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Today in World War II History—March 18, 1940 & 1945

Bombe at Bletchley Park, England, 1945 (United Kingdom government photo)

Bombe at Bletchley Park, England, 1945 (United Kingdom government photo)

80 Years Ago—March 18, 1940: Alan Turing’s Bombe electromechanical decipher machine becomes operational at Bletchley Park, England to decrypt German Enigma messages.

Hitler and Mussolini meet at Brenner Pass, and Mussolini agrees to join the war against Britain and France.

Strike photo taken by aircraft from USS Bunker Hill showing an SB2C Helldiver of Squadron VB-84 over Miyazaki Airfield on southern Kyushu, Japan, 18 Mar 1945 (National Museum of Naval Aviation)

Strike photo taken by aircraft from USS Bunker Hill showing an SB2C Helldiver of Squadron VB-84 over Miyazaki Airfield on southern Kyushu, Japan, 18 Mar 1945 (National Museum of Naval Aviation)

75 Years Ago—March 18, 1945: US Task Force 58 carrier aircraft strike 45 airfields on Kyushu, Shikoku, and Honshu in Japan in preparation for the Okinawa landings, destroying about 275 aircraft.

US Eighth Army lands on Panay in the Philippines.