USA: Aviation pioneer James Doolittle sets the world's high speed record for land planes at 296 miles per hour. Jimmy Doolittle will be best known for the 18 Apr 42 raid on Tokyo that bears his name and for the development of instrument flying.
James H Doolittle in a pre-WWII photo
Doolittle was unique in that he was both an incredibly skilled pilot, flight instructor and a top-notch aeronautical engineer with numerous university credentials including MIT. His contributions to World War II and the US Air Force seem endless.
Doolittle related dates in WWII...
11 Mar 32: Doolittle sets world high speed land plane record
04 Apr 42: USS HORNET departs San Francisco for the Doolittle Raid
CBI - China: Day 70 of 142 of the 1st Battle of Hebei.
1937 — , March 11
Spain: Day 238 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
1938 — , March 11
Austria: Chancellor Schuschnigg resigns and is replaced by pro-Nazi Interior Minister Arthur Seyss-Inquart. Meanwhile, Hitler issues directives to invade and occupy Austria.
Spain: Day 603 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
CBI - China: Day 248 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 33 of 124 of the Battle of Henan.
1939 — , March 11
Germany: Hitler issues an ultimatum to Czechoslovakia to hand over Bohemia and Moravia. Later that evening, the Austrian Nazi leader tells the Slovakian leaders to proclaim independence or else!
Spain: Day 968 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
CBI - China: Day 613 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
1940 — , March 11
ETO - North Sea: The RAF sinks the German sub U-31 in Jade Bay near Wilhelmshaven, Germany. The sunken sub will later be raised, repaired and put back into service only to be sunk again on 02 Nov 40, becoming the only German submarine to be sunk twice in the war.
U-31, just before her first sinking
This photo was taken by the Bristol Blenheim bomber that sunk U-31 just before its bomb hit.
During her career, U-31 was involved in seven war patrols, and, on 16 Sep 39, had attacked the first convoy of World War II, sinking the British steamer SS AVIEMORE.
All 58 crewmen were lost in this, the first sinking. In the second sinking, 43 or 44 (sources vary) of the crew of 46 will be picked up by the British and taken prisoner.
Jade Bay, just off the northern coast of Germany, was shallow enough to be able to be raised and repaired.
Related dates (submarines)...
16 Sep 39: U-31 participates in the war's first convoy attack
Atlantic: A French fleet with one battleship, a cruiser and three destroyers departs from Toulon carrying 2,379 bars of gold totaling 147 tons to be sent to Canada for safekeeping.
Atlantic: German sub U-28 sinks Dutch tanker EULOTA 125 miles west of Quessant, France. The entire crew is rescued by the British HMS BROKE and HMS WILD SWAN.
ETO: British and French governments dispatch troops to Sweden in an attempt to capture Swedish iron mines. Norway and Sweden issue statements that they will resist such an invasion.
Finland: Day 103 of 105 of the Russo-Finnish War. In southwest Finland (Baltic Sea), Soviet tanks reach Tammisuo Station northeast of Viipuri. Meanwhile, peace delegates in Moscow verbally agree on terms.
MTO - Italy: German Foreign Minister Ribbentrop meets with Mussolini in Italy regarding German-Italian cooperation in the war.
Australia: A coal strike begins in New South Wales.
CBI - China: Day 979 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 118 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.
Day 44 of 67 of the Battle of Wuyuan.
1941 — , March 11
USA: President Roosevelt signs the Lend Lease Act into law, allowing Allied nations to buy weapons and other supplies on credit. Churchill thanks America for "a new Magna Carta."
Atlantic: German sub U-74 attacks Icelandic trawler FRODI, killing five. However, the FRODI is able to escape to Vestmannaeyjar Island tomorrow.
Atlantic: German sub U-106 sinks British ship MEMMON west of Senegal, French West Africa. Of the 69 survivors, 4 are captured by Germans, 22 make land in Senegal and 43 make it to Sierra Leone.
ETO - UK: Day 187 of 258 of the Blitz. High explosive and incendiary bombs are dropped on Birmingham.
MTO - Libya: The German 5th Panzer Regiment is ordered to prepare for an attack on El Agheila.
Middle East: British diplomats arrive in Istanbul, Turkey, with a bomb smuggled in their luggage. It explodes, killing two people.
East Africa: Day 275 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt. The British Nigerian Brigade engages Italian units at Degehabur, Abyssinia, about 100 miles south of Jijiga.
East Africa - Eritrea: Day 35 of 56 of the Battle of Keren.
PTO: The Japanese Foreign Minister sets off to visit Rome and Berlin.
CBI - China: Day 1,344 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
CBI - Thailand: Day 162 of 221 of the Franco-Thai War (Vichy France vs Thailand).
1942 — , March 11
USA: Executive Order 9095 creates the Office of the Alien Property Custodian, with discretionary authority over all alien property interests. Many assets will be frozen, creating immediate financial difficulty for the affected aliens, mainly Japanese-Americans, preventing most from moving out of the exclusion zones.
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Dates related to civilian internment...
12 May 40: UK begins internment of German civilians
14 Jan 42: Japanese-Canadians ordered to vacate BC
14 Jan 42: FDR orders all aliens to register with government
Atlantic: Day 57 of 169 of Germany's Second "Happy Time," during which U-boats sink 609 Allied ships with little risk.
U-126 sinks US freighter TEXAN off the northern coast of Cuba.
U-158 sinks US freighter CARIBSEA east of the Marine Corps Air Station at Cherry Point, North Carolina.
Russian Front - North: Day 185 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 32 of 102 of the Battle of the Demyansk Pocket, another failed attempt to break the siege at Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 48 of 103 of the Battle of the Kholm Pocket. Another attempt to break the siege at Leningrad.
Russian Front - Center: Day 63 of 103 of the Battle of Vyazma, Russia.
Russian Front - Center: Day 63 of 103 of the Battle of Sychevsk, Russia.
Russian Front - Center: Day 9 of 49 of the Battle of Rzhev, Russia, a diversion to pull more German troops away from Moscow.
Russian Front - South: Day 133 of 248 of the Siege of Sevastopol, Crimean Peninsula. All German attacks against Sevastopol are shut down for the winter.
CBI - Burma: Day 88 of 164 of Japan's Invasion of Burma. Chiang Kai-Shek gives Joseph Stilwell three of his elite Chinese Armies (5th, 6th and 66th) to help him fight in Burma. But secretly he tells his troops to avoid confrontation.
CBI - China: Day 1,709 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 78 of 99 of the 3rd Battle of Changsha.
CBI - Java: Day 12 of 13 of the Battle of Java.
PTO: Japanese oceanliner TATSUTA MARU, being used as a troop transport, arrives at Wake Island.
PTO: The USS POLLACK sinks the Japanese cargo ship FUKUSHU MARU between Formosa (Taiwan) and the Japanese home islands.
PTO - Borneo: Day 86 of 107 of the Battle of Borneo.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 4 of 6 of the 1st Battle of Lae-Salamaua.
PTO - Malaya: Day 21 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island.
PTO - Philippines: Day 94 of 152 of the 1st Battle of the Philippines. 5th Air Force provides air support. Japanese troops landed on Mindanao, the southern most of the Philippine Islands. General MacArthur leaves Corregidor by PT boat.
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Douglas MacArthur related dates...
28 Jul 32: Ordered by Hoover to clear DC of WWI veterans' Bonus Army
24 Aug 36: Granted title of Field Marshal in the Philippine Army
26 Jul 41: Recalled into active service as commander of units in Far East
22 Feb 42: Ordered by FDR to leave the Philippines
MTO: US 12th Air Force B-26s attack a convoy between Tunisia and Sicily.
CBI - Burma: Day 81 of 104 of the 1st Battle of Arakan. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
CBI - China: Day 2,074 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
The US 14th Air Force is activated to serve the China-Burma-India Theater.
Day 32 of 79 of the Allied Operation LONGCLOTH.
PTO - Alaska: Day 278 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands. US 11th Air Force warplanes attack enemy positions on Kiska Island.
PTO - New Guinea: US 5th Air Force B-24s bomb at Rabaul on New Britain Island while other B-24s attack Cape Gloucester and Powell Point. Air Ace Dick Bong gets his 7th and 8th kills. He will go on to become the highest scoring US Air Ace.
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Dick Bong related dates...
09 Jan 42: Receives wings, commissioned 2nd Lieutenant
12 Jun 42: Reprimanded, grounded for reckless flying
10 Sep 42: Assigned to 9th Fighter Squadron, Australia
27 Dec 42: Shoots down his first two Japanese planes
07 Jan 43: Shoots down his 3rd and 4th Japanese planes
08 Jan 43: Gets 5th Japanese plane, becoming an Ace
USA: The British ambassador in Washington DC voices the opinion that revealing the Holocaust to the German people would not be an effective propaganda tool against Germany.
ETO - Germany: US 8th Air Force B-17s hit targets at Munster.
ETO - France: US 8th and 9th Air Forces bomb V-weapon sites in northern France.
Russian Front - North: Day 39 of 191 of the Battle of the Narva Isthmus, Estonia. Both German and Soviet troops in the Baltic region go on the defensive.
Russian Front - South: Day 79 of 113 of the USSR's Dnieper-Carpathian Offensive in southwestern Ukraine.
Russian Front - South: Day 8 of 45 of the Battle of Chernovtsy, Ukraine.
Russian Front - South: Day 6 of 44 of the Battle of Snigirevka, Ukraine.
Yugoslavia: About 300 Jewish women and children of Split are rounded up, sent to the Jasenovac Concentration Camp and killed.
MTO - Italy: Day 55 of 123 of the Battle of Monte Cassino. RAF and US Air Forces provides air support for the Allied ground troops.
MTO - Italy: Day 50 of 136 of the Battle of Anzio. RAF and US Air Forces provides air support for the Allied ground troops.
CBI: US 14th Air Force attacks targets in China and In French Indochina.
CBI - Burma: Day 73 of 99 of the 2nd Battle of Arakan.
CBI - Burma: Day 7 of 166 of the UK's Operation THURSDAY. By this date, 9,000 men and 1,300 animals have been delivered to northern Burma for the operation. British troops capture Buthiduang on the Arakan front.
CBI - Burma: Day 2 of 147 of the Battle of Myitkyina. US 10th Air Force provides air support. Some 12,000 Chindits are now behind the Japanese lines.
CBI - China: Day 2,440 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
CBI - India: Day 4 of 118 of the Battle of Imphal-Kohima. Japanese troops invade India from northern Burma.
PTO: US 7th Air Force attacks targets on Wake Island and in the Marshalls.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 12 of 80 of the Battle of the Admiralty Islands. 5th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 175 of 219 of the Battle of Shaggy Ridge. US 13th Air Force provides air support. The Battle of Hill 700 goes into its fourth day.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 88 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. 5th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 132 of 295 of the Battle of the Bougainville Islands. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
1945 — , March 11
ETO - UK: The first unexploded V-2 rocket lands in England, but it was not retrieved and studied until 07 Apr 45. By that time other unexploded rockets will be found and examined.
ETO - France: Day 224 of 284 of the Battle of Brittany.
ETO - France: Day 178 of 236 of the Siege of Dunkirk.
ETO: Day 52 of 66 of the Battle to the Rhine. Day 6 of 20 of the Battle of Ramagen. US 3rd Army captures Kochem, Germany, on the lower Moselle river. US 9th Air Force provides air support.
ETO - Germany: Day 5 of 46 of the Battle of the Ruhr Pocket. The British and Canadian troops have now established a strong foothold inside Germany.
ETO - Germany: Day 20 of 36 consecutive RAF night raids on Berlin. The RAF bombs Essen setting the record for "largest tonnage dropped on a single target in single day."
ETO - Germany: US 8th Air Force B-17s and B-24s bomb submarine yards and an oil refinery in Germany.
Russian Front - Finland: Day 178 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 148 of 206 of the Battle of the Courland Pocket in Latvia.
Russian Front - Center: Day 46 of 75 of the Battle of Königsberg, East Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia). Soviets move toward Gotenhafen (now Gdynia, Poland), disrupting the civilian rescue efforts there.
Russian Front - Center: Day 45 of 63 of the Battle of the Heiligenbeil Pocket in East Prussia.
Russian Front - Center: Day 30 of 54 of the Battle of East Pomerania, Germany.
Russian Front - Center: Day 27 of 83 of the German Siege of Breslau (today Wroclaw, Poland).
Russian Front - Center: Day 8 of 15 of the Battle of Kolberg, Germany (today Kolobrzeg, Poland).
Russian Front - South: Day 6 of 11 of the failed German Operation FRÜHLINGSERWACHEN (Spring Awakening) at Lake Balaton, Hungary. The idea was to destroy their oil fields.
Russian Front - South: Day 6 of 16 of the Battle of Drava (a river in Bulgaria). Germans attack the Bulgarians, hoping to distract the Soviet advance on Berlin.
MTO - Italy: RAF and US Air Forces provide air support for the Allied ground units.
CBI - Burma: Day 52 of 61 of the Battles of Meiktila and Mandalay. The US 10th Air Force provides air support.
CBI - Burma: Day 36 of 99 of the Battle of Pakokku and Irrawaddy River operations in central Burma. The US 10th Air Force provides air support.
CBI - China: Day 2,805 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
CBI - Indochina: US 14th Air Force attacks targets in French Indochina and shipping in the Gulf of Tonkin.
PTO - Caroline Islands: The Japanese Navy conducts a large-scale special aircraft attack on US warships at Ulithi Atoll.
PTO - Japan: US 20th Air Force B-29s fire bomb Nagoya, destroying over 2 square miles.
PTO - Japan: Day 21 of 36 of the Battle of Iwo Jima. US 7th Air Force begins operating from the two airfields located here.
PTO - Korea: USS SEGUNDO sinks the Japanese cargo ship SHORI MARU in the East China Sea off the Korean coast.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 440 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 324 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - Philippines: Day 143 of 299 of the 2nd Battle of the Philippines, aka the Liberation of the Philippines or the Philippines Campaign.
PTO - Philippines: Day 87 of 244 of the Battle of Luzon. 5th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - Philippines: Day 2 of 159 of the Battle of Mindanao Island. 5th Air Force provides air support.
1946 — , March 11
Germany: Rudolf Höss, first commandant of Auschwitz concentration camp, who had been living for the past year as a farmer under the pseudonym Franz Lang, is arrested by British troops for his war crimes.
1947 — , March 11
Poland: The trial against Rudolf Höss begins at the Supreme National Tribunal of Poland. He will be found guilty, sentenced to death and will be hanged on 16 Apr 47.
1948 — , March 11
Japan: 30 Japanese officers, doctors and a female nurse are tried by the Allied war crimes tribunal for human experimentation in China. 23 of them will be found guilty and 5 will be sentenced to death.
Day-By-Day listings for March 11 were last modified on Friday, February 23, 2018