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Selected: August 4
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1936 — , August 4

  • Spain: Day 19 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.

1937 — , August 4

  • Spain: Day 384 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • CBI - China: Day 29 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 29 of 33 of the 2nd Battle of Hebei.
    • Day 22 of 22 of the Battle of Tainjin-Beijing. The Chinese troops have withdrawn from Beiping.
    • Day 4 of 12 of the Battle of Chahar.

1938 — , August 4

  • Spain: Day 749 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • CBI - China: Day 394 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 55 of 139 of the Battle of Wuhan. Japanese and Chinese troops clash at Jinjiashan, Maanshan and Datianshan south of Jiujiang in Jiangxi Province.
  • CBI - Russia: Day 7 of 14 of the Battle of Lake Khasan, a border dispute between the Soviet Union and Japan.

1939 — , August 4

  • Poland: Polish customs officials on the Danzig border begin carrying arms, which alerts the Germans.
  • CBI - China: Day 759 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 52 of 68 of the Battle of Tianjin.
  • CBI - Mongolia: Day 86 of 129 of the Battle of Khalkhin Gol, a border dispute between the Soviet Union and Japan.

1940 — , August 4

  • Atlantic: The British sub HMS SEALION sinks the Norwegian ship TORUN off of the southern coast of Norway.
  • Atlantic: German sub U-58 sinks the Greek ship PINDOS 10 miles from the Irish coast. 300 miles northwest of Ireland, U-52 sinks the British transports GERALDINE MARY, GOFOVALE and KING ALFRED on a convoy.
  • Atlantic: After sundown, the German armed merchant cruiser WIDDER stops the Norwegian tanker BEAULIEU in the Atlantic Ocean about 1,700 miles east of Florida. The survivors scuttle their ship and get into lifeboats which will not be discovered until the 13th.
  • Atlantic: The British minesweeping trawlers HMT DRUMMER, HMT MARSONA and HMT OSWALDIAN hit naval mines at different locations off the British coast and sink.
  • Atlantic: The German anti-submarine trawler PERSEUS hits a naval mine and sinks off Ameland Island in northwestern Netherlands.
  • ETO - UK: Day 26 of 114 of the Battle of Britain.
  • East Africa: Day 56 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt. In British Somaliland, the Italians begin pushing the British back toward the port of Berbera.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,125 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 264 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.

1941 — , August 4

  • Russian Front - Finland: Day 37 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 35 of 140 of Operation ARCTIC FOX, a joint German-Finnish campaign against Soviet Northern Front defenses at Salla, Finland.
  • Russian Front - Finland: Day 44 of 164 of the Battle of Hanko.
  • Russian Front: Day 44 of 167 of Germany's Operation BARBAROSSA, the invasion of the USSR.
  • Russian Front - North: Army Group North continues their slow advance toward Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 30 of 31 of the 1st Battle of Smolensk, Russia. Hitler makes a rare visit to the front.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 12 of 38 of the Battle of Gomel, Belarus. Heavy fighting continues at Gomel.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 21 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 - Libya: Day 117 of 256 of the Siege of Tobruk.
  • East Africa: Day 421 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,490 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.

1942 — , August 4

  • Germany: The deportation of Belgian Jews to the Auschwitz Concentration Camp begins.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 331 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 92 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 6 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 38 of 150 of Germany's CASE BLUE, the failed offensive to take the Caucasus oil fields. German Army Group South crosses the Aksay River en route to Stalingrad.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 13 of 20 of Germany's Operation EDELWEISS. German Army Group A continues branching out in the Caucasus region.
  • MTO: US B-24s strike a convoy in the Mediterranean during the night, hitting 2 merchant ships.
  • East Africa: Day 92 of 186 of the Battle of Madagascar.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,855 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 82 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.
    • The China Air Task Force attacks at Linchwan.
  • PTO - Alaska: Day 59 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands. US 11th Air Force escorts US Navy ships to Nazan Bay at Atka Island. The first kill by a P-38 in the Pacific Theater is made as they shoot down two Kawanishi flying-boats.
  • PTO - Malaya: Day 167 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 15 of 119 of the Battle of the Kokoda Track. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: US 5th Army Air Force continues attacking the north coast of Guadalcanal where the US invasion troops will soon be landing.

1943 — , August 4

  • ETO - France: US 8th Air Force B-26s bomb the shipyards at Le Trait.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 696 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 457 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 31 of 50 of the Battle of Kursk, Russia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 24 of 38 of the Battle of Orel, Russia. Soviets move into Orel while the Germans retreat toward Bryansk.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 13 of 23 of the Battle of Belgorod, Russia.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 23 of 48 of the USSR's Lvov-Sandomierz Offensive.
  • MTO - Italy: Otto Skorzeny learns from the German Police Attaché that Mussolini has been transported in an ambulance from the Royal Palace in Rome to one of the carabinieri barracks in Rome back on the 25th of July.
  • MTO - Italy: Day 27 of 40 of the Battle of Sicily. RAF and US Air Forces provide air support. US troops hit fierce opposition at Furiano River and at Troina. The British cross the Salso River.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,220 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • PTO - Alaska: Day 424 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands. US 11th Air Force attacks targets on Kiska Island, setting a new one-day record for the most bombs dropped there.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 105 of 148 of the 2nd Battle of Lae-Salamaua. US 5th and 13th Air Forces provide air support.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 46 of 67 of the Battle of New Georgia. US 5th and 13th Air Forces provide air support.

1944 — , August 4

  • ETO - Netherlands: Anne Frank and her family are betrayed and arrested in Amsterdam after two years of hiding in concealed rooms of an office building. She will die of typhus eight months later in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, but her diary will survive and make her perhaps the most renowned and discussed Jewish victim of the holocaust.
    Spotlight...

    Anne Frank at the Montessori School she attended in Amsterdam (now named the Anne Frank School) until 1940, when Jewish children were sent to separate schools

    The Frank family

    The Frank family moved from Germany to Amsterdam in 1933, the year the Nazis gained control over Germany. By the beginning of 1940, they were trapped in Amsterdam by the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. As persecution of the Jewish population increased in July 1942, the family went into hiding in the hidden rooms of Anne's father, Otto Frank's, office building.

    Otto Frank, the only survivor of the family, returned to Amsterdam after the war to find that Anne's diary had been saved, and his efforts led to its publication in 1947. It was translated from its original Dutch and was first published in English in 1952 as "The Diary of a Young Girl." It has since been translated into many languages.

    The diary, which was given to Anne on her 13th birthday, chronicles her life from 12 June 1942 until 1 August 1944. It reveals the thoughts and feelings of a very typical young girl in a very untypical situation.

    Arresting SS Officer Karl Josef Silberbauer

    Karl Josef Silberbauer, an SS-Oberscharfuehrer (senior squad leader) of Austrian origin, led Dutch policemen into the old building on 263 Prinsengracht Street in Amsterdam, where the Frank family had been hiding for two years and two months. He arrested the eight of them and took them to Gestapo headquarters, from which they were sent to concentration camps. The only survivor was Anne's father, Otto Frank, who would return and find Anne's hidden diary.

    Silberbauer's involvement in the arrest of Anne Frank was first exposed in 1948 during an investigation to find the person who informed the Nazis where the Franks were hiding.

    Otto Frank himself maintained throughout his life that the person who should be punished was the informant (who was never found), not the officer who was merely following orders and did not display any cruelty during the arrest. Frank's opinion played a key role in the authorities' decision not to press charges against Silberbauer.

    In 1945, however, Silberbauer returned to Vienna, where he served 14 months for taking part in the deportation of Jews during the Holocaust. He was drafted to the Vienna police in 1954, just two years after the publication of the English edition of the famous diary.

    Anne Frank related dates...

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  • ETO - UK: Day 53 of 86 of the V-1 "Buzz Bomb" offensive on Britain.
  • ETO - France: The RAF sends 288 Avro Lancaster IIIs to attack the Petroleum Refineries of the Gironde Estuary. The raid damages but does not completely destroy the refinery.
    Spotlight...

    Aerial photo taken during the daylight attack

    An Avro Lancaster of No 514 Squadron RAF is seen here as it flies over the oil storage depot at Bec d'Ambes situated in the Garonne estuary at the confluence of the Rivers Garonne and Dordogne, France, while dense clouds of smoke rise as bombs burst among the oil storage tanks.

    Capable of processing 300,000 tons of petroleum per year, this refinery opened in 1931, fifteen miles from Bordeaux. It had the capability of processing crude oil into gasoline products and asphalt.

    After several previous attacks since 1940, this raid by 288 Lancasters of 1, 3, and 8 Groups, supported by 27 de Havilland Mosquitos from 100 Squadron as escort fighters, damaged but did not destroy the refinery completely. No aircraft were lost.

    On August 10, 215 RAF aircraft dropped over 500 bombs and demolished the refinery, denying the Germans gasoline during the Normandy Campaign.

    Another nearby refinery at La Pallice, thirty miles from Bordeaux, was also attacked and destroyed. None of the RAF aircraft were lost. French civilian casualties are not determined.

  • Atlantic: The HMS GAIRSAY is sunk by a German motor boat off the coast of Normandy, France.
  • ETO - UK: RAF pilot T D Dean becomes the first pilot to destroy a V-1 flying bomb, by tipping its wing and sending it off course.
  • ETO - France: Day 11 of 29 of the Breakout Battle of Normandy. The US main body continues driving eastward. Allied Air Forces provide air support.
  • ETO - France: Day 60 of 62 of the Battle of Caen. The Allies take Rennes, Evrecy and Esqutsy.
  • ETO - France: Day 4 of 284 of the Battle of Brittany.
  • ETO - Germany: US 8th Air Force bombs oil refineries and airfields in Germany.
  • Germany: A purge within the German Army is announced.
  • Russian Front - Finland: Day 10 of 19 of the Battle of Ilomantsi, North Karelia.
  • Russian Front - Finland: Day 45 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 185 of 191 of the Battle of the Narva Isthmus, Estonia. Day 11 of 19 of the Battle of Tannenberg Line, Estonia. The Germans continue holding the Sinimaed Hills west of Narva.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 8 of 32 of the Battle of Kaunas, Lithuania.
  • Russian Front - Center: The Soviets gain another bridgehead across the Vistula River at Baranov, Poland. Fighting ends in the Warsaw suburb of Praga.
  • MTO - Italy: Allied troops continue pressing the German line holding the Po Valley. Allied Air Forces provide air support. German troops evacuate from Florence.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 153 of 166 of the UK's Operation THURSDAY. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 126 of 302 of the Chinese Salween Offensive. US 14th Air Force provides air support.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,586 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 110 of 259 of Japan's Operation ICHI-GO.
    • Day 44 of 48 of the Battle of Hengyang. US 14th Air Force provides air support.
  • CBI - Dutch East Indies: The USS RAY sinks the Japanese cargo ship KOSHU MARU at the southern opening of the Makassar Strait.
  • PTO: US carriers, cruisers and destroyers attack a Japanese convoy in the Chichi Jima area near Bonin Island and the airfields on Iwo Jima.
  • PTO - Alaska: US 11th Air Force escorts a naval force near Massacre Bay, Attu Island.
  • PTO - Caroline Islands: US planes hits targets on Yap Island.
  • PTO - Dutch New Guinea: Day 34 of 61 of the Battle of Noemfoor. Although the island has been declared secured, bitter fighting from Japanese continues.
  • PTO - Mariana Islands: Day 15 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 70 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 234 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 105 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 52 of 80 of the Battle of Lone Tree Hill.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 26 of 47 of the Battle of Driniumor River, a failed Japanese offense on US troops near Aitape.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 278 of 295 of the Battle of the Bougainville Islands. US 13th Air Force provides air support.

1945 — , August 4

  • USA: German POW Kurt Rossmeisl escapes from a prison camp in North Carolina and evades the immediate search. He will take a train to Chicago and establish a false identity as Frank Ellis and will remain at large until 1959.
    Spotlight...

    Kurt Rossemeisl, aka Frank Ellis, 1959

    Kurt Rossemeisl was a multilingual German officer, who spoke German, English, French, Dutch, Italian, Czech, Spanish, Russian and Malayan. A member of Field Marshal Rommel's elite 10th Panzer Division, he was captured in North Africa in 1943 and was imprisoned at Camp Butner in North Carolina.

    On August 4, 1945, months after the war ended in Europe, Kurt, determined not to be returned to Germany, walked out the camp by pushing a wheelbarrow right past the guards and caught a train to Chicago. There he lived under the name Frank Ellis. He obtained a social security card, found employment and even became a member of a local Moose lodge.

    Hard times and severe arthritis caught up with him in 1959 and he decided to move to a better climate in Arizona, but his limited funds meant he'd have to get there in stages. He boarded a train to cincinnati, but his efforts to find employment there fell flat.

    Out of cash and growing tired of looking over his shoulder, Rossmeisl finally turned himself in to the FBI on May 10, 1959, some fourteen years after the end of the war.

    Dates related to POW escapes...

  • CBI - China: Day 2,951 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • US 14th Air Force hits railroad bridges and trains.
  • CBI - Malaya: Japanese guards execute seven captured American airmen in Singapore.
  • PTO - Borneo: Day 56 of 67 of the Battle of North Borneo. US 5th and 13th Air Forces provide air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 586 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 470 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 288 of 299 of the 2nd Battle of the Philippines, aka the Liberation of the Philippines or the Philippines Campaign.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 233 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 148 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.

Day-By-Day listings for August 4 were last modified on Sunday, January 31, 2016
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