This month in WW2: March

This page gives a daily diary snapshot of March 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, while winter could mean stalemate or a winter offensive - such as those made by the Russians on the eastern front, or the Germans during the Battle of the Bulge in the Ardenne.

US B29 bombers parked on a Pacific airbase

With their tremendous range, B29 bombers played a huge part in destroying the Japanese war machine. The first B29s landed on Iwo Jima even before the island was fully secured by US Forces

 

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1 March 1944: Chindit 16th Brigade marches into Burma

2 March 1941: Bulgaria joins the Axis alliance as German Forces enter the country in preparation for the invasion of Greece

3 March 1944: US President Roosevelt announces that the Italian Naval Fleet is to be distributed equally between Britain, the US and the USSR

4 March 1944: First B29 bombers land on Iwo Jima

5 March 1945: Allies capture Cologne, Germany

6 March 1945: German panzers launch heavy attack at Lake Balaton, Hungary

7 March 1945: US First Army crosses the River Rhine at Remagen Bridge

8 March 1941: US Senate passes the Lend-Lease Bill

9 March 1941: Italians launch an offensive in Albania

10 March 1945: US B29 bombers carry out a fire-raid on Tokyo, Japan. Estimates of those killed range from 84,000 to 200,000; more than those killed during the dropping of the A-Bomb

11 March 1940: RAF Blenheim bomber sinks the German U-boat U-31 in the North Sea

12 March 1942: General Douglas MacArthur arrives in Darwin, Australia having been evacuated from the island fortress of Corregidor on the 8th March by fast PT boats

13 March 1940: Russo-Finish Peace Treaty signed in Moscow

14 March1945: US Third Army crosses the River Moselle in Germany

15 March 1942: Japanese Forces launch an artillery attack on Manila Bay, Phillipines

16 March 1941: Hitler predicts that Britain will fall by 1942, no matter how much help it recieves from the USA

17 March: US Third Army captures Koblenz, Germany, where the Moselle and Rhine rivers meet

18 March 1944: Over 3000 tons of bombs dropped by RAF bombers during a raid on Hamburg, Germany

19 March 1941: Germany issues an ultimatum to Yugoslavia

20 March 1943: An attempt to assasinate Hitler fails, when he leaves an exhibition early, before the concealed bomb goes off

21 March 1942: US Forces start a retreat to the heavily fortified island fortress of Corregidor in Manila Bay, Phillipines

22 March 1945: Russians besige Danzig and Gdynia, Poland

23 March 1941: Anti-NAZI demonstrations sweep Belgrade, Yugoslavia

24 March 1944: Colonel Wingate, commander of the Chindits killed in a plane crash. 1945: 14,000 British and US airborne troops drop at Wesel

25 March 1941: Yugoslavia signs the Tripartite Pact

26 March 1945: Japanese survivors on Iwo Jima launch a last 'Banzai' attack and are devestated

27 March 1945: US First and Third Armies link near Koblenz, Germany

28 March 1940: Britain and France pledge not to agree to a peace deal separately

29 March 1945: US Navy begins to bombard Okinawa, Japan

30 March 1941: German warships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau bombed by the RAF whilst in port at Brest, France

31 March 1945: General Eisenhower broadcasts to German Forces, demanding their surrender