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26 Mar 1945

  • In Germany, US Third Army captured Darmstadt and reached Main, allowing the linking up with US Seventh Army near Worms. On the banks of the Rhine River the British Royal Corps of Engineers completed the construction of a Class 9 bridge "Waterloo Bridge" at 0100 hours and a Class 15 bridge "Lambeth Bridge" at 0830 hours. Meanwhile the construction of an even larger Class 40 bridge "London Bridge" continued and was completed by midnight. ww2dbase [Crossing the Rhine | TH, AC]
  • Nazi German official Martin Bormann called for German citizens to become "Werewolf" guerillas. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • General George Patton dispatched the 300-strong Task Force Baum to liberate prisoner of war camp OFLAG XIII-B near Hammelburg, Germany, where his son-in-law John Waters was imprisoned. 32 men were killed and about 200 were captured as the mission resulted in a complete failure. It became another controversy in Patton's military career, in which he was accused of risking 300 lives to save a family member. ww2dbase [George Patton | Hammelburg, Mainfranken | AC]
Hawaii Hungary Italy Japan
  • The Japanese mounted the final suicide charge with 200-300 men at Iwo Jima, Japan. ww2dbase [Battle of Iwo Jima | Iwo Jima | CPC]
  • The Fletcher-class destroyer USS Halligan was fatally damaged by a mine off Okinawa, Japan. The abandoned hulk drifted aground on Tokashiki Island where she was finished off by Japanese shore batteries on the following day. ww2dbase [Tokashiki, Okinawa | AC]
  • USS Marcus Island arrived in the Kerama Islands southwest of Okinawa, Japan and would remain in the Okinawa area for the next month in support of the invasion. ww2dbase [Marcus Island | Okinawa | CPC]
  • Yoshijiro Umezu rejected the proposal to deliver biological weapons by submarine-borne aircraft on a city on the west coast of the United States due to ethical reasons. Without army support, Operation PX would soon be canceled. ww2dbase [Yoshijiro Umezu | CPC]
  • USS New Mexico shelled Japanese positions on Okinawa, Japan. ww2dbase [New Mexico | Okinawa Campaign | Okinawa | CPC]
  • USS Portland commenced destructive bombardment of Okinawa from the west, all in advance of the landings to take place one week later. Portland would continue this assignment for nearly a month. ww2dbase [Okinawa Campaign | Portland | Okinawa | DS]
  • USS Kimberly was struck by a special attack D3A aircraft; 22 men were lost. ww2dbase [Kimberly | Okinawa Campaign | Okinawa | CPC]
  • As USS St. Louis was conducting a shore bombardment of Okinawa, one torpedo passed ahead of the ship and another behind. ww2dbase [St. Louis | Okinawa Campaign | Okinawa | DS]
Mariana Islands
  • USS Hoe arrived at Saipan, Mariana Islands and ended her eighth and final war patrol. She came alongside of submarine tender USS Fulton. ww2dbase [Hoe | Saipan | CPC]
Pacific Ocean
  • A small scale special attack by aircraft was conducted by the Japanese off Okinawa, Japan, but a large scale tokko campaign was to come in the future. ww2dbase [Okinawa Campaign | CPC]
  • US submarine Balao (SS-285) sank the Japanese army stores ship Shinto Maru No. 1 with gunfire in the Yellow Sea. ww2dbase [Balao | Yellow Sea | HM]
  • Operation Victor II started with US Amphibious Group 8 in headquarters ship USCG Spencer landing 14,000 men of the American division near Cebu in the Philippines. The transport group consisted of four high speed transports, 20 landing ships tank, 11 landing ships medium, 15 landing ships infantry, and two submarine chasers. The mine-sweeping group comprised eight YMS-class minesweepers and the escort group consisted of the destroyers Flusser, Shaw, Conyngham, Smith and Drayton. Fire support was provided by Task Group 74/3 consisting of the cruisers Phoenix, Boise and the Australian HMAS Hobart with destroyers Fletcher, Nicholas, Taylor Jenkins and Abbot. Air support was provided by the 13th USSAF. ww2dbase [Nicholas | Shaw | Philippines Campaign, Phase 2 | Spencer | Cebu City, Cebu | HM]
  • Soviet forces captured Gotenhafen (Gdynia), occupied Poland, including the city's important shipyard and seaport facilities, although much of it were now damaged from sabotage and fighting. The harbor was now also blocked by a the sunken battlecruiser Gneisenau. ww2dbase [East Pomeranian Offensive | Deutsche Werke Gotenhafen | Gdynia, Pomorskie | CPC]
Russia Taiwan United Kingdom
  • Two German V-2 rockets hit Romford, Essex, England, United Kingdom. The first struck Forest Road, destroying 16 buildings and killing 2. The second rocket destroyed one building named "Victory Hut" at Nook Hill. ww2dbase [V-Weapons Campaign | Vergeltungswaffe 2 | Romford, England | CPC]
  • Former British Prime Minister David Lloyd George who led the country during WW1 died of cancer in Ty Newydd, Llanystumdwy, Caernarfonshire, Wales, United Kingdom at the age of 83. ww2dbase [Llanystumdwy, Wales | AC, CPC]
  • Sir Nicholas Cayzer of Britain called for the scrapping of the vast amount of American-built shipping at the end of the war, for otherwise British post-war sea trade would be made uneconomical. ww2dbase [AC]
  • The 362-ton Dutch motor merchant Pacific was torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-399 four miles south west of the Lizard peninsula, Cornwall, south west England, United Kingdom while on route to Penryn, Wales, United Kingdom from Maryport, England. She was carrying 350 tons of coal. Five of the ten crewmen on board were killed. ww2dbase [Conclusion of the Battle of the Atlantic | Helston, England | HM]
United States Photo(s) dated 26 Mar 1945
British Achilles tank destroyer on the east bank of the Rhine River, 26 Mar 1945; note abandoned gliders in backgroundCrewmen hoisting one of USS MiamiBritish Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery with the men of 79th Armoured Division, 25 Mar 1945. General Miles Dempsey is at left.During their tour of the assault on the Rhine, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery stopped their Jeeps to allow troops to pass in troop carriers, 26 Mar 1945.
See all photos dated 26 Mar 1945

26 Mar 1945 Interactive Map

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

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Famous WW2 Quote
"I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God, our forces stand again on Philippine soil."

General Douglas MacArthur at Leyte, 17 Oct 1944

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