German sapper lays mine at el Alamein

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

Remembering the First Fight Against Fascism

Convoy PQ-17 under attack  

June 30, 1942

The Soviets, running our of ammunition, food, water, and space, begin the evacuation of Sevastopol.

The vanguard of Rommel's forces, exhausted, low on fuel and water, reach the British lines at El Alamein.

While returning from a patrol in the Gulf of Mexico, U-158 is sunk by US aircraft off Bermuda.

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July 1, 1942

An American submarine operating off Luzon, sinks a Japanese transport. Unknown to the boat's skipper, the ship was carrying Australian POWs. 849 drowned.

Rommel launches his last 55 tanks against the feeble British positions at El Alamein. In a heavy sandstorm, Rommel sent the greatly depleted 90th Light Division on a flanking move. After initial success, capturing Deir el Shein, the DAK was met by heavy artillery fire and bloodily repulsed. The Germans lost 18 tanks for minor gains.

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July 2, 1942

8th Army commander, Gen Auchinleck, succeeds in installing the revitalized 1st Armored Division on the Ruweisat Ridge, the dominant feature in the middle of the El Alamein position. Rommel attacked this feature and succeeded in taking his feeble force of 37 tanks down to 26.

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July 3, 1942

Sevastopol falls to the Germans. 24 days of siege end in a costly victory for the Germans. 97,000 Soviet soldiers and sailors are captured. Hitler promoted the victorious commander, von Manstein to Field Marshal.

German forces in Yugoslavia launch major attacks in the Kozara region against Tito's partisans.

Rommel makes one last attempt to break the British lines at El Alamein, losing 13 of his last 26 tanks. By the end of the day, he suspends offensive operations and sets the troops to building defensive positions. The First Battle of El Alamein had ended in British victory. Egypt was saved.

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July 4, 1942

Convoy PQ17, consisting of 35 merchants, 6 destroyers and 15 other escorts, en route to Archangel, comes under heavy air attack. Four of the vessels are sunk. Reports indicate that the German surface fleet, including the battleship Tirpitz, have left their anchorages in Norway and are heading in to kill the convoy. The convoy is ordered to scatter to avoid the confrontation with the superior German surface force.

Six B-17 from the newly activated US 8th Air Force join RAF bombers in hitting German airfields in Holland.

The "Flying Tigers", the private air group which had supported Chinese forces for years were officially disbanded and reconstituted as the 23rd Pursuit Group in the Army Air Corp.

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July 5, 1942

With news of the scattered convoy and the threat of losses, Hitler orders the surface fleet back to Norway. Air attacks, however, continue and intensify. Ultimately, only 11 merchants would make it to Archangel. 99,316 tons of material, including 430 tanks and 210 aircraft were lost.

Elements of 4th Panzer Army reach Voronezh on the Don River.

Axis troops at El Alamein begin laying thousands of mines.

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July 6, 1942

QP13, while returning from Russia makes a navigational error off Iceland, putting the convoy into a British minefield. Five merchants sunk before the group maneuvered to safety.

The Germans commence operation Swampflower against Russian partisan forces in the Dorogobuzh area.

U-132, commanded by Capt. Vogelsang, enters the St. Lawrence seaway and sinks 3 merchant ships.


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July 7, 1942

Soviet forces counter-attack the German 6th Army at Voronezh, succeeding in stopping the German attacks in the area, but not driving them back.

At a conference in Berlin, Himmler, along with SS General Glueks, SS Major General Gebhardt and a German gynecologist, Prof. Karl Clauberg decided to begin medical experiments on Jewish women at Auschwitz. It was also decided to ring an X-ray specialist, Prof Hohlfelder onto the team to experiment on Jewish men to see if his techniques could be used to sterilize Jewish men.

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July 8, 1942

4th Panzer Army attacks southeast of Voronezh along the west bank of the Don River as the retreating Soviet forces abandon Starii Oskol. 

Admiral Nimitz is ordered to prepare for an invasion of Guadalcanal.

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July 9, 1942

Hitler changes the plans for the summer offensive, directing Army Group A to Rostov and the Caucusus Mountains, while Army Group B marched on Stalingrad. The plane to destroy the southern wing of the Red Army in open battle had been abandoned to Hitler's desire to occupy land.

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July 10, 1942

After days of deceptive movements of his forces, General Auchinleck goes on the offensive. Rommel, lured south by planned withdraws, strikes into empty ground. Meanwhile, the British XXX Corp hits the Italians along the coast road. The attacks routed the Italian Sabratha Division and threatened Rommel's HQ and supply lines.

In Russia, German forces take Rossosh and establish a bridgehead on the east bank of the Don River.

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July 11, 1942

Rommel calls off his errant attack in the south and returns to his defensive positions. Panzer Army Afrika, battered and a few miles back restores the situation at El Alamein. Rommel lets it be known that he no longer has confidence in the Italian forces under his command and begins deploying elements of the 164th Infantry division with the Italians as "stiffeners".

German forces take Lisichansk on the Dontetz River.

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July 12, 1942

As his southern front crumbles, Stalin moves massive numbers of troops into the Stalingrad area, forming a new Front (Army Group) under Marshal Timoshenko.

After two weeks of heavy fighting, German forces in Army Group North succeed in eliminating the Vlasov's 2nd Shock Army in the Volkhov area, taking 30,000 prisoners. Vlasov would later turn on his former comrades and support the Nazis by leading the anti-Bolshevik Russian Liberation Army.

Australian troops advance to Kokoda in New Guinea and establish defensive positions to protect Buna.

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July 13, 1942

Rommel attacks British positions beyond the Ruweisat ("Kidney") Ridge south of El Alamein. His forces are bloodily repulsed.

FDR established the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) under Col. Donovan. Editor's Note: The OSS was the grandfather to modern intelligence (CIA) and Special Forces operations. It is the one, for better or worse, set the mold for clandestine operations in hot as well as cold wars.

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

1942 Archive:
  January |  February | March  | April | May | June

Special Editions:
Pearl Harbor | The Doolittle Raid | Midway

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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