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23 Apr 1883

  • Prince Narukata was made the head of the Kacho branch of the Japanese imperial family. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
23 Apr 1894

  • The construction for the Hubei Arsenal in Hanyang County, Hubei Province, Qing Dynasty China was completed. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
23 Apr 1903
23 Apr 1918
  • Lieutenant Paul Baer shot down his fifth enemy aircraft while in US service to become the first ace of the American Expeditionary Force. ww2dbase [AC]
23 Apr 1919

  • Joseph Rochefort departed Brest, France aboard passenger ship Koningin der Nederlanden as a member of the crew. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
23 Apr 1923

  • Crown Prince Hirohito traveled from Takao (now Kahsiung), Taiwan to Mako, Hoko Prefecture (now Makung, Penghu) by destroyer. After inspecting various facilities, he reboarded the destroyer for an overnight journey to Kirun (now Keelung) in northern Taiwan. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 23 Apr 1923
Crown Prince Hirohito visiting naval facilities in Mako, Hoko Prefecture (now Makung, Penghu), Taiwan, 23 Apr 1923Japanese Navy honor guard for Crown Prince Hirohito, Takao harbor, Taiwan, 23 Apr 1923
23 Apr 1925

United Kingdom
  • Barnes Wallis married Molly Bloxam in Britain. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
23 Apr 1934

  • The Sonnenburg and Brandenburg concentration camps closed. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
23 Apr 1937
  • In Spain, the Madrid Defence Junta was dissolved. ww2dbase [AC]
Photo(s) dated 23 Apr 1937
German police chiefs Kurt Daluege, Heinrich Lankenau, and Adolf von Bomhard, Bremen, Germany, 23 Apr 1937Daluege, Lankenau, and Bomhard reviewing police forces, Bremen, Germany, 23 Apr 1937, photo 1 of 2Daluege, Lankenau, and Bomhard reviewing police forces, Bremen, Germany, 23 Apr 1937, photo 2 of 2
23 Apr 1939

  • 16th Division, 79th Division, and 5th Reserve Division of Chinese 32th Army crossed the Fu River near Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, China. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
23 Apr 1940
  • Budget Day in Britain saw the increase of tax on beer by 1 penny, whisky by 9 pence, and postage by 1 penny. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Members of the Parliament in Britain criticized that the earlier estimate of 1940 war expenditure of £2,000,000,000 was too low. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British 146th Brigade retreated to Namsos, Norway; the brigade had thus far suffered 19 dead, 42 wounded, and 96 missing. British 148th Brigade's defense line at Tretten Gorge in Norway suffered a heavy artillery barrage in the morning, an attack by light tanks in the early afternoon, and a surprise mountain troops attack from behind the lines; they began to retreat northward at 1900 hours, strafed by German aircraft in the process; the 148th Brigade had thus far suffered 705 killed, wounded, or missing. Near Oslo, British aircraft conducted a raid on German-controlled airfields. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • HMS Glasgow and HMS Sheffield transferred a few gallons of lubricating oil aboard HMS Glorious after the scheduled arrival of 25 tons of the lubricating oil failed to arrive. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
Photo(s) dated 23 Apr 1940
German Colonel General Erhard Milch inspecting Luftwaffe pilots, Trondheim, Norway, 23 Apr 1940; note Ju 87 Stuka dive bombers in background
23 Apr 1941
  • German troops attacked westward in Greece from Ioannina. Meanwhile, German paratroopers landed on Aegean Islands. On the same day, German bombers destroyed 13 British Hurricane fighters on the ground at Argoes (forcing the survivors to evacuate to Crete) and sank Greek torpedo boat Kios, minelayer Nestos, hospital ship Policos, battleship Kilkis, battleship Lemnos, 12 freighters, and 1 tanker; damaged Greek torpedo boat Doris was scuttled to prevent capture. King George II of Greece, Crown Prince Paul, Prime Minister Emmanuel Tsouderos and other important figures of the Greek government were evacuated by the RAF to Crete, where an attempt to evacuate personnel from Crete to Egypt had begun; King George II instructed that his wine cellar should be distributed to the Allied troops who fought to defend his country. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • An Axis convoy was spotted by British aircraft in the Mediterranean Sea sailing toward Tripoli, Libya. British destroyers HMS Jervis, HMS Jaguar, HMS Janus, and HMS Juno failed to intercept. Overnight, however, destroyer HMS Juno was able to find and sink empty Italian troopship Egeo off the Libyan coast. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German Luftwaffe bombers attacked Tobruk habor in Libya, sinking several ships at the cost of 6 German aircraft. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German bombers attacked Plymouth, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • At the America First Committee meeting in New York City, New York, United States, Charles Lindbergh publicly called for the United States to stay out of the war. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Thor arrived at Hamburg, Germany, ending a 322-day raiding mission that covered 57,532 miles which saw the sinking of 11 merchant ships and 1 British armed merchant cruiser. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Alexander Löhr was mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht daily radio report. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Lemnos was beached at Salamis, Greece during a German air raid to prevent sinking. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille scored his 8th kill, a British Hurricane II fighter, over Tobruk, Libya during the morning sortie. In the afternoon sortie, he was shot down and safely landed in German territory. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 23 Apr 1941
Kilkis under attack, 23 Apr 1941Kilkis Sunk at Salamis, Greece, 23 Apr 1941
23 Apr 1942
  • Captain Shinshiro Soma was named the commanding officer of submarine tender Taigei. ww2dbase [Main Article | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • Repair ship Akashi departed Ambon, Dutch East Indies. ww2dbase [Main Article | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • Soviet submarine ShCh-401 attacked a German supply convoy just off Gamvik in northern Norway, sinking Norwegian merchant ship Stensaas (all aboard survived). Later on the same day, ShCh-401 attacked German submarine chaser UJ 1110, but was driven off by UJ 1110's depth charges. ShCh-401 reported in her position in the evening, but it would be the last time she was heard from; she likely ran into a minefield shortly after the report. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • In a secret session of the British House of Commons, Churchill delivered a speech declaring that the liberation of Europe was "the main war plan" of Britain and the United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The Kenedy Alien Detention Camp in Texas, United States began receiving Axis prisoners of war. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • South Africa broke diplomatic relations with Vichy France. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The German government ordered that all boys between the age of 14 and 16 and girls between the age of 16 and 17 to perform mandatory agricultural service. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-565 sank British ship Kirkland 35 miles northeast of Sidi Barrani, Egypt at 0255 hours; 1 was killed, 22 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Before dawn, German armed merchant cruiser Michel launched torpedo boat LS-4 Esau to attack US tanker Connecticut in the middle of the South Atlantic, which successfully sank the tanker with two torpedoes; 36 were killed, 18 survived. At 2053 hours, German submarine U-125 sank US ship Lammot Du Pont 500 miles southeast of Bermuda; 6 were killed, 48 survived. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Chinese mercenary troops under Allied command attacked Taunggyi, Burma while Japanese 56th Division captured Loilem. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • No. 1 Squadron of Soviet 95th Fighter Aviation Regiment attacked the German airfield at Luostari, Finland, destroying 17 aircraft (16 of which on the ground). ww2dbase [CPC]
  • 161 RAF aircraft (93 Wellington, 31 Stirling, 19 Whitley, 11 Hampden, 6 Manchester, and 1 Lancaster bombers) conducted a raid on Rostock, Germany; 143 of them attacked the town while 18 attacked the nearby Heinkel aircraft factory, both with extremely poor results. Four bombers were lost during this attack. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH, CPC]
  • USS S-35 was spotted by a Japanese submarine in the Kurile Islands and was subjected to a depth charge attack. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Luftwaffe began attacking "cathedral cities" in Britain, starting with Exeter, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH, CPC]
United States
  • USAT Ancon departed San Franciso, California, United States with US military personnel for Adelaide and Sydney in Australia. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 23 Apr 1942
US Navy J2F-5 Duck aircraft in flight during anti-submarine patrol, 23 Apr 1942; note Mark XVII depth chargesDoolittle raiders Sgt Edward Saylor, Lt Thomas Robert White, Lt Don Smith, Lt Griffith Williams, and Lt Howard Sessler with local civilian and military leaders in Sanmen County, Zhejiang Province, China, 23 Apr 1942Doolittle raiders Sgt Edward Saylor, Lt Thomas Robert White, Lt Don Smith, Lt Griffith Williams, and Lt Howard Sessler with the people of Sanmen County, Zhejiang Province, China, 23 Apr 1942
23 Apr 1943
  • USS Gar began her seventh war patrol. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Scorpion damaged a Japanese cargo ship off Honshu, Japan with 1 of 4 torpedoes fired. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German 17.Armee abandoned the attempt to dislodge the Soviet bridgehead at Novorossisk in southern Russia. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • In Tunisia, Lieutenant Wilwood Sandys-Clarke was left as the only officer still alive after his company was almost wiped out in a counter-attack. Despite head wounds, he rallied him men and captured three German strong-points before being cut down whilst single handedly tackling two sniper posts. He was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. Another Tunisian campaign Victoria Cross was awarded to Major John Anderson who was the first man into three enemy machine-gun positions, capturing 200 prisoners. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Orde Wingate and his small group of Chindits spotted the Chindwin River in Burma from a high spot; they were about 30 miles away from the river. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Walter Stettner von Grabenhofen was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Caroline Islands
  • In the evening, a flying boat arrived at Truk, Caroline Islands with ashes of Yamamoto and six of his staff officers, who had been shot down in a flying boat over Bougainville five days earlier. Senior staff officer Captain Kameto Kuroshima secretly transferred Yamamoto's ashes to the admiral's sea cabin. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
US Pacific Islands
  • USS Tunny arrived at Midway Atoll, ending her second war patrol. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 23 Apr 1943
Japanese Patrol Boat #39 sinking after being torpedoed by American submarine Seawolf, 23 Apr 1943; seen from SeawolfJapanese Patrol Boat #39 sinking after being torpedoed by American submarine Seawolf, 23 Apr 1943; seen from SeawolfGerman Hitler Youth members operating an aerophone, listening for engines of incoming aircraft, Germany, 23 Apr 1943
23 Apr 1944
  • Erwin Rommel wrote to Alfred Jodl, noting that if given command over the nearby tank formations he would wipe out any Allied landing attempt in France. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Anglo-Indian troops attacked Ningthoukhong, India. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Ray departed Fremantle, Australia for her fourth war patrol. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Dutch East Indies
  • USS Yorktown (Essex-class) launched raids the landing areas at Hollandia (Jayapura), Dutch East Indies area of northern New Guinea in support of General Douglas MacArthur's assault on Hollandia. ww2dbase [Main Article | Event | DS]
  • USS Pintado arrived at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • Landing ship No. 131 was launched. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Landing ship No. 151 was completed. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Landing ship No. 154 was launched. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Pacific Ocean
  • USS Whale was detected by a Japanese patrol boat 22 kilometers east of Akuseki Shima, Japan, but she was able to escape before the Japanese attacked. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 23 Apr 1944
Spruance, portrait, 23 Apr 1944
23 Apr 1945
  • US submarine USS Besugo sank German submarine U-183 in the Java Sea; only one German sailor survived the sinking. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German SS-Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler contacted the Western Allies via Swedish Count Folke Bernadotte to negotiate for a peace agreement. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Soviet troops reached outskirts of Berlin, Germany. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • US Navy PB4Y Privateer bombers launched Bat missiles against Japanese shipping off Balikpapen, Borneo; it was the first and only use of automatic homing missiles in WW2. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • In Berlin, Germany, Adolf Hitler noted that, when Germany would have lost the war, Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring would be the better person to negotiate peace terms. Göring, who was in Berchtesgaden in southern Germany, was made aware of this fact. After consulting Hans Lammers and other senior government officials, Göring carefully noted that, according to Hitler's decree of 29 Jun 1941, Göring would take power over Germany if Hitler could not respond by midnight. This message would be distorted by Martin Bormann as a sign of Göring's thirst for power. Hitler originally ordered Göring to surrender all of his positions, but Bormann would convince Hitler to issue an arrest order. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • British bombers attacked Lübeck, Germany. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • George Marshall authorized Dwight Eisenhower to negotiate with the Germans in the Netherlands for a limited ceasefire in order to bring relief to the starving civilians. ww2dbase [Main Article | Event | CPC]
  • The 150 officers and 3,000 men of the 1st Division of the Indian National Army, an anti-British resistance group aided by the Japanese, surrendered to the Allies at Pyu, Burma. Meanwhile, Lieutenant General Heitaro Kimura, despite having been given orders of defend Rangoon, Burma to the death, ignominiously abandoned the city without issuing any orders to the Burma Area army. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC, AC]
  • Prisoners of Sachsenhausen and Ravensbrück Concentration Camps in Germany began to be evacuated by German authorities; some Jews were massacred by SS guards this week as the last massacres of the war. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • British Second Army reaches the Elbe River near Hamburg, Germany. ww2dbase [TH]
  • After sundown, Albert Speer bid his final farewell to Adolf Hitler. He admitted to Hitler that he had sabotaged Hitler's scorched earth policies, and Hitler forgave him for disobeying the order. Speer toured the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany for the last time before leaving for Hamburg, Germany. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • Folke Bernadotte met Heinrich Himmler at the SS Hohenlychen sanatorium in Lychen, Germany for the last time. During this meeting, Bernadotte secured the release of some Scandinavian Jews, but refused to help seek a separate peace between Germany and the Western Allies. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Theodor Morell departed Berlin, Germany by aircraft. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • US Fifth and British Eighth Armies reached the Po River north of Bologna, Italy. British Eighth Army captured Ferrara in the process, while the US Fifth Army captured La Spezia. Allied troops captured Bondeno, Italy. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH, CPC]
  • In Italy, remnants German 148th Infantry Division began advancing from the Genoa area toward Parma. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 23 Apr 1945
Telegram taken from Hitler’s bunker in Berlin, Germany addressed to Hitler from Göring dated 23 Apr 1945. According to Speer, Bormann used this telegram to finish turning Hitler against Göring.CBS war correspondent Tim Leimert and USMC pilot 1st Lt Herbert Groff, Yontan Airfield, Okinawa, Japan, 23 Apr 1945
23 Apr 1946

  • Alexander Novikov was tortured under imprisonment. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United States
  • USS Brill departed San Diego, California, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
23 Apr 1947
  • The battleship HMS Warspite was wrecked on the rocks of Mounts Bay, Cornwall, England, United Kingdom, while being towed to the breakers. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
United States
  • USS Lexington was decommissioned at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | DS]
23 Apr 1948
  • ShCh-307 was decommissioned from service. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 23 Apr 1948
USS Essex, USS Ticonderoga, USS Yorktown, USS Lexington, USS Bunker Hill, and and USS Bon Homme Richard at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Washington, United States, 23 Apr 1948; note several battleships in background at left
23 Apr 1949

  • Chinese communist forces captured Nanjing, China and announced the end of the Nationalist Party government. ww2dbase [CPC]
Photo(s) dated 23 Apr 1949
British-Malayan policemen talking to a civilian, Malaya, 23 Apr 1949; note Sten gun
23 Apr 1951
  • USS Caiman ceased her duty as a reserve training ship. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
23 Apr 1962
  • Submarine Simpson entered Chilean Navy service. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
23 Apr 2005

  • The Maritime History and Science Museum opened in Kure, Japan. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis

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Famous WW2 Quote
"With Germany arming at breakneck speed, England lost in a pacifist dream, France corrupt and torn by dissension, America remote and indifferent... do you not tremble for your children?"

Winston Churchill, 1935