24 June 1941 – Sloop HMS Auckland was sunk by German aircraft off Tobruk while on convoy escort duty. She had her stern blown off by bombs and shortly afterwards exploded and sank. 37 crew died, 162 survivors were rescued by HMAS Parramatta. For other events OTD…
Napoleon Bonaparte invades Russia. His 680,000-man army brings no winter uniforms. It’s an oversight they’ll soon regret. Amazingly, 129 years later, Hitler makes virtually the same mistake.
France’s Napoleon III and Sardinian King Victor Emmanuel II defeat the Austrian emperor Franz Joseph I at Solferino. It’s the last battle in history in which all the armies are commanded by sitting monarchs.
With influenza bearing heavily on the 36th (Ulster) Division the Commanding Officers & Quartermasters of the Field Ambulances have a conference of the reduction of equipment of a Field Ambulance
An armistice is signed between France and Italy at Villa Indusa near Rome.
China protests to France over closure of Indo-Chinese border; Japanese request closure of Burma Road controlled by Britain and used to supply Chinese forces.
British government sends gold bullion and securities to Canada for safekeeping.
House of Commons votes for £1,000 million war credit as war expenditure now exceeds £10,250,000 per day.
Germans sweep west into Lithuania and White Russia, taking Vilna and Kaunas. Hungary breaks off diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union.
President Franklin Roosevelt pledges all possible support to the Soviet Union.
Major General Eisenhower arrives in Britain to assume command of US European Theater of Operations (ETOUSA), including North Africa.
The German, Italian and Croatian forces in Yugoslavia, begin another offensive against Tito’s partisan army.
The RAF launches its third 1,000 bomber raid, this time on Bremen. The Luftwaffe launches the first in a series of night raids against Birmingham.
The Germans advance into Egypt as the British retreat continues. Sollum and Sidi Barrani are evacuated by the Eighth Army.
Allied POWs begin work on 294-mile extension of Burma-Thailand Railway under brutal conditions.
The RAF conducts a heavy raid on Elberfeld in the Ruhr.
LTC WR Lovelace makes record parachute jump from 42,200 feet.
From Japan, Subhas Chandra Bose, leader of Indian National Army, implores Indians to turn against British.
Destroyer HMS Swift sank after striking a mine off Sword Beach, Normandy, while providing fire support to Allied forces ashore. The explosion broke her in two. 16 of her crew were killed.
38 (Irish ) Brigade – 2 LIR at Trasimene: “The Faughs attacked through us on Ranciano at 0530. F Coy’s positions were dangerously near the barrage opening line & fortunately the Hun DF came down on us rather than on the Faughs. F Coy had 7 direct hits & one carrier & portee went up.”
The Russians report major advances against Army Group Centre. Hitler orders all but one of the five German divisions of the 53rd Corps that are encircled at Vitebsk to fight their way out.
French Resistance blows up hydroelectric plant near Limoges.
French forces begin to leave Italy to prepare for Operation Anvil, the invasion of Southern France.
A Great Victory Parade in Moscow’s Red Square, sees Zhukov takes the salute in Stalin’s presence.
In a bombing raid, British destroy the infamous bridge over the River Kwai in Thailand, built at great cost by slaves and prisoners of the Japanese.