Publish date:
Updated on
Year
1943

United States and Britain plan Operation Pointblank

On this day in 1943, U.S. and Great Britain chiefs of staff, meeting in Washington, D.C., approve and plot out Operation Pointblank, a joint bombing offensive to be mounted from British airbases.

Operation Pointblank’s aim was grandiose and comprehensive: “The progressive destruction and dislocation of the German military and economic system, and the undermining of the morale of the German people.” It was also intended to set up “final combined operations on the continent.” In other words, it was intended to set the stage for one fatal blow that would bring Germany to its knees.

The immediate targets of Operation Pointblank were to be submarine construction yards and bases, aircraft factories, ball bearing factories, rubber and tire factories, oil production and storage plants, and military transport-vehicle factories and stores. Ironically, the very day planning for Pointblank began in Washington, the Germans shot down 74 British four-engine bombers as the Brits struck a munitions factory near Pilsen. Joseph Goebbels, writing in his diary, recorded that the biggest setback about the British raid on the factory was that the drafting room was destroyed.

FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us!

ALSO ON THIS DAY

State of Israel proclaimed

On May 14, 1948, in Tel Aviv, Jewish Agency Chairman David Ben-Gurion proclaims the State of Israel, establishing the first Jewish state in 2,000 years. Ben-Gurion became Israel’s first premier. In the distance, the rumble of guns could be heard from fighting that broke out ...read more

Jenner tests smallpox vaccine

Edward Jenner, an English country doctor from Gloucestershire, administers the world’s first vaccination as a preventive treatment for smallpox, a disease that had killed millions of people over the centuries. While still a medical student, Jenner noticed that milkmaids who had ...read more

Bobby Darin is born

“Mack The Knife,” which held the #1 spot on the Billboard pop chart for an incredible nine weeks in 1959, was a big enough hit for Bobby Darin that it cemented him in many people’s minds as the consummate cool-cat crooner. But Bobby Darin was no mere lounge act. His knack for ...read more

Frank Sinatra dies

On this day in 1998, the legendary singer, actor and show-business icon Frank Sinatra dies of a heart attack in Los Angeles, at the age of 82. Sinatra emerged from an Italian-American family in Hoboken, New Jersey, to become the first modern superstar of popular music, with an ...read more

The Warsaw Pact is formed

The Soviet Union and seven of its European satellites sign a treaty establishing the Warsaw Pact, a mutual defense organization that put the Soviets in command of the armed forces of the member states. The Warsaw Pact, so named because the treaty was signed in Warsaw, included ...read more