WWII Axis Military History Day-by-Day: August

August 1

August 1, 1941: Amreegruppe Mitte continues its liquidation of theSmolensk pocket. Soviet troops put up fierce resistance near Orsha andVitebsk west of Smolensk. A powerful counter-offensive is launched atGomel 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 theCaucasus region, while advance units reach the Kuban River. Armeegruppe Bcontinues to fight to cut off the Soviet defenders near Kalach in the Donbend near Stalingrad.

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

August 1, 1944: Start of an uprising of the underground Polish HomeArmy in Warsaw – with no support from Soviet forces already on the eastbank of the Vistula opposite the city. The Finnish President RistoRyti resigns. His place is taken by Marshal Karl Gustav Mannerheim.

August 2

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

August 2, 1944: Advance of the US First and Third Armies toward thelower 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 areatoward Poltava after the failure of Operation Zitadelle.

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

August 4

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

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

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

August 5

August 5, 1941: Heeresgruppe Mitte concludes the battle of encirclementat 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 Kubanriver at Armavir. General Dwight D. Eisenhower is appointedcommander-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 RedArmy.

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

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

August 8

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

August 9

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

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

August 10

August 10, 1942: German and Italian U-boatssavage 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 LakeIlmen. US Navy takes over patroling convoy routes in the NorthAtlantic and tracking German submarines for the Royal Navy in violationof 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 defenseline (Panther-Stellung) along the Dnepr river.

August 12, 1944: Start of a major German operation against Tito’spartisan army in Yugoslavia.

August 13

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

August 14

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

August 14, 1944: Roosevelt and Churchill meet at Quebec where theyinitial the Morgenthau Plan that calls for the division of postwarGermany 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) fromits Don bridgeheads toward Stalingrad.

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

August 16

August 16, 1941: LVI.Panzerkorps (von Manstein) of 4.Panzergruppe(Hoepner) takes Novgorod on the road to Leningrad. German andRumanian 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 linetoward Stalino.

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

August 17

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

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

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

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

August 18

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

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

August 19

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

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

August 20

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

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

August 21

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

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

August 22

August 22, 1942: The advance of 17.Armee (Ruoff) toward the Black Seaport 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, thehighest peak in the Caucasus.

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

August 23

August 23, 1942: After a year-long siege of the city, Hitlerorders the final attack on Leningrad (Operation Nordlicht). At Stalingrad,bombers and dive-bombers of Luftflotte 4 (von Richthofen) launch massiveattacks (over 2,000 missions) that devastate the city. A battle group of16.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 recapturesCharkov.

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

August 24

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

August 25

August 25, 1941: Heeresgruppe Süd advances from the Gomel area towardKiev in the Ukraine. Units of 1.Panzergruppe establish a bridgeheadacross the Dnepr at Dnepropetrovsk. British and Soviet troops enterIran to forestall any German incursions in the wake of the failed coupby anti-British elements in Irak that was supported by German specialforces flown in from Greece.

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

August 26

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

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

August 26, 1944: Bulgaria, Germany’s ally, withdraws from the waragainst the Soviet Union and declares its neutrality.

August 27

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

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

August 28

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

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

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-Germangovernment of Dr. Tiso.

August 30

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

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 failsto break through British lines and advance toward Alexandria, 75 milesaway.

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’ Antonescugovernment.