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Selected: October 31
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1931 — , October 31

  • CBI - China: Day 44 of 154 of the Japanese Invasion of Manchuria.

1936 — , October 31

  • Spain: Day 107 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • CBI - China: Day 12 of 29 of the 1st Battle of Suiyuan.

1937 — , October 31

  • Spain: Day 472 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • CBI - China: Day 117 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 80 of 106 of the 2nd Battle of Shanghai.
    • Day 61 of 70 of the Battle of Taiyuan.

1938 — , October 31

  • Spain: Day 837 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • CBI - China: Day 482 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 20 of 81 of Japan's Operation GUANGDONG.

1939 — , October 31

  • CBI - China: Day 847 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.

1940 — , October 31

  • ETO - UK: Day 56 of 258 of the Blitz.
  • ETO - UK: Day 114 of 114 of the Battle of Britain. Hitler's idea of conquering England has been put off for another time. However, the Blitz campaign on London continues on.
  • MTO - Greece: British troops occupy Canea, Crete. Italian troops advance toward Salonika. The RAF bombs Naples, Italy, for the first time.
  • East Africa: Day 144 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,213 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 352 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.
  • CBI - Thailand: Day 31 of 221 of the Franco-Thai War (Vichy France vs Thailand).

1941 — , October 31

  • Atlantic: The destroyer USS REUBEN JAMES is sunk by German U-boat U-552, killing 100 of her crew. This is the first US naval casualty between Germany and the United States. Although this tragedy does not push either to declare war, it effectively scraps the US Neutrality Acts.
    Spotlight...

    American destroyer USS REUBEN JAMES
    sinks south of Iceland, killing 100

    Upon the outbreak of war in Europe in September 1939, the USS REUBEN JAMES joined the Neutrality Patrol, guarding the Atlantic and Caribbean approaches to the American coast. In March 1941, she joined the convoy escort force established to promote the safe arrival of materiel to the United Kingdom. This escort force guarded convoys as far as Iceland, after which they became the responsibility of British escorts.

    On 31 Oct 41, while escorting a convoy, the REUBEN JAMES was torpedoed by U-552 and her entire bow was blown off when a magazine exploded. The bow sank immediately. The aft section floated for five minutes before going down.

    Following this tragedy, Congress approved FDR's request to arm merchant ships and to allow them to sail through combat zones to the ports of belligerents. The sinking of the REUBEN JAMES effectively scrapped the Neutrality Acts, and any further incident could have led to a formal declaration of war against Germany.

    Dates of American pre-war incidents...

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  • Russian Front - Finland: Day 125 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 123 of 140 of Operation ARCTIC FOX, a joint German-Finnish campaign against Soviet Northern Front defenses at Salla, Finland.
  • Russian Front - Finland: Day 132 of 164 of the Battle of Hanko. The Soviets will be forced off their leased naval base.
  • Russian Front: Day 132 of 167 of Germany's Operation BARBAROSSA.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 54 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 30 of 98 of the Battle of Moscow.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 2 of 248 of the Siege of Sevastopol, Crimean Peninsula.
  • MTO - Libya: Day 205 of 256 of the Siege of Tobruk. The RAF attacks Benghazi and Tripoli.
  • East Africa: Day 509 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,578 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.

1942 — , October 31

  • Russian Front - North: Day 419 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 180 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 126 of 150 of Germany's CASE BLUE, the failed offensive to take the Caucasus oil fields.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 70 of 165 of the Battle of Stalingrad, bloodiest battle in human history.
  • MTO - Egypt: Day 9 of 20 of the 2nd Battle of El Alamein. US B-25s hit a German landing ground.
  • East Africa: Day 180 of 186 of the Battle of Madagascar.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,943 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • PTO - Alaska: Day 147 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands. The US and Canada will defeat the Japanese invaders.
  • PTO - Malaya: Day 255 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island, a long guerrilla war ending in Japanese victory.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 103 of 119 of the Battle of the Kokoda Track. The Australians continue pushing back the Japanese troops.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 86 of 187 of the Battle of Guadalcanal.

1943 — , October 31

  • Russian Front - North: Day 784 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 545 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 69 of 122 of the Battle of the Lower Dnieper River, USSR.
  • MTO - Italy: The US 5th Army resumes its offensive to the north of the Volturno. US 12th Air Force provides air support.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,308 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 43 of 219 of the Battle of Shaggy Ridge.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 40 of 162 of the Battle of the Huon Peninsula.

1944 — , October 31

  • ETO - France: Day 92 of 284 of the Battle of Brittany.
  • ETO - Belgium: Day 60 of 62 of the liberation of Belgium.
  • ETO - Belgium: Day 30 of 38 of the Battle of the Scheldt Estuary. In Netherlands, the British reach the river Mass, south of Rotterdam, and establish a bridgehead. The Canadians reach Walcheren.
  • ETO - France: Day 47 of 236 of the Siege of Dunkirk.
  • ETO - Germany: Day 43 of 145 of the Battle of Hürtgen Forest.
  • Russian Front - Finland: Day 47 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 - Center: Day 17 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 10 of 99 of the Siege of Memel, a border town of Lithuania and East Prussia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 48 of 72 of the Battle into East Prussia and northern Poland.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 3 of 108 of the Battle of Budapest, Hungary.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 48 of 72 of the Battle of Belgrade, Yugoslavia.
  • MTO -Italy : US 12th Air Force: B-26s hit targets at Nervesa della Battaglia, Montebello, and Piazzola sul Brenta. Fighters attack gun positions south of Bologna.
  • MTO - Greece: British troops occupy Salonika in effort to prevent a take-over by Communist insurgents in the wake of the recent withdrawal of German troops.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 214 of 302 of the Chinese Salween Offensive in Burma.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,674 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 198 of 259 of Japan's Operation ICHI-GO.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 322 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 193 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea.
  • PTO - Palau Islands: Day 47 of 74 of the Battle of Peleliu (Operation STALEMATE II).
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 12 of 299 of the 2nd Battle of the Philippines, aka the Liberation of the Philippines or the Philippines Campaign.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 12 of 73 of the Battle of Leyte.

Day-By-Day listings for October 31 were last modified on Wednesday, January 27, 2016
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