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MCMXLIV) was a
starting on Saturday (
dominical letter BA) of the
Gregorian calendar, the 1944th year of the
Common Era (CE) and
Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 944th year of the
2nd millennium, the 44th year of the
20th century, and the 5th year of the
Below, events of
World War II have the "WWII" prefix.
March 1 – WWII:
March 3 – WWII: The
Order of Nakhimov and the
Order of Ushakov are instituted in the
March 4 – In
Ossining, New York,
Louis Buchalter, the leader of
1930s crime syndicate
Murder, Inc., is executed at
Sing Sing, along with
Emanuel Weiss, and
March 6 – WWII: Soviet Army planes attack
Estonia, destroying almost the entire baroque old town.
March 9 – WWII: Soviet Army planes
Estonia, killing 757 and leaving 25,000 homeless.
- In Britain, the prohibition on married women working as teachers is lifted.
- Resistance leader
Joop Westerweel is arrested while returning to the Netherlands having escorted a group of Jewish children to safety in Spain.
March 12 – WWII: the Political Committee of National Liberation is created in Greece.
- The last eruption of
Mount Vesuvius in Italy kills 26 and causes thousands to flee their homes.
- WWII: The Nazis execute almost 400 prisoners, Soviet citizens and anti-
fascist Romanians at
March 19 – WWII: German forces occupy Hungary in
March 20 – WWII:
RAF Flight Sergeant
Nicholas Alkemade's bomber is hit over Germany, and he has to bail out without a
parachute from a height of over 4,000 meters. Tree branches interrupt his fall and he lands safely on deep snow.
March 23 – WWII: Members of the
Italian Resistance attack
Nazis marching in Via Rasella, killing 33.
March 24 – WWII:
Ardeatine massacre: 335 Italians are killed, including 75 Jews and over 200 members of the
Italian Resistance from various groups, in Rome.
- In the Polish village of
Markowa, German police kill Józef and Wiktoria Ulm, their six children and eight Jews they were hiding.
The "Great Escape": 76
Royal Air Force prisoners of war escape by tunnel "Harry" from
Stalag Luft III this night. Only three men, two Norwegians and a Dutchman, return to the UK; of those recaptured, fifty are executed.
Allied troops land on the beaches of Normandy during
June 2 – WWII: The
provisional French government is established.
June 3 –
Hans Asperger publishes his paper on
June 4 – WWII:
- Rome falls to the
Allies, the first
Axis capital to fall.
- A hunter-killer group of the
United States Navy captures the
German submarine U-505, marking the first time a U.S. Navy vessel has captured an enemy vessel at sea since the 19th century. Some significant intelligence data is acquired.
June 5 – WWII:
- The German navy's
Enigma messages are decoded almost in real time.
James Stagg correctly forecasts a brief improvement in weather conditions over the
English Channel which will permit the following day's
Normandy landings to take place (having been deferred from today due to unfavourable weather).
- At 10:15 p.m. local time, the
BBC transmits the second line of the
Paul Verlaine poem to the
French Resistance, indicating that the invasion of Europe is about to begin.
- More than 1,000 British bombers drop 5,000 tons of bombs on German gun batteries on the
Normandy coast in preparation for
- US and British paratrooper divisions jump over Normandy, in preparation for D-Day, including 82nd and 101st Airborne divisions of the United States.
D-Day naval deceptions are launched.
June 6 – WWII –
Allied troops shipped from England land on the beaches of
Normandy in northern France, beginning
Operation Overlord and the
Invasion of Normandy. The Allied soldiers quickly break through the
Atlantic Wall and push inland, in the largest amphibious
military operation in history. This operation helps liberate France from Germany, and also weakens the Nazi hold on Europe.
June 7 – WWII:
- The steamer Danae (
Greek: Δανάη), carrying 600
Cretans including 350 Greek Jews on the first leg of the journey to
Auschwitz, is sunk, with no known survivors, off
Joel Brand is intercepted by British agents in
Bayeux is liberated by British troops.
June 9 – WWII: Soviet leader
Joseph Stalin launches the
Vyborg–Petrozavodsk Offensive against Finland, with the intent of defeating Finland before pushing for Berlin.
June 10 – WWII: 642 men, women and children are killed in the
Oradour-sur-Glane Massacre in France.
June 13 – WWII: Germany launches the first
V-1 flying bomb attack on London.
June 15 – WWII:
Battle of Saipan: United States forces land on
June 16 – At age 14,
George Stinney becomes the youngest person ever executed in the United States.
June 17 –
Iceland declares full independence from Denmark.
June 19 – A severe storm badly damages the
Mulberry harbours on the
June 22 – WWII:
June 24 –
David Ben-Gurion presents the
One Million Plan to the
Jewish Agency for Israel, proposing a million-strong
Jewish exodus from Arab and Muslim countries as well as from Europe to
June 25 – WWII
June 26 – WWII: American troops enter
June 29 – WWII: 5,400 drown when
USS Sturgeon torpedoes
June 30 – WWII: 3,219 drown when
USS Tang torpedoes Nikkin Maru.
Soviet soldiers fight in the streets of
, summer 1944.
American medics helping injured soldier in France, 1944.
Crowds of French people line the Champs Élysées following the
Liberation of Paris
, 26 August 1944.
August 1 – WWII: The
Warsaw Uprising begins.
August 2 – WWII:
Turkey ends diplomatic and economic relations with Germany.
- The First Assembly of
ASNOM (the Anti-Fascist Assembly for the People's Liberation of
Macedonia) is held in the
Prohor Pčinjski monastery.
August 3 – The
Education Act in the United Kingdom, promoted by
Rab Butler, creates a
Tripartite system of education in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
August 4 –
The Holocaust: A tip from a
Dutch informer leads the
Gestapo to a sealed-off area in an
Amsterdam warehouse, where they find Jewish diarist
Anne Frank, her family, and others in hiding. All would die in the Holocaust except for
Otto Frank, Anne's father.
August 5 – WWII:
Wola massacre begins. Between now and August 12, 40,000 to 50,000 Polish civilians will be indiscriminately massacred by occupying SS troops.
The Holocaust: Polish insurgents liberate a German
labor camp in
Warsaw, freeing 348 Jewish prisoners.
Cowra breakout: Over 500 Japanese prisoners of war attempt a mass breakout from the
Cowra camp in Australia. In the ensuing manhunt, 231 Japanese escapees and four Australian soldiers are killed.
August 7 –
IBM dedicates the first program-controlled
calculator, the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator (known best as the
Harvard Mark I).
August 9 – The
United States Forest Service and the
Wartime Advertising Council release posters featuring
Smokey Bear for the first time.
August 12 – WWII:
August 15 – WWII:
Operation Dragoon lands Allies in southern France. The
U.S. 45th Infantry Division participates in its fourth assault landing at
Sainte-Maxime, spearheading the drive for the
August 18 – WWII:
USS Rasher sinks Teia Maru, Eishin Maru, Teiyu Maru, and
Taiyō from Japanese convoy HI71 in one of the most effective American "
wolfpack" attacks of the war.
August 19 – WWII:
August 20 – WWII:
Dumbarton Oaks Conference (Washington Conversations on International Peace and Security Organization) opens in Washington, D.C.: U.S., British, Chinese, French and Soviet representatives meet to plan the foundation of the
Operation Tractable concludes when Canadian troops relieve the Polish and link with the Americans, capturing remaining German forces in the
Falaise Pocket and securing the strategically important French town of
Falaise in the final offensive of the
Battle of Normandy.
August 22 – WWII:
Tsushima Maru, an unmarked Japanese passenger/cargo ship, is sunk by
torpedoes launched by the
USS Bowfin off
Akuseki-jima, killing 1,484 civilians including 767 schoolchildren.
August 23 – WWII: In
King Michael's Coup,
Ion Antonescu, prime minister of
Romania, is arrested and a new government established.
Romania leaves the war against the
Soviet Union, joining the
August 24 – WWII:
August 25 – WWII:
August 29 – WWII: The
Slovak National Uprising against the Axis powers begins.
August 31 – The
Mad Gasser of Mattoon apparently resumes their mysterious attacks in
Mattoon, Illinois for two weeks.
American troops advance towards San Jose on Leyte Island, 20 October 1944.