Spain: Day 388 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War. Falangist artillery units bombard Madrid.
CBI - China: Day 33 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 33 of 33 of the 2nd Battle of Hebei. Japan declares the Chinese cities of Beiping and Tianjin secure.
Day 8 of 12 of the Battle of Chahar.
1938 — , August 8
Spain: Day 753 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
Germany: The construction of Mauthausen Concentration Camp in Austria begins.
CBI - China: Day 398 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 59 of 139 of the Battle of Wuhan. Other Chinese troops capture Datianshan. After dark, Japanese troops attack at Maanshan.
CBI - Russia: Day 11 of 14 of the Battle of Lake Khasan, a border dispute between the Soviet Union and Japan.
1939 — , August 8
CBI - China: Day 763 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 56 of 68 of the Battle of Tianjin.
CBI - Mongolia: Day 90 of 129 of the Battle of Khalkhin Gol, a border dispute between the Soviet Union and Japan.
1940 — , August 8
UK: Wages for British military personnel increase by 6 pence per day. As an example, a private in the British Army now gets paid 17 shillings and 6 pence per week.
Atlantic: German sub U-37 sinks the British ship UPWEY GRANGE 200 miles west of Ireland. Elsewhere, the German armed merchant cruiser WIDDER sinks the Dutch collier OOSTPLEIN.
ETO - UK: Day 30 of 114 of the Battle of Britain. The Luftwaffe continues attacking convoys in the Channel hoping to draw the RAF out, which they do. The Germans lose 52 planes while the British lose 16.
Romania: New anti-Jewish laws restrict Jews in their education and employment.
East Africa: Day 60 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt. UK (Scottish) Black Watch units arrive in British Somaliland to reinforce against the Italian invasion.
CBI - China: Day 1,129 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 268 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.
1941 — , August 8
Atlantic: US Army sends more planes and troops to Iceland.
Russian Front - Finland: Day 41 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 39 of 140 of Operation ARCTIC FOX, a joint German-Finnish campaign against Soviet Northern Front defenses at Salla, Finland.
Russian Front - Finland: Day 48 of 164 of the Battle of Hanko.
Russian Front: Day 48 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 16 of 38 of the Battle of Gomel, Belarus. Heavy fighting continues at Gomel.
Russian Front - South: Day 25 of 25 of the Battle of Uman, Ukraine. German and Romanian troops eliminate the Uman pocket, taking over 100,000 Soviet prisoners.
Russian Front - South: Day 1 of 70 of the Siege of Odessa, Ukraine. German and Romanian troops begin a siege on Odessa.
MTO - Yugoslavia: Yugoslavia is completely dissolved, with Italy annexing large areas.
MTO - Libya: Day 121 of 256 of the Siege of Tobruk.
East Africa: Day 425 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
CBI - China: Day 1,494 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
1942 — , August 8
USA: Six of the eight men involved in the failed German sabotage mission against the United States code-named Operation PASTORIUS are executed in Washington DC. President Roosevelt commutes the sentences of the other two, one to life and the other to 30 years in prison.
The Fate of the Eight Saboteurs
Operation PASTORIUS was a failed German mission to stage sabotage attacks inside the US during WWII. The operation was staged in June of 1942 and was to be directed against strategic American economic and industrial targets. The operation was named by Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, chief of the German Abwehr, for Francis Daniel Pastorius, the leader of the first organized settlement of Germans in America.
Four days after declaring war against the US, Adolf Hitler authorized a mission to sabotage the American war effort as well as launch terrorist attacks on civilian targets to demoralize the American civilian population. The mission was headed by Admiral Canaris who had entered the US with other German agents during World War One and successfully planted bombs in New York area arms factories. He hoped that Operation PASTORIUS would have a similar level of success he had in 1916, not that its impact had been a game-changer.
Recruited for Operation PASTORIUS were eight German residents who had lived in the United States. Two of them, Ernst Burger and Herbert Haupt, were American citizens. The others had worked at various jobs in the US. All eight were recruited into the Abwehr military intelligence organization and were given three weeks of intensive sabotage training.
The agents were transported to the US by two U-boats in two teams of four. They wore German uniforms to avoid being shot as spies if captured during the landings. But their mission was doomed to fail from the offset.
Both George John Dasch and Ernest Peter Burger disliked the Nazis (Burger had even spent seventeen months in a German concentration camp) and intended to betray the mission from the day they were recruited, though neither was aware of the other's feelings until after their arrival in America.
A patrolling Coast Guardsman approached the party on Long Island shortly upon arrival and a few things were said by Dasch that aroused suspicion. The Guardsman reported the encounter and soon the FBI began a massive manhunt, though the four agents had already made their way into New York City.
Dasch then traveled to Washington DC and reported to the FBI, where he was initially dismissed as a crackpot. But when he dumped $84,000 of the mission's money on the desk of the Assistant Director, they quickly changed their tune and within hours captured the rest of the New York team.
Dasch provided the FBI with everything he knew regarding the second team and also provided a list of German contacts in the US, which allowed the FBI to track them down and take them into custody.
With the plot foiled, Dasch expected to receive a pardon, but instead was treated the same as the others. As a result, he asked to be jailed with them so they would not know who betrayed the mission.
Fearful that a civilian court would be too lenient, President Roosevelt ordered that the eight would-be saboteurs be tried by a military tribunal. All eight were found guilty and sentenced to death. For their assistance in foiling the plot, Dasch and Burger had their sentences commuted by Roosevelt and were given 30 years and life in prison respectively. The remaining six were electrocuted at the District Jail in Washington on 08 Aug 42.
In 1948, President Harry Truman showed clemency to Dasch and Burger and had them both deported to the American Zone of occupied Germany.
12 Jun 42: U-584 lands 1st team of agents near Long Island, New York
16 Jun 42: U-202 delivers 2nd team of agents near Jacksonville, Florida
08 Aug 42: Six of the 8 German agents are executed in Washington DC
Note: Online sources give varying dates for when the two teams were landed in the US. The first team may have been landed on 14 Jun 42 and/or the second team on 17 Jun 42.
Atlantic: HMS DIANTHUS sinks the German sub U-379 southeast of Cape Farewell, Greenland.
Russian Front - North: Day 335 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 96 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket.
Russian Front - Center: Day 10 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 42 of 150 of Germany's CASE BLUE, the failed offensive to take the Caucasus oil fields. The Soviets launch a counter-offensive at Voronezh.
Russian Front - South: Day 17 of 20 of Germany's Operation EDELWEISS. The Germans and Soviets clash near Armavir in southern Russia.
East Africa: Day 96 of 186 of the Battle of Madagascar.
CBI - China: Day 1,859 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 86 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 B-25s hit the Canton area, bombing Tien Ho Airfield.
CBI - India: The Bombay session of the All India Congress Committee passes the "Quit India" resolution. Mahatma Gandhi gives his "Quit India" speech at Gowalia Tank park in central Bombay, not as a drive for power, but purely as a non-violent fight for India's independence. Almost the entire leadership of the Indian National Congress, including Gandhi, will soon be imprisoned without trial.
[+] show related dates
30 Dec 41: Gandhi resigns India's Congress Party in protest
08 Aug 42: Gandhi gives his "Quit India" speech
09 Aug 42: Gandhi arrested for launching "Quit India" movement
06 May 44: Gandhi released from prison due to health reasons
PTO - Alaska: Day 63 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands.
PTO - Malaya: Day 171 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 19 of 119 of the Battle of the Kokoda Track. US 5th and 13th Air Forces provide air support.
PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 2 of 187 of the Battle of Guadalcanal. US 5th Army Air Force provides air support. US Marines capture the unfinished airfield, later renamed Henderson Field. Other Marine units capture Tulagi, Gavutu and Tanambogo islands.
PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 1 of 2 of the Naval Battle of Savo Island (north of Guadalcanal). During the night, the Japanese Navy and Allied Navies (US and Australian) clash in a sea battle.
1943 — , August 8
Russian Front - North: Day 700 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 461 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket.
Russian Front - Center: Day 35 of 50 of the Battle of Kursk, Russia.
Russian Front - Center: Day 28 of 38 of the Battle of Orel, Russia.
Russian Front - Center: Day 2 of 57 of the 2nd Battle of Smolensk, Russia.
Russian Front - Center: Day 2 of 14 of the Battle of Spas-Demensk, Russia.
Russian Front - South: Day 17 of 23 of the Battle of Belgorod, Russia. Soviet troops continue attacking in the Belgorod-Bogodukhov area.
Russian Front - South: Day 27 of 48 of the USSR's Lvov-Sandomierz Offensive. The outflanked Germans continue retreating.
MTO - Italy: The Italian King Vittorio Emanuele III decrees that Italy is under a state of siege.
MTO - Italy: The imprisoned Benito Mussolini is transferred to the island of La Maddalena off Sardinia, Italy.
MTO - Italy: Day 31 of 40 of the Battle of Sicily. RAF and US Air Forces provide air support. US troops who had made an amphibious landing during the night capture St Agata and begin to box in the Germans along the northern coast.
CBI - China: Day 2,224 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
PTO - Alaska: Day 428 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 109 of 148 of the 2nd Battle of Lae-Salamaua. US 5th and 13th Air Forces provide air support.
PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 50 of 67 of the Battle of New Georgia. US 5th and 13th Air Forces provide air support.
1944 — , August 8
USA: After the 17 Jul 44 Port Chicago disaster, continuing unsafe conditions inspire hundreds of servicemen to refuse to load munitions, an act known as the Port Chicago Mutiny. Fifty men, called the Port Chicago 50, will be court-martialled, convicted of mutiny and sentenced to long prison terms. 47 of the 50 will be released in Jan 46. The remaining 3 will serve additional months in prison.
These four sailors were stationed at Port Chicago, but survived the blast
On 08 Aug 44, the USS SANGAY docked at Port Chicago, California (San Francisco bay area north of Oakland), to be loaded with naval mines and other munitions. 328 men were asked to resume the dangerous task of ammunition loading; all said they were afraid and that they would not load munitions under the same officers and conditions as before. It was a mass work stoppage, which would have been called a strike if the workers had been civilians.
The Navy could not countenance such conduct, especially in time of war. 70 of the men changed their minds after their superior officers made it clear that loading ammunition was their duty. On 09 Aug, 258 African-American sailors in the ordnance battalion continued to refuse to load ammunition. These men were taken under guard and thrown into the brig. Most of the men had not been given a direct order; they had simply been asked if they were going to load ships or not, and to step to one side if not. All said they were afraid of another explosion.
The 50 remaining men, soon to be known as the "Port Chicago 50," were formally charged in early Sep 44 with disobeying orders and making a mutiny "with a deliberate purpose and intent to override superior military authority." This was a crime punishable by death since the US was at war. All 50 would be found guilty, reduced in rank to Seaman Apprentice and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor to be followed by dishonorable discharge.
With appeals, public outcry and the end of the war, most sentences would be reduced and all but 3 would be released in Jan 46. The Port Chicago disaster and subsequent mutiny successfully highlighted systemic racial inequality in the Navy.
17 Jul 44: Two ammo-laden ships explode at Port Chicago
08 Aug 44: Hundreds of sailors stage Port Chicago Mutiny
ETO - UK: Day 57 of 86 of the V-1 "Buzz Bomb" offensive on Britain.
ETO - France: Day 15 of 29 of the Breakout Battle of Normandy. Allied Air Forces provide air support. The German counter-attack against the US at Avranches is called off after suffering heavy losses. The Canadians launch Operation TOTALIZE south of Caen, with 600 tanks and 720 guns, while the US captures Le Mans.
ETO - France: Day 8 of 284 of the Battle of Brittany.
Russian Front - Finland: Day 14 of 19 of the Battle of Ilomantsi, North Karelia.
Russian Front - Finland: Day 49 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 189 of 191 of the Battle of the Narva Isthmus, Estonia. Day 15 of 19 of the Battle of Tannenberg Line, Estonia. The Germans continue holding the Sinimaed Hills west of Narva.
Russian Front - Center: Day 12 of 32 of the Battle of Kaunas, Lithuania.
Russian Front - Center: Day 3 of 9 of the Battle of Osovets, Poland.
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 157 of 166 of the UK's Operation THURSDAY. US 10th Air Force provides air support. The Indian 36th Division becomes the last Chindit unit to engage in combat in Burma.
CBI - Burma: Day 130 of 302 of the Chinese Salween Offensive. US 14th Air Force provides air support.
CBI - China: Day 2,590 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 114 of 259 of Japan's Operation ICHI-GO.
Day 48 of 48 of the Battle of Hengyang. The Japanese capture Hengyang in the Hunan province.
PTO - Caroline Islands: US planes hits targets on Yap Island.
PTO - Dutch New Guinea: Day 38 of 61 of the Battle of Noemfoor. Although the island has been declared secured, bitter fighting from Japanese continues.
PTO - Mariana Islands: Day 19 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 74 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 238 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 109 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea. 5th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 56 of 80 of the Battle of Lone Tree Hill.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 30 of 47 of the Battle of Driniumor River, a failed Japanese offense on US troops near Aitape.
PTO - Philippines: The USS GUITARRO sinks a small vessel off Luzon.
PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 282 of 295 of the Battle of the Bougainville Islands. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
1945 — , August 8
USA: President Truman threatens Japan with further nuclear devastation during a radio address.
CBI - China: Day 2,955 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
US 14th Air Force attacks in the Paoching, Hengyang, and Chuanhsien areas.
CBI - Malaya: The USS BLENNY sinks 11 small Japanese boats in the South China Sea.
CBI - Russia: The Soviet Union declares war on Japan (2 days after Hiroshima, 1 day before Nagasaki) and will invade Manchuria one minute after midnight.
PTO - Borneo: Day 60 of 67 of the Battle of North Borneo. US 5th and 13th Air Forces provide air support.
PTO - Japan: US 20th Air Force B-29s fire-bomb factories near Tokyo.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 590 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 474 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - Philippines: Day 292 of 299 of the 2nd Battle of the Philippines, aka the Liberation of the Philippines or the Philippines Campaign.
PTO - Philippines: Day 237 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 152 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 8
USA: The Convair B-36 Peacemaker long-range strategic bomber takes its maiden flight. It becomes the largest aircraft ever to go into service with the USAF.
Day-By-Day listings for August 8 were last modified on Sunday, January 31, 2016