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WW2 montage

The War On All Fronts - Year By Year

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1939

Europe

Africa and Mediterranean

September 
1 - Germany invades Poland
3 - Britain, France, Australia and New Zealand declare war on Germany 
17 - USSR invades Poland
27 - Poland surrenders
30 - USSR invades Finland

December
Arrival of Australian warships in the Mediterranean

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1940

Europe

Africa and Mediterranean

Pacific

April 
9 - Germany invades Denmark and Norway
29 - First RAAF trainees accepted
May 
10 - Germany invades Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg
26 to 4 June - Allied troops evacuated from Dunkirk
June 
10 - Italy declares war on France and Great Britain
22 - France surrenders to Germany
July - December
Australian fighter pilots participate in the Battle of Britain

January 
10 - 6th Division AIF sails for the Middle East, for training
July 
19 - HMAS Sydney sinks the Italian cruiser Bartolomeo Colleoni off Crete

September
Japanese start occupying bases in Indo-China

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1941

Europe Africa and Mediterranean Asia/Pacific

June
22 - Germany invades the Soviet Union
September
8 - Seige of Leningrad begins
December
11 - Germany and Italy declare war on USA

 

January
3-5  - Australian troops capture Bardia, Libya, from the Italians
21-22 Tobruk captured by the Allies
February 
6 - Australian troops enter Benghazi
March
28 - Italian Navy defeated and Royal Navy gains control of the Mediterranean
April
6 - Germany invades Greece and Yugoslavia
11 - Siege of Tobruk begins
13 - Corporal J H Edmondson awarded posthumously the first Australian VC at Tobruk
24 - Fighting in Greece - many Australians taken prisoner
May
20 - Germans invade Crete
27 - Royal Navy sinks German battleship Bismark
June
1- Fighting in Crete - many Australians taken prisoner
21 - Damascus falls to the Allies
July 
8-12 - Australians defeat Vichy forces in Syria and Lebanon
August
19 - Relief of Tobruk begins
November
27 - HMAS Parramatta sunk off Tobruk
December
24 - British 8th Army captures Benghazi

February
18 - 8th Division AIF arrives in Singapore
August
3 - Australian and British forces arrive in Burma
November
19 - HMAS Sydney sunk in Indian Ocean
December
7-8  Japanese land in Thailand and Malaya;
Japanese attack Pearl Harbour; USA declares war on Japan;  
9 - Australia declares war on Japan
10 - HMS Prince of Wales and Repulse sunk by Japanese off Malayan coast

 

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1942

Europe Africa and Mediterranean Pacific

January - December
Continued air war over Europe

 

February
6 and 7 Divs withdraw to Australia
June
21 - General Rommel captures Tobruk
August
31 - British forces defeat Afrika Korps at Alam Pass
October

23 - Battle of El Alamein, Egypt,  starts.
Withdrawal of Australian troops in north Africa to Australia
November
13 - Allies capture Tobruk
20 - Allies capture Benghazi

 

January
2 - General MacArthur retreats from Manila
14  - Australian troops fight the Japanese at Gemas
23 - Japanese capture Rabaul, New Britain
31 - Australian and British troops abandon Malayan Peninsula
February
4 - Japanese capture Australian troops at Ambon, Timor
15 - Singapore surrenders. Over 15000 Australians become prisoners of war
20 - Japanese aircraft bomb Darwin
March
 6 and 7 Divs return to Australia
1 - HMAS Perth sunk in Java Sea
17 - General MacArthur arrives in Australia
May
5-8  Battle of the Coral Sea
20 - Allies withdraw from Burma
31 - Japanese midget submarines attack Sydney Harbour
June
4-6 - Battle of Midway
July
20/21 - Japanese land at Gona to advance on Port Moresby
August
8-9 - HMAS Canberra sunk in Battle of Savo Sea
26 - Australians defeat Japanese landings at Milne Bay
September
23 - HMAS Voyager lost off Timor
25 - Australian counter-offensive in the Owen Stanleys
November
2 - Australians recapture Kokoda
12-25 - US strategic naval victory at Guadalcanal
December
9 - Australians and Americans defeat the Japanese at Gona 

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1943

Europe Africa and Mediterranean Pacific

February
German defeats in Russia
August - March 1944
RAAF aircrew in RAF Bomber Command take part in Battle of Berlin
October
13 - Italy declares war on Germany

 

January
9 Div withdraws to Australia
May
End of North African campaigns
July
9 - Allies invade Sicily
August
17 - Allied victory in Sicily
September
8 - Italy surrenders to Allies

 

January
2 - Japanese defeated at Buna
22 - Japanese defeated at Sanananda, ending organised Japanese resistance in Papua
January - October 
Australian POWs involved in constructing the Burma-Thailand ‘railway of death’
February
14 - 9 Div returns to Australia
March 
2-4  - RAAF in Battle of Bismarck Sea
May
14 - Australian Hospital Ship Centaur torpedoed by Japanese off Queensland coast
July
20 - HMAS Hobart torpedoed.
September
5 - Australian and US forces take Nadzab
11 - Australians enter Salamaua
16 - Australians enter Lae
26 - Operation Jaywick - special operations party sink over 37000 tons of enemy shipping in Singapore harbour
October
4 - Australians take Dumpu
2 - Australians capture Finschhafen  
November
1 - US forces land on Bougainville
December
31 - US forces liberate New Britain

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1944

Europe Pacific

January - March
Massive raids on Berlin and other German cities
March
20 - Germans invade Hungary
June
4 - Allies enter Rome
6 - D Day  - invasion of Europe. RAAF fighter and bomber crews participate in many pre-dawn operations
July
20 - Plot to assassinate Hitler fails
25 - Paris liberated by Allies
August
11 - Allies take Florence
September
3 - Brussells liberated by British forces
4 - Armistice in Finland
8 - German V-2 rockets land in London
9 - Armistice in Bulgaria
October
31 - RAAF pilots bomb Gestapo HQ in Denmark
December
16 - German counter attack in the Battle of the Bulge

January
Fighting in many parts of New Guinea - Markham and Ramu Valleys
23 - Shaggy Ridge captured by Australians
February
10 - New Britain and Huon Peninsula secured by Australian and US forces
April
24 - Australians capture Madang
April - January 1945 
Ships of the RAN support American landings along the north coast of New Guinea, at Morotai, and in naval actions at the invasion of the Philippines
26 - Australians take Alexishafen
June
21 - Okinawa falls to US forces
November - August 1945
Australian troops in action on New Britain and Rabaul
December - August 1945
Australian troops on Bougainville, and along north coast of New Guinea from Aitape to Wewak

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1945

Europe Pacific

January
17 - Soviet Army captures Warsaw
27 - Liberation of Auschwitz
February
14 - Devastating and controversial Allied bomb attack on Dresden,  Germany
March
7 - Cologne falls to Allies
April
29 - Italy surrenders
30 - Adolf Hitler commits suicide
May
7 - Germany agrees to surrender
8 - VE Day
Continued liberation of concentration and POW camps
24 - United Nations Charter drawn up
October
24 - UN Charter ratified
November
11 - Armistice Day
20 - Nuremberg War Crimes Trials begin.

January - August
Australian and British POWs in Borneo sent on notorious Sandakan Death Marches
February
3 - US forces enter Manila
19 - US forces land on Iwo Jima
March
10 - First major and devastating air raids on Japanese cities
20 - Australians land on Soraken Peninsula on Bougainville
April
1 - US forces land at Okinawa
May
1 - Australians land at Tarakan
3 - Rangoon taken by British forces
11 - Australians capture Wewak
June
8 - Australian troops land on Bonis Peninsula on Bougainville
13 - Australians capture Brunei
17 - North Borneo taken by Australian forces
July
1 - Australian troops land at Balikpapan
4 - Liberation of Philippines announced by General MacArthur
August
6 - Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima
8 - Soviet Union declares war on Japan
9 - Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki
15 - VP (or VJ) Day - Japan surrenders
September
2 - Japanese surrender signed - Australians and other Allied troops occupy Japan
Evidence being gathered for war crimes trials of Japanese leaders
12 - Japanese surrender their forces in SE Asia in Malaya

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