UK: An attempt is made to assassinate British King Edward VIII. An Irish malcontent, Jerome Brannigan, aka George Andrew McMahon, is caught with a loaded revolver as the King rides on horseback near Buckingham Palace. At his trial, he will claim that a foreign power had approached him to kill Edward, that he had informed MI-5 of the plan and that he was merely seeing the plan through to help MI5 catch the real culprits. The court will reject his claims and send him to jail for a year.
1937 — , July 16
Spain: Day 365 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
CBI - China: Day 10 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 10 of 33 of the 2nd Battle of Hebei.
Day 3 of 22 of the Battle of Tainjin-Beijing.
1938 — , July 16
PTO - Japan: The 1940 Summer Olympic games, scheduled to be held in Tokyo, are canceled by Japan until "peace reigns again in the Far East." War will suspend all Olympiads until the London games of 1948. The games will finally be hosted in Tokyo in 1964.
[+] show related dates
Dates related to Olympics and Olympians in WWII...
26 Apr 31: Berlin wins bid to host the 1936 Olympics
01 Aug 36: Adolf Hitler opens the Berlin Olympic Games
CBI - China: Day 375 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 36 of 139 of the Battle of Wuhan.
1939 — , July 16
CBI - China: Day 740 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 33 of 68 of the Battle of Tianjin.
CBI - Mongolia: Day 67 of 129 of the Battle of Khalkhin Gol, a border dispute between the Soviet Union and Japan.
1940 — , July 16
Atlantic: In northern Scotland, British destroyer HMS IMOGEN sinks in Pentland Firth after colliding with the HMS GLASGOW in a heavy fog.
Atlantic: German sub U-61 torpedoes the British tanker SCOTTISH MINSTREL 130 miles northwest of Ireland. The tanker remains afloat for another day before sinking.
Atlantic: The German armed merchant cruiser THOR sinks the British ship WENDOVER in the South Atlantic.
ETO - UK: Day 7 of 114 of the Battle of Britain. The Luftwaffe's afternoon raid across the Channel but is met by RAF Spitfires.
ETO - France: Vichy France revokes the French citizenship of naturalized Jewish citizens. Meanwhile, in German-occupied Alsace-Lorraine, 22,000 French citizens are forcibly deported to France.
MTO - Italy: British sub HMS PHOENIX attacks the Italian torpedo boat ALBATROS southeast of Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea. However, the ALBATROS ends up sinking the PHOENIX, killing the entire crew.
MTO - Libya: British and Australian warships bombard Bardia.
Middle East: Italian bombers attack the British base at Haifa, British Mandate of Palestine.
East Africa: Day 37 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
PTO - Japan: The Japanese Cabinet resigns under pressure from the Imperial Army.
CBI - China: Day 1,106 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 245 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.
1941 — , July 16
South America: Day 12 of 27 of the Ecuadorian-Peruvian War, a territorial dispute between Peru and Ecuador.
ETO - France: Vichy France enacts a new law to exclude Jewish lawyers.
Germany: Germany reverses a prior decree by allowing those who are 50% Jewish and those who are married to women who are 50% Jewish to serve in the military.
Germany: Hitler gives instructions that Ukraine and the Kola Peninsula in northern Russia are to be annexed into Greater Germany, while East Karelia in northern Russia is to be given to Finland. In secret, he tells others to prepare plans for the annexation of Finland.
Russian Front - Finland: Day 18 of 142 of Operation SILVER FOX, a joint German-Finnish campaign to capture the Russian port of Murmansk in the Arctic.
Russian Front - Finland: Day 16 of 140 of Operation ARCTIC FOX, a joint German-Finnish campaign against Soviet Northern Front defenses at Salla, Finland.
Russian Front - Finland: Day 25 of 164 of the Battle of Hanko.
Russian Front - Finland: Day 7 of 18 of Finland's reconquest of Ladoga, Karelia. The Finns continue their offensive toward Lake Ladoga northeast of Leningrad.
Russian Front: Day 25 of 167 of Germany's Operation BARBAROSSA, the invasion of the USSR.
Russian Front - North: Soviet troops continue to advance in the Lake Ilmen area near Leningrad.
Russian Front - Center: Day 11 of 31 of the 1st Battle of Smolensk, Russia. Lt Yakov Dzhugashvili, the son of Stalin's first wife, is taken prisoner. Attempts by Germany to exchange him for Soviet-held Germans will all be turned down by Stalin. Yakov will not survive captivity, the when and how he dies will never be made clear.
Russian Front - Center: Day 4 of 12 of the Battle of Zhlobin, Belarus.
Russian Front - South: In Ukraine, units of German Army Group South continue preparing for a major assault on Kiev.
Russian Front - South: Day 2 of 25 of the Battle of Uman, Ukraine. German Army Group South traps 20 Soviet divisions in a pocket.
Russian Front - South: Day 15 of 21 of the Battle of Bessarabia, Russia. German and Romanian troops continue their attack at Bessarabia to take the land and city that Romania was forced to cede to the USSR a year ago.
Russian Front - South: German and Romanian troops keep pushing toward Vinnitsa and the Black Sea port of Odessa, Ukraine.
MTO - Libya: Day 98 of 256 of the Siege of Tobruk.
Middle East: Charles de Gaulle protests the Armistice of Saint Jean D'Acre between the United Kingdom and Vichy France because it makes no mention of the Free French.
East Africa: Day 402 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
CBI - China: Day 1,471 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
1942 — , July 16
Atlantic: German sub U-160 sinks the Panamanian tanker BEACONLIGHT 10 miles northwest of Galera Point, Trinidad. U-161 attacks an Allied convoy 500 miles north of St Thomas, Virgin Islands, sinking the US transport SS FAIRPORT. U-166 stops US trawler GERTRUDE 30 miles northeast of Havana, Cuba, and sinks her after the crew abandons ship.
ETO - France: French policemen round-up 12,887 Parisian Jews born outside of France. Half are sent to the Drancy Concentration Camp while the other half are detained at the Vélodrome d'Hiver stadium where they have to share one water tap and ten toilets.
ETO - Germany: The RAF bombs targets in the Ruhr region in Germany at dusk.
Russian Front - North: Day 312 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 73 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket.
Russian Front - Center: Day 15 of 22 of Germany's Operation SEYDLITZ, a plan to trap and capture numerous Soviet troops.
Russian Front - South: Day 19 of 27 of the Battle of Voronezh, Russia.
Russian Front - South: Day 19 of 150 of Germany's CASE BLUE, the failed offensive to take the Caucasus oil fields. German Army Group South continues toward Stalingrad.
MTO - Egypt: Day 16 of 27 of the 1st Battle of El Alamein. Australian troops attempt to recapture Point 24, suffering 50% casualties.
East Africa: Day 73 of 186 of the Battle of Madagascar.
CBI - China: Day 1,836 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 63 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.
US 10th Air Force bombs at Hankow, starting a fire that will last 3 days.
PTO - Alaska: Day 40 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands.
PTO - Malaya: Day 148 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island.
1943 — , July 16
UK: The British President of Education announces a plan to remodel secondary schools (ages of 11 and 15) by dividing the existing schools into grammar, modern and technical tiers.
Atlantic: A US Navy plane off the USS CORE sinks the German sub U-67 in the North Atlantic. Elsewhere, U-513 sinks the transport RICHARD CASWELL 150 miles southeast of Florianopolis, Brazil.
ETO - France: US 8th Air Force B-26s night bomb the marshalling yard at Abbeville. This is 8th Air Support Command's first combat operation.
Russian Front - North: Day 677 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 438 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket.
Russian Front - Center: Day 12 of 50 of the Battle of Kursk, Russia.
Russian Front - Center: Day 5 of 38 of the Battle of Orel, Russia.
Russian Front - South: Day 4 of 48 of the USSR's Lvov-Sandomierz Offensive.
MTO - Italy: Churchill and Roosevelt jointly issue an announcement to the Italian people, urging them to remove Benito Mussolini from power and seek surrender.
MTO - Italy: Day 8 of 40 of the Battle of Sicily. RAF and US Air Forces provide air support. Canadian troops take Caltagirone while the US takes Agringento.
CBI: German sub U-181 sinks the transport ship FORT FRANKLIN southwest of Réunion island in the Indian Ocean.
CBI - China: Day 2,201 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
PTO - Alaska: Day 405 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 86 of 148 of the 2nd Battle of Lae-Salamaua. US 5th and 13th Air Forces provide air support.
PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 27 of 67 of the Battle of New Georgia. US 5th and 13th Air Forces provide air support.
1944 — , July 16
ETO - UK: Day 34 of 86 of the V-1 "Buzz Bomb" offensive on Britain.
ETO - France: Day 41 of 49 of Operation OVERLORD, the Allied invasion of Normandy, France, known forever simply as D-Day. D-Day+40: Allied Air Forces provide air support. The US continues making small gains toward St Lo.
ETO - France: Day 41 of 62 of the Battle of Caen. Although the town has been captured, the surrounding area still needs to be cleared of German troops.
ETO - Germany: US 8th Air Force bombs at Munich, Stuggart, Augsburg and Saarbrucken.
Germany: Claus von Stauffenberg hosts a party at his home at Wannsee,which is attended by several of his anti-Hitler conspirators.
Russian Front - Finland: Day 2 of 3 of the Battle of Nietjarvi, Karelia. The Finns launch a counter-attack against the Soviet advance.
Russian Front - Finland: Day 26 of 50 of the Battle of Karelia. Soviet troops continue their offensive against the Finns in eastern Karelia between Lake Ladoga and Lake Onega in northern Russia.
Russian Front - North: Day 166 of 191 of the Battle of the Narva Isthmus, Estonia. Both German and Soviet troops remain locked in their defensive positions.
Russian Front - Center: Day 12 of 16 of the Battle of Vilnius, Lithuania.
Russian Front - Center: Day 12 of 27 of the Battle of Siauliai, Lithuania.
Russian Front - Center: Day 12 of 23 of the Battle of Belostock, Poland.
Russian Front - Center: Day 4 of 15 of the Battle of Lvov, Poland. Soviets are only 25 miles from Lvov. Another pocket forms in Ukraine as over 40,000 German troops are about to be encircled by the Soviets near Brody in the northern Ukraine.
Russian Front - Center: Day 4 of 15 of the Battle of Stanislav, Poland.
Russian Front - Center: Soviet troops attack Grodno, Byelorussia.
MTO - Austria: US 15th Air Force bombs targets in Austria.
MTO - Italy: Day 31 of 34 of the Battle of Ancona (north of Rome). Allied Air Forces provide air support. British 8th Army captures Arezzo and reaches the Arno river. US 5th Army takes the territory southeast of Leghorn and pushes to the Arno River Valley.
CBI - Burma: Day 134 of 166 of the UK's Operation THURSDAY. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
CBI - Burma: Day 129 of 147 of the Battle of Myitkyina. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
CBI - Burma: Day 107 of 302 of the Chinese Salween Offensive. US 14th Air Force provides air support.
CBI - China: Day 2,567 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 91 of 259 of Japan's Operation ICHI-GO.
Day 25 of 48 of the Battle of Hengyang. US 14th Air Force provides air support.
New Zealand Lieutenant-Commander R B Goodwin becomes the only POW to make a successful escape from Hong Kong. During the night he goes over the Shamsuipo camp wire and swims to the mainland of China, then hikes overland to Kunming.
[+] show related dates
Dates related to POW escapes...
31 Mar 41: British private becomes first to escape German POW camp
25 Jun 41: French POW attempts to escape Colditz dressed as woman
02 Jul 41: French POW escapes Colditz, scaling outer wall
PTO: Submarines USS GUARDFISH, USS PIRANHA and USS THRESHER attack a Japanese convoy en route from Formosa (Taiwan) to Manila, sinking 4 ships. The USS CABRILLA sinks a Japanese transport between Borneo and Philippine Islands.
PTO - Dutch New Guinea: Day 15 of 61 of the Battle of Noemfoor. Although the island has been declared secured, bitter fighting from Japanese continues.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 51 of 83 of the Battle of Biak. There are still 3,000 Japanese soldiers on the island who won't give up.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 215 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 86 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea. 5th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 33 of 80 of the Battle of Lone Tree Hill.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 7 of 47 of the Battle of Driniumor River, a failed Japanese offense on US troops near Aitape.
PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 259 of 295 of the Battle of the Bougainville Islands. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
1945 — , July 16
USA: The first Atomic Bomb is successfully detonated at White Sands Proving Ground near Alamogordo, New Mexico. Using about six kilograms of plutonium, it succeeds in unleashing an explosion equivalent to that of 19 kilotons of TNT. Meanwhile, the USS INDIANAPOLIS sails from San Francisco with the uranium bomb to be dropped on Hiroshima if the Japanese don't surrender.
Famous color photograph of the "Trinity" detonation at White Sands Proving Ground, New Mexico, the world's first nuclear explosion, 16 Jul 45.
The Trinity Test was of a plutonium bomb, not uranium. Testing of this plutonium bomb was seen as necessary, while the uranium bomb was not.
J Robert Oppenheimer, quoting the words of the Bhagavad Gita, said this day, "Now I have become Death the destroyer of worlds."