On This Day

Historical Events in April 1945

  • Apr 1 World War II: Canadian troops free the Dutch cities of Doetinchem, Enschede, Borculo and Eibergen
  • Apr 1 World War II: The Ruhr Pocket of German forces are encircled by the US Ninth Army and US First Army, eventually leading to the capture of 317,000 German troops

Battle of InterestBattle of Okinawa

Apr 1 Battle of Okinawa: US ground forces invade Okinawa during World War II in the largest amphibious assault of the Pacific theatre
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British navy vessel HMS Formidable on fire during the Battle of Okinawa after being struck by a kamikaze
British navy vessel HMS Formidable on fire during the Battle of Okinawa after being struck by a kamikaze
  • Apr 2 Diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and Brazil are established
  • Apr 3 World War II: Dutch city of Hengelo freed from Nazi control by the Canadian Army
  • Apr 4 World War II: Soviet forces liberate Hungary from German occupation, establishing their own communist satellite state. This was celebrated as Liberation Day until 1989.
  • Apr 4 The Holocaust: US forces liberate the Ohrdruf concentration camp in Germany, the first such camp to be liberated by the US Army
  • Apr 4 World War II: US Army occupies Bielefeld in north-eastern Germany
  • Apr 5 World War II: Dutch city of Almelo is freed by the Second Canadian Corps
  • Apr 6 The Holocaust: Nazis begin evacuating prisoners from Buchenwald concentration camp
  • Apr 6 World War II: Dutch city of Coevorden freed from German occupation by Canadian forces
  • Apr 6 Battle of Okinawa: Giant Japanese battleship Yamato heads to Okinawa with orders to beach herself and be destroyed defending the island
  • Apr 7 Kuniaki Koiso resigns as Prime Minister of Japan after the US invasion of Okinawa; he is replaced by Kantaro Suzuki
  • Apr 7 Battle of Okinawa: Massive kamikaze attack of around 110 Japanese aircraft damages three US battleships off Okinawa island
  • Apr 7 Sonderkommando Elbe, special Luftwaffe units designed to destroy Allied planes by ramming them mid-air, are sent on their first and only mission of World War II
  • Apr 7 Battle of Okinawa: US planes intercept Japanese fleet heading for Okinawa on a suicide mission, super battleship Yamato and four destroyers are sunk

  • Apr 8 Nazi occupiers executed, Nazi general Christiansen flees Netherlands
  • Apr 8 1945 NFL Draft: Charley Trippi from University of Georgia first pick by Chicago Cardinals
  • Apr 9 Battleship Admiral Scheer sunk by RAF bombing in Kiel
  • Apr 9 Liberty ship at Bari Italy carrying aerial bombs explodes, kills 360
  • Apr 9 NFL requires players to wear long stockings
  • Apr 9 World War II: The Battle of Königsberg, East Prussia, ends.
  • Apr 10 Canadian troops conquer Deventer
  • Apr 10 General Blaskowitz becomes nazi leader of "Fort Holland"
  • Apr 10 German troops attack Ijsselbrug
  • Apr 10 NFL's Boston Yanks & Brooklyn Tigers merge
  • Apr 10 US troops land on Tsugen Shima Okinawa
  • Apr 10 William Schuman & Antony Tudor's ballet premieres in NYC
  • Apr 11 Allied troops liberate Basket-Compascuum
  • Apr 11 SS burns & shoots 1,100 at Gardelegen
  • Apr 11 US captures Tsugen Shima
  • Apr 11 Four soldiers in the Sixth Armored Division of the US Third Army liberate the Nazi concentration camp, Buchenwald
  • Apr 11 US troops conquers Mulheim, Oberhausen, Bochum, Unna, Essen
  • Apr 12 Canadian troops liberate Nazi concentration camp Westerbork, Netherlands

Person of InterestDeath of FDR

Apr 12 US President Franklin D. Roosevelt dies in office and Vice President Harry Truman is sworn in as 33rd US President
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The famous unfinished portrait of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, started by Elizabeth Shoumatoff on the day of his death
The famous unfinished portrait of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, started by Elizabeth Shoumatoff on the day of his death
  • Apr 12 Richard Strauss completes his "Metamorphosis"

  • Apr 13 Canadian army liberates Teuge & Assen, Netherlnds, from Nazis
  • Apr 13 Red Army occupies Vienna
  • Apr 13 US Marines conquer Minna Shima off Okinawa
  • Apr 13 Canadian soldier Léo Major single-handedly liberates Dutch town of Zwolle by fooling Germans into thinking a raid had begun
  • Apr 14 American planes bomb Tokyo & damage the Imperial Palace
  • Apr 14 World War II: US 7th Army & allies forces capture Nuremberg & Stuttgart in Germany
  • Apr 14 US forces conquered Motobu peninsula on Okinawa
  • Apr 14 US Marines attack Yae Take on Okinawa
  • Apr 15 British Army liberates Nazi concentration camp Bergen-Belsen

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 15 FDR buried in grounds of Hyde Park home

32nd US President Franklin D. Roosevelt
32nd US President
Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Apr 15 Pope Pius XII publishes encyclical Communium interpretes dolorum
  • Apr 15 US troops occupy concentration camp Colditz
  • Apr 16 Battle of Okinawa: US Army invades and seizes the Ie Shima Airfield on Ie Shima island near Okinawa
  • Apr 16 World War II: Dutch town of Arnhem, site of failed Operation Market Garden, is freed by British and Canadian forces
  • Apr 16 German troops in Groningen surrender

Victory in BattleRaising a Flag over the Reichstag

Apr 16 Battle of Berlin: Red Army begins its attack on the capital of Nazi Germany
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Soldiers Raqymzhan Qoshqarbaev and Georgij Bulatov raise the Soviet Union flag on the roof of the Reichstag building in Berlin
Soldiers Raqymzhan Qoshqarbaev and Georgij Bulatov raise the Soviet Union flag on the roof of the Reichstag building in Berlin
  • Apr 16 US troops enter Nuremberg, Germany
  • Apr 16 US troops land on He Shima, Okinawa
  • Apr 16 49th Boston Marathon won by John A Kelley in 2:30:40.2; his second event victory
  • Apr 16 Colditz Castle, the high-security prisoner of war camp in Germany, is liberated by American troops
  • Apr 17 8th Air Force bombs Dresden
  • Apr 17 German occupiers flood Wieringermeer, Netherlands

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 17 Benito Mussolini flees from Salò to Milan

Italian Dictator Benito Mussolini
Italian Dictator
Benito Mussolini
  • Apr 17 US troops land in central Mindanao, Philippines during Battle of Mindanao
  • Apr 18 1 armed outfielder, St Louis Brown Pete Gray, 1st game he goes 1 for 4
  • Apr 18 Epe freed (by corporal G van Aken)
  • Apr 18 Clandestine Radio 1212, after broadcasting pro-nazi propaganda for months used their influence to trap 350,000 German army group B troops
  • Apr 18 Diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and Bolivia established
  • Apr 19 Rodgers & Hammerstein musical "Carousel" opens on Broadway
  • Apr 19 US aircraft carrier Franklin heavy damaged in Japanese air raid
  • Apr 19 US offensive against Shuri-barrier on Okinawa
  • Apr 19 Diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and Guatemala are established
  • Apr 20 Cleveland Browns organization formed by Arthur "Mickey" McBride
  • Apr 20 German occupiers flood Beemster & Fencer
  • Apr 20 Soviet artillery begins shelling Berlin
  • Apr 20 US 7th army captured German city of Nuremberg
  • Apr 20 US forces conquer Motobu peninsula on Okinawa
  • Apr 21 Allied troops occupy German nuclear laboratory
  • Apr 21 He Shima Okinawa conquered in 5 days, 5,000 die
  • Apr 21 Ivor Novello's "Perchance to Dream" premieres in London
  • Apr 21 Soviet army arrives at outskirts of Berlin
  • Apr 21 US 7th Army reaches Nuremberg
  • Apr 22 Concentration Camp at Sachsenhausen liberated
  • Apr 22 Stanley Cup Final, Olympia Stadium, Detroit, MI: Toronto Maple Leafs beat Detroit Red Wings, 2-1 for a 4-3 series win; Leafs lead series 3-0 but Wings recover to 3-3 to force a decider

BattleBattle of Interest

Apr 22 Battle of Berlin: Upon being informed that a planned counter-attack never happened, Adolf Hitler flies into a rage, denounces the German Army and concedes World War II is lost

Dictator of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler
Dictator of Nazi Germany
Adolf Hitler

Conference meetingMeeting of Interest

Apr 22 SS chief Heinrich Himmler secretly meets with Count Folke Bernadotte of Sweden, asking him to act as an intermediary for a surrender offer to the Western Allies. The Allies do not take the offer seriously.

Leading Nazi and Reichsführer of the SS Heinrich Himmler
Leading Nazi and Reichsführer of the SS
Heinrich Himmler
  • Apr 23 Concentration camp Flossenburg liberated
  • Apr 23 US troops in Italy cross river Po
  • Apr 24 Albert B "Happy" Chandler is named 2nd baseball commissioner
  • Apr 25 45 countries convene UN Conference on Intl Organization in San Francisco
  • Apr 25 Allied air raid on Surabaja, Java
  • Apr 25 British troops reach Grebbe line Neth
  • Apr 25 Clandestine Radio 1212, used to hoax Nazi Germany's final transmission
  • Apr 25 Last Boeing B-17 attack against Nazi Germany
  • Apr 25 Soviet forces complete their encirclement of Berlin, cutting off all access points west of the German capital

  • Apr 25 "Elbe Day" - US and Soviet forces meet at Torgau, Germany on the Elbe River during the invasion of Germany in WWII

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 26 Marshal Henri Philippe Petain, leader of France's Vichy collaborationist regime during WW II, arrested for treason

French General Philippe Pétain
French General
Philippe Pétain
  • Apr 26 World War II: Battle of Bautzen - last successful German tank-offensive of the war and last noteworthy victory of the Wehrmacht
  • Apr 27 2nd Republic of Austria forms
  • Apr 27 Italian partisans capture Benito Mussolini at Dongo (Lake Como)
  • Apr 27 US 5th army enters Genoa
  • Apr 27 World War II: The Völkischer Beobachter, the newspaper of the Nazi Party, ceases publication
  • Apr 28 British commandos attack Elbe & occupy Lauenburg
  • Apr 28 US 5th army reaches Swiss border
  • Apr 29 First food drop by RAF above Nazi-occupied Holland (Operation Manna)
  • Apr 29 Japanese army evacuates Rangoon
  • Apr 29 German armies in Italy sign an unconditional surrender to the Western Allies to be carried out on 2 May
  • Apr 29 US Army liberates 31,601 in Nazi concentration camp in Dachau, Germany
  • Apr 29 Venice & Mestre captured by the Allies
  • Apr 30 "Arthur Godfrey Time" begins a 27 year run on CBS radio
  • Apr 30 Concentration camp Munchen-Allag freed
  • Apr 30 Lord Haw-Haw (William Joyce) calls for crusade against the Bolsheviks
  • Apr 30 Red Army occupies Demmin
  • Apr 30 Red Army opens attack on German Reichstag building in Berlin
  • Apr 30 Soviet Army frees Ravensbruck concentration camp
  • Apr 30 US troops attack the Elbe
  • Apr 30 Record 48 U-boats sunk by the Allies this month
  • Apr 30 Adolf Hitler commits suicide along with his new wife Eva Braun in the Fuhrerbunker in Berlin as the Red Army captures the city