World History 1945 Part 1

About the history of the world in 1945, Tito declares independence for Yugoslavia, Mussolini is captured and Hitler committs suicide.

TWO CENTURIES OF WORLD HISTORY: 1778-1978

1945

* A leftist coalition under Marshal Tito, 54, proclaimed the republic of Yugoslavia.

* With the disappearance of the Japanese threat, fighting broke out in China between Mao's Communists and Chiang's Nationalists.

Mar. 7 Allied armies poured east across the Rhine River at Remagen in northwest Germany.

Apr. 25-June 26 Representatives from 50 nations hammered out the United Nations Charter in San Francisco. This world body would replace the defunct League of Nations.

Apr. 27 The American and Soviet armies linked up for the first time at Torgau on the Elbe River.

Apr. 28-29 Benito Mussolini, 62, was captured trying to flee to Switzerland, summarily court-martialed, and shot, along with his mistress, Clara Petacci. Riddled with nine bullets, his body was dragged to the public square in Milan and strung up feet first to the beams of a gutted gas station. Beside him in similar fashion hung the corpses of other Fascist leaders and the body of Petacci, her skirt discreetly lashed fast about her legs with the belt of a chivalrous partisan. With the fires of revenge in their eyes, the townspeople rammed through a cordon of 300 carabinieri to mutilate the body of the once powerful Il Duce. One man kicked his head in; a woman put five more slugs in his limp body--one for each of her five sons killed in the war. And several other screaming women spread their skirts to urinate on his battered face.

Apr. 30 Adolf Hitler, 56, and his bride of one day Eva Braun committed suicide in each other's arms in an underground bunker beneath the German Chancellery in Berlin. With his empire literally crumbling around him and as Russian troops penetrated the feeble defenses of the German capital and pressed to within a block of the Chancellery itself. Hitler prepared to die. After a brief lunch of spaghetti with a light sauce, the Fuhrer escorted Frau Braun to a cramped 9 ft. by 12 ft. room 50 ft. beneath the streets of Berlin. There on a couch, Adolf Hitler committed his last act of murder as he put a 7.65 Walther revolver to his right temple and pulled the trigger, while Eva Braun bit down on a potassium cyanide capsule. In accordance with Hitler's final instructions, the bodies of the newly-weds were hauled up to the Chancellery garden, deposited in a shell hole, doused with gasoline, and cremated.

May 2 Russian units captured Berlin after a week's siege of the city.

May 7 V-E Day: The armed forces of Germany surrendered to the Allies. The victors carved up the Fatherland into four zones headquartered at jointly occupied Berlin.

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