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Selected: February 8
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1932 — , February 8

  • CBI - China: Day 144 of 154 of the Japanese Invasion of Manchuria.
  • CBI - China: Day 12 of 41 of the 1st Battle of Shanghai.

1933 — , February 8

  • CBI - China: Day 39 of 142 of the 1st Battle of Hebei.

1937 — , February 8

  • Spain: Day 207 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.

1938 — , February 8

  • Spain: Day 572 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • CBI - China: Day 217 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 2 of 124 of the Battle of Henan.

1939 — , February 8

  • Spain: Day 937 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • CBI - China: Day 582 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.

1940 — , February 8

  • Finland: Day 71 of 105 of the Russo-Finnish War.
  • CBI - China: Day 947 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 86 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.
    • Day 12 of 67 of the Battle of Wuyuan.

1941 — , February 8

  • Atlantic: U-boats sink 2 merchant ships.
  • ETO - UK: Day 156 of 258 of the Blitz.
  • MTO - Italy: The Royal Navy bombards Genoa without any hindrance from the Italian Navy or Air force.
  • MTO - North Africa: Day 62 of 63 of the UK's Operation COMPASS, their campaign in North Africa against the Italians in Egypt and Libya. The first convoy of the newly formed Afrika Korps under the command of Lieutenant General Rommel leaves Naples bound for Tripoli.
  • East Africa: Day 244 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
  • East Africa - Eritrea: Day 4 of 56 of the Battle of Keren.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,313 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 10 of 31 of the Battle of South Henan.
  • CBI - Thailand: Day 131 of 221 of the Franco-Thai War (Vichy France vs Thailand).

1942 — , February 8

  • Germany: Dr Fritz Todt, chief designer of the German autobahn and Third Reich minister for armaments and munitions, is killed in a Ju-52 that crashes and explodes shortly after takeoff.
    Spotlight...

    Autobahns were useful as Nazi parade routes, too

    The popular notion is that Hitler's Nazi Germany "invented" the high-speed, multi-lane, controlled-access, divided highway. Sorry, folks, but technically that distinction goes to the USA with the 1908 opening of the Long Island Motor Parkway, a private venture toll road on Long Island, New York. It was the first roadway designed for automobile use only and featured overpasses and bridges to remove intersections, although it did allow some left turns here and there.

    Sixteen years later in 1924, Fascist Italy's Mussolini opened his 80-mile autostrada running from Milan to Varese. Germany didn't begin to build its first 19-mile autobahn, which ran between Cologne and Bonn, until 1932, a year before Hitler was appointed Chancellor.

    Dr Fritz Todt and his Führer looking over
    a model of an autobahn bridge

    It is true that about a quarter of Germany's current 6,830 mile autobahn network was originally built during the Third Reich. However, the early planning and design work was done by others. Hitler and his chief civil engineer Dr Fritz Todt proceeded with autobahn construction in 1933, the year Hitler and the Nazis came to power. Hitler quickly realized the propaganda value he could get from promoting the autobahn. He and the Nazis found it easy to take credit for the earlier work of others and make it seem that it was all the Führer's own idea.

    A German autobahn in 1943

    As war became ominous, many in the German military objected to these superhighways because they might point the way for enemy aircraft seeking German cities.

    President Dwight D Eisenhower is said to have been inspired in part by the autobahn when he signed a bill to create the US interstate highway system in 1956. Though not entirely true, go ahead and credit the autobahn for that.

    Dates related to roads and highways...

    Related WWII Store items...

  • Atlantic: Day 26 of 169 of Germany's Second "Happy Time," during which U-boats sink 609 Allied ships with little risk.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 154 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 1 of 102 of the Battle of the Demyansk Pocket, another failed attempt to break the siege at Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 17 of 103 of the Battle of the Kholm Pocket. Another attempt to break the siege at Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 32 of 103 of the Battle of Vyazma, Russia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 32 of 103 of the Battle of Sychevsk, Russia.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 102 of 248 of the Siege of Sevastopol, Crimean Peninsula. All German attacks against Sevastopol are stopped for the winter.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 57 of 164 of Japan's Invasion of Burma.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,678 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 47 of 99 of the 3rd Battle of Changsha.
  • CBI - Java: Day 10 of 17 of the Battle of Singapore. The Japanese land on the western side of the island Island encountering only minimal resistance.
  • PTO - Borneo: Day 55 of 107 of the Battle of Borneo.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 17 of 18 of the Battle of Rabaul, New Britain Island.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 63 of 152 of the 1st Battle of the Philippines. 5th Air Force provides air support.

1943 — , February 8

  • Russian Front - North: Day 519 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 280 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket, USSR lays siege to the Kholm Pocket but the Germans hold out for a about a year and a half.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 59 of 69 of the USSR's Operation LITTLE SATURN. A successful drive into the Northern Caucasus and the Donets Basin pushing the Axis troops out. Soviets retake Kursk and continue pushing parts of German Army Groups South and Centre backwards.
  • MTO - Italy: US 9th Air Force B-24s attack ferry installations at Messina.
  • MTO - Tunisia: Day 84 of 178 of the Battle of Tunisia. RAF and US Air Forces provide Allied air support.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 50 of 104 of the 1st Battle of Arakan. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 1 of 79 of the Allied Operation LONGCLOTH.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,043 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • PTO - Alaska: Day 247 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands. US 11th Air Force B-24s and B-25s bomb the Kiska Camp area and North Head.
  • PTO - Malaya: Day 355 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island, a long guerrilla war ending in Japanese victory. Allies continue evacuating off the island.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 186 of 187 of the Battle of Guadalcanal. US 13th Air Force provides air support. The Japanese are almost finished up their evacuation so this hard fought battle is pretty much done.

1944 — , February 8

  • ETO - Germany: US 8th Air Force B-17s hit the marshalling yards at Frankfurt.
  • ETO - Germany: Day 83 of 135 of the Battle of Berlin (RAF bombing campaign). The RAF uses a massive Tall-Boy 12,000 lb bomb on the Gnôme-et-Rhône works in Limoges.
  • ETO - France: US 9th Air Force: B-26s attack V-weapon sites in northwest France.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 645 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket. USSR lays siege to the Kholm Pocket but the Germans hold out for a about a year and a half.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 26 of 48 of the Battle toward the Narva River, Estonia. This drive helped lift the Leningrad siege and goes on to liberate Narva.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 7 of 191 of the Battle of the Narva Isthmus, Estonia.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 26 of 33 of the Battle of Luga, Russia. Taking this town west of Leningrad will open the door toward Estonia.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 47 of 113 of the USSR's Dnieper-Carpathian Offensive in southwestern Ukraine.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 10 of 31 of the Battle of Nikopol, Ukraine. The Soviets capture Nikopol.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 16 of 25 of the Battle of the Korsun Bulge in Ukraine.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 13 of 16 of the Battles of Rovno and Lutsk, Ukraine. This Soviet victory will increase the gap in the German line from 70 to 110 miles wide.
  • MTO - Italy: Day 23 of 123 of the Battle of Monte Cassino. RAF and US Air Forces provides air support for the Allied ground troops.
  • MTO - Italy: Day 18 of 136 of the Battle of Anzio. RAF and US Air Forces provides air support for the Allied ground troops.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 41 of 99 of the 2nd Battle of Arakan.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 4 of 19 of the Battle of the Admin Box. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,408 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 143 of 219 of the Battle of Shaggy Ridge. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 140 of 162 of the Battle of the Huon Peninsula. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 56 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 100 of 295 of the Battle of the Bougainville Islands. US 13th Air Force provides air support.

1945 — , February 8

  • South America: Paraguay declares war on Germany.
  • ETO - UK: Civilian war casualties up to September 1944 are reported as 57,468 killed and 89,178 injured.
  • ETO - Norway: Karl Marthinsen, head of Norway's State Police, is assassinated in his car by the Resistance. The Germans execute 29 Norwegian citizens in retaliation.
  • ETO - France: Day 192 of 284 of the Battle of Brittany.
  • ETO - France: Day 147 of 236 of the Siege of Dunkirk.
  • ETO - Germany: Day 143 of 145 of the Battle of Hürtgen Forest.
  • ETO - Germany: Day 1 of 16 of Operation GRENADE, the US drive into Germany. The US 9th Army advances into the southern Rur River. US 9th Air Force provides air support.
  • ETO - Germany: Day 1 of 17 of Operation VERITABLE, the British and Canadian drive into Germany. British and Canadian troops launch an offense to take the Reichswald Forest.
  • ETO: Day 20 of 66 of the Battle to the Rhine. The German troops near Alsace, France put up a strong fight in the Colmer Pocket. US 9th Air Force provides air support.
  • Russian Front - Finland: Day 147 of 223 of the Lapland War. Finland and Russia have joined forces to kick the Germans out of Finland's most northern province.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 117 of 206 of the Battle of the Courland Pocket in Latvia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 15 of 75 of the Battle of Königsberg, East Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia).
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 13 of 17 of the Battle of Rastenburg, East Prussia. The Soviets capture Landsberg, 80 miles northeast of Berlin.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 14 of 63 of the Battle of the Heiligenbeil Pocket in East Prussia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 1 of 17 of the USSR's Lower Silesian Offensive (Poland). Soviets break out of the Oder bridgehead north of Breslau, with six armies.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 8 of 31 of the Battle of Schwedt, Germany.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 103 of 108 of the Battle of Budapest, Hungary. Soviet troops have Budapest under siege.
  • MTO - Austria: US 15th Air Force B-24s and B-17s bomb at Vienna and Graz.
  • MTO - Italy: RAF and US Air Forces provide air support for the Allied ground units.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 21 of 61 of the Battles of Meiktila and Mandalay. The US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 19 of 39 of the Battle of Ramree Island. The US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 5 of 99 of the Battle of Pakokku and Irrawaddy River operations in central Burma. The US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,774 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • US 14th Air Force attacks a number of bridges.
  • PTO - Caroline Islands: US 20th Air Force B-29s bomb targets in the Caroline Islands.
  • PTO - Japan: US 7th Air Force bombs targets on Iwo Jima.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 409 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 293 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 112 of 299 of the 2nd Battle of the Philippines, aka the Liberation of the Philippines or the Philippines Campaign.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 56 of 244 of the Battle of Luzon. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 9 of 22 of the Battle of the Bataan Peninsula. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 6 of 29 of the Battle of Manila.

Day-By-Day listings for February 8 were last modified on Thursday, January 28, 2016
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