Japan had not yet invaded China (on 7th July), but was engaged in night-time
manoeuvres near the Marco Polo Bridge, which were to lead to the incident on
7th July which was to mark the beginning of their conflict and what is
generally regarded as the start of World War II.
The formation of a five man conference (consisting of the Premier, Foreign,
Finance, Army and Navy ministers) within Japan, to decide on future policy
towards China (and other matters).
War in Europe had not yet begun (but had been going on in Manchuria between
the Japanese and Chinese forces since
the 7th July 1937), however it seemed inevitable to many people, especially Winston
Churchill in Britain.
In Germany a new law provided
for the participation of Rudolf Hess (Hitler's deputy) in the administration of
declares war on France and Britain, Canada declares war on Italy, Norway
surrenders to the Germans.
Vice Premier François Darlan of the French Vichy Republic
made a speech to the French people urging them to conquer their illusions
and to consent to sacrifices, "For France not to fulfil loyally the
armistice conditions and thereby give the conqueror reason to denounce her,
would be tantamount to suicide for France and the empire".
Czech village of Lidice was destroyed in retaliation for the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich by two patriots and 252 persons of its adult
population killed. This incident, two years before the one at Oradour, showed the extent of Nazi ruthlessness and determination to exact
revenge for an attack on their leadership.
'Point-blank' came into being as the code name for the combined British and
American bombing strategy for the assault on German industrial and military
targets, especially those belonging to the Luftwaffe.
1944: a) The
attack took place on Oradour-sur-Glane by members of the Der Führer Regiment of
the 2nd Waffen-SS Panzer Division Das Reich, see:
Home Page of this website) for full details.
1944: b) The
attack took place on
Marsoulas in the Haute-Garonne, Department 31, by
members of the Deutschland Regiment of the 2nd Waffen-SS Panzer Division Das Reich. A total of 27 civilians
were killed in response to the resistance firing on the SS from the village.
1944: c) The attack took place upon Distomo in Greece, by men of the 2nd company of
the 7th regiment of the 4th SS-Panzer Grenadier Division SS-Polizei, when a
total of 218 men, women and children were killed in reprisal for partisan
The landings against the Japanese forces at Labuan and Brunei
took place as planned. The
war in Europe was over (on 8th May) and Germany had just been partitioned
between Britain, France, The Soviet Union and the United States of America (the
war in the Pacific was to end on 2nd September, with Japan's formal surrender on the
deck of the battleship USS Missouri anchored in Tokyo Bay).
World War 2 (WWII) had thus lasted from 7th
July 1937 until 2nd September 1945 and killed by most accounts, some 30
million people, the largest number being within Russia. It was thus the most
destructive war ever fought in the history of mankind and the killings at
Oradour merely a footnote in the overall scale of things.