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Selected: May 8
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1933 — , May 8

  • CBI - China: Day 128 of 142 of the 1st Battle of Hebei.

1937 — , May 8

  • Spain: Day 296 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War. Street fighting breaks out in Barcelona with the CNT (Confederación Nacional de Trabaja aka the Anarcho-Syndicalist Trades Union) and POUM battling with the Communists, who are supported by the Generalitat.
  • USSR: Stalin authorizes the reintroduction of political officers in all military units above the size of an army division.

1938 — , May 8

  • Spain: Day 661 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • CBI - China: Day 306 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 91 of 124 of the Battle of Henan.

1939 — , May 8

  • UK: The United Kingdom rejects what will be the last Soviet request to form a British-French-Soviet pact to contain German aggression.
  • CBI - China: Day 671 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 53 of 54 of the Battle of Nanchang.
    • Day 19 of 35 of the Battle of Suizao. The Japanese advance is briefly stopped by Chinese troops.

1940 — , May 8

  • UK: Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain survives a vote of confidence for his leadership of government. Meanwhile, former PM David Lloyd George calls for Chamberlain to step down for the good of the country.
  • ETO - Norway: Day 30 of 63 of the Battle of Norway.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,037 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 176 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.
    • Day 8 of 49 of the Battle of Yichang.
    • The US river gunboat USS TUTUILA runs aground on a reef and becomes stranded in the Yangtze River at Chongqing. It will take 5 days to get her refloated.

1941 — , May 8

  • Atlantic: German sub U-97 sinks the British ship RAMILLIES in the North Atlantic.
  • ETO - UK: Day 245 of 258 of the Blitz. The Luftwaffe bombs Liverpool for the eighth consecutive night. The port city of Hull is bombed for the second consecutive night.
  • ETO - Germany: RAF bombers attack Hamburg and Bremen.
  • MTO - Libya: Day 29 of 256 of the Siege of Tobruk.
  • Middle East: Day 7 of 30 of the Anglo-Iraqi War in Iraq.
  • East Africa: Day 333 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt. German armed merchant cruiser PINGUIN is sunk by the HMS CORNWALL off the Seychelles Islands in the Indian Ocean. At dawn, Indian troops attack Amba Alagi, Abyssinia, taking the Falagi Pass and three hills outside the city. Later in the day, the Italians counter-attack and recapture two of those hills.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,402 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 2 of 21 of the Battle of South Shanxi.
  • CBI - Thailand: Day 220 of 221 of the Franco-Thai War (Vichy France vs Thailand).

1942 — , May 8

  • USA: Vice-President Henry Wallace says of the war, "This is a fight between a free world and a slave world."
  • Atlantic: Day 115 of 169 of Germany's Second "Happy Time," during which U-boats sink 609 Allied ships with little risk.
    • U-564 sinks the US freighter OHIOAN immediately off the coast north of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 243 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 90 of 102 of the Battle of the Demyansk Pocket, another failed attempt to break the siege at Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 4 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 191 of 248 of the Siege of Sevastopol, Crimean Peninsula. German E-boats and Italian midget submarines attack the Soviet supply ships.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 1 of 12 of the Battle of the Kerch Peninsula, Crimea. The Germans launch their summer campaign.
  • East Africa: Day 4 of 186 of the Battle of Madagascar.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 146 of 164 of Japan's Invasion of Burma. Japanese troops capture Myitkyina in northern Burma.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,767 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • PTO - Malaya: Day 79 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 152 of 152 of the 1st Battle of the Philippines. With troops at most of the US positions having already surrendered, the battle is over. However, it will take several days before the fighting quits.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 5 of 5 of the Naval Battle of the Coral Sea. This battle becomes the first time in world history where two opposing naval forces fight each other without actually seeing each other. Both sides lose a carrier plane as well as a number of warships before withdrawing. Although it's the Japanese who won the tactical victory, it's the US who come out on top because two of the damaged Japanese carriers will not be at the battle of Midway.

1943 — , May 8

  • USA: Thousands of Korean-Americans petition to have their status converted from that of enemy aliens to friendly aliens. In December 1943, this will be granted.
  • Germany: The German government issues an order that the deaths of Eastern European workers in the concentration camps only need to be reported to labor offices.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 608 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 369 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket.
  • MTO - Tunisia: Day 173 of 178 of the Battle of Tunisia. RAF and US Air Forces provide air support.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,132 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • US 14th Air Force bombs the Tien Ho Airfield and White Cloud Airfield at Canton.
  • PTO - Alaska: Day 336 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands.
  • PTO - Japan: The USS GAR sinks a Japanese ship in daylight with her deck gun.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 17 of 148 of the 2nd Battle of Lae-Salamaua. US 5th and 13th Air Forces provide air support.

1944 — , May 8

  • ETO - UK: General Eisenhower reschedules the date for the D-Day invasion from May 19th to June 5th.
  • ETO - UK: US fighter ace Robert Johnson scores his 27th victory, exceeding the 26 victories achieved by WWI Captain Eddie Rickenbacker.
  • ETO - Germany: US 8th Air Force B-17s and B-24s bomb at Berlin, Brunswick, Brandenburg and Magderburg.
  • ETO: US 9th Air Force B-26s and A-20s bomb marshalling yards, coastal defenses, bridges, airfields and V-weapon sites in France and Belgium.
  • Germany: Rudolf Höss returns to Auschwitz Concentration Camp to personally supervise Aktion Höss, the extermination of 430,000 Hungarian Jews.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 97 of 191 of the Battle of the Narva Isthmus, Estonia. Both German and Soviet troops remain in their defensive positions.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 31 of 35 of the Battle of the Crimea.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 31 of 60 of the Battle of Romania, 1st Jassy Offensive. Day 7 of 7 of the 2nd Battle of Targu Frumos. The Soviets quit this offense in eastern Romania and withdraw to regroup.
  • MTO: US 15th Air Force B-17s and B-24s bomb targets in Romania and Yugoslavia.
  • MTO - Italy: Day 113 of 123 of the Battle of Monte Cassino. RAF and US Air Forces provide air support. The German Gustav Line continues getting weaker.
  • MTO - Italy: Day 108 of 136 of the Battle of Anzio. RAF and US Air Forces provide air support.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 65 of 166 of the UK's Operation THURSDAY.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 60 of 147 of the Battle of Myitkyina. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 38 of 302 of the Chinese Salween Offensive. US 14th Air Force provides air support.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,498 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 22 of 259 of Japan's Operation ICHI-GO.
    • Day 22 of 39 of the Battle of Central Henan, the first offensive in Japan's Operation ICHI-GO. Chinese troops are getting pushed out of central China.
  • CBI - China: The USS HOE damages two ships in a Japanese convoy in the South China Sea.
  • CBI - India: Day 62 of 118 of the Battle of Imphal-Kohima.
  • PTO - Marshall Islands: The US 7th Air Force bombs targets in the Jaluit and Wotje Atolls.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 70 of 80 of the Battle of the Admiralty Islands. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 146 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 17 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 190 of 295 of the Battle of the Bougainville Islands. US 13th Air Force provides air support.

1945 — , May 8

  • ETO: V-E Day (Victory in Europe Day) is declared, as the war in Europe is officially over, sparking spontaneous celebrations throughout the Allied nations. However, some pockets of resistance will continue.
    Spotlight...

    Churchill waves to cheering crowds in Whitehall
    on the day he broadcast to the nation
    that the war with Germany had been won

    After a week of unsuccessful negotiation and troop surrenders, the Allies formally accepted the unconditional surrender of the armed forces of Nazi Germany and the end of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich in the early morning of May 7 at Supreme Allied Commander Dwight Eisenhower's headquarters in Reims, France. Under the terms of the surrender, all German military operations were to cease at 11:01 pm on May 8.

    In the United Kingdom, more than one million people celebrated in the streets to mark the end of the European part of the war. In London, crowds massed in Trafalgar Square and up The Mall to Buckingham Palace, where King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, accompanied by Prime Minister Winston Churchill, appeared on the balcony of the Palace before the cheering crowds.

    Churchill said to his countrymen, "But there is another foe who occupies large portions of the British Empire, a foe stained with cruelty and greed - the Japanese. I rejoice we can all take a night off today and another day tomorrow."

    Although some pockets of resistance would continue, the European side of World War II is over.

    Confrontations between German and Soviet troops continued into the next day, May 9, when the Soviets would lose 600 more soldiers in Silesia before the Germans finally surrendered. Consequently, V-E Day was not celebrated until the ninth in Moscow, with a radio broadcast salute from Stalin himself: "The age-long struggle of the Slav nations... has ended in victory. Your courage has defeated the Nazis. The war is over."

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  • Atlantic: The total figures for the entire Battle of the Atlantic are announced...
      Allies losses: 3,500 merchant ships
      German losses: 769 U-boats.
  • Canada: Canadian sailors loot shops in Halifax, Nova Scotia, during V-E-Day celebrations.
  • ETO - Norway: German General Böhne announces the unconditional surrender of all German troops in Norway.
  • ETO - Netherlands: The Dutch Nazi Party leader Anton Mussert is arrested. US 8th Air Force drops food and supplies to Schipol, Alkmaar, Vogelenzang, Utrecht, and Hilversum.
  • ETO - France: Day 283 of 284 of the Battle of Brittany. Most of the German garrisons in the coastal strongholds finally surrender. Field Marshal Robert Ritter von Greim is captured by the US. However, it will take a few more days for all German troops to surrender.
  • ETO - France: Day 236 of 236 of the Siege of Dunkirk. Although the war is over, these defenders won't surrender until tomorrow.
  • Germany: In Berlin, Soviet Marshal Zhukov accepts the German surrender, which is to take effect on 11 May.
  • Russian Front: Soviet troops liberate the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp which still has about 30,000 prisoners. Elsewhere, Bernhard Rust commits suicide.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 206 of 206 of the Battle of the Courland Pocket in Latvia. 92 German ships of various sizes depart from Libau with 18,000 German refugees on board, sailing for Denmark and Germany. This is the final convoy out of Latvia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 23 of 23 of the Battle of Settin-Rostock, both sides of the border between Germany and Poland.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 6 of 6 of the Battle of Brandenberg, Germany.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 3 of 6 of the Battle of Prague. The Soviets launch a final assault in Czechoslovakia against what's left of the German Army.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 94 of 99 of the Battle of Pakokku and Irrawaddy River operations in central Burma.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,863 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 38 of 91 of the Battle of Zhijiang. US 14th Air Force provides air support.
    • Day 30 of 60 of the Battle of West Hunan (near Zhijiang). Japanese troops continue withdrawing from southern China.
    • The Japanese begin moving their air force in China to Korea. By the end of this month, over 10,000 personnel will have successfully reached their new bases.
  • PTO - Caroline Islands: US 7th Air Force bombs the runway on Param Island in Truk Atoll.
  • PTO - Dutch East Indies: Day 8 of 52 of the Battle of Tarakan Island.
  • PTO - Japan: US 20th Air Force B-29s hit airfields at Kanoya, Miyakonojo, Oita, and Matsuyama on Kyushu and Shikoku Islands.
  • PTO - Japan: Day 38 of 83 of the Battle of Okinawa. In celebration of V-E Day, every US gun present at Okinawa, including naval guns, fires one round at noon at the Japanese troops.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 498 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 382 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 201 of 299 of the 2nd Battle of the Philippines, aka the Liberation of the Philippines or the Philippines Campaign.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 145 of 244 of the Battle of Luzon. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 60 of 159 of the Battle of Mindanao Island. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 52 of 135 of the Battle of the Visayas region. US 5th and 7th Air Forces provide air support.

1948 — , May 8

  • Burma: Former Burmese Prime Minister U Saw is hanged in Insein prison near Rangoon, Burma, after his conviction for being too complicit in the assassination of General Aung San.

Day-By-Day listings for May 8 were last modified on Tuesday, February 16, 2016
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