July 19 – On this day

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Significant events on this day in WW2 include Britain’s biggest tank battle to capture the remains of Caen and the formation of the Intelligence Corps

1940


The Intelligence Corps was formed. King George VI approved the formation of the Intelligence Corps on 15 July 1940. The publication of Army Order No. 112, on 19 July 1940 made it so. Happy Birthday Intelligence Corps!

General Sir Alan Brooke takes over from Ironside as C-in-C, Home Forces. Ironside becomes a Field Marshal.

Hitler makes triumphant speech to Reichstag: accuses Allies of war mongering and appeals ‘for the last time to reason’.

The Italian Cruiser, Bartolomeo Colleoni is sunk off Cape Spada, near Crete by HMAS Sydney.

1941

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Submarine HMS Umpire was accidentally rammed and sunk off Cromer: she was with a convoy but had dropped behind with engine trouble and was struck by an armed trawler escorting another convoy. 16 died, 22 saved, with the crew showing great heroism.

British PM Winston Churchill launches his “V for Victory” campaign. 
BBC announces the ‘V Army’, the resistance movement in Occupied Europe.

George Armstrong executed at Wandsworth prison for spying.

Hitler issues Directive No.33. This states that Moscow is no longer the priority, but that once the Smolensk pocket has been reduced, then Army Group Centre is to hand over Panzer Group 3 to Army Group North and Panzer Group 2 to Army Group South. This will enable the flanks to be secured by capturing Leningrad in the North and overrunning the Ukraine in the South.

1942


German U-boats are withdrawn from positions off the U.S. Atlantic coast due to effective American anti-submarine countermeasures.
Himmler orders Operation Reinhard, mass deportations of Jews in Poland to extermination camps.
Japanese invasion fleet leaves Rabaul for Buna, New Guinea.

1943


USAAF planes bomb Rome for the first time, using carefully drawn maps in an attempt to avoid hitting the city’s numerous historic churches. The effort is deemed nearly perfect; only one church is damaged, Basilica at San Lorenzo.

1944


The British 3rd Division is repulsed from Emiville four times as the Canadians clear the southern suburbs of Caen. The British 11th Armoured Division takes Bras and Hubert-Follie.
The U.S. 34th Division captures Livorno on the Italian coast.
The Russians claim to have crossed into Latvia.
U.S. Marines invade Guam in the Marianas.

1945

Lt. General James Doolittle establishes the US Eighth Air Force on Okinawa, having transferred from England.

 

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