1944

JANUARY

4 The Battle of Monte Cassino begins.

14 The Soviet troops start the offensive at Leningrad and Novgorod.

15 The Twenty-seventh Polish Home Army Infantry Division recreated, marking the start of Operation Tempest.

17 British forces in Italy cross the Garigliano River.

18 Siege of Leningrad ends.

20 The Royal Air Force drops 2,300 tons of bombs on Berlin; The U.S. Army Thirty-sixth Infantry Division in Italy attempts to cross the Rapido River.

22 Operation Shingle — Allied assault on Anzio, Italy, begins. The U.S. Army Forty-fifth Infantry Division stand their ground at Anzio for four months.

27 The two-year Siege of Leningrad is lifted.

29 The Battle of Cisterna takes place.

30 U.S. troops invade Majuro, Marshall Islands.

31 American forces land on Kwajalein Atoll and other islands in the Japanese-held Marshalls.

FEBRUARY

3 U.S. troops capture the Marshall Islands.

8 The plan for the invasion of France, Operation Overlord, is confirmed.

14 Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Expeditionary Force established in Britain. Anti-Japanese revolt on Java.

15 Battle of Monte Cassino — Monte Cassino's monastery is destroyed by Allied bombing.

17 Battle of Eniwetok Atoll begins. It will end in an American victory on February 22.

20 “Big Week” begins with American bomber raids on German aircraft manufacturing centers.

28–29 Battle of Los Negros and Operation Brewer — Admiralty Islands are invaded by U.S. forces.

MARCH

15 Battle of Monte Cassino — Allied aircraft bomb German-held town and stage an assault.

17 German forces in Ribnita kill almost 400 prisoners, Soviet citizens, and antifascist Romanians.

18 German forces occupy Hungary.

23 Italian Resistance attacks Nazis marching in via Rasella in Rome; thirty-three Nazis are killed.

24 In retaliation, the Fosse Ardeatine massacre occurs; 335 Italians are killed, including 75 Jews and over 200 members of the Italian Resistance from various groups.

APRIL

14 Odessa is liberated by Soviet forces.

MAY

8 D-Day for Operation Overlord set for June 5.

9 The German army evacuates Sevastopol.

12 Soviet troops finalize the liberation of Crimea.

18 Battle of Monte Cassino ends with an Allied victory; Polish troops hoist their red and white flag on the ruins. Deportation of Crimean Tatars by the Soviet Union government.

JUNE

2 The provisional French government is established.

4 Operation Overlord postponed twenty-four hours due to high seas; American, English, and French troops enter Rome.

5 Rome falls to the Allies. It is the first capital of an Axis nation to fall; more than 1,000 British bombers drop 5,000 tons of bombs on German gun batteries on the Normandy coast in preparation for D-Day.

6 Battle of Normandy — Operation Overlord, code named D-Day, commences with the landing of 155,000 Allied troops on the beaches of Normandy in France. The allied soldiers quickly break through the Atlantic Wall and push inland in the largest amphibious military operation in history.

7 Bayeux liberated by British troops.

9 Stalin launches an offensive against Finland with the intent of defeating Finland before pushing for Berlin.

10 In the Oradour-sur-Glane massacre in France, 642 men, women, and children are killed.

13 Germany launches a V1 Flying Bomb attack on England.

15 Battle of Saipan — United States invades the island of Saipan.

21 Allied offensive in Burma.

22 Operation Bagration — Soviet forces attack to clear the Germans from Belarus, which results in the destruction of the German Army Group Center, possibly the greatest defeat of the Wehrmacht during WWII. In the Burma Campaign, the Battle of Kohima ends in a British victory.

25 The Battle of Tali-Ihantala — Finnish and Soviet troops begin the largest battle ever to be fought in the Nordic countries.

26 Cherbourg liberated by American troops.

JULY

3 Minsk is liberated by Soviet forces.

9 Caen is liberated by the Allies.

18 Infamous “death ride of the armored divisions” as British Thirteenth Corps repulsed by heavy German counterattack.

19 The entire government of Japan resigns; Emperor Hirohito asks General Kuniaka Koiso to form a new government.

24 Majdanek concentration camp is liberated by Soviet forces.

AUGUST

1 Warsaw uprising by the Polish Home Army commences.

4 Florence liberated by the Allies.

10 Guam liberated by American troops.

15 Operation Dragoon begins with amphibious Allied landings in southern France.

19 French Resistance begins uprising in Paris.

20 Operation Jassy-Kishinev begins in former Bessarabia.

23 Romania surrenders.

25 Paris is liberated; de Gaulle and Free French parade triumphantly down the Champs-élysées.

29 The Slovak national uprising breaks out.

SEPTEMBER

2 Allied troops enter Belgium.

3 Brussels liberated by British Second Army while Lyon is liberated by French and American troops.

4 Antwerp liberated by British Eleventh Armored Division.

6 Ghent and Liège liberated by British troops.

8 Ostend liberated by Canadian troops. Russians invade Bulgaria.

9 De Gaulle forms provisional government in France. Bulgaria makes peace with the USSR, then declares war on Germany.

10 Luxembourg liberated by U.S. First Army.

11 First Allied troops enter Germany.

17 Operation Market Garden, the attempted liberation of Arnhem, begins.

19 Nancy liberated by U.S. First Army. Armistice is signed between the Soviet Union and Finland.

25 British troops pull out of Arnhem with failure of Operation Market Garden. Over 6,000 paratroopers are captured.

30 German garrison in Calais surrenders to Canadian troops.

OCTOBER

1 Soviet troops enter Yugoslavia.

2 Germans finally succeed in putting down Warsaw uprising by Polish Home Army.

4 German troops withdrawn from Greece; Allied troops enter Greece.

5 Canadian troops cross the border into the Netherlands.

6 Soviet and Czechoslovak troops enter northeastern Slovakia.

14 Athens liberated by Allies.

20 Allies invade Philippines. The Red Army and Yugoslav partisans under the command of Josip Broz Tito liberate Belgrade.

21 Aachen occupied by U.S. First Army; it is the first German city to be captured.

23 Battle of Leyte Gulf begins; largest sea battle in history.

25 Russians invade Norway.

NOVEMBER

2 Canadian troops take Zeebrugge in Belgium; Belgium now entirely liberated.

4 Remaining Axis forces in Greece surrender.

24 Strasbourg liberated by French troops.

29 Albania liberated by Allies.

DECEMBER

16 The Battle of the Bulge — German forces begin an attempt to break through Allied lines in the Ardennes region.

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