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Selected: October 18
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1931 — , October 18

  • CBI - China: Day 31 of 154 of the Japanese Invasion of Manchuria.

1936 — , October 18

  • Spain: Day 94 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.

1937 — , October 18

  • Spain: Day 459 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • CBI - China: Day 104 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 67 of 106 of the 2nd Battle of Shanghai.
    • Day 48 of 70 of the Battle of Taiyuan.

1938 — , October 18

  • Spain: Day 824 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • CBI - China: Day 469 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 130 of 139 of the Battle of Wuhan.
    • Day 7 of 81 of Japan's Operation GUANGDONG.

1939 — , October 18

  • Poland: The first Jewish ghetto is established in Lublin.
  • CBI - China: Day 834 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.

1940 — , October 18

  • ETO - UK: Day 43 of 258 of the Blitz.
  • ETO - UK: Day 101 of 114 of the Battle of Britain.
  • East Africa: Day 131 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,200 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 339 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.
  • CBI - Burma: Britain reopens the Burma road, which has been closed for the past three months on the condition that progress be made toward peace between Japan and China.
  • CBI - Thailand: Day 18 of 221 of the Franco-Thai War (Vichy France vs Thailand).

1941 — , October 18

  • Russian Front - Finland: Day 112 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 110 of 140 of Operation ARCTIC FOX, a joint German-Finnish campaign against Soviet Northern Front defenses at Salla, Finland.
  • Russian Front - Finland: Day 119 of 164 of the Battle of Hanko. The Soviets will be forced off their leased naval base.
  • Russian Front: Day 119 of 167 of Germany's Operation BARBAROSSA.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 41 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 17 of 98 of the Battle of Moscow. Germans advance within 80 miles west of Moscow.
  • MTO - Libya: Day 192 of 256 of the Siege of Tobruk.
  • East Africa: Day 496 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,565 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.

1942 — , October 18

  • ETO - Norway: Four Norwegian commandos are parachuted in to recon the German heavy water plant at Telemark.
  • ETO - Germany: Hitler orders German troops to shoot all captured Allied commandos, "to the last man."
  • Russian Front - North: Day 406 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 167 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 - South: Day 113 of 150 of Germany's CASE BLUE, the failed offensive to take the Caucasus oil fields.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 57 of 165 of the Battle of Stalingrad, bloodiest battle in human history.
  • MTO - Malta: After eight days of attacks, German and Italian daylight bombing raids over Malta are finally suspended. The drain on aircraft being sent to other fronts has left them little alternative.
  • East Africa: Day 167 of 186 of the Battle of Madagascar.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,930 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • PTO - Alaska: Day 134 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands. The US and Canada will defeat the Japanese invaders.
  • PTO - Malaya: Day 242 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island, a long guerrilla war ending in Japanese victory.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 90 of 119 of the Battle of the Kokoda Track. The Australians continue pushing back the Japanese troops.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 73 of 187 of the Battle of Guadalcanal.

1943 — , October 18

  • Russian Front - North: Day 771 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 532 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 - South: Day 56 of 122 of the Battle of the Lower Dnieper River, USSR.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 3 of 4 of a Soviet attempt to breakout from the Bukrin Bridgehead south of Kiev.
  • MTO - Yugoslavia: US 12th Air Force B-25s bomb the marshalling yard at Skoplje.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,295 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 30 of 219 of the Battle of Shaggy Ridge.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 27 of 162 of the Battle of the Huon Peninsula. Will result in an Allied victory.

1944 — , October 18

  • Germany: Funeral service is held for Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, forced to commit suicide four days earlier.
    Spotlight...

    18 Oct 44: Hitler's wreath is carried in
    Rommel's funeral procession

    Rommel's only option was to face a public trial as a co-conspirator in the 20 Jul 44 plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, or taking cyanide. He chose the latter. Suicide guaranteed that his family would not be hurt and that he would be given a state funeral.

    It remains unclear to this day as to Rommel's involvement in or knowledge of the failed bomb plot, if any, but protecting his family was the only option he could have possibly chosen.

    For post-war Germans, desperate to salvage something akin to honor from the avalanche of horrific acts committed by the Third Reich, Rommel's death gave them reason to continue to regard him as a true German hero for having opposed Hitler enough to have cost him his life.

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  • ETO - France: Day 79 of 284 of the Battle of Brittany.
  • ETO - Belgium: Day 47 of 62 of the liberation of Belgium. Olympic gold medalist and champion lacrosse player Jack Turnbull is mortally wounded when his B-24 crashes in Belgium after a mid-air collision while returning from a bombing run over Germany.
    Spotlight...

    Lt Col John Inglehart "Jack" Turnbull

    Jack Turnbull's sorties over Germany in 1944 constituted his second invasion of that country, for he was a member of the US field hockey team that carried off top honors at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, after which he personally met and shook hands with Adolf Hitler. He was no stranger to England, either, having visited the country in 1937 with an All-American lacrosse team which played and won nine games against the best in Britain.

    He was a native of Baltimore (born 30 Jun 10) and a graduate of John Hopkins University, where he received an engineering degree in 1932. While in college he starred in lacrosse, football, field hockey and basketball and captained the lacrosse team which won the Olympic Gold in Los Angeles in 1932. He was a "complete athlete" with a knack of excelling at any sport he tried. He was known as the "Babe Ruth" of lacrosse. After graduation he became a consulting engineer, specializing in heating and air conditioning.

    Turnbull enlisted in the Maryland National Guard as an aviation cadet and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant on 24 Jun 40. He was mobilized along with the rest of the Maryland National Guard in Feb 41, prior to the US entry into WWII, at which point his unit was transferred to Atlantic City and later to Langley Field, where they did Anti-Submarine Patrol for nearly two years. The squadron was changed in name to the 12th Anti-Sub Squadron and later became cadre for the 492nd Bomb Group, stationed at North Pickenham, England. During the war he quickly rose in rank, and by 1944 he was a Lieutenant Colonel.

    While serving as Group Operations Officer with the 492nd BG, it is said that, while having a drink with fellow officers, Turnbull told the story of his 1936 meeting with Adolf Hitler. "Had I known then what I know now," he said (or words to that effect), "I would have reached out and strangled that son of a bitch on the spot. Then none of us would be here now." His fellow officers paused for a moment and replied with, "Well, you certainly wouldn't be here now!"

    By August 1944, after only 89 days of combat, the 492nd had lost 52 aircraft to enemy action, with 588 men killed or missing. Rather than try to rebuild the shattered group, the surviving members were reassigned to other units in the ETO. Jack Turnbull was transferred to the 44th Bomb Group at Shipdam.

    While returning from a mission on Oct 18 44, his B-24 crashed after a mid-air collision in severe weather. Turnbull died of his injuries two days later and was buried near the crash site in Belgium. His body was brought home in 1947 and is now buried in Davidsonville, Maryland.

    In 1965 he was inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame. The Jack Turnbull Award is given each year to America's best collegiate lacrosse attackman.

    Dates related to Olympics and Olympians in WWII...

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  • ETO - Belgium: Day 17 of 38 of the Battle of the Scheldt Estuary.
  • ETO - France: Day 34 of 236 of the Siege of Dunkirk.
  • ETO - Germany: Day 30 of 145 of the Battle of Hürtgen Forest.
  • ETO - Germany: US 8th Air Force B-17s and B-24s hit targets inside Germany.
  • Russian Front - Finland: Day 34 of 223 of the Lapland War. Finland and Russia have joined forces to kick the Germans out of Finland's most northern province.
  • Russian Front - Finland: Day 12 of 23 of the Petsamo-Kirkenes Offensive. The Soviets will drive the Germans out of the Arctic region in northern Scandinavia. Soviet troops cross into Norway.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 35 of 41 of the Battle of Riga, Latvia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 4 of 206 of the Battle of the Courland Pocket in Latvia. Germans will hold this area until the very end of the war.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 14 of 18 of the Battle of Memel, a border town of Lithuania and East Prussia. The Germans continue to hold the Niemen line to cover East Prussia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 35 of 72 of the Battle into East Prussia and northern Poland.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 3 of 15 of the Battle of Goldap, East Prussia.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 13 of 24 of the Battle of Debrecen, Hungary. An additional 35,000 German troops enter Slovakia from Hungary to put down the uprising that had began back on 29 August 44.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 35 of 72 of the Battle of Belgrade, Yugoslavia.
  • MTO - Yugoslavia: US 15th Air Force: P-38s dive-bomb on targets in Vinkovci.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 201 of 302 of the Chinese Salween Offensive in Burma.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,661 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 185 of 259 of Japan's Operation ICHI-GO.
  • PTO - Caroline Islands: Fourteen B-29s attack the Japanese base at Truk.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 309 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 180 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea.
  • PTO - Palau Islands: Day 34 of 74 of the Battle of Peleliu (Operation STALEMATE II).
  • PTO - Palau Islands: Day 32 of 36 of the Battle of Angaur.

1945 — , October 18

  • Germany: The first open session of the International Military War Crimes Tribunal indicts 21 top Nazis.

Day-By-Day listings for October 18 were last modified on Tuesday, February 2, 2016
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