German troops moving to the front at Stalingrad are reminded how far from home they really are

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

Remembering the First Fight Against Fascism

British anti-tank gunners in action on the Alam Halfa Ridge at El Alamein

August 25, 1942  

The Battle of Eastern Solomon's continues with a Japanese destroyer being sunk off Santa Isabel. The Japanese succeed in landing troops on Guadalcanal in the night from the survivors of the destroyer group.  Japanese forces occupy Nauru, Gilbert Is. and Goodenough, off the SE coast of New Guinea. They also land 1200 Japanese Special Naval Landing Force troops at Milne Bay, Papua, but the landing force was badly disrupted due to the intervention of American fighter-bombers.

At Stalingrad, the local Soviet Commander, General Yeremenko, declared martial law in the city in order to stave off panic andconduct a more organized evacuation of the women and children from the city. 6th Army launched attacks toward the central part of the city which were beaten back by elements of the 169th Tank Brigade and 35 Guard Rifle Division. To the south, 4th Panzer Army suspends offensive operations south of Stalingrad until the 6th Army was successful in taking the city. To the north, the Soviet 63rd Army attacked along the Don and established several bridgeheads over the river.

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August 26, 1942

On the Stalingrad Front, elements of the Soviet 63rd Army continue to attack German positions along the Don River north of Stalingrad. The Germans moved supporting forces against the attacks and Soviets were bloodily repulsed. Meanwhile, 62nd Army launched attacks against the German spearheads probing the northern part of the city, stopping those movements.

The fighting near Rzhev, started two weeks ago, continues to rage. German forces have grudgingly retreated 15-20 miles in the area. Heavy losses have been inflicted on both sides.

Two thousand Japanese land at Milne Bay, southeast of Port Moresby and advance up Kokoda Trail.

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August 27 1942

The offensive in Leningrad expands to an attack by the Leningrad Front in the city and the Volkov Front outside the siege. Both fronts were aimed at the German positions at Schluessleburg on Lake Lagoda.

Vichy French authorities begin cooperating with German authorities to "deport" Jews to Auschwitz. The round-ups were done in full view of the French population and lead many Catholic priests to shelter Jews from the sweeps.

US bombers hit the port facilities at Rotterdam.

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August 28, 1942

RAF Bomber command hits Nuremberg in a massive raid kill 4000 civilians and destroying 10,000 houses.

A Japanese seaplane, launched from submarine I-25, drops incendiary bombs on forests in Oregon.

German authorities order the arrest of Catholic priests shelter Jews. One thousand Jews, including 150 children, were deported from Paris alone to the death camp at Auschwitz today.

Using intercepted radio messages, British forces intercept and sink the tanker Diepli, denying 2200 tons of vital aviation fuel to Rommel's Deutche Army Afrika (DAK) as they prepare to renew attacks at El Alamein.

Elements of the German 17th Army attack Soviet positions at Novorossiysk on the Black Sea.

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August 29, 1942

At Stalingrad, 4th Panzer Army, after completing it's regrouping outside the city, launches a vicious attack against the 126 Rifle Division (64th Army). The initial attacks by the 24th Panzer Divion succeeded in rupturing the front and by the end of the day, the right wing of the 64th Army and all of the 62nd Army was threatened with being cut off from the Volga. The Germans had intended on turning east and taking out a wing of the 64th Army but the unexpected opportunity to the north made them pause to consider that option.

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August 30, 1942

At Stalingrad, with the unexpected collapse of the center of the 64th Army, German commanders contemplated and finally ordered the attack to wheel left (north) and combine with a drive south by 6th Army. However, the pressure Yeremenko's attacks on the against Paulus' forces was so great that the Germans in the north were unable to move quickly. In the meantime, Yeremeonko, anticipating the move by the Germans withdrew from the trap and placed the units in strong positions within the city.

At El Alamein, Rommel launches his second attempt to take El Alamein. Diversionary attacks were launched by Italian forces against entrenched lines of the  9th Australian, 1st South African and 5th Indian Divisions. Meanwhile, Rommel's tanks and motorized troops hit the southern end of the line north of the Qattara Depresion.

Working off intercepted messages, the British sink the San Andrea and her cargo of tank fuel. This is the fourth major transport ship sunk bby the British off North Africa in the last two days.

Thirty more aircraft arrive at Henderson Field to help defend Guadalcanal.

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August 31, 1942

El Alamein: Rommel's forces advancing at El Alamein hit the lines of the 7th Motorized and 4th Light Armored Brigades. Defending strong positions behind thick minefields, the weak British screening force was able to hold the German tankers at bay long enough for other formations to start reacting. Rommel's initial plan of a wide sweep around the British positions was abandoned in favor of an attack toward the Alam Halfa Ridge, the key terrain feature behind the British lines. The advance was made in a blinding sandstorm. The movements in the soft sand were so hard on fuel supplies that the attack was called off in the afternoon.

After a conference with Hitler at Vinnitsa, General Halder noted in his diary that the Fuehrer had ordered that once the city was secured, every single male in the city would be  exterminated and the females were to be "shipped off".

1,200 Japanese reinforcements landed on Guadalcanal by 'Tokyo Express'. Meanwhile, Australian forces hit the Japanese positions at Milne Bay and inflict heavy losses on their opponent.

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September 1, 1942

El Alamein: With the promised fuel for his tanks lying at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea, Rommel is forced to suspend the bulk of his attack but did move 15th Panzer Division against the British at the Alam Halfa Ridge. The Germans succeeded in reaching postions just south of the ridge before being stopped for lack of fuel.

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September 2, 1942

After being pummeled from the air by RAF bombers, Rommel decides to abandon the attack completely and return to his defensive lines.

At Stalingrad, von Paulus, finally feeling his northern flank in the city was secure, launches his armor south to meet 4th Panzer Army. However, the trap closes on empty  space as the Soviets have withdrawn into the city. Meanwhile, Luftwaffe bombardment of the city intensified as the Germans turn their attention to the ferries operating over the Volga, the lifeline to the defenders of Stalingrad.

In a militarily insignificant attack, Soviet bombers hit Warsaw.

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September 3, 1942

At El Alamein, New Zealand troops, in pursuit of the retreating DAK, engage in heavy fighting.

Stalin orders Zhukov to make immediate counter attacks against the Germans as they now have established positions in Rynok, just north of Stalingrad on the Volga River.

British commandos land at a lighthouse in the German held Channel Islands, killing the garrison, destroying the radio equipment and carrying away the code books. Hitler, outraged, orders efforts to strengthen the "Atlantic Wall", the defense of the French coast, to be redoubled.

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September 4, 1942

Thirty-two British and Australian bombers flew from England toward their new base in Russia where they were to assist in protecting convoys. Nine of the planes were forced down due to lack of fuel of combat damage. A Russian fighter shot down one bomber and the survivors were strafed while they struggled in the water.

Japanese forces recapture Lachi from the Chinese.

Heavy fighting between the Japanese and Australians at Milne Bay continues as Japanese forces begin to withdraw their wounded from the beachhead.

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September 5, 1942

Zhukov launches his first counter-attack against the German forces along the Volga. The attack fails. Meanwhile, German forces enter Novorossiysk, forcing the Soviet Black Sea Fleet to abandon its last decent base on the Black Sea. Also, in a move to improve morale, Soviet bombers launch pinprick raids against Budapest, Vienna and Breslau.

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September 6, 1942

German forces capture Novorossiysk.

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September 7, 1942

Japanese resistance at Milne Bay ends. However, attacks in the Owen Stanley Range pick up again as the Japanese aim for capturing Port Morsby.

German forces launch massed attacks against the southern portion of Stalingrad.

Hitler, blaming the field commander for his own decisions to divert forces from the southern drive, relieves General List.


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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.  

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