Is there an article that you would like to contribute? The 78th and 56th Divisions of the British Eighth Army overcome the Fossa Marina, a canal running northeast from Argenta into Lake Comacchio, with a combination of land and amphibious assaults. Greim had been appointed commander-in-chief of the Luftwaffe on the 23rd following Hermann Goering’s attempt to negotiate with the Allies on his behalf. For the American GIs entering the heart of Germany, however, April 1945 was a month filled with some of the most brutal fighting of the war, when the … Vice President Harry S. Truman takes over the position of president, and one of his first decisions is to cancel a plan to launch old, pilotless aircraft packed with explosives against industrial targets in Germany following Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s concern that it may provoke retaliation against London. They are the first US land-based fighters to reach mainland Japan. 4 April — World War II: American troops liberate their first Nazi concentration camp, Ohrdruf death camp in Germany. But the Hitler Youth provided some of the stiffest resistance. On the night of April 9, after a massive aerial bombardment and five artillery bombardments, the offensive opens with the Indian 8th and New Zealand 2nd Divisions attacking toward Lugo across the Senino River. Howard "Howie" Mandel, Canadian comedian, actor (St. The group includes Mania Salinger, the central figure in the group closest to the wire. In addition to the 83rd, XIX Corps also had the tough 2nd Armored Division; the 29th “Blue and Gray” Division, which had spilled its first blood on Omaha Beach and was one of the premier American divisions of the war; and the battle-hardened 30th Infantry Division. The final campaign in Italy begins as the US Fifth and British Eighth Armies commence their fight for control of the Po Valley. Troops already hardened by many months of campaigning were … By April 1, the Americans had closed the pocket completely, and began to squeeze. Hobart Winebrenner of the 90th Division’s 358th Infantry related how roughly the Americans dealt with some of that resistance. A machine gun squad from Company I was guarding the prisoners. Related Links About World War 2 WWII Timelines. Walsh took four into a boxcar and unloaded his .45-caliber pistol into them. When they reached Dachau, they found that much of the SS garrison was still there. Along this stretch, resistance wasn’t light, but rather nonexistent.”, When the 11th Armored Division’s Combat Command B entered Austria, a sniper killed the commanding officer of the lead company. Three of them had Lugers strapped to their belts; they had taken them from Kraut prisoners captured a few days earlier. Only small groups succeed in slipping through Soviet lines. Sgt. The men of I Company were not the only ones to be affected by the camps or to take their anger out on the Germans. Adolf Hitler, now confined to the ‘Führerbunker’ behind the Reichs Chancellery, orders Colonel General Ritter von Greim to leave Berlin and arrest Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS, for his attempts to seek peace with the Allies. His reply to me was: ‘Colonel, they were trying to get away.’ I doubt that they were, but in any event he killed about twelve of the prisoners and wounded several more.” Despite Sparks’s best efforts to stop the killing, an estimated 50 SS guards were killed execution-style by the men of I Company. This leads to a cessation of hostilities and saves the country from the ravages of further fighting. Hitler shoots himself, while Braun takes poison. Louisa May Alcott, novelist (Little Women). I immediately ran back to the gun and kicked the gunner off the gun with my boot. The last German defenders in the Harz Mountains are captured. After watching American troops loot German towns that had resisted, future military historian Sgt. Their mutilated bodies are later hung up in the Piazzale Loreto, Milan. The US Ninth Army arrives at the Elbe River near Magdeburg. Operation Iceberg, the US invasion of the island, commences. On the orders of the Committee of National Liberation, Walter Audisio, a communist member of the Volunteer Freedom Corps, shoots them both. By April 18, more than 325,000 German prisoners filled the overflowing Allied POW camps. General William Slim’s British Fourteenth Army commences an offensive to capture Rangoon. By dawn on the 10th, Allied tanks are crossing the Senino River over three bridges, with Allied aircraft overhead providing effective support to the operation. He must also stop the Japanese forming a defensive line north of Rangoon and halting his advance. The GIs of the 83rd covered 280 miles in 13 days, tightening the noose on the German troops in the Ruhr and chasing the 2nd Armored’s advancing spearheads. For the individual soldier, Germany was the cause of the war: the home of the mad dictator who had forced many of them from civilian to military life, cost them friends, and committed unimaginable atrocities. Their SS captors didn’t even question them. The SS had attempted to evacuate inmates from Buchenwald to Dachau to escape the Americans, but the Allied air forces had destroyed the rail network. A transit camp was located between the American and Soviet zones organised for refugees; political prisoners, POW's, STO's (Forced ... GERMANY. Bradley’s northern flank was secured by the U.S. Ninth Army under Lt. Gen. William H. Simpson, assigned to Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery’s British 21st Army Group; his southern flank was secured by Lt. Gen. Jacob Devers’s 6th Army Group. German forces consist of the Third Panzer and Ninth Armies of Army Group Vistula; the Fourth Panzer and Seventeenth Armies of Army Group Center; a host of Volkssturm (‘home guard’), security and police detachments in Berlin itself; and a reserve of eight divisions - a total of one million men, 10,400 guns and mortars, 1500 tanks or assault guns, and 3300 combat aircraft. The curtain went up on Nazi Germany’s last act with the capture of the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen on March 7, 1945, which opened the way for the Allies’ final thrust. Preceded by a bombardment by 500 ground-attack aircraft, the US 1st Armored, US 10th Mountain, and Brazilian 1st Divisions attack between Vergato and Montese, and make good progress. Admittedly, however, we may have looked like a summer carnival group entering a country town as we dashed along the highways and byways of the Prussian provinces, for we had pressed into service every conceivable means of transportation we encountered.”. When we got to Weimar, the major put them in GI uniforms. Summary Marshal Georgi Zhukov’s 1st Belorussian Front and Marshal Ivan Konev’s 1st Ukrainian Front complete the encirclement of Berlin, trapping its defenders. A group of German prisoners captured at Friedrichsfeld are marched through a town in Germany, after the crossing of the Rhine by the US 9th Army. There, they “adopted” two Soviet lieutenants who had been captured at Stalingrad two years before. On April 15, 1945, British forces entered the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp near Celle, Germany. An increasing number of German towns are surrendering without a fight, while Hitler’s armies fighting in western Germany are disintegrating. Atomic bombs finally ended the war against Japan. The commander of the 83rd’s 329th Infantry Regiment later recalled, “To us, it was no circus. The last weeks of World War II in Europe have, with a handful of exceptions, long been perceived as the pursuit of shattered German armies by the victorious Western Allies, the smashing of the last Nazi strongholds by the Soviet hammer. Janet Napolitano, politician, lawyer; first woman to serve as US Secretary of Homeland Security (2009-2013). The reality is that even after the mass surrenders at the Ruhr pocket, the Nazi regime, in its death throes, fought more viciously than ever. The Japanese commander, Major General Mitsuru Ushijima, has withdrawn his 80,000 men behind Shuri, where he has built a major defensive line. Leipzig, Germany, 18 April 1945; Ricerca avanzata; Gentile visitatore, se questa è la tua prima visita e vuoi diventare un membro attivo della community, effettua la registrazione per poter accedere ai contenuti del portal-forum e interagire con la nostra community senza limitazioni. Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun commit suicide in the Führerbunker in Berlin. HistoryNet.com is brought to you by Historynet LLC, the world's largest publisher of history magazines. The final offensive to break Nazi Germany justified their presence there, and revealed war at its most elemental and violent level. The assault on the city begins on the 26th, preceded by heavy air strikes and artillery bombardments, with attacks from all sides simultaneously. The Germans are in headlong retreat from the Argenta Gap toward the Po River, leaving most of their guns, tanks, and transport behind. On our return, I saw at least ten dead Germans lying beside the road…we were too fresh from concentration camp scenes to think much about it at the time.”. He took her up the street and showed her American blood and said he didn’t care if her home did burn down.”, Such destruction was magnified many times when an entire village was held accountable. Only when the battalion commander, Lt. Col. Felix Sparks, arrived at the camp late that afternoon did the killing end, and then only by Sparks’s personal intervention. ... Germany 1945. On April 30th, as Russian troops entered the outskirts of Berlin, Adolf Hitler committed suicide. According to recently disclosed US military records, between 1942 and 1945, US GIs were legally “charged with” committing 11,040 rapes in Germany (a far lesser number were prosecuted). As food stocks in Holland are low, this operation is important as the Dutch postwar political attitude toward the Allies will depend on the speed of liberation. Andrew Adkins, a lieutenant in the 80th Division’s 317th Infantry Regiment, recalled, “Part of a squad from Company E, 317th Infantry, had been caught in a house sitting out in the open. The amphibious landing by the US II Amphibious Corps and XXIV Corps is virtually unopposed. This results in three days of savage fighting in which it is annihilated. For the American GIs entering the heart of Germany, however, April 1945 was a month filled with some of the most brutal fighting of the war, when the horrors of the Nazi regime were finally revealed to the world. please see our comprehensive range of ebooks. Of its original strength of 200,000 men, 60,000 are killed, and 120,000 taken prisoner. The trapped German force around Frankfurt-an-der-Oder attempts to break out of its pocket to reach Berlin. Hartman recalled that the translator “really told her off. Adolf Hitler, spurning a chance to flee to Bavaria, decides to stay in the city and supervise its defense. The first goal of the breakout was to encircle and destroy German Army Group B, led by Field Marshal Walter Model, which was attempting to hold the critical industrial regions of the Ruhr area. By the 27th, ‘Fortress Berlin’ has been reduced to an east-to-west belt 10 miles (16 km) long by three miles (5 km) wide. At Kosice, the National Front government of Czechs and Slovaks announces its program and proclaims the democratic principles of the Czech Republic. Units of the US First and Third Armies meet at Lippstadt to complete the encirclement of the economically-important Ruhr region. On April 29, 1945, at the Dachau extermination camp, one group of American soldiers that had seen too much snapped. Credits Courtesy of the United States Military Academy Department of History. Troops of the 16th Infantry advance through a forest near Furstenburg, Germany, 8 April 1945-USASC The 1st Infantry Division was diverted north after crossing the Weser to clear out the Harz Forest. According to some, in a viewpoint reflected in the 2006 documentary Massacre at Dachau, General Patton ordered that a report on the incident by the Seventh Army’s assistant inspector general be sealed and classified. 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