Archive for the ‘April’ Category

Apr 22

World War II Today: April 22

1940 Inter-Allied Supreme War Council meets in Paris; Poland and Norway represented.

1942 Fuhrer Directive 41 rolls off the mimeograph machines in Rastenberg and the Wehrmacht has its marching orders for 1942. Leningrad is to finally be captured, but that’s a secondary objective. The big plan is in the South, which involves 2nd Army and 4th Panzer Army breaking through to Voronezh on the Don. 6th Army will break out South of Kharkov and combine with the 4th Panzer Army to surround the enemy. After that, the 4th Panzer Army and 6th Army will drive East under the command of Army Group B and surround Stalingrad from the North, while Army Group A’s 17th Army and 1st Panzer Army will do so from the South. Once Stalingrad is taken, the 6th Army will hold the flank defense line while Army Group A drive South into the Caucasus to seize the oilfields and become the northern punch of a grand pincer movement (the southern half being Rommel) the seize Suez, the Nile Delta, the Middle-East and its oilfields.

US Tenth Air Force begins regular air supply service over the “Hump” between India and China and begins evacuating 4500 personnel from Burma to India.

1943 The British First and Eighth Army’s, the U.S. 2nd Corps and Free French forces begin the final offensive to destroy the axis bridgehead in Tunisia.

Japan announces captured Allied pilots will be given “one way tickets to hell.”

1944 Bomber Command uses a ‘J’ bomb (30lb liquid incendiary) for first time in a raid on Brunswick.

The Russians say their talks with Finns are over.

Tito’s Partisans storm the Adriatic Island of Korcula, capturing 800 Germans.

An increasingly depressed and dispirited Mussolini arrives at Klessheim Castle near Salzburg for one of his last meetings with Hitler. The Fuhrer warns that the Allied invasion can be expected within “6 to 8 weeks,” at which time he would unleash “new technical weapons” that would turn London in a “heap of ruins.” The Duce leaves unconvinced.

The allies land unopposed at Hollandia, on the northern coast of New Guinea.

1945 The U.S. First and Ninth Armies clear all German resistance in the Harz Mountains, 40 miles Southwest of Magdeburg. The U.S. Seventh Army captures a bridge across the Danube. The British Second Army is fighting in the outskirts of Bremen. The U.S. Third Army starts its drive down the Danube valley as the French First Army reaches Lake Constance on the Swiss/ German border. Hitler, ignoring the pleas of his entourage, decides to stay in his bunker at Berlin to await the inevitable end.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: October 10 WWII Today: August 5 WWII Today: October 13

Apr 21

World War II Today: April 21

1940 British and German troops engage in heavy fighting at Lillehammer, Norway.

First US military casualty of WWII—Army Air Force observer Capt. Robert Losey killed by German bombing at Dombås, Norway.

1941 The Greek Army surrenders to the 1st SS Leibstandarte Division. Its commander, Sepp Dietrich accepts this, without referring to his superiors. All Greek soldiers were allowed to return home, while officers were allowed to retain their side arms. Mussolini, upon hearing of this is furious and makes the Greeks sign another surrender document with much harsher terms.


The first U-boat tanker or ‘ Milch cow’, U-459, sets sail for the Atlantic. Her role was to prolong the time that U-boats could spend in US waters by refueling and re-arming them at sea.

President Roosevelt orders seizure of all patents held by enemy nations.

Kenedy Alien Detention Center opens in Texas for enemy alien civilians (German, Italian, and Japanese citizens).

1943 Admiral Mineichi Kaga replaces Yamamoto as commander of Japanese Combined Fleet.

1944 German General Hans-Valentin Hube killed in plane crash at Berchtesgaden; General Erhard Raus replaces him in commend of the First Panzer Army.

1945 The U.S. Ninth Army captures Blankenburg, 80 miles to the East of Kassel. The U.S. First Army take Dessau. The French First Army captures Stuttgart along with 28,000 prisoners and crosses the Danube.

Field Marshal Model, commits suicide. German troops keep up their resistance around Elbingerode in the Harz Mountains.

The Soviet 1st Ukrainian Front captures Bautzen and Cottbus 70 miles southeast of Berlin. German troops still hold out in the port of Pillau.

The 2nd Polish Corps which is fighting with the British Eighth Army captures Bologna in co-ordination with the U.S. 34th Division, of the U.S. Fifth Army.

In Italy, future senator Lt. Daniel Inouye, serving with the Japanese-American 442nd RCT, is injured in battle, loses arm, earns Distinguished Service Cross and Bronze Star.

U.S. troops take ‘Bloody Ridge’ on Okinawa.

The French take Stuttgart, Germany.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: March 25 P-38 Lightning WW2 Advertisement WWII Today: April 26

Apr 20

World War II Today: April 20

1889 Adolf Hitler, the Nazi dictator of Germany who led his country into World War II and was responsible for persecuting millions of Jews, was born.

1940 Danish Army demobilized.

1941 British forces in Greece retreat from Mt. Olympus. King George II heads new Greek government.

Greek forces in Albania surrender.

Luftwaffe launches raid on Athens and Piraeus, sinking five ships—heavy raids will continue for next three days. Riot between Sikhs and Muslims in Bombay, India leads to 400 casualties.

1942 An assassination attempt on Doriol, head of the French Fascists fails. Pierre Laval, the premier of Vichy France, in a radio broadcast, establishes a policy of “true reconciliation with Germany.”

In a reprisal for Resistance sabotage of German troop trains, the Germans execute thirty French hostages at Rouen. The next day, twenty more hostages are killed at St. Nazaire.

Adolf Hitler plans the German summer offensive, but the first priority is to remove the Barvenkovo salient in the Ukraine, which is gives the Russian a springboard to retake Kharkov, or turn South and retake the Ukraine. General Friedrich Paulus, a tall, ascetic Prussian staff officer, draws up the plans for an panzer offensive to pinch out this salient. Amazingly, the Russian are simultaneously planning their own offensive out of the salient.

The US aircraft-carrier Wasp delivers 46 Spitfires to Malta as reinforcement, although such is the intensity of the axis air onslaught (9,599 sorties in April), that almost all these aircraft had been destroyed on the ground within 3 days.

German Jews are banned from using public transportation.

As a result of the Doolittle raid on Japan, the Japanese decide that Operation ‘Mi’ must take place as soon as possible, while plans to capture Samoa, Fiji and New Caledonia are to be postponed.

1943 The limited recruitment of women into the Home Guard is announced in Britain.

The Jewish uprising in Warsaw triggers a massive German response and initiates a month long massacre of the 60,000 Jews in the ghetto.

The Americans announce that their airmen captured in the ‘Doolittle Raid’ on Tokyo were beheaded by Japanese.

1944 Colonel General Hans V. Hube, whose hard-charging aggressiveness on the Eastern Front had made him one of Hitler’s favorites, is killed when his plane crashes on takeoff from Berchtesgaden on the return trip to his command after offering the Fuhrer birthday greetings. Grief-stricken at losing such an outstanding commander, Hitler orders a state funeral for Hube in the Reich Chancellery in Berlin.

1945 The British Home Secretary says that 60,585 British civilians have died and 86,175 have been seriously injured in air attacks since outbreak of war.

The U.S. Seventh Army takes Nuremberg.

The U.S. Fifth Army reaches the Po river Plain in northern Italy as a German retreat to river ordered.

Russian artillery begins to shell Berlin. The Germans desperately counterattack both North and South of Frankfurt an der Oder. A Furious battles takes place at Sternbeck and Protzel.

In Czechoslovakia the Russian pressure increases at Moravska-Ostrava and Brno.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: January 13 WWII Today: December 30 WWII Today: October 6