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March 31st, 1945 (SATURDAY)

GERMANY: Eisenhower broadcasts to the German armed forces, demanding their surrender.

De Tassigny's French First Army crosses the Rhine near Speyer.

Allied HQ: The Allies are poised for the final attack on Germany. Armies are moving round the Ruhr to link up between Munster and Paderborn; Montgomery's 21st Army Group is heading for Germany's Baltic ports; Patton is about to link up with US First Army at Kassel; the US Seventh Army is advancing on Heidelberg while the First French Army is swinging south to the Swiss border. Allied air supremacy is total; bombing raids have left roads, railways and canal in ruins, while sunken ships clog many harbours.

German LIII A.K., commanded by GL Fritz Bayerlein, with remnants of the 176 Inf. Div., Panzer Lehr Pz. Div., and 3 Pg. Div. attack the US 4 Arm. Div. near Paderborn. They are attempting to breakout of the "Ruhr pocket" and restore freedom of movement for Army Group B which is encircled there. (Jeff Christman)

PACIFIC OCEAN: Japanese submarine I-8 is sunk by US destroyers USS MORRISON (DD-560) and USS STOCKTON (DD-656) 65 miles southeast of Okinawa. (Marc James Small)(220, 221 and 222)

U.S.A.: "The Glass Menagerie" by Tennessee Williams opens on Broadway. (Tony Giuliani)

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