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Today in World War II History—November 11, 1940 & 1945

Italian battleship Conte di Cavour sinking in Taranto harbor, November 1940 (public domain via WW2 Database)

Italian battleship Conte di Cavour sinking in Taranto harbor, November 1940 (public domain via WW2 Database)

80 Years Ago—Nov. 11, 1940: Aircraft from British carriers HMS Illustrious and HMS Eagle attack Taranto, Italy in the first-ever air-dropped torpedo attack in a harbor, sinking battleship Conte di Cavour.

On Armistice Day, several thousand Parisians march on the Champs Élysées in the first illegal demonstration during the occupation; 123 are arrested as students & veterans try to lay wreaths at the Arc de Triomphe.

First jeep is delivered to the US Army.

75 Years Ago—Nov. 11, 1945: US President Harry Truman and British Prime Minister Clement Attlee lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery for Armistice Day.

Popular music composer Jerome Kern dies of a cerebral hemorrhage in New York City, age 60.