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A timeline of events in 1942-1943 - History

A timeline of events in 1942-1943 - History


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1942 Singapore Surrenders - The British fortress at Singapore was forced to surrender to the Japanese. The Japanese advanced down through the Malayan pennisula. They crossed onto the island of Singapore on the night of February 7, and forced the more numerous British troops to surrender.1942 Java Sea-A series of battles make up what is called the Battle of Java Sea. In the first engagement, on February 4, the US cruiser Marblehead was attacked from the air repeatedly. Though damaged, the Marblehead managed to limp back to the United States. The cruiser Houston was also hit, and had its aft 8 inch guns knocked out.

On February 27, an Allied task force, led by Dutch Rear Admiral Karel Doorman, sailed to attack the enemy east of Baewen. The force included the Dutch flagship De Ruyter, the British cruiser Exeter, the USS Houston, the Australian cruiser Perth and the Dutch cruiser Java.

The battle began at 1616, with Japanese heavy cruisers under the command of Vice-Admiral Takagi Takeo opening fire on the Houston and the Exeter. Following this, the light cruiser Jintsu led a group of destroyers in an attack on British destroyers. Three British destroyers went down.

A general engagement then ensued between the Allied and Japanese cruisers. When it was over, the Dutch cruisers De Rutyer and Java were sunk, and the Perth and Houston were forced to withdraw.

The USS Langley, the first US carrier, had been converted to a seaplane tender. Along with the freighter Seawitch, the Langley sailed to Java with its cargo, planes and pilots. Unfortunately, on February 27, they were spotted by Japanese reconnaissance planes. Land-based Japanese planes then attacked, and the Langley was so damaged it had to be abandoned. The next day, the Houston and Perth attempted to attack Japanese ships unloading at Banten Bay. They sunk four of them, but then were caught by a large force of Japanese warships. Both Allied warships went down. The same day, the Exeter, the last cruiser of the Allied forces in the area, was sunk by Japanese forces in the Sunda Strait.

1942 Doolittle's Bomber Attacks Tokyo - American bombers, under the command of General Doolittle, scored a major psychological victory when they bombed Japan. Only minor damage was inflicted by the forces of medium bombers that were specially modified to be launched from carriers.1942 Battle of the Coral Sea- The Japanese were advancing toward Australia, with the intention of assaulting Port Moseby. US task forces engaged a Japanese force in the Coral Sea. It was the first battle in which two naval forces engaged without ever coming within shooting distance of each other. Japanese planes managed to sink the American carrier Lexington and damage the Yorktown. The Americans sank a Japanese light-carrier and put two Japanese cruisers out of commission. The Japanese advance was halted.1942 Philippines Surrender - The Japanese caught the bulk of the American air force assigned to protect the Philippines on the ground, despite the fact that the Japanese attack took place many hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor. On December 22, 1941, 100,000 Japanese troops landed on the island of Luzon. Japanese forces converged on the capital of Manila, forcing the defenders to retreat to the Bataan Peninsula and eventually to the island of Corregidor. There, on May 6, American forces surrendered.1942 British Launch 1,000 Aircraft Raid on Cologne- The British launched a 1,000-plane night raid on Cologne. This raid was just one of many night raids visited on German cities.1942 Battle of Midway - The Japanese planned to attack the island of Midway, expanding their hold on the Central Pacific. American intelligence intercepted Japanese plans and knew of the impending Japanese attack. The Americans sent their entire carrier force, including the recently damaged "Yorktown," to intercept the Japanese force. The Americans succeeded in sinking four Japanese carriers, losing only the "Yorktown." This was the turning point in the Pacific War.1942 Guadalcanal– Savo Island - The first American offensive of the war was the landing on Guadalcanal. The subsequent attempt to hold the island resulted in a number of sea battles with the Japanese. The first was the Battle of Savo Island, on August 9, 1942. The Japanese, led by Admiral Mikawa, sent a task force of five heavy cruisers, two light cruisers and a destroyer to attack the American forces off the island. The
Allies dispatched five heavy cruisers and a destroyer to guard the cruiser. The American forces were divided into two groups, and totally unaware of the approach of the Japanese ships. The battle began when Japanese float planes flying unmolested above the American cruisers released flares. Within moments, Japanese guns had set the HMAS Canberra on fire. Moments later, the USS Chicago was similarly enveloped. Soon the Japanese turned their attention to the northern group, and the Astoria, Quincy and Vincensses were soon out of action and ablaze. Thus, in the worse surface warfare defeat in US Navy history, the Americans and Australians lost five cruisers without inflicting significant casualties on the enemy.
1942 Raid on Dieppe - The Raid on Dieppe took place on August 19, 1942. Its mission was to test German coastal defenses. It was carried out primarily by Canadian troops. The raid turned into one of the greatest Allied fiascoes of the war. The element of surprised was completely lost, and the air force was unable to provide sufficient air support. Of the 4,963 Canadians who took part, 3,367 were killed wounded or taken prisoner.1942 Guadalcanal– Eastern Solomons - The Japanese decided to launch a major reinforcement of Guadalcanal, and sent three carriers, battleships, numerous cruisers and destroyers to support reinforcements. The American carriers were sent to block the move. On August 24, the Ryujo, an escort carrier which was being used as bait ahead of the main carrier force, was spotted, and the Enterprise and Saratoga launched aircraft to attack it. By the time the main enemy force had been spotted, it was impossible to contact the planes that had been sent to attack the decoy. The aircraft went on to sink the Ryujo.

The main Japanese carrier force then attacked the Enterprise, which was hit, but whose damaged was controlled. Pilots from the Saratoga responded and sank a Japanese seaplane tender.

1942 German Troops Reach Stalingrad - German troops reached the Russian city of Stalingrad, on the Volga, and laid seige to it. German troops advanced on Stalingrad and broke through Russian lines, but did not succeed in taking the city. Hitler would allow no withdrawal from Stalingrad, and the Russian troops gradually wore down the Germans.1942 Guadalcanal– Cape Esperance - The US force of two heavy and two light cruisers and five destroyers attacked the Tokyo Express in an attempt to reinforce Guadalcanal. In the battle, the US force bested the Japanese one, sinking one destroyer and one cruiser and heavily damaging a second cruiser.1942 British Are Victorious at El Alamein- German forces, under the command of Rommel, met the British forces, under the command of General Montgomery at El Alamein. Montgomery had a two-to-one advantage in tanks, and was victorious. The victory in El Alamain eliminated the German threat to the Suez Canal and the Middle East.1942 Guadalcanal– Battle Of Santa Cruz Islands - On October 26, US and Japanese carriers once again exchanged blows. The Enterprise and Hornet's planes successfully disabled the light carrier Zuiho and put the fleet carrier Shokaku out of the war for nine months. However, the carrier Hornet was sunk by Japanese planes.1942 Operation Torch - The invasion of North Africa, in what was named "Operation Torch," was designed to encircle German troops stationed there. American troops went ashore in French North Africa with limited opposition. Soon after the landings, French troops defected to the American side. American and British troops advanced towards Tunisia, where they met stiff German opposition.1942 Japanese Americans Interned - On February 20, President Roosevelt issued a Presidential order to intern Japanese-American residents of the West Coast. The Japanese-Americans, many born US citizens, were not accused of any crimes; they were simply ordered out of their homes and interned in camps in the desert. A total of 120,000 Japanese-Americans were so treated.1942 Nuclear Chain Reaction - (12/2/42) For the first time, a nuclear chain reaction was achieved in an atomic pile. The chain reaction occurred at the University of Chicago, under the direction of Enrico Fermi.

1943

1943 Casablanca Conference - A conference was held in Casablanca, in French Morocco, January 14 - 24, between Roosevelt and Churchill and their respective staffs. At the conference, it was announced that the war would be fought until there was an unconditional surrender. Agreement, in principle, was reached on the opening of a second front.
1943 German Troops Surrender at Stalingrad - The starving German troops at Stalingrad surrendered, after being surrounded since November. Over 90,000 German troops died of starvation or exposure, while close to 100,000 died in battle during the final month. The surrender had been expressly forbidden by Hitler. Field Marshal von Paulus felt he had no choice but to surrender his 100,000 starving troops.
1943 Daylight Bombing of Germany -US forces began daylight bombing of targets in Germany. The first attacks were against German naval targets, but a few days later, the US launched its first air raid against Berlin.
1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising - The remaining Jews in the Warsaw ghetto began an armed uprising against the Nazis. The Jews, numbering just 60,000– down from the half a million in the ghetto a year before– knew that those being taken away were going to Auschwitz to be murdered.

The uprising lasted from April 19 to May 16. The Nazis were able to overcome the vastly outnumbered and poorly armed Jewish resistance fighters.

1943 Battle of Kursk- The largest tank battle in history took place at Kursk. The Germans planned a counter-offensive on Soviet positions. Their target was the Kursk salient. Their goal was to cut off the salient and capture the 60 Soviet battalions inside. The Soviets, however, were prepared, and 900 German tanks met 900 Soviet ones. The battle continued throughout the day, and ended in a draw.

The Germans would never be able to amass the number of tanks they had at Kursk, while the Soviets were out-producing them every month.

1943 Allies Land at Palermo -Allied troops, under the command of General Patton, captured the city of Palermo in Sicily. The victory came less than two weeks after Allied forces first landed on Sicily. This marked the first invasion of part of an Axis homeland.
1943 Quebec Conference - British and American leaders met in Quebec to coordinate war plans. At the meetings, which were led by Churchill and Roosevelt, leaders discussed the upcoming landing in Italy, as well as summit plans with Stalin.
1943 Allies Land in Italy -On September 3, the Italian government, led by Marshal Badoglio Mussolini – having been dismissed by King Victor Emanuel – surrendered to the Allied forces. At the same time, the British and Americans began an assault on Italy, now defended by occupying Germans.
1943 Teheran Conferance -The meetings began on November 28. A close working relationship developed between Roosevelt and Stalin. Stalin's first goal at the conference was to commit the British and the Americans to a firm date for the cross-channel invasion. The Allies finally committed to May 1944. Stalin, in return, committed the Soviets to aiding the Allies against Japan once the Nazis were defeated. During the course of the conference, Roosevelt put forth to Stalin for the first time his ideas of a postwar international organization. Stalin agreed in principle. Stalin brought up the proposal to move Poland's border westward, at the expense of Germany. Roosevelt agreed in principle.


The Axis Conquers the Philippines: January 1942-July 1942

The Axis­­ continued to smash forward in World War II during the first half of 1942. On February 15, 1942, the British Empire suffered one of its most humiliating defeats. At 6:15 p.m., in a makeshift conference room in the Ford Motor Company factory in Singapore, General Arthur Percival surrendered the island to Lieutenant General Yamashita Tomoyuki.

The Japanese made the island the headquarters of the Southern Army, which conquered Southeast Asia, and renamed Singapore "Shonan," meaning "Light of the South." Of the 50,000 white troops captured, 18,000 would die of disease and/or mistreatment before war's end.

The Japanese armed forces aimed to capture a broad area in the south. They would defend the perimeter while the rich resources of the region were incorporated into the Japanese war effort.

Resistance was limited. In the Dutch East Indies, the 140,000-man colonial army was overwhelmed. The northern Philippines, with a mixed native and American fo­rce, was quickly overrun except for the Bataan Peninsula, where 100,000 soldiers and refugees were bottled up. The Japanese captured the peninsula in April.

The American headquarters in the fortress of Corregidor, in Manila Bay, fell on May 6, 1942, after a fierce defense. By early June, nearly all American forces in the Philippines had surrendered.­

Further west, a Japanese force overran Burma and entered the capital, Rangoon, on March 8. A Japanese aircraft carrier raided the northern Australian port of Darwin on February 19, and in April Japanese aircraft sank British shipping on the Indian coast.

This was the limit of Japanese expansion, though the assault had been so successful and rapid that senior commanders sought to capitalize on their advantage with further advances. In early May, a naval force sailed south to seize the southern peninsula of New Guinea while Admiral Yamamoto planned a mid-Pacific offensive. This was designed to destroy what was left of U.S. naval power in the ocean and cut off American aid to the South Pacific.

The prelude to the final Japanese assault was the seizure of Port Moresby in southern New Guinea. The task force that was dispatched south in early May was attacked by a small Allied force in the Coral Sea. The battle was a strategic setback for Yamamoto, who was obliged to abandon his plan to seize Port Moresby and isolate Australia. This was the first hint that Japanese expansion was nearing its limit.­

A month later, Yamamoto dispatched a huge task force to Midway Island, hoping to lure what was left of the U.S. Pacific Fleet to battle and then annihilate it. With a small force of carriers and sufficient secret intelligence on Japanese intentions, the Pacific Fleet commander, Admiral Chester Nimitz, planned a daring interception.

As the Japanese carrier fleet neared Midway, it was attacked by American dive-bombers. Only a few of their bombs struck, but they sank all four fleet carriers. Yamamoto ordered a return to Japan. His plans had been frustrated by America's intelligence successes, astute leadership, combat skills, and luck.

Elsewhere, the global war remained balanced on a knife edge. China's long, drawn-out conflict with Japan had become a formal state of war on December 9, 1941, following Pearl Harbor. Although the Japanese army controlled much of eastern and northern China, Chinese hit-and-run tactics made it difficult for Japan to pacify and control even those areas under occupation.

In May 1942, Japanese commanders embarked on a ruthless policy of pacification -- "kill all, steal all, burn all" -- to try to deter further Chinese resistance. Roughly 250,000 Chinese were killed in 1942.

In North Africa, British Empire forces based in Egypt had moved forward successfully across Libya against weak Italian resistance. But in January 1942, against an Axis force strengthened by a Nazi German corps under General Erwin Rommel, the British Empire Forces began a long retreat back to Egypt. Tobruk fell to the Axis on June 21, and by the end of June Axis forces were a few miles from El Alamein, Egypt, within striking distance of the Suez Canal.

The British position at sea -- in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic -- remained precarious. In 1942 they lost 7.8 million tons of shipping. Britain was able to import only one-third of what it took in before the war. The Allies' persistent bombing of Nazi German naval installations and submarine building sites achieved almost nothing.

The most dangerous situation lay in the Soviet theater. With the successful defense of Moscow in December 1941, the Soviets launched further offensives, trying to find weak spots in the Nazi German line. In the south, the Red Army created a large salient in Nazi German defensive lines south of Kharkov.

But when Joseph Stalin ordered the Red Army to capture the city in May 1942, the Nazi German front absorbed the attack and then encircled and annihilated the attackers. In the Crimea, the Nazi Germans repulsed a Soviet counteroffensive on the Kerch Peninsula. In July, they captured Sevastopol after an assault with the world's largest artillery piece: "Big Dora."

Nazi Germany's central ambition was the final defeat of the Soviet Union in 1942. Adolf Hitler planned to attack the less well-defended southern front toward the Volga River and the Caucasus oil fields. Their capture would give his forces huge new oil supplies and deny them to the enemy.

On June 28, Nazi Germany launched "Operation Blue" with substantial success. The Soviet southern front retreated. So successful was the assault that Adolf Hitler divided the force in two. He sent the Sixth Army, under General Friedrich Paulus, to seize Stalingrad and cut the Soviet Union off from the resources of the south. By August, Nazi German forces had reached the oil city of Maikop and were advancing toward the rich oil fields around Grozny.

In midsummer 1942, the war was poised in the balance. The strategic dream of the Axis powers was to link up in the Middle East. They would seize the Suez Canal and the oil that lay beyond it from one side, and they would sweep down from the Caucasus on the other side.

With Japan threatening India and the United States not yet fully armed, the ambition seemed less fantastic at the time than it now appears. Yet the summer of 1942 saw the high watermark of Axis aggrandizement. Over the next year, the Allies would find not just greater resources but also more effective ways of fighting. They were poised to reverse the long series of defeats that had until then littered their war effort.

Let's take a closer look at these events, beginning with a timeline of early January 1942 on the next page.


World War 2 Timeline

Before the official beginning of WW II, a number of countries began to act in an aggressive and warlike manner. Adolf Hitler opened the first concentration camps as early as 1933 and became the “Fuhrer” or sole dictator of Germany in 1934. Mussolini rose to power in 1935 and became the dictator in Italy. Both Mussolini and Hitler quickly began to increase their reach by seizing other smaller countries. Meanwhile China and Japan were at war in Asia. Japan then signed an agreement with Germany, which added Britain and Franch to their list of enemies. As you review the causes of World War 2, some of the events and comments appear random, but they have a cumulative effect much like one domino systematically causing the others to fall.

Timeline of World War 2 (WW2)

Japan begin takeover of Manchuria, which is later renamed Manchukuo. Hindenburg is elected President in Germany defeating Nazi Party candidate Adolph Hitler and another candidate. Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) is elected president of the United States.

A timeline of events in 1942-1943 - History

Jan 1 In the Caucasus region, Germany's 1st Panzer Army retreats to avoid a cut off by Soviet forces from the northeast.

Jan 4 Seven Soviet armies launch "Operation Ring," against the Germans at Stalingrad. It should be obvious to Hitler that he had grossly underestimated the Soviet Union's ability to defend itself. The German army still has a lot of power, but all that Hitler can hope for is the spending of a vast amount of money and men in continuing to occupy the Soviet Union. Finland's government already sees Germany as losing the war and is interested in getting out as soon as it can.

Jan 18 A six-day offensive, Operation Spark (Iskra), establishes a land bridge to Leningrad.

Jan 18 People in Warsaw's Jewish Ghetto rise up and try to defend themselves.

Jan 19 Romania's foreign minister, Mihai Antonrscu, asks Mussolini to start negotiations with the Allies.

Jan 20 Chile's government sees the handwriting on the wall. It severs diplomatic relations with Germany, Italy and Japan.

Jan 21 Italian occupation authorities on French territory refuse to deport Jews.

Jan 23 World War II: British forces capture Tripoli from the Nazis.

Jan 24 Roosevelt, Churchill and two French leaders, Henri Giraud and Charles DeGaulle conclude a ten-day meeting at Casablanca and decide that the war must end with unconditional surrender of enemy nations.

Jan 24 Hitler orders troops at Stalingrad to fight to the death.

Jan 27 The United States makes its first bombing raid on Berlin without British bombers.

Jan 28 Japan's Prime Minister Tojo tells parliament of his government's intention to recognize the independence of Burma and the Philippines and to aid India in its liberation from British rule.

Jan 30 The British bomb Berlin in daylight for the first time.

Jan 31 German troops at Stalingrad surrender, including their commander, Field Marshal Paulus and 16 other generals. The Soviet offensive in the southern region, begun on December 17 and known as "Little Saturn," ends. Since December 11, Italy has suffered 84,830 killed.

Feb 1 Wanting to make their government in Norway appear more Norwegian, Germany's authority in Norway appoints the unpopular fascist leader, Vidkun Quisling, prime minister.

Feb 3 Hitler's government cannot hide its defeat at Stalingrad. German radio announces three days of mourning for the German troops who died there. A government directive orders journalists to put a special spin on the loss. Rather than the result of Hitler's mistakes, the defeat at Stalingrad is described "as an example of the highest heroism and complete willingness to sacrifice for the victory of the German people."

Feb 7 Across the land bridge to Leningrad, within range of Germany artillery, a Soviet train arrives at a bomb-damaged station in Leningrad. People weakened by hunger and hardship are jubilant over the breakthrough.

Feb 8 Japan ends its three-day evacuation of Guadacanal.

Feb 16 Three students paint with tar on a university building and other buildings in Munich, the words "Freedom" and "Down with Hitler." Some copycat signs are posted by others elsewhere in the city.

Feb 17 Dutch churches protest persecution of Jews.

Feb 20 In the United States, studio executives agree to allow the Office of War Information to censor movies.

Feb 22 In Munich, five students and a professor have been reported by those viewing their graffiti and leaflet-making as treason, and on this day the six are beheaded.

Mar 2 Germany begins to transport Dutch Jews to the Sobibor concentration camp.

Mar 5 The Japanese have decided to take 100,000 troops from China and Japan and put them on New Guinea. At the five-day Battle of the Bismarck Sea, north of New Guinea, much of Japan's navy is destroyed. According to the Australians, 2,890 Japanese soldiers and sailors have been killed. About 800 Japanese soldiers make it to New Guinea.

Mar 13 Plans by army officers to assassinate Hitler when he visits army headquarters at Smolensk fail. Hitler has arrived with too many SS body guards. During Hitler's return trip by air, a bomb in a package fails to explode.

Apr 12 The Germans announce their discovery of a grave in Katyn forest containing the bodies of some 4,100 murdered Polish military officers.

Apr 19 Germans launch a large-scale attack on Jews fighting street by street in the Warsaw ghetto.

May 13 British and US forces defeat the German and Italian forces in North Africa.

May 15 The uprising since January in Warsaw's Jewish ghetto is defeated.

Jun 21 The war between Germany and the Soviet Union is two years-old.

Jul 5-12 Against the Red Army at Kursk, the Germans strike back with their last major offensive on their Eastern Front. The battle is the largest armored engagement of all time. The Soviet position consists of numerous lines of trenches 95 miles deep. They have some 1,300,000 men, 3,600 tanks, 20,000 artillery pieces and 2,400 aircraft. The Germans have some 2,700 tanks and assault guns, 1,800 aircraft and 800,000 men. The Germans lose between 50,000 and 57,000 men. Russian casualty figures are a mystery, perhaps around 96,000. The Russians win. The war between Germany and Russia is fairly well decided.

Jul 8 The Gestapo has captured a French resistance leader, Jean Moulin. He refuses to disclose the identities of other resistance members and is tortured to death.

Jul 10 British and US forces land on on the southeast coast of Sicily.

Jul 11 The Germans begin to evacuate Sicily.

Jul 19 Mussolini believes that he needs Germany's protection. He visits Hitler and approves of Germany taking military control over Italy. The US airforce bombs Rome.

Jul 25-26 Mussolini's fascist colleagues have turned against him and speak with king Emanuel III. With this support, the king has had Mussolini arrested. A new government is formed, headed by the conservative military leader, Marshal Pietro Badoglio.

Jul 27-28 Bombing with explosives and incendiaries at Hamburg creates many little fires that unite into a firestorm that kills 30,482, including 5,586 children.

Jul 31 Hitler is still holding on to his siege of Leningrad. For July, casualties from shelling the city add up to 210 killed, and 921 wounded.

Aug 6 Sweden cancels its agreement with Germany about the passage of German soldiers and war material across Sweden to and from Norway.

Aug 6 The former Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, has been working with the Germans in the creation of an army of about 20,000 Bosnian Muslims. Heinrich Himmler, leader of Hitler's SS, writes of these Muslims having "come to us out of hatred for the common Jewish-Anglo-Bolshevik enemy."

Aug 17 Germany's evacuation of Sicily is complete.

Sep 3 In secret with the Allies, the government of Pietro Badoglio signs an unconditional armistice. British and Canadian troops cross from Sicily to Italy at Calabria.

Sep 8 In a radio broadcast, Prime Minister Badoglio announces that hostilities against the Anglo-American forces will cease, wherever they may be. German radio speaks of "treacherous intrigue which for weeks had been enacted by an Italian clique, serfs to Jews and alien to their own people." German forces take over the north and disarm Italian ground units.

Sep 9 US and British forces land at the Gulf of Salerno, just south of Naples, in southern Italy.

Sep 11 German forces occupy Rome.

Sep 12 Germans rescue Mussolini from his prison in the Abruzzi mountains. Germans begin an attack against the Allied forces around Salerno.

Oct 1 British and US forces have pushed northward to Naples.

Oct 1 In China's north, Mao Zedong, guerrilla leader against the Japanese, calls for a reduction in rents. The Communists have been appealing to and organizing peasants and spreading their influence. Meanwhile, government forces under Chiang Kai-shek are angering peasants with dire taxation and price increases that will amount to a multiple of 250 between 1942 and 1944.

Oct 13 Prime Minister Badoglio tells General Eisenhower that "His Majesty the King of Italy has declared war on Germany."

Oct 14 The US Air Force bombs ball-bearing factories at Schweinfurt. Sixty of its aircraft are shot down, 599 airmen killed and 40 wounded.

Oct 25 The Japanese open the railway from Burma to Siam, built with British and Commonwealth prisoner-of-war labor.

Nov 3 London says that Finland is an Axis power and the principle of unconditional surrender applies also to Finland.

Nov 5 Prime Minister Tojo, like his ally Adolf Hitler, is engaged in wishful thinking. He speaks to foreign dignitaries at the Greater East Asia Conference, in Tokyo, and states that "The countries of Greater East Asia will cultivate friendly relations with all the countries of the world, and work for the abolition of racial discrimination, the promotion of cultural intercourse and the opening of resources throughout the world, and contribute thereby to the progress of mankind."

Nov 6 The Soviet army has been pushing the Germans back in the Ukraine and has taken Kiev.

Nov 10 Ambassador Litvinov says in Moscow that the principle of unconditional surrender does not include Finland.

Nov 10 The destroyer USS Spence attempts to rescue four Japanese in a raft. With his pistol a Japanese officer kills the other three and then himself.

Nov 20-23 A US force consisting of 17 aircraft carriers, 12 battleships, 8 heavy and 4 light cruisers, 66 destroyers and 36 transports, carrying 35,000 US Marines and part of the Army's 27th Infantry Division, attack the atoll (24 little islands) of Tarawa. It is a point in a drive northward toward Japan. The US loses more than 1,000 killed and 2,200 wounded. The Japanese lose 4,690 killed. On the Japanese side, only 110 survive.

Nov 22-26 President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill and Generalissimo Chiang Kai‑shek meet in Cairo, Egypt. They agree that Japan will be "stripped of all the islands in the Pacific which she has seized or occupied since the beginning of the First World War in 1914," and that "all the territories Japan has stolen from the Chinese, such as Manchuria, Formosa, and the Pescadores, shall be restored to the Republic of China."

Dec 4 Josip Broz Tito, guerrilla war leader and Communist, proclaims a provisional democratic Yugoslav government.

Dec 24 General Eisenhower is made supreme commander of the Allied invasion of western Europe.

Dec 30 Subhash Chandra Bose has announced in Japanese occupied Singapore the creation of a liberated Indian government in exile. The Japanese have given him nominal rule on the Andaman islands (between Burma and India) and there, at Port Blair, Bose raises the flag of Indian independence.


Events of 1943 - WW2 Timeline (January 1st - December 31st, 1943)

1943 included losses for both sides but some for the Axis were not easily recoverable. One of the key disasters was the loss of the Kingdom of Italy which surrendered in September of that year. This forced the Germans to funnel more men and equipment south while also remaining attentive to developments in the East and West. The Road to Rome was open and this meant that the passage to Berlin was next in line.


There are a total of (127) Events of 1943 - WW2 Timeline (January 1st - December 31st, 1943) events in the Second World War timeline database. Entries are listed below by date-of-occurrence ascending (first-to-last). Other leading and trailing events may also be included for perspective.

Thursday, January 14th, 1943

U-boat bases at Cherbourg and Lorient are targeted by the Royal Air Force.

A Presidential directive calls for some 250 American aircraft to begin offensive actions in the Atlantic.

Allied aircraft are fitted with U-boat detecting radar systems.

Saturday, May 1st - May 31st, 1943

By the end of May, 43 U-boats are sunk to just 34 merchant vessels.

Some 33 U-boats assail an Allied convoy. However, the streamlined Allied response nets zero ship losses and fatalities. The U-boats come up empty.

Due to dwindling results, German Admiral Karl Donitz calls back his U-boats from operations in the Atlantic.

The German U-boats are unleashed once more, this time operating in substantially smaller groups.

The Allied D-Day landings in the North of France eventually render the French-German U-boat bases inoperable.

Tuesday, November 30th, 1943

The British and Americans devise Operation Argument to counter the Luftwaffe threat through a round-the-clock bombing offensive bad weather postpones any action.

The Aleutian Islands Campaign comes to a close. The Japanese invasion is ultimately repelled.

The Japanese begin to withdraw their battered army units from Guadalcanal.

A massive evacuation effort sees some 11,000 Japanese personnel moved fom Tenaro, Gaudalcanal.

Gaudalcanal officially falls to the Americans.

The last remnants of the Japanese Army on Guadalcanal is evacuated from the island.

The decision to abandon Guadalcanal is made by Japanese autorities.

American forces lay claim to Buna.

Sananada is officially in Allied hands.

The Kokoda Trail is firmly in Allied hands by this date.

Wednesday, November 10th, 1943

The combined force of US Army and Marine Corps troops numbering 35,000 personnel heads towards Betio on the Tarawa Atoll.

Saturday, November 13th, 1943

US Navy warplanes and warships begin the bombardment of Japanese positions at Makin and Tarawa in preparation for the planned amphibious assaults.

Saturday, November 20th, 1943

US Navy warplanes and warships conclude their bombardment of Japanese positions.

Saturday, November 20th, 1943

At 9:10AM, the first US Marine soldiers make it ashore at Betio during the initial amphibious landings. Nearly half are cut down in low waters by the waiting Japanese defenders.

Saturday, November 20th, 1943

US tanks and armored vehicles finally make it ashore and strengthen the US Marine presence on the beaches.

Saturday, November 20th, 1943

By the end of the first day of operations, some three US Marine battalions have made it onto the beaches.

Sunday, November 21st, 1943

Another US amphibious landing, this consisting of both Army and Marine elements, makes it to the shores on Makin.

Sunday, November 21st, 1943

US forces at Makin kill some 800 defending Japanese soldiers, leaving just a lone survivor.

Sunday, November 21st, 1943

US forces officially take Makin and give the "Makin Taken" signal.

Sunday, November 21st, 1943

US forces take Apamama after the suicide of its 22-strong Japanese garrison.

Sunday, November 21st, 1943

US forces continue their progress against the Gilberts though a dogged Japanese resistance makes for slow progress.

Monday, November 22nd, 1943

By 8PM on this date, US forces lay claim to portions of the Gilberts at its east and central regions.

Monday, November 22nd, 1943

By night time hours, the Japanese enact a counter-attack against US forces, hoping to regain lost ground and take their invaders by surprise.

Tuesday, November 23rd, 1943

The Japanese assault is repelled with a tremendous loss of life for the IJA. The dead number some 500 personnel in hours of fighting.

Tuesday, November 23rd, 1943

The final Japanese defenders at Betio capitulate.

Tuesday, November 23rd, 1943

With the fall of Betio, the Gilbert Islands are now under control of US forces.

German forces at Terek retreat.

The H2S navigation system is delivered to the RAF for installation into bombers.

Soviet generals send in the formal request for surrender of the German 6th Army at Stalingrad, a request which is formally rejected.

Soviet General Rokossovsky unleashes hell on the German 6th Army through thousands of artillery cannons and Katyusha rockets.

Tuesday, January 12th, 1943

The Soviets enact Operation Spark and cut a path through the German lines clearing a path to Leningrad. This offers the citizens of the city some much needed foot rations.

Tuesday, January 12th, 1943

Soviet troops make headway against the defensive lines at the Don River held by Hungarian and Italian troops.

Tuesday, January 12th, 1943

German Caucasus elements make it to their bridgehead over the Kuban River.

Wednesday, January 13th, 1943

German Army elements at Terek retreat to the Nagutskoye-Alexsandrovskoye position.

Thursday, January 14th, 1943

In an effort to replenish and build up their army ranks along the East Front, German Generals proposed conscription service of the Baltic people for service .

The German Panzer Corps at the Don are officially surrounded.

Tuesday, January 19th, 1943

The Soviets retake the city of Shlusselburg.

A Soviet offensive splits the German 6th Army at Stalingrad.

German forces at Armavir retreat.

German forces at Voronezh retreat.

German General Paulus formally surrenders his southern Stalingrad army to the Soviets.

Tuesday, February 2nd, 1943

The German Army north pocket at Stalingrad formally surrenders to the Soviet Army.

Tuesday, February 2nd, 1943

The liberation of Stalingrad is officially over.

Sunday, February 14th, 1943

At 4AM, elements of the 10th Panzer Division and 21st Panzer Division under General von Arnim, launch their attack at Allied forces near Sidi Bou Zid and Bir el Hafey.

Monday, February 15th, 1943

German General Erwin Rommel commences with his assault through Operation Morgenluft. His attack takes him towards Gafsa, Feriana and Thelepte.

Thursday, February 18th, 1943

General von Arnim and General Rommels forces finally meet at Kasserine.

Friday, February 19th, 1943

American armored forces hold up the German advanced at Kasserine Pass.

Saturday, February 20th, 1943

The Americans fold under the immense German assault and Kasserine Pass falls to the invaders.

Saturday, February 20th, 1943

Allied units move from Le Kef for the counter-attack.

Saturday, February 20th, 1943

The British 6th Armored Brigade moves towards Thala and Sbiba.

Saturday, February 20th, 1943

US forces move in to stop the German advance around Tebessa.

Sunday, February 21st, 1943

The German forces at Kasserine Pass under Rommel await the Allied counter-offensive that never materializes.

Monday, February 22nd, 1943

Allied forces hold the Germans in check at Sbiba, Tebessa and Thala, inflicting 2,000 German casualties and forcing Rommel to call for a retreat.

Thursday, February 25th, 1943

Kasserine is now firmly in Allied control, the Germans having retreated and Rommel's attention now elsewhere.

Thursday, February 25th, 1943

Rommel relocates his forces east and plans his defense against Montgomery and his 8th Army at the Mareth line.

Monday, March 1st - March 31st, 1943

The German battleship KMS Scharnhorst makes its way to Norway, building up the already potent German Navy force that includes the KMS Tirpitz and KMS Lutzow.

RAF Bomber Command numbers total some 950 bombers of various types. Most important are the Avro Lancasters.

For the first time, RAF bombers make use of the "Oboe" navigational aid in a large-scale operation.

Monday, March 1st - July 31st, 1943

Any further British convoy runs to Russia are postponed as supplies are funneled to other areas of the Atlantic.

RAF bombers make their most famous raid of the war to date - this through Operation Chastise - as 19 Lancasters attack the dams at Mohne, Eder, Sorpe and Schwelme supplying power to the Ruhr industrial sector. 9,000lb bouncing mines are used in the successful attack.

Tuesday, June 1st - June 30th, 1943

British and American authorities work together to formulate the Pointblank Directive - a combined air bombing campaign against the air production facilities of the German Luftwaffe.

No fewer than eight German U-Boats shadow convoy PQ17.

The Germans enact Operation Citadel - the assault on the Kursk salient. The operation begins at 4:30am but major elements are delayed until 5:00am thanks to intense artillery attacks by the prepared Russians.

Soviet Marshal-General Rokossovsky and his Central Front army engage in a counter-attack against the German offensive. The counter-attack fails but is enough to slow the German 9th Army some. A measly 6 miles of territory is gained by the Germans.

German General Hoth and his 4th Panzer Army move into the salient, covering some 20 miles of territory. Their advantage brings them near Pokrovka.

The Allied invasion fleets sail out to Sicily.

Soviet resistance to the German offensives is so intense that German General Hoth is forced to bring up his reserves and commit them to the fight. The advancing Germans are slowed evermore by the stinky Soviet defenders, also made up of deadly anti-tank teams.

Operation Husky begins. Target - German-held Sicily. Some 2,590 naval vessels take part in the invasion which encompasses two army groups of American and British forces invading at two different coasts of the island.

US 82nd Airborne Division and British 1st Airborne Division paratroopers land at strategic locations across Sicily prior to the invasion force's arrival.

15th Army Group begins their initial assault to the south.

The British 5th Division takes Cassibile.

Soviet generals Zhukov and Vassilevky are given total control of the actions in and around Kursk by Stalin himself.

The Soviet Bryansk Front northeast of Kursk moves in on German General Model's 9th Army.

The Hermann Goring Panzer Division engages the US 1st Infantry Division at Gela. US forces are assited by offshore bombardment from Royal Navy ships and repel the German attack.

The Soviets commit more tanks against Hoth and his 4th Panzer Army.

A huge battle involving more than 1,000 tanks of the German and Soviet armies duke it out near Pokrovka.

Soviet General Sokolosky moves against German Army Group Center and the 9th Army in a counter-offensive.

Adolph Hitler orders an end to Operation Citadel.

Allied airborne elements parachute into Sicily and capture key bridges. However, a German counter-attack drives back any gains of the day.

By this date, some 478,000 Allied troops have landed on Sicily.

German Paratroopers repel Allied forces from the Primasole bridge.

British and American forces finally meet at Comiso and Ragusa.

The Allies control key airfields across the island, allowing air support more resources from which to work with.

Fighting in the Kursk salient officially ends.

The Primsole bridge is recaptured from the Germans.

US General George C. Patton and his fabled 7th Army move along the west of the island at speed, claiming the Sicilian capital of Palermo in the process.

German Army forces are pushed back to their original starting positions by this date.

With Mussolini deposed back in Rome, Hitler has few options but to plan a retreat for his overwhelmed forces in Sicily. As such, he orders an official withdrawel.

44,600 Hamburg civilians are killed by RAF bomber attacks.

RAF bombers make use of "Window" foil strips to disrupt enemy tracking radars.

Soviet forces of the Steppe, Voronezh and South-West Fronts initiate a new offensive against German Army Group South just outside of the Kursk salient.

Soviet Army forces move towards Kharkov, liberating the city of Belgorod in the process.

After some time, the British finally capture the port at Catania. Though a vital and strategic victory, their advance delays the operation some.

In an attempt to cut off the retreating Germans, the US 7th Army conducts a flanking amphibious attack.

Wednesday, August 11th, 1943

The US 7th Army undertakes another amphibious jump to head off the German retreat.

Wednesday, August 11th, 1943

The evacuation of Axis forces from Sicily begins.

Thursday, August 12th, 1943

Some 100,000 Axis soldiers are successfully rescued from Sicily. The rest are captured by advancing Allied forces.

One last amphibious assault by the 7th Army is conducted. The Germans now in full retreat to the northern tip of Sicily.

With only limited-range Allied fighter escorts, the first major air raid on Schweinfurt and Regensburg is launched. The air raid consists of 230 aircraft from the 1st Bombardment Wing and 146 aircraft of the 4th Bombardment Wing.

Bad weather delays the original 5:30AM launch time of the operation.

Aircraft of the 4th Bombardment Wing take-off at 6:20AM in an effort to reach its target in daylight.

German Luftwaffe defense fighters attack the 4th Bombardment Wing formations passing over Germany.

At 11:18AM, the 1st Bombardment Wing finally takes off.

Some 250 German fighters, already alerted to the bomber group presence, are launched to repel subsequent air attacks.

Sometime between 11:46AM and 12:09M, the 4th Bomber Group makes their bombing run on targets at Regensburg.

At approximately 3:00PM, the 1st Bomber Group finally reaches its targets after incurring heavy losses from German fighters. Their bombing run ensues over Schweinfurt.

At around 4:50PM, elements of the 4th Bomber Group begin landing at their pre-determined bases in North Africa. Twenty-four aircraft from the group are noted lost.

At approximately 6:00PM, elements of the 1st Bomber Group begin landing back at their UK bases. Some 36 aircraft are missing.

The US 3rd Division gives the official "all clear" from their position in Messina. Operation Husky is a success and Sicily is firmly in Allied hands.

Kharkov is retaken by the Soviet Army.

German Army Group Center is in full retreat.

Wednesday, September 22nd, 1943

Royal Navy midget submarines attack the German battleship KMS Tirpitz. Though not sunk to action, she takes on enough damage to sideline her for six months.

Thursday, September 30th, 1943

The German Army falls as far back as the Dniepr River.

Thursday, September 30th, 1943

By this date, the Soviet Army has established no less than five bridgeheads crossing the Dniepr River, keeping the Germans at bay for the time being.

Thursday, October 14th, 1943

Some 291 USAAF bombers of the 13th Bombardment Wing are once-again launched against Schweinfurt. Though 30% of German ball-bearing production is knocked out, 60 American aircraft do not return to home bases in the UK. The high level of losses in these raids forces the USAAF to temporarily suspend long-range bombing attacks into Germany.

Thursday, November 18th, 1943

444 RAF bombs drop ordnance on the German capital of Berlin with only 9 loss to enemy fire.

Monday, November 1st - November 30th, 1943

In this month, Allies convoys in the Artic resume their activities.

Sunday, December 26th, 1943

The German battleship KMS Scharnhorst and 5 destroyers engage convoy JW55B.

Sunday, December 26th, 1943

At 7:30 PM, the KMS Scharnhorst is lost to action by Royal Navy surface warships, leaving just 36 of her crew alive.


A timeline of events in 1942-1943 - History

Jan 19 The British attack Italy's forces in Eritrea.

Jan 22 The British and Australians have driven Italian forces from Egypt, and across the Egypt-Libya border, on the coast, they win against the Italians at Tobruk.

Jan 22 &ndash 23 Anti-Jewish violence in Romania leaves 120 Jews dead in the streets. Jews are hunted by armed gangs. Some flee to Palestine.

Jan 23 Charles Lindbergh testifies before the US Congress and recommends that the US establish a neutrality pact with Hitler.

Jan 27 The US Ambassador to Japan, Joseph Grew, cables the US State Department that he has learned of a plan by the Japanese to attack Pearl Harbor should Japan and the US go to war.

Jan 31 In Baghdad, in response to British victories against Italian forces, the nationalistic, anti-British and pro-German prime minister, Sayyad Rashid Ali al-Gillani, resigns under pressure from the regent to the five-year-old king, Faisal II.

Feb 10 Britain breaks relations with Romania.

Feb19-22 The British have been bombing Germany. The Germans bomb Britain. Reported British dead: 230.

Feb 25 Joseph Goebbels writes in his diary: "Cables from the USA to the short-wave service are generally very positive. My work is also greatly respected there. America does not consist entirely of Jews and plutocrats. It is just that they can shout the loudest."

Feb 26 Against the Italians, British troops take Somalia and invade Ethiopia.

Feb 27 The French regime at Vichy makes religious education in school mandatory.

Feb 27 Jewish musicians in Berlin perform Gustav Mahler's Second Symphony.

Mar 1 &ndash 5 Bulgaria joins the German-Italian-Hungarian-Romanian alliance and in return is promised most of Thrace and Macedonia as well as parts of eastern Serbia. German troops enter Bulgaria welcomed. The Soviet Union, despite its pact with Hitler, denounces Bulgaria's move. Britain severs relations with Bulgaria.

Mar 4 Hitler invites Yugoslavia's Prince Paul to take his share in the "New World Order." Prince Paul gathers from Hitler's comments that Germany will invade the Soviet Union. He will tell his brother-in-law, the king of Greece, who will tell the British.

Mar 7 Five thousand British soldiers land in Greece. Joseph Goebbels writes in his diary: "The Pope and his cardinals are praying for peace. Too late. The game must be played to its conclusion."

Mar 7 A leader of India's independence movement, Subhash Chandra Bose, a believer in socialist authoritarianism, has escaped British authority and fled to Germany. British authorities secretly order his assassination.

Mar 11 Roosevelt signs the Lend Lease Act, enabling him to send war materials, including ships, to those nations at war.

Mar 25 Yugoslavia joins the German-Italian-Hungarian-Romanian alliance.

Mar 26- 27 A coup in Belgrade, Yugoslavia brings to power a regime hostile to Germany and Italy. People in Belgrade celebrate with the slogan "Rather death than slavery."

Mar 30 Hitler tells his generals that Communism is criminal and requires extermination of Bolshevik commissars and the Communist intelligencia. The war against the Soviet Union, he says, will be different from what it was in the West, and it is no job for the military courts.

April 1 The Iraqi army surrounds the royal palace in Baghdad. Royalty escape toward Amman in Transjordan. At stake for the Germans is access to Iraqi oil, promised by the former prime minister, Gillani. The British still have a few hundred troops in Iraq.

Apr 3 In Baghdad, Gillani and four army generals take power. Demonstrators loot the property and beat Jews in the cities of Mosul, Kirkuk, Irbil, Basrah, Amara and Fallujah. In Baghdad the killing of Jews takes place.

Apr 3 Britain's Prime Minister Winston Churchill warns Stalin of German plans to invade.

Apr 4 President Roosevelt allows the British Navy to repair and refuel its ships in the United States, and he notifies the British that he is extending the US defense zone eastward as far as Iceland and to the western coast of Africa.

Apr 5 The Soviet Union signs a treaty of friendship with the new anti-fascist regime in Yugoslavia.

Apr 6 To secure his southern front, Hitler sends troops to Greece and Yugoslavia. Italian and Albanian forces join in the invasion of Yugoslavia. Bulgaria joins in the invasion of Greece, toward occupation of the Khalkidhiki Peninsula. German planes bomb Belgrade.

Apr 7 Hitler postpones his invasion of the Soviet Union five weeks, to June 22.

Apr 10 An independent Croatia is declared, led by Ante Pavelic and approved by Hitler. Serbs, gypsies and Communists in Croatia are threatened. The Catholic Church in Croatia begins to compel the country's Serbs of the Orthodox faith to convert to Catholicism.

Apr 10 Goebbels writes in his diary: "With the fall of Yugoslavia, we shall also take possession of enormous potential sources of raw materials. Particularly copper, which we could do with."

Apr 13 The peace agreement between Japan and the Soviet Union goes into effect.

Apr 14 German troops, led by Erwin Rommel, have been in North Africa for a month. They attack the British and Australians at Tobruk.

Apr 14 The British are still in Egypt, and they warn that if Cairo is bombed their air force will attack Rome.

Apr 20 Goebbels delivers an "Our Hitler" speech on Hitler's fifty-second birthday:

We Germans . have been formed by our age, and we in turn are forming it. It will be the task of later generations to evaluate it properly and to determine what is really admirable and what is simply normal. Future generations will surely envy the fact that we have lived a life of struggle, that we had the good fortune to have political passion . a new world is now being born. [Hitler has ] forged the path and showed the way, giving meaning, content, and direction to our age. We are experiencing the greatest miracle that history offers: a genius is building a new world.

Apr 21-28. Greece and its army surrenders to Germany. German tanks enter Athens. British troops evacuate and some are forced to surrender. Goebbels writes in his diary:

Hearst [William Randolph] has launched a swinging attack on Churchill as a warmonger. Things are still seesawing in the United States. But we are not inactive in this respect.

Apr 30 An Iraqi force moves to the edge of the British air base at Habbaniya and warns the British to keep their planes on the ground.

Apr 30 In Croatia, persons of Aryan descent are prohibited association with Jews.

May 2 &ndash 6 British planes take off from the Habbaniya air base and rout the Iraqi force. The British land a division of Indian troops at Basra, which heads toward Baghdad.

May 10 From Greece, German airplanes begin to strike against the British in Iraq, and German planes destroy the House of Commons in London.

May 14 In Paris, 3,600 Jews are arrested. In a radio broadcast the leader of Vichy France's armed forces claims that only within the confines of the German Third Reich can France thrive.

May 14 At Glina, in Croatia, hundreds of Serbs attend an obligatory service of thanksgiving for the fascist state of Croatia. The two who can present certificates of conversion are released. The rest are slaughtered.

May 20 Britain's war in East Africa ends with an Italian surrender.

Jun 1-2 British forces enter Baghdad and reinstate King Faisal's regent. Violence against Jews erupts in Iraq. Some Moslems open their homes, feed and protect Jews.

Jun 4 Germany bombs the port at Alexandria, Egypt. Egypt's cabinet resigns. The Republic of Croatia orders all Jews to wear a star.

Jun 8 The British and Free French attack French forces in Syria. Britain offers Syria independence.

Jun 12 In London a declaration of unity and sense of purpose is signed by Britain, Canada, New Zealand and the Union of South Africa. Also signing are governments-in-exile: Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Yugoslavia. Signing for a "Free France" is Charles de Gaulle. It is the beginning of what will become the United Nations.

Jun 14 The Soviet Union begins deportations to Siberia from Estonia (around 10,000 persons), Latvia (15,000) and Lithuania (18,000).

Jun 14 Joseph Goebbels writes in his diary that Hitler, looking forward to his invasion of the Soviet Union, says "And victory is right, moral and necessary. And once we have won, who is going to question our methods?"

Jun 18 Germany and Turkey sign a Treaty of Friendship.

Jun 22 Soviet intelligence has doubted that the Germans would soon invade. The German military facing east has not been equipped for the coming winter. But today a massive military operation against the Soviet Union begins. Hitler describes the invasion as preemptive, that he is invading the Soviet Union because it was planning to invade Germany. Stalin had amassed a military force facing Germany that did not appear defensive in character, and although Stalin was not planning to attack Germany both Hitler and Stalin have a kill-or-be-killed view of political survival. Stalin believes eventually will have to destroy capitalist-fascist Germany. Hitler's view includes struggle between races. Hitler sees his invasion as an expansion of Germanic superiority over the weak and inferior Slavs.

Jun 22 Germany occupies Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

Jun 24 President Roosevelt pledges support to the Soviet Union in what it will call the Great Patriotic War.

Jun 24 The entire Jewish male population of Gorzhdy, Lithuania is exterminated.

Jun 25 The uneasy peace between Finland and the Soviet Union since March 1940 has ended. Finland sends troops into the Karelia, an area with some Finnish population that has been disputed by Finland and Russia. Sweden's government is to allow German troops to cross Sweden into Finland.

Jun 27 Hungary declares war on the Soviet Union.

Jun 30 A shaken and depressed Stalin has withdrawn to his country dacha, expecting to be ousted from power because of his failures. A few Politburo members arrive. Stalin asks why they have come and they announce their proposal to set up a "Supreme Defense Council" with Stalin as chairman. Stalin agrees and pulls himself together.

Jul 2 Germany, Italy and their allies recognize Japan's puppet government of China. China breaks diplomatic relations with Germany and Italy.

Jul 5 Peru, with one of the strongest armies in South America, invades Ecuador.

Jul 14 Lithuanian Jews, said to number 6,000, are exterminated.

Jul 21 In Poland, the Majdanek concentration camp opens.

Jul 25 The US government freezes Japanese assets in the United States.

Jul 27 The German army enters Ukraine.

Jul 28 The Japanese extend their occupation across the whole of Indochina, as agreed to by the government in Vichy, France.

Jul 30 Fighting between Peru and Ecuador ends in an armistice. Peru holds Ecuador's El Oro province and eastern tropical forest territory held by Ecuador since the 1830s.

Aug 5- 7 Thousands of Jews in Romania are abducted or rounded up and killed.

Aug 14 Prime Minister Churchill and President Roosevelt meet at an anchorage in New Foundland and create the "Atlantic Charter." The Charter expresses "the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live."

Sep 1 In Germany the government's euthanasia program &ndash the killing of mentally handicapped adults and children &ndash is officially ended due to widespread protest, begun by a Catholic bishop.

Sep 3 At their Auschwitz One facility in Poland, Germany's SS conduct poison gas tests, killing 600 Soviet prisoners of war.

Sep 4 The Germans begin to bombard Leningrad with artillery shells.

Sep 6 Emperor Hirohito of Japan gives his approval "with misgivings" to simultaneous efforts to negotiate peace with the US and to prepare for an attack if the efforts failed.

Sep 7 The Finns, advancing southward toward Leningrad, stop at the old border between Finland and the Soviet Union, and they refuse a German request to bomb Leningrad. The Germans will be unable to approach Stalingrad from the north.

Sep 8 The Germans stop ten miles from Leningrad (St. Petersburg). They start to besiege the city, severing its last land connection. Shelling creates 178 fires in the city.

Sep 11 President Roosevelt, in response to submarine attacks on US ships, orders any German ship found in American waters to be sunk on sight.

Sep 11 Charles Lindbergh, speaking for the America First Committee, blames "the British, the Jewish [sic] and the Roosevelt administration" for trying to draw the United States into World War II.

Sep 19 In Germany, Jews are ordered to wear a yellow star describing them as "Jew." German troops enter Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, and they are welcomed by some who hope for independence from the Soviet Union.

Sep 24 In London, governments-in-exile &ndash Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Yugoslavia -- join with the Soviet Union and Charles de Gaulle of the Free French to proclaim adherence to principles of the Atlantic Charter. Hitler sees the alliance as an international Jewish conspiracy and looks forward to his Final Solution to the "Jewish problem."

Sep 28 In Kiev, Soviet agents (NKVD members) have been blowing up German targets. The Germans decide it is the work of the Jews. All Jews in the city of Kiev and its vicinity are ordered to report at 8 o'clock the following morning and to bring with them documents, money, valuables, warm clothes and underwear.

Sep 29 In Kiev tens of thousands of Jews arrive for what they expect is deportration &ndash some early to be sure for a seat on the train. They are herded into a nearby Jewish cemetery through a narrow corridor of enraged German soldiers, machine gunned, their bodies buried in a ravine known as Babi Yar.

Oct 3 Adolf Hitler declares that Russia is "broken" and will "never rise again." In Paris, six synagogues are blown up.

Oct 9 Roosevelt requests congressional approval for arming US merchant ships.

Oct 12 Moscow is partially evacuated.

Oct 16 France's head of state, Marshall Petain, orders the arrest of former prime ministers Daladier, Blum, and Reynaud. Jews in Germany are beginning to be deported to Jewish ghettos in Lodz, Riga and Minsk.

Oct 18 Emperor Hirohito elevates General Hideki Tojo, Japan's War Minister, to head Japan's government. Prime Minister Tojo represents the rightist true-believers in Japan's aggressive imperialism.

Oct 22- 23 Odessa, on the Black Sea in the south of Ukraine, has had a Jewish population of around 180,000. Invading Romanian troops target the Jews. Some Jews are shot. Many are burned to death in a public square or in warehouses that were locked shut. The dead will be described as between 25,000 and 34,000.

Oct 23 Germany's Jews are no longer allowed to emigrate.

Nov 7 Stalin appears in Red Square for the traditional commemoration of the Bolshevik Revolution. Parading troops head for the nearby front against the Germans. The British continue their year-long air raids against Germany. They bomb Berlin, Mannheim and Ruhrgebied.

Nov 28 A Japanese fleet of warships sails from Hiroshima Bay heading for the Hawaiian Islands.

Dec 1 Emperor Hirohito signs the decision by the Ruling Council of Japan to wage war against the United States, Britain and the Netherlands.

Dec 6 Germans near Moscow are exhausted and without proper winter clothing in unusually cold weather. Soviet forces attack. The German line in front of Moscow disintegrates. Thousands are taken prisoner.

Dec 6 Britain and Canada declare war on Finland.

Dec 6 Admiral Kimmel in Hawaii discusses with two operations officers whether they should recall liberty parties, put everyone on alert and send the entire fleet out to sea in silence after dark. The two operations officers object. They agree to follow the orders of Admiral Stark, Chief of Naval Operations, that nothing be done to alarm the people of Honolulu.

Dec 7 Airplanes from Japanese aircraft carriers strike at US military installations at Pearl Harbor and Kaneohe Bay on the island of Oahu. The Japanese bomb the US military at Clark Field in the Philippines. Most US aircraft are destroyed on the ground. General MacArthur is dismayed and wonders whether Germans were flying the Japanese planes.

Dec 8 The Japanese move against the British and Commonwealth force at Hong Kong.

Dec 11 Germany and Italy join their ally the Japanese and declare war against the United States. Hitler describes himself as having wanted peace with Britain, as defending European civilization and Roosevelt as aiming at "an unlimited world dictatorship."

Dec 12 Goebbels writes in his diary: "With respect of the Jewish Question, the Führer [Hitler] has decided to make a clean sweep. He prophesied to the Jews that if they again brought about a world war, they would live to see their annihilation in it. That wasn't just a catch-word. The world war is here, and the annihilation of the Jews must be the necessary consequence."

Dec 12 The British are defeated at the Battle of Jitra in Malaya and are retreating southward toward Singapore.

Dec 13 Bulgaria and Hungary join in declaring war against the United States.

Dec 20 Japanese troops land on Mindanao, in the Philippines.

Dec 25 At Hong Kong, the British surrender.

Dec 29 Soviet troops re-take Kerch and Feodosiya in the Crimea. The Japanese bomb Rangoon, Burma, knocking out the main railway station, wharfs, and warehouses with lend-lease supplies intended for China.

Dec 30 Gandhi resigns from India's Congress Party because of its support for the British and US war effort.

Dec 31 Leningrad enters its 112th day of being cut off by the Germans. It is extremely cold by Leningrad standards, with fuel for heating scarce. There is a bread ration of 110 grams (4 ounces) per day per person. Three to four thousand people are dying each day in Leningrad from starvation.


WWII Key Dates: The End of the War (May–September, 1945)

May 7, 1945
Germany surrenders to the western Allies.

May 9, 1945
Germany surrenders to the Soviets.

May 1945
Allied troops conquer Okinawa, the last island stop before the Japanese islands.

August 6, 1945
The United States drops an atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

August 8, 1945
The Soviet Union declares war on Japan and invades Manchuria.

August 9, 1945
The United States drops an atomic bomb on Nagasaki.

September 2, 1945
Having agreed in principle to unconditional surrender on August 14, 1945, Japan formally surrenders, ending World War II.


After successfully demonstrating a proof-of-concept prototype in 1939, Professor John Vincent Atanasoff receives funds to build a full-scale machine at Iowa State College (now University). The machine was designed and built by Atanasoff and graduate student Clifford Berry between 1939 and 1942. The ABC was at the center of a patent dispute related to the invention of the computer, which was resolved in 1973 when it was shown that ENIAC co-designer John Mauchly had seen the ABC shortly after it became functional.

The legal result was a landmark: Atanasoff was declared the originator of several basic computer ideas, but the computer as a concept was declared un-patentable and thus freely open to all. A full-scale working replica of the ABC was completed in 1997, proving that the ABC machine functioned as Atanasoff had claimed. The replica is currently on display at the Computer History Museum.


A timeline of events in 1942-1943 - History

Timeline with Photos and Text

1918

1919

1921

July 29 - Adolf Hitler becomes leader of National Socialist (Nazi) Party.

1923

1925

1926

September 8 - Germany admitted to League of Nations.

1929

October 29 - Stock Market on Wall Street crashes.

1930

September 14 - Germans elect Nazis making them the 2nd largest political party in Germany.

1932

November 8 - Franklin Roosevelt elected President of the United States.

1933

January 30 - Adolf Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany.

February 27 - The German Reichstag burns.

March 12 - First concentration camp opened at Oranienburg outside Berlin.

March 23 - Enabling Act gives Hitler dictatorial power.

April 1 - Nazi boycott of Jewish owned shops.

May 10 - Nazis burn books in Germany.

In June - Nazis open Dachau concentration camp.

July 14 - Nazi Party declared Germany's only political party.

October 14 - Germany quits the League of Nations.

1934

June 30 - The Nazi "Night of the Long Knives."

July 25 - Nazis murder Austrian Chancellor Dollfuss.

August 2 - German President Hindenburg dies.

August 19 - Adolf Hitler becomes Führer of Germany.

1935

March 16 - Hitler violates the Treaty of Versailles by introducing military conscription.

September 15 - German Jews stripped of rights by Nuremberg Race Laws.

1936

February 10 - The German Gestapo is placed above the law.

March 7 - German troops occupy the Rhineland.

May 9 - Mussolini's Italian forces take Ethiopia.

July 18 - Civil war erupts in Spain.

August 1 - Olympic games begin in Berlin.

October 1 - Franco declared head of Spanish State.

1937

June 11 - Soviet leader Josef Stalin begins a purge of Red Army generals.

November 5 - Hitler reveals war plans during Hossbach Conference.

1938

March 12/13 - Germany announces 'Anschluss' (union) with Austria.

August 12 - German military mobilizes.

September 30 - British Prime Minister Chamberlain appeases Hitler at Munich.

October 15 - German troops occupy the Sudetenland Czech government resigns.

November 9/10 - Kristallnacht - The Night of Broken Glass.

See also: The History Place - Holocaust Timeline

1939 Return to Top of Page

January 30, 1939 - Hitler threatens Jews during Reichstag speech.

March 15/16 - Nazis take Czechoslovakia.

March 28, 1939 - Spanish Civil war ends.

May 22, 1939 - Nazis sign 'Pact of Steel' with Italy.

August 23, 1939 - Nazis and Soviets sign Pact.

August 25, 1939 - Britain and Poland sign a Mutual Assistance Treaty.

August 31, 1939 - British fleet mobilizes Civilian evacuations begin from London.

September 1, 1939 - Nazis invade Poland.

September 3, 1939 - Britain, France, Australia and New Zealand declare war on Germany.

September 4, 1939 - British Royal Air Force attacks the German Navy.

September 5, 1939 - United States proclaims its neutrality German troops cross the Vistula River in Poland.

September 10, 1939 - Canada declares war on Germany Battle of the Atlantic begins.

September 17, 1939 - Soviets invade Poland.

September 27, 1939 - Warsaw surrenders to Nazis Reinhard Heydrich becomes the leader of new Reich Main Security Office (RSHA).

See also: The History Place - Biography of Reinhard Heydrich.

September 29, 1939 - Nazis and Soviets divide up Poland.

In October - Nazis begin euthanasia on sick and disabled in Germany.

November 8, 1939 - Assassination attempt on Hitler fails.

November 30, 1939 - Soviets attack Finland.

December 14, 1939 - Soviet Union expelled from the League of Nations.

1940 Return to Top of Page

January 8, 1940 - Rationing begins in Britain.

March 12, 1940 - Finland signs a peace treaty with Soviets.

March 16, 1940 - Germans bomb Scapa Flow naval base near Scotland.

April 9, 1940 - Nazis invade Denmark and Norway.

May 10, 1940 - Nazis invade France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands Winston Churchill becomes British Prime Minister.

May 15, 1940 - Holland surrenders to the Nazis.

May 26, 1940 - Evacuation of Allied troops from Dunkirk begins.

May 28, 1940 - Belgium surrenders to the Nazis.

June 3, 1940 - Germans bomb Paris Dunkirk evacuation ends.

June 10, 1940 - Norway surrenders to the Nazis Italy declares war on Britain and France.

June 14, 1940 - Germans enter Paris.

June 16, 1940 - Marshal Pétain becomes French Prime Minister.

June 18, 1940 - Hitler and Mussolini meet in Munich Soviets begin occupation of the Baltic States.

June 22, 1940 - France signs an armistice with Nazi Germany.

June 23, 1940 - Hitler tours Paris.

June 28, 1940 - Britain recognizes General Charles de Gaulle as the Free French leader.

July 1, 1940 - German U-boats attack merchant ships in the Atlantic.

July 5, 1940 - French Vichy government breaks off relations with Britain.

July 10, 1940 - Battle of Britain begins.

July 23, 1940 - Soviets take Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

August 3-19 - Italians occupy British Somaliland in East Africa.

August 13, 1940 - German bombing offensive against airfields and factories in England.

August 15, 1940 - Air battles and daylight raids over Britain.

August 17, 1940 - Hitler declares a blockade of the British Isles.

August 23/24 - First German air raids on Central London.

August 25/26 - First British air raid on Berlin.

September 3, 1940 - Hitler plans Operation Sea Lion (the invasion of Britain).

September 7, 1940 - German Blitz against Britain begins.

September 13, 1940 - Italians invade Egypt.

September 15, 1940 - Massive German air raids on London, Southampton, Bristol, Cardiff, Liverpool and Manchester.

September 16, 1940 - United States military conscription bill passed.

September 27, 1940 - Tripartite (Axis) Pact signed by Germany, Italy and Japan.

October 7, 1940 - German troops enter Romania.

October 12, 1940 - Germans postpone Operation Sea Lion until Spring of 1941.

October 28, 1940 - Italy invades Greece.

November 5, 1940 - Roosevelt re-elected as U.S. president.

November 10/11 - Torpedo bomber raid cripples the Italian fleet at Taranto, Italy.

November 14/15 - Germans bomb Coventry, England.

November 20, 1940 - Hungary joins the Axis Powers.

November 22, 1940 - Greeks defeat the Italian 9th Army.

November 23, 1940 - Romania joins the Axis Powers.

December 9/10 - British begin a western desert offensive in North Africa against the Italians.

December 29/30 - Massive German air raid on London.

1941 Return to Top of Page

1942 Return to Top of Page

January 1, 1942 - Declaration of the United Nations signed by 26 Allied nations.

January 13, 1942 - Germans begin a U-boat offensive along east coast of USA.

January 20, 1942 - SS Leader Heydrich holds the Wannsee Conference to coordinate the "Final Solution of the Jewish Question."

January 21, 1942 - Rommel's counter-offensive from El Agheila begins.

January 26, 1942 - First American forces arrive in Great Britain.

In April - Japanese-Americans sent to relocation centers.

April 23, 1942 - German air raids begin against cathedral cities in Britain.

May 8, 1942 - German summer offensive begins in the Crimea.

May 26, 1942 - Rommel begins an offensive against the Gazala Line.

May 27, 1942 - SS Leader Heydrich attacked in Prague.

May 30, 1942 - First thousand-bomber British air raid (against Cologne).

In June - Mass murder of Jews by gassing begins at Auschwitz.

June 4, 1942 - Heydrich dies of wounds.

June 5, 1942 - Germans besiege Sevastopol.

June 10, 1942 - Nazis liquidate Lidice in reprisal for Heydrich's assassination.

June 21, 1942 - Rommel captures Tobruk.

June 25, 1942 - General Dwight D. Eisenhower arrives in London.

June 30, 1942 - Rommel reaches El Alamein near Cairo, Egypt.

July 1-30 - First Battle of El Alamein.

July 3, 1942 - Germans take Sevastopol.

July 5, 1942 - Soviet resistance in the Crimea ends.

July 9, 1942 - Germans begin a drive toward Stalingrad in the USSR.

July 22, 1942 - First deportations from the Warsaw Ghetto to concentration camps Treblinka extermination camp opened.

August 7, 1942 - British General Bernard Montgomery takes command of Eighth Army in North Africa.

August 12, 1942 - Stalin and Churchill meet in Moscow.

August 17, 1942 - First all-American air attack in Europe.

August 23, 1942 - Massive German air raid on Stalingrad.

September 2, 1942 - Rommel driven back by Montgomery in the Battle of Alam Halfa.

September 13, 1942 - Battle of Stalingrad begins.

October 5, 1942 - A German eyewitness observes SS mass murder.

October 18, 1942 - Hitler orders the execution of all captured British commandos.

November 1, 1942 - Operation Supercharge (Allies break Axis lines at El Alamein).

November 8, 1942 - Operation Torch begins (U.S. invasion of North Africa).

November 11, 1942 - Germans and Italians invade unoccupied Vichy France.

November 19, 1942 - Soviet counter-offensive at Stalingrad begins.

December 2, 1942 - Professor Enrico Fermi sets up an atomic reactor in Chicago.

December 13, 1942 - Rommel withdraws from El Agheila.

December 16, 1942 - Soviets defeat Italian troops on the River Don in the USSR.

December 17, 1942 - British Foreign Secretary Eden tells the British House of Commons of mass executions of Jews by Nazis U.S. declares those crimes will be avenged.

December 31, 1942 - Battle of the Barents Sea between German and British ships.

1943 Return to Top of Page

January 2/3 - Germans begin a withdrawal from the Caucasus.

January 10, 1943 - Soviets begin an offensive against the Germans in Stalingrad.

January 14-24 - Casablanca conference between Churchill and Roosevelt. During the conference, Roosevelt announces the war can end only with "unconditional German surrender."

January 23, 1943 - Montgomery's Eighth Army takes Tripoli.

January 27, 1943 - First bombing raid by Americans on Germany (at Wilhelmshaven).

February 2, 1943 - Germans surrender at Stalingrad in the first big defeat of Hitler's armies.

February 8, 1943 - Soviet troops take Kursk.

February 14-25 - Battle of Kasserine Pass between the U.S. 1st Armored Division and German Panzers in North Africa.

February 16, 1943 - Soviets re-take Kharkov.

February 18, 1943 - Nazis arrest White Rose resistance leaders in Munich.

March 2, 1943 - Germans begin a withdrawal from Tunisia, Africa.

March 15, 1943 - Germans re-capture Kharkov.

March 16-20 - Battle of Atlantic climaxes with 27 merchant ships sunk by German U-boats.

March 20-28 - Montgomery's Eighth Army breaks through the Mareth Line in Tunisia.

April 6/7 - Axis forces in Tunisia begin a withdrawal toward Enfidaville as American and British forces link.

April 19, 1943 - Waffen-SS attacks Jewish resistance in the Warsaw ghetto.

May 7, 1943 - Allies take Tunisia.

May 13, 1943 - German and Italian troops surrender in North Africa.

May 16, 1943 - Jewish resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto ends.

May 16/17 - British air raid on the Ruhr.

May 22, 1943 - Dönitz suspends U-boat operations in the North Atlantic.

June 10, 1943 - ' Pointblank' directive to improve Allied bombing strategy issued.

June 11, 1943 - Himmler orders the liquidation of all Jewish ghettos in Poland.

July 5, 1943 - Germans begin their last offensive against Kursk.

July 9/10 - Allies land in Sicily.

July 19, 1943 - Allies bomb Rome.

July 22, 1943 - Americans capture Palermo, Sicily.

July 24, 1943 - British bombing raid on Hamburg.

July 25/26 - Mussolini arrested and the Italian Fascist government falls Marshal Pietro Badoglio takes over and negotiates with Allies.

July 27/28 - Allied air raid causes a firestorm in Hamburg.

August 12-17 - Germans evacuate Sicily.

August 17, 1943 - American daylight air raids on Regensburg and Schweinfurt in Germany Allies reach Messina, Sicily.

August 23, 1943 - Soviet troops recapture Kharkov.

September 8, 1943 - Italian surrender to Allies is announced.

September 9, 1943 - Allied landings at Salerno and Taranto.

September 11, 1943 - Germans occupy Rome.

September 12, 1943 - Germans rescue Mussolini.

September 23, 1943 - Mussolini re-establishes a Fascist government.

October 1, 1943 - Allies enter Naples, Italy.

October 4, 1943 - SS-Reichsführer Himmler gives speech at Posen.

October 13, 1943 - Italy declares war on Germany Second American air raid on Schweinfurt.

November 6, 1943 - Russians recapture Kiev in the Ukraine.

November 18, 1943 - Large British air raid on Berlin.

November 28, 1943 - Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin meet at Teheran.

December 24-26 - Soviets launch offensives on the Ukrainian front.

1944 Return to Top of Page

1945 Return to Top of Page

January 1-17 - Germans withdraw from the Ardennes.

January 16, 1945 - U.S. 1st and 3rd Armies link up after a month long separation during the Battle of the Bulge.

January 17, 1945 - Soviet troops capture Warsaw, Poland.

January 26, 1945 - Soviet troops liberate Auschwitz.

February 4-11 - Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin meet at Yalta.

February 13/14 - Dresden is destroyed by a firestorm after Allied bombing raids.

March 6, 1945 - Last German offensive of the war begins to defend oil fields in Hungary.

March 7, 1945 - Allies take Cologne and establish a bridge across the Rhine at Remagen.

March 30, 1945 - Soviet troops capture Danzig.

In April - Allies discover stolen Nazi art and wealth hidden in German salt mines.

April 1, 1945 - U.S. troops encircle Germans in the Ruhr Allied offensive in northern Italy.

April 12, 1945 - Allies liberate Buchenwald and Belsen concentration camps President Roosevelt dies. Harry Truman becomes President.

April 16, 1945 - Soviet troops begin their final attack on Berlin Americans enter Nuremberg.

April 18, 1945 - German forces in the Ruhr surrender.

April 21, 1945 - Soviets reach Berlin.

April 28, 1945 - Mussolini is captured and hanged by Italian partisans Allies take Venice.

April 29, 1945 - U.S. 7th Army liberates Dachau.

April 30, 1945 - Adolf Hitler commits suicide.

May 2, 1945 - German troops in Italy surrender.

May 7, 1945 - Unconditional surrender of all German forces to Allies.

May 8, 1945 - V-E (Victory in Europe) Day.

May 9, 1945 - Hermann Göring is captured by members of the U.S. 7th Army.

May 23, 1945 - SS-Reichsführer Himmler commits suicide German High Command and Provisional Government imprisoned.

June 5, 1945 - Allies divide up Germany and Berlin and take over the government.

June 26, 1945 - United Nations Charter is signed in San Francisco.

July 1, 1945 - American, British, and French troops move into Berlin.

July 16, 1945 - First U.S. atomic bomb test Potsdam Conference begins.

July 26, 1945 - Atlee succeeds Churchill as British Prime Minister.

August 6, 1945 - First atomic bomb dropped, on Hiroshima, Japan.

August 8, 1945 - Soviets declares war on Japan and invade Manchuria.

August 9, 1945 - Second atomic bomb dropped, on Nagasaki, Japan.

August 14, 1945 - Japanese agree to unconditional surrender.

September 2, 1945 - Japanese sign the surrender agreement V-J (Victory over Japan) Day.

October 24, 1945 - United Nations is born.

November 20, 1945 - Nuremberg war crimes trials begin.

1946

October 16 - Hermann Göring commits suicide two hours before his scheduled execution.

Statistics of World War II

Copyright © 1996 The History Place™ All Rights Reserved

See also: The History Place three-part narrative history of Adolf Hitler (62 chapters)
I. The Rise of Hitler - from unknown to dictator of Germany.
II. The Triumph of Hitler - the prewar years of Nazi Germany.
III. The Defeat of Hitler - the quest for a Nazi empire.

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