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March – The Japanese launch an offensive in central and south China.


June 15 - A raid on Yawata’s iron and steel works resulted in just 2% of the complex being damaged.

August 20 -A raid on Yawata’s iron and steel works led to 18 bombers being shot down out of 70 planes – an attrition rate of 25%. The target was barely touched. Such losses for so little reward convinced many crews that strategic bombing was untenable.

November 1 - A B-29 Superfortress flew over Tokyo for the first time in what was a propaganda victory flight as opposed to anything else. The B-29 was designed to carry a 20,000 lb bomb load for a distance of 5000 miles.

November 24 - The first bombing raid against Tokyo occurred. The city was 1,500 miles from the Marianas. Brigadier-General Emmett O’Donnell flying the ‘Dauntless Dotty’ led 111 B-29’s against the Musashima engine factory. The planes dropped their bombs from 30,000 feet and came across the first of a number of problems – accuracy. The B-29’s were fitted with an excellent bomb aimer – the Norden – but it could not make out its target through low cloud. Also flying at 30,000 feet meant that the planes frequently flew in a jet stream wind that was between 100 and 200 mph which further complicated bomb aiming. Of the 111 planes on the raid, only 24 found the target.


January 4rth, Operation Carpetbagger begins the dropping of arms and supplies to resistance fighters in Europe.


The communist government of Enver Hoxha took over Albania.

§Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany

December 16 – Germany begins the Ardennes offensive, later known as Battle of the Bulge.

Battle of the Bulge

The Ardennes Offensive (called Unternehmen: Wacht am Rhein (Watch on the Rhine) by the German military (Heeresgruppe B), officially named the Battle of the Ardennes by the U.S. Army (and known to the general public as the Battle of the Bulge), started on December 16. Wacht am Rhein was supported by subordinate operations known as Bodenplatte, Greif, and Währung. The goal of these operations as planned by the Germans was to split the British and American Allied line in half, capturing Antwerp and then proceeding to encircle and destroy four Allied armies, forcing the Western Allies to negotiate a peace treaty in the Axis’s favor. The Ardennes attack was planned in total secrecy in almost total radio silence. Even Ultra (the Allies’ reading of secret German radio messages) revealed nothing about the upcoming buildup and offensive. Moreover, the degree of surprise achieved was compounded by Allied overconfidence, preoccupation with their own offensive plans, poor aerial reconnaissance, and the relative lack of combat contact by the U.S. 1st Army. Allied intelligence failed completely to detect the upcoming offensive and almost complete surprise against a weak section of the Allies' line was achieved at a time of heavy overcast when the Allies' strong air forces would be grounded. The "bulge" refers to the salient the Germans initially put into the Allies' line of advance, as seen in maps presented in newspapers of the time.

U.S. Military crossing the Rhine.

Most of the American casualties occurred within the first three days of battle, when two of the 106th Division’s three regiments were forced to surrender. In its entirety, the “Battle of the Bulge” was the most bloody of the comparatively few European battles American forces experienced in WWII, the 19,000 American dead unsurpassed by any other engagement. For the U.S. Army, the Battle of the Ardennes incorporated more American troops and engaged more enemy troops than any American conflict prior to WWII. Although the German objective was ultimately unrealized, the Allies’ own offensive timetable was set back by months. In the wake of the defeat, many experienced German units were left severely depleted of men and equipment, as German survivors retreated to the defenses of the Siegfried Line.

December 17 – WWII: German troops carry out the Malmedy massacre.


March 6 – Soviet Army planes attack Narva, Estonia, destroying almost the entire old town.

March 9 – Soviet Army planes attack Tallinn, Estonia.


June 1 – The BBC transmits a coded message (the first line of the poem "Chanson d'automne" by Paul Verlaine) to underground resistance fighters in France, warning that the invasion of Europe is imminent.

June 2 – The provisional French government is established.

June 5 – More than 1,000 British bombers drop 5,000 tons of bombs on German gun batteries on the Normandy coast in preparation for D-Day.

At 10:15 p.m. local time, the BBC transmits the second line of the Paul Verlaine poem to the underground resistance, indicating that the invasion of Europe is about to begin.

The German navy's Enigma messages are decoded almost in real time.

June 6 - The Normandy Landings were the first operations of the Allied invasion of Normandy, also known as Operation Neptune and Operation Overlord, during World War II. The landings commenced on June 6, 1944 (D-Day), beginning at 6:30 British Double Summer Time (H-Hour). In planning, D-Day was the term used for the day of actual landing, which was dependent on final approval. The assault was conducted in two phases: an air assault landing of American, British and Canadian airborne troops shortly after midnight, and an amphibious landing of Allied infantry and armoured divisions on the coast of France commencing at 6:30. The invasion required the transport of soldiers and materiel from the United Kingdom by troop carrying aircraft and ships, the assault landings, air support, naval interdiction of the English Channel and naval fire-support. There were also subsidiary 'attacks' mounted under the codenames Operation Glimmer and Operation Taxable to distract the Kriegsmarine and the German army from the real landing areas. The operation was the largest single-day amphibious invasion of all time, with 160,000 troops landing on June 6, 1944. 195,700 Allied naval and merchant navy personnel in over 5,000 ships were involved. The landings took place along a 50-mile (80 km) stretch of the Normandy coast divided into five sectors: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword.

June 7 – Bayeux is liberated by British troops.

June 10 – WWII: 642 men, women and children are killed by a German Waffen-SS company in the Oradour-sur-Glane Massacre.

June 15 - American forces push back the Germans in St. Lo, capturing the city.

June 26 – American troops enter Cherbourg.

July 9 – British and Canadian forces capture Caen.

August 19 – An insurrection starts in Paris.

August 20 – American forces successfully defeat Nazi forces at Chambois, closing the Falaise Gap.

August 24 – The Allies liberate Paris, successfully completing Operation Overlord.

October 31 – Mass murderer Marcel Petiot is apprehended in Paris Métro station.


January 20 – The Royal Air Force drops 2,300 tons of bombs on Berlin.

The first successful launch of the German A4b-Rocket was on January 24th. The "Flying Bomb" was deployed against Great Britain. The London town of Chiswick was destroyed by the bomb which was subsequently renamed "Vengeance Weapon 2" or simply V-2.

February 20 – The "Big Week" begins with American bomber raids on German aircraft manufacturing centers.

February 26 – Shooting begins on the Nazi propaganda film, "The Fuehrer Gives a Village to the Jews" in Theresienstadt.

Philipp Freiherr von Boeselager was part of a group of officers led by Col. Claus Graf Schenk von Stauffenberg. who tried to kill Hitler on July 20th with a suitcase bomb. When someone moved the suitcase next to a table leg. The bomb was deflected and failed to kill Hitler. Almost immediately afterward, von Stauffenberg and many of his cohorts were arrested and executed in an orgy of revenge killings that saw some hanged by the neck with piano wire.

Though many of those rounded up by Nazi officials were tortured in the hopes they would give up other conspirators, von Boeselager's name was never divulged and he was never found out.

August - Jane Haining, Holocaust heroine of Scotland, died in Auschwitz. She was a Christian missionary in Budapest caring for orphaned Jewish girls. She was betrayed by the cook's son-in-law who was caught eating food meant for the girls.

December 4 - During a raid the Heilbronn city center was completely destroyed and the surrounding boroughs heavily damaged. Within one half-hour 6,500 residents perished, most incinerated beyond recognition. The salt mines around the city were used to store stolen art.

Anne Frank

September 3 - The eight prisoners are transported in a sealed cattle car to Auschwitz, on the last transport ever to leave Westerbork. At Auschwitz, the men are separated from the women.

October - Anne, Margot, and Mrs. van Pels are transported to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Edith Frank remains in the women's subcamp at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

§Great Britain

April 28 – 749 American troops are killed in Exercise Tiger at Start Bay, Devon, England.

June 13 – Germany launches a V1 Flying Bomb attack on England.


December 3 – WWII: Fighting breaks out between Communists and royalists in newly-liberated Greece, eventually leading to a full-scale Greek Civil War.


On January 20th, Hungary dropped out of the Second World War, agreeing to an armistice with the Allies.

March 19 – German forces occupy Hungary.

June 29 – The deportation of Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz and other Nazi concentration camps begins.

December 31 – WWII: Hungary declares war on Germany.


January 4 - The Battle of Monte Cassino (also known as the Battle for Rome and the Battle for Cassino) was a costly series of four battles during World War II, fought by the Allies with the intention of breaking through the Winter Line and seizing Rome.

In the beginning of 1944, the western half of the Winter Line was being anchored by Germans holding the Rapido, Liri and Garigliano valleys and certain surrounding peaks and ridges, but not the historic abbey of Monte Cassino, founded in AD 524 by St. Benedict, although they manned defensive positions set into the steep slopes below the abbey walls. On February 15 the monastery, high on a peak overlooking the town of Cassino, was destroyed by 1400 tons of bombs dropped by American B-17, B-25, and B-26 bombers. The bombing was based on the fear that the abbey was being used as a lookout post for the Axis defenders (this position evolved over time to admit that Axis military was not garrisoned there). Two days after the bombing, German paratroopers poured into the ruins to defend it, making it an even more viable defensive position. From January 17 to May 18, the Gustav defenses were assaulted four times by Allied troops. For the last of these the Allies gathered 20 divisions for a major assault along a twenty mile front and drove the German defenders from their defensive positions but at a high cost.

January 17 – British forces in Italy cross the Garigliano River.

January 20 - The U.S. Army 36th Infantry Division, in Italy, attempts to cross the Rapido River.

January 22 – Operation Shingle: The Allies begin the assault on Anzio, Italy. The U.S. Army 45th Infantry Division stands their ground at Anzio against violent assaults for 4 months.

January 29 – The Battle of Cisterna takes place as part of the Battle of Anzio.

February 7 – In Anzio, Italian forces launch a counteroffensive.

February 15 – Battle of Monte Cassino: The monastery atop Monte Cassino is destroyed by Allied bombing.

March 1 - An anti-fascist strike begins in northern Italy.

March 15 – Battle of Monte Cassino: Allied aircraft bomb German-held monastery and stage an assault.

March 18 – The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in Italy kills 26 and causes thousands to flee their homes. It also destroyed the villages of San Sebastiano al Vesuvio, Massa di Somma, Ottaviano, and part of San Giorgio a Cremano, as well as all 88 planes in a U.S. B-25 bomber group, as World War II continued to rage in Italy.

March 23 – Members of the Italian Resistance attack Nazis marching in Via Rasella, killing 33.

March 24 – Fosse Ardeatine massacre: 335 Italians are killed, including 75 Jews and over 200 members of the Italian Resistance from various groups, in Rome.

May 18 – Battle of Monte Cassino: The Germans evacuate Monte Cassino and Allied forces take the stronghold after a struggle that claimed 20,000 lives.

June 4 - Rome falls to the Allies, the first Axis capital to fall.

Faulty intelligence provided by the OSS after the fall of Rome led thousands of French troops into a Nazi trap on the is­land of Elba, Park wrote, and 'as a result of these errors and miscalcula­tions of the enemy forces by OSS, some 1,100 French troops were killed.


August 4 - The residents of Anne Frank's Secret Annex are betrayed and arrested. They are taken to a police station in Amsterdam and eventually to Westerbork transit camp.


January 15 - The 27th Polish Home Army Infantry Division is re-created, marking the start of Operation Tempest by the Polish Home Army.

The Red Army arrives at Auschwitz and Birkenau in Poland and find the Nazi concentration camp where 1.3 million people were murdered.

March 24 - In the Polish village of Markowa, German police kill Józef and Wiktoria Ulm, their 6 children and 8 Jews they were hiding.

July 23 - Polish partisans killed the German ULS commander, SS-Hauptsturmführer Siegfried Assmuss, the then Ukrainian commander, col. Volodymyr Herasymenko gave the order to pacify Chłaniów village. 44 Polish residents of Chłaniów and in the neighbouring village of Władysławin, including children, were killed. Numerous sources confirm that these crimes were committed by the 2nd Company of ULS that was commanded by Karkoć.


March 17 – The Nazis execute almost 400 prisoners, Soviet citizens and anti-fascist Romanians at Rîbniţa.


May 5 – Mohandas Gandhi is released in India.

July 3 - Northeast India Battle of Imphal: Japanese forces call off their advance, ending the battle in a British victory. They pushed the Japanese back into Burma.

§North America


November 22 – William Lyon Mackenzie King introduces conscription in Canada

§United States

March 4 – In Ossining, New York, Louis Buchalter, the leader of 1930s crime syndicate Murder, Inc., is executed at Sing Sing, along with Emanuel "Mendy" Weiss, and Louis Capone.

On December 15th, William Leahy was appointed the first U.S. Fleet Admiral.

§U.S. Law

“The Great Sedition Trial” formally came to an unexpected halt on November 30, 1944, having been declared a mistrial upon the death of the presiding judge. Yet, the case continued to hang in limbo with Justice Department prosecutors angling for a retrial.

July 6 – Hartford Circus Fire: More than 100 children die in one of the worst fire disasters in the history of the United States.

July 6 – At Camp Hood, Texas, future baseball star and 1st Lt. Jackie Robinson is arrested and later court-martialed for refusing to move to the back of a segregated U.S. Army bus. He is eventually acquitted.

§U.S. Politics

On January 20th, Franklin D. Roosevelt was inaugurated to an unprecedented fourth term as President of the United States.


§Soviet Union

January 14 – Soviet troops start the offensive at Leningrad and Novgorod.

January 27 – The 2-year Siege of Leningrad is lifted.

May 9 – In the Ukrainian city of Sevastopol, Soviet troops completely drive out German forces, who had been ordered by Hitler to “fight to the last man

May 12 – Soviet troops finalize the liberation of the Crimea.

May 18 - The Crimean Tatars are deported by the Soviet Union.

June 22 – Operation Bagration: A general attack by Soviet forces clears the German forces from Belarus, resulting in the destruction of German Army Group Centre, possibly the greatest defeat of the Wehrmacht during WWII.

July 3 – Soviet troops liberate Minsk.

§South America


January 15 - An earthquake hits San Juan, Argentina, killing an estimated 10,000 people in the worst natural disaster in Argentina's history.



June 17 - Iceland declares full independence from Denmark.


June 9 – WWII: Soviet leader Stalin launches the Vyborg–Petrozavodsk Offensive against Finland, with the intent of defeating Finland before pushing for Berlin.

June 25 to July 9, 1944 - The Battle of Tali-Ihantala was part of the Continuation War (1941-1944) that occurred during World War II. The battle was fought by Finland, supported by forces of Germany against the Soviet Union and is to date the largest battle in history of the Nordic countries. The battle ended in a decisive Finnish victory.

§Southeast Asia


June 22 - Burma Campaign: The Battle of Kohima ends in a British victory.

§South Pacific

§Admiralty Islands

February 29 – Battle of Los Negros and Operation Brewer: The Admiralty Islands are invaded by U.S. forces.


July 21 - American troops invade Guam.

July 23 - The Fena Caves Massacre occurred shortly after American troops invaded the island on July 21, when Japanese soldiers killed more than thirty young men and women from Agat and Sumay with grenades and bayonets in the caves near Fena Lake, raping many of the women before killing them. In some accounts, it is reported that sixty-six others barely survived the massacre.


The "Pineapple Pentagon" the U.S. Army nerve center for activity in the Pacific was built in 49 days at Fort Shafter, the oldest permanent US Army post in Hawai'i.

§Marshall Islands

January 30 – United States troops invade Majuro, Marshall Islands.

January 31 – American forces land on Kwajalein Atoll and other islands in the Japanese-held Marshall Islands.

February 1 – United States troops land in the Marshall Islands.

February 3 – United States troops capture the Marshall Islands.

February 17 – The Battle of Eniwetok Atoll begins; it ends in an American victory on February 22.


January 8 – Philippine Commonwealth troops enter the province of Ilocos Sur in Northern Luzon and attack Japanese forces.

December 13 – Battle of Mindoro: United States, Australian and Philippine Commonwealth troops land in Mindoro Island, the Philippines.

December 31 – Battle of Leyte: Over hundreds of thousands of Japanese Imperial forces are killed in action, in a significant Filipino and Allied military victory.


June 15 – Battle of Saipan: The United States invades Saipan.

Runways to support the B29 Superfortress bombers on Saipan and Tinian were ready by October, just 2 months after the fighting on the islands had finished.


September - The US Navy evacuated the 400 residents of the island and two Japanese soldiers and proceeded to build one of the largest secret naval bases in the World.


  • September 27 - Aimee Semple McPherson, founder of the Church of the Four-Square Gospel


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