British Army in the Mediterranean 1940

Exercise of light Vickers Mark IIA tanks

British and Empire Armies in the Mediterranean

The Mediterranean theatre was an area of prime importance to Britain. She had many interests there and the Suez canal was the most important artery of the Empire. In August 1939 the land forces in Egypt under Lieutenant-General Sir Henry Maitland Wilson consisted in the main of an armoured division (7th) still in the process of formation, three British infantry brigades, plus a small number of artillery and engineer units.

Additional forces scattered through the Middle East Theatre comprised the Headquarters of the 7th and 8th Infantry Divisions and three infantry brigades in … learn more

July 28, 1944 (Friday)

Russian tanks near Brest-Litovsk

Russian Front
1st Byeloruusian Front establishes 2 bridgeheads over river Vistula, south of Warsaw (July 28-August 2). Panzers and Luftwaffe carry out repeated, furious counter-attacks, north and south of Warsaw, throughout August. Brest­-Litovsk captured by 1st Byeloruusian Front.

New Guinea
Organized Japanese resistance ceases on Biak.

Western FrontUS 1st Army takes Coutances, southwest of St Lo.

Sea War
German E-boats hit 5 cargo ships with FAT torpedoes in English Channel.

July 26, 1944 (Wednesday)

Mac Arthur

Heavy artillery barrage heralds successful US attack on jungle­-covered Orote Peninsular on Guma. Marines smash Japan­ese counter-attack on northern beachhead.

Home Front USA
Roosevelt, MacArthur and Nimitz confer in Honolulu. MacArthur argues successfully for liberation of Philippines, against Formosa invasion.

Home Front South Africa
Death of Riza Khan Pahlavi, exiled Shah of Iran; aged 67.


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July 25, 1944 (Tuesday)

US armoured division in Normandy

Air War Europe
8th and 9th USAAFs drop 4,000 t. bombs on German defences in small area near St Lo.

Western Front
Operation Cobra: 7th Corps of US 1st Army attacks across Periers-St Lo road and advances up to 3 km. Germans are stunned by preliminary bombing.
Lt.-General McNair, commander of US 1st Army Group, accident­ally killed by American bomb; aged 61. General Eisenhower visits Normandy. British-Canadian diversionary attack near Caen; 3 km advance despite strong resistance.

Sea War
British Eastern Fleet attacks … learn more