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1944 (MCMXLIV)was a leap year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, the 1944th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 944th year of the 2nd millennium, the 44th year of the 20th century, and the 5th year of the 1940s decade.
Below, events of World War II have the "WWII" prefix.
- March – Austrian-born economist Friedrich Hayek publishes his book The Road to Serfdom in London.
- March 1 – WWII:
- March 2
- March 3 – WWII: The Order of Nakhimov and the Order of Ushakov are instituted in the USSR.
- March 4 – In Ossining, New York, Louis Buchalter, the leader of 1930s crime syndicate Murder, Inc., is executed at Sing Sing, along with Emanuel Weiss and Louis Capone.
- March 6 – WWII: Soviet Army planes attack Narva, Estonia, destroying almost the entire baroque old town.
- March 9 – WWII: Soviet Army planes attack Tallinn, Estonia, killing 757 and leaving 25,000 homeless.
- March 10
- In Britain, the prohibition on married women working as teachers is lifted.
- Resistance leader Joop Westerweel is arrested while returning to the Netherlands having escorted a group of Jewish children to safety in Spain.
- March 12 – WWII: the Political Committee of National Liberation is created in Greece.
- March 15
- March 18
- The last eruption of Mount Vesuvius in Italy kills 26 and causes thousands to flee their homes.
- WWII: The Nazis execute almost 400 prisoners, Soviet citizens and anti-fascist Romanians at Rîbnița.
- March 19 – WWII: German forces occupy Hungary in Operation Margarethe.
- March 20 – WWII:
- March 23 – WWII: Members of the Italian Resistance attack Nazis marching in Via Rasella, killing 33.
- March 24 – WWII:
Allied troops land on the beaches of Normandy during D-Day
- June 1
- June 2 – WWII: The provisional French government is established.
- June 3 – Hans Asperger publishes his paper on Asperger syndrome.
- June 4 – WWII:
- June 5 – WWII:
- The German navy's Enigma messages are decoded almost in real time.
- British Group Captain James Stagg correctly forecasts a brief improvement in weather conditions over the English Channel which will permit the following day's Normandy landings to take place (having been deferred from today due to unfavourable weather).
- At 10:15 p.m. local time, the BBC transmits the second line of the Paul Verlaine poem to the French Resistance, indicating that the invasion of Europe is about to begin.
- More than 1,000 British bombers drop 5,000 tons of bombs on German gun batteries on the Normandy coast in preparation for D-Day.
- US and British paratrooper divisions jump over Normandy, in preparation for D-Day, including 82nd and 101st Airborne divisions of the United States.
- D-Day naval deceptions are launched.
- June 6 – WWII – D-Day: 155,000 Allied troops shipped from England land on the beaches of Normandy in northern France, beginning Operation Overlord and the Invasion of Normandy. The Allied soldiers quickly break through the Atlantic Wall and push inland, in the largest amphibious military operation in history. This operation helps liberate France from Germany, and also weakens the Nazi hold on Europe.
- June 7 – WWII:
- The steamer Danae (Greek: Δανάη), carrying 600 Cretans including 350 Greek Jews on the first leg of the journey to Auschwitz, is sunk, with no known survivors, off Santorini.
- Joel Brand is intercepted by British agents in Aleppo.
- Bayeux is liberated by British troops.
- Opening of Operation Perch, a British attempt to capture Caen from the Germans; attempt abandoned on June 14.
- June 9 – WWII: Soviet leader Joseph Stalin launches the Vyborg–Petrozavodsk Offensive against Finland, with the intent of defeating Finland before pushing for Berlin.
- June 10 – WWII: 642 men, women and children are killed in the Oradour-sur-Glane massacre in France.
- June 13 – WWII: Germany launches the first V-1 flying bomb attack on London.
- June 15 – WWII: Battle of Saipan: United States forces land on Saipan.
- June 16 – At age 14, George Stinney becomes the youngest person ever executed in the United States.
- June 17 – Iceland declares full independence from Denmark.
- June 19 – A severe storm badly damages the Mulberry harbours on the Normandy coast.
- June 20 – WWII: A V-2 rocket becomes the first man-made object to cross the Kármán line and reach the edge of space.
- June 22 – WWII:
- June 24 – David Ben-Gurion presents the One Million Plan to the Jewish Agency for Israel, proposing a million-strong Jewish exodus from Arab and Muslim countries as well as from Europe to Mandatory Palestine.
- June 25 – WWII
- June 26 – WWII: American troops enter Cherbourg.
- June 29 – WWII: 5,400 drown when USS Sturgeon torpedoes Toyama Maru.
- June 30 – WWII: 3,219 drown when USS Tang torpedoes Nikkin Maru.
Soviet soldiers fight in the streets of Jelgava
, summer 1944.
American medics helping injured soldier in France, 1944.
Crowds of French people line the Champs Élysées following the Liberation of Paris
, 26 August 1944.
- August 1 – WWII: The Warsaw Uprising begins.
- August 2 – WWII:
- Turkey ends diplomatic and economic relations with Germany.
- The First Assembly of ASNOM (the Anti-Fascist Assembly for the People's Liberation of Macedonia) is held in the Prohor Pčinjski monastery.
- August 3 – The Education Act in the United Kingdom, promoted by Rab Butler, creates a [[Tripartite system of education in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
- August 4 – The Holocaust: A tip from a Dutch informer leads the Gestapo to a sealed-off area in an Amsterdam warehouse, where they find Jewish diarist Anne Frank, her family, and others in hiding. All would die in the Holocaust except for Otto Frank, Anne's father.
- August 5 – WWII:
- The Warsaw Uprising:
- The Wola massacre begins. Between now and August 12, 40,000 to 50,000 Polish civilians will be indiscriminately massacred by occupying SS troops.
- The Holocaust: Polish insurgents liberate a German labor camp in Warsaw, freeing 348 Jewish prisoners.
- Cowra breakout: Over 500 Japanese prisoners of war attempt a mass breakout from the Cowra camp in Australia. In the ensuing manhunt, 231 Japanese escapees and four Australian soldiers are killed.
- August 7 – IBM dedicates the first program-controlled calculator, the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator (known best as the Harvard Mark I).
- August 9 – The United States Forest Service and the Wartime Advertising Council release posters featuring Smokey Bear for the first time.
- August 12 – WWII:
- August 15 – WWII: Operation Dragoon lands Allies in southern France. The U.S. 45th Infantry Division participates in its fourth assault landing at Sainte-Maxime, spearheading the drive for the Belfort Gap.
- August 18 – WWII: Submarine USS Rasher sinks Teia Maru, Eishin Maru, Teiyu Maru, and aircraft carrier Taiyō from Japanese convoy HI71 in one of the most effective American "wolfpack" attacks of the war.
- August 19 – WWII:
- August 20 – WWII:
- August 21
- Dumbarton Oaks Conference (Washington Conversations on International Peace and Security Organization) opens in Washington, D.C.: U.S., British, Chinese, French and Soviet representatives meet to plan the foundation of the United Nations.
- WWII: Operation Tractable concludes when Canadian troops relieve the Polish and link with the Americans, capturing remaining German forces in the Falaise Pocket and securing the strategically important French town of Falaise in the final offensive of the Battle of Normandy.
- August 22 – WWII: Tsushima Maru, an unmarked Japanese passenger/cargo ship, is sunk by torpedoes launched by the submarine USS Bowfin off Akuseki-jima, killing 1,484 civilians including 767 schoolchildren.
- August 23 – WWII: In King Michael's Coup, Ion Antonescu, prime minister of Romania, is arrested and a new government established. Romania leaves the war against the Soviet Union, joining the Allies.
- August 24 – WWII:
- August 25 – WWII:
- August 29 – WWII: The Slovak National Uprising against the Axis powers begins.
- August 31 – The Mad Gasser of Mattoon apparently resumes their mysterious attacks in Mattoon, Illinois for two weeks.
American troops advance towards San Jose on Leyte Island, 20 October 1944.
- November 1–December 7 – Delegates of 52 nations meet at the International Civil Aviation Conference in Chicago to plan for postwar international cooperation, framing the constitution of the International Civil Aviation Organization.
- November 3 – WWII: Two supreme commanders of the Slovak National Uprising, Generals Ján Golian and Rudolf Viest, are captured, tortured and later executed by German forces.
- November 7
- November 10 – WWII: Ammunition ship USS Mount Hood disintegrates from accidental detonation of 3,800 tons of cargo in the Seeadler Harbor fleet anchorage at Manus Island. 22 small boats are destroyed, 36 nearby ships damaged, 432 men are killed and 371 more are injured.
- November 11 – Operational ships of the French Navy re-enter their base at Toulon.
- November 12 – WWII: Sinking of the German battleship Tirpitz by British Royal Air Force Lancaster bombers. Estimated casualties range from 950 to 1,204.
- November 14 – WWII: 2,246 drown when USS Queenfish torpedoes Akitsu Maru.
- November 16 – WWII: U.S. forces begin the month-long Operation Queen in the Rur valley.
- November 18
- November 22
- November 24 – WWII: German forces evacuate from West Estonian Archipelago.
- November 26 – American opera singer Florence Foster Jenkins dies in her sleep at the age of 76.
- November 27
- November 29 – WWII: Submarine USS Archerfish sinks Japanese aircraft carrier Shinano. Shinano is the largest carrier built to this date, and will remain through the twentieth century the largest ship sunk by a submarine.