1944 – The small seaside town of Arromanches is now home to the Mulberry Harbour; the logistics hub which kept the British & Commonwealth Bridgehead supplied. For other events on this day see here…
King John signs Magna Carta at Runnymeade
Wellington learns that Napoleon has outmanoeuvred the Allied army. “He’s humbugged me, by God!” the duke famously declares.
The British take, but fail to hold, the German front line trench east of Festubert.
At the Battle of Verdun the French take a German trench on Mort Homme and repulse heavy counter-attacks at Caillette Wood.
The German counter attacks south east of Ypres are repulsed.
Alcock and Brown completed the first non-stop flight across the Atlantic when they landed their biplane in a Co Galway bog.
36th (Ulster) Division, 15th Royal Irish Rifles, C and D Company were returning by light railway when a broad Gauge ran into them killing 4 and injuring 14. The fatalities were –
Sgt Frank Merry Rfm’s George Forrester, Benjamin Parson & Arthur Underhill
Roosevelt assures Reynaud that US aid will be redoubled.
Germans take Verdun. German forces of the 7th Army cross Rhine and break into the Maginot Line above Strasbourg. Weygand refuses to surrender French Army on its own. 30,600 British and Canadian troops are evacuated from Cherbourg, Brest and St. Malo.
New Russo-German frontier agreement announced.
The Red Army advances across the Lithuanian border.
The Germans open Auschwitz concentration camp, officially to provide 100,000 labor force for I.G Farben factory.
The Communist Party of Australia is declared as illegal.
German formation commanders receive confirmation of the date and time that the attack on the Soviet Union will begin. This is to be 03:30 on the 22nd June 1941. German Panzer units begin to move up to their final jump-off positions.
The British Army begins ‘Operation Battleaxe’ to relieve Australian held Tobruk and then advance towards Derna. However, they meet fierce counter attacks by the Afrika Korps and are unable to make any headway.
U-552 (Kptlt. Topp) sinks 5 ships of Convoy HG-84 in the northern Atlantic.
HMS Bedouin is sunk by Italian Air launched torpedo whilst bravely attacking Italian cruisers threatening a convoy to Malta. 28 men died and 213 taken prisoner. The CO, Cdr Scurfield was killed by Allied Air attack In 1945 when his POW camp was hit in N. Italy
Destroyer HMS Airedale was attacked by German bombers while escorting a Malta convoy (Operation Vigorous) and direct hits caused her magazines to explode. Her wreck was scuttled by RN ships. 45 of her crew were lost.
An Italian naval squadron intercepts the ‘Harpoon’ convoy and disables two British destroyers, as well as damaging the anti-aircraft cruiser HMS Cairo, although the the Italians lost a destroyer in the process. Axis aircraft then attacked and sank 2 freighters, the tanker Kentucky and 1 destroyer. Another Italian naval squadron had sailed from Taranto to intercept ‘Vigorous’, which reversed course in the face of this threat. While it was doing this, German E-boats moved in and sank a destroyer and damaged a cruiser with torpedo’s. At this point British torpedo aircraft from Malta attacked the Italian naval squadron, disabling a cruiser, which was later sunk by a British submarine. In the meantime ‘Vigorous’ turned towards Malta again, but further reports of the Italian naval squadron steaming south, forced another course reversal. German Stukas attacked the convoy at this point and damaged a cruiser and sank a destroyer. The Italian naval squadron moved now moved north, removing the threat to the ‘Vigorous’ convoy, but Admiral Vian commanding the ‘Vigorous’ convoy decided that he did not have enough ammunition left to resume his course to Malta and so continued back to Alexandria, during which U-205 sank the cruiser HMS Hermione south of Crete and Stukas sank another destroyer. However, as consolation, British aircraft did manage to torpedo the Italian Battleship Littorio, which spent the next two months under repair.
Rommel launches an attack against Eighth Army’s new defensive line, but is repulsed. However, General Norrie was worried that XXX Corps lacked sufficient tanks to defend this line for very long.
Admiral Chester Nimitz is widely criticized in Washington for not pursuing and destroying the damaged Japanese fleet after the battle of Midway.
Kazimierz Papis, a railwayman (born in Sosnowiec on 20 January 1914) received number 29527. He perished in the camp on 16 July 1942. A transport of 132 Poles deported to the camp by Sipo u. SD from the Cracow district – 67 from the prison in Tarnów and 65 from the Montelupich prison in Cracow – was registered at Auschwitz. At least 78 of them died in the camp
The German raider Michel sinks 2 ships off the west coast of Australia.
The small seaside town of Arromanches is now home to the Mulberry Harbour; the logistics hub which kept the British & Commonwealth Bridgehead supplied. Photo on opening page above.
Roosevelt outlines his plans for the post-war United Nations.
The RAF launches heavy attacks (600 bombers) against Le Havre and Boulogne.
The second Finnish defensive zone is smashed by the Russians.
USAAF B-29s from China pound the Yawata steel works in the first land based air attack on Japan.
U.S. Marines meet strong opposition to their Saipan Island landing despite the heavy bombardment of the Marianas islands during past week. 3,000 US dead; 30,000 Japanese soldiers dead; 22,000 civilians commit suicide–Causes the downfall of Tojo.
B-29’s begin destruction of 60 mid-sized cities in Japan, killing roughly 250,000.
David Cameron responded to the findings of the Saville Inquiry:
“You do not defend the British Army by defending the indefensible… The events of Bloody Sunday were in no way justified… On behalf of our country, I am deeply sorry.”