February 1944

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The following events occurred in February 1944:

February 1, 1944 (Tuesday)[edit]

February 2, 1944 (Wednesday)[edit]

February 3, 1944 (Thursday)[edit]

February 4, 1944 (Friday)[edit]

February 5, 1944 (Saturday)[edit]

February 6, 1944 (Sunday)[edit]

  • German submarine U-177 was depth charged and sunk off Ascension Island in the South Atlantic by an American B-24.
  • Over the night of February 6/7 some 200 Soviet bombers attacked Helsinki, the heaviest bombing of the Finnish capital since the war began.[6]

February 7, 1944 (Monday)[edit]

  • President Roosevelt asked Stalin not to allow the Polish border issue to undermine future international co-operation. Roosevelt proposed that the Polish Prime Minister accept the desired territorial changes and then be allowed to alter the makeup of his government without any evidence of foreign pressure.[7]
  • With the Red Army approaching Estonia's borders, Prime Minister Jüri Uluots broadcast a speech over the radio calling on the Estonian people to fight alongside the Germans against the bigger perceived threat to Estonian freedom.[8]

February 8, 1944 (Tuesday)[edit]

February 9, 1944 (Wednesday)[edit]

  • During the Battle of Anzio, German forces captured Aprilia from the British 1st Division which continued to hold "The Factory".[11]
  • German submarines U-238 and U-734 were both sunk southewest of Ireland by British warships.
  • Bishop of Chichester George Bell started a debate in the House of Lords over the morality of the bombing of European cities when he made a speech questioning the practice. "I recognize the legitimacy of concentrated attack on industrial and military objectives, on airfields and air bases, in view especially of the coming of the Second Front," the Bishop said. "I fully realize that in attacks on centres of war industry and transport the killing of civilians when it is the result of bona-fide military activity is inevitable. But there must be a fair balance between the means employed and the purpose achieved. To obliterate a whole town because certain portions contain military and industrial establishments is to reject the balance ... How can there be discrimination in such matters when civilians, monuments, military objectives and industrial objectives all together form the target? How can the bombers aim at anything more than a great space when they see nothing and the bombing is blind?"[12]
  • Born: Alice Walker, author and activist, in Putnam County, Georgia

February 10, 1944 (Thursday)[edit]

February 11, 1944 (Friday)[edit]

  • At the Anzio beachhead, German forces captured "The Factory" from the British 1st Division.[11]
  • The Soviets announced the recapture of Shepetovka.[13]
  • German submarine U-283 was sunk southwest of the Faroe Islands by a Wellington bomber of 407 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force.
  • German submarine U-424 was depth charged and sunk southwest of Ireland by British sloops Wild Goose and Woodpecker.
  • Sermon denouncing racial prejudice at Saint Louis University, a Catholic, Div 1 research school in Missouri, delivered by Father Claude H. Heithaus, S. J.[14] Fr. Hiethaus was promptly, forcibly transferred out of state, but less than 6 months later, the first 5 negroes enrolled at SLU in summer of '44. SLU became the first historically white institution of higher learning in a former slave state to admit persons of color.[15]
  • Born: Mike Oxley, politician, in Findlay, Ohio (d. 2016)
  • Died: Carl Meinhof, 86, German linguist

February 12, 1944 (Saturday)[edit]

February 13, 1944 (Sunday)[edit]

February 14, 1944 (Monday)[edit]

February 15, 1944 (Tuesday)[edit]

February 16, 1944 (Wednesday)[edit]

  • The Battle of the Korsun–Cherkassy Pocket ended in Soviet victory. Most of the German forces managed to escape but left much heavy equipment behind.
  • American forces launched Operation Hailstone, a massive attack against the Japanese naval and air base at Truk in the Caroline Islands.
  • 800 Allied aircraft raided Berlin. In his post-raid report, Joseph Goebbels attempted the unusual tactic of exaggerating the damage done in the hope that the Allies might think that the capital was no longer an important target.[17]
  • Lord Chancellor John Simon appeared before the House of Lords and made a speech defending the British bombing campaign. Referring specifically to the monastery at Monte Cassino, he said that most of the buildings there dated from the nineteenth century and that the most valuable art treasures and manuscripts had been moved elsewhere weeks and months earlier.[2][18]
  • Stalin responded to Roosevelt's message of February 7 by saying the Polish government was made up of elements hostile to the Soviet Union and was incapable of friendly relations with the USSR. Stalin advised that "The basic improvement of the Polish government appears to be an urgent task."[7]
  • The war film Passage to Marseille starring Humphrey Bogart and Michèle Morgan was released.
  • Born: Richard Ford, novelist and short story writer, in Jackson, Mississippi; António Mascarenhas Monteiro, 2nd President of Cape Verde, in Ribeira da Barca, Portuguese Cape Verde
  • Died: Henri Nathansen, 75, Danish writer and stage director (suicide)

February 17, 1944 (Thursday)[edit]

February 18, 1944 (Friday)[edit]

February 19, 1944 (Saturday)[edit]

  • 187 planes of the Luftwaffe bombed London as part of Operation Steinbock. It was the heaviest bombing of the British capital since May 1941.[20]
  • German submarine U-264 was depth charged and sunk in the Atlantic Ocean by two British sloops.
  • German submarine U-386 was depth charged and sunk in the Atlantic Ocean by the British frigate Spey.

February 20, 1944 (Sunday)[edit]

February 21, 1944 (Monday)[edit]

  • Soviet troops took Soltsy and Kholm.[3]
  • Churchill advised Stalin that the Polish government-in-exile was ready to accept the Curzon Line as a basis for talks and assured him that by the time they resumed diplomatic relations with the Soviets, their government would only consist of members willing to co-operate with Moscow. Stalin remained unconvinced.[7]
  • Hideki Tojo became Chief of Staff of the Japanese Army.[2]
  • Died: Ferenc Szisz, 70, Hungarian race car driver

February 22, 1944 (Tuesday)[edit]

  • In the Nikopol–Krivoi Rog Offensive, the Red Army captured Krivoy Rog itself when the Germans pulled out to avoid being encircled.[22][23]
  • Churchill gave a speech in the House of Commons aimed at dispelling Soviet distrust. Churchill said he supported the Soviet border demands in Poland as reasonable and stated that Britain had never guaranteed any Polish border.[24]
  • French poet and Resistance fighter Robert Desnos was arrested in Paris. He was sent to the Theresienstadt concentration camp and would die in June 1945 shortly after the camp's liberation.[22]
  • The British oil tanker British Chivalry was sunk by Japanese submarine I-37 in the Indian Ocean. I-37 circled the sinking ship indiscriminately shooting at the survivors, for which Lieutenant-Commander Nakagawa Hajime was tried and found guilty of a war crime in 1948.
  • The U.S. Eighth Air Force was established.
  • Born: Jonathan Demme, filmmaker, in Baldwin, Nassau County, New York; Tom Okker, tennis player, in Amsterdam, Netherlands

February 23, 1944 (Wednesday)[edit]

February 24, 1944 (Thursday)[edit]

February 25, 1944 (Friday)[edit]

  • Big Week concluded in Allied victory.
  • The Japanese cargo ship Tango Maru was torpedoed and sunk in the Java Sea by the American submarine Rasher, killing 3,500 Javanese labourers and hundreds of Allied prisoners of war. Rasher sank the Japanese transport ship Ryūsei Maru that same day, killing some 5,000 Japanese soldiers.
  • The British destroyer Inglefield was sunk by a German glide bomb off Anzio.
  • The Founding of the Republic of Iceland took place after the Icelandic parliament decided to sever ties between Iceland and the Danish monarchy. The decision was put to a public referendum in May.
  • Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands narrowly escaped death when her London home was destroyed by German bombing.[26]
  • Born: François Cevert, racing driver, in Paris, France (d. 1973)

February 26, 1944 (Saturday)[edit]

  • The Soviet 54th Army captured Porkhov.[27]
  • The Polish government-in-exile defied the British government's wishes and rejected the recognition of the Curzon Line as Poland's eastern frontier.[2]
  • Some 600 Soviet bombers raided Helsinki.[23]
  • German submarine U-91 was depth charged and sunk in the North Atlantic by three British warships.

February 27, 1944 (Sunday)[edit]

February 28, 1944 (Monday)[edit]

February 29, 1944 (Tuesday)[edit]


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  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Mercer, Derrik, ed. (1989). Chronicle of the 20th Century. London: Chronicle Communications Ltd. pp. 595–596. ISBN 978-0-582-03919-3.
  3. ^ a b c "1944". MusicAndHistory. Retrieved March 1, 2016.[permanent dead link]
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  7. ^ a b c Dallek, Robert (1995). Franklin D. Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy, 1932–1945. Oxford University Press. p. 452. ISBN 978-0-19-982666-7.
  8. ^ "Events occurring on Monday, February 7, 1944". WW2 Timelines. 2011. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  9. ^ Williams, David L. (2012). In the Shadow of the Titanic: Merchant Ships Lost With Greater Fatalities (ebook). The History Press Ireland. ISBN 978-0-7524-7713-8.
  10. ^ Belmessous, Saliha (2013). Assimilation and Empire: Uniformity in French and British Colonies, 1541–1954. Oxford University Press. p. 197. ISBN 978-0-19-165102-1.
  11. ^ a b "Conflict Timeline, February 7 - February 16 1944". OnWar.com. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  12. ^ "Bombing Policy". Hansard. February 9, 1944. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  13. ^ Chronology and Index of the Second World War, 1938–1945. Research Publications. 1990. p. 240. ISBN 978-0-88736-568-3.
  14. ^ Haven, Heithaus (2013-02-25). "Heithaus Haven: The Heithaus Homily: February 11, 1944". Heithaus Haven. Retrieved 2018-02-12.
  15. ^ "The Heithaus Forum". www.slu.edu. Retrieved 2018-02-12.
  16. ^ "War Diary for Saturday, 12 February 1944". Stone & Stone Second World War Books. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  17. ^ a b Davidson, Edward; Manning, Dale (1999). Chronology of World War Two. London: Cassell & Co. p. 182. ISBN 0-304-35309-4.
  18. ^ "Preservation of Historical and Art Treasures". Hansard. February 16, 1944. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  19. ^ "War Diary for Friday, 18 February 1944". Stone & Stone Second World War Books. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  20. ^ "Was war am 19. Februar 1944". chroniknet. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  21. ^ "Was war am 20. Februar 1944". chroniknet. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  22. ^ a b "Was war am 22. Februar 1944". chroniknet. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  23. ^ a b "Conflict Timeline, February 17-26 1944". OnWar.com. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  24. ^ Kersten, Krystyna (1991). The Establishment of Communist Rule in Poland, 1943–1948. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. p. 44. ISBN 978-0-520-06219-1.
  25. ^ "War Diary for Thursday, 24 February 1944". Stone & Stone Second World War Books. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  26. ^ "Was war am 25. Februar 1944". chroniknet. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  27. ^ "War Diary for Saturday, 26 February 1944". Stone & Stone Second World War Books. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  28. ^ "War Diary for Monday, 28 February 1944". Stone & Stone Second World War Books. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  29. ^ "Test pilot Reitsch pitches suicide squad to Hitler". History. A&E Networks. Retrieved March 1, 2016.