Home PageWWII HistoryWorld War II Today: April 8

1939
Italy invades Albania.

1940
British submarines torpedo three German ships. Destroyer Glowworm is sunk after reporting German fleet movements and ramming cruiser Hipper. British naval vessels lay mines in Norwegian waters in preparation for landings by British and French forces at Namsos, Narvik and Andalsnes. The Polish submarine ‘Orzel’ sinks the German transport ship ‘Rio de Janeiro’ at 11:50. The Norwegians rescue several German soldiers who claim they are on their way to help the Norwegians against the British.

1941
After a temporary lull, the Luftwaffe launches a heavy attack against Coventry.

The British ‘Northern Force’ captures Massawa, the last Italian stronghold in Eritrea. This removes any remaining threat to British convoys sailing through the Red Sea.

1942
A US delegation led by special presidential advisor Harry L. Hopkins and joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General George C. Marshall arrive in Britain to discuss US and British strategy on the Second Front. The proposal they brought from Roosevelt, was for major landings on the French coast in the summer of 1943, with Antwerp as the initial objective, and for a similar but smaller operation in 1942 to take advantage of a sudden German disintegration or to stave off an imminent Russian collapse.

The badly damaged cruiser HMS Penelope limps in to Gibraltar.

1944
The Russians reach the Slovakian border. The also continue their advance into Romania. The final Russian offensive to destroy the German 17th Army in Crimea begins.

1945
The 2nd Ukrainian front continues its advance into northern Czechoslovakia and establishes a bridgehead across the rivers Morava and Donau (East and Northeast of Vienna). Heavy fighting in the centre of Vienna. The Red Air Force drops 1,500 tons of bombs on Königsberg.

British SAS Brigade paratroops into eastern Holland, to clear the way for Canadians troops who are moving North. The British Second Army reaches Hildesheim, while the US Seventh Army captures Pforzheim near the upper Rhine.

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