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Selected: September 3
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1936 — , September 3

  • Spain: Day 49 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.

1937 — , September 3

  • Spain: Day 414 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • CBI - China: Day 59 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 22 of 106 of the 2nd Battle of Shanghai.
    • Day 3 of 70 of the Battle of Taiyuan.

1938 — , September 3

  • Spain: Day 779 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • CBI - China: Day 424 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 85 of 139 of the Battle of Wuhan.

1939 — , September 3

  • ETO: After Germany rejects the Anglo-French ultimatum to withdraw from Poland, Great Britain, France, Australia and New Zealand declare war on Germany.
  • ETO - UK: The RAF conducts its first operational sortie of the war when it flies to Germany to check shipping in the Schillig Roads. Later this night, the RAF drops leaflets over Germany.
  • ETO - UK: Winston Churchill is reappointed First Lord of the Admiralty, a position he had previously held before World War One, and is made a member of the War Cabinet.
  • Atlantic: Britain's SS ATHENIA passenger ship torpedoed by German submarine U-30, killing 112 civilians including 28 Americans. This is the first British ship sunk during WWII.
  • Poland: Day 3 of 36 of Germany's Invasion of Poland. 55 Polish peasants are rounded up and shot at Truskolasy by the Nazis.
  • CBI - China: Day 789 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • CBI - Mongolia: Day 116 of 129 of the Battle of Khalkhin Gol.

1940 — , September 3

  • ETO - UK: Day 56 of 114 of the Battle of Britain. The Luftwaffe continues to bomb London while RAF fighters continue to engage the German bombers and their escorts.
    Spotlight...

    Contrails over Kent, 03 Sep 40

    Condensation trails like these from German and British fighter planes engaged in aerial battles in the skies over England were a very common sight during the Battle of Britain. This photo is of one such engagement over Kent, along the southeastern coast of England.

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  • Eastern Europe: Romania is forced to cede Transylvania to Hungary and Dobrudja to Bulgaria under the Vienna award.
  • East Africa: Day 86 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,155 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 294 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi, China. Results in a Chinese victory.
    • Day 15 of 42 of the Hundred Regiments Offensive.

1941 — , September 3

  • Europe: Gas chambers at Auschwitz in Poland are used for first time, using Zyklon B, which was basically Hydrogen Cyanide.
    Spotlight...

    Zyklon B

    Zyklon B (also spelled Cyclon B or Cyclone B) was the trade name of a cyanide-based pesticide invented in the early 1920s. One of the co-inventors of Zyklon B, chemist and businessman Bruno Tesch, was executed by the British in 1946 for his role in the Holocaust.

    Sign over entrance to Auschwitz reads Work will make you free.

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  • Germany: The Vilna Ghetto is established containing 40,000 Jews.
  • Russian Front - Finland: Day 74 of 164 of the Battle of Hanko. The Soviets continue withdrawing from the Karelian Isthmus back to Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - Finland: Day 67 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 65 of 140 of Operation ARCTIC FOX, a joint German-Finnish campaign against Soviet Northern Front defenses at Salla, Finland.
  • Russian Front: Day 74 of 167 of Germany's Operation BARBAROSSA, the overall invasion of the USSR.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 18 of 23 of the Battle of Dukhovshina, Russia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 5 of 10 of the Battle of Yelnia, Russia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 5 of 14 of the Battle of Roslavl-Novozybkov, Russia.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 27 of 70 of the Siege of Odessa, Ukraine.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 12 of 35 of the 1st Battle of Kiev, Ukraine.
  • MTO - Libya: Day 147 of 256 of the Siege of Tobruk.
  • Middle East: Day 10 of 24 of the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran.
  • East Africa: Day 451 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,520 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.

1942 — , September 3

  • Russian Front - North: Day 361 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad. Soviet defenders of Leningrad launch an attack in a vain attempt to meet the relief forces.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 122 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket, USSR lays siege to the Kholm Pocket but the Germans hold out for a about a year and a half.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 36 of 64 of the 1st Battle of Rzhev-Sychevka, Russia. Though it will end in a stalemate, it will keep German troops from going to Stalingrad.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 68 of 150 of Germany's CASE BLUE, the failed offensive to take the Caucasus oil fields.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 12 of 165 of the Battle of Stalingrad, the bloodiest battle in human history. German 6th Army and 4th Panzer Army meet up west of Stalingrad to attempt breaking into the city. Meanwhile, the Luftwaffe pounds the city around the clock.
  • MTO - Libya: RAF breaks record of daily sorties in North Africa as desert battle rages. Rommel's withdrawal is sped up by heavy pressure from New Zealand troops.
  • MTO - Egypt: US and RAF warplanes bomb German tanks and troops in the battle area around Alam-el-Halfa, Egypt. US 57th FG provides the escort.
  • East Africa: Day 122 of 186 of the Battle of Madagascar.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,885 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 112 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 89 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands. The US and Canada will defeat the Japanese invaders.
  • PTO - Malaya: Day 197 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island, a long guerrilla war ending in Japanese victory.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 45 of 119 of the Battle of the Kokoda Track. The Japanese continue driving over the Owen Stanley Range toward Port Moresby. This will become an Allied victory.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 10 of 14 of the Battle of Milne Bay. The Australian troops continue beating back the Japanese troops. The US and Australian troops will win this battle.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 28 of 187 of the Battle of Guadalcanal.

1943 — , September 3

  • ETO: US 8th Air Force: B-17s hit enemy airfields in France.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 726 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 487 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket, USSR lays siege to the Kholm Pocket but the Germans hold out for a about a year and a half.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 28 of 57 of the 2nd Battle of Smolensk, Russia. Becomes a Soviet victory as the Axis are pushed completely away from the Moscow region.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 18 of 48 of the Battle of Bryansk, Russia. Soviet victory as the Germans began retreating.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 11 of 122 of the Battle of the Lower Dnieper River, USSR. Soviet forces reach the eastern shore of the Dniepr River.
  • MTO - Italy: Allied invasion of Southern Italy begins with British 8th landing in Calabriaand Villa San Giovanni (Operation BAYTOWN). The Italian government signs surrender terms.
  • MTO - Italy: With the RAF, US 12th Air Force sent its A-20s and A-36s to hit various targets in the toe of Italy. P-40s knock out radar installations at Pula and Capo Carbonara, Sardinia.
  • MTO - Italy: US 9th Air Force B-24s bomb Sulmona.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,250 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 135 of 148 of the 2nd Battle of Lae-Salamaua. Will become an Allied victory.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 20 of 56 of the Battle of Vella Lavella. The Allies will win this one.

1944 — , September 3

  • UK: A National Day of Prayer is declared in Britain on fifth anniversary of outbreak of war. British Empire casualties are revealed as 242,995 killed, 80,603 missing, 311,500 wounded and 290,381 captured.
  • ETO - UK: Day 83 of 86 of the V-1 "Buzz Bomb" offensive on Britain.
  • ETO - France: Day 34 of 284 of the Battle of Brittany.
  • ETO - France: Day 20 of 32 of Operation DRAGOON, the Allied invasion of southern France. US and French troops continue racing up the Rhone Valley.
  • ETO - Belgium: Day 2 of 62 of the liberation of Belgium. Brussels is liberated by British 2nd Army while US 1st Army takes Tournai.
  • ETO: US 8th Air Force: Fighters attack enemy positions in Belgium.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 25 of 28 of the Battle of Tartu in southeastern Estonia.
  • MTO - France: Fighters of the US 12th Air Force hit retreating German vehicles in the Rhone Valley. French troops and the US 7th Army capture Lyon, France.
  • MTO: US 15th Air Force bombs key escape routes being used by the Germans in Hungary and Yugoslavia. Three B-17s evacuate interned airmen from Bucharest, Romania.
  • MTO - Italy: US 12th Air Force sent its medium bombers to attack bridges in the west Po Valley. That night A-20s attack Genoa harbor.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 156 of 302 of the Chinese Salween Offensive.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,616 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 140 of 259 of Japan's Operation ICHI-GO.
  • PTO - Marshall Islands: Wake Island and other strategic targets the in Pacific are strafed by US Navy aircraft for two days, during which 13 Japanese ships are sunk.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 264 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain, New Guinea.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 135 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea.

1945 — , September 3

  • Philippines: The Japanese commander in the Philippines, General Tomoyuki Yamashita, surrenders to US General Wainwright at Baguio, Philippines.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,981 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.

Day-By-Day listings for September 3 were last modified on Sunday, January 31, 2016
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