Weird War II: Fate of the European Theatre
10th: An Luftwaffe aircraft, carrying German battle plans for the invasion of France, crashes in Belgium.
16th: Documents are captured revealing Germany’s plans for the invasion of Scandinavia and a postponement of the invasion of France and the low countries until the Spring.
20th: A German U-boat sinks the Greek steamer Ekatontarchos Dracoulis off Portugal.
21st: The HMS Exmouth is sunk by a German U-boat.
5th: In a joint agreement France and the United Kingdom decide to reinforce Norway in an effort of stymy the Iron ore trade and complicate a German invasion.
14th: The British government begins calling for volunteers to fight in Finland.
16th: The HMS Cossack affects a boarding of the German transport Altmark freeing over 300 British POWs.
16th: A Luftwaffe raid over Scotland causes the first British civilian casualties.
21st: Paul Reynaud becomes Prime Minister of France.
28th: France and the United Kingdom make a formal agreement that neither will seek a peace with germany independant of the other.
3rd: The Ministerial Defence Committee, led by First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill, replaces the position of Minister for the Coordination of Defense, held by Lord Chatfield.
9th: German forces land in several ports across Norway and capture Oslo. Denmark surrenders.
11th: British naval and air forces conduct a successful surprise attack and against a larger German force at Narvik.
12th: Elements of the British Expeditionary Force occupy the Danish Faroe Islands.
13th: A second surprise attack by the British is successful at Narvik.
14th: British and French troops begin landings at Namsos in Norway.
15th: British troops land at Harstad.
16th Additional British landings reinforce the embattled forces in Norway.
27th: British troops begin to withdrawal from Norway.
1st: British and French forces begin full-scale evacuations via Norwegian ports.
5th: The Norwegian government-in-exile is established in London.
10th: Germany begins it’s invasions of Belgium, France, Luxemburg, and the Netherlands. Winston Churchill become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. The Germans perform the first failed paratrooper attack in history at Dutch forces repel them.
11th: Luxemburg is officially occupied by the Germans.
12th: The Belgians destroy all bridges crossing the river Meuse in an effort to slow the German advance. The Battle of Hannut begins, the largest tank battle in the world at the time.
13th: The Dutch government-in-exile is established in London. A German Panzer Corps breaks through the defensive lines at Sedan, France.
14th: The Local Defense Volunteers is created in the United Kingdom. Rotterdam is carpet bombed by the Luftwaffe. The Netherlands surrender. Prime Minister Churchill asks from aid from Canada and the United States. Dutch troops again defeat German forces at the Battle of Afsluitdijk.
15th: The Dutch army officially surrenders.
16th: Prime Minister Churchill visits Paris and is assured that the German offensive has been blunted.
17th: The Wehrmacht enter Brussels and capture Antwerp. French Prime Minister Reynaud forms a new government.
18th: General Weygand replaces General Gamelin as overall commander of the french military.
19th: The Wehrmacht besieges Amiens, surrounds, Arras, and reach Noyelles all in France. The British complete their invasion of Iceland violating the nation’s neutrality.
20th: German Panzer forces capture Abbeville and begin threatening other Allied forcers in the area.
24th: The United Kingdom evacuate the last of its forces from Norway and ceases military operations there.
25th: British and French forces retreat to Dunkirk to await evacuation across the channel. The Wehrmacht slows its advance and instead the allied forces begin to be harassed by the Luftwaffe. The RAF attempts to defend the beleaguered forces but is overwhelmed and high casualties are sustained. Boulogne-sur-Mer surrenders to advancing German forces.
26th: Calais surrenders to German forces. Operation Dynamo begins with every available military, civil, and privately-owned British sea-going vessel aiding in the evacuation of the troops at Dunkirk.
28th: Belgium surrenders to Germany.
3rd: Operation Dynamo concludes with over 225,000 British and 120,000 French and Belgian troops evacuated. The Luftwaffe begins bombing Paris.
7th: The HMS Glorious and 2 escorting destroyers are sunk by 2 German battleships.
10th: Italy declares war on France and the United Kingdom. Norway surrenders to Germany.
11th: The French government moves to Tours.
12th: More than 10,000 British soldiers of the 51st Highland Division are captured at Saint-Valery-en-Caux.
13th: German troops occupy Paris. The French government moves to Bordeaux.
14th: Elements of the french Navy carry out attacks against Italian coastal targets.
16th: Philippe Petain becomes Prime Minister of France. The French sloop La Curieuse forces the Italian submarine Provano to surface and then sinks it by ramming.
17th: The sinking of the RMS Lancastria off of Saint-Nazaire occurs while the British are utilizing it as a troopship resulting in over 4000 lives lost.
18th: General De Gaulle forms the French Committee of National Liberation.
20th: The French seek an armistice with Italy.
21st: French-German negotiations begin at Compiègne. Italian troops cross into Southern France. The French Battleship Lorraine opens fire on the Italian port of Bardia in Italian North Africa. French aircraft conduct strikes against Taranto and Livorno in Italy.
22nd: Franco-German armistice is signed.
24th: Franco-Italian armistice is signed.
25th: France officially surrenders to Germany. Operation Ariel evacuates another almost 200,000 Allied troops from ports across Northern France.
28th: General De Gaulle is recognized by the British government as the leader of the Free French. The Battle of the Espero Convoy occurs as an Italian and Allied military convoy cross one-another’s paths near Crete.
30th: Germany invades the Channel Islands.
1st: The French government is moved to Vichy. Marshal Graziani assumes command of Italian forces in North Africa. Italian air forces begin bombing the British Mandate of Palestine.
3rd: Cardiff is bombed by the Luftwaffe for the first time. The British Navy conducts a massive bombardment of the remaining French vessels ported in Algiers, fearing they would fall into Axis hands.
4th: In response to the attacks on its forces in Northern Africa, the Vichy French government breaks off diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom. Fearing additional strikes the French agree to demilitarize several vessels, including the battleship Lorraine.
5th: Two Belgian politicians form an unofficial extension of their government-in-exile, fearing the main bulk of their political leadership, still in France, will surrender to the Germans.
10th: The Luftwaffe begins conducting raids on shipping in the Channel, sparking the official start to the Battle of Britain. Us President Roosevelt asks Congress to authorize an increase in military spending and preparations.
11th: The RAF begins strikes against German emplacements in the Netherlands and munitions factories in Germany.
12th: The Luftwaffe steps up attacks in Scotland, Wales, and and Northern Ireland.
18th: In further response to the attacks earlier on their naval forces, Vichy French air forces strike at British-held Gibraltar.
19th: A small naval skirmish off Cape Spada results in the sinking of an Italian cruiser by allied naval ships.
21st: A Czechoslovak government-in-exile arrives in London.
22nd: The Havana Conference convenes changing the scope and implementation of the Monroe Doctrine.
23rd: The Local Defense Volunteers are reorganized as the British Home Guard.
25th: All women and children are ordered to be evacuated from Gibraltar.
26th: The US activates the General Headquarters, United States Army which is designated to facilitate military mobilization by supervising the organization and training of army field forces within the continental United States.
2nd: General De Gaulle is sentenced to death in absentia by a Vichy French court.
4th: Italian forces invade and occupy British Somaliland.
11th: The Battle of Tug Argan in Somaliland begins between British and Italian forces.
13th: The Luftwaffe begins concentrating strikes on RAF airfields in preparation for a potential landing force.
14th: Sir Henry Tizard travels to the United States, charged with sharing and assisting with the implementation of several top secret British technologies.
15th: RAF pilots continue to achieve victories over the Luftwaffe, blunting their offensive and denying many of their strategic objectives. To avoid encirclement the British forces engaged in the battle of Tug Argan withdrawal. The Greek cruiser Elli is sunk by an Italian submarine.
16th: The Destroyers for Bases Agreement is made public in which the British will turn over Atlantic occupied areas in return for American-built naval vessels.
17th: Hitler declares a blockade of the British Isles.
19th: Italian troops capture Berbera, the capitol of British Somaliland, while British survivors flee to Aden.
20th: Italy announces a blockade of all British ports on the Mediterranean Sea. Churchill delivers his “Never was so much owed by so many to so few” speech.
22nd: Germans are now shelling Dover, and other nearby settlements, through the use of large caliber coastal artillery positioned in France.
26th: Berlin is bombed by the RAF for the first time.
30th: In retaliation for the bombing of Berlin, the Luftwaffe begins the “London Blitz”.
31st: Luftwaffe attacks against RAF airfields continue.
7th: The Luftwaffe begins shifting its focus away from airfields and almost exclusively on strikes against London.
9th: Italian colonial military forces advance from Libya to the Egyptian border. Tel Aviv is bombed by Italian aircraft.
10th: The Italian Air Corps is formed to augment Luftwaffe strikes against the British Isles.
13th: Italian forces retake Fort Capuzzo and advance into Egypt. Italian forces continue their advance towards the port of Sallum.
15th: The Luftwaffe increases efforts in bombing cities across England. The RAF begins to see more and more success and some pilots begin to declare victory in the Battle of Britain.
16th: The Selective Training and Service Act is passed by the US Congress becoming the first
peacetime conscription in United States history.
17th: BBC Radio Belgique begins broadcasting to occupied Belgium from London.
22nd: Convoy ship losses to U-boats in the Atlantic begin to become more significant.
23rd: A combined task force of British and Free French forces attempt a landing a Dakar, French West Africa. The invasion is repelled by Vichy French naval forces.
24th: Berlin suffers a massive RAF bombing raid. In response to the failed invasion the day before Vichy French air forces bomb Gibraltar.
27th: The Tripartite Pact is signed in Berlin by representatives of Germany, Italy, and Japan, promising mutual aid and assistance to one another. To describe this alliance, the term Axis is coined.
7th: German forces invade Romania and capture a number of oil fields.
9th: Neville Chamberlain resigns from the House of Commons due to health reasons. Winston Churchill si elected the head of the Conservative Party.
12th: The British and Italian Navies clash near Malta, resulting in several Italian ships being sunk.
14th: A German bomb fails to detonate immediately when striking and instead penetrates into the shelter at Balham station, in London, before exploding killing over 60 people.
19th: Italian air forces begin the bombing of the British Protectorate of Bahrain.
20th: Italian air forces perform a strike against Cairo, Egypt.
24th: After a Meeting between Adolf Hitler and Philippe Petain the first organized collaboration between German and French Vichy forces begins.
28th: With the first Italian Army units beginning their invasion the Greco-Italian War begins.
29th: The first round of draftees from the US Selective Service Act and drawn.
1st: Turkey declares neutrality in the Greco-Italian war.
2nd. Italian forces push further into Greece, capturing Vovousa.
7th: Ireland officially announces it’s intent to allow British forces to use its ports as naval bases.
8th: The Italian offensive is stopped at the battle of Elaia-Kalamas.
11th: British Naval Aircraft launched from the HMS Illustrious launch a devastating attack against Italian naval forces in the Mediterranean. The damage included is to three battleships and two cruisers allowing for the British Royal Navy to secure its supply lines through the area.
12th: At the Battle of Gabon British and Free French Forces wrest control of Central Africa from the Vichy French.
14th: The Greeks begin a counteroffensive against the Italian occupation forces.
16th: Some of the British Forces in Egypt are ordered detached to assist in the Greek Campaign against the Italians there.
19th: The Greeks are able to keep pushing their advance and evict the Italian forces.
8th: Greek forces have now pushed the Italians back out of the cities of Pogradec, Sarande, and Gjirokastra.
9th: Commonwealth forces officially launch Operation Compass, and attempt to push back the Italians across the Western Desert. The initial battle at and around Marmarica will become known as the Battle of the Camps due to the fighting being between belligerents in the conflict being found mostly in a camp setting, as opposed to entrenched positions. Both Nibeiwa and Tummar are captured in the first day.
10th: Sidi Barrani is captured by an Indian spearhead backed by British Artillery.
11th: British Armoured forces advance into Sofafi but discover the positions to have been abandoned by their Italian and Libyan defenders.
12th: Over 39,000 Italian troops have been confirmed killed or captured since the initial attacks of Operation Compass.
16th: Sollum is recaptured by the Commonwealth 8th Army as well as Fort Capuzzo across the border in Libya.
22nd: Germany begins bombing raids on Manchester.
28th: The Italian Army continues to fair poorly against the Greeks. Greek forces now control nearly one-quarter of Albania.
29th: A bomb raid on London damages Saint Paul’s Cathedral.
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