Germany: President Paul von Hindenburg dies and Hitler seizes dictatorial powers as Führer, the combination of president, chancellor and chief of armed forces. The Wehrmacht Oath of Allegiance is changed so that all military personnel swears allegiance directly to Adolf Hitler rather than to Germany.
1936 — , August 2
Spain: Day 17 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
1937 — , August 2
Spain: Day 382 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
CBI - China: Day 27 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 27 of 33 of the 2nd Battle of Hebei.
Day 20 of 22 of the Battle of Tainjin-Beijing. The Chinese troops defending Tianjin begin withdrawing.
Day 2 of 12 of the Battle of Chahar.
1938 — , August 2
Spain: Day 747 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
CBI - China: Day 392 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 53 of 139 of the Battle of Wuhan.
CBI - Russia: Day 5 of 14 of the Battle of Lake Khasan, a border dispute between the Soviet Union and Japan. More Soviet reinforcements arrive to the region.
1939 — , August 2
USA: In a letter written by Leó Szilárd and signed by Albert Einstein, the two physicists alert President Roosevelt of ongoing Nazi atomic bomb research and urge him to allocate funding to beat them to the punch. This leads to the creation of the Manhattan Project.
Albert Einstein in 1921
Einstein and Szilárd, along with other refugees such as Edward Teller and Eugene Wigner, regarded it as their responsibility to alert America to the possibility that German scientists might win the race to build an atomic bomb, and to warn that Hitler would be more than willing to resort to such a weapon. Einstein was persuaded to lend his prestige by signing his name to the letter, which is believed to be the key stimulus for the US adoption of serious investigations into nuclear weapons.
President Roosevelt simply could not risk allowing Hitler to possess an atomic bomb first. As a result of Einstein's letter and his later meetings with Roosevelt, the US entered the "race" to develop the bomb, drawing on its immense material, financial, and scientific resources to initiate the Manhattan Project.
CBI - China: Day 757 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 50 of 68 of the Battle of Tianjin.
CBI - Mongolia: Day 84 of 129 of the Battle of Khalkhin Gol, a border dispute between the Soviet Union and Japan.
1940 — , August 2
Canada: Montreal's mayor Camillien Houde publicly urges Quebecers to not sign up for national registration for war duty.
Atlantic: Overnight, British sub HMS THAMES hits a mine and sinks southwest of Stavanger, Norway.
ETO - UK: Day 24 of 114 of the Battle of Britain. During the day, the Luftwaffe attacks convoys in the English Channel and along the east coast of Britain, sinking anti-submarine trawler HMT CAPE FINESTERRE off Harwich.
ETO - France: A French military court sentences General de Gaulle to death in absentia.
MTO: Italy begins massing troops on Libya-Egypt border.
East Africa: Day 54 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
CBI - China: Day 1,123 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 262 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.
1941 — , August 2
ETO - Norway: All civilian radios in Norway are confiscated by German occupation troops.
USSR: Russia agrees to accept aid from the US.
Russian Front - Finland: Day 35 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 33 of 140 of Operation ARCTIC FOX, a joint German-Finnish campaign against Soviet Northern Front defenses at Salla, Finland.
Russian Front - Finland: Day 42 of 164 of the Battle of Hanko. The Soviet subs M99 and S11 are sunk by German mines in the Baltic Sea.
Russian Front: Day 42 of 167 of Germany's Operation BARBAROSSA, the invasion of the USSR.
Russian Front - North: Army Group North continues advancing toward Leningrad, but at a very slow pace.
Russian Front - Center: Day 28 of 31 of the 1st Battle of Smolensk, Russia. Heavy fighting continues west of Smolensk.
Russian Front - Center: Day 10 of 38 of the Battle of Gomel, Belarus. Heavy fighting continues at Gomel.
Russian Front - South: Day 19 of 25 of the Battle of Uman, Ukraine.
Russian Front - South: German and Romanian troops keep pushing toward Vinnitsa and the Black Sea port of Odessa, Ukraine.
MTO - Yugoslavia: Croatia establishes a diplomatic relationship with the Japanese-sponsored puppet state of Manchukuo.
MTO - Libya: Day 115 of 256 of the Siege of Tobruk. Australian troops suffer heavy casualties in trying to take the Italian positions outside Tobruk. German dive bombers attack an Allied convoy off the coast but they are driven away by British fighters.
East Africa: Day 419 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
CBI - China: Day 1,488 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
1942 — , August 2
Russian Front - North: Day 329 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 90 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket.
Russian Front - Center: Day 4 of 64 of the 1st Battle of Rzhev-Sychevka, Russia. German troops near Rzhev continue their attempts to break their encirclement.
Russian Front - South: Day 36 of 150 of Germany's CASE BLUE, the failed offensive to take the Caucasus oil fields. German Army Group B continues fighting the Soviets near Kalach on the road to Stalingrad.
Russian Front - South: Day 11 of 20 of Germany's Operation EDELWEISS. German Army Group A continues branching out in the Caucasus region.
Russian Front - South: In the Black Sea area, Italian torpedo boats and German HE-111 bombers attack the Russian cruiser MOLOTOV off Feodossiya, putting the ship out of commission for a year.
East Africa: Day 90 of 186 of the Battle of Madagascar.
CBI - China: Day 1,853 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 80 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 57 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands.
PTO - Malaya: Day 165 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 13 of 119 of the Battle of the Kokoda Track. 5th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - Solomon Islands: US 5th Army Air Force hits the north coast of Guadalcanal where the US invasion troops will soon be landing.
1943 — , August 2
PTO - Solomon Islands: Patrol Torpedo Boat PT-109, commanded by Lieutenant and future President John F Kennedy, is rammed and cut in half by the Japanese destroyer AMAGIRI and sinks off the Solomon Islands.
The Crew of PT-109
Lt John F Kennedy stands at far right.
Around 2:00 am, on a moonless night, PT-109 was idling on one engine to avoid detection of her wake by Japanese aircraft when the crew realized they were in the path of the Japanese destroyer AMAGIRI, which was returning to Rabaul from Vila, Kolombangara after offloading supplies and 900 soldiers. The AMAGIRI was traveling at a relatively high speed of between 23-40 knots in order to reach harbor by dawn, when Allied air patrols were likely to appear. The crew had less than 10 seconds to get the engines up to speed, and were run down by the destroyer.
Conflicting statements have been made as to whether the destroyer captain had spotted and steered toward the boat; some reports suggest the AMAGIRI's captain never realized what happened until after the fact; although the author, Donovan, having interviewed the men on the destroyer concluded that it was not an accident. Damage to a propeller slowed the Japanese destroyer's trip to her own home base.
Seamen Andrew Jackson Kirksey and Harold W Marney were killed in the ramming and subsequent explosion, and two other members of the crew were badly injured. The survivors swam for four hours to a deserted island and were rescued 6 days later.
ETO- France: US 8th Air Force B-26s bomb two airfields in France.
ETO - Germany: The RAF makes its ninth attack on Hamburg in eight days. More bombs have now been dropped on Hamburg than on London during the whole of the Blitz. An estimated 50,000 are killed, equal to Britain's entire civilian losses by bombing in the war so far.
Germany: Auschwitz Concentration Camp's special camp for Roma people is liquidated as 2,897 prisoners are gassed. Meanwhile, 200 Jews revolt in Treblinka concentration camp, burning down several buildings and attempting to escape. Camp guards find and kill most of them.
Russian Front - North: Day 694 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 455 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket.
Russian Front - Center: Day 29 of 50 of the Battle of Kursk, Russia.
Russian Front - Center: Day 22 of 38 of the Battle of Orel, Russia. The Soviets gain ground at Orel.
Russian Front - South: Day 11 of 23 of the Battle of Belgorod, Russia.
Russian Front - South: Day 21 of 48 of the USSR's Lvov-Sandomierz Offensive. Soviet troops are repelled at Izyum and along the Mius River in Ukraine.
MTO - Italy: Day 25 of 40 of the Battle of Sicily. RAF and US Air Forces provide air support. The British gain control of Regalbuto and fight indecisively in the streets of Centuripe.
CBI - China: Day 2,218 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
PTO - Alaska: Day 422 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands. US 11th Air Force bombs Kiska and Little Kiska Islands.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 103 of 148 of the 2nd Battle of Lae-Salamaua. US 5th and 13th Air Forces provide air support.
PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 44 of 67 of the Battle of New Georgia. US 5th and 13th Air Forces provide air support.
1944 — , August 2
ETO - UK: Day 51 of 86 of the V-1 "Buzz Bomb" offensive on Britain. Winston Churchill makes a statement to the House of Commons and says after seven weeks of non-stop V-1 attacks, 5,340 have been launched, 4,735 people have been killed, 14,000 injured and 17,000 houses have been completely destroyed.
Atlantic: German sub U-804 sinks the US destroyer escort USS FISKE in the central Atlantic.
ETO - France: Day 9 of 29 of the Breakout Battle of Normandy. The US 9th Air Force has to cancel its scheduled bombing missions to fly only missions requested by Patton's US 3rd Army. This is done in order to give Patton more gasoline for his armored columns racing across the country.
[+] show related dates
Patton related dates...
04 Apr 41: Promoted to Major General (shows full promotions table)
06 Mar 43: Named the commanding officer of the US II Corps
ETO - France: Day 58 of 62 of the Battle of Caen. Canadian troops continue attacking south of Caen.
ETO - France: Day 2 of 284 of the Battle of Brittany. US troops move along the Brittany coast.
Germany: During Zigeunernacht (Gypsy Night), 4,000 Roma citizens are killed and cremated at Auschwitz Concentration Camp.
Russian Front - Finland: Day 8 of 19 of the Battle of Ilomantsi, North Karelia.
Russian Front - Finland: Day 43 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 183 of 191 of the Battle of the Narva Isthmus, Estonia. Day 9 of 19 of the Battle of Tannenberg Line, Estonia. The Germans continue holding the Sinimaed Hills west of Narva.
Russian Front - Center: Day 6 of 32 of the Battle of Kaunas, Lithuania.
Russian Front - Center: Day 16 of 16 of the Battle of Lublin, Poland. The Soviets have driven German Army Group Centre out of most of Poland and Belarus. The First Polish Army establishes a bridgehead across the Vistula River, 40 miles to the south of Warsaw.
MTO - Turkey: Turkey ends their diplomatic relations with Germany.
MTO - Italy: Allied troops continue pressing the German line holding the Po Valley. Allied Air Forces provide air support.
MTO - France: US 12th and 15th Air Forces bomb targets in southern France.
CBI - Burma: Day 151 of 166 of the UK's Operation THURSDAY. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
CBI - Burma: Day 146 of 147 of the Battle of Myitkyina. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
CBI - Burma: Day 124 of 302 of the Chinese Salween Offensive. US 14th Air Force provides air support.
CBI - China: Day 2,584 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 108 of 259 of Japan's Operation ICHI-GO.
Day 42 of 48 of the Battle of Hengyang. US 14th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - Caroline Islands: US planes hits targets on Yap Island.
PTO - Dutch New Guinea: Day 32 of 61 of the Battle of Noemfoor. Although the island has been declared secured, bitter fighting from Japanese continues.
PTO - Mariana Islands: Day 13 of 21 of the 2nd Battle of Guam. US 7th Air Force provides air support. Although this battle is declared as completed, it'll be a while before it's really over.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 68 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 232 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 103 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea. 5th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 50 of 80 of the Battle of Lone Tree Hill.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 24 of 47 of the Battle of Driniumor River, a failed Japanese offense on US troops near Aitape.
PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 276 of 295 of the Battle of the Bougainville Islands. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
1945 — , August 2
Denmark: British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery is awarded the Order of the Elephant of Denmark.
CBI: The USS BUGARA sinks a small enemy vessel in the Gulf of Siam and 5 more during the day in the South China Sea.
CBI: The USS RAY sinks a small Japanese vessel in the Gulf of Thailand.
CBI - China: Day 2,949 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
PTO: A number of survivors of the cruiser USS INDIANAPOLIS, which had sunk 4 days earlier, are found.
PTO - Alaska: On Shimushu Island in the Kurile Islands, US 11th Air Force B-24s bomb the Kataoka Naval Base and Kokutan Zaki.
PTO - Borneo: Day 54 of 67 of the Battle of North Borneo. US 5th and 13th Air Forces provide air support.
PTO - Japan: On the Japanese island of Sado, 387 Allied prisoners working as slave laborers in an ore mine are deliberately entombed and left to suffocate below ground. The Japanese blew up the facility in an effort to obliterate any trace of the camp before the Allies inevitably arrive.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 584 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 468 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - Philippines: Day 286 of 299 of the 2nd Battle of the Philippines, aka the Liberation of the Philippines or the Philippines Campaign.
PTO - Philippines: Divers from USS CHANTICLEER discover the wreck of destroyer YUZUKI under 70 feet of water near Cebu. Two days later divers will recover the decoding machines in the ship's radio shack.
PTO - Philippines: Day 231 of 244 of the Battle of Luzon. The battle is said to over but hold-outs will continue fighting until the end of the war.
PTO - Philippines: Day 146 of 159 of the Battle of Mindanao Island. The battle is said to over but hold-outs will continue fighting until the end of the war.
1946 — , August 2
USSR: General Andrey Vlasov is executed by the Soviets for treason. Nikolaus von Falkenhorst is sentenced to death, but his sentence will later be commuted to an imprisonment term.
Day-By-Day listings for August 2 were last modified on Sunday, January 31, 2016