British Army in Western Europe 1940

King George VI inspects men of the Home Guard

British Army and Home Guard in Western Europe and Britain

For the first six months little military action took place at the Western Front except a minor, half-hearted French offensive in the Saar region. The BEF trained, consolidated its position, and built up its depots and dumps. From November 1939, by arrangement with the French, one British division at a time served for a short spell under French command on the Saar front to get experience. By the end of April 1940, the strength of the BEF was 394,165 men … learn more

British Army 1942

Vickers heavy MG about to open fire with the 1th South African Division of the Eight Army.

Strength and Organization of the Armies of the British Empire in the Middle East and Europe

From late 1941 until the summer of 1942, the British 8th Army in North Africa fought a series of engagements which revealed serious deficiencies in its preparedness for desert warfare when compared with the German units. The fighting during the ‘Crusader’ battles in November 1941, for example, had convinced General Auchinleck that the British Armoured Division was an unbalanced formation containing too much armour and too little infantry. He therefore reorganised the armoured divisions. Auchinleck also … learn more

Danish Armed Forces

crew of a Danish anti-aircraft gun

Strength and organization of the Army, Air Force and Navy of Denmark

The Danish Defence Act of 1937 set up a peacetime establishment of two divisions, an independent anti-aircraft and engineer regiment, an army air force, the Bornholm garrison, a transport battalion and a general headquarters.

In peacetime the regiments and battalions were no more than a small administrative staff responsible for the training of the annual intake of 6,599 conscripts who were allocated as follows: 4,340 to the infantry, 465 to the Life Guards, 374 to the cavalry, 1,120 to the artillery, and 300 men to the engineers. On … learn more

Chinese Air Force, Fleet, Communist Forces

Pilots of the Chinese Flying Tigers are running to their planes.

Chinese Air Force

During the 1930s, the Chinese Air Force was composed largely of foreign volunteers, at first Americans but later Italians. By 1937 the strength of the Air Force stood at 500 aircraft, but few of these were serviceable, and the remainder were destroyed by the Japanese in the air battles of 1937.
Chiang Kai-shek and his wife Madame Chiang called for further foreign aid to form an international force to fight the Japanese. At first an international squadron was established of mixed membership, mainly British, … learn more

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 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.