Archive for the ‘April’ Category

Apr 03

World War II Today: April 3

1940 War Cabinet reshuffle, Churchill to chair committee directing general war policy.

Soviets begin massacre of 20,000 Polish officers in Katyn Forest.

The United States Congress cuts military spending 10 percent and refuses to fund heavy bombers as “aggressive weapons.”

1941 Hungarian Prime Minister Pál Teleki commits suicide rather than collaborate with Germany.

In Iraq, military officer Rashid Ali overthrows Regent Abdul Illah and forms pro-Axis government.

1942 Japanese aircraft bomb Mandalay in central Burma, killing 2,000. They met no opposition from the RAF as all its aircraft had by now been withdrawn to India.

The final Japanese offensive on Bataan begins with a five hour artillery and air bombardment, after which the Japanese launch infantry attacks supported by some tanks, which allows them to make penetrations in to US-Filipino defensive positions.

United States Navy Task Force 39 arrives at Scapa Flow to cover the Murmansk and Mediterranean runs, the first unit of the US Atlantic Fleet in British waters.

1944 Forty-two Royal Navy, fleet Air Arm Barracuda torpedo-bombers from the British aircraft carriers HMS Victorious and Furious hit the Battleship Tirpitz 14 times in a daring raid on the Alten Fjord, in Norway.

1945 The British Second Army reaches Munster; the U.S. Ninth Army captures Recklinghausen in the Ruhr, while the US First Army takes Fulda and Kassel.

The Austrian resistance leader Major Szokoll and Russian military authorities confer about co-operation on the Russian offensive against Vienna.

The 2nd Ukrainian front advances close to Vienna. The Russians breaches the German defensive lines between Wiener Neustadt and Neusiedler lake. Hard fighting continues as the Red Army advances towards Bratislava.

British commandos secure islands in Lake Comacchio, Italy.

MacArthur is appointed as C-in-C of land forces in the Pacific.

Admiral Nimitz is appointed as C-in-C of all naval forces in the Pacific.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: February 12 WWII Today: December 9 Survival of a crippled B-17

Apr 02

World War II Today: April 2

1940 Hitler gives orders that the invasion of Denmark and Norway is to begin on the 9th April 1940.

Germans again attack Scapa Flow and North Sea convoys.

1941 The 5th Light Division recaptures Agedabia from the British and fans out into three columns, two of which race across the desert in an attempt to cut off the retreating British, while the third pushes up the coast road towards Benghazi. Rear Admiral Bonnetti, the commander of the Italian Red Sea Flotilla orders his seven destroyers out on ‘do or die’ missions. All the destroyers are sunk or captured without achieving any worthwhile results.

1942 The aircraft carrier USS Hornet,with 16 B-25 Mitchells of the Doolittle attack group, departs Alameda, CA en route to launch a bombing raid on  Tokyo

British retreat from Prome, upper Burma.

Axis air forces begin a bombing campaign against La Valetta, the British naval base on Malta.

In Burma, Japanese take Prome and Akyab, securing Arakan Peninsula.

In the United States, tin tubes for toothpaste & shaving cream must be turned in to buy new tube; restrictions placed on use of tin in consumer packaging.

1944 The Russians announce their entry into Romania and threaten to shoot one third of all German POWs if the 18 divisions of the trapped 1st Panzer Army do not surrender. The Russian army crosses the river Prut, East of Cernovcy and liberates the little city Gerca.

1945 The 3rd Ukrainian Front and Bulgarian forces take Nagykanizsa, thereby gaining control of the main Hungarian oil production region. 2nd Ukrainian front under Malinovsky conquers the industrial area of Mosonmagyarovar and reaches the Austrian border between Dounau and the Neusiedler lake.

The British 7th Armoured Division enters Rhine on Dortmund-Ems canal, 60 miles Northeast of Essen.

The US Tenth Army crosses Okinawa, dividing the island.

On Okinawa,  United States opens Yontan and Kadena airfields for emergency and reconnaissance use.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: September 23 WWII Today: February 11 WWII Pin Up: Larna Darnell

Apr 01

World War II Today: April 1

1940 The United States 1940 Census taken: population 131,669,000, a 7.2% increase since 1930.

The British Minister of Food announces Dig for Victory campaign to encourage growing food at home.

1941 General Platt and his ‘Northern Force’ capture Asmara, the capital of Eritrea. A pro-axis coup, led by Raschid Ali seizes power in Iraq.

The Japanese force the Chinese out of Toungoo, north of Rangoon.

Japanese begin landing in Dutch New Guinea.

1942 As a result of the immense loss in shipping along the US eastern seaboard, since January 1942, the US authorities instituted a partial convoying system, known as the ‘Bucket Brigade’. This meant that ships would sail in convoy as close to the coast as possible during daylight hours and anchor in protected harbours at night. Due to the shortage of escort vessels, continuous convoying was not possible and the ‘Bucket Brigade’ system did not apply to the Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico.

1943 Attempting to stem inflation in the USA, President Roosevelt freezes wages, salaries, and prices.

Meat, fats, canned goods, and cheese are now rationed in the US.

1944

The USAAF accidentally bombs Schaffhausen in Switzerland. The Swiss protest strongly. The Americans offer reparations.

1945 The U.S. First and Ninth Armies link up at Lippstadt cutting off a third of a million German troops in the Ruhr area. The U.S. First Army enters Hamm, 40 miles Northeast of Essen.

The 3rd Ukrainian Front capture Sopron in Hungary, a vital road junction between Budapest and Vienna and also reaches Wiener Neustadt as it continues its advance toward Vienna. The fighting in Breslau continues.

The U.S. Tenth Army, with 1,457 ships in support, invades Okinawa which is 325 miles from Japan. 60,000 troops land unopposed and establish an 8-mile bridgehead.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Pin Up: Diana Mumby WWII Today: February 1 Words at War: Veterans Comes Back