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

German General Heinz Guderian and other officers in Bouillon, Belgium, 12 May 1940 (German Federal Archive, Bild 146-1980-004-32)

German General Heinz Guderian and other officers in Bouillon, Belgium, 12 May 1940 (German Federal Archive, Bild 146-1980-004-32)

80 Years Ago—May 16, 1940: In Belgium, the Allies retreat behind the River Scheldt as the German 6th Army breaks the Dyle Line.

France orders Frédéric Joliot-Curie’s atomic energy team at the Collége de France to evacuate: Hans von Halban flees to Britain with crucial research papers and the heavy water supply from Norway.

President Roosevelt asks Congress for $1.2 billion for the military and calls for 50,000 planes, a 280,000-man Army, and a Two-Ocean Navy; Congress will appropriate $1.68 billion.

US Army Air Force study of damage to Nagoya, Japan done by aerial bombing on 14 and 17 May 1945 (US National Archives)

US Army Air Force study of damage to Nagoya, Japan done by aerial bombing on 14 and 17 May 1945 (US National Archives)

75 Years Ago—May 16, 1945: Last US B-29 Superfortress incendiary raid to Nagoya—in campaign, 12 out of 40 square miles have been burned and 4000 killed.

Off Malaya, British destroyers Saumarez, Venus, Verulam, Vigilant, and Virago sink Japanese heavy cruiser Haguro in the last classic destroyer action in history.

US Sixth Army secures Bicols region of Luzon.

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