WWII Day-By-Day
Selected: March 24
       Overview of WWII on March 24 by year...

1933 — , March 24

  • USA: Unrelenting Nazi abuse of Jews in Germany lead American Jewish organizations to call for a worldwide boycott of German goods, but they determine that public protests might further harm German Jews.
  • CBI: Japan withdraws from the League of Nations and the Geneva Disarmament Conference.
  • CBI - China: Day 83 of 142 of the 1st Battle of Hebei.

1934 — , March 24

  • Germany: The German Prussian ministry warns of the consequences of allowing children of mixed heritage to reproduce. In 1937, these children will be arrested by the Gestapo and sterilized.
  • Philippines: The Philippine Commonwealth is established.

1937 — , March 24

  • Spain: Day 251 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.

1938 — , March 24

  • UK: British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain rejects a Soviet request to form an international (five nations) bloc to contain German aggression.
  • USSR: Russian Army Commander Shaposhnikov produces a war plan, proposing a strong Soviet offensive or counter-offensive should Germany invade.
  • Spain: Day 616 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • CBI - China: Day 261 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 46 of 124 of the Battle of Henan.
    • Day 1 of 15 of the Battle of Taierzhuang. Japanese artillery begin bombarding the city walls. All attempts to rush into collapsed areas of the wall are driven back.
    • Day 1 of 39 of the Battle of Xuzhou. Chiang Kai-Shek inspects the troops at Xuzhou and personally appoints Bai Zongxi and Lin Weizu as his staff officers of the 5th War Area.

1939 — , March 24

  • Germany: Adolf Hitler returns to Berlin from recently annexed Memel (Lithuania).
  • Eastern Front: Day 2 of 13 of the Slovak-Hungarian War, aka the Little War. Slovakian forces counter-attack the Hungarian invaders, pushing Hungarian troops back near the Okna River.
  • Spain: Day 981 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • CBI - China: Day 626 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 8 of 54 of the Battle of Nanchang.

1940 — , March 24

  • MTO - Morocco: French destroyer LA RAILLEUSE suffers an accidental torpedo detonation as she is departing Casablanca. LA RAILLEUSE is lost, 28 are killed and 24 are wounded.
  • CBI - China: Day 992 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 131 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.
    • Day 57 of 67 of the Battle of Wuyuan.

1941 — , March 24

  • Atlantic: German submarine U-97 sinks Norwegian ship HORDA 750 miles west of Land's End, England, killing the entire crew of 30.
  • Atlantic: Italian submarine VENIERO sinks British ship AGNETE MAERSK in the Atlantic Ocean, killing the entire crew.
  • Atlantic: German sub U-106 sinks British ship EASTLE 40 miles east of Boa Vista, Cape Verde Islands, killing the entire crew of 37.
  • ETO - UK: Day 200 of 258 of the Blitz. The RAF conducts this year's first bombing raid on Berlin.
  • MTO - Libya: Rommel begins his North African offensive by attacking the Australian troops while en route to capture El Agheila.
  • East Africa: Day 288 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt. German and Italian ships continue leaving Massawa ahead of Allied advances, while Allied warships make attempts to intercept them. British forces have completely cleared all Italian forces from British Somaliland.
  • East Africa - Eritrea: Day 48 of 56 of the Battle of Keren.
  • East Africa: British sloop HMS SHOREHAM intercepts German ship ODER which is scuttled by her own crew to prevent capture.
  • East Africa: British Royal Navy planes spot the Italian freighter INDIA. In order to prevent capture by British warships, the crew escapes to the nearby port of Assab.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,357 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 11 of 27 of the Battle of Shanggao.
  • CBI - Thailand: Day 175 of 221 of the Franco-Thai War (Vichy France vs Thailand).

1942 — , March 24

  • USA: Lt Gen DeWitt begins to issue Civilian Exclusion Orders for specific areas within "Military Area No 1." Japanese-Americans on Bainbridge Island, Washington, are the first to be subject to such an order, due to the island's proximity to naval bases. They are given until March 30 to prepare themselves for removal.
  • USA: Admiral Chester Nimitz is appointed as Commander in Chief of the US Pacific theater.
  • Atlantic: Day 70 of 169 of Germany's Second "Happy Time," during which U-boats sink 609 Allied ships with little risk.
  • ETO: The British House of Commons begins a two-day debate on the conduct of the war in Germany. The bombing of German cities is the main focal point.
  • Germany: The deportation of Slovakian Jews to the Auschwitz Concentration Camp begins.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 198 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 45 of 102 of the Battle of the Demyansk Pocket, another failed attempt to break the siege at Leningrad. The encircled German Army keeps holding off the Soviet offensive.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 61 of 103 of the Battle of the Kholm Pocket. Another attempt to break the siege at Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 76 of 103 of the Battle of Vyazma, Russia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 76 of 103 of the Battle of Sychevsk, Russia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 22 of 49 of the Battle of Rzhev, Russia, a diversion to pull more German troops away from Moscow.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 146 of 248 of the Siege of Sevastopol, Crimean Peninsula.
  • MTO - Malta: A British convoy arrives at Malta. This convoy began with 26,000 tons but by the time it reaches Malta, it had been reduced to 5,000 tons due to ongoing Axis air attacks.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 101 of 164 of Japan's Invasion of Burma. At Taungoo, the Japanese 112th Regiment overwhelms the Chinese outer defenses and surrounds the city on three sides by the end of the day.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,722 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 91 of 99 of the 3rd Battle of Changsha.
  • PTO - Borneo: Day 99 of 107 of the Battle of Borneo.
  • PTO - Malaya: Day 34 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 107 of 152 of the 1st Battle of the Philippines. 5th Air Force provides air support. Japanese Navy planes begin bombing Corregidor daily.

1943 — , March 24

  • Russian Front - North: Day 563 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 43 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 324 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 23 of 30 of the 3rd Battle of Rzhev-Sychevka, Russia.
  • MTO - Tunisia: Day 128 of 178 of the Battle of Tunisia. RAF and US Air Forces provide Allied air support. Day 9 of 12 of the UK's Operation PUGILIST. The British 8th Army prepares to assault the west flank of the Mareth Line. In Day 2 of 16 of the Battle of El Guettar, the US 1st Infantry Division comes under attack.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 94 of 104 of the 1st Battle of Arakan. US 10th Air Force provides air support. British General Wingate is ordered by his superiors to withdraw his Chindits from Burma.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 45 of 79 of the Allied Operation LONGCLOTH.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,087 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • PTO - Alaska: Day 291 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands. US 11th Air Force B-24s, B-25s and P-38s bomb Kiska Island hitting the North Head runway and the Main Camp area.

1944 — , March 24

  • ETO - Germany: The Great Escape: 76 Allied POWs in Stalag Luft III in Sagan, Germany (now Zagan, Poland), escape from the camp through a tunnel. The escape causes havoc among the Germans. Only 3 escapers will make it home to the UK. 23 will be recaptured and returned to the camp. An incensed Hitler will personally order the execution of the remaining 50 men.

    The shaft leading down to the 330 foot long tunnel
    "Harry" underneath Stalag Luft III

    Stalag Luft III

    The "escape proof" Stalag Luft III was built near the town of Sagan, Germany, very close to the border of Poland. When the Red Army approached in 1945, the camp was evacuated west and all local Germans fled as well.

    At the end of the war, national boundaries were redrawn and the empty area was given to Poland and renamed with a Polish spelling of Zagan.

    Scene from the movie "The Great Escape"

    The 1963 film is based on the non-fiction book of the same name by Paul Brickhill, who had been a POW there.

    Although typical Hollywood liberties were taken in the screenwriting and production of the film, with many compromises made for purposes of commercial appeal, its depiction of the prison camp is said to evoke powerful memories among the POWs that had been there.

    Dates related to POW escapes...

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  • USA: President Roosevelt issues a statement condemning German and Japanese ongoing "crimes against humanity."
  • UK: British miners sign a 4-year contract for their wages.
  • ETO - UK: Luftwaffe HE-111s and JU-88s medium bombers attack London.
  • ETO - Germany: US 8th Air Force B-17s bomb at Schweinfurt.
  • ETO - Germany: Day 128 of 135 of the Battle of Berlin (RAF bombing campaign). Berlin is the main target. The bomber stream is scattered and those that reach the city bombed well off target. The RAF lose 72 aircraft, or 8.9% of the attacking force.
  • ETO - France: US 8th Air Force B-24s attack the airfields at Metz and Nancy.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 52 of 191 of the Battle of the Narva Isthmus, Estonia. Both German and Soviet troops in the Baltic region remain in a defensive position.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 92 of 113 of the USSR's Dnieper-Carpathian Offensive in southwestern Ukraine.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 21 of 45 of the Battle of Chernovtsy, Ukraine. Soviet tanks cross the Dneiper River near the Czech border.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 19 of 44 of the Battle of Snigirevka, Ukraine.
  • Russian Front - South: The Soviets cross the Bug River near the Black Sea.
  • MTO - Italy: In the Fosse Ardeantine caves outside of Rome, 355 Italians are shot by the SS in reprisal for the killing of 35 Germans by the Italian resistance during yesterday's SS parade. After the war, Field Marshal Albert Kesselring, commander of the German forces in Italy, will be tried, convicted and sentenced to death for this atrocity.
  • MTO - Italy: Day 68 of 123 of the Battle of Monte Cassino. RAF and US Air Forces provides air support for the Allied ground troops. US and British troops attack the Gustav Line again at Cassino but are repulsed by the German defenders.
  • MTO - Italy: Day 63 of 136 of the Battle of Anzio. RAF and US Air Forces provides air support for the Allied ground troops. US 5th Army comes under heavy German artillery and guided bomb attacks by the Luftwaffe.
  • MTO - Italy: The 15 US commandos with the secret mission to sabotage the La Spezia-Genoa railway are captured.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 86 of 99 of the 2nd Battle of Arakan.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 20 of 166 of the UK's Operation THURSDAY. After visiting BROADWAY and WHITE CITY, Chindits leader General Wingate returns to India. On the way to Impal, his plane crashes into a hill killing everyone on board.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 15 of 147 of the Battle of Myitkyina. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,453 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • CBI - India: Day 17 of 118 of the Battle of Imphal-Kohima. Day 5 of 7 of the Battle of Sangshak. Another Japanese battalion arrives to reinforce the battle.
  • PTO: US 7th Air Force attack targets in the Marshall and Caroline Islands.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 25 of 80 of the Battle of the Admiralty Islands. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 188 of 219 of the Battle of Shaggy Ridge. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 101 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 145 of 295 of the Battle of the Bougainville Islands. US 13th Air Force provides air support. Japanese troops mount an unsuccessful all-or-nothing suicide charge.

1945 — , March 24

  • ETO - Germany: Gen Patton urinates into the Rhine to "mark his territory" as the US Third Army crosses into Germany. On the far bank, he collects some dirt, emulating his favorite historical figure William the Conqueror.

    Patton urinating into the Rhine

    A photographer caught the act as Patton stood in the middle of a pontoon bridge and directed his stream defiantly into the enemy's larger one — like a dog marking its territory.

    Color version of the same photograph, making it unclear as to whether this was the original or if it is a hand-tinted version of the original black & white photo.

    Patton's urine stream cannot be seen here, where it can be seen, in varying degrees of clarity, in several b&w versions found online. Probably all have been doctored to some degree, including this one.

    Patton related dates...

    Related WWII Store items...

  • Germany: Hamburg coal worker Max Schlichting is executed for remarks made to a soldier that Germany was going to lose the war. An undercover Gestapo spy had overheard him.
  • ETO - France: Day 237 of 284 of the Battle of Brittany.
  • ETO - France: Day 191 of 236 of the Siege of Dunkirk.
  • ETO: Day 65 of 66 of the Battle to the Rhine. Day 19 of 20 of the Battle of Ramagen. US 3rd Army captures Speyer and Ludwigshafen. US 7th Army and Free French troops have taken the Saarland. US 9th Air Force provides air support.
  • ETO - Germany: Tuskegee Airmen of the 332nd Fighter Group in their P-51 Mustangs shoot down three ME-262 German jets and damage 5 others on an escort mission to a tank factory in Berlin, earning a Distinguished Unit Citation.
  • ETO - Germany: Day 18 of 46 of the Battle of the Ruhr Pocket. Montgomery's 21st Army Group crosses the Rhine and links up with his advance troops, establishing four bridgeheads on the Rhine.
  • ETO - Germany: Day 33 of 36 consecutive RAF night raids on Berlin.
  • Russian Front - Finland: Day 191 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 161 of 206 of the Battle of the Courland Pocket in Latvia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 59 of 75 of the Battle of Königsberg, East Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia).
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 58 of 63 of the Battle of the Heiligenbeil Pocket in East Prussia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 43 of 54 of the Battle of East Pomerania, Germany.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 40 of 83 of the German Siege of Breslau (today Wroclaw, Poland).
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 10 of 17 of the USSR's Upper Silesian Offensive in Germany (today Poland). The 1st Ukrainian Front captures Neisse.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 12 of 34 of the Battle of Vienna, Austria.
  • MTO: US 15th Air Force bombs targets in Germany, Czechoslovakia and Italy.
  • MTO - Italy: RAF and US Air Forces provide air support for the Allied ground units.
  • CBI: US 14th Air Force attacks targets in China.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 49 of 99 of the Battle of Pakokku and Irrawaddy River operations in central Burma. The US 10th Air Force provides air support. US and Chinese troops link up with British troops at Kyaukme.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,818 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • PTO - Japan: US 20th Air Force B-29s fire bomb Nagoya,attacking the Mitsubishi aircraft engine plant.
  • PTO - Japan: The USS MISSOURI bombards Okinawa as US Marines seize a few islands just off the coast.
  • PTO: US 7th Air Force attacks Marcus Island in the northern Pacific, the town of Naga on Luzon Island, Philippines, and on Chichi Jima Island in the Bonin Islands.
  • PTO - Japan: Day 34 of 36 of the Battle of Iwo Jima. US 7th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 453 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 337 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 156 of 299 of the 2nd Battle of the Philippines, aka the Liberation of the Philippines or the Philippines Campaign.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 100 of 244 of the Battle of Luzon. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 15 of 159 of the Battle of Mindanao Island. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 7 of 135 of the Battle of the Visayas region. 5th Air Force provides air support.

Day-By-Day listings for March 24 were last modified on Thursday, March 22, 2018
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