Germany: Nazis pass a law allowing forced abortions on women to prevent them from passing on bad hereditary diseases.
1936 — , June 26
Germany: The initial flight takes place of the Focke-Wulf Fw 61, the first practical helicopter. A single, radial engine drives twin rotors, set on outriggers to the left and right of the fuselage. The counter-rotation of the two rotors solves the problem of torque-reaction. Only two of these prototypes were produced.
The Focke-Wulf Fw 61, the first practical helicopter
In February 1938, the Fw 61 was demonstrated by Hanna Reitsch indoors at the Deutschlandhalle sports stadium in Berlin, Germany. It subsequently set several records for altitude, speed and flight duration, culminating, in June 1938, with an altitude record of 3,427 m (11,243 ft) and a straight line flight record of 230 km (143 mi).
Neither of the two helicopters prototypes were used militarily and neither appear to have survived World War II, their demise unknown.
Germany: The German military begins excluding Jews from military service.
1937 — , June 26
Spain: Day 345 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
1938 — , June 26
Spain: Day 710 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
CBI - China: Day 355 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 16 of 139 of the Battle of Wuhan.
1939 — , June 26
Germany: The Gestapo orders all Czechs who are deemed as unwilling to work, politically active or deemed as having anti-German beliefs are to be placed in concentration camps.
CBI - China: Day 720 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 13 of 68 of the Battle of Tianjin.
Day 6 of 7 of Operation SWATOW, the Japanese offensive to take Shantou in southern China.
CBI - Mongolia: Day 47 of 129 of the Battle of Khalkhin Gol, a border dispute between the Soviet Union and Japan.
1940 — , June 26
USA: The Packard Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan, receives a license to build P-51 Mustang fighters with Rolls-Royce Merlin engines.
Atlantic: The United Kingdom extends their blockade of war materials and food to include all of France.
Atlantic: The Norwegian merchant ship CRUX is sunk 300 miles west of Cape St Vincent, Portugal, by a German submarine.
Atlantic: German sub U-29 stops the Greek ship DIMITRIS off Cape Finisterre, Spain. After the crew abandons ship, it is sunk by gunfire.
ETO - UK: General Charles de Gaulle creates the French Volunteer Legion in England.
Eastern Front: The Soviet Union makes an ultimatum demanding territory from Romania in Bessarabia and northern Bukovina.
MTO - Turkey: Turkey announces that they will stay out of the war.
East Africa: Day 17 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
CBI - China: Day 1,086 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 225 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.
1941 — , June 26
ETO - Spain: Spain officially begins to organize a unit of volunteers to fight in Russia on the side of the Axis.
Russian Front - Finland: Day 5 of 164 of the Battle of Hanko. Finland declares war on the Soviet Union.
Russian Front: Day 5 of 167 of Germany's Operation BARBAROSSA, the invasion of the USSR.
Russian Front - Lithuania: Day 4 of 5 of the Battle of Raseiniai. Other German units capture Dünaburg in Latvia as the Luftwaffe begins bombing Leningrad.
Russian Front - Center: Day 5 of 12 of the Battle of Minsk. The fighting gets heavy as the Germans close in on the surrounded Soviet troops at Bialystok.
Russian Front - Center: Day 5 of 8 of the Battle of Brest, Russia.
Russian Front - South: Day 4 of 8 of the Battle of Brody, Poland.
MTO - Libya: Day 78 of 256 of the Siege of Tobruk.
Middle East: Day 19 of 37 of the Battle for Syria and Lebanon.
East Africa: Day 382 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
CBI - China: Day 1,451 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
1942 — , June 26
USA: The Grumman XF6F-3 Hellcat prototype makes its maiden flight. It goes on to be, arguably, the most significant Allied carrier fighter of the war.
Atlantic: Day 164 of 169 of Germany's Second "Happy Time," during which U-boats sink 609 Allied ships with little risk.
Russian Front - North: Day 292 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 53 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket.
Russian Front - Center: Day 29 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. In Ukraine, German troops capture Kupyansk over the river Oskel, for use as a jump-off point for their summer offensive.
Russian Front - South: Day 240 of 248 of the Siege of Sevastopol, Crimean Peninsula. The Germans keep pressing on the Soviet's east line.
MTO - Malta: The Italians are able to step up their air attacks on Malta by withdrawing warplanes from Libya to Sicily.
MTO - Egypt: Italian troops reach Mersa Matruh in the afternoon and engage the Indian 10th Infantry Division. To the south, German forces move toward Minqar Qaim.
MTO - Libya: US HALPRO B-24s fly a diversion for an RAF attack on merchant vessels at Tobruk.
East Africa: Day 53 of 186 of the Battle of Madagascar.
CBI - China: Day 1,816 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 43 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 20 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands. US 11th Air Force B-24s drop incendiary bombs on installations at Kiska Harbor.
PTO - Malaya: Day 128 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island.
PTO - Marshall Islands: US 7th Air Force night bombs Japanese installations on Wake Island.
1943 — , June 26
Germany: Berlin war widow Marianne Elise Kurchner, who worked at an armaments factory, is put to death by guillotine for telling a Hitler joke.
Roland Freisler (center) of the feared People's Court
Hitler and Goering are standing atop the Berlin radio tower. Hitler says he wants to do something to put a smile on Berliners' faces. So Goering says, "Why don't you jump?"
Marianne Elise Kurchner was called up before the People's Court (Volksgerichtshof), whose president, Roland Freisler, was famous for both his long raving speeches berating defendants, and his death sentences. She admitted to telling the joke but said she hadn't been herself at the time, feeling bitter about the recent loss of her husband at the front.
Freisler would have none of it and she was immediately sentenced to the guillotine.