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Selected: April 14
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1933 — , April 14

  • CBI - China: Day 104 of 142 of the 1st Battle of Hebei.

1937 — , April 14

  • Spain: Day 272 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.

1938 — , April 14

  • Spain: Day 637 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • CBI - China: Day 282 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 67 of 124 of the Battle of Henan.
    • Day 22 of 39 of the Battle of Xuzhou.

1939 — , April 14

  • USA: President Roosevelt writes to Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini in an attempt to maintain peace, asking them to guarantee the borders of 31 countries for at least 10 years.
  • CBI - China: Day 647 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 29 of 54 of the Battle of Nanchang.

1940 — , April 14

  • Atlantic: German minesweeper M6 sinks the British Royal Navy submarine TARPON. Meanwhile, the British sub HMS STERLET damages the German minelayer BRUMMER, which will sink tomorrow.
  • ETO - Norway: Day 6 of 63 of the Battle of Norway. German paratroopers are dropped into Dombås landing in the middle of a Norwegian Regiment camp. Heavy casualties mount on both sides but the Germans prevail. King Haakon of Norway appeals to his people to resist, but the Germans counter with a warning that any civilians aiding the British will be rounded up and shot.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,013 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 152 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.

1941 — , April 14

  • Atlantic: German sub U-52 sinks the Belgian passenger ship VILLE DE LIEGE 400 miles southwest of Iceland, killing 40 while only 12 survive.
  • ETO - UK: Day 221 of 258 of the Blitz.
  • ETO - France: The first major mass arrest of Jews in Paris takes place.
  • MTO - Yugoslavia: Day 9 of 12 of the Axis invasion of Yugoslavia. King Petar II of Yugoslavia flees to Athens as German troops advance on his capital. His government asks the German 1st Panzer Group for a ceasefire.
  • MTO - Greece: Day 9 of 25 of the Battle of Greece. Greek troops continue to withdraw from Albania.
  • MTO - Albania: British Swordfish torpedo bombers based in Greece sink the Italian steamers LUCIANO and STAMPALIA at the port of Vlorë, Albania.
  • MTO: The British gunboat HMS APHIS bombards Bardia, Libya, while gunboat HMS GNAT bombards the German troops at Sollum, Egypt. German aircraft damage the HMS GNAT, killing 1.
  • MTO - Libya: Day 5 of 256 of the Siege of Tobruk. The Axis troops make another attack but once again are repelled. Corporal John Edmondson of the Australian 9th Division leads a bayonet charge at Tobruk during which he is mortally wounded in the stomach and neck. He will be posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.
  • MTO - Egypt: King Farouk of Egypt invites Adolf Hitler for a discussion on Egyptian independence from the United Kingdom.
  • East Africa: Day 309 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,378 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • CBI - India: The British cargo ship FORT STIKINE, carrying 1,400 tons of explosives and 124 gold bars worth £1 million, catches fire and explodes in the Bombay harbor, destroying 11 other ships.
  • CBI - Thailand: Day 196 of 221 of the Franco-Thai War (Vichy France vs Thailand).

1942 — , April 14

  • ETO - France: Marshal Philippe Pétain, as chief of state of Vichy France, is forced by Germany to reinstate Pierre Laval as Prime Minister. Laval thus assumes actual direction of the Vichy administration and the aging Pétain remains to perform an essentially ceremonial function.
    Spotlight...

    Marshal Pétain and Pierre Laval

    With the fall of France and the German army occupying two-thirds of the country, Pétain believed (or at least hoped) he could repair the ruin caused by the invasion and obtain the release of the numerous prisoners of war only by cooperating with the Germans, in exchange for an agreement to not divide France between the Axis Powers. To collaborate meant to give up the least possible to get the most.

    Pétain appointed Pierre Laval to his cabinet as Minister of State, and as such made him the go-between man forced to be in constant touch with German authorities. As such, Laval was seen by his countrymen as "the German's man" while Pétain was much less under public scrutiny.

    Vichy authorities aided in the rounding-up of Jews and other "undesirables," and at times, Vichy French military forces actively opposed the Allies. Much of the French public initially supported the new government despite its pro-Nazi policies, seeing it as necessary to maintain a degree of French autonomy and territorial integrity.

    In December 1942, Pétain dismissed Laval from the Vichy government after Laval made a number of pro-German actions on his own, without consulting with his colleagues.

    When, in April 1942, the Germans forced Pétain to take Laval back as premier, Pétain himself withdrew into a purely nominal role. Yet he balked at resigning, convinced that if he did, Hitler would place all of France directly under German rule.

    After Allied landings in November 1942 in North Africa, Pétain secretly ordered Admiral Darlan, then in Algeria, to merge the French forces in Africa with those of the Allies. But, at the same time, he published official messages protesting the landing. His double-dealing was to prove his undoing.

    Both Pétain and Laval will be tried after France is liberated and sentenced to death, but Pétain's sentence will be commuted to life in prison, which will be in 1951 at age 95.

    Related WWII Store items...

  • Atlantic: Day 91 of 169 of Germany's Second "Happy Time," during which U-boats sink 609 Allied ships with little risk.
    • Off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, U-203 sinks the British freighter EMPIRE THRUSH while U-571 sinks the US freighter MARGARET.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 219 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 66 of 102 of the Battle of the Demyansk Pocket, another failed attempt to break the siege at Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 82 of 103 of the Battle of the Kholm Pocket. Another attempt to break the siege at Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 97 of 103 of the Battle of Vyazma, Russia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 97 of 103 of the Battle of Sychevsk, Russia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 43 of 49 of the Battle of Rzhev, Russia, a diversion to pull more German troops away from Moscow.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 167 of 248 of the Siege of Sevastopol, Crimean Peninsula.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 122 of 164 of Japan's Invasion of Burma. Day 4 of 9 of the Battle of Yenangyaung. The Allies will hold this piece of the Burma Road.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,743 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • PTO - Malaya: Day 55 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 128 of 152 of the 1st Battle of the Philippines.

1943 — , April 14

  • USA: President Roosevelt turns down a request from US Jewish community leaders to meet with him in preparation for a forthcoming conference in Bermuda regarding the situation of refugees in Europe.
  • Germany: Stalin's son Yakov Dzhugashvili dies in a POW camp in Germany.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 584 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad. The Soviets push back a German offensive thrust southeast of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 345 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket.
  • MTO - Tunisia: Day 149 of 178 of the Battle of Tunisia. RAF and US Air Forces provide Allied air support. The British 8th Army makes quick jabs at enemy positions at Enfidaville in hopes the Axis will retreat.
  • MTO - Italy: US 12th Air Force attacks targets in Sardinia.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 66 of 79 of the Allied Operation LONGCLOTH. US 10th Air Force provides air support. One column of UK Chindits cross the Chindwin River, soon to be the first column to return to India.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,108 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • US 14th Air Force strafes pack horses south of Tengchung, barracks and warehouses in Lungling and cattle and trucks north of Lungling.
  • PTO - Alaska: Day 312 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands. US 11th Air Force attacks Kiska and Little Kiska ten times throughout the day.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Japanese aircraft attack the Milne Bay area, severely damaging one vessel, beaching another and hitting two others. US 5th Air Force hits a variety of targeted areas.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 14 of 16 of Japan's Operation I-GO. The US 13th Air Force attacks a number of targets on the Solomons. Fighter pilot Dick Bong becomes a Double Ace as he scores his 10th kill. He will go on to be America's highest-scoring air ace, shooting down at least 40 Japanese aircraft, all in the P-38 Lightning.

1944 — , April 14

  • Germany: According to SS reports, the Hungarian Prime Minister Sztojay promises that by the end of April 1944 at least 50,000 Hungarian Jews fit for work will be made available to the Germans.
  • Germany: First transport of Greek Jews from Athens are sent to Auschwitz Concentration Camp.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 73 of 191 of the Battle of the Narva Isthmus, Estonia. Both German and Soviet troops remain in their defensive positions.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 113 of 113 of the USSR's Dnieper-Carpathian Offensive in southwestern Ukraine. The Germans withdraw from this area.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 42 of 45 of the Battle of Chernovtsy, Ukraine.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 40 of 44 of the Battle of Snigirevka, Ukraine.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 7 of 35 of the Battle of the Crimea. The Soviets capture Tarnopol.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 20 of 20 of the Battle of Odessa, Ukraine. The Soviets capture Odessa and enter Romania.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 7 of 60 of the Battle of Romania, 1st Jassy Offensive.
  • MTO - Italy: Day 89 of 123 of the Battle of Monte Cassino. RAF and US Air Forces provide air support.
  • MTO - Italy: Day 84 of 136 of the Battle of Anzio. RAF and US Air Forces provide air support.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 41 of 166 of the UK's Operation THURSDAY. British Chindits units attack the village of Sepein near Mawlu.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 36 of 147 of the Battle of Myitkyina. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 14 of 302 of the Chinese Salween Offensive. US 14th Air Force provides air support. A major Chinese offensive is launched across the border against the Japanese troops.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,474 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • CBI - India: Day 38 of 118 of the Battle of Imphal-Kohima. Day 4 of 4 of the Battle of Bunker Hill outside Kohima. Even today, it's still not clear who won the hill.
  • PTO - Caroline Islands: US 13th Air Force bombs at Eten, Param, Kuop Islands and Truk Atoll.
  • PTO - Marshall Islands: US 7th Air Force bombs Ponape Island, Maloelap Atoll and Eniwetok Atoll.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 46 of 80 of the Battle of the Admiralty Islands. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 209 of 219 of the Battle of Shaggy Ridge. 5th Air Force provides air support. US troops clear Pak Island.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 122 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 13th Air Force provides air support. The majority of New Britain Island is now held by the Allies.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 166 of 295 of the Battle of the Bougainville Islands. US 13th Air Force provides air support.

1945 — , April 14

  • USA: The body of President Franklin D Roosevelt, who died in Warm Springs, Georgia, two days earlier, is taken to Washington DC for a funeral procession.
    Spotlight...

    FDR's funeral procession in Washington DC

    A funeral train slowly brought Roosevelt's body from Warm Springs to Washington. Although copper was rationed as part of the war effort, a copper-lined coffin was built for his interment. After the funeral ceremonies, his body was again placed on the train for a last ride to his home in Hyde Park, New York.

    The President's health had obviously been deteriorating. His grayish skin, halting speech and vapid stare were all tell-tail signs. Such observations did not diminish the blow of his death to the nation and the world.

    The news of FDR's death so moved Stalin that he allowed the story and the President's picture to be printed on the front pages of the Russian newspapers - space previously reserved only for national stories

    Winston Churchill said he felt as though he had been "struck a physical blow," and broke down when he relayed the news in a speech to the House of Commons. A soldier aboard a troopship bound for France exclaimed in disbelief "But the war's almost over!"

    Navy bandsman Graham W Jackson playing "Goin' Home" 13 Apr 45

    Reporter Ed Clark drove to cover the funeral procession in Warm Springs, Georgia, to the train that would take FDR's flag-draped coffin to Washington DC, but found swarms of photographers trying to get the best view. Clark heard one of Roosevelt's favorite hymns "Goin' Home" being played on an accordion. He snapped a shot of Navy bandsman Graham Jackson with tears streaming down his face as he played. No one else had seen what Clark had seen, and his dramatic photograph became the symbol of a nation in grief.

    This photo took up a full page in the next issue of LIFE.

    Jackson became a personal friend of Eleanor and President Franklin D Roosevelt, and had played command performances in Washington numerous times. He was present in Warm Springs, Georgia, when Roosevelt died. The two had been collaborating at the Little White House on a version of Dvorak's "Goin' Home" the day before.

  • ETO - Netherlands: Day 1 of 5 of the Battle of Groningen. After taking Arnhem and Zwolle, Canadian troops trap the Germans inside the Atlantic wall fortifications along the coastline.
  • ETO - France: Day 259 of 284 of the Battle of Brittany. French troops launch a final assault on the trapped German garrison at Bordeaux.
  • ETO - France: Day 212 of 236 of the Siege of Dunkirk.
  • ETO - France: US 8th Air Force B-17s and B-24s bomb enemy pockets on the French Gironde estuary.
  • ETO - Germany: Day 40 of 46 of the Battle of the Ruhr Pocket. US 9th Air Force provides air support. The Ruhr Pocket is cut in two near Hagen.
  • ETO - Germany: The British 2nd Army reaches the outskirts of Bremen while the US 3rd Army captures Bayreuth and Gera. General Patton is promoted to the permanent rank of four star general.
  • Germany: The Danish king, Christian X, secures the release of 413 Danish Jews from the Theresienstadt concentration camp in Czechoslovakia. Beginning this day, White Buses, in cooperation with the Danish Red Cross, begin transporting them back to Denmark.
  • Germany: As the Allied troops advance, Heinrich Himmler orders all prisoners at the Dachau Concentration Camp to be exterminated.
  • Russian Front - Finland: Day 212 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 182 of 206 of the Battle of the Courland Pocket in Latvia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 2 of 13 of the Battle of Zemland, East Prussia. The Soviets and Germans engage in heavy fighting at Frankfort at the Oder River.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 61 of 83 of the German Siege of Breslau (today Wroclaw, Poland). The Soviets continue with their siege.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 20 of 21 of the Battle of Nagykanizsa-Körmend, western Hungary.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 33 of 34 of the Battle of Vienna, Austria. The Soviets are able to take several key positions and by the end of the day this battle is pretty much over.
  • MTO: US 15th Air Force bombs at six cities in Italy and Austria.
  • MTO - Italy: Day 9 of 27 of Operation GRAPESHOT, a successful offensive in northern Italy.
  • MTO - Italy: Day 6 of 13 of the Battle of Bologna. Hitler rejects an appeal for a German withdrawal to the Po River.
  • MTO - Italy: Day 3 of 8 of the Battle of the Argenta Gap. The British 8th Army captures the Bastia bridge over the Reno River intact.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 70 of 99 of the Battle of Pakokku and Irrawaddy River operations in central Burma. The US 10th Air Force provides air support. Anglo-Indian troops capture Taungdwingyi, while Yamethin falls to the British 4th Corps in a race for Rangoon.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,839 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 14 of 91 of the Battle of Zhijiang. US 14th Air Force provides air support.
    • Day 6 of 60 of the Battle of West Hunan (near Zhijiang).
  • PTO: The USS TIRANTE sinks the Japanese cargo ship JUZAN MARU and her two escort vessels.
  • PTO - Formosa: US 5th Air Force B-24s bomb four airfields on Formosa.
  • PTO - Japan: Day 14 of 83 of the Battle of Okinawa. The US Navy continues the pre-invasion bombardment of Ie Island off Okinawa.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 474 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 358 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 177 of 299 of the 2nd Battle of the Philippines, aka the Liberation of the Philippines or the Philippines Campaign.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 121 of 244 of the Battle of Luzon. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 36 of 159 of the Battle of Mindanao Island. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 28 of 135 of the Battle of the Visayas region. US 5th and 7th Air Forces provide air support.

Day-By-Day listings for April 14 were last modified on Tuesday, February 2, 2016
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