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Mar 31

World War II Today: March 31

1939
Britain and France agree to support Poland if Germany threatens to invade.

1940
World War II Today: March 31 - AtlantisGerman armed merchant cruiser Atlantis sets sail, will sink 22 ships before being sunk November 22, 1941.

1941
British civilian casualties for March are 4,259 killed and 5,557 injured.

Italian naval forces sink the British Cruiser, HMS Bonaventure off Crete.

The 5th Light Division engages the British 2nd Armoured Division near Mersa Brega, as it attempts to capture the town. The battle rages all day and results in the British withdrawing towards Agedabia.

A US scientific/military team arrives in the Danish colony of Greenland, to consider the establishment of military bases there.

The RAF first uses 4000-lb “Cookie” bomb in raid on Emden, Germany.

109 RAF bombers attack the German warships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau in Brest, France, but were unable to score any hits.

Erwin Rommel’s forces attack Ajdabiya and expelled the 2nd Armoured Division.

Crown Prince and Regent of Iraq ‘Abd al-Ilah flees to Jordan after learning of a plot to assassinate him.

Germany and Yugoslavia severs diplomatic relations.

1943
Newly built gas chamber/crematory II opens at Auschwitz.

The Australian 9th Division marches through Melbourne watched by more than half a million people.

In North Africa, Axis forces withdrew from Cap Serrat while 5th Corps of the 1st British Army captured El Aouana.

1944
RAF losses after 35 major attacks on German cities since the 18th November 1943 are 1,047 aircraft destroyed and 1,682 damaged.

Vice Admiral Mineichi Koga, Commander-in-Chief of Japanese Combined Fleet, is killed in a plane crash on Mindanao in the Philippines.

1945
The Germans start pulling out of Holland. The French First Army crosses the Rhine for first time since Napoleon. The US Third Army reaches Siegen 20 miles East of the Rhine.

The Russians enters German territory near Sopron in Hungary. The Russian capture Ratibor in Upper Silesia.

British 26th Division reaches the Burma Road, which ends eight months of fighting.

Free French Army crosses Rhine near Speyer, Germany, the first French troops to cross the Rhine since Napoleon.

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