Wehrmacht History 1935 to 1945


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31st May 1942

WWII Timeline

Events On This Day

In the Mediterranean. The British Royal Air Force (RAF) bombers raided Messina.

In Africa. The Wehrmacht's armoured forces concentrating in gaps of minefield on Trigh Caouzzo.

Canterbury attacked. Relays of Luftwaffe raiders attacked Canterbury last night, dropping flares and then incendiaries and high explosive bombs. Houses were wrecked and fires started. There will be a heavy death roll and rescuers this morning are still endeavouring to reach people imprisoned under debris. Fires extensively damaged the shopping centre and buildings hit include schools. Churches and cinemas. Three waves totalling about 25 planes took part in the raid and it is believed that Canterbury Cathedral was one of the Luftwaffe's objectives. No information has yet been released whether the cathedral was damaged. It is estimated that a total of 50 planes were over Britain altogether. Three Luftwaffe planes were shot down by he British Royal Air Force (RAF) night fighters, 1 over the English coast and 2 over aerodromes in occupied territory. The Berlin communique states: "Strong Luftwaffe formations, as 2 reprisal for the RAF terror attack on the centre of the city of Cologne attacked the bishops seat of Canterbury with thousands of high explosive and fire bombs which caused large fires." The Archbishop of Canterbury (Dr Temple) was not .

Twenty Czechs executed.

Fifth Air Force. United States Army Air Force (USAAF) B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombers attack Lae and Salamaua.

Seventh Air Force. United States Army Air Force (USAAF) B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombers on detached service at Midway begin search operations.

Eleventh Air Force. United States Army Air Force (USAAF) 54th Fighter Squadron (P-38 Lightning fighters) arrives at Elmendorf.

Go To: 1st June


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The Second Great War.
Edited by Sir John Hamilton

The War Illustrated.
Edited by Sir John Hamilton

2194 Days Of War.
ISBN-10: 086136614X

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