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Selected: February 16
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1932 — , February 16

  • CBI - China: Day 152 of 154 of the Japanese Invasion of Manchuria.
  • CBI - China: Day 20 of 41 of the 1st Battle of Shanghai.

1933 — , February 16

  • CBI - China: Day 47 of 142 of the 1st Battle of Hebei.

1937 — , February 16

  • Spain: Day 215 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.

1938 — , February 16

  • Spain: Day 580 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • CBI - China: Day 225 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 10 of 124 of the Battle of Henan.

1939 — , February 16

  • Spain: Day 945 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • CBI - China: Day 590 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.

1940 — , February 16

  • Atlantic: British take and board the German tanker ALTMARK at Jøssingfjord in Norway, recovering their 299 merchant sailors who had been picked up and taken prisoner from ships sunk in the Atlantic by the GRAF SPEE.
    Spotlight...

    The German tanker ALTMARK

    The British HMS COSSACK intercepted the ALTMARK in neutral Norwegian waters, coming alongside and successfully boarding in a manner reminiscent of 18th Century naval warfare and rescuing the British POWs in a brief but sharp engagement that cost the German sailors numerous dead and wounded.

    Flag-draped coffins containing German dead are brought ashore for burial after the Altmark Incident in Jossingfjord, Norway.

  • Finland: Day 79 of 105 of the Russo-Finnish War.
  • CBI - China: Day 955 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 94 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.
    • Day 20 of 67 of the Battle of Wuyuan.

1941 — , February 16

  • ETO - UK: Day 164 of 258 of the Blitz.
  • East Africa: Day 252 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
  • East Africa - Eritrea: Day 12 of 56 of the Battle of Keren.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,321 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 18 of 31 of the Battle of South Henan.
  • CBI - Thailand: Day 139 of 221 of the Franco-Thai War (Vichy France vs Thailand).

1942 — , February 16

  • Atlantic: Day 34 of 169 of Germany's Second "Happy Time," during which U-boats sink 609 Allied ships with little risk.
    • Dönitz orders all available U-boats in the Atlantic to attack British and American shipping off the US eastern seaboard.
    • German U-boats, with deck guns and torpedoes, bombard oil storage facilities and refineries on the Dutch islands of Aruba and Curaçao in the south Caribbean.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 162 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 9 of 102 of the Battle of the Demyansk Pocket, another failed attempt to break the siege at Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 25 of 103 of the Battle of the Kholm Pocket. Another attempt to break the siege at Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 40 of 103 of the Battle of Vyazma, Russia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 40 of 103 of the Battle of Sychevsk, Russia.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 110 of 248 of the Siege of Sevastopol, Crimean Peninsula. All German attacks against Sevastopol are stopped for the winter.
  • CBI: Australia's Prime Minister Curtin, calls the surrender of Singapore "Australia's Dunkirk."
  • CBI - Burma: Day 65 of 164 of Japan's Invasion of Burma.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 3 of 5 of the Battle of the Bilin River.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,686 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 55 of 99 of the 3rd Battle of Changsha.
  • PTO - Borneo: Day 63 of 107 of the Battle of Borneo.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 71 of 152 of the 1st Battle of the Philippines. 5th Air Force provides air support.

1943 — , February 16

  • ETO - Norway: Norwegian Commandos parachute into the mountains 40 miles north of the German-held heavy water plant at Telemark, meet up with the reconnaissance party that has been there since October and will, in 12 days, pull off the most successful act of sabotage of the war.
    Spotlight...

    Kirk Douglas, (left) and Richard Harris keep a watchful eye for Nazis in the 1964 film The Heroes of Telemark, based on the story of the Norwegian heavy water sabotage operation.

    The Vemork Hydroelectric Plant in 1935. The heavy water was produced in the front building (the Hydrogen Production Plant).

    In 1934, at Vemork, Norsk Hydro built the first commercial plant capable of producing deuterium oxide, or "heavy water," as a byproduct of fertilizer production. This heavy water could be used as a crucial ingredient in the production of an atomic bomb. The plant had a capacity of producing 12 tons per year.

    The Allies decided it was important to remove the heavy water supply and destroy the heavy water plant in order to inhibit the Nazi development of nuclear weapons. Raids were aimed at the 60-MW Vemork power station at the Rjukan waterfall in Telemark, Norway.

    On 19 Nov 42, the unsuccessful Operation FRESHMAN was mounted by British paratroopers. They were to rendezvous with Norwegians and proceed to Vemork. This attempt failed when the military gliders crashed short of their destination, as did one of the tugs, a Halifax bomber. The other Halifax returned to base, but all the other participants were killed in the crashes or captured, interrogated, and executed by the Gestapo.

    On 28 Feb 43, a team of SOE-trained Norwegian commandos finally succeeded in destroying the production facility with Operation GUNNERSIDE, which was later evaluated by SOE as the most successful act of sabotage in all of WWII.

    It took three months for the Germans to rebuild the plant and resume production, which was then followed by many Allied bombing raids. The Germans elected to cease operation and remove the remaining heavy water to Germany. Norwegian resistance forces sank the ferry, SF Hydro, on Lake Tinnsjo, sending the heavy water to the bottom of the lake and preventing it from continuing to Germany.

    Dates related to Norway, heavy water and Quisling...

    Related WWII Store items...

  • ETO - France: US 8th Air Force B-17s and B-24s attack the locks and U-boat base at Saint-Nazaire.
  • Germany: Dr Mildred Harnack-Fish, a member of the German resistance sentenced to death by the German government, is beheaded at Berlin's Plotzensee Prison.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 527 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 7 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 288 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 67 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 - Greece: US 9th Air Force RAF Liberators night bomb Heraklion Airfield on Crete.
  • MTO - Tunisia: Day 92 of 178 of the Battle of Tunisia.
  • MTO - Tunisia: Day 3 of 4 of the Battle of Sidi Bouzid. Allies begin evacuating Sidi Bouzid and Sbeitla. The British 8th Army's 7 Armored Division drives into Ben Gardane, an outpost of the Mareth Line. RAF and US Air Forces provide Allied air support.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 58 of 104 of the 1st Battle of Arakan. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 9 of 79 of the Allied Operation LONGCLOTH.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,051 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • PTO - Alaska: Day 255 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands.

1944 — , February 16

  • ETO: The British Air Minister says that bomber losses for the year 1943 were, 2,369 UK and 997 US planes downed.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 653 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 34 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 15 of 191 of the Battle of the Narva Isthmus, Estonia.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 55 of 113 of the USSR's Dnieper-Carpathian Offensive in southwestern Ukraine.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 18 of 31 of the Battle of Nikopol, Ukraine.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 24 of 25 of the Battle of the Korsun Bulge in Ukraine. German troops continue to withdraw.
  • MTO - Italy: Day 31 of 123 of the Battle of Monte Cassino. US 12th and 15th Air Forces continue to bomb Monte Cassino Abbey for the second day.
  • MTO - Italy: Day 26 of 136 of the Battle of Anzio. Germans launch a seven division counter-attack against the US 5th Army at the Anzio beachhead. RAF and US Air Forces provides air support for the Allied ground troops.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 49 of 99 of the 2nd Battle of Arakan.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 12 of 19 of the Battle of the Admin Box. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,416 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • CBI - Indochina: US 14th Air Force attacks a railroad bridge.
  • PTO - Caroline Islands: Day 1 of 2 of the Naval Battle of Truk, one of the more significant air battles in the Pacific.
  • PTO - Marshall Islands: Day 1 of 8 of the Battle of Eniwetok. US troops land ashore. US 7th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 151 of 219 of the Battle of Shaggy Ridge. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 148 of 162 of the Battle of the Huon Peninsula. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 64 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 108 of 295 of the Battle of the Bougainville Islands. US 13th Air Force provides air support.

1945 — , February 16

  • ETO - France: Day 200 of 284 of the Battle of Brittany.
  • ETO - France: Day 155 of 236 of the Siege of Dunkirk.
  • ETO - Germany: Day 9 of 16 of Operation GRENADE, the US drive into Germany. US 9th Air Force provides air support.
  • ETO - Germany: Day 9 of 17 of Operation VERITABLE, the British and Canadian drive into Germany.
  • ETO: Day 28 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 attack benzol plants, oil refineries and marshalling yards in central Germany.
  • Russian Front - Finland: Day 155 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 125 of 206 of the Battle of the Courland Pocket in Latvia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 23 of 75 of the Battle of Königsberg, East Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia).
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 22 of 63 of the Battle of the Heiligenbeil Pocket in East Prussia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 7 of 54 of the Battle of East Pomerania, Germany.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 9 of 17 of the USSR's Lower Silesian Offensive (Poland).
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 4 of 83 of the German Siege of Breslau (today Wroclaw, Poland).
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 16 of 31 of the Battle of Schwedt, Germany.
  • MTO - Germany: US 15th Air Force B-24s and B-17s bomb at Rosenheim, Regensburg, Landsberg and Neubiberg.
  • MTO - Italy: RAF and US Air Forces provide air support for the Allied ground units.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 29 of 61 of the Battles of Meiktila and Mandalay. The US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 27 of 39 of the Battle of Ramree Island. The US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 13 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 2,782 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • US 14th Air Force attacks targets in China.
  • PTO - Japan: US 7th Air Force bombs targets on Iwo Jima in preparation for the upcoming amphibious invasion.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 417 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 301 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 120 of 299 of the 2nd Battle of the Philippines, aka the Liberation of the Philippines or the Philippines Campaign.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 64 of 244 of the Battle of Luzon. 5th Air Force provides air support. US paratroopers land on Corregidor Island.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 17 of 22 of the Battle of the Bataan Peninsula. 5th Air Force provides air support. US troops recapture Bataan.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 14 of 29 of the Battle of Manila.

Day-By-Day listings for February 16 were last modified on Thursday, January 28, 2016
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