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May 04

World War II Today: May 4

1941
In a Luftwaffe raid on Liverpool, England, 32 ships and boats are sunk.
World War II Today: May 4 - Luftwaffe  bomb Liverpool

1942
The United States begins food rationing.

Akyab on the Burmese coast is abandoned by the British.

The Japanese Port Moresby invasion force leaves Rabaul, in New Britain.

With its naval support stripped away, the Japanese invasion fleet at Tulagi is attacked by aircraft from the American carrier Yorktown. 1 destroyer is disabled, while 3 minesweepers and 4 landing barges are sunk for the loss of just 3 US aircraft. Admiral Fletcher, now doubled back to meet up with the Lexington in the Coral Sea.

1943
Italian Torpedo Boat Perseo is sunk off the coast of Tunisia by British destroyers

Hitler decides to postpone Operation ‘Citadel’ in order that more Tiger and Panther tanks can be deployed in the offensive. This is against the advice of a number of leading Generals who fear that the Russian defenses will become too strong if the offensive is delayed any further.

1944
The RAF carries out a night raid against Budapest.

The British counter-attacks at Kohima, are repulsed by the Japanese.

1945
The last day of air operations in north-west Europe; 2nd TAF aircraft claim to have shot down 141 enemy aircraft during anti-shipping operations in the Baltic.

Grand Admiral Dönitz, now the newly designated leader of the Reich, orders all U-boats to cease offensive operations and return to their bases (to go into effect fully at 0800 on 5th May): “You have fought like lions!”

Admiral von Friedeburg arrives at Montgomery’s HQ on Lüneburg Heath with German plenipotentiaries. At 8.15pm SHAEF announce that ‘Field Marshal Montgomery has reported to the supreme allied command that all enemy forces in Holland, Northwest Germany and Denmark, have surrendered. The U.S. Ninth Army breaks up the German Ninth and Twelfth Armies. The U.S. Seventh Army takes Innsbruck, Salzburg and Berchtesgarten, which is still smoking after an RAF raid. Field-Marshal von Kleist gives himself up to the U.S. Third Army near Straubing.

The U.S. Fifth Army reaches the Brenner Pass.

SEAC announces that Rangoon was taken so quickly that the Japanese had no time to destroy the installations there.

Kamikaze flyers sink 17 U.S. ships in 24 hours off Okinawa.

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