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Selected: March 4
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1932 — , March 4

  • CBI - China: Day 37 of 41 of the 1st Battle of Shanghai, Manchuria. The League of Nations demands a ceasefire between Japanese and Chinese troops in China, but to no avail.

1933 — , March 4

  • USA: Franklin D Roosevelt is inaugurated to his first term as President of the United States, just 32 days after Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany, and tells Americans that "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
    Spotlight...

    In his inaugural address, Roosevelt outlined his "New Deal" - an expansion of the federal government as an instrument of employment opportunity and welfare. The programs of the New Deal were in response to the Great Depression, and focused on what historians call the "3 Rs": Relief, Recovery, and Reform. That is Relief for the unemployed and poor; Recovery of the economy to normal levels; and Reform of the financial system to prevent a repeat depression.

    As Roosevelt took the oath of office this day, state governors had closed every bank in the nation; no one could cash a check or get at their savings. The unemployment rate was about 25% and higher in major industrial and mining centers. Farm income had fallen by over 50% since 1929. 844,000 nonfarm mortgages had been foreclosed. Political and business leaders feared revolution and anarchy. Joseph P Kennedy, Sr, who remained wealthy during the Depression, stated years later that "in those days I felt and said I would be willing to part with half of what I had if I could be sure of keeping, under law and order, the other half."

    Many historians distinguish between a "First New Deal" (1933-34) and a "Second New Deal" (1935-38), with the second one more liberal and more controversial.

    There is little agreement on what caused the Great Depression, and the topic remains highly politicized. By 1936 the term "liberal" typically was used for supporters of the New Deal, and "conservative" for its opponents.

    Looking back, it is uncertain as to how much Roosevelt's New Deal programs helped to end the Great Depression. The major turn-around for the US economy and the end of the Great Depression did not occur until after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

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  • CBI - China: Day 63 of 142 of the 1st Battle of Hebei. The Chinese 32nd Corps repels an attack on the Lengkou Pass. Meanwhile, Chengne is captured by Japan without opposition.

1937 — , March 4

  • Spain: Day 231 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.

1938 — , March 4

  • Austria: The Austrian Social Democratic Party offers to help their Chancellor go against Germany's threat if he would lift the ban on their party activities. He accepts, but it's too late to make a difference.
  • Spain: Day 596 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • CBI - China: Day 241 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 26 of 124 of the Battle of Henan.

1939 — , March 4

  • Spain: Day 961 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War. The failure of Dr Negrin's Communist Government to sue for peace results in a civil war within a civil war on the streets of Madrid. Dr Negrin is forced to fly out of Madrid to safety.
  • CBI - China: Day 606 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.

1940 — , March 4

  • USA: General Motors CEO, James Mooney, meets with Hitler in an attempt to dissuade him from escalating the war.
  • Atlantic: French steamer SNA1 collides with British ship THURSTON 30 miles north of Land's End in southwest England and sinks. A few hours later a U-boat sinks the THURSTON killing 64.
  • Atlantic: A German U-boat sinks the British ship PACIFIC RELIANCE destroying its cargo of aircraft parts. The entire crew of 53 are rescued by British merchant ship MACVILLE.
  • Finland: Day 96 of 105 of the Russo-Finnish War. The fighting continues near Viipuri, Finland (Baltic Sea), particularly near the Vuoksi River.
  • CBI - China: Day 972 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 111 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.
    • Day 37 of 67 of the Battle of Wuyuan.

1941 — , March 4

  • ETO - Norway: On the northern Norwegian coast, British light naval units and commandos carry out a raid on the Lofoten Islands near Narvik, destroying the port and oil storage facilities.
  • ETO - UK: Day 180 of 258 of the Blitz.
  • MTO - Yugoslavia: Yugoslavian Prince Paul meets with Hitler to discuss joining the Axis. Hitler offers him Salonika and part of Macedonia in return for allowing his troops to transit into Greece.
  • MTO: Operation LUSTRE: The British start sending troops from Egypt to Greece. These are to be under the command of General Maitland Wilson.
  • East Africa: Day 268 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
  • East Africa - Eritrea: Day 28 of 56 of the Battle of Keren.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,337 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • CBI - Indian Ocean: A seaplane off the HMAS CANBERRA spots the German ship COBURG and the Norwegian tanker KETTY BROVIG, which was supplying German ships. Both enemy ships were sunk.
  • CBI - Thailand: Day 155 of 221 of the Franco-Thai War (Vichy France vs Thailand).

1942 — , March 4

  • Atlantic: Day 50 of 169 of Germany's Second "Happy Time," during which U-boats sink 609 Allied ships with little risk.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 178 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 25 of 102 of the Battle of the Demyansk Pocket, another failed attempt to break the siege at Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 41 of 103 of the Battle of the Kholm Pocket. Another attempt to break the siege at Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 56 of 103 of the Battle of Vyazma, Russia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 56 of 103 of the Battle of Sychevsk, Russia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 2 of 49 of the Battle of Rzhev, Russia, a diversion to pull more German troops away from Moscow.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 126 of 248 of the Siege of Sevastopol, Crimean Peninsula. All German attacks against Sevastopol are shut down for the winter.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 81 of 164 of Japan's Invasion of Burma.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 2 of 5 of the Battle of Pegu. British troops keep fending off the Japanese attack. Meanwhile, Japanese troops envelope the Chinese troops at Toungoo.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,702 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 71 of 99 of the 3rd Battle of Changsha.
  • CBI - Java: Day 5 of 13 of the Battle of Java.
  • CBI - Java: The Australian sloop HMAS YARRA is sunk by Japanese cruisers while attempting to protect a convoy of vessels withdrawing from Singapore to Australia.
  • PTO: The USS ENTERPRISE attacks the enemy on Marcus Island, just 1000 miles from Japan.
  • PTO - Borneo: Day 79 of 107 of the Battle of Borneo.
  • PTO - Hawaii: Two Japanese flying boats bomb try to bomb Honolulu but the bombs fall short of the city.
  • PTO - Malaya: Day 14 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 87 of 152 of the 1st Battle of the Philippines. 5th Air Force provides air support.

1943 — , March 4

  • ETO: US 8th Air Force B-17s bomb the marshalling yard at Hamm, Germany. Other B-17s hit the shipyards at Rotterdam, Netherlands.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 543 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 23 of 51 of the USSR's Operation POLAR STAR, a failed offensive north of Leningrad, hoping to take the southern shore of Lake Ladoga, Russia.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 304 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket, USSR lays siege to the Kholm Pocket but the Germans hold out for a about a year and a half.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 3 of 30 of the 3rd Battle of Rzhev-Sychevka, Russia.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 14 of 25 of the 3rd Battle of Kharkov, Ukraine.
  • MTO - Greece: In an attempt to protect their own Bulgarian Jews, Bulgaria gives in to German pressure by deporting about 4,000 Greek Jews from Thrace. These Greek Jews were eventually sent to death camps in Poland.
  • MTO - Tunisia: Day 108 of 178 of the Battle of Tunisia. RAF and US Air Forces provide Allied air support. The British 8th Army digs in awaiting an attack by Germans in the mountains west of Medenine.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 74 of 104 of the 1st Battle of Arakan. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 25 of 79 of the Allied Operation LONGCLOTH.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,067 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • PTO: US 13th Air Force B-24s hit targets in the Solomon Islands.
  • PTO - Alaska: Day 271 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 3 of 3 of the Naval Battle of the Bismarck Sea results in a victory for US and Australia as they sunk 5 Japanese destroyers and 8 transport ships.

1944 — , March 4

  • Atlantic: An Allied convoy of 31 ships is attacked off Norway. The steam merchant EMPIRE TOURIST is sunk by a U-boat. However, the convoy's escort ships sink 3 U-boats in return.
  • ETO - Germany: US 8th Air Force: Heavy bombers are sent to hit Berlin. Although the mission is called off, some of the B-17s fail to get that message and hit their target anyway.
  • Germany: 750 Jews from the Lodz ghetto are sent to the Hugo Schneider AG factories in Czestochowa, Poland as forced laborers.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 32 of 191 of the Battle of the Narva Isthmus, Estonia. Both German and Soviet troops in the Baltic region go on the defensive.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 72 of 113 of the USSR's Dnieper-Carpathian Offensive in southwestern Ukraine.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 1 of 45 of the Battle of Chernovtsy, Ukraine. The Soviets catch the Germans off guard, sneaking six tank armies into the area.
  • MTO - Italy: Day 48 of 123 of the Battle of Monte Cassino. RAF and US Air Forces provides air support for the Allied ground troops.
  • MTO - Italy: Day 43 of 136 of the Battle of Anzio. RAF and US Air Forces provides air support for the Allied ground troops.
  • CBI: US 14th Air Force attack targets in China and French Indochina.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 66 of 99 of the 2nd Battle of Arakan.
  • CBI - Burma: The infamous Merrill's Marauders fight their first major action in Burma. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,433 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Six waves of Japanese aircraft bomb the Allied airfield at Suichwan, causing considerable damage.
  • PTO - Marshall Islands: US 7th Air Force attack targets in the Marshalls.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 5 of 80 of the Battle of the Admiralty Islands. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 168 of 219 of the Battle of Shaggy Ridge. US 5th and 13th Air Forces provide air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 81 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 125 of 295 of the Battle of the Bougainville Islands. US 13th Air Force provides air support.

1945 — , March 4

  • PTO - Japan: Returning from a bombing raid on Tokyo, a B-29 Superfortress makes an emergency landing on Iwo Jima Island, the first of 2,251 such emergency landings.
    Spotlight...

    B-29 Superfortress "Dinah Might" 42-65286 on Iwo Jima

    While fighting was still taking place, B-29 "Dinah Might" of the 1st Bomb Squadron, 9th Bomb Group, 20th Air Force, reported it was low on fuel near the island and requested an emergency landing. Despite enemy fire, the airplane landed on the Allied-controlled section of the island (South Field) without incident, and was serviced, refueled and departed. In all, 2,251 B-29 landings on Iwo Jima were recorded during the war.

    The tragic cost of seizing Iwo Jima pressured veterans, journalists, and commanders to fixate on the most visible rationalization for the battle. The sight of the enormous, costly, and technologically sophisticated B-29 landing on the island's small airfield most clearly linked Iwo Jima to the strategic bombing campaign.

    As the myths about the flag raising on Mount Suribachi reached legendary proportions, so did the emergency landing reports in order to justify the need to raise that flag at such a cost.

    B-29 Superfortress "Dinah Might" 42-65286 on Iwo Jima

    note USMC L-4 Grasshopper and MB or GPW Jeep in foreground

    Its pilot, Lt Raymond F Malo, acted against orders when he chose to land on Iwo. After twice scanning the island's airstrip, known as Motoyama Airfield Number 1, he simply ignored the fact that the runway seemed to be too short and that heavy fighting was still going on. Low on fuel, he chose to land on Iwo rather than to ditch in the ocean.

    Dinah Might touched down and came to a stop just a few feet short of disaster. As Malo revved up and turned the Superfortress around, Japanese troops opened fire on him with mortars and artillery. Malo and his crew hastily hand-filled the tanks with 2,000 US gallons of fuel and then took off again. Sadly, Lt Malo was killed in action just six weeks later.

    B-29 Superfortress related dates...

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  • ETO - France: Day 216 of 284 of the Battle of Brittany.
  • ETO - France: Day 171 of 236 of the Siege of Dunkirk.
  • ETO: Day 44 of 66 of the Battle to the Rhine. US 9th Air Force provides air support.
  • ETO - Germany: Day 13 of 36 consecutive RAF night raids on Berlin.
  • ETO - Germany: US 8th Air Force B-24s and B-17s hit targets in southwest Germany.
  • Russian Front - Finland: Day 171 of 223 of the Lapland War. Finland and Russia have joined forces to kick the Germans out of Finland's most northern province.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 141 of 206 of the Battle of the Courland Pocket in Latvia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 39 of 75 of the Battle of Königsberg, East Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia).
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 38 of 63 of the Battle of the Heiligenbeil Pocket in East Prussia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 23 of 54 of the Battle of East Pomerania, Germany. Soviets break through at Stargard and begin driving to Stettin (now Szczecin, Poland).
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 20 of 83 of the German Siege of Breslau (today Wroclaw, Poland).
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 1 of 15 of the Battle of Kolberg, Germany (today Kolobrzeg, Poland).
  • MTO: US 15th Air Force bombs targets in Hungary, Austria and Yugoslavia.
  • MTO - Italy: RAF and US Air Forces provide air support for the Allied ground units.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 45 of 61 of the Battles of Meiktila and Mandalay. The US 10th Air Force provides air support. Rifleman Bhanbhagta Gurung wins the Victoria Cross for advancing alone to clear Japanese positions near Mandalay.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 29 of 99 of the Battle of Pakokku and Irrawaddy River operations in central Burma. The US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,798 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • CBI - China Sea: USS BAYA fires six torpedoes at a Japanese convoy in the South China Sea, hitting a transport and an oil ship with 2 torpedoes each and sinking them both.
  • CBI - Indochina: US 14th Air Force attacks ships in the Gulf of Tonkin and the South China Sea.
  • PTO - Formosa: US 5th Air Force attacks targets in Formosa.
  • PTO - Japan: US 7th Air Force B-24s pound the Susaki Airfield on Chichi Jima Island during the day and again during the night.
  • PTO - Japan: Day 14 of 36 of the Battle of Iwo Jima. US 7th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 433 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 317 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 136 of 299 of the 2nd Battle of the Philippines, aka the Liberation of the Philippines or the Philippines Campaign.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 80 of 244 of the Battle of Luzon. 5th Air Force provides air support.

Day-By-Day listings for March 4 were last modified on Tuesday, February 2, 2016
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