Important events of 1944, including Operation Market Garden and D-Day (pictured above).
|Russian troops recapture Novgorod.
|The Leningrad-Moscow rail line re-opens effectively ending the siege of Leningrad.
|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.
|At the start of a new major offensive the Allies drop 1,250 tons of bombs on Cassino in Italy.
|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.
|Russian troops move on to Romanian soil for the first time.
|The Russians launch their final attack on German forces in the Crimea.
|The Crimea is cleared of German resistance and Sebastopol is retaken.
|The Allies start their effort to outflank the monastery at Cassino.
|Kesselring orders the German evacuation of Cassino.
|At 05.45 hours, 1,500 Allied artillery pieces commenced bombardment as US forces start their break-out from the beach at Anzio.
|The Americans start their drive to Rome.
|Hitler orders Kesselring to withdraw from Rome.
|Around 07.30 hours, advance units of the 5th US Army enters the city limits of Rome.
|D-Day. Allied forces land in Normandy.
|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.
|US forces trap the German garrison at Cherbourg.
|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.
|The first Russian units reach Poland.
|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.
|‘The July Bomb Plot’ – an attempt by senior German Army officers to kill Hitler failed.
|Lvov is liberated by the Russian Army.
|Japanese resistance on Tinian, Marianas Islands effectively ends. Isolated remnants of Japanese troops however, would continue to fight on until January, 1945.
|Japanese resistance in Guam ends.
|The Russians announce that the new Polish Committee of National Liberation is to be the new representative government of Poland.
|Paris is liberated by the Allies.
The liberation of Paris
|Russian troops reach the border of Bulgaria.
|Following their dash from the hedges of Normandy, Brussels is liberated by the British 2nd Army commanded by general Sir Miles Dempsey.
|Antwerp is liberated by the British 2nd Army.
|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.
|The first deadly V2 rocket lands in Britain.
|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
|Start of ‘Operation Market Garden’ – the attack on Arnhem.
|British troops at Arnhem bridge are overwhelmed by German SS Divisions.
|German troops in Boulogne surrender.
|German troops in Calais surrender.
|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 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.
|Hitler is informed that Antwerp cannot be retaken.