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Chronology 1944

Date Event Historical Background
January 4, 1944 Argentinean Recognition of Bolivian Government The government of Argentina became the first state to recognize the military junta, led by Major Gualberto Villarroel, that overthrew the President Enrique Panaranda in Bolivia in late December 1943. The U.S. government announced its refusal to recognize the Villarroel government on January 25th.
January 20-February 1944 Soviet Winter Offensive The Red Army launched a winter offensive, capturing Novgorod in the north on January 20th. By February, the Red Army advanced into Estonia and had reached the pre-war borders of Poland.
January 23, 1944 Anzio Amphibious Assault British and American forces conducted the second major amphibious assault on the Italian mainland south of Rome at Anzio in an attempt to outflank the German lines. Delays in advancing from the beach head gave the Germans time to regroup their defenses and the Allied forces lost their opportunity to take advantage of the operation.
January 27, 1944 Argentinean Severence of Relations with the Axis Powers After the discovery of an espionage plot against the government, Argentina severed diplomatic relations with Germany and Japan.
January 31-February 20, 1944 U.S. Central Pacific Winter Offensive Employing the island hopping strategy, Admiral Chester Nimitz launched amphibious assaults against the Marshall Islands beginning on January 31st. American troops captured Roi on February 3rd, Kwajalein on February 6th, and Einwetok on February 20th. Control of the Marshall Islands gave the United States command of the central Pacific.
February 1, 1944 Revision of the Soviet Constitution The Soviet government revised the Constitution of 1936, establishing separate commissariats of defense and foreign affairs for each of the Soviet Socialist Republics. Each republic could establish and maintain its own army, which would be a component of the Red Army. They could also conduct independent negotiations with foreign governments and had the power to conclude treaties.
February 11, 1944 Restoration of Italian Civil Government The U.S. and Britain restored Italian civil government on Sicily, Sardinia, and the mainland south of the provinces of Salerno and Potenza. The Allied Control Commission and the Allied Military Government had administered these areas with the support of the Advisory Council of Italy, composed of representatives from the United States, Britain, the Soviet Union, and the French Committee for National Liberation.
February 17-May 9, 1944 Soviet Ukrainian Offensive The Red Army succeeded in trapping and destroying ten German divisions caught in a pocket near Cherkassy in the Ukraine on February 17th. The Ukrainian offensive drove west as the Red Army reached the Romanian border on March 26th. The Soviets captured Odessa on April 10th and Tarnopol on April 15th. By May 9th, the Red Army gained control of Sevastopol and the Crimea and the Soviet government announced that the Ukraine was liberated from Axis forces.
March 1-April 24, 1944 Allied New Guinea Offensive Allied troops launched an offensive in the New Guinea theater of the Pacific War. American forces landed in the Admiralty Islands on March 1st and Allied troops conducted landings at Hollandia and Aitape on New Guinea on April 24th.
March 11, 1944 Irish Refusal to Close Axis Embassies Eamon de Valera, Prime Minister of Ireland, rejected a request from the Roosevelt administration to close the German and Japanese embassies in Dublin to cut off the Axis intelligence network. In response, the British government suspended all travel between the United Kingdom and Ireland on March 13th.
March 15-June 9, 1944 Allied Spring Offensive in Italy Anglo-American forces launched a major offensive against Monte Cassino, capturing the city on May 18th. This operation breached the German's Gustav Line and opened the road to Rome, which fell on June 4th.
March 22, 1944 German Occupation of Hungary The success of the Red Army in the East led the German government to send troops into Hungary and establish a pro-German puppet government on March 23rd. Doeme Sztojay became the new Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs.
April 1944 United Nations Organization for Educational and Cultural Reconstruction Proposed Meeting in London, Allied representatives of Ministries of Education proposed the establishment of the United Nations Organization for Educational and Cultural Reconstruction. This international organized was designed to help rebuild educational and cultural infrastructures around the world which had been destroyed during World War II.
April 18, 1944 Badoglio Resignation in Italy The cabinet of Marshal Pietro Badoglio resigned, but King Victor Emmanuel III invited Marshal Badoglio to remain as Prime Minister and form a new government.
April 18, 1944 British Limitation on Diplomatic Privileges In an effort to reduce Axis intelligence operations, the British government curtailed the activities of diplomats, with the exception of American and Soviet representatives.
April 20-May 12, 1944 Twenty-Sixth Session of the International Labor Conference The International Labor Organization (BIT) held its twenty-sixth session in Philadelphia. The organization moved its operations to Montreal after the Germans occupied France. The delegates considered a wide range of post-war recommendations including income security, medical care for people discharged from the armed forces and war employment, medical care, minimum standards of social policy in dependent territories, employment organization in the transition from war to peace, employment service, and the national planning of public works.
May 3, 1944 Spanish Curtailment of Trade with Germany Under pressure from the Roosevelt administration, the Spanish government agreed to restrict the shipment of raw materials to Germany and to limit the activities of Axis agents in Spain. In return, the U.S. government ended its embargo of oil shipments to Spain.
May 17-August 3, 1944 Allied Burma Offensive British forces advanced into northern Burma, capturing Myitkyina on May 17th. The airfield there allowed the Allies to resume air supplies to the Nationalist Chinese forces. The Japanese counter-attacked and the Allies finally secured Myitkyina on August 3rd.
June 4, 1944 Allied Capture of Rome The U.S. Fifth Army entered Rome, the first European capital to be liberated from Axis domination.
June 6, 1944 Allied Amphibious Landing in Normandy American, British, and Canadian forces participated in the largest amphibious invasion in history, supported by 4,000 ships and 10,000 aircraft. Airborne and amphibious forces landed on a 60 mile long beach head on the Normandy coast between St. Marcouf and the Orne River on the Cherbourg Peninsula. This invasion, under the command of General Dwight D. Eisenhower, established a new Western Front and marked the beginning of the end of the Third Reich.
June 9, 1944 Resignation of Badoglio Marshal Pietro Badoglio resigned as the premier of Italy and was replaced by Ivanoe Bonomi.
June 9-August 12, 1944 Allied Summer Offensive in Italy U.S. and British forces launched a major offensive in central Italy during the summer of 1944. On August 12th, the Allies captured Florence after bitter fighting. The Italian Socialist Republic, under the leadership of Benito Mussolini, was limited to northern Italy. Although the Allies made some additional advances on the western coast of the Italian mainland, capturing Ravenna, a Winter Line emerged by January 1945 in stalemate.
June 16-October 13, 1944 U.S. Central Pacific Summer Offensive American forces landed in the Mariana Islands in the Allied drive against Japan. The Mariana Islands were strategically important for the future offensive against the Japanese. U.S. Marines encountered stiff Japanese resistance when they landed on Saipan on June 16th. U.S. troops regained Guam on August 11th, setting up the Marianas as a staging base for the invasion of Iwo Jima. American forces also landed in the Palau Islands in the Caroline Island chain on September 15th as the first step in the invasion of the Philippines. Most importantly, the airbase on Saipan enabled American B-29 bombers to begin an air offensive against the Japanese Home Islands.
June 17, 1944 German V-1 Attacks The Germans began a new airborne offensive against Britain, launching pilotless planes under jet propulsion filled with explosives. The V-1 aircraft were first generation drones and were eventually replaced by more advanced V-2 missiles.
June 17, 1944 Establishment of Icelandic Republic The government of Iceland cut its ties with the Danish throne and established an independent republic.
June 20, 1944 Soviet Finnish Offensive On the northern front, the Red Army launched an offensive against the Finns, which resulted in the Russian capture of Vyborg on June 20th.
June 23-August 1944 Soviet Summer Offensive The Red Army made substantial gains in Byelorussia during the summer months of 1944. The Soviets captured Vitebsk on June 26th and Minsk on July 3rd. The Normandy invasion prevented the Germans from sending reinforcements to the Eastern Front which resulted in a series of Russian victories. By the end of August, the Red Army had reached the borders of East Prussia and had invaded Poland and Romania.
June 27, 1944 Allied Capture of Cherbourg Allied forces captured Cherbourg on June 27th, which placed a major port under Allied control. The Allies were able to ship 2.2 million men, 450,000 vehicles, and four million tons of supplies to support the invasion of northern France.
July 1-22, 1944 United Nations Monetary and Financial/Bretton Woods Conference Representatives of the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference met in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire to plan for the post-war international financial system. The delegates proposed the creation of the International Monetary Fund, with a net credit of $8.8 billion, to help stabilize national currencies after the war, and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (later called the World Bank), capitalized with $10 billion, to help reconstruction efforts and promote a vibrant world economy. The goals of these organizations was to avert currency problems and stabilize exchange rates. Representatives from 44 countries participated in the planning process and presented the proposals to their home governments for approval.
July 11, 1944 U.S. Recognition of the French Committee of National Liberation The Roosevelt administration officially recognized the French Committee of National Liberation under the leadership of General Charles De Gaulle as the de facto government of France in all of the liberated areas of that country. General Dwight Eisenhower also warned the Germans that French underground forces should be recognized as combatants under the protection of international law.
July 13-August 26, 1944 Allied Offensive in France American, British, and Canadian forces broke out of the Normandy beach head and advanced into northern France. British and Canadian troops captured Caen on July 9th. Allied tanks broke through the German lines at St. Lo and fanned out across northern France, capturing Rennes and reaching Nantes on August 6th. Allied air attacks prevented the Germans from reinforcing their lines and a German army was annihilated in the Falaise Gap by August 23rd. Flushed with victory, Allied forces captured Orleans on August 17th, Paris on August 23rd, and Tours on August 26th.
July 18, 1944 Fall of Tojo Government in Japan In response to the turning tide against Japan in the Pacific, General Hideki Tojo and his cabinet resigned. He was replaced by General Kuniaki Koiso as Premier and Admiral Mitsumasa Yonai as Vice Premier.
July 20, 1944 Failed Coup against Hitler Members of the German military attempted to assassinate Chancellor Adolf Hitler in his East Prussian headquarters. Chancellor Hitler escaped the bombing attempt with only slight injuries and mounted a major purge to root out the German resistance.
July 24, 1944 Soviet Capture of Pskov The Red Army drove the Germans from the last important Russian city, liberating Pskov. The capture of this strategic city opening the way for a Soviet invasion of Estonia.
July 27, 1944 Soviet Recognition of Polish Committee of National Liberation The Soviet government officially recognized the Polish Committee of National Liberation as the official Polish government. The Soviets helped organize this new government in Moscow and concluded an agreement with the Polish Committee for the administration of liberated Polish territory. The Soviet decision represented the rejection of the legal claims of the Polish government-in-exile in London.
August 1, 1944 New Government in Finland With the collapse of the Eastern Front, Finnish President Risto Ryti resigned his office and the Finnish parliament voted to replace him with Marshal Karl Gustav Mannerheim.
August 2, 1944 Polish Underground Uprising Polish resistance forces, led by General Bor (Tadeo Komorowski), mounted an uprising against German occupation forces in anticipation of a Red Army offensive into Poland. The Germans ruthlessly suppressed the rebellion, although the Poles did not surrender until October 2nd.
August 11, 1944 Liberation of India Allied troops advanced to the Indo-Burmese frontier, forcing Japanese forces to retreat into Burma.
August 15, 1944 Allied Invasion of Southern France The Allies conducted another amphibious invasion, landing troops on the French Mediterranean coast between Marseille and Nice.
August 15-September 15, 1944 Allied Offensive in Southern France The American Seventh Army and the French First Army advanced north through the Rhone Valley from the Rivera beach head. On September 15th, these forces linked up with the American Third Army at Dijon. The Allied command then reorganized the American, British, Canadian, and French forces in preparation for the invasion of Germany.
August 16, 1944 U.S. Freeze on Argentinean Gold Assets The Roosevelt administration froze Argentina's gold assets in the U.S. as the Argentinean government failed to cooperate fully in the war against the Axis powers.
August 21-October 9, 1944 Dumbarton Oaks Conference Representatives from the United States, the British Commonwealth, and the Soviet Union met at Dumbarton Oaks, in Washington, DC, to plan for the establishment of the United Nations. The objective of the UN was to replace the League of Nations with a more effective organization to preserve world peace and security. The tentative proposals, known as the Dumbarton Oaks Plan, served as the basis for the Charter of the United Nations. The major sticking point at the conference was the veto issue. The Soviets refused to bar a member of the Security Council from voting on an issue to which itself was a party. The UN proposal was officially unveiled on October 9th.
August 23, 1944 Romanian Armistice When the Red Army reached the mouth of the Danube River and captured Jassy and Kishniev, King Michael of Romania dismissed the government of General Ion Antonescu and accepted the United Nations armistice terms. The Red Army advanced into Romania to take up occupation duties. The Romanian surrender trapped most of the German Black Sea fleet, with the exception of smaller warships which were able to sail up the Danube before the Soviet advance. Soviet domination of the Black Sea opened up a strategic supply route which permitted more cargo to reach the Soviet Union.
August 23, 1944 Allied Capture of Paris As Allied forces crossed the Seine, the citizens of Paris seized arms and rioted against the German occupation forces. The French Forces of the Interior (FFI), which had organized the underground resistance and supplied with arms by the Allies, launched an uprising against the retreating Germans.
August 25, 1944 Romanian Declaration of War against Germany Fulfilling the terms with the United Nations armistice, the Romanian government declared war against Germany.
August 26-November 15, 1944 Allied Offensive in Northern France British and Canadian forces advanced along the northern French coast, capturing Rouen on August 30th and Calais on September 30th. They continued their attack into Belgium in September. American forces advanced in the center and southern flanks of the Allied offensive, capturing Amiens on August 31st, Dijon on September 11th, Epinal on September 15th, Nancy on September 16th, and Metz on November 18th. This offensive placed the Allies on the Siegfried Line, the German's primary defense line on the Western Front, by early December.
August 29, 1944 French Administration of Paris Allied commanders turned over the administration of Paris to General Charles De Gaulle and the French Committee for National Liberation.
August 31, 1944 Soviet Occupation of Bucharest Following the terms of the Romanian armistice, Red Army forces occupied Bucharest.
September 4, 1944 British Capture of Brussels The British Second Army liberated Brussels and Antwerp after four years of German occupation.
September 5, 1944 Soviet War Declaration on Bulgaria Although an Axis state, the Bulgarians did not participate in the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. The Soviet occupation of Romania, however, placed the Red Army in the position of launching an invasion of Bulgaria. The Soviet government declared war on Bulgaria on September 5th to knock the Bulgarians out of the war.
September 7, 1944 German V-2 Attacks For the first time in history, the Germans employed rocket-propelled missiles as weapons. Their V-2 rockets represented an advanced stage of technology.
September 8, 1944 Bulgarian Armistice The Bulgarian government accepted the Soviet government's armistice terms, with the approval of the other Allied governments.
September 11-16, 1944 Second Quebec Conference President Franklin Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill met in Quebec City to review the strategic plans for the final victories over Germany and Japan. The chief issues during the talks were the demarcation of the occupation zones after the conquest of Germany and the policy of post-war governance. Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Jr. introduced the Morgenthau Plan, a draconian policy which would have reduced Germany to an agrarian economy. The plan was tentatively approved at Quebec, but political criticism led President Roosevelt to disavow the policy a month later.
September 12-October 21, 1944 Allied Assault on the Siegfried Line On September 12th, the American First Army crossed the German frontier near Eupen and U.S. armored forces entered Germany north of Trier. The Americans advanced to Aachen by October 21st, but the German defenses on the Siegfried Line stiffened and halted the American advance.
September 14, 1944 Allied Invasion of the Dutch East Indies American forces invaded Morotai in the Molucca Islands on September 14th. This offensive isolated Japanese forces in the western section of New Guinea.
September 16, 1944 Soviet Occupation of Sofia In accordance with the terms of the Bulgarian armistice, Soviet forces occupied Sofia.
September 16-26, 1944 Council of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration Meeting The Council of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration held its second session in Montreal. The organization allocated $50 million to Italy, primarily for medical supplies. This marked the first extension of assistance by the United Nations to a former enemy country. By assessing member states, the UNRRA approved a budget of $11.5 million in 1945. The question of whether UNRRA supplies and staff would be admitted into countries liberated by the Soviets remained undecided.
September 17-November 9, 1944 British Offensive in the Netherlands In an effort to outflank the Siegfried Line in the north, the British launched an airborne invasion of the Netherlands. German resistance was fierce and the Allied forces had to withdraw from Arnheim after a week of intense fighting. The Canadian First Army, however, succeeded in clearing out the Scheldt Estuary by November 9th, which permitted the Allies to use the port facilities in Antwerp.
September 22-October 20, 1944 Soviet Baltic Offensive Red Army forces secured the northern flank of the Eastern Front by capturing Tallinn in Estonia on September 22nd and Riga in Latvia on October 13th. These victories placed the Red Army on the pre-war borders of East Prussia, poised for the invasion of Germany.
September 24-October 13, 1944 Allied Invasion of Greece British airborne forces landed in Greece and advanced on Athens, liberating the capital on October 13th.
September 29, 1944 Fascist Threat in Argentina President Franklin Roosevelt declared that Nazi-Fascist influence was growing in Argentina and that the Argentine government had failed to fulfill its obligations under the inter-American agreements. As a result, the U.S. government refused to allow American ships to call at Argentinean ports.
September 29, 1944 Mexican Oil Expropriation Agreement The Mexican government agreed to pay $24 million with three percent interest for the U.S. oil company property the Mexicans had expropriated in 1938. This agreement marked the conclusion of the tensions between the U.S. and Mexican governments over Mexico's petroleum policies.
October 2, 1944 Collapse of the Warsaw Resistance Polish forces, under the command of General Bor (Tadeo Komorowski), surrendered to the Germans after several months of pitched fighting in Warsaw. The Poles launched the uprising in anticipation of a Red Army offensive into Poland. Soviet aid never materialized as the Germans reduced the city into ruins.
October 5, 1944 Japanese Capture Fuzhou The Japanese captured Fuzhou (Foochow), the last seaport under Chinese control.
October 9-19, 1944 Second Moscow Conference Prime Minister Winston Churchill traveled to Moscow to meet with Premier Josef Stalin. The two leaders adopted the Percentages Agreement, whereby they divided the Balkan region into spheres of influence. Under the terms of the agreement, the Soviets would predominate in Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania while Britain would assume power in Greece. Both countries would share influence in Yugoslavia. The two leaders also agreed to Poland's borders, with the Curzon Line serving as Poland's eastern boundary and the Oder River the western border. President Franklin Roosevelt, when learning of the agreements reached in Moscow, announced that the U.S. would not be bound by the terms.
October 13, 1944 Allied Capture of Athens Allied forces liberated Athens from German rule after four years of occupation.
October 19, 1944 Finnish Armistice The Red Army breakthrough in the Finnish defense line at Vyborg and the general German retreat across Russia persuaded the Finnish government to negotiate an armistice with the Allies.
October 19, 1944-June 1945 U.S. Offensive in the Philippines On October 19th, U.S. forces conducted an amphibious assault on the island of Leyte in the Philippine Islands. General Douglas MacArthur commanded the invasion force that would reconquer of the Philippines. On October 21st-25th, the Imperial Navy attempted to destroy the U.S. invasion force. In the Second Battle of the Philippine Sea, the Japanese lost 40 ships and 405 aircraft, while an additional 46 ships were damaged. This battle effectively eliminated the Imperial Navy as an offensive threat in the Pacific. The Americans conducted a series of offensives in the Philippines, landing forces on Mindoro Island on December 15th, Luzon in February 1945, and Palawan in June 1945.
October 20, 1944 Allied Capture of Belgrade German forces in Yugoslavia faced a growing Partisan opposition, which tied down considerable numbers of German troops. The Germans were unable to stop the Red Army advance into Yugoslavia and Yugoslav and Soviet forces liberated Belgrade on October 20th, driving out the German occupation troops.
October 23, 1944 Allied Recognition of the Italian Government The Allied governments officially recognized the Italian government under Ivanoe Bonomi.
October 23, 1944 Allied Recognition of the French Government The Allied governments officially recognized the French Provisional Government under the leadership of General Charles De Gaulle.
November 3, 1944-February 13, 1945 Defense of Budapest By early November, the Red Army, flushed with victories in Romania, Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia, reached the gates of Budapest. Hungarian and German troops mounted a savage defense of the city and the last troops did not capitulate until February 13, 1945.
November 7, 1944 French Consultative National Assembly General Charles De Gaulle summoned the French Consultative National Assembly for its first session. The Assembly scheduled municipal and departmental elections for the 89 departments in February 1945. The legislature extended the franchise to all citizens, male and female, over the age of 21.
November 27, 1944 Stettinius New U.S. Secretary of State President Franklin Roosevelt appointed Edward Stettinius as the new Secretary of State to replace Cordell Hull, who resigned due to poor health.
November 29, 1944 Allied Merchant Ship Losses The Office of War Information revealed that the Germans had sunk over 22 million tons of Allied and neutral merchant shipping between September 1939 and January 1, 1944. Despite this staggering loss, the United States had replaced this tonnage, launching 4308 ships with a deadweight tonnage of over 44 million during the same period. By 1944, the Allies had achieved naval superiority in the Battle of the Atlantic, destroying over 500 U-boots.
December 10, 1944 Franco-Soviet Treaty of Alliance The French and Soviet governments signed a 20-year Treaty of Alliance and Mutual Assistance. General Charles De Gaulle negotiated the agreement with the Russians in Moscow.
December 16, 1944-January 21, 1945 The Battle of the Bulge The Germans launched a surprise winter offensive against the thinly held American lines in the Belgian and Luxembourg sectors. Although driven back to the Meuse River, the Americans held Bastogne and rallied against the German attack. The German forces were caught in a "bulge" and were driven back to their original lines by January 21, 1945. The German offensive failed to reach its objective dividing the British and American armies and regaining the Channel ports. Instead, the Germans lost irreplaceable resources which were critical for the defense of Germany.
December 25, 1944 Settlement of Greek Civil War Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden traveled to Athens to arrange a settlement of the Greek civil war. Fighting had erupted between Communist and royalist factions in Greece. The agreement led to the establishment of a regency government under Archbishop Damaskinos. King George II appointed the archbishop as the head of the caretaker government, and Archbishop Damaskinos was sworn in as regent on December 30th.
December 31, 1944 Chinese Constitutional Government General Chiang Kai-Sheik announced that his government would establish a constitutional government before the end of the war and make China a democratic republic.

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