Hitler predicts in a speech to the [Reichstag" that a war in Europe would lead to "the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe]("The) destruction of the Jews", "Auswanderung oder Evakuierung".
After days of naval bombardment and the landing of assault troops, the Westplatte garrison surrenders.
At the beginning of the war a gas attack was greatly feared; the government issued everyone with gas masks to be carried at all times. As the threat receded, the masks became a nuisance rather than a need, but nevertheless had to be carried throughout the war. Gas drill was a regular feature of air raid precaution training and practice.
The battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Geisenau leave Kiel with orders to intercept the Allied evacuation fleet from Norway.
(18 till 23 January). Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini hold a conference at Berghof.
Nazi extermination camps begin full operation. These include Auschwitz, Bamberg, Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald, Chelmno, Jena, Sobibor and Treblinka. Over 2.600.000 Polish Jews are among those killed during the course of the war. Over 12.000 people would be killed daily at Auschwitz alone. By 1945 nearly 6 million Jews and more than 3 million Communists, gypsies, socialists and other dissidents will be exterminated
The Netherlands destroys oil refinery at Balikpapan, Borneo.
Japanese troops capture Borneo oil fields.
Allies lose Benghazi and halt German advance at the Gazala line.
(till 26 September). Fight between German and Italian troops at Korpoe, the whole Italian Army 7.000 men killed by the Germans.
Russia requires surrender German 6th Army.
Begin of the liquidation of German troops in Stalingrad of troops from Armygroup "Don front", General Rokossowky. Fighting during the battle of Stalingrad was bitter and exhausting.
The first of Hitler's raids, 270 German aircraft, on London and southern England. The mission is a failure; 96 aircraft reach targets. Thereby, about 700 RAF bombers have made raids on Berlin, Kiel and Magdeburg.
The Soviet Union declares war on Bulgaria.
Operation 'Bodenplatte'. In Europe Allied air forces operating from airfields in Holland, Belgium and northern France are surprised by a sudden attack by more than 800 diverse aircraft which the Luftwaffe has assembled from all possible locations, despite their loss of 50 many in recent weeks. The motley collection is flown by novices who are led to their targets by the few remaining skilled pilots. The Allies lose 300 aircraft but can replace these quickly; the Luftwaffe count is just over 200. These, and their pilots, are irreplaceable and the action has rendered the Luftwaffe almost powerless in the west.
Communistic "Comité of Lublin" provisional Government in Polen, for the time being.
The Nuremberg Trials begin with 21 leading Nazi officials in the dock including Goering, Donitz, Raeder, Jodl and Keitel. The event discloses to the world the horror of the Nazi regime; Rudolf Hess, who had been an SS- Obergruppenfuhrer, gives appalling details of the systematic mass murder at Auschwitz. The trails continue until October 1946.