7 heroic paratroopers fought their last fight in the Orthodox Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius in Prague. The betrayal of Karel Curda revealed their hideout. They faced multiple attacks and were heavily outnumbered, yet fought to the end.
The assassination, codenamed Operation Anthropoid, was carried out by soldiers of the Czechoslovak army-in-exile after preparation and training by the British Special Operations Executive and with the approval of the Czechoslovak government-in-exile. The Czechoslovaks undertook the operation to help confer legitimacy on Edvard Benes's government-in-exile in London, as well as for retribution for Heydrich's brutal rule.
On 27 May 1942, as Heydrich's open-top Mercedes limousine slowed to round a hairpin bend in Prague, Gabcik - armed with a Sten sub-machine gun - leapt in front of the car and pulled the trigger. The gun jammed.
Heydrich ordered his driver to halt and drew his pistol. Kubis threw a bomb, which exploded near the car, and fled. Heydrich, wounded and in shock, pursued his attackers for several metres before returning to the car and collapsing.
It initially seemed the attempt to kill Heydrich had failed. But he died in Prague's Bulovka hospital eight days later, reportedly from septicaemia from the shrapnel.
The Germans were unable to locate the attackers until Karel Curda of the "Out Distance" sabotage group turned himself in to the Gestapo and gave them the names of the team's local contacts for the bounty of one million Reichsmarks.
Kubis, Gabcik and Valcik hid for three weeks after the assassination before they were betrayed. On 18 June 1942, they were surrounded in the crypt of a church. For several hours, they and four comrades held off an assault by over 700 Waffen SS and Gestapo troops, who ordered the Prague Fire Brigade to flood the crypt.
Some were eventually killed in the battle, and the rest took their own lives.
Marie Moravcova was a Czech resistance fighter who, together with other members of the Moravec family, significantly helped the paratroopers in the assassination. She committed suicide by taking cyanide during her arrest by the Gestapo.
The assassination of Reinhard Heydrich and the events associated with it have shown the world that the Czechoslovaks are resisting oppression and tyranny and are determined to fight. A brave act that cost the highest price.
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12 Italian frogmen swam 5 kilometers from Algeciras, Spain to Gibraltar and planted limpet mines on British merchant ships; the resulting explosions would sink the ships Meta, Shuma, and Baron Douglas and would damage the ship Empire Snipe.
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Soviet fighter pilot Mikhail Baranov of the 183rd Air Regiment leading a flight of four Yak-1 aircraft over Stalingrad, Russia ran headlong into a formation of 25 Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighters and took them on, shooting down three before running out of ammunition. Then skilfully manoeuvring his aircraft on to the tail of a fourth Bf 109 fighter, he closed in and cut off the fin of the enemy fighter with his propeller, afterwards making a successful forced landing.