The oil tank farm at Stalingrad burns as German Stuka divebombers make another attack.

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

Remembering the First Fight Against Fascism

The debris of modern war litters the beach at Dieppe after the unsuccessful raid.

August 11, 1942

The British aircraft carrier Eagle and an escorting destroyer were sunk off the east coast of Gibraltar by the German submarine U-73 while escorting a convoy to Malta (operation 'Pedestal'). The convoy, stripped of her air assets withdrew to Gibraltar. However, before making good their escape, five merchants along with the AA-ship Cairo and cruiser Manchester were sunk by Italian warships in a series of actions over the next two days.

US bombers launch a series of attacks against Japanese positions in China, hitting Canton, Hankow, and Yoochow.

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August 12, 1942

Army Group A continues its advance into the Caucasus, capturing Elista near the Caspian Sea.

Churchill arrives in Moscow to discuss the upcoming "Operation Torch", the liberation of North Africa, with Stalin.

Soviet attacks against German positions at Rzhev stall. Heavy losses are reported on both sides, with little territory changing hands.

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August 13, 1942

Bernard "Monty" Montgomery takes command of 8th Army.

German advances in the Caucasus reaches Mineralniye Vody.

Strikes in India in protest to the imprisonment of Gandhi succeed in closing several factories.

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August 14, 1942

The wizard code breakers working at Bletchley broke the "Quince" code. >From this point on, all Waffen SS Enigma messages were read by the Allies.

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August 15, 1942

The German 6th Army launches attacks out of the Don bridgeheads in their final drive on Stalingrad.

The Germans open a new forced labor camp at the coal mines at Jawizowice, Poland, not far from Auschwitz. Thousands of French and Belgian "deportees" would work and die in the mines.

The first US supply ships return to Guadalcanal after the Savo Island disaster, as Marine ratios are cut.

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August 16, 1942

For the first time in the war, US Army Air Corps planes, operating out of Egypt, provide tactical air support for the British 8th Army.

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August 17, 1942

221 US Marines make a raid on Makin Atoll. The operatioin succeeded in destroying the new sea plane base and other installations as well as killing the 90 Japanese soldiers in the garrison. The real intent of the raid was to provide some "good news" for the home front. Militarily, it lead the Japanese to heavily fortify the Gilbert Island. The attack cost the lives of 39 marines, including 9 who were left behind by mistake, captured by the Japanese and beheaded.

German forces in the Caucasus meet their first serious opposition since crossing the Don at Rostov.

The US 8th Air Force launches it's first "all-American" raid against Rouen, France.

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August 18, 1942

Churchill, concerned the timid follow-up to the success in July in the  First Battle of El Alamein, decides on a major command shack-up in North Africa.  Auchinleck, despite his convincing victory over Rommel, is replaced by Alexander as C-in-C Middle East.

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August 19, 1942

The Dieppe Raid: 5000 Canadians, 1000 Brits, 50 US Rangers and 24 Free French commandos, conduct a raid-in-force against the port of Dieppe. The aim of the attack was to practice seaborne invasion techniques. Like the raid on Makin atoll two days earlier, there was no intention to make a permanent beachhead. Three Victoria Crosses were awarded for bravery that day, and Lt. Edwin Loustalot became the first US soldier killed in France. Even so, the operation was a disaster. In less than 10 hours of battle, the force lost 1,380 killed, 1,600 wounded, and 2,000 made prisoner. The RAF lost 107 aircraft. Germans loses were 345 dead or missing and 268 wounded, with total Luftwaffe losses being just 40 aircraft. Civilian casualties were 48 dead and 100 wounded.

The US P-51 "Mustang" made its combat debut over the skies of Dieppe. One of the Mustang flying RAF pilot was credited with a German fighter kill.

Paulus orders his 6th Army to attack into the city of Stalingrad.

Japanese forces reinforce their troops at Guadalcanal.

The Jewish mental asylum at Otwock, Poland is emptied as its patients are shipped to the Treblinka death camp and killed, continuing the German state policy of killing not only Jews, but the mentally ill and infirmed as well, continues.

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August 20, 1942

Soviet forces counter-attack the Germans north of Stalingrad but the Germans succeed in reaching the Volga on either side of the city. The 48th Panzer Corp enters the southwest corner of the city and is heavily engaged. 4th Corp comes in from the north and also hits strong resistance. The titanic struggle for Stalingrad has begun.

Thirty-one planes (19 F-4 Wildcat fighters and 12 Dauntless dive bombers) land at the newly completed Henderson Field and immediately begin operations in support of the Marines on Guadalcanal.

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August 21, 1942

Japanese forces on Guadalcanal attack the Marine positions on the island. The Japanese attack is crushed as they suffer 800 casualties to 110 Marine losses.

Advancing along the east coast of the Black Sea, elements of the German 17th Army take Krymsk.

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August 22, 1942

Army Group A's 17th Army becomes bogged down in attacks toward Suchumi on the Black Sea. Meanwhile, elements of the 1st Gebirgsjager (Mountain) Division, raise a German flag on the peak of Mt. Elbrus, the highest point in the Caucasus Mountains.

US Marines destroy the first wave of Japanese forces sent against them at Guadalcanal.

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August 23, 1942

After their initial attacks failed to take the city by storm, the Germans launch a series of massed air attacks against the Russian defenders of Stalingrad. 600 bombers, making 4000 sorties are launched against the city over the course of two-days, turning the once proud and beautiful city into a burning pile of rubble. Oil storage tanks along the Volga burst into flame and thousands of civilians perish in the fires. North of Stalingrad, the Germans are able to reach the Volga in several more locations, isolating Vertyachiv and Peskovaka.

At Izbushensky, in the great bend of the Don River, Italian cavalry, sabers drawn, executed the last successful mounted charge of World War II, routing a force of Soviet soldiers.

Elbrus, on the east coast of the Black Sea, falls to the advancing Germans.

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August 24, 1942

While attempting to land a regiment of infantry on Guadalcanal, US naval forces successfully intercepted the Japanese convoy. The forces engaged each other in the eastern Solomons. The Japanese lost the carrier Ryujo, a cruiser and a destroyer along with 90 naval aircraft and crews. The US Navy carrier Enterprise and battleship North Carolina were damaged, but remained afloat. USN air losses were 20. More importantly, the Japanese transports were forced to withdraw.

Soviet forces launch a major offensive in the Leningrad area.

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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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