World War II Axis Military History Day-by-Day: August

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August 1

August 1, 1941: Amreegruppe Mitte continues its liquidation of the Smolensk pocket. Soviet troops put up fierce resistance near Orsha and Vitebsk west of Smolensk. A powerful counter-offensive is launched at Gomel south of Mogilev against German bridgeheads over the Dnieper River. In North Africa, fighting flares up around the permitter of Tobruk.

August 1, 1942: Armeegruppe A in the south continues to fan out into the Caucasus region, while advance units reach the Kuban River. Armeegruppe B continues to fight to cut off the Soviet defenders near Kalach in the Don bend near Stalingrad.

August 1, 1943: German withdrawal from the Orel area. Increasingly heavy fighting continues on Sicily, with some of the most fierce fighting for the Island thus far taking place.

August 1, 1944: Start of an uprising of the underground Polish Home Army in Warsaw - with no support from Soviet forces already on the east bank of the Vistula opposite the city. The Finnish President Risto Ryti resigns. His place is taken by Marshal Karl Gustav Mannerheim.

August 2

August 2, 1943: German forces repel massive Soviet attacks at Isjum and the Mius river line.

August 2, 1944: Advance of the US First and Third Armies toward the lower Loire river. Turkey ends diplomatic relations with Germany.

August 3

August 3, 1941: 38,000 Soviet prisonersare taken by Heeresgruppe Mitte (von Bock) after the Roslavl battle of encirclement.

August 3, 1943: Start of a Soviet offensive from the Belgorod area toward Poltava after the failure of Operation Zitadelle.

August 3, 1944: Destruction of Soviet spearhead forces in the area east of Warsaw.

August 4

August 4, 1940: Italian forces begin their occupation of British Somalia.

August 4, 1942: Advance units of 4.Panzerarmee (von Hoth) cross the Aksai river in their drive toward Stalingrad.

August 4, 1944: Red Army forces form a bridghead across the Vistula at Baranov. The US Army captures Rennes in Britanny. Florence is evacuated by German forces.

August 5

August 5, 1941: Heeresgruppe Mitte concludes the battle of encirclement at Smolensk and takes 310,000 Soviet prisoners.

August 5, 1943: The Red Army retakes Orel and Belgorod.

August 6

August 6, 1942: Units of 1.Panzerarmee (von Kleist) cross the Kuban river at Armavir. General Dwight D. Eisenhower is appointed commander-in-chief of Allied forces preparing to invade North Africa.

August, 6, 1944: The red Army entes Galicia.

August 7

August 7, 1941: Joseph Stalin appoints himself Generalissimo of the Red Army.

August 7, 1942: Units of the 6.Armee (von Paulus) cross the Don river at Kalach in their advance toward Stalingrad.

August 7, 1944: British forces fail in their attempt to achieve a breakthrough at Falaise.

August 8

August 8, 1941: Armeegruppe Mitte ends the battle of encirclement at Uman, taking 103,000 Soviet prisoners.

August 9

August 9, 1942: Units of German 1.Panzerarmee (von Kleist) capture Maikop.

August 9, 1944: US Third Army (Patton) enters Le Mans.

August 10

August 10, 1942: German and Italian U-boats savage a British convoy to Malta in the Mediterranean.

August 11

August 11, 1944: German troops evacuate Nantes.

August 12

August 12, 1941: Soviet counterattack at Staraja Russa south of Lake Ilmen. US Navy takes over patroling convoy routes in the North Atlantic and tracking German submarines for the Royal Navy in violation of Neutrality Act.

August 12, 1942: In their advance south toward the Grozny oilfields, units of Heeresgruppe A (List) capture Elista near the Caspian Sea.

August 12, 1943: Hitler orders the construction of a fortified defense line (Panther-Stellung) along the Dnepr river.

August 12, 1944: Start of a major German operation against Tito's partisan army in Yugoslavia.

August 13

August 13, 1940: Adler-Tag: First day of the maximum offensive by the Luftwaffe to destroy RAF airfields and gain air supremacy over England in preparation of Operation Sea Lion.

August 14

August 14, 1942: German forces cross the upper Kuban river at Krasnodar in the Caucasus.

August 14, 1944: Roosevelt and Churchill meet at Quebec where they initial the Morgenthau Plan that calls for the division of postwar Germany and its transformation into a purely agricultural country.

August 14, 1973: Jason was born.

August 15

August 15, 1942: Start of the final drive of 6.Armee (von Paulus) from its Don bridgeheads toward Stalingrad.

August 15, 1944: US Seventh Army (Patch), together with Free French troops, achieves an amphibious landing between Cannes and Toulon in southern France.

August 16

August 16, 1941: LVI.Panzerkorps (von Manstein) of 4.Panzergruppe (Hoepner) takes Novgorod on the road to Leningrad. German and Rumanian forces of Heeresgruppe Süd (von Rundstedt) capture Nikolaev, an importat Soviet naval base on the Black Sea.

August 16, 1943: Start of a Soviet ofensive agagainst the Mius line toward Stalino.

August 16, 1944: Hitler orders the withdrawal of all German forces in southern France.

August 17

August 17, 1940: Hitler orders the total blockade of Britain by sea and air.

August 17, 1941: Heeresgruppe Nord (von Leeb) in its drive toward Leningrad captures Narva.

August 17, 1943: German and Italian forces successfully evacuate Sicily across the Strait of Messina, with little interference by the Allies. Heavy RAF raid (600 aircraft) against the German rocket testing center at Peenemuende. 376 B-17's of the US 8th Air Force carry out double raids against the ball-bearing plants at Schweinfurt and the Messerschmitt fighter works at Regensburg with the loss of 80 aircraft.

August 17, 1944: US and British forces capture Orleans and Chartres. Field Marshal Model takes over command of German forces in the West from FM von Kluge who committed suicide because of his involvement in the July 20 plot. Marshal Petain and his staff are interned at Belfort by order of the Führer. The Vichy French government under Premier Laval resigns.

August 18

August 18, 1941: 1.Panzergruppe (von Kleist) estalishes a bridgehead across the Dnepr at Zaporoshe. From Kairala in northern Finland 20.Gebirgsarmee (Dietl) begins an offensive with the objective of capturing the vital Lend-Lease port of Murmansk.

August 18, 1944: The Red Army recaptures Sandomir in Galicia. Withdrawal of German forces stationed near the Spanish border ad the Gulf of Biscay.

August 19

August 19, 1942: A landing in force of Brtish and Canadian commandos at Dieppe on the Channel coast fails disastrously, with 3,670 killed, wounded, and captured.

August 19, 1944: US and British forces surround several German divisions in the Falaise Pocket, causing them severe losses in men and equipment.

August 20

August 20, 1941: 11.Armee of Heeresgruppe Süd captures Cherson on the Black Sea, gate to the Crimea.

August 20, 1944: US 79th Division reaches the west bank of the Seine above Paris.

August 21

August 21, 1941: Hitler orders the investment, not capture, of Leningrad, and the transfer of several divisions from the North and Center to capture the Crimea and the Donets basin, an industrial region vital to the Soviet war effort.

August 21, 1944: German forces of Heeresgruppe Mitte retake Tukkum in Estonia, reestablishing contact with Heeresgruppe Nord (Schoerner).

August 22

August 22, 1942: The advance of 17.Armee (Ruoff) toward the Black Sea port of Suchum west of the Caucasus bogs down. A platoon of 1.Gebirgs-Division hoists the German war flag on the top of Mt. Elbrus, the highest peak in the Caucasus.

August 22, 1944: The Red Army recaptures Jassy on the Dnestr river in the souther Ukraine. US Third Army (Patton) reaches Troyes and Reims.

August 23

August 23, 1942: After a year-long siege of the city, Hitler orders the final attack on Leningrad (Operation Nordlicht). At Stalingrad, bombers and dive-bombers of Luftflotte 4 (von Richthofen) launch massive attacks (over 2,000 missions) that devastate the city. A battle group of 16.Pz.Div., 3. and 60.Inf.Div.(mot) rapidly advances from the Don, reaching the west bank of the Volga at Rynok north of Stalingrad.

August 23, 1943: Heavy RAF raid on Berlin. The Red Army recaptures Charkov.

August 23, 1944: King Michael I of Rumania dismisses Marshall Antonescu, the head of state and Hitler's close ally, and brings his country over to the Soviet side.

August 24

August 24, 1944: German forces in the area of Kishinev on the Southern front are surrounded by the Red Army. Bordeaux is evacuated by German troops who occupy fortified bunker positions on the Gironde west of the city.

August 25

August 25, 1941: Heeresgruppe Süd advances from the Gomel area toward Kiev in the Ukraine. Units of 1.Panzergruppe establish a bridgehead across the Dnepr at Dnepropetrovsk. British and Soviet troops enter Iran to forestall any German incursions in the wake of the failed coup by anti-British elements in Irak that was supported by German special forces flown in from Greece.

August 25, 1944: US and Free French troops enter Paris without a fight, followed by General de Gaulle who takes the salute. Rumania declares war on Germany. Finland begins secret negotiations with the Soviet Union about a cease-fire.

August 26

August 26, 1939: Hitler cancels the order for the invasion of Poland on this day. He sets the new date for September 1.

August 26, 1941: Heeresgruppe Nord surrounds and destroys Soviet forces in the area of Velikije Luki.

August 26, 1944: Bulgaria, Germany's ally, withdraws from the war against the Soviet Union and declares its neutrality.

August 27

August 27, 1942: Soviet counterattacks from the Leningrad pocket against Schluesselburg and the Volchov front.

August 27, 1944: The Red Army crosses the Carpathian mountains and advances into central Rumania.

August 28

August 28, 1942: Massive RAF raid against Nuremberg that kills 4,000 civilians and destroys over 10, 000 dwellings. Under heavy pressure from the US, Brazil declares war on Germany.

August 28, 1943: Bulgarian King Boris III dies under mysterious circumstances.

August 28, 1944: Free French troops enter Marseille.

August 29

August 29, 1941: Finnish troops capture Vyborg.

August 29, 1944: Start of an uprising in Slovakia against the pro-German government of Dr. Tiso.

August 30

August 30, 1943: Taganrog on the Sea of Azov is evacuated by German troops.

August 30, 1944: The Red Army occupies the Ploesti oilfields in Rumania, cutting off more than half of Germany's oil supplies.

August 31

August 31, 1942: At the El Alamein front in Egypt, the Afrikakorps fails to break through British lines and advance toward Alexandria, 75 miles away.

August 31, 1943: Heavy RAF raid on Berlin (over 600 bombers).

August 31, 1944: The Red Army occupies Bucarest, the capital of Rumania, and begins the round-up of members of the 'Fascist' Antonescu government.