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Selected: October 26
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1931 — , October 26

  • CBI - China: Day 39 of 154 of the Japanese Invasion of Manchuria.

1936 — , October 26

  • Spain: Day 102 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • CBI - China: Day 7 of 29 of the 1st Battle of Suiyuan.

1937 — , October 26

  • Spain: Day 467 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • CBI - China: Day 112 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 75 of 106 of the 2nd Battle of Shanghai.
    • Day 56 of 70 of the Battle of Taiyuan.

1938 — , October 26

  • Spain: Day 832 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • CBI - China: Day 477 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 138 of 139 of the Battle of Wuhan.
    • Day 15 of 81 of Japan's Operation GUANGDONG.

1939 — , October 26

  • ETO - Poland: Forced labor decree issued stating all Polish Jews aged 14 to 60 have to work.
  • CBI - China: Day 842 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.

1940 — , October 26

  • USA: First flight of the iconic North American P-51 Mustang long-range, single-seat fighter and fighter-bomber. With the addition of the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine, the Mustang will be transformed, giving it a performance that will match or better the majority of the Luftwaffe's fighters at high altitude.
    Spotlight...

    P-51 Mustangs of the 375th Fighter Squadron,
    Eighth Air Force, mid-1944

    With the outbreak of World War II in 1939, the British government established a purchasing commission in the United States to acquire aircraft to supplement the Royal Air Force. This commission initially sought to acquire large numbers of the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk for use in Europe. This plan proved unworkable as the Curtiss-Wright plant was unable to take new orders. As a result, North American was asked if their company could produce the fighter under contract. Rather than transition North American's assembly lines to the P-40, they suggested that they could have a superior fighter designed in less time.

    The head of the British Ministry of Aircraft Production placed an order for 320 aircraft in March 1940. With this order in hand, North American designers began the NA-73X project to create a fighter around the P-40's Allison V-1710 engine. Due to Britain's wartime needs, the project progressed rapidly and a prototype was ready for testing only 117 days after the order was placed.

    First flying on October 26, 1940, the P-51 utilized a laminar flow wing design which provided low drag at high speeds as well as a new radiator system which improved speed. While the prototype proved substantially faster than the P-40, there was a substantial drop in performance when operating over 15,000 feet. While adding a supercharger to the engine would have solved this issue, the aircraft's design made it impractical.

    The US Army Air Corps approved Britain's original contract for 320 aircraft on the condition that they received two for testing. The first production aircraft flew May 1, 1941, and the new fighter was adopted under the name Mustang Mk I by the British and dubbed the XP-51 by the USAAC.

    Possessing outstanding range and low-level performance, the RAF primarily utilized the Mustang for ground support and tactical reconnaissance. The initial order was soon followed by second contract for 300 planes which differed only in armament carried.

    The fighter's high speed and performance made it one of the few aircraft capable of pursuing V-1 flying bombs and defeating the Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighter.

    During World War II, the P-51 was credited with downing 4,950 German aircraft, the most of any Allied fighter.

    North American Aviation built 15,575 of these single-engine fighters during the 1940s.

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  • ETO - UK: Day 51 of 258 of the Blitz. This one is the longest air raid so far.
  • ETO - UK: Day 109 of 114 of the Battle of Britain.
  • MTO - Italy: The Italians protest to the Greeks about their non-neutral attitude toward Italy.
  • East Africa: Day 139 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,208 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 347 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.
  • CBI - Thailand: Day 26 of 221 of the Franco-Thai War (Vichy France vs Thailand).

1941 — , October 26

  • Russian Front - Finland: Day 120 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 118 of 140 of Operation ARCTIC FOX, a joint German-Finnish campaign against Soviet Northern Front defenses at Salla, Finland.
  • Russian Front - Finland: Day 127 of 164 of the Battle of Hanko. The Soviets will be forced off their leased naval base.
  • Russian Front: Day 127 of 167 of Germany's Operation BARBAROSSA.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 49 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 25 of 98 of the Battle of Moscow.
  • MTO - Libya: Day 200 of 256 of the Siege of Tobruk.
  • East Africa: Day 504 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,573 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.

1942 — , October 26

  • ETO - Norway: Following a series of steps to demean and persecute Jews in Norway, their deportation to Auschwitz begins. Of some 775 rounded up, less than three dozen will survive.
    Spotlight...

    Railway entrance to the infamous Auschwitz death camp

    Because the Norwegian police and German authorities kept records of the Norwegian victims of Jewish background during the Nazi occupation of Norway, researchers have been able to compile information about them, reporting that between 28 and 34 survived the Holocaust following their deportation.

    Jewish individuals were at first arrested, Jewish property was confiscated, Jews were ordered to report to local police stations and have their identification cards stamped with a "J" and fill in a lengthy form about their profession, holdings and family.

    Based on the lists the police compiled, most Jewish adult men were arrested and detained in October 1942, and by November 26, women and children were also arrested for deportation. This is the only time in Norwegian history that Norwegian police had been ordered to arrest children.

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  • UK: American Red Cross "clubmobiles" begin service in England. Affectionately called "Doughnut Dollies," the clubmobile women will be a source of tremendous morale-boosting comfort to war-weary troops through the end of the war.
    Spotlight...

    A bus-converted clubmobile in England

    In World War II the American Red Cross was asked by the US Armed Forces to provide recreational services to the servicemen in the various theaters of operation.

    The Red Cross clubmobile was conceived by the Red Cross Commissioner to Great Britain, who wanted to put a service club "on wheels" which would reach the serviceman at his camp or airfield. Also, by having a club on wheels, the Red Cross was able to get around the army's request that servicemen pay for food. Everything distributed on a clubmobile was free.

    Clubmobiles were made from a variety of vehicles, from buses and 2½-ton trucks to jeeps and small trailers. The larger clubmobiles consisted of a good-sized kitchen with a built-in doughnut machine. A primus stove was installed for heating water for coffee, which was prepared in 50-cup urns.

    Clubmobiles for the invasion...

    Clubmobile staging area

    Clubmobiles crossing
    the Channel

    First clubmobile "Daniel Boone" lands in Normandy

    On the beach for the
    "doughnut march" to the front

    And, of course,
    the "Doughnut Dollies"

    On one side of the kitchen area, there was a counter and a large flap which opened out for serving coffee and doughnuts. In the back one-third of the clubmobile, was a lounge with a built-in bench on either side (which could be converted to sleeping bunks, if necessary), a victrola with loud speakers, a large selection of up-to-date music records, and paperback books. A few "cinemobiles" were made, too.

    Leading up to the D-Day invasion of Normandy, clubmobiles covered some 30 bases throughout England and docks at Liverpool, Greenoch, Scotland, and Belfast, Northern Ireland. Close to one hundred 2½-ton GMC trucks were made ready in England to follow the troops into France. Smaller jeeps would regularly stock up and drive dangerously close to the front lines of battle to provide coffee and doughnuts as close to the action as possible.

    Each clubmobile group traveled with the rear echelon of the army Corps and got its assignments from the army for serving troops at rest from the front. The service continued through France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany, until V-E Day, May 7, 1945.

    Because of the great difference in pay between American servicemen and their counterparts from other countries, particularly Great Britain, the army asked the Red Cross to make nominal charges for the food they provided. They resisted, but eventually instituted a small charge of 2 cents per doughnut. The fee outraged American GIs and the clubmobiles reverted back to everything being free of charge, although a bad taste had been left in the mouths of many that persists to this day.

    Red Cross related dates...

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  • Russian Front - North: Day 414 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 175 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 121 of 150 of Germany's CASE BLUE, the failed offensive to take the Caucasus oil fields.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 65 of 165 of the Battle of Stalingrad, bloodiest battle in human history.
  • MTO - Egypt: Day 4 of 20 of the 2nd Battle of El Alamein. British 8th Army regroups to prepare for final breakout.
  • MTO - Egypt: US B-25s and P-40s attack Germans who are holding back the Allied ground forces at El Alamein.
  • MTO - Libya: US B-17s and B-24s attack an Axis shipping convoy off the coast of Libya.
  • East Africa: Day 175 of 186 of the Battle of Madagascar.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,938 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • PTO - Alaska: Day 142 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands. The US and Canada will defeat the Japanese invaders.
  • PTO - Malaya: Day 250 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island, a long guerrilla war ending in Japanese victory.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 98 of 119 of the Battle of the Kokoda Track. The Australians continue pushing back the Japanese troops.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 81 of 187 of the Battle of Guadalcanal.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 2 of 3 of the Naval Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands. Warships continue to slug it out.

1943 — , October 26

  • ETO - Germany: The RAF launches a heavy night raid against Stuttgart.
  • ETO - Germany: US 8th Air Force: In their greatest effort to date, they deliver a devastating daylight attack on Bremen.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 779 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 540 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 64 of 122 of the Battle of the Lower Dnieper River, USSR.
  • MTO - Italy: US 12th Air Force patrols the battle areas.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,303 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 38 of 219 of the Battle of Shaggy Ridge.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 35 of 162 of the Battle of the Huon Peninsula.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: A feint landing on Choisseul is conducted by US troops. Meanwhile Treasury Island is occupied by the Allies.

1944 — , October 26

  • ETO - Germany: The last transport of Jews to be gassed, 2,000 from Theresienstadt, arrives at Auschwitz.
  • ETO - France: Day 87 of 284 of the Battle of Brittany.
  • ETO - Belgium: Day 55 of 62 of the liberation of Belgium.
  • ETO - Belgium: Day 25 of 38 of the Battle of the Scheldt Estuary.
  • ETO - France: Day 42 of 236 of the Siege of Dunkirk.
  • ETO - Germany: Day 38 of 145 of the Battle of Hürtgen Forest.
  • ETO - Germany: US 8th Air Force B-17s and B-24s bomb targets in western Germany.
  • Russian Front - Finland: Day 42 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 20 of 23 of the Petsamo-Kirkenes Offensive. The Soviets will drive the Germans out of the Arctic region in northern Scandinavia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 12 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 5 of 99 of the Siege of Memel, a border town of Lithuania and East Prussia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 43 of 72 of the Battle into East Prussia and northern Poland.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 11 of 15 of the Battle of Goldap, East Prussia.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 21 of 24 of the Battle of Debrecen, Hungary.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 43 of 72 of the Battle of Belgrade, Yugoslavia.
  • MTO - Italy: US 12th Air Force A-20s night bomb targets in the Po Valley. Throughout the day, B-25s and B-26s attack the Po Valley targets again and again.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 209 of 302 of the Chinese Salween Offensive in Burma.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,669 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 193 of 259 of Japan's Operation ICHI-GO.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 317 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 188 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea.
  • PTO - Palau Islands: Day 42 of 74 of the Battle of Peleliu (Operation STALEMATE II).
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 7 of 299 of the 2nd Battle of the Philippines, aka the Liberation of the Philippines or the Philippines Campaign.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 7 of 73 of the Battle of Leyte.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 4 of 4 of the Battle of Leyte Gulf. The result of this, perhaps the largest naval battle in history, is a decisive US victory.

Day-By-Day listings for October 26 were last modified on Wednesday, January 27, 2016
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