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Today in World War II History—March 31, 1940 & 1945

German auxiliary cruiser Atlantis (United Kingdom government photo, public domain)

German auxiliary cruiser Atlantis (United Kingdom government photo, public domain)

80 Years Ago—March 31, 1940: German auxiliary cruiser Atlantis sets sail; will sink 22 ships before being sunk on 22 November 1941.

75 Years Ago—March 31, 1945: Free French Army crosses the Rhine near Speyer, Germany, the first French troops to cross the Rhine since Napoleon.