FDR and Churchill at Casablanca

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

Remembering the First Fight Against Fascism

The Luftwaffe at Stalingrad

December 29, 1942

The British 8th Army reaches Buerat as they chase Rommel across Libya.

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December 30, 1942

The Soviets retake Remontnoe, 40 miles northwest of Elista.

The Battle of the Barents Sea begins as the German heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper and Lutzow, escorted by 6 destroyers, leave their anchorage to attack convoy JW51-B, a 14-ship convoy escorted by six destroyers, bound for Kola.

Attacks at Buna continue as the Japanese position is split into two sections.

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December 31, 1942

The Admiral Hipper and Lutzow , operating independently, bring convoy JW51-B under fire. The heavily outgunned British escorts, commanded by  Captain Sherbrooke deploy  smoke screens and the fainted torpedo attacks. The Germans refuse to press the attack and continue to fire ineffectively at the convoy. In the action, Hipper engages and sinks the British destroyer Bramble, and one is severely damaged Achates, which sinks after the battle. The convoy escorts are reinforced by Admiral Burnett's light cruisers, Jamaica and Sheffield, who damage Admiral Hipper and sink the German destroyer Friedrich Eckoldt. The still vastly superior German force withdraws.

The Japanese high command decides to abandon Guadalcanal.

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January 1, 1943

Soviet pressure far to the north against Rostov, forces 1st Panzer Army to abandon the Caucasus and begin withdrawing from the Terek front.

Soviet forces enter Velikiye Liki and heavy street fighting begins as the Germans tenaciously fight for every building.

Japanese forces begin to withdraw from Buna.

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January 2, 1943

Elements of the US 1st Corp attack and dislodge the last Japanese defenders at Buna although fighing continues around Sanananda.

Fresh US forces hit hard pressed Japanese defenders on Mount Austen at Guadalcanal.

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January 3, 1943

Soviet forces from the 44th and 58th Armies capture Malgobek in the Caucasus as Army Group A begins a general withdrawal from the region.

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January 4, 1943

Soviet forces capture Mozdok and Nalchik in the Caucasus and Chernyshkovskii on the Chir River.

US Naval forces use proximity air burst fuses for the first time in the war. These were the first rounds to sense when they were close to the target (something solid like the ground or an airplane) and detonate before striking the target increasing their leathal effect several fold.

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January 5, 1943

Japanese forces begin to withdraw from Guadalcanal.

Soviet forces continue their advance in the south taking Prokhlandny, Morozovsk and Tsimlyansk.

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January 6, 1943

Admiral Raeder is sacked as commander of the German Navy as Hitler threatens to scrap the surface fleet because of their recent inept performance against convoy JW-51B.

The first of 15 trains for the month arrived at Auschwitz from Belgium. Despite the reverses on all battle fronts, the Germans were able to continue and increase the pace of genocide. Of the 24,000 people delivered to Auschwitz in January 1943, 20,000 were gassed upon arrival.

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January 7, 1943

US forces launch new attacks against Mount Austen.

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January 8, 1943

General Rokossovsky, commander of the Don Front, offered General von Paulus surrender terms at Stalingrad. The terms guaranteed "their lives and safety and after the end of the war their return to Germany". He also promises that "...medical aid will be given to all wounded, sick and frost-bitten...". Paulus, influenced by his chief of staff, a die-hard Nazi named Schmidt, rejected the offer, condemning 250,000 men to their death.

Soviet forces capture Zimovniki as German forces continue to withdraw from the Caucasus.

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January 9, 1943

Fighting around Buna and Sananada continues as the Australian 17th Brigade is airlifted to Wau, establishing a forward base for continued offensive operations in New Guinea.

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January 10, 1943

US forces on Guadalcanal hit the Gifu strongpoint with heavy air and artillery support and continued ground attacks by the 35th Infantry Regiment.

"Operation Ring" begins as the Soviet offensive to destroy the Stalingrad pocket opens.
The assault started with an hour-long bombardment from thousands of guns and rocket launchers. Infantry from the 65th and 22nd Armies made good progress in the west, advancing 5 miles. Some progress was made in the north and south, but determined German resistance, limited gains.

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January 11, 1943

Soviet forces launch attacks south of Lake Lagoda, succeeding in driving a very thin land corridor to the city. Supplies are rushed into the city while wounded and non-combatants are shipped out. All of this was done under constant artillery fire against the cordon.

In the Caucasus, Georgivesk, Pyatigorsk, Mineralnye Vody and Kuberle fall to Russian advances.

January 12, 1943

The Voronezh and Bryansk Fronts open a fresh set of offensives against the Hungarian 2nd and German 2nd Armies. The Hungarian forces are overrun quickly and Soviet spearheads head for Kharkov.

In heavy fighting, the Don Front overruns the western portion of the Stalingrad pocket. Since the start of Operation Ring, the front has lost 26,000 men and 125 tanks. German losses have been as heavy.

Free French forces under Gen. Leclerc attack out of Chad and clear southern Ligya of German troops.

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January 13, 1943

The first of seven airfields in the Stalingrad pocket is captured.

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January 14, 1943

The Casablanca Conference between Roosevelt and Churchill begins as the western Allies plan the coming offensives throughout the world. To the disappointment of both leaders, the planned invasion of Sicily and the cross-channel attack into France were both postponed, the later until 1944. The leaders also agreed to increase the terror bombing of German cities by RAF Bomber command and to begin daylight "precision bombing" of German industrial targets by US bomber forces.

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January 15, 1943

German, Italian and Croat forces under General Alexander von Lohr, launch 'Operation White', the largest campaign to date against Tito's partisans in Yugoslavia.

The Red Army, after two weeks of desperate street fighting, captures Velikiye Luki in the Valday Hills northwest of Moscow.

US forces launch their final offensive on Guadalcanal.

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January 16, 1943

The main German airfield at Pitomnik is captured by the Soviets. The Germans in the Stalingrad pocket how had only one airfield, Gumrak, operationg. Night landings were no longer possible and supplies had go be parachuted in. The daily deliveries were down to 60 tons, 20% of the 6th Army's minimal needs.

RAF Bomber Command, after four months of terrorizing other cities, returned to Berlin with a heavy raid of 201 bombers. The attack did little damage (being beyond the range of radar navigation aides), however, one load of incendiary bombs hit the Deutchlandhalle, Moments before the bombs landed, the 10,000 people enjoying the circus and all of the animals had completed the evacuation. The empty hall was quickly consumed by fire.

The Eighth Army destroys Rommel's rearguard at Buerat, in Libya and is now just 300 miles from the Tunisian frontier. Iraq enters the war against all three Axis powers.

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January 17, 1943

General Rokossovsky suspends his offensive against the Stalingrad pocket temporarily to regroup. Outside the pocket Millerovo and Zimoviki are captured.

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January 18, 1943

Soviets announce that the siege of Lenningrad has been raised. Despite this, rations in the city are still very limited and German artillery can still reach any part of the city. Attempts to widen the corridor (only 6 miles wide) fail, at a heavy cost in men and material.

In the Caucasus, Cherkessk, 250 miles southeast of Rostov, is captured by the Red Army

The Germans counter attack in Tunisia. Free French defenders give ground but the attack is thrown back by British reinforcements.

Australian troops capture Cape Killerton and Wye Point in Papua, New Guinea.

British and American tankers at Bou Arada, Tunisia are confronted for the first time by the vaunted "Tiger" tank. The heavily armored tank is equipped with the feared 88mm gun and has no equal in the Allied armory.

After a four-month lull, Germans moved back into the Warsaw Ghetto to restart deportations to the Treblinka death camp. This time, the Nazis were met by a small band of Jews firing smuggled pistols. The Germans responded with machine guns but this first feeble attempt at resistance greatly improved the moral of Jews.

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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