American Marines storm ashore at Guadalcanal.

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

Remembering the First Fight Against Fascism

German tank commander looks at the burning oilfields at Maikop - the prize of his long drive south. 

July 28, 1942

Soviet forces begin withdrawing from the lower Don, as the fall of Rostov has unhinged the defensive position.

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July 29, 1942

German forces advancing toward the Caucasus take Proletarskaya, securing a bridgehead over the Manych River.

After four days of heavy fighting, Japanese forces take Kokoda from the Australians.

Chinese forces attacking along the Hanchow-Nancheng rail line push the Japanese back

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July 30, 1942

General Auchinleck suspends offensive operations against Rommel's forces at El Alamein. Although Churchill is displeased with the halt, Auchinleck did manage to save Egypt and the North African campaign by stopping Rommel in the actions of the last month.

Chinese recapture Tsingtien in eastern Chekiang, cutting off the Japanese at Wenchow.

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July 31, 1942

Soviet forces of the West Front launch a major attack against Army Group Center in the Rzhev area.

4th Panzer Army launches attacks aimed at breaking the Russian hold on the middle Don River.

Japanese forces cross the Own Stanley Mountains, advancing from Buna and Gona in their offensive on Port Moresby in New Guinea.

603 RAF bombers, and for the first time, over 100 heavy Lancaster bombers, hit Dusseldorf. 453 homes were destroyed, 1500 damaged and 279 civilians were killed in the terror bombing. The British losses were heavy at 29 aircraft (nearly 5%). 

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August 1, 1942

The waters off Charleston, SC are mined by a German submarine.

The Germans, unable to make headway on the ground in Egypt, launch a major air raid against Cairo.

German forces drive in southern Russia, capturing Salsk, severing an important Stalingrad-Novorossisk rail line. Meanwhile, advance elements of 1st Panzer Army reaches the Kuban River south of Rostov.

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August 2, 1942

Allied aircraft in North Africa begin concentrated attacks on Rommel's extended supply lines.

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August 3, 1942

Voroshilovsk falls to the advancing German forces. 1st Panzer Army establishes a bridgehead over the Kuban River, threatening the oil fields at Maikop.

The FBI arrests 89 "dangerous aliens" in the US.

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August 4, 1942

Having completed the crossing of the Don, 48 Panzer Corp turns northeast, driving toward Stalingrad.

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August 5, 1942

Soviet forces deploy newly raised formations of the 57th and 64th Armies west of Stalingrad in an attempt to stem the advance of 4th Panzer Army. Heavy fighting results in serious losses to the green Russian formations and the important road center of Kotelnikovo, 100 mile southwest of Stalingrad, is captured by the Germans.

In a large battle off Newfoundland, a convoy of 36 ships returning to the United States ran afoul of German U-boats. Escorts sunk two of the German submarines but 11 merchants were sunk.

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August 6, 1942

Elements of 1st Panzer Army cross the Kuban River at Armavir.

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August 7, 1942

Operation Watchtower begins as U.S. forces in the Pacific begin their first offensive action of the war. 16,000 troops of the 1st Marine Division land at Guadalcanal and four other islands (Florida, Tulagi, Gavutu and Tanambogo) in the Solomons chain. Poor weather hides much of the operation, which surprises the Japanese defenders. Resistance on Guadalcanal was mercifully non-existent as the Marines were badly disorganized in the landing operation and movements inland. However, resistance was fanatical on the other islands as very few Japanese soldiers fought to the death, not allowing themselves to be captured.

Elements of the German 6th Army cross the Don at Kalach on the road to Stalingrad.

German scientist Klaus Fuchs became a British citizen. Fuchs was working on the Anglo-American research on the atomic bomb. He was also working as a spy for the Soviets and passing everything he had to the Communists.

On the other end of the Pacific, US naval forces bombard Kiska Island in the Aleutians.

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August 8, 1942

W.H.E. Gott, who was slated to take command of 8th Army, is killed when his plane was shot down in route to his new post.

Six of the eight spies landed by Germany on the US eastern seaboard are executed by electrocution. The two agents not executed were the men who turned in their comrades to the FBI.

Ghandi, speaking for the India Congress party said, "If India is free, effective resistance could be offered against the aggressor. India's freedom is long overdue". His party went on to adopted a resolution demand­ing the immediate withdrawal of the British Government from India and sanctioned nonviolent civil disobedience in case of noncompliance.

US Marines secure Tulagi in the Solomons. The Marines also reach Henderson Airfield on Guadalcanal and occupy the abandoned airstrip.

Canton, China is raided by US bombers.

The waters off Jacksonville, Florida were mined by a German submarine.

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August 9, 1942

The Battle of Savo Island is fought in the waters between Guadalcanal and Florida Island (soon to be known as "Ironbottom Sound"). Admiral Mikawa's forces of seven cruisers dashed into battle after making a 24-knot speed run. They made contact with Allied forces at 0100. Having trained for years in night combat, the Japanese forces attained complete surprise. The Japanese ships slipped past the destroyer pickets heading for the transports off Lunga Point. At 0138, the Japanese launched their first wave of their devastating "Long Lance" torpedoes. A Japanese scout plane dropped flares on the Allied ships and their ships opened up a devastating barrage. The Austrailian cruiser Canberra was smothered in 8-inch shells and turned into a blazing wreck in minutes. The US cruiser Chicago was hit and damaged by a torpedo. She blundered off in the darkeness unable to spot her attackers. Working off erroneous intelligence reports from earlier in the day, Mikawa feared running into the (nonexistent) heavier forces and turned to withdraw. Twenty minutes later, his force encountered the US cruisers Astoria, Quincy and Vincennes, these ships were quickly dispatched with gunfire along with one destroyer (the Ralph Talbot). The victorious Japanese then withdrew, completely unharmed in the engagement. The devastating defeat forced the withdrawal of the Marine transports (with much of their equipment), and left the Japanese in control of the waters off Guadalcanal.

German forces capture Krasnodar and Maikop. The retreating Russian set fire the oil fields and blow up the well heads to deny the Germans the main prize of the summer campaign.

British authorities arrest Gandhi and other Indian Congress party officials because of their continuing protests to the war effort and demands for independence from England. Serious rioting erupts in many cities and troops are called in to "preserve order".

Convoy SC-94 is attacked by German U-boats in the North Atlantic. Seven British and Dutch ships are sunk.

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August 10, 1942

German forces enter the Caucasus Mountains, taking Pyatigorsk.

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

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

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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