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This Day in WWII 20 February 1938 - 1945


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cv022039.jpg France's top general

1938: Hitler demands self-determination for Germans in Austria and Czechoslovakia.

1940: General von Falkenhorst is appointed to command the German invasion of Norway.

1941: The United States sends war planes to the Pacific.

1941: The Australian Prime Minister, R.G. Menzies arrives in Britain for talks with Churchill.


1942: Lt. Edward O'Hare downs five out of nine Japanese bombers that are attacking the carrier Lexington.

1942: Japanese forces land on the Portuguese Island of Timor. Japanese troops having suffered heavy casualties over the past few weeks from battle and disease, begin to slacken their pressure in Bataan. President Quezon of the Philippines leaves for Australia in a US submarine.

alexissmith.jpg Alexis Smith

1943: Fierce fighting in continues in central Tunisia after the German breakout through the Kasserine Pass, but further offensive operations by the Afrika Korps are halted in order for them to withdraw to the Mareth line.

1944: ‘Big Week’ rolls on with the largest ever daylight raid of war by the USAAF on Germany as 970 bombers carry out attacks against Hamburg, Leipzig and Braunschweig. The RAF pound Stuttgart with 2,000-tons of bombs.

1944: A ferry boat, carrying the remaining 'Heavy Water' production from Telemark in Norway, back to Germany for safety is sabotaged and sunk on Lake Tinnsjo.

1944: The Admiralty announces an 11-day battle with U-boats in Straits of Gibraltar, during which three ships are sunk and several damaged.

1944: U.S. carrier-based and land-based planes destroy the Japanese base at Rabaul.

1945: The RAF launch the first of 36 consecutive night raids on Berlin.

1945: Red Army attacks against the lines of Army Group Courland fail in the face of stubborn German resistance.

1101390220_400.jpg US Navy's Charles Edison (READ COVER STORY)

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