Soldiers of 44th Division, US Seventh Army in Mannheim, Germany, 29 Mar 1945 (German Federal Archive, Bild 146-1971-053-59)
75 Years Ago—March 29, 1945: In Germany, US Third Army takes Frankfurt and US Seventh Army takes Mannheim and Heidelberg.
In retreat from Heidelberg, Germans destroy historic Alte Brücke (bridge) over Neckar River.
Soviets seize Komorn oil field in Hungary, Germany’s last source of petroleum.
B-24M Liberator “Second Chance II” of US 8th Air Force, 93rd BG, over Zossen, Germany, Mar 15 1945 (US National Archives)
80 Years Ago—March 28, 1940: Britain and France agree not to make separate peace treaties with Germany.
Cabinet Room in the Churchill War Rooms, London (Photo: Sarah Sundin, 6 Sept 2017)
75 Years Ago—March 28, 1945: Soviets take crucial port of Gdynia on the Baltic.
US Eighth Air Force flies final bombing mission to Berlin.
British War Cabinet meets for final time in the underground Cabinet War Rooms in London, now called the Churchill War Rooms.
Michael Savage, 1930s (Archives New Zealand)
80 Years Ago—March 27, 1940: New Zealand Prime Minister Michael Savage dies of cancer; he will be replaced by Peter Fraser on April 4.
Sixteen hundred Jewish refugees arrive in Palestine, but are interned by the British for illegal entry.
US Eighth Army landing at Cebu, 27 March 1945 (US Army Center of Military History)
75 Years Ago—March 27, 1945: Last German V-2 rockets land in Britain—in London (131 killed) and in Kent, where Ivy Millichamp becomes the last of 67,000 British civilians killed during the war.
US Eighth Army takes Cebu City, the second-largest city in the Philippines.
Japanese-trained Burma National Army under Aung San revolts and joins the Allies.
Ella Fitzgerald records “It’s Only a Paper Moon.”
Dodge ambulances standing by C-46 Commando aircraft at Clark Field, Manila, Philippine Islands, 29 Sep 1945 (public domain via WW2 Database)
80 Years Ago—March 26, 1940: In Canadian election, Mackenzie King retains position as prime minister.
First flight of Curtiss C-46 Commando cargo plane in St. Louis, MO.
US commercial airlines complete a year of flying without a fatal accident or a serious injury.
Men of the US 77th Division landing from LVTs onto Zanami Island of the Kerama Islands near Okinawa, Japan, 27 Mar 1945. (US Army photo)
75 Years Ago—March 26, 1945: The Battle of Iwo Jima officially ends: in the campaign, 5400 US and 20,000 Japanese troops were killed—and only 216 POWs taken; Adm. Chester Nimitz will say, “Among the men who fought on Iwo Jima, uncommon valor was a common virtue.”
US Eighth Army lands on Cebu in the Philippines.
US Tenth Army lands on Kerama Islands 15 miles west of Okinawa to build an artillery base; seizes 350 suicide torpedo boats.
David Lloyd George, British prime minister during WWI, dies at age 83.
Flag raising at US Headquarters on Iwo Jima after US Navy military government is established, 14 Mar 1945. (US Naval History and Heritage Command: NH 104584)
B-24J Liberators of the 15th Air Force return from mission to Mühldorf, Germany to their base in Italy, Mar 19 1945, flying over island of Drvenik Veliki, Yugoslavia (US National Archives)
80 Years Ago—March 25, 1940: The neutral US allows sale of military aircraft to the Allies.
Britain doubles butter ration to ½ pound per week.
75 Years Ago—March 25, 1945: US Seventh Army crosses the Rhine at Worms, Germany.
US Fifteenth Air Force based in Italy flies its last strategic mission of war: 650 B-17 and B-24 bombers hit Prague and Cheb, Czechoslovakia.
German SS troops behind US lines assassinate Allied-backed mayor of Aachen, Germany.
C-47 transports releasing hundreds of paratroopers and their supplies over the Rees-Wesel region, Germany during Operation Varsity, 24 Mar 1945 (Imperial War Museum: 4700-06 EA 59364A)
80 Years Ago—March 24, 1940: Sunspots temporarily disrupt shortwave radios, telephones, and telegraphs in the Western Hemisphere.
75 Years Ago—March 24, 1945: US Ninth Army crosses the Rhine.
In Operation Varsity, 17,000 British 6th Airborne Division & US 17th Airborne Division paratroopers drop east of the Rhine and link with British & US land forces.
US Fifteenth Air Force based in Italy sends 660 B-17 and B-24 bombers to Berlin for the first time as a diversion for the Rhine crossings. The escorting 332nd Fighter Group (African-American Tuskegee Airmen), shoots down 3 German Me 262 jets and earns the Distinguished Unit Citation.
Premiere of Tweety Bird cartoon Life with Feathers, featuring debut of Sylvester (unnamed in the cartoon).
Men of the British 1st Cheshire Regiment crossing the Rhine River with Buffalo tracked landing vehicles at Wesel, Germany, 24 Mar 1945. (Imperial War Museum: 4700-30 BU 2336)
80 Years Ago—March 23, 1940: Germany requires car owners to donate batteries and requires church bells to be melted down.
Radio premiere of Truth or Consequences on CBS.
75 Years Ago—March 23, 1945: British Second Army crosses the Rhine at Wesel, Germany.
Soviets reach the Gulf of Danzig between Danzig and Gdynia.
US troops crossing the Rhine under fire at Sankt Goar, Germany, late Mar 1945 (US National Archives: 208-YE-132)
80 Years Ago—March 22, 1940: Royal Navy increases patrols off Norway as tensions rise between Britain, Norway, and Germany.
75 Years Ago—March 22, 1945: US Third Army under Gen. George Patton crosses the Rhine at Nierstein and Oppenheim at night, surprising the Germans.
US Eighth Army secures Panay in the Philippines.
Ohka at Planes of Fame Museum, Chino, CA, November 2014 (Photo: Sarah Sundin)
80 Years Ago—March 21, 1940: Édouard Daladier resigns as Prime Minister of France after vote of no confidence from Parliament, replaced by Paul Reynaud.
First German merchant ship is sunk by a British submarine: HMS Ursula sinks German freighter Heddernheim north of Denmark.
75 Years Ago—March 21, 1945: Japanese use rocket-powered Ohka kamikaze plane for the first time, but cause little damage to US Fifth Fleet.
75 Years Ago—March 20, 1945: On Luzon, a Filipino force takes San Fernando, led by US Col. Russell Volckmann, who had refused to surrender to the Japanese in 1942.
British & Indian troops take Mandalay, Burma.
Adm. Lord Louis Mountbatten addressing men of British Royal Armoured Corps, Mandalay, Burma, 21 Mar 1945 (Imperial War Museum: SE 3484)