Category Archives: World War II

This week in the War, 12–18 March 1945: RAF attacks the Schildesche viaduct

This week in the war, on 14 March 1945, the RAF’s 617 Squadron launched a daytime raid against the Schildesche viaduct near Bielefeld, on the railway line linking Hanover to Hamm. The viaduct dated from 1847. A large section of the … Continue reading

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This week in the War, 5–11 March 1945: The bridge at Remagen

On 7 March 1945, units of the 9th Armoured Division of General Courtney Hodges’ US First Army arrived at the German town of Remagen on the west bank of the Rhine. To their surprise, the Ludendorff railway bridge, which connected Remagen … Continue reading

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This week in the War, 26 Feb–4 March 1945: Without goodness or grace

This week in the war saw the execution in Plötzensee Prison of the German Social Democrat politician Ernst von Harnack. In 1933, von Harnack had voiced his opposition to the new Hitler-led government, describing it as ‘without goodness or grace.’ [Quoted … Continue reading

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This week in the War, 19–25 February 1945: Iwo Jima

This week in the war, on 19 February 1945, US Marines landed in force on the volcanic island of Iwo Jima, only seven hundred or so miles from Tokyo. The landing was supported by the US Navy’s 5th Fleet, commanded … Continue reading

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This week in the War, 12–18 February 1945: The destruction of Dresden

This week in the war, between 13 February and 15 February 1945, bombs from RAF Bomber Command and the USAAF rained down on the ancient city of Dresden in eastern Germany—–a result, in part, of an agreement between the ‘Big Three’ … Continue reading

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This week in the war, 5–11 February 1945: Operation Veritable

This week in the war, 8 February 1945, saw the launch of Operation Veritable. The Canadians headed south from Nijmegen, aiming to dislodge the Germans from the west bank of the Rhine. The Red Army had already crossed the Oder … Continue reading

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This week in the War, 29 Jan–4 Feb 1945: The Yalta conference

This week in the war saw the start of the Yalta conference between the big three, Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin. (De Gaulle was not invited.) The conference took place at Yalta in the Crimea between 4 and 11 February 1945. … Continue reading

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