German mortar crew in action on the  Kerch peninsula
Project 60: A Day-by-Day Diary of WWII 

Remembering the First Fight Against Fascism

Royal Navy Swordfish torpedo bomber on the prowl for Tirpitz 
This Week:
March 10 | March 11 | March 12 | March 13 | March 14 | March 15 | March 16 

  Map Links:
East Front Dec '41 - May '42 | North Africa Nov 41-July 43 | Japanese Expansion

March 10, 1942

“Vinegar Joe” Stillwell is named Chief of Staff of allied armies in the Chinese theatre of operations.

Japanese forces land on Buka in the Solomon Islands.

Aircraft from the British carrier Victorious engaged the German battleship Tirpitz in the North Atlantic. The attack failed to do any damage to the enemy.

US carrier aircraft engage Japanese shipping and troop concentrations on New Guinea as Japanese forces take the port city of Finschhafen.
RAF Bomber Command targeted Essen again. Bad weather spread the bombers all over the Ruhr as little damage was reported but bombs fell in 24 separate towns.

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March 11, 1942

The cruiser HMS Naiad is torpedoed by U-565 south of Crete. She sank taking 77 of her crew down with her.
General MacArthur leaves Corregidor and the Philippines for Australia, after being ordered to assume command of the new South-West Pacific area, which in effect meant all Allied forces in the Pacific. MacArthur's last words before leaving were "I shall return!” General M. Wainwright takes over command in the Philippines.

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March 12, 1942

The Japanese Imperial Guard Division lands without opposition on the north coast of Sumatra.
With the loss of southern Burma, British forces are compelled to abandon the indefensible Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal.

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March 13, 1942

Red army launches a major offensive on the Kerch peninsula against the German 11th Army.

The second Nazi death camp opens at Belzec opens as the first 6000 Jews arrive to be killed. 360,000 people would be killed at this camp by the end of the war.
RAF Bomber Command launched 135 planes against Cologne. Two factories were destroyed, 1500 houses burned and 62 civilians killed. This was the first “success” for the new Gee navigational aide.

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March 14, 1942

The US Joint Chiefs of Staff formalized plans to maintain a strategic defensive posture in the Pacific while building up forces in England for an offensive against Germany.

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March 15, 1942

U-503 is sunk near the Grand Banks, off Newfoundland, by another aircraft from the US squadron, VP-82.
Japanese forces begin a heavy bombardment of the US fortified islands in Manila Bay.

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March 16, 1942

US bombers based in Australia begin operations against Japanese positions in the Philippines.

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1941 Archive:
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1942 Archive:
  January February

Special Editions:
Pearl Harbor

Editor's Corner Archive:

Afghanistan and Vietnam: When the “war against terrorism” began, many knowledgeable people warned that our operations in Afghanistan would turn into another Vietnam.

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. 

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.

The Afghan War and the Geneva Convention

This is the final part of a four-part essayessay on the application of the Geneva Convention toward the Afghan War. The importance of this issue is that the Bush administration, by its complete misreading of international law has left the United States vulnerable to charges of war crimes. Our nation is better than that and those who supposedly lead us, should not act in criminal manners. Bush, Ashcroft and Rumsfeld have managed, in their ridiculous declaration regarding POWs in this war, to lay waste to any pretext we have to be the guardians of human rights in the world today.

Part one discussed the status of those taken by our forces during the conflict.

Part two looked at the Geneva Convention in more detail and clarifies the rights POWs have.

Part three examined, in detail, cases of war crimes committed by our soldiers in the field.

Part four concludes the essay by examining the ramifications of our actions.

Part 4: So What!

From the previous discussions, it should be patently obvious that the leadership of the government of the United States is, if not guilty of war crimes, certainly vulnerable to the accusation. This begs the question, so what?

War crimes, as defined in the 1992 UN Covenant of Civil and Political Rights (which the United States is a party) clearly states that "grave breaches of the Geneva Convention" constitute a war crime.

Article 130 of the Geneva Convention states …

Grave breaches to which the preceding Article relates shall be those involving any of the following acts, if committed against persons or property protected by the Convention: wilful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, including biological experiments, wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, compelling a prisoner of war to serve in the forces of the hostile Power, or wilfully depriving a prisoner of war of the rights of fair and regular trial prescribed in this Convention.
By denying the existence of POWs, by stripping these men of their humanity, by housing them like they were animals, by threatening or executing torture, by depriving them of due process, we leave ourselves vulnerable to charges of war crimes.

It should come as no surprise that the Bush administration, in their infinite capacity for arrogance, ignores the niceties of international agreements. Kyoto, nuclear weapons test bans, chemical/biological weapons development, the ABM treaty and the land mines ban have all been abrogated by the current occupant of the Whitehouse. Now it appears that the Geneva Convention will be added to that long list.

As this is being written, Slobodan Milosovich is in the Hague being tried for crimes against humanity and war crimes. The international community has come to the conclusion that the acts of tyrants, even if directed against their own population will not be tolerated. Our leadership, Bush, Rumsfeld, and Ashcroft in particular are vulnerable to similar charges. It is highly unlikely that they will ever face a court of law regarding any wrong doing, but the accusations alone undermine any authority this nation can have regarding human rights. That is the problem. If we are to make the world a better place, we must have that moral authority. Our current policies and actions undermine that authority.

The people of this nation should not tolerate such actions by our leadership. Osama bin Laden and his band of thugs hurt this nation, and hurt it badly. This, however, does not give us the right to take our righteous indignation, born from fear, to wreak havoc on other people. If we are indeed a nation of laws (which may be in doubt after the Clinton impeachment and the Florida election fiasco), those laws do not disappear when troubled times arrive. Those are the times that test our moral fortitude. At present we are failing that test.

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