Soviet Infantry moving 
forward at Stalingrad

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

Remembering the First Fight Against Fascism

Soviet infantry defending 
a "building" in Stalingrad

October 6, 1942  

 4th Panzer Army continues its attacks in the Caucasus as 3rd Panzer Korps captures Malgobek at the bend of the Terek river. At Stalingrad, two German division hit the 37th Guard Rifle Division at the Tractor Worker Settlement. After gaining ground with heavy losses on both sides, a freak bombardment by Katusha rockets catches a German battalion in the open, annihilating it, and stopping the attack.

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October 7, 1942

Marines on Guadalcanal launch a new offensive to extend the perimeter around Henderson Field.

President Roosevelt announced that at the end of the war all war criminals would be surrendered to the United Nations, and a commission would be set up to investigate war crimes. (Just and sure punishment would be meted out to "ringleaders responsible for the organized murder of thousands of innocent persons, and the commission of atrocities which have violated every, tenet of Christian faith." There would be no mass reprisals, however.

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October 8, 1942

Nazi High Command abandoned attempt to storm Stalingrad and announced a plan to reduce the city by heavy artillery. (The change in program was adopted to avoid "unnecessary sacrifice" of German blood.

Strong Japanese rearguard action against the Australians at Templeton Crossing on the Kokoda Trail in New Guinea

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October 9, 1942

US B-17 bombers hit industrial targets in Lille, France in the largest daylight raid to date. RAF and US fighters provided escorts claiming 100 German aircraft shot down.

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October 10, 1942

The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet issued a decree establishing a single command and abolishing political commis­sars in the army. (The commissars had gained military experience and their former status had become superfluous. The decree was issued to free responsible military commanders from any hindrances in carrying out their duties and to add to their ranks

German and Italian bombers begin a major 10-day series of raids against Malta in the Mediterranean

Gahndi's birthday is celebrated in India by massive strikes and demonstrations amid continuing calls for independence from Britain.

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October 11, 1942

The Battle of Cape Esperance in the Solomons is fought. The Japanese heavy cruiser Furutaka and three destroyers were sunk. The Japanese commander, Aritomo Goto, was killed when his flagship Aoba was damaged. The Americans lost the destroyer Duncan. Many of the Japanese sailors refused to be rescued from the sea, preferring death in the shark-infested waters to capture.

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October 12, 1942

At Stalingrad, the 37th Guards Rifle Division attacked out of their bridgehead, now withing 300 yards of the Volga. The Soviet attack succeeded in pushing the Germans back into the Tractor Factory Workers Settlement.

United States Attorney General Francis Biddle announced that 600,000 Italians living in the United States would no longer be regarded as enemy aliens. (Due to the result of the "splendid showing the Italians of America have made in meeting this test [loyalty to U. S.]."

Convoy SC-104, consisting of 44 merchant ships is attacked by 13 German U-boats in the mid-Atlantic. This started a ten-day running battle. In the end, eight merchants were sunik, but the Germans lost 3 submarines to the Allied escorts.

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October 13, 1942

The Germans launches a major attack against the factory district in northern Stalingrad. Von Paulus unleashes two Panzer Divisions (14th and 24th) and three infantry divisions (100 Jager, 60 Motorized and 389) hitting both the Tractor Factory and Red Barricades Factory. Losses are very heavy on both sides as the Soviets give ground.

The first US Army reinforcements join the Marines on Guadalcanal as a regiment of the America Division reaches the island.

Soviet partisans launch an operation to destroy the Bryansk-Lgov railroad. Specially trained sappers were parachuted behind the lines and succeeded in blowing 178 gaps in the rail line.

Japanese forces around Guadalcanal launch massive air and naval attacks. The 16-inch guns on the battleships Kongo and Haruna bombard the island for 90 minutes. Henerson Field is closed for a short time and other damage is heavy. Only 42 planes remained in service after the debris was cleared.

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October 14, 1942

In the northern part of Stalingrad, units of the 6th Army advance in bitter fighting, following a series of devastating attacks by bombers where over 3000 sorties were flown. The massed armor succeeded in breaking through the Soviet lines. 180 German tanks rush through the gap resulting in an afternoon of chaotic fighting around the Tractor Factory. By nightfall, the factory was surrounded on three sides and fighting was going on in the outer workshops. That night, 3500 seriously wounded Soviet soldiers were evacuated across the Volga. 

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October 15, 1942

The Germans reinforce the attacks in the factory district with the 305th Infantry Division. 24th Panzer Division succeeded in driving the 112th Rifle Division away from the factory district and isolated them at Spartanovka. The lines at the Tractor Factory broke again and fighting was reported 350 yards from the Soviet 62nd Army HQ. The Army's guard company was thrown forward in a desperate attempt to stem the German advance. It succeeded.

4000 Japanese reinforcements are landed at Tassaforonga Point on Guadalcanal.

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October 16, 1942

At Stalingrad, the Soviets reinforced the northern flank with the newly arriving 138th Rifle Division. As the troops came off the boats, they were immediately sent the short distance to the front. Chuykov, Soviet 62nd Army commander, was informed that ammunition allotments would be halved for his command in the city. Normally this would be bad news, but Chuykov recognised this as a sure sign that a supplies were being planned for major offensive in the area and knew that this would releave the pressure on his forces. 

The naval convoys assemble for Operation 'Torch', the Anglo-American landings in French North Africa.

The Japanese are forced back by Australians at Templeton Crossing, New Guinea. The shelling of Henderson Airfield continues.

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October 17, 1942

The Soviet 62nd Army HQ was relocated south of the Banny Gully between the Red October Factory and Mamayev Kurgan.

US forces on Guadalcanal receive 32 aircraft.

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October 18, 1942

German attacks in the factory district at Stalingrad reached a crisis point for the Soviets. Under severe attacks, Chuykov, for the first time in the six week old battle ordered a withdrawal of 200 yards. The move stabilized the front, but only just.

The advance by Army Group A , 17th Army,  toward the Black Sea port of Tuapse is halted due to difficult terrain and stubborn Soviet resistance.

US submarines begin mining the approaches to Bangkok in the Gulf of Siam.

Hitler orders the execution of all British commandos captured.

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October 19, 1942

Commonwealth forces break the French resistance on Madagascar and drive south.

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

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

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.  

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