WWII Day-By-Day
Selected: September 4
       Overview of WWII on September 4 by year...

1936 — , September 4

  • Spain: Day 50 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.

1937 — , September 4

  • Spain: Day 415 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • CBI - China: Day 60 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 23 of 106 of the 2nd Battle of Shanghai.
    • Day 4 of 70 of the Battle of Taiyuan.

1938 — , September 4

  • Spain: Day 780 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • CBI - China: Day 425 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 86 of 139 of the Battle of Wuhan.

1939 — , September 4

  • ETO: The RAF attacks German shipping at Wilhelmshaven, Cuxhaven and Schillig Roads, with negligible results (7 out of 30 Wellington bombers are shot down by German fighters and flak guns).
  • Atlantic: British Royal Air Force attacks the German Navy.
  • Poland: Day 4 of 36 of Germany's Invasion of Poland. German 3rd Army and 4th Army join in the Polish Corridor and re-establish the land connection between East Prussia and the main body of Germany. At Bydgoszcz, a thousand Poles are murdered, including several dozen Boy Scouts who are shot against a wall by German troops. Warsaw is cut off by the German Army.
  • CBI - China: Day 790 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • CBI - Mongolia: Day 117 of 129 of the Battle of Khalkhin Gol.

1940 — , September 4

  • ETO - UK: Day 57 of 114 of the Battle of Britain. Hitler threatens that British cities will be bombed night after night in reprisal for the bombing of Berlin, proclaiming that "the last island in Europe will be broken."

    Adolph Hitler engaged in a typical rant

    The first RAF raid on Berlin took place on the night of 25 Aug 40. Berlin would be subjected to 363 air raids during the war. It was bombed by RAF Bomber Command between 1940 and 1945 and by the USAAF 8th Air Force between 1943 and 1945 as part of the Allied campaign of strategic bombing of Germany. It was also attacked by aircraft of the Red Air Force, especially in 1945 as Soviet forces closed on the city.

    When WWII began in 1939, US President Franklin D Roosevelt issued a request to the major belligerents to confine their air raids to military targets. The French and British agreed to abide by the request provided that the same rules of warfare would be scrupulously observed by all of their opponents. This policy was abandoned on 15 May 40, two days after a German air attack on Rotterdam.

  • ETO - Lithuania: Before the consulate closes, Chiune Sugihara, Vice-Consul for the Empire of Japan in Soviet-occupied Lithuania, continues to defy his government and write visas to Jews desperate to flee from German-occupied Poland. In 1985 he will be awarded Righteous Among the Nations by Israel for having saved some 6,000 Jews.

    Yukiko and Chiune Sugihara

    In the course of human existence, many people are tested, but only a very few soar as eagles and achieve greatness by simple acts of kindness, thoughtfulness and humanity. Chiune and Yukiko Sugihara risked their careers, their livelihood and their futures to save the lives of more than 6,000 Jews.

    In March of 1939, Japanese Consul-General Chiune Sugihara was sent to Kaunas, the temporary capital of Lithuania, to open a consulate service. Kaunas was strategically situated between Germany and the Soviet Union. Sugihara had barely settled down in his new post when Nazi armies invaded Poland in September and a wave of Jewish refugees streamed into Lithuania.

    Most Lithuanian Jews did not fully realize or believe the extent of the Nazi Holocaust that was being perpetrated against the Jews in Poland in 1940 as tens of thousands were being murdered. No one could quite believe what was happening.

    Things began to change for the very worst on 15 June 1940, when the Soviets invaded Lithuania. It was now too late for the Lithuanian Jews to leave for the East. Ironically, the Soviets would allow Polish Jews to continue to emigrate out of Lithuania through the Soviet Union if they could obtain certain travel documents and pay an inflated price for passage on the Trans-Siberian railway. From there they could cross into Japan and on to a number of countries, mostly in the Caribbean.

    Against this backdrop, Sugihara suddenly became the linchpin in a desperate plan for survival. The fate of thousands of families depended on his humanity. If Consul Sugihara would grant them Japanese transit visas, they could obtain Soviet exit visas and race to possible freedom. Sempo Sugihara was moved by their plight, but he did not have the authority to issue hundreds of visas without permission from the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo.

    Sugihara wired his government three times for permission to issue visas to the Jewish refugees. Three times he was denied.

    When the Nazis began rounding up Jews, Sugihara defied his government and began issuing unlawful travel visas to Jews, hand-writing them 18 hours a day.

    The day his consulate was ordered closed by the Soviet Union and he had to evacuate, witnesses claim he was still writing visas and throwing them from the train as he pulled away.

    The world did not know what he had done until Israel honored him in 1985, the year before he died.

    1940 transit visa issued by Sugihara

    Within the visa shown here can be seen an authorized journey through the Soviet Union to Tsurga (Japan) and on to the Dutch colony of Curaçao (in the Caribbean), which required no entry visa, and from there on to other countries of the Netherlands.

    Righteous people and the saving of Jews from the Holocaust...

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  • East Africa: Day 87 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,156 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 295 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.
    • Day 16 of 42 of the Hundred Regiments Offensive.

1941 — , September 4

  • Atlantic: Germany's U-652 attacks the USS GREER off Iceland after being tracked and harassed by it.
  • Russian Front - Finland: Day 75 of 164 of the Battle of Hanko. The Soviets will be forced off their leased naval base.
  • Russian Front - Finland: Day 1 of 28 of Finland's reconquest of East Karelia in southern Finland. The Soviets continue withdrawing from the Karelian Isthmus back to Leningrad. The Finns tell Hitler that they only want what is theirs and will not advance on Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - Finland: Day 68 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 66 of 140 of Operation ARCTIC FOX, a joint German-Finnish campaign against Soviet Northern Front defenses at Salla, Finland.
  • Russian Front: Day 75 of 167 of Germany's Operation BARBAROSSA, the overall invasion of the USSR.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 19 of 23 of the Battle of Dukhovshina, Russia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 6 of 10 of the Battle of Yelnia, Russia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 6 of 14 of the Battle of Roslavl-Novozybkov, Russia.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 28 of 70 of the Siege of Odessa, Ukraine.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 13 of 35 of the 1st Battle of Kiev, Ukraine.
  • MTO - Libya: Day 148 of 256 of the Siege of Tobruk.
  • Middle East: Day 11 of 24 of the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran.
  • East Africa: Day 452 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,521 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.

1942 — , September 4

  • Russian Front - North: Day 362 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 123 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 37 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 69 of 150 of Germany's CASE BLUE, the failed offensive to take the Caucasus oil fields.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 13 of 165 of the Battle of Stalingrad, the bloodiest battle in human history.
  • MTO: US, RAF and Royal Navy warplanes jointly attack another Axis convoy at sea. Two merchant ships are reported sunk and another left burning.
  • MTO - Egypt: US B-25s and RAF Bostons help repel German counterattacks at Alam-el-Halfa.
  • East Africa: Day 123 of 186 of the Battle of Madagascar.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,886 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 113 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 90 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands. The US and Canada will defeat the Japanese invaders.
  • PTO - Malaya: Day 198 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island, a long guerrilla war ending in Japanese victory.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 46 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 11 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 29 of 187 of the Battle of Guadalcanal.

1943 — , September 4

  • ETO: US 8th Air Force: B-26s attack marshalling yards in France.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 727 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 488 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 29 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 19 of 48 of the Battle of Bryansk, Russia. Soviet victory as the Germans began retreating.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 12 of 122 of the Battle of the Lower Dnieper River, USSR.
  • MTO - Italy: The RAF and US 12th Air Force attacks targets of opportunity at Grazzanise and on the Italian toe.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,251 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 136 of 148 of the 2nd Battle of Lae-Salamaua. Will become an Allied victory. The Australian 9th Division lands east of Lae on north coast.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 21 of 56 of the Battle of Vella Lavella. The Allies will win this one.

1944 — , September 4

  • ETO - UK: Day 84 of 86 of the V-1 "Buzz Bomb" offensive on Britain.
  • ETO - France: Day 35 of 284 of the Battle of Brittany.
  • ETO - France: Day 21 of 32 of Operation DRAGOON, the Allied invasion of southern France. US and French troops continue racing up the Rhone Valley.
  • ETO - Belgium: Day 3 of 62 of the liberation of Belgium. The British 11th Armoured Division takes Antwerp and the docks undamaged.
  • ETO: US 8th Air Force: B-17s hit gun positions in France and oil plants in Germany while their fighters attack enemy positions in Belgium.
  • Russian Front - Finland: Finland and the Soviet Union agree to a cease-fire, thus ending the 105-day Russo-Finnish War, aka the Winter War. The Germans are told that they have to leave Finland by the 15th of September.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 26 of 28 of the Battle of Tartu in southeastern Estonia.
  • MTO - Balkans: Allied air forces start Operation RATWEEK to hinder the German retreat from Balkans.
  • MTO - Italy: US 15th Air Force bombed submarines in Genoa harbor and a half dozen other strategic targets in Northern Italy.
  • MTO - Italy: US 12th Air Force hit several key bridges in Po Valley in preparation for an Allied ground assault on the Gothic Line.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 157 of 302 of the Chinese Salween Offensive.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,617 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 141 of 259 of Japan's Operation ICHI-GO.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 265 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 136 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea.

1945 — , September 4

  • PTO: Japanese troops garrisoned on Wake Island surrender to a detachment of US Marines aboard the USS LEVY.

    Surrender of Wake Island aboard the USS LEVY

    Two days after the government of Japan's acceptance of unconditional surrender to end WWII, the remaining 2,200 Japanese soldiers on Wake Island finally lay down their arms. Garrison commander on Wake Island, Rear Admiral Shigematsu Sakaibara, signs the document of surrender aboard the USS LEVY.

    Admiral Sakaibara had ordered the 07 Oct 43 execution of the 98 captured American civilian workers on Wake Island who had initially been kept there to perform forced labor.

    He was later taken into custody by American occupation authorities and extradited to Guam to face a military tribunal for war crimes in connection with his actions in the "Wake Island Massacre." He was found guilt, sentenced to death and hanged on 18 Jun 47.

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  • CBI - China: Day 2,982 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.

Day-By-Day listings for September 4 were last modified on Wednesday, February 3, 2016
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