April 1945

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The following events occurred in April 1945:

April 1, 1945 (Sunday)[edit]

April 2, 1945 (Monday)[edit]

April 3, 1945 (Tuesday)[edit]

April 4, 1945 (Wednesday)[edit]

April 5, 1945 (Thursday)[edit]

April 6, 1945 (Friday)[edit]

April 7, 1945 (Saturday)[edit]

  • Operation Ten-Go: The Japanese battleship Yamato and nine other warships launched a suicide attack on Allied forces engaged in the Battle of Okinawa. Yamato was bombed, torpedoed and sunk by U.S. Navy aircraft south of Kyushu with the loss of 2,055 of 2,332 crew. Five other Japanese warships were sunk by American aircraft as well.
  • The Allies began Operation Amherst, a Free French and British Special Air Service attack with the goal of capturing Dutch canals, bridges and airfields intact.
  • Germany sent out 120 student pilots to face 1,000 American bomber planes in a suicide operation with the objective of ramming their planes into the U.S. aircraft and then parachuting to safety. Only a few of the pilots managed to hit the bombers and three-quarters of the Luftwaffe pilots were shot down.[6]
  • Kantarō Suzuki replaced Kuniaki Koiso as Prime Minister of Japan.
  • German submarine U-1195 was depth charged and sunk southeast of the Isle of Wight by British destroyer Watchman.
  • Born: Werner Schroeter, film director, in Georgenthal, Germany (d. 2010)
  • Died: Elizabeth Bibesco, 48, English writer and socialite (pneumonia); Seiichi Itō, 54, Japanese admiral (killed in the sinking of the Yamato)

April 8, 1945 (Sunday)[edit]

April 9, 1945 (Monday)[edit]

April 10, 1945 (Tuesday)[edit]

April 11, 1945 (Wednesday)[edit]

  • Operation Opossum ended successfully with the rescue of the Sultan of Ternate and his family.
  • Allied commando unit Z Special Unit launched Operation Copper with the objective of capturing a Japanese officer for interrogation and discovering the location of two naval guns of Muschu Island, New Guinea. Eight commandos were landed but only one survived.
  • Chile declared war on Japan.[11]
  • Born: Christian Quadflieg, television actor and director, in Växjö, Sweden
  • Died: Alfred Meyer, German Nazi official (suicide)

April 12, 1945 (Thursday)[edit]

April 13, 1945 (Friday)[edit]

April 14, 1945 (Saturday)[edit]

April 15, 1945 (Sunday)[edit]

April 16, 1945 (Monday)[edit]

  • The Battle of Berlin began.
  • The Battle of the Seelow Heights began on the Eastern Front.
  • The German transport ship Goya was sunk in the Baltic Sea by Soviet submarine L-3 with the loss of over 6,000 lives.
  • German submarines U-78, U-880 and U-1274 were lost to enemy action.
  • Oflag IV-C, a prisoner-of-war camp in Colditz Castle, was captured by soldiers of the U.S. 1st Army.
  • Harry S. Truman addressed Congress for the first time as president, in a speech broadcast over the major networks. "With great humility I call upon all Americans to help me keep our nation united in defense of those ideals which have been so eloquently proclaimed by Franklin Roosevelt," Truman said. "I want in turn to assure my fellow Americans and all of those who love peace and liberty throughout the world that I will support and defend those ideals with all my strength and all my heart. That is my duty and I shall not shirk it. So that there can be no possible misunderstanding, both Germany and Japan can be certain, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that America will continue the fight for freedom until no vestige of resistance remains!"[19]
  • American destroyer USS Pringle was sunk by a kamikaze attack off Okinawa.
  • Died: Ernst Bergmann, 53, German philosopher and proponent of Nazism (suicide)

April 17, 1945 (Tuesday)[edit]

April 18, 1945 (Wednesday)[edit]

April 19, 1945 (Thursday)[edit]

April 20, 1945 (Friday)[edit]

  • Soviet artillery began shelling Berlin at 11 a.m. on Hitler's 56th birthday.[1] Preparations were made to evacuate Hitler and his staff to Obersalzberg to make a final stand in the Bavarian mountains, but Hitler refused to leave his bunker. Hermann Göring and Heinrich Himmler departed the bunker for the last time.[26]
  • The Seventh United States Army captured Nuremberg and pushed south.[26]
  • Mussolini gave the last interview of his life to one of his few remaining loyal followers, the fascist newspaper director Gian Gaetano Cabella. Mussolini declared that "Italy will rise again ... For me, however, it is over."[27]
  • The comedy-fantasy film The Horn Blows at Midnight starring Jack Benny was released.
  • Born: Gregory Olsen, entrepreneur, engineer and scientist, in Brooklyn, New York
  • Died: Karl Holz, 49, German Nazi official (found dead in a barricaded police building in Nuremberg; unknown whether suicide or injury sustained in firefight); Herbert Lange, 35, German SS officer and commandant of Chełmno extermination camp (killed in action during the Battle of Berlin)
  • Killed in Hückeswagen Germany John Hamish Gardner III (95th Chemical Mortar Btn) The entire battalion was relieved from 97th Div and attached to the 28th Rgmt of the 8th Div. Lt Gardner and 12 men of Hq Co were searching an area for German soldiers and snipers when Lt Gardner was hit by small arms fire. Medical attention was rushed to him, but he died that afternoon from the effects of the wound.

April 21, 1945 (Saturday)[edit]

April 22, 1945 (Sunday)[edit]

April 23, 1945 (Monday)[edit]

  • The Race to Berlin ended in a tie.
  • German radio broadcast a report that Adolf Hitler was in the "main fighting line" in Berlin and would "remain there despite all rumors." Allied circles doubted the report and suspected that Hitler was in Bavaria organizing a last stand.[32]
  • Hermann Göring sent the so-called Göring Telegram, a message asking for permission to assume leadership of the Third Reich. Interpreting the telegram as an act of treason, Hitler relieved Göring of his official titles and ordered his arrest.[30]
  • Action of 23 April 1945: In one of the rare actions of the Pacific War to involve a German submarine, U-183 was sunk off the southern coast of Borneo by the American submarine Besugo.
  • Members of the 358th and 359th U.S. Infantry Regiments liberated Flossenbürg concentration camp.[33]
  • Antiship Bat missiles were used for the first time in combat when Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateers of the U.S. Navy launched two of them at Japanese vessels in Balikpapan Harbor in Borneo.
  • The 101 arrestees in the Freeman Field Mutiny were released.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court decided Cramer v. United States, deciding five-to-four to overturn the conviction of Anthony Cramer, a German-born naturalized citizen, for treason.

April 24, 1945 (Tuesday)[edit]

April 25, 1945 (Wednesday)[edit]

  • Elbe Day: Soviet and American troops met at the Elbe River near Torgau in Germany.
  • The East Prussian Offensive and the Samland Offensive ended in Soviet victory.
  • General Robert Ritter von Greim was taken on a risky flight from Munich to Berlin by Hanna Reitsch for a meeting with Hitler. During the flight Greim was injured by enemy fire that struck the cockpit. Hitler promoted Greim to field marshal (making him the last German officer to ever achieve that rank) and gave him command of the Luftwaffe. Greim was then flown back out of Berlin with the only airworthy plane left in the city.[31]
  • Via telephone hookup, President Truman addressed the delegates at the opening session of the United Nations Conference on International Organization (UNCIO) in San Francisco. "You members of this Conference are to be the architects of the better world," Truman said. "In your hands rests our future. By your labors at this Conference, we shall know if suffering humanity is to achieve a just and lasting peace. Let us labor to achieve a peace which is really worthy of their great sacrifice. We must make certain, by your work here, that another war will be impossible."[36]
  • The final Luftwaffe air victories of World War II were recorded when five Allied bombers were shot down over Aussig in the modern-day Czech Republic.
  • German submarine U-326 was torpedoed and sunk west of Brest, France by an American B-24.
  • Born: Stu Cook, bass guitarist (Creedence Clearwater Revival), in Oakland, California; Björn Ulvaeus, musician and member of ABBA, in Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Died: Walter Gross, 40, German physician and Nazi politician (suicide)

April 26, 1945 (Thursday)[edit]

April 27, 1945 (Friday)[edit]

April 28, 1945 (Saturday)[edit]

April 29, 1945 (Sunday)[edit]

April 30, 1945 (Monday)[edit]


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