France: France begins to withdraw their troops from Germany, almost six years after the end of World War One.
1936 — , August 18
Spain: Day 33 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
1937 — , August 18
Spain: Day 398 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
CBI - China: Day 43 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 6 of 106 of the 2nd Battle of Shanghai.
1938 — , August 18
Spain: Day 763 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
CBI - China: Day 408 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 69 of 139 of the Battle of Wuhan. Chinese fighters intercept Japanese bombers over Hengyang and the dogfight ends in a draw. In Japan, the government calls for one million military recruits.
1939 — , August 18
CBI - China: Day 773 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 66 of 68 of the Battle of Tianjin.
CBI - Mongolia: Day 100 of 129 of the Battle of Khalkhin Gol, a border dispute between the Soviet Union and Japan.
1940 — , August 18
ETO - UK: Day 40 of 114 of the Battle of Britain. In what becomes known as "The Hardest Day" the Luftwaffe makes an all-out effort to severely damage RAF Fighter Command by attacking various airfields in southeast England and southern London. These air battles are amongst the largest aerial engagements in history to date. Both sides suffer very heavy losses. The British outperform the Luftwaffe in the air, achieving a favorable ratio of 2:1.
A Dornier Do 17 of 9 Staffel (Squadron), Kampfgeschwader 76 (Bomber Wing 76), shot down by a Hawker Hurricane fighter aircraft of No 111 Squadron RAF, after crash-landing near RAF Biggin Hill, 18 August 1940.
Both sides suffered very heavy losses on this day. Although the British outperformed the Luftwaffe in the air, achieving a favorable ratio of 2:1, a number of RAF aircraft, including around six to eight fighters, were caught and destroyed on the ground, equaling the total losses of both sides.
Further large aerial battles would take place, with heavy casualties being suffered, but both sides lost more aircraft combined on this day than at any other point during the campaign, including Battle of Britain Day (15 Sep 40), generally considered the climax of the campaign. For this reason, the air battles of the 18 August 1940 became known as "The Hardest Day."
Invasion, 1940: The Truth About the Battle of Britain and What Stopped Hitler
East Africa: Day 70 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt. In British Somaliland, the British evacuate Berbera. However, the colonial troops of the Somaliland Camel Corps elect to stay and defend their homeland. Italian planes attack Berbera, but the British aren't there. Meanwhile, the RAF bombs the Italian troops at Laferug and the airfield at Addis Abeba.
CBI - China: Day 1,139 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 278 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.
1941 — , August 18
Atlantic: The US cargo ship LONGTAKER is sunk by German submarine U-38 while delivering supplies to the US.
Russian Front - Finland: Day 51 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 49 of 140 of Operation ARCTIC FOX, a joint German-Finnish campaign against Soviet Northern Front defenses at Salla, Finland.
Russian Front - Finland: Day 58 of 164 of the Battle of Hanko.
Russian Front: Day 58 of 167 of Germany's Operation BARBAROSSA, the invasion of the USSR.
Russian Front - Center: Day 2 of 23 of the Battle of Dukhovshina, Russia.
Russian Front - Center: Day 26 of 38 of the Battle of Gomel, Belarus.
Russian Front - South: Soviet troops withdraw across the Dnieper River, allowing the Panzer Group 1 to establish a bridgehead across the river at Zaporozhe in the Ukraine. Further south, German troops attack the city of Kherson.
Russian Front - South: Day 11 of 70 of the Siege of Odessa, Ukraine.
MTO - Yugoslavia: Radio Belgrade plays an obscure German record they had found in a pile of dusty 78s in the cellar of Radio Vienna. The song Lili Marleen, sung by Lale Andersen, became an instant success. Within a week the station receives thousands of requests from the soldiers of the Deutsche Afrika Korps asking for it to be played over and over again. The song's success did not end there as with English lyrics, it became equally popular with the British and Commonwealth soldiers fighting in the Western Desert.
MTO - Libya: Day 131 of 256 of the Siege of Tobruk.
East Africa: Day 435 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
CBI - China: Day 1,504 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
1942 — , August 18
ETO - Germany: The RAF night bombs at Flensburg and Schleswig-Holstein, using Pathfinders (PFF), which is special navigational equipment using both radio and radar technology.
Germany: Hitler issues the Commando Order that all Allied commandos encountered by German troops in Europe and Africa should be killed immediately, whether or not they are in uniform or attempting to surrender.
Russian Front - North: Day 345 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 106 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket.
Russian Front - Center: Day 20 of 64 of the 1st Battle of Rzhev-Sychevka, Russia.
Russian Front - South: Day 52 of 150 of Germany's CASE BLUE. German troops attack Novorossiysk, Russia, on the Black Sea.
East Africa: Day 106 of 186 of the Battle of Madagascar.
CBI - China: Day 1,869 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 96 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 73 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands.
PTO - Malaya: Day 181 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 29 of 119 of the Battle of the Kokoda Track. US 5th and 13th Air Forces provide air support.
PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 12 of 187 of the Battle of Guadalcanal. US 5th Army Air Force provides air support. The Japanese land more reinforcements to fight the stranded US Marines.
1943 — , August 18
Atlantic: Using their 1373 alliance with Great Britain, Portugal agrees to allow the Allies the use of the Azores Islands for naval and air bases.
ETO: US 8th Air Force B-26s bomb airfields in France and the Netherlands.
ETO - Germany: The RAF bombs the German rocket research site at Peenemünde. Although the site will be fully operational within six weeks, the Germans leave many of the buildings unrepaired and craters unfilled in order to trick the British into thinking this area has been abandoned.
Russian Front - North: Day 710 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 471 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket.
Russian Front - Center: Day 45 of 50 of the Battle of Kursk, Russia.
Russian Front - Center: Day 38 of 38 of the Battle of Orel, Russia. The Soviets have cleared the German troops from the Orel salient.
Russian Front - Center: Day 2 of 48 of the Battle of Bryansk, Russia.
Russian Front - Center: Day 12 of 57 of the 2nd Battle of Smolensk, Russia.
Russian Front - Center: Day 12 of 14 of the Battle of Spas-Demensk, Russia.
Russian Front - Center: Day 6 of 6 of the 1st Battle of Dukhovshchina-Demidov, Russia. This battle ends in a draw as the troops on both sides are needed elsewhere.
Russian Front - South: Day 37 of 48 of the USSR's Lvov-Sandomierz Offensive.
MTO - Italy: Otto Skorzeny conducts an aerial reconnaissance mission over La Maddalena. His plane is shot down by British fighters. He survives the crash with three broken ribs.
MTO - Italy: A US naval armada shells Gioia, Taura and Palmi on the coast of Italy.
CBI - China: Day 2,234 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 119 of 148 of the 2nd Battle of Lae-Salamaua. US 5th and 13th Air Forces provide air support.
PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 60 of 67 of the Battle of New Georgia. US 5th and 13th Air Forces provide air support.
PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 4 of 56 of the Battle of Vella Lavella. US 5th and 13th Air Forces provide air support.
PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 2 of 2 of the Naval Battle off Horaniu. A Japanese victory as they were able to successfully evacuate the troops off the island.
1944 — , August 18
ETO - UK: Day 67 of 86 of the V-1 "Buzz Bomb" offensive on Britain.
ETO - France: Day 25 of 29 of the Breakout Battle of Normandy. Allied Air Forces provide air support. The German 7th Army moves across the Orme River leaving behind 18,000 men to be captured.
ETO - France: Day 18 of 284 of the Battle of Brittany. The German troops stationed near the Spanish border and the Gulf of Biscay begin evacuating.
ETO - France: Day 4 of 32 of Operation DRAGOON, the Allied invasion of southern France. Allied troops continue racing up the Rhone Valley.
Russian Front - North: Day 9 of 28 of the Battle of Tartu in southeastern Estonia.
Russian Front - Center: Day 22 of 32 of the Battle of Kaunas, Lithuania.
Russian Front: Day 3 of 12 of the German Operation DOPPELKOPF in Lithuania. This was mounted to restore the connection between German Army Groups North and Centre.
Russian Front - Center: Soviet troops capture Sandomir in Galicia, Poland.
MTO: US 15th Air Force bombs five oil refineries in Romania and the Alibunar Airfield in Yugoslavia.
MTO - Italy: Allied troops continue pressing the German line holding the Po Valley. Allied Air Forces provide air support.
MTO - France: US Air Forces bomb targets in southern France.
CBI - Burma: Day 140 of 302 of the Chinese Salween Offensive. US 10th and 14th Air Forces provide air support.
CBI - China: Day 2,600 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 124 of 259 of Japan's Operation ICHI-GO.
PTO: US submarine USS RASHER sinks TEIA MARU, EISHIN MARU, TEIYU MARU, and carrier TAIYO from a Japanese convoy in one of the most effective American "wolfpack" attacks of the war.
PTO - Caroline Islands: US planes hits targets on Pagan Island.
PTO - Dutch New Guinea: Day 48 of 61 of the Battle of Noemfoor. Although the island has been declared secured, bitter fighting from Japanese continues.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 248 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 119 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea. 5th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 66 of 80 of the Battle of Lone Tree Hill.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 40 of 47 of the Battle of Driniumor River.
PTO - Philippines: The USS RAY sinks the Japanese tanker NANSEI MARU and the transport TAKETOYO MARU north of the Balabac Strait.
PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 292 of 295 of the Battle of the Bougainville Islands. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
1945 — , August 18
USA: The Red Cross ends its World War II blood program for the military after collecting more than 13 million pints.
[+] show related dates
Red Cross related dates...
05 May 19: League of Red Cross Societies formed in Paris
01 Jun 41: Services unified as "Services to Armed Forces" (SAF)
03 Nov 41: "Angels of Mercy" becomes official wartime song
China: Subhash Chandra Bose is killed during an air crash off Formosa (Taiwan). He was a Bengali political leader who had hoped to become India's Führer.
China: Guo Fengwu, of the Chinese Air Force, flies over battle areas in China dropping leaflets containing a transcript of Emperor Hirohito's radio address of surrender. He is shot down by Japanese anti-aircraft fire and becomes the final Chinese Air Force casualty of the war.
China: In the Manchuria region of northeastern China, nearly 4,000 Japanese troops surrender at Hailar, effectively ending organized resistance.
Japan: The US begins parachuting medical teams into selected prisoners of war camps in the Japanese home islands.
CBI - China: Day 2,965 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 10 of 25 of the Soviet Invasion of Manchuria. Soviet troops land on Paramushiro in the Kurile Islands, Japan.
PTO - Japan: The last air conflict of WWII takes place over Tokyo. Two US reconnaissance planes are attacked by fighters and flak. One American is killed.
Day-By-Day listings for August 18 were last modified on Sunday, January 31, 2016