CBI - China: Day 30 of 41 of the 1st Battle of Shanghai.
1933 — , February 26
CBI - China: Day 57 of 142 of the 1st Battle of Hebei.
CBI - China: Day 6 of 9 of the Battle of Rehe.
1936 — , February 26
Japan: Day 1 of 4 of an ambitious coup attempt in Japan. Socialist junior Army officers of the Kōdōha faction with 1,483 soldiers attempt to overthrow the Prime Minister and his cabinet, demanding reorganization of the government.
1st Lt Niu Yoshitada and his company during the Ni-Ni-Roku (2-2-6) uprising, named after the date of the rebellion.
At the time, the incident was called the "deplorable incident in the capital." The rebel troops assassinate the finance minister, a former prime minister and a dozen other statesmen deemed anti-military by the young officers in charge.
With Tokyo seized and the assassination of half of the standing government, it's anybody's guess as to how history might have changed had this coup been successful or had it never even occurred. But because it did happen and it did fail, the dead cabinet members were replaced with pro-military men, and General Hideki Tojo, who had crushed any possibility of the rebellion's spread throughout the military, was rewarded by a grateful Tokyo with leadership posts that led to his being appointed Prime Minister in 1941.
This was a turning point in world history that will put Japan firmly on a path toward an ambitious collision course against the Western Powers.
Related dates (Tojo)...
26 Feb 36: Failed socialist coup rewards Tojo with leadership posts
01 Mar 37: Tojo promoted to Chief of Staff of an army in China
22 Jul 40: Tojo is appointed to cabinet post as Army Minister
17 Oct 41: Tojo is appointed Prime Minister of Japan
02 Nov 41: Hirohito gives Tojo consent to go to war
27 Nov 41: Tojo rejects American counter-proposal for peace
18 Jul 44: Tojo resigns as PM, becomes Chief of Army General Staff
11 Sep 45: Tojo survives suicide attempt before arrest
12 Nov 48: Tojo is sentenced to death by Int'l Military Tribunal
23 Dec 48: Tojo is executed by hanging for war crimes
This Ni-Ni-Roku uprising is one of two dates in WWII that impacted future events like no others. Sure, you can look at countless battles and campaigns in the following decade and imagine what might have happened if they had ended or unfolded differently, but any of them would likely have only changed the duration of the war and not the final outcome.
Dates that could have completely altered history...
26 Feb 36: Japanese socialist junior Army officers stage a failed coup
26 Mar 40: British War Cabinet debates proposal to attack Soviet oil fields
CBI - Burma: Day 68 of 104 of the 1st Battle of Arakan. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
CBI - Burma: Day 19 of 79 of the Allied Operation LONGCLOTH.
CBI - China: Day 2,061 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
PTO - Alaska: Day 265 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands.
1944 — , February 26
ETO: Bad weather puts an end the BIG WEEK, which began on 20 Feb 44, during which 26 German aircraft factories hit had their monthly production reduced by 20%. More importantly, the Luftwaffe lost 355 fighters and nearly 100 pilots, which could not be easily replaced.
Russian Front - North: Day 44 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 25 of 191 of the Battle of the Narva Isthmus, Estonia.
Russian Front - South: Day 65 of 113 of the USSR's Dnieper-Carpathian Offensive in southwestern Ukraine.
Russian Front - South: Day 28 of 31 of the Battle of Nikopol, Ukraine.
MTO - Italy: Day 41 of 123 of the Battle of Monte Cassino. RAF and US Air Forces provides air support for the Allied ground troops.
MTO - Italy: Day 36 of 136 of the Battle of Anzio. RAF and US Air Forces provides air support for the Allied ground troops.
CBI - Burma: Day 59 of 99 of the 2nd Battle of Arakan.
CBI - Burma: US 10th Air Force provides air support.
CBI - China: Day 2,426 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
CBI - Indochina: US 14th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - Marshall Islands: US 7th Air Force attack targets in the Marshalls.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 161 of 219 of the Battle of Shaggy Ridge. 5th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 158 of 162 of the Battle of the Huon Peninsula. 5th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 74 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 118 of 295 of the Battle of the Bougainville Islands. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
1945 — , February 26
PTO - Marshall Islands: A B-24 Liberator carrying Lieutenant General Millard Harmon and Brigadier General James Roy Andersen from Kwajalein to Hawaii disappears, never to be found. The two generals are declared missing and will not be declared dead for another year.
Lt Gen Millard Fillmore Harmon, Jr
Lieutenant General Millard Fillmore Harmon, Jr, Commanding General US Army Air Forces, Pacific Ocean Area, left Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands on 26 Feb45, en route in his staff plane (a converted B-24 Liberator) to his headquarters at Hickam Field on Oahu, Territory of Hawaii. "Miff" Harmon did not reach his destination and no trace has ever been found of the plane or personnel aboard it.
Among the personnel aboard was Brigadier General James Roy Andersen.
Gen Andersen's marker at Arlington Nat'l Cemetery
Two US Air Force bases in Guam are named in honor of the two generals; Harmon Air Force Base and Andersen Air Force Base.
Dates related to the death of US Generals...
07 Jun 42: Gen Clarence L Tinker lost during Midway B-24 bombing mission
03 May 43: Gen Frank M Andrews killed in airplane crash in Iceland
12 Jul 44: Gen Theodore Roosevelt Jr dies of heart attack in Normandy
25 Jul 44: Gen Lesley J McNair killed by errant Allied bombing
28 Sep 44: Gen Roosevelt posthumously awarded Medal of Honor
26 Feb 45: Generals Harmon and Andersen disappear en route to Hawaii
30 Mar 45: Gen Maurice Rose is killed in action in Germany
18 Jun 45: Gen Simon Bolivar Buckner killed by artillery fire on Okinawa
09 Dec 45: Gen George S Patton fatally injured in car accident in Germany
21 Dec 45: Gen George S Patton dies from injuries sustained