World War 2 Timeline – 1944

by Ben Johnson

Important events of 1944, including Operation Market Garden and D-Day (pictured above).

20 Jan Russian troops recapture Novgorod.
29 Jan The Leningrad-Moscow rail line re-opens effectively ending the siege of Leningrad.
7 March Japan starts Operation U-Go – an attempt to push the Allies back to India by destroying their bases at Imphal and Kohima, in Burmha and north east India.
15 March At the start of a new major offensive the Allies drop 1,250 tons of bombs on Cassino in Italy.
24 March Orde Wingate, head of the Burma based Chindits is killed along with nine others, when a USAAF Mitchell bomber crashes into the jungle covered hills of northeast India.
26 March Russian troops move on to Romanian soil for the first time.
8 April The Russians launch their final attack on German forces in the Crimea.
9 May The Crimea is cleared of German resistance and Sebastopol is retaken.
11 May The Allies start their effort to outflank the monastery at Cassino.
17 May Kesselring orders the German evacuation of Cassino.
23 May At 05.45 hours, 1,500 Allied artillery pieces commenced bombardment as US forces start their break-out from the beach at Anzio.
25 May The Americans start their drive to Rome.
3 June Hitler orders Kesselring to withdraw from Rome.
4 June Around 07.30 hours, advance units of the 5th US Army enters the city limits of Rome.
6 June D-Day. Allied forces land in Normandy.
D-Day Landings
13 June The first of Hitler’s secret super weapons, the V1, lands in Britain. Also known as the Buzz Bomb, or Doodlebug, this jet powered flying bomb had been specifically designed for terror bombing of London. It would go on to cause more than 22,000, mainly civilian, casualties.
18 June US forces trap the German garrison at Cherbourg.
19 June The Great Marianas Turkey Shoot. In the Battle of the Philippine Sea, hundreds of aircraft from the Japanese carrier fleet are destroyed by USAAF Hellcat fighters.
17 July The first Russian units reach Poland.
18 July Operation Goodwood is launched by British and Canadian forces, with hundreds of tanks heading towards Caen. In what some claim as the largest tank battle fought by the British Army, almost 5,000 casualties would be suffered and over 300 tanks lost or damaged.
20 July The July Bomb Plot’ – an attempt by senior German Army officers to kill Hitler failed.
27 July Lvov is liberated by the Russian Army.
1 Aug Japanese resistance on Tinian, Marianas Islands effectively ends. Isolated remnants of Japanese troops however, would continue to fight on until January, 1945.
10 Aug Japanese resistance in Guam ends.
15 Aug The Russians announce that the new Polish Committee of National Liberation is to be the new representative government of Poland.
25 Aug Paris is liberated by the Allies.
The libaration of Paris
The liberation of Paris
2 Sept Russian troops reach the border of Bulgaria.
3 Sept Following their dash from the hedges of Normandy, Brussels is liberated by the British 2nd Army commanded by general Sir Miles Dempsey.
4 Sept Antwerp is liberated by the British 2nd Army.
5 Sept Rundstedt is appointed commander-in-chief of the German Army in the west and is ordered by Hitler to attack the advancing Allies.

Ghent is liberated by the Allies.

8 Sept The first deadly V2 rocket lands in Britain.
10 Sept Eisenhower agrees to Montgomery’s plan for the Arnhem raid. The plan is intended to end the war quickly by outflanking the defences put up by the Germans along the Siegfried Line
17 Sept Start of ‘Operation Market Garden’ – the attack on Arnhem.
21 Sept British troops at Arnhem bridge are overwhelmed by German SS Divisions.
22 Sept German troops in Boulogne surrender.
30 Sept German troops in Calais surrender.
12 Nov The ‘Tirpitz’, pride of the German Navy, is sunk by British Lancaster bombers equipped with 5 tonne “Tallboy” bombs. Two direct hits and one near miss cause the ship the capsize and sink.
The sinking of the Tirpitz
The sinking of the Tirpitz
16 Dec The start of the Battle of the Bulge. Hitler’s last ditch attempt to split the Allies in two in their drive towards Germany and destroy their supply lines.
26 Dec Hitler is informed that Antwerp cannot be retaken.

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