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World War II

This tag is associated with 16 posts

On this day (Australia): In 1941, all 645 aboard the HMAS Sydney died in a battle with the German ship Kormoran off Western Australia


On 19 November 1941, the cruiser HMAS Sydney was involved in a mutually destructive battle with the German ship Kormoran off Western Australia. All 645 aboard Sydney died. The battle between the Australian light cruiser HMAS Sydney and the German auxiliary cruiser Kormoran (“cormorant’) was a single-ship action that occurred on 19 November 1941, off the coast of Western Australia.  Sydney, with Captain Joseph … Continue reading

On this day (Australia): In 1941, Operation Crusader, the successful attempt to relieve the Siege of Tobruk, began


On 18 November 1941. Operation Crusader, the third, and ultimately successful attempt to relieve the Siege of Tobruk, began. Operation Crusader was a military operation of the Western Desert Campaign during the Second World War by the British Eighth Army (with Australian, Comonwealth, Indian and Allied contingents) against the Axis forces (German and Italian) in North Africa commanded by Generalleutnant Erwin Rommel. The operation ran … Continue reading

On this day (Australia): In 1940, Bass Strait was closed to shipping following the sinking of British steamer Cambridge by a mine


On 7 November 1940, Bass Strait was closed to shipping following the sinking of British steamer Cambridge by a mine. On 15 June 1940 a Nazi raider named the Pinguin embarked on a mission to capture and destroy as many allied merchant ships as possible. Between June 1940 and May 1941 the Pinguin’s Captain Kruder … Continue reading

On This Day In Australia: In 1944, over 200 Japanese POWs died after a mass escape attempt in Cowra


On 5 August 1944, at at least 545 Japanese prisoners of war attempted to escape from a camp in Cowra, and over 200 died. The Cowra breakout occurred when 1,104 Japanese prisoners of war attempted to escape from the prisoner of war camp near Cowra, in New South Wales, Australia. It was the largest prison escape of World War II, as well as one of the … Continue reading

December 7 1941: Japan attacks Pearl Harbor


On December 7th 1941, at 7:55 am  Hawaii time, a swarm of 360 Japanese war planes appeared out of the clouds above the island of Oahu, in Hawaii. then descended on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in a ferocious assault. The surprise attack struck a critical blow against the U.S. Pacific fleet and … Continue reading

November 11 1918 World War I ends


On November 11th 1918, at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, the Great War ended. At 5 a.m. that morning, Germany, bereft of manpower and supplies and faced with imminent invasion, signed an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car outside Compiégne, France. The First World War left … Continue reading

October 29 1929 Stock market crashes


On October 29th 1929, Black Tuesday hit Wall Street when investors traded 16,410,030 shares on the New York Stock Exchange in a single day. Billions of dollars were lost, wiping out thousands of investors, and stock tickers ran hours behind because the machinery could not handle the tremendous volume of trading. In the aftermath of … Continue reading

September 13 1916 Children’s author Roald Dahl is born


On September 13th 1916, Roald Dahl, author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) and James and the Giant Peach (1961), was born in South Wales. Dahl’s childhood was filled with tragedy. His father and sister died when Dahl was three, and he was later brutally abused at his boarding school. After high school, he … Continue reading

August 2 1943 Japanese forces attack PT boat with Kennedy on board


On August 2nd 1943, future President John F. Kennedy was serving as commander of a torpedo boat in the Solomon Islands when his ship was fired upon by the Japanese navy. As a young man, Kennedy had desperately wanted to go into the Navy but was originally rejected because of chronic health problems, particularly a … Continue reading

June 25 1900 Lord Louis Mountbatten born


On June 25th 1900, Lord Louis Mountbatten, British admiral and second cousin to King George VI, was born in Windsor, England, the fourth child of Prince Louis of Battenberg and his wife, Princess Victoria, granddaughter of Queen Victoria. He entered the Royal Navy at age 13. Among his many assignments was that of aide-de-camp to … Continue reading

May 29 2003 Bob Hope celebrates 100th birthday


On May 29th 2003, 35 U.S. states declared it to be Bob Hope Day, when the iconic comedic actor and entertainer turned 100 years old. In a public ceremony held in Hollywood, city officials renamed the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Avenue–famous for its historic buildings and as a central point on the Hollywood Walk … Continue reading

May 24 1943 Auschwitz gets a new doctor: “the Angel of Death”


On May 24th 1943, the extermination camp at Auschwitz, Poland, received a new doctor, 32-year-old Josef Mengele, a man who would earn the nickname “the Angel of Death.” Born March 16, 1911, in Bavaria, Mengele studied philosophy under Alfred Rosenberg, whose racial theories highly influenced him. In 1934, already a member of the Nazi Party, … Continue reading

May 12 1937 King George VI crowned at Westminster Abbey


On May 12th 1937, at London’s Westminster Abbey, George VI and his consort, Lady Elizabeth, are crowned king and queen of the United Kingdom as part of a coronation ceremony that dates back more than a millennium. George, who studied at Dartmouth Naval College and served in World War I, ascended to the throne after … Continue reading

May 3 1942 Battle of the Coral Sea begins


On May 3rd 1942, the first day of the first modern naval engagement in history began, called the Battle of the Coral Sea. A Japanese invasion force succeeded in occupying Tulagi of the Solomon Islands in an expansion of Japan‘s defensive perimeter. The United States, having broken Japan’s secret war code and forewarned of an … Continue reading

April 5 1955 Winston Churchill Resigns As British Prime Minister


On April 5th 1955, Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill retired as prime minister of Great Britain. The British leader, who guided Great Britain and the Allies through the crisis of World War II, is widely regarded as one of the greatest war time leaders of the 20th century. Remembered as a statesman and orator, Churchill … Continue reading

April 3 1942 The Fall Of Bataan Begins


On April 3rd 1942, the Japanese infantry staged a major offensive against Allied troops in Bataan, the peninsula guarding Manila Bay of the Philippine Islands. The invasion of the Japanese 14th Army, which began in December 1941 and was led by General Masaharu Homma, had already forced General Douglas MacArthur’s troops from Manila, the Philippine … Continue reading

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