June in WW2

1 June 1940: 64,420 men are evacuated from the beaches of Dunkirk, France despite heavy German air attacks.

2 June 1941: German paratroopers murder Greek civilians in the village of Kondomari, Crete retaliation for the participation of Cretans in the Battle of Crete

3 June 1940: Dunkirk evacuation ends with 338,226 men having been rescued

4 June 1940: British Prime Minister Winston Churchill broadcasts that: “…..we shall fight them on the beaches, we shall fight them on the landing grounds…….. We shall never surrender”. 1944: Rome is liberated by the Allies

5 June 1944: D-Day; Operation Neptune. Allied airborne troops land in France; the first trrops setting foot on French soil being the British 6th Airborne Division, at Benouville, near Caen

– [Veteran’s stories] –

Prelude to D-Day: A Sherman tank gunner tells of the day before D-Day

The RAF Servicing Commando in Normandy: Getting your feet wet in France

6 June 1944: D-Day; Operation Overload begins as allied troops storm the German defences of Normandy

– [Veteran’s story] –

US Signalman Art Schmitz tells how he knew that D-Day had arrived

7 June 1944: D-Day; British Commandos attack the fishing port of Port-en-Bessin, which was to become the landing point for the Pipeline Under the Ocean (PLUTO)

8 June 1940: British aircraft carrier HMS Glorious sunk by German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau

9 June 1944: 99 civilians are hung from lamp posts and balconies by German troops in Tulle, France, in reprisal for resistance attacks

10 June 1944: With over 326,00 troops now ashore, the Allies cut the road and rail links from Carentan to Cherbourg as the landing beachheads link up

11 June 1940: Italian dictator Mussolini declares war on the Allies

12 June 1942: Dutch Jew Anne frank receives a diary for her thirteenth birthday. Telling of the horrors of daily life in occupied Holland, this diary is published after the war

13 June 1944: The first V1 rockets to hit England kill six people in London. Ten were fired and four hit the city.

14 June 1940: German troops march into Paris

15 June 1944: US Marines land on the Pacific island of Saipan

16 June 1940: Marshal Petain becomes Premier of Vichy France

17 June 1940: French WW1 hero Marshall Petain asks the Germans for Armistice terms

18 June 1940: Charles De Gaulle, founder of the Free French in England, makes a radio appeal to his fellow countrymen to continue to resist the German invaders

19 June 1944: The worst storm for forty years destroys the Mulberry Harbour at Omaha Beach and severely damages the British one at Arromanches

20 June 1944: US Pacific Fleet destroys or damages 14 Japanese warships including 3 aircraft carriers during the Battle of the Philippine Sea

21 June 1942: General ( later Field Marshall) Erwin Rommel’s Afrika Corps takes the port of Tobruk, Libya

22 June 1941: Operation Barborrosa begins as Germany invades the Russia, destroying most of the communist aircraft on the ground

23 June 1940: The German battleship Gneisenau is damaged by the British submarine HMS Clyde

24 June 1940: Franco-Italian Armistice signed in Rome

25 June 1944: Allied forces reopen the Imphal to Kohima road in Burma after heavy fighting

– [Veteran’s story] –

An Private of the 4th Bn Welch Regiment tells of landing in Normandy with a bicycle

26 June 1944: Operation Epsom begins in Normandy, as the British forces drive for Caen; itself a D-Day objective

27 June 1941: Japanese government declares the ‘Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere’

28 June 1940: Britain recognises General De Gaulle as the leader of the Free-French

29 June 1944: US Forces liberate Cherbourg at the northern-most point of the Cotentin Peninsula in Normandy

30 June 1940: Germans occupy the Channel Islands, the only part of the British Isles to be occupied during WW2