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Today in World War II History—October 26, 1939 & 1944

American survivors of the Battle of Leyte Gulf rescued by US Navy ship on 26 October 1944 (US National Archives: SC 278010)

American survivors of the Battle of Leyte Gulf rescued by US Navy ship on 26 October 1944 (US National Archives: SC 278010)

80 Years Ago—October 26, 1939: Germany annexes former Polish areas of Upper Silesia, West Prussia, Pomerania, Poznan, Ciechanow, Danzig, and part of Lódz; the rest of German-occupied Poland comes under the “General Government.”

75 Years Ago—Oct. 26, 1944: The Battle of Leyte Gulf concludes with a decisive US victory, despite heavy Japanese kamikaze attacks; this battle marks the virtual collapse of the Japanese Navy.

Canadian troops make an amphibious landing at Beveland in the crucial Scheldt Estuary in the Netherlands.

Canadian Royal Hamilton light infantry carriers in Dutch village of Krabbendijke on the Beveland Causeway, 27 Oct 1944 (Library and Archives Canada: PA-205125)

Canadian Royal Hamilton light infantry carriers in Dutch village of Krabbendijke on the Beveland Causeway, 27 Oct 1944 (Library and Archives Canada: PA-205125)