Podolski are surrounded.
  • U.S. Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack military installations in the Pas de Calais and Cherbourg areas; no fighter opposition is met. E-boat nests at Ijmuiden are bombed by about 350 Marauders. Essen is the main objective of Bomber Command aircraft and Hanover is also attacked; nine aircraft are lost.

March 27, 1944

  • There is little activity on any of the three Italian fronts apart from patrolling; probing parties of the enemy in the beachhead and on the main 5th Army front are driven off with artillery and mortar fire.
  • Marshal Zhukov’s troops storm into and capture Kamenets Podolski thus nearly cutting off the Germans in the Proskurov pocket; in the south the Russians reach the outskirts of Nikolaiev.
  • Japanese pressure in the Ukhrul region of Manipur increases, and heavy fighting takes place.
  • Enemy aircraft fly over districts in the west, south-west and south-east of England and south of Wales and drop some bombs which cause a number of casualties; 11 are destroyed.

March 28, 1944

  • There is again little action other than patrolling and artillery fire on the Cassino front, where allied troops on Monastery Hill are withdrawn; in the beachhead area an enemy company is dispersed with artillery.
  • The important Black Sea port of Nikolaiev is captured by third Ukrainian front troops and on the first Ukrainian front Marshal Zhukov’s armies make further progress; in the Cernauti area and west of Mogilev Podolski the Russians continue to advance. Slobodka 14 miles west by south of Balta, is occupied.

March 29, 1944

  • Only patrol actions and artillery exchanges are reported from the Italian front. Railway-yards at Milan, Turin and Bolzano are attacked by heavy bombers, and Sofia receives a night visit.
  • Russian troops of the first Ukrainian front capture the town and important railway-junction of Kolomyja (Kolomea) in the Carpathian foothills. West of Mogilev Podolski and south and east of Balti progress continues. South-west of Pervomaisk the Red Army occupies Balta and more than 40 other inhabited places.
  • Strong forces of the U.S. Pacific Fleet attack the Japanese-held Palau (Pelew) Islands; the attack is co-ordinated with air assaults on Truk, in the Carolines, and aircraft and bases at Hollandia, in Northern New Guinea, where about 190 enemy aircraft are destroyed.
  • Several U-boats are damaged when light coastal forces of the Royal Navy attack an enemy convoy near Ijmuiden, on the Dutch coast.
  • Flying Fortresses of the 8th Air Force attack the Brunswick area of Germany. At night Halifaxes bomb targets in France and Mosquitoes bomb Kiel.

March 30, 1944

  • There is again only patrol skirmishing and artillery activity in Italy; allied air forces fly 1,500 sorties. Sofia is again attacked by medium bombers.
  • First Ukrainian front troops force the River Pruth and capture the town of Cernauti; other successes include the occupation of a district-centre 19 miles west of Kolomyja and Ribnitsa, a district-centre of the Moldavian Soviet Republic, and the forcing of the Bug estuary in the Nikolaiev area.
  • A report from the South-East Asia Command announces that 2,500 Japanese have been killed in the offensive against Imphal.
  • The air attack on Truk, in the Carolines, is continued by aircraft of the Central and South-West Pacific Commands.
  • German airfields in Holland are attacked by Thunderbolts, and locomotives and flak towers are shot up. Very large forces of Bomber Command aircraft attack Nuremberg and other targets; 94 aircraft are missing.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Pilot Officer, 168669, Cyril Joe BARTON, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Pilot Officer Cyril Joe Barton (168669), 578 Squadron, Royal Air force Volunteer Reserve. On 30th March 1944 in an attack on Nuremburg, Germany and while 70 miles from the target, Pilot Officer Barton's Halifax bomber was badly damaged by enemy aircraft. A misinterpreted signal resulted in three of the crew baling out and Pilot Officer Barton was left with no navigator, air bomber or wireless operator. He pressed on with the attack, however, releasing bombs himself. On the return journey, as he crossed the English coast the fuel ran short and with only one engine working, he crashed trying to avoid the houses of a village and was killed.

March 31, 1944

  • In the mountainous central sector of the main 5th Army front allied troops make an advance of a mile and occupy an important height; enemy attacks in the Cassino and beachhead areas are repelled.
  • Troops of the third Ukrainian front occupy the fortress and town of Ochakov and first Ukrainian front forces capture Dunaevtsy; in Bessarabia the railway from Kishinev to Jassy is cut and good progress continues on other fronts.
  • The War Office reports the death of Major-General O. C. Wingate, D.S.O., in an aeroplane crash in Burma on 24th March.

APRIL 1944

April 1, 1944

  • Italian troops on the main 5th Army front capture the heights of Monte Marrone and Castelnuovo; in the beachhead a slight withdrawal is made by British forces; there are patrol actions and artillery fire on the 8th Army front. Wellingtons and Liberators bomb the Macchi aircraft works at Varese.
  • The Russians capture Koblevo, 25 miles from Odessa, and fresh progress is made towards Lvov in the region of Stanislavov and Tamopol; the offensives south of Kamenets Podolski and in the Kishinev area continue successfully.
  • Japanese forces in the vicinity of Ukhrul, north-east of Imphal, advance farther to the west, but suffer heavy casualties.
  • Truk is again attacked by Liberator bombers and Woleai Island, also in the Caroline group, is bombed. Two more of the Admiralty Islands - Ndrilo and Koruniat - are occupied by U.S. troops.
  • Liberators of the 8th Air Force attack industrial targets and railway communications in South-West Germany.

April 2, 1944

  • There is some skirmishing and artillery activity in the beachhead and on the main 5th Army front the Italians occupy another height. Flying Fortresses and Liberators in force attack the Daimler Puch aircraft and ball bearing factories at Steyr, 90 miles west of Vienna; more than 100 intercepting planes are shot down.
  • Reaching the State frontier between the U.S.S.R. and Rumania, the Red Army crosses the River Pruth at a number of places and enters Rumanian territory; progress continues on other fronts.
  • Liberators of the 8th Air Force bomb targets in South-West Germany.

April 3, 1944

  • There is only minor activity in the beachhead, consisting mainly of artillery duels; there is patrolling on the main 5th Army front and on the 8th Army front; an attempt to dislodge Italian troops from Monte Marrone is unsuccessful.
  • Heavy bombers of the Mediterranean Allied Air Forces bomb railway-yards in Budapest. At night R.A.F. Wellingtons and Liberators also visit the Hungarian capital.
  • Japanese airfields at Hollandia, in New Guinea, are again heavily attacked from the air, more than 400 tons of bombs being dropped; all enemy aircraft at this base - about 288 - are now reported to have been destroyed.
  • Two forces of Barracuda aircraft flown from carriers attack the German battleship Tirpitz in Alten Fjord, scoring many bomb hits and setting her on fire.
Smoke rising from the German WWII battleship Tirpitz
Smoke rising from the German battleship Tirpitz after the first wave of
Barracudas dropped their bombs on 3rd April 1944

April 4, 1944

  • There is patrolling on the 8th Army and main 5th Army fronts and artillery fire and patrol activity in the beachhead.
  • Offensive operations west of Dubno continue successfully; the liquidation of the garrison of Tamopol continues and most of the town is in Russian hands; German troops surrounded at Skala are being gradually mopped up, all attempts to break out being repelled. Marshal Koniev’s forces penetrate 15 miles into Rumania; elsewhere progress is maintained.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators of the 15th U.S. Air Force bomb railway-yards in Bucharest.
  • Casualties to all ranks of the British Empire in the first four years of the war are officially announced as 667,159, of whom 158,741 were killed.

April 5, 1944

  • Heavy artillery duels continue in the Cassino area and the Germans make an ineffectual attempt to oust the Italians from their position on Monte Marrone.
  • In Russia troops of the third Ukrainian front make further progress and capture-Razjelnaya and more than 100 other occupied places; the Germans trapped in Skala continue to be pounded and second Ukrainian front troops increase their threat to Kishinev.
  • Railway-yards and the refinery at Ploesti, in Rumania, are attacked by U.S. heavy bombers, large fires and explosions being caused; other bombers attack Nish, in Yugoslavia.
  • Mustangs of the 8th Air Force penetrate into the Berlin and Munich areas and destroy several dozen aeroplanes on the ground at enemy airfields.
  • R.A.F. Lancasters attack three aircraft factories on the outskirts of Toulouse and severely damage them.

April 6, 1944

  • On the Italian fronts there is only artillery fire and some patrol activity, mainly in the Minturno sector on the lower Garigliano River.
  • Marshal Koniev’s forces moving on Jassy engage in savage battles with the enemy and on the third Ukrainian front Soviet forces reach a point only 10 miles from Odessa; the liquidation of the Skala garrison continues.
  • Pushing up the northern coast of New Guinea towards Madang allied forces are reported to be within nine miles of Bogadjim.
  • Liberators drop 44 tons of bombs on Wake Island and Liberators and Catalinas make an attack on Wadke Islands, 110 miles west of Hollandia, in New Guinea, in which 29 tons of bombs are released.

April 7, 1944

  • There are patrol clashes on the main 5th and 8th Army fronts and artillery activity: in the beachhead U.S. troops establish a strongpoint after a brush with the enemy. Railway-yards at Treviso, Bologna and Ferrara are attacked by our heavy bombers.
  • More than 4,000 German are killed in an attempt to break out of the Skala pocket and efforts to relieve the enemy forces trapped in Tamopol fail; further progress towards Odessa is made, and north of Razjelnaya five or six more German divisions are surrounded.
  • The 14th Army in Arakan is reported to have captured the eastern tunnel on the Maungdaw-Buthidaung road; in Northern Burma General Stilwell’s forces continue to advance. Japanese pressure on the outskirts of Kohima is maintained.

April 8, 1944

  • Again, there is little activity in Italy apart from artillery fire and patrolling; Niksie, in Yugoslavia, is attacked by Wellingtons at the request of Marshal Tito.
  • Troops of the first Ukrainian army advance on a 125-miles front to the U.S.S.R. frontier with Czechoslovakia and occupy the town of Sereth, while troops of the second Ukrainian front force the River Pruth north of Jassy on a front of more than 100 miles and capture the towns of Botosani and Dorohoi.
  • On the Arakan front in Burma the Japanese make a strong counter-attack south of Maungdaw which is repelled with heavy losses to the enemy.
  • Nearly 300 tons of bombs are dropped on targets in New Guinea, about 150 falling on Hollandia.
  • A large force of U.S. Liberators and Flying Fortresses attack aircraft factories at Brunswick and airfields in North-West Germany; 148 enemy aircraft are destroyed in combat.

April 9, 1944

  • The enemy shells the ruins of Cassino; elsewhere on the Italian fronts there is only patrol activity.
  • Advancing between the Rivers Pruth and Sereth the Russians cut the Jassy-Pascan railway and capture more than 200 inhabited places on Rumanian territory, including Larga and Zahorna; more progress is made in the Odessa advance.
  • Poznan is the chief target of U.S. heavy bombers, and factories at Tutow, Wamemuende and Marienburg are also bombed. At night aircraft of Bomber Command make heavy attacks on railway targets at Villeneuve-St. Georges, near Paris, and Lille: Mosquitoes bomb Mannheim.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Lance Corporal 295822 John Pennington HARMAN, Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment) awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Lance-Corporal John Pennington Harman, 4th Battalion, The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment. On 8th/9th April 1944 at Kohima, India, Lance-Corporal Harman was commanding a section of a forward platoon where the enemy had established a machine-gun post within 50 yards of his company and were becoming a menace. As it was not possible to bring fire on to the enemy post the lance-corporal went forward by himself and threw a grenade into the position, annihilating it. Early next morning, having ordered covering fire from his Bren gun he went alone, fixed bayonet and charged a party of Japanese who were digging in, shooting four and bayoneting one. On returning to his position, he was fatally wounded.

April 10, 1944

  • There is artillery and patrol activity only on the Italian fronts; German rail and road communications are attacked from the air.
  • Troops of General Malinovsky’s army capture Odessa, while in Rumania the Soviet forces sweep onwards, capturing Radauti. Solta, Suceava and more than 150 other inhabited places. In a new offensive launched from the Perekop isthmus, General Tolbukhin’s fourth Ukrainian army captures Armyansk and a number of other inhabited localities.
  • Increased Japanese pressure south of the Imphal plain on the Indo-Burmese frontier is announced.
  • Strong forces of Liberators and Flying Fortresses attack repair works at Evere and Vilvorde and the airfield at Melsbroek, near Brussels, and the aircraft factory at Bourges and the airfield at Orleans, in France. At night Bomber Command aircraft make attacks on Ghent, Tours, Laon and other targets.

April 11, 1944

  • A small enemy attack north of Cassino is repelled and there is some artillery activity; patrols are active on all fronts. Military targets at Siena, Ancona and elsewhere are attacked by medium bombers.
  • The new Crimea offensive continues and in an advance of 38 miles General Tolbukhin’s troops occupy Zhankoi, while General Eremenko’s forces take Kerch.
  • The Germans succeed in relieving the remaining forces in the Skala pocket, but suffer heavy losses in doing so.
  • The U.S. Navy Department announces the seizure of four more of the Marshall Islands - Ailuk, Likiep, Rongelap and Utirik.
  • In Burma General Stilwell’s forces are reported to have captured Wakawng and other forces to have advanced to within 36 miles of Myitkyina.
  • U.S. heavy bombers attack German aircraft plants at Oschersleben and Bemberg and medium bombers plaster targets in France and Belgium; 64 bombers and 11 escorting fighters are lost and 52 enemy planes are shot down. At night Bomber Command aircraft make a heavy attack on Aachen, and Hanover is also visited; nine aircraft are missing

April 12, 1944

  • A small enemy attack is repulsed at Cassino, in which area there are artillery duels; on all front’s patrols are active. Wiener Neustadt is attacked by aircraft from the Mediterranean area, the chief target being the Messerschmitt works.
  • In the Crimea fourth Ukrainian front troops press forward to within 11 miles of Simferopol and the Kerch peninsula is cleared of the enemy; troops on the third Ukrainian front capture Tiraspol and Falticeni, in Rumania, is occupied, while in the Kishinev area the Red Army enters Grigoriopol.
  • Allied forces make progress in Northern Burma and Arakan; in Central Burma there is increased fighting.
  • About 250 Marauders of the 9th Air Force attack airfields at Courtrai and Coxyde, in Belgium, and other military objectives in Belgium and France. At night Mosquito aircraft visit Osnabrueck.

April 13, 1944

  • Land operations in Italy are on a small scale, the chief activity being patrol clashes on all fronts; mines are laid by the enemy in the lower Garigliano River.
  • Heavy bombers of the M.A.A.F. attack Hungarian factories and airfields at Gyor, on the Danube, and Tokol, near Budapest, and shoot down 35 enemy aircraft.
  • Simferopol, the capital of the Crimea, is occupied by the Russians, as also are Feodosia and Eupatoria; General Malinovsky’s troops occupy Ovidiopol.
  • Hand-to-hand fighting to the north-west of Imphal is reported from Burma, an enemy position being captured.
  • The Japanese base of Bogadjim, south of Madang, in New Guinea, is occupied without opposition.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack aircraft factories at Augsburg and Oberpfaffenhofen, ball-bearing works at Schweinfurt and other targets in Germany; 76 enemy fighters are also destroyed in combat and 33 on the ground. Mosquitoes visit Berlin at night.

April 14, 1944

  • Land fronts in Italy are quiet, patrolling being the only activity; Viterbo airfield is attacked by medium bombers and railway-yards at Leghorn are also bombed.
  • In the Crimea the Russians continue to press on, inflicting heavy losses on the enemy; the two Soviet armies link up.
  • An attack on 14th Army defences in the Tamu-Palel sector south-east of Imphal is repelled by allied forces.
  • U.S. Liberators attack Matsuma, in the Kurile Islands.
  • Two of a small force of enemy raiders which cross South-East England are destroyed.
  • Whilst unloading in Bombay harbour the British cargo ship, SS Fort Stikine, carrying 1,400 tons of explosives and 124 gold bars worth £1 million, caught fire. The resultant two explosions caused damage for nearly a mile around, sank four nearby ships and damaged a further eleven. The official death toll was given as 731 with nearly 3,000 injured, although it is believed to be much greater. In 1960 a dredger working in the harbour recovered a single gold bar.

April 15, 1944

  • In the beachhead U.S. troops make a raid across the Mussolini Canal and bring back 60 prisoners and in the Cassino sector there is a heavy artillery duel. U.S. heavy bombers of the M.A.A.F. make attacks in strength on Rumanian targets around Bucharest and Ploesti. Turnu Severin, on the Danube, is bombed at night.
  • Marshal Zhukov’s forces capture Tarnopol and to the south-west of the town the Russian offensive continues; in the Crimea the Soviet forces advance to within four miles of Sebastopol.
  • From Burma offensive operations against Japanese road blocks in the Kohima area are reported.
  • U.S. Strategic Air Forces make very widespread and heavy attacks on airfields and other targets in Germany.
  • The Admiralty announces the loss of H.M. destroyer Laforey (Capt. Harold Thomas Armstrong, D.S.O., D.S.C., R.N.).

April 16, 1944

  • In the central mountain sector of the Italian front Polish troops make a useful raid near Gamberale, blowing up an enemy pillbox.
  • Railway-yards at Brasov and Turnu Severin and the aircraft factory and airfield at Belgrade are attacked and Budapest gets a night visit.
  • In the Crimea General Eremenko’s troops occupy the port of Yalta, on the south-east coast; good progress is made south of Tiraspol and in the Kishinev direction, several bridgeheads being established on the right bank of the River Dniester.
  • A South-East Asia Command report states that allied troops had captured a hill feature in the Kohima area.
  • U.S. Liberators drop 38 tons of bombs on Dublon, Fefan, and Moen Islands, in the Truk atoll.

April 17, 1944

  • There are several raids by the enemy on the main 5th and 8th Army fronts; in the beachhead British troops re-occupy an outpost which the Germans had previously seized.
  • Wellingtons and Liberators raid railway-yards at Plovdiv, in Bulgaria, at night, following day attacks on Sofia and Belgrade.
  • Russian troops in the Crimea advance to positions well within the defences of Sebastopol, the remainder of the peninsula being almost cleared of the enemy.
  • Liberators of the 8th Air Force, with Thunderbolt escort, attack military installations in the Pas de Calais; at night Mosquitoes hit military objectives in Cologne.
  • The Government place a ban on some of the diplomatic rights of foreign missions in this country, including coded telegrams; diplomatic bags are to be submitted to censorship.

April 18, 1944

  • On the land front in Italy the enemy continues large-scale raid tactics in the beachhead; elsewhere there is little activity.
  • In the Crimea the town of Balaklava is occupied by Soviet troops; east of Stanislavov an attack by the enemy with large forces of tanks and infantry is repelled, heavy losses being inflicted on the German troops.
  • The U.S. Navy Department announces that American submarines operating in Pacific and Far Eastern waters have sunk a further 15 Japanese ships.
  • Very strong forces of Flying Fortresses and Liberators of the U.S. 8th Air Force attack military objectives in Berlin, the Heinkel bomber factory at Oranienburg and an aircraft components factory at Rathenow; targets in Northern France and Belgium are bombed by strong formations of medium and light bombers.
  • Fourteen enemy aircraft of a force which attacks London and East and South-East England are destroyed.
  • Bomber Command aircraft make heavy attacks on railway-yards and workshops at Noisy-le-Sec and Juvisy, near Paris, and at Rouen and Tergnier, more than 4,000 tons of bombs being dropped; 14 aircraft are missing.

April 19, 1944

  • Apart from a number of successful allied raids there is little activity on the Italian front.
  • The Russian Black Sea Fleet shell Sebastopol and the adjoining coast and offensive operations against the port by land continue; in the Kishinev area the Red Army fights successfully to improve its Dniester bridgeheads.
  • Carrier-borne aircraft, escorted by a strong force of warships, carry out a surprise attack on Sabang and Lho-Nga airfields, in Northern Sumatra, the dockyard, power-station and other objectives receiving direct hits; two merchant ships are also hit.
  • More than 2,000 U.S. bombers and fighters attack fighter aircraft factories, airfields, and other objectives near Kassel and Hamm.
Bombs leaving an RAF Mitchell aircraft  during an attack on Northern France on 19th April 1944
Bombs leaving an RAF Mitchell aircraft of the Allied Second Tactical Air Force during
an attack on military objectives in Northern France on 19th April 1944

April 20, 1944

  • There are numerous patrol clashes and gun duels on the Italian front and further air attacks on enemy ports; railway communications are also bombed.
  • The Russians repel enemy attacks in the Narva and Stanislavov areas and offensive action is waged against the enemy south-west of Tamopol; in the Sebastopol and Inkerman areas Soviet troops press forward.
  • Liberators and Flying Fortresses in great strength bomb enemy military installations in Northern France.
  • During an enemy attack on England, three-night raiders are destroyed.
  • More than 1,000 R.A.F. bombers drop the record total of over 4,500 tons of bombs on Cologne, La Chapelle, Lens and Ottignies; Mosquitoes visit Berlin.

April 21, 1944

  • In Italy our patrols are aggressive and there are several small clashes with the enemy; heavy bombers attack railway-yards at Bucharest and Turnu Severin, in Rumania, and ammunition dumps near Cortona, Valmontone and Spoleto; railway targets near Rome are also bombed.
  • South-east of Stanislavov the Russians repel heavy counter-attacks, and destroy 87 enemy tanks and shoot down 54 planes.
  • An official report states that north-east of Imphal plain the allied forces occupy positions 30 miles from Imphal town.
Princess Elizabeth inspecting the regimental band of the Grenadier Guards
Princess Elizabeth inspecting the regimental band of the Grenadier Guards, of which
she is Colonel on 21st April 1944 her eighteenth birthday

April 22, 1944

  • U.S. troops in the Anzio beachhead make a successful limited attack against enemy positions; Liberators and Flying Fortresses raid aircraft factories and aerodromes near Vienna.
  • Hard fighting continues in the Stanislavov and Sebastopol areas, but no material changes are announced; during the day’s operations 26 enemy tanks are destroyed and 52 planes shot down.
  • From Moscow it is reported that Finland has rejected the Soviet armistice terms.
  • Allied forces land at three points in the Humboldt Bay region in the north-east of New Guinea, and 60,000 enemy troops are reported to be trapped. The Tadji airfield strip, near Aitape, is captured.
  • Flying Fortresses make a heavy attack on the railway yards at Hamm and marshalling-yards at Coblenz. At night well over 1,000 aircraft of Bomber Command attack Duesseldorf and Brunswick; 42 bombers are lost.
Badly damaged by cannon fire a Lancaster of an Australian Squadron
Badly damaged by cannon fire a Lancaster of an Australian Squadron, had an amazing
escape during an attack on Duesseldorf on 22nd April 1944

April 23, 1944

  • Allied artillery blows up an enemy ammunition dump in Cassino; elsewhere there is patrol and artillery activity. Strong forces of heavy bombers attack aircraft factories at Wiener Neustadt and other targets bombed include Santo Stefano, Piombino, Genoa and Parma.
  • The Russians make a counter-attack in the Stanislayov area, but the official communique states that there are no material changes.
  • In New Guinea the allied forces continue to make satisfactory progress at all three points at which they landed in the Humboldt Bay area; in air operations supporting the landings 101 Japanese aircraft are destroyed.
  • Continuing their daily assaults, U.S. bombers attack at least seven enemy air bases in France and Belgium. At night Bomber Command aircraft make an attack on Vilvorde.
  • The enemy loses five of a force of night raiders which visit Southern and Western England.

April 24, 1944

  • U.S. troops in the Anzio beachhead capture an enemy strongpoint about a mile and a half west of Carano; elsewhere there is active patrolling. Heavy bombers of the U.S. 15th Air Force attack railyards at Bucharest and Ploesti and the Belgrade-Icarus aircraft factory in Serbia.
  • The Soviet High Command again reports no material change on the fronts; there are a number of air combats in which 50 German planes are shot down. German sea communications between Sebastopol and Rumania are attacked by Soviet aircraft.
  • From Burma it is reported that the road from Kohima to Dimapur, though still threatened, remains open; the relief of the original garrison in Kohima has been completed.
  • Very strong forces of Liberators and Flying Fortresses attack Friedrichshaven aircraft factories and aerodromes in the Munich region. Karlsruhe and Munich are the night targets for a very strong force of R.A.F. bombers; 29 are missing.

April 25, 1944

  • Another limited attack in the Anzio beachhead is successfully undertaken by U.S. forces, some prisoners being taken; targets in and around Turin are bombed by Liberators and other formations attack railway-yards at Parma and Ferra.
  • No material change occurs on the Russian front, 52 enemy tanks and 112 aircraft destroyed.
  • South-East Asia Headquarters report states that mopping-up operations in the Kohima area continue; the allied advance along the Ukhrul road is progressing. British troops advancing north from Imphal occupy the village of Kanglatongbi.
  • Advancing from the Humboldt Bay area, in New Guinea, U.S. forces occupy Cyclops and Sentani, two of the Hollandia airfields.
  • U.S. heavy and light bombers attack enemy airfields in many parts of France and Belgium.
  • Four enemy night raiders are destroyed over the south coast of England.

April 26, 1944

  • On the Italian front in the Adriatic sector our troops drive off two small-scale attacks; along the rest of the front our patrols and artillery are active.
  • No material change is reported from the Russian front; 65 enemy tanks are shot up and 22 aircraft are destroyed in air combat.
  • From Northern Burma it is reported that Chinese troops make limited gains in the face of strong opposition; there is sporadic fighting on the outskirts of Kohima.
  • Alexishafen, in New Guinea, is occupied by Australian troops without much opposition; Madang is reported to have been occupied two days earlier. Mopping up is proceeding at Hollandia.
  • The Air Ministry reports that strong forces of U-boats have been attacked by Leigh Light aircraft of Coastal Command; two were probably sunk and others damaged.
  • U.S. heavy bombers attack industrial targets in Brunswick without loss; Spitfires make their first flight into Germany and attack a number of aircraft, also without loss. At night more than 1,000 Bomber Command aircraft visit Essen, Schweinfurt and other targets; 29 aircraft are lost.
  • Three of a force of enemy raiders which attack coastal districts in Southern England and East Anglia are destroyed.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Sergeant 905192 Norman Cyril JACKSON, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - No. 905192 Sergeant Norman Cyril Jackson, 106 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. On 26th April 1944 after bombing Schweinfurt, Germany, the Lancaster in which Sergeant Jackson was flight engineer, was hit by an enemy fighter and fire broke out. Having asked permission to try to deal with it, Sergeant Jackson clipped on his parachute and, with a fire extinguisher, climbed on to the fuselage of the aircraft which was travelling at 200mph at 20,000ft. He tried to put out the fire, but his parachute partly opened and he slipped on to the wing. The fire spread and he was badly burned, then he was swept from the wing with his partly inflated, burning parachute trailing behind him. He landed heavily, breaking an ankle, and was taken prisoner.

April 27, 1944

  • Allied troops engage in another series of minor raids in the Anzio beachhead; several small enemy attacks in the 8th Army area are broken up.
  • The Russian High Command again reports no material changes on the front; the enemy loses another 22 tanks and 29 aircraft are shot down; at night Soviet aircraft make a massed raid on Lvov railway-junction.
  • More than 2,000 U.S. aircraft engage in two major attacks on military objectives in France. At night about 1,000 aircraft of Bomber Command make their chief target Friedrichshaven; 36 bombers are lost.

April 28, 1944

  • In all sectors of the Italian front there is little activity other than patrolling; allied bombers attack the ports of Piombino, Orbetello and San Stefano and railway communications at Orvieto, Arezzo and elsewhere; Genoa is bombed at night.
  • No changes in the ground positions occur on the Russian front; three enemy transports and a patrol vessel are sunk and several other ships damaged by units of the Black Sea Fleet in the approaches to Sebastopol.
  • A dawn to dusk assault on airfields in France is carried out by heavy bombers of the U.S. Strategic Air Force. At night Lancaster’s attack the airframe factory at Oslo and Mosquitoes visit Hamburg.
  • The death is announced of Colonel Frank Knox, U.S. Secretary of the Navy.
  • From April 22 to 28, Allied forces conducted a disastrous dress rehearsal of the Normandy invasion on an evacuated Devon beach at Slapton Sands. Known as “Exercise Tiger,” 700+ U.S. troops lost their lives after a fleet of German E-boats were alerted by heavy radio traffic in Lyme Bay and intercepted the three-mile-long convoy of vessels and torpedoed American tank landing ships. The tragedy was kept a top secret. The survivors were strictly ordered not to talk about it.
Sherman DD Tank Memorial Site in Torcross, at Slapton Sands, England
'Exercise Tiger' - Sherman DD Tank Memorial Site in Torcross, at Slapton Sands, England

April 29, 1944

  • There is again little activity on the Italian front other than patrolling; Liberators and Flying Fortresses attack three docks at Toulon and R.A.F. bombers visit Genoa, Spezia and Leghorn; enemy communications are also targets.
  • No major activity is reported on the Russian front; 37 enemy tanks and 50 aircraft are destroyed; the railway-junction and aerodrome at Idritsa are bombed.
  • Very strong forces of Liberators and Flying Fortresses attack military and industrial targets in Berlin and 88 enemy aircraft are shot down; 63 bombers and 14 escorting fighters are missing. Lancasters of Bomber Command bomb an explosive works at Clermont-Ferrand.
  • The Admiralty reports that H.M. submarine Syrtis (Lieut. Michael Hugh Jupp, D.S.C., R.N.) is missing and presumed lost.

April 30, 1944

  • Patrols are active on the Italian front and there are exchanges of artillery and mortar fire; railway-yards at Milan, Alessandria and Castel Maggiore are attacked by strong forces of heavy bombers; at night Genoa, Leghorn and Montefalcone are visited.
  • There is relative quiet again on the Russian front; long-range aircraft make a mass raid on enemy-occupied Brest-Litovsk.
  • The South-East Asia Command announces that satisfactory progress is being made to reduce points of Japanese resistance in the outskirts of Kohima.
  • A heavy attack, which began yesterday, is made by a powerful U.S. naval fleet and aircraft on Truk and Sataman, in which 126 enemy aircraft are destroyed, about a half of them in air combat.
  • U.S. aircraft continue their heavy attacks on enemy aerodromes and other military objectives in France.
  • At night Bomber Command aircraft attack an ammunition dump and railway-yards near Paris.

MAY 1944

May 1, 1944

  • There is little activity on the ground in Italy; Marauders attack the railway-yards at Florence and at night a British force of heavy and light bombers visit the harbours at Genoa, Leghorn and Spezia and the railway-yards at Alessandria.
  • No material changes are announced in the Soviet communique, which states that 24 enemy tanks are destroyed or disabled and 43 aircraft are shot down; Soviet aircraft carry out a mass night raid on the railway-junction of Lvov.
  • Further progress in the Kohima and Imphal areas of Burma is reported.
  • Mr. Churchill presides at the opening meeting of the conference of Prime Ministers of the Dominions at 10 Downing Street.
  • Military installations in the Pas de Calais area and marshalling-yards at Brussels, Rheims, Metz and elsewhere are attacked by U.S. heavy bombers. Factories in Lyons and Toulouse and other targets are bombed by Bomber Command aircraft, 10 of which are lost.

May 2, 1944

  • In the Anzio beachhead and on the 8th Army front there is active patrolling; the harbours at Genoa, Spezia and Leghorn are again targets for allied night bombers and Florence and Spezia receive a day visit.
  • There is little activity on the Russian front, but the enemy loses a further 20 tanks and 36 aircraft.
  • U.S. aircraft continue their assault on railway centres and military installations in France and Belgium; Mosquitoes visit Leverkusen, near Cologne.

May 3, 1944

  • There is patrol and artillery activity only on the Italian fronts; railway-yards at Bucharest are attacked by Halifaxes, Liberators and Wellingtons during the night.
  • No material changes are reported by the Soviet High Command, whose communique states that 47 enemy tanks are destroyed and 24 aircraft shot down. Long-range bombers attack German and Rumanian troops, artillery positions and dumps in the Sebastopol area. Five enemy transport vessels are sunk in the Black Sea, four of them by aircraft.
  • North of Kohima, in Burma, our troops, it is reported, continue to capture strong enemy positions.
  • German military targets in the Pas de Calais area are attacked by U.S. 8th Air Force aircraft. At night large forces of Bomber Command aircraft attack a military depot at Mailly, near Rheims, aircraft stores at Montdidier and targets at Chateaudun and Ludwigshaven; 40 planes are lost. It is announced that six Mosquitoes have carried out a remarkable precision attack on a single house in The Hague containing thousands of documents of paramount importance to the enemy.

May 4, 1944

  • In Italy there is minor-scale activity only, with patrol clashes and artillery exchanges; the railway-yards at Budapest are bombed by Wellingtons and Halifaxes.
  • No important changes are announced from the Russian front; 35 enemy tanks are disabled or destroyed and 74 aircraft shot down.
  • Flying Fortresses, escorted by Thunderbolts, Lightnings and Mustangs, attack a German airfield in Holland; at night Mosquitoes bomb objectives in Western Germany.
  • The Admiralty announces the loss of submarine H.M.S. Stonehenge (Lieut. David Stuart Verschoyle-Campbell, D.S.O., D.S.C., R.N.).

May 5, 1944

  • There are minor local engagements at scattered points on the Italian front; heavy bombers attack railway yards and oil installations at Ploesti, railway-yards at Turnu Severin and troop concentrations at Podgorica.
  • R.A.F. Kittyhawks and Mustangs make a dive-bombing assault on the Pescara dam, south-west of Chieti, letting loose a vast volume of water.
  • No material changes take place on the Russian front, where 62 enemy aircraft are destroyed; three transport vessels are sunk by motor torpedo-boats and another by aircraft.
  • Further allied landings on the north-east coast of New Guinea, at Orare Bay, are reported. On the Kohima front, in Burma, allied troops are stated to be attacking at all points.

May 6, 1944

  • Patrol and artillery activity is reported from Italy; a minor enemy attack in the beachhead west of Garano is repelled. U.S. heavy bombers strike at five targets in Rumania-Brasov, Pitesti, Craiova, Campina and Turnu Severin.
  • The Red Army communique states that no material change has taken place; 14 tanks are destroyed or disabled and 41 aircraft destroyed. Enemy troops and equipment in the Sebastopol area are heavily bombed; four enemy transports are sunk by Soviet aircraft.
  • Liberators of the U.S. 8th Air Force, escorted by Lightnings, Thunderbolts and Mustangs, bomb military installations in the Pas de Calais area. At night Bomber Command aircraft attack railway-yards at Mantes and other military objectives in France; Ludwigshaven is also visited.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Lieutenant 130097 John Niel RANDLE, Norfolk Regiment awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Lieutenant (Temporary Captain) John Niel Randle (130097), The Royal Norfolk Regiment (Radlett, Hertfordshire). During the period 4th/6th May 1944 at Kohima, Assam, India, Captain Randle took command of the company when his company commander had been wounded and in spite of being wounded himself inspired his men with his initiative and courage. On 6th May he led an attack which was almost immediately held up by heavy machine-gun fire from an enemy bunker and, realising the importance of destroying it, charged the post single-handed. Although mortally wounded, he silenced the gun with a grenade thrown through the bunker slit, and then flung his body across the slit so that the aperture should be completely sealed.

May 7, 1944

  • There is still no major activity in Italy; an enemy patrol in the upper Garigliano valley is dispersed. Liberators and Flying Fortresses make another attack on the Bucharest railway-yards and targets at Brasov and Pitesti are also bombed; Bucharest is visited at night by R.A.F. bombers.
  • In the Crimea Russian troops, supported by massed blows from aircraft and powerful artillery fire, begin an attack on Sebastopol.
  • As part of a readjustment of allied positions in the Arakan area, Burma, a voluntary withdrawal is reported to have been made from Buthidaung.
  • More than 750 Flying Fortresses and Liberators, escorted by a similar force of U.S. and R.A.F. fighters, attack targets in the Berlin and Muenster-Osnabrueck areas; throughout the day continuous attacks are made on railways and other targets in France and Belgium. At night R.A.F. aircraft visit Rennes, Nantes, Tours, Leverkusen and other targets.

May 8, 1944

  • Forward positions of the 8th Army are advanced on the slight withdrawal of enemy troops on the left flank south of Monte Majella.
  • After two days of bitter fighting Soviet troops break through the main lines of the Sebastopol defence area and the system of reinforced concrete fortifications and capture powerful defence centres dominating the town.
  • From South-East Asia Command headquarters, it is announced that the Japanese are now generally on the defensive on all sectors of the Assam front.
  • Military targets in the Berlin and Brunswick areas of Germany are attacked by strong forces of Flying Fortresses and Liberators escorted by fighters; 119 enemy planes are destroyed for a loss of 36 bombers and 13 fighters. At night R.A.F. bombers attack railway-yards at Haine-St. Pierre, an airfield and seaplane base near Brest and other objectives in France.

May 9, 1944

  • Troops of the 8th Army occupy the villages of Palena, Gamberale and Fallascoso; in the beachhead there is a minor engagement in which several enemy tanks are hit. Harbour installations at Genoa and Leghorn are attacked by Wellington aircraft.
  • Troops of the 4th Ukrainian army capture the fortress of Sebastopol after breaking through three lines of reinforced concrete defence works, thus completely freeing the Crimea of enemy troops.
  • Railway-yards, bridges and other military objectives in France and Belgium are heavily attacked by Liberators and Flying Fortresses escorted by fighters. Night targets of R.A.F. bombers are military objectives on the French coast, an aero-engine foundry at Gennevilliers and a ball-bearings works at Annecy.

May 10, 1944

  • In Italy along the whole front activity continues on a local scale, with a number of patrol clashes and artillery fire.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators of the U.S. 15th Air Force attack an aircraft factory and an aerodrome at Wiener Neustadt.
  • No material changes are reported from the Russian front; 74 German tanks are destroyed or disabled and 45 aircraft shot down.
  • The cross-Channel air offensive continues with attacks on railway installations in France and Belgium. At night R.A.F. bombers attack railway-yards at Lens and Lille in France, and Ghent and Courtrai, in Belgium; Mosquitoes visit Ludwigshaven; 15 aircraft are lost.

May 11, 1944

  • The 5th and 8th Armies, supported by the Mediterranean Allied Tactical Air Force, begin an attack against the Gustav Line at 11p.m. on a front of 30 miles inland from the Gulf of Gaeta. Railway-yards and industrial areas in Budapest are bombed during the early hours.
  • Again, from the Russian front no material changes are reported; south-west of Tiraspol enemy attacks are repelled; 45 German tanks are destroyed or disabled and 32 aircraft shot down.
  • Operations to clear the enemy from strong positions in the hills on the southern outskirts of Kohima make initial progress.
  • The Admiralty reports that frigate H.M. Spey (Comm. Gerald Anthony Gore Ormsby, D.S.O., R.N.) has sunk two U-boats in the North Atlantic while on convoy duty.
  • Another heavy attack is made by large forces of allied aircraft on railway-yards in France, Belgium and Western Germany. Bomber Command aircraft make a strong attack on railway-yards at Boulogne and Louvain; 16 aircraft are lost.
  • Mr. Mackenzie King, Prime Minister of Canada, addresses member of both Houses of Parliament in the Royal Gallery at the Palace of Westminster.

May 12, 1944

  • Progress in the new Italian offensive is satisfactory, the allied forces having crossed the Rapido and Garigliano Rivers and advanced several miles in places.
  • Repeated enemy attacks north-west of Tiraspol are all repelled by the Russians with heavy loss to the enemy; there are no changes elsewhere; 40 German tanks are knocked out and 20 aircraft shot down. 24,000 prisoners are reported to have been captured at Sebastopol.
  • More than 750 U.S. Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack four synthetic oil plants near Leipzig and another in Czechoslovakia; 150 enemy aircraft are destroyed for the loss of 42 bombers and 10 fighters. At night strong forces of R.A.F. bombers hit railway-yards at Louvain and Hasselt, in Belgium, and other targets in France and North-West Germany; 14 aircraft are lost.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Sepoy, Kamal Ram, 8th Punjab Regiment awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - “In Italy, on 12 May 1944, after crossing the River Gari overnight, the Company advance was held up by heavy machine-gun fire from four posts on the front and flanks. As the capture of the position was essential to secure the bridgehead, the Company Commander called for a volunteer to get round the rear of the right post and silence it. Volunteering at once and crawling forward through the wire to a flank, Sepoy Kamal Ram attacked the post single handed and shot the first machine-gunner; a second German tried to seize his weapon but Sepoy Kamal Ram killed him with the bayonet, and then shot a German officer who, appearing from the trench with his pistol, was about to fire. Sepoy Kamal Ram, still alone, at once went on to attack the second machine-gun post which was continuing to hold up the advance, and after shooting one machine-gunner, he threw a grenade and the remaining enemy surrendered. Seeing a Havildar making a reconnaissance for an attack on the third post, Sepoy Kamal Ram joined him, and, having first covered his companion, went in and completed the destruction of this post. By his courage, initiative and disregard for personal risk, Sepoy Kamal Ram enabled his Company to charge and secure the ground vital to the establishment of the bridgehead and the completion of work on two bridges. When a platoon, pushed further forward to widen the position, was fired on from a house, Sepoy Kamal Ram, dashing towards the house, shot one German in a slit trench and captured two more. His sustained and outstanding bravery unquestionably saved a difficult situation at a critical period of the battle and enabled his Battalion to attain the essential part of their objective”

May 13, 1944

  • The attack on the Gustav Line drives in the enemy outpost line and heavy fighting proceeds along the whole of the front attacked. Heavy bombers in great strength attack ports and rail centres in North and North-West Italy.
  • No essential changes take place on the Russian front; 14 German tanks are destroyed or disabled and 35 aircraft shot down.
  • From South-East Asia headquarters it is reported that fighting in the Kohima area is in the mopping-up stage; in North Burma General Stilwell’s troops west of the Mogaung River make a fresh advance.
  • U.S. Flying Fortresses and Liberators in strong force, accompanied by more than 800 long-range fighters, attack military and industrial targets at Poelitz, near Stettin, Tutow, on the Baltic, and Osnabrueck.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Temp Captain 174363 Richard Wakeford, Royal Hampshire Regiment awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Temporary Captain Richard Wakeford (No. 174363), The Hampshire Regiment. On 13th May 1944 near Cassino, Italy, Captain Wakeford, accompanied only by his orderly and armed with a revolver, went forward and killed several of the enemy and took 20 prisoners. When attacking a hill feature the following day his company came under heavy fire, but although wounded in the face and both arms, Captain Wakeford pressed home the attack. He was wounded again, but reached the objective and consolidated the position.

May 14, 1944

  • In Italy bridgeheads across the Rapido River are built up and substantial progress is made in the offensive in spite of stubborn enemy resistance; Sant’ Angelo Castelforte and Santa Maria Infanta are in allied hands; tremendous air support is being given to the ground forces.
  • There is little activity on the Russian front; the enemy loses 19 tanks and 33 aircraft.
  • It is reported that American patrols from Hollandia, in Dutch New Guinea, have made contact with a Japanese force at Ajapo, and the enemy is offering stiff resistance.
  • South-west of Kohima mopping-up operations continue successfully; tanks clear the Japanese block at the road junction and push one mile to the north.
  • Mosquitoes of Bomber Command attack Cologne and targets in France and the Low Countries.
  • Fifteen of a force of enemy aircraft which cross the south and south-west coasts of England are destroyed.
Fourth anniversary parade of the Home Guard in Hyde Park
Fourth anniversary parade of the Home Guard in Hyde Park on 14th May 1944

May 15, 1944

  • Troops of the 8th Army in the Liri valley penetrate deeper into the enemy’s defences and French troops capture Monte Majo and the villages of Sant’ Ambrogio, Vallemajo and Ausonia, making a significant breach in the Gustav Line; U.S. troops cut the Ausonia-Formia road. Naval units bombard enemy positions and batteries around Formia and Itri and heavy bombers keep up their violent attacks on military objectives.
  • From Dutch New Guinea it is reported that in a week 780 tons of high-explosive bombs have been dropped on the Wadke-Sarmi salient.
  • U.S. heavy bombers attack enemy military installations in the Pas de Calais area of France. At night Mosquitoes visit Ludwigshaven and objectives in North-West Germany and France.

May 16, 1944

  • The impetus of the allied attack on the Gustav Line is maintained and the 8th Army’s bridgehead over the Rapido River is further extended; French troops of the 5th Army make more good progress and U.S. troops occupy the town of Spigno. Naval bombardment of the enemy positions on the 5th Army’s left flank continues and allied aircraft attack many military objectives.
  • No material changes occur on the Russian front; nine enemy tanks are knocked out and 29 aeroplanes destroyed.
  • Mosquitoes of Bomber Command attack Berlin; all our aircraft return.
  • Of a force of enemy aircraft which drop bombs over parts of Southern England six are destroyed.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Fusilier 3663590 Francis Arthur JEFFERSON, Lancashire Fusiliers awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - No. 3663590 Fusilier Francis Arthur Jefferson, 2nd Battalion, The Lancashire Fusiliers. On 16th May 1944 during an attack on the Gustav Line, Monte Casino, Italy, the leading company of Fusilier Jefferson's battalion had to dig in without protection. The enemy counter-attacked opening fire at short range, and Fusilier Jefferson, on his own initiative, seized a P.I.A.T. Gun and, running forward under a hail of bullets, fired on the leading tank. It burst into flames and all the crew were killed. The fusilier then reloaded and went towards the second tank which withdrew before he could get within range. By this time our own tanks had arrived and the enemy counter-attack was smashed.

May 17, 1944

  • In the Liri Valley the enemy is evicted from most of his positions by British and Indian troops, and south of the Liri River all the Gustav Line positions are now overrun; Pignataro is occupied by Indian troops, and French and American troops continue to fight their way forward. Piombino, San Stefano and military objectives elsewhere are attacked by allied aircraft.
  • A destructive attack is made by nearly 100 carrier-borne aircraft on Surabaya, in Java, an important enemy naval base. Ten ships, totalling 25,000 tons, are sunk, and heavy damage is done to two floating docks, naval and oil installations and airfields.
  • An American task force lands on Wakde Island and the coast of New Guinea, 125 miles west of Hollandia.
  • The Admiralty announces that H.M. frigates on patrol in the North Atlantic have sunk two enemy U-boats.
  • An exchange of 1,915 British, American and German prisoners of war takes place at Barcelona.

May 18, 1944

  • Cassino and the monastery are captured, the former by the British and the latter by Polish; the Via Gasilina (Highway 6) is cut and allied troops are in contact with outposts of the Adolf Hitler Line. Formia is captured by the Americans and Esperia is in the hands of the French. Dumps and batteries are bombarded from the sea, and targets in the Balkans are attacked by strong forces of heavy bombers.
  • South-East Asia Headquarters reports the capture of the main aerodrome at Myitkyina and says that Myitkyina itself is under bombardment.
  • A statement signed by the Prime Ministers of the Commonwealth outlining the results of the conference is issued; complete agreement on strategy and foreign policy, it declares, has been arrived at.
Mopping up operations in Cassino after it was stormed by the 8th Army 1944
Mopping up operations in Cassino after it was stormed by the 8th Army on 18th May 1944

May 19, 1944

  • The 8th Army presses the enemy vigorously back against the Adolf Hitler Line and French and American troops of the 5th Army continue their drive across the mountains south of the Liri River. The ports of La Spezia, Genoa and Leghorn are attacked by heavy bombers.
  • It is announced from South-East Asia Headquarters that American and Chinese troops have penetrated the outskirts of Myitkyina. In the Kohima area there is patrol activity.
  • The Admiralty states that at least two U-boats have been sunk by ships and aircraft of the Royal Navy in the Arctic while escorting a convoy to and from Russia.
  • More than 500 Flying Fortresses and Liberators, escorted by Lightnings, Thunderbolts and Mustangs, attack targets in the Berlin and Brunswick areas; 125 enemy aircraft are shot down and U.S. losses are 26 bombers and 19 fighters. At night Lancasters bomb French railway-centres and Mosquitoes attack Cologne.
  • In the House of Commons Mr. Eden reveals that after a mass escape from Stalag Luft III 47 officers of the R.A.F., Dominion and allied air forces have been shot.
Their Majesties the King & Queen inspecting airborne troops in 1944
Their Majesties the King & Queen inspecting an officer in full battle order
during a visit to airborne troops on 19th May 1944

May 20, 1944

  • French and American troops of the 5th Army break the Adolf Hitler Line; the former capture Sant’ Oliva and Monte Mandrone and Itri and Gaeta are occupied by the Americans; more than 5,500 prisoners are now in allied hands.
  • Part of Myitkyina is stated to be in allied hands and the outskirts have been mopped up.
  • In the heaviest attack on Western Europe allied aircraft fly more than 5,000 sorties; airfields, rail points and bridges are among the targets hit; at night Bomber Command aircraft attack objectives in Western Germany.

May 21, 1944

  • Troops of the 8th Army drive in all the outposts of the Adolf Hitler Line and troops of the 5th Army continue to force the enemy back on his main defensive position; Campodimele is occupied by the French, and the Gaeta peninsula is cleared by the Americans, who capture Fondi.
  • From South-East Asia Command Headquarters, it is announced that allied troops now occupy about one third of Myitkyina; Kamaing, the principal enemy base in the Mogaung Valley, is blocked from the south.
  • U.S. Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack military installations in the Pas de Calais area and Lightnings, Thunderbolts and Mustangs carry out widespread raids on targets in Germany. At night Bomber Command aircraft make a heavy assault on Duisburg and targets in Hanover; 30 aircraft are lost.

May 22, 1944

  • Hard fighting to evict the enemy from the Adolf Hitler Line continues; Polish troops are fighting in Piedimonte and French and American troops press forward in the Pico area. Monte San Biaglio is occupied by the Americans.
  • South-East Asia Command Headquarters reports that heavy rains hamper operations around Myitkyina; in the Kohima area mopping up in the Naga Valley and offensive patrolling elsewhere continues.
  • The Japanese High Command announces that an allied task force has attacked the Marcus Islands, the aircraft flying from ships off the Bonin Islands.
  • U.S. Flying Fortresses, escorted by Mustangs, Lightnings and Thunderbolts, attack targets at Kiel, and escorted Liberators bomb enemy installations in the Pas de Calais. At night more than 1,000 Bomber Command aircraft drop over 3,000 tons of bombs on Dortmund, Brunswick and other targets; 35 aircraft are missing.
  • Six of a force of enemy raiders which fly over districts of Southern England and East Anglia are destroyed.

May 23, 1944

  • Troops of the 8th Army drive ahead against the Adolf Hitler Line and the French make a big effort to capture the town of Pontecorvo; Pico is evacuated by the Germans. British and American forces break out of the Anzio beachhead and attack the enemy. Troop concentrations at Avezzano and Valmontone are attacked by heavy bombers.
  • Wakde Island is completely occupied by American troops, who are also in possession of the aerodrome.
  • Marshalling-yards, aerodromes and other targets in France and Western Germany are attacked by strong forces of U.S. Flying Fortresses and Liberators, escorted by more than 1,000 fighters. At night Mosquitoes visit Berlin and Dortmund.

May 24, 1944

  • Armoured units of the Canadian Corps go through the breach in the Adolf Hitler Line made by their infantry; Pontecorvo is cleared of the enemy. On the 5th Army front Terracina, Sonnino and Roccasecca dei Volsci are occupied. The beachhead force continues to fight its way through the enemy’s defensive system and cut the road north of Cisterna. Targets near Vienna and an aerodrome near Wiener-Neustadt are attacked by heavy bombers.
  • General Stilwell’s troops repel enemy counter-attacks on the western outskirts of Myitkyina and continue to advance.
  • Very strong forces of Flying Fortresses attack military targets in the Berlin area and Liberators bomb enemy airfields at Melun, Orly and Creil, near Paris. Mustangs, Lightnings and Thunderbolts strafe railway-bridges, locomotives, aerodromes and other targets in Northern France. Bomber Com m and aircraft in great strength attack railway-yards at Aachen and objectives in Berlin; 28 bombers are missing.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Major John Keefer MAHONY, Westminster Regiment awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Major John Keefer Mahony, The Westminster Regiment (Motor), Canadian Infantry Corps. On 24th May 1944 at the River Melfa, Italy, Major Mahony and his company were ordered to establish the initial bridgehead over the river. This was accomplished and for five hours the company maintained its position in the face of enemy fire and attack until the remaining companies and supporting weapons were able to reinforce them. Early in the action Major Mahony was wounded in the head and twice in the leg, but he refused medical aid and continued to direct the defence of the bridgehead. The enemy saw that this officer was the soul of the defence and consequently made him their particular target.

May 25, 1944

  • Beachhead and main 5th Army patrols make contact and troops on both fronts continue offensive operations; Littoria and Cisterna are captured. The Hitler Line is broken by the 8th Army and a bridgehead beyond the River Melfa is established; Aquino is evacuated by the enemy. More than 12,000 prisoners have now been captured. Heavy bombers attack airfields, railway centres and other military objectives in South-East France and Italy.
  • Pacific Fleet Headquarters announces that a carrier task force has attacked Marcus Island and Wake Island.
  • According to a U.S. Navy Department report American submarines have sunk 15 more Japanese ships in Pacific and Far Eastern waters.
  • Strong forces of escorted Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack nine marshal ling-yards and four aerodromes in France and Belgium.

May 26, 1944

  • The 8th Army capture Piedimonte, Monte Cairo and Roccasecca and 5th Army troops occupy San Giovanni, Pastena and Monte Rotondo and penetrate to the outskirts of Amaseno, Priverno and Sezze; beachhead troops take Cori. Strong forces of fighter-escorted heavy bombers attack targets in South-East France and troop concentrations at Bihac, Yugoslavia.
  • South-East Asia Command Headquarters announces that General Stilwell’s forces continue their pressure north-west of Myitkyina; heavy fighting continues around the Imphal plain.
  • In New Guinea, it is reported, American troops have reached Maflia airfield.

May 27, 1944

  • The battle in Italy continues with undiminished intensity against strong opposition in some sectors; fighting is severe in the Lin valley and south of Velletri and Valmontone; progress is made in the sector between San Giovanni and Sezze. A French cruiser bombards positions north of the Anzio area; heavy bombers again attack targets in South-East France.
  • Vichy radio reports a new Soviet offensive east of Lvov, but the Russian communique states that there are no material changes.
  • American forces land on Biak Island, off North-West New Guinea.
  • Strong forces of Flying Fortresses and Liberators escorted by fighters bomb railway-yards at Mannheim, Karlsruhe, Saarbruecken and Strasbourg. At night R.A.F. aircraft drop more than 4,000 tons of bombs on a military depot in Belgium and targets in France and Germany.

May 28, 1944

  • British and Canadian troops of the 8th Army make progress in the Liri and Sacco valleys, and New Zealand troops occupy Belmonte; French and American troops continue to drive the enemy north through the mountains towards Highway 6. Villa San Stefano, Norma and Artena are captured; the Aprilia settlement at Garroceto is taken. Enemy positions to the north of Anzio are again bombarded by a French cruiser and heavy bombers attack harbour installations at Genoa.
  • Further attacks in the Kohima area by both allied troops and the enemy are reported from South-East Asia Command Headquarters.
  • Targets in the vicinity of Cologne and Leipzig and in other parts of Germany are attacked by large forces of escorted Flying Fortresses and Liberators. At night Bomber Command aircraft bomb the railway-centre at Angers, North-West France.

May 29, 1944

  • Still opposition is encountered by the 5th Army south-west of Velletri; troops of the 8th Army cross the Liri River in force and advance astride Highway 6 and to the north good progress is made by the New Zealanders. Heavy bombers attack an aircraft factory and airfield at Wiener Neustadt and troop concentrations in Yugoslavia.
  • A report from South-East Asia Command Headquarters states that U.S. and Chinese forces have penetrated into the south end of Myitkyina.
  • Escorted Flying Fortresses and Liberators in great strength attack seven fighter aircraft factories in Poland and Germany and a synthetic oil plant in the Reich.

May 30, 1944

  • Troops of the 8th Army press steadily forward beyond the Liri River; Arce, Alfedena, Fontana, Strangolgalli, Pofi, Ceccano and Arpino are occupied. From Valmontone to the sea 5th Army troops encounter strong enemy resistance.
  • In the region north of Jassy Russian troops repel attacks by large forces of enemy tanks and infantry.
  • In Burma, South-East-Asia Command Headquarters reports, Chinese and U.S. troops cut the Kamaing-Mogaung road; enemy counter-attacks south and south-west of Myitkyina are repelled.
  • From General MacArthur’s Headquarters it is announced that allied forces on Biak Island have advanced six miles along the coast past Tarai village.
  • Escorted Flying Fortresses and Liberators in very strong force strike at three aircraft factories and six aerodromes in Germany, three railway-yards in Belgium and France and military installations in the Pas de Calais.
A Sherman tank is moving through the village of Arce north-west of Cassino 1944
A Sherman tank is moving through the village of Arce north-west of Cassino
which was entered by 8th Army troops on 30th May 1944

May 31, 1944

  • Limited but important gains are made in Italy by the 5th Army against strong enemy resistance from elaborately prepared positions between Valmontone and the sea: 8th Army troops, who continue to advance westward up Highway 6, capture Frosinone and Sora.
  • In Russia attacks launched by German tanks and infantry in the region north of Jassy are repelled, the enemy suffering heavy losses; 56 German tanks and 110 aircraft are destroyed.
  • South-East Asia Command Headquarters reports that Chinese-American pressure on Myitkyina continues.
  • Allied bombers begin preparatory bombardment of German targets along the French coastline as the date for the Normandy landing invasion approaches.
  • Very strong forces of Flying Fortresses and Liberators, escorted by 1,200 Lightnings, Thunderbolts and Mustangs, attack railway-yards at Hamm, Osnabrueck, Schwerte and Soest in Germany, and an enemy aerodrome at Luxeuil in France; bridges over the River Seine are also bombed. At night aircraft of Bomber Command in great strength attack the railway centres of Tergnier, Trappes and Saumur; eight aircraft are lost.

JUNE 1944

June 1, 1944

  • Troops of the 5th Army establish themselves on Monte Artemisio, north-cast of Velletri, in spite of stiff enemy resistance; the advance of the 8th Army continues astride Highway 6, and advance elements approach Ferentino; New Zealand troops occupy Campoli.
  • More German attacks to the north of Jassy are repelled by the Red Army; 27 enemy tanks are disabled or destroyed and 47 aeroplanes shot down.
  • The capture of Malakawng, an enemy strong-point on the main road in the Mogaung Valley, is reported by South-East Asia Command Headquarters.
  • An enemy convoy in the Aegean is attacked and dispersed by R.A.F. patrols, probably with heavy loss.
  • Naval aircraft attack an enemy supply convoy of three ships near Stadlandet, off the Norwegian coast, and score bomb hits on all the vessels.
  • Bomber Command aircraft attack a military objective near the coast of France and the railway-junction at Saumur.
  • It is reported that German parachutists and glider-borne infantry have attacked Marshal Tito’s headquarters in Bosnia; the Marshal escaped into the mountains.

June 2, 1944

  • Velletri and Valmontone are captured by the 5th Army after heavy fighting; the 8th Army, which continues to drive the enemy to the north and west, captures Ferentino and Veroli.
  • Strong enemy attacks by tanks and infantry are repulsed by the Russians north-west and north of Jassy, but at the north-west the Germans at heavy cost make a slight penetration into the Soviet defences.
  • Very strong forces of Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack German military installations along the Channel coast of France.
  • U.S. bombers land at air bases in Russia after bombing enemy targets in Rumania.
  • Bomber Command aircraft make heavy attacks on the railway centre of Trappes, in France, and Leverkusen, in Germany; 17 bombers are missing.

June 3, 1944

  • Lanuvio, Labico and Rocca di Papa are occupied by 5th Army troops, who form up with troops of the 8th Army on Highway 6: fighting goes on in the outskirts of Rome.
  • The Germans continue their attacks to the north and north-west of Jassy without success.
  • The American advance on the Biak airfield, in the Schouten Islands, is reported by General MacArthur’s Headquarters to be continuing.
  • South-East Asia Command Headquarters announces that allied troops have advanced to the railway-station in the southern part of Myitkyina.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack military installations in the Boulogne and Pas de Calais areas. At night attacks are launched by Bomber Command aircraft on military objectives on the French coast and on Ludwigshaven.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Sergeant 5568932 Maurice Albert Windham ROGERS, Wiltshire Regiment awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - No. 5568932 Sergeant Maurice Albert Windham Rogers, The Wiltshire Regiment (Duke of Edinburgh's) (Plaistow). On 3rd June 1944 at Anzio, Italy, a carrier platoon was held up by barbed wire and intense machine-gun fire only 70 yards from the objective. Sergeant Rogers, with his Thompson machine-gun, crashed through the wire, ran across a mine-field beyond, and accounted for two of the enemy posts. This action so inspired his platoon, now 100 yards behind, that they advanced to the assault, but before they could reach the sergeant he had been wounded in the leg. Undaunted, he continued to advance until he was shot and killed at point blank range.

June 4, 1944

  • Rome is entered by the 5th Army, following a day of fighting in the outskirts of the city, but sporadic resistance continues; the Germans are said to be retreating rapidly.
  • Without gaining any appreciable success the Germans persist in their attacks in the Jassy area; 41 enemy tanks are disabled or destroyed and 33 aircraft shot down; the Red Air Force carry out a mass raid on Kishinev railway junction.
  • Two attacks are made by Flying Fortresses and Liberators on military installations in the Boulogne area. At night R.A.F. bombers attack military installations along the French coast and objectives in Cologne.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Company Sergeant Major 4390973 Stanley Elton HOLLIS, Green Howards awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Company Sergeant-Major Stanley Elton Hollis, 6th Battalion, The Green Howards (Alexandra Princess of Wales's Own Yorkshire Regiment). On 6th June 1944 in Normandy, France, Company Sergeant-Major Hollis went with his company commander to investigate two German pill-boxes which had been by-passed as the company moved inland from the beaches. He rushed forward to the first pill-box, taking all but five of the occupants prisoner and then dealt with the second, taking 26 prisoners. Throughout the day, wherever the fighting was heaviest he appeared, displaying the utmost gallantry. It was through his heroism and resource that the company's objectives were gained and casualties were not heavier. He saved the lives of many of his men.

June 5, 1944

  • Following the occupation of Rome, allied troops dominate Highways 5, 6, and 7 leading into the city; troops of the 8th Army, in contact with enemy rear guards, make considerable progress; Palestrina, Fiuggi, Piglio, Paliano, Guarcino and Cave are clear of the enemy; prisoners now number 20,000.
  • German attacks in the Jassy area are repelled by Red Army troops; 49 enemy tanks are disabled or destroyed and 42 aircraft shot down.
  • South-East Asia Command Headquarters reports that more ground has been won by Chinese-American forces in the south-east of Myitkyina; Kamaing is more closely invested.
  • The Admiralty reports the sinking in the Mediterranean by submarines of a further 31 enemy ships.
  • King Victor Emmanuel of Italy signs a decree transferring royal powers to his son the Prince of Piedmont.
  • Strong forces of escorted Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack military installations in the Pas de Calais and Boulogne areas.

June 6, 1944

  • D-Day - Allied forces invade Europe, landings being made in Normandy; the assault is opened by night bombers, whose attacks last for several hours until dawn, and between 06.30 and 07.30 hours two naval task forces launch their assault forces at enemy beaches; massed landings of airborne troops are made behind the enemy’s lines. In the House of Commons, the Prime Minister states that nearly 11,000 first-line aircraft are available for the battle and more than 4,000 ships and several thousand smaller craft are engaged in the operation; Mr. Churchill further says that the operation is proceeding “in a thoroughly satisfactory manner.” Operation Overlord was divided among sections of beachfront along the Normandy coast codenamed, from West to East: “Utah”, (undertaken by United States Army troops), “Omaha,” (undertaken by United States Army troops) “Gold,” (undertaken by British Army troops) “Juno” (undertaken by Canadian Army troops) and “Sword.” (undertaken by British Army troops).
  • In Italy troops of the 5th Army cross the River Tiber at many places and advance five miles beyond; in the hills north of Highway 6 there is strong enemy resistance to cover his withdrawal.
  • Large forces of German infantry and tanks again attack north and north-west of Jassy, but are repelled with heavy losses; 54 enemy aircraft are shot down.
  • It is reported that General de Gaulle has arrived in England.
Plans for the D-Day invasion of Normandy.
Plans for the D-Day invasion of Normandy.

June 7, 1944

  • Allied troops clear all the beachheads in Normandy; reinforcements of men and material pour in and further airborne landings are made; continuous support is given by the allied air forces. Heavy bombers attack focal points on the road system in the area of Caen and light bombers attack large troop concentrations and military buildings behind the enemy lines.
  • Troops of the 5th Army capture Civitavecchia after meeting with only slight opposition, and light reconnaissance forces occupy Civita Castellana, about 30 miles to the north of Rome; continuing to drive the enemy to the north troops of the 8th Army take Subiaco and Monte Rotondo.
  • On the Russian front in the area north and north-west of Jassy Soviet troops repel minor attacks by enemy infantry and tanks; 15 German tanks are disabled or destroyed and 22 aircraft shot down.
  • South-East Asia Command Headquarters reports that owing to heavy losses the Japanese are withdrawing rapidly in the Kohima area; a further slight advance is made at Myitkyina.
  • U.S. infantry on Biak Island rout the enemy and capture Mokmer aerodrome.
  • Among targets attacked by R.A.F. heavy bombers are four railway-junctions in the vicinity of Paris.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Acting Sergeant 4624899 Hanson Victor TURNER, West Yorkshire Regiment awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - No. 4624899 Acting Sergeant Hanson Victor Turner, The West Yorkshire Regiment. On 6th/7th June 1944 at Ningthoukhong, Burma, when Sergeant Turner's platoon was obliged to give ground before strong enemy forces, he reorganised his party and withdrew 40 yards. Although the enemy tried repeatedly to dislodge them, they held the position throughout the night, repelling all attacks. Next day Sergeant Turner decided to take the initiative in driving the enemy off and went forward alone, armed with grenades which he used with devastating effect. When his supply was exhausted he went back for more – five times he did this and it was on the sixth occasion that he was killed while throwing a grenade.

June 8, 1944

  • Bayeux is reported to be in allied hands, also the high ground to the east and south-east of the town; day and night support by the allied air forces is maintained and allied warships continue to shell enemy positions. The Germans report further landings by our airborne troops in the Bayeux area.
  • The enemy in Italy continues to withdraw before the vigorous advance of the 5th and 8th Armies and further allied successes include the capture of Agosta, Palombara, Sabina, Sutri and Caprarola. On the Adriatic coast Tollo is occupied. Strong forces of heavy bombers attack military objectives in the Munich area and the harbour at Porto Marghera, near Venice; the submarine dry-docks at Polt, 85 miles south of Trieste, and railway-yards at Nis, in Yugoslavia, are also bombed.
  • U.S. Flying Fortresses and Liberators bomb railways and airfields at Le Mans, Rennes, Tours, Angers, Nantes and elsewhere in France.

June 9, 1944

  • Allied forces continue to make progress in all sectors in Normandy, where further reinforcements arrive; in the Caen sector, where Canadian and British forces have joined up, stiff fighting takes place and local gains are made. The U.S. troops widen their bridgehead in the Cherbourg Peninsula and occupy Isigny. In a naval action between allied and enemy destroyers off the lie de Bas one enemy destroyer is sunk, another is driven ashore in flames and the other two are badly damaged.
  • Continuing their pursuit of the enemy the 5th Army occupies Viterbo, Tuscania and Tarquinia and the 8th Army captures Moricone and Arsoli. Allied troops in the Adriatic sector cross the River Foro at some places and also take Giuliano, Guardiagrele and Orsogna.
  • It is officially reported that shipping losses for May are by far the lowest for any month of the war; for each merchant ship sunk several U-boats were destroyed.
  • Bomber Command Mosquitoes make a three-minute attack on Berlin, dropping more than 30 4,000-lb. bombs.

June 10, 1944

  • The allied forces consolidate their beachhead on a front of about 50 miles between Isigny and east of the Orne River in the Caen sector. Trevieres is captured by U.S. troops and the struggle for possession of Carentan goes on with great intensity. A big tank battle rages on the Caen-Bayeux Road, where British troops reach Tilly-sur-Seulles. General Montgomery establishes his headquarters in the Normandy Beachhead.
  • Units of the German 2nd SS ‘Das Reich’ Panzer Division massacre 642 people in the French village of Oradour-sur-Glane.
  • In the Adriatic sector of the Italian front an Indian division occupies Pescara; Chieti and other towns in this area are also occupied and the enemy evacuates Sulmona. North-west of Rome the allied advance continues as far as 10 miles north of Rome and Canino and Montalto di Castro are reached.
  • The forces of the Leningrad front in Russia pass to the offensive on the Karelian front and break through the strongly fortified defences of the enemy; in two days’ fighting an advance up to 15 miles on a 25-mile front is made.
  • South-East Asia Command Headquarters announces that the Japanese have abandoned a number of villages in the Kohima area.
  • Mosquitoes of Bomber Command make another attack on Berlin, lasting for nine minutes, and drop large a number of 4,000-lb. bombs.
Sherman tanks are moving up to take part in the attack on Tilly-sur-Seulles
Passing wrecked British fighter aircraft, Sherman tanks are
moving up to take part in the attack on Tilly-sur-Seulles

June 11, 1944

  • Good progress is made in Normandy on the right; U.S. troops are fighting in the suburbs of Montebourg and Lison is in their hands; U.S. troops advance east of the River Vere into the Forest of Cerisy. Enemy mobile batteries in the Cherbourg Peninsula come under heavy fire from allied warships. In the Tilly-sur-Seulles area intense fighting against German armour proceeds.
  • In Italy the enemy is cleared from the south of the River Pescara and in the Apennine sector allied troops advance to maintain contact with the withdrawing enemy; Avezzano and the neighbouring villages are occupied. East of the Tiber the advance continues towards Rieti and west of the river leading elements reach the vicinity of Bagnoregio; the road junction of Montefiascone is captured.
  • For the third successive night a force of Mosquitoes drop many 4,000-lb. bombs on Berlin.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Acting Captain, E.C.8188, Michael ALLMAND, Indian Armoured Corps awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Acting Captain Michael Allmand, Indian Armoured Corps, attached 6th Gurkha Rifles, Indian Army. On 11th June 1944 in Burma, Captain Allmand's platoon came under heavy fire when attacking the Pin Hmi Road Bridge, and on being halted by casualties, he charged on alone, killing three of the enemy. Inspired by his example his surviving men followed him and captured the position. Two days later, owing to heavy casualties among the officers, Captain Allmand took command of the company and successfully led his men to seize a ridge of high ground. Again, on 23rd June, in the final assault on the railway bridge at Mogaung, he went forward alone but in charging an enemy machine-gun nest, was mortally wounded.

June 12, 1944

  • The fusion of our beachheads is now complete and a coastal strip of about 60 miles is firmly in allied hands. Slight advances are made cast of Caen and the enemy is driven from the whole of the Forest of Cerisy; Carentan is captured by the Americans. Mr. Churchill and Field-Marshal Smuts visit the beachhead.
  • Allied troops in the Adriatic sector make further progress and cross the Saline River in some places; the road junction of Popoli is occupied. South of Terni, east and west of Lake Bolsena and around Bagnoregio the enemy continues to offer stiff resistance.
  • Soviet troops continue their offensive on the Karelian front and capture a number of strong-points, including Kivennapa and Rajvala.
  • A force of Bomber Command Lancasters and Halifaxes drop about 1,400 tons of bombs on the Ruhr synthetic oil centre of Gelsenkirchen; Cologne is also visited. Another large force bombs the railway-centres of Arras, Cambrai and Amiens.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Rifleman 78763 Ganju LAMA, Gurkha Rifles awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - No. 78763 Rifleman Ganju Lama, 1st Battalion, 7th Gurkha Rifles, Indian Army. On 12th June 1944 at Ninthoukhong, Burma, "B" Company was attempting to stem the enemy's advance when it came under heavy machine-gun and tank machine-gun fire. Rifleman Ganju Lama, with complete disregard for his own safety, took his Piat gun and crawling forward succeeded in bringing the gun into action within 30 yards of the enemy tanks, knocking out two of them. Despite a broken wrist and two other serious wounds to his right and left hands he then moved forward and engaged the tank crew who were trying to escape. Not until he had accounted for all of them did he consent to have his wounds dressed.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – WO2 Can.J.87544 Andrew Charles MYNARSKI, Royal Canadian Air Force awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Pilot Officer Andrew Charles Mynarski (Can. / J.87544) (deceased), Royal Canadian Air Force. On 12th June 1944 over Cambrai, France, Pilot Officer Mynarski was mid-upper gunner of a Lancaster aircraft when fire broke out after an attack by enemy fighters and the captain ordered the crew to bale out. As Pilot Officer Mynarski went towards the escape hatch he saw that the rear gunner was trapped in his turret and immediately made his way through the flames to his assistance, but all his efforts were in vain. His own clothing was on fire and eventually being persuaded that nothing more could be done he returned to the escape hatch and jumped out. He was found by the French, but was so badly burned that he died of his injuries.
Mr Churchill, arrived in Normandy and spent some hours ashore touring the beachhead in a jeep
On 12th June 1944 Mr Churchill, accompanied by Field-Marshal Smuts,
arrived in Normandy and spent some hours ashore touring the beachhead in a jeep

June 13, 1944

  • The towns of Troarn on the left and Le Ham, Montebourg and Pont-l’Abbe, in the Cherbourg Peninsula, are liberated; advance patrols reach Caumont despite the enemy’s vigorous reaction. Clashes continue to take place between Tilly and Caen and there is strong enemy pressure in the Carentan area.
  • In the Adriatic sector the allied advance continues and gains up to the Pescara River are consolidated. North of Rome our troops close in on Narni, and west of the Tiber on Bagnoregio; in the coastal sector the road junction of Highway 1 and Highway 74 is occupied.
  • Red Army troops continue to advance on the Karelian front against stiffer Finnish resistance and capture further strong-points.
  • South-East Asia Command Headquarters reports further gains at Myitkyina; a strong attack by the enemy in the Imphal area is checked.
  • First V-1 ‘Doodlebug’ bomb attack on London. At 4.08am on 13th June 1944, a strange object was observed by part-time lookouts moving through London’s skies, before a railway bridge in Bow suddenly blew up, killing 6 people, seriously injuring 30 and leaving 200 more homeless.
First V-1 ‘Doodlebug’ bomb attack on London

June 14, 1944

  • On the invasion front in Normandy the armoured battle in the Tilly-Caen area continues, the enemy counter-attacking constantly without result; in the Cherbourg Peninsula the enemy is fighting fiercely and his heavy counter-attacks in the Montebourg sector win him a little ground.
  • In Italy the stiffening enemy resistance encountered by the allied forces is at least temporarily overcome, and important gains are made along the whole front; in the Adriatic sector more troops cross the Saline River and reconnaissance elements enter L’Aquila; in the central sector, after occupying Narni, our troops close in on and capture Terni; the important road centre of Orvie to is occupied.
  • Soviet forces in the Karelian Isthmus continue to advance and occupy several enemy strong-points.
  • More than 1,500 Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack airfields in France, Holland and Belgium and the oil refinery at Emmerich, in Germany. Mosquitoes bomb the oil producing centre of Gelsenkirchen, in the Ruhr, and R.A.F. heavy bombers attack E-boat pens at Le Havre.
A Sherman tank of the 8th Army is moving northwards from the town of Orvieto 1944
A Sherman tank of the 8th Army is moving northwards from the town of
Orvieto, captured by troops of the 8th Army on 14th June 1944

June 15, 1944

  • Further steady progress is made west of Carentan and between the Rivers Vire and Elle; several heavy enemy attacks in the Caumont-Tilly sector are repelled with severe loss to the attackers; in the Cherbourg Peninsula Quineville is captured.
  • In Italy the allied advance continues and troops of the Indian Division capture Todi and press on to the village of Massa Martano: 5th Army troops advance about eight miles beyond Orbetello.
  • On the Karelian Isthmus Red Army troops develop their offensive in the area of Mustamaeki and Kutavi, and break through the second heavily enemy fortified defence zone.
  • Strong forces of American troops land on Saipan Island, in the Marian a group.
  • B-29 Super-Fortresses of the U.S. Army Air Forces bomb Yawata, on Kyushu Island, Japan.
  • Assembly factories, railway-junctions, airfields and other targets in France are attacked by Flying Fortresses and Liberators. R.A.F. aircraft attack objectives in Western Germany and E-boat pens at Boulogne.
  • An attack on Southern England with pilotless aircraft (flying-bombs) is made by the Germans.

June 16, 1944

  • Advances by allied forces westward from Pont-l’ Abbe continue in the Cherbourg Peninsula and local successes are achieved in the Tilly sector, but the town remains in enemy hands; there is active patrolling by both sides. His Majesty the King visits Normandy and spends several hours in the invasion area.
  • In the Adriatic sector 8th Army troops gain contact with partisan forces who were in possession of Teramo and had preserved the bridges from destruction; Spoleto, Trevi and Foligno are occupied; 5th Army troops make more progress and capture Grosseto, with its extensive airfield.
  • Soviet troops in the Karelian Isthmus offensive continue to make progress, fighting their way into more than 100 inhabited places.
  • Bomber Command aircraft attack the synthetic oil centre at Sterkrade, in the Ruhr, and military installations in the Pas de Calais area; Mosquitoes visit Berlin.

June 17, 1944

  • Allied forces push deeper into Normandy and villages east and west of Tilly are liberated from the enemy; advancing two miles south of Isigny our troops reach the Vire-et-Taute Canal. In the Cherbourg Peninsula St. Sauveur-le-Vicomte is captured.
  • Troops of the 8th Army move north from Foligno and close in on Perugia, while 5th Army troops make further advances during which the enemy suffers heavy losses.
  • French forces land on the island of Elba.
  • Russian forces in the Karelian Isthmus capture more than 120 inhabited places, including Perkjarvi, 23 miles south-east of Viipuri (Viborg).
  • South-East Asia Command Headquarters reports that Chinese forces have captured Kamaing, in North Burma.
  • Enemy fortifications, communications and airfields in France are attacked by 500 Flying Fortresses and Liberators; Mosquitoes again visit Berlin.
  • Another attack is made by flying-bombs on Southern England.

June 18, 1944

  • Allied troops reach Barneville-sur-Mer on the west coast of the Cherbourg Peninsula, which is thus cut off from the rest of Normandy, and the wedge is strengthened and widened; in the Tilly area attacks by our troops meet strong opposition from enemy armour and infantry.
  • Heavy rain impedes progress in Italy, but severe fighting takes place around Perugia and at Citta della Pieve; in the Adriatic sector our troops approach the River Tronto and in the central sector the 8th Army occupies Assisi; 5th Army troops capture Campagnatico.
  • In the Karelian Isthmus the Soviet forces break through the third line of Finnish defences - the Mannerheim Line - and developing their offensive occupy Bjorke.
  • U.S. Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack oil refineries and storage depots in Germany and military targets in Normandy.
  • More attacks by flying-bombs on Southern England are made.

June 19, 1944

  • The allied stranglehold on the Cherbourg Peninsula is strengthened by a series of local advances, and coordinated attacks all along the north front bring the port of Cherbourg under artillery fire; Bricquebec is liberated and a further advance towards the village of Rauville-la-Bigot is made; east of Valognes some ground is gained and another advance reaches within two miles of Valognes, and the road from there to Bricquebec is cut. After repelling an enemy attack, the Germans are once again driven from Tilly.
  • Our troops in the Adriatic sector cross the River Tronto and press on to the Tessino River, and 8th Army troops enter the town of Perugia; farther to the west an advance is made to the southern shore of Lakes Trasimeno and Chiusi.
  • The breach in the Mannerheim Line is extended in width to 30 miles and Russian troops capture the strong-points of Suhma, Lijahulla, Mohla and Roskalla.
  • American carrier-based aircraft attack a strong Japanese fleet of battleships, carriers and other warships about midway between the Mariana Islands and Luzon.
  • U.S. 8th Air Force heavy bombers attack the launching ramps for flying-bombs; another enemy attack is made on Southern England.

June 20, 1944

  • Allied troops attack the outer defences of Cherbourg and reach prepared positions defending the deep-water port; Montebourg is finally freed of the enemy and our troops engage in heavy fighting on three sides of Valognes, which is captured; Les Pieux, Couville and Rauville-la-Bigot are also occupied. There is heavy fighting near Hottot and in the Tilly area three enemy attacks are held.
  • Perugia is cleared of the enemy and progress is made five miles to the north-east, and to the north-west Monte Malbe and San Marco are occupied; farther west 8th Army troops capture Chiusi and Cetone and U.S. forces of the 5th Army take Monte Pescali.
  • Viipuri (Viborg) is occupied by the Russians, this important fortress and town being carried by assault.
  • Day and night attacks with flying-bombs are made on Southern England. More than 1,500 Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack the launching platform s in the Pas de Calais and military objectives in Germany.

June 21, 1944

  • The allied drive on Cherbourg makes good progress, with advances of two to three miles along the entire front; on the right our troops reach the River Saire, near the village of Le Theil, and on the left, they penetrate to within three miles of the sea in the vicinity of St. Croix-Hague; in the centre substantial gains are made along the main road from Valognes to Cherbourg; Teurtheville, Hague and Acque- ville are liberated. In the Tilly' sector enemy artillery and mortar fire are unusually heavy.
  • In the Adriatic sector in Italy advance elements of the 8th Army reach Fermo and north-east of Foligno approach Camerino and Nocera Umbra; limited gains against strong resistance are made north of Perugia and in the vicinity of Lake Trasimeno.
  • Following the capture of Viipuri the Red Army continues to advance.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators make a big attack on Berlin, and Thunderbolts and Liberators attack flying-bomb sites. Lancaster’s bomb industrial centres in the Ruhr and Rhineland.

June 22, 1944

  • The encirclement of the fortress of Cherbourg is almost complete; the road leading cast from the port to St. Pierre Eglise is crossed and the town captured; there is no change in other sectors of the front. Heavy bombers continue to attack railway and road transport, oil refineries and other military objectives, and fighter-bombers attack the strongly fortified enemy position encircling Cherbourg.
  • On most sectors of the Italian front the enemy stiffens his resistance, but in the Adriatic area the 8th Army reaches points within 25 miles of Ancona; in the centre heavy fighting continues at Chiusi.
  • The Russians advance to the north of Lake Onega and between that lake and Lake Ladoga.
  • Flying-bomb launching platforms are again attacked by U.S. heavy bombers.
  • The U.S. carrier aircraft which attacked Japanese warships on 19th, June are reported to have sunk five enemy ships and damaged about 10 others.

June 23, 1944

  • Pressure on the Cherbourg defences increases and enemy resistance is strong; steady progress continues and allied troops come within a short distance of the north coast on both sides of the fortress; west of Carentan the German opposition strengthens. After fierce fighting our troops make a local advance north-east of Caen.
  • There is little change in the situation in Italy where the enemy continues to offer stiff resistance cast and west of Lake Trasimeno; 5th Army troops continue to advance along Highways 1 and 73 in the coastal sector and almost reach Fallonica. Oil installations at Ploesti and Giurgiu are attacked.
  • The Red Army opens a new offensive on the central front and breaks through the enemy defences north-west of Vitebsk on an 18-mile front to a depth of 11 miles; further progress is made on the northern front.
  • S.E.A.C. Headquarters reports that the Kohima-Imphal Road has been cleared of the enemy.
  • The bombing attacks on the enemy’s flying-bomb sites are continued by day and night.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Corporal 469 Sefanaia SUKANAIVALU, Fijian Army awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - No. 4469 Corporal Sefanaia Sukanaivalu, Fijian Infantry Regiment. On 23rd June 1944 at Bougainville, Solomon Islands, Corporal Sukanaivalu crawled forward to rescue some wounded men. He brought in two successfully and went out to fetch a third, but on the way back was seriously wounded in the groin and thigh and unable to move the lower part of his body. Several attempts were made to rescue him, but these resulted in further casualties. Knowing that his men would not withdraw as long as he was alive, Corporal Sukanaivalu deliberately raised himself in full view of the enemy and died riddled with bullets.

June 24, 1944

  • Allied troops enter the outskirts of Cherbourg and the final assault begins; on a 10-mile front extending cast and west of the city our forces advance to within three miles of the sea; although the Germans fight desperately, allied pressure steadily overcomes the defences throughout the entire length of the narrow coastal strip. In the River Orne sector, the village of Ste. Honorine is taken by our troops after stiff fighting.
  • In Italy Fallonica is captured by American troops and Perolla, Cappane and Vecchie are also taken; farther east the enemy is driven out of Roccastrada and Civitella Paganico; stiff fighting continues in the Lake Trasimeno and Chiusi areas; Sarteano and Pescia are occupied.
  • The Russians extend their break-through in the area north-west of Vitebsk and on the northern front advance farther between Lakes Onega and Ladoga.
  • U.S. troops attack Myitkyina and capture two enemy positions.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Flight Lieutenant David Ernest HORNELL, Royal Canadian Air Force awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Flight Lieutenant David Ernest Hornell, 162 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force. On 24th June 1944 on sea patrol in the North Atlantic, Flight Lieutenant Hornell's twin-engined amphibian aircraft was attacked and badly damaged by an enemy submarine; nevertheless, he succeeded in sinking it and then with superhuman effort managed to bring his aircraft down on the heavy swell, blazing furiously. There was only one serviceable dinghy which could not hold all the crew so they took it in turns in the water. By the time the survivors were rescued after 21 hours, Flight Lieutenant Hornell was blinded and weak from exposure and cold. He died shortly after being picked up.

June 25, 1944

  • Allied troops enter Cherbourg and fighting in the streets takes place; on the east side they reach the sea within a mile of the port; one by one the enemy strong-points are reduced and the town is entered at many points simultaneously; in the final assault allied warships bombard the port heavily. In the eastern sector progress in the Fontenay sector is maintained and enemy counter-attacks near Ste. Honorine are beaten off.
  • On the Tyrrhenian coast of Italy American troops enter the port of Piombino and press northwards, and to the east further progress is made; more ground is gained in the Lake Trasimeno area.
  • The Russians engage in street fighting in Vitebsk, where five German divisions are encircled, and force the passage of the western Dvina River; to the south troops of the and White Russian front force the River Pronya and penetrate the enemy lines covering Mogilev and 1st White Russian troops breach the defences before Bobruisk.
  • S.E.A.C. Headquarters announces that allied forces have entered Mogaung and heavy fighting is taking place.
  • Flying-bomb sites in the Pas de Calais again receive a heavy pounding.

June 26, 1944

  • Twenty days after the initial assault Cherbourg falls and allied forces establish a firm beachhead including almost the whole of the Cherbourg (Cotentin) Peninsula; the liberation of Cherbourg followed on a final day of fierce fighting in the battle the enemy is stated to have lost the greater part of four divisions, including 20,000 prisoners. Progress is made in the Fontenay sector, east of Tilly, and our positions are improved.
  • Troops of the 5th Army drive the enemy back and occupy San Vicenzo, Sassetta and Chiusdino; 8th Army troops make further progress near Lake Chiusi and capture the villages of Gioiella and Porto. Oil refineries in the Vienna area are attacked by heavy bombers.
  • Vitebsk and Zhlobin are captured by the Russians; armoured forces smash through the Finnish defences in the Karelian Isthmus.
  • The capture of Mogaung, the Japanese stronghold in North Burma, is completed.
  • The enemy continues his flying-bomb attacks on Southern England.
  • Victoria Cross recipient Acting Subedar, Netrabahadur Thapa Magar, 5th Royal Gurkha Rifles awarded the Victoria Cross: "In command of the hill post at Mortar Bluff, Bishenpur when the Japanese Army attacked in force. The men inspired by their leader’s example held their ground and the enemy were beaten off. Casualties were very heavy and reinforcement were requested. When these arrived they too suffered heavy casulaties. Thapa retrived the reinforcements ammunition himself and mounted an offensive with grenades and kukris, until he was killed."
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Naik, Agansing Rai, 5th Royal Gurkha Rifles awarded the Victoria Cross: “Under withering fire Agansing Rai and his party charged a machine-gun. Agansing Rai killed three of the crew. When the first position had been taken, he then led a dash on a machine-gun firing from the jungle, where he killed three of the crew, his men accounting for the rest. He subsequently tackled an isolated bunker single-handed, killing all four occupants. The enemy became so demoralised that they fled and the second post was recaptured.”
British troops are firing at the Germans from the cover of a hedge 1944
British troops are firing at the Germans from the cover of a hedge in a village
during fighting in the neighbourhood of Till on 26th June 1944

June 27, 1944

  • Attacks against the last remnants of organised enemy opposition continue; elements of the German forces are holding out in the Maupertus airfield, east of Cherbourg, and in the north-west tip of the peninsula. In the battle south-east of Tilly allied armour succeeds in widening the breach created by the infantry the previous day; advancing on a four-mile front our forces drive across the main Villers Bocage-Caen Road in the area of Tourville after especially heavy fighting.
  • Troops of the 8th Army secure the high ground north of Chiusi and evict the enemy from the town; Vaiano and Lavilia are captured and on the west side of Lake Chiusi more progress is made. Farther west 5th Army troops advance against stiffer opposition and occupy Montieri.
  • The railway-junction of Orsha is occupied by the Soviet forces and street fighting is proceeding at Mogilev and Bobruisk; 20,000 Germans were killed in the Vitebsk area and 10,000 taken prisoner.

June 28, 1944

  • In Normandy the enemy is driven out of Rauray, south-east of Fontenay, and after further heavy fighting in Grain-ville and Tourville allied armour and infantry cross the River Odon; south of the river the enemy offers stubborn opposition. Enemy resistance ceases in the area of the Maupertus airfield, east of Cherbourg.
  • In Italy 5th Army troops capture the town of Castagneto; inland the Americans, after stiff fighting, occupy Monticiano and Montalcinello; to the east French troops take Monticchiello, Pienza and Montalcino; the 8th Army makes slow and gradual progress. Heavy bombers attack railway-yards and two oil refineries near Bucharest and an airfield in Bulgaria.
  • Troops of the 2nd White Russian front force the River Dnieper over a 70-mile stretch and capture Mogilev, a stronghold in the Minsk district; 1st White Russian front troops capture the town and railway-centre of Osipovichi.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack German aerodromes near Laon and railway-yards at Saarbruecken.

June 29, 1944

  • The allied bridgehead over the River Odon is extended on both flanks; fighting continues north of Evrecy, where the enemy brings up fresh troops; small successes are achieved north of Caen against fierce enemy opposition. The forts in the Cherbourg breakwater surrender and mopping up continues in the Cap de la Hague area.
  • Both the 5th and 8th Armies make good progress, advancing along the entire line for about five miles; the 5th Army troops reach a point about six miles from Siena.
  • Troops of the Karelian front liberate Petrozavodsk, the capital of the Finnish-Karelian Republic; in the Polotsk direction Soviet troops capture Usachi and west of Mogilev more than 500 places are occupied, including Belinichi. Troops of the 1st White Russian front carry by assault the important town of Bobruisk.
  • Aircraft factories in Leipzig Oschersleben and other towns in Germany and synthetic oil plants and airfields are bombed by Flying Fortresses and Liberators; R.A.F. aircraft attack flying-bomb installations.

June 30, 1944

  • Allied troops strengthen their positions on both banks of the River Odon, and enemy attempts to break in the Caen- Evrecy sector are frustrated; farther west ground is gained near St. Jeande Daye. In the Cherbourg Peninsula resistance continues in the Cap de la Hague area.
  • In Italy the allied armies continue to force the enemy to withdraw all along the front; troops of the 5th Army reach the outskirts of Cecina and drive the Germans to the general line of the Cecina River; 8th Army troops make substantial gains east and west of Lake Trasimeno and in the Adriatic sector the River Chienti is crossed at several points.
  • North of Borisov the Russians force the Beresina River on a wide front and advance west for 20 miles; street fighting takes place in Borisov; north-west and west of Bobruisk further progress is made and Slutsk is entered; fresh attacks take place on the Pripet River.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators bomb enemy airfields in France and Belgium and enemy communications are also attacked. At night Lancasters attack railway-yards in France.
  • Many flying-bombs are destroyed by fighter aircraft and gunfire.
Mr Winston Churchill watching a battery of anti-aircraft guns in action
Mr Winston Churchill watching a battery of anti-aircraft guns in action during
his tour of Southern England on 30th June 1944

JULY 1944

July 1, 1944

  • In the area south of Tilly-sur-Seulles the enemy makes repeated counter-attacks against the western flank of the River Odon bridgehead, but the allied positions remain intact and the Germans suffer heavy losses in infantry and armour, at least 40 tanks being knocked out. The last enemy resistance in the Cap de la Hague area ceases and liberation of the Cherbourg Peninsula is completed. It is officially stated that the bag of prisoners since the landings is now more than 40,000.
  • Rapid progress is made by the allied armies in Italy; French troops advance to within three miles of Siena and in the Adriatic sector the 8th Army captures Macerata. In the Lake Trasimeno area, the 8th Army makes a big forward sweep.
  • Borisov is taken by assault by the Russians and three Soviet columns are reported to be converging on Minsk; elsewhere further good progress is made.
  • It is reported that Takao, the port on the island of Formosa, has been bombed by Liberators and that U.S. forces have advanced northwards on Saipan, on the Marianas. S.E.A.C. Headquarters announces that Sareikhong, 20 miles north of Imphal, has been captured.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Wing Commander, 72021, Geoffrey Leonard CHESHIRE, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Wing Commander Geoffrey Leonard Cheshire (72021), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. From June 1940 when his operational career began, until the end of his fourth tour in July 1944, when he had completed a total of 100 missions Wing Commander Cheshire displayed the courage and determination of an exceptional leader. During his fourth tour he pioneered a new method of marking enemy targets, flying in at a very low level in the face of strong defences. In four years of fighting against the bitterest opposition he maintained a standard of outstanding personal achievement, his successful operations being the result of careful planning, brilliant execution and supreme contempt for danger.

July 2, 1944

  • The Odon bridgehead is further extended; there are some minor enemy attacks, but all are beaten back; in the Caen area there are local clashes, and in the Evrecy sector allied patrols penetrate deep into the enemy positions. The Allies gain a little ground to the south of the Cherbourg Peninsula.
  • In Italy the progress of the 8th Army in the Lake Trasimeno area continues and Fouan and Sinalunga are captured; on other fronts there is a general forward movement. U.S. heavy bombers attack oil refineries, railway-yards and airfields in Hungary and Yugoslavia.
  • Russian troops in the Minsk direction capture Vileyka and Krasnoye, thus cutting the railway from Minsk to Vilna and advancing well beyond the 1939 Polish frontier.
  • U.S. and R.A.F. heavy bombers make more attacks on the enemy’s flying-bomb bases.

July 3, 1944

  • Allied troops in the neck of the Cherbourg Peninsula advance at several points, gains up to two and a half miles being made in spite of heavy rain; in the Odon salient allied positions remain firm.
  • The enemy puts up stiffer resistance to the 5th Army’s progress north of the Cecina River, but the 8th Army presses on towards Arezzo; Siena is captured by the French, who move forward on both sides of the town; in the Adriatic sector Polish troops press the enemy back. Oil refineries in Hungary, Rumania and Yugoslavia are attacked by U.S. heavy bombers.
  • Forces of the 3rd White Russian front, in co-operation with 1st White Russian front troops, capture Minsk, capital of the White Russian Soviet Republic, as the result of a deep out­ flanking movement; troops of the 1st Baltic front reach the outskirts of Polotsk and engage in street fighting.

July 4, 1944

  • The allied forces make two major attacks, one in the Caen area, where they drive south-east astride the railway and main road from Bayeux to Caen and capture Carpiquet; the other on the eastern flank of the Odon bridgehead, where they capture Verson and join with the troops on their left.
  • More progress is made by the 8th Army north-west of Lake Trasimeno, but the U.S. forces advancing parallel with the Tuscany coast and the French troops in the Siena area meet stronger opposition; the Poles, too, in the Adriatic sector run up against greater resistance. Heavy bombers attack an oil refinery at Brasov, in Rumania.
  • Polotsk is captured by Russian troops of the 1st Baltic front and Miory, 45 miles farther on, is taken; to the south the Soviet forces make equally good progress.
  • It is officially announced that Ukhrul, the Japanese base on the Indo-Burma frontier, has been captured.
  • From Admiral Nimitz’s Headquarters it is reported that U.S. troops have occupied Tanapag and Garapan, on Saipan Island.
  • The day and night attacks by flying-bombs on Southern England are continued. At night Bomber Command aircraft attack the installations in Northern France.

July 5, 1944

  • Further advances are made in Normandy at the base of the Cherbourg Peninsula against strong enemy resistance and allied troops capture the railway-station of La Haye du Puits and push on to the south. In the Caen area the enemy counter-attacks strongly but our positions at Carpiquet are firmly held. Notable air victories are scored by allied fighters in the area bounded by Chartres, Rouen, Caen and Argentan.
  • There is steady progress in all sectors of the Italian front apart from the Tuscan coast, where the U.S. forces moving towards Leghorn meet with stiff opposition. In their advance towards Ancona Polish troops make good progress.
  • Russian troops capture Salmi on the Karelian front, Molodechno on the 3rd White Russian front and Turov in the middle reaches of the Pripet River; progress is also made south and south-west of Minsk.
  • On their return trip from Russia and Italy U.S. Flying Fortresses bomb railway-yards near Montpelier, France.

July 6, 1944

  • Allied troops advancing east of La Haye du Puits reach the edge of the Foret de Mont Castre and progress down the road south-west from Caren tan is maintained in spite of stiff enemy opposition. In the Caen area the battle at Carpiquet airfield continues, with fierce armour and infantry fighting. Air operations include the bombing of bridges over the River Loire by heavy aircraft.
  • Small advances are made in Italy, where French troops move steadily forward in the direction of Poggibonsi against strong opposition; farther west the U.S. forces engage in fierce fighting for Rosignano, which is partly occupied.
  • Troops of the 1st White Russian front capture the town and large railway-junction of Kovel and Vilna is threatened by the swift Soviet advance; Germans trapped near Minsk are being mopped up. Svir and Ivenets are captured.
  • American Super Fortresses bomb the naval base of Sasebo and industrial installations at Yawata and Omura, on Kyushu Island, Japan.
  • U.S. Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack numerous targets in Germany and France, and Lancasters and Halifaxes bomb military installations in the Pas de Calais.
  • R.A.F. Beaufighters heavily damage several enemy ships in convoy off the Frisian Islands.
  • In the House of Commons Mr. Churchill makes a frank statement on the flying-bomb attacks.
An R.A.F Halifax over its target in the Pas de Calais in 1944
An R.A.F Halifax over its target in the Pas de Calais area during a daylight raid on 6th July 1944

July 7, 1944

  • In Normandy some progress is made south-west along the Carentan-Periers road and a small bridgehead is captured over the River Vire to the west of Airel, which is later extended; farther north other allied units push down the road from Carentan towards St. Jean de Daye, the two forces converging on the town at a distance of two miles.
  • U.S. troops, after protracted resistance, occupy Rosignano and Catellina and advance almost to Poggibonsi; limited gains are made by the 8th Army in the vicinity of Arezzo after repelling a number of counter-attacks. Indian troops advance beyond Umbertide to the outskirts of Montone and in the Adriatic sector 8th Army troops move forward from Ossimo. Three synthetic oil plants in German Silesia are attacked by heavy bombers.
  • The Red Army continues its advance towards Baranovichi and the offensive north-west and west of Minsk is developed, more than 250 inhabited places being liberated; enemy troops encircled east of Minsk are being systematically liquidated.
  • S.E.A.C. Headquarters reports fierce enemy resistance on the northern outskirts of Ukhrul as allied troops push forward from the south of the village.
  • Synthetic oil plants and aircraft factories in the Leipzig area are attacked by U.S. Fortresses and Liberators and 114 enemy fighters are shot down. At night Lancasters make a heavy attack on a flying-bomb depot and on a railway-yard at Vaires, in France.

July 8, 1944

  • The attack on Caen continues with our infantry making steady progress covered by heavy artillery and air support; every house and farm is being fiercely defended by the enemy. On the west further gains are made on both sides of La Haye du Puits. Allied forces advance two miles south-west of St. Jean de Daye.
  • The enemy strongly resists the American advance in the direction of Leghorn and the 8th Army progress towards Arezzo. In the area east of the River Tiber allied troops occupy Carpini and Montecuzzo.
  • In an Order of the Day Marshal Stalin announces the capture of Baranovichi; there is street fighting in Vilna, capital of Lithuania, in which direction 500 inhabited places are liberated; troops encircled east of Minsk continue to be wiped out.

July 9, 1944

  • The town of Caen is liberated, but many pockets of resistance are being systematically dealt with; the town was taken after devastating bombing, and the enemy is being pushed back to the River Orne; splendid support is being given by allied fighter aircraft; a short distance above its junction with the River Orne patrols cross the River Odon. In the west La Haye du Puits is captured.
  • Troops of the 8th Army still meet with strong resistance to their progress towards Arezzo. A German counter-attack is repelled on the high ground north of Montone and to the east our troops penetrate to Pietralunga. U.S. troops break through strong enemy positions south-east of Leghorn; Volterra is captured.
  • There is more heavy street fighting in Vilna, which the Russians enter from three directions, and troops of the 3rd White Russian front occupy Lida, an important German strong-point; further progress is made on other fronts.
  • Admiral Nimitz reports that the conquest of Saipan Island, in the Marianas, is complete.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Major, 193864, Frank Gerald BLAKER, Highland Light Infantry awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Temporary Major Frank Gerald Blaker, The Highland Light Infantry, attached 3rd Battalion, 9th Gurkha Rifles, Indian Army. On 9th July 1944 near Taunghi, Burma, Major Blaker was commanding a company which was held up during an important advance by close-range firing from medium and light machine-guns. The major went ahead of his men through very heavy fire and in spite of being severely wounded in the arm, located the machine-guns and single-handed charged the position. Even when mortally wounded he continued to cheer on his men whilst lying on the ground. His fearless leadership inspired his men to storm and capture the objective.

July 10, 1944

  • In the Caen area fighting extends to the south of the River Odon and our troops advance through the villages of Eterville and Maltot. South of Tilly and south of La Haye du Puits strong German counter-attacks are repulsed. The village of Sainteny is occupied and an advance of more than a mile is made along the road to Periers.
  • U.S. troops by-pass enemy strong-points in their advance on Leghorn and advance east and west of Pomaja and capture Casale; elsewhere there is little change.
  • The Russians make further good progress south and south-west of Dvinsk and cut the Dvinsk - Kaunas (Kovno) railway; Vilna is completely surrounded and stiff fighting takes place in the centre of the town; Luninets and Slonim are occupied.
  • A report from S.E.A.C. Headquarters states that all organised Japanese resistance in Ukhrul has ceased.
  • Victoria Cross recipient Naik Yeshwant Ghadge, 5th Mahratta Light Infantry awarded the Victoria Cross: “In Italy, on 10 July 1944, a Company of the 5th Mahratta Light Infantry attacked a position strongly defended by the enemy. During this attack a rifle section commanded by Naik Yeshwant Ghadge came under heavy machine-gun fire at close range, which killed or wounded all members of the section except the commander. Without hesitation, and well knowing that none were left to accompany him, Naik Yeshwant Ghadge rushed the machine gun post. He first threw a grenade which knocked out the machine gun and firer, after which he shot one of the gun crew with his Tommygun. Finally, having no time to change his magazine, he grasped his gun by the barrel and beat to death the remaining two men of the gun crew. Unfortunately Naik Yeshwant Ghadge was shot in the chest and back by enemy snipers and died in the post which he had captured single handed. The courage, determination, and devotion to duty of this Indian N.C.O. in a situation where he knew the odds against him gave little hope of survival, were outstanding.”
     

July 11, 1944

  • The enemy launches many severe counter-attacks along the Normandy front, but they are all held and more progress is made. An advance is made from La Haye du Puits in the direction of Lessay; fighting in the vicinity of St. Lo is heavy. North of Esquay, Hill 112 changes hands twice and an enemy counter-attack from Maltot towards Eterville is repulsed, the Germans losing a number of tanks.
  • Indian troops advance to the north of the Nestore valley and further limited progress is made towards Arezzo. Slowly the U.S. troops move nearer to Leghorn, but elsewhere on the Italian front little change occurs.
  • The enemy troops encircled east of Minsk are completely liquidated and the advance on Kaunus continues.
  • More than 1,000 Fortresses and Liberators attack targets in the Munich area.
  • The daily attacks on Southern England with flying-bombs continue.

July 12, 1944

  • Allied troops continue to drive the Germans back in the base of the Cherbourg Peninsula and advance to a point three miles south-east of La Haye du Puits; the Foret de Mont Gastre is occupied and La Salmonnerie, to the south-east, is captured. Fighting continues around Hottot, south-west of Tilly, and in the Louvigny area, near Caen.
  • In Italy the 8th Army improves its hold on elevated ground round the headwaters of the River Tiber and overlooking Arezzo; U.S. troops enter Lajatico. Liberators and Fortresses of the 15th U.S. Army Air Force attack oil storage tanks and railway-yards in the north.
  • Soviet troops of the 2nd Baltic front open a new offensive north-west and west of Novo-Sokolniki advancing 21 miles on a 90-mile front in two days; more than 1,000 places, including Idritsa, are captured. More progress is made on all the other fronts.
  • In fighting east of Aitape, in New Guinea, heavy losses are inflicted on the Japanese.
  • Munich is again attacked by U.S. Flying Fortresses and Liberators. At night 1,300 R.A.F. bombers attack railway-centres and flying-bomb bases in France.
  • The Board of Admiralty announces the loss of submarine H.M.S. Sickle (Lieut. James Ralph Drummond, D.S.O., D.S.C., R.N.).
The King and Queen inspecting a light anti-aircraft gun site in 1944
The King and Queen are inspecting a light anti-aircraft gun site
during a visit in Southern England on 12th July 1944

July 13, 1944

  • Good progress is made on a 10-mile front south of La Haye du Puits, the allied forces reaching a point within two miles of Lessay; south of Carentan an advance of 1,500 yards is made and progress continues up both banks of the River Taute. Further gains are made along the Bayeux-St. Lo Road near La Barre-de-Semilly.
  • Indian troops of the 8th Army capture Monte Santa Maria and further high ground near Arezzo is occupied. French troops with the 5th Army occupy San Gimignano after overcoming stiff opposition; on the west coast sector U.S. troops take Pastina and San Luce. Four oil refineries in Hungary are attacked by heavy bombers.
  • As a result of five days’ fighting troops of the 3rd White Russian front annihilate the German garrison in Vilna and occupy the city; 8,000 of the enemy are killed and 5,000 taken prisoner. Progress continues north and south of Idritsa, and north-west of Polotsk the district-centre of Drissa is taken.
  • In June, 1935 people are reported to have been killed by flying-bombs and 5,906 injured.
  • Another attack on Munich is made by a large force of U.S. bombers and Saarbruecken is also visited.
  • It is officially announced that British naval losses in the invasion of Normandy include two destroyers – H.M.S. Boadicea and H.M.S. Swift; U.S. losses include three destroyers - Carry, Meredith and Glen non.

July 14, 1944

  • More ground is gained in the base of the Cherbourg Peninsula and Laulne, Beauvais and other villages near Lessay are captured; between St. Eny and the River Vire and in the area east of St. Lo more progress is made.
  • Important hill features between the Rivers Cecina and Arno are taken by U.S. and French troops of the 5th Army, and French troops capture Poggibonsi; U.S. troops close in on Leghorn. In the central mountainous sector several villages are occupied.
  • Troops of the 1st White Russian front capture by assault the town of Pinsk and troops of the 2nd White Russian front occupy the town and large railway-junction of Volkovysk; advances on other fronts continue.
  • Allied cruisers and destroyers bombard enemy strongpoints between Yakamul and But, in New Guinea.

July 15, 1944

  • Hard fighting by the infantry in close country continues all along the western sector of the allied front in Normandy and limited advances are made; in a dusk attack in the Evrecy area the village of Esquay is captured and our troops progress some little distance beyond it.
  • In Italy the 8th Army captures Arezzo and the 5th Army presses on in the direction of Leghorn, now only six miles away. The 15th Air Force attack several oil refineries at Ploesti, in Rumania.
  • Soviet troops force the River Niemen south-west of Alytus on a 75-mile front and establish bridgeheads on the western bank; the town and railway-junction of Alytus and the railway-junction of Kaisidorys are captured; important advances are made on other sectors of the offensive front.
  • Guam, an enemy-occupied island of the Mariana group, is heavily attacked from the air.
  • Early in the morning Lancasters attack railway-yards at Villeneuve St. Georges, on the south-east outskirts of Paris; at night Mosquitoes visit Berlin and strong forces of Lancasters and Halifaxes attack a flying-bomb depot at Nucourt.
Sherman tanks moving up towards Arezzo which was occupied by 8th Army troops
Sherman tanks moving up towards Arezzo which was occupied by 8th Army troops on 15th July 1944

July 16, 1944

  • Allied advances continue on the western sector of the front in Normandy, and progress is made south of Le Hommet d’Arthenay and Pont Hebert; an advance of more than a mile is made towards St. Lo, the village of Emelie being taken. The villages of Brettevillette and Cahier, in the Tilly-Evrecy sector, are occupied.
  • The River Arno is crossed by troops of the 8th Army at a point about four miles north-west of Arezzo in a surprise attack, two bridges over the river being captured undamaged.
  • By a skilful co-operative move troops of the 2nd and 3rd White Russian fronts carry by assault the fortified town of Grodno; on other sectors more than 300 inhabited places are liberated.
  • For the fourth time in six days Flying Fortresses and Liberators make Munich their target and also attack Saarbruecken.

July 17, 1944

  • Sporadic fighting from Lessay to Noyers brings about gains of important and commanding ground for the allied forces in Normandy; Martinville, on one of the approaches to St. Lo, is captured; there is heavy fighting north of Noyers and Evrecy, and Haut de Forges is captured.
  • Polish troops make good progress in the Ancona area, and in the central sector 8th Army troops reach the River Arno at a number of new points; steady progress by the 5th Army towards Leghorn continues.
  • Russian troops capture Sebezh and Osveya, near the Latvian border, and Svisloch, a district-centre of the Bialystok region; Pruzany, a district-centre of the Brest Litovsk region, is also occupied.
  • Field Marshall Erwin Rommel is severely injured when his staff car is strafed by an R.A.F fighter in Normandy.
  • Bridges across the Loire, railway-yards and other targets over a wide area of France are attacked by heavy bombers.

July 18, 1944

  • Allied troops, following a massive four-hour air attack on the enemy positions, break through east of the River Orne and drive along the east bank into open country south-east of Caen, where mobile and armoured forces engage strong enemy forces; along the Orne our troops steadily clear the Germans out of the area, including the town of Vaucelles. On the western sector another important advance is made and St. Lo is captured.
  • Ancona is captured by Polish troops and a large number of prisoners and quantities of material are taken; in the central sector 8th Army troops have now crossed the Arno on a six-mile front, and farther west Montevarchi is captured. American troops occupy Pontedera.
  • Troops of the 1st Ukrainian front launch a new offensive east of Lvov and break through the enemy defences tip to 30 miles on a 120-mile front; in three days fighting 600 places, including Krasnoye and Brody, are captured.
  • Flying Fortresses attack the experimental and research stations at Peenemuende and Zinnowitz on the Baltic coast.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Flying Officer, 126700 John Alexander CRUICKSHANK, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Flying Officer John Alexander Cruickshank (126700), 210 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. On 17th/18th July 1944 Flying Officer Cruickshank, on anti-submarine patrol in Northern waters, was attacking a U-boat in a hail of flak shells when one burst inside the aircraft, causing a great deal of damage. One member of the crew was killed and two wounded, and although he too had been hit – it was later found that he had 72 wounds – Flying Officer Cruikshank went in again, releasing his depth charges, which straddled the U-boat perfectly, and it sank. On the hazardous 5 1/2-hour return journey the flying officer several times lost consciousness, but insisted on helping to land the Catalina.
An enemy Tiger tank turned completely over when it was knocked out  in 1944
An enemy Tiger tank turned completely over when it was knocked out
during an offensive east of the River Orne on 18th July 1944

July 19, 1944

  • In Normandy the battle south and south-east of Caen continues; Vaucelles is completely occupied and the enemy is driven from Louvigny, Fleury, Cormelles and Ifs; a systematic advance is made farther west along the front between Grainville and St. Germain d’Ectot.
  • American troops capture Leghorn and then press on to the east and reach the River Arno on a front of nearly 25 miles; Polish troops in the Adriatic sector gain a bridgehead north of the River Esino; steady progress continues in other sectors. U.S. heavy bombers attack military objectives in the Munich region.
  • Russian forces of the 3rd Baltic front make a new advance of 25 miles on a 43-mile front; west of Volkovysk the Red Army forces the River Svisloch, while to the south the Bug is crossed near Sokal; towards Lvov the offensive continues.
  • The Americans repel attacks by the Japanese east of Aitape, in New Guinea.
  • Armaments factories at Augsburg, railway-yards at Coblenz, Saarbruecken and Strasbourg and other targets in Germany are attacked by Flying Fortresses and Liberators.

July 20, 1944

  • East and south of Caen the area in allied hands is steadily extended and several villages, including Bras, Bourguebus and Hubert-Folie, are occupied, while more high ground from the River Orne to Verrieres is taken. Enemy attempts to counter-attack are repelled and our threat to Troarn is increased.
  • Two important heights on the road to Florence are captured by 8th Army troops and to the east the enemy is cleared out of Montevarchi and Ricalsoli; north of Arezzo and in the Ancona area steady progress continues.
  • Advancing from Kovel in a new offensive, troops of the 1st White Russian front penetrate 30 miles on a front extending to 90 miles in the Brest-Litovsk direction; Kobryn is occupied. Important advances are made on the Baltic front and in the advance on Lvov.
  • U.S. marines and infantry land on Guam, in the Mariana Islands, and establish beachheads.
  • German aircraft factories, oil plants and other war industries at Leipzig, Dessau and elsewhere are heavily attacked by U.S. Flying Fortresses and Liberators. Heavy bombers from Italy bomb objectives at Friedrichshaven. At night R.A.F. bombers attack synthetic oil plants in the Ruhr and railway-yards at Courtrai in Belgium.
  • It is reported that an attempt on Hitler’s life with a bomb has been made; he received slight burns and concussion.

July 21, 1944

  • Allied troops continue their advance south of St. Andre-sur-Orne against strong enemy resistance; this develops info a counter-attack near St. Martin de Fontenay, which is repelled; in the area east of Caumont our troops make a slight advance. In the western sector there are small local gains north of Periers and along the Periers-St. Lo Road, south of Remilly-sur-Lozon.
  • Polish troops in the Adriatic sector advance a further three miles and British troops of the 8th Army make local gains in the Arno Valley and the hills north and north-west of Monte San Michele; in the 5th Army sector American troops consolidate their positions on the south bank of the River Arno.
  • Soviet 3rd Baltic front troops capture Ostrov and in the Brest-Litovsk direction occupy Divin and Shatsk; successful offensive battles are fought in the direction of Lvov and south-west of Tarnopol the district centres of Buczacz, Zolotniki and Kozovo are occupied.
  • More than 1,000 U.S. Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack war industry plants at Regensburg, Ebelsbach and elsewhere in Southern Germany.
  • Beaufighters attack 40 enemy ships in convoy off Heligoland; four merchant ships are torpedoed and five escort ships are set on fire; nearly all the other vessels are hit.

July 22, 1944

  • A number of enemy counter-attacks in both the western and eastern sectors of the Normandy front are repelled, with a total of at least 14 German tanks knocked out.
  • American troops enter the outskirts of Pisa and troops of both the 5th and 8th Armies advance to within 15 miles of Florence; Castelfiorentino and Tavernelle are occupied; in the Adriatic area Polish troops press northwards from Ancona.
  • Kholm, the first big town across the 1939 Polish frontier, falls to the Russians, who also capture Ponevezh in Lithuania; the enemy stronghold of Pskov on the Estonian border is broken into; in other areas good progress is made.

July 23, 1944

  • In the Caen sector, east of the Orne, allied troops clear the enemy out of Etavaux, from where an advance south-east is made and Maltot captured; north of Periers our troops cross the Seves River near the village of Seves.
  • The American troops fighting in the Arno sector occupy the outskirts of Pisa, on the southern bank of the river, and 5th Army troops continue to advance in the direction of Florence, capturing Strada and Monte Morrocco; eastward San Giovanni Valderno is captured.
  • Troops of the 3rd Baltic front capture the town and large railway junction of Pskov, and north-west and west of Kholm the town of Lublin is entered and street fighting takes place; farther south the River San is reached at several points, and south-west of Brody some 15,000 officers and men are taken prisoner.
  • U.S. troops who landed on Guam, in the Mariana Islands, are reported to have made good progress; another landing is successfully made on Tinian, an island south-west of Saipan.
  • German airfields in the Paris area are bombed by Flying Fortresses and Liberators. At night R.A.F. aircraft drop nearly 3,000 tons of bombs on Kiel.
  • Mr. Churchill returns from a three-day visit to Normandy.

July 24, 1944

  • There is nothing to report from allied ground forces on the Normandy front.
  • In their advance towards Florence 8th Army troops make further steady progress down the Arno Valley from the east; limited advances are also made in other sectors of the front against strong enemy resistance.
  • In most sectors of the front the Russians make more big advances; the troops of the 1st White Russian front capture the town and large railway-junction of Lublin, and in the Lvov direction the railway and road between Lvov and Przemysl are cut; progress continues on other fronts.
  • Soviet forces liberate the Majdenek concentration camp in Poland, revealing the horrors of the concentration camps for the first time.
  • Lancasters and Halifaxes attack Stuttgart with 30,000 incendiaries and a heavy load of high-explosive bombs; Mosquitoes visit Berlin.
  • It is reported that H.M. the King has arrived in Italy for a tour of the Mediterranean battle areas.

July 25, 1944

  • An allied attack is made early in the morning astride the Falaise road south of Caen and in spite of stubborn enemy resistance with armour and infantry an advance of 3,000 yards on a wide front is made; fighting takes place in the area of May-sur-Orne, Verrieres and Tilly-la-Campagne. In the western sector an attack is launched at noon west of St. Lo, a great weight of air power being employed in support of the ground troops.
  • Elements of the 8th Army approach San Casciano, about 10 miles south-west of Florence, where steady gains are made on a 30-mile front.
  • South-west of Pskov, in the Dvinsk direction and towards Bialystok the Russians make further good progress; there is fighting in the outskirts of Lvov.
  • Lancasters make a daylight attack with 12,000-lb. bombs on a concrete structure at Watten, in the Pas de Calais.
A comparison in sizes of the bombs which the Royal Air Force bomber aircraft drop
A comparison in sizes of the bombs which the Royal Air Force bomber aircraft drop on enemy targets

July 26, 1944

  • In Normandy, in the area west of St. Lo, allied forces make good gains through enemy positions, one armoured column driving south to take Marigny and another armoured prong thrusting across the St. Lo-Coutances Road through St. Gilles. South of Caen there is heavy fighting, and several enemy counter-attacks are repelled.
  • British troops in Italy occupy several heights to the north of Greve, lying south of Florence, from the west of which city 8th Army forces advance on a broad front towards the River Arno. Italy-based Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack the Manfred Weiss works at Budapest; military installations in Vienna are also bombed.
  • Red Army troops capture the town and fortress of Narva and 1st White Russian troops occupy Deblin, on the River Vistula; in the Lvov area Soviet troops wage battles against encircled enemy forces.
  • R.A.F. bombers make another big attack on Stuttgart early in the morning; Berlin, Bremen and Mannheim are targets for Mosquitoes and a Ruhr synthetic oil plant is bombed.
British soldier and his companion wait on the enemy with a P.I.A.T ready for action
Somewhere in the Falaise area this British soldier and his companion wait
on the enemy, the P.I.A.T is ready for action.

July 27, 1944

  • In the western sector on the Normandy front U.S. troops push west of Marigny to the vicinity of Camprond and south-west towards Cerisy-la-Salle; ground is also gained west of Caumont. South of Caen allied positions remain firm.
  • More progress is made by the 8th Army in the direction of the Arno River and New Zealand forces establish a bridgehead over the River Pesa; Indian troops capture Monte Castiglione and another height more than a mile to the north.
  • Troops of the 2nd White Russian front carry Bialystok by assault; 1st Ukrainian troops occupy Stanislavov and Lvov, and 2nd Baltic front forces storm the towns of Dvinsk and Rezekne. Siauliai is captured by 1st Baltic front troops.
  • It is officially announced that the Japanese naval base of Sabang has been heavily bombarded by allied battleships, cruisers and destroyers.
  • The three main airfields on Halmahera Island, off Dutch New Guinea, are attacked by Liberators and Mitchells.
  • Liberators attack radio and electric supply factories in the Brussels and Ghent areas.

July 28, 1944

  • In the western sector of Normandy further good progress is made; Coutances is captured and armoured forces reach the sea south of the Sienne estuary; a thrust south-west from Notre Dame Le Cenily progresses favourably.
  • Troops of the 8th Army continue to approach the Arno on a wide front west of Florence and farther east other 8th Army troops engage in heavy fighting for high ground over-looking Florence; Polish troops enter Stenigallia. Heavy bombers attack oil refineries at Ploesti.
  • More sweeping victories are won by the Red Army; Przemysl, Yaroslav and Brest Litovsk are captured and three enemy divisions are reported to be trapped to the west of the last-named town; there is good progress on other fronts.
  • U.S. marines complete the capture of Orote Peninsula, on Guam Island.
  • Flying Fortresses attack the Leuna synthetic oil factory at Merseburg and other targets in Germany. At night R.A.F. bombers visit Stuttgart and Hamburg and Mosquitoes go to Frankfort; flying-bomb sites are also attacked.

July 29, 1944

  • Good progress is made by U.S. forces in Normandy and Ayenville is occupied; the whole of the road between Coutances and Lengronne is in allied hands; the Sienne River is crossed and Percy and Percy-Hambye are captured. Heavy fighting continues in the Tessy area, and farther east an advance of a mile is made astride the River Seulles.
  • Steady progress towards Florence is maintained by troops of the 8th Army and on the left Indian troops enter Empoli; New Zealanders enter San Michele and hold it against fierce counter-attacks.
  • Troops of the 1st Baltic Army reach Mitau and isolate two German armies in Latvia and Estonia; advances continue steadily on other fronts.
  • Super-Fortresses bomb Anshan, a centre of the Japanese steel industry in Manchuria.
  • U.S. heavy bombers again attack the Leuna synthetic oil factory at Merseburg; at night Mosquitoes visit Frankfort.

July 30, 1944

  • In Normandy, Brehal, Cerences and Gavray, in the western sector, are occupied and an allied column enters Avranches after an advance of more than 12 miles; in the Caumont sector the allied advance makes more progress, the high ground east of St. Martin-des-Besaces being captured.
  • West of Florence Indian troops clear most of the area between the Rivers Pesa and Elsa, south of the Arno, and 8th Army troops south-west of Florence make small but important gains in heavy fighting.
  • Heavy bombers attack the Duna aircraft works, six miles south of Budapest.
  • Red Army troops break through the enemy positions north and south of Alytus over a 70-mile front and advance 15 miles towards East Prussia; of the enemy troops trapped west of Brest Litovsk 15,000 are killed and the remaining 2,000 surrenders. More gains are announced from the Pskov, Dvinsk and Siauliai areas.
  • American troops make a surprise landing at Sansapar, near the western tip of Dutch New Guinea.

July 31, 1944

  • Allied forces capture the town of Granville and an advance on a broad front towards the Percy-Avranches Road brings our troops close to Villedieu; south-west of Caumont substantial gains are made, and St. Germain d’Ectot, Cahagnes and St. Martin-des-Besaces are captured.
  • Stiff enemy resistance continues against the 8th Army’s approach to Florence and several enemy counter-attacks are repelled; there is heavy fighting for San Michele, which New Zealand troops continue to hold; the Via Cassia and the village of San Andrea are in allied hands. Oil installations at Ploesti and Bucharest are attacked by heavy- bombers.
  • Forces of the 1st White Russian front capture Siedlce, Minsk-Mazowiecki and Lukov, covering the approaches to Warsaw, and 1st Baltic front troops fight their way into Jelgava (Mitau); 3rd White Russian front troops are reported to have broken through the enemy’s Niemen River defences, advanced 30 miles on a 145-mile front and captured Mariampole.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack targets in the Munich and Ludwigshaven areas in Germany and airfields in France.

AUGUST 1944

August 1, 1944

  • In the western sectors of Normandy allied forces capture Brecey and reach the River See; in the Avranches area and south of Villedieu further progress is made. In the area south of Caumont allied troops, after clearing the Foret l’Eveque, cross the River Souleuvre and take Le Beny Bocage; to the west Tessy is occupied.
  • Heavy fighting continues south-west of Florence, where 8th Army Indian troops occupy Castiglione, and in the Upper Tiber Valley important gains are made.
  • Tukum and Tubanc, north-west of Mitau, are occupied by the Russians and 3rd White Russian front forces capture Kaunas (Kovno); further progress towards Warsaw is made.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators bomb enemy aerodromes at Chateaudun, Orleans-Bricy and Melun and other military targets in Central France.
  • The daily flying-bomb attacks on Southern England and the London area continue.
  • M. Ryti, the Finnish President, resigns and is succeeded by Marshal Mannerheim.

August 2, 1944

  • On the Western Front Allied formations reached Vire, south of Caumont.
  • Flying-bomb depots and road and rail bridges in North France attacked by Allied bombers.
  • Allied land, sea and air forces raided two islands off Dalmatian coast.
  • Turkish Government, broke off diplomatic and economic relations with Germany.

August 3, 1944

  • On the Western Front American armour reached Dinan and Rennes in Brittany.
  • Allied aircraft attacked flying-bomb depots in North France, and railways at Saarbruecken and Strasbourg.
  • On the Russian Front Soviet troops forced the Vistula S.W. of Sandomierz.
British tanks are making their way through Impruneta in 1944
British tanks are making their way through Impruneta which was
captured on 3rd August 1944 after hard fighting

August 4, 1944

  • On the Western Front Second Army tanks reached Villers Bocage.
  • U.S. heavy bombers attacked experimental station at Peenemunde and German oil refineries.
  • In Italy South African troops of Eighth Army reached outskirts of Florence.
  • In Burma all organized Japanese resistance ceased in Myickylna.
  • Purge of German Army announced.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Flight Lieutenant, 118131, Ian Willoughby BAZALGETTE, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Acting Squadron Leader Ian Willoughby Bazalgette (118131), 635 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. On 4th August 1944 at Trossy St Maximin, north-west Europe, Squadron Leader Bazalgette was one of the marking formation spearhead on a daylight raid. When near his target his Lancaster came under heavy anti-aircraft fire, both starboard engines were put out of action and serious fires broke out. In spite of this the squadron leader pressed on to the target, marking and bombing it accurately. He then attempted to bring the burning aircraft to safety, having ordered those of the crew who were able to do so to bale out. He managed to land the Lancaster, but it immediately exploded, killing him and his two wounded crew members.
American troops enter Rennes on 4th August 1944 where they receive a great reception
American troops enter Rennes on 4th August 1944 where they receive
a great reception from the French civil population

August 5, 1944

  • On the Western Front Allied armour reached Redon in Brittany. Villers Bocage and Aunay-sur-Odon, Normandy, captured.
  • U.S. bombers attacked oil planes and armament works in Germany. R.A.F. dropped 12,000-lb. bombs on U-boat pens at Brest.
  • On the Russian Front Soviet troops captured Stryi, in Carpathian foothills.
Armourers of the Royal Air Force working on the new streamlined 12,000-lb high explosive bombs

August 6, 1944

  • On the Western Front German armoured attack at Mortain smashed by rocket-firing planes.
  •  R.A.F. bombed flying-bomb bases and U-boat pans at Lorient. U.S. bombers again attacked German oil plants arid armament works.
  • On the Russian Front Drohobycz, Polish oil centre, captured by Red Army. U.S. bombers from Britain landed in Russia after bombing aircraft works near Gdynia.
  • In the Mediterranean Allied bomber; attacked railways and oil storage areas in Rhone Valley and U-boat pens at Toulon.
  • First of three attacks by Allied aircraft on Davao airfield, Philippines.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Corporal, 5779898, Sidney BATES, Royal Norfolk Regiment awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - No. 5779898 Corporal Sidney Bates, The Royal Norfolk Regiment. On 6th August 1944 near Sourdeval, north-west Europe, when the enemy had penetrated deeply in the area occupied by his section, Corporal Bates seized a light machine-gun and charged, moving forward through a hail of bullets. Although wounded twice he was undaunted and continued firing until the enemy started to withdraw before him. At this moment he was wounded for a third time mortally. He still went on firing, however, until his strength failed him, but by this time the enemy had withdrawn and the situation had been restored. He died two days later.

August 7, 1944

  • On the Western Front 1st Canadian Army launched offensive south of Caen.
  • More than 1,000 R.A.F. bombers attacked German line south of Caen.
  • On the Russian Front, Borislav, chief Polish oil centre, captured by Soviet troops. U.S. bombers attacked oil refinery in Poland from Russian bases.

August 8, 1944

  • On the Western Front Canadians made progress towards Falaise.
  • More than 603 U.S. bombers operated in support of Allied troops in Caen area.
  • On the Russian Front U.S. bombers left Russian bases. bombed Rumanian airfields, and landed in Italy.
  • In Germany Field Marshal Witzleben and seven other high officers condemned and hanged for a plot against Hitler.
  • Announced that Polish armoured division was in action with Canadians in Normandy.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Captain 90577 David Aldjo JAMIESON, Royal Norfolk Regiment awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Captain David Jamieson, The Royal Norfolk Regiment. On 7th/8th August 1944 south of Grimbosq, Normandy, Captain Jamieson was in command of a company which established a bridgehead over the River Orne. The enemy made seven counter-attacks on the company's position, but throughout 36 hours of bitter and close fighting Captain Jamieson showed superb qualities of leadership and great personal bravery. There were times when the situation appeared hopeless but on each occasion it was restored by his coolness and determination. He personally was largely responsible for holding the bridgehead over the river and although wounded twice he refused to be evacuated.

August 9, 1944

  • In France allied troops occupy Le Mans and reach the vicinity of Angers, in the Loire Valley, and Nantes; in the Brittany Peninsula St. Malo is entered, but at Dinard stubborn resistance is encountered, while along the north coast our troops pass through Morlaix. On the Normandy front the enemy holds Mortain; the allied advance towards Falaise continues. It is announced that General Eisenhower’s headquarters are now in France.
  • In Italy the Germans withdraw across the Arno east of Florence; on the Adriatic side Francavilla is captured in a new drive by Polish and Italian troops.
  • Red Army troops make further progress in their advance in Latvia and to the north and north-west of Sicdlce, where they liberate more than 150 places; counter-attacks by the Germans north-west of Mariampole are repelled.
  • S.E.A.C. Headquarters reports that Japanese rearguards are driven from positions on the Tiddim road with heavy losses.
  • Stuttgart and other targets in Germany are attacked by U.S. heavy bombers and Lancasters drop 12,000-lb. bombs on U-boat pens at La Pallice. At night Mosquitoes lay mines in the Dortmund-Ems Canal.
  • It is officially announced that more than 500 U-boats have been sunk during the war.

August 10, 1944

  • Allied troops enter Nantes and Angers, and in the Brittany Peninsula the Hennebont, Auray and Quiberon areas are being mopped up, and Lorient is completely surrounded; enemy defence at St. Malo is reduced to a single strongpoint, but Dinard is being strongly defended. In the Mortain-Vire area of Normandy hard fighting continues and enemy resistance towards Falaise increases; the bridgehead over the Orne is enlarged and Espins is captured.
  • The enemy withdraws from the northern bank of the Arno in Florence, according to a German report; in the Adriatic sector Polish troops cross the River Cesano. Ploestiis attacked by heavy bombers.
  • North-west of Rezekne, west and south-west of Krustpils and north-west and west of Kaunas. Soviet forces continue to advance; the River Narew forced south-west of Bialystok; progress continues elsewhere.
  • The report from S.E.A.C. Headquarters states that progress is made towards Taungni, in North Burma, and that 3rd Indian Division troops take Sahmaw.
  • Super-Fortresses attack the Japanese mainland of Kyushu, their target being industrial plants in the Nagasaki area; an oil refinery at Palembang, in Sumatra, is also hit.
  • Lancasters and Halifaxes attack storage depots at Bordeaux and La Pallice.

August 11, 1944

  • Allied troops cross the River Loire, and in the Nantes-Angers area fighting continues; part of the remaining strongpoint at St. Malo continues to hold out and heavy fighting is in progress in Dinard. The allied attack near Mortain meets with stiff resistance, but to the north our troops push beyond Gathemo towards Vangeons. More progress is made east of Vire and patrols from the Orne bridgehead penetrate to Barbery; Thury-Harcourt is captured.
  • Activity on the entire Italian front is confined to active patrolling. Mr. Churchill is reported to have arrived in Italy.
  • Greek “raiders of the Aegean,” it is reported, have made a raid on the Gestapo headquarters on Lesbos Island and released 100 hostages.
  • The Russians resume the offensive west and south-west of Pskov and capture Pechory and west of Krustpils their advance continues; counter-attacks west of Sandomierz are beaten off.
  • S.E.A.C. Headquarter' announces the capture of Taungni, on the Burma railway.
  • Marshalling-yards at Mulhouse and Belfort and railway yards at Strasbourg are attacked by Flying Fortresses and Liberators; Lancasters and Halifaxes bomb railway-yards at Lens and Douai. Coastal defences along the French and Italian Rivieras are attacked by Mediterranean Allied Command Tactical Air Force.

August 12, 1944

  • Allied troops thrust through Barbery and reach Moulines, while in an advance from the Orne bridgehead Bois Halbout is captured; east of the Vire an advance of a mile is made, and Mortain is reoccupied. In Brittany St. Malo is being attacked and heavy fighting continues in Dinard; Angers, in the Loire Valley, is occupied.
  • Troops of the 8th Army, after some street fighting, occupy Empoli. It is officially announced that the Germans have evacuated Florence.
  • The Red Army continues to advance on the Baltic front west and south-west of Pskov, west of Krustpils and south-west of Mitau; in the Vistula bend, south of Warsaw, the enemy makes a further withdrawal.
  • U.S. Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack military installations in Southern France and North-West Italy. At night Bomber Command aircraft attack Brunswick and Russelsheim; Kiel and Frankfort are also visited; 49 aircraft are missing.
The Hawker Hurricane was discontinued on 12th August 1944 the last one to leave the factory is seen here
Production of the Hawker Hurricane was discontinued on 12th August 1944
the last one to leave the factory is seen here

August 13, 1944

  • Clair Tizon and Donnay, west of the River Orne, are captured and progress is made towards Conde and south-east of Vire; U.S. forces occupy Sourdeval. Fighting continues for St. Malo and Dinard and slight advances are made in the vicinity of Brest.
  • Continuing their advance west of Pskov, the Russians capture Voru, and north-west of Rezekne they occupy Madona; offensive battles are waged north-west and west of Bialystok where the Soviet forces press on towards the East Prussian frontier.
  • Heavy bombers of the 15th Air Force make another attack on military installations in Southern France and the coast of North-West Italy.

August 14, 1944

  • Advances are made on both sides of the Falaise-Argentan gap; allied troops attacking towards Falaise cross the River Laison and advance to within 7,000 yards of the town, while on the other side of the gap the northward thrust reaches the vicinity of Argentan; between the Laize and the Orne, north of Conde and farther west, more progress is made. Seven enemy strong-points massing tanks, guns and troops are heavily hit by 700 escorted heavy bombers.
  • Polish troops in the Adriatic sector capture Monte Vecchio; elsewhere there is patrol activity only.
  • Offensive battles west and south-west of Pskov enable the Red Army troops to capture Antslu and about 100 other places; forces of the 2nd White Russian front carry by assault the important enemy stronghold of Osowiec.

August 15, 1944

  • American, British and French forces, supported by over 800 allied warships, land in Southern France at points between Marseilles and Nice, after large numbers of airborne troops had been dropped at dawn behind the enemy’s coastal defences; bridgeheads are established and extended.
  • Allied troops reach the outskirts of Falaise and all along the northern side of the enemy pocket drive steadily forward; there is also a general advance along the western and southern sides of the pocket; Domfront, Ger and Laferte Mace are freed. In Brittany organised resistance ceases in Dinard.
  • Russian troops liberate a further 80 places to the west of Pskov and in the Raseiniai area repel enemy attacks by tanks and infantry, inflicting heavy losses on both; progress continues in other sectors.
  • R.A.F. Bomber Command aircraft make a heavy attack on fighter bases in Holland and Belgium.

August 16, 1944

  • Most of the road from Falaise to Conde is in allied hands and the town of Conde is captured; Flers is reached, and to the west Tinchebray is liberated. North of La Ferto Mace and north-east of Domfront gains up to six miles are made. In Brittany the port of Dinard is completely occupied.
  • In Southern France allied troops are firmly established on the coast between Cannes and Toulon and have penetrated eight miles in land at some points.
  • North and north-west of Petseri and west and south-west of SiauIiai fighting continues favourably for the Red Army: the bridgehead on the left bank of the Vistula is widened and Soviet troops break in to Sandomierz.
  • Aircraft factories, synthetic oil refineries and other military objectives are attacked by more than 1,000 escorted U.S. heavy bombers. At night 70,000 incendiary and a great weight of high-explosive bombs are dropped on Stettin and Kiel by R.A.F. heavy bombers; Berlin is visited by Mosquitoes.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Lieutenant 187088 Tasker WATKINS, Welch Regiment awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Lieutenant Tasker Watkins (187088), 1/5th Battalion, The Welch Regiment. On 16th August 1944 at Barfour, Normandy, Lieutenant Watkins' company came under murderous machine-gun fire while advancing through corn fields set with booby traps. The only officer left, Lieutenant Watkins led a bayonet charge with his 30 remaining men against 50 enemy infantry, practically wiping them out. Finally, at dusk, separated from the rest of the battalion, he ordered his men to scatter and after he had personally charged and silenced an enemy machine-gun post, he brought them back to safety. His superb leadership not only saved his men, but decisively influenced the course of the battle.

August 17, 1944

  • Allied forces driving east liberate Dreux, Chartres, Chateudun and Orleans and crossings of the Aunay and Eure are made; in the Normandy pocket heavy opposition is encountered north of Ranes, but a further advance is made in the Flers area; Falaise is cleared of the enemy. Good progress is made towards Trun and Chambois. In Brittany the citadel of St. Malo falls.
  • The beach head forces in Southern France now form a continuous arc-shaped front covering an area of some 500 square miles; St. Tropez, St. Raphael and many other towns are in allied hands.
  • Red Army troops cross the River Sesupe north-west of Mariampole and reach the border of East Prussia; more progress is made in the Siauliai area and in Sandomierz there is street fighting.
  • S.E.A.C. Headquarters announces that the last organised enemy fighting force has been expelled from Manipur.
  • Heavy bombers based in Italy attack Ploesti, in Rumania, and an airfield at Nish, in Yugoslavia.

August 18, 1944

  • The net around the German forces in Normandy is drawn tighter; our hold on Trun and the area near Chambois is extended eastward to Champeaux; farther north the River Dives and the river near Notre Dame d ’Estrees are crossed. In the Dreux area the bridgehead across the Eure is extended and farther south Vendome is freed.
  • The allied beach head in Southern France is extended and at one point our troops penetrate 21 miles in land; prisoners taken are estimated to number 7,000.
  • The occupation of Haute-Savoie is virtually completed by French Forces of the Interior.
  • Troops of the 1st Ukrainian front capture Sandomierz; they advance up to 30 miles and widen their Vistula bridge-head to 75 miles.
  • Lancaster aircraft make attacks on a flying-bomb store near Paris and U-boat pens at La Pallice; airfields and other targets in Germany and France are bombed by Fortresses and Liberators. At night Lancasters and Halifaxes make a heavy assault on Bremen, and Mosquitoes attack Berlin.
  • Oil installations at Ploesti are again attacked by U.S. heavy bombers.

August 19, 1944

  • Allied forces advance to the vicinity of the Seine and close the enemy’s escape corridor south of Falaise; allied forces from north and south meet in Chambois, scaling the exit south of Falaise, and the area of the pocket is substantially reduced. Three bridgeheads over the River Vie at Lavarot, Coupesarte and Grandchamp are established.
  • The area of Southern France now liberated is said to exceed 1,000 square miles and the deepest penetration is 50 miles: progress has been made to within six miles of Toulon; several more towns are occupied.
  • In the Adriatic sector of the Italian front Polish patrols press on for 5,000 yards on a two-mile front and repel enemy counter-attacks.
  • Soviet forces improve their positions east and west of Praga, the suburb of Warsaw on the east bank of the Vistula; on the Estonia front Aluksne is occupied.
  • A U.S. Liberator attacks and sinks 14,000-ton Japanese cruiser 100 miles east of Hong Kong.

August 20, 1944

  • Further progress in the allied drive towards Lisieux is made and a thrust north-east of Grandchamp makes good progress. The town of Livarot is occupied. Argentan is taken and Chambois is held against an enemy counter-attack; elements of 14 divisions caught in the trap are subjected to heavy artillery fire. Allied units are on the Seine near Mantes-Grassicourt.
  • Rapid advance is made in Southern France, where the River Durance is crossed and the outskirts of Aix reached; prisoners now exceed 12,000. In Haute Savoie French Forces of the Interior force the garrisons of Chamonix and Cluses to surrender; Toulouse is also captured.
  • San Costanzo, on the Adriatic front in Italy, is captured by Polish troops.
  • East and south of Dorpat the Red Army captures more than 150 places and 70 more east of Riga; in the Mitau area some ground has to be yielded: three divisions encircled north of Sandomierz are liquidated.
  • U.S. Super Fortresses make another attack on industrial areas in the vicinity of Yawata, Kyushu.
  • Italy based bombers of the 15th Air Force attack oil targets in Polish Silesia and Slovakia and the railway and aerodrome at Szolnok, in Hungary.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Major, David Vivian CURRIE, Canadian Army awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Major David Vivian Currie, 29th Canadian Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment (The South Alberta Regiment), Canadian Armoured Corps. During the period 18th/20th August 1944 at the Battle of Falaise, Normandy, Major Currie was in command of a small mixed force of tanks, self-propelled anti-tank guns and infantry which had been ordered to cut one of the main escape routes. Having attacked the village of St. Lambert-sur-Dives and consolidated a position halfway inside it, for 36 hours he repulsed enemy attacks. Despite heavy casualties Major Currie never considered the possibility of failure and in the final assault seven enemy tanks, twelve 88mm guns and forty vehicles were destroyed, 300 Germans were killed 500 wounded and 1,100 captured. The remnants of two German armies were thus denied this escape route.

August 21, 1944

  • Between Lisieux and the sea Dozule and Dives-sur-Mere are captured and west of Lisieux our troops occupy Cambremer; east of Chambois Gace is in allied hands. Fighting takes place in the vicinity of Vimoutiers.
  • Forces of the 7th Army continue their advance in the Durance Valley and Toulon is entered by French troops.
  • French Forces of the Interior occupy Fort de l’Ecluse, near the Franco-Swiss border.
  • In Italy, Florence is reported to be completely liberated and patrols push beyond the city; in the Adriatic sector Polish troops take Santa Maria Carpineta and Orciano.
  • North-west and west of Mitau Russian troops repel enemy attacks, but evacuate Tukum; progress is made north-east of Praga and north of Sandomierz. Russian warships sink four enemy destroyers in Narva Bay.
Crews of Sherman Tank receive a warm welcome in Florence
Many of the snipers left behind in Florence were mopped up by the Italians, when this
Sherman tank arrived to support their good work it was warmly welcomed.

August 22, 1944

  • Sens, on the River Yonne, Pithiviers and Etampes are occupied; progress is made north of Dreux and a drive between that town and Verneuil ends in the liberation of Nonancourt; considerable advances are made along the front between Laigle and the Seine. Fighting takes place in Lisieux, to the north of which Cabourg, Houlgate, Villers-sur-Mer and Deauville are captured.
  • In Southern France allied patrols reach a point within three miles of Marseilles; in the northern and western suburbs of Toulon French forces improve their positions; allied troops in the Durance Valley reach the vicinity of St. Esteve; Grenoble is occupied.
  • It is reported that F.F.I. and patriots, defeating the enemy after four days’ fighting, have occupied all public buildings in Paris.
  • Two new offensives are launched by the Russians in Rumania; troops of the 2nd Ukrainian front advance 27 miles west of Jassy, which is occupied, and 3rd Ukrainian front troops advance up to 42 miles south of Benderi: an armoured battle is taking place on the approaches to Warsaw.

August 23, 1944

  • On the Western Front south east of Paris Allied, forces reached Corbeil and Melun. In Normandy Evreux was captured. In the south French troops occupied Marseilles and U.S. troops reached Grenoble.
  • On the Russian Front, Tilsit, East Prussia, bombed at night by Red Air Force. Akkerman on Black Sea captured by Russians.
  • In the Mediterranean, Allied bombers attacked military installations near Vienna.
  • Announced that new Rumanian Government accepted Russian peace terms and Rumania would fight on Allied side.

August 24, 1944

  • On the Western Front, Units of French 2nd Armoured Division entered Paris. Allies occupied Cannes, Antibes and Grasse.
  • More than 1,900 U.S. bombers from Britain and Italy attacked oil refineries and aircraft works in Germany and Czechoslovakia.
  • Coastal Command aircraft bombed enemy shipping evacuating from Le Havre.
  • On the Russian Front Kishinev, Rumania, captured by Red Army.
  • Allied carrier-borne aircraft attacked Padang in Sumatra.

August 25, 1944

  • Paris is liberated by the Allies.
  • On the Western Front Gen. de Gaulle entered Paris. Elbeuf, south of Rouen, and Honfleur on Seine estuary, liberated.
  • Allied bombers attacked Peenemunde research station and oil and aircraft plants In Germany. At night R.A.F. bombed Opel works at Russelsheim and chemical works at Darmstadt.
  • On the Russian Front, Tartu, Estonia, captured by Red Army.
  • Heaviest yet Allied air attack on Palau Island in the Carolines.
  • Agreements signed between Great Britain and France and U.S.A. and France regarding civil administration in liberated territories.

August 26, 1944

  • On the Western Front Allied troops across the Seine at four points between Paris and the sea. Paris bombed by Luftwaffe.
  • R.A.F. made heavy night attacks on Koenigsberg and Kiel.
  • Allied air attacks on seven Japanese isles including Yap and Iwo.
  • Bulgarian Government decided to withdraw from the war. Announced that German troops were being disarmed.

August 27, 1944

  • On the Western Front, Allied forces reached the Marne at Lagny. Toulon cleared of the enemy.
  • R.A.F. and U.S. bombers attacked oil plants and railways in Germany.
  • On the Russian Front, Soviet troops captured Rumanian Danube port of Galatz.
  • Announced that German resistance has ceased in Bucharest.

August 28, 1944

  • On the Western Front, U.S. troops reached Chateau Thierry on the Marne. British secured another bridge-head on the lower Seine.
  • R.A.F. bombers attacked flying-bomb sites in North France. U.S. fighters bombed rail, road and river transport.
  • Allied bombers attacked oil refineries and railways in Austria and Hungary.
  • On the Russian Front, Danubian port of Braila and Black Sea port of Sulina captured by Soviet forces.

August 29, 1944

  • On the Western Front, U.S. forces under Gen. Patton captured Soissons. 55 miles north-east of Paris. In the south, French troops advanced through Nimes towards Montpellier.
  • In their advance towards the Gothic line, 8th Army crossed the river Arzillo in Italy.
  • On the Russian Front, Troops of the 3rd Ukrainian Army captured Black Sea port of Constanza.
  • Mr. Churchill returned home from his extensive tour of the Mediterranean theatre of war.

August 30, 1944

  • Sweeping northwards from the Seine bridgeheads allied troops capture Beauvais and reach a point 20 miles from Amiens; farther west good progress is made and in the eastern drive Rheims is reached and the bridgehead across the Aisne near Soissons is enlarged. In the Marne Valley the river is crossed and troops arrive opposite Epernay.
  • In Southern France U.S. troops take possession of Valence, on the River Rhone and to the south-west French troops liberate Narbonne, Montpellier and Beziers, while U.S. troops on the eastern coastal sector enter Nice.
  • On the Adriatic coast Pesaro is entered by Polish troops, the enemy falling back to the Gothic Line.
  • Ploesti is captured by the Russians and north-east of Bucharest 200 inhabited localities are freed.
  • Heavy bombers of the 8th Air Force attack flying-bomb bases and military targets in the Kiel and Bremen areas.

August 31, 1944

  • Amiens is reached by allied troops and a firm bridgehead is established over the Somme; during the advance Corbie, Villers-Brettonneux and Moreuil are captured; farther west Forinerie and Buchy are reached; progress continues north of Rouen and in the Beauvais area. Allied troops advancing north from Paris take Senlis and Crepy and reach Vaumoise; east of Rouen our troops enter Laon. In other sectors advances are made. The commander of the 7th German Army is taken prisoner.
  • French troops moving up the Rhone Valley on the west capture St. Agreve and American troops progress along the eastern valley beyond Valence.
  • Troops of the 8th Army penetrate the outer defences of the Gothic Line.
  • Russian 2nd Ukrainian troops enter Bucharest, the Rumanian capital, and west and south of Constanza other forces capture Medgidia and Carmen-Sylva.
  • A strong force of Halifaxes attack the island of Cezembre, off St. Malo, and long-range weapon supply depots in Northern France.
  • General Sir Bernard Montgomery is promoted to be Field-Marshal.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Lieutenant 9111V Gerard Ross NORTON, South African Forces awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Lieutenant Gerard Ross Norton (9111V), Kaffrarian Rifles, attached The Hampshire Regiment. On 31st August 1944 during the attack on Monte Gridolfo, Italy, Lieutenant Norton's platoon was pinned down by heavy fire. On his own initiative and with complete disregard for his own safety, he advanced alone and attacked the first machine-gun emplacement, killing the crew of three. He then went on to the second position containing two machine-guns and 15 riflemen, and wiped put both machine-gun nests, killing or taking prisoner the remainder of the enemy. Throughout these attacks he was continuously under fire from a self-propelled gun, nevertheless he calmly went on to lead his platoon against the remaining enemy positions.

SEPTEMBER 1944

September 1, 1944

  • Dieppe, Verdun, St. Mihiel and Arras are liberated, and the troops which entered Dieppe press on to Le Treport: in another thrust Doullens is occupied and farther west the Somme is reached south-east of Abbeville. North-east of Beauvais, in the Gompiegne area and north of the Seine, progress is made; the forces which captured Verdun cross the Meuse River. Advances proceed in other sectors.
  • French and American troops continue to make progress in the Rhone Valley towards Lyons and U.S. elements press beyond Voiron to the north-west of Grenoble; on the right flank Contes is entered. More than 55,000 prisoners have now been taken.
  • Powerful attacks on the Gothic Line enable the 8th Army to break through the defences on a 20-mile front to a depth of three to four miles.
  • More progress is made by Soviet forces along the Danube in which Giurgiu and Calarasi are captured; south-west of Constanza the advance continues.
  • Liberators drop over 100 tons of bombs on the airfields at Davao, in the Philippines.
  • Halifaxes, escorted by Spitfires, make another attack on long-range weapon supply depots in Northern France, and the island of Cezembre is again bombed.
Canadian infantry receiving a warm welcome as they enter Dieppe on 1st September 1944
Canadian infantry receiving a warm welcome as they enter Dieppe on 1st September 1944

September 2, 1944

  • Forces advancing north of Arras cross Vimy Ridge and occupy Lens, and to the east Douai is captured and the area of St. Pol reached. On the coast St. Valry-en-Caux is taken and Abbeville is reached, and north-east of Paris advances are made and the Aisne is crossed west of Soissons. The Belgian frontier is crossed north-cast of Montcornet.
  • More good progress is made by French and American troops in the Rhone Valley, where the Germans are reported to be evacuating Lyons. In Italy the capture of Pesaro is completed; 5th Army troops take Pisa and cross the Arno River in the west.
  • Red Army troops reach the Bulgarian frontier between the Black Sea and the River Danube.
  • M. Hackzell, the Finnish Prime Minister, announces that Berlin has agreed to the withdrawal of Nazi troops from Finland.
  • Another heavy attack is launched on the airfields at Davao, in the Philippines.

September 3, 1944

  • Brussels, the capital of Belgium, is liberated after Tournai and Maubeuge had been occupied: farther west armoured troops drive through Bethune and Lillers and reach the neighbourhood of Aire; the Somme is crossed at Abbeville, which is in allied hands. The Belgian frontier is crossed 40 miles south-west of Brussels and farther south our troops approach Nancy.
  • Lyons is entered by French and American troops and the allied forces are reported to have progressed 35 miles to the north-east on the road to Belfort.
  • The Russians continue to advance north and west of Ploesti and further progress is made along the northern bank of the Danube.
  • Lancasters and Halifaxes attack airfields in Holland and Flying Fortresses bomb gun positions at Brest and targets in the Ludwigshaven area.
  • In the five years of war British Empire casualties are officially stated to be 242,995 killed, 80,603 missing, 311,500 wounded and 290,865 prisoners and internees.

September 4, 1944

  • After a two-day drive allied troops liberate Antwerp; Louvain, Malines (Mechlin) and Alost are also occupied, while other forces take Lille. North of the Somme steady progress is made; Hesdin, Montreuil and Etaples are reached. A large German pocket in the Mons area is eliminated and some 9,000 prisoners and considerable armour are captured. Progress continues elsewhere.
  • French and American troops advance swiftly northwards in the Saone Valley, the former reaching a point near Tournus, 57 miles north of Lyons; a further 10,000 prisoners are now in allied hands. Lyons is cleared of the enemy.
  • In Rumania 2nd Ukrainian front troops fighting alongside Rumanians capture Brasov (Kronstadt) and Sinaia. “Cease­fire” is sounded on the Finnish-Russian front.
  • Flying-bombs launched since the opening of the attacks number approximately 8,070.
  • Mosquitoes of Bomber Command attack Karlsruhe.

September 5, 1944

  • Allied troops in Belgium reach the southern outskirts of Ghent. Good progress is made north of the Somme and other forces by-pass Boulogne and reach the Foret-de- Guines; farther south, troops advancing into Belgium free Charleroi and Namur; at Dinant and Givet the Meuse is crossed.
  • On both sides of the Saone Valley the allied advance continues, the French on the west side capturing Chalons-sur-Saone and the Americans on the east occupying St. Germain-du-Plain.
  • Advances are made in both the coastal sectors in Italy, the 5th Army capturing Lucca.
  • South-west of Lomza Russian troops occupy Wyszkow and more than 150 inhabited localities; the River Narew is reached; several towns in Rumania, including Pitesti, are captured.
  • The Russian Government announces that Russia is now at war with Bulgaria.
  • Flying Fortresses attack Karlsruhe, Stuttgart and Ludwigshaven; Lancasters make attacks on Le Havre and Brest.

September 6, 1944

  • Allied forces capture Ghent and clear Courtrai of the enemy; Armentieres is occupied and the area west of Lille as far as Merville is taken. The outskirts of Boulogne are reached and Calais is surrounded. Forces in the south advance beyond the Meuse south-east from Namur and north-east from Givet. Progress is made through the forest of Ardennes and east and north-east of Verdun. Two long air attacks are made on Brest.
  • Advancing up the Saone Valley the 7th Army forces approach the Doubs Valley without meeting much opposition.
  • In the Adriatic sector the 8th Army forces the enemy back after stiff fighting; farther inland the River Ventena is crossed.
  • The Russians capture several towns in Rumania, including Campulung, Caracal and Turnu-Severin, on the Yugoslav border; to the north-east of Warsaw the town of Ostrolenka is liberated. Bulgaria asks Russia for an armistice and states that she has declared war on Germany.

September 7, 1944

  • The Albert Canal is crossed north-east of Louvain; Ypres is captured and the vicinity of Roulers is reached. Troops operating farther south in Belgium occupy Wavre and other forces liberate Huy. Progress is made in the forest of Ardennes area and a point near the River Moselle a few miles north of Metz is reached, while a crossing of the river is made north of Pont-a-Mousson.
  • Stubborn resistance is met by American and French troops of the 7th Army but good progress is made, the U.S. forces capturing Besançon. More progress is made by the 8th Army in the Italian east coast sector where the River Marona is reached.
  • South-west of Lomza Soviet forces capture several inhabited places and four more large towns in Rumania are occupied.

September 8, 1944

  • Against strong resistance the bridgehead over the Albert Canal is enlarged and the capture of Bourg-Leopold is completed. Thiel is reached and an armoured thrust is made towards Bruges, while farther north Dixmude is liberated; in Eastern Belgium Liege is occupied. Progress continues south of the Meuse and in the Ardennes Forest, elements reach Haut-Pays.
  • In Eastern France French troops occupy Beaune and other captured towns include Le Creusot, Changny and Mont-chamin-les-Mines; U.S. troops reach the Doubs River.
  • Heavy fighting continues in the Adriatic sector in Italy, where the village of Groce is captured; west of Florence Monte Cenario and Monte Morello are occupied.
  • Russian troops cross the Bulgarian frontier in a sector between Gitirgevo and Mangalia and occupy Ruschuk, Silistria and Varna, a port on the Black Sea.
  • A strong force of Lancasters attack Le Havre and more than 1,000 Flying Fortresses and Liberators bomb targets in Ludwigshaven, Karlsruhe, Mainz and Gustavsburg. At night Nuremberg is visited by Mosquitoes.
  • First V-2 rocket attack on London.
The German V2 Rocket bomb
The German V2 Rocket bomb

September 9, 1944

  • On the Channel coast good progress is made around Bergues, south-east of Dunkirk, and gains are made near Bruges and north of Antwerp. Other forces advance to Kermpt, Noduwez. Marilles and Folx-les-Caves; Limbourg is reached. Progress continues east of the River Meuse and in the area of Montmedy.
  • French forces continue their advance towards Dijon and U.S. troops marching up the Doubs Valley and along the Rhone-Rhine Canal arrive within 20 miles of Belfort. More than 70,000 prisoners have now been taken by the 7th Army.
  • More than 100 places in Rumania are freed by the Red Army. Military operations against Bulgaria end, “cease fire” being sounded at 10a.m.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators make a heavy attack on military objectives near Mainz and Mannheim, at Duesseldorf, and elsewhere in the Ruhr.

September 10, 1944

  • The city of Luxemburg is liberated and north-west of Nancy troops enter the northern part of Liverdun; farther north in the Ardennes Neufchateau is reached and progress is made in the area east of Marche. Enemy resistance at Ghent is overcome and the town is occupied, while Ostend and Nieuport, on the coast, are cleared of the enemy; Zeebrugge is entered. House-to-house fighting takes place in Brest. Le Havre is heavily bombarded from the sea and air and a general land assault begins.
  • In Eastern France Dijon is almost reached by the French. There is a continuance of heavy fighting in the Adriatic sector and advances are made north of Florence.
  • In North-Eastern Rumania the Russians capture Vama and in the central area Svintul-George and 50 other places are occupied.
  • Flying-Fortresses and Liberators attack military objectives in Southern Germany and Lancasters visit Muenchen-Gladbach just before dawn.
  • Mr. Churchill, accompanied by Lord Leathers, Minister of War Transport, and the British Chiefs of Staff, arrives in Canada.

September 11, 1944

  • Allied troops cross the Luxemburg-German frontier and contact is established with forces advancing from Southern France. To the north troops who had crossed the German frontier are now in the area north-west of Trier. Gains are made in the Ardennes and advances south of Liege take allied troops across the road between Harre and Aywaille; Herve, 10 miles east of Liege, is occupied. East of Ghent. Lockeren and St. Nicholas are freed. On the coast Blankenberghe is reached and Wissant and Sangatte are captured.
  • French forces capture Dijon, an important centre of communications.
  • Progress is made in Italy and troops of the 5th and 8th Armies are in contact with the Gothic Line in the central sector.
  • The Red Army makes more progress south and south-west of Lomza and in Rumania the towns of Sighisoaro, Medias and Petrosani are captured.
  • Oil plants at Merseburg, Lutzkendorf (near Leipzig) and Misburg (near Hanover) are attacked by U.S. 8th Air Force heavy bombers; escorting fighters shoot down 130 German fighters. Lancasters and Halifaxes attack synthetic oil plants in the Ruhr. At night Lancasters drop 286,000 incendiaries and a great load of high-explosive bombs on Darmstadt.

September 12, 1944

  • The important port of Le Havre is captured and mopping-up continues between Furnes and Zeebrugge; further progress is made beyond the Albert Canal. Forces advancing east and south-east of Liege take Eupen and Malmedy, and units cross the German frontier at the former town; Roetgen, south-east of Aachen, is captured. Progress continues elsewhere.
  • French troops of the 7th Army advance 30 miles beyond Dijon and American forces reach the important communications centre of Vesoul.
  • More progress is made by the allied forces to the north of Florence and on the west coast 5th Army troops advance about three miles. Fighting their way forward the Russians capture several more towns in Rumania, including Miercuria-Ciue, in the Carpathians; south and south-west of Lomza positions are improved.
  • Flying-Fortresses and Liberators make another heavy attack on Germany’s oil plants; other oil plants are bombed by Halifaxes. At night Frankfort and Stuttgart are subjected to a heavy incendiary assault by Lancasters.
Churchill tanks moving through Overloon in September 1944
Churchill tanks moving through Overloon the town was captured by
General Dempsey's troops on 12th September 1944

September 13, 1944

  • In north-cast Belgium the bridgehead over the Albert Canal at Ghent is enlarged and in the Hechtel area elements reach the Escaut Canal; other troops push on to the Dutch frontier. Gains are made in Luxemburg to the north-east of the capital.
  • French forces make further gains south-east of Chatillon-sur-Seine and U.S. troops reach Flagy, six miles north of Vesoul.
  • British and U.S. troops in Italy continue to advance towards the Gothic Line north of Florence, and 8th Army troops make further gains in the Adriatic sector, advancing more than half a mile.
  • Troops of the 2nd White Russian front capture Lomza and south of Rzeszow other Soviet forces take Krosno; Campulang, in North-Western Rumania, is occupied, and the Czechoslovak-Polish frontier is reached.
  • It is announced from Moscow that an armistice between the United Nations and Rumania has been signed.
  • Synthetic oil plants, aeroplane-engine works and other targets in Germany are attacked by more than 1,000 Flying Fortresses and Liberators; Mosquitoes visit Berlin.

September 14, 1944

  • Allied troops in north-east Belgium reach the line of the Leopold Canal north of Maldegem; Maastricht, in Holland, is freed. Farther south several small towns inside Germany are taken and east of St. Vith an outer section of the Siegfried Line defences is pierced on a six-mile front. Further advances are made in the area south of Nancy.
  • U.S. troops of the 7th Army make limited gains north-east of Vesoul and French forces occupy Langres.
  • In Italy 8th Army Canadian troops cross the River Marano in the Adriatic sector and move to within a mile of Rimini airfield; Greek troops also make progress, and on the 5th Army front Monte Catino and Ponte di Moriano are captured.
  • The Russians take Novgorod, west of Lomza, and Praga, the fortress suburb of Warsaw, falls to them; in Northern Transylvania Georgeni and Prait are occupied and Turda, in Rumiania, is captured. Budapest is bombed.
  • U.S. forces land on Peleliu Island, in the Palau group, and on Morotai Island, in the Halmahera group.

September 15, 1944

  • Chatenois is captured and in the Moselle Valley Nancy and Epinal are entered. The advance east of St. Vith continues, but allied troops closing on Aachen from three sides meet stubborn resistance. Stiff fighting takes place in the Meuse-Escaut bridgeheads.
  • North-east of Vesoul an advance of several miles is made and elements push to the vicinity of Fays-Billot; near the Swiss border allied troops make further progress, but there is stubborn enemy resistance.
  • The 8th Army considerably extends the bridgehead north of the Marano River and on the left the enemy is driven from Gemmano, Monte Colombo and Monte di Colombo.
  • Lisko, south of Sanok, is captured by Soviet forces, who also take Toplica, in Northern Transylvania.
  • A large force of Lancasters and Halifaxes make attacks on Kiel and Luebeck; Lancasters also attack the Tirpitz.

September 16, 1944

  • Advances are made between Antwerp and the sea, but stiff opposition is met in the Meuse-Escaut bridgehead. Farther south there is fighting in the southern outskirts of Aachen and strong allied elements break through the Siegfried defences east of the city; the defences below Rott are also pierced and an advance into the Roetgenwald is made. Allied forces in the Nancy Valley cross the river in force.
  • The advance from Southern France makes good progress: elements push without opposition to Chaumont, but advances north-east of Vesoul are made against strengthening enemy resistance. In the Alps troops enter Modane.
  • Canadian and Greek troops of the 8th Army advance cross the River Marano to San Martino and British troops further extend their bridgehead; 5th Army troops – British, Dominion, American and Brazilian - continue to advance.
  • Russian troops enter Sofia, the Bulgarian capital, and more progress is made north of Praga and on other fronts Debreczen, in Hungary, is heavily raided.

September 17, 1944

  • [Operation Market Garden] - Allied airborne troops are landed at Nijmegen, Eindhoven and Arnhem, in Holland, after powerful air operations, and reports state that the operation is going well. Ground forces near the Belgian-Dutch frontier continue to progress, and farther south enemy pockets of resistance on the outskirts of Aachen are mopped up. Isolated enemy groups are being cleared in the Moselle Valley, and north of Nancy the advance continues. Canadian troops launch an all-out assault on Boulogne, following a heavy air attack by Lancasters and Halifaxes.
  • There is hard fighting in the Belfort gap, where allied troops occupy St. Loup-sur-Sermouse and clear the enemy from Lure; progress continues in the high Alps.
  • Heavy fighting continues in the Adriatic sector in Italy, where 8th Army troops move nearer to the Rimini airfield, and inland there is a struggle for San Martino; 5th Army troops engage in fierce fighting in the Gothic Line positions.
  • Burciu, in Northern Transylvania, is captured and progress is made by the Red Army on other fronts.
  • In a joint statement Mr. Churchill and President Roosevelt declare that unanimous decisions have been reached regarding the completion of the wars in Europe and the Far East.

September 18, 1944

  • Further airborne troops and supplies are landed in Holland and in one area ground forces link up with some of those previously landed. In the area west of Antwerp the advance proceeds against strong opposition. Fighting continues in Boulogne, where progress is made. In Aachen hard fighting still goes on, and south-east of the city Busbach is cleared of the enemy. Across the border from Eupen allied troops take Hofen and Brandscheid is also captured.
  • West of the Belfort gap the town of Fougerolles is entered, following an advance of more than five miles.
  • An important height to the north of Florence is captured and more progress is made in the Adriatic coastal sector; U.S. forces of the 5th Army capture Monte Pratone and two other heights.
  • The Russians make more progress south and south-east of Sanok and repel counter-attacks west of Mitau. At night Budapest is raided. Marshal Antonescu, the former Rumanian dictator, is arrested.
  • Lancasters drop more than 420,000 incendiary bombs on Bremerhaven in a 20-minutes’ attack.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Rifleman, Sher Bahadur Thapa, 9th Gurkha Rifles awarded the Victoria Cross: “On 18-19 September 1944 at San Marino, Italy, when a company of the 9th Gurkha Rifles encountered bitter opposition from a German prepared position, Rifleman Sher Bahadur Thapa and his section commander, who was afterwards badly wounded, charged and silenced an enemy machine-gun. The rifleman then went on alone to the exposed part of a ridge where, ignoring a hail of bullets, he silenced more machine-guns, covered a withdrawal and rescued two wounded men before he was killed”

September 19, 1944

  • Ground troops make contact with more airborne troops: Eindhoven is captured and armoured units advance nearly 40 miles towards Nijmegen. Sittard and Amstenrade, in Southern Holland, are liberated, and fighting is in progress in Stolberg. The U.S. 3rd Army captures Luneville and Moyenvic. In Brittany all organised resistance ceases in Brest and Recouvrance.
  • More progress is made by both the 5th and 8th Armies in Italy; in the Adriatic sector the airfield of Rimini is captured and San Martino, Serravalle and San Marino are taken.
  • In a new Baltic offensive, the Red Army breaks through the enemy’s defences and advances 25 miles on a 75-mile front; in Estonia the Russians take Velga. Temisoara, in Rumania, is occupied.
  • An armistice is signed in Moscow between Finland, on the one hand, and Russia and Great Britain, for the United Nations, on the other.
  • Targets at Hamm, Coblenz, Soest and Dillenberg are attacked by Flying Fortresses.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Temp. Major, 129484, Robert Henry CAIN, Northumberland Fusiliers awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Temporary Major Robert Henry Cain (129484), The Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, attached The South Staffordshire Regiment – 1st Airborne Division. During the period 19th – 25th September 1944 at Arnhem, Holland, Major Cain's company was cut off from the battalion and throughout the whole of this time was closely engaged with the enemy tanks, self-propelled guns and infantry. The Major was everywhere danger threatened, moving among his men and encouraging them to hold out. By his leadership he not only stopped, but demoralized the enemy attacks and although he was suffering from a perforated ear-drum and multiple wounds he refused medical attention.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Flight Lieutenant 49149 David Samuel Anthony LORD, Royal Air Force awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Flight Lieutenant David Samuel Anthony Lord (49149), 271 Squadron, Royal Air Force. On 19th September 1944 at Arnhem, Holland, the British 1st Airborne Division were in desperate need of supplies. Flight Lieutenant Lord, flying a Dakota through intense enemy anti-aircraft fire was twice hit, and had one engine burning. He managed to drop his supplies, but at the end of the run found that there were two containers remaining. Although he knew that one of his wings might collapse at any moment he nevertheless made a second run to drop the last supplies, then ordered the crew to bale out. A few seconds later the Dakota crashed in flames with its pilot.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Captain 180181 Lionel Ernest QUERIPEL, Royal Sussex Regiment awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Captain Lionel Ernest Queripel, The Royal Sussex Regiment (1st Airborne Division) (Dorchester). On 19th September 1944 at Arnhem, Holland, Captain Queripel displayed the highest standard of gallantry during the whole of a period of nine hours of bitter and confused fighting. Under heavy fire he carried a wounded sergeant to the regimental aid post and was himself wounded in the face. Later, when it became necessary to withdraw, he insisted, despite the protests of his men, in remaining behind to cover their withdrawal, armed only with his pistol and a few hand grenades. This was the last occasion on which he was seen.

September 20, 1944

  • There is heavy fighting in the area of Nijmegen, where allied land and airborne forces link up; in Belgium allied troops advance to the line of the Leopold Canal and make substantial gains west of Antwerp. In Southern Holland ground forces cross the German border to Scharpenseel, and at other points along the front there is stubborn fighting; in the Moselle Valley there is strong enemy resistance. Gains are made north-west of Belfort. Calais is heavily bombed.
  • In the Adriatic sector the 8th Army Polish forces advance to within nearly a mile of Rimini and 5th Army troops move nearer to the Gothic Line.
  • Russian troops of the Leningrad front in the area north of Tartu (Dorpat) in four days’ operations advance about 45 miles on a front of 75 miles and liberate more than 1,500 inhabited places; in three days’ fighting west of Narva other forces advance to a depth of 37 miles. Progress is also made east of Riga and north-west and south of Velga.
  • The terms of the armistice granted to Finland are published.
  • It is reported that Angaur Island, in the Palau group, is almost completely cleared of the enemy. Carrier aircraft of the U.S. Pacific Fleet make a heavy attack on shipping in Manila harbour and Subic Bay and sink a large destroyer, five oil tankers and five other vessels.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Lance Sergeant, 5057916, John Daniel BASKEYFIELD, South Staffordshire Regiment awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Lance-Sergeant John Daniel Baskeyfield, The South Staffordshire Regiment, 1st Airborne Division. On 20th September 1944 at Arnhem, Holland, Lance-Sergeant Baskeyfield was in charge of a 6-pounder anti-tank gun and in the course of the engagement when two Tiger tanks and at least one self-propelling gun were destroyed, the lance-sergeant was wounded and all his crew became casualties. Nevertheless, he continued to man his gun quite alone, keeping the enemy at bay, until it was put out of action, when he crawled to another 6-pounder and proceeded to man that single-handed. He fired two shots at a self-propelling gun, one of which was a direct hit, and was preparing to fire a third when he was killed.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Lieutenant 149002 John Hollington GRAYBURN, Parachute Regiment awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Lieutenant John Hollington Grayburn, The Parachute Regiment (Army Air Corps). During the period 17th/20th September 1944 at Arnhem, Holland, at the assault on the bridge over the Rhine, Lieutenant Grayburn led his men with supreme gallantry and determination. Although wounded early in the action, in pain, short of food and without sleep, his courage never flagged. He constantly exposed himself to the enemy's fire, moving among his men encouraging them, and seemed oblivious to danger. If it had not been for his inspiring leadership and personal bravery, the Arnhem bridge could never have been held for this time.

September 21, 1944

  • The airborne troops on the north bank of the Rhine west of Arnhem are heavily attacked; the corridor through Holland to the Rhine is widened and reinforced, but the 2nd Army tanks meet with increasing opposition. U.S. forces consolidate their positions in the Siegfried Line and Moselle areas. Boulogne is surrendered to the Canadians.
  • Greek troops of the 8th Army capture Rimini and establish a bridgehead over the River Maracchia; a few miles inland Canadian troops complete the occupation of San Fortunato and Ceriano.
  • Troops of the Leningrad front develop their offensive towards Tallinn, and west of Narva other troops advance between Lake Peipus and the Gulf of Finland; Lipava and some 100 other places in Rumania are occupied.
  • Carrier aircraft make another heavy attack on shipping, airfields and other targets in the Manila area of the Philippines; in all 40 enemy ships are sunk.
  • Flying Fortresses attack Ludwigshaven and Mainz and Liberators bomb Coblenz.

September 22, 1944

  • There is fierce fighting in the area of the allied northward thrust and other troops cross to the north of the Waal; the east of the salient is heavily attacked by the enemy. Stolberg, east of Aachen, is captured, but there is little change from the Dutch-German border south to the Luneville area. In the Moselle Valley allied troops reach Epinal, to the south of which the Moselle is crossed at many points.
  • More good progress is made by the allied armies in Italy in both the central and the Adriatic sectors, while the 5th Army keeps up its pressure in the Firenzuola area and widens its breach in the Gothic Line by capturing Monte Citerna and Monte Torontale.
  • Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is stormed by the Russians and 800 other inhabited places are captured; more progress is made north-west and west of Velga an d south-east of Sanok. In Rumania the town of Arad is taken.
  • Against strong enemy resistance U.S. marines make more good progress up the west coast of Peleliu, in the Palau group.
  • Strong forces of Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack military targets in and near Kassel.
German prisoners taken marching towards Canadian lines
Following the capture of Wimereux the port of Boulogne was surrendered on 22nd September 1944 some
of the German prisoners taken are marching towards the Canadian lines

September 23, 1944

  • Fighting is especially fierce in the vicinity of Arnhem; the allied position in the Nijmegen area is improved. East of Antwerp a bridgehead is established across the Meuse-Escaut Canal and an advance is made north-west of the city. In the Aachen area patrols meet fire from the outskirts of the town, and there is stubborn enemy resistance to the south-east. South of Metz there is strong opposition, but gains are made nine miles north of Nancy.
  • In the Adriatic sector 8th Army troops advance along the coastal road to Ravenna and in the interior along the road to Bologna; to the north of Florence 5th Army troops capture the Futa Pass.
  • Pernov (Pernau), on the Gulf of Riga, is occupied by the Russians and more than 700 other places in Estonia are freed; north-east and east of Riga more than 230 in habited places are taken.
  • The Finnish Parliament ratifies the armistice settlement.
  • R.A.F. bombers make attacks on Neuss, a new target in the Ruhr, and Muenster.

September 24, 1944

  • Fierce fighting continues in the Arnhem area, where some reinforcements are passed to the north of the river; east of Nijmegen allied troops enter German territory near the Reichswald Forest. The area north of Veghel is cleared after the repulse of a counter-attack from Erp, and east of Eindhoven the Bois-le-Duc Canal bridgehead is extended. Progress is made in the Roetgen area and a German attack east of Aachen is repelled. Opposition continues in the Metz area; Leyr, eight miles north-east of Nancy, is cleared.
  • Canadian troops of the 8th Army reach a point five miles north-west of Rimini and other troops advance about a mile farther inland; more progress is made by the 5th Army in the Futa Pass area.
  • A Russian naval force captures the port of Baltiski and more than 200 places are liberated south and south-west of Tallinn and a similar number north and south of Valmiera; good progress is made east of Riga. Soviet and Rumanian troops cross the Hungarian frontier at Arad.
  • S.E.A.C. Headquarters announces that the advance on the Tiddim Road is maintained.

September 25, 1944

  • Gains are made on the east of the Eindhoven-Nijmegen salient and Helmond and Deurne are captured; west of Turnhout a bridgehead is gained over the Antwerp-Turnhout Canal. In the Moselle Valley slight advances are made north-east of Nancy and in the Epinal are a progress continues several miles east of the Moselle; Jeuxey is taken and the occupation of Epinal completed. Gains of several miles are made west of Belfort. Fortified positions at Calais are bombed and an all-out ground assault is begun.
  • Troops of the 8th Army capture the village of Bordonchio, six miles north of Rimini; the River Uso (Rubicon) is crossed and Camerano is occupied.
  • Russian forces advance nearer to Riga and in Estonia more than 800 inhabited places are occupied; progress is also made to the south and south-east of Sanok.
  • U.S. heavy bombers in force attack railway marshalling yards at Frankfort, Coblenz and Ludwigshaven.
  • Mr. Churchill arrives home from his visit to Canada.

September 26, 1944

  • The balance of the 1st British Airborne Division are withdrawn at night from Arnhem across the Waal, the first part of the withdrawal having been made during the previous night. Enemy moves against allied communications along the Eindhoven-Nijmegen Road are repelled; the salient is further secured by advances to Oss, on the west, and to the area of Boxmeer, on the east. The Antwerp-Turnhout Canal is reached along a considerable part of its length.
  • More progress is made by the 8th Army forces to the north­west of Rimini, who reach Bellaria; bridgeheads are established across the Rubicon.
  • More than 200 places are freed by the Russians south­west of Tallinn and a further 300 in the Riga advance; Turka, in Southern Poland, is occupied.
  • Military targets at Osnabrueck, Hamm and Bremen are attacked by Flying Fortresses and Liberators.

September 27, 1944

  • Fighting continues in the area north of Nijmegen and on the west of the salient progress is made south of Oss; in Northern Belgium the bridgehead over the canal west of Turnhout is extended. Stiff opposition is met north of Aachen and south-east of Stolberg; west of Metz and north-east of Lundville counter-attacks are dispersed. Allied troops close in on Calais.
  • In the Adriatic sector in Italy the 8th Army advances north-west of Rimini and towards the Via Emilia; to the north of Florence there is increased enemy resistance and south-west of the Fuka Pass allied troops take Castiglione.
  • It is reported that seaborne and airborne troops of Land Forces, Adriatic are now operating on a wide front in Albania.
  • Russian troops on the Estonia front capture the island of Worms, off the mainland, and in the Riga, direction take more than 200 inhabited places.
  • American marines land on Ngesebus and Kongauro Islands, in the Palau group.
  • Targets in Cologne, Ludwigshaven, Kassel and Mainz are attacked by U.S. heavy bombers; Lancasters and Halifaxes bomb Calais.

September 28, 1944

  • The flanks of the Nijmegen salient are strengthened, and a limited advance is made towards Hertogenbosch; Remich, in south-east Luxemburg, is liberated. Counter-attacks east of Nancy are repelled, and a three-miles advance is made. Bult and Destord, north-east of Epinal, are taken and progress is made towards the Belfort gap. All high ground dominating Calais is in allied hands.
  • Troops of the 5th Army advance on the west flank and Americans north of Florence capture Monte Battaglia and other heights; stiff fighting takes place in the Adriatic sector.
  • More than 200 places fall to the Russian; to the north-west and west of Parnu and further progress is made towards Riga and south and south-east of Sanok.
  • U.S. Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack industrial plants at Magdeburg, Kassel and Merseburg. At night Bomber Command aircraft visit Brunswick.
  • In the House of Commons Mr. Churchill gives a survey of the war.

September 29, 1944

  • Enemy resistance in the Cap Gris Nez area ceases, and a truce at Calais is arranged to evacuate civilians. An advance is made on a six-miles front west of Turnhout and counter-attacks against the Nijmegen salient are repulsed; progress towards Hertogenbosch continues. There is patrol activity in the Aachen area and allied units make a local attack south-east of Stolberg. Mompach and Wasserbillig, in Luxemburg, are freed; progress continues in the Vosges foothills.
  • U.S. troops of the 5th Army repel a strong counter-attack against Monte Battaglia and British troops take Monte Fuso.
  • Soviet forces improve their positions in the Riga direction and south and south-east of Turka; in Northern Transylvania they take Targul-Mures and cross the River Mures.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Corporal 4751678 John William HARPER, York and Lancaster Regiment awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Corporal John William Harper, 4th Battalion, The York and Lancaster Regiment. On 29th September 1944 during an assault on the Depot de Mendicite, Antwerp, Corporal Harper led his section across 300 yards of completely exposed ground, with utter disregard for the hail of mortar bombs and small arms fire from the enemy. He was killed in the action, but the subsequent capture of the position was largely due to his self-sacrifice.

September 30, 1944

  • Calais is captured and the garrison commander taken prisoner. The advance north-west of Turnhout continues; enemy counter-attacks west of the Nijmegen salient are maintained and north-east of the town there is heavy fighting. Slight advances are made south-east of Roetgen and south-west of Prum; north-east of Epinal the town of Ramber-villers is reached and counter-attacks east of the Moselle in this sector are repelled.
  • On the 8th Army front the east bank of the River Fiumicino is cleared of the enemy from the coast to Savignano, which is occupied; farther inland Montalbano and Tribola are taken; 5th Army troops capture Presiola.
  • Russian troops enter. Yugoslavia crossing the frontier south of Tumu-Severin: in Rumania more progress is made near Targul-Mures; off the coast of Estonia the island of Moon is occupied.
  • S.E.A.C. Headquarters reports successful encounters against Japanese troops on the Tiddim Road.
  • Balikpapan, on the east coast of Borneo, is attacked by 60 Liberators.
  • U.S. Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack marshalling-yards at Hamm, Muenster and Bielefeld and R.A.F. Halifaxes and Lancasters bomb synthetic oil plants at Bottrop and Sterkrade.

OCTOBER 1944

October 1, 1944

  • An advance north of Oss strengthens the Dutch salient; north-east of Nijmegen counter-attacks are repulsed and to the south-east, in further progress west of Turnhout, Brecht is captured. North-east of Nancy high ground is occupied and a strong counter-attack near Jallaucourt is broken up; in the Epinal sector the town of St. Jean-du-Marche is occupied.
  • Troops of the 8th Army cross the River Fiumicino and engage in sharp engagements in the Savignano area; north of Florence 5th Army troops meet strong opposition and to the west Monte Cappella is occupied.
  • In Yugoslavia Red Army troops continue to advance, fighting their way into a number of occupied places; elsewhere there is local fighting.
  • It is officially reported that the occupation of the islands of Peleliu, Ngesebus, Kongauro and Angaur, in the Palau group, is now almost completed.
  • R.A.F. bombers attack targets in Brunswick and elsewhere.

October 2, 1944

  • Allied troops launch an attack north oi Aachen and the River Wurm is crossed. An advance of several miles is made towards Meijel in the Dutch salient and other units enter Overloon; on the west of the salient the hold on the north bank of the Antwerp-Turnhout Canal is extended. In south-east Luxemburg more progress is made and north-east of Nancy the Foret-de-Gremecey is cleared; Ronchamp, west of Belfort, is freed.
  • Continued bad weather hampers operations in the Adriatic sector; Indian troops capture Monte Reggiano and Borghi is occupied, and farther to the south-east Monte L’Alto and Monte Cavallara are taken.
  • There are no material changes on the Russian front; in Finland the Germans are reported to be falling back in the Tornio area. The last organised resistance in Warsaw comes to an end.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack targets at Kassel and Hamm and in the Cologne area. At night R.A.F. Bomber Command aircraft bomb Brunswick and other objectives in Western Germany.

October 3, 1944

  • Allied troops advance about eight miles north-east of Antwerp on the road to Breda and Baarle Nassau, north of Turnhout, is captured; Reusel, east of Turnhout, Wamel and Dremnel, are liberated. In the area north of Aachen there-is steady progress, and allied troops penetrate to Ubach and advance south-west. High ground in South-East Luxemburg is occupied and Fort Driant, south-west of Metz, is entered; east of Nancy there is a further advance, and north-east of Epinal several villages are taken. The sea dyke near Westkapelle, on the Dutch island of Walcheren, is breached by heavy bombers, causing serious flooding of enemy positions.
  • Troops of the 5th Army capture more high ground north-west of Monte Cavallara; west of Monte Battaglia U.S. troops make further progress on the Bologna Road.
  • Russian troops capture the island of Dago, in the Baltic off the Estonian coast; south and south-west of Temisoara three towns and 50 other inhabited places in Yugoslavia are captured.

October 4, 1944

  • Further progress is made north of Antwerp and north and north-east of Turnhout, and Hilvarenbeek is captured; ground is gained south of Arnhem and a slight advance is made in the Overloon area. Slow progress is made near Ubach and an enemy tank attack is repulsed in the vicinity of Herbach; south-west of Metz and near Sivry heavy resistance is met.
  • In Italy the 5th Army advances farther towards the Po Valley; no change takes place on the 8th Army front where the swollen River Fiumicino holds up progress, but inland San Donato is captured by Indian troops.
  • Red Army troops capture a number of towns and villages in Yugoslavia and link up with the Yugoslav National Army.
  • S.E.A.C. announces that troops of the 14th Army are making progress on the Chocolate Staircase, the stretch of road winding up towards Tiddim.
  • Lancasters and Halifaxes make a concentrated attack on U-boat pens at Bergen; four U-boats are hit.
A Gurkha tommy-gunner firing at the enemy near San Donato 1944
A Gurkha tommy-gunner firing at the enemy near San Donato village
which was captured by Indian troops on 4th October 1944

October 5, 1944

  • Allied troops cross the Dutch frontier north of Antwerp, but strong resistance is met near Overloon; north of Aachen and near Ubach some progress is made. Fighting continues in Fort Driant and near Sivry.
  • The 8th Army makes limited progress to the south of Savignano, where Indian troops move up beyond San Donato; on the main Florence-Bologna Road the village of Loiano is taken by U.S. troops.
  • Units of Land Forces, Adriatic which have landed on the mainland of Greece enter Patras.
  • Russian and Yugoslav troops occupy Pancevo, a town only 10 miles from Belgrade, and more than 50 other places.
  • More than 1,000 Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack enemy communications and air strength supporting the Arnhem sector; Lancasters bomb the naval base at Wilhelmshaven. At night Lancasters make a heavy assault on Saarbruecken.

October 6, 1944

  • Allied troops cross the Leopold Canal and a further advance takes place north of Antwerp into Holland; there is heavy local lighting north-west of Nijmegen. Ground is gained in the Ubach area. Troops within Fort Driant continue to meet stubborn resistance and near Sivry the enemy regains some ground.
  • Methodical progress is made by American troops in the central Italian sector who are fighting two miles beyond Loiano; on their left British and South African troops occupy Monte Vigese. Indian troops of the 8th Army north of the Rubicon capture Sogliano and farther west British troops take Tezzo.
  • In Greece the fortified port of Rion is captured. British and Greek troops occupy the Aegean Island of Samos.
  • Soviet troops on the Leningrad front, as the result of successful landings on Oesel Island, establish a bridgehead 25 miles wide and 15 miles deep. The Rumanian-Hungarian border is crossed north and north-west of Arad, and Mako, Bekesscaba and other towns are occupied.
  • S.E.A.C. announces that 14th Army troops have pushed on towards Tiddim.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack Berlin, Harburg and Hamburg in force; Lancasters and Halifaxes bomb Scholven-Duer and Sterkrade, in the Ruhr. At night R.A.F. aircraft visit Dortmund, Bremen, Berlin and Ludwigshaven.

October 7, 1944

  • Beyond the Leopold Canal bridgehead allied troops engage in heavy fighting; north of Antwerp progress is made towards the roads leading to Walcheren Island, and north of Nijmegen the village of Halberen is freed. Beggendorf and Basweiler, in the Aachen sector, are captured and there is good progress in the Forest of Hurtgen. More successes are gained north of Metz and in the Vosges foothills.
  • In Italy the southern slopes of Monte Castellazi are reached by U.S. troops; farther west South African troops advance well north of Monte Vigese and take Lagaro.
  • Russian troops make more progress on the island of Oesel and in the Riga area; enemy attacks in the Polish area of Pultusk are repelled. More than 300 Hungarian places are captured and in Yugoslavia 40 more places are occupied.
  • More than 3,000 allied heavy bombers make the biggest daylight air assault of the war on targets in Germany and German-occupied areas; one of the objectives is the Kembs dam, in the Rhine, which is breached.

October 8, 1944

  • Hoogerheide and Calmpthout are freed in the advance around the Scheldt estuary; heavy fighting continues in the Leopold Canal bridgehead. The gap north-east of Aachen is closed to about four miles and advances are made on the north and to the south-west of Hurtgen; in the Metz area the northern half of Maiziferes-Ies-Metz is cleared, and hard fighting continues in Fort Driant. Several towns are liberated in the Nancy area.
  • Troops of the 8th Army cross the upper reaches of the River Fiumicino; in the direction of the Via Emilia British troops enter the village of Montilgallo. In the central sector U.S. troops advance a further two miles towards Bologna.
  • More Russian successes are gained on Oesel and in the Riga direction, and troops of the 1st Baltic front pass to the offensive and capture Shavli (Siauliai) in a four days’ drive of 62 miles. Good progress is made in Hungary and Yugoslavia.
  • U.S. troops occupy Garakayo, in the Palau group.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Private, 5891907, Richard Henry BURTON, Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - No. 5891907 Private Richard Henry Burton, 1st Battalion, The Duke of Wellington's (West Riding) Regiment. On 8th October 1944 at Monte Ceco, Italy, when an assault was held up, Private Burton rushed forward from his platoon and engaged a Spandau position with his tommy gun, killing three of the crew. Later, again showing complete disregard for his own safety he disposed of the crews of two machine-guns and thanks to his outstanding courage the company was able to consolidate the position. Afterwards, in spite of the fact that most of his comrades were either dead or wounded, he repelled two counter-attacks, directing such accurate fire that the enemy retired.

October 9, 1944

  • Enemy attempts to eliminate the Leopold Canal bridge-head are repulsed; allied troops land on the south shore of the Scheldt estuary and make good progress. Several counter attacks in the Aachen area are held, as are others north of Metz. There are advances in the area north of Nancy and several towns, including Sivry, are occupied.
  • More progress is made by the Americans along the Florence-Bologna Road and British troops continue to attack Monte Cece to the east; 8th Army British troops move farther up towards the Via Emilia and to the south-west Indian forces take San Lorenzo.
  • British troops in Greece enter Corinth; an attack is opened on the Albanian port of Sarande.
  • Further progress is made by Soviet troops on the Baltic fronts where more than 350 places are occupied; the successful offensives in Northern Transylvania, Yugoslavia and Hungary continue.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack objectives in the Schweinfurt, Coblenz and Mainz areas.
  • It is stated in the House of Commons that Mr. Churchill and Mr. Eden are in Moscow for discussions with Marshal Stalin.

October 10, 1944

  • The landing force on the south bank of the Scheldt estuary improves its positions east of Breskens and north of Antwerp the main road leading to South Beveland is cut. More progress is made in the Aachen area and a 24-hour ultimatum to surrender is served on the German forces in the town. Stiff fighting continues south-west of Hurtgen and in other sectors.
  • U.S. troops enter the outskirts of Livernagno on the road to Bologna and gain further high ground east of the Florence-Bologna Road; 5th Army British troops capture Monte Cece. On the 8th Army front British and Indian troops clear more high ground.
  • Russian troops make further progress in their Baltic drives and in Lithuania reach the coast south of Libau; in Northern Transylvania the advance on Cluj continues and in Hungary further progress is made towards Debreczen.
  • The Admiralty announces the loss of destroyer H.M.S. Rockingham (Lieut.-Com. J. C. Cooper. R.N.V.R.)

October 11, 1944

  • The allied bridgehead over the Leopold Canal is firmly held and landings on the south shore of the Scheldt are reinforced; west of Arnhem the enemy withdraws from one area on the south bank of the lower Rhine. The attack on Aachen is renewed on the German garrison refusing to surrender and an advance is made south-east of the town. Limited gains are made in the Vosges foothills.
  • In Italy ground is gained by 8th Army troops in the Adriatic sector on both sides of the Via Emilia a few miles from Cesena; on the 5th Army front heavy fighting continues in the Livergnano area.
  • Russian troops of the 2nd Ukrainian front carry by assault the capital of Transylvania, the town of Cluj; in Hungary other troops force the River Tisza and capture Szeged.
  • It is reported that Sarande, on the Albanian coast, has been captured by troops of Land Forces, Adriatic.
  • Lancaster bombers attack gun emplacements and the dyke near Veere, on Walcheren Island; Flying Fortresses bomb targets in Cologne and Coblenz.

October 12, 1944

  • Further reinforcements are landed on the south shore of the Scheldt estuary, and in the Leopold Canal bridgehead Biezen is cleared of the enemy; Overloon is captured. The enemy launches a heavy counter-attack north-east of Aachen and fighting continues at Haaren and Wuerselen. A slight advance is made east of Stolberg and farther south Vossenack is reached; east of Luneville the town of Parroy is cleared and good gains are made in the Epinal-Belfort sector.
  • Between Savignano and Cesena 8th Army troops make steady progress; Balignano, Massa and other villages are captured and advances are made in other sectors; in the Livergnano area heavy fighting continues.
  • Oradea-Mare is captured by Marshal Malinovsky’s troops and further progress is made south-west of Debreczen and Szeged; Smederevo, south-east of Belgrade, is occupied.
  • Halifax bombers attack a synthetic oil plant at Wanne Eickel, in the Ruhr, and Flying Fortresses and Liberators bomb targets in Bremen and Osnabrueck.

October 13, 1944

  • The Leopold Canal bridgehead is slightly extended and to the north of the canal progress is made; allied troops south of Overloon advance about 1,500 yards. North of Aachen several enemy counter-attacks are repulsed; south of Kohlscheid and Wuerselen allied troops move forward. Progress is made in Hurtgen Forest; east of Nancy further parts of the Foret de Parroy are cleared.
  • In spite of bad weather 8th Army troops push forward; 5th Army troops take Gesso and Monte Bombiano.
  • Troops of the 3rd Baltic front, closely co-operating with 2nd Baltic front troops, capture Riga; Bistrita, in Northern Transylvania, and Topola, in Yugoslavia, are occupied.
  • The U.S. Navy Department announces that in two attacks on Formosa by a Pacific Fleet Task Force 396 enemy aeroplanes are destroyed, 63 ships sunk or damaged and 35 small craft sunk or damaged.

October 14, 1944

  • Field Marshall Erwin Rommel commits suicide by taking poison. The suicide comes after he is implicated in the assassination attempt against Hitler.
  • A further crossing of the Leopold Canal is made near Watervliet; the allied hold on the neck of the South Beveland peninsula remains firm. A further advance of 1,000 yards is made south-east of Overloon. House-to-house fighting takes place within the north-eastern edge of Aachen.
  • South of Casena 8th Army troops capture the heights of Monte dell’ Erta and Monte Chicco and other high ground; 5th Army troops move forward against fierce resistance.
  • Athens, the capital of Greece, and the Piraeus are occupied by British troops.
  • Red Army troops and Marshal Tito’s forces reach the outskirts of Belgrade; fierce engagements continue on other fronts.
  • S.E.A.C. Headquarters reports that an attack with tanks, supported by artillery and aircraft, has been launched against enemy positions north of Tiddim.
  • A large force of Super-Fortresses attack Okayama, on Formosa.
  • More than 1,000 Lancasters and Halifaxes drop over 4,500 tons of explosives and incendiaries on Duisburg; Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack Cologne and targets in the Kaiserlautern and Saarbruecken areas. At night Duisburg receives another heavy assault by R.A.F. heavy bombers.
A 4000-lb high explosive bomb and a shower of incendiaries leaving the bomb bay of a R.A.F Lancaster
A 4000-lb high explosive bomb and a shower of incendiaries leaving the bomb bay of a
Lancaster during an air attack on Duisburg on 14th October 1944

October 15, 1944

  • Allied troops join up along the western shore of Savojaard Plaat and merge with the bridgehead in the Watervliet area; north of Antwerp Woensdrecht is captured. Pressure on Aachen continues with house-to-house fighting in the outskirts, and an advance is made north of the city. Our progress in the Vosges foothills gains momentum; north-west of Baccarat the towns of Glonville and Fontenoy are occupied.
  • In the Adriatic sector Canadian troops take Gambettola, and Sant’ Aneelo is also captured; a general advance is made in the hills south of Cesena. Livergnano and several other villages are occupied by the 5th Army.
  • The Aegean Island of Naxos surrenders to the allied forces.
  • Russian troops of the Karelian front capture the Finnish town of Petsamo; gains are made west of Riga. In Northern Transylvania Dej and many other places are taken and in Yugoslavia Pozarevac and Krusevac are occupied.
  • In an Order of the Day broadcast from Budapest, Admiral Horthy, the Hungarian regent, asks for an armistice.
  • Lancasters score hits with a new type of “earthquake” 12,000-lb. bomb (designed by engineer Banes Wallis) on Sorpe, the third of the great Ruhr dams; bombers of the U.S. 8th Air Force make another attack on Cologne. Lancasters and Halifaxes bomb Wilhelmshaven.
A collection of bombs, for R.A.F aircraft, ranging from 40-pounders to ten-tonner 'Grand Slam'
A collection of bombs, for R.A.F aircraft, ranging from 40-pounders to ten-tonner 'Grand Slam'

October 16, 1944

  • Steady progress continues north of the Leopold Canal and enemy counter-attacks in the Woensdrecht area are held; on the cast of the Dutch salient gains are made in the Venraij area. Progress continues in the house-to-house fighting in Aachen.
  • Troops of the 8th Army push on towards Cesena and the River Savio is approached at several points; 5th Army troops advance a mile beyond Livergnano.
  • More progress is made by the Russians in the Riga area and in Northern Transylvania, where more than 100 places are liberated; operations against Belgrade are begun and Bulgarian troops in Yugoslavia co-operating with the Yugoslav National Army fight their way into Nish.
  • From Hungary it is announced that Admiral Horthy has resigned his post as Regent and is succeeded by the pro-Nazi Ferenc Szalasi.
  • U.S. Super-Fortresses make another attack on Okayama, on Formosa: the battle in the region of Formosa and Luzon continues.
  • H.M. the King returns to England from a five-day tour of the battle areas in France, Holland and Belgium.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Private 6092111 George Harold EARLEY, King's Shropshire Light Infantry awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - No. 6092111 Acting Sergeant George Harold Eardley, 4th Battalion, The King's Shropshire Light Infantry. On 16th October 1944 east of Overloon, Holland, Sergeant Eardley's platoon was ordered to clear some orchards where a strong opposition was holding up the advance, but 80 yards away from the objective the platoon was halted by automatic fire from machine-gun posts. Sergeant Eardley spotted one of these posts and moving forward under heavy fire killed the officer at the post with a grenade. He went on to destroy two more posts single-handed, under fire so intense that it daunted those who were with him, but his action enabled the platoon to achieve its objective and thus ensured the success of the whole attack.
Landing-craft packed with British troops making their way to the dock side in Piraeus, 1944
Landing-craft packed with British troops making their way to the dock side in
Piraeus where they went ashore on 16th October 1944

October 17, 1944

  • More progress is made in the Scheldt pocket; other forces reach the outskirts of Venraij. Allied troops mop up north-cast of Aachen and maintain lines completely encircling the city, where house-to-house fighting continues. Fighting continues in Maizières-les-Metz.
  • More progress towards Casena is made by 8th Army troops; Monte Reale is captured in a night attack.
  • More progress is made by Russian and Rumanian troops in Northern Transylvania, and street-battles take place in Belgrade; in Yugoslavia the town of Prokuplye is taken.
  • American aircraft raid Northern Luzon, in the Philippines, and sink or damage seven ships and destroy 19 aircraft.
  • U.S. Flying Fortresses and Liberators make another heavy attack on Cologne and R.A.F. Lancasters bomb Walcheren.

October 18, 1944

  • Progress is made south of the Scheldt to within 3,000 yards of Breskens; Venraij, on the east side of the Dutch salient, is captured. Stubborn resistance is met in house-to-house fighting in Aachen, to the north-east of which counter-attacks are repelled. North-east of Hurtgen counter-attacks are beaten back.
  • In Italy the 8th Army advances in the direction of Cesena; New Zealand troops clear the village of Ruffino. On the 5th Army front U.S. troops gain more elevated ground on the main Florence-Bologna Road.
  • Russian 4th Ukrainian front troops cross the ridge of the Carpathian Mountains and advance into Czechoslovakia on a 170 miles front to a depth of from 12 to 30 miles; in Northern Transylvania Russo-Rumanian troops capture several towns. In Yugoslavia more progress is made, and there is continued street fighting in Belgrade.
  • Lancasters of Bomber Command attack Bonn; the U.S. 8th Air Force bomb the Cologne and Kassel areas.

October 19, 1944

  • Good progress is made south of Breskens; troops advancing from the Leopold Canal bridgehead take Middelburg and Aardenburg. More gains are made south of Venraij and progress continues in Aachen. Fighting goes on in Maizieres-les-Metz and in the Epinal area gains are made near Bruyeres. Several counter-attacks north-east of Le Thillot are repulsed.
  • Cesena is entered by 8th Army troops and several heights in the Bedente Valley are occupied; in their advance towards Bologna the 5th Army troops meet with bitter opposition.
  • North-west of Mitau (Yelgava) Russian troops capture a number of inhabited localities. Further progress is reported in Czechoslovakia, Northern Transylvania and Hungary, and clearing operations continue in Belgrade. The Germans announce that Soviet forces have entered East Prussia.
  • S.E.A.C. Headquarters announces that Indian troops of the 14th Army have taken Tiddim.
  • A large force of Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack targets at Mainz and in the Ludwigshaven-Mannheim area. At night Bomber Command aircraft visit Stuttgart, Nuremberg and Wiesbaden.
Infantrymen of the 8th Army making their way through a rubble-strewn street in Cesena, 1944
Infantrymen of the 8th Army making their way through a rubble-strewn
street in Cesena which was occupied on 19th October 1944

October 20, 1944

  • To the north of Antwerp allied forces advance more than three miles to the area of Loenhout and progress is made south-east of Clampthout. In the Scheldt pocket more ground is taken south of Schoondijke and the original bridge-head is merged with the main westward drive. Our troops in Aachen fight their way through the main part of the city, which surrenders.
  • Troops of the 8th Army make considerable progress in the Po Valley and capture Cesenatico; almost all of Cesena is now occupied.
  • British troops in Greece are reported to have captured Thebes.
  • German staff in the Auschwitz concentration camp begin the destruction of documents and facilities relating to the activities within the camp.
  • The Adriatic port of Dubrovnik is reported to have fallen to Marshal Tito’s men.
  • Russian 3rd Ukrainian front troops and Marshal Tito’s forces complete the liberation of Belgrade and 2nd Ukrainian front troops take Debreczen, in Hungary.
  • General MacArthur announces that in a major amphibious operation the eastern coast of Leyte, in the centre of the Philippine Islands, has been seized.

October 21, 1944

  • Allied troops enter the outskirts of Breskens and north of Antwerp good progress is made towards Esschen. House-to-house fighting continues in Maizières-les-Metz; further gains are made east of Epinal.
  • In the Adriatic sector, 8th Army troops drive the enemy back on the River Savio and establish a bridgehead west of Cesena; progress is made beyond Cesenatico. More heights are taken by U.S. troops of the 5th Army.
  • Greek guerrillas liberate Yannina; Metsevo is also freed.
  • Several inhabited localities in Northern Transylvania are captured by the Russians and in Hungary more progress towards Budapest is made; Kragujevac, in Yugoslavia, is liberated.
  • The Japanese report more landings on Leyte Island, in the Philippines, in the vicinity of Tacloban, the capital, where two beachheads had been established in the original landings. General MacArthur’s forces are driving inland.

October 22, 1944

  • Inside the Scheldt pocket Breskens, Fort Frederik-Hendrik and Schoondijke are occupied and progress from Aardenburg is made; Esschen is cleared of the enemy. An attack is launched in the area east of Hertogenbosch. Gains are made north-east and east of Luneville: north-east of Epinal Brouvelieures is taken.
  • More progress is made by 8th Army troops, who capture Cervia, 13 miles from Ravenna; west of Cesena, the Savio bridgehead is extended. Heavy fighting on the 5th Army front south-west of Castel San Pietro continues.
  • It is reported that a naval landing was made on Lemnos on 16th October and that Mudros was occupied on the following day.
  • The Russians capture the Hungarian town of Nyireghaza and the Yugoslav town of Sombor; in the Belgrade area the River Save is crossed and Semlin is occupied. In Finland Karelian front troops reach the Norwegian border.
  • General MacArthur’s forces, it is announced, advance in all sectors on Leyte Island, capturing Tacloban and Dulag.
  • Targets in Hamm, Muenster, Hanover and Brunswick are bombed by Flying Fortresses and Liberators; Neuss, near Duesseldorf, is attacked by Lancasters.
  • Mr. Churchill returns by air from his Moscow visit.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Private K.52880 Ernest Alvia SMITH, Canadian Army awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - No. K. 52880 Private Ernest Alvia Smith, The Seaforth Highlanders of Canada, Canadian Infantry Corps. On the night of 21st/22nd October 1944 at the River Savio, North Italy, Private Smith was in the spearhead of the attack which established a bridgehead over the river. With a P.I.A.T. (Projector, Infantry, Anti-Tank) gun he put an enemy tank out of action at a range of 30 feet, and while protecting a wounded comrade, he destroyed another tank and two self-propelled guns, as well as routing a number of the enemy infantry.

October 23, 1944

  • Progress is made in the area south of Breskens and to the north of Antwerp, where there is a fresh advance into Holland; another crossing of the road and railway into Beveland and Walcheren is made. The edge of Hertogenbosch is reached and to the south allied troops approach Boxtel. Street fighting continues in Maizières-les-Metz; the River Mortagne is crossed north-east of Brouvelieures.
  • West of Cesena 8th Army troops press forward and the Savio bridgehead continues to be enlarged; on the coast the village of Pisignano is cleared.
  • British troops in Greece are on Euboea, which is reported to be free of the enemy.
  • A Russian communique confirms the advance into East Prussia, stating that a penetration up to 18 miles on an 85-miles’ front has been made. More progress is made in the north of Finland and in the Memel area. In Northern Transylvania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia operations continue successfully.
  • U.S. forces on Leyte Island, in the Philippines, extend their positions on all fronts; Palo is occupied.
  • R.A.F. bombers drop 4,500 tons of high-explosive and incendiary bombs on Essen; Berlin is also attacked.

October 24, 1944

  • South of Breskens allied troops reach the edge of Oostburg and gains are made south of Roosendaal; fighting takes place in the outskirts of Hertogenbosch.
  • In the Adriatic sector British troops move well beyond the River Savio on both sides of the Via Emilia; Monte Cavallo, south-west of Cesena, is captured by Gurkhas. American troops of the 5th Army take Monte Belmonte and engage in stern fighting farther east.
  • The Russians continue their sweep into East Prussia towards which a new drive is begun from Suwalki, on the east. Munkacz, in Czechoslovakia, is occupied and Satu-mare, in Northern Transylvania is entered.
  • Bomber Command aircraft attack objectives in Hanover and Western Germany.

October 25, 1944

  • Allied forces drive the enemy from the northern and eastern sections of Hertogenbosch; Boxtel is freed. In progress towards South Beveland Rilland is captured; in the Scheldt pocket allied troops move towards Poldertje and Fort Frederik Hendrik, from which a withdrawal had been made, is recaptured. In the Epinal and Vosges areas there is stiff fighting.
  • The village of Forlimpopoli, on the road to Forli, is occupied by 8th Army troops; Canadian troops advance more than four miles north-west of Cesena.
  • Russian troops cross the frontier of Norway and take Kirkenes; in East Prussia a number of enemy strong-points are captured. The whole of Transylvania is cleared of the enemy.
  • In a naval action off the Philippines, it is officially announced that the American Fleet has sunk one large Japanese aircraft-carrier and damaged two aircraft-carriers, five or six battleships, one cruiser and other warships.
  • On Leyte Island the American advance continues.
  • Hamm railway-yards and other objectives are attacked by Flying Fortresses and Liberators; Essen and a synthetic oil plant at Homberg are bombed by Lancasters and Halifaxes.
  • Victoria Cross recipient Subadar, Ram Sarup Singh, 1st Punjab Regiment awarded the Victoria Cross: “In Burma on the 25th October, 1944, two platoons of the 1st Punjab Regiment were ordered to put in a diversionary attack on the flank of an enemy position. This feature was of exceptional natural strength and was defended by a large force of fresh Japanese troops who had turned the hill into a fortress. Every approach was covered by medium and light machine guns sited in bunkers. The platoon of Subadar Ram Sarup Singh at once charged the position with another section. This instantaneous action completely bewildered the enemy, who fled from the bunkered positions suffering casualties in their retreat. The Subadar was wounded in the legs but took no notice of his wounds. While he was consolidating his position, the enemy opened heavy fire with grenade dischargers, and at the same time put in a strong counter-attack in three waves of twenty each from a flank. It seemed that the platoon must be overwhelmed, but Subadar Ram Sarup Singh got another light machine gun into position and led a charge against the advancing enemy, bayonetting four himself, and checking them. Although badly wounded in the thigh, he got up and, ignoring his wound, again went for the enemy shouting encouragement to his men. He bayonetted another Japanese and shot a further one, but was mortally wounded by a burst of medium machine gun fire in the chest and neck. It would be difficult to find a finer example of cool bravery, cheerfulness, leadership and determination. His action had a profound effect on the rest of the Company, and when volunteers were called for to bring in his body, under the heaviest fire, the entire Company volunteered. Subadar Ram Sarup Singh's gallantry will inspire the Regiment for all time.”

October 26, 1944

  • Fighting continues in Hertogenbosch and our troops reach within 4,000 yards of Roosendaal, the enemy withdrawing from there along the line to Tilburg. British troops cross the Scheldt and land on the south shore of Beveland; further gains are made in the neck of the Beveland peninsula and in the Leopold Canal area. North-east of Epinal more progress takes place.
  • In Italy the 8th Army advances to the River Ronco and farther south Indian troops reach the river and make crossings; other troops establish a bridgehead over the River Bevano.
  • Larissa is occupied by Greek guerrilla forces.
  • In Norway the Red Army makes more progress but increasing resistance is met in East Prussia; in Czechoslovakia the important communication centre of Mukacevo (Munkacs) is captured and the offensive in Hungary continues successfully.
  • In the naval action off the Philippines the enemy losses are now stated to be one large and one light aircraft-carrier and four cruisers sunk, and two battleships and one large aircraft-carrier probably sunk.
  • Targets in Bielefeld, Muenster, Hanover and the northern Ruhr are attacked by Flying Fortresses and Halifaxes; Lancasters bomb a chemical works at Leverkusen.

October 27, 1944

  • In South Beveland there is some progress; in the Scheldt pocket Groede is in allied hands. Bergen-op-Zoom is occupied, Tilburg is entered and the enemy is cleared from Hertogenbosch; a counter-attack near Meijel, on the east side of the Dutch salient, is checked; some progress takes place near Rambervillers and farther south.
  • Bad weather in Italy brings operations almost to a standstill.
  • Troops of the Russian 4th Ukrainian front capture Uzhorod, in Czechoslovakia, and several places in Hungary; Novi-Sad, Kula and a number of inhabited localities in Yugoslavia are occupied.
  • American losses in the Philippines battle are stated to be the aircraft-carrier Princeton, two escort-carriers, two destroyers and a destroyer-escort; the enemy had 27 warships sunk, probably sunk or damaged.
  • Mosquitoes make two attacks on Berlin.

October 28, 1944

  • In South Beveland the allied bridgehead over the Beveland Canal is extended; south of the Scheldt Zuidzande is reached. Counter-attacks north and west of Meijel, on the east of the Dutch salient, are repelled. Limited gains are made east of Bruyeres; the village of Jussarupt is captured.
  • There is little activity on the Italian front, which is confined to patrolling.
  • Russian troops capture several places in the Petsamo area and on Norwegian soil; Jablonna-Leginovo, north of Praga, is occupied. Many more places in Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Yugoslavia are taken.
  • The armistice agreement between Bulgaria and Russia, Great Britain and the United States is signed in Moscow.
  • U.S. troops continue to make good progress on the island of Leyte.
  • In daylight Lancasters and Halifaxes give Cologne its heaviest air attack; Flying Fortresses bomb marshalling-yards at Hamm and Muenster. At night Mosquitoes make two attacks on Cologne; Lancasters bomb U-boat pens at Bergen.

October 29, 1944

  • Cadzand and Zuidzande, south of the Scheldt, are captured, and in South Beveland allied troops take Goes and link up with the seaborne force in the Hoedekenskerke area. Allied forces continue their advance along the whole front south of the Maas and Breda is freed; more progress is made north of Tilburg. Slight gains take place in the Lundville sector.
  • On Czechoslovak territory Russian troops take the town and railway-station of Csop, and in Hungary a number of inhabited localities are captured.
  • British troops in Greece capture Kozani; the enemy is withdrawing to the north.
  • The German battleship Tirpitz, lying near the south end of Haakoy Island, Norway, is attacked by Lancasters. Cologne is again attacked by aircraft of Bomber Command and Berlin is also visited.
  • Japanese losses in the Philippines battle are now officially stated as 24 ships sunk, 13 possibly sunk and 21 damaged.
civilians from Breda watch the liberating Polish troops of the Canadian 1st Arm
After occupying the Dutch town of Breda on 29th October 1944 civilians watch the liberating
Polish troops of the Canadian 1st Army as they march through the town

October 30, 1944

  • The whole of South Beveland is in allied hands and the causeway to Walcheren is reached; Retranchement, in the Scheldt pocket, is freed; there is heavy fighting in the area of Sluis. Good gains are made in the Bergen-op-Zoom-Roosendaal sector, where Roosendaal is captured; north-west of Tilburg the allied advance continues on a broad front. Maizières-les-Metz is completely freed, and slight gains are made east of Rambervillers.
  • Activity in the Adriatic sector in Italy is still held up by the weather conditions; to the south-west of Ravenna allied troops reach the east bank of the Ronco.
  • More progress is made by Soviet troops in Czechoslovakia, and in Hungary an important railway-station north-west of Satu-Mare is captured.
  • Aircraft of Bomber Command make another night attack on Cologne. Targets in the Hamburg-Harburg area and at Hamm and Muenster are bombed by Flying Fortresses and Liberators.

October 31, 1944

  • There is heavy fighting on the South Beveland-Walcheren causeway; between Oudenbosch and Breda the line of the River Mark is reached and crossings are made. The River Maas is reached north of Capelle, and Ramsdonk, Sprang and Waalwijk are; taken. Liesel is captured and further south more progress is made.
  • Troops of the 8th Army improve their positions on both sides of the Via Emilia; the bridgehead across the Ronco is strengthened. On the 5th Army front counter-attacks are repulsed south of Bologna.
  • In Hungary in the Debreczen area more than 50 inhabited places fall to the Russians and in the Budapest direction they occupy a further 200 inhabited localities.
  • Lancasters attack the synthetic oil plant at Bottrop, in the Ruhr; Cologne is visited at night.
24 Mosquitoes of the R.A.F launched an attack on the Gestapo Headquarters in 1944
On 31st October 1944 24 Mosquitoes of R.A.F 2nd Tactical Air Force
launched an attack on the Gestapo Headquarters

NOVEMBER 1944

November 1, 1944

  • Allied forces land on Walcheren Island, establish two beachheads and occupy a large part of Flushing; Sluis and Westkapelle are cleared of the enemy. In the Scheldt pocket our troops are fighting in Knocke. Stiff fighting takes place in the crossings area of the River Mark and our hold on the south bank of the River Maas is increased. Letricourt and Abaucourt, north of Nancy, are cleared and gains are made south-east of Luneville and elsewhere.
  • In Italy the 5th Army makes further progress towards Bologna and 8th Army troops press steadily on in the direction of Forli, crossing the River Ronco, and Ravenna.
  • British forces enter Salonika, in Greece.
  • Russian troops in Finland clear the Petsamo region; more progress is made in Hungary, where Kecskemet and Lajos Misze are occupied.
  • S.E.A.C. Headquarters reports a steady advance down the Myitkyina-Mandalay railway towards Katha.
  • Halifaxes attack Oberhausen and Lancasters visit other targets in the Ruhr. Liberators and Flying Fortresses bomb objectives at Gelsenkirchen, Hamm and Coblenz.

November 2, 1944

  • Progress is made on Walcheren Island; all resistance east of the Leopold Canal ceases, but mopping up continues in Zeebrugge itself. Gains are made in the Meijel and Hurtgen areas, and Vossenack is captured. Baccarat, in the Vosges foothills, is freed and more progress is made farther south.
  • Troops of the 8th Army close on the Forli airfield and patrols reach the River Rabbi.
  • North and north-west of Nyiregyhaza Soviet troops clear the left bank of the River Tisza; in the Budapest direction Nagy-Koros and a number of other inhabited localities are occupied.
  • American troops make further progress on Leyte Island against a stubborn enemy rear-guard action.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators, escorted by fighters, attack oil targets in Germany, and during an air battle 208 enemy aircraft are destroyed, 130 by the fighters; Lancasters bomb the synthetic oil plant at Homberg. At night Lancasters and Halifaxes drop more than 4,000 tons of bombs on Duesseldorf.

November 3, 1944

  • Domburg, on Walcheren Island, is captured, but there is still some resistance in the northern part of Flushing; allied troops from South Beveland land on Walcheren from the east. Enemy resistance in the Scheldt “pocket” ends. Our bridgeheads on the River Mark are extended and progress is made north-east of Weert. Allied forces make small gains south of Vossenack and enter the town of Schmidt. To the south a number of villages are taken.
  • In Italy bad weather curtails activity, which is confined to patrolling.
  • In East Prussia, north and south of Goldap, the Russians repel strong infantry and tank attacks. More than 100 inhabited localities, including Bugyi, are liberated in the Budapest direction between the Tisza and the Danube.
  • On Leyte Island the enemy is cleared out of Carigara.
  • Super-Fortresses make a heavy attack on Rangoon.

November 4, 1944

  • Flushing is cleared of the enemy and gains are made north of the town; on the Dutch mainland Steenbergen, Nieuw and several other places are occupied and our bridgeheads on the River Mark are enlarged. More progress is made west of Venlo, but a withdrawal is made from Schmidt. Some progress takes place in the Hurtgen, Luneville and Baccarat areas.
  • Operations in Italy are still hampered as a result of the weather, roads and communications having been badly damaged by the rains.
  • More British troops land near Salonika, in Greece; it is announced that, except for small groups, no Germans are left in the country.
  • In an Order of the Day Marshal Stalin announces the capture of Szolnok, on the Tisza, and more than 40 other places; enemy counter-attacks in East Prussia, north and south of Goldap, are repelled.
  • Super-Fortresses make another attack on targets at Rangoon.
  • Carrier-borne aircraft of the U.S. 3rd Fleet heavily damage warships and other shipping in Manila harbour; nearly 200 enemy aircraft are destroyed, 90 of them in the air.
  • Hamburg-Harburg and Misburg oil refineries and targets at Gelsenkirchen, Saarbruecken and Solingen are attacked by R.A.F. heavy bombers; at night objectives at Bechum and Hanover are hit and the Dortmund-Ems Canal is again breached by Lancasters.

November 5, 1944

  • Excellent progress is made in Western Holland; Heusden is captured and allied forces approach the line of the Maas and the Hollandsche Diep and progress is made north-east of Domburg, on Walcheren Island. Small gains are made in the Hurtgen Forest against strong enemy resistance. In the Moselle Valley Berg is freed and progress continues in the Baccarat sector.
  • More counter-attacks in East Prussia are repelled by the Soviet forces; the offensive in the direction of Budapest continues.
  • The naval base at Singapore is bombed by American B29 Super-Fortresses.
  • Railway-yards at Frankfort, Karlsruhe and Ludwigshaven are attacked by Flying Fortresses and Liberators.

November 6, 1944

  • Middelburg and Veere, on Walcheren Island, are freed and on the Dutch mainland allied troops reach Willemstad. Enemy resistance continues in the Hurtgen Forest, and a counter-attack west of Hurtgen is repelled. Progress is made east of Lundville and several towns north and south-east of Baccarat are liberated.
  • In Italy 8th Army troops advance in the direction of Forli; Polish troops clear the village of Marsignano after house-to-house fighting. Monte Testa is recaptured and to the west two dominating peaks are occupied.
  • No material changes on the Russian front are reported; progress towards Budapest continues.
  • Yugoslav forces liberate the important communication centre of Bitolj (Monastir).
  • Lancasters and Halifaxes attack Gelsenkirchen and Flying Fortresses and Liberators bomb targets in the Hamburg-Harburg area, at Neumuenster, in the Duisberg region and elsewhere. At night Coblenz is heavily attacked by Lancasters.

November 7, 1944

  • The south shore of the Hollandsche Diep and the Maas River, except for a small part, are in allied hands; on Walcheren fighting continues north-east of Demburg. Action proceeds in the Hurtgen Forest and in the village of Vossenack; west of Schmidt our positions are improved.
  • Steady progress continues towards Forli; Polish troops capture Monte Casaluda.
  • The Russian High Command states that there are no material changes to report.
  • From S.E.A.C. Headquarters it is announced that troops of the 5th Army have occupied Kennedy Peak.

November 8, 1944

  • Polish troops wipe out the last enemy pocket at Moerdijk and progress is made towards the River Maas; on Walcheren Island all organised resistance ceases. Troops of the U.S. 3rd Army continue to advance and the River Moselle is crossed at two more places north of Metz; infantry capture 13 towns and villages between Metz and Nancy.
  • Troops of the 8th Army in the Adriatic sector advance towards Forli; farther west Polish troops capture Dovadola.
  • There is no material change on the Russian front.
  • Sharp fighting on the Ormoc road, in Leyte Island, is reported, Japanese attacks being repulsed.
  • In Burma fighting continues around Fort White.
  • Lancasters, escorted by Spitfires, attack the oil plant at Homberg, in the Ruhr; Flying Fortresses-and Liberators bomb the Leuna plant at Merseburg and railway-yards at Rheine, north-west of Muenster.

November 9, 1944

  • Allied forces advance east of the Moselle Valley in the Metz-Nancy area; Chateau-Salins is taken. South-east of Pont-a-Mousson units reach Morvilles-les-Vic and enter Bois de Aulnois; Cheminot is captured. There is heavy fighting west of Schmidt and south-west of Hurtgen; some progress is made in other sectors.
  • Forli is captured by 8th Army forces; local gains are made in other sectors.
  • More than 50 inhabited places between the Rivers Tisza and Danube are captured by the Soviet forces.
  • S.E.A.C. Headquarters announces the capture of Fort White; two other thrusts into enemy-held territory make steady progress.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack tactical targets in the Metz area and railway marshalling-yards at Saarbruecken; Lancasters bomb objectives in the Ruhr.
  • It is announced that the number of United Nations merchant vessels sunk by U-boats in October was the lowest for any month of the war.

November 10, 1944

  • Allied forces continue to advance in the Metz-Nancy sector; Viviers is freed and small gains are made in the Maizières-les-Metz area. In the Moselle River bridgehead progress is made south and east of Koenigsmacher and allied forces in the Hurtgen area continue to attack; in the Meurthe Valley Le Menil and Biarville are taken.
  • Following the capture of Forli, 8th Army troops advance to the north-west of the town.
  • More inhabited localities are taken by the Russians and the railway between Budapest and Miskolcz is cut.
  • From the Philippines it is reported that U.S. forces converging on Ormoc, in Leyte Island, have advanced a further five miles.
  • Military targets in the Cologne and Frankfort areas are attacked by Flying Fortresses and Liberators. At night Mosquitoes visit Hanover.
  • In the House of Commons Mr. Churchill announces that a number of long-range rockets, fired from Walcheren Island and other areas, had landed in England.

November 11, 1944

  • Further progress is made in the Metz-Nancy sector; south-east of Metz Bechy and Tragny have been freed; fighting continues west of Schmidt. In the Luneville-Bruyeres area gains are made at many points and several small towns are occupied; advances are made farther to the south.
  • Beyond Forli a bridgehead over the Canale Nuovo is forced by 8th Army troops; Gambellara, between the Via Emilia and the coast, is cleared of the enemy.
  • Ujszasz and a number of other places between the Rivers Tisza and Danube are occupied by the Red Army. It is announced that combined Soviet and Yugoslav forces have crossed the Danube on a 40-mile front between Baja and Apatin.
  • It is reported that Nanking, Shanghai and Kyushu have been attacked by Super-Fortresses.
  • Escorted Lancasters attack the Castrop-Rauxel oil plant in the Ruhr; Flying Fortresses and Liberators bomb oil plants in Gelsenkirchen and railway-yards near Coblenz.
  • At night Bomber Command aircraft make their targets Harburg and Dortmund.
  • Mr. Churchill, accompanied by Mr. Eden, arrives in Paris and receives a tumultuous reception from the people.

November 12, 1944

  • In the Nancy-Metz sector thrusts are made to the east of Pont-a-Mousson; armour and infantry reach Conthil and Liedresingen and other units enter Chateau Brehain and Dalhain. The Moselle bridgehead below Thionville is reinforced and farther south advances are made and several villages are taken.
  • Troops of the 8th Army advance to within four miles of Ravenna.
  • Russian troops fight their way into Mezoekoevesd and Monor and take more than 30 other inhabited places. Bulgarian troops captured Kumanovo, in Yugoslavia.
  • General MacArthur reports an advance of three miles in Leyte Island, where Mount Catabaran is captured.
  • S.E.A.C. Headquarters announces that the Stockades, two strong-points on the road east from Tiddim, have been cleared; there is stiff enemy resistance in the Bhamo area of Northern Burma.
  • Germany’s 45,000-ton battleship Tirpitz is sunk in Tromso Fjord with 12,000-lb. bombs dropped during an attack by 29 Lancasters of Bomber Command.
  • British naval forces destroy 10 out of an enemy convoy of 11 ships off the Norwegian coast.

November 13, 1944

  • Third Army troops continue to advance north and south of Metz; Corny, Pommerieux, Verney and Liehom are taken. Gains are made east of Luneville; Leintray and Montigny are occupied. An enemy counter-attack south-east of Baccarat is smashed; substantial gains are made south-east of Bruyeres.
  • British and Polish troops of the 8th Army advance beyond Forli and the Forli-Florence Road; the River Montone is crossed at several places and to the left the Poles advance 3,000 yards.
  • Russian troops fighting in Hungary force their way into Jaszapati and several other inhabited places.

November 14, 1944

  • Allied forces attack in the sector east of Weert; the village of Eind is freed and bridgeheads are established over the Noorder and Wessem Canals. Bridgeheads over the Moselle in the Koenigsmacher and Thionville areas are joined; Freching and Kunzig are reached and Orny is captured. More gains are made north-east of Baccarat, east of Bruyeres and in the Belfort sector.
  • British 8th Army troops advance from their bridgeheads over the Montone, west of Forli; progress is made south of the Via Emilia in the San Varano area.
  • Soviet troops capture the town and railway-station of Nagykata; south of Budapest the German bridgehead on the eastern bank of the Danube is liquidated and Solt is captured.
  • Mr. Churchill arrives back in England from his visit to France.

November 15, 1944

  • Allied forces advance 7,000 yards in the Weert area; in the Thionville area Ullange is cleared and farther south Feves and Quaraille are liberated. Our forces enter Morkhingen, Baronweiler and Gebling; north-east of Baccarat allied troops free Ste. Pole. In the Belfort sector a further advance is made in the Doubs River area.
  • In Italy 8th Army troops continue to advance to the west of Forli; a further advance is made along the Via Emilia.
  • Russian troops capture Jaszbereny, in Hungary; in Yugoslavia, Bulgarian and Yugoslav forces take Skoplje.
  • S.E.A.C. Headquarters announces progress in a double advance on Kalemyo, in Burma.
  • Lancasters, escorted by Mustangs, attack the synthetic oil plant at Dortmund, in the Ruhr.
  • An Admiralty announcement states that H.M. submarines have sunk a further 23 supply ships and an anti-submarine vessel in Far Eastern waters.

November 16, 1944

  • The U.S. 1st and 9th Armies join in the allied offensive and six allied armies are now attacking along the 400-miles front from Holland to the Alps; good progress is made, the 9th Army capturing Immendorf, Euchen, Beggendorf and other German towns. In Holland British forces are closing round Roermond; in the Jura a French corps is advancing into the Belfort gap, while the U.S. 3rd Army closes on Metz.
  • The 8th Army’s advance towards Faenza continues; farther inland the enemy is cleared from the area north of Coccola.
  • More progress is made by Soviet forces in Hungary, several towns being captured.
  • It is reported that U.S. troops in Leyte Island have cut the Ormoc road behind the enemy positions at Limon.
  • The capture of Kalemyo, on the Chindwin front, is announced by S.E.A.C. Headquarters.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators bomb the enemy defences between Dueren and Aachen and later in the day Bomber Command aircraft attack Duerich, Juelich and Heinsberg.

November 17, 1944

  • The allied advance towards the Maas continues; north-west of Roermond the village of Horn is freed. In the Geilenkirchen-Blamont sector progress is maintained and Gressenich, eight miles south of Dueren, is captured. Several towns and villages in the Thionville and Metz areas are occupied; gains are made in the Belfort sector.
  • Monte Fortino, west of Forli, is captured by Polish troops of the 8th Army and several counter-attacks are repulsed.
  • Russian troops in Hungary capture Fuzesabony and several other inhabited localities.
  • The report from S.E.A.C. Headquarters announces that troops east of Bhamo have advanced south-west to the Irrawaddy River, completely cutting off the last Japanese route to the south.
  • Final Japanese losses in the Philippines naval battle are announced as two battleships, four aircraft-carriers, six heavy cruisers, two light cruisers and an undetermined number of destroyers sunk; one battleship, three heavy cruisers, two light cruisers and seven destroyers severely damaged; six battleships, four heavy cruisers, one light cruiser and 10 destroyers damaged. United States losses were one light carrier, two escort-carriers, two destroyers, a destroyer escort and a few smaller craft.
  • It is officially announced that the aircraft in which Air Chief Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory was travelling to South-East Asia did not reach its destination.

November 18, 1944

  • Allied bridgeheads across the Canal de Derivation are enlarged; progress is made north and south of Geilenkirchen, and units to the south attack and free Hunshoven and Prummern, while farther south a number of towns are taken. Gains are made in the area south of Wuerselen and in the Stolberg area. Germany is penetrated near the Luxembourg border, and Buschdorf is entered; more progress is made around Metz and several towns are occupied in the Blamont-St. Did sector and in the Belfort gap.
  • Further local gains are made by the 8th Army in the advances towards Faenza and Ravenna.
  • General Malinovsky’s forces make further progress in their advance on Budapest and capture 14 more places.
  • R.A.F. Halifaxes make a heavy attack on Muenster; U.S. Mustangs and Thunderbolts bomb targets around Muenich, Ulm and Hanau, and destroy 91 enemy aircraft, including 31 jet-propelled planes.

November 19, 1944

  • Progress is made in the Venlo area and in the Geilenkirchen-Aachen sector, where the town of Geilenkirchen is taken; farther south patrols reach the southern outskirts of Eschweiler, and substantial progress is made in the Stolberg area. Our forces complete the encirclement of Metz, and farther south other troops are in the northern outskirts of Dieuze. Allied troops thrust almost through the Belfort gap.
  • There is patrol activity on the 8th Army front; Polish troops repel enemy counter-attacks against Converselle.
  • Gyongyos and several other places in Hungary are occupied by the Red Army.
  • Tirana, in Albania, is reported to have been liberated.
  • Escorted heavy bombers are stated to have attacked the Japanese naval base at Brunei Bay, North Borneo, and scored five hits on a battleship and four on a heavy cruiser, causing fires and explosions.

November 20, 1944

  • British and American troops operating in the northern sectors of the Western front make further progress against stiffening enemy resistance; counter-attacks beyond Geilenkirchen are repelled. Troops of the 3rd Army capture Metz and Dieuze and farther south French 1st Army forces take Belfort and reach the Rhine between Mulhouse and Switzerland.
  • Russian troops fight their way into Diosgyor and several other places in Hungary.
  • R.A.F. Lancasters, escorted by Spitfires and Mustangs, attack objectives in the Ruhr; Flying Fortresses bomb the Scholven-Buer synthetic oil plant at Gelsenkirchen and their escort of 700 Mustangs and Thunderbolts bomb and strafe targets in the Coblenz, Wiesbaden and Bonn areas. At night Mosquitoes visit Hanover and Lancasters make Coblenz their target.
  • The Free Yugoslav radio announces the liberation of Durazzo, in Albania.

November 21, 1944

  • Allied forces free Helenaveen and advance to within four miles of Venlo; heavy fighting continues in the Geilenkirchen sector and several towns, including Aldenhoven, are captured. Our troops penetrate some distance into Eschweiler; strong resistance is encountered north-east of Stolberg and in the Hurtgen Forest. In areas farther south progress continues; Saarebourg is captured by 7th Army troops.
  • Castiglione, 5 miles south of Faenza, is liberated by 8th Army troops; Monte Fortino is recaptured by Polish troops.
  • On Oesel Island, at the entrance to the Gulf of Riga, the Russians capture several inhabited localities; in Hungary a number of places including the railway-station of Verpelet are occupied.
  • A large force of U.S. B29 Super-Fortresses attack industrial targets on Kyushu, Japan; objectives at Shanghai and Nanking are also bombed.
  • A large force of Flying Fortresses and Liberators, escorted by Mustangs, Thunderbolts and Lightnings, attack oil plants in Hamburg, Harburg and Merseburg; R.A.F. Lancasters, with a Spitfire and Mustang escort of 250, bomb the synthetic oil plant at Homberg, in the Ruhr, and targets in Hanover and Stuttgart.

November 22, 1944

  • The allied advance continues in the Venlo sector and Maasbree is captured: farther north the village of Amerika is liberated and west of Roermond our troops advance to the bank of the Maas opposite the town. In the Geilenkirchen sector Hoven is taken and progress is made towards Koflar; Durwiss and Eschweiler are cleared of the enemy. An advance is made north-east of Thionville; Metz is cleared of the enemy and further gains are made in this area. St. Die is entered; most of Belfort is cleared and Mulhouse is freed.
  • Polish troops in Italy occupy a number of villages about four miles from Faenza and British troops make further progress towards that town.
  • Russian troops operating in Hungary capture several inhabited places: there is reconnaissance activity and local fighting on other fronts.
  • On the Chindwin front, in Burma, an enemy attack is repulsed.

November 23, 1944

  • The threat to Venlo and Roermond by General Dempsey’s British 2nd Army increases and our forces are well beyond Maasbree; troops of the American 9th Army reach the River Roer at two points in their drive towards Juelieh.
  • There is fighting in Strasbourg, which is entered by troops of the American 7th Army and the French 1st Army.
  • In a new attack across the River Cosina, south-east of Faenza, British troops of the 8th Army establish five small bridgeheads; Polish troops occupy Monte Ricci.
  • Soviet troops on the island of Oesel continue to eliminate enemy troops in the southern sector. In Czechoslovakia, north and north-west of Cop, offensive battles are fought, the town of Cop being recaptured by the Russians; in Hungary the town of Tokay is entered.
  • East African troops make further progress on the Chindwin front, in Burma: Chinese troops advance nearer to Bhamo.

November 24, 1944

  • In the Venlo area British forces reach Blerick; in the Geilenkirchen area the enemy fights back strongly. East of Eschweiler troops of the 1st Army force their way into Weisweiler against violent resistance. More progress is made by troops of the American 3rd Army on the Metz front, where a crossing of the Saar is forced, while farther south American and French troops are reported to have crossed the River Rhine in the vicinity of Strasbourg.
  • After three days of intensive fighting British 8th Army troops drive the enemy from his defensive positions on the Rivers Montone and Cosina and press on towards the River Lamone; armoured patrols reach the outskirts of Faenza and Polish troops make considerable gains.
  • The island of Ocsel is completely freed of the enemy by the Russians; Finnish Lapland is now clear of Germans. Soviet troops in Czechoslovakia fight their way into several inhabited localities, including the railway-station of Cerna; in Hungary Mezoe-Zombor and other places are occupied.
  • A big force of Super-Fortresses flying from Saipan, in the Mariana Islands, attack industrial targets in Tokyo.
  • Flying Fortresses, with an escort of Mustangs, attack a synthetic oil plant at Gelsenkirchen; R.A.F. Lancasters bomb the Nordstern synthetic oil plant, in the Ruhr.
  • The Admiralty announces the sinking of two enemy supply ships off the Norwegian coast by a submarine commanded by Lieut. I. S. McIntosh, D.S.O., M.B.E., D.S.C., R.N.; another supply ship was set on fire.

November 25, 1944

  • Allied forces advance north-east of Venlo; stubborn opposition continues west of Juelich and house-to-house fighting proceeds in Weisweiler. Enemy troops are cleared from Reiningen, Insmingen and Kaptelkinger, east of Metz, and allied troops across the Saar advance on Postdorf. Most of Strasbourg is cleared of enemy troops, 2,000 of whom are taken prisoner; progress is made in the Saales Pass area of the Vosges.
  • More progress is made by both British and Polish troops of the 8th Army in their advance on Faenza; a wide front on the River Lamone, north of Faenza, is now held.
  • In the Uzhorod and Cop areas in Czechoslovakia several towns are occupied by the Russians: on other fronts there is local activity.
  • Three columns of Chinese troops are reported to have entered Bhamo, in Burma.
  • More than 1,000 Flying Fortresses and Liberators, escorted by nearly 1,000 Thunderbolts, Mustangs and Lightnings, attack the Leuna synthetic oil plant at Merseburg and another at Lutzkendorf.

November 26, 1944

  • More progress is m ad e by the British 2nd Army towards Venlo. The advance of the U.S. 9th Army troops towards the River Roer continues; Bourheim is occupied and Koslar is entered. U.S. 1st Army forces capture Weisweiler, east of Eschweiler, after stern house-to-house encounters. In the Strasbourg area U.S. tanks cross the River Saar: farther south American and French troops continue to progress.
  • Between Ravenna and Faenza troops of the 8th Army have made a further advance: south of Faenza the enemy is cleared from an area extending east of the Lamone to Brisighella.
  • Michalovce and Humenne, in Czechoslovakia, are captured by Russian troops, as well as more than 60 other populated places; Hatvan, in Hungary, is occupied.
  • Escorted Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack a synthetic oil plant at Misburg near Hanover; 122 enemy aircraft are shot down. R.A.F. Spitfire bombers attack V2 sites in Holland.

November 27, 1944

  • The British 2nd Army makes further progress towards Venlo; in the Juelich area the U.S. 9th Army resumes its advance towards the River Roer. Franz, to the north-east of Weisweiler, is occupied by U.S. 1st Army troops operating in the Dueren area; St. Avoid is entered by U.S. 3rd Army troops and farther north the Maginot line is breached.
  • More progress is made by 8th Army troops north and south of Faenza on the River Lamone; 5th Army troops make further gains in the mountainous area north of Modogliano.
  • Russian troops fight their way in to more than 50 inhabited places in Czechoslovakia.
  • East African troops in Burma, attacking Kalewa from the west, drive the enemy out of defences seven miles from the town.
  • Tokyo is again bombed by Super-Fortresses.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack railway-yards at Oflenburg and Bingen and escorting fighters destroy 98 enemy fighters; Lancasters drop 12,000-lb. blast bombs on Muenich and other forces visit Freiburg and Neuss.

November 28, 1944

  • Patrols of the 9th Army cast of Kirchberg gain positions along the River Roer and command the southern approaches to Juelich; Barmen and Altdorf are occupied, and fighting continues in Koslar. Troops of General Hodges’s army reach Inden, on the Inde River; more progress is made by the U.S. 3rd Army in the Saar area, during which over a dozen towns and villages are occupied. Gains are made in the Strasbourg sector.
  • Bad weather hampers operations on the Italian front, but heavy fighting continues in the Faenza area: north of Livergnano a counter-attack is repelled by U.S. troops.
  • More than 60 inhabited places in Czechoslovakia are occupied by Russian troops and in Hungary the River Tisza is crossed north of Nyiregyhaza.
  • A single target in Nuremberg is attacked by a large force of Mosquitoes.

November 29, 1944

  • Continuing its advance in the direction of Dueren the U.S. 1st Army occupies the towns of Hurtgen, Langerwehe and Juengersdorf; troops of the U.S. 9th Army press on towards Beeck and Lindern in the Geilenkirchen area. On the U.S. 3rd Army front there is further progress between Saarlautern and Saarguemines.
  • Troops of the 3rd Ukrainian front cross the Danube west of the River Drava and break through on the western bank to a depth of 25 miles on a 90-miles front; Pecs, Mohacs and Bataszek and more than 330 inhabited places are captured.
  • Super-Fortresses make their third attack on Tokyo in less than a week.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack a large oil refinery at Misburg, railway-yards at Hamm and other objectives in North-West Germany. In the early hours of the morning Lancasters and Halifaxes bomb Essen and Neuss; later Mosquitoes visit the Duisburg area. V2 sites in Holland are attacked.

November 30, 1944

  • In an attack to the north-west of Juelich the U.S. 9th Army advances towards the Roer, capturing Lindern and entering Beeck; 1st Army troops occupy Grosshau and force their way into Merode, where street fighting takes place. More progress is made by the U.S. 3rd Army in the Saar area, after repelling enemy counter-attacks. French troops fighting on the Swiss frontier are reported to have entered Hueningen.
  • Between the Rivers Lamone and Montone the 8th Army makes further gains of ground to the east of Faenza; Indian troops of the 5th Army continue to advance south-west of Faenza.
  • Continuing their new offensive in Hungary Russian 2nd Ukrainian front troops occupy Eger and Szikszo and more than 50 other inhabited places. In Yugoslavia Soviet and Yugoslav forces capture Kraejevo.
  • Pinwe, in Burma, is occupied by troops of the 36th Division.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack synthetic oil plants in the Leipzig area of Germany and marshalling-yards in the Saarbruccken region. Bomber Command aircraft bomb three benzol plants in the Ruhr; V2 sites in Holland are again attacked. At night Lancasters and Halifaxes drop more than 2,000 tons of bombs on Duisburg; Hamburg is also visited.

DECEMBER 1944

December 1, 1944

  • Stubborn resistance is encountered in the Linnich-Hurtgen sector; in the northern sector Weiz is cleared and fighting takes place in Linnich, Flossdorf and Beeck. In the Saar valley allied troops dominate the west bank of the Saar; towns captured include Fitten, Fremersdorf and Oberlimberg, while Bueren and Itzbach are entered. Gains are made in the Alsace plain, and south of Strasbourg armoured forces reach Kogenheim and Boofscheim. Rosenau, on the upper Rhine, is occupied.
  • In Italy 8th Army troops make further progress between the Lamone and Montone Rivers and Indian forces capture Albereto after three days of bitter fighting; north of the Lamone 5th Army troops take Giornetto.
  • Russian troops in Czechoslovakia force the River Ondava and capture Trebisov; more than 60 inhabited places are occupied in Hungary.

December 2, 1944

  • Troops of General Patton’s 3rd Army move into Saarlautern, the first of the three large industrial centres of the Saar basin to be entered by the allied forces; other troops enter Saare-Union. East of Strasbourg the Germans are reported to have demolished the Rhine bridges at Kehl after withdrawing across the river. General Simpson’s 9th Army troops engage in street fighting in Linnich and Juelich. Troops of the British 2nd Army make a further advance north Of Venlo.
  • More progress is made by 8th Army troops in the area between Faenza and Ravenna against strong enemy opposition; Indian troops press north beyond Albereto.
  • Kaposvar, Pacs and Szekszard are captured by the Russians in their drive towards Lake Balaton in Hungary.
  • In Burma, Tanganyika troops occupy Kalewa.

December 3, 1944

  • Troops of the U.S. 3rd Army cross the River Saar at Saarlautern, and U.S. 9th Army troops continue to engage the enemy in Linnich. From the position astride the motor road to Cologne U.S. 1st Army troops launch fresh attacks. In the Venlo sector the British forces make more progress in a local attack; the Germans announce the blowing up of the lower Rhine dam south-west of Arnhem and the flooding of British positions.
  • The police are reported to have fired on a gathering of E.A.M. demonstrators in Athens.
  • In the Hungarian offensive Soviet forces carry by assault the towns of Satoralja-Ujhely and Miskolcz; Dunafoldvar and more than 80 other inhabited localities are occupied.
  • Super-Fortresses make their fourth attack on Tokyo within eight days.
  • Some 7,000 members of the Home Guard drawn from all parts of the country take part in a stand down parade in London. At night the King, who had taken the salute at a march past in Hyde Park in the afternoon, broadcasts a message of thanks to the Home Guard.
The Home Guard Stand-Down Parade in London.
Marching Through Regent Street - Some 7,000 members of the Home Guard marched
three miles through London from Hyde park and back again

December 4, 1944

  • General Dempsey’s 2nd Army troops occupy Blerick, a western suburb of Venlo, and thus almost liquidate the last German bridgehead protecting the town. General Patton’s 3rd Army continues its pressure in the Saar area; organised resistance in Saarlautem is almost at an end.
  • There is fighting in Athens between E.L.A.S. elements and a small body of Greek army officers and cadets.
  • An 8th Army Canadian unit enters Ravenna after outflanking the city by a brilliant encircling movement; Russi is also captured.
  • Advancing north-east, south and west of Kaposvar the Red Army in Hungary captures more than 100 inhabited places; in Yugoslavia Mitrovica is occupied.
  • The Chindwin River, in Burma, is crossed by African troops.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack military targets at Kassel, Mainz and other towns in Germany. Bomber Command aircraft bomb Oberhausen, Karlsruhe, Heilbronn and other objectives.

December 5, 1944

  • Saarlautern is cleared of the enemy by the U.S. 3rd Army, which now holds a front of 30 miles across the German frontier; an advance of nearly two miles beyond the town is made. General Patch’s 3rd Army makes further progress; Selestat is cleared of the enemy as the result of nearly four days’ fighting. The flooding of the territory south-west of Arnhem has temporarily delayed movement here, but in the Venlo bend limited progress is made; Blerick is practically clear of the enemy.
  • Fighting between E.L.A.S. and E.D.E.S. forces continues, in Athens; British troops patrol the city and British tanks have to open fire.
  • Advancing west of Ravenna, the 8th Army clears the main road for a length of six miles to odo; north of Russi progress is made towards the River Lamone, which is crossed to the south of Faenza by Polish and British troops.
  • Russian forces in Hungary capture Szigetvar as well as more than 120 inhabited places, two of them on Lake Balaton; in Yugoslavia IIok and Erdevick are occupied.
  • Escorted Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack industrial targets in Berlin and marshalling-yards in Muenster; 91 enemy aircraft are destroyed over Berlin. Lancasters attack marshalling-yards at Hamm; at night Soest, Ludwigshaven and Nuremberg are bombed.

December 6, 1944

  • Allied forces near Hurtgen repulse enemy attempts to retake Bergstein. In the Saar valley a third crossing of the River Saar is made and fighting takes place in Dillingen; allied units enter Rossbruecken and Wolferdingen and there is house-to-house fighting in Saargemund. The enemy resists stubbornly north-west of Hagenau; gains are made in the Alsace plain.
  • In the Adriatic sector 8th Army troops capture Mezzano; all enemy resistance cast of the River Lamone is virtually at an end. Polish troops occupy Monte San Rinaldo.
  • There is fighting in Athens all through the day; British troops take the E.A.M. headquarters.
  • The Russians fight their way into more than 50 inhabited places between Lake Balaton and the Danube, in Hungary, and more than 40 between Lake Balaton and the River Drava; in Yugoslavia Sid is captured.
  • Flying Fortresses attack the Leuna synthetic oil plant at Merseburg and Liberators bomb marshalling-yards at Bielefeld. At night Leuna is again attacked by Lancasters and other targets at Osnabrueck, Giessen and Berlin are bombed.
Her Majesty the Queen during a visit to the National Fire Service Headquarters in 1944
Her Majesty the Queen during a visit to the National Fire Service Headquarters
in London on 6th December 1944

December 7, 1944

  • Allied troops make small gains south-east of Hurtgen; in the Metz area Fort St. Quentin and Fort Plappeville are captured. In the Saar valley a limited advance is made east of the river; there is further progress to the south-east of Saarlautern. Fighting continues in Saargemund, to the south-east of which Ettingen is taken. Progress continues in the Alsace plain and the Vosges.
  • In Italy, south-west of Faenza, British and Polish troops enlarge their bridgehead over the Lamone River and capture Castel Raneiro and Olmatello; Indian 5th Army troops occupy Monte Bitello.
  • Fighting continues in Athens and the Piraeus; British troops make progress in some areas.
  • Between Lake Balaton and the Danube more than 60 inhabited places fall to Russian troops and another 50, including Bares, between the lake and the Drava: the southern shore of the lake is entirely cleared of the enemy.
  • Super-Fortresses attack industrial targets in Manchuria; Tokyo is also visited.
  • Mosquito aircraft attack Cologne with 4,000-lb. bombs.

December 8, 1944

  • General Patton’s infantry are fighting to the north-west of Saarlautern in the Siegfried defences and making progress; a fresh allied attack is opened in the vicinity of Saarguemines and four fresh crossings of the River Saar are made. Troops of the U.S. 7th Army capture Montbronn.
  • To the south-west of Faenza 8th Army troops capture San Prospero and to the north-west occupy elevated ground about half a mile from Celle.
  • Resistance by rebel forces continues in Athens.
  • Sarosd, Lepseny and nearly 40 other inhabited places between Lake Balaton and the Danube are occupied by Soviet troops and more than 30 between Lake Balaton and the Drava are also taken.
  • More progress is made by the Americans in the thrust for Ormoc, in Leyte Island.
  • S.E.A.C. Headquarters announces strong enemy resistance at points two miles north-east of Kalewa; more troops cross the Chindwin River.
  • In the House of Commons Mr. Churchill defends the Government’s action in Greece, the challenge to which is defeated by 279 votes to 30.

December 9, 1944

  • American troops cross the Saar at two more points at Saarlautern and Saarguemines, where they break through the Maginot defences; progress is made north and south of Strasbourg. In the northern sector of the front all of the west bank of the Roer is under allied control.
  • Limited progress is made by 8th Army troops in the Faenza area, in Italy, where enemy opposition is somewhat stiffened.
  • It is announced that about one-fifth of Athens has been cleared of E.L.A.S. strong-points.
  • Russian troops advance 40 miles on a line of 75 miles to reach the River Danube to the north of Budapest and other troops make another crossing of the river; Vac and more than 150 other inhabited places are occupied.
  • In Leyte the Americans capture Albuera.
  • Flying Fortresses attack railway-yards and an airfield in the neighbourhood of Stuttgart. Spitfire bombers attack V2 sites in Holland. At night Berlin is visited by Mosquitoes.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Temp Captain, 258297, John Henry Cound BRUNT, Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire And Derbyshire Regiment) awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Temporary Captain John Henry Cound Brunt, The Sherwood Foresters (The Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment), attached 6th Battalion The Lincolnshire Regiment. On 9th December 1944 near Faenza, Italy, the house round which Captain Brunt's platoon was dug in, was destroyed by intense mortar fire. The Captain, rallying his remaining men and moving to an alternative position, continued to hold the enemy although heavily outnumbered. Personally firing a Bren gun he killed about 14 and then, his ammunition exhausted, he fired a Piat and 2-in. Mortar left by the casualties. This aggressive defence enabled him to re-occupy his previous position and to get his wounded away. Later he showed similar aggressive and inspiring leadership which caused the final withdrawal of the enemy.

December 10, 1944

  • On the Saar front, General Patton's 3rd Army troops beat off enemy counter-attacks on the Roer and the Saar and advance to a point 10 miles east of Saarguemines. General Patch’s 7th Army troops continue to make progress and enter the south-western part of Hagenau.
  • In the Faenza area the enemy suffers heavy losses in making a counter-attack between San Prospero and Pideura; 5th Army troops move forward on both sides of the Florence-Imola Road.
  • The situation in Athens assumes a more serious aspect; strong E.L.A.S. formations approaching the city are attacked by R.A.F. bombers.
  • At one point to the north of Budapest Russian troops arrive within eight miles of the Hungarian capital; more than 40 inhabited places are captured.
  • There is more progress by allied forces in the Kalewa and Bhamo areas in Burma; the British 36th Division moves through Naba and enter Indaw.
  • More V2 targets in Holland are hit by Spitfire bombers. Escorted Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack railway-centres at Coblenz and Bingen.

December 11, 1944

  • General Hodges’s 1st Army troops advance in the direction of Dueren, on the River Roer. In the Saar area the enemy continues to offer stubborn resistance at Dillingen, east of Saarlautern, and in the vicinity of Saarguemines. There is little activity on the British and U.S. 9th Army fronts.
  • E.L.A.S. forces continue to attack British-held buildings in Athens; British reinforcements move towards the city.
  • The railway-station of Boldva and many other inhabited places fall to Soviet troops pressing on towards Budapest.
  • Ormoc, in Leyte Island, is captured by American troops.
  • Transportation and supply facilities in Germany and Austria are attacked by more than 2,000 Flying Fortresses and Liberators, accompanied by 1,200 fighters. Lancasters and Mosquitoes bomb targets in the Ruhr.

December 12, 1944

  • More progress is made by General Hodges’s 1st Army troops who enter the outskirts of Hoven and Mariaweiler, about a mile north-west of Dueren. U.S. 7th Army troops enter Selz, after an advance of eight miles; enemy resistance from here to Strasbourg is reported to have collapsed.
  • To the north-west of Faenza Canadian troops establish a bridgehead across the River Lamone, north-west of Russi, and beat back a strong enemy counter-attack.
  • General Scobie, the British commander in Greece, presents peace terms to E.A.M. on receiving a request from that organisation.
  • More progress, including the capture of a number of inhabited places, is made by the Red Army north and north-west of Miskolez; north-east of Budapest the town of Godollo is captured.
  • Lancasters and Halifaxes attack Essen and another force of Lancasters go to Witten, in the Ruhr; Osnabrucck is visited by Mosquitoes. The Leuna synthetic oil plant and other targets in Germany are attacked by Flying Fortresses and Liberators.

December 13, 1944

  • General Patch’s 7th Army troops continue to advance in the Rhine valley and along the Wissembourg corridor, but the Germans employ panzer reinforcements in an effort to halt their progress; the Americans enter Selz. General Patton’s forces make fresh crossings of the River Blies; U.S. 1st Army troops advance 3,000 yards on the Monchau front.
  • In Italy 8th Army troops press on to the north-west of Ravenna; the bridgehead across the Lamone is extended. On the 5th Army front there is progress along the Imola road, Tossignano and Borgo Tossignano being entered.
  • Fighting continues in Athens and the Piraeus; British reinforcements are in action.
  • Russian troops occupy a number of inhabited places north and north-west of Miskolez and others to the north-east of Budapest.
  • S.E.A.C. Headquarters announces that East African patrols have entered Shwegyin.
  • Nagoya, 165 miles west of Tokyo, is bombed by about 100 Super-Fortresses.

December 14, 1944

  • In the Saarguemines area more progress is made on the east of the town by U.S. 3rd Army troops and a new crossing into German territory is made; the right flank of the U.S. 9th Army advances to the Roer and the frontage on the west bank of the river is extended by about a mile. General Patch’s troops engage in house-to-house fighting in Selz; in the high Vosges an enemy counter-attack near Selestat is repelled.
  • More progress is made by Canadian troops of the 8th Army in the Ravenna area; counter-attacks against 5th Army troops on the Imola road are repelled.
  • Shelling is resumed in Athens; it is reported that a basis for an armistice is being sought.
  • In Hungary the Red Army troops continue their offensive in the Miskolez area, occupying a town and a key railway-station.
  • It is officially announced from S.E.A.C. that the Indaw-Katha line in Northern Burma is now completely occupied and consolidated by British troops of the 36th Division.

December 15, 1944

  • Crossing the River Lauter General Patch’s 7th Army troops penetrate the Palatinate border in the Wissembourg area; about 10 miles to the east U.S. armour enters Lauterbourg. In the Colmar pocket the enemy’s attempts to penetrate into the French 1st Army’s positions are countered; on the U.S. 3rd Army front the Americans continue to make steady gains. General Hodges’s forces capture Kufferath, and repel counter-attacks outside Dueren.
  • New Zealand troops beat off a German counter-attack and drive into Celle, where heavy house-to-house fighting takes place.
  • Both British and E.L.A.S. troops in Athens are reinforced, but fighting is on a lesser scale.
  • Szendro and some 30 other inhabited places in the Miskolez area are taken by Soviet forces; north of Budapest they capture Saihy.
  • American forces are reported to have landed on Mindoro, one of the larger islands of the Philippines.
  • Troops of the 38th Chinese Division in Burma capture Bhamo.
  • Lancasters drop 12,000-lb. bombs on the E-boat pens at Ijmuiden; Flying Fortresses attack railway targets in the Kassel and Hanover areas. At night Lancasters heavily bomb Ludwigshaven; targets in Hanover and Osnabrueck are also visited.
  • Mr. Churchill makes a statement on the Polish situation.

December 16, 1944

  • German counter-attacks on the Roer are repelled and the Americans extend their control of the valley up to 30 miles: more progress is made by General Patton's forces at Saarlautern, Dillingen and east of Saarguemines. General Patch’s 7th Army makes a fourth crossing of the Palatinate border; in the Colmar pocket the French 1st Army continues its advance across the Alsace plain.
  • Celle is cleared of the enemy by New Zealand troops of the 8th Army who press forward to Faenza, from which they evict the German garrison.
  • More progress is made by the Red Army in Hungary; Sarospatak is captured.
  • Siegen, about 45 miles east of Cologne, is bombed by Lancasters; Flying Fortresses attack Kornwestheim marshalling-yard in the northern suburbs of Stuttgart.

December 17, 1944

  • In a series of counter-attacks against General Hodges’s 1st Army front the Germans recross into Belgium and Luxembourg and make gains in the Honsfeld area, along the Luxembourg border south of Echternach and south of Vianden; enemy thrusts in the Lindern and Dueren sectors are repelled. More progress is made by the U.S. 3rd Army at Dillingen and by General Patch’s forces, who capture several villages.
  • Faenza is finally cleared of the remnants of the enemy and progress is made to the River Senio.
  • The Russians make more progress towards the Czech frontier and occupy Putnok and 40 other inhabited localities; Paszto, north-east of Budapest, is captured.
  • U.S. forces on Mindoro Island are reported to have captured San Jose and to be steadily advancing.
  • Super-Fortresses attack Nagoya, in Japan, and Hankow, on the Yangtze River.
  • Ulm, on the Danube between Stuttgart and Muenich, is attacked by Lancasters.

December 18, 1944

  • The German counter-offensive on a 60-mile front along the Belgian and Luxembourg frontiers continues and penetrations of several miles are reported; in air attacks on the enemy’s troops and communications 98 German tanks are destroyed and 47 damaged. General Patton’s troops make limited gains on the Saar; Beeck is cleared by troops of the U.S. 9th Army, who also capture Mullendorf and Wuerm.
  • In the Athens area British troops take an E.L.A.S. strongpoint on the Piraeus Road.
  • Russian troops reach the Czechoslovakia frontier on a 70-mile front.
  • S.E.A.C. Headquarters announces that 14th Army troops have linked up with troops of the 36th British Division.
  • Lancasters make an attack on Muenich; other Lancasters and Halifaxes visit Duisburg. Marshalling-yards at Cologne, Coblenz and Mainz are bombed by Flying Fortresses. At night Lancasters attack Gdynia.
  • Terms of the Franco-Soviet treaty are published.

December 19, 1944

  • There is no official news of Field-Marshal Rundstedt’s offensive between Monschau and Trier; R.A.F. and U.S. 8th Air Force heavy bombers attack military objectives in the area of attack. On the Saar and the Palatinate fronts resistance by the Germans is reported to be stiffening.
  • The salient made by the occupation of Faenza and the Canadian advance on the right is attacked by 8th Army troops; San Rocco is captured.
  • More inhabited places in Czechoslovakia are occupied by Russian troops both to the east and south-east and to the south and south-west of Kosice.
  • The capture of Podgorica by Marshal Tito’s forces is announced.
  • U.S. 15th Army Air Force bombers attack synthetic oil plants in Silesia.
  • Omura and other places in Southern Japan, Shanghai and Nanking are attacked by Super-Fortresses.

December 20, 1944

  • Troops of the U.S. 1st Army drive the Germans out of Monschau and offer increased resistance round Stavelot and Malmedy. General Patton’s troops make more progress in Dillingen; in the Saarguemines area there is increased enemy resistance.
  • In Italy the Lamone River is crossed east of Faenza by 8th Army troops; New Zealand forces reach the Senio River east of the Via Emilia.
  • The R.A.F. headquarters in Athens is overrun by E.L.A.S. troops; British troops continue to clear up centres of resistance along the Athens-Phaleron road. The House of Commons debates the Greek crisis.
  • The Russians continue their offensive north-west of Miskolcz, capturing a number of inhabited places.
  • S.E.A.C. Headquarters reports the occupation of Kandaung, six miles south-east of Buthidaung, and Kunbaung, 12 miles south of Indaw (railway town).
  • Super-Fortresses bomb Tokyo before dawn.
  • Heavy bombers of the 15th A.A.F. attack targets at Pilsen, Regensburg, Salzburg, Linz and Villach.

December 21, 1944

  • General Hodges’s troops are reported to have held the German drives on the north and south; Stavelot is retaken by the Americans, who are also driving the Germans out of Malmedy. Allied counter-measures to Rundstedt’s offensive are stated to be taking shape. Dillingen is cleared of the enemy; there is little change on the U.S. 7th Army and French 1st Army fronts.
  • Canadian troops in Italy capture a fortified strong-point at Bagnacavallo; New Zealand forces win more ground in the Faenza sector.
  • Soviet forces press deeper into Czechoslovakia and occupy more than 60 inhabited places, including Ozd and Recsk, in Hungary.
  • S.E.A.C. Headquarters reports the capture of the Japanese bases of Wuntho and Nankan.
  • Mukden, in Manchuria, is bombed by Super-Fortresses based in China.
  • Lancasters of Bomber Command attack the garrison and railway town of Trier. At night a strong force of Lancasters bomb the synthetic oil plant at Politz, near Stettin.

December 22, 1944

  • Field-Marshal Rundstedt’s offensive is reported to have penetrated to Laroche, 14 miles from Bastogne, which is by-passed; the northern drive is held; more than 200 enemy tanks have been destroyed. There is little activity on the Roer front; along the Palatinate border the enemy makes a number of counter-thrusts. Slight gains are made by the French 1st Army.
  • Mezzano, north of Faenza, is occupied by 8th Army troops.
  • East of Lucenec, in Czechoslovakia, Red Army troops capture more inhabited places; in Hungary they occupy Kisterenye. A German source reports Russian attacks in the Courland sector in Latvia and in East Prussia.
  • Nagoya, in Japan, is again bombed by Super-Fortresses.
  • R.A.F. Lancasters and Halifaxes make an evening attack on the marshalling-yards at Coblenz and Bingen.
  • It is announced that a further 250,000 men are to be called up for military service.

December 23, 1944

  • In a further thrust in the south the Germans are reported to have cut the Bastogne-Arlon Road about midway between the two towns; to the north-west other enemy forces reach St. Hubert, but no further progress is made in the Malmedy area. Minor activity is reported from the other fronts.
  • North-west of Bagnacavallo 8th Army troops meet strong resistance from the west bank of the River Senio, which is reached on a five-mile front.
  • Moscow announces terrific tank battles in Hungary in the Szekesfehervar area, between Lake Balaton and the Danube.
  • In Northern Burma Tigyiang, on the Irrawaddy, and Kwazon, on the Mayu, are occupied.
  • Palompon, on Leyte Island, comes under artillery fire; mopping up continues along the Yamashita Line.
  • Lancasters make another attack on the garrison and railway town of Trier. Marshalling-yards at Ehrane, near Trier, and Kaiserslautern are hit by Flying Fortresses and Liberators.
  • The enemy launches V bombs against Northern England for the first time: according to the Germans Manchester is the target.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Acting Squadron Leader 1027 Robert Anthony Maurice PALMER, Royal Air Force awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Acting Squadron Leader Robert Anthony Maurice Palmer, D.F.C., (115772), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, 109 Squadron (Missing). On 23 December 1944 over Cologne, Germany, Squadron Leader Palmer was leading a formation of Lancaster bombers to attack the marshalling yards in daylight and it was his task to mark the target. Some minutes before reaching it he came under heavy anti-aircraft fire and two engines were set on fire, but disdaining the possibility of taking evading action and being determined to provide an accurate and easily seen aiming point for the other bombers, he managed to keep the badly damaged aircraft on a straight course, made a perfect approach and released his bombs. The Lancaster was last seen spiralling to earth in flames.

December 24, 1944

  • Enemy forces in the area north-east of Marche cut the road north-east of Hotton; farther south they reach Morhet. 6 miles south-west of Bastogne; there are no substantial changes in the Monschau sector. An enemy counter-attack in which the Saar is crossed south of Saarlautern is repelled; slight allied progress is made west of Colmar. Air operations on a large scale are resumed, during which 178 German aircraft are destroyed.
  • Canadian 8th Army troops make further progress on both sides of their positions on the River Senio.
  • In the Piraeus British troops capture a number of strong-points, including a railway-station.
  • Further progress is made by the Soviet forces in Czechoslovakia and to the south-west of Budapest: Szekesfehervar is captured.
  • Donbaik, on the Arakan coast, is occupied: progress is made in the Kalewa bridgehead.
  • The destruction of Japanese troops trapped in the pockets in the Ormoc corridor, on Leyte Island, is completed.
  • More than 2,000 heavy bombers, escorted by over 900 fighters, attack 11 airfields in the Frankfort area and road and rail junctions, bridges and supply centres from Euskirchen to Trier.

December 25, 1944

  • Heavy German attacks directed to the north-west near Hotton and Marche are held; there is less pressure in the Bastogne area, but it continues strong just south-west of the town; farther south Martelange is half cleared of the enemy, and in the area west and south-west of Diekirch allied troops take Heiderscheid. Enemy patrols cross the Rhine north-east of Strasbourg, but are driven back. British and U.S. aircraft destroy 864 enemy motor-vehicles and damage a further 332.
  • Wintry conditions in Italy hamper the progress of the allied forces.
  • Advanced elements of the Soviet forces attacking Budapest enter the outskirts of the city.

December 26, 1944

  • In the Monschau-Malmedy sector an enemy attack near Bullingen is repulsed; La Gleize is cleared of enemy troops; the Germans occupy Rochefort, and take Rosiere and Libramont, south-west of Bastogne. South of Echternach allied troops make progress. South of Dueren our troops enter Windem, and to the south Obemaubach is cleared of the enemy. A large force of Lancasters and Halifaxes attack enemy troop concentrations, armour and supplies at the advanced railhead of St. Vith.
  • Rosetta is occupied by 8th Army Canadian troops; north of Faenza enemy resistance east of the Canale Naviglio is virtually at an end.
  • Troops of the 3rd Ukrainian front develop their offensive to outflank Budapest and reach the Danube; Esztergom and other places are-captured, thus completing the encirclement of Budapest, several of whose western suburbs are occupied.
  • Japanese resistance on Leyte Island is reported to have come to an end; Palompon is captured.
  • Marshalling-yards and railway-bridges in the Coblenz area are attacked by Flying Fortresses and Liberators.

December 27, 1944

  • Heavy fighting continues at Grandmenil and Manhay, and two miles north-west of Lierneux strong German attacks are repulsed; allied forces advancing from the south make contact with units holding Bastogne at a point three miles south of the town. South-east of Bastogne the enemy is cleared from Bonnal and Inseborn and Eschdorf is occupied.
  • In Italy 5th Army troops in the Serchio Valley yield some ground following a strong enemy attack.
  • In Greece our troops make progress in clearing built-up areas in Athens and the Piraeus. Mr. Churchill makes a statement on the Greek situation to Press correspondents in Athens.
  • Russian troops in Czechoslovak is occupy a number of inhabited places east of Szachy; several suburbs of Budapest on the east bank of the Danube are occupied.
  • British troops in Burma advance west of the Mayu Range; in the northern combat area Chinese troops continue to clear the Namhkam road.
  • Super-Fortresses based on Saipan Island bomb industrial targets in Tokyo.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack railway-bridges, marshalling-yards and railway-junctions behind the battle area in Germany; Lancasters attack marshalling-yards at Rheydt.

December 28, 1944

  • Manhay, Grandmenil and Humain are retaken after heavy fighting; isolated enemy units offer stubborn resistance in the area of St. Hubert. Allied forces which made contact with units in the Bastogne area enter the town, and to the south Hompre and Salvacourt are cleared. Good progress is made along the southern flank of the salient; Echternach is recaptured.
  • In Hungary Soviet forces capture the town and railway station of Szecseny, and in Czechoslovakia the eastern bank of the River Hron is reached from Levice to the Danube. Arpad and several other Budapest suburbs are captured.
  • Indian troops in Burma are reported to have reached Foul Point at the tip of the Mayu Peninsula.
  • Japanese warships shell American positions on Mindoro Island, but are repulsed: U.S. air and naval units sink three enemy destroyers and score hits on a battleship and a cruiser.
  • Halifaxes and Lancasters attack important railway shops at Opladen; Flying Fortresses and Liberators bomb railway yards, bridges and other objectives behind the salient in Belgium.

December 29, 1944

  • Allied troops advance to the outskirts of Rochefort and meet stiff opposition; along the southern flank Moircy is entered and Remagne and several villages are cleared. Gains are made east and west of the Bastogne-Arlen Road.
  • Russian troops break into the western part of Budapest and occupy several blocks of houses; more progress is made in Czechoslovakia.
  • In Burma three villages in the Mayu River valley are captured; our troops after passing through Pyingaing advance nine miles south-east.
  • Enemy resistance on Mindoro Island is reported to have ceased.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators again attack railway junctions and bridges behind the German-lines; marshalling yards at Bingen, Frankfort and Aschaffenburg are also bombed. Marshalling-yards at Coblenz are attacked by Lancasters and HaIifaxes.

December 30, 1944

  • There is little activity on the northern flank of the Ardennes salient; on the southern flank Lavaselle and Chenogne are reached. The Arlon-Bastogne Road is cleared and Remoifosse, Marvie and Lutrebois are taken.
  • Troops of the 8th Army continue to reduce the enemy pocket east of the River Senio.
  • Clearing of the south-east suburbs of Athens continues; some progress is made in the Piraeus. It is officially announced that Archbishop Damaskinos is to be Regent of Greece.
  • Against stiffer resistance Russian troops take several more blocks of houses in Budapest; Red Army envoys who conveyed a surrender ultimatum to the city’s garrison are shot by the Germans. A new push takes the Red Army 38 miles west of Budapest.
  • Advancing down the Yeu road 14th Army troops in Burma reach Tawgyin.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators make another attack on railway-bridges and marshalling-yards in Western Germany.

December 31, 1944

  • Allied troops occupy Rochefort after heavy fighting; on the southern flank allied armour and infantry launch an attack to the north-west of Bastogne. Gains are made south of Wiltz, and south of the Sauer River Reisdorf is occupied.
  • Barga, which had been taken by the enemy, is recaptured by the 5th Army.
  • Soviet troops fight their way into more than 300 blocks of houses in the western part of Budapest.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators keep up their attacks on railway-yards, oil refineries and other military targets in Western Germany. Lancasters and Halifaxes also hit marshalling-yards and other objectives; Mosquitoes bomb the Gestapo headquarters in Oslo.

 

Acknowledgements

Various sources have been used to create this timeline but a large proportion have come from ‘Hutchinson’s Pictorial History of the War’ within the Forces War Records Document Library

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