75 Years Ago
19: Hitler orders that any retreats of divisions or larger units must be approved by him.75 Years Ago
20: The Red Army advances into East Prussia. Germans renew the retreat.
: Franklin D. Roosevelt is sworn in for a fourth term as U.S. President; Harry Truman is sworn in as Vice President.
25: The American navy bombards Iwo Jima in preparation for an invasion.
30: The Malta Conference (1945) began with Winston Churchill meeting with the Combined Chiefs of Staff on the Island of Malta in the Mediterranean to plan the end of WWII in both Theaters, and to discuss the ramifications of the Soviets now controlling most of Eastern Europe. President Franklin D. Roosevelt would join the Conference for one day on 2 February 1945; both would fly to Yalta on 3 February for the Yalta Conference with Stalin.
31: The Red Army crosses the Oder River into Germany and are now less than 50 miles from Berlin.
: A second invasion on Luzon by Americans lands on the west coast.
1: Ecuador declares war on Germany and Japan.
2: Naval docks at Singapore are destroyed by B-29 attacks.
3: The Battle of Manila (1945) begins: Forces of the U.S. and Philippines enter Manila. The Manila massacre takes place during the fighting.
: Heavy bombing of Berlin.
4: The Yalta Conference of Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin begins; the main subject of their discussions is postwar spheres of influence.
: Belgium is now cleared of all German forces.
9: The Colmar Pocket, the last German foothold west of the Rhine, is eliminated by the French 1st Army.
13/14: The bombing of Dresden takes place; it is firebombed by Allied air forces and large parts of the historic city are destroyed. [Note: the future novelist Kurt Vonnegut was an American POW in Dresden at the time. His novel, Slaughterhouse Five was based on his experiences there during the bombing.]
14: The 1945 Bombing of Prague: American planes bomb the wrong city.