Second World War

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The Second War War was the biggest war in human history. Fighting took place in every corner of the world, from the frozen northern oceans to the jungles of New Guinea. Hardly any country escaped some form of involvement in the fighting, which devastated large areas of Europe and the Far East.

Perhaps because of that vast scope the Second World War has been a source of constant fascination ever since.

This page will bring together all of our coverage of the Second War War, including our subject indexes and our book shop pages. We will also announce new articles on the war on this page (at the moment we have 2,003 articles and 1,579,800 words on the war).

We now open a new section of the site, a day-by-day history of the Second World War covering the 2,214 days of the war from the German invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939 to the Japanese surrender in Hong Kong on 16 September 1945, and currently containing 5,325 individual facts.

Troops at Dieppe B-17 Albacore taking off

Updates from: 20142013201220112010200920082007

21 June 2017

Operation Ochenskopf (Oxhead) (26 February-19 March 1943) was a minor German offensive in northern Tunisia, carried out at the expense of Rommel's more promising assault on the Kasserine Pass.

The battle of Medenine (6 March 1943) was Rommel's last offensive in Africa, and was an unsuccessful attempt to disrupt the Eighth Army's preparations for their upcoming attack on the Mareth Line, the main Axis defensive position in southern Tunisia.

19 June 2017

The Heavy Assault Tank A33 (Excelsior) was a design for a heavier version of the Cromwell A27M and was produced when the Churchill infantry tank appeared to be a failure.

The Infantry Tank, Valiant, A38, was an improved version of the Valentine infantry tank, but by the time the prototypes were ready there was no longer any need to it, and work stopped in 1945.

16 June 2017

USS Crane (DD-109) was a Wickes class destroyer that entered service too late for the First World War, but that served with the Neutrality Patrol and off the US West Coast during the Second World War.

13 June 2017

Operation Morgenluft (16-18 February 1943) was Rommel's contribution to a joint operation with von Arnim's Fifth Panzer Army, and saw his forces expel the Americans from Gafsa and then advance north to Kasserine.

The battle of Kasserine Pass (19-22 February 1943) was Rommel's final success in North Africa, and saw the inexperienced Americans suffer a heavy defeat at the hands of the Germans.

9 June 2017

The TOG I Heavy Tank was a design for a massive tank that was developed by a group of tank experts from the First World War. Despite several years of effort and tests on the sole prototype very little came of their efforts.

The TOG II Heavy Tank was the second design produced by a group of First World War tank experts in 1940-41, and was a more modern looking vehicle than the TOG I, carrying its main gun in a large turret.

8 June 2017

USS Williams (DD-108) was a Wickes class destroyer that was completed too late for service in the First World War, but that saw extensive use as a convoy escort as HMCS St. Clair during the Second World War.

5 June 2017

Operation Eilbote (Courier), 18 January-February 1943, was a successful German attack in the Eastern Dorsal Mountains of Tunisia that saw von Arnim's men capture a number of key mountain passes, preparing the way for the later battle of the Kasserine Pass.

Operation Frühlingswind (Spring Wind), 14-18 February 1943, was von Arnim's contribution to a joint operation with Rommel's Panzerarmee Afrika, and saw his troops capture Sidi bou Zid and Sbeitla, and force the Americans back into the Kasserine Pass, a key position in the Western Dorsal mountains of Tunisia.

1 June 2017

The Alecto was a self-propelled gun based on the chassis of the Light Tank Mk VIII 'Harry Hopkins'.

The Black Prince Infantry Tank (A43) was produced in an attempt to mount the 17-pounder anti-tank gun on a tank that used as many components from the Churchill as possible.

31 May 2017

USS Chew (DD-106) was a Wickes class destroyer that was present during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and operated from Hawaii during the rest of the Second World War, although her career was blighted by repeated engine problems.

26 May 2017

The Tunisian Campaign (8 November 1942-13 May 1943) was the final stage of the North African campaign, and saw a combined British, American and French army slowly eliminate the Axis bridgehead in Tunisia.

24 May 2017

The Self-Propelled Gun, Avenger, A30, was a tank destroyer armed with a 17-pounder gun and based on the Cruiser Tank Challenger (A30).

23 May 2017

USS Schley (DD-103/ APD-14) was a Wickes class destroyer that entered service in the last weeks of the First World War, but saw most service as a fast transport during the Second World War, earning 11 battle stars in the Pacific.

18 May 2017

Operation Perpetual (11-12 November 1942) saw British troops capture a number of ports on the coast east of Algiers in the aftermath of Operation Torch.

The battle of El Agheila (12-18 December 1942) was a rearguard action during Rommel's retreat in the aftermath of his defeat at El Alamein, and saw Montgomery outflank a strong defensive position, forcing Rommel to resume his retreat

16 May 2017

The Light Tank Mk VII 'Tetrarch' (A17) was the last British designed light tank to be used in combat during the Second World War, and saw limited use as a glider-borne aircraft on D-Day and during the crossing of the Rhine.

The Light Tank Mk VIII 'Harry Hopkins' (A25) was an improved version of the Light Tank Mk VII Tetrarch, but entered production after light tanks had gone out of favour and never saw combat.

10 May 2017

Operation Torch (8-11 November 1942) was the Allied invasion of Vichy occupied North Africa, and was the first significant land operation carried out by American troops in the war against Germany.

8 May 2017

The Light Tank AA Mark I was an attempt to produce an anti-aircraft tank on the chassis of the obsolete Light Tank Mk VI, but it wasn't a terribly effective design, and only a handful were produced.

The Light Tank AA Mark II was an improved version of the AA Mark I, and featured better sights and a larger turret.

1 May 2017

Operation Treatment (1942) was the intelligence element of the deception plan for the second battle of El Alamein, and focused on convincing the Germans that the offensive would start on 6 November, two weeks later than was planned.

The second battle of El Alamein (23 October-4 November 1942) was Montgomery's first great offensive victory, and forced Rommel to begin a retreat that didn't end until he had reached the Mareth Line in Tunisia, ending any last Axis hopes of conquering Egypt.

28 April 2017

The Supermarine Spiteful was developed to replace the Spitfire, but by the time it was ready to enter service it was no longer needed, and only a handful were ever completed.

21 April 2017

The battle of Alam Halfa (31 August-7 September 1942) was Rommel's last offensive in Egypt, and Montgomery's first victory after taking command of the Eighth Army, and was a British victory that removed any chance of Rommel reaching Alexandria or the Suez Canal.

Operation Bertram (1942) was the tactical element of the deception plan for the second battle of El Alamein, and focused on convincing the Germans both that the offensive wouldn't begin until some time in November and that the main attack would come on the southern end of the front line.

19 April 2017

The T92 240mm Howitzer Motor Carriage was one of two attempts to mount very heavy artillery pieces on the chassis of the M26 Pershing tank.

13 April 2017

The first battle of El Alamein (1-27 July 1942) was a series of engagements in the area south of El Alamein in which Rommel's run of victories in 1942 was finally brought to an end. A series of British counterattacks also achieved little, and the battle ended as a stalemate.

11 April 2017

The T84 8in Howitzer Motor Carriage was the first attempt to mount a heavy artillery gun on the chassis of the M26 Pershing tank, but only two pilots were ever built.

10 April 2017

USS Fairfax (DD-93)/ HMS Richmond was a Wickes class destroyer that operated in the western Atlantic in 1918, as a training ship between the wars, then with the Royal Navy as HMS Richmond and the Soviet Navy as the Zhivuchi during the Second World War.

USS Taylor (DD-94) was a Wickes class destroyer that served with the US Atlantic Fleet late in the First World War, but that had been reduced to a hulk by the outbreak of the Second World War. Later her bow was used to repair USS Blakeley, after that destroyer was damaged by a U-boat.

5 April 2017

Operation Sentinel (1942) was a deception plan used to try and mislead Rommel in believing that Egypt was more strongly defended than it really was during his advance into Egypt after the battle of Gazala.

Operation Cascade (1942) was a deception plan used to convince Rommel that the British army in Egypt was much larger than it really was.

4 April 2017

The Boulton Paul P.107 was the company's last wartime design for a land based fighter. It was a two-seat long range escort fighter, powered by a Bristol Centaurus CE12SM engine.

The Boulton Paul P.108 Balliol was designed as a turboprop powered trainer but saw limited service as a standard piston engine powered trainer with the RAF and Fleet Air Arm.

28 March 2017

The siege of Tobruk (17-21 June 1942) was one of the more embarrassing British defeats in North Africa, and helped to reduce Churchill's confidence in General Auchinleck's abilities as a commander.

The battle of Mersa Matruh (26-28 June 1942) was Rommel's last victory against the Eighth Army, and saw him brush aside a British attempt to defend the Mersa Matruh position

24 March 2017

The Heavy Tank T32 was an attempt to quickly produce a heavy tank based on the T26E3 version of the Pershing, and was the first of several contemporary designs for heavy tanks to reach the pilot stage.

The Heavy Tank T34 was based on the Heavy Tank T29 and Heavy Tank T30, and was armed with a modified 120mm anti-aircraft gun. It didn’t enter production, but the post-war Heavy Tank M103 was largely based on it.

23 March 2017

USS Ringgold (DD-89) was a Wickes class destroyer that was commissioned too late to see service in the First World War, but that served with the Royal Navy in the Second World War as HMS Newark.

USS McKean (DD-90/ APD-5) was a Wickes class destroyer that entered service too late for the First World War, but that served in the Solomon Islands campaign of the Second World War as a fast transport, before being sunk off Bougainville.

20 March 2017

Rommel's Second Offensive (21 January-4 February 1942) was an unexpected counterattack that forced the British to retreat 350 miles, from the western border of Cyrenaica to the Gazala Line, and set the scene for Rommel's advance into Egypt later in the year

The battle of Gazala (26 May-14 June 1942) was Rommel's most impressive victory in North Africa, and saw him force the British to abandon the defences of the Gazala Line and retreat back towards the Egyptian frontier. In the aftermath of the battle he was also able to capture Tobruk, which had held out for eight months in 1941, but fell after the first serious attack in 1942.

17 March 2017

The Boulton Paul P.105 was a design for a multi-use naval attack aircraft.

The Boulton Paul P.106 was a design for an elementary training aircraft, but that lost out to the Percival Prentice.

16 March 2017

The Heavy Tank T28/ 105mm Gun Motor carriage T95 was a heavily armoured vehicle that was designed to attack fortified positions.

The Heavy Tank T30 was developed in response to the appearance of heavier German tanks in 1943-44, and was armed with a 155mm gun.

15 March 2017

USS Robinson (DD-88) was a Wickes class destroyer that was commissioned too late to see service during the First World War, but that served in the Royal Navy as HMS Newmarket during the Second World War.

10 March 2017

Operation Battleaxe (15-17 June 1941) was an unsuccessful British offensive in North Africa, carried out in an attempt to raise the siege of Tobruk

Operation Crusader (18 November-20 December 1941) was Rommel's first defeat in North Africa, and was a confused battle, won in part by a combination of Auchinleck's determination and Rommel's rash 'dash to the wire'.

8 March 2017

The Heavy Tank M6 (Heavy Tank T1) was the first American heavy tank to come close to production during the Second World War, but was rejected by the Armored Force and only a handful were ever completed.

The Heavy Tank M45 was a howitzer armed version of the M26 Pershing tank, originally developed as the T26E2

7 March 2017

USS Colhoun (DD-85/ APD-2) was a Wickes class destroyer that saw limited service towards the end of the First World War, and was later converted into a fast transport and sunk in a Japanese air attack off Guadalcanal.

2 March 2017

The North African Campaign (1940-1943) produced some of the British army's most iconic moments of the Second World War, and the Allied and Axis armies repeated advance back and forward across Libya, before the Allied victories of El Alamein and Operation Torch forced the Axis forces back into an increasingly small bridgehead in Tunisia.

1 March 2017

The Boulton Paul P.103 was a design for a naval fighter based on the Defiant turret fighter.

The Boulton Paul P.104 was a design for a pusher naval fighter produced in response to Specification N.7/43.

28 February 2017

The Heavy Tank T29 was developed in response to the appearance of heavy German tanks in the European theatre, and carried a 105mm gun on a chassis similar to that used on the M26 Pershing.

27 February 2017

USS Stringham (DD-83/ APD-6) was a Wickes class destroyer that saw limited service towards the end of the First World War, before serving throughout most of the Pacific Campaign of the Second World War as a fast transport.

22 February 2017

The siege of Tobruk (10 April-16/17 December 1941) saw a beleaguered Allied garrison hold out for eight months against German and Italian attacks, and helped prevent Rommel taking full advantage of his victory in his first offensive, which had seen him conquer Cyrenaica only a few weeks after it had fallen to the British

Operation Brevity (15-16 May 1941) was a short-lived British offensive carried out to see if the German position east of Tobruk was fragile enough for the siege to be lifted without a major battle.

20 February 2017

USS Sigourney (DD-81) was a Wickes class destroyer that operated from Brest during the First World War, and served with the Royal Norwegian Navy and Royal Navy as HMS Newport during the Second World War.

USS Gregory (DD-82/ APD-3) was a Wickes class destroyer that saw service late in the First World War, and was then converted into a fast transport. She was sunk while carrying out her new role off Guadalcanal in September 1942.

16 February 2017

The T53 90mm Gun Motor Carriage was a design for a combined tank destroyer and self propelled anti-aircraft gun that was rejected after extensive development work had been carried out.

The 20mm quad AA Tank, Skink, was the most successful attempt to mount an anti-aircraft gun on the chassis of a Sherman tank, but only a handful were produced, and their main use was against ground targets.

14 February 2017

Operation Sonnenblume (Sunflower) (February-March 1941) was the codename for the initial movement of German troops to North Africa, after the Italians had been forced out of Cyrenaica and appeared to be struggling to hold on to Tripolitania.

Rommel's First Offensive (24 March-30 May 1941) saw him push a weakened British army out of Cyrenaica, and all the way to the Egyptian border, undoing all of the British conquests at the start of 1941 and setting a pattern for the desert war that would last until the second battle of El Alamein late in 1942.

13 February 2017

The Boulton Paul P.101 was a radical design for a staggered biplane fighter, produced in response to an Air Ministry specification for a manoeuvrable fighter with a high rate of climb.

The Boulton Paul P.102 was a project to fit a jet engine in an existing aircraft, but it suffered from high level indecision and was eventually cancelled.

10 February 2017

USS Little (DD-79) was a Wickes class destroyer that was used as a fast transport during the Second World War, and was sunk off Gualalcanal in September 1942.

USS Kimberly (DD-80) was a Wickes class destroyer that served in European waters during the First World War, but that was scrapped soon after the end of the war.

8 February 2017

The T36 40mm Gun Motor Carriage was an unsuccessful attempt to mount a Bofors anti-aircraft gun on the chassis of the Medium Tank M3.

The T52 Multiple Gun Motor Carriage was a failed design for a self propelled anti-aircraft vehicle armed with one 40mm Bofors gun and two machine guns.

3 February 2017

USS Woolsey (DD-77) was a Wickes class destroyer that sank in 1921 after being cut in half in a collision with a merchant ship.

USS Evans (DD-78) was a Wickes class destroyer that entered US service just after the First World War, briefly took part in the Neutrality Patrl and then entered British service as HMS Mansfield

1 February 2017

The T24 3in Gun Motor Carriage was an early attempt to produce a tank destroyer by mounting a 3in anti-aircraft gun on the chassis of the Medium Tank M3.

The T26 75mm Gun Motor Carriage was an unsuccessful design for a self propelled anti-aircraft that failed because of problems with the gun.

26 January 2017

The Boulton Paul P.99 was a design for a twin-boom fighter produced in response to an Air Ministry specification for a manoeuvrable fighter.

The Boulton Paul P.100 was a design for a tail first fighter produced in response to an Air Ministry specification for a manoeuvrable fighter.

25 January 2017

USS Wickes (DD-75) was the name ship of the Wickes class of destroyers. After a brief spell of service late in the First World War she took part in the US Neutrality Patrol in 1939-40, before being transferred to the Royal Navy, where she served as HMS Montgomery.

USS Philip (DD-76) was a Wickes class destroyer that entered service just before the end of the First World War, and saw more service in the Second World War as HMS Lancaster.

18 January 2017

The Cruiser Tank Sherman VC Firefly was a British modification to the Medium Tank M4 that armed it with the excellent British 17 pounder antitank gun, making it one of the most effective Allied tanks available in 1944-45.

The Tracked Self-Propelled 25 pounder, Sexton, was a self propelled artillery gun based on the Canadian Ram medium tank.

13 January 2017

The Boulton Paul P.97 was a design for a twin engined night fighter produced after the Air Ministry decided that its F.18/40 specification couldn't be filled by a single engined fighter.

The Boulton Paul P.98 was a design for an advanced pusher fighter, produced in response to an Air Ministry specification for a manoeuvrable fighter with a high rate of climb.

12 January 2017

USS Manley (DD-74/ AG­28/ APD­1) was a Caldwell class destroyer that survived a massive explosion during the First World War, and served as a fast transport during the Second World War, taking part in a series of invasions in the Pacific.

The Wickes Class Destroyers were the first of the famous mass produced flush-deckers of the First World War, and the only type to see active service during that war. Along with the Clemson class they provided the bulk of the US destroyer force during the inter-war years, and many survived to play varied roles during the Second World War.

9 January 2017

The Cruiser Tank, Grizzly Mk I, was the designation given to the Medium Tank M4A1/ Sherman II, when produced in Canada.

The Assault Tank M4A3E2 'Jumbo' was a more heavily armoured version of the Sherman produced to lead attacks during the invasion of Europe.

3 January 2017

USS Conner (DD-72) was a Caldwell class destroyer that served with the US Navy in the First World War, and with the Royal Navy (as HMS Leeds) during the Second World War.

USS Stockton (DD-73) was a Caldwell class destroyer that served in the First World War with the US Navy and in the Second World War as HMS Ludlow, after taking part in the Destroyers for Bases deal.

29 December 2016

The Medium Tank M4A3(105) was a version of the Sherman tank armed with a 105mm howitzer and that used the US Army's preferred Ford GAA V-8 engine.

The Assault Tank T14 was a more heavily armoured version of the Sherman, designed to lead attacks.

23 December 2016

USS Craven (DD-70) was a Caldwell class destroyer that entered service too late for the First World War, but entered Royal Navy service as HMS Lewes in 1940, serving in British Home Waters, from South Africa and in the Far East.

19 December 2016

The Medium Tank M4E5 was the designation given to two pilot vehicles for the 105mm armed version of the M4 Sherman.

The Medium Tank M4 (105) was a version of the Sherman tank that carried a 105mm howitzer, and was powered by the Wright-Continental R975 engine.

8 December 2016

The Medium Tank M4A3(76)W HVSS was the first production version of the Sherman to use a Horizontal Volute Spring Suspension system, which improved both the ground pressure of the tank and made the suspension more reliable.

The Medium Tank M4A4E1 was the first prototype for the 105mm howitzer armed versions of the M4 Sherman.

28 November 2016

The Medium Tank M4A2(76)W combined the welded hull and General Motors engine of the earlier M4A2 with the new 76mm gun and wet shell storage introduced across the Sherman range in 1944.

The Medium Tank M4A3(76)W/ Sherman IVA was the US Army's preferred version of the tank, and combined the welded hull and Ford engine of the standard M4A3 with the new 76mm gun and wet shell storage system introduced during 1944.

18 November 2016

The Medium Tank M4(76)W was the designation given to a version of the M4 that would have been armed with a 76mm gun, but that was cancelled before any production vehicles were built.

The Medium Tank M4A1(76)W/ Sherman IIA was the first 76mm armed version of the Sherman to enter production, and had a cast hull, wet shell storage and a Continental R975 engine

11 November 2016

The Medium Tank M4A1 (76M1) was the first attempt to fit a more powerful gun in the Sherman tank, but was abandoned after objections by the Armored Force.

The Medium Tank M4E6 was the second attempt to install a 76mm gun on a Sherman tank, and saw the introduction of a number of features that made their way into production tanks.

27 October 2016

The Medium Tank M4A2E1 was a version of the Sherman tank that was powered by a General Motors engine developed from a marine diesel engine.

The Medium Tank M4E3 was an experimental version of the Sherman that was powered by a Chrysler A65 engine.

13 October 2016

The Medium Tank M4E1 was an experimental version of the Sherman that used a diesel version of the Wright G200 Cyclone air-cooled radial engine.

The Medium Tank M4A6 was the final production version of the Sherman, and used the composite hull introduced late in the production of the M4 and a modified version of the Wright Cyclone engine that could use diesel fuel.

5 October 2016

The Medium Tank M4A3/ Sherman IV had a welded hull and Ford V-8 engine, and was one of the main US service versions. It was also the version chosen for use after the end of the Second World War.

The Medium Tank M4A4/ Sherman V had a welded hull and used the Chrysler multibank engine. The engine was rejected for use by the US Army, but proved to be very reliable in Britain, where over 7,000 tanks were received

16 September 2016

The Medium Tank M4A1/ Sherman II was the second version of the Medium Tank M4 to be standardized but the first to enter production. It combined a cast upper hull and a Wright radial engine, and was used by US and UK forces.

The Medium Tank M4A2/ Sherman III was the third version of the tank to be standardized, but the second to enter production. It used the welded hull of the M4 and a General Motors diesel engine, and was mainly used for Lend Lease, with most going to the UK and others to the Soviet Union.

2 September 2016

The 372nd Fighter Group was a home based training unit that served with the Fourth and Third Air Forces.

The 373rd Fighter Group served with the Ninth Air Force and took part in the D-Day invasion, the advance across France, the battle of the Bulge and the invasion of Germany.

The 402nd Fighter Group went through two incarnations during the Second World War, first as a medium bomber formation in China and then as a home based fighter training unit.

1 September 2016

The Medium Tank T6 was the prototype for the Medium Tank M4 Sherman, the most important American tank of the Second World War.

The Medium Tank M4 was the first version of the M4 Sherman to be standardized, but only the third to enter production. It used a welded hull and Wright R-975 air cooled radial engine, and was used by the United States and Britain.

23 August 2016

The Cruiser Tank, Ram Mk I, was a Canadian tank that combined the engine, transmission and running gear from the Medium Tank M3 with a new hull and its main gun carried in a turret.

The Cruiser Tank, Ram Mk II, was the definitive version of a medium tank based on the American M3, but produced in Canada and armed with a 6 pounder anti-tank gun in a cast turret.

11 August 2016

The Tank Recovery Vehicle M31 was based on the Medium Tank M3, and over 800 were produced in 1942-45.

The Prime Mover M33 was an artillery tractor based on the M31 Tank Recovery Vehicle, itself based on the Medium Tank M3.

28 July 2016

The Sentinel AC III was a version of the Australian Sentinel AC I cruiser tank, modified to carry a 25pdr howitzer.

The Sentinel AC IV was a version of the Australian Sentinel AC I cruiser tank, modified to carry a 17pdr high velocity anti tank gun.  

25 July 2016

The 369th Fighter Group was a home based training unit that was active for two years from August 1943.

The 370th Fighter Group served with the Ninth Air Force and took part in the D-Day landings, the advance across France, Operation Market Garden, the Battle of the Bulge and the invasion of Germany.

The 371st Fighter Group served with the Ninth Air Force and took part in the D-Day invasion, the advance across France, the battle of the Bulge and the invasion of Germany.

19 July 2016

The Sentinel AC I cruiser tank was an Australian tank designed to help defend the country against a potential Japanese threat. Despite being a impressive technical achievement, the AC I entered production too late for its primary purpose, and instead was using as a training vehicle.

The Sentinel AC II was an Australian design for a cruiser tank that could be produced using existing truck engines and components.

4 July 2016

The Medium Tank M3A4 used a multi-bank Chrysler engine, designed to overcome a potential shortage of tank engines in 1941-42.

The Medium Tank M3A5 was the designation given to M3 medium tanks that combined the General Motors diesel engine with a riveted hull.

24 June 2016

The Medium Tank M3A2 was the first version of the tank to use a welded hull, but only a handful were built before production moved onto the M3A3.

The Medium Tank M3A3 was the main production version of the M3 to use a welded hull in place of the original riveted hull.

16 June 2016

The Medium Tank M3 was the main production version of the Medium Tank M3/ Grant/ Lee, and used a riveted hull and a Wright air-cooled radial engine. It was used in North Africa in 1942, but was then largely replaced by the M4 Sherman.

The Medium Tank M3A1 was the only version of the Medium Tank M3/ Grant/ Lee to use a cast upper hull.

10 June 2016

The Boeing C-75 was the military designation given to five Model 307 Stratoliners that were commandeered by the USAAF in 1942.

The Watanabe K8W1 Experimental 12-Shi Primary Seaplane Trainer was designed to replace the Yokosuka K4Y1 Type 90 Seaplane Trainer, but lost out to a Kawanishi design.

6 June 2016

The Medium Tank M2 was the first US medium tank to be produced in reasonable numbers, but was already obsolete by the time it entered production in 1939, and was soon replaced by the M3, itself seen as an interim design while work was completed on the M4 Sherman.

The Medium Tank M3/ Grant/ Lee was the first American medium tank to carry a 75mm gun, and played a significant part in the fighting in North Africa in 1942, but it was always seen as a interim design as its main gun was carried in the right of the hull, and it had been rushed into production to fill a gap before the arrival of the Medium Tank M4 Sherman.

27 May 2016

The Aichi H9A flying boat was the only dedicated flying boat trainer to be placed into production in significant numbers during the Second World War.

The Aichi S1A Denko (Bolt of Light) was a Japanese Navy night fighter that was at an advanced stage of development before US bombing destroyed the two prototypes, effectively ending the programme.

19 May 2016

The Aichi B7A Ryusei (Shooting Star) 'Grace' was a large torpedo bomber designed for use on a new generation of Japanese aircraft carriers, but that only saw limited service from land after the Japanese carrier fleet was destroyed.

The Aichi D1A Diver Bomber 'Susie' was a carrier dive-bomber based on the Heinkel He 66 that saw service with the Japanese Navy during the 1930s.

4 May 2016

The 366th Fighter Group served with the Ninth Air Force and took part in the D-Day invasion, the advance across France, Operation Market Garden, the Battle of the Bulge and the invasion of Germany.

The 367th Fighter Group served with the Ninth Air Force and took part on the D-Day invasion, the advance across France, the Battle of the Bulge and the invasion of Germany.

The 368th Fighter Group served with the Ninth Air Force and took part in the D-Day invasion, the siege of Cherbourg, the advance across France, the attack on Germany and the Battle of the Bulge.

4 April 2016

The 362nd Fighter Group (USAAF) served with the Ninth Air Force, and took part in the D-Day invasion, the advance across France, the battle of the Bulge and the invasion of Germany.

The 363rd Fighter Group/ 363rd Tactical Reconnaissance Group (USAAF) served with the Ninth Air Force, changing role half way thorough the campaign in north-western Europe.

The 365th Fighter Group served with the Ninth Air Force, taking part in the D-Day campaign, the advance across France, Operation Market Garden, the battle of the Bulge and the invasion of Germany.

31 March 2016

The Renault UE infantry vehicle was an armoured supply tractor produced to move supplies to the front line.

The Chenillette Lorraine, Type 37L was an armoured cargo carrier produced to support infantry tank units in the French Army.

21 March 2016

The Renault AMC 34 was a light tank designed to be more capable of combat than the earlier Renault AMR 33, with thicker armour and a more powerful main gun.

The Renault AMC 35 was an improved version of the AMC 34 light tank, with a modified suspension system and a more powerful main gun.

11 March 2016

The Somua S35 was one of the most advanced French tank designs of the 1930s, and performed well in 1940 although wasn't available in large enough numbers to make any different to the outcome of the campaign.

The Somua S40 was an improved version of the Somua S35 that was under development just before the Fall of France. The S40 used the same basic layout as the S35, but with a 220hp Diesel engine, a new form of suspension and a welded turret.

8 March 2016

The 357th Fighter Group (USAAF) served with the Eighth Air Force, flying a mix of bomber escort and ground attack missions as well as supporting the D-Day landings, the break out from Normandy, the Battle of the Bulge and the crossing of the Rhine.

The 358th Fighter Group (USAAF) fought with the Eighth and then Ninth Air Forces, taking part in the D-Day invasion, and carrying out ground attack and fighter sweep missions as the Allies advanced across Europe.

The 360th Fighter Group (USAAF) was a home based training unit.

1 March 2016

The Renault AMR 33 was a light cavalry tank designed for cross-country reconnaissance duties. It was an interim model and was quickly followed into production by the improved Renault AMR 35.

The Renault AMR 35 was a more heavily armed version of the AMR 33 light cavalry  tank, and could carry a range of guns from a 7.5mm machine gun to a 20mm cannon.

23 February 2016

The Char Léger Hotchkiss H35 was a light tank designed in the early 1930s, but that was underpowered and was replaced by the Hotchkiss H39.

The Char Léger Hotchkiss H39 was an improved version of the Hotchkiss H35 light tank, with a more powerful engine and slightly improved main gun.

17 February 2016

The 353rd Fighter Group (USAAF) served with the Eighth Air Force, providing bomber escorts, flying ground attack missions and protecting troop transports.

The 354th Fighter Group (USAAF) served with the Ninth Air Force from 1943 to the end of the Second World War, taking part in the D-Day campaign, the campaign in north-west Europe, Operation Market Garden and the Battle of the Bulge.

The 355th Fighter Group (USAAF) operated with the Eighth Air Force, flying bomber escort, fighter sweeps and ground attack missions.

10 February 2016

The Char Léger Renault R35 was the most numerous French infantry tank in 1940, but it was outclassed by most German tanks and was mainly used in infantry support units scattered along the entire front line.

The Char Léger FCM-36 was the first diesel powered tank produced in France, but only 100 were built due to the high cost of production.

1 February 2016

The AMX 38 was a medium tank produced by the recently nationalised tank production branch of Renault, but that didn't see combat in 1940.

The AMX R 40 was an improved version of the Renault R35, the most numerous French tank in 1940.

13 January 2016

The 347th Fighter Group (USAAF) fought on Guadalcanal, the Solomons, New Guinea, Borneo, the Dutch East Indies and the Philippines.

The 348th Fighter Group (USAAF) was based in the south-west Pacific and fought on New Guinea, in the Dutch East Indies, the Philippines before ending the war operating against the Japanese Home Islands.

The 350th Fighter Group (USAAF) was formed in Britain as part of the Eighth Air Force, but quickly moved to North Africa and remained in the Mediterranean theatre for the rest of the war.

31 December 2015

The 1st Search Attack Group was an experimental anti-submarine warfare unit that was created in the summer of 1942 at a time when the US military was struggling to cope with the threat of the U-boats.

The 343rd Fighter Group was based in Alaska from the autumn of 1942 and took part in the campaign against the Japanese in the Aleutian Islands.

The 480th Antisubmarine Group (USAAF) was based in Morocco and flew anti-submarine patrols over the Atlantic approaches to the Mediterranean.

28 December 2015

The Char D1 Infantry Tank was the first French tank to carry a 47mm gun, but it was an unpopular design had had been relegated to service in North Africa by 1940.

The Char D2 was a development of the D1 with more armour and more engine power. It was produced in small numbers, and only because famous because it was used in de Gaulle's armoured unit during the fighting of 1940.

18 December 2015

The 443rd Troop Carrier Group (USAAF) supported the Allied troops fighting in Burma, and then took part in the efforts to fly supplies into China, ending the war operating directly within China.

The 477th Composite Group (USAAF) was an African-American combat unit that never reached combat, and that suffered from repeated morale problems due to segregation and suspicion of the USAAF's intentions for the group.

The 479th Antisubmarine Group operated from England from mid July 1943 to October 1943, attacking German U-boats as they crossed the Bay of Biscay.

4 December 2015

The 3rd Combat Cargo Group was a transport unit that was formed in India in 1944 and that operated over India and China for the rest of the war.

The 4th Combat Cargo Group was a transport unit that fought in the Burma campaign and took part in the last stages of the air-lift of supplies into China over the 'Hump'.

The 342nd Composite Group was a mainly fighter unit that formed part of the garrison of Iceland.

1 December 2015

The Gun Carrier, 3in, Churchill, was produced as an emergency measure in an attempt to provide a more powerful mobile anti-tank weapon than the 2-pounder in use in contemporary British tanks.

The Churchill Octopus was produced in an attempt to clear a safe path across minefields, using turretless Churchill tanks to detonate mines and as the basis of a causeway.

23 November 2015

The Churchill Oke was a prototype flamethrower tank that was produced in 1942 and took part in the disastrous raid on Dieppe.

The Churchill Crocodile was a flamethrower tank based on the Churchill infantry tank, with the flame fuel towed in a separate trailer.

19 November 2015

The Douglas YO-48 was to have been a version of the O-46A observation aircraft powered by a Wright engine, but none were built.

The Douglas O-53 Havoc was to have been a heavy observation aircraft based on the A-20 Havoc, but a large order was cancelled before any had been built.

12 November 2015

The Churchill Mk X was the designation given to Mk VIs that had been upgraded to carry extra armour, and possibly the cast turret of the Mk VII.

The Churchill Mk XI was the designation given to Mk Vs that were upgraded by giving them extra appliqué armour.

11 November 2015

The Douglas O-46 was the main production version of the Douglas family of monoplane observation aircraft, and the first to use a radial engine.

3 November 2015

The Churchill Mk VIII (A22F) was a version of the Heavy Churchill Mk VII that carried a 95mm howitzer in place of the 75mm gun used on the Mk VII.

The Churchill Mk IX was the designation given to Mk IIIs and Mk IVs that had been upgraded, but that kept their original 6-pounder gun.

23 October 2015

The Churchill Mk VI was the designation given to tanks that were armed with the British 75mm tank in the same turret as on the 6-pounder armed Mk IV

The Churchill VII (A22F) was a heavier version of the Churchill tank, with thicker armour, a redesigned turret and carrying the British 75mm gun.

22 October 2015

The Douglas XA-42/ XB-42 Mixmaster was a twin-engined pusher aircraft that was one of the most advanced piston engined aircraft of the Second World War, but that was quickly superseded by jet powered aircraft.

The Douglas XB-43 was the first US jet bomber and was produced by fitting jet engines to the earlier Douglas XB-42 Mixmaster.

20 October 2015

The 440th Troop Carrier Group took part in the D-Day landings, the invasion of the south of France, Operation Market Garden, the Battle of the Bulge and the crossing of the Rhine.

The 441st Troop Carrier Group took part in the D-Day landings, the invasion of the South of France, Operation Market Garden, the Battle of the Bulge and the crossing of the Rhine.

The 442nd Troop Carrier Group took part in the D-Day landings, the invasion of the South of France, Operation Market Garden and the crossing of the Rhine.

8 October 2015

The Churchill Mk IV NA75 was produced in North Africa by fitting 75mm guns from Sherman tanks into the cast turrets of the Churchill Mk IV.

The Churchill Mk V was the close-support version of the Mk IV, and was armed with a 95mm howitzer.

7 October 2015

The Douglas XB-19 (XVLR-2) was the largest US military aircraft completed before the US entry into the Second World War and provided valuable data for the development of later heavy bombers such as the Boeing B-29 Superfortress.

The Douglas XB-31 was the designation given to a series of Douglas designs produced as part of the same design contest that produced the Boeing B-29 Superfortress, none of which were ever built.

21 September 2015

The Churchill Mk III was the first version of the Churchill tank to be armed with a 6-pounder gun, replacing the 2-pounder turret gun of the Mk I and Mk II.

The Churchill IV combined the 6-pounder gun of the Churchill Mk III with a new cast turret.

18 September 2015

The Douglas B-22 Bolo was the designation given to a version of the B-18 that would have been powered by the 1,600hp R-2600-2 Cyclone engine.

The Douglas B-23 Dragon was produced in an attempt to replace the B-18 Bolo, but its performance wasn't as good as its more modern rivals and only 38 were ever built.

16 September 2015

The 437th Troop Carrier Group (USAAF) took part in the D-Day landings, the invasion of the South of France, Operation Market Garden and the Crossing of the Rhine.

The 438th Troop Carrier Group (USAAF) took part in the D-Day landings, the invasion of the South of France, Operation Market Garden and the crossing of the Rhine.

The 439th Troop Carrier Group (USAAF) took part in the D-Day landings, the Italian campaign and the invasion of the south of France, Operation Market Garden, the Battle of the Bulge and the crossing of the Rhine.

8 September 2015

The Churchill I was armed with a 2-pounder anti-tank gun and coaxial Besa machine gun carried in a small cast turret and a 3" howitzer carried in the hull front. The turret was too small to carry the upcoming 6-pounder gun, even though the tank had been designed with that weapon in mind.

The Churchill Mk II was the most numerous of the 2-pounder versions of the Churchill infantry tank. It carried a 2-pounder gun and a machine gun in the turret and a second machine gun in the hull front.

7 September 2015

The Douglas YB-11/ YO-44/ YOA-5 began life as an amphibian navigational leader and rescue aircraft to operate alongside land based bombers, but was completed as an observation aircraft and didn't enter production.

The Douglas B-18 Bolo was a bomber based on the DC-2 airliner and played an important part in the expansion of the USAAC, despite being obsolete by the time the United States entered the Second World War.

27 August 2015

USS Guam (CB-2) was the second and last member of the Alaska class of heavy cruisers to be completed, and supported the Fast Carrier Strike Force during the battle of Okinawa and raids on the Japanese Home Islands, before ending the war with raids into the East China Sea.

USS Hawaii (CB-3) was the third and final member of the Alaska class cruisers to be launched, but it was never completed and was finally sold for scrap in 1959.

26 August 2015

The Infantry Tank Mk IV Churchill (A22) was a heavily armoured infantry tank that overcame serious reliability problems early in its career to become a mainstay of the British armoured forces during the fighting in North-Western Europe in 1944-45.

21 August 2015

The 434th Troop Carrier Group took part in the D-Day landings, Operation Market Garden, the battle of the Bulge and the crossing of the Rhine.

The 435th Troop Carrier Group (USAAF) took part in the D-Day landings, the invasion of the south of France, Operation Market Garden and the crossing of the Rhine.

The 436th Troop Carrier Group (USAAF) took part in the D-Day landings, the invasion of the South of France, Operation Market Garden and the Crossing of the Rhine.

14 August 2015

The Alaska Class cruisers were effectively battle cruisers, designed to deal with a potential threat from heavily armoured Japanese and German cruisers that had evaporated by the time the two members of the class were completed.

USS Alaska (CB-1) was the first member of the Alaska class of large cruisers to enter service, and took part in the final stages of the fighting on Iwo Jima, the invasion of Okinawa, and supported the fast carriers during their raids on the Japanese Home Islands and in the East China Sea.

12 August 2015

The Valentine Bridgelayer was the last version of the tank to see frontline service, and could deploy a medium sized bridge while under fire.

The Valentine DD was the first production version of the floating tanks that saw action on D-Day when applied to the Sherman tank.

11 August 2015

The Yokosuka MXY7 Ohka (Cherry Blossom) 'Baka' was a manned suicide rocket that achieved limited success, but was dangerously vulnerable while being carried to its target.

The Yokosuka P1Y Ginga (Milky War) 'Frances' was a promising twin-engined medium bomber let down by reliability problems. These delayed its service entry until 1945, five years after work began on the aircraft.

3 August 2015

The Bishop, or Bishop, Carrier, Valentine, 25pdr gun, was a self-propelled gun produced in response to an urgent request from Middle East Command.

The Valentine Scorpion III was a mine-clearing flail tank based on the Matilda Scorpion I, which had been developed in the Middle East.

31 July 2015

The Experimental Kusho 12-Shi Special Flying-boat H7Y1 was a highly secret attempt to produce a long range flying boat that could reach Hawaii from Japan and return safely with its photographs.

The Yokosuka E14Y Navy Type 0 Submarine-borne Reconnaissance Seaplane 'Glen' was a tiny reconnaissance aircraft that was also the only hostile aircraft to drop bombs on the American mainland during the Second World War.

30 July 2015

The 403rd Troop Carrier Group (USAAF) provided cargo and passenger transport services in the south-west Pacific, as well as supporting the campaigns on New Guinea and the Philippines.

The 419th Troop Carrier Group (USAAF) ran transport terminals that helped to organise the activities of other transport units.

The 433rd Troop Carrier Group (USSAF) operated in support of the campaigns on New Guinea and the Philippines and moved parts of the Fifth Air Force to Okinawa.

24 July 2015

USS Tucson (CL-98) was an Atlanta class light cruiser that joined the fleet just in time to take part in the last sortie against the Japanese Home Islands, and then remained in service until 1949.

23 July 2015

The battle of Morotai (15 September - 4 October 1944) was carried out in order to protect the left flank of any American advance from New Guinea to the southern Philippines, and took them into the Molucca Islands.

The battle of Wewak (December 1944-September 1945) was an Australian offensive on New Guinea, aimed at destroying the last major Japanese position in the pre-war area of Australian New Guinea, on the north coast around Wewak.

22 July 2015

The Yokosuka R1Y Seiun (Blue Cloud) was a design for a long-range reconnaissance aircraft that was abandoned due to poor performance figures.

The Yokosuka R2Y Keiun (Beautiful Cloud or Lucky Cloud) was a long-range land-based reconnaissance aircraft powered by two engines mounted within the fuselage and driving a single propeller.

9 July 2015

USS Reno (CL-96) was part of the second batch of Atlanta class light cruisers, and served with the Carrier Task Force from May 1944 until she was badly damaged during the fighting off Leyte.

USS Flint (CL-97) was an Atlanta class light cruiser that joined the fleet in time to take part in the Pacific campaigns of 1945, including the invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa and the raids on the Japanese Home Islands.

8 July 2015

The battle of Noemfoor (2 July-30 August 1944) was a US amphibious landing carried out in order to make up for slow progress on Biak and the resulting shortage of airfields in western New Guinea.

The landings at Sansapor (30-31 July 1944) were the last major American offensive of the long New Guinea campaign, and saw them capture a foothold on the Vogelkop Peninsula, at the western end of New Guinea, where they were able to build a medium bomber base to support operations further west.

7 July 2015

The Yokosuka K4Y1 Type 90 Seaplane Trainer was produced to replace the Yokosho K1Y Type 13 Seaplane Trainer, and was the first Japanese production aircraft to use a welded steel tube fuselage.

The Yokosuka K5Y 'Willow' Type 93 Intermediate Trainer was the most widely produced training aircraft produced in Japan, and remained in production from 1933 to 1945.

2 July 2015

The 349th Troop Carrier Group reached the European theatre too late to take part in any of the major set-piece airborne assault of the Second World War.

The 374th Troop Carrier Group took part in the long campaign in New Guinea, performing an especially valuable role early in the campaign, when Allied resources were very limited.

The 375th Troop Carrier Group (USAAF) took part in the long campaign in New Guinea, then supported the liberation of the Philippines and the campaign on Okinawa.

30 June 2015

USS San Juan (CL-54) was an Atlanta class light cruiser that fought in the Guadalcanal campaign, the advance up the Solomon Islands, the invasions of the Marshalls, Mariannas, Philippines, Iwo Jima and Okinawa, as well as fighting at the battle of the Philippine Sea.

USS Oakland (CL-95) was the first in the second group of Atlanta light cruisers to enter service, and supported carrier raids, fought at the battle of Leyte Gulf, and supported the final attacks on the Japanese Home islands.

29 June 2015

The Valentine X was the designation given to tanks that were built from new with the 6-pounder gun.

The Valentine XI was the last production version of the Valentine tank, and was armed with the new British 75mm tank gun. It was similar to the Mk X, which was the first version to be built from new with the 6-pounder anti-tank gun.

25 June 2015

The battle of Wakde Island (18-21 May 1944) was part of a wider American offensive carried out in order to protect the western flanks of their newly captured position at Hollandia, on the north coast of New Guinea.

The battle of Biak Island (27 May- 29 July 1944) was one of the most costly of MacArthur's leapfrogging attacks on the north coast of New Guinea and saw a well dug-in Japanese garrison hold out for several months longer than originally expected.

18 June 2015

USS Helena (CL-50) was a Brooklyn class light cruiser that was present during the attack on Pearl Harbor and fought off Guadalcanal before being sunk at the battle of Kula Gulf in July 1943.

USS San Diego (CL-53) was an Atlanta class light cruiser that fought off Guadalcanal, during the advance up the Solomon Islands, the invasion of the Gilbert islands and the Marshall Islands, the battle of the Philippines Sea and the invasions of the Philippines and Okinawa.

17 June 2015

The Valentine VIII was the designation given to Valentine IIIs that had been upgunned to carry the 6-pounder anti-tank gun.

The Valentine IX was the designation given to Mk Vs that were upgunned to carry a 6-pounder anti-tank gun.

12 June 2015

The battle of Lone Tree Hill or Wakde-Sarmi (17 May-2 September 1944) was a hard-fought contest for control of a strip of the New Guinea coast near the island of Wakde, and saw the Americans eventually win control of a large enough area for them to use as a staging post on the way to further advances.

The battle of the Driniumor River (10 July -25 August 1944) was a rare large scale Japanese counterattack on New Guinea and saw troops sent west from Wewak attack the American lines east of Aitape, achieving some early successes before being repulsed with heavy losses.

5 June 2015

USS Honolulu (CL-48) was a Brooklyn class light cruiser that was damaged at Pearl Harbor before fighting in the Aleutian and Guadalcanal campaigns and the invasions of Saipan, Guam and Leyte.

USS St Louis (CL-49) was a Brooklyn class cruiser that was at Pearl Habor, and fought in the Aleutians, at Gualdalcanal, New Georgia, Bougainville, Saipan, the battle of the Philippine Sea, Leyte Gulf, the carrier raids on Japan and the invasion of Okinawa.

4 June 2015

The Valentine VI, Infantry Tank Mk III***, was a version of the Valentine IV that was built in Canada. The Mk IV was powered by a GMC diesel engine and had the original two-man turret, with 2-pounder gun and 7.92mm Besa machine gun.

The Valentine VII, Infantry Tank Mk III***, was an improved version of the Mk VI, and like that tank was produced in Canada.

3 June 2015

The battle of Hollandia (22-27 April 1944) was part of Operation Reckless and saw the Americans leapfrog past a series of Japanese bases to capture a key position on the northern coast of New Guinea, catching the Japanese almost entirely by surprise and winning an unexpectedly easy victory.

The battle of Aitape (22-24 April 1944) was carried out in support of the larger landings at Hollandia, and was designed to provide a shield against any possible intervention by Japanese forces further to the west at Wewak.

2 June 2015

The Yokosuka D3Y Myojo (Venus) was originally intended to be a wooden version of the Aichi D3A2-K bomber trainer, but the design was modified while the aircraft was under development. A suicide attack version was also developed, but the prototype of this version was unfinished at the end of the Second World War.

The Yokosuka D4Y Suisei (Comet) 'Judy' was designed as a dive bomber, but entered service as a reconnaissance aircraft. It eventually served in that role, and as a bomber and suicide attack aircraft.

28 May 2015

USS Atlanta (CL-51) was the name ship of the Atlantic class of light cruisers, and had a short wartime career in the Solomon Islands, before being sunk at the naval battle of Guadalcanal (13-15 November 1942).

USS Juneau (CL-52) was a Atlanta class light cruiser that took part in the Guadalcanal campaign and was sunk by Japanese torpedoes at the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal.

27 May 2015

The Valentine IV was powered by a G.M.C. diesel engine, in place of the A.E.C. model used on the Mk II, but was otherwise similar to the earlier model.

The Valentine V used a new three-man turret, but retained the same engine and main gun of the Valentine IV.

26 May 2015

The occupation of Emirau (20 March 1944) helped to complete the Allied noose around the Japanese base at Rabaul and saw the 4th Marine Division occupy the undefended island in the seas west of New Ireland.

Operation Reckless, the invasion of Hollandia and Aitape of 22-27 April 1944, was one of the most dramatic leapfrogging operations during the New Guinea campaign, and saw American forces bypass the strong Japanese bases at Wewak and Hansa Bay and capture key bases for MacArthur's planned return to the Philippines

19 May 2015

The 315th Troop Carrier Group took part in the D-Day landings, Operation Market Garden and the airborne crossing of the Rhine.

The 316th Troop Carrier Group took part in the fighting in North Africa, the invasions of Sicily and Italy, the D-Day landings, Operation Market Garden and the airborne crossing of the Rhine.

The 317th Troop Carrier Group served in the Pacific theatre, taking part in the long New Guinea campaign and in the re conquest of the Philippines.

18 May 2015

USS Phoenix (CL-46) was a Brooklyn class light cruiser that took part in the fighting in the southern Pacific, during the advance along New Guinea and the invasion of the Philippines, but that is better known as the Argentine cruiser General Belgrano, sunk during the 1982 Falklands War.

USS Boise (CL-47) was a Brooklyn class light cruiser that fought at Guadalcanal then took part in the invasion of Sicily and the landings at Salerno on the mainland of Italy before returning to the Pacific to take part in the campaigns on New Guinea, the Philippines and Borneo.

15 May 2015

The Valentine II, Infantry Tank Mk III*, was the first version of the tank to use a diesel engine, but retained the 2-pounder gun of the Valentine I.

The Valentine III introduced a new three-man turret, but retained the same engine and main gun as the Valentine II.

14 May 2015

The battle of Hauwai Island (11-12 March 1944) saw the Americans capture one of the small islands north of Seeadler Harbour in the Admiralty Islands, despite the failure of their first attack.

The battle of Manus (12-25 March 1944) saw the Americans capture the largest of the Admiralty Islands, securing their control of the massive Seeadler Harbour, which then became an important naval base for the rest of the Second World War.

11 May 2015

USS Savannah (CL-42) was a Brooklyn class cruiser that took part in Operation Torch, the invasion of Sicily and the Salerno landings, where she was badly damaged by a radio-controlled bomb that ended her active career.

USS Nashville (CL-43) was a Brooklyn class cruiser that took part in the Doolittle raid, then fought in the Guadalcanal and New Georgia campaigns and during the campaigns in New Guinea and the Philippines.

8 May 2015

The 89th Troop Carrier Group (USAAF) was a home-based training unit that operated from 1942 to 1944.

The 313th Troop Carrier Group (USAAF) was a transport unit that took part in the invasion of Sicily, the Salerno landings, the D-Day landings, Operation Market Garden and the crossing of the Rhine.

The 314th Troop Carrier Group took part in the invasions of Sicily and Italy, the D-Day landings, Operation Market Garden and the crossing of the Rhine.

7 May 2015

The Infantry Tank Mk III, Valentine, was the most numerous British-built tank of the Second World War, with over 8,000 built between 1940 and 1944. It was a rare example of a private venture tank design that was accepted for mass production, and thus didn't have an 'A' number like most British tanks.

The Valentine I, Infantry Tank Mk III, was the only version of the tank to use a petrol engine, and was armed with the standard 2-pounder gun of early war British tanks.

5 May 2015

The invasion of the Admiralty Islands (25 February-25 March 1944) was a major step in the isolation of the powerful Japanese base at Rabaul, and saw forces from the US Cavalry capture the main islands in a series of battles that lasted for one month.

The battle of Los Negros (29 February-8 March 1944) was the first stage in the American invasion of the Admiralty Islands, a campaign that helped completed the isolation of Rabaul and also forced the Japanese to abandon their stronghold at Madang.

30 April 2015

USS Brooklyn (CL-40) was the name ship of the Brooklyn class of light cruisers and served in the Mediterranean and Atlantic theatres during the Second World War, taking part in Operation Torch and the invasions of Sicily, Italy and the south of France. Brooklyn received four battle stars for her World War II service.

USS Philadelphia (CL-41) was a Brooklyn class cruiser that took part in the US occupation of Iceland, Operation Torch, the invasion of Sicily and the landings at Salerno, Anzio and in the south of France.

27 April 2015

The Matilda Murray was a flame-thrower tank produced in Australian that arrived too late to see service in the Second World War.

The Matilda Dozer was a bull-dozer equipped version of the A12 Matilda Infantry tank, produced in Australia for use in jungle warfare.

24 April 2015

The battle of Cape Gloucester (26 December 1943-April 1944) was the main American attack during Operation Dexterity, the invasion of western New Britain, and was carried out in order to secure control of the Dampier and Vitiaz Straits, between New Britain and New Ireland.

Operation Appease, or the battle of Talasea (6-16 March 1944) was the last major US advance on New Britain, and saw the US Marines capture Talasea, on the Willaumez Peninsula, cutting off the main route being used by Japanese troops attempting to flee from the western part of the island.

22 April 2015

The 62nd Troop Carrier Group (USAAF) took part in the battle for Tunisia, the invasion of Sicily, the fighting on the mainland of Italy, the invasion of the south of France and supported partisans in the Balkans.

The 63rd Troop Carrier Group (USAAF) was a home based transport unit that was used to move supplies in North America and later as a training group.

The 64th Troop Carrier Group (USAAF) was a transport unit that operated in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, the south of France and briefly in Burma during the siege of Imphal.

17 April 2015

USS Chicago (CA-136/ CG-11) was a Baltimore class heavy cruiser that entered service just in time to take part in the final bombardment of Japan during the Second World War, and that was later converted into a guided-missile cruiser.

16 April 2015

The Matilda with Carrot was produced by fitting an explosive charge on a frame mounted in front of the tank, and was designed to clear obstacles and minefields.

The Matilda Frog was a flamethrower tank produced in Australia, around the A12 Matilda infantry tank Mk II.

15 April 2015

Operation Dexterity (16 December 1943-10 February 1944) was the Allied invasion of western New Britain, carried out in order to secure the straits between New Britain and New Guinea, and to tighten the Allied net around the Japanese base at Rabaul.

The battle of Arawe (15 December 1943- 16 January 1944) was a diversionary attack on New Britain, carried out to distract Japanese attention from the main American target at Cape Gloucester on the north-west corner of the island.

14 April 2015

The 10th Troop Carrier Group (USAAF) was a transport unit that was based in the United States throughout its existence.

The 60th Troop Carrier Group (USAAF) served in the Mediterranean Theatre and took part in Operation Torch, the battle for Tunisia, the invasion of Sicily the liberation of Greece and the partisan battles in Yugoslavia.

The 61st Troop Carrier Group (USAAF) began operations in the Mediterranean, where it took part in the invasions of Sicily and Italy, before moving to England to take part in the D-Day invasion, Operation Market-Garden and the crossing of the Rhine.

7 April 2015

The Matilda with AMRA Mk Ia was an attempt to create a mine-sweeping vehicle by pushing heavy rollers ahead of a Matilda infantry tank.

The Matilda Scorpion I was a mine-clearing device developed in the Middle East and that saw use in North Africa as well as being modified for use on the Valentine tank.

6 April 2015

The battle of Dumpu (8-13 December 1942) was a rare Japanese counterattack during the fighting in the Finisterre Range on New Guinea, and saw them attempt to push the Australians out of their furthest outposts downstream from Dumpu in the Ramu Valley

The battle of Kankiryo Saddle (20 January-1 February 1944) saw Australian troops finally force the Japanese to abandon a key position in the Finisterre Mountains of New Guinea, after a period of difficult fighting on jungle-clad mountain ridges that had begun in October 1943 with the first clashes on the famous Shaggy Ridge.

31 March 2015

The Matilda CDL (Canal Defence Light) was a version of the Matilda Infantry Tank Mk II that carried a powerful searchlight instead of its main gun and that was designed to win control of the night-time battlefield.

The Baron was a mine-clearing vehicle based on the Matilda II infantry tank, but despite entering production it was superseded by more effective vehicles and was only used in training.

27 March 2015

The Finisterre Range campaign (17 September 1943-24 April 1944) saw Australian troops successfully push the Japanese out of a series of strong defensive positions on incredibly difficult mountainous terrain in the Finisterre Mountains of New Guinea, preventing them from interfering with operations further east on the Huon Peninsula.

The battle of Shaggy Ridge (10 October 1943-23 January 1944) saw Australians troops slowly force the Japanese off a narrow mountain ridge that dominated a key route across the Finisterre Mountains of New Guinea.

26 March 2015

The Kawanishi K-11 Experimental Carrier Fighter was a private venture aircraft produced in an attempt to win a contest being held to replace the Mitsubishi Type 10 Carrier Fighter (1MF1 to 1MF5).

The Kawanishi Baika (Plum Blossom) was a design for a piloted suicide aircraft based loosely on the V1 flying bomb.

The Kawanishi Ki-85 was a very rare example of a Kawanishi aircraft designed for the Japanese Army. It would have been a four-engined heavy bomber based on the Douglas DC-4E and Nakajima G5N1 Shinzan (Mountain Recess), but the project was cancelled early.

25 March 2015

The 423rd Reconnaissance Group (USAAF) was a short lived home-based training unit that was disbanded within five months of being activated.

The 424th Reconnaissance Group (USAAF) was a home-based unit that was never fully organised, despite being officially activated on 1 April 1943.

The 426th Reconnaissance Group (USAAF) was a home-based unit that was never fully organised, despite being officially activated on 1 July 1943.

The 432nd Reconnaissance Group (USAAF) was a home-based unit that served with the AAF School of Applied Tactics.

18 March 2015

The Matilda Mk IV Infantry Tank Mk IIA** (A12) was a slightly improved version of the Matilda Mk III, with a modified engine mounting system and larger fuel tanks.

The Matilda Mk V, Infantry Tank Mk IIA** was very similar to the Matilda IV, but with some minor improvements made to the transmission.

17 March 2015

The battle of Saidor (2 January 1944) saw US troops land between the remaining Japanese bases on the north coast of the Huon Peninsula. As a result the Japanese abandoned all of their bases to the east of the landings.

The battle of the Green Islands (15-20 February 1944) saw a powerful New Zealand force overwhelm the Japanese garrison of the Green Islands between New Britain and Bougainville, part of the wider campaign to isolate the Japanese bases at Rabaul and Kavieng

6 March 2015

The Matilda Mk II, Infantry Tank Mk IIA (A12) saw the Vickers machine gun of the original tank replaced with the Besa machine gun that had been adopted as standard for British tanks.

The Matilda Mk III Infantry Tank Mk IIA* saw the introduction of more powerful Leyland diesel engines in place of the AEC engines used in the original Matilda II.

5 March 2015

The battle of Sattelberg (29 October-25 November 1943) saw Australian troops capture a strongly defended Japanese position in the hills to the north-west of Finschhafen, and helped secure their position on the eastern tip of the Huon Peninsula.

The battle of Wareo (26 November-10 December 1943) saw the Australians capture the last major Japanese stronghold in the vicinity of Finschhafen, at the eastern tip of the Huon Peninsula, firmly securing their beachhead and clearing the way for an advance further north around the coast.

23 February 2015

The Matilda Infantry Tank Mk II (A12) was the most capable British tank of 1940, but was slow to produce, could only carry a 2pdr gun, and was thus soon obsolete.

The Matilda Mk I, Infantry Tank Mk II (A12) was the first production version of the Matilda II, and would have been one of the most effective tanks in service in 1940 if it had been available in significant numbers.

16 February 2015

USS St Paul (CA-73) was a Baltimore class heavy cruiser that took part in the final carrier raids on Japan during 1945 and carried out three combat tours of Korea, firing the last naval salvo of the war and five combat tours of Vietnam.

USS Pittsburgh (CA-72) was a Baltimore class heavy cruiser that was completed in time to take part in the attacks on Iwo Jima, Okinawa and the Japanese Home Islands and that served in the Atlantic and Mediterranean during the Korean War.

13 February 2015

The attack on Nadzab (5 September 1943) was a successful airborne assault carried out in order to support the Australian advance on Lae, at the head of the Huon Gulf .

The battle of Lae (4-16 September 1943) was the final stage in the Salamaua-Lae Campaign, and saw Australian troops with US support capture the last Japanese stronghold in the Huon Gulf area of New Guinea.

30 January 2015

USS Canberra (CA-70) was a Baltimore class heavy cruiser that was badly damaged by a Japanese torpedo during the battle off Formosa (12-16 October 1944) but that was towed to safety, a remarkable achievement that also helped to convince the Japanese that they had inflicted heavy damage on the American fleet.

USS Quincy (CA-71) was a Baltimore class heavy cruiser that helped support the D-Day landings and Operation Dragoon before moving to the Pacific for the final battles against Japan.

29 January 2015

The Salamaua-Lae Campaign (30 June-16 September 1943) was the first part of Operation Postern, a wider offensive aimed at eliminating the Japanese presence on the New Guinea side of the Vitiaz Strait.

The battle of Salamaua (30 June-11 September 1943) was the first stage in the Allied campaign in north-eastern New Guinea, and saw Australian troops slowly push forwards across difficult terrain, pulling the Japanese away from their major base at Lae, further up the coast.

22 January 2015

USS Baltimore (CA-68) was the name ship of the Baltimore class of heavy cruisers, and saw service at Makin, in the Marshall Islands, supported the fast carriers during 1944 and 1945 and took part in the battle of Okinawa.

USS Boston (CA-69/ CAG-1) was a Baltimore class heavy cruiser that escorted the American fast carriers in the Pacific in 1944-45, took part in the Battle of the Philippine Sea, the Battle of Leyte Gulf and the last raids on the Japanese Home Islands.

20 January 2015

Operation Postern - The Markham Valley/ Huon Peninsula Campaign of 4 September 1943-24 April 1944 saw a largely Australian force clear the Japanese from the Huon Gulf and the Huon Peninsula and ended with the fall of the major Japanese base at Madang, to the north-west of the Huon Peninsula.

The battle of Nassau Bay (30 June 1943) was an early step in the wider Allied offensive in the Huon Gulf area of New Guinea (Operation Postern), and was carried out in order to capture a staging post for later steps in the campaign and to improve the supply situation for the main Australian force attacking Salamaua from inland bases.

14 January 2015

The 67th Reconnaissance Group flew with the Eighth and Ninth Air Forces during the campaign in Europe in 1944-45, taking part in the D-Day campaign, the advance through France, the battle of the Bulge and the final invasion of Germany.

The 68th Reconnaissance Group (USAAF) was originally formed as an Observation Group in the United States in the summer of 1941, before serving in the Mediterranean Theatre as a reconnaissance, ground attack and electronic countermeasures group.

The 69th Reconnaissance Group (USAAF) spent most of the Second World War operating as a training unit, but did reach Europe in time to take part in the last few weeks of the war against Germany.

13 January 2015

USS Wichita (CA-45) was the last heavy cruiser to be produced for the US Navy before the outbreak of the Second World War, and the last to be restricted by the interwar naval treaties.

The Atlanta class light cruisers were the lightest and most lightly armed cruisers to see service with the US Navy during the Second World War and were a product of the London Naval Treaty of 1936.

12 January 2015

The New Guinea campaign (January 1942-September 1945) was one of the longest campaigns of the Second World War. It began with the easy Japanese conquest of most of the north coast of the massive island. The Japanese finally ran out of steam during the Papuan Campaign, and were unable to capture Port Moresby on the south coast of Papua New Guinea. The Allies then went onto the offensive. The Japanese were pushed back across to the north coast of Papua, before the Allies began a series of campaigns that eventually gave them control of almost the entire island.

5 January 2015

The 26th Reconnaissance Group was a home-based unit that took part in military exercises and helped train ground forces.

The 65th Reconnaissance Group went through two incarnations during the Second World War, the first as a home based observation unit and the second as a training unit.

The 66th Reconnaissance Group was a home-based unit that served as a reconnaissance and and artillery spotting training unit as well as flying anti-submarine patrols during the first half of 1942.

1 January 2015

The Brooklyn class cruisers were the first 6in cruisers to be built for the US Navy after the London Naval Treaty imposed limits on the number of 8in cruisers that could be built.

The Baltimore Class Heavy Cruisers were the only American heavy cruisers not limited by the pre-war Naval Treaties to see service with the US Navy during the Second World War, and were developed from the last of the treaty cruisers, USS Wichita.

29 December 2014

Operation Chronicle, the invasion of Woodlark and Kiriwina Islands, saw Allied troops occupy two undefended islands off the north-eastern corner of New Guinea at the start of the campaign to neutralise the key Japanese base at Rabaul. 

The battle of Wau (28-30 January 1943) saw the defeat of the last Japanese attempt to advance towards Port Moresby

19 December 2014

USS Quincy (CA-39) was a New Orleans class heavy cruiser that served with the Neutrality Patrol in the Atlantic and fought at Guadalcanal, before being sunk during the battle of Savo Island of 9 August 1942.

USS Vincennes (CA-44) was a New Orleans class heavy cruiser that took part in the Neutrality Patrol, the Doolittle raid, the battle of Midway and the invasion of Guadalcanal before being sunk at the battle of Savo Island (9 August 1942).

15 December 2014

The 10th Reconnaissance Group served with the Ninth Air Force in Europe from May 1944 until the end of the fighting, helping to support the D-Day landings, the advance across France and the invasion of Germany.

The 11th Photographic Group was a mapping unit that produced photographic maps of the US and many of the operational theatres of the Second World War.

The 25th Bombardment Group (Reconnaissance) was mainly used for meterological flights, but also carried out some more general reconnaissance duties.

12 December 2014

The Elkton III Plan was the Allied plan for the reduction of the major Japanese base at Rabaul on New Ireland. It involved a two-pronged advance, with General MacArthur's forces operating on New Guinea and Admiral Halsey's in the Solomon Islands, and would be implemented as Operation Cartwheel.

Operation Cartwheel (30 June 1943- January 1944) was the name given to a series of interlocked invasions in New Guinea, New Britain and the Solomn islands originally designed as preparation for the conquest of the Japanese base at Rabaul, but that eventually led to the isolation of that base.

11 December 2014

USS Tuscaloosa (CA-37) was a New Orleans class heavy cruiser that served alongside the British Home Fleet on the Russian convoys, took part in Operation Torch, the D-Day landings and Operation Dragoon then swapped to the Pacific for the invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

USS San Francisco (CA-38) was a New Orleans class heavy cruiser that was present when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and that fought in the Solomon Islands, at the battle of Cape Esperance, the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, in the Aleutians, during the invasions of Makin, the Marshall Islands, the invasions of Saipan and Tinian, the battle of the Philippine Sea and the invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

4 December 2014

The battle of the Bismarck Sea (2-4 March 1943) saw repeated Allied air attacks almost totally destroy a Japanese convoy attempting to get reinforcements from Rabaul to the bases at Lae and Salamaua on the north-east coast of New Guinea.

The battle of Cape Saint George (25 November 1943) was the last significant naval battle during the Solomon Islands campaign and saw an American destroyer squadron defeat a similar Japanese force that was attempting to carry reinforcements to Buka on Bougainville.

1 December 2014

USS Astoria (CA-34) was a New Orleans class heavy cruiser that fought at the battles of the Coral Sea and Midway, before becoming one of three members of the class to be lost at the Battle of Savo Island in August 1942.

USS Minneapolis (CA-36) was a New Orleans class cruiser that fought at the Coral Sea, Midway, Guadalcanal and Tassafaronga, the invasions of the Gilbert and Marshall Islands, the battle of the Philippine Sea, the invasions of the Mariana Islands, the Palau Islands and the Philippines, the battle of Leyte Gulf and the early part of the invasion of Okinawa.

28 November 2014

The 7th Reconnaissance Group (USAAF) was allocated to the Eighth Air Force and operated from bases in England from the summer of 1943 to the end of the Second World War.

The 8th Reconnaissance Group (USAAF) served in India from March 1944 until the end of the Second World War.

The 9th Reconnaissance Group was a home-based training unit that operated in the United States from October 1943 until May 1944.

27 November 2014

The New Orleans class heavy cruisers were the last in a series of related treaty cruisers that began with the Pensacola class and were the first to carry armour designed to stop 8in shells.

USS New Orleans (CA-32) was the name ship of the New Orleans class of heavy cruisers and fought at the battles of the Coral Sea, Midway, Guadalcanal, the Philippine Sea and Leyte Gulf and during the invasions of the Gilbert Islands, the Marshal Islands, Hollandia, the Palau Islands and Okinawa.

19 November 2014

The Battle of the Philippine Sea or 'Great Marianas Turkey Shoot (19-20 June 1944) was the first major naval battle in the Pacific since 1942 and was a crushing American victory that permanently destroyed Japanese naval aviation, leaving their carriers as hollow shells for the rest of the war

12 November 2014

The 4th Reconnaissance Group was the only reconnaissance unit to serve with the Thirteenth Air Force and took part in the advance across the southern Pacific, moving from its early bases on New Caledonia to Morotai in the Moluccas Islands, an advance of around 3,000 miles.

The 5th Reconnaissance Group (USAAF) arrived in the Mediterranean Theatre at the start of the long Italian campaign and carried out operations across most of southern Europe and in support of D-Day.

The 6th Reconnaissance Group was one of two reconnaissance groups to serve with the Fifth Air Force in the Pacific, supporting the campaigns in New Guinea, the Bismarck Archipelago, Borne and the Philippines.

11 November 2014

USS Portland (CA33) was the name ship of the Portland class of heavy cruisers and was heavily involved in the Pacific War, fighting at Midway, the Coral Sea, off Guadalcanal, in the Aleutians, the Gilbert and Marshall Islands, supporting operations on New Guinea, at Peleliu, and taking part in the battle of Leyte Gulf and the invasion of Okinawa.

USS Indianapolis (CA-35) was a Portland class cruiser that fought in the Aleutians, the Gilbert and Marshall Islands, Saipan, the battle of the Philippine Sea, Tinian, Guam the Carolines, Iwo Jima and Okinawa, but is best know for being sunk after parts of the first Atomic bomb to Tinian.

30 October 2014

The Boeing C-73 was the military designation given to a number of Model 247 twin-engine transport aircrafts that were taken into military service early in the Second World War.

23 October 2014

The 1st Photographic Group was formed in June 1941 to expand photographic mapping in the USAAF and to provide long-range photographic reconnaissance similar to the British model.

The 2nd Reconnaissance Group (USAAF) was a home-based training unit that operated for two years from May 1942 until May 1944.

The 3rd Reconnaissance Group (USAAF) was a reconnaissance unit that served in the Mediterranean, supporting the campaigns in Tunisia, Sicily and mainland Italy.

14 October 2014

The Boeing-Stearman PT-17 was the USAAF designation for all Model 75 primary trainers powered by Continental engines.

The Boeing-Stearman PT-18 was the USAAF designation for all Model 75 primary trainers powered by Jacobs engines.

The Boeing-Stearman PT-27 was the designation for 300 Model 75 primary trainers produced to go to Canada under Lend-Lease.

10 October 2014

The USS Kentucky (BB-66) would have been the last of six Iowa class battleships. She was incomplete at the end of the Second World War, and although work continued on her intermittently until the mid-1950s with some proposals to complete her as a missile battleship she was eventually sold for scrap in 1958.

The Montana class of battleships were the last and largest class of battleships ordered by the US Navy, but work was cancelled before any of the five ships had even been laid down.

8 October 2014

The Boeing-Stearman PT-13 was the USAAF designation for all Model 75 primary trainers powered by Lycoming engines.

The Boeing-Stearman N2S was the designation given to all US Navy versions of the Boeing-Stearman Model 75 Primary Trainer.

2 October 2014

USS Wisconsin (BB-64) was an Iowa class battleship that served in the Pacific in 1945, served as a bombardment ship during the Korean War and was reactivated during the 1980s, fighting in the First Gulf War of 1991.

USS Illinois (BB-65) was the fifth member of the Iowa class of fast battleships. She was incomplete at the end of the Second World War, was cancelled in August 1945 and scrapped in place in the ship yard.

1 October 2014

The 37th Fighter Group (USAAF) was a fighter unit that served as part of the defense force of the Panama Canal from 1940 until 1943.

The 361st Fighter Group (USAAF) provided fighter escorts for the Eighth Air Force's strategic bombing campaign and also carried out a number of ground attack missions.

The 364th Fighter Group (USAAF) entered combat as a fighter escort unit, protecting the Eighth Air Force's heavy bombers, but later added ground attack duties to its role.

26 September 2014

USS New Jersey (BB-62) was an Iowa class fast battleship that fought in the Pacific during the Second World War, and as a shore bombardment ship during the Korean and Vietnamese Wars, before being reactivated for a final time in the 1980s.

Because of its role in the Japanese surrender USS Missouri (BB-63) is the most famous of the Iowa class battleships, but it only really served during the last eight months of the war in the Pacific, and went on to see action in Korea (receiving more battle stars for Korea than for the Second World War) and after a long gap in the First Gulf War of 1991.

23 September 2014

The Boeing-Stearman Model 75 'Kaydet' was the main primary trainer used by the USAAF and US Navy with just over 8,500 complete aircraft built by the time production ended in 1945.

The Boeing-Stearman NS was a primary trainer that was the first of what became the Boeing-Stearman Model 75 Kaydet family to enter service with the US military.

19 September 2014

The Iowa class of battleships were the largest and fastest class of American battleships ever completed. Four of the six planned ships were completed, and all four saw some service in the Second World War.

USS Iowa (BB-61) was the name ship of the Iowa class of fast battleships, and she and her sister New Jersey were the only members of the class to see extensive service in the Pacific during the Second World War.

15 September 2014

The 24th Pursuit Group was a fighter group that was destroyed during the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, but that was kept on the official list of active organizations for the rest of the war.

The 31st Fighter Group (USAAF) was one of the first units of the Eighth Air Force to enter combat, but was then transferred to the Twelfth Air Force to take part in Operation Torch and spent the rest of the war operating in the Mediterranean theatre.

The 32nd Fighter Group (USAAF) was a short-lived group that formed part of the defence force for the Panama Canal.

11 September 2014

The Boeing AT-15 Crewmaster was a composite construction bomber trainer that was ordered into production before being cancelled in favour of the all-wooden Fairchild AT-21.

The Boeing XBT-17 was a design for a training aircraft that used as little aluminium as possible.

2 September 2014

The 16th Fighter Group (USAAF) formed part of the defence force for the Panama Canal from 1932 until it was disbanded in 1943.

The 18th Fighter Group (USAAF) was a fighter unit that suffered heavy losses at Pearl Harbor but recovered to operate over the Solomon Islands, New Guinea, the Dutch East Indies, the Philippines and Formosa.

The 21st Fighter Group (USAAF) served as part of the Seventh Air Force on Hawaii during 1944, before moving to Iwo Jima early in 1945.

14 August 2014

The 1st Fighter Group was a long standing US fighter group that briefly served with the Eighth Air Force in Britain before moving to North Africa to support Operation Torch.

The 8th Fighter Group was a long range fighter group that supported Allied operations from New Guinea to the Philippines, ending the war with raids on the Japanese home islands.

The 15th Fighter Group (USAAF) spent most of the Second World War as part of the defence forces for Hawaii, before moving forward to Iwo Jima early in 1945 to take part in the battles of Iwo Jima, Okinawa and the attacks on the Japanese Home Islands.

1 August 2014

The T78 90mm Gun Motor Carriage was a design for a self-propelled gun that would have carried a 90mm gun on the chassis of the M24 Chaffee light tank

The T81 Multiple Gun Motor Carriage was a project to mount one 40mm Bofors anti-aircraft gun and two .50in machine guns on the chassis of the T65E1 Gun Motor Carriage.

The T96 155mm Mortar Motor Carriage was a design for a vehicle that would have carried a T36 155mm mortar on the chassis of the M24 Chaffee Light Tank.

28 July 2014

The 1st Air Commando Group was formed to support Wingate's Raiders behind enemy lines in Burma and was a mixed unit that carried out a wide range of tasks across Burma and beyond.

The 2nd Air Commando Group (USAAF) was one of a number of composite groups that were formed to support deep-penetration missions behind enemy lines in Burma.

The 3rd Air Commando Group (USAAF) was a composite unit that served in the Philippines from late in 1944, performing a mix of fighter, liaison and transport duties.

24 July 2014

The 352nd Fighter Group (USAAF) was a fighter unit that proved bomber escorts for the Eighth Air Force, but also carried out ground attack missions and briefly came under the control of the Ninth Air Force during the Battle of the Bulge.

The 356th Fighter Group (USAAF) was a fighter unit that served as a bomber escort group with the Eighth Air Force late in 1943 before becoming a group attack unit early in 1944.

The 359th Fighter Group (USAAF) was a fighter unit in the Eighth Air Force that flew a mix of bomber escort and ground attack missions between its combat debut in December 1943 and the end of the war in Europe.

22 July 2014

The M19 40mm Gun Motor Carriage was an anti-aircraft weapon that carried a twin 40mm Bofors gun mount on a modified M24 Light Tank chassis.

The T77 Multiple Gun Motor Carriage was an anti-aircraft weapon that carried a quad .50in machine gun mounting on the back of a modified M24 Chaffee light tank.

10 July 2014

The 55th Fighter Group (USAAF) entered combat as a long range bomber escort group, and carried out that role until the end of the war in Europe. Later in the war the group carried out an increasing number of ground attack missions as well.

The 56th Fighter Group (USAAF) started the war as a home based defence and training unit before joining the Eighth Air Force in England in the spring of 1943. It spent the rest of the war flying a mix of bomber escort and ground attack missions.

The 82nd Fighter Group (USAAF) served in the Mediterranean theatre, first as a mainly ground attack unit with the Twelfth Air Force, and later as a bomber escort group in the Fifteenth Air Force.

4 July 2014

The M24 Chaffee Light Tank was the best light tank to see service during the Second World War, but it arrived too late to make a significant contribution to the fighting, entering combat in small numbers late in 1944.

The M43 8in Howitzer Motor Carriage was developed from the M40 Gun Motor Carriage. It arrived too late to see significant service in the Second World War, but it was used during the Korean War.

27 June 2014

The T87 105mm Howitzer Motor Carriage (Amphibious) was part of a programme to develop amphibious versions of the M18 Hellcat tank destroyer for use in the Pacific.

The T88 105mm Howitzer Motor Carriage was produced in an attempt to mount a 105mm howitzer in the chassis of an M18 Hellcat tank destroyer.

24 June 2014

The T65 Flame Tank was an experimental flame thrower tank produced by adapting a M39 Armoured Utility Vehicle.

The T86 76mm Gun Motor Carriage (Amphibious) was developed in an attempt to produce an amphibious version of the M18 Hellcat tank destroyer.

16 June 2014

The 27th went through two different incarnations during the Second World War. As the 27th Bombardment Group it fought in the Philippines and Java in 1941-42. It was then reformed in the US and sent to North Africa, where it eventually became the 27th Fighter Group, serving in North Africa, Sicily and Italy

The 35th Fighter Group (USAAF) was a fighter unit that was caught up in the fall of the Philippines, then reformed in Australia and took part in the Allied advance across the South Pacific, eventually returning to the Philippines.

The 36th Fighter Group (USAAF) spent the first part of the Second World War as part of the defence force in the Caribbean before joining the Ninth Air Force in the spring of 1944.

13 June 2014

The 4th Fighter Group (USAAF) was formed from the Eagle squadrons, three RAF squadrons manned by American volunteers, and served with the Eighth Air Force from the autumn of 1942 until the end of the Second World War.

The 14th Fighter Group (USAAF) was a P-38 Lightning Group that fought in Tunisia and the Italian campaign, as well as providing bomber escorts for attacks across southern Europe.

The 20th Fighter Group (USAAF) was a fighter unit that served with the Eighth Air Force from late in 1943 to the end of the war in Europe, flying a mix of bomber escort, and ground attack missions.

12 June 2014

The T9 Armoured Utility Vehicle was an experimental design for a light-weight utility vehicle.

The T17 Command Post Vehicle (or Tactical Air Control Party Vehicle) was an armoured command vehicle based on the M44 Armoured Personnel Carrier, itself developed from the M18 Hellcat Tank Destroyer.

9 June 2014

The 509th Composite Group (USAAF) was formed specifically to drop the atomic bomb, and carried out the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki that helped end the Second World War.

The 1st Combat Cargo Group (USAAF) was a transport squadron that operated over Burma and China from 1944 until the end of the Second World War.

The 2nd Combat Cargo Group (USAAF) was a transport unit that served with the Fifth Air Force in the Southwest Pacific from the end of 1944 onwards.

3 June 2014

The M39 Armoured Utility Vehicle was a prime mover and reconnaissance vehicle based on the chassis of the M18 76mm Gun Motor Carriage (Hellcat).

The M44 Armoured Personnel Carrier was the designation given to a modified version of the M39 Armoured Utility Vehicle, itself a development of the M18 Hellcat.

29 May 2014

The M18 76mm Gun Motor Carriage 'Hellcat' was the most successful American tank destroyer of the Second World War, using its mobility to compensate for its thin armour and accounting for a large number of German tanks during the fighting in 1944-45.

28 May 2014

The T42 37mm GMC was the first step in a series of designs that led to the M18 76mm Gun Motor Carriage 'Hellcat'.

The T49 57mm Gun Motor Carriage was the second step in a series of designs that led to the M18 76mm Gun Motor Carriage 'Hellcat' and was an upgunned version of the T42 37mm GMC.

The T67 Gun Motor Carriage was the third step in a series of designs that led to the M18 76mm Gun Motor Carriage 'Hellcat' and was armed with the same 75mm gun as early Sherman tanks.

23 May 2014

The M15 Combination Gun Motor Carriage was an effective anti-aircraft weapon that carried a 37mm cannon and two .50in machine guns on the back of an M3 half-track and that saw combat with the US Army from the start of Operation Torch in November 1942 until the Korean War.

The M36 90mm Gun Motor Carriage was the most powerful American Tank Destroyer of the Second World War and was produced by mounting a 90mm anti-aircraft gun on the chassis of the M10 3in Gun Motor Carriage.

20 May 2014

The M16 Multiple Gun Motor Carriage was armed with four .50in anti-aircraft machine guns in a Maxson turret carried on a M3 half-track and replaced the twin-gun M13 in production.

The M17 Multiple Gun Motor Carriage was a lend-lease version of the M16 MGMC, and carried four .50in anti-aircraft machine guns on the chassis of an M5 half-track.

16 May 2014

The M13 Multiple Gun Motor Carriage was the first in a series of anti-aircraft weapons saw machine guns mounted on a half-track chassis, and was armed with twin .50in machine guns on the back of a M3 half-track personnel carrier.

The M14 Multiple Gun Motor Carriage carried two .50in anti-aircraft machine guns on a M5 half-track, and was produced for lend-lease with most going to Britain.

14 May 2014

The 502nd Bombardment Group was a B-29 group that entered the fighting late in the Second World War and concentrated its efforts against the petroleum industry.

9 May 2014

The 499th Bombardment Group was one of the first B-29 groups to operate from Saipan and took part in the strategic bombing offensive against Japan from the autumn of 1944 to the end of the Second World War.

The 500th Bombardment Group was one of the first B-29 groups to operate from Saipan and took part in the strategic bombing campaign from its first mission on 11 November 1944 to the end of the Second World War.

The 501st Bombardment Group was a B-29 Group that entered the campaign against Japan late in the war and focused its efforts against the Japanese petrol industry.

7 May 2014

The M10 3in Gun Motor Carriage was the most widely used American tank destroyer of the Second World War, seeing service in Tunisia in 1943, Italy in 1943-45, north-western Europe from D-Day to the end of the war and in the Pacific.

The T72 76mm Gun Motor Carriage was designed in an attempt to arm the M10 3in GMC with the new M1 76mm gun.

1 May 2014

The M22 Light Tank, Locust, was a small tank that was designed to be carried by heavy gliders or transport aircraft and used to support airborne operations.

The T94 250mm Mortar Motor Carriage was a design for a version of the M40 155mm gun motor carriage that was to be armed with a huge muzzle loaded mortar.

30 April 2014

The 488th Bombardment Group was a home based training unit that was active from October 1943 until May 1944.

The 497th Bombardment Group was a B-29 group that was one of the first to operate from Saipan and spent most of the period between October 1944 and the end of the war bombing Japan.

The 498th Bombardment Group was a B-29 group that was based on Saipan and operated against Japan from late in 1944 until the end of the Second World War.

28 April 2014

The M7 105mm Howitzer Motor Carriage 'Priest' was a self-propelled gun that entered combat in North Africa late in 1942 and that served with the British and American armies from then until the end of the war, fighting on Sicily, in Italy, in Normandy and north-western Europe and in smaller numbers in the Pacific.

The M9 3in Gun Motor Carriage was a fully armoured tank destroyer that was based on the M3 medium tank chassis, but that was cancelled soon after being ordered into production.

24 April 2014

The 483rd Bombardment Group was a B-17 group that fought with the Fifteenth Air Force in Italy from April 1944-April 1945, mainly taking part in the strategic bombing offensive.

The 484th Bombardment Group was a B-24 group that fought with the Fifteenth Air Force in Italy from April 1944 to April 1945, mainly taking part in the strategic bombing offensive.

The 485th Bombardment Group was a B-24 group that fought with the Fifteenth Air Force in Italy from May 1944 to April 1945, mainly taking part in the strategic bombing offensive.

22 April 2014

The M12 155mm Gun Motor Carriage was one of the heaviest self-propelled guns to see service with the American Army during the Second World War, but its development was delayed by Army Ground Forces, the command responsible for developing the army in the United States.

The M40 155mm Gun Motor Carriage was a self propelled gun based on a modified M4A3 Sherman chassis. It arrived too late to see significant service during the Second World War, but as used in large numbers during the Korean War.

17 April 2014

The M3 75mm Gun Motor Carriage was an interim design for a tank destroyer with a 75mm gun mounted on the back of a M3 half-track personnel carrier.

The M5 3in gun motor carriage was the first US tank destroyer to carry a heavier gun than the 37mm anti-tank gun, but it was never a popular design and the project was abandoned before production got under way.

15 April 2014

USS Augusta (CA-31) was a Northampton class heavy cruiser that took part Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of North Africa, served with the British Home Fleet, took part in the D-Day invasion and the invasion of the South of France.

USS Houston (CA-30) was a Northampton class heavy cruiser that was lost during the disastrous attempt to defend the Dutch East Indies against Japanese invasion.

14 April 2014

The T30 75mm Howitzer Motor Carriage was an interim design produced in an attempt to provide the US Army with some self-propelled guns as quickly as possible.

The T44 57mm Gun Motor Carriage was a design for a simple tank destroyer armed with the British 6pdr anti-tank gun.

The T51 25pdr Howitzer Motor Carriage was produced in response to a British request for a self-propelled mount for the 25pdr gun, similar to the M7 105mm Howitzer Motor Carriage 'Priest'

10 March 2014

The 469th Bombardment Group was a home-based replacement training unit.

The 470th Bombardment Group was a home based training group that was active from May 1943 to March 1944.

The 471st Bombardment Group was a home based training unit that was active from May 1943 to April 1944.

The 472nd Bombardment Group was a home-based training unit that trained crews for combat in the B-29 Superfortress.

7 March 2014

The T64 155mm Howitzer Motor Carriage was a self propelled gun that mounted a howitzer on a lengthened M5A1 Light Tank chassis.

The M41 155mm Howitzer Motor Carriage was based on the M24 Chaffee light tank. It entered service too late to see combat in the Second World War, but was used in the Korean War.

4 March 2014

The 464th Bombardment Group was a B-24 group that served with the Fifteenth Air Force in Italy from 1944 until the end of the Second World War.

The 465th Bombardment Group was a B-24 group that served with the Fifteenth Air Force in Italy in 1944-45, taking part in the strategic bombing offensive.

The 468th Bombardment Group was one of the first B-29 groups to enter combat, at first from bases in India before moving to Tinian for the last months of the war.

2 March 2014

The T27 81mm Mortar Motor Carriage was an attempt to adapt the fuselage of the M5 Light Tank to carry an 81mm mortar.

The T29 4.2in Mortar Motor Carriage was the second attempt to mount a mortar on the fuselage of the M5 Light Tank.

The T85 20mm Multiple Gun Motor Carriage combined a quad 20mm mount with the expanded M5 Light Tank chassis originally developed for the T16 4.5in Gun Motor Carriage.

31 March 2014

The T3 75mm Howitzer Motor Carriage was an early attempt to produce self-propelled artillery by mounting an howitzer on the chassis of the M1 Combat Car (later the M1 Light Tank).

The T19 105mm Howitzer Motor Carriage was an expedient design that mounted a standard 105mm howitzer on the chassis of an M3 half-track.

The T38 105mm Howitzer Motor Carriage was produced as an alternative to the T19 105mm Howitzer Motor Carriage in case the heavy 105mm howitzer couldn't be carried on the M3 half-track chassis.

28 March 2014

USS Louisville (CA-28) was a Northampton class heavy cruiser that fought at Guadalcanal, in the Aleutians, the invasion of the Marshall Islands, the Pelau Islands, the battle of Leyte Gulf and the invasion of Okinawa.

USS Chicago (CA-29) was a Northampton class heavy cruiser that had a somewhat unlucky war, being badly damaged by Japanese torpedoes twice during the fighting off Guadalcanal, returning from repairs after the first attack on time to be sunk by the second.

20 March 2014

The M4 37mm gun motor carriage was the original designation for the M6 37mm gun motor carriage (Fargo).

The M6 37mm gun motor carriage was the one of the first, and the cheapest, tank destroyers to see service with the US Army during the Second World War.

18 March 2014

The 458th Bombardment Group was a B-24 unit that served with the Eighth Air Force, taking part in the strategic bombing campaign as well D-Day and the Normandy campaign, the battle of the Bulge and the crossing of the Rhine.

The 459th Bombardment Group was a B-24 group that served with the Fifteenth Air Force in Italy, taking part in the strategic bombing campaign and supporting the ground troops in Italy and the south of France.

The 460th Bombardment Group was a B-24 unit that served with the Fifteenth Air Force in Italy, taking part in the strategic bombing offensive and supporting the ground troops in Italy and the south of France.

14 March 2014

The Stuart Light Tank was the British designation for the American M3 and M5 Light Tanks, the first tank to be received in large numbers after the start of Lend-Lease and an important addition to the British armoured forces in North Africa in 1941-42.

The T41 Howitzer Motor Carriage was the first attempt to mount a 75mm howitzer on the chassis of the M5 Stuart light tank.

11 March 2014

The 454th Bombardment Group was a B-24 group that fought with the Fifteenth Air Force in Italy, taking part in the strategic bombing campaign and supporting the group troops fighting in Italy and the south of France.

The 455th Bombardment Group was a B-24 group that served with the Fifteenth Air Force in Italy, taking part in the strategic bombing campaign and supporting the fighting in Italy and the south of France.

The 456th Bombardment Group was a B-24 group that served with the Fifteenth Air Force in Italy, taking part in the strategic bombing campaign as well as supporting the troops in Italy and the south of France.

10 March 2014

USS Northampton (CA-26) was the nameship of the Northampton class of heavy cruisers. She fought in the Pacific early in the Second World War but was sunk at the battle of Tassafaronga on 30 November 1942.

USS Chester (CA-27) was a Northampton class heavy cruiser that fought at the Coral Sea, the invasion of the Marshall Islands, the Aleutians, the battle of Leyte Gulf and the invasion of Iwo Jima, winning eleven battle stars for her wartime service.

7 March 2014

The M8 75mm Howitzer Motor Carriage was a successful attempt to mount a howitzer in the chassis of an M5 light tank, and was used in combat from late in 1943 until the end of the Second World War.

The T8 Reconnaissance Vehicle was a conversion of the M5 light tank designed to produce a reconnaissance vehicle.

6 March 2014

The T56 3in Gun Motor Carriage was the first attempt to fit a 3in gun on the chassis of the M3 light tank.

The T57 3in Gun Motor Carriage was the second attempt to fit a 3in gun on the chassis of the M3 light tank, following on from the T56.

The T65 40mm Gun Motor Carriage was an attempt to mount a 40mm Bofors gun on a modified M5 Light Tank chassis.

28 February 2014

The 449th Bombardment Group was a heavy bomber unit that served in Italy from the start of 1944 to the end of the Second World War, taking part in the strategic bombing offensive.

The 450th Bombardment Group was a B-24 unit that served with the Fifteenth Air Force in Italy, taking part in the strategic bombing campaign during 1944 and 1945.

The 451st Bombardment Group was a B-24 Liberator group that was based in Italy during 1944-45 and took part in the strategic bombing campaign as well as providing some support for the tactical air force in Italy.

26 February 2014

The Northampton class heavy cruisers were improved versions of the earlier Pensacola Class, with reduced armament, a hanger for their aircraft, improved sub-division of the boiler rooms and a forecastle to give them superior sea keeping abilities.

The two Portland class heavy cruisers were slightly modified versions of the Northampton class with better protection for the magazines. Originally five were to be built but only two were completed and the rest became the first New Orleans class cruisers, with significantly improved armour.

21 February 2014

The M5 Light Tank was developed in an attempt to make sure that a shortage of the Continental engines used in the M3 Light Tank wouldn't disrupt production of light tanks.

The T16 4.5in Gun Motor Carriage was a design for a self-propelled gun that was originally to be carried on a new chassis based on that of the M5 Light Tank, but that was then modified to use the M24 Light Tank chassis, before being cancelled.

20 February 2014

The M3 Light Tank was the most numerous light tank produced in the United States during the Second World War and saw combat in the Pacific, North Africa, Italy and the European theatre as well as with the British, where it was known as the 'General Stuart', and with the Red Army.

The T18 75mm Howitzer Motor Carriage was an attempt to produce a close-support vehicle to support the infantry by mounting a 75mm howitzer on the fuselage of an M3 Light Tank.

18 February 2014

The 417th Bombardment Group (Light) was a A-20 unit that operated against the Japanese, fighting on New Guinea and in the Philippines.

The 418th Bombardment Group went through two incarnations during the Second World War, but neither one ever became fully operational.

The 444th Bombardment Group was a B-29 group that operated against Japan, first using bases in India and staging posts in China and then from Tinian.

14 February 2014

The T7 Light Tank/ M7 Medium Tank was originally designed to replace the M3 Light Tank and M5 Light Tank, but it outgrew its original purpose and was accepted for production as the M7 Medium Tank before being cancelled.

The T21 Light Tank was a design for a light tank based on the T20 Medium Tank, but that never reached the prototype stage.

5 February 2014

The 411th Bombardment Group was a training unit that was active from August 1943 until May 1944.

The 415th Bombardment Group was originally used by the School of Applied Tactics before becoming a training unit.

The 416th Bombardment Group was a medium bomber unit that fought with the Ninth Air Force, taking part in the D-Day campaign and the fighting in France, the Low Countries and Germany.

4 February 2014

The 400th Bombardment Group was a home based training unit that was active from March 1943 until April 1944.

The 409th Bombardment Group was a light bomber unit that served with the Ninth Air Force from April 1944 until the end of the war in Europe.

The 410th Bombardment Group was a light bomber unit that fought with the Ninth Air Force from May 1944 to the end of the war in Europe, supporting the D-Day invasions and the campaign that followed.

30 January 2014

The two Pensacola class heavy cruisers were the first American heavy cruisers built after the First World War and were restricted by the terms of the 1921 Washington Naval Treaty.

USS Pensacola (CA-24) was the name ship of the Pensacola class of heavy cruisers and served in the Pacific during the Second World War, fighting at Midway, off Guadalcanal (where she was very badly damaged), at Tarawa, the Marshal Islands, the Aleutians, the battle of Leyte Gulf and the invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

USS Salt Lake City (CA-25) was a Pensacola class heavy cruiser that escorted the Doolittle raid, and fought at the battles of Midway and Guadalcanal, the battle of the Komandorski Islands, the invasion of the Gilbert Islands, the Marshall Islands, the second battle of the Philippine Sea and the invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, winning eleven battle stars and the Navy Unit Commendation for her service during the Second World War.

21 January 2014

The 396th Bombardment Group was a home based training unit that was active from February 1943 until May 1944.

The 397th Bombardment Group was a medium bomber unit that served with the Ninth Air Force and supported the D-Day invasion and the campaign that followed.

The 398th Bombardment Group was a B-17 group that served with the Eighth Air Force from May 1944 until the end of the war in Europe.

10 January 2014

The 391st Bombardment Group was a medium bomber unit that served with the Ninth Air Force in Europe, supporting the D-Day invasion and the campaign that followed.

The 394th Bombardment Group was a medium bomber unit that served with the Ninth Air Force in Europe, taking part in the D-Day invasion and the campaign that followed.

The 395th Bombardment Group was a home-based training unit that was active from February 1943 until April 1944.

9 January 2014

USS Richmond (CL-9) was a Omaha class light cruiser that served in the Pacific during the Second World War, spending most of her time in the Aleutians and northern Pacific. She earned two battle stars for her service during the war.

USS Concord (CL-10) was a Omaha class light cruiser that served in the south Pacific until 1944 before moving to the Aleutians, from where she took part in the bombardment of the Japanese Kurile Islands.

7 January 2014

The 382nd Bombardment Group (USAAF) went through two incarnations during the Second World War, first as a home based training unit and then as a B-29 unit with the Eighth Air Force in the Far East.

The 386th Bombardment Group (USAAF) was a medium bomber group that served with the Eighth and then Ninth Air Forces from England, taking part in the anti V-weapon campaign and supporting the D-Day landings and the campaign in Western Europe.

The 387th Bombardment Group served with the Eighth and then Ninth Air Forces as a medium bomber unit, taking part in the anti V-weapon campaign, the D-Day invasion and the fighting in north-western Europe.

6 January 2014

USS Raleigh (CL-7) was a Omaha class light cruiser that was damaged at Pearl Harbor but returned to action in the summer of 1942 and fought in the Aleutians and the northern Pacific.

USS Detroit (CL-8) was a Omaha class light cruiser that served from Pearl Harbor, in the Aleutians and in the South East Pacific during the Second World War, earning six battle stars.

2 January 2014

USS Milwaukee (CL-5) was an Omaha class light cruiser that spent most of the Second World War serving in the South Atlantic, before being transferred to the Soviet Union early in 1944.

USS Cincinnati (CL-6) was an Omaha class light cruiser that spent most of the Second World War serving in the South Atlantic but that also took part in the invasion of the south of France.

1 January 2014

The Omaha class cruisers were the only American cruisers to be ordered during the First World War, although they weren't completed until the early 1920s.

USS Omaha (CL-4) was the nameship of the Omaha class of light cruisers, and spent most of the Second World War operating in the Atlantic, where she stopped three German blockade runners.

Updates from: 20142013201220112010200920082007


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