WWII Day-By-Day
Selected: June 18
       Overview of WWII on June 18 by year...

1935 — , June 18

  • Europe: The Anglo-German Naval Agreement is signed, limiting the German Navy to 35% of the British Navy's surface fleet and its submarine fleet to 45%. This agreement signals Britain's unwillingness to defend the Versailles settlement.

1937 — , June 18

  • Spain: Day 337 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.

1938 — , June 18

  • Spain: Day 702 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • CBI - China: Day 347 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 8 of 139 of the Battle of Wuhan.

1939 — , June 18

  • CBI - China: Day 712 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 5 of 68 of the Battle of Tianjin.
  • CBI - Mongolia: Day 39 of 129 of the Battle of Khalkhin Gol, a border dispute between the Soviet Union and Japan.

1940 — , June 18

  • ETO - Germany: Hitler and Mussolini meet in Munich to discuss France's imminent fall in four days and how to divvy up French spoils. It is the fourth of their fourteen meetings.

    Mussolini and Hitler in Munich

    Benito Mussolini visited a clearly triumphant Adolf Hitler in Munich, holding discussions with his senior Axis partner on how to divvy up French spoils, following Hitler's 10 May 40 swift invasion of the Low Countries and France, and France's imminent fall in four days on 22 Jun 40.

    Not wanting to be left out of the spoils, Mussolini's troops will cross the Alps and invade southern France in three days, 21 Jun 40, only to be repelled by a very small French garrison at Menton, five miles inside the border. For this, Mussolini will not be given any part of France. Il Duce will be left extremely embarrassed by the inability of his troops to break through French lines.

    The discussions were held in the same room where he, Hitler, Daladier, and Chamberlain had divvied up Czechoslovakia in September of 1938.

    The 14 meetings between Hitler and Mussolini...

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  • UK: Churchill speaks to the House of Commons, saying, "Let us so bear ourselves that men will still say, this was their finest hour."
  • Atlantic: Southwest of Ireland, German sub U-28 sinks the Finnish ship SARMATIA while U-32 sinks the Spanish trawlers SALVORA and NUEVO ONS and the Norwegian ship ALTAIR.
  • ETO - UK: The Luftwaffe attacks the Thames Estuary and along the east coast of England.
  • ETO - Sweden: Sweden gets indications that the UK might have to make peace with Germany, therefore, they agree to let Germany use their railroad into Norway for bringing in more reinforcements, but no more than the number of those being evacuated. This limit is placed so no one can say that Sweden is helping Germany.
  • ETO - France: General de Gaulle forms the French National Committee in London and vows to continue the war on the side of Britain, saying that "France has lost a battle, but France has not lost the war."
  • ETO - France: Day 40 of 44 of the Battle of France. German troops capture Le Mans and Cherbourg.
  • Eastern Front: The fighting at Tallinn, Estonia, continues although the government has given in to Soviet demands.
  • East Africa: Day 9 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,078 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 217 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.
    • Day 49 of 49 of the Battle of Yichang. The Chinese defeat the Japanese invaders. This battle is just one of 22 such battles for control of this region. The Japanese had under-estimated the Chinese and didn't send enough troops to do the job.

1941 — , June 18

  • Atlantic: German sub U-552 sinks the British ship NORFOLK 150 miles northwest of Ireland.
  • Atlantic: British destroyers HMS FAUKLNOR, HMS FEARLESS, HMS FORESTER, HMS FORESIGHT and HMS FOXHOUND gang up and sink U-138 with depth charges 100 miles west of Gibraltar.
  • ETO - UK: The British press gives details of development of their radio location device used in the Battle of Britain. Exactly two years from now, this device will become better known by its American acronym RADAR.
  • MTO: Germany and Turkey sign a ten-year non-aggression pact.
  • MTO - Libya: Day 70 of 256 of the Siege of Tobruk.
  • Middle East: Day 11 of 37 of the Battle for Syria and Lebanon. Free French troops occupy Damascus.
  • East Africa: Day 374 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,443 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.

1942 — , June 18

  • Atlantic: Day 156 of 169 of Germany's Second "Happy Time," during which U-boats sink 609 Allied ships with little risk.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 284 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 45 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 21 of 31 of Operation KREMLIN, a German diversion to trick the Soviets into thinking Moscow is their main objective instead of Stalingrad and the Caucasus.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 232 of 248 of the Siege of Sevastopol, Crimean Peninsula. The Soviets are running low on supplies. German troops seize Fort Maxim Gorky just outside of town.
  • MTO - Libya: Day 24 of 27 of the Battle of Gazala. Rommel isolates Tobruk by cutting the coast road at Gambut while the British 8th Army evacuates Sidi Rezegh and El Adem.
  • East Africa: Day 45 of 186 of the Battle of Madagascar.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,808 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 35 of 124 of Japan's Zhejiang-Jiangxi Campaign, launched to punish anyone suspected of aiding the Doolittle raiders in China. Roughly 250,000 Chinese will be killed.
  • PTO - Alaska: Day 12 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands. US 11th Air Force B-17s and B-24s bomb on Kiska Harbor, sinking the Japanese fleet tanker NISSAN MARU.
  • PTO - Malaya: Day 120 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island.

1943 — , June 18

  • ETO - UK: The word RADAR, acronym for RAdio Detection And Ranging, is made the official name for this new technology, replacing Radiolocation.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 649 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 410 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket.
  • MTO - Italy: US 12th Air Force bombs targets at Messina and the airfield at Milo.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,173 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • PTO: Day 23 of 47 adrift in a raft for the survivors of B-24 GREEN HORNET that crashed 850 miles from Hawaii.
  • PTO - Alaska: Day 377 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 58 of 148 of the 2nd Battle of Lae-Salamaua. US 5th and 13th Air Forces provide air support.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: US 13th Air Force bombs the Kahili Airfield on Bougainville Island.

1944 — , June 18

  • ETO - UK: Day 6 of 86 of the V-1 "Buzz Bomb" offensive on Britain. The Guards Chapel, across the street from Buckingham Palace, is hit by a V-1 buzz bomb during Sunday morning services, killing 119 soldiers and civilians.
  • ETO - France: Day 13 of 49 of Operation OVERLORD, the Allied invasion of Normandy, France, known forever simply as D-Day.
  • ETO - France: Day 13 of 62 of the Battle of Caen.
  • ETO - France: Day 13 of 25 of the Battle of Cherbourg. US 1st Army cuts off and isolates the German forces defending Cherbourg.
  • ETO - Germany: US 8th Air Force B-17s and B-24s resume their bombing attacks inside Germany, hitting several targets near or at Hamburg, Bremen and Bremerhaven.
  • Russian Front - Finland: Day 9 of 11 of the Battle of Vyborg. Soviet troops keep pushing the Finnish troops backwards on the Karelian Isthmus.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 138 of 191 of the Battle of the Narva Isthmus, Estonia. Both German and Soviet troops remain locked in their defensive positions.
  • MTO - Italy: Day 14 of 16 of the Battle of the Trasimene Line (north of Rome). Allied Air Forces provide air support. The British 8th Army captures Assisi.
  • MTO - Italy: Day 3 of 34 of the Battle of Ancona.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 106 of 166 of the UK's Operation THURSDAY. Monsoon season bogs down all operations. Gurkha troops of the Chindits make contact with Chinese troops at the village of Lakum in northern Burma.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 101 of 147 of the Battle of Myitkyina. US 10th Air Force provides air support. Monsoon season bogs down all operations.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 79 of 302 of the Chinese Salween Offensive. US 14th Air Force provides air support. Monsoon season bogs down all operations.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,539 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 63 of 259 of Japan's Operation ICHI-GO.Japanese troops capture Changsha.
  • CBI - India: Day 103 of 118 of the Battle of Imphal-Kohima. The incoming British 2nd Division manages to advance 14 miles toward Imphal.
  • PTO - Caroline Islands: US 7th Air Force bombs targets on Nauru Island and in the Truk Atoll.
  • PTO - Mariana Islands: Day 4 of 25 of the Battle of Saipan.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 23 of 83 of the Battle of Biak. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 187 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 58 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 5 of 80 of the Battle of Lone Tree Hill.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 231 of 295 of the Battle of the Bougainville Islands. US 13th Air Force provides air support.

1945 — , June 18

  • USA: "Eisenhower Day" in Washington DC. General Dwight D Eisenhower arrives to a hero's welcome to celebrate all he has done as leader of military forces in WWII.

    General Eisenhower returns triumphant from Europe to a hero's welcome in Washington DC to celebrate all he has done as leader of military forces in World War II

    Dwight D Eisenhower had unarguably one of the longest and most taxing leadership roles in American history. For two decades, the lives of thousands, sometimes millions, of people and the fate of great nations hung on his decisions.

    As Supreme Allied Commander during World War II, Eisenhower oversaw the greatest amphibious assault in history, organizing the largest air and sea armadas ever assembled and commanding 160,000 men in the momentous Operation OVERLORD.

    After the success of that mission helped bring the war to a close, Eisenhower dreamed of going home to a happy and peaceful retirement. Instead, he went on to serve in five more globally pivotal positions: Head of the American Occupation Zone in Germany, Chief of Staff, president of Columbia University, Supreme Commander of NATO, and President of the United States of America.

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  • USA: Cartoonist Bill Mauldin's "Willie" character makes the cover of Time Magazine.

    Time Magazine June 18, 1945 issue

    William Henry "Bill" Mauldin was a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist. He was most famous for his World War II cartoons depicting American soldiers, as represented by the archetypal characters "Willie and Joe", two weary and bedraggled infantry troopers who stoically endure the difficulties and dangers of duty in the field. These cartoons were broadly published and distributed in the American army abroad and in the United States.

    While in the 45th Infantry Division, Mauldin volunteered to work for the unit's newspaper, drawing cartoons about regular soldiers. During July 1943, Mauldin's cartoon work continued when, as a sergeant of the 45th Division's press corps, he landed with the division in the invasion of Sicily and later in the Italian campaign. Mauldin began working for Stars and Stripes, the American soldiers' newspaper; as well as the 45th Division News, until he was officially transferred to the Stars and Stripes in February 1944.

    By March 1944, he was given his own jeep, in which he roamed the front, collecting material and producing six cartoons a week. His cartoons were viewed by soldiers throughout Europe during World War II, and were also published in the United States. The War Office supported their syndication, not only because they helped publicize the ground forces but also to show the grim and bitter side of war, which helped show that victory would not be easy.

    Those officers who had served in the army before the war were generally offended by Mauldin, who parodied the spit-shine and obedience-to-order-without-question view that was more easily maintained during that time of peace. General George Patton once summoned Mauldin to his office and threatened to "throw his ass in jail" for "spreading dissent," this after one of Mauldin's cartoons made fun of Patton's demand that all soldiers must be clean-shaven at all times, even in combat. But Dwight Eisenhower, Supreme Commander European Theater, told Patton to leave Mauldin alone, because he felt that Mauldin's cartoons gave the soldiers an outlet for their frustrations. Mauldin told an interviewer later, "I always admired Patton. Oh, sure, the stupid bastard was crazy. He was insane. He thought he was living in the Dark Ages. Soldiers were peasants to him. I didn't like that attitude, but I certainly respected his theories and the techniques he used to get his men out of their foxholes."

    Bill Mauldin (29 Oct 1921 - 22 Jan 2003) in 1945

    In 1945, at the age of 23, Mauldin won the Pulitzer Prize. In 1959, he won the Pulitzer Prize again for a cartoon depicting Doctor Zhivago author Boris Pasternak in a Soviet Gulag prison camp with the caption "I won the Nobel Prize for literature. What was your crime?" Mauldin himself made the cover of Time on July 21, 1961.

  • UK: The British begin demobilizing their army.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,904 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 79 of 91 of the Battle of Zhijiang. US 14th Air Force provides air support. Japanese troops continue pulling out of China.
  • PTO - Alaska: US 11th Air Force B-24s join US Navy fighters and attack at Kataoka, Shimushu Island, and Tomari Cape, Paramushiru Island.
  • PTO - Borneo: Day 9 of 67 of the Battle of North Borneo. The US minesweeper YMS-50 hits a mine during the landings at Balikpapan. The sweeper is scuttled by the US DENVER.
  • PTO - Dutch East Indies: Day 49 of 52 of the Battle of Tarakan Island.
  • PTO - Japan: Day 79 of 83 of the Battle of Okinawa. Lt Gen Simon Bolivar Buckner Jr is killed by enemy artillery fire, the highest-ranking US military officer to have been lost to enemy fire during the entire war.

    Lt General Simon Bolivar Buckner Jr (foreground)
    with Maj Gen Lemuel Shepherd (left), Okinawa 1945

    Simon Bolivar Buckner Jr was promoted to Brigadier General in 1940 and was assigned to fortify and protect Alaska as commander of the Army's Alaska Defense Command. He was promoted to Major General in August 1941 and again promoted to Lieutenant General in 1943.

    In July 1944, Buckner was sent to Hawaii to organize the 10th Army, which was composed of both Army and Marine units. The original mission of the 10th Army was to prepare for the invasion of Formosa (Taiwan). However, this operation was canceled, and Buckner's command was instead ordered to prepare for the Battle of Okinawa, which turned out to be the largest, slowest and bloodiest sea-land-air battle in American military history.

    On June 18, 1945, Buckner had arrived in his command jeep which was flying its standard 3 star flag, to inspect a forward observation post. Visits from the general were not always welcome as his presence frequently drew enemy fire, which usually happened as General Buckner was departing. Buckner had arrived with his standard bright three stars showing on his steel helmet and a nearby Marine outpost sent a signal to Buckner's position stating that they could clearly see the general's three stars on his helmet. Told of this, Buckner replaced his own helmet with an unmarked one.

    However, a small, flat trajectory Japanese artillery projectile struck a coral rock outcropping next to the general and fragments entered his chest. Buckner was carried by stretcher to a nearby aid station, where he died on the operating table.

    Buckner was posthumously promoted to the rank of full four-star General on 19 Jul 54 by a Special Act of Congress.

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  • PTO - Japan: The US sub BONEFISH is sunk by Japanese naval vessels in Toyama Wan, Honshu.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 539 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 423 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 241 of 299 of the 2nd Battle of the Philippines, aka the Liberation of the Philippines or the Philippines Campaign.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 186 of 244 of the Battle of Luzon. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 101 of 159 of the Battle of Mindanao Island. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 93 of 135 of the Battle of the Visayas region. US 5th and 7th Air Forces provide air support.

1947 — , June 18

  • PTO - Japan: Having been sentenced to death by a military tribunal for war crimes in connection with his actions in the "Wake Island Massacre," Japanese Rear Admiral and garrison commander Shigematsu Sakaibara is hanged.

Day-By-Day listings for June 18 were last modified on Tuesday, February 2, 2016
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