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19 Jan 1918

29 May 1935

  • The French luxury liner Normandie departed Le Havre, France on her maiden voyage, reaching New York, United States in four days, three hours and thirteen minutes, winning the Blue Riband from the Italian liner Rex. ww2dbase [Le Havre, Haute-Normandie | AC]
11 Mar 1941

  • During the night of 11 to 12 Mar, six British Handley Page Halifax bombers of No. 35 Squadron of No. 4 Group from RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom attacked Le Havre, France. It was the operational debut of the four-engine heavy bomber. It was marred by the accidental shoot-down of one of them by an RAF nightfighter. ww2dbase [Halifax | Le Havre, Haute-Normandie | TH]
15 Jun 1944

  • Before dawn, 325 Lancaster bombers of RAF Bomber Command attacked Le Havre, France sinking the torpedo boats Falke, Jaguar, and Möwe of the German 5th Torpedo Boat Flotilla and 14 other smaller schnellboots of the 5th and 9th Flotillas, plus many auxiliary naval craft and harbour vessels. During the day, US VIII Corps (Major General Troy Middleton) became operational with the 90th Infantry Division and both US Airborne Divisions under its command, and was tasked with protecting the rear of the imminent attack to capture Cherbourg. ww2dbase [Normandy Campaign, Phase 1 | Le Havre, Haute-Normandie | TH, AC]
8 Sep 1944

  • RAF Bomber Command's last operation with the Short Stirling bomber was made by No. 148 Squadron against Le Havre, France. The Stirling bombers would then be relegated to troop-transport and glider tug missions only. ww2dbase [Stirling | Le Havre, Haute-Normandie | AC]
10 Sep 1944

  • The British 1st Corps (49th West Riding and 51st Highland Divisions) of the Canadian Army commenced the siege of Le Havre, the largest port in northern France, which had been earmarked for American use. The approaches to Le Havre were well protected by flooding, mines, anti-tank ditches and huge concrete gun emplacements primarily designed for sea defence. The German garrison of 11,000 (underestimated by Allied Intelligence as being around 8,700) was strongly provided with artillery. The siege opened with Allied aircraft dropping 4,000 tons of bombs on to the defences (followed by a further 5,500 tons over the two day battle). The 15-inch guns of HMS Erebus and Warspite were also brought to bear on the largest gun emplacements, although Erebus did receive some damage from return fire from the shore batteries. In addition, two heavy and six medium batteries added their support to the Divisional artillery Regiments during the softening-up process. The German resistance however proved less tenacious than expected resulting in a comparatively light Allied casualty rate of less than 400. Nevertheless on its capture the docks were found to have been thoroughly wrecked and it was over four weeks before the port could be used. ww2dbase [Normandy Campaign, Phase 2 | Le Havre, Haute-Normandie | AC]

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, Hugh Martyr, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis

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Famous WW2 Quote
"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."

Winston Churchill, on the RAF