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Today in World War II History—April 16, 1940 & 1945

Soviet ZiS-3 guns bombarding German positions near Seelow Heights, Berlin, Germany, 16-19 Apr 1945 (German Federal Archives: Bild 183-E0406-0022-012)

Soviet ZiS-3 guns bombarding German positions near Seelow Heights, Berlin, Germany, 16-19 Apr 1945 (German Federal Archives: Bild 183-E0406-0022-012)

80 Years Ago—April 16, 1940: In Nazi-occupied Copenhagen, Margrethe, Princess of Denmark (and current queen), is born at Amalienborg Palace, granddaughter of King Christian X.

TBM Avenger torpedo planes of Composite Squadron 84 from USS Makin Island flying over Ie Shima, Ryukyu Islands, Japan, 16 Apr 1945 (US Naval History & Heritage Command: NH 69420)

TBM Avenger torpedo planes of Composite Squadron 84 from USS Makin Island flying over Ie Shima, Ryukyu Islands, Japan, 16 Apr 1945 (US Naval History & Heritage Command: NH 69420)

75 Years Ago—April 16, 1945: Gen. Carl Spaatz of the US Strategic Air Forces in Europe declares the strategic air war is over—only tactical targets remain.

Soviets cross the Oder River and launch offensive on Berlin, starting the Battle of Seelow Heights.

US Tenth Army lands on the island of Ie Shima off Okinawa and takes the airfield.