Today in WW II: 18 Nov 1940 Alfred Loomis suggests the electronic air navigation system which was later developed into LORAN [long range navigation system] at MIT.  More 
18 Nov 1941 British Eighth Army offensive in Libya, Operation Crusader.
18 Nov 1943 Intensive RAF Bomber Command attack on Berlin, Germany begins with a 440 plane mission that causes only light damage, killing 131 while RAF loses 9 aircraft and 53 aviators.
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World War II Timeline: 1944

New York Times coverage of D-Day, 6 June 1944
New York Times coverage of D-Day, 6 June 1944.

This page presents World War II Timeline events for the year 1944.

Links are provided in the timeline with additional information from Olive-Drab.com pages or relevant books on the event or subject. For additional compilations of the events of World War II, go to one of the recommended time line web sites listed at the bottom of the main WWII Timeline page. If you have other events to suggest, or spot any errors, please contact Olive-Drab.com.

11 January Operation Pointblank: Allies attack German aeronautic facilities with a series of bombing raids to degrade the capabilities of the Luftwaffe.
12 January In Italy, Allied attack on the Gustav Line resumes, centered on Monte Cassino.
22 January Allies land at Anzio, Italy.
27 January Russian troops retake Leningrad after 900 day siege.
31 January United States Marines and Army units invade Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands, Central Pacific [31 Jan-5 Feb].
3 February German forces launch a counteroffensive against the Anzio beachhead [3-4 Feb].
5 February Kwajalein Island in the Marshall Islands declared secure.
7 February Italian forces launch a counteroffensive against the Anzio beachhead.
13 February General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander, establishes SHAEF headquarters in England.
15 February Allied forces occupy Green Island, Northern Solomon Islands, needed for an airbase to support the assault on Rabaul.
17 February First day of the Battle of Truk, one of the most significant Pacific Theater air battles.
17 February Battle of Eniwetok Atoll in the Central Pacific Marshall Islands [17-23 Feb].
20 February Operation Argument aka 'Big Week' begins; American bombers concentrate on German aircraft manufacturing to lure the Luftwaffe into a decisive battle.
23 February US forces achieve victory in the Battle of Eniwetok Atoll, in the Pacific Marshall Islands.
29 February USS Trout [SS-202] sunk by Japanese ships during the submarine's attack on a convoy, 81 men lost.
29 February US 1st Cavalry Division invades the Admiralty Islands [Battle of Los Negros and Operation Brewer].
29 February Oppossing guerrilla armies fighting the Greek Civil War sign the Plaka Agreement, a ceasefire that directed both to fight the German occupation.
8 March Finns reject Soviet armistice terms.
15 March Allied aircraft bomb German-held monastery at Monte Cassino, Italy and stage an assault.
19 March Operation Margarethe launched by Germany to occupy Hungary.
20 March RAF Flight Sergeant Nicholas Alkemade survives 4000 meter [13000+ ft] drop without a parachute over Germany.
20 March Beginning of Allied invasion to occupy Emirau Island, Northern Solomons, effectively cutting off the Solomon Islands and the Bismarck Archipelago from the Japanese.
23 March Last large scale Japanese counterattack to break the American line on Bougainville fails, although mopping up operations on the island continue to November 1944.
23 March Italian Resistance attacks Nazis marching in Via Rasella, killing 33.
24 March Fosse Ardeatine massacre in Rome: 335 Italians are killed, including 75 Jews and over 200 members of the Italian Resistance.
31 March Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese fleet, Fleet Admiral Mineichi Koga, killed in an airplane crash on-route from Palau and Davao in the midst of a typhoon.
2 April Near Lille, 86 French civilians murdered by Nazi forces in reprisal for partisan attacks by the Resistance.
2 April Red Army invades Romania to recapture its oil resources for the Allied cause.
4 April Start of Battle of Kohima, India, with invading Japanese forces pitted against British and Indian troops [4 Apr - 22 Jun].
8 April Crimean Offensive: Soviet troops begin an offensive to liberate the Crimea from German occupation forces [8 April-12 May].
10 April Russians recapture the Black Sea port of Odessa.
19 April Japanese launch Operation ICHIGO, the first Japanese ground offensive in China since December 1941.
28 April D-Day preparations take tragic turn with 749 American troops killed by German attack on training Exercise Tiger at Slapton Sands [Start Bay, Devon, England].
3 May Admiral Soemu Toyoda is appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese Combined Fleet, replacing Fleet Admiral Mineichi Koga.
4 May Meat rationing ends in the United States for most types and cuts of meat.
4 May Concentration camp Neuengamme (near Hamburg) liberated by the British Army.
4 May Netherlands liberated by British and Canadian troops under British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, with German surrender next day.
4 May Denmark liberated by British forces, with German surrender next day. Island of Bornholm, in the east, was liberated by Soviet forces 9 May after heavy bombing and fighting.
8 May Supreme Allied Commander Eisenhower confirms 5 June 1944 as the date for Operation Overlord, the invasion of France [changed last minute to 6 June due to weather].
11 May Allied Fifth and Eighth Armies launch long-awaited offensive, finally capturing Cassino and breaking the German Gustav Line [night of 11-12 May].
15 May Germans begin withdrawal from the Gustav Line to new positions south of Rome, Italy.
18 May Battle of Monte Cassino, Italy, ends with German evacuation of the site and occupation by Allied troops.
19 May British troops capture Aquino airfield in the Liri valley SE of Rome, Italy.
23 May Allied breakout from Anzio beachhead.
30 May German V-2 test rocket crash recovered and hidden by Polish Home Army resistance; two months later RAF sent a plane to transport the disassembled V-2 for analysis in the UK.
31 May Exercise LASH: Jedburghs exercise in organizing, protecting, and controlling partisan groups, held in Leicestershire, England [31 May-8 June].
4 June Allies enter Rome the first Axis capital city to fall [4-5 Jun].
4 June German submarine U-505 captured, the first time a US Navy vessel has captured an enemy vessel at sea since the 19th century.
5 June In the night before D-Day, thousands of US and British paratroopers fly from England to jump over Normandy [5-6 Jun].
5 June In a black Halifax, Team HUGH departed England at 2300 hours, the first Jedburgh team to infiltrate into occupied Europe, landing on French soil early D-Day mcrning.
6 June 'D-Day' the largest invasion force in history lands at Normandy on the French coast.
9 June Soviet Union launches offensive against Finland.
10 June With no reason given, German soldiers kill 642 men, women and children in the Oradour-sur-Glane Massacre in France.
12 June First German V-1 rockets directed at England [12-14 Jun].
15 June US invades Saipan, in the Marianas, first island close enough to support bombing of Japan.
15 June First raid on Japan by B-29 Superfortress bombers based in China.
19 June First day of the Battle of the Philippine Sea, the last major carrier aircraft battle [19-20 June].
22 June Soviet forces clear Wehrmacht from Belarus, destroying German Army Group Centre and liberating all Russian territory still held by the Germans from Operation Bagration.
22 June British and Indian troops defeat the Japanese at the Battle of Kohima, India [4 Apr - 22 Jun].
25 June Finnish and Soviet troops engage in Battle of Tali-Ihantala, history's largest battle in a Nordic country [25 June - 9 July].
26 June American troops enter Cherbourg, capturing the vital French port for the Allies.
29 June Beginning of deportations of Jews from Hungary to Nazi concentration camps including Auschwitz.
3 July Minsk retaken by Soviet Red Army.
8 July US forces on Saipan mop up after surviving a 15-hour banzai charge, one of the largest ever, defesting over 3000 Japanese soldiers plus wounded and civilians who participated.
9 July British and Canadian forces capture Caen from the Germans, a critical post-D-Day objective in Normandy, France.
9 July US forces reach the northern end of Saipan, finding thousands of Japanese civilian men, women, and children who commit suicide by leaping off the cliffs rather than be captured.
17 July Protected by the Royal Canadian Navy, the largest shipping convoy of WW II embarks from Halifax, Nova Scotia.
17 July Disaster at the Port Chicago Naval Magazine, CA, where the munitions ship SS E.A. Bryan, explodes killing 320, injuring almost 400 more, many of them African-American stevedores.
18 July St. Lo taken in Normandy, France, first step in breakout from beachhead.
20 July Attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler fails as he survives a bomb inside his Wolf's Lair field headquarters, near Rastenburg, East Prussia [20 July Plot].
21 July US forces land on Guam.
22 July Setbacks in the Japanese war effort force the resignation of Hideki Tojo as Prime Minister of Japan.
24 July US forces land on Tinian.
25 July Operation COBRA starts US breakout from Normandy.
25 July Air combat between an Me-262 and an RAF Mosquito, the first combat involving the German experimental jet fighter.
28 July Rapid Red Army advance through Poland overruns German defenses and captures Brest-Litovsk, Jaroslaw and Przemysl.
30 July Operation Bluecoat begins, an attack by British Second Army supporting breakout in Normandy, aimed to secure the Vire junction and high ground of Mont Pinçon [30 Jul-7 Aug].
1 August Polish Home Army emerges to attack the German garrison in Warsaw [1 Aug-2 Oct].
4 August Anne Frank and her family arrested by the Gestapo, turned in by a Dutch informer; diary ends.
9 August Port Chicago Mutiny: Following the 17 July explosion, hundreds of African-American stevedores refuse to return to work, citing unsafe conditions; 250 arrested, 50 brought to trial.
11 August Guam secured in the Marianas.
12 August Battle of the Falaise Pocket, the decisive engagement of the Battle of Normandy, begins; Allied fighter-bombers and artillery destroy twenty nearly-encircled German divisions [12-21 Aug].
12 August Florence, Italy liberated by the Allies.
13 August US XV Corps [of US 3rd Army] captures Argentan, threatening to close the Falaise Pocket on the overextended Germans.
13 August Gen. Bradley orders Gen. Patton to stop northward movement of XV Corps, preventing them from meeting Canadian troops and sealing the Argentan-Falaise pocket.
15 August Operation Dragoon [aka Anvil] invasion of Southern France.
16 August Canadian troops secure Falaise, still 15 miles north of US XV Corps, a gap that permitted large numbers of German troops to escape to the east from the Battle of the Falaise Pocket.
18 August Submarine USS Rasher [SS-269] sinks the highest tonnage of any WW II submarine patrol to that date, a record exceeded only once.
20 August 168 captured allied airmen arrive at Buchenwald concentration camp, accused of being 'terror fliers' rather than legitimate combatants.
21 August US Army Transportation Corps creates the huge Red Ball Express trucking operation, moving supplies to the ETO front around the clock.
23 August Following overthrow of dictator Marshal Ion Antonescu, Romania repudiates the Axis and joins the fight against Germany, cooperating with the Soviet Union.
25 August Paris is liberated by Allied troops.
25 August Operation OLIVE commences Allied attack on Germans in Northern Italy, across a broad front.
28 August German experimental Me-262 jet fighter shot down near Brussels by USAAF P-47 aircraft, the first Me-262 lost in air combat.
29 August US Army 28th Infantry Division parades down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in a victory celebration for the liberation of Paris a few days earlier.
30 August Last remnants of German forces retreat across the Seine River, bringing Operation Overlord to a successful conclusion.
31 August Major fighting ends in New Guinea after Australian and US forces complete a series of successful engagements against the Japanese.
3 September Anne Frank and family sent to Auschwitz concentration camp.
4 September Brussels is liberated by Allied troops.
4 September Russian-Finnish war ends; Finland cuts ties with Germany.
5 September USSR declares war on Bulgaria.
8 September Bulgaria surrenders to Soviet Union as Communist-led coup takes over; declares war on Nazi Germany.
8 September First German V-2 rocket combat launch, fired against Paris. Later the same day first V-2 struck London suburb of Chiswick, destroying 19 homes and killing scores of people.
9 September Communist coup and Bulgarian armistice with USSR.
11 September Following Operation DRAGOON, US Seventh Army links up with Patton's Third Army west of Dijon, France, creating a solid wall of Allied forces stretching from Antwerp, Holland to the Swiss border.
11 September First into Germany: At 1805 a 5th Armored Division patrol reached the Our River, then waded across, moving from Luxembourg into Germany near Stalzemburg, on the Siegfried Line.
12 September Second Quebec Conference [OCTAGON] begins between the British, Canadian and American military leaders [12-16 Sep].
13 September US troops reach the Siegfried Line after liberating French and Belgian cities.
15 September US Marines invade Peleliu, beginning a long and tough battle to wrest the island from the Japanese [15 Sep-27 Nov].
17 September Thousands of Allied planes begin airborne assault on Holland, Operation Market Garden.
19 September Battle of the Hürtgen Forest begins with a probe toward the town of Schmidt by US 60th Infantry Regiment.
19 September Finland signs armistice with the Soviet Union.
24 September US releases Morgenthau Plan, a plan for occupation of post-war Germany and conversion of that country to an agrarian economy, with no industry that could be used to wage war.
25 September British troops, cutoff and suffering heavy casualties, begin withdrawal from unsuccessful Operation Market Garden positions.
26 September Operation Market Garden ends; Field Marshal Montgomery conceals the full extent of the failure until a report to Gen. Eisenhower on 8 Oct.
1 October Red Army presses offensive on Eastern Front with Battle of Debrecen, Hungary [6-29 Oct].
4 October Following the withdrawal of German troops, Allied forces [British] enter Greece.
7 October Using stolen explosives, Sonderkommando inmates at Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp stage a revolt, blowing up a crematorium and killing SS guards.
9 October Fourth Moscow Conference [Tolstoy Conference]: Churchill, Stalin and US Ambassador Harriman plan the future of Europe [9-19 Oct].
12 October Greek Resistance [ELAS] seizes Athens as last German troops leave [accompanied by Greek collaborators], amid liberation celebrations.
13 October Riga, Latvia is taken by the Soviet Red Army; Salaspils concentration camp near Riga is liberated.
13 October British enter Athens, followed after a few days by Papandreou's government in exile.
14 October German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel commits suicide rather than face execution for his involvement in the 20 July plot against Adolf Hitler.
18 October Volkssturm founded by Hitler, mobilizing all German civilian males between sixteen and sixty for a suicidal final defense of the Third Reich.
19 October US Eighth Air Force B-24 Liberator bomber flying over the Wirral, west of Liverpool, inexplicably explodes, killing all 24 on board.
20 October Philippines invaded by Allies at Leyte, joined by Filipino guerillas.
20 October Gen. Douglas MacArthur Returns to Leyte, Philippine Islands.
20 October Belgrade, Yugoslavia liberated by Russian Red Army aided by Yugoslav Partisans.
21 October Aachen falls to American troops, the first German city to be captured.
21 October Allied ships experience the first kamikaze attack as a Japanese pilot suicidally flys his bomb carrying plane into the HMAS Australia off Leyte, Philippines.
23 October Naval Battle of Leyte Gulf begins in the Philippines, protecting US 6th Army Leyte beachheads from sea based attack [23-26 Oct].
23 October Palawan Island, Japanese armada detected on route to Leyte; American submarines sink two Japanese cruisers.
24 October US 7th Fleet units block southern approaches to Leyte while 3rd Fleet aircraft attack Japanese task forces in the Sibuyan Sea [Center Force] and Sulu Sea [Southern Force].
24 October Battle of Surigao Strait: last battleship vs battleship action in history; Japanese Navy Southern Force ambushed by US Navy 7th Fleet; heavy Japanese losses [Leyte, 24-25 Oct].
25 October First operation by the Japanese Kamikaze Special Attack Force: 55 kamikazes strike 7 carriers and 40 other ships, sinking six, off Leyte, Philippines.
25 October Battle off Samar [Leyte]: US Admiral Sprague skillfully prevents a loss to the stronger Japanese force under Japanese Admiral Kurita.
25 October Battle off Cape Engaño (Leyte): lopsided naval battle resulting in the loss of most of Japanese Northern Force to US Admiral Halsey's carrier planes and battleships [25-26 Oct].
25 October Soviet Red Army enters Kirkenes, the first town in Norway to be liberated from the Germans.
27 October Allied offensive in Northern Italy halted due to stiff German resistance, Allied munitions & shipping shortages, troop exhaustion, lack of replacements, and worsening weather.
29 October 1st Inf Div Chaplain Sidney Lefkowitz and Cantor Max Fuchs hold a 10-minute, open-air service near Aachen, the first Jewish service on German soil since Nazi suppression began.
30 October Sisters Anne and Margot Frank deported from Auschwitz to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.
2 November German battleship Tirpitz sunk in Tromsø Fiord by British RAF planes.
4 November Liberation of Bitola, second largest city in Macedonia, by the 7th Macedonian Liberation Brigade.
4 November End of the six week long Death March from Bor to Gyor, Hungary. Of 5000 who started the march, only nine survive to the end of WW II.
7 November US President Franklin Roosevelt wins reelection to unprecedented fourth term. His Vice President, Harry Truman, will succeed him in only five months.
8 November Operation Infatuate, the liberation of the Dutch Island of Walcheren, concludes with end to all German resistance.
10 November Accidental detonation of 3800 tons of ammunition on USS Mount Hood [AE-11] while anchored on Manus Island [Papua New Guinea] destroys itself and 22 small boats, damages 36 nearby ships, and kills 432 men with 371 more injured.
17 November Albanian partisans liberate Tirana, Albania as the Germans pull out.
19 November Metz, France, the capital of Lorraine, liberated by U.S. 95th Infantry Division.
20 November Hitler leaves his Wolf's Lair field headquarters [near Rastenburg, East Prussia] to go to Berlin, never to return.
23 November Strasbourg, in eastern France, liberated by French General LeClerc's 2nd Armored Division. Eisenhower orders controversial halt at the Rhine by US Sixth Army Group.
24 November First B-29 Superfortress bombers originating from Tinian, in the Marianas, raid Tokyo, 1550 miles away.
25 November In Philippine waters, USS Intrepid [CV-11] hit by two Japanese kamikaze planes within five minute period, killing 69 and seriously wounding 85 of the crew.
25 November Most deadly German V-2 rocket attack in Britain happened at New Cross Road, destroying a Woolworths store and surrounding area, killing 160 people, seriously injuring 120 others.
25 November Japanese occupy Nanning, a transportation hub in south China, for the second time, in final stages of the Ichi-Go offensive.
25 November Last American airborne troops withdraw from unsuccessful Operation Market Garden positions.
27 November Thousands of tons of ordnance explode at RAF Fauld underground munitions storage depot in Staffordshire, England, leaving about 75 dead and a huge crater.
29 November USS Archer-Fish [SS-311] sinks Japanese aircraft super-carrier Shinano, the largest ship ever sunk by a submarine.
29 November First ship carrying Allied supplies unloads at Port of Antwerp, Belgium, after liberation by First Canadian Army, de-mining and clearing operations.
3 December East African British colonial troops capture Kalewa, Burma, one of the main centers for river traffic south to Mandalay.
3 December US forces reach key European river crossings: US 9th Army st the Roer River and US 3rd Army at the Saar River.
6 December Stalin meets Free French leader, Gen. Charles de Gaulle, in Moscow.
6 December Lt. General Lucian Truscott takes command of US 5th Army fighting in Italy, replacing Lt. Gen. Mark Clark.
7 December US Army units land at Ormoc Bay, Leyte, Philippine Islands cutting off the Japanese ability to reinforce and supply Leyte.
13 December American forces take the towns of Gey and Strass, bringing US troops to the Roer River, ending the intense phase of the battle of the Hürtgen Forest.
15 December American forces invade Mindoro, Philippine Islands.
16 December Most deadly German V-2 rocket attack of the war occurred when a V-2 struck the Rex Theatre in Antwerp, Belgium, killing 567 people, wounding 291 others.
16 December Battle of the Bulge begins, major German counteroffensive in Ardennes Forest, Belgium.
17 December Malmedy Massacre: Germans of the 1st SS Panzer Division execute 84 American prisoners of war during the Battle of the Bulge.
18 December Task Force 38 [13 carriers, 8 battleships, 15 cruisers, and about 50 destroyers] heavily damaged by a small but violent typhoon 300 miles east of Luzon in the Philippine Sea.
22 December Vigorous American defense at St. Vith finally overrun by German forces in the Battle of the Bulge.
22 December In Bastogne, during the Battle of the Bulge, Gen. Anthony McAuliffe, 101st Airborne Commander, answers a German ultimatum with 'Nuts!'.
23 December In Bastogne, the weather finally clears allowing an airlift of 241 planes to resupply the surrounded town, during the Battle of the Bulge.
25 December American B-29 Superfortress airfields on Saipan are attacked by about 25 Japanese aircraft, the last such attack on the island.
26 December Units of Patton's 3rd Army relieve Bastogne, then attack German Panzers from the rear, deflating the German Battle of the Bulge offensive.
27 December US Army 10th Mountain Division ski troops begin arriving in Italy.
29 December Budapest encircled by the Red Army and the Romanian Army, beginning a 100 day siege.

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