Spain: Day 28 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War. The Spanish Republican battleship JAIME I is damaged by a Nationalist air attack off the coast of Malaga, Spain.
1937 — , August 13
Spain: Day 393 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
CBI - China: Day 38 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 1 of 106 of the 2nd Battle of Shanghai. Tension finally snaps as the Chinese break the peace and fire upon the Japanese in three different towns within the district of Shanghai.
1938 — , August 13
Spain: Day 758 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
CBI - China: Day 403 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 64 of 139 of the Battle of Wuhan.
1939 — , August 13
CBI - China: Day 768 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 61 of 68 of the Battle of Tianjin.
CBI - Mongolia: Day 95 of 129 of the Battle of Khalkhin Gol, a border dispute between the Soviet Union and Japan.
1940 — , August 13
ETO - UK: Day 35 of 114 of the Battle of Britain. The Luftwaffe launches Adlertag, or Eagle Day, the first day of the maximum offensive to destroy RAF airfields and gain air supremacy in preparation for Operation SEA LION, the invasion of England. The Germans launch 1,485 sorties, but the day starts off in confusion and they lose 39 planes while the British lose just 15.
In order to invade Britain, the Germans had to have control in the air over the English Channel, otherwise the RAF and the Royal Navy would have been able to destroy their invasion force before it reached the shore.
It has been postulated by many naval experts that due to the type of flat-bottomed barge built by the Germans, simply running a Destroyer Squadron at full speed through their ranks would have caused many to capsize in the wake from the ships. The troops and their equipment would have suffered heavy casualties, and the invasion effectively stopped with little or no gunfire. The Luftwaffe's command of the air was therefore vital to any plan for an invasion fleet to successfully cross the Channel, to prevent British sea or air forces from interfering with the operation.
Invasion, 1940: The Truth About the Battle of Britain and What Stopped Hitler
USA: Roosevelt agrees to supply 50 World War One destroyers to Britain in return for 99-year land leases for naval bases in the Caribbean.
Canada: Colonel E L M Burns proposes creating a Canadian parachute force, but the idea is rejected by the Director of Military Operations.
Atlantic: German sub U-60 sinks the Swedish ship NILS GORTHON 10 miles north of Ireland.
ETO - UK: The first shells fired across the Channel from the French side fall upon Dover.
East Africa: Day 65 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt. In British Somaliland, Italian troops attack Tug Argan again, but make no gains. The British Royal Navy cruiser HMS CALRISLE shoots down an Italian aircraft attacking Berbera, British Somaliland. Elsewhere, the HMS KIMBERLY and HMS AUCKLAND begin shelling the Italian held port of El Sheikha.
CBI - China: Day 1,134 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 273 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.
1941 — , August 13
ETO - Germany: Two Dutch prisoners escape from the POW camp at Colditz Castle, but they will be recaptured within a few days.
USSR: Stalin releases the Polish POWs taken in September 1939 in order to form a Polish Army in Russia.
Russian Front - Finland: Day 46 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 44 of 140 of Operation ARCTIC FOX, a joint German-Finnish campaign against Soviet Northern Front defenses at Salla, Finland.
Russian Front - Finland: Day 53 of 164 of the Battle of Hanko.
Russian Front: Day 53 of 167 of Germany's Operation BARBAROSSA, the invasion of the USSR.
Russian Front - North: Army Group North continues their slow advance toward Leningrad. Soviet troops continue their counter-attack at Staraya Russa south of Lake Ilmen.
Russian Front - Center: Day 21 of 38 of the Battle of Gomel, Belarus. Heavy fighting continues at Gomel.
Russian Front - Center: The German march to Moscow is temporarily halted so more troops can help out down south.
Russian Front - South: German Army Group South keeps pushing toward Stalingrad.
Russian Front - South: Day 6 of 70 of the Siege of Odessa, Ukraine.
MTO - Libya: Day 126 of 256 of the Siege of Tobruk.
East Africa: Day 430 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
CBI - China: Day 1,499 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
1942 — , August 13
Russian Front - North: Day 340 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 101 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket.
Russian Front - Center: Day 15 of 64 of the 1st Battle of Rzhev-Sychevka, Russia. German troops near Rzhev continue their attempts to break their encirclement.
Russian Front - South: Day 47 of 150 of Germany's CASE BLUE.
MTO - Egypt: General Bernard Montgomery takes command of the British 8th Army, two days early.
East Africa: Day 101 of 186 of the Battle of Madagascar.
CBI - China: Day 1,864 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 91 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 68 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands.
PTO - Malaya: Day 176 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 24 of 119 of the Battle of the Kokoda Track. US 5th and 13th Air Forces provide air support. Japanese troops begin crossing over the Owen Stanley Range toward Port Moresby.
PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 7 of 187 of the Battle of Guadalcanal. US 5th Army Air Force provides air support.
1943 — , August 13
Russian Front - North: Day 705 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 466 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket.
Russian Front - Center: Day 40 of 50 of the Battle of Kursk, Russia.
Russian Front - Center: Day 33 of 38 of the Battle of Orel, Russia.
Russian Front - Center: Day 7 of 57 of the 2nd Battle of Smolensk, Russia.
Russian Front - Center: Day 7 of 14 of the Battle of Spas-Demensk, Russia.
Russian Front - Center: Day 1 of 6 of the 1st Battle of Dukhovshchina-Demidov, Russia.
Russian Front - South: Day 22 of 23 of the Battle of Belgorod, Russia.
Russian Front - South: Day 32 of 48 of the USSR's Lvov-Sandomierz Offensive. The outflanked Germans continue retreating.
MTO - Austria: US 9th Air Force B-24s hit an aircraft factory at Wiener-Neustadt thinking it manufactured airplanes. After the war, the Allies will discover that this factory had been making parts for V-2 rockets and that this raid had set the program back for nearly a year.
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V-1 related dates...
12 Mar 44: Swedes investigate crashed V-1 from station 40 miles away
13 Jun 44: First V-1 Flying Bomb attack on England, 4 of 11 hit targets
16 Jun 44: V-1 offensive begins in earnest as 244 flying bombs strike England
19 Jun 44: Air Ministry releases the first official V-1 details
04 Aug 44: First RAF pilot destroys a V-1 flying bomb by tipping its wing
02 Sep 44: Allied advance forces V-1 rocket bases in France to cease
06 Sep 44: Battle of London ends after 80 days of V-1 rocket attacks
V-2 related dates...
20 Aug 41: Adolf Hitler authorizes the development of the V-2 missile
18 Mar 42: First A-4 rocket explodes during combustion chamber test
23 Mar 42: Von Braun's team launches first successful test of an A-4 rocket
22 Apr 43: A British Mosquito photographs German rockets at Peenemunde
27 Jun 43: British Chiefs of Staff circulate V-2 rocket report
28 Jun 43: RAF reconnaissance plane identifies Peenemunde V-2 launch site
13 Aug 43: Factory making V-2 parts bombed, setting program back
20 May 44: Polish underground captures, dismantles V-2 intact, sends to UK
08 Sep 44: First of over 3,000 German V-2 rockets hit Paris and London
27 Mar 45: The 1,115th and last V-2 rocket reaches England
02 May 45: Wernher von Braun surrenders in Austria to US troops
Rocket Man: Robert H Goddard and the Birth of the Space Age
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MTO - Italy: Day 36 of 40 of the Battle of Sicily. RAF and US Air Forces provide air support. The US 7th Army enters Randazzo without opposition and continues on toward Patti.
CBI - China: Day 2,229 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
US 14th Air Force attacks enemy installations at Lungling.
PTO - Alaska: Day 433 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands. US 11th Air Force bombs targets at Main Camp and North Head on Kiska and Little Kiska Islands.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 114 of 148 of the 2nd Battle of Lae-Salamaua. US 5th and 13th Air Forces provide air support.
PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 55 of 67 of the Battle of New Georgia. US 5th and 13th Air Forces provide air support. US Army 43rd Division lands unopposed on Vela Cela and Baanga just off western New Georgia.
1944 — , August 13
Atlantic: The Soviet minesweeper T-114 is sunk by German sub U-365 in the Kara Sea up in the Arctic Circle.
ETO - UK: US 8th Air Force: The covert 801st Provisional Group (the Carpetbaggers) at Harrington, England, is redesignated the 492nd Bomb Group as a working cover and its four squadrons become the 856th, 857th, 858th and 859th Bomb Squadrons; the original 492nd BG at North Pickenham and its squadrons having been disbanded on 07 Aug 44 due to high casualties.
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492nd Bomb Group related dates...
18 Apr 44: 492nd Bomb Group arrives at Station 143, North Pickenham
09 May 44: 492nd BG does exhibition formation flight over 2nd AD bases
11 May 44: 492nd BG flies its first mission; no casualties
19 May 44: 492nd BG Mission 05 to Brunswick; first of their three deadliest
20 Jun 44: 492nd BG Mission 34 to Politz; second of their three deadliest
07 Jul 44: 492nd BG Mission 46 to Bernburg; third of their three deadliest; entire 859th Bomb Squadron is wiped out
15 Jul 44: The bomb dump at nearby Metfield mysteriously explodes, rocking the countryside and destroying the 491st BG's base
07 Aug 44: 492nd BG flies its final mission (no casualties) and is disbanded
13 Aug 44: 801st Provisional Group is redesignated the 492nd Bomb Group
15 Aug 44: 491st Bomb Group moves into the base at North Pickenham
Charles W Arnett
The 492nd Bomb Group has a special place in the hearts of brothers Paul and David Arnett, the two guys behind this ScanningWWII website. Their father, Charles Arnett, served in the 492nd BG as the pilot of a B-24 Liberator. He was shot down on his third mission and spent a year as a POW at Stalag Luft III where the "Great Escape" took place. It is because of our love for him that we developed a passion for WWII.
Dates related to Charles Arnett...
26 Jul 42: US Lt Col Clark shot down flying an RAF fighter over France
19 May 44: 1st of 3 deadly missions for the Hard Luck 492nd Bomb Group
ETO - UK: Day 62 of 86 of the V-1 "Buzz Bomb" offensive on Britain.
ETO - France: Day 20 of 29 of the Breakout Battle of Normandy. Allied Air Forces provide air support.
ETO - France: Day 13 of 284 of the Battle of Brittany.
Russian Front - Finland: Day 19 of 19 of the Battle of Ilomantsi, North Karelia. The Soviets withdraw.
Russian Front - North: Day 4 of 28 of the Battle of Tartu in southeastern Estonia.
Russian Front - Center: Day 17 of 32 of the Battle of Kaunas, Lithuania.
Russian Front - Center: Day 8 of 9 of the Battle of Osovets, Poland.
MTO - Italy: Allied troops continue pressing the German line holding the Po Valley. Allied Air Forces provide air support.
MTO - France: US Air Forces bomb targets in southern France.
CBI - Burma: Day 162 of 166 of the UK's Operation THURSDAY. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
CBI - Burma: Day 135 of 302 of the Chinese Salween Offensive. US 14th Air Force provides air support.
CBI - China: Day 2,595 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 119 of 259 of Japan's Operation ICHI-GO.
PTO - Alaska: US 11th Air Force B-24s bomb the Kashiwabara staging area on Paramushiru Island.
PTO - Dutch New Guinea: Day 43 of 61 of the Battle of Noemfoor. Although the island has been declared secured, bitter fighting from Japanese continues.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 79 of 83 of the Battle of Biak. There are still 3,000 Japanese soldiers on the island who won't give up.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 243 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 114 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea. 5th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 61 of 80 of the Battle of Lone Tree Hill.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 35 of 47 of the Battle of Driniumor River.
PTO - Philippines: The sub USS FLIER hits a naval mine and sinks in the Balacbac Strait just off the southern tip of Palawan.
PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 287 of 295 of the Battle of the Bougainville Islands. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
1945 — , August 13
UK: The Zionist World Congress approaches the British government to discuss the founding of the country of Israel.
CBI - China: Day 2,960 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 5 of 25 of the Soviet Invasion of Manchuria.
The Mongolian People's Republic declares a Holy War against the Japanese.
CBI - Malaya: The USS CARBONERO sinks two schooners in the Gulf of Siam.
PTO - Alaska: US 11th Air Force attacks the Kashiwahara staging area on Paramushiru Island with incendiary bombs. This will become the 11th AF's last mission of the war.
PTO - Borneo: Day 65 of 67 of the Battle of North Borneo. US 5th and 13th Air Forces provide air support.
PTO - Japan: The Japanese Cabinet decides to go ahead and surrender to Allies. Their reply is handed to the Swiss Foreign Minister by the Japanese Minister in Berne. At midnight, Truman calls a press conference to announce Japan's Unconditional Surrender. The surrender documents are sent to General Douglas MacArthur in the Philippines.
PTO - Japan: Warplanes from USS TICONDEROGA attack Tokyo.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 595 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 479 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - Philippines: Day 297 of 299 of the 2nd Battle of the Philippines, aka the Liberation of the Philippines or the Philippines Campaign.
PTO - Philippines: Day 242 of 244 of the Battle of Luzon. The battle is said to over but hold-outs will continue fighting until the end of the war.
PTO - Philippines: Day 157 of 159 of the Battle of Mindanao Island. The battle is said to over but hold-outs will continue fighting until the end of the war.
1961 — , August 13
Berlin: The Soviets build a wall of barbed wire between East and West Berlin. Eventually it will be replaced with a concrete wall 12 feet high and 30 miles long, lined with guard towers, spotlights, guard dogs and minefields.
Gates through the Berlin Wall were finally opened on November 9, 1989, but the Wall in its entirety was not torn down immediately. Starting that evening and in the days and weeks that followed, people came to the wall with sledgehammers or otherwise hammers and chisels to chip off souvenirs, demolishing lengthy parts of it in the process and creating several unofficial border crossings. These people were nicknamed "Mauerspechte" (wall woodpeckers).
The official dismantling of the Wall by the East German military began on 13 June 1990. The dismantling continued to be carried out by military units and lasted until November 1991. Only a few short sections and watchtowers were left standing as memorials.