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Posts Categorized: Today WWII History

Today in World War II History—Mar. 19, 1944

Damage to Ponte di Piave bridge in Italy after Mediterranean Allied Air Force raid, WWII (USAF photo)

75 Years Ago—Mar. 19, 1944: Mediterranean Allied Air Force issues directive for Operation Strangle, air raids on railroads north of Rome during two-month lull in ground campaign, to hinder German supply & reinforcement. German troops occupy Hungary to prevent the nation’s withdrawal from the war.

Today in World War II History—Mar. 18, 1944

Adm. Miklós Horthy, Regent of Hungary in WWII (public domain via Wikipedia)

75 Years Ago—Mar. 18, 1944: Hungary’s regent, Adm. Miklós Horthy, agrees to new terms of alliance with Nazi Germany, including occupation by German troops and deportation of Hungary’s 750,000 Jews. Movie premiere of comedy See Here, Private Hargrove, starring Robert Walker & Donna Reed.

Today in World War II History—Mar. 17, 1944

“Félix Éboué—Governor-General Fighting French Africa—Scholar, Statesman, Soldier” by Charles Alston for US Office of War Information, 1943 (US National Archives)

75 Years Ago—Mar. 17, 1944: In Cassino, Italy, New Zealanders take western part of town, the train station, and assault German strongholds in hotels. Félix Éboué, Governor-General of French Equatorial Africa, dies of a heart attack in Cairo, age 60; he was the first person of black African descent to be appointed to a high… Read more »

Today in World War II History—Mar. 16, 1944

Troops of 5th Indian Division loading a jeep into a Douglas Dakota of No.194 Squadron RAF during the reinforcement of the Imphal Garrison in India, March 1944. (Imperial War Museum)

75 Years Ago—Mar. 16, 1944: US Air Transport Command begins airlift of 5th Indian Division from Arakan in southern Burma to reinforce besieged Imphal and Kohima in India.

Today in World War II History—Mar. 15, 1944

Pre-invasion Bombing of Pointe du Hoc by US Ninth Air Force A-20 light bombers, spring 1944. (US Army Center for Military History)

75 Years Ago—Mar. 15, 1944: Countdown to D-day: US Ninth Air Force in England begins pre-invasion tactical missions for Operation Overlord (D-day). Second Allied aerial attack destroys town of Cassino, Italy in largest massed tactical air raid yet: 1200 tons of bombs plus 200,000 rounds of artillery.

Today in World War II History—Mar. 14, 1944

US Army recruiting poster, WWII

75 Years Ago—Mar. 14, 1944: Countdown to D-day: Commodore Cyril Douglas-Pennant takes command of Royal Navy’s Force G, which will conduct landings and provide support at Gold Beach. In Burma, Japanese cut road from Tiddim north to Imphal, India; Indian troops are unable to retreat. US Selective Service cancels all draft deferments for men ages… Read more »

Today in World War II History—Mar. 13, 1944

German Tiger I tank in front of the Altare della Patria, Rome, 1944 (German Federal Archives: Bild 101I-310-0880-38)

75 Years Ago—Mar. 13, 1944: To eliminate Rome as an Allied air raid target, Germans order removal of all military installations except medical, quartermaster, butcher, and bakery, and place Vatican City off limits to soldiers. In the Ukraine, Soviets cross the lower Dnieper at Kherson and take Kherson.

Today in World War II History—Mar. 12, 1944

Edvard Beneš, president of Czechoslovakian government-in-exile, 1942 (US Library of Congress)

75 Years Ago—Mar. 12, 1944: Czechoslovakian government-in-exile urges uprising against the Nazis to meet the approaching Soviet army. Neutral Eire (Ireland) refuses to expel German diplomats and is isolated by the Allies.

Today in World War II History—Mar. 11, 1944

Patch of the US Fifth Air Force

75 Years Ago—Mar. 11, 1944: US Fifth Air Force begins neutralizing Japanese airfields at Wewak, New Guinea in preparation for April landings at Hollandia. US Fifteenth Air Force (based in Italy) bombs Toulon, France, sinking German U-boats U-380 and U-410 and several French warships that had been raised by the Germans.

Today in World War II History—Mar. 10, 1944

Poster for US Navy Construction Battalions (Seabees), WWII

75 Years Ago—Mar. 10, 1944: Countdown to D-day: Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Expeditionary Force issues Operation Overlord directive to ground, air, and naval forces for D-day. National movie premiere of The Fighting Seabees starring John Wayne.