Russian infantry advance past destroyed German PzKfw IV

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

Remembering the First Fight Against Fascism

German Stug III assault gun breaks cover to counterattack Soviet forces.  

May 12, 1942  

The Soviets, lead by Timoshenko, launch a major offensive out of their bridgehead at Izyum, aiming to capture Kharkov. The Germans had planned for a counterattack later in the month at the same location. The fighting was very heavy.

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May 13, 1942

After heavy German attacks, the Soviet positions on the Kerch peninsula collapse and the Soviets are in paniced retreat.  The Soviets are offensive in the Kharkov area continues to push the Germans back in heavy fighting.

Tanya Savicheva, a young girl from Leningrad, notes in a address book, "Mummy May 13 at 7.30 morning 1942. The Savichevs are dead. All dead. Only Tanya remains.". Tanya was evacuated from the besieged city but died of chronic dysentery in the summer of 1943.

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May 14, 1942  

HMS Trinidad is torpedoed by German aircraft off Bear Island while escorting merchants heading for Murmansk. The ship would be scuttled the next day. Eighty sailors were lost, including 20 wounded men who were rescued off the cruiser Edinburgh, sunk two weeks eairler.

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May 15, 1942

The German 11th Army recapture Kerch in the Crimea.

Japanese forces complete the conquest of Burma forcing all Commonwealth forces back into India and Chinese forces into China.

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May 16, 1942

Roosevelt ordered the release of US Communist party leader Earl Browder who had spent 14 months in prison on trumpeted up passport irregularities. Editor's Note: Sound familiar to anyone?

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May 17, 1942

In an attempt to jump-start the Soviet attacks toward Kharkov, Southwest front commits it's armored forces to the attack. Simultaneously, the German 1st Panzer and 6th Armies begins operations against the Soviet 9th Army in the Kramatorsk area and the 28th Army in the Belgorod area. The Germans are poised to surround the over extended Soviet armies.

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May 18, 1942

The Soviets continue to send their 6th Army toward Kharkov, while 9th Army begins a fighting withdrawal away from the German onslaught to the south and east.

British Air Fleet units engage and damage the German heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen forcing her to return to Kiel for repairs.

British Bomber Command launches heavy raids against Mannheim.

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May 19, 1942

Manstein's 11th Army completes the clearing of the eastern end of the Crimean peninsula, freeing forces for the final assault on Sevastopol. The Germans took 100,000 prisoners and captured hundreds of artillery pieces.

Paulus' 6th Army launches attacks on the northern flank of the Soviet salient pointed at Kharkov. The Soviets are faced with disaster as both flanks crumble under the onslaught and finally call off their attacks on Kharkov, turning their forces to the threat to their rear.

Soviet partisans blew up five separate sections of the Bryansk-Roslavl line in the rear of Army Group Center.

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May 20, 1942

US Naval Intelligence, operating from intercepted Japanese secret messages, orders the Navy to concentrate its defenses at Midway and not to react to the diversionary attack directed at Attu in the Aleutians.

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May 21, 1942

With the inability of the Luftwaffe or Italian air force to gain air superiority over Malta, Hitler calls off the planned invasion of Malta.

4300 Jews from Chelm were deported to the Sobibor death camp and gassed. 2100 Jews from Korzec were marched into fields outside town and murdered. The German synthetic oil and rubber factory run by the firm of IG Farben open at Monowitz, just outside Aushwitz. The few people who were not gassed were tattooed and sent as slaves to work in the factories.

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May 22, 1942

German attacks continue in the Kharkov area as 28th Army is pushed back to it's start line it left 10 days area.

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May 23, 1942

The German 6th (Paulus) and 1st Panzer (Kleist) Armies complete the surrounding of Timoshenko's forces which earlier in the month had attacked with some success toward Kharkov.

British General Stilwell arrives in Dimapur, India, ending a 140-mile trek through the Burmese jungle.

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May 24, 1942

The Germans launch Operation Hanover, an attempt to clear Soviet partisans from the Bryansk-Vyaazma railway. 45,000 troops are involved in the operation.

The 1st Panzer Army begins the destruction of the pocketed troops from the Soviet 6th and 9th Armies.

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May 25, 1942

Reinhard Heydrich, one of the most brutal an vicious sadists in the Gestapo, is mortally wounded by Czeel patriaots. His miserable life would hang on until June 4.

The Battle for the Gazala Line opens in North Africa as the Afrika Korps launches Operation Theseus. Italian forces were sent against the British fortifications along the northern end of the line. Rommel's tanks and motorized troops swung south to turn the British lines at Bir Hakeim.   

Britian and the Soviet Union sign an agreement not to sign a separate peace with Germany or her allies.

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1941 Archive:
June | July | August | September | October | November | December

1942 Archive:
  January |  February | March  | April

Special Editions:
Pearl Harbor | The Doolittle Raid

Editor's Corner Archive:

The Past Through Tomorrow "It is quite frightening to realize just how similar our nation's actions have been and appear to be heading when compared this way..."

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


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