Commandos of 155 Brigade approaching Sword Beach opposite Ouistreham.
Western Europe!
 
 
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01/01/1944 Field Marshal Rommel is appointed C-in-C of Army Group B, the German forces in France north of the Loire river.
04/01/1944 The Germans announce the mobilisation of school children for war work.
12/01/1944 Churchill and de Gaulle meet for talks at Marrakesh.
19/01/1944 The Eire government announces the arrest of two ‘Quisling’ Irishmen, parachuted into County Clare by German planes.
28/01/1944 To make clear their displeasure about ongoing assistance to the Nazi war effort by Francisco Franco's Spain, the United States and Britain announce a total oil embargo of the country. With Spanish life grinding to a virtual standstill, Franco agrees finally to cease supplying the Germans with critical war materials and to withdraw the last Spanish troops fighting with the Germans in Russia. By May, the embargo is lifted.
 
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08/02/1944 Plans for invasion of France, Operation 'Overlord' are confirmed.
24/02/1944
Hitler speaks to a closed door meeting of Nazi Party leaders and activists at the Hofbrauhaus in Munich on the occasion of the anniversary of the proclamation of the Party Program in 1920. Hitler refuses Goebbels requests that the speech be broadcast and even prohibits any mention of it in the newspapers.
 
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05/03/1944
Leon Degrelle, leader of the Belgian fascists and commander of the Belgian Waffen SS legion in Russia, visits Paris in an effort to shore up morale among his French counterparts.
 
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04/04/1944 De Gaulle becomes the head of Free French armed forces in place of Giraud.
07/04/1944 Goebbels takes overall control of Berlin.
17/04/1944 Amid rumors in the allied press that he is dead or is locked in an insane asylum, Hitler appears, but does not speak at the funeral in Munich of Gauleiter Adolf Wagner. It is the first time Hitler has shown himself publicly since his speech to the "Old Fighters" the previous November.
20/04/1944 Colonel General Hans V. Hube, whose hard-charging aggressiveness on the Eastern Front had made him one of Hitler's favorites, is killed when his plane crashes on takeoff from Berchtesgaden on the return trip to his command after offering the Fuhrer birthday greetings. Grief-stricken at losing such an outstanding commander, Hitler orders a state funeral for Hube in the Reich Chancellery in Berlin.
22/04/1944 An increasingly depressed and dispirited Mussolini arrives at Klessheim Castle near Salzburg for one of his last meetings with Hitler. The Fuhrer warns that the Allied invasion can be expected within "6 to 8 weeks," at which time he would unleash "new technical weapons" that would turn London in a "heap of ruins." The Duce leaves unconvinced.
25/04/1944 With Allied control of the skies over Germany now virtually complete, Goebbels strongly objects to Hitler's plan to fly to Berlin for one of his rare visits to attend Colonel General Hube's funeral. Hitler insists on going anyway. It will be the last time the increasingly reclusive Fuhrer will show himself at a large public gathering in the Third Reich.
26/04/1944 Marshal Petain makes his first and only visit to Paris in the course of the war to inspect Allied bomb damage in the city. Crowds cheer him enthusiastically, the same crowds who will cheer De Gaulle exactly four months later.
 
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08/05/1944 Eisenhower decides that D-Day will be the 5th June.
10/05/1944 The Free French claim that the resistance now numbers 100,000 and plead for more military aid.
20/05/1944 The first orders from Eisenhower are broadcast to European underground armies.
23/05/1944 General Hans Cramer, the last German commander of the Afrika Korps, who was captured in May 1943, arrives in Berlin. Imprisoned in a POW camp in Wales, his deteriorating health caused him to be repatriated to Germany through the Swedish Red Cross. He was brought first from Wales to London, the route taken brought him through the south and south-west of England. He was allowed to see the massive build up of tanks, planes and ships getting ready for the D-Day invasion. What he didn't know was the exact area of England he was being driven through. He was told it was southern and eastern England and this is what he reported to his seniors in Berlin, adding emphasis to the Allied propaganda that the invasion would take place in the Calais area.
26/05/1944 Charles De Gaulle proclaims his Free French movement to be the “Provisional Government of the French Republic.” Though the new government wins recognition from Czechoslovakia, Poland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Yugoslavia and Norway, Roosevelt and Churchill are furious and refuse recognition. They retaliate by excluding De Gaulle from the final planning for Operation Overlord.
 
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04/06/1944 Eisenhower postpones 'Operation Overlord', the allied invasion of France, for 24 hours because of rough seas in the English Channel.
06/06/1944 Before dawn, the Allied Expeditionary Force of British, American, Canadian, Polish, and Free French troops begins Operation Overlord, the long-awaited invasion of France. After an intensive naval and aerial bombardment, the first wave of 5 divisions (156,115 men) are landed at designated beaches in Normandy named Sword, Juno, Gold, Omaha and Utah. This is preceded by the British 6th Airborne Division which lands near Caen and some 12,000 paratroopers of the US 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions which are dropped on the Cotentin peninsula. These forces are supported by 1,213 warships, including 7 battleships and 23 cruisers, 1,600 auxiliary ships, and 4,126 landing craft, as well as massive British and American air support, which fly’s 14,674 sorties that day. Opposing them in their bunkers and on the beaches are 5 German infantry divisions with about 50,000 men and 100 tanks and assault guns. Despite some heavy casualties, especially by the American’s on Omaha Beach, the German defenders, stunned and surprised by the massive onslaught, are progressively overwhelmed, and most of the allied objectives are reached and secured by nightfall. There is very little opposition from the Luftwaffe or Kriegsmarine.
07/06/1944 British troops liberate Bayeux, five miles inland from the Normandy coast. All beachheads are reported as established.
09/06/1944 U.S. forces advancing from Utah Beach capture St. Mere-Eglise and cut the crucial road and rail links on the Cherbourg peninsula. Rommel puts all German forces in Normandy onto the defensive.
10/06/1944 German counterattacks against Allied invasion forces are unsuccessful for lack of armoured reserves in the area. Troops of the 2nd SS Panzer Division 'Das Reich' massacre more than 600 people in the French town of Oradour-sur-Glane. While the men are shot immediately, the women and children are locked in a church the alter of which is set on fire; those who try to escape the flames are shot.
12/06/1944 U.S. troops fighting for Carentan, link up with British troops, thereby completing a solid line along a 50-mile battle front. So far, the allies have landed 326,000 men and 54,000 vehicles onto the Normandy beaches.
13/06/1944 Near Villers-Bocage, a single Tiger tank from the 12th SS Panzer Division (Michael Wittmann's) destroys 25 tanks and other vehicles of the British 7th Armoured Division.
14/06/1944 His Majesty the King and de Gaulle visit the Normandy front (separately). Carentan is finally in U.S. hands after a week’s fighting in Normandy.
17/06/1944 General de Lattre de Tassigny’s Free French land on Elba and complete its capture in just two days.
18/06/1944 The US First Army cuts off and isolates the German forces defending Cherbourg.
19/06/1944 A violent storm in the English Channel wrecks the U.S. Mulberry Harbour at St. Laurent (Omaha Beach). 20 allied divisions now oppose 16 German in Normandy.
20/06/1944 U.S. troops attack the outer defenses of Cherbourg.
22/06/1944 An all-out ground attack begins against Cherbourg.
25/06/1944 The British Second Army begins a major offensive in the area of Caen 'Operation Epsom'. After a naval bombardment, street fighting is reported in Cherbourg. General Koenig is appointed C-in-C of the Free French forces.
26/06/1944 US troops enter Cherbourg taking the German garrison commander prisoner. The British launch Operation 'Epsom' in the Odon Valley West of Caen.
27/06/1944 The British gain Hill 112 in Normandy.
28/06/1944 The British 2nd Army's ‘Operation Epsom’, designed to break through the German defenses near Caen is halted by the fierce resistance of the 1st and 2nd SS Panzer Korps.
29/06/1944 The US VII Corps captures the last harbour fort at Cherbourg, but the port rendered completely useless for three weeks. The RAF carries out a saturation raid (250 Lancasters) against the 2nd and 9th SS Panzer Divisions at Villers-Bocage near Caen.
30/06/1944 The remaining 6,000 Germans in the Cherbourg peninsula surrender. The Germans forces retake Hill 112 from the British 2nd Army.
 
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01/07/1944 The invasion of southern France is fixed for the 15th August. Since D-Day, the Allies have landed 920,000 troops, 177,000 vehicles and 600,000 tons of supplies and equipment. In the 24 days of fighting, they have lost 62,000 men killed, wounded and missing.
02/07/1944 The end of the battle of the ‘Scottish Corridor’ in Normandy result in the German counter-attacks failing to eliminate it. Field Marshal von Rundstedt, C-in-C West, is replaced by Field Marshal von Kluge.
03/07/1944 The U.S. VIII Corps drives southwards to Coutances.
04/07/1944 In Normandy, one U.S. division gains only 200yds and six German prisoners for nearly 1,400 casualties.
07/07/1944 Attacks by the US Seventh Army in the Carentan area of the Cotentin peninsula are blunted by violent German counter-attacks.
08/07/1944 The British Second Army begins a major offensive ‘Operation Charnwood’ aimed at capturing Caen.
09/07/1944 Units of the British Second Army enter Caen which has been reduced to a heap of rubble due to the preceding heavy aerial and artillery bombardments by the British. U.S. XIX Corps begins its push for St. Lo.
11/07/1944 The US VIII Corps continues its attacks from the Carentan area toward St. Lo, but is meeting with strong German resistance.
12/07/1944 The US VIII Corps slowly gains ground in its offensive towards St. Lo, against fierce resistance by units of the German 7th Army.
14/07/1944 Hitler leaves Berchtesgaden for the last time.
17/07/1944 Rommel is severely wounded by a Spitfire attack after his inspection of defenses Southeast of Caen.
18/07/1944 The U.S. XIX Corps capture St. Lo, but has suffered 6,000 casualties since the 11th July. Montgomery launches Operation 'Goodwood' 40 miles east of Caen. However, VIII Corps is stopped with loss of 200 tanks and 1,500 men after the ‘death ride of the armoured divisions’, which also destroys 109 Panzer's.
19/07/1944 The British 3rd Division is repulsed from Emiville four times as the Canadians clear the southern suburbs of Caen. The British 11th Armoured Division takes Bras and Hubert-Follie.
20/07/1944 Heavy rain for next two days ends operation 'Goodwood' after 413 British tanks are lost.
23/07/1944 "Deutsche Gruss", the Nazi form of salute, is introduced in to the Wehrmacht in the wake of the July 20th bomb plot against Adolf Hitler.
25/07/1944 The US VII Corps launches 'Operation Cobra' in an attempt to breakout from the southern end of the Cherbourg peninsula, near St. Lo. The Canadians attack South of Caen. Goebbels becomes the ‘Reich Plenipotentiary for Total War’.
27/07/1944 U.S. troops breakthrough at St. Lo, forcing a general German withdrawal from Normandy toward the river Seine.
28/07/1944 U.S. troops take Coutances, thereby meeting the objectives laid down for 'Operation Cobra'.
30/07/1944 Six British divisions attack at Caumont, 15 miles East of St. Lo.
31/07/1944 The British VIII Corps begins 'Operation Bluecoat', an assault towards the river Vire. The U.S. 4th Armoured Division captures Avranches, having advanced 35 miles and taken 20,000 prisoners since the 25th July.
 
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01/08/1944 Patton’s U.S. Third Army is activated.
02/08/1944 The U.S. VIII Corps moves West from the Avranches area along the Brittany coast, but the main force drives eastward. Turkey ends diplomatic relations with Germany.
03/08/1944 Hitler orders a counter-attack against the U.S. troops from east of Avranches, in order to re-establish positions on the coast.
04/08/1944 A purge of the German Army is announced. In northern France, the allies take Rennes, Evrecy and Esqutsy.
05/08/1944 The U.S. XV Corps makes 50kms in about 7 hours, crossing the Mayenne river at Mayenne, while further south the river is reached at Laval.
06/08/1944 The U.S. XX Corps enters Laval and continues south-east. The U.S. 4th Armoured Division advances to Vannes and Lorient, while the U.S. 6th Armoured Division, on their right flank, is headed for the westernmost point of the Brittany Peninsula and the ports of Brest. North of them, 8th U.S. Infantry Division is passing along the northern coastline of the peninsula.
07/08/1944 The German 2nd, 116th, 1st SS and 2nd SS Panzer divisions, with 145 tanks to the East of Mortain launch ‘Operation Luttich’, to counter-attack against the U.S. 3rd Army’s sweep to the South. The Germans move against Avranches and achieve some success at Mortain. Assisted by RAF Typhoons, the Americans are able to stop the Germans by the afternoon. U.S. 15th Corps is turned north to meet the Canadians in Falaise.
08/08/1944 The Canadians launch Operation 'Totalize' South of Caen, with 600 tanks and 720 guns.
09/08/1944 German Panzers fight viciously with the Canadians and Poles who make only slow progress towards Caen. The U.S. 5th Armoured Division take Le Mans. Eisenhower sets up a HQ in France.
10/08/1944 The U.S. 5th Armoured and 2nd French Armoured Divisions cover 15 miles to Alencon.
11/08/1944 U.S. troops capture Nantes and Angers and drive South across the Loire.
14/08/1944 Monty launches Operation 'Tractable' towards Falaise with a carpet bombing by 800 planes.
15/08/1944 The allies launch Operation 'Dragoon', a combined assault on the South coast of France from Toulon to Nice. 9,000 airborne troops are landed, along with 90,000 by sea. Six towns and 2,000 prisoners are taken. About 200,000 Germans (23 divisions) are in the 40-mile long, 11-mile wide (at narrowest point) Argentan-Falaise gap, but start to pull out as Anglo-Canadian troops resume the attack to the North. Adolf Hitler describes this as ‘The worst day of my life’.
16/08/1944 Radio Paris, the German-controlled collaborationist radio station, goes off the air. General de Lattre de Tassigny’s French First Army begins to land in force in southern France. Hitler orders the withdrawal of all German forces in southern France. The French Resistance steps up its attacks on German posts along the Swiss border, assaulting Machilly, Saint-Julien and Valleiry. The first two surrender with minimal bloodshed, but the 20 German customs officers at Valleiry are shot out of hand by resistants following their surrender, along with two French women who were with them. A German relief column arrives too late, shooting seven civilians and burning 20 houses in retaliation.
17/08/1944 The remnants of the Vichy French regime in the French capital take flight for Germany as the Resistance comes out into the open and seizes strong points throughout the city. They establish a comic-opera “government-in-exile” in the German city of Sigmaringen until the end of the war. The Citadel at St. Malo surrenders after heavy fighting. Falaise falls to the Canadians and Monty orders the pocket to be sealed. U.S. armour frees Chartres, Orleans and Chateaudun. Field Marshal Model takes over command of German forces in the West from Field Marshal von Kluge who committed suicide because of his involvement in the 20th July bomb plot. Marshal Petain and his staff are interned at Belfort by order of the Führer. The Vichy French government under Premier Laval resigns.
18/08/1944 The German Seventh Army moves across the Orme but 18,000 prisoners are taken. The Germans begin the evacuations of their troops stationed near the Spanish border and the Gulf of Biscay.
19/08/1944 The Falaise pocket is now just seven miles by six. The Germans forces are ordered to break out during the night across the Dives. Patton’s armour reaches the Seine at Nantes and makes the first crossing 30 miles North West of Paris. The Germans are granted a truce in Paris to withdraw troops.
20/08/1944 The allies seal the Falaise gap, with blocking forces taking 4,000 prisoners. However, the Germans in the Falaise pocket break out along a single road and stream out of the pocket for six hours before the pocket is resealed. The Allies estimate that 10,000 Germans have died in the pocket and 50,000 prisoners taken. Although one German division (77th Infantry Division) is annihilated, 26 extremely weak divisions do escape the pocket. The U.S. 79th Division reaches the west bank of the Seine above Paris. Free French forces rise in Paris, while de Gaulle is reported in France.
21/08/1944 The French First Army surrounds Toulon. The U.S. Third Army reaches Troyes and Reims.
23/08/1944 U.S. armour is now at Melun, 35 miles Southeast of Paris. U.S. and Free French forces meet outside Bordeaux.
24/08/1944 The Germans stage comeback in Paris, with fierce fighting reported. Bordeaux is evacuated by German troops who occupy fortified bunker positions on the Gironde west of the city.
25/08/1944 French armour reaches Paris as the 5,000-strong German garrison surrenders. De Gaulle enters the Paris.
26/08/1944 After a delirious day of celebrating their city’s liberation from the Germans, Parisians are brought back to reality shortly before midnight when the Luftwaffe stages a vindictive raid that destroys a substantial part of the city’s working class neighbourhoods in the northeast. Allied troops pour across Seine and drive East. The French liberate Tarascon and Avignon in the South of France.
27/08/1944 The Canadians cross the Seine around Rouen. The remaining 1,800 Germans at Toulon surrender as the French claim a total of 17,000 captured for just 2,700 French casualties.
28/08/1944 U.S. troops cross the Marne and take Meaux, 30 miles East of Paris. The last German garrison at Marseilles surrenders to the French, who take 37,000 prisoners for 4,000 French casualties.
29/08/1944 The British begin the ‘Race for Amiens’. U.S. troops liberate Soissons, 60 miles Northeast of Paris. Montelimar is taken by the French who also cross the Rhone in several places. The Canadians enter Rouen.
30/08/1944 The U.S. 3rd Army, whose 4th Armored Division is already at Troyes is ordered to continue East until the tanks run dry and from that point, to advance on foot, in order to get across the Meuse river.
31/08/1944 The British 11th Armoured Division captures Amiens and take the German bridge across the Somme in surprise attack. Montpellier, Beziers, Narbonne and Nice all taken. The U.S. Third Army reaches the river Meuse.
 
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01/09/1944 The British XII Corps crosses the Somme and the Canadians liberate Dieppe. American troops of Patton's Third Army take Verdun. American troops start their attack to capture the strategic port city of Brest which the Germans have turned into a fortress.
02/09/1944 The allies cross into Belgium.
03/09/1944 The British Second Army liberates Brussels. The U.S. First Army takes Tournai. French and U.S. forces enter Lyons. Field Marshal von Rundstedt assumes command of the German armies in the West.
04/09/1944 The British 11th Armoured Division takes Antwerp and the docks undamaged.
05/09/1944 The U.S. 3rd Army crosses the Meuse as the British reach Ghent.
06/09/1944 The Canadians surround Calais, trapping the German garrison. Liege falls to British troops, while the U.S. First Army pushes East through Belgium, crossing Meuse. Ghent and Courtrai are liberated.
07/09/1944 The British 11th Armoured Division crosses the Albert Canal, to the East of Antwerp. The U.S. Third Army crosses the Moselle. U.S. 9th Air Force fighters, supporting elements of the U.S. 7th Army in southern France, destroy an estimated 500 German vehicles along a 25km section of road. Germany's armoured forces have been shattered along the western front. German Army Group B has only about a hundred operational tanks.
08/09/1944 Canadians take Ostend, while the U.S. First Army take Liege, just 20 miles from the German border.
09/09/1944 General de Gaulle forms a provisional French government that includes Communists.
10/09/1944 Eisenhower agrees to Monty’s airborne plan Operation 'Market Garden'. U.S. troops enter Luxembourg. The first allied patrol crosses German frontier east of Liege, near Aachen. US First Army occupies Luxembourg.
11/09/1944 The 15th Scottish Division crosses the Dutch border, east of Antwerp. A bridgehead is established across Meuse-Escaut canal. The U.S. Third Army captures a large part of Maginot Line intact and reach the German border at Trier on the Moselle river. The 1st French Division occupies Dijon.
12/09/1944 The German garrison at Le Havre surrenders after very heavy fighting.
13/09/1944 The U.S. Ninth Army is engaged in heavy fighting as the German garrison keeps up its resistance at Brest.
15/09/1944 The U.S. First Army reaches the Siegfried Line, to the East of Aachen and less than 40 miles west of Bonn. Maastricht and Eysden in southern Holland liberated. The US First Army occupies Nancy.
16/09/1944 Dr. Goebbels exhorts all Germans to resist with the utmost fanaticism.
17/09/1944 Operation 'Market Garden' begins with First Allied Airborne Army drops at Eindhoven, Nijmegen and Arnhem to secure bridgeheads, as the British Second Army pushes north into Holland from Belgium, to link up. Canadians launch all-out assault on the Boulogne garrison.
18/09/1944 The U.S. Ninth Army finally takes Brest after a long struggle. The Germans launch heavy counter-attack in Arnhem sector.
19/09/1944 The British advance from Belgium is now only two miles from the airborne forces at Nijmegen in Holland, but British paratroop forces dropped at Arnhem encounter unexpected heavy German resistance. The Belgian Parliament meets formally in Parliament House, Brussels for first time since May 1940.
20/09/1944 British armoured forces of XXX Corps link up with U.S. paratroops at Nijmegen, capturing the bridge intact.
21/09/1944 Polish paratrooper's land between Arnhem and Nijmegen as the British force at Arnhem bridge is overwhelmed. Autumn rains impede the allied advance as the U.S. 85th Division takes Firenzwold.
22/09/1944 The British Second Army is now five miles North of Nijmegen, but still six miles from Arnhem. The U.S. First Army halts its offensive West of Aachen. German troops holding out in the port city of Boulogne finally surrender to Canadian forces.
23/09/1944 The Canadians win a bridgehead over the Escaut Canal.
24/09/1944 The British Second Army reaches the Lower Rhine in force. The British paratroops at Arnhem are now under severe pressure. British troops cross the German border to the Southeast of Nijmegen. The U.S. Third Army's Moselle bridgeheads to the South of Metz are sealed off by the Germans.
25/09/1944 The Canadians begin all-out attack on the German stronghold at Calais. Hitler orders the formation of the Volksturm, the German home guard. The British evacuate the remaining paratrooper at Arnhem, but only 2,163 men out of nearly 10,000 return.
29/09/1944 The Canadians take Cape Gris Nez, Southwest of Calais and grant a 24-hour truce for Germans to evacuate civilians.
30/09/1944 The 7,500 strong Calais garrison surrenders to the Canadians. Rejoicing in the streets of Dover at the announcement that the last of the German cross-channel guns, which have pounded the southeast coast of Britain for three years, have been silenced.
 
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03/10/1944 The allies begin a 60-hour truce at Dunkirk to allow the evacuation of civilians. The U.S. Third Army resumes its attack on Fort Driant, Metz for the next 10 days.
05/10/1944 The Canadians enter Holland.
06/10/1944 The Canadian 3rd Division attacks the Breskena Pocket, South of the Scheldt.
08/10/1944 Units of the U.S. Ninth Army reach the outskirts of Aachen on the German border.
10/10/1944 The American 24-hour surrender ultimatum to Germans at Aachen is rejected. The Canadians enter the Breskens Pocket along the Scheldt with amphibians.
12/10/1944 The Germans fall back across the Lower Rhine, west of Arnhem.
14/10/1944 Field Marshall Rommel commits suicide after he is implicated in the 20th July Bomb Plot.
16/10/1944 The U.S. First Army surrounds Aachen.
18/10/1944 The call up for the Volksturm begins in Germany, with all able-bodied men from 16 to 60 to be conscripted. German radio says 50,000 officers have been killed so far in war. Himmler becomes Commander-in-Chief, Forces of Interior.
19/10/1944 Field Marshal Model gives up the attempts to relieve Aachen.
21/10/1944 Aachen finally falls to the U.S. First Army, earning the distinction of being the first German city to be captured. 12,000 German prisoners have been taken since the 2nd October. Breskens is captured by the Canadians, but fighting continues for 10 more days in the pocket.
28/10/1944 The Germans begin to withdraw into Walcheren.
31/10/1944 The British reach the river Mass, south of Rotterdam and establish a bridgehead. The Canadians reach Walcheren.
 
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01/11/1944 The British Royal Marines and Army Commandos land on Dutch island of Walcheren off the Scheldt Estuary in an attempt to clear the German defenders from this strategic island.
02/11/1944 The Canadians take Zeebrugge, the last corner of occupied Belgium, on Channel coast. The Canadian 2nd Division withdraws from a 700yd deep bridgehead in Walcheren. All eligible Germans are ordered to enroll in Volksturm on pain of court-martial.
06/11/1944 Middelburg is surrendered by the 2,000 Germans.
08/11/1944 For the first time in the history of the Third Reich, Hitler fails to appear in Munich to address "the Old Fighters" on the anniversary of the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch. Speculation mounts as Himmler reads a speech in the Führer's place.
09/11/1944 The last Germans on Walcheren surrender. German forces evacuate the Moerdijk bridgehead across the Meuse river.
11/11/1944 The German First Army HQ leaves Metz as the U.S. Third Army gains three bridgeheads over the Moselle.
13/11/1944 Free French forces under General Leclerc attack from Alsace towards the upper Rhine.
14/11/1944 De Lattre launches an attack in the snow near the Swiss border, to take Belfort. The U.S. 95th infantry Division begins to capture the Metz forts. The British begins their attack on Maas in central Holland.
16/11/1944 The U.S. First and Ninth Armies launch a new attack to the East of Aachen towards the Roer Dams (6 miles away) with four divisions on a 25-mile front. With Antwerp, Marseilles and other liberated ports now available for Allied use, the so-called "Red Ball Express," a relay of U.S. Army supply trucks operating between the front and the Normandy beaches, is finally shut down.
18/11/1944 The U.S. Third Army crosses the German frontier. Metz is cut off and surrounded by the U.S. Third Army's, XX Corps.
19/11/1944 The U.S. 95th Division fights its way into the suburbs of Metz. The French 1st Armoured Division reaches the Rhine.
20/11/1944 With artillery audible in the distance, Hitler departs for Berlin from the Wolfschanze (Wolf's Lair), his headquarters near Rastenburg in East Prussia that he has occupied since the beginning of the war with the Soviet Union in June 1941. Although construction work continues on the headquarters, Hitler never returns.
22/11/1944 Fighting in Metz is over but seven forts still hold out.
24/11/1944 The allies cross the Saar near the Franco-German border. Troops of the French First Army capture Mühlhausen in Alsace, while the French 2nd Armoured Division takes Strasbourg.
25/11/1944 The French take Belfort.
28/11/1944 The U.S. Ninth Army reaches the Roer from Julich to Linnich. The French First Army closes its pincers at Bumhaupt, but only part of German 63rd Corps is trapped, 17,000 prisoners and 120 guns have been taken since 14th October.
 
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02/12/1944 The allied advance into the Saar on the Franco-German border continues.
03/12/1944 Armoured units of the US 3rd Army succeed in penetrating the fortified German lines of the Westwall near Saarlautern.
05/12/1944 The U.S. Third Army advances into Germany along a 30-mile front.
08/12/1944 German troops evacuate Jülich on the Roer river.
10/12/1944 The US Third Army captures Hagenau and Saargemünd.
12/12/1944 The underground V-weapon factory at Wittring is captured by the U.S. Third Army.
13/12/1944 German forces of 7th Armee withdraw in to the fortified positions of the Westwall.
16/12/1944 The German Army in the West begins ‘Operation Wacht am Rhein’, with the objective of splitting the allied forces and capturing the strategic port of Antwerp. Under the control of Heeresgruppe B, the attacking forces pouring forth from the Ardennes forest comprise of the 6th SS Panzer Army, 5th Panzer Army and the 7th Army providing flank support to the south of the line of advance. The German offensive manages to breakthrough the American front on a 70-mile front.
17/12/1944 After some deep penetrations into the lines of the unprepared American forces, the Germans make only slow progress due to limited roads as well as difficult terrain and weather conditions in the Ardennes, not reaching any assigned first day objectives. The allies rush reinforcements to the Ardennes.
18/12/1944 'Operation Wacht am Rhein' begins to bog down in the face of stiffening U.S. resistance and the lack of adequate logistical support, notably fuel for the armoured Kampfgruppen of the 6th SS and 5th Panzer Army's.
19/12/1944 Nearly 9,000 surrounded Americans surrender in the Schnee Eifel, the most serious U.S. reverse in Europe. SHAEF orders the 101st Airborne Division as well as the 10th Armoured Division to be detached from 3rd Army and moved North to aid the 28th Infantry Division in its defense of the vital road junction of Bastogne.
20/12/1944 In their torturous advance toward the Meuse river, armoured units of 6th SS Panzer Army capture Stavelot, searching for allied fuel dumps to replenish their nearly exhausted supplies of gasoline.
21/12/1944 The U.S. First Army retakes Stavelot but to the south, the Germans besiege Bastogne. Units of 5th Panzer Army capture St. Vith.
22/12/1944 The allies report that the Germans have penetrated up to 40 miles in the Ardennes. The American defenders of Bastogne receive the German surrender ultimatum which Brigadier General McAuliffe, answers with the single word, "Nuts!". Rundstedt’s suggestion of a withdrawal is refused by Hitler. The U.S. 3rd Army begins an offensive to relieve Bastogne.
25/12/1944 The 2nd Panzer Division is just four miles from the river Meuse, Southwest of Liege, but is stopped by the U.S. 2nd Armoured Division with British help.
26/12/1944 Eight French Gestapo leaders are executed in Paris. Bastogne is relieved by the U.S. 4th Armoured Division.
28/12/1944 U.S. troops gain ground against the Ardennes salient.
30/12/1944 The Germans launch a heavy attack on the Bastogne corridor in the Ardennes. The British attack on Houffalize is halted by bitter German resistance.
31/12/1944 Rochefort is back in U.S. hands. Third Army launch new counter-offensive near Bastogne. At about 11pm the Germans launch their 'Nordwind' offensive towards Strasbourg.
 
 
 
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