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They’d obviously heard about the encounter and wanted to make certain to avoid a sequel. The Germans launch furious counterattacks, and at the strongpoints of the Ministry of the Interior (defended by SS troops) and the Kroll Opera resistance is fierce. Then the rosy-cheeked peach-fuzzed-faced freaks had the nerve to smile at us, laugh and ask for a cigarette. The offensive by the US Fifth Army in northern Italy begins. The British chiefs-of-staff are dissatisfied, but acknowledge Eisenhower’s reasoning, and approve his plans on the 18th. When we got to Weimar, the major put them in GI uniforms. Hartman noted, “Machine guns went off at least five times during the thirty minutes we were there. Hartman wrote that if, “after ridding the berg of enemy soldiers, our men caught any fire, we’d burn the village to the ground, no questions asked.” When they entered the town of Unterbreizbach, locals fired on the advancing Americans, and the 358th burned the town down. I immediately ran back to the gun and kicked the gunner off the gun with my boot. The Soviet high command has ordered Marshals Georgi Zhukov and Ivan Konev to complete the encirclement of German forces in the forests southeast of Berlin by April 24 to prevent them breaking through to the city to increase the strength of its garrison. There, they “adopted” two Soviet lieutenants who had been captured at Stalingrad two years before. An increasing number of German towns are surrendering without a fight, while Hitler’s armies fighting in western Germany are disintegrating. Dachau was an SS training facility as well as a death camp, so a fair number of SS men, in various stages of training and at various levels of complicity, were in or around the area. The battleship is on a suicide mission, with just enough fuel to reach the island. These people have got to learn that resisting is useless.” The GIs were a long way from the soft, green recruits who were drafted or volunteered in 1942. Lieutenant Colonel Sparks, Lieutenant Walsh, and several others were charged with violating the Geneva Convention. General William Slim’s British Fourteenth Army commences an offensive to capture Rangoon. The Germans are in headlong retreat from the Argenta Gap toward the Po River, leaving most of their guns, tanks, and transport behind. April 1945. The men could sense that the only thing that lay between them and the end of the war was a final push into the enemy’s heartland. Dagmar (Virginia Ruth Egnor) actress, model, television personality (Dagmar's Canteen, Broadway Open House). As the Americans exploded out of their bridgeheads to the south, and the British out of theirs to the north, the Ruhr became a death trap for Model. 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. If a village or town offered no resistance, its civilians would be spared the wrath of the GIs. Their SS captors didn’t even question them. HistoryNet.com contains daily features, photo galleries and over 5,000 articles originally published in our various magazines. More History The RAF begins dropping food supplies to alleviate the plight of the country’s starving civilians. Women inmates of the German concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen wave through the wire to liberating British soldiers (including the cameraman Mike Lewis). One veteran of the 83rd would proudly note, “We set new infantry speed records—records that surpassed those of even the best Allied armor.” Indeed, the 83rd would earn the nickname “Rag Tag Circus” because the troops, in an effort to move faster, confiscated a motley batch of vehicles. Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery’s 21st Army Group begins its offensive to liberate Holland and sweep across northern Germany. The US Ninth Army arrives at the Elbe River near Magdeburg. A machine gun squad from Company I was guarding the prisoners. Chuck Mangione, jazz musician, composer ("Feels So Good"). Soviet troops begin the assault on the Reichstag by attacking across the Moltke Bridge. Dessau. All German resistance in the Ruhr industrial area ceases; 370,000 prisoners fall into Allied hands. On April 30th, as Russian troops entered the outskirts of Berlin, Adolf Hitler committed suicide. After watching for a few minutes, I started for the confinement area (the concentration camp), after taking directions from one of my soldiers. Hitler shoots himself, while Braun takes poison. The last German defenders in the Harz Mountains are captured. Civilians in Gardelegen, Germany are forced to bury camp victims: On April 21, 1945, American troops of the 102nd Division ordered the males of the German town of Gardelegen to carry spades and white wooden crosses to a burned barn on the outskirts of their town. They are the first US land-based fighters to reach mainland Japan. Madeleine L'Engle, writer (A Wrinkle in Time). Foggy morning. The assault on the city begins on the 26th, preceded by heavy air strikes and artillery bombardments, with attacks from all sides simultaneously. 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. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of Allied Armies in the West, informs the Combined Chiefs-of-Staff that the Allied thrust against Berlin takes second place to the securing of the northern (Norway and Denmark) and southern (south Germany and Austria) Allied flanks. Is there an article that you would like to contribute? Together they formed a single fist for the drive to the Elbe. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., politician and Civil Rights leader.

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