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 [Main Article | 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 [Main Article | AC]
  • USS Segundo arrived at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii, ending her third war patrol. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • Soviet troops captured the cities of Devecser and Pápa in Hungary, thus nearing the Austrian border. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • Junio Valerio Borghese was made the Chief of the Naval Staff. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • 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 [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS New Mexico shelled Japanese positions on Okinawa, Japan. ww2dbase [Main Article | Event | 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 [Main Article | Event | DS]
  • The Japanese mounted the final suicide charge with 200-300 men at Iwo Jima, Japan. ww2dbase [Main Article | 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 [AC]
  • 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 [Main Article | CPC]
Pacific Ocean
  • US submarine Balao (SS-285) sank the Japanese army stores ship Shinto Maru No. 1 with gunfire in the Yellow Sea. ww2dbase [Main Article | HM]
  • 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 [Main Article | CPC]
  • 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 [Main Article | HM]
  • Soviet forces captured Gotenhafen, Germany (now Gdynia, Poland). ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Boris Shaposhnikov passed away in Moscow, Russia. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Landing ship No. 143 was sunk by US aircraft in the Pescadores Islands in the Taiwan Strait. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
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 [Main Article | Event | 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 [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 [Main Article | HM]
United States
  • USS Ray departed San Francisco, California, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Dragonet departed Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, California, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
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 Miami

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