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Posts Categorized: Today WWII History

Today in World War II History—April 19, 1941

Firefighters putting out a blaze in London after an air raid during The Blitz in 1941 (US National Archives: 541902)

80 Years Ago—Apr. 19, 1941: Luftwaffe sends 712 bombers to London, 449 killed, including 34 firemen, the largest single loss of firefighters in British history. British women ages 20-30 are conscripted for war work; mothers of children under 14 are exempt.

Today in World War II History—April 18, 1941

“The Retreat of the British Armoured Brigade in Greece, 1941” by H. Johns (Imperial War Museum: Art.IWM ART LD 3353)

80 Years Ago—Apr. 18, 1941: As the Germans advance in Greece, Prime Minister Alexandros Koryzis commits suicide; King George assumes leadership. British & Indian troops land in Basra, Iraq, to counteract the new pro-Axis government.

Today in World War II History—April 17, 1941

King Peter II of Yugoslavia with Prime Minister General Simovic (left) and Court Minister M Knezevic arriving in England, 21 June 1941 (Imperial War Museum: H 10922)

80 Years Ago—Apr. 17, 1941: Yugoslavia signs armistice with Germany; King Peter II will establish a Yugoslavian government-in-exile in London. In Iraq, Prime Minister Rashid Ali al-Gaylani asks for German aid in expelling the British.

Today in World War II History—April 16, 1941

British schoolchildren receive plates of bacon and eggs, imported from America as part of the Lend-Lease program, Aug-Sept. 1941 (Imperial War Museum: D 4324)

80 Years Ago—Apr. 16, 1941: First US Lend-Lease food arrives in Britain. British destroyers sink all eight ships in an Axis convoy off Tunisia; 1800 killed. Firefighters from Ireland cross into Northern Ireland to help with fires in Belfast caused by heavy Luftwaffe bombing.

Today in World War II History—April 14, 1941

Victory Ship SS Red Oak Victory at Rosie the Riveter National Park, Richmond, CA (former Kaiser Shipyards), May 2014 (Photo: Sarah Sundin)

80 Years Ago—Apr. 14, 1941: As the Axis powers take over Yugoslavia, King Peter II and the Yugoslavian government escape to Athens, Greece. Kaiser Shipyards in Richmond, California, lays the keel for its first ship, the Ocean Vanguard; 747 ships will be built in Richmond.

Today in World War II History—April 13, 1941

Pope Pius XII, painted by Peter McIntyre, 1944 (Archives New Zealand: AAAC 898 Box 128/ NCWA 202)

80 Years Ago—Apr. 13, 1941: USSR and Japan sign a five-year nonaggression pact. On Easter, Pope Pius XII cancels usual service in St. Peter’s Square due to the war and says mass in a private chapel instead.

Today in World War II History—April 12, 1941

Bomb-damaged buildings and tram in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, April 1941 (German Federal Archive: Bild 141-1005)

80 Years Ago—Apr. 12, 1941: Germans take Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Hitler divides Yugoslavia between Germany, Italy, Hungary, and Bulgaria, leaving Croatia as a puppet state. Germans take Bardia, Libya.

Today in World War II History—April 11, 1941

Australian troops in a foxhole near Tobruk, Libya, 13 Aug 1941 (Imperial War Museum: E 4792)

80 Years Ago—Apr. 11, 1941: First military action by a US warship in WWII—destroyer USS Niblack drops depth charges on a supposed U-boat (a false sound contact). German forces under Gen. Erwin Rommel surround Australian forces in Tobruk, Libya—siege will last until November 1941. US forms Office of Price Administration to plan wage & price… Read more »

Today in World War II History—April 10, 1941

Yugoslavian infantry surrendering to Germans, 6 April 1941 (German Federal Archive: Bild 146-1975-036-24)

80 Years Ago—Apr. 10, 1941: Germans take Zagreb, capital of Croatia in Yugoslavia. Germans establish puppet state in Croatia under Ante Pavelić, whose Ustase government will persecute and massacre Jews, Serbs, and Roma.