Japanese infantry in Malaya. They greatly increased mobility by using bikes.

- Project 60: A Day-by-Day Diary of WWII - 

Remembering the First Fight Against Fascism

Soviet T-26 and ski troops advance through a snow covered swamp.


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January 4, 1942

Japanese aircraft hit the important naval and air staging base at Rabul in the Bismarck Archipelago for the first time in the war.

The Soviets recapture Borovsk as their winter offensive continues.

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January 5, 1942  

Stalin, buoyed by the successes of the limited counter attacks around Moscow, orders an all out offensive over the entire front.

Having achieved success in their landings on the Kerch Peninsula, the Soviets reinforce the beachhead and attempt to break out to relieve Sevastopol. The attacks meet heavy German resistance. A landing attempted at Eupatoria is repulsed.

US and Filipino forces establish a defensive line around Layac, securing the retreat route onto the Bataan Peninsula.

British forces attack isolated German positions at Halfaya Pass near the Libyan-Egyptian border while 200 miles to the west, the 8th Army pursuit of the beaten Afrika Korp is coming to an end east of El Agheila.

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January 6, 1942

US and Filipino forces withdraw from Layac. 80,000 allied troops are now bottled up in Bataan.

Japanese amphibious forces land at Brunei Bay in Borneo.

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January 7, 1942

The Japanese follow-up the withdrawal of the US and Filipino forces at Bataan.

British defenses in central Malaya collapses as the 11th Indian Division is routed.

General Wavell, who a year ago defeated the Italians in Libya, arrives in Singapore to take command of a seriously deteriorating situation for the British.

German forces in Yugoslavia attack and drive Tito's partisans our of the Olovo area. Despite the heavy losses, the partisans successfully withdraw 50 miles south to Foca

The Soviet Northwest Front launch a major counter-offensive at Novgorod.

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January 8, 1942

Japanese forces take Jesselton in Borneo and penetrate the defenses of Kuala Lumpur in Malaya.

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January 9, 1942

Soviet forces break through German positions in the Smolensk area after extremely heavy fighting.

Japanese forces launch heavy attacks on US/Filipino lines at Bataan.

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January 10, 1942

Commonwealth forces abandon Kuala Lumpur and Prot Swettenham in Malaya as Japanese aircraft launch strong air raids on Sinapore's airfields.

Col-General Ernst Udet, the great World War I fighter ace, commits suicide because, in his mind, he failed in his job as head of aircraft production to provide for the German forces.

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January 11, 1942  

The Japanese declare war on the Netherlands as it invades the Dutch East Indies.

The Japanese 5th Division captures Kuala Lujmpur and now stands 150 miles from Sinapore.

Soviet attacks succeed in reaching and cutting the railroad between Rzhev and Bryansk severely crippling the German defenses in the area.

Japanese forces launch more fruitless attacks to dislodge the US/Filipino forces at Bataan as the Japanese succeed in sinking 15 blockade runners (40,000 tons of shipping) attempting to get supplies to the beleaguered forces.

British forces launch fresh attacks on the German units cut off at at Sollum and Halfaya Pass.

Japanese forces land and take Tarakan in Dutch Borneo.

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January 12, 1942

Chinese forces, after nine days of hard fighting succeed in routing a Japanese force of 70,000 at Changsha, Hunan.

The commander of Army Group South, Walther von Reichenau, dies of a stroke.

Von Leeb, commander of Army Group North requests permission to withdrawal from the Dymyansk area. Hitler refused condemning 100,000 troops to become surrounded. Von Leeb resigns and takes no further part in the war.

5000 deported German and Austrian Jews were executed at Kovno. The deportation of 20,000 Jews in Odessa began. They were ruthlessly marched north to Balta where most would die of starvation before the end of the year.

German submarines begin operations off the east coast of the United States, as U-123 sinks the 9000 ton British merchant Cyclops. By the end of the month 46 ships would be sunk (totaling nearly 200,000 tons). 

Sollum, Libya is captured by the British.

Those wishing to contribute items. stories or comments should contact D.A. Friedrichs

Editor's Corner 

The items found in this section are comments from the editors of Project 60 and may not necessarily reflect the opinions of bartcop.

War, Glory, Honor and Remembrance

War is a brutal and savage insult on human society. For nations it is the destruction of the resources needed for the enrichment of its citizens. For families, it is the loss of loved ones and the horrors held by the survivors. For the individual, it is the loss of precious time and ultimately, life itself.

There is no honor or glory in war. The sacrifice of a generation of humans cannot be seen in anyway to be glorious. Platitudes like "just cause" and "noble purpose" are meaningless to the person whose body has been blown to bits. If there is honor, it is in survival. If there is glory it is returning to your families, friends and community.

What we, the people who did not have to experience war, must do, is remember those who gave so much for our freedom. We must redouble our efforts so that their sacrifice is not in vane, so tyranny will not threaten our world again, so no more young men and women of any nation, need be surrendered to the insanity of war again.

D. A. Friedrichs

Previous Columns

Want to Win - Think Before You Lash Out - "If we are serious about taking the war to the enemy, it is time to look ..."

The First Fight Against Fascism - We must remember the Spanish Civil War also.

Arguing Victory - "... Each nation who fought against fascist tyranny in WWII brought with it part of whole needed to defeat that evil..." 

War, Glory, Honor and Remembrance - "War is a brutal and savage insult on human society..."

The First Casualty... in time of war, those in power are even more inclined to hide the truth, since that truth is often manifest in the most gruesome and terrible acts.  


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