World War II

Major participants


1 Sep 1939 Hitler reluctantly invades Poland, but only after being provoked by warmongering Poles. The previous night, a Polish commando team shot their way into a German radio station in the border town of Gleiwitz, and broadcasted a radical call to arms against the peaceloving nation of Germany. Except that it was all an elaborate sham engineered by Nazi general Reinhard Heydrich, dubbed Operation Canned Goods.
22 Jun 1940 France surrenders; hilarity ensues. Adolf Hitler forces the instrument of surrender to be signed in the very railcar in which the French inflicted the humiliating World War I Treaty of Versailles upon the Germans.
8 Sep 1941 The Nazi siege of Leningrad begins.
23 Feb 1942 The first Japanese attack on the U.S. mainland occurs when an I-17 submarine fires 13 shells at an oil refinery near Goleta, Southern California. $500 damage was inflicted. It was not clear why this target was chosen until much later, when it was found that the commander of this particular submarine had visited the site in the 1930s and stumbled into a field of prickly pear cactus. Captain Nishino never forgave the ridicule he received from his American hosts that day.
28 Apr 1942 The ongoing global conflict is given the name "World War II" after a Gallup Poll is taken.
27 May 1942 A couple of Czech assassins ambush the car carrying Reinhard Heydrich and toss a grenade into the front seat. The man who headed the Wannsee Conference is mortally wounded in the attack, and dies of septicemia a week later. The Nazis retaliate by obliterating the Catholic village of Lidice, Czechoslovakia and its inhabitants.
21 Jun 1942 A Japanese submarine surfaces near the Columbia River in Oregon, and fires 17 shells at nearby Fort Stevens. Nobody is injured. It is one of a handful of attacks by the Japanese during World War II against the U.S. mainland.
13 Jan 1943 Hitler declares "Total War".
29 Jan 1943 Nazi police discover necrophiliac Bruno Ludke committing a crime against nature on the fresh corpse of a young female victim. He confesses that he has murdered no fewer than 85 and committed indecencies with most of their corpses. Ludke is committed to a hospital in Vienna for experiments, where he is killed in April of 1944.
30 Apr 1943 The body of one Major Martin washes ashore on the Spanish coastline, carrying sensitive papers detailing an upcoming Allied invasion of Sardinia. "Martin" is actually an unidentified corpse carrying forged documents, intended to misdirect Italian defense forces. When the Allies later invade Sicily, most of Italy's defenses are in Sardinia.
27 Jan 1944 The siege of Leningrad ends. Over 800,000 residents out of 3 million have died.
20 Jul 1944 In an attempt on Hitler's life, a timebomb explodes in the situation room of the Wolf's Lair, killing four Nazi officers but only wounding the Fuhrer. After his close call, Hitler becomes even more paranoid. A massive purge is to follow, resulting in the execution of thousands of officers.
2 Sep 1944 During a raid on the Pacific island of ChiChi Jima, the bomber flown by Navy pilot George HW Bush is struck by antiaircraft fire. Bush ditches the plane in the Pacific and is the only person to survive the crash.
30 Jan 1945 The largest maritime disaster in history leaves 7700 dead after a Soviet submarine torpedoes the Nazi ship Wilhelm Gustoff.
31 Jan 1945 Private Eddie Slovik is the first U.S. soldier to be shot for desertion since the Civil War.
7 Mar 1945 Gen. George Patton urinates in the Rhine after the U.S. Third Army takes the bridge at Remagen.
19 Mar 1945 Adolf Hitler orders all military and industrial facilities within the Third Reich destroyed. Albert Speer does everything he can to stop this from happening, in direct defiance of Hitler.
27 Mar 1945 Argentina declares war on Nazi Germany. Of course, this was just a silly charade for the benefit of the world community. Argentina would be a quiet ally of Germany for the duration of the war, even welcoming many Nazi and SS leaders to emigrate there in the aftermath.
3 May 1945 British torpedo bombers attack the Cap Arcona and the Thielbek in the Baltic Sea. Both vessels are flying white flags, as there are almost 7,000 concentration camp prisoners aboard. In the process of abandoning ship, the German captain of the Arcona uses a machete to hack his way through the mass of people. When the ships sink, virtually all of the prisoners drown, making this the single largest loss of life in the history of ocean travel.
5 May 1945 Elsie Mitchell and five children she is watching are killed by a Japanese balloon bomb which drifted over the Pacific into Oregon. They are the only people killed in action on the US mainland during World War II.
7 May 1945 German admiral Carl Doenitz unconditionally surrenders to Allied forces at Reims, France, thus ending the war in Europe.
6 Jul 1945 The Joint Chiefs of Staff approve Operation OVERCAST, intended to "exploit ... chosen rare minds whose continuing intellectual productivity we wish to use." The directive authorizes the immigration of up to 350 German and Austrian specialists, primarily experts in rocketry. Operation OVERCAST is later renamed Project PAPERCLIP.
6 Aug 1945 At 9:15am, Col. Paul Tibbets releases "Little Boy" over Hiroshima and executes a hard, 159-degree turn. 40 seconds later, the Atomic Bomb detonates, yielding a 12.5 kiloton explosion and a huge, black mushroom cloud. About 45,000 people are killed immediately, and another 200,000 are killed in later years by leukemia and other radiation illnesses.
9 Aug 1945 Because of the dense cloudcover over Kokura, USAF Maj. Charles Sweeney diverts his B-29 Bock's Car to the designated secondary target, 95 miles to the south. There he drops "Fat Man" -- a 22 kiloton Atomic Bomb -- over the city of Nagasaki, population 270,000. The blast kills 24,000 immediately, but another 46,000 perish from radiation-related illnesses over the next four months.
2 Sep 1945 On the shelter deck of the USS Missouri in Yokohama harbor, 11 representatives of Emperor Hirohito sign the Instrument of Surrender.
9 Dec 1945 Ronald Reagan receives an honorable discharge from the U.S. Army. He had spent World War II in Hollywood, acting in military training films.
3 Jan 1946 William Joyce, the "Lord Haw-Haw" who broadcasted Nazi propaganda to Britain during World War II, was hanged for treason in London.
23 May 1960 Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion reveals that Mossad agents have captured fugitive war criminal Adolf Eichmann and smuggled him out of Argentina. Ben-Gurion announces: "Eichmann is already in this country under arrest and will shortly be brought to trial."
24 Jan 1972 Corporal Shoichi Yokoi is discovered hiding out in Guam by two hunters. He had been living in a cave since 1944, assuming that World War II was still underway. His first question: "Tell me quick, is Roosevelt dead?"
26 Feb 1974 A U.S. Senate report reveals Ford Motor's involvement in Nazi Germany's war efforts, for which CEO Henry Ford received the Grand Cross of the German Eagle from Adolf Hitler himself. After the war, the car company was paid nearly $1M reparation by the U.S. government to compensate for one of its plants that was bombed within the Reich.
5 Mar 1974 Second Lt. Hiroo Onoda of the Imperial Japanese Army surrenders to Philippine authorities. He believed World War II was still underway and continued a 30 year guerrila battle with other islanders. His final capitulation came when his senior officer, Maj. Taniguchi, ordered his surrender. Upon return to the Japanese homeland, Onoda was treated as a hero, but had difficulty coping with his "postwar" life.
19 Jan 1977 President Gerald Ford pardons Iva Toguri D'Aquino ("Tokyo Rose").
6 Feb 1983 Klaus Barbie, the "Butcher of Lyon" who had been living as a mild-mannered Bolivian businessman, charged with Nazi war crimes. He is later sentenced to life imprisonment and dies in 1991.
8 Jun 1986 Former UN Secretary General and Nazi war criminal Kurt Waldheim is elected president of Austria. One year later, the U.S. Justice Department places him on a watch list of undesirable aliens, making Waldheim the first foreign head of state legally forbidden from visiting America.
4 Jul 1987 A court in Lyon, France convicts Klaus Barbie, the Butcher of Lyon, for the deportation of Jews, torture of resistance fighters, and crimes against humanity during World War II. Barbie spends the rest of his life in prison.
7 Jan 1989 Marine biologist Emperor Hirohito dead from cancer. Prior to his scientific career, Hirohito was the highest profile unindicted war criminal, presiding over such events as the Rape of Nanking and the unnecessary deaths of over 1 million Japanese in 1945 after it became quite clear the war was lost.
4 Aug 1993 Japan finally acknowledges that it forced 200,000 Korean and Chinese "comfort women" to fuck members of its armed forces between 1932 and 1945. Japan apologizes for the "immeasurable pain and incurable psychological wounds" it inflicted by forcing these women to be state whores, but makes no offer to pay reparations.

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