CBI - China: Day 151 of 154 of the Japanese Invasion of Manchuria.
CBI - China: Day 19 of 41 of the 1st Battle of Shanghai.
1933 — , February 15
CBI - China: Day 46 of 142 of the 1st Battle of Hebei.
1937 — , February 15
Spain: Day 214 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
1938 — , February 15
Spain: Day 579 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
CBI - China: Day 224 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 9 of 124 of the Battle of Henan.
1939 — , February 15
Spain: Day 944 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
CBI - China: Day 589 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
1940 — , February 15
Finland: Day 78 of 105 of the Russo-Finnish War. The Soviets beat the Finn troops at Summa.
CBI - China: Day 954 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 93 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.
Day 19 of 67 of the Battle of Wuyuan.
1941 — , February 15
ETO - UK: Day 163 of 258 of the Blitz.
Eastern Front - Romania: Great Britain breaks off diplomatic relations with Romania as it is now clear that the Romanians are firmly allied to the Germans.
East Africa: Day 251 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
East Africa - Eritrea: Day 11 of 56 of the Battle of Keren.
CBI - China: Day 1,320 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 17 of 31 of the Battle of South Henan.
CBI - Thailand: Day 138 of 221 of the Franco-Thai War (Vichy France vs Thailand).
1942 — , February 15
ETO: US 8th Air Force: Lt Col Townsend Griffiss is killed when his plane is accidentally shot down by RAF Polish fliers, becoming the first US airman to die in Europe during WWII. After the war, New York's Rome Air Depot would be renamed Griffiss Air Force Base in his honor.
Lt Col Townsend Griffiss 1900 - 1942
After his death, the British government renamed its Bushy Park installation in England as Camp Griffiss.
After the war, central New York state's Rome Air Depot was renamed Griffiss Air Force Base, which was decommissioned in 1995.
Regarding "Friendly Fire"...
The term "friendly fire" was originally adopted by the US military. Many North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) militaries refer to these incidents as "blue on blue" which derives from military exercises where NATO forces were identified by blue pennants and units representing Warsaw Pact forces by orange pennants.
Friendly fire is an attack by a military force on friendly forces while attempting to attack the enemy, either misidentifying the target as hostile, or due to errors or inaccuracy. Fire not intended to attack the enemy, such as negligent or malicious discharge, or deliberate firing on one's own troops for disciplinary reasons, is not called friendly fire. Nor is unintentional harm to non-combatants or structures, sometimes referred to as collateral damage.
Friendly fire is often seen as an inescapable result of combat, and because it only accounts for a small percentage of casualties, can often be dismissed as irrelevant to the outcome of a battle. The effects of friendly fire, however, are not just material. Troops expect to be targeted by the enemy, but being hit by their own forces has a huge negative impact on morale. Forces doubt the competence of their command, and its prevalence makes commanders more cautious in the field.
Attempts to reduce this effect by military leaders generally come down to identifying the causes of friendly fire and overcoming repetition of the incident through training, tactics and technology.
In preparation for the invasion of Normandy "invasion stripes" were painted on Allied aircraft to assist identification. Similar markings had been used when the Hawker Typhoon was first introduced into use as it was otherwise very similar in profile to a German aircraft. Late in the war the "protection squadron" that covered the elite German jet fighter squadron as it landed or took-off were brightly painted to distinguish them from raiding Allied fighters.
UK: Churchill broadcasts to the nation and says the Mediterranean will close to all Allied shipping.
Atlantic: Day 33 of 169 of Germany's Second "Happy Time," during which U-boats sink 609 Allied ships with little risk.
Germany: Jews are prohibited from keeping pets.
Russian Front - North: Day 161 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 8 of 102 of the Battle of the Demyansk Pocket, another failed attempt to break the siege at Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 24 of 103 of the Battle of the Kholm Pocket. Another attempt to break the siege at Leningrad.
Russian Front - Center: Day 39 of 103 of the Battle of Vyazma, Russia.
Russian Front - Center: Day 39 of 103 of the Battle of Sychevsk, Russia.
Russian Front - South: Day 109 of 248 of the Siege of Sevastopol, Crimean Peninsula. All German attacks against Sevastopol are stopped for the winter.
CBI - Burma: Day 64 of 164 of Japan's Invasion of Burma.
CBI - Burma: Day 2 of 5 of the Battle of the Bilin River.
CBI - China: Day 1,685 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 54 of 99 of the 3rd Battle of Changsha.
CBI - Indonesia: Day 3 of 3 of the Battle of Palembang, Sumatra. Japanese troops capture Palembang on southern part of island.
CBI - Java: Day 17 of 17 of the Battle of Singapore. 9,000 British and Australian troops have been killed, and the remaining 80,000 are taken prisoner as Japanese troops take the city, joining 50,000 taken in the earlier Malayan Campaign to be worked as slaves. It remains the largest surrender of British-led forces in history.
Lt Gen Arthur Percival, led by a Japanese officer, walks under a flag of truce to negotiate the capitulation of Allied forces in Singapore on 15 February 1942.
Singapore was the major British base in southeast Asia, nicknamed the "Gibraltar of the East," and had been regarded as unassailable due to its strong seaward defenses. The Japanese took it with comparative ease by advancing down the Malay Peninsula and then assaulting the base's landward side, which the British had left inadequately defended.
The fall of Singapore was the largest surrender of British-led military personnel in history. Churchill called the ignominious fall of Singapore to the Japanese the "worst disaster" in British military history. In just seven days, Singapore, the "Impregnable Fortress", had fallen.
The trade embargo imposed by the Allies on Japan in response to its continued campaigns in China, caused Japan to seek alternative sources of necessary materials for its Pacific War. Japan therefore invaded Malaya. Singapore, to the south, was connected to Malaya by the Johor-Singapore Causeway. The Japanese saw it as a port which could be used as a launching pad against other Allied interests in the area, and to consolidate the invaded territory.
Dates related to British Malaya and Singapore...
18 Feb 41: Elements of the Australian 8th Division arrive in Singapore.
18 Mar 41: Grand Admiral Erich Raeder urges Hitler to convince Japan to attack Singapore.
28 Apr 41: Churchill issues directive stating that at present there is no need to make provisions for the defense of Malaya and Singapore.
19 Jan 42: General Wavell warns Churchill that Singapore cannot be held, but is told that no question of surrender be entertained.
22 Jan 42: Day 46 of 55 of the Battle of British Malaya. Reinforcements reach Singapore with an Indian Brigade landing.
24 Jan 42: Day 48 of 55 of the Battle of British Malaya. British 18th Division arrives at Singapore as reinforcements to boost its defenses.
30 Jan 42: Day 54 of 55 of the Battle of British Malaya. British troops withdraw into Singapore.
30 Jan 42: Day 1 of 17 of the Battle of Singapore. The Japanese siege of British troops in Singapore begins.
14 Feb 42: Day 16 of 17 of the Battle of Singapore. Japanese soldiers advance toward the Alexandra Barracks Hospital. A British lieutenant, acting as an envoy with a white flag, approaches the Japanese forces but is killed with a bayonet. The Japanese troops enter the hospital and kill a number of patients, including those undergoing surgery at the time, along with doctors and members of the nursing staff.
15 Feb 42: Day 17 of 17 of the Battle of Singapore. 9,000 British and Australian troops have been killed, and the remaining 80,000 are taken prisoner as Japanese troops take the city, joining 50,000 taken in the earlier Malayan Campaign to be worked as slaves. It remains the largest surrender of British-led forces in history.
16 Feb 42: Australia's Prime Minister Curtin, calls the surrender of Singapore "Australia's Dunkirk."
04 Mar 42: The Australian sloop HMAS YARRA is sunk by Japanese cruisers while attempting to protect a convoy of vessels withdrawing from Singapore to Australia.
05 Sep 45: Following Japan's surrender, British land in Singapore.
PTO - Borneo: Day 62 of 107 of the Battle of Borneo.
PTO - Philippines: Day 70 of 152 of the 1st Battle of the Philippines. 5th Air Force provides air support.
1943 — , February 15
USA: The J Howard Miller "We Can Do It!" poster goes on display in Westinghouse Electric factories in Pittsburgh and the Midwest for two weeks, after which it will fade into obscurity until the early 1980s when it will resurface to become a powerful, iconic symbol of World War II.
The J Howard Miller poster
Contrary to popular belief, the "We Can Do It!" poster was seen very little during World War II. It was produced for Westinghouse Electric as an inspirational image to boost worker morale and was displayed for two short weeks to factory workers in East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the Midwest.
It was just another of a series of 42 motivational and instructional posters designed by Miller through the services of an ad agency. The Office of War Information launched a massive nationwide advertising campaign to sell the war, but this "We Can Do It!" poster was simply not a part of it.
The poster disappeared for nearly four decades until it was rediscovered in the early 1980s and widely reproduced in many forms, mainly due to it's copyright having slipped into the public domain. Only then was it ever called "Rosie the Riveter" and only then did it become an iconic a symbol of World War II.
As the popularity of the poster quickly spread, it also became a powerful symbol of female empowerment and has been reworked countless times over the years to reflect anything from political issues to humorous parodies and to adorn many a product and advertisement.
A Tale of Two Posters...
The "We Can Do It!" poster's history is amazingly similar to that of the British "KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON" poster. Almost 2.5 million copies of "KEEP CALM..." were printed by the Ministry of Information in 1939 prior to the outbreak of war. They were intended to be displayed in areas bombed-out by German air raids to boost morale and encourage defiance, only to be shredded, pulped and recycled, due to serious paper shortages.
A mere 17 copies survived in near-obscurity until the year 2000, when it it was re-issued by a number of private companies and was soon used as the decorative theme for a range of products that skyrocketed it into popular culture worldwide.
Both posters were virtually unknown until decades after the war, only to retroactively become enduring, iconic symbols of World War II.
23 Aug 39: "Keep Calm and Carry On" poster goes into print
ETO - France: US 8th Air Force B-24s hit the port area and shipping at Dunkirk.
Russian Front - North: Day 526 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 6 of 51 of the USSR's Operation POLAR STAR, a failed offensive north of Leningrad, hoping to take the southern shore of Lake Ladoga, Russia.
Russian Front - North: Day 287 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 66 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.
MTO - Italy: US 9th Air Force B-24s bomb the harbor at Naples.
MTO - Tunisia: Day 91 of 178 of the Battle of Tunisia.
MTO - Tunisia: Day 2 of 4 of the Battle of Sidi Bouzid. RAF and US Air Forces provide Allied air support.
CBI - Burma: Day 57 of 104 of the 1st Battle of Arakan. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
CBI - Burma: Day 8 of 79 of the Allied Operation LONGCLOTH.
CBI - China: Day 2,050 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
PTO - Alaska: Day 254 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands. Six float-type Japanese aircraft bomb and strafe Allied held Amchitka Island, hitting the runway and causing casualties.
1944 — , February 15
ETO - Germany: Day 90 of 135 of the Battle of Berlin (RAF bombing campaign). The heaviest RAF raid ever on Berlin is conducted, during which 2,500 tons of bombs are dropped by 561 Lancasters, 314 Halifaxes and 16 Mosquitos (891 aircraft). Some very important German war industries are hit.
ETO - France: US 8th Air Force B-24s hit V-weapon sites at St Pol/Siracourt.
ETO - France: US 9th Air Force B-26s bomb V-weapon sites in northern France in the morning and again during the afternoon.
Russian Front - North: Day 652 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 33 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 14 of 191 of the Battle of the Narva Isthmus, Estonia.
Russian Front - North: Day 33 of 33 of the Battle of Luga, Russia. The Soviets clear this area west of Leningrad and now have an open door toward Estonia.
Russian Front - South: Day 54 of 113 of the USSR's Dnieper-Carpathian Offensive in southwestern Ukraine.
Russian Front - South: Day 17 of 31 of the Battle of Nikopol, Ukraine.
Russian Front - South: Day 23 of 25 of the Battle of the Korsun Bulge in Ukraine.
MTO - Italy: Day 30 of 123 of the Battle of Monte Cassino. Over the next three days the US 12th and 15th Air Forces will destroy the Monte Cassino Benedictine Abbey in support of New Zealand Corps trying to establish a bridgehead across the Rapido River.
MTO - Italy: Day 25 of 136 of the Battle of Anzio. RAF and US Air Forces provides air support for the Allied ground troops.
CBI - Burma: Day 48 of 99 of the 2nd Battle of Arakan.
CBI - Burma: Day 11 of 19 of the Battle of the Admin Box. Anglo-Indian troops recapture the hill they lost yesterday at Sinzweya, suffering heavy casualties in the process.
CBI - China: Day 2,415 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
CBI - Indochina: US 14th Air Force attacks targets in French Indochina.
PTO - Marshall Islands: US 7th Air Force attacks targets in the Marshalls.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 150 of 219 of the Battle of Shaggy Ridge. 5th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 147 of 162 of the Battle of the Huon Peninsula. 5th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 63 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 107 of 295 of the Battle of the Bougainville Islands. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
1945 — , February 15
ETO - France: Day 199 of 284 of the Battle of Brittany.
ETO - France: Day 154 of 236 of the Siege of Dunkirk.
ETO - Germany: Day 8 of 16 of Operation GRENADE, the US drive into Germany. US 9th Air Force provides air support.
ETO - Germany: Day 8 of 17 of Operation VERITABLE, the British and Canadian drive into Germany.
ETO: Day 27 of 66 of the Battle to the Rhine. US 9th Air Force provides air support.
ETO - Germany:US 8th Air Force B-17s and B-24s hit oil targets in Germany.
Russian Front - Finland: Day 154 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 124 of 206 of the Battle of the Courland Pocket in Latvia.
Russian Front - Center: Day 22 of 75 of the Battle of Königsberg, East Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia).
Russian Front - Center: Day 21 of 63 of the Battle of the Heiligenbeil Pocket in East Prussia.
Russian Front - Center: Day 6 of 54 of the Battle of East Pomerania, Germany. Soviet troops are now covering the approaches to Danzig.
Russian Front - Center: Day 8 of 17 of the USSR's Lower Silesian Offensive (Poland).
Russian Front - Center: Day 3 of 83 of the German Siege of Breslau (today Wroclaw, Poland).
Russian Front - Center: Day 15 of 31 of the Battle of Schwedt, Germany. The Soviets capture Sagan, Poland.
MTO - Austria: US 15th Air Force B-24s and B-17s bomb several targets in the Vienna area plus targets at Klagenfurt, Wiener-Neustadt and Graz.
MTO - Italy: RAF and US Air Forces provide air support for the Allied ground units.
CBI - Burma: Day 28 of 61 of the Battles of Meiktila and Mandalay. The US 10th Air Force provides air support.
CBI - Burma: Day 26 of 39 of the Battle of Ramree Island. The US 10th Air Force provides air support.
CBI - Burma: Day 12 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 2,781 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
US 14th Air Force attacks two targets in China.
PTO - Japan: US 7th Air Force bombs targets on Iwo Jima in preparation for the upcoming amphibious invasion.
PTO - Japan: US 20th Air Force B-29s hit the Mitsubishi aircraft engine works at Nagoyaa and a secondary target at Hamamatsu.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 416 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 300 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea.
PTO - Philippines: Day 119 of 299 of the 2nd Battle of the Philippines, aka the Liberation of the Philippines or the Philippines Campaign.
PTO - Philippines: Day 63 of 244 of the Battle of Luzon. 5th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - Philippines: Day 16 of 22 of the Battle of the Bataan Peninsula. 5th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - Philippines: Day 13 of 29 of the Battle of Manila. Japanese troops are now trapped in the Manila rectangle, which is only 5,000 yards by 2,000 yards.
Day-By-Day listings for February 15 were last modified on Thursday, April 6, 2017