Soviet infantry counterattack against the Germans trapped in the Stalingrad pocket

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

Remembering the First Fight Against Fascism

Soviet tanks make a night assault against German positions along the Chir River.

December 15, 1942

The 2nd Guards Army moves into positions along the Myshkova River, backstopping the 51st Army, still retreating before the German relief attacks at Stalingrad.

Zhukov and Konev abandon the attacks on the eastern side of the Rzhev salient as the 20th and 29th Armies simply burn themselves out. On the other side of the bulge, the 40,000 men of the 41st Army attempted to break out of their encirclement. The force lost all of its tanks and heavy weapons and only about half of the men escaped. Operation Mars was over, an inglorious defeat for Zhukov.

The British 8th Army sends the 2nd New Zealand Infantry division in an attempt to outflank and surround the retreating Afrika Korps in Libya.

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December 16, 1942

Operation "Little Saturn" begins as the Soviet Voronezh and Southwest Fronts attack the Italian 8th Army and elements of the Rumanian 3rd Army. The Italians were utterly destroyed in the initial attacks along with much of the Rumanian army. and Tatsinskaya, the main German-held airfield for resupplying Stalingrad, was overrun. At Stalingrad, "Operation Ring" began as a new set of attacks to reduce the German pocket began.  

Fighting continues at Guadalcanal as US dive bombers attack yet another resupply effort, sinking the Japanese destroyer Kagero. 

British forces attack in the Arakan Valley in Burma but move to slowly to catch the Japanese defenders before they were able to retreat to more defensible positions

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December 17, 1942

A joint declaration was announced in Moscow, London and Washington stating, " the German authorities, not content with denying to persons of Jewish race in all the territories over which their barbarous rule has been extended the intention to exterminate the Jewish people in Europe Jews are being transported, in conditions of appalling horror and brutality, to Easter Europe None of these taken away are ever heard of again ". The Allied governments concluded by condemning " in the strongest possible terms this bestial policy of cold-blooded extermination."


US and Australian forces launch an attack against Japanese positions at Buna. Tank troops lead many of the attacks.

Admiral Darlan announces that the French Fleets in Dakar, Alexandria, and other North African ports would join the United Nations.

The Volga River freezes allowing the Soviets to resupply the depleted 62nd Army in Stalingrad as Operation Winterstorm continues to inch closer to the trapped 6th Army in the city.

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December 18, 1942

Heavy fighting continues at Buna as US and Japanese forces continue to make limited headway against tenacious Japanese defenses.

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December 19, 1942

Stalled for several days a mere 30 miles from the pocket, Hoth's troops attack in an all out effort to relieve Stalingrad. They succeed in reaching reached the Myshkova. General von Manstein, knowing the relief attack will not succeeds orders von Paulus to breakout. However, von Paulus takes the advice of his chief of staff General Schmidt, a sycophant of Hitlers's and stays in Stalingrad. Meanwhile, the Soviet's capture Kontemirovka and continue to grind the Italian 8th Army to a bloody pulp.

Despite a massive effort to supply the surrounded defenders of Stalingrad from the air, it failed. This day saw the Luftwaffe fly 250 tons to Paulus' Army, less than half the minimum needed simply to sustain his forces. Even this inadequate level was never met again.

The British cruiser Neptune strikes a mine off Malta and sinks.

US forces on Guadalcanal begin their assault on Mount Austen, meeting strong resistance.

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December 20, 1942

Hoth's Battle Group was within sixteen miles of Stalingrad and completely spent. They could not break trough the Soviet defense Von Manstein proposed that Paulus break out and link up with Hoth. Paulus was unwilling to do anything without Hitler's authorization. It would never come. The Germans at Stalingrad were doomed. Meanwhile, the Caucasus Front opened it's offensive to drive the Germans from that region and Soviets continue to probe the German defenses along the Chir River and in the Millerovo area.

Spain and Portughal announce the creation of a neutral Iberian bloc. Dispite this, Spain's fascist leader Franco has a 20,000 "volunteers" fighting at Leningrad, officially known as the 250th Infantry Division, but better known as the "Blue Division".

Bomber Command begins using the "Oboe" navigation system to assist in there efforts to burn Germany into submission.

An 8000 ton Japanese merchant ship struck a mine planted by US submarine forces off the coast of Cape Inubo, east of Tokyo. This was the first ship sunk by US forces in Japanese home waters

The Japanese bomb Calcutta for the first time.

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December 21, 1942

British troops cross the Burmese border from India and head Southeast towards Akyab.

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December 22, 1942

The Indian 14th Division advances in Burma moving toward Rathedaung.

The Soviet Winter Offensive continues to roll forward as Morozovsk, Fydorovka and Kikolkoe are taken from the Germans.

British forces from the 1st Army attack German lines in Tunisia with heavy fighting for Longstop Hill.

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December 23, 1942

Operation "Winter Storm" was abandoned an the three exhausted Panzer Divisions which made up the fist of the attack, were withdrawn to the startline at Kotelnikovo.

Heavy rains turn the Tunisian battlefield into a sea of mud and combat action comes to an abrupt halt.

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December 24, 1942

Von Manstein was forced to withdraw Group Hoth as new Soviet attacks from the Stalingrad Front broke through the 4th Rumanian Army, threatening the German forces from the south as well as the north. Soviet offensives continue with new vigor on the Don Front as well with the apparent end of "Winter Storm".

US bombers hit Wake Island.

Japanese forces in northern Burma attempt to attack in the Chin Hills and are thrown back by Indian troops.

Admiral Darlan, leader of Free French forces in North Aftrica,  is assassinated by a Gaullist fanatic.

Fighting on Longstop Hill continues in Tunisia. The British occupy the position at the end of the day's fight.

The Germans make a successful test fly the V-1 flying bomb at Peenemunde.

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December 25, 1942

Soviet troops around Stalingrad launch attacks against the German perimeter. The fighting is very heavy and casualties are high on both sides. 6th Army slaughter 12,000 horses in the pocket, and distributes the horse-meat as regular rations begin to run out.

The see-saw battle for Longstop Hill continues This time, the Germans take the position from the British.

The 123 Brigade (14 Indian Division) reaches Rathedaung, Burma, but is stopped from entering the city by Japanese reinforcements.

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December 26, 1942

The Russians continue their advance in the middle Don region. They spearheads are 100 miles from Rostov, threatening to surround the German forces in the Caucuses and claim 56,000 prisoners since the offensive began.

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December 27, 1942

Hitler allows Army Groups A and Don to retreat to a line 150 miles west of Stalingrad.

Red Army General Vlasov forms the anti-Stalin Smolensk Soviet. The German sponsored effort was to recruit Russians to fight communism. Vlasov's efforts would result in the creation of the Russian Liberation Army.

Indian forces in Burma continue to drive toward Akyab, meeting minimal resistance.

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December 28, 1942

Japanese forces are ordered to withdraw from Buna.

Roosevelt confirms that information on research activities will not be provided to the British unless they are actively involved in the research. The policy was specifically targeted at the ultra-secret Manhattan Project, the development of the nuclear bomb. The British were particularly upset by this non-cooperation policy.

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

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

Special Editions:
Pearl Harbor | The Doolittle Raid | Midway

Editor's Corner Archive:

Hitler's Angle "The story of Prescott Bush and his association with the Nazis begins just before the end of World War I..."

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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