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This Day in WWII 10 April 1938 - 1945

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Pontiac-April1944.jpgPontiac Ad - April 1944

 

1938: Germany annexes Austria.

 

1940: Six British destroyers surprise ten German Destroyers in Narvik Fiord, in what becomes known as the 1st Battle of Narvik. Two German and two British Destroyers are sunk and the British Flotilla commander, Captain Warburton-Lee is killed. He is later awarded the Victoria Cross, posthumously.

 

1940: Denmark surrenders to the Germans. Bitter fighting as Germans advance north from Oslo.

 

RamsayAmes1.jpg *Ramsay Ames

 

1941: U.S. troops occupy Greenland to prevent Nazi infiltration.

 

1941: Germans enter Zagreb, allowing Ante Pavelic, the Croatian Fascist leader, to return from Italian exile and proclaim the independent state of Croatia, with him as Poglavnik (leader). British forces under General Wilson withdraw from the Aliakmon line.

 

1941: The 9th Australian Division withdraws into Tobruk.

 

2130.jpg

1942: The 78,000 captured men from Bataan begin a 65 mile march under the hot sun from Mariveles to San Fernando, with little food or water. This was to become known as the 'Bataan Death March'. The Japanese begin landing troops on Cebu Island, which has a combined US-Filipino garrison of 4,500 troops.

 

1942: British negotiations in India break down.

 

1942: The Soviet Ambassador to the USA gives a speech in Philadelphia demanding an immediate second front in Europe.

 

RamsayAmes-Yank.jpg Ramsay Ames - April 20, 1945 - Yank Magazine

 

1943: British forces take Sfax, 150 miles South of Tunis.

 

1943: USAAF bombers sink the Italian cruiser Trieste in raid on Sardinia.

 

RamsayAmes2.jpg Ramsay Ames

 

1944: The RAF drop a record 3,600 tons over northern France.

 

1944: The Russians enter Odessa on Black Sea as German forces withdraw from the city to the west bank of the Dniester river.

 

RamsayAmes3.jpg Ramsay Ames

 

1945: Churchill reveals British Empire casualty figures up to this point as 306,984 killed. Total casualties are 1,126,802, merchant navy losing 34,161 dead or captured. Civilians casualties are 59,793 killed and 84,749 injured.

 

1945: The German heavy cruiser Admiral Scheer is sunk during a massive RAF raid on Kiel.

 

1945: The Canadian First Army continues its push North into Holland, taking Deventer, 30 miles North of Nijmegen. The British Second Army takes Wildenhausen, 20 miles Southwest of Bremen. The U.S. Ninth Army takes Hanover.

 

RamsayAmes4.jpg Ramsay Ames

 

1945: The RAF attack Kiel, while the US 8th Air Force launches its heaviest raid to date (1,232 bombers) against Berlin.

 

1945: With the battle of Vienna ongoing, the German 6th SS Panzer Army succeeds in defeating fierce Russian attacks into the districts of Wiener Neustadt and to the West of Baden. The besieged Germans in Breslau continue to repel the repeated Russian attacks. A German war communiqué now declares that the resistance in Königsberg has ceased, but that no surrender has occurred.

 

RamsayAmes5.jpg Ramsay Ames

 

1945: In their second attempt to take the Seelow Heights, near Berlin, the Red Army launches numerous attacks against the defending Germans. The Soviets gain one mile at the cost of 3,000 men killed and 368 tanks destroyed.

 

1945: Buchenwald Concentration Camp is liberated by the Allies.

 

RamsayAmes6.jpg Ramsay Ames

 

*Despite being one of the great exotic screen beauties of the early '40s, Ramsay Ames never broke out of leading roles in B-movies and supporting parts in A-films. She was born Ramsay Phillips on March 30, 1921 in Brooklyn, New York (her reported year of birth varies from 1921 to 1924, depending on the source), and was a student athlete (especially excelling as a swimmer) in high school. She attended the Walter Hillhouse School of Dance, specializing in Latin-style dance, and also took up singing, becoming the vocalist with a top rhumba band. She later became part of a dance team under the name Ramsay Del Rico, and appeared as a model at the Eastman Kodak-sponsored fashion show at the 1939 New York World's Fair. A back injury sidelined her from dancing and fate intervened: in the course of a trip to California to visit her mother, she had a chance meeting at the airport with Harry Cohn. He was the president of Columbia Pictures and the meeting resulted in a screen test and then her 1943 movie debut, "Two Senoritas From Chicago" (1943). From there she moved to Universal, where she was cast in key roles in movies such as "The Mummy's Ghost", in which she was the hapless modern victim of the ancient curse of Kharis the Mummy, and major supporting parts in pictures like "Calling Dr. Death" (1943), "Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves" (1944), and "Follow the Boys" (1944).

 

With her dark good looks and statuesque, athletic yet attractive physique, Ames was ideal in portrayals of exotic roles, such as the Egyptian student in her Mummy movie and the French and Latin women she often got to play. She was also good in physically demanding action roles. During the mid-'40s, she made a pair of Cisco Kid movies with Gilbert Roland, "The Gay Cavalier" (1946) and "Beauty and the Bandit" (1946). In the first, Ames is credited in some sources with co-authoring one of the songs, and in the second, she brought a good deal of fire and humor to a script that, for the first half, resembled a cowboy version of "As You Like It".

 

Ames had small roles in major movies like "Mildred Pierce" (1945) and the epic-length "Green Dolphin Street" (1947), but by the second half of the 1940s she was locked into B-features such as PRC's low-budget "Philo Vance Returns" (1947) and was also working at Republic in serials such as "The Black Widow" (1947) and "G-Men Never Forget" (1948). She gave up acting and Hollywood at the end of the 1940s and for many years lived in Spain, where she had her own television interview show and occasionally took acting roles in films produced in Europe. Her later movies included the features "Alexander the Great" (1956) and Carol Reed's 1963 thriller "The Running Man". She returned to the United States in the early '60s and was married to playwright Dale Wasserman, best known for Man of La Mancha, until their divorce in 1980. She died of lung cancer on March 30, 1998 in Santa Monica, California.

 

Pontiac-April1945.jpg Pontiac Ad - April 1945

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