Japanese infantry herd captured 
British soldiers
- Project 60: A Day-by-Day Diary of WWII - 

Remembering the First Fight Against Fascism

German Panzergrenidiers on the 
move in North Africa
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Map Links:East Front Dec '41 - Feb '42 | North Africa Nov 41-July 43 | Japanese Expansion

January 20, 1942

In the Berlin suburb of Wanssee, a conference was held to determine the fate of million’s of people. The Wannsee Conference was convened to discuss the “Final Solution” to the Jewish Question. The chair of the committee was none other than SS Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich, a Nazi sociopath second only to Hitler himself. At this meeting, the broad plan for the execution of all Jews was finalized. In cold, calculated, and efficient language these savages in uniform plotted the extermination of 11 million soles. Wilhelm Stuckart, the lawyer who created the 1935 Nuremberg Laws quietly and logically argued his case for determining how much “Jewish blood was enough to taint German purity” when determining those with “mixed blood” should be “sent east” (to the death camps). Of course, he indicated, these “mixed bloods” would have to be sterilized.It was also decided that “Final” solution would be to gas, rather than shoot, starve, or otherwise kill the Jews would be the most efficient mechanism to complete the task. Adolf Eichmann was given the task of executing these protocols.

Never in the course of human history has such an atrocity been committed on the face of this earth. A translation of the only surviving minutes to the meeting can be found at … http://prorev.com/wannsee.htm
British forces occupy Benghazi.

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January 21, 1942 

Rommel, after a retreat of 500 miles and only a few days to regroup his shattered forces, launches a counter-offensive against the British in Libya. 21st Panzer Division takes Mersa Brega and 15th Panzer moves east beyond the British flank and then turns north toward Agebadia. The scattered screening forces of the British 1st Armored Division are routed.

London and the southern ports of England are once again subjected to attacks by the Luftwaffe as the Germans open a series of new raids.

Japanese aircraft hit allied positions in New Guinea for the first time in the war.
General “Vinegar Joe” Stillwell is appointed as Chief of Staff to Chiang Kai-shek.

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January 22, 1942

Rommel’s forces, now designated the Panzer Army Africa, capture Agedabia and trap elements of the British 1st Armored division in the Antelat-Sannu area. The British loses are heavy. 

Constant pressure and mounting casualties forces MacAurthur to withdraw his Bataan forces to the Mauban-Abucay line along the Pilar-Bagac road. This is the last practical defense line available to the doomed defenders. During the night the Japanese land forces at Quinauan and Longoskawayan Points, deep in the US/Filipino rear. Allied reserves are able to contain the Japanese beacheheads.
Australian troops, having been cut off on the retreat to Singapore, were forced to abandon their wounded and infiltrate the Japanese lines across a swamp. That night, the Japanese came across the wounded men by the road. They were smoking and, completely unafraid, waiting to be taken captive. The Japanese shot and bayoneted the defenseless men.

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January 23, 1942

Japanese forces make landings at Rabaul (New Britian), Kavieng (New Ireland), Kendari (Celebes) and at Bouganinville Island (Solomons).

Rommel’s Italian allies refuse to advance further to the east. Rommel, decides to continue the attack with the Germans only.

At Novi Sad on the Danube River in Hungary, local soldiers marched 550 Jews and 292 Serbs onto the ice of the river and began shelling the location. The ice broke and the captives froze and drown in the icy waters.
Russian forces capture Kholm, northwest of Moscow and nearly surround the German forces clinging to Rzhev.

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January 24, 1942

The Special Court of Inquiry into the Pearl Harbor disaster, headed by Justice Roberts is submitted. The conclusion of the commission was that Admiral Kimmel and General Short, the local Navy and Army commanders at Pearl Harbor neglected to coordinate security precautions and were largely responsible for the events of December 7. The report did not adequately address the failure of Washington intelligence groups in the fiasco. Editor’s Note: It is interesting that in six weeks, FDR’s administration was able to assess this disaster, while the current occupant of the Whitehouse has yet to even start an inquiry into the 9-11 tragedy after nearly four months.

German troops begin to regroup and attack in the Moscow area. Sukhinichi, a town near Kaluga, is recaptured by the Germans.

The Commonwealth defenses in Singapore are reinforced by the arrival of the British 18th Division.

Japanese forces land at Blikpapan in Dutch Borneo.
Four US Navy destroyers intercept a Japanese convoy destined to invade Java. In the action, the Japanese loose 1 destroyer and 4 of the 16 transports while the Americans loose nothing.

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January 25, 1942

German forces advancing across the open desert threaten to cut off the 4th Indian Division in the Behghazi area.
Japanese forces land at Lae in New Guinea. Balikpapan in Borneo is secured. The oil fields here would supply 70,000 barrels a day (90% of their total petroleum output).

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January 26, 1942

The 6000 Japanese troops take Rabul on the island of New Britain. Most of the 1000 Australian defenders were killed after they had surrendered.

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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.

Vietnam and Afghanistan

When the “war against terrorism” began, many knowledgeable people warned that our operations in Afghanistan would turn into another Vietnam. In the flush of “victory”, much of the gloomy projections have been relegated to the trash heap.

However, there are still some interesting comparisons that can be made.

In the early days of Vietnam, the United States inserted teams of Special Forces, to assist in establishing good relations with the locals by helping with village defense, health, and education programs. These operations were highly successful in combating the influence of the Viet Cong. In the Afghan war, a similar, and, like its predecessor, highly successful program is well underway.

Like Vietnam, we are currently destroying any good will we have with the locals by blowing stuff up. The old saying “we had to destroy the village in order to save it” is alive and well and making a comeback in Afghanistan. However, we have progressed a long way in 35 years. In Vietnam, we would send an infantry platoon with Zippos into a village and burn it down. In Afghanistan, the mud doesn’t burn, so we use precision-guided ordnance to turn peoples homes into craters. The downside of this “improved” system, is that by the time we get around to blowing up a house, a wedding party moves in and we blow up a few score party-goers like we did at Qalaye Niazi.

The biggest similarity between the two wars is the Pentagon briefings. The goals and objectives are different but the level of lies and deceits have not changed one bit. In Vietnam, the goal was to show progress by inflating “body counts”. In our new, more compassionate world, we measure progress by how many buildings we blow up in a sterile and non-violent manner, with “minimal collateral damage”.In Vietnam villages were called Viet Cong strongholds and in Afghanistan they are called Al Qaeda compounds. In reality, these are places which were filled with people, who wanted nothing more to try to scratch out a life for themselves before we came and destroyed everything in their pitiful lives.

The one area that is glaringly different is how the US press is conducting operations in the two wars. In Vietnam, the horrors and violence of war were brought home. We saw that people, our soldiers, their soldiers, innocent people, were horribly maimed and killed in war. Since Desert Storm, war for our citizens has been converted into some sort of sick bloodless video game. Our press today call sitting in a pentagon briefing journalism and don’t bother to fact check the lies they are fed by the Administration. The India Times has better, more accurate and more complete war coverage than the New York Times. This is a sad and pathetic commentary on the health of our Fourth Estate.

Like Vietnam, one of the reasons we got involved in the first place was to prop up a corrupt and inept government, which we installed. In Afghanistan, we have installed a government, but it remains to be seen just how corrupt and inept it will be. Early signs, despite what is reported in the US media, are not particularly encouraging.

In Vietnam, the primary reason for our presence was to stop Communism. In Afghanistan, we have traded the bogyman of Communism for terrorism. Both were and are vile and, if you will, evil. However, neither will be defeated by military intervention. Economic stability, justice and self-determination are the keys to defeating both of those enemies.

In both Vietnam and Afghanistan, the more compelling, and less acknowledged, reason for intervention appears to be US business interests. In the 60’s it was rubber and oil. Now it’s just oil and not even really oil, just a place to put a pipeline that the Ruskies don’t control. We seem to have an annoying habit of trading red blood for black gold.
So in the end, there are quite a few similarities. We can still avoid the bloodbath of Vietnam. There is no reason for our military to continue the bloodletting. With luck and some thought, perhaps we can avoid the need to put another black wall on our national mall. We shall see.

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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