This day in military history.. - Page 56

May 23rd, 2008  

May 19th

1940: German troops of XX.Panzerkorps (Reinhardt) capture St. Quentin. General Gamelin, C-in-C of Allied Forces, is replaced by General Weygand.
1944: In Italy, British troops capture Aquino airfield in the Liri valley SE of Rome.

1915: Turkish counter-attack on Gallipoli - The Turkish counter-attack sought to drive the Australians and New Zealanders from ANZAC Cove. The attack failed and over 10,000 Turks were killed or wounded in their greatest disaster of the entire campaign.
1918: Sergeant W. Ruthven, VC -Sergeant W. Ruthven, 22nd Battalion, originally from Collingwood, Victoria, wins the Victoria Cross at Ville-sur-Ancre, France.source:

1643 - Thirty Years' War: French forces under the duc d'Enghien decisively defeat Spanish forces at the Battle of Rocroi, marking the symbolic end of Spain as a dominant land power.
1848 -
Mexican-American War: Treaty of Guadalupe HidalgoMexico ratifies the treaty thus ending the war and ceding California, Nevada, Utah and parts of five other modern-day U.S. states to the USA for USD $15 million.
1864 -
American Civil War: Battle of Spotsylvania Court House ends.

1882 - Commodore Shufeldt (USS Swatara) lands in Korea to negotiate first treaty between Korea and Western power
1912 -
Navy establishes North Atlantic Ice Patrol following RMS Titanic disaster
1965 - 30th Naval Construction Regiment activated at Danang, Vietnam

1863: Union General Ulysses S. Grant’s first attack on Vicksburg is repulsed.
1967: U.S. planes bomb Hanoi for the first time.

May 23rd, 2008  

May 20th

1940: In the West, units of XIX. Panzerkorps (Guderian) capture Amiens and advance to the Channel coast at Abbeville, separating the British Expeditionary Force (Gort) and the Belgian Army from the French forces to the south.

1941: Taking off from airfields in Greece, German paraptroops of the 7.Fliegerdivision (Süssmann) carried in 490 Ju-52 transports of XI.Fliegerkorps (Trettner) and supported by Stuka dive-bombers of VIII.Fliegerkorps (von Richthofen) begin Operation Mercury, the capture of the island of Crete in the Mediterranean. Encountering heavy ground fire from British Commonwealth troops (total of 30,000 men under New Zealand Gen. Freyberg) in prepared positions, casualties are high: of 8,000 men landed nearly 6.000 are killed, and 151 Ju-52s destroyed before air and sea-borne mountain troops arrive to turn near disaster into victory.
1943: The US Tenth Fleet is formed for anti-submarine operations in the Atlantic.
1944: Nearly 5,000 Allied aircraft attack airfields and rail communications in France and Belgium.

1915:Lance Corporal Albert Jacka, VC - Lance Corporal Albert Jacka, 14th Battalion, 4th Brigade, New Zealand and Australian Division, of Winchelsea, Victoria, wins the Victoria Cross at Courtney's Post, Gallipoli. Jacka's was the first VC to be awarded to an Australian in the First World War. Jacka also went on to win the Military Cross and bar.source:

1631 - The city of Magdeburg in Germany is seized by forces of the Holy Roman Empire and most of its inhabitants massacred, in one of the bloodiest incidents of the Thirty Years' War.
1813 - Napoleon Bonaparte leads his French troops into the Battle of Bautzen in Saxony, Germany, against the combined armies of Russia and Prussia. The battle ends the next day with a French victory.
1864 - American Civil War: Battle of Ware Bottom Church - In the VirginiaBermuda Hundred Campaign, 10,000 troops fight in this Confederate victory.

1778: Battle of Barren Hill, Pennsylvania - British forces from Philadelphia attempt to trap 2,200 Continentals defending Valley Forge led by Marquis de Lafayette. Lafayette, through skillful maneuvering, avoids the entrapment and the destruction of his forces. The encounter takes place at Barren Hill, now known as Lafayette Hill, just northwest of Philadelphia.
1915: British renew attacks in Battle of Festubert - British, Canadian and Indian troops launch a new round of attacks against a reinforced German line around the village of Festubert, located in the Ypres Salient on the Western Front.
1953: French see "light at the end of the tunnel" in Vietnam - Using a phrase that will haunt Americans in later years--"Now we can see [success in Vietnam] clearly, like light at the end of a tunnel"--Gen. Henri Navarre assumes command of Frennch Union Forces in Vietnam. The French had been fighting a bloody war against communist insurgents in Vietnam since 1946. The insurgents, the Viet Minh, were fighting for independence and the French were trying to reassert their colonial rule in Indochina.

1801 - Four warships sent to Mediterranean to protect American commerce
1815 - Commodore Stephen Decatur ( Frigate Guerriere) sails with 10 ships to suppress Mediterranean pirates' raids on U.S. shipping
1844 - USS Constitution sails from New York on round the world cruise
1943 - Establishment of Tenth Fleet in Washington, DC, under command of ADM King to coordinate U.S. antisubmarine operations in Atlantic

1941: Churchill announces the end of Abyssinian campaign as the Duke of Aosta signs the formal Italian surrender. The British took just 94 days to win the East African campaign. The Royal Navy Minesweeper Widnes is sunk by Luftwaffe planes near Suda Bay in Crete.
1942:The rearguards of the 1st Burma Corps cross the border from Burma into India. Once this is complete, the 1st Burma Corps is disbanded. Admiral Yamamoto issues his orders for Operation 'Mi'. 2nd Carrier Striking Force under Admiral Hosogaya (2 small aircraft carriers, 2 cruisers and 3 destroyers) was to mount an air-strike on Dutch Harbor in the Aleutians on the 3rd June, this was designed to decoy part of the American force northwards. If this happened then they would be met by a Guard Force of 4 battleships, 2 cruisers and 12 destroyers, which would position themselves between Pearl Harbor and the Aleutians. Then on the 5th June, the transports carrying the Japanese assault force would land on Attu and Kiska Islands on the 5th June. Meanwhile the 1st Carrier Striking Force under Admiral Nagumo, which included the Carriers Akagi, Kaga, Soryu and Hiryu, plus 2 battleships, 2 cruisers and 11 destroyers, would sail from Japan for Midway on the 4th June. Following this would be Transport Force which was commanded by Admiral Kondo with the invasion troops, additionally protected by 3 cruisers from Guam. Finally the Main Support force, commanded by Admiral Yamamoto onboard the super battleship Yamato and including a further 3 battleships, 4 cruisers and escorting destroyers would be ready to move up to engage the American Fleet if required. In order to be sure of the position of the American Fleet, 3 cordons of submarines were positioned north and west of Hawaii and 2 flying boats were stationed at French Frigate Shoal, about 500 miles north-west of Hawaii. The Crimea is finally cleared of the Red Army. 170,000 Russians taken prisoner. Manstein's gaze now turns fully towards Sevastopol.
1943: The Chinese launch a counter offensive on Yangtze River.
1944: The U.S. Fifth Army captures Gaeta to the South of Rome. The first orders from Eisenhower are broadcast to European underground armies.

May 23rd, 2008  

May 21st

1940: In the West, an attack by a French armored brigade under General de Gaulle against 7.Panzer-Division (Rommel) at Arras fails after initial success. The French Ninth Army is surrounded and destroyed, its commander, General Giraud, taken prisoner.
1941: In the battle for Crete, 80 Ju-52s crash-land a regiment of 5.Gebirgsjäger-Division (Ringel) to support the hard-pressed paratroopers at Maleme airfield. In the south Atlantic, against strict orders not to attack American vessels, the US merchant ship Robin Moor is sunk by U-69 (Kptlt. Metzler). This sinking of a neutral American vessel is publicly denounced by President Roosevelt and becomes yet another argument for him in his secret desire for bringing the United States into war against Germany.
1943: The Luftwaffe carries out a raid by FW-190 fighter bombers against Malta.

1968: HMAS Sydney leaves Brisbane - HMAS Sydney left Brisbane on its tenth voyage to Vietnam with 4th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, embarked.

1850 - Washington Navy Yard begins work on first castings for the Dahlgren guns
1917 - USS Ericsson fires first torpedo of war
1944 - During preparations for the invasion of Saipan an accidental ordnance blast on LST 353 sets off cataclysmic ammunition explosions at West Loch, Pearl Harbor, killing 163 and injuring 396. Six tank landing ships (LST-39, LST-43, LST-69, LST-179, LST-353, LST-480), three tank landing craft (LCT-961, LCT-963, LCT-983), and 17 track landing vehicles (LVTs) are destroyed in explosions and fires.
1964 - The initiation of the standing carrier presence at Yankee Station in the South China Sea.


1969 : Military spokesman defends "Hamburger Hill" - A U.S. military command spokesman in Saigon defends the battle for Ap Bia Mountain as having been necessary to stop enemy infiltration and protect the city of Hue. The spokesman stated that the battle was an integral part of the policy of "maximum pressure" that U.S. forces had been pursuing for the prior six months, and confirmed that no orders had been received from President Nixon to modify that basic strategy. On May 20, the battle, described in the American media as the battle for "Hamburger Hill," had come under attack in Congress from Senator Kennedy (D-Massachusetts), who described the action as "senseless and irresponsible." On May 22 in Phu Bai, South Vietnam, Maj. Gen. Melvin Zais, commanding general of the 101st Airborne Division that took "Hamburger Hill," responded to continuing media criticism by saying that his orders had been "to destroy enemy forces" in the A Shau Valley and that he had not received any other orders to reduce casualties by avoiding battles.

1863 - American Civil War: Siege of Port HudsonUnion forces begin to lay siege to the Confederate-controlled Port Hudson, Louisiana.
1941 - 950 miles off the coast of Brazil, the freighter SS Robin Moor becomes the first United States ship sunk by a GermanU-boat.

1940: British forces attack German General Rommel’s 7th Panzer Division at Arras, slowing his blitzkrieg of France.
1941: The first U.S. ship, the S.S. Robin Moor, is sunk by a U-boat.
1951: The U.S. Eighth Army counterattacks to drive the Communist Chinese and North Koreans out of South Korea.

May 23rd, 2008  

May 22nd

1940: In the West, XIX.Panzerkorps (Guderian) strikes from Abbeville toward Boulogne, Calais and Dunkirk along the Channel coast. British cipher experts at Bletchley Park break the Luftwaffe Enigma code.
1941: Off Crete, Stuka dive-bombers of Luftflotte 4 (Lühr) sink the British cruiser Gloucester and the destroyer Greyhound, damaging the battleship Warspite and the cruiser Fiji. On the island, fierce fighting continues for Maleme airfield.
1942: In the East, the Soviet forces (two armies) attacking toward Charkov are stopped and destroyed by the German 6.Armee (von Paulus); 241,000 prisoners are taken.

1940: Decision to form 8th Division made - Most of the 8th Division was lost in the fall of Singapore in February 1942. The Division never took the field as a complete Division because the battalions of the 23rd Brigade were sent to Ambon, Timor and Rabaul.

1882 - Commodore Shufeldt signs commerce treaty opening Korea to U.S. trade
1958 - Naval aircraft F4D-1 Sky Ray sets five world speed-to-climb records, 22-23 May
1967 - New York City reaches agreement to purchase Brooklyn Navy Yard, ending 166 years of construction and repair of naval vessels.
1968 - USS Scorpion (SSN-589) lost with all hands


1455 - Wars of the Roses: At the First Battle of St Albans, Richard, Duke of York, defeats and captures King Henry VI of England.
1762 - Sweden and Prussia sign the Treaty of Hamburg.
1939 - World War II: Germany and Italy sign the Pact of Steel.
1942 - Mexico enters World War II on the side of the Allies.

1940: British cipher experts at Bletchley Park break the Luftwaffe Enigma code.
The 19th Panzer Korps (Guderian) strikes from Abbeville toward Boulogne, Calais and Dunkirk along the Channel coast.
1941: British forces capture the last Italian stronghold in southern Abyssinia. Heavy German air attacks on Crete sink the cruisers Fiji, Gloucester and York and the destroyer Greyhound. The Battleships HMS Warspite and HMS Valiant are damaged, but the Royal Navy manages to break up a German supply convoy. British blockade of Vichy France made complete. Himmler establishes Norwegian SS on German lines. Fierce fighting continues in Crete as British troops begin to pull back from Maleme airfield towards Suda Bay in order to regroup and protect their main point of supply.
1942: The 6th Army and Kleist's Panzer’s meets thereby pinching of the Russian salient Southeast of Kharkov.
1945: Sugar Loaf Hill on Okinawa is finally taken by U.S. troops after changing hands 11 times in the last few days. Montgomery is appointed as C-in-C of the British force of occupation in Germany and a British member of the allied control commission.

May 25th, 2008  

May 23rd

1940: In the West, units of 6.Armee (von Reichenau) cross the Scheldt river at Oudenarde in Belgium.
1941: In waters off Crete, the Luftwaffe sinks the British destroyers Cashmir and Kelly.
1943: The RAF launches a heavy raid on Dortmund, dropping 2,000 tons of bombs.
1944: In Italy, the US Fifth Army (Clark) begins an offensive from the Anzio bridgehead toward Rome, while the British Eighth Army (Alexander) attacks the Dora Line further East.
1945: By order of SHAEF, British troops arrest the members of the post-Hitler government of Grossadmiral Dönitz as well as of the OKW at Flensburg; they are flown to a secret American camp in Luxemburg and held there pending their indictment in an Allied war crimes trial scheduled to be held at Nuremberg.

1942: Kanga Force moved to Wau, New Guinea - Kanga Force was formed in April 1942 to reinforce the New Guinea Volunteer Rifles. Kanga force was primarily involved in reconnaissance work, but did stage some raids against Japanese positions in the Wau–Bulolo area.

1944: Pontecorvo Italy - First Canadian Corps starts breaking through Hitler Line across Liri Valley, near Monte Cassino; British and Canadians occupy Pontecorvo.

1850 - Navy sends USS Advance and USS Rescue to attempt rescue of Sir John Franklin's expedition, lost in Arctic.
1939 - USS Squalus (SS-92) sinks off Postsmouth, NH, with loss of 26 lives.
1962 - Launch of Aurora 7 (Mercury 7), piloted by LCDR Malcolm Scott Carpenter, USN, who completed 3 orbits in 4 hours, 56 minutes at an altitude up to 166.8 statute miles at 17,549 mph. He was picked up by HSS-2 helicopters from USS Intrepid (CVS-11). The capsule was recovered by USS John R. Pierce (DD-753).
1962 - USS Valcour (AVP-55) provides medical care to a merchant seaman from tanker SS Manhattan in the Persian Gulf.


1568 - Dutch rebels led by Louis of Nassau, brother of William I of Orange, defeat Jean de Ligne, Duke of Aremberg and his loyalist troops in the Battle of Heiligerlee, opening the Eighty Years' War.
1706 - Battle of Ramillies - the John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough defeats a French army under Marshal Villeroi.
1900 - American Civil War: Sergeant William Harvey Carney becomes the first African American to be awarded the Medal of Honor, for his heroism in the Assault on the Battery Wagner.
1915 - World War I: Italy joins the Allies after they declare war on Austria-Hungary.

1777 : Meigs Expedition claims sole Patriot victory on Long Island - At Sag Harbor, New York, Patriot troops under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Return Jonathan Meigs capture several British vessels and burn Redcoat supplies. With the help of two local men, Meigs and his Connecticut raiders grabbed the British commander from his bed in the wee hours of the morning, firing only one gunshot. Instead of guns, the Patriots used silent but deadly bayonets to capture the British fort, successfully avoiding announcing their presence with gunfire.
1864 : Fighting begins on the North Anna River, Virginia - The campaign between Union commander Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee, the commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, continues southward to the North Anna River around Hanover Junction. In early May, Grant crossed the Rapidan River with the Army of the Potomac and then clashed with Lee's forces in the Wilderness on May 5 and 6 before racing to Spotsylvania Court House for an epic 12-day battle. Grant's continuous pressure on Lee would ultimately win the war, but he was racking up casualties at a rate that was difficult for the Northern public to stomach.

1862: Confederate General "Stonewall" Jackson takes Front Royal, Virginia.
1864: Union General Ulysses Grant attempts to outflank Confederate Robert E. Lee in the Battle of North Anna, Virginia.

May 25th, 2008  

May 24th

1941: Germany's largest battleship, the Bismarck, sinks the pride of the British fleet, HMS Hood. The Bismarck was the most modern of Germany's battleships, a prize coveted by other nation's navies, even while still in the blueprint stage (Hitler handed over a copy of its blueprints to Joseph Stalin as a concession during the days of the Hitler-Stalin neutrality pact). The HMS Hood, originally launched in 1918, was Britain's largest battle cruiser (41,200 tons)-but also capable of achieving the relatively fast speed of 31 knots. The two met in the North Atlantic, northeast of Iceland, where two British cruisers had tracked down the Bismarck. Commanded by Admiral Gunther Lutjens, commander in chief of the German Fleet, the Bismarck sunk the Hood, resulting in the death of 1,500 of its crew; only three Brits survived.

1940: In the West, infantry units of XIX.Panzerkorps storm the citadel of Boulogne and take 5,000 British and French prisoners. The French fortress of Maubeuge surrenders, while 6.Armee captures Ghent and Tournai in Belgium.
1943: Grossadmiral Dönitz, C-in-C of the Kriegsmarine, orders suspension of all U-boat operations against Allied convoys after the loss of 56 boats in April and May.

1915: Formal truce on Gallipoli - A formal truce was declared on Gallipoli during which the Turkish dead of the 19 May attacks were buried.1966: Private Errol Noack killed in Vietnam - Private Noack, 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, was the first of 202 Australian conscripts to be killed in the Vietnam War.1969: Warrant Officer Class 2 K. Payne, VC - Warrant Officer Class 2 K. Payne, Australian Army Training Team Vietnam, originally from Ingham, Queensland, wins the Victoria Cross in Kontum Province.

1940: Halifax Nova Scotia - Four Canadian destroyers sent to Britain.

1917 - First U.S. convoy to cross North Atlantic during World War I leaves Hampton Roads, VA
1918 - USS Olympia anchors at Kola Inlet, Murmansk, Russia, to protect refugees during Russian Revolution
1939 - First and only use of VADM Allan McCann's Rescue Chamber to rescue 33 men from sunken USS Squalus (SS-192)
1941 - Authorization of construction or acquisition of 550,000 tons of auxiliary shipping for Navy
1945 - Fast carrier task force aircraft attack airfields in southern Kyushu, Japan
1945 - 9 US ships damaged by concentrated kamikaze attack off Okinawa

1846 - Mexican-American War: GeneralZachary Taylor captures Monterrey.
- American Civil War: Union troops occupy Alexandria, Virginia.
1900 - Second Boer War: The United Kingdom annexes the Orange Free State.
1915 -
World War I: Italy declares war on Austria-Hungary.

May 25th, 2008  

May 25th

1940: In the West, the British garrison of Calais rejects a German call for surrender.
1944: Yugoslav partisan leader Tito narrowly escapes capture by German paratroops supported by Stukas in his HQ in Bosnia.

1968: Fire Support Base Balmoral reinforced - Fire Support Base Balmoral in Vietnam is reinforced with Centurion Tanks just hours before two North Vietnamese Army battalions attacked.

1944: Melfa River Italy - Canadian Army Major J. K. Mahony wins VC for holding bridgehead over Melfa River.

1952 - USS Iowa bombards Chongjin, Korea.
1973 - Launch of Skylab 2 mission, which was first U.S. manned orbiting space station. It had an all Navy crew of CAPT Charles Conrad, Jr., USN. (commanding), CDR Joseph P. Kerwin, USN and CDR Paul J. Weitz, USN. During the 28 day mission of 404 orbits, the craft rendezvoused with Skylab to make repairs and conduct science experiments. Recovery by USS Ticonderoga (CVS-14)

1938 - Spanish Civil War: Bombing of Alicante, 313 deaths.
1940 -
World War II: The Battle of Dunkirk begins.
1982 -
HMS Coventry is sunk during the Falklands War.

1862: First Battle of Winchester, Virginia - Confederate General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson notches a victory on his brilliant campaign in the Shenandoah Valley. Jackson, with 17,000 troops under his command, was sent to the Shenandoah to relieve pressure on the Confederate troops near Richmond, who were facing the growing force of George McClellan on the James Peninsula.
1944: Germany launches Operation Knight's Move, in an attempt to seize Yugoslav communist partisan leader Tito. Using parachute drops and glider troops, German forces landed in the Yugoslavian village of Drvar, where Josep Broz Tito, leader of the anti-Axis guerilla movement, was believed to be. The village was decimated: Men, women, and children were all killed by German troops in search of Tito, who escaped.
1968 : Communist launch new offensive - The communists launch their third major assault of the year on Saigon. The heaviest fighting occurred during the first three days of June, and again centered on Cholon, the Chinese section of Saigon, where U.S. and South Vietnamese forces used helicopters, fighter-bombers, and tanks to dislodge deeply entrenched Viet Cong infiltrators. A captured enemy directive, which the U.S. command made public on May 28, indicated that the Viet Cong saw the offensive as a means of influencing the Paris peace talks in their favor.
May 26th, 2008  

May 26th

1940: Employing hundreds of naval, commercial and private vessels, the beaten British forces in France begin Operation Dynamo, the evacuation of the BEF from Dunkirk. Calais fall to the Germans, and the advance toward Dunkirk, ordered stopped by Hitler 3 days previously, is resumed.
1941: In the Atlantic, British Swordfish torpedo planes from the carrier Ark Royal score hits on the German battleship Bismarck, disabling her steering gear and rendering her unmaneuvreable. On Crete, German paratroopers capture Canea.
1942: In Libya, the German Afrikakorps begins an attack against the British Gazala line (Operation Theseus), but is held up at Bir Hacheim which is defended by Free French forces.
1943: In the East, the Red Army begins an offensive against the German forces isolated in the Kuban bridgehead between the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea.

1940: Evacuation of Dunkirk - More than 338,000 British, French and other allied troops were taken off the beaches at Dunkirk during the fall of France.

1944 - USS England sinks fifth Japanese submarine in one week
1952 - Tests from 26-29 May demonstrate feasibility of the angled-deck concept conducted on simulated angled deck on USS Midway

1971 : North Vietnamese seize Snoul, Cambodia - In Cambodia, an estimated 1,000 North Vietnamese capture the strategic rubber plantation town of Snoul, driving out 2,000 South Vietnamese as U.S. air strikes support the Allied forces. Snoul gave the communists control of sections of Routes 7 and 13 that led into South Vietnam and access to large amounts of abandoned military equipment and supplies. On May 31, the Cambodian government called for peace talks if all North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces agreed to withdraw. The communists rejected the bid. Cambodia ultimately fell to the communist Khmer Rouge and their North Vietnamese allies in April 1975.

1943: The Battle of Stalingrad in World War II ended with the surrender of German troops to the Soviets.
source: n.y=10

1865: The Confederate Army surrendered in Texas, ending the American Civil War.

May 28th, 2008  

May 27th

1941: In the Atlantic, the crippled German battleship Bismarck is relentlessly bombarded by dozens of British warships, including the battleships Rodney and King George V. After all her guns are silenced, she is sunk by torpedos from the cruiser Dorsetshire; there are only 14 survivors out of a crew of 2,200. In Libya, the Afrikakorps recaptures Halfaya Pass.
1942: Off the northern coat of Norway, Luftwaffe bombers sink 5 ships of Convoy PQ-16.

1965:HMAS Sydney's first voyage to Vietnam - HMAS Sydney departs on first voyage to Vietnam with 1RAR embarked.

1813 - War of 1812: In Canada, American forces capture Fort George.
1905 - Russo-Japanese War: The Battle of Tsushima begins.
1940 - World War II: 97 out of 99 members of a Royal Norfolk Regiment unit are massacred while trying to surrender at Dunkirk. The German commander, Captain Fritz Knoechlein, is eventually hanged for war crimes.
1941 - World War II: U.S.President Roosevelt proclaims an "unlimited national emergency".
1942 - World War II: Operation Anthropoid - assassination of Reinhard Heydrich in Prague.
1965 - Vietnam War: United States warships begin bombardments of National Liberation Front targets within South Vietnam for the first time.

1940: British position in Flander’s worsens as King Leopold of Belgium surrenders the remnants of his Army.
1941: Having been reinforced by the 15th Panzer Division, Rommel retakes the Halfaya Pass on Egyptian border. The 10th Indian Division begins to advance north from Basra towards Baghdad. 400 miles west of Brest, the crippled Bismarck is relentlessly bombarded by dozens of British warships, including the battleships Rodney and King George V. After all her guns are silenced, she is sunk by torpedo's from the cruiser Dorsetshire. There are only 110 survivors out of a crew of 2,300. The convoy HX129, becomes the first to have continuous escort protection across the Atlantic. Germans paratroopers take Canea and with it the main British supply point of Suda Bay. This convinces Major General Freyberg VC, that the situation has gone against the British and that he must withdraw from Crete to save what he can.
1942: Japanese Combined Fleet lifts anchor and sets sail for Midway. On the same day, Admiral Nimitz, having been for warned of the impending Japanese attack against Midway by US intelligence who were intercepting Japanese naval signals, issues orders for Task Force 16 (Admiral Spruance) with the carriers Enterprise and Hornet, plus 6 cruisers, 11 destroyers, 2 tankers and 19 submarines, to sail for Midway the next day. The Afrika Korps, having pushed round the British defenses, move northeast. They are engaged by elements of the British 1st and 7th Armoured Divisions. Many tank losses were taken by both sides, although as the battle went on the British armour became increasingly scattered. The Italian Ariete Armoured Division continued to meet stiff resistance from the Free French at Bir Hacheim, while the Italian Trieste Motorised Division further north, found itself grinding through minefields under heavy fire as a result of a navigation error. The siege of Sevastopol rages on, becoming the only incident of a formal siege of a modern fortress being pushed through to final reduction. Sevastopol is the premier port on the Black Sea, and its defenses include three zones of trenches, pillboxes, and batteries. The strongest defenses lie in the middle zone, which includes the heights and the south bank of the Belbek River. Among these hills are "Fort Stalin" on the East and the massive western anchor of "Fort Maxim Gorki I," with its turret of twin 305 mm (12-inch) guns sweeping the length of the Belbek valley. 105,000 men defend this port. Against this the Germans and Romanians range 203,000 men and some of the most powerful siege artillery ever disposed by any army in World War II. Field Marshal Erich von Manstein aims 305 mm, 350 mm, and 420 mm howitzers at the Russians, along with two of the new, stubby "Karl" and "Thor" 600 mm mortars. Also on hand is the 800 mm (31.5-inch) "Big Dora" from Krupp, which has to be transported to position by 60 railway wagons. "Big Dora" is commanded by a major general and a colonel, protected by two flak regiments and periodically fed with a 10,500 lb. shell. Czech patriots shoot Reinhard Heydrich in the suburbs of Prague. His condition is described as critical.
1943: The first British ‘liaison’ team is dropped into Yugoslavia to join up with Tito’s partisans.
1944: Start of the monsoon season bogs down operations in Burma. 12,000 U.S. troops land on Biak in the Schouten Island Group, 350 miles West of Hollandia. MacArthur says, 'this marks the strategic end of the New Guinea campaign'.
1945: Chinese troops are now 25 miles North of Foochow and take Loyaun. The U.S. Sixth Army takes Santa Fe on Luzon.

1944: American General MacArthur lands on Biak Island in New Guinea.

May 29th, 2008  
(Sits on the edge of his seat waiting for todays release)