1940

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1939 1940 1941

Contents

Events

  • Ramspeck Act of 1940 enacted to extend merit system to 200,000 more federal employees.
  • All India Muslim league demands a seperate Muslim state with the decolonization of India.
  • Willi Munsenberg escaped from internment camp and is later found hanged in France. Was it Gestapo or NKVD agents?

Timeline

February

  • February 7: Irishmen Peter Barnes and James McCormack hung in Britain for the IRA's Coventry bombing. Barnes was later discovered to have had no part in the bombing.

March

  • March 26: Nancy Pelosi is born in Baltimore, Maryland.

April

  • April 9: Germany begins invasions of Denmark and Norway. Denmark falls within hours. Fighting in Norway continues until May, but belated and ineffective Allied responses ensure eventual German victory.

May

  • May: Setbacks in Norway trigger parliamentary crisis in Britain which forces resignation of British Conservative Party Prime Minister Chamberlain and his replacement by another Conservative Party politican, Winston Churchill.
  • May 10: Successfuly blocked by the powerful Maginot Line, German offensive begins against the Low Countries. Southern Belgium is the natural German invasion route into northern France.
  • May 11: Winston Churchill takes office as British Prime Minister.
  • May 14: German Army break Allied front at Sedan but the French Army successfully regroups.
  • May 14: German Luftwaffe bombs Rotterdam.
  • May 21: German offensive reaches English Channel, isolating undertrained, badly equiped and poorly led British Expeditionary Force.
  • May 28: After British Prime Minister Winston Churchill panics, the British government cravenly abandons their French and Belgian allies. British & French forces isolated with them begin naval evacuation at Dunkirk. By June 2, 338,911 allied soldiers will be withdrawn across the Channel to defend Britain. The British abandon 2,472 artillery and other large guns and 63,879 vehicles to the Germans, an enormous boon to the war effort of the Third Reich. Valiant French Army led by Gen. Weygand fights on alone for another month at a cost for more than 100,000 battle deaths.

June

  • June 5: Germans begin offensive towards Paris.
  • June 14: Paris falls but the French Army continues fighting. British propagandists blame the Fall of France on the French to avoid responsibility for Churchill government's shameful decision to abandon allies.
  • June 22: France surrenders.

July

  • July 10: Battle of Britain begins, as German Luftwaffe commences yearlong aerial raids but lack long range heavy bombers.

August

  • August 9: Luftwaffe Marshall Hermann Goring makes the prediction, "We shall not let a single enemy bomb fall on the Ruhr."
  • August 9: Germany and Switzerland sign trade and credit agreement giving Germany economic concessions.

September

  • September: Italian air force bombs Tel Aviv, 100 killed.
  • September 5: Marshall Ion Antonescu, Fascist leader, appointed Prime Minister of Romania.
  • September 6: Pressured by Antonescu and Hitler, King Carol of Romania abdicates in favor of his son Michael.
  • September 7: The Blitz begins in London. The Luftwaffe will lose approximately one-fouth of its bombers in the attacks.
  • September 9: 160 Luftwaffe bombers attack London at night. This will continue for 57 more nights.
  • September 16: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Selective Service Bill, first peace-time military conscription in the U.S.
  • September 19: Vichy French forces land at Dakar in French colonial Senegal.
  • September 27: The Tripartite Pact puts Germany, Italy and Japan in formal alliance.

October

  • October 7: German troops invade Romania to defend Ploesti oil fields.

November

  • November 1: Italian aircraft bombs Athens and Salonika. First British trrops land on Crete to defend it against German occupation.
  • November 11: U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer is born in Brooklyn, New York.
  • November 14: The English Midlands town of Coventry (population 320,000) was bombed by 515 German Luftwaffe Heinkel 111s (kight bombers) using a combination of incendiary bombs and high explosive ordinance. The death toll was 568 civilians.
  • November 26: Prof. Rudolph Cleveringa, Dean of the law faculty in Leyden University, demonstrates intellectual courage by publicly challenging the Nazi Occupation anti-semitic purge of faculty in a speech to faculty and students.

December

  • December 9: Battle of Tobruk, British offensive captures city, Italians retreat losing 48,000 captured.
  • December 16-17: Operation Abigail Rachel. 134 British RAF bombers attack the overwhelmingly residential city of Mannheim in "revenge" for the bombing of Coventry on December 16. 67 Germansd are killed and destroyed 24 buildings. 60 RAF bombers attack Hamburg on December 17, killing 2 people and leaving 786 homeless.
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