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Selected: April 4
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1927 — , April 4

  • China: Bai Chongxi purges communists from the Nationalist Chinese garrison in Shanghai and a number of labor leaders in the city; many of them are later executed.

1933 — , April 4

  • Germany: Jews are excluded from practicing law.
  • Germany: Works Councils are outlawed and replaced by Trust Councils elected by politically reliable (Nazi) candidates drawn up by works managers.
  • CBI - China: Day 94 of 142 of the 1st Battle of Hebei.

1937 — , April 4

  • Spain: Day 262 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.

1938 — , April 4

  • Spain: Day 627 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • CBI - China: Day 272 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 57 of 124 of the Battle of Henan.
    • Day 12 of 15 of the Battle of Taierzhuang. At night, Chinese troops mount attacks against the Japanese positions with support from field guns and out-maneuver the Japanese troops.
    • Day 12 of 39 of the Battle of Xuzhou.

1939 — , April 4

  • Eastern Front: Day 13 of 13 of the Slovak-Hungarian War, aka the Little War. Slovakia and Hungary sign a peace treaty and the fighting stops.
  • CBI - China: Day 637 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 19 of 54 of the Battle of Nanchang.

1940 — , April 4

  • Eastern Front: The first big systematic program of mass murder is carried out by the Nazi regime. Known as "Aktion 14 f 13" (named after the address of the Berlin Euthanasia Headquarters), it targets specially picked "handicapped" concentration camp prisoners.
  • ETO - Netherlands: The Netherlands declares itself in a state of siege.
  • ETO: British newspapers report large concentrations of troops in German ports. Winston Churchill fails to persuade the French on a plan to mine Norwegian waters and the Rhine River at the same time, so he decides to do it anyway without French cooperation.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,003 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 142 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.

1941 — , April 4

  • USA: George S Patton is promoted to the rank of Major General (2 stars) of the Army of the United States and made division commander of the 2nd Armored Division.
    Spotlight...

    Major General George S Patton

    April 20, 1942

    WWII promotions for George S Patton...

      Colonel (Regular Army) 01 Jul 38
    Brigadier General (Army of the US) 02 Oct 40
    ★★ Major General (Army of the US) 04 Apr 41
    ★★★ Lieutenant General (Army of the US) 12 Mar 43
    Brigadier General (Regular Army) 16 Aug 44
    ★★ Major General (Regular Army) 16 Aug 44
    ★★★ Lieutenant General (Regular Army) 04 Dec 44
    ★★★★ General (Army of the US) 14 Apr 45

    It may appear that Patton had been "demoted" on 16 Aug 44, but that is not so. He went from wearing three stars to wearing two, but that was from within the "Army of the United States" to within the "Regular Army."

    The Structure of the US Army was, and remains, very complex, confusing, and able to be seen in several different ways. In 1941, the "Army of the United States" was founded to fight the Second World War. The Regular Army, Army of the United States, the National Guard, and Officer/Enlisted Reserve Corps (ORC and ERC) existed simultaneously. Their duties and assignments often overlapped and paperwork often lagged way behind actual implementation.

    In layman's terms, however, you wouldn't be too far off base to think of an officer in the "Army of the United States" as primarily having a command of paperwork and pencil sharpeners, and in the "Regular Army" as having a command of men in the field.

    In a scene in the 1970 movie Patton, General Omar Bradley says to George as he pins new stars onto himself, "But it doesn't become official until it's been approved by the Senate," to which Patton responds, "Well, they have their schedule and I have mine."

    Patton related dates...

    Related WWII Store items...

  • Germany: The anti-British propaganda film Ohm Krüger is released. It focuses on the theme of colonialism to demonstrate through Britain's history the "true nature" of the British character, using the Boer War to present the British as violent, exploitative and an enemy to civilization.
    Spotlight...

    Ohm Krüger

    Movie poster for the German anti-British propaganda feature film which shed very bad light on British imperialism toward the Afrikaans-speaking Boers, successfully building upon anti-British sentiment already in existence in Germany as a result of RAF bombing raids.

    Conceived by Joseph Goebbels' Propaganda Ministry as a propagandistic blockbuster, this lavish production leaves no stone unturned in its bitter indictment of Great Britain, which at the time (early 1941) stood alone as Germany's wartime foe. In its historical re-enactment of the Second Boer War, Ohm Krüger depicts Britain as a relentlessly aggressive power, hell-bent on world domination; the film's remarkable set pieces feature a scotch-swilling Queen Victoria, a cruelly conniving Cecil Rhodes and a Winston Churchill look-alike who presides over a murderous concentration camp. On the Boer side stands saintly "Uncle" Krüger, portrayed as a model of simple dignity and unerring moral right by one of the world cinema's greatest actors, Emil Jannings.

    By far the most expensive film produced in Nazi Germany up to the time, Ohm Krüger offers plenty of "wild west" frontier grit alongside its vivid battle scenes, as though John Ford's Monument Valley had been transposed onto South Africa's Transvaal region. The shattering conclusion - a concentration camp massacre provokes and disturbs even today, not only due to its undeniable artistry, but more because of how it invites comparison with the still greater horrors we associate with Nazi Germany - atrocities this movie was designed to rationalize and exonerate.

    Dates related to WWII propaganda films...

    Related WWII Store items...

  • Atlantic: German bombers sink the Free French sloops SUIPPE and CONQUERANT at Falmouth, England.
  • Atlantic: German subs attack an Allied convoy 250 miles southwest of Iceland. U-94 and U-98 sink three ships. A few hours later U-76 sinks another ship, the ATHENIC.
  • Atlantic: German sub U-97 sinks the British ship CONUS 500 miles southwest of Iceland.
  • Atlantic: The German cruiser THOR sinks the armed merchant cruiser HMS VOLTAIRE after a 55 minute battle 900 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands.
  • Atlantic: German sub U-124 sinks the British ship MARLENE 75 miles west of Freetown, Sierra Leone, British West Africa.
  • ETO - UK: Day 211 of 258 of the Blitz.
  • MTO - Greece: Italian bombers sink the Greek torpedo boat PROUSSA and Greek freighter SUSSANNA off the coast of Corfu.
  • MTO - Libya: German and Italian troops enter Benghazi unopposed. Further east, the Australian troops hold off the Axis advance at Green Mountain.
  • East Africa: Day 299 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt. In Erirea, after securing Asmara, the Indian 5th Division moves east toward Massawa where 6 German and 7 Italian freighters are scuttled to prevent capture. In Abyssinia, Italian troops evacuate from Addis Ababa.
  • PTO - Japan: Hitler promises Japanese Ambassador Matsuoka that in case of war between US and Japan, Germany will lend assistance.
  • CBI - Malaya: The British mooring vessel HMS BUFFALO accidentally wanders into a minefield laid by friendly vessels, hits a mine and sinks off Singapore.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,368 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 22 of 27 of the Battle of Shanggao.
  • CBI - Thailand: Day 186 of 221 of the Franco-Thai War (Vichy France vs Thailand).

1942 — , April 4

  • USA: The USS HORNET departs from San Francisco, California, with James Doolittle and his 16 B-25 bombers on board, heading toward Japan to launch the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo on April 18
  • Atlantic: Day 81 of 169 of Germany's Second "Happy Time," during which U-boats sink 609 Allied ships with little risk.
    • U-552 sinks US tanker BYRON D BENSON east of the mouth of the Pasquotank River in North Carolina.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 209 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 56 of 102 of the Battle of the Demyansk Pocket, another failed attempt to break the siege at Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 72 of 103 of the Battle of the Kholm Pocket. Another attempt to break the siege at Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 87 of 103 of the Battle of Vyazma, Russia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 87 of 103 of the Battle of Sychevsk, Russia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 33 of 49 of the Battle of Rzhev, Russia, a diversion to pull more German troops away from Moscow.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 157 of 248 of the Siege of Sevastopol, Crimean Peninsula.
  • CBI: Day 5 of 11 of the Japanese Naval raids on Allied ships throughout the Indian Ocean.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 112 of 164 of Japan's Invasion of Burma. Japanese airplanes bomb at Mandalay, killing more than 2,000, most of whom are civilians.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,733 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • PTO - Malaya: Day 45 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 118 of 152 of the 1st Battle of the Philippines. 5th Air Force provides air support.

1943 — , April 4

  • ETO - France: US 8th Air Force B-17s bomb the Renault armament works and motor works in Paris.
  • ETO - Germany: RAF bombers make a night bombing raid on Kiel.
  • Germany: Crematorium V, the newly built gas chamber/crematory, at Auschwitz opens. This one can cremate 768 bodies per day.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 574 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 335 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket.
  • Russian Front - South: Soviet troops launch their Taman Offensive Operation in an attempt to push the Germans out of the Taman Peninsula in the Caucasus region of southern Russia.
  • MTO - Italy: US 9th and 12th Air Forces attack Naples, Carloforte, Capodichino and over at Palermo in Sicily.
  • MTO - Tunisia: Day 139 of 178 of the Battle of Tunisia. RAF and US Air Forces provide Allied air support. Day 13 of 16 of the Battle of El Guettar.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 56 of 79 of the Allied Operation LONGCLOTH. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,098 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • PTO - Alaska: Day 302 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands. Japanese sub I-168 transfers men from Kiska to Attu in the Aleutian Islands.
  • PTO - New Guinea: US 5th Air Force hits a variety of targeted areas.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 4 of 16 of Japan's Operation I-GO.

1944 — , April 4

  • UK: Going against precedent, the British Foreign Office bans all foreign embassies from sending coded messages, stating that all diplomatic pouches are subject to censorship.
  • ETO - France: De Gaulle is appointed head of all Free French military forces, replacing Giraud.
  • ETO - Germany: The Allies conduct their first air reconnaissance over the Auschwitz Concentration Camp, seeing transports from two different hospitals arriving there.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 63 of 191 of the Battle of the Narva Isthmus, Estonia. Both German and Soviet troops in the Baltic region remain in a defensive position.
  • Russian Front - Center: German Army Group Centre launches a counter-attack to relieve the surrounded German units trapped in the Pripet swamps near Kovel.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 103 of 113 of the USSR's Dnieper-Carpathian Offensive in southwestern Ukraine.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 32 of 45 of the Battle of Chernovtsy, Ukraine.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 11 of 15 of the Battle of Kamenets-Podolsky Pocket, Ukraine.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 30 of 44 of the Battle of Snigirevka, Ukraine.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 10 of 20 of the Battle of Odessa, Ukraine.
  • MTO - Romania: US 15th Air Force B-24s and B-17s attack the marshalling yards at Bucharest.
  • MTO - Italy: Day 79 of 123 of the Battle of Monte Cassino. RAF and US Air Forces provide air support.
  • MTO - Italy: Day 74 of 136 of the Battle of Anzio. RAF and US Air Forces provide air support.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 97 of 99 of the 2nd Battle of Arakan.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 31 of 166 of the UK's Operation THURSDAY.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 26 of 147 of the Battle of Myitkyina. US 10th Air Force provides air support. Day 8 of 10 of an action at Nhpum Ga Ridge by the infamous "Merrill's Marauders" against 1,300 Japanese.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 4 of 302 of the Chinese Salween Offensive. US 14th Air Force provides air support.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,464 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • CBI - India: Day 28 of 118 of the Battle of Imphal-Kohima. The Japanese attack the Indian defensive positions at Imphal but are repelled as another Indian division arrives. Other Japanese troops begin their attack on Kohima.
  • PTO - Caroline Islands: US 7th Air Force night bomb on Truk Atoll.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 36 of 80 of the Battle of the Admiralty Islands. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 199 of 219 of the Battle of Shaggy Ridge. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 112 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 156 of 295 of the Battle of the Bougainville Islands. US 13th Air Force provides air support.

1945 — , April 4

  • ETO - France: Day 249 of 284 of the Battle of Brittany.
  • ETO - France: Day 202 of 236 of the Siege of Dunkirk.
  • ETO - Germany: Day 30 of 46 of the Battle of the Ruhr Pocket. The British 2nd Army captures Osnabrück. US 9th Air Force provides air support.
  • ETO - Germany: Day 4 of 4 of the Battle of Kassel. The US 3rd Army finally clears Kassel of all German resistance. They also capture Suhl and Gotha.
  • ETO - Germany: Day 1 of 9 of the Battle of Heilbronn. US 1st Army engages German troops.
  • ETO - Germany: US 89th Infantry Division liberates the Ohrdruf Concentration Camp in Germany, which was a satellite of Buchenwald Concentration Camp. General Eisenhower will visit this camp later.
  • ETO - Germany: US 8th Air Force B-17s and B-24s bomb airfields and shipyards. The fourth of four "Disney Bomb" missions attacks fortified targets in Hamburg. Obscured by clouds, radar guidance is used by the B-17s to launch the rocket boosted, concrete piercing, bunker busting bombs.
  • Russian Front - Finland: Day 202 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 172 of 206 of the Battle of the Courland Pocket in Latvia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 70 of 75 of the Battle of Königsberg, East Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia). Day 4 of a 6-day Soviet artillery bombardment against Königsberg, knocking out the city's power.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 54 of 54 of the Battle of East Pomerania, Germany. The Germans evacuate from this area.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 51 of 83 of the German Siege of Breslau (today Wroclaw, Poland). The Soviets continue with their siege.
  • Russian Front - Center: The Soviets capture Bratislava, Czechoslovakia. German troops counter-attack the Soviet forces near Moravska-Ostrava and Nitra, also in Czechoslovakia. At Kosice in the Slovak Republic, the USSR sets up a provisional government.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 10 of 21 of the Battle of Nagykanizsa-Körmend, western Hungary.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 23 of 34 of the Battle of Vienna, Austria.
  • MTO: US 15th Air Force attacks target in Germany, Czechoslovakia, and Austria.
  • MTO - Italy: RAF and US Air Forces provide air support for the Allied ground units.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 60 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 2,829 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 4 of 91 of the Battle of Zhijiang. US 14th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Formosa: US 5th Air Force B-24s bomb Toyohara airfield, Mako harbor and Tokichito Island while A-20s hit Shinchiku factories and rail yards. B-24s also bomb the harbor at Hong Kong.
  • PTO - Japan: Allied naval mines laid in the Inland Sea sinks three Japanese ships.
  • PTO - Japan: Day 4 of 83 of the Battle of Okinawa.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 464 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 348 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 167 of 299 of the 2nd Battle of the Philippines, aka the Liberation of the Philippines or the Philippines Campaign.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 111 of 244 of the Battle of Luzon. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 26 of 159 of the Battle of Mindanao Island. US 7th Air Force provide air support.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 18 of 135 of the Battle of the Visayas region. 5th Air Force provides air support.

1949 — , April 4

  • Belgium: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is formed. It begins as not much more than a political association, but will galvanize its member states at the outbreak of the Korean War.

Day-By-Day listings for April 4 were last modified on Sunday, January 31, 2016
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