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Dillingen in World War 2



I 1939 I


1 September: Beginning of World War 2 when German troops invade Poland. (»Fall Weiss«). The citizens of Dillingen are evacuated.


I 1940 I


5 June: German troops invade France (»Fall Rot»«).


22 June: France signs Franco-German cease-fire agreement.


1 July: The evacuated citizens are officially allowed to return to Dillingen.


I 1941 I


22 June: German troops invade the Soviet Union (Operation »Barbarossa«).


Due to the increase of British bombing raids, a blackout is stipulated by the German government in spring.


7 December: The Japanese Air Force attacks the U.S. naval base Pearl Harbor on Oahu Island, Hawaii.


11 December: Germany declares war on the United States of America.


I 1942 I


29 July: During the night of 29 July the air war reaches the Saar: That night Saarbruecken endures its first heavy air raid by the RAF.


1 September: During the night of 1 September, Dillingen is bombed for the first time by British bombers due to a navigational error. It is mainly the Hinterstrasse area that is affected by the raid. The actual target for this air raid is Saarbruecken, but due to a navigational error, the bombs hit Saarlautern (Saarlouis) – a bitter setback for the new British Pathfinder Force (PFF).


22 November: The German 6th Army is encircled by Soviet troops at Stalingrad, Soviet Union.


I 1943 I


2 February: The Battle of Stalingrad is lost for the Wehrmacht due to the destruction of the pocket by the Red Army.


16 April: at about 0.20 hrs. during the night of April 16th, German flak in the steel works area downs a four-enginged British Lancaster bomber of the No. 100 Squadron that crashes in flames between Diefflen and Nalbach – all seven crew members are killed in the crash.


I 1944 I


11 May: Nine crew members of an American four-engined B-17 bomber from the 305th Bomb Group (H) bail out over Dillingen and are arrested here after the bomber was hit by flak.


21 May: beginning of systematic Allied fighter-bomber attacks against rail lines in northern France and western Germany in preparation for the invasion (Operation »Chattanooga Choo Choo«).


6 June: Allied invasion on the Normandy beaches (Operation »Overlord«).


27 August: Dillingen endures the blackest day of the city's history when American P-47 fighter bombers from the 356th Fighter Group attack and hit an ammunition train standing in the station.


7 October: 36 American B-26 bombers from the 394th Bomb Group (M) destroy the rail bridge over the Saar River by dropping a bomb load of 74 tons.


20 November: An American P-47 fighter bomber from the 362nd Fighter Group is downed by flak over Pachten and crashes into the bank of the Saar River – the status of the pilot, 2nd Lieutenant James G. Newman, is still MIA (missing in action).


1 December: The citizens of Dillingen are evacuated for the second time.


6 December: In the early morning hours, two regiments of the 90th U.S. Infantry Division cross the Saar River in assault boats opposite Dillingen – heavy house-to-house and pillbox-to-pillbox fighting ensues and lasts until 21 December.


16 December: Start of the German »Battle of the Bulge« (Operation »Wacht am Rhein«), that forces the Americans to withdraw from the Dillingen and Ensdorf bridge heads.


22 December: The Dillingen bridge head no longer exists.


I 1945 I


15 March: Start of the American offensive to achieve the final break through the West Wall (»Siegfried Line«) and the occupation of the Saar-Moselle Triangle by the 3rd and 7th U.S. Armies (Operation »Undertone«)


18 March: Dillingen is captured by American troops from the 65th Infantry Division (261st Infantry Regiment), who are fighting in Saarlautern (Saarlouis) – for Dillingen, the Second World War is over.


28 March: The local authority returns to Dillingen.


15 April: First American headquarters in Dillingen (Battery A, 767th Field Artillery Battalion).


9 May: The German unconditional surrender comes into effect (at 0.01 clock).


10 July: Relief of the American occupation forces by French troops in the Saar.

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