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Today in World War II History—Oct. 19, 1940 & 1945

Allied merchant ship being shelled by a German U-boat, date unknown (Imperial War Museum: MISC 51237)

Allied merchant ship being shelled by a German U-boat, date unknown (Imperial War Museum: MISC 51237)

80 Years Ago—Oct. 19, 1940: In 48 hours, U-boats sink 28 ships in various convoys, the worst Allied losses of the war.

A British Lysander aircraft lands near Montigny, France at night and picks up a British agent, the first of 180 such landings.

75 Years Ago—Oct. 19, 1945: British land at Semarang, Java to crush an uprising.

War Widow’s Guild of Australia is founded.

Evangelical Church in Germany issues the controversial Stuttgart Declaration of Guilt, under leadership of Martin Niemöller and others in the Confessing Church, beginning with the phrase “Through us infinite wrong was brought over many peoples and countries,” stating that although they’d opposed Nazism, they hadn’t done enough.