China: Representatives of the League of Nations arrive in Shanghai in an attempt to coerce the Japanese to negotiate with the Chinese for a ceasefire.
1933 — , March 14
CBI - China: Day 73 of 142 of the 1st Battle of Hebei.
1935 — , March 14
Germany: In yet another violation of the Treaty of Versailles, conscription into the German armed forces is re-established.
1937 — , March 14
Vatican City: The Vatican announces that Germany has broken various clauses of the agreement signed between the two countries on 20 Jul 1933.
Spain: Day 241 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
1938 — , March 14
Spain: Day 606 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
France: The French government reassures the Czechoslovakian government that France will honor the terms of their alliance in the event of a German invasion.
Austria: Adolf Hitler arrives in Vienna. His visit had been delayed so that Himmler could complete his rounding up of all suspected enemies within the city.
UK: Prime Minister Chamberlain notes that little could have been done in the previous few days to alter Hitler's intended course regarding the occupation of Austria.
CBI - China: Day 251 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 36 of 124 of the Battle of Henan. The Japanese 10th Division begins an offensive from the Shandong Province toward the Jiangsu Province to the south, clashing with the Chinese forces at Tengxian.
1939 — , March 14
Czechoslovakia: After annexing the Sudetenland, Germany "takes" Czechoslovakia in a bloodless invasion.
Czechoslovakia: Czech president Emil Hacha accepts Hitler's demands, making Bohemia-Moravia a German protectorate. Meanwhile in Prague, Slovakia and Ruthenia declare their independence from the Czech government.
Europe: The United Kingdom and France no longer recognize Czechoslovakia as a nation and thus no longer have any alliance obligations to the now defunct nation.
Spain: Day 971 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
CBI - China: Day 616 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
1940 — , March 14
ETO - UK: Alan Turing's first "Bombe" decipher machine becomes operational at Bletchley Park.
The working rebuilt Bombe at Bletchley Park museum, 2008
The Bombe was an electromechanical device used by British cryptologists to help decipher German Enigma-machine-encrypted secret messages. The Bombe implemented a very ingenious algorithm for testing Enigma settings, rejecting all but a very few as inconsistent with the data.
The Bombe was the brainchild of mathematical genius Alan Turing and was designed to discover some of the daily settings of the Enigma machines on the various German military networks: specifically, the set of rotors in use and their positions in the machine; the rotor core start positions for the message (the message key) and one of the wiring of the plugboard.
To decipher German military Enigma messages required that two settings of the machine be discovered:
1) internal settings that required the lid of the Enigma machine to be opened and 2) external settings that could be changed without opening the machine.
Once these were known, all the messages for that network for that day (or pair of days in the case of the German navy) could be completely decrypted within two to five hours.
A subsequent US Navy version of the Bombe
The US Navy and US Army later produced their own Bombe machines to the same functional specification, although engineered differently to each other and to the British Bombe. The US Navy version contained 16 four-rotor Enigma-analogues and was much faster than the British three-rotor Bombes, even for a three-rotor task.
After WWII, some fifty Bombes were retained, while the rest were destroyed. The surviving Bombes were put to work, most likely on Eastern bloc ciphers. The official history of the Bombe states that "some of these machines were to be stored away but others were required to run new jobs and sixteen machines were kept comparatively busy on menus."
The bottom line is that the efforts of Poles (who first built a working version of the German Enigma machine), the innovations of Alan Turing and the codebreakers at Britain's Bletchley Park, the US Army SIS and the US Navy OP-20-G not only played an important role in the outcome of WWII, but led directly to today's modern computing.
It is said that the name "Bombe" was dubbed by the original Polish codebreakers after the frozen dessert.
Dates related to cryptology...
14 Mar 40: First "Bombe" decipher machine becomes operational
22 May 40: Bletchley Park cryptologists break Luftwaffe Enigma code
25 Sep 40: US discovers key to Japanese coding mechanism
09 May 41: British capture Enigma machine and code book intact
19 Jul 41: Churchill shares Enigma findings with Soviets
19 May 42: US decodes Japanese messages regarding mysterious "AF"
30 Jun 42: British completely crack the Enigma code
13 Apr 43: Decrypted Japanese code leads to plot to kill Admiral Yamamoto
07 Aug 44: IBM dedicates first program-controlled calculator
Related WWII Store items...
The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum
Colossus: The secrets of Bletchley Park's code-breaking computers
ETO - Norway: According to Alfred Jodl's diary entry for this date, Hitler is actively searching for excuses that will justify the planned invasion of Norway.
Finland:The fighting in Finland with the Soviets has finally come to an end. The Finnish Parliament meets to debate the ratification of the Moscow Peace Treaty that will end the Russo-Finnish War, aka the Winter War. The first of 450,000 Finnish civilians in the territories ceded to Russia begin moving into Finland, burning their homes before they leave. UK Foreign Minister Lord Halifax requests that Finland return the supplies given to them for the war. He quickly retracts once he learns Finland had actually paid for those supplies.
CBI - China: Day 982 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 121 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.
Day 47 of 67 of the Battle of Wuyuan.
1941 — , March 14
Atlantic: Italian submarine EMO sinks the British ship WESTERN CHIEF 250 miles south of Iceland, killing 22.
ETO - UK: Day 190 of 258 of the Blitz. The Germans bomb Glasgow and Clydebank, Scotland, for the second night in a row.
MTO - Greece: Mussolini's top general urges him to give up their Primavera Offensive in Greece as his troops have been taking a solid beating.
MTO - Albania: British Swordfish torpedo bombers strike at Vlorë sinking the Italian hospital ship PO and the SANTA MARIA.
East Africa: Day 278 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
East Africa - Eritrea: Day 38 of 56 of the Battle of Keren.
PTO - Hawaii: The Japanese oceanliner TATSUTA MARU arrives at Honolulu. Among the passengers disembarking is Kita Nagao, the newly appointed Japanese Consul General to Hawaii.
CBI - China: Day 1,347 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 1 of 27 of the Battle of Shanggao.
CBI - Thailand: Day 165 of 221 of the Franco-Thai War (Vichy France vs Thailand).
1942 — , March 14
Atlantic: Day 60 of 169 of Germany's Second "Happy Time," during which U-boats sink 609 Allied ships with little risk.
U-404 sinks US collier LEMUEL BURROWS off the southeast coast of Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Russian Front - North: Day 188 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 35 of 102 of the Battle of the Demyansk Pocket, another failed attempt to break the siege at Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 51 of 103 of the Battle of the Kholm Pocket. Another attempt to break the siege at Leningrad.
Russian Front - Center: Day 66 of 103 of the Battle of Vyazma, Russia.
Russian Front - Center: Day 66 of 103 of the Battle of Sychevsk, Russia.
Russian Front - Center: Day 12 of 49 of the Battle of Rzhev, Russia, a diversion to pull more German troops away from Moscow.
Russian Front - South: Day 136 of 248 of the Siege of Sevastopol, Crimean Peninsula. All German attacks against Sevastopol are shut down for the winter.
CBI - Burma: Day 91 of 164 of Japan's Invasion of Burma.
CBI - China: Day 1,712 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 81 of 99 of the 3rd Battle of Changsha.
PTO - Borneo: Day 89 of 107 of the Battle of Borneo.
PTO - Malaya: Day 24 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island.
PTO - Philippines: Day 97 of 152 of the 1st Battle of the Philippines. 5th Air Force provides air support.
1943 — , March 14
Germany: The Kraków Ghetto in German-occupied Poland, created for the purpose of persecution, terror and exploitation of Polish Jews, is liquidated. Most are sent to Belzec and Plaszów and will be exterminated at Auschwitz.
A column of Jews march with bundles down a main street in Kraków during the liquidation of the ghetto. SS guards oversee the deportation action.
The Krakow Ghetto had crammed 15,000 Jews into an area previously inhabited by 3,000 people. As a result, one apartment had been allocated to every four Jewish families, and many less fortunate had been forced to live on the street. Even all the windows and doors that looked over the surrounding walls onto the "Aryan" side of Krakow had been ordered bricked up.
Russian Front - North: Day 553 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 33 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 314 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 13 of 30 of the 3rd Battle of Rzhev-Sychevka, Russia.
Russian Front - South: Day 24 of 25 of the 3rd Battle of Kharkov, Ukraine. German armored forces move into Kharkov.
MTO - Italy: The Royal Navy submarine HMS THETIS, now renamed HMS THUNDERBOLT, is sunk off Sicily by the Italian corvette CICOGNA.
MTO - Tunisia: Day 118 of 178 of the Battle of Tunisia. RAF and US Air Forces provide Allied air support.
CBI - Burma: Day 84 of 104 of the 1st Battle of Arakan. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
CBI - Burma: Day 35 of 79 of the Allied Operation LONGCLOTH.
CBI - China: Day 2,077 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
PTO - Alaska: Day 281 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands.
1944 — , March 14
Russian Front - North: Day 42 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 82 of 113 of the USSR's Dnieper-Carpathian Offensive in southwestern Ukraine.
Russian Front - South: Day 11 of 45 of the Battle of Chernovtsy, Ukraine.
Russian Front - South: Day 9 of 44 of the Battle of Snigirevka, Ukraine.
MTO - Italy: Day 58 of 123 of the Battle of Monte Cassino. RAF and US Air Forces provides air support for the Allied ground troops.
MTO - Italy: Day 53 of 136 of the Battle of Anzio. RAF and US Air Forces provides air support for the Allied ground troops.
CBI - Burma: Day 76 of 99 of the 2nd Battle of Arakan.
CBI - Burma: Day 10 of 166 of the UK's Operation THURSDAY.
CBI - Burma: Day 5 of 147 of the Battle of Myitkyina. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
CBI - China: Day 2,443 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
US 14th Air Force hits targets in China.
CBI - India: Day 7 of 118 of the Battle of Imphal-Kohima. At the India-Burma border, the British are forced to withdraw toward Imphal in Assam, while fighting a bitter rearguard action.
PTO: The US Navy announces that their submarine USS CORVINA is missing and all 82 aboard are presumed dead.
PTO - Marshall Islands: US 7th Air Force attacks targets in the Marshalls.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 15 of 80 of the Battle of the Admiralty Islands. 5th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 178 of 219 of the Battle of Shaggy Ridge. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 91 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. 5th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 135 of 295 of the Battle of the Bougainville Islands. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
1945 — , March 14
ETO - France: Day 227 of 284 of the Battle of Brittany.
ETO - France: Day 181 of 236 of the Siege of Dunkirk.
ETO: Day 55 of 66 of the Battle to the Rhine. Day 9 of 20 of the Battle of Ramagen. The US 3rd Army crosses the Moselle, southwest of Koblenz. US 9th Air Force provides air support.
ETO - Netherlands: US 8th Air Force B-17s target the E-boat and midget submarine pens at Ijmuiden with 18 rocket boosted, concrete piercing, bunker busting "Disney Bombs" for the second of four "Disney Bomb" missions of the war.
ETO - Germany: Day 8 of 46 of the Battle of the Ruhr Pocket. The British and Canadian troops have now established a strong foothold inside Germany.
ETO - Germany: Day 23 of 36 consecutive RAF night raids on Berlin. The RAF makes its first use of the 22,000lb GRAND SLAM bomb, wrecking the Bielefeld viaduct.
ETO - Germany: US 8th Air Force B-24s and B-17s hit oil, rail and industrial targets in Germany.
Russian Front - Finland: Day 181 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 151 of 206 of the Battle of the Courland Pocket in Latvia.
Russian Front - Center: Day 49 of 75 of the Battle of Königsberg, East Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia). The Soviets cut all German communications between Königsberg and the Braunsberg pocket.
Russian Front - Center: Day 2 of 10 of the Battle of Braunsberg, East Prussia.
Russian Front - Center: Day 48 of 63 of the Battle of the Heiligenbeil Pocket in East Prussia.
Russian Front - Center: Day 33 of 54 of the Battle of East Pomerania, Germany.
Russian Front - Center: Day 30 of 83 of the German Siege of Breslau (today Wroclaw, Poland).
Russian Front - Center: Day 11 of 15 of the Battle of Kolberg, Germany (today Kolobrzeg, Poland).
Russian Front - South: Day 9 of 11 of the failed German Operation FRÜHLINGSERWACHEN (Spring Awakening) at Lake Balaton, Hungary. The Germans stop their attack on the oil fields and begin retreating.
Russian Front - South: Day 9 of 16 of the Battle of Drava (a river in Bulgaria). Germans attack the Bulgarians, hoping to distract the Soviet advance on Berlin.
Russian Front - South: Day 2 of 34 of the Battle of Vienna, Austria.
MTO: US 15th Air Force bombs targets in Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Austria.
MTO - Italy: RAF and US Air Forces provide air support for the Allied ground units.
CBI: US 14th Air Force attacks targets in French Indochina, China and in the South China Sea.
CBI - Burma: Day 55 of 61 of the Battles of Meiktila and Mandalay. The US 10th Air Force provides air support.
CBI - Burma: Day 39 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 2,808 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
PTO - Japan: USS KETE attacks a Japanese cable-laying ship off Ryukyu Islands while the USS TUNNY places over 230 mines in those waters.
PTO - Japan: US 7th Air Force attacks the Susaki Airfield on Chichi Jima Island and the town of Okimura on Haha Jima Island.
PTO - Japan: Day 24 of 36 of the Battle of Iwo Jima. US 7th Air Force provides air support. Chester Nimitz declares the island is secured, but the fighting will continue for another 13 days.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 443 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 327 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - Philippines: Day 146 of 299 of the 2nd Battle of the Philippines, aka the Liberation of the Philippines or the Philippines Campaign.
PTO - Philippines: Day 90 of 244 of the Battle of Luzon. 5th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - Philippines: Day 5 of 159 of the Battle of Mindanao Island. 5th Air Force provides air support.
1946 — , March 14
Germany: At the Nuremberg Trials, Hermann Goering says the Spanish Civil War was used by the Luftwaffe to test out their newly designed equipment and to battle-harden its personnel.
Day-By-Day listings for March 14 were last modified on Tuesday, February 2, 2016