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This Day in WWII 18 December 1939 - 1944


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cv121839.jpg Commander of the Canadians

1939: The RAF launch another daylight raid against German shipping in the Schillig Roads, but lose 12 out of 24 bombers. This was the culmination of a series of RAF daylight raids which had cost an increasing number of aircraft. This eventually caused the RAF to switch to night raids to reduce casualties.

1939: The first Canadian troops arrive in Britain.

1939: Lavrenti Beria, head of the NKVD, orders the start of large-scale deportation of Poles to the USSR.

1939: The Finnish 40th Infantry Regiment of the Lapland Group, forces the Russian 273rd Infantry Regiment of the 9th Army to retreat at Pelkosenniemi.

1940: Hitler issues Directive No. 18, confirming plans for Operation 'Barbarossa', previously Operation 'Otto', the attack against the Soviet Union. The aim of this new plan was to destroy the Red Army in western Russia, before moving against Moscow. All preparations were to be completed by the 15th May 1941. [View Battle Plan]

1940: President Roosevelt asks Congress to provide enough money in the defense budget to allow the U.S. a "two-ocean navy."

1941: Field Marshal von Brauchitsch's resignation as head of OKH is accepted by Hitler, who now assumes personal command of the Army and its operations on the Eastern front. Hitler sacks Army Group Centre's commander, Field Marshal von Bock and replaces him with Field Marshal von Kluge. Stalin creates the Bryansk Front, which is to operate between the West and South West Fronts and lend added weight to the southern prong of the double envelopment of Army Group Centre.

1941: Japanese troops force landings on Hong Kong island.

1941: Defended by 610 fighting men, the American-held island of Guam falls to more than 5,000 Japanese invaders in a three-hour battle.

yank-patclark.jpg Pat Clark

1942: Adolf Hitler meets with Benito Mussolini and Pierre Laval.

1943: The RAF 3rd Tactical Air Force was formed to provide offensive support to operations in Burma.

1943: The war crimes trial at Kharkov of four captured Germans, which opened on Dec. 15th. 1944 for the extermination of 30,000 Russians at Kiev concludes with "The Kharkov Four" sentenced to death.

arcade_card_02.jpg

1944: The Supreme Court upheld the wartime relocation of Japanese-Americans, but also said undeniably loyal Americans of Japanese ancestry could not be detained.

1944: 'Operation Wacht am Rhein' begins to bog down in the face of stiffening U.S. resistance and the lack of adequate logistical support, notably fuel for the armored Kampfgruppen of the 6th SS and 5th Panzer Armee's.

1944: Japanese forces are repelled from northern Burma by British troops.

1944: Eighty-four B29s bomb Hankow, which remains alight three days after.

comic_us_marines_1943-3.jpg

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