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Oct 18

World War II Today: October 18

1939
The Russians prepare to hand over 30,000 Polish soldiers and refugees to the Nazis who respond with their own prisoner exchange.

The first Jewish ghetto is established in Lublin.

1940
Britain reopens the Burma road, which had been closed for three months on the condition of progress being made towards peace between Japan and China. No progress had been made towards peace at the time of reopening.

1941
German units are now only 80 miles west of Moscow.

Raids began against submarine pens on Bay of Biscay, to protect North Africa invasion, but pens survived with 12-foot concrete roofs, defended by Luftwaffe’s Me109 and FW190 fighters.

1942
Hitler orders German troops to shoot all captured allied commandos, ‘to the last man’.

An advance party of four Norwegian Special Operations Executive (SOE) Commandos are dropped by parachute to reconnoitre the area around the German ‘heavy water’ (atomic weapons development) plant at Telemark, Norway.

The advance by Army Group A toward the Black Sea port of Tuapse is halted due to difficult terrain and stubborn Soviet resistance.
After intensifying their raids during the early part of the October, German and Italian daylight bombing raids over Malta are finally suspended.

The drain on aircraft being sent to other fronts has left little alternative.

Vice Admiral William F. Halsey named as the new commander of the South Pacific Area, in charge of the Solomons-New Guinea campaign.

1943
Japanese troops go on a murderous rampage in China, burning to death the populations of several villages and forcing peasants to jump blindfolded off cliffs.

1944
The call up for the Volksturm begins in Germany, with all able-bodied men from 16 to 60 to be conscripted. German radio says 50,000 officers have been killed so far in war. Himmler becomes Commander-in-Chief, Forces of Interior.

German forces thrust into Slovakia.

Russian troops cross the Norwegian frontier.

Lt. General Joseph Stilwell is recalled from China by president Franklin Roosevelt.

Fourteen B-29s based on the Marianas attack the Japanese base at Truk.

1945
The first open session of the International Military War Crimes Tribunal indicts 21 top Nazis.

World War II Today: October 18 - Defendants At Nuremberg Trials

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