June 9 – On this day

In 1944 in Italy after Cassino, the Irish Brigade liberated a fine collection of wines held by the German army command…See below


End of the Congress of Vienna: New European political situation is set after defeat of Napoleon


German forces advancing South from the Somme capture Rouen on the Seine.
The British 51st Highland Division and part of the French 10th Army withdraw towards St-Valery-en-Caux, hoping to be evacuated to England.
The French government evacuates from Paris to Tours.
Norway officially surrenders to Germany.


Fire Service Council established in Britain, with 1,400 local brigades being merged in to 32 regional ones.
British advance 40 miles into southern Syria and the Lebanon capturing Tyre in the process.
Italian casualties for May announced as 1,948 killed, 5,204 wounded and 27,292 missing.
Two thousand soldiers put an end to the strike at North American Aviation in Inglewood, CA that threatened crucial aircraft production.


Heydrich lies in state in Berlin. Himmler calls him, ‘a noble, honest and decent human being’.
The Japanese high command announces that “The Midway Occupation operations have been temporarily postponed.”


Tito is wounded during a German air attack.


Irish Brigade captures German headquarters at Monte Soratte (above).
Brigadier Pat Scott at Monte Soratte, 9th June 1944:
“It was a most astonishing place, this German HQ. It was in a series of tunnels burrowed out of the hillside. The sort of tunnels you could drive a car along. The Germans had set fire to as much as possible before leaving ..the atmosphere of smoke in most of the tunnels was pretty suffocating. This did not prevent Dave Aitkenhead and his rascals from investigating the possibilities with the headlights of a jeep. Wines, liqueurs and tableware were all of the highest order…”

Lt-Col Horsfall 2 LIR (London Irish), San Oreste, 9th June 1944:
“On arrival, I was greeted by our brigadier (Pat Scott) , who had gone on ahead of the brigade. Jerking his head in the direction of the mont, he said ‘I shall be expecting a substantial discount for this.’ Later, I understood what Pat meant..The place was a labyrinth & its dark tunnelling was filled to capacity with wine & tableware of every description. The Wehrmacht certainly looked after its chiefs. They could now look after us. I gave Desmond & H Coy the task of guarding this Aladdin’s cave – Quis custodiet….”

U.S. forces advancing from Utah Beach capture St. Mere-Eglise and cut the crucial road and rail links on the Cherbourg peninsula. Rommel puts all German forces in Normandy onto the defensive.
The RAF fly from French airfields for first time since 1940.
The U.S. Fifth Army is now 50 miles Northwest of Rome.
The Russians launch a heavy assault on the Finnish forces in the Karelian Isthmus to the North of Leningrad, in an attempt to force them out of war.


Japanese Premier Kantaro Suzuki announces Japan will fight to the very end rather than accept unconditional surrender.
On Luzon, US Sixth Army takes Bagabag, sealing off Japanese in Cagayan Valley.
The Japanese on Okinawa’s Oroku peninsula are reported as trapped.
Tokyo radio says that 4.93m Japanese have been displaced by the bombing in the last three months.
Yugoslav partisans agree to withdraw from Austria and Trieste.
Los Angeles holds a parade for Generals George Patton and Jimmy Doolittle.

Silver jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain


British lease on the New Territories in Hong Kong expires

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