4 Apr 1884

  • Isoroku Yamamoto was born as Isoroku Takano. His surname would not change from Takano to Yamamoto until 1916 when he was adopted into the Yamamoto family. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
4 Apr 1889
4 Apr 1916

  • Rear Admiral Tsuneha Sano was named the chief of staff of Chinkai Guard District in southern Korea. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]

4 Apr 1916 Interactive Map

4 Apr 1917

United States
  • USS Arizona arrived at Norfolk, Virginia, United States and joined US Navy Battleship Division 8. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]

4 Apr 1917 Interactive Map

4 Apr 1918
  • Three armed men wearing Russian uniforms entered the Japanese shipping office in Vladivostok, Russia and demanded money. When the staff refused the raiders opened fire wounding three clerks, one of them fatally. ww2dbase [AC]
4 Apr 1926

  • The keel of Suffren was laid down at the Arsenal de Brest in France. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]

4 Apr 1926 Interactive Map

4 Apr 1927

  • Bai Chongxi purged communists from the Nationalist Chinese garrison in Shanghai, China and a number of labor leaders in the city; many of them were executed. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
4 Apr 1928

Photo(s) dated 4 Apr 1928
Curtiss F6C fighters and Martin T3M torpedo bombers on Lexington
4 Apr 1929

  • German engineer Karl Benz, generally regarded as the inventor of the gasoline-powered automobile, died at home in Ladenburg, Germany. ww2dbase [AC]

4 Apr 1929 Interactive Map

4 Apr 1932

Photo(s) dated 4 Apr 1932
Adolf Hitler speaking at the Berliner Schloss at Lustgarten during the German Presidental Election of 1932, Berlin, Germany, 4 Apr 1932; note Goebbels next to Hitler
4 Apr 1933
  • Germany began to exclude Jewish lawyers. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • In Germany, Works' Councils (Betriebsträte) were outlawed. They were replaced by "Trust Councils" (Vertrauensträte) elected by politically reliable (e.g. Nazi) candidates drawn up by works managers. ww2dbase [AC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Portland was first Navy ship to arrive at the crash site of the Navy airship USS Akron ww2dbase [Main Article | Event | DS]
  • Konrad Adenauer, the future post war Chancellor of West Germany, was removed by the Nazi Party from his post as Mayor of Köln (Cologne), Germany. Penniless, he sought sanctuary in the Benedictine monastery at the Maria Laach Abbey near Andernach, Germany. ww2dbase [AC]

4 Apr 1933 Interactive Map

4 Apr 1936

Photo(s) dated 4 Apr 1936
Launching of carrier Yorktown, Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, Newport News, Virginia, United States, 4 Apr 1936Eleanor Roosevelt at the launching ceremony of carrier Yorktown, Newport News, Virginia, United States, 4 Apr 1936

4 Apr 1936 Interactive Map

4 Apr 1938

  • While off Guangdong Province, China, Kaga's aircraft which had detached from the carrier in late 1937 were reassigned back to her. ww2dbase [Main Article | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • At 2100 hours, Chinese troops mounted attacks against Japanese positions in Tai'erzhuang, Shandong Province, China, with support from field guns. Japanese attempts to reinforce the positions were tied down by carefully planned Chinese maneuvers. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
4 Apr 1939
  • USS Astoria arrived at Honolulu, US Territory of Hawaii. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Tatsuta Maru arrived at Honolulu, US Territory of Hawaii. ww2dbase [Main Article | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • Spanish Nationalist air ace Garcia Morato (with 40 kills during the Civil War) was killed when his Fiat CR32 Chirri aircraft crashed, due to engine failure, whilst performing for a newsreel take. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Japanese troops occupied the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea. They were to be declared a Japanese protectorate. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Curtiss-Wright test pilot Bob Fausel, flying the CW-21 prototype fighter, claimed one Japanese bomber shot down over China. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Slovakia and Hungary signed a peace treaty, ending the Slovak-Hungarian War (Little War). ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
4 Apr 1940
  • Aktion 14 F 13 began; it was the first documented proof that the Nazi German regime conducted mass extermination of the handicapped in concentration camps. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • British newspapers reported concentrations of troops in German ports. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British Vice Admiral Max Horton ordered British submarine HMS Snapper to depart Harwich naval base for the Skagerrak between Denmark and Norway and French submarines Amazone and Antiope (under British command) to depart Harwich for the Frisian Islands and Heligoland. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Winston Churchill traveled to Paris, France to persuade the French on a plan to mine Norwegian waters. Unable to convince French leadership to mine the Rhine River at the same time, Churchill decided that the British would mine Norwegian waters without French cooperation. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The Netherlands declared itself in a state of siege. ww2dbase [TH]
4 Apr 1941
  • German raider Thor and British armed merchant cruiser Voltaire engaged in a 55-minute gun duel 900 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands at the distance of 9 kilometers. Voltaire was sunk, killing 74; Thor picked up 195 survivors. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German submarines continued their attack on Allied convoy SC-26 250 miles southwest of Iceland, which was initially intercepted two days prior. Between 0000 and 0344 hours, U-94 and U-98 sank three ships; 36 were killed and 70 survived. At 1956 hours, U-76 sank Athenic; the entire crew of 40 were rescued. Destroyer HMS Wolverine and sloop HMS Scarborough were able to locate U-76 and launched depth charges, damaging the submarine. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Hitler promised ambassador Matsuoka that in case of war between US and Japan, Germany would lend assistance. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The anti-British propaganda film Ohm Kruger was released. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Axis troops captured Benghazi, Libya, which was evacuated by British forces on the previous day. They pushed further east to the Green Mountain, where they were held by 3 companies of the Australian 9th Division. In the desert to the south, while German 5th Light Division was held in place waiting for a resupply of fuel, the British did not realize the German offensive through the desert had paused and continued to fall back. From the air, German Luftwaffe aircraft destroyed a convoy of 21 trucks, destroying 1,600 gallons of gasoline. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • George Patton was promoted to the temporary rank of major general. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German submarine U-97 sank British ship Conus 500 miles southwest of Iceland at 2006 hours, killing 59. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-124 sank British ship Marlene 75 miles west of Freetown, Sierra Leone, British West Africa; 13 were killed, 47 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British mooring vessel HMS Buffalo wondered into a minefield laid by friendly vessels, struck a mine, and sank off Singapore, killing 32. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Italian bombers sank Greek torpedo boat Proussa and Greek freighter Sussanna off Corfu, Greece. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German bombers sank Free French sloops Suippe and Conquerant at Falmouth, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [CPC]
Italian Eritrea
  • After securing Asmara, Eritrea, Italian East Africa, Indian 5th Division moved east toward Massawa while Indian 4th Division was withdrawn from the region to reinforce Libya where a renewed Axis offensive was underway. 6 German and 7 Italian freighters were scuttled at Massawa to prevent Allied capture, while British RAF aircraft sank Italian torpedo boat Acerbi in the harbor. In Abyssinia, Italian troops were evacuated out of Addis Ababa as British 11th African Division advanced. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
4 Apr 1942
  • USS Grampus completed her first war patrol. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Japanese aircraft bombed areas of Mandalay, Burma, killing more than 2,000, most of whom were civilians. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
  • German submarine U-505 sank Dutch ship Alphacca 200 miles off Ivory Coast, French West Africa at 2329 hours; 15 were killed, 57 survived. On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, at 2335 hours, U-154 sank Comol Rico; 3 were killed, 39 survived. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German Type IXC U-Boat U-505 torpedoed and sunk the Dutch freighter Alphacca off the French Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire). 15 were killed and 52 were rescued. ww2dbase [Main Article | Event | DS]
Australian New Guinea
  • In the morning, Australian pilot John Jackson alone flew over Lae on the northern coast of New Guinea and made a strafing run. In the afternoon, he led a group in attacking the same location, destroying several Japanese aircraft on the ground. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Indian Ocean
  • As Japanese carriers sailed toward Ceylon, the fleet was discovered by a Canadian PBY Catalina aircraft 400 miles south of the island. A Zero fighter from carrier Hiryu shot down the Catalina aircraft (3 killed, several captured) but not until they radioed in the fleet's location. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Prince Hiroyasu was awarded the Order of the Golden Kite 1st Class. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Prince Kotohito was awarded Order of the Golden Kite. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Greek submarine Glavkos was sunk by Axis aircraft at Malta. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Douglas MacArthur, now relocated to Australia per Franklin Roosevelt's orders, radioed Jonathan Wainwright, saying that "under no conditions should Bataan be surrendered; any action is preferable to capitulation". Meanwhile, at Bataan in the Philippine Islands, Japanese troops moved toward Mount Samat, threatening to take this dominant position. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Gneisenau arrived at Gotenhafen (Gdynia), occupied Poland. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • Soviet destroyer Sovershenny was destroyed by German shelling at Sevastopol, Russia. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • 62 Luftwaffe Stuka dive bombers and 70 other bombers escorted by 59 Bf 109 fighters attacked Soviet fleet at Kronstadt near Leningrad, Russia in the afternoon, damaging battleships October Revolution and Petropavlovsk, cruisers Maxim Gorky and Kirov, and destroyers Silny and Grozyashchi. After dark, He 111 bombers, some of which had participated in the Kronstadt attack in the afternoon, bombed Leningrad. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United States
  • German submarine U-552 sank US tanker Byron D. Benson 16 kilometers east of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, United States at 2257 hours local time (recorded in U-552 logs as at 0447 hours on 5 Apr 1942, German time), killing 10 of 38. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC, TH]
  • President Franklin Roosevelt's special envoy Harry Hopkins and General George Marshall departed Baltimore, Maryland, United States by plane to lay the US strategic war plans, that had already been approved by the President, before the British War Cabinet and Chiefs-of Staff Committee. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
Photo(s) dated 4 Apr 1942
USS Wasp and USS Washington at Scapa Flow, Scotland, United Kingdom, 4 Apr 1942

4 Apr 1942 Interactive Map

4 Apr 1943
  • I-168 transferred men from Kiska to Attu in the Aleutian Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • USS Pollack damaged a Japanese freighter in the Marshall Islands and Gilbert Islands area with two of two torpedoes fired. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Tunny set sail for McLaughlin Bank, Caroline Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • RAF bombers conducted a raid on Kiel, Germany during the night. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Soviet troops launched the Taman Offensive Operation in an attempt to push the Germans out of the Taman Peninsula in the Caucasus region of southern Russia. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • No. 254 Squadron of Coastal Command achieved its first success against enemy shipping using torpedo carrying Beaufighter aircraft. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
  • The final elements of US Marine Aircraft Group 21 arrived at Banika Island, Russell Islands. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Unable to do it himself, George Patton ordered Omar Bradley to fire Orlando Ward for Ward's failures at Kasserine Pass, Tunisia. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Grayback arrived at Brisbane, Australia, ending her sixth war patrol. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Australian New Guinea
  • Isoroku Yamamoto and Ryunosuke Kusaka met at Rabaul, New Britain to discuss the details of the I-Go offensive. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
British Western Pacific Territories
  • US Marine Corps squadron VMF-124, equipped with F4U fighters, was assigned to Henderson Field on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Satoru Anabuki, flying Ki-43 fighter "Fubuki", shot down two Hurricane fighters over Dohazari, India (now Bangladesh), increasing his score to 31. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The only large-scale prisoner of war escape of the Pacific War took place at the Davao Penal Colony, Mindanao, Philippines. It was led by US Army Air Forces Captain William Dyess. ww2dbase [Main Article | Event | Facility | CPC]
  • The German SS Central Construction Office reported to Auschwitz Concentration Camp that Crematorium V had been completed in Auschwitz II-Birkenau, and its administration was now turned over to the camp administration. According to the firm that built the crematorium, J. A. Topf und Söhne, it had the capacity to cremate 768 bodies each day. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
United States
  • USS S-44 arrived at Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • Submarine Cero was launched at Groton, Connecticut, United States, sponsored by Mrs. D. E. Barbey. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
US Pacific Islands
  • US Navy 50th Construction Battalion arrived at Midway Atoll to relieve the 5th Construction Battalion. It was to continue the work to lengthen the airstrips and to build oil storage tanks on Sand Island. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 4 Apr 1943
USS Iowa off Bayonne, New Jersey, United States, 4 Apr 1943Launching of submarine Cero, Groton, Connecticut, United States, 4 Apr 1943Launching of the Light Carrier Cabot, 4 Apr 1943, Camden, New Jersey, United States.

4 Apr 1943 Interactive Map

4 Apr 1944
  • Charles De Gaulle was appointed head of Free French military forces. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • USS Puffer arrived at Fremantle, Australia, ending her third war patrol. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
British Western Pacific Territories
  • USS Columbia departed Port Purvis, Nggela Islands (Florida Islands), Solomon Islands for a scheduled overhaul in San Francisco, California, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Rock departed Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii for her second war patrol. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • USS Wasp arrived at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Barbers Point Naval Air Station: Part of Air Group 14 arrived on board. ww2dbase [Main Article | DS]
  • On the Imphal front in India the Japanese 51st Regiment of 15th Division commenced attacks on 123rd Indian Brigade's positions, while the Japanese 31st Division attacked the village of Kohima. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
Pacific Ocean
  • USS Hoe departed Fremantle, Australia for her fourth war patrol in the South China Sea. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • A transport from two hospitals and one psychiatric institution in Trieste, Italy arrived at Auschwitz Concentration Camp in occupied Poland; 62 of the about 300 patients died en route, while another 103 were gassed upon arrival. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • In Poland, the first Allied aerial photographs were taken of Auschwitz I camp, the town of Auschwitz (known as Oswiecim in Polish), the I. G. Farben factories, and the Auschwitz III camp complex (also known as Monowitz). ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • Allied convoy JW-58 arrived at the Kola Inlet near Murmansk, Russia. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Singapore Ukraine
  • German Armeegruppe Mitte counterattacked to reach those units surrounded for two weeks near Kovel, in the Pripet marsh area of Ukraine. ww2dbase [TH]
  • The German Armeegruppe Süd was renamed Armeegruppe Nordukraine. ww2dbase [CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Going against precedence, British Foreign Office banned foreign embassies located in Britain from sending coded messages, and stated that diplomatic pouches were subject to censorship, with the exception of British allies. ww2dbase [TH]
United States
  • Kyne was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Steamer Bay was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Franklin Roosevelt's doctor noted the US President's high blood pressure and prescribed rest; Roosevelt would soon depart for Bernard Baruch's home in South Carolina, United States for a vacation. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The US Twentieth Air Force was established in Washington DC, United States for deployment to India with forward bases in China. ww2dbase [AC]
Photo(s) dated 4 Apr 1944
Sergeant John Cark and Staff Sergeant Ford Shaw of E Company, 25th Combat Team, US Army 93rd Division cleaning their rifles alongside the East West Trail, Bougainville, Solomon Islands, 4 Apr 1944USAAF intelligence aerial photograph of the Auschwitz I main camp at Oświęcim, Poland taken 4 Apr 1944. This is a scan of an enlarged print taken from the original negative and captioned by the CIA in 1978.B-24D Liberator “Angie the Ox” of the 515th Bomb Squadron over the smoking rail yards in Bucharest, Romania, Apr 4 1944

4 Apr 1944 Interactive Map

4 Apr 1945
  • German troops counterattacked Soviet forces near Moravska-Ostrava and Nitra in Czechoslovakia. Meanwhile, Soviet troops entered Bratislava, Czechoslovakia. At Kosice in the Slovak Republic, the Soviet Union set up a provisional Czechoslovakian government. ww2dbase [TH]
  • British Second Army captured Osnabrück, Germany. ww2dbase [TH]
  • On the fourth day of the Soviet artillery bombardment, Königsberg, East Prussia, Germany lost electric power. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Eduard Schallmoser, flying a Me 262 jet fighter, scored the first kill of German Jagdverband 44. The kill was accidental, however, as he unintentionally rammed an American P-38 fighter in the tail. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • General Dwight Eisenhower transferred the US 9th Army from Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery's 21st Army Group to General Omar Bradley's 12th Army Group, thus making Bradley the first American general to command four field armies simultaneously. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
  • German pilot Unteroffzier Eduard Schallmoser destroyed a P-38 fighter by ramming its tail. He was only able to fly his damaged fighter partly home before he had to bail out. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • In Germany, US Third Army eliminated resistance in Kassel, and captured Suhl and Gotha. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Troops of US 89th Infantry Division captured Ohrdruf Concentration Camp in Germany, which was a satellite of Buchenwald Concentration Camp. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • The US 9th Army crossed the Weser River to commence a rapid advance to reach the Elbe River in Germany. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Ferdinand Schörner was promoted to the rank of field marshal. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Barbers Point Naval Air Station: Task Force 19.9.9, comprised of Scouting Squadron 46 (VS-46), Scouting Squadron 53 (VS-53), and Scouting Squadron 69 (VS-69) arrived on board. All major construction on the Inshore Patrol Squadron area completed, including parking mat, nose hangar, enlisted barracks, mess hall, BOQ's, and shop space. Carrier Air Group 31 (CVG-31) on board. ww2dbase [Main Article | DS]
  • Soviet 2nd and 3rd Ukrainian Fronts completed the capture of Hungary. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • Naval mines in the Inland Sea, Japan sank three Japanese ships. ww2dbase [CPC]
Pacific Ocean
  • USS Gabilan and her wolfpack mates detected Japanese cruiser Isuzu in the South China Sea and gave chase. She sank one of the escorting gunboats with her deck gun. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Sterlet arrived at Midway, ending her third war patrol. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • USAAF A-20 aircraft based in the Philippine Islands attacked factories and rail marshalling yards at Shinchiku (now Hsinchu), Taiwan. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Six B-25 bombers of 498th Bombardment Squadron and six B-25 bombers of 500th Bombardment Squadron, both of USAAF 345th Bombardment Group, took off from San Marcelino in western Luzon island, Philippines to attack Mako (now Magong or Makung) harbor, Pescadores Islands in the Taiwan Strait. The attack commenced at 1430 hours, sinking a 2,000-ton tanker and the 2,500-ton freighter Horei Maru. 500th Bombardment Squadron lost one bomber to anti-aircraft fire. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United States
  • USS Alabama departed California, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • US Marine Corps Commandant, Lieutenant General Alexander A. Vandegrift, was promoted to the rank of general, and thus became the first Marine officer on active service to attain four-star rank. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
Photo(s) dated 4 Apr 1945
Japanese-American troops ran for cover as a German shelling was starting, Italy, 4 Apr 1945Australian Privates Leon Ravet of Parramatta and Bernard Kentwell on patrol with Owen Machine Carbines, New Britain. 4 April 1945Map depicting the Allied encirclement of the Ruhr region, 29 Mar-4 Apr 1945American ships unloading supplies on the beach of Okinawa, Japan, 4 Apr 1945
See all photos dated 4 Apr 1945

4 Apr 1945 Interactive Map

4 Apr 1946
  • SMERSH agents arrested former Soviet Aviation Industry Commissar Aleksei Shakhurin. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • USS S-35 was sunk as a target off the Hawaiian Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
4 Apr 1949
  • The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was formed. ww2dbase [CPC]
4 Apr 1952

United States
  • Ticonderoga was decommissioned at New York Naval Shipyard, New York, United States for modernization and conversion work. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]

4 Apr 1952 Interactive Map

4 Apr 1955

United Kingdom
  • Winston Churchill held what was to become his last formal dinner at 10 Downing Street, London, England, United Kingdom. His guests included Queen Elizabeth II, her consort Prince Philip, and many high government officials. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 4 Apr 1955
Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Clementine Churchill greeting Queen Elizabeth II as she arrives for dinner at 10 Downing Street, London, England, United Kingdom, April 4, 1955. Churchill resigned the following day

4 Apr 1955 Interactive Map

4 Apr 1963

United States
  • USS Wasp arrived at Boston, Massachusetts, United States after participating in fleet exercises off Puerto Rico. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
4 Apr 1984
  • Maximilian Fretter-Pico passed away. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
4 Apr 1985

United States
  • The US Congress promoted James Doolittle to the rank of general in the US Air Force Reserve. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]

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
"We no longer demand anything, we want war."

Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Foreign Minister, Aug 1939