Historical Calendar


The Battle for Hill 3234
7 January - 1988
The Battle for Hill 3234 was fought by Soviet Troops in Afghanistan, to secure an important strategic road. 39 Soviets faced 250 well-armed Mujahideen rebels over the course of two days, suffering heavy casualties but ultimately prevailing. Read more>>
Final Carolean death march survivors return home
16 January - 1719
After Carolus Rex was killed, Carolean soldiers were ordered to retreat home to Sweden. An ill-fated decision to march 6,000 defeated troops across the Norway’s Tydal mountains resulted in almost two thirds of the men freezing to death on their journey. Read more>>
The Battle of Rorke’s Drift
22 January - 1879
For two days, 150 British and colonial soldiers defended Rorke’s Drift mission station in South Africa from up to 4,000 Zulu warriors. Eleven defenders were awarded the Victoria Cross medal – the most ever given for a single action by one regiment. Read more>>
Satsuma Rebellion begins
29 January - 1877
The Satsuma Rebellion was the last revolt of the samurai against the imperial government of emperor Meiji. Ending with the famous Battle of Shiroyama the uprising marks the final chapter of Japan’s most famous warriors. Read more>>
Yevdokiya Bershanskaya born
6 February - 1913
Major Yevdokia Bershanskaya was commander of the 588th Night Bomber Regiment of the Soviet Air Force – the all-female regiment known as the Night Witches, who carried out stealthy anti-German bombing activity from 1942 until the end of WWII. Read more>>
The Battle of Fraustadt
13 February - 1706
Fraustadt was one of Sweden’s greatest victories in the Great Northern War, when the Swedes – outnumbered more by than 2:1 – used a perfectly-devised pincer movement to entrap their opponents and capture or kill three quarters of their force. Read more>>
Start of the Gallipoli Campaign
19 February - 1915
The Gallipoli campaign was a long and controversial attempt to reach and occupy Constantinople (Istanbul) during WWI. The doomed campaign cost 44,000 allied troops their lives, more than a quarter of whom were from Australia and New Zealand. Read more>>
Operation Gunnerside
27 February - 1943
Operation Gunnerside was one of the most successful sabotage missions in history. By blowing up a production facility at Norway’s Vermork Hydroelectric Plant, the saboteurs thwarted Hitler’s efforts to produce the materials needed for an atomic bomb. Read more>>
Formation of the Chasseurs Ardennais
10 March - 1933
The Belgian Armed Forces unit, whose motto is “Resist and Bite”, is known for its fierce resistance against Germany’s invasion of Belgium in WWII. Panzer division commander Erwin Rommel said of their bravery: “They are not men; they are green wolves”. Read more>>
End of Finnish Winter War
13 March - 1940
This conflict between Finland and the USSR ended with the Moscow Peace Treaty and Finland ceding large amounts of land to the invading Soviets. Peace would be short-lived, as Finland joined with Germany to mount a counter-invasion the following year. Read more>>
Formation of the Wehrmacht
16 March - 1935
The Wehrmacht was the united armed force of Germany, comprising the Heer (army), Kriegsmarine (navy) and Luftwaffe (air force). It was established by Hitler in direct disregard of the restrictions on German rearmament that were imposed after WWI. Read more>>
Launch of Operation Iraqi Freedom
20 March - 2003
The US codename for the invasion of Iraq by the USA and allies, with the aim of ending dictator Saddam Hussein’s regime. The invasion was swift and the capital Baghdad fell within 20 days, but US military presence in Iraq would continue until 2011. Read more>>
The Drei Brasilianischen Helden incident
14 April - 1945
Three Brazilian soldiers were attacked by German troops while on patrol in Montese, Italy. Refusing to surrender, they fought until their ammunition ran out. The Germans, impressed by the heroes (Helden), buried the men with a cross by their graves. Read more>>
End of the Greco-Italian War
23 April - 1941
When Italian dictator Benito Mussolini sent 140,000 troops to invade Greece, they were repelled by the determined Greeks. The war went on for six months before Germany intervened and the conflict was absorbed into the larger Balkans campaign of WWII. Read more>>
Gallipoli landings and ANZAC Day
25 April - 1915
The failed attempt to occupy Constantinople (Istanbul) during WWI claimed the lives of 44,000 Allied soldiers, more than a quarter of whom were from Australia and New Zealand. The date troops landed on the Gallipoli peninsula is commemorated as Anzac Day in these countries. Read more>>
Death of Hitler
30 April - 1945
There was no glorious ending for the man responsible for the bloodiest war in human history. With the German capital Berlin crippled by a massive Soviet attack and on the verge of falling, Hitler retired to his study and shot himself. Read more>>
Battle of Berlin ends
2 May - 1945
The Battle of Berlin was the last major offensive of World War II in Europe and saw the Soviet Army capture the German capital. Hitler and several senior Nazis would commit suicide before the battle was over, and Germany’s surrender would follow. Read more>>
The Sack of Rome
6 May - 1527
The Sack of Rome occurred when disaffected Holy Roman Empire troops attacked the city in search of spoils. The outnumbered Swiss Guard, protectors of the Vatican, stood against the invading horde, giving their lives so the Pope could make his escape. Read more>>
Battle of Monte Cassino ends
18 May - 1944
The Battle of Monte Cassino was a series of assaults on German positions in Cassino, south of Rome, by US and British armies. Despite eventually capturing the town, Allied losses were heavier than German, with 55,000 US and British troops killed. Read more>>
Witold Pilecki executed
25 May - 1948
This extraordinary Polish soldier offered to enter Auschwitz, becoming Inmate 4859 to gather intelligence. He escaped two years later and went on to fight in the Warsaw Uprising, but was later executed for spying by Poland’s new communist government. Read more>>
Audie Murphy dies
28 May - 1971
After lying about his age to enlist, Audie Murphy became one of the most decorated US soldiers of WWII. He went on to act in Hollywood, but died in a plane crash aged just 45. His grave at Arlington Cemetery is the most visited after John F Kennedy’s. Read more>>
Battle of Midway starts
4 June - 1942
Six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the US Navy delivered a decisive defeat to Japan in a four-day battle near Midway Atol in the Pacific. The battle severely weakened Japan’s navy and is considered a turning point in WWII in the Pacific. Read more>>
D-Day landings
6 June - 1944
The famous landings on the beaches of Normandy started Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of German-occupied France. Winning this crucial battle gave the Allies a foothold from which to start pushing back the Nazis and turning the tide of WWII. Read more>>
Battle of Bannockburn begins
23 June - 1314
Scotland was embroiled in a war with England for its independence when the Scots besieged Stirling Castle. The mighty English force that was sent to end the siege was humiliated at Bannockburn by a much smaller Scottish army, led by Robert the Bruce. Read more>>
Swedish Army defeated at Poltava
8 July - 1709
This battle is widely thought to have begun the downfall of the Swedish Empire, when Peter the Great and his Russian army routed the Caroleans on a battlefield in modern day Ukraine. Carolus Rex, wounded, spent five years in exile after the defeat. Read more>>
Battle of Prague starts
25 July - 1648
The last major clash of the Thirty Years’ War happened in the same place as the first: Prague. With final peace negotiations underway, Sweden took the opportunity for a last assault on Bohemia, probably to steal Prague Castle’s prized art collection. Read more>>
Battle of Passchendaele begins
31 July - 1917
The Battle of Passchendaele was one of WW1 major campaigns on the western front. Raging from 31st of July to 10th of November 1917, the fights between Allied forces and the Germans in Flandern accounted for over half a million deaths. Read more>>
Warsaw Uprising begins
1 August - 1944
The Warsaw Uprising was a major insurrection by the Polish Resistance, taking place from August 1st to October 2nd 1944. Trying to liberate the city from its German oppressors, the Uprising symbolizes the bravery of the Polish people. Read more>>
Death of King Leonidas
11 August - 480
At the legendary Battle of Thermopylae in Ancient Greece, King Leonidas and a small number of soldiers – including 300 of his warriors from the state of Sparta – died making an heroic last stand against an invading force of around 100,000 Persians. Read more>>
Battle of Stalingrad begins
23 August - 1942
The largest battle in war history was an attempt by the Axis powers of WWII to capture the city of Stalingrad. The invaders were repelled by Soviet forces, but not before the city was destroyed and up to 2million people killed, wounded or captured. Read more>>
Operation Overlord ends
30 August - 1944
Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied France, began with the D-Day beach landings. After a slow start the Allies pushed the Germans back until Paris was liberated and the Germans retreated across the River Seine. Read more>>
Battle of Wizna starts
7 September - 1939
In the early days of the Nazi invasion of Poland – the event that started WWII – a few hundred brave Poles mounted a three-day defence against more than 40,000 Germans, a battle that has drawn comparisons to the famous last stand of the Spartans. Read more>>
Battle of Vienna
12 September - 1683
Vienna was a key goal for the Ottoman Empire, which was at war with Europe for centuries. After besieging the city for two months, the Ottomans were driven away when a relief force, including the famed Winged Hussars of Poland, arrived to save Vienna. Read more>>
Wehrmacht disbanded
20 September - 1945
The Wehrmacht was the united armed force of Germany, comprising the Heer (army), Kriegsmarine (navy) and Luftwaffe (air force). It was established by Hitler in disregard of international restrictions, and was disbanded after WWII. Read more>>
End of Warsaw Uprising
2 October - 1944
The Polish underground resistance movement spearheaded the largest uprising of WWII. It was timed to coincide with Germany’s retreat ahead of the Soviet advance, but a Soviet pause enabled the Germans to regroup, and destroy the city in retaliation. Read more>>
Stalin orders deployment of Night Witches
8 October - 1941
Women were originally barred from combat in the Soviet Union, until Josef Stalin ordered the deployment of three female flying regiments, one of which was the 588th Night Bomber Regiment, nicknamed the "Night Witches" for their stealthy attacks. Read more>>
Gustavus Adolphus crowned
12 October - 1617
Gustavus Adolphus was perhaps Sweden’s greatest king: a pioneer of modern warfare and statesmanship who laid the foundations for the Swedish Empire and many elements of the modern Swedish state. Read more>>
United Nations officially founded
24 October - 1945
United Nations Day is a global day of celebration, marking the day representatives from 50 countries met to sign the charter that established the UN. Sabaton’s song A Light in the Black is about peacekeeping – just one part of the UN’s international work. Read more>>
Karel Janoušek dies
27 October - 1971
Karel Janoušek was an heroic Czech airman who played a key role in the Battle of Britain, only to be imprisoned in his own country after the war. Our song Far From the Fame commemorates Janoušek and the sacrifices he made. Read more>>
Operation Magistral preparation exercise
28 October - 1987
Operation Magistral was an operation by Soviet Troops in Afghanistan to secure an important strategic road. A key battle on a nameless hill (Hill 3234) saw 39 Soviets face 250 well-armed Afghan rebels, suffering heavy casualties but ultimately prevailing. Read more>>
Start of Vietnam War
1 November - 1955
Officially a war between North and South Vietnam, countries around the world became involved, most notably the USA. Nearly 60,000 US troops died, and some tactics used in the war – such as chemical defoliation – remain controversial to this day. Read more>>
Battle of Passchendaele ends
10 November - 1917
This famous battle in the fields of Flanders (Belgium) is a symbol of the horrors of WWI trench warfare. The Allied victory, which took four months and more than 400,000 lives, turned out to be futile, as the land was given up just one year later. Read more>>
Gustavus Adolphus killed
16 November - 1632
Gustavus Adolphus was perhaps Sweden’s greatest king: a pioneer of modern warfare who laid the foundations for the Swedish Empire. He is the inspiration for the song Lion From the North, and Sweden celebrates “Gustavus Adolphus Day” every 6 November. Read more>>
Start of Finnish Winter War
30 November - 1939
This conflict saw a tiny but adaptable Finnish Army hold off a mighty Soviet force for several weeks before efforts were redoubled and they were overrun. The resulting peace treaty would see Finland forced to cede large amounts of land to their invaders. Read more>>
Birth of Colonel John Chard
21 December - 1847
For two days, 150 British and colonial soldiers defended Rorke’s Drift mission station in South Africa from up to 4,000 Zulu warriors. Leader John Chard and 10 of his men were awarded the Victoria Cross medal – the most ever given for a single action by one regiment. Read more>>
End of Siege of Bastogne
27 December - 1944
Men from the US 101st Airborne Division (the Screaming Eagles) were sent to defend Bastogne from approaching Nazi troops. With the town surrounded and cut off from supplies, they fought for seven days in bitter cold before reinforcements arrived. Read more>>