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23 May 1899

United States
  • Julien Bryan was born in Titusville, Pennsylvania, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
23 May 1900
23 May 1910

Germany
  • Kichisaburo Nomura was made a naval attaché to Germany. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Japan
  • Prince Hiroyasu arrived in Japan. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
23 May 1913

Germany
  • Theodor Morell received a doctoral degree in medicine. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
23 May 1916
  • George Patton was promoted to the rank of first lieutenant. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
23 May 1918

United Kingdom
  • The British War Cabinet decided to despatch a 560-man force to Arkhangelsk in northern Russia, whose task it would be to train Russian forces in the area and to reorganize the Czech Corps making its way northwards from the Ukraine. In addition it was proposed to reinforce the Marines at Murmansk, Russia with a force of 600 infantry, machine-gunners and engineers under the command of Major General Sir Charles Maynard. ww2dbase [AC]
23 May 1927
  • Roderick Carr and L. E. M. Gillmann's attempt to fly non-stop from Britain to India failed as they ran out of fuel and had to ditch their aircraft in the Persian Gulf near Bandar Abbas, Iran. Despite the failure, they would achieve a world record for flight distance, however. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
23 May 1932

Japan
  • Emperor Showa granted Yoshinori Shirakawa words of encouragement as Shirakawa lay wounded in a hospital in Shanghai, China. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United States
  • Construction of the Hotel Hershey began in Hershey, Pennsylvania, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]

23 May 1932 Interactive Map

23 May 1934

United States
  • Bank robbers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were killed in a shoot out in Bienville Parish, Louisiana, United States. ww2dbase [AC]

23 May 1934 Interactive Map

23 May 1938

United Kingdom
  • German Ambassador Herbert von Dirksen in London, England, United Kingdom noted that Germany had no intention of military aggression over Czechoslovakia. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
23 May 1939
  • Adolf Hitler held a long speech before his top military commanders, starting by noting Danzig as a means to engage Poland in a war to gain Lebensraum ("living space") for the German people, and then digressing to note the possibility of war with Britain and France, the need to occupy the Low Countries for their airfields, and strategies for a war in western Europe and the Atlantic. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
China
  • Chinese troops captured Suixian, Hubei Province, China. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Russia
  • The Soviet Air Force transferred 35 I-15bis fighters from the 22nd Fighter Aviation Regiment (IAP) to airfields close to the border with the Mongolia region of China. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United States
  • USS Squalus sank off the Isles of Shoals in northeastern United States due to the failure of the main induction valves, which flooded the aft portions of the ship. 26 were killed from drowning, 33 were rescued. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
23 May 1940
  • Submarine Marlin was laid down at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery in Maine, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German submarine U-9 torpedoed and sank captured (by Belgium on 10 May) German steamer Sigurd Faulbaum 15 miles northeast of Zeebrugge, Belgium. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The German 6th Army crossed the Scheldt River in Belgium. In France, British General Lord Gort withdrew his troops from Arras despite being able to halt Rommel's momentum. Elsewhere, German 2nd Panzer Division attacked Boulogne while the German 1st Panzer Division's forward elements reached Calais. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Arrests began for British fascists across the United Kingdom as well as known IRA operatives in Northern Ireland. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Oswald Mosley and 747 other British Union members were arrested (including ninety-six women including Lady Diana) and interned without charge. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
Photo(s) dated 23 May 1940
British prisoners of war in Calais, France, May 1940; note Panzer I light tank in foreground
23 May 1941
  • Battleship Bismarck sighted British cruiser Suffolk on her portside at 1922 hours, then cruiser Norfolk at 2030 hours. Her main battery fired at Norfolk but did not score any hits. At 2200 hours, Bismarck reversed course to chase Suffolk, but Suffolk would be able to escape. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Grampus was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler issued Directive 30 to send forces to aid Iraq in its war against the British. At Fallujah, Iraq, fighters of the German Fliegerführer Irak squadron strafed British positions. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German battleship Bismarck and cruiser Prinz Eugen were spotted by British cruisers HMS Suffolk and HMS Norfolk in the Denmark Strait at 1922 hours. Bismarck forced the British cruisers to back off with her guns, but the cruisers would follow at a safer distance to report the German position. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German submarine U-38 sank Dutch ship Berhala 200 miles off Guinea, French West Africa at 2020 hours; 3 were killed, 59 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Hermann Göring ordered the plunder and destruction of Soviet industrial centers since the conquered Soviet population would be no more than low laborers for Germany. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Greece
  • HMS Kelly commanded by Lord Louis Mountbatten, great grandson of Queen Victoria, was sunk 35 miles south Crete, Greece at 0800 hours, shortly a bombardment mission; 181 were killed, 297 survived. On the island itself, bitter fighting continued. During the day, German reinforcements arrived at Maleme airfield, but the attempts to land troops by sea were rebuffed. The Germans now controlled the west end of the island. On the same day, German bombing of Suda Bay sank 5 British motor torpedo boats. ww2dbase [Main Article | Event | AC]

23 May 1941 Interactive Map

23 May 1942
  • Soviet submarine ShCh-205 sank Turkish merchant ship Safak off Burgas, Bulgaria; Safak was suspected of bringing arms for German troops fighting in Ukraine. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The British Commander-in-Chief of the Home Forces ordered an end to "blood-lust inculcation" in battle training. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The United Stats Marine Corps established the Training Center, Fleet Marine Force at Marine Barracks, New River, North Carolina, United States. It was to include all Fleet Marine Force units and replacements except the 1st Marine Division. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Japanese and Chinese troops clashed along the Hsipaw-Mogok road in northern Burma. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German submarine U-432 sank British ship Zurichmoor 150 miles southeast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, United States just after 0000 hours, killing all 45 aboard. At 2200 hours, in the same general area, U-588 sank British ship Margot; 1 was killed, 44 survived. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German submarine U-103 sank US tanker Samuel Q. Brown 100 miles east of Cozumel, Mexico at 0926 hours; 2 were killed, 53 survived. U-155 sank Panamanian ship Watsonville just off Saint Vincent island in the Lesser Antilles islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • US Navy intelligence officers determined that the Japanese fleet targeting Midway Atoll would likely depart on 26 May 1942. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The close escort force for Allied convoy PQ-16 was reinforced by 4 corvettes, 2 submarines, and 1 anti-aircraft vessel. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Australia
  • USS S-44 arrived at Brisbane, Australia, ending her first war patrol. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Japan Libya
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down two Baltimore bombers over Tobruk, Libya at 0720 and 0730 hours. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Ukraine
  • German 14th Division and 16th Panzer Division, moving northward, and German 3rd Panzer Division and 23rd Panzer Division, moving southward, linked up, thus completing the encirclement of the Soviet 6th Army and 57th Army at Izium, Ukraine. In the same area, German troops captured Chepel to prevent the Soviet 38th Army from attacking the eastern side of the newly formed encirclement. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United States
  • Grand Duchess Charlotte arrived in Washington, United States and met with President Franklin Roosevelt. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 23 May 1942
AVG squadron flight leader Robert USS Quincy at New York Navy Yard, 23 May 1942

23 May 1942 Interactive Map

23 May 1943
  • The US 22nd Marine Regiment was detached from the 3rd Marine Brigade and was moved to Tutuila, Samoa. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • A British Fleet Air Arm Swordfish launched from the escort carrier HMS Archer sank the German submarine U-752 with a rocket attack. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
Australian Papua
  • 13th Bomb Squadron (flying B-25 aircraft) of USAAF 3rd Bombardment Group was transferred from Port Moresby to Dobodura Airfield, Australian Papua. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Caroline Islands
  • USS Sunfish conducted a reonnaissance mission at Anguar, Palau Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
China
  • Pang Bingxun was installed as the commander of the 24th Army Group of the Japanese puppet government in Nanjing, China. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Japan
  • Battleship Musashi arrived at Kisarazu, Chiba, Japan, disembarking Isoroku Yamamoto's ashes. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United States
  • USS New Jersey was commissioned into service at Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • Submarine Dorado was launched at Groton, Connecticut, United States, sponsored by the wife of Ezra G. Allen. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
US Pacific Islands
  • USS Snook arrived at Midway Atoll, ending her first war patrol. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 23 May 1943
Burke with drink and pipe in hand while at the OfficerThe ashes of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto arriving at Kisarazu, Japan aboard battleship Musashi, 23 May 1943Guest ticket to the commissioning ceremony of USS New Jersey, which took place on 23 May 1943Future commander of Dorado Earle C. Schneider at the launching ceremony with his son Earle V.
See all photos dated 23 May 1943

23 May 1943 Interactive Map

23 May 1944
  • Japanese hospital ship Hikawa Maru departed Singapore. ww2dbase [Main Article | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • USS Cero attacked a Japanese convoy off the Palau Islands, sinking a freighter and damaging a tanker, hitting them with 4 of 6 torpedoes fired. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Ray fired ten torpedoes at two radar contacts south of the Philippine Islands, sinking one ship and damaging another with six torpedo hits. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Muriel Byck passed away. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • General Hans Cramer, last commander of the German Afrika Korps, was repatriated due to ill health; before he departed Britain, he was shown evidence of the massive Allied build-up, but was misinformed as to the location of these forces; when he was later debriefed in Berlin, Germany, this misinformation helped deceive the Germans as to the actual target of the invasion. On the same day Cramer was repatriated, a single USAAF B-24 bomber ("Lorelei" 41-29300), escorted by eight P-51 fighters, loaded with the new top-secret Azon bombs successfully destroyed four bridges leading into Normandie, France; Lieutenant Colonel F. M. O'Neil (commanding officer of 753rd Squadron) and Captain Fred DeNeffe were the mission pilots; the entire crew was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH, AC]
Italy
  • Troops of Polish II Corps and Canadian 1st Infantry Division attacked Piedimonte, Italy. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Three US and two British divisions launched a new assault out of the Anzio, Italy beachhead at dawn, inflicting heavy casualties on German formations but also suffering similarly. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Pacific Ocean
  • USS Permit damaged a Japanese ship in the Pacific Ocean with her deck gun. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Poland
  • Four trains arrived at the Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland with 12,674 Hungarian Jews (3,023 from Viseu de Sus (Felsovisó), 3,272 from Nyiregyháza, 3,269 from Mukacevo (Munkács), and 3,110 from Oradea (Nagyvárad)). 5 women were registered into the camp; 12,669 were sent to the gas chambers. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
US Pacific Islands
  • USS Parche arrived at Midway Atoll, ending her first war patrol. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 23 May 1944
Map of the Allied breakout from the Anzio, Italy beachhead and advance from the Gustav Line, May 1944Program of the first anniversary celebration aboard USS New Jersey, 23 May 1944, page 1 of 3Program of the first anniversary celebration aboard USS New Jersey, 23 May 1944, page 2 of 3Program of the first anniversary celebration aboard USS New Jersey, 23 May 1944, page 3 of 3
See all photos dated 23 May 1944

23 May 1944 Interactive Map

23 May 1945
  • USS Ray sank 4 small Japanese vessels west of Japan with her deck gun. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Himmler committed suicide at Lüneburg, Germany. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • Members of the German High Command and the Provisional Government were taken into custody and imprisoned. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • The Allies dissolved Karl Dönitz's government. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Japan
  • USS Sargent Bay completed repairs and arrived in Okinawa, Japan. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • 525 American B-29 bombers conducted a raid on Tokyo, Japan. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Russia
  • Allied convoy RA-67, the last outgoing Allied arctic convoy, departed the Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • In Westminster, London, England, United Kingdom, British Prime Minister Churchill resigned and formed a caretaker administration in which the Labour Party refused to serve. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
Photo(s) dated 23 May 1945
Himmler dead at Lnneburg, 23 May 1945The body of Heinrich Himmler lying on the floor at British 2nd Army HQ after his suicide on 23 May 1945Dönitz, Jodl, and Speer being arrested by British troops, 23 May 1945Speer, Dönitz, and Jodl immediately after being arrested by British troops, 23 May 1945
See all photos dated 23 May 1945
23 May 1946

China
  • Chinese Nationalist troops captured Changchun, Jilin Province, China. ww2dbase [CPC]
Dutch East Indies Germany
  • Soviet Major General of Justice Nikolai Zorya was found killed in his hotel room with a gunshot wound to his head. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 23 May 1946
Incomplete Unryu-class carrier Ikoma, Shodoshima, Japan, 23 May 1946

23 May 1946 Interactive Map

23 May 1947
  • The British divided India into India and Pakistan. ww2dbase [CPC]
23 May 1948
  • USS Chub was decommissioned from service at Izmir, Turkey and was transferred to the Turkish Navy. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Brill was decommissioned from service and was transferred to Turkey, which commissioned her as submarine Inönü. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Turkey
  • USS Boarfish was decommissioned from service at Izmir, Turkey and was struck from the US Navy Register. On the same day, she was transferred to Turkey and was recommissioned under the new name of Sakarya (S-332). ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
23 May 1949
  • Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany, the constitution of West Germany, came into effect. ww2dbase [CPC]
23 May 1952

Photo(s) dated 23 May 1952
USS Saint Paul in Chongjin harbor, Korea, 23 May 1952
23 May 1956

United States
  • USS Rock completed her overhaul at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, California, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
23 May 1958

Photo(s) dated 23 May 1958
Admiral Burke in his Pentagon office, posing with the

23 May 1958 Interactive Map

23 May 1966

China
  • Demchugdongrub passed away in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, China. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
23 May 1967

United States
  • USS Charr departed San Diego, California, United States for Asian waters. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]

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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US Marines, New Georgia, 1943


Famous WW2 Quote
"I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God, our forces stand again on Philippine soil."

General Douglas MacArthur at Leyte, 17 Oct 1944