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WWII

1945 – Battle of Bautzen

26 April

The Battle of Bautzen is the last successful German tank-offensive of the war and last noteworthy victory of the Wehrmacht. Continue reading “1945 – Battle of Bautzen”

1944 – the first use of helicopters in combat

22 April

The 1st Air Commando Group using Sikorsky R-4 helicopters stage the first use of helicopters in combat with combat search and rescue operations in the China Burma India Theater. Continue reading “1944 – the first use of helicopters in combat”

1945 – The Battle of Slater’s Knoll

28 March – 6 April

The Battle of Slater’s Knoll (28 March – 6 April 1945) was a battle during the Second World War fought between Australian and Japanese forces on Bougainville Island. Continue reading “1945 – The Battle of Slater’s Knoll”

1939 – The Heinkel He 100 fighter sets a world airspeed record of 463 mph (745km/h)

30 March

The Heinkel He 100 was a German pre-World War II fighter aircraft design from Heinkel. Although it proved to be one of the fastest fighter aircraft in the world at the time of its development, the design was not ordered into series production. Approximately 19 prototypes and pre-production examples were built. None are known to have survived the war. Continue reading “1939 – The Heinkel He 100 fighter sets a world airspeed record of 463 mph (745km/h)”

1911 – The M1911 .45 ACP pistol becomes the official U.S. Army side arm

29 March

The M1911 is a single-action, semi-automatic, magazine-fed, recoil-operated pistol chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge. It served as the standard-issue sidearm for the United States Armed Forces from 1911 to 1986. Continue reading “1911 – The M1911 .45 ACP pistol becomes the official U.S. Army side arm”

1922 – The USS Langley is commissioned

20 March

USS Langley (CV-1/AV-3) was the United States Navy’s first aircraft carrier, converted in 1920 from the collier USS Jupiter (AC-3), and also the U.S. Navy’s first turbo-electric-powered ship. Continue reading “1922 – The USS Langley is commissioned”

1944 – The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in Italy kills 26 people and causes thousands to flee their homes

18 March

Mount Vesuvius is a stratovolcano in the Gulf of Naples, Italy, about 9 km (5.6 mi) east of Naples and a short distance from the shore. It is one of several volcanoes which form the Campanian volcanic arc. Vesuvius consists of a large cone partially encircled by the steep rim of a summit caldera caused by the collapse of an earlier and originally much higher structure. Continue reading “1944 – The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in Italy kills 26 people and causes thousands to flee their homes”

1942 – The first V-2 rocket test launch

16 March

The V-2 (Vergeltungswaffe 2, “Retribution Weapon 2”), technical name Aggregat-4 (A-4), was the world’s first long-range guided ballistic missile. The missile with a liquid-propellant rocket engine was developed during the Second World War in Germany as a “vengeance weapon,” designed to attack Allied cities as retaliation for the Allied bombings against German cities. The V-2 rocket also became the first artificial object to cross the boundary of space with the vertical launch of V-177 on 20 June 1944. Continue reading “1942 – The first V-2 rocket test launch”

1916 – USS Nevada (BB-36) is commissioned into the US Navy

11 March

USS Nevada (BB-36), the second United States Navy ship to be named after the 36th state, was the lead ship of the two Nevada-class battleships; her sister ship was Oklahoma. Launched in 1914, the Nevada was a leap forward in dreadnought technology; four of her new features would be included on almost every subsequent US battleship: triple gun turrets, oil in place of coal for fuel, geared steam turbines for greater range, and the “all or nothing” armour principle. These features made Nevada the first US Navy “super-dreadnought”. Continue reading “1916 – USS Nevada (BB-36) is commissioned into the US Navy”

1831 – The French Foreign Legion is established to support the war in Algeria

10 March

The French Foreign Legion was created by Louis Philippe, the King of the French, on this day in 1831 from the foreign regiments of the Kingdom of France. Recruits included soldiers from the recently disbanded Swiss and German foreign regiments of the Bourbon monarchy. The Royal Ordinance for the establishment of the new regiment specified that the foreigners recruited could only serve outside France. The French expeditionary force that had occupied Algiers in 1830 was in need of reinforcements and the Legion was accordingly transferred by sea in detachments from Toulon to Algeria. Continue reading “1831 – The French Foreign Legion is established to support the war in Algeria”

1953 – Georgy Malenkov succeeds Joseph Stalin as Premier of the Soviet Union and First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

6 March

Georgy Maximilianovich Malenkov (8 January 1902 – 14 January 1988) was a Soviet politician and Communist Party leader. Continue reading “1953 – Georgy Malenkov succeeds Joseph Stalin as Premier of the Soviet Union and First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union”

1943 – World War II: Battle of the Bismarck Sea

2 March

The Battle of the Bismarck Sea (2–4 March 1943) took place in the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) during World War II when aircraft of the U.S. Fifth Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) attacked a Japanese convoy carrying troops to Lae, New Guinea. Most of the task force was destroyed, and Japanese troop losses were heavy. Continue reading “1943 – World War II: Battle of the Bismarck Sea”

1942 – The Battle of Sunda Strait

28 February

The Battle of Sunda Strait was a naval battle which occurred during World War II in the Sunda Strait between the islands of Java and Sumatra. Continue reading “1942 – The Battle of Sunda Strait”

1933 – The USS Ranger is launched. It is the first US Navy ship to be designed from the start of construction as an aircraft carrier

25 February

USS Ranger (CV-4) was the first ship of the United States Navy to be designed and built from the keel up as an aircraft carrier. Ranger was a relatively small ship, closer in size and displacement to the first US carrier—Langley—than later ships. An island superstructure was not included in the original design, but was added after completion. Deemed too slow for use with the Pacific Fleet’s carrier task forces, the ship spent most of the war in the Atlantic Ocean.

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