October in WW2

WW2 was a global conflict that raged from September 1939 to August 1945; almost six long years.

The change of seasons brought with it changes in the pace of the war. Spring generally meant new offensives.


1 October 1938: German troops begin occupation of the Sudentenland in Czechoslovakia

2 October 1942: The first US jet aircraft, the Bell XP-59 Airacomet makes its first flight

3 October 1944: US troops cross the River Wurm, and establish a bridgehead across the Siegfried Line

4 October 1943: German troops take the Mediterranean island of Cos

5 October 1939: Hitler makes a tour of the conquered city of Warsaw in Poland.

6 October 1944: US President Roosevelt agrees to remove General Stilwell from the post of Chief of Staff to Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek

7 October 1942: US President Roosevelt announces that a commission will be set up after the war to judge those guilty of war crimes

8 October 1944: US troops begin a pincer operation as they move in on the city

9 October 1944: US forces bombard Marcus Island in the Philippines

10 October 1943: German U-boat mines the entrance to the Panama Canal

11 October 1942: Battle of Cape Esperance, off Guadalcanal

12 October 1944: British Special Forces capture Athens airfield. Hilter announces Operation Sealion postponed until April 1941

13 October 1943: Italy declares war on Germany

14 October 1939: British battleship ‘Royal Oak’ is sunk at Scapa Flow by a German U-boat at the cost of 810 lives

15 October 1945: Vichy leader Pierre Laval is executed

16 October 1943: The US Ninth Army Air Force is formed to provide tactical protection for the Eighth Airforce’s bombing raids

17 October 1942: The Allied invasion fleet bound for the Operation Torch landings in N.Africa begins to assemble in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland

18 October 1940: Jews are formally banned from public service, industry, the media and positions of authority in Vichy France

19 October 1943: Civilians rise up against their Japanese oppressors, causing savage reprisals at Jesselton, Borneo

20 October 1943: The UN War Crimes Commission is formed

21 October 1940: Liverpool suffers its 200th air raid of the war

22 October 1942: US airborne General Mark Clark lands in Algeria for secret talks with pro-Allied officers of the Vichy forces

23 October 1943: British 8th Army ‘Desert Rats’ opens an offensive against Rommel’s Afrika Corps at El Alamein, N.Africa

24 October 1945: Vidkun Quisling, former head of the Norwegian puppet government is executed in Oslo

25 October 1940: British battleship ‘Prince of Wales’ leaves for Singapore to be the flagship of the Far East Fleet

26 October 1942: US forces on Guadalcanal report that they only have 29 servicable aircraft left in operation

27 October 1944: British troops capture Tilburg, Holland

28 October 1943: Butter rationing is introduced in New Zealand

29 October 1944: Russian leader Stalin orders the seizure of Budapest regardless of cost

30 October 1944: The gas-chambers at Aushwitz concentration camp are closed down

31 October 1940: The Battle of Britain ends