Second World War Articles from 2015

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Articles from 2015

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.

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