Chinese Nationalist Army

Chiang Kai-sheks's German-trained and equipped Chinese soldiers.

The seizure of Mukden on 19 September 1931 marked the beginning of overt Japanese aggression against China, and from 1937 there was open war. The disorganised Chinese forces were no match on the battlefield for the Japanese armies, but determined resistance prevented a complete collapse. The very size of China precluded a total Japanese victory, and although the Chinese Nationalist government was forced to leave all the major industrial areas and set up a new capital at Chungking, it maintained the struggle, and, in alliance with the communist forces of Mao Tse-tung, tied down enormous … learn more

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

Bulgarian Armed Forces

Tsar Boris III from Bulgaria

Bulgarian Army

Throughout World War II Tsarist Bulgaria was only officially at war with England and America. Her alliance with Germany was due in part to their common experiences during World War I, the hope of territorial gains, and her distrust of Soviet intentions. Following the Balkan Campaign during which German troops were allowed to traverse Bulgaria, she was allowed to occupy Greek Macedonia, Thrace and Salonika, a huge territory of some 50,000 square kilometres.
The principal task of the Bulgarian Army between 1941 and 1944 was the garrisoning of the new territories, where often side-by-side with other Axis … learn more

Belgian Armed Forces

Belgian soldiers take a rest by the roadside

Belgian Army

In 1914 neutral Belgium had been suddenly attacked by the German Army and had experienced four years of trench warfare. After the German occupation of the Rhineland in 1936 the country was again jolted into awareness of impending danger. National service was extended from 8 to 12 months, the military budget increased by 15 per cent, and new fortifications were constructed. But this could not conceal the fact that military thinking had not progressed beyond the trenches of World War One. Armour, for example, was only considered an offensive weapon, and Belgium, … learn more

Baltic volunteers with the German Army

Decoration of Baltic soldiers and auxiliaries in German service.

On 22 June 1941 the Red Army’s 29th Corps (Baltic Special Military District) disintegrated. The two divisions (the 179th and 184th ?) were ex-Lithuanian Army Divisions. The mutinied, killed most of their officers and commissars, then declared themselves a new Lithuanian Army.The hole they leave in the Russian line let a German Panzer corps drive on Kaunas, which 6,000 troops from the former 29th Corps had already captured. The Germans disarmed them and gradually used them as Einsatzgruppen forces, prison guards, etc.
It is also believed that two ex-Latvian divisions disappeared as … learn more