April 29, 2018




Adolf Hitler dictated his last will and testament designating Karl Dönitz as his successor.  Hitler had previously expelled Himmler from the Nazi party and was removed from all his state offices for Himmler's attempt at negotiating peace with the Allies without Hitler's permission.

At the Royal palace in Caserta,Italy German officers signed the terms of surrender of German forces in Italy. Hostilities ceased at noon on May 2. The agreement covered between 600,000 and 900,000 soldiers along the Italian Front, including troops in sections of Austria. The first Allied war crimes trial took place in the palace in 1945; German general Anton Dostler was sentenced to death and executed nearby, in Aversa. (Note: From October 1943 the royal palace served as the Allied Force Headquarters in the Mediterranean area. During World War II the soldiers of the US Fifth Army recovered here in a "rest centre".)

Mussolini and Petacci were hung upside down.  On April 27, 1945 Mussolini  was captured near the village of Dongo (on the northwestern shore of Lake Como). Italian partisans arrested him and put him in the local barracks overnight, but transferred him the next day to the farmhouse of a local peasant family, in case fascist supporters tried to rescue him.  Historical records provide varying opinions on who actually gave the initial order to execute Mussolini, and there are conflicting versions of the events leading up to the execution. On the evening of April 28,  the bodies of Mussolini, his mistress Clara Petacci, and the other executed fascists were loaded onto a van and trucked south to Milan. Upon arriving in the city in the early hours of April 29, their bodies were dumped on the ground in Piazzale Loreto, a suburban square near the main railway station. (The location was deliberately chosen because in August 1944, fifteen partisans were executed there in retaliation for partisan attacks and Allied bombing raids, and the fascists left their bodies there on public display. At that time, it was reported that Mussolini said "for the blood of Piazzale Loreto, we shall pay dearly".)  By 9:00 a.m. a large crowded had gathered and pelted the corpses with vegetables, spat at, urinated on, shot at and kicked.  Mussolini's face was disfigured by beatings.  An American eye witness described the crowd as "sinister, depraved, out of control".  The bodies were hoisted up on to the metal girder framework of a half-built Standard Oil service station, and hung upside down on meat hooks.

German submarines were attached and sunk:   U-286 was attacked and sunk by gunfire from the British frigates HMS Loch Insh, HMS Anguilla, and HMS Cotton in the Barents Sea:  U-307 was attacked and sunk by depth charges in the Barents Sea near Murmansk, Russia, by the British Loch class frigate HMS Loch Insh; U-1017 was attacked and sunk by depth charges and a FIDO homing torpedo dropped by a RAF Liberator bomber of 120 Squadron on 29 April 1945 in the North Atlantic, NW of Ireland.


Aleksander Wolszczan (dob) was a Polish astronomer. He was the co-discoverer of the first extrasolar planets and pulsar planets. Working with Dale Frail, Wolszczan carried out astronomical observations from the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico that led them to the discovery of the pulsar PSR B1257+12 in 1990.  The discovery was praised as "the greatest discovery by a Polish astronomer since Copernicus."

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