Monday, March 25, 2013

March 25, 1945


Allies Push 5 Miles Into
Ruhr on 30-Mile Front
1200 Big Guns, 11,000 Planes, British and U .S. Navies Join in
Mighty Assault on Last Great Barrier Before Berlin; Four
Crossings, Paratroops Join to Form 12-Mile Bridgehead.
PARIS, March 25 (Sunday)—(AP)—
Four Allied armies crossed and broke Germany's vaunted Rhine line on a 30 mile front yesterday, plowing five miles into the flaming Ruhr and the North German plain and today General Eisenhower's forces stood at the threshold of final victory.
Backed by 1200 guns and 11.000 planes, with British and U.S. navies manning
fleets of landing barges, the long-awaited end-the-war offensive across the Rhine in the most massive operation since D-Day last June 6, ripped the historic Rhine barrier wide open.
The British Second Army and parts of the Canadian First Army struck in concert with the Allied First Airborne Army. spilling out on the North German Plain within 290 miles of Berlin, and gouging out a bridgehead of  more than 15 miles
stretching east to Wesel, Northwestern gateway to the Ruhr.
Assault Long Planned
The U.S. Third Army crossing of the Rhine Thursday night was no fluke. It. was planned three months ago for the very place where it occurred.
Lieut, Gen. George S. Patton Jr., got. the go-ahead from the group commander, Lieut. Gen. Omard N. Bradley, at a conference on an air field Tuesday.

Crossing Was
Amazing Task
Newsman Tells How
Three Armies Were
Put Across Rhine
ON THE RHINE, March 24—(AP)—
Fighting the most intricate battle ever planned by American and British soldiers, elements of three Armies were making amazing
progress today after crossing the Rhine by a combination of blood and guts.
To get a ringside view of the greatest co-ordinated attack ever staged on the western front I followed the doughboys and Tommies from their secret assembly areas to the Rhine over moonlit, roads, watched the attack develop from a front line regimental command post, went across the river, and finally took a flight in a cub airplane for a 3000-foot-high seat over the great Rhine for the air drop by thousands of parachutists and glider troops.
I will try to draw into one view the tremendous overall significance of the attack by the ordinary men of Britain and America turned soldier.
There is not a man, American or British, from generals to privates, who does not feel that this is the beginning of the last major battle that will bring the war to a quick end.
It is the first time that this feeling has permeated into the hearts of the always pessimistic GI's who have to do the .fighting.
Everything the Allies, amateurs to begin with, for three
years of war has been thrown into this battle against the most powerful German fighting force left on the western front.
German defeat now means loss of the Ruhr, opening up the gateway to Berlin, an eventual linkup with the Russian Armies and loss of the war for the Germans.
Despite thesestakes, German resistance at, first, was spotty

Navy Blasts
Jap Islands
Battleships, Plant*
Attack Ryukyut,
300 Miles Off Nippon
GUAM. March J5.—
United States battleships bombarded the Ryukyu Islands Friday and Saturday in the closest surface action of the war to the Japanese mainland, while carrier planes of Vice Admiral Marc C. Mitschers Task Force 58 struck co-ordinating blows.
The Navy in a communique disclosed the latest phase of the most extensive carrier task force of the war.
Mitscher's two-way strike  of the Ryukyus, destroying enemy Shipping and smashing airdromes within 300 miles of Japan, was delivered with only a day's interval — likely for refuelling— between it and a heated four-day operation against Southern Japan.
Thus for six out of seven days Mitscher's task force was in action, crippling Nippon's home fleet in inland land Sea hideouts of Japan, cutting deep into the enemy's homebased airforce and neutralizing enemy air bases in the very heart
of the  empire over a stretch of more than 300 miles.

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