1944 Events  
  January 1944 Events  
  Lebanon was recognized as an independent republic by France.  Allied forces landed at Saidor, New Guinea.  The 332d Fighter Group, composed of African-American pilots trained at the Tuskegee Army Airfield, Alabama, departed for Italy.  The 1st Ukrainian Front of the Red Army crossed the old Polish-Russian border in Volhynia.  The first mission of Operation Carpetbagger, supplying the resistance in occupied Europe by air, was flown.  The U.S. 8th Air Force concluded that the U.S. daylight strategic bombing program against Germany was threatened unless steps were taken to reduce the enemy's fighter force.  The Indian 5th Infantry Division captured the small port of Maungdaw, Burma, a critical port for Allied supplies on the Arakan front.  British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and French General Charles de Gaulle held a two-day wartime conference in Marrakesh, Morocco.  General Dwight D. Eisenhower arrived in London and assumed command of the European Theater.  The Red Army liberated Novgorod.  Stalin awarded the Order of Lenin to the men and women workers and the technical engineering workers of the construction of the Moscow Underground.  Operation Shingle, the Allied amphibious landing at Anzio and Nettuno, Italy, began.  The Soviets announced that Leningrad had been completely liberated by a two-week Red Army offensive.  A joint U.S. Army and U.S. Navy communiqué disclosed that the Japanese tortured, starved, or murdered 5,200 U.S. soldiers and many more Filipino troops taken after the fall of Bataan and Corregidor.  Major General John P. Lucas’ offensive out of the Anzio beachhead opened with disaster.  16 ships (85,706 tons) were sunk and 4 ships (16,901 tons) were damaged by U-boats during January 1944.  
  February 1944 Events  
  The U.S. 7th Infantry Division landed on Kwajalein Island meeting little resistance.  Allied Headquarters confirmed the plan for the invasion of France, Operation Overlord.  SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force) headquarters was established in London.  The monastery at Monte Casino was destroyed by U.S. bombers.  In Operation Squarepeg, the 3rd New Zealand Division supported by U.S. Task Force 39 made landings in the Green Islands north of Bougainville in the Solomon Islands.  Without orders by German Chancellor Adolf Hitler, Field Marshal Erich von Manstein authorized a breakout of XI Corps from the Korsun-Cherkassy Pocket.  The Germans launched a major counterattack at the Anzio beachhead.  19 de Havilland Mosquitos conducted a daylight precision bombing operation codenamed operation Jericho that blew holes in the walls of the Gestapo prison at Amiens, France allowing some prisoners to escape.  American forces completed the capture of Eniwetok Atoll.  Operation Brewer, the campaign to capture the Admiralty Islands, began with the landing of the U. S. Army's 1st Cavalry Division on Los Negros Island.  25 ships (92,120 tons) were sunk and 3 ships (23,050 tons) were damaged by U-boats during February 1944.  
  March 1944 Events  
  The Leningrad Front of the Red Army began the Narva Offensive.  The long-range jungle penetration brigades of Major General Orde Wingate’s Chindits, began arriving in Burma by glider and parachute.  Operation U-Go, the Japanese offensive into eastern India, began.  Chindit troops cut the Mandalay-Myitkyina rail link just north of the vital Japanese supply base at Indaw.  German troops occupied Hungary.  RAF Bomber Command raided Nuremberg with nearly 800 bombers.  21 ships (102,822 tons) were sunk and 1 ship (1,625 tons) was damaged by U-boats during March 1944.  
  April 1944 Events  
  The Red Army invaded Romania.  Operation "Tungsten" was conducted with aircraft Royal Navy aircraft bombing the German battleship SMS Tirpitz while she was in Norwegian waters.  Operation U-Go’s final objectives were achieved as the Japanese 33rd and 15th Divisions cut off Imphal.  General Bernard L. Montgomery held a review of Operation Overlord at his headquarters in London for senior military commanders and top British political figures.  Six RAF Mosquito fighter-bombers made a hit and run raid on Gestapo headquarters in The Hague, The Netherlands, causing heavy damage.  German Chancellor Adolf Hitler ordered the evacuation of the Crimea.  The Red Army liberated the Black Sea port of Yalta.  The Italian cabinet of Marshal Pietro Badoglio resigned, but King Victor Emmanuel III invited Marshal Badoglio to remain as Prime Minister and form a new government.  The beleaguered Allied garrison at Kohima was relieved by the 5th Brigade of the XXXIII Corps.  An Allied naval force struck at Japanese positions and shipping at Sabang, Netherland East Indies.  U.S. troops landed in Dutch New Guinea.  In Alexandria Egypt, British forces forcefully put down the Greek sailors mutiny.  U.S. Lt. General George S. Patton created a controversy when he implied that the Allies had plans for world domination in a speech to the Knutsford Welcome Club.  The first B-29 to encounter Japanese fighters in the China/Burma/India theatre occurred during a mission over the "Hump" ferrying fuel to the forward base in China.  A D-Day exercise at Slapton Sands near Devon off the southern coast of England turned tragic when German torpedo boats attacked a fleet of eight slow-moving U.S. ships carrying thousands of troops in English Channel’s icy waters.  11 ships (62,346 tons) were sunk and 1 ship (56 tons) was damaged by U-boats during April 1944.  
  May 1944 Events  
Admiral Soemu Toyoda was designated Commander in Chief of the Combined Fleet replacing Admiral Mineichi Koga who was killed on March 31, 1944.  In India, the British Fourteenth Army began extensive counterattacks in the Imphal area.  British authorities announced the unconditional release of Mahatma Gandhi.  General Dwight D. Eisenhower selected June 5, 1944 as D-Day for the Normandy invasion.  The Red Army liberated the city of Sevastopol.  Large-scale bombing raids were conducted against German, French, Belgian, and Dutch railroads, roads, and bridges in preparation for the cross-channel attack.  The 150,000 man Chinese Yunnan Army crossed the Salween River, near the Burmese border, on a broad front against a widely stretched force of less than 10,000 Japanese.  Soviet forces completed the occupation of the Crimea.  Field Marshal Albert Kesselring ordered the German 10th Army to abandon the Gustav Line and withdraw to new positions along the "Hitler Line."  The deportations of Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz began.  The Japanese 31st Division withdrew from Kohima, ending the siege of the city.  Merrill's Marauders captured the airfield west of Myitkyina.  LST-353 accidentally exploded and sank or damaged 8 other LSTs in Pearl Harbor.  Chinese forces launched a counteroffensive in Hunan Province.  German paratroopers were dropped in Operation Rösselsprung near Yugoslav Partisan commander Marshal Josip Broz Tito's mountain headquarters.  Japanese forces launched Operation Ichigo, a major offensive against American airbases in southeast China.  Elements of the newly constituted German 8th Army launched a series of limited counterattacks around Jassy, Romania.  11 ships (38,380 tons) were sunk and 6 ships (21,966 tons) were damaged by U-boats during May 1944.
  June 1944 Events  
  The BBC broadcasted the first coded message warning the French resistance that an invasion was imminent.  The French Committee of National Liberation proclaimed itself the Provisional Government of the French Republic.  Rome was declared an open city as German forces withdrew from the Italian capitol.  The US 5th Army entered Rome.  Flying from India, the B-29 Superfortress first saw combat when 98 planes struck Bangkok.  Operation Overlord - the Allied Invasion of Normandy in northern France - began.  A Japanese attempt to ship reinforcements to Biak was intercepted by an Allied cruiser squadron and was forced to retreat.  USAAF and RAF fighter forces began operating out of airfields in France.  The Soviets launched a major offensive in the Karelian Isthmus north of Leningrad in an effort to knock Finland out of the war.  Marshal Pietro Badoglio resigned as the premier of Italy and Ivanoe Bonomi formed a new government.  The German Panzer Lehr Division attempted their first operational counterattack against the Allied beachhead in Normandy.  The first offensive launch of the V-1 flying bombs against Britain occurred.  Operating from bases in China, the first USAAF raids to use the new B-29 Superfortress bombers over Japan were carried out.  The American invasion of Saipan began.  The Battle of the Philippine Sea was fought. The Japanese lost hundreds of aircraft and two aircraft carriers.  A severe English Channel storm destroyed much of the prefabricated harbor facilities (Mulberries) at St. Laurent in Normandy.  The Japanese abandoned their siege at Imphal and began to withdraw from India back to Burma.  Soviet forces operating north of Leningrad made a clean break through Finnish defenses and captured Viipuri.  Operation Bagration began with four Soviet fronts attacking the German defensive formations with the aim of destroying the German positions in Belarus.  U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the "GI Bill."  The 1st Baltic Front and 3rd Belorussian Front completed the encirclement of Vitebsk trapping 5 divisions of the German 53rd Corps.  The 40,000 Germans of the 41st Panzer Corps were surrounded by the 1st Belarusian Front in Bodruisk.  The U.S. 7th Corps completed the capture of Cherbourg.  18 ships (59,222 tons) were sunk and 4 ships (11,714 tons) were damaged by U-boats during June 1944.  
  July 1944 Events  
  U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt granted the "The Manhattan Project" the highest project-wide procurement priority (AA-1).  The United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference, commonly known as the Bretton Woods Conference, was held.  Australian and American forces landed on Numfoor Island in New Guinea.  The Red Army captured Minsk.  The Red Army trapped nearly 100,000 German troops in Belorussia.  The largest Banzai charge of the war occurred as 4,300 Japanese troops died in a last ditch attempt to defeat the Americans on Saipan.  The Japanese offensive into India was officially abandoned.  The Americans declared Saipan secured.  German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel was severely wounded in a strafing attack on his staff car.  A deadly munitions explosion occurred at the Port Chicago Naval Magazine near San Francisco, California.  Hideki Tojo resigned his posts as Prime Minister of Japan and Chief of Staff of the Army.  The Democratic Party selected Franklin D. Roosevelt and Senator Harry S. Truman to head the national ticket.  The assassination attempt on German Chancellor Adolf Hitler at Wolf's Lair in Rastenburg by Colonel Count von Stauffenberg failed.  Tinian Island was invaded by the U.S. 5th Amphibious Corps.  The U.S. 1st Army began "Operation Cobra." in northwest France.  U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt met with General Douglas A. MacArthur and Admiral Chester A. Nimitz in Honolulu, Hawaii to discuss strategy in the Pacific theater.  The last pocket of organized Japanese resistance on Biak was eliminated.  19 ships (68,778 tons) were sunk and 8 ships (35,528 tons) were damaged by U-boats during July 1944.  
  August 1944 Events  
  The Red Army captured Kaunas, the capital of Lithuania.  The uprising by the Polish Home Army in Warsaw began.  Organized Japanese resistance on Tinian in the Mariana Islands ended.  Turkey severed diplomatic and trade relations with Germany.  The remnants of the Japanese 18th Division defending Myitkyina abandoned the city and crossed over the Irrawaddy River.  The British 13th Corps entered Florence, Italy.  RAF bombers used 12,000-pound "Tall Boy" bombs to inflict serious damage to the concrete submarine pens at Brest.  In Australia, over 900 Japanese prisoners of war staged a mass escape from a prison camp.  The liquidation of the Lodz ghetto, the last in Poland, began.  The Canadians launched "Operation Totalize" and broke through German lines southwest of Caen.  The best known trials of the July 20th plotters in the People's Court began in Berlin.  Organized Japanese resistance on Guam came to an end.  The Soviet 3rd Baltic Front began a new offensive in Estonia south of Lake Peipus.  The Allies launched "Operation Dragoon", landing nearly 100,000 troops of the U.S. 7th Army on the beaches of southern France.  The Allies closed the Falaise-Argentan gap, surrounding some of the German 7th Army, although most of the Germans escaped.  The French Resistance began an uprising in Paris.  Japanese resistance on Biak Island in New Guinea ended.  Romania accepted the Soviet Union’s armistice terms.  The Red Army completed the encirclement of Army Group South Ukraine in Romania.  Bulgaria withdrew from its alliance with Germany and declared itself neutral.  German Chancellor Adolf Hitler ordered the evacuation of Army Group E from Greece.  Marseilles, France was liberated by the French as the German garrison of 37,000 surrendered.  The Slovak National Uprising began.  35 ships (119,890 tons) were sunk and 2 ships (15,315 tons) were damaged by U-boats during August 1944.  
  September 1944 Events  
  The Red Army reached the Bulgarian frontier.  The Canadian 1st Army captured Dieppe.  Finland announced that it would negotiate an armistice with the Soviet Union and that it was breaking diplomatic relations with Germany.  The British Guards Armored Division liberated Brussels, Belgium.  The Belgian port of Antwerp fell to the British 11th Armored Division.  Spearheads of the Red Army reach the Yugoslavian border.  The first German V-2 rocket hit London, England.  Finland signed an armistice agreement with the Soviet Union.  The Octagon Conference between the United States and Great Britain took place in Quebec City, Canada.  Romania signed an armistice with the Allies.  The 12,000 man German garrison of Le Harve surrendered to the British 1st Corps.  The 3rd Baltic Front opened a new offensive against the remnants of Army Group North.  U.S. Marines invaded Peleliu in the Palau Islands.  The Allies launched Operation Market Garden using airborne troops to invade The Netherlands.  The important Channel port of Brest, France was liberated by the U.S. 9th Army.  American B-17 bombers dropped supplies to the embattled Polish Home Army in Warsaw.  Elements of the Soviet Leningrad Front captured Tallin, the capital of Estonia.  German Chancellor Adolf Hitler ordered the formation of the Volkstrum (citizen militia).  The first full scale plutonium reactor, the B pile, at Hanford was completed and loaded with uranium.  The German garrison at Calais, France surrendered.  13 ships (56,102 tons) were sunk and 2 ships (13,145 tons) were damaged by U-boats during September 1944.  
  October 1944 Events  
  Allied forces crossed the Belgian-Dutch border north of Antwerp.  The Fourth Moscow Conference, code named “Tolstoy” was held.  U.S. Navy Task Group 30.2 conducted a diversionary bombardment of Japanese installations on Marcus Island.  U.S. Navy Task Force 38, under command of Vice Admiral Marc A. Mitscher and consisting of four carrier task groups, launched air strikes on Onami-Oshima, Okinawa and Sakashima in the Ryukyu Islands.  U.S. Navy Task Force 38 launched air strikes on Japanese positions on Formosa.  Allied forces liberated Athens, Greece.  Field Marshal Erwin Rommel committed suicide rather than face trial for his part in the July 20, 1944 plot to assassinate German Chancellor Adolf Hitler.  Admiral Miklós Horthy was replaced by Ferenc Szálasi, leader of the National Socialist Arrow Cross Party, as Regent and Prime Minister of Hungary.  General Douglas A. MacArthur and the US 6th Army landed on Leyte to begin the liberation of the Philippine Islands.  Aachen was occupied by the U.S. First Army becoming the first major German city to be captured by the Allies.  The naval Battle of the Philippine Sea took place between American and Japanese forces and ended with an American victory.  25 RAF Mosquitoes made a highly successful low-level attack on the Shell House, the Gestapo headquarters in Aarhus, Denmark.  9 ships (5,199 tons) were sunk and 1 ship (40 tons) was damaged by U-boats and mines during October 1944.  
  November 1944 Events  
  The Japanese began launching large balloons with bombs destined for the west coast of North America.  Belgium was entirely liberated from German occupation.  Franklin D. Roosevelt was reelected to an unprecedented fourth term as President of the United States.  Elements of the U.S. 3rd Army, under command of Lt. General George S. Patton, crossed the Moselle River around Metz.  British Lancaster bombers carrying special 12,000-pound bombs attacked and sank the German battleship SMS Tirpitz.  The oiler USS Mississinewa was sunk by a kaiten suicide torpedo at Ulithi Atoll.  Motor torpedo boats were relieved of patrol duty in the northern Solomon Islands by infantry landing craft gunboats and motor gunboats.  A German V-2 rocket hit a crowded Woolworths store in central London, England, killing 160.  Organized resistance by the Japanese on Peleliu ended.  The first Allied convoy reached Antwerp which was now operational after extensive repairs and mine clearing.  9 ships (28,280 tons) were sunk and 2 ship (8,284 tons) were damaged by U-boats during November 1944.  
  December 1944 Events  
  The Dekemvriana ("December events") of civil unrest began in liberated Greece.  The Home Guard was "stood down" from service in the United Kingdom.  A new Romanian government was formed.  American forces landed on Mindoro, Philippine Islands.  The Battle of the Bulge took place in the Ardennes.  Soldiers of the 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich execute 84 American prisoners near Malmedy during the Battle of the Bulge.  The War Department announced the revocation of the West Coast mass exclusion order of people of Japanese descent.  U.S. Task Force 38 was caught in a typhoon in the Philippine Sea.  The Soviet backed provisional government of Hungary, located in Drebrecan, declared war on Germany.  22 ships (72,816 tons) were sunk and 3 ship (10,329 tons) were damaged by U-boats during December 1944.  
  1943 Index 1945 Index  

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