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Today in World War II History—October 14, 1939 & 1944

HMS Royal Oak (British government photo)

HMS Royal Oak (British government photo)

80 Years Ago—October 14, 1939: In a daring raid to Britain’s naval base at Scapa Flow, German U-boat U-47 sinks British battleship HMS Royal Oak; 833 killed.

Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, Commander of the German forces in North Africa, with his aides during the desert campaign, 1942 (German Federal Archive: Bild 101I-785-0287-08)

Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, Commander of the German forces in North Africa, with his aides during the desert campaign, 1942 (German Federal Archive: Bild 101I-785-0287-08)

75 Years Ago—Oct. 14, 1944: German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, a suspect in the July 20 Hitler assassination plot, commits suicide to protect his family.

Greek Resistance and British troops secure Athens, Greece.

Ann Baumgartner becomes the first Wasp to fly an experimental jet aircraft.