Russian supply convoy negotiates the "ice road" across Lake Ladoga, bring precious supplies to Leningrad

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

Remembering the First Fight Against Fascism

Starving and unable to withstand the cold, another Leningrader falls dead on the street  


January 27, 1942

Rommel, his forces dispersed in the advance, launches a feint against Mechili, threatening to encircle the Commonwealth forces at Benghazi. The British panic and order the hurried evacuation of the port.

Japanese troops land at Pemangkat in Dutch Borneo and Russel Island in New Guinea.

The US Navy submarine Seawolf arrives at Bataan with its feeble supply of ammunition. All of the surviving pilots are evacuated when the submarine left that night.

Soviet forces capture Lozovaya on the Donets front.

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January 28, 1942  

Rommel’s forces reoccupy Bengazi and capture a huge quantity of supplies that the British were unable to withdraw or destroy.

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January 29, 1942

Churchill “survives” a vote of no confidence in the House of Commons by a the margin of 464 to 1.

British Bomber Command, deviating from their nightly terror bombing of German cities, launches a 16-plane raid against the German battleship Tirpitz in Norway. Only two planes reach the target area and no damage was reported to the Tirpitz.

US and Filipino forces destroy the Japanese beachhead at Point Longoskayan.

Soviet forces attack and inflict heavy losses on the Germans southwest of Kaluga, recapturing Sukhinichi (the third time the town changed hands in less than a week).

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January 30, 1942

In celebrations of his ninth anniversary of seizing power in Germany, Hitler, in a capacity crowd at the Sports Palace in Berlin said, “… the result of this war will be the complete annihilation of the Jews.”

Japanese forces capture the naval base of Amboina between the Celebes and New Guinea.

Heavy fighting is reported at Moulmein, Burma as Japanese forces take the city.

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January 31, 1942

In their first offensive action of the war, US Navy carriers launch airraids against Japanese bases at Kwajalein, Wotje and Maloelap in the Marshall Islands. The carrier Enterprise was damaged by a Japanese torpedo bomber.

Japanese forces drive the British defenders off the mainland of Malaya and lay siege to Singapore.

Officials in Leningrad reported that as of 1/31/42, 200,000 civilians had died of starvation and exposure since the start of the siege five months ago. However, some relief was finally coming to the city as the “Ice Road” across Lake Ladoga was finally bringing in badly needed supplies and evacuating those not critical to the defense of the city.

The Australians defending Dutch Timor surrendered to the Japanese. In the next week over half of the captives would be beheaded or bayoneted after capture.

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February 1, 1942

British forces continue to retreat in North Africa, moving toward the Gazala-Bir Hacheim area (west of Tobruk).

Zhukov is promoted to command all Soviet Fronts (army groups) in the Moscow area. His command includes West, Kalinn and Bryansk Fronts.

The Soviets launch a major offensive in the Vyazma area.

German U-boats begin using the “Triton” cipher, replacing the “Hydra” cipher. This move effectively silenced the intelligence take by the British for nearly a year.

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February 2, 1942

Heavy fighting is reported in the Crimea as Russian forces retake Feodosiya.

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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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