Operation Varsity was a joint American–British airborne operation that
took place in March 1945, towards the end of World War II. It was
planned to aid the British 21st Army Group, under Field Marshal Bernard
Montgomery, in securing a foothold across the River Rhine in western
Germany by landing two airborne divisions on the eastern bank of the
Rhine near the towns of Hamminkeln and Wesel. The operation involved
two airborne divisions from US XVIII Airborne Corps: the British 6th
Airborne Division and the US 17th Airborne Division. Despite some
errors by the airborne forces, the operation was an overall success,
with both divisions landing and capturing a number of bridges across
the Rhine and securing several towns which could have been used by the
enemy to delay the advance of the British ground forces. The two
divisions incurred more than 2,000 casualties, but captured
approximately 3,000 German soldiers in the process. The operation was
the last large–scale Allied airborne operation of World War II, and was
the largest in history.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
King James VI of Scotland acceded to the throne of England and Ireland,
becoming James I of England and unifying the crowns of the three
kingdoms for the first time.
German physician Robert Koch announced the discovery of Mycobacterium
tuberculosis, a bacterium that causes tuberculosis.
The United States Government passed the Tydings-McDuffie Act,
establishing the Commonwealth of the Philippines, a ten-year
transitional government in preparation for full Philippine independence
Dirty War: President Isabel Perón of Argentina was kidnapped and
deposed in a bloodless coup d'état.
The tanker Exxon Valdez spilled more than 10 million U.S. gallons of
oil into Prince William Sound, Alaska, causing one of the most
devastating man-made environmental disasters at sea.
Kosovo War: NATO launched air strikes against Yugoslavia, marking the
first time NATO has attacked a sovereign country.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
A deeply serious and somber prayer or entreaty
Wikiquote quote of the day:
I do not want art for a few, any more than education for a few, or
freedom for a few.
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