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Selected: March 8
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1932 — , March 8

  • CBI - China: Day 41 of 41 of the 1st Battle of Shanghai, Manchuria. The fighting stops as Shanghai falls to Japan. Manchukuo is established under the Manchu puppet leader Henry Pu Yi.

1933 — , March 8

  • CBI - China: Day 67 of 142 of the 1st Battle of Hebei.

1937 — , March 8

  • Spain: Day 235 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War. Spanish Nationalists attack Madrid in an attempt to cut it off from the rest of Republican-held territory. Two Nationalist armies advance toward Guadalajara pushing back the Republican troops.

1938 — , March 8

  • Spain: Day 600 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • CBI - China: Day 245 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 30 of 124 of the Battle of Henan.

1939 — , March 8

  • Spain: Day 965 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • CBI - China: Day 610 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.

1940 — , March 8

  • Atlantic: British cruiser HMS DUNEDIN and Canadian destroyer HMCS ASSINIBOINE capture German steamer HANOVER near Jamaica. HANOVER will become the escort aircraft carrier HMS AUDACITY.
  • Atlantic: British steamer HMS COUNSELLOR hits a mine in Liverpool Bay, UK, and the entire crew is rescued. The mines laid on this day by German sub U-30 will sink a total of 6 ships.
  • Finland: Day 100 of 105 of the Russo-Finnish War. Heavy fighting continues at Viipuri, Finland (Baltic Sea) prompting the Finns to seek an immediate armistice with the USSR.
  • CBI - China: Day 976 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 115 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.
    • Day 41 of 67 of the Battle of Wuyuan.

1941 — , March 8

  • USA: The US Senate passes the Lend Lease bill by 60 votes to 31.
  • Atlantic: A German U-boat sinks the British ship DUNAFF HEAD 150 miles south of Iceland. The destroyer HMS WOLVERINE counterattacks and damages the U-boat.
  • Atlantic: The German battleship BISMARCK exits the Kiel Canal and enters Dock C of Deutsche Werke Kiel.
  • Atlantic: Three U-boats operating off western Africa sink the British ship HARMODIUS and four others in the convoy. During the counterattack just one of the subs receives any damage.
  • ETO - UK: Day 184 of 258 of the Blitz.
  • Germany: Erich Raeder warns Adolf Hitler of a possible American landing in northwest Africa, should the United States enter the war.
  • MTO - Libya: The Panzer Regiment of German 5th Light Division departs Naples, Italy, and heads for Tripoli in two convoys.
  • East Africa: Day 272 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
  • East Africa - Eritrea: Day 32 of 56 of the Battle of Keren.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,341 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • CBI - Thailand: Day 159 of 221 of the Franco-Thai War (Vichy France vs Thailand).

1942 — , March 8

  • USA: Construction of the Alcan Highway gets underway by the US Army Corps of Engineers. The entire 1,700 mile route through Canada to connect Alaska with the Continental US will be completed in rough form 7½ months later.
    Spotlight...

    Caterpillar tractor with grader widening the roadway of the Alcan Highway, also known as the Alaska-Canadian Highway, the Alaska Highway and the Alaskan Highway.

    The 07 Dec 41 attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii brought the United States into the war, but it also raised a concern that the US Territory of Alaska was vulnerable to Japanese attack. The Aleutian Islands off southwest Alaska were closer to Japan than any point in North America.

    Overland travel by car, truck or train between the continental US and Alaska through northwestern Canada was not possible. Construction of a land route to Alaska, long supported by Alaskan officials, now became a necessity. Previous studies had focused on the best route, but disagreements on need and routing had held up the project. Now, speed was essential to military needs.

    Officials decided to build the road in two phases. A pioneer road would be carved out of the difficult terrain in 1942 to open the route for supply trucks by year's end. With military traffic flowing, officials would have time in 1943 to build a permanent road on the best alignment.

    Scant attention has been given to the 97th Army Corps Engineers, an African American unit, that worked extensively on completing the Alcan Highway in some incredibly harsh conditions.

    "Highway to Alaska"

    YouTube video, opens in new window or tab

    A 10-minute 1942 War Department film on YouTube.

    Alcan Highway related dates...

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  • Atlantic: Day 54 of 169 of Germany's Second "Happy Time," during which U-boats sink 609 Allied ships with little risk.
  • Atlantic: US Army troops relieve the US 1st Marine Brigade (Provisional) at Reykjavik, Iceland.
  • ETO - Germany: RAF uses its new GEE navigational system over Essen which includes marking the target with flares. The results are less than they had hoped for.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 182 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 29 of 102 of the Battle of the Demyansk Pocket, another failed attempt to break the siege at Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 45 of 103 of the Battle of the Kholm Pocket. Another attempt to break the siege at Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 60 of 103 of the Battle of Vyazma, Russia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 60 of 103 of the Battle of Sychevsk, Russia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 6 of 49 of the Battle of Rzhev, Russia, a diversion to pull more German troops away from Moscow.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 130 of 248 of the Siege of Sevastopol, Crimean Peninsula. All German attacks against Sevastopol are shut down for the winter.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 85 of 164 of Japan's Invasion of Burma.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 2 of 2 of the Battle of the Taukkyan Roadblock ends as the British have been able to repel the Japanese. Other Japanese troops enter Rangoon as the British escape to the north. The 17th Indian Division holds the Irrawaddy area while the 1st Burma Division still has the upper Sittang valley. The Chinese 5th Army is defending Mandalay while the Chinese 6th Army is helping the British troops hang onto Toungoo.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,706 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 75 of 99 of the 3rd Battle of Changsha.
  • CBI - Java: Day 9 of 13 of the Battle of Java. The Dutch troops on Java surrender to the Japanese.
  • PTO - Borneo: Day 83 of 107 of the Battle of Borneo.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 91 of 152 of the 1st Battle of the Philippines. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Malaya: Day 18 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 1 of 6 of the 1st Battle of Lae-Salamaua. Japanese troops will drive out the few Australian defenders guarding this area.

1943 — , March 8

  • USA: The January 18th ban on sliced bread, intended to save wrapping paper, is found to have been ineffective and is lifted, restoring it to its rightful place as the de facto benchmark against which all great things are compared.
    Spotlight...

    Pre-sliced and packaged for convenience, sliced bread was first sold in 1928 and was advertised as "the greatest forward step in the baking industry since bread was wrapped." This led to the popular phrase, "the greatest thing since sliced bread."

    Sliced Bread related dates...

    WWII Store items related to rationing...

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  • ETO - France: US 8th Air Force B-17s and B-24s bomb the marshalling yard at Rouen. The Germans use one wave to draw off the escorts, then attack the bombers with another.
  • Germany: Over 1,000 non-Jewish wives of deported Jewish men still protest in Berlin, forcing Joseph Goebbels to release 1,500 Jewish men to stabilize the situation.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 547 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 27 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 308 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 - Center: Day 7 of 30 of the 3rd Battle of Rzhev-Sychevka, Russia.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 18 of 25 of the 3rd Battle of Kharkov, Ukraine.
  • MTO - Tunisia: Day 112 of 178 of the Battle of Tunisia. RAF and US Air Forces provide Allied air support. Allied troops pursuing the retreating enemy give up the chase due to poor weather.
  • PTO - Alaska: Day 275 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 78 of 104 of the 1st Battle of Arakan. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 29 of 79 of the Allied Operation LONGCLOTH.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,071 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • General Henry "Hap" Arnold agrees to give Claire Chennault an air force independent from the USAAF, but maintains that Chennault's position be underneath Joseph Stilwell.

1944 — , March 8

  • ETO - Germany: US 8th Air Force B-17s and B-24s bomb targets in the suburbs of Berlin.
  • ETO - Netherlands: US 9th Air Force B-26s attack Volkel Airfield once and the Soesterberg Airfield twice
  • Germany: 3,791 Czech Jews of the Theresienstadt camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau are gassed. The men are killed in Crematorium III while the women and children die in Crematorium II.
  • Russian Front - Finland: The Finns reject the Soviet armistice terms.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 36 of 191 of the Battle of the Narva Isthmus, Estonia. Both German and Soviet troops in the Baltic region go on the defensive.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 76 of 113 of the USSR's Dnieper-Carpathian Offensive in southwestern Ukraine.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 5 of 45 of the Battle of Chernovtsy, Ukraine.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 3 of 44 of the Battle of Snigirevka, Ukraine.
  • MTO - Italy: Day 52 of 123 of the Battle of Monte Cassino. RAF and US Air Forces provides air support for the Allied ground troops.
  • MTO - Italy: Day 47 of 136 of the Battle of Anzio. RAF and US Air Forces provides air support for the Allied ground troops.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 70 of 99 of the 2nd Battle of Arakan.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 4 of 166 of the UK's Operation THURSDAY.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,437 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • CBI - India: Day 1 of 118 of the Battle of Imphal-Kohima. Japanese troops invade India from northern Burma.
  • PTO - Marshall Islands: US 7th Air Force attack targets in the Marshalls.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 9 of 80 of the Battle of the Admiralty Islands. 5th Air Force provides air support. Allied troops capture the Lombrun Plantation on Los Negros Island, virtually completing the capture of the island.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 172 of 219 of the Battle of Shaggy Ridge. US 13th Air Force provides air support. US troops are attacked by the Japanese on Hill 700.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 85 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. 5th Air Force provides air support. US Marines land at Talasea.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 129 of 295 of the Battle of the Bougainville Islands. US 13th Air Force provides air support.

1945 — , March 8

  • ETO: Captain Richard "Dick" Winters of the 101st Airborne is promoted to the rank of Major. He becomes a household name from the 2001 10-part HBO miniseries Band of Brothers.
    Spotlight...

    Richard D Winters
    Toccoa Training Camp, Georgia, 1942

    Despite the many accolades he had received, Winters remained humble about his military service.

    During the interview segment of the miniseries Band of Brothers, Winters quoted a passage from a letter he received from Sergeant Mike Ranney, "I cherish the memories of a question my grandson asked me the other day when he said, 'Grandpa, were you a hero in the war?' Grandpa said 'No... but I served in a company of heroes.'."

    Major Winters and the statue that bears his likeness

    On June 6, 2012, the 68th anniversary of the D-Day landings, a 12-foot tall bronze statue in Winters' likeness was unveiled near the village of Saint-Marie du Mont, France. Winters, who passed away on January 2, 2011, had only agreed for the statue to bear his resemblance on the agreement the monument would be dedicated to all junior officers who served and died during the Normandy landings.

    The Richard Winters Leadership monument

    101st Airborne related dates...

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  • ETO: Highly secret negotiations begin in Switzerland between the US, the German Army and the German SS for the possibility of early surrender of German troops in Italy.
  • ETO - UK: Private Karl Hulten, a deserter from the US 501st Airborne Regiment who subsequently had committed a series of crimes in Britain, is hanged at Pentonville Prison.
  • ETO - France: Day 220 of 284 of the Battle of Brittany.
  • ETO - France: Day 175 of 236 of the Siege of Dunkirk.
  • ETO: Day 48 of 66 of the Battle to the Rhine. Day 2 of 20 of the Battle of Ramagen. US 9th Air Force provides air support.
  • ETO - Germany: Day 2 of 46 of the Battle of the Ruhr Pocket. British and Canadian troops enter Xanten.
  • ETO - Germany: Day 17 of 36 consecutive RAF night raids on Berlin.
  • ETO - Germany: US 8th Air Force sends 1,300 B-17s and B-24s to bomb six benzol plants and other targets in Germany. No US planes are lost and there are zero casualties!.
  • Germany: Between 1,070 and 1,150 Hungarian Jews arrive at the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp. Originally they had been deported to the Austrian border in 1944.
  • Russian Front: The USSR announces that Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg was likely killed in early 1945 by German occupation troops in Hungary or by Hungarian Arrow Cross Party members.
  • Russian Front - Finland: Day 175 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 145 of 206 of the Battle of the Courland Pocket in Latvia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 43 of 75 of the Battle of Königsberg, East Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia).
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 42 of 63 of the Battle of the Heiligenbeil Pocket in East Prussia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 27 of 54 of the Battle of East Pomerania, Germany.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 24 of 83 of the German Siege of Breslau (today Wroclaw, Poland). Soviet troops reach the southern suburbs.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 5 of 15 of the Battle of Kolberg, Germany (today Kolobrzeg, Poland).
  • Russian Front - South: Day 3 of 11 of the failed German Operation FRÜHLINGSERWACHEN (Spring Awakening) at Lake Balaton, Hungary. The idea was to destroy their oil fields.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 3 of 16 of the Battle of Drava (a river in Bulgaria). Germans attack the Bulgarians, hoping to distract the Soviet advance on Berlin.
  • MTO: US 15th Air Force bombs targets in Hungary, Austria, Yugoslavia, and Italy.
  • MTO - Italy: RAF and US Air Forces provide air support for the Allied ground units.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 49 of 61 of the Battles of Meiktila and Mandalay. The US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 33 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 2,802 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • US 14th Air Force attacks targets in China and ships in the South China Sea.
  • PTO: - Japan US intelligence get their first detection the new Ohka aircraft at Konoike airfield, Japan, and nickname it the "Viper". These were much like the German V-1 buzz bomb, but were flown by suicide pilots.
  • PTO - Japan: Day 18 of 36 of the Battle of Iwo Jima. US 7th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 437 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 321 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 140 of 299 of the 2nd Battle of the Philippines, aka the Liberation of the Philippines or the Philippines Campaign.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 84 of 244 of the Battle of Luzon. 5th Air Force provides air support.

Day-By-Day listings for March 8 were last modified on Tuesday, February 2, 2016
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