Soldier of the 62nd Army waves a flag over the liberated still burning ruins of Stalingrad. 

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

Remembering the First Fight Against Fascism

Survivors of the German 6th Army march into captivity. Of 90,000 prisoners, only 5000 would see home again.

February 2, 1943

The final assault at Stalingrad took place. The German perimeter had been reduced to a small area of the wrecked city around the Tractor Factory complex. The Soviets massed over 300 guns per kilometer of front and smashed the German positions under a massive barrage. The survivors surrendered. Of the more than 280,000 men surrounded at Stalingrad, 160,000 had been killed in action, or died of starvation or exposure. 34,000, mostly wounded men, had been evacuated. 90,000 German soldiers marched off into captivity. Most would die in the march from the city or in captivity. Only 5000 of these men would see Germany again, the last returning 12 years later in 1955.

American forces advance along the coast of Guadalcanal in pursuit of the retreating Japanese, crossing the Bonegi River.

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February 3, 1943

Hitler, in a national broadcast from his headquarters, announced to the nation that the 6th Army had been destroyed at Stalingrad, saying that "the sacrifice of the Army, bulwark of a historical European mission, was not in vain." Four days of national morning were declared.

Kuschevka on the Soskya River, 50 miles south of Rostov is liberated.

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February 4, 1943

Soviet forces make an large scale amphibious landing at Novorussisk in the Black Sea behind the German 17th Army in the Kuban. The attack was designed to unhinge the strong German mountain positions east of the city but quick reactions from the Germans turned the tiny bridgehead into a charnel house.

British 8th Army forces cross the Libyan border into Tunisia.

A force of one cruiser and 22 destroyers led by Admiral Koyanagi rescues 5000 Japanese troops from Guadalcanal. Four of the ships were damaged in the action.

Convoy SC118, escorted by 10 ships, is attacked by 20 U-boats.

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February 5, 1943

Soviet forces capture Staryy Oskol and Izyum, but the landings at Anopa are repulsed.

Mussolini takes command of the ministry of foreign affairs, firing his son-in-law Ciano. He now controls all aspects of Italian government.

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February 6, 1943

Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower was appointed Commander in Chief of all Allied forces in North Africa.

Soviet advances continue as Bataysk (near Rostov), Yeysk (Sea of Azov), Lisichansk (Donets River) and Barvenkovo (near Kharkov) are all liberated.

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February 7, 1943

Soviet forces capture Azov and the mouth of the Don River and in the Ukraine, Kramatorsk is liberated.

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February 8, 1943

Orde Wingate launches the first Chindit raid in Burma. The specially trained 77th Brigade starts out from Imphal, India and heads for Tamu, Burma, deep in the Japanese rear area.

The last Japanese soldiers on Guadalcanal, some 2000 in all, are evacuated on 18 destroyers.

Kursk is liberated by advancing Red Army columns.

Finland requested the U.S. to arbitrate in possible peace talks with Russia. Although it would end in failure, the Finns became the first of Hitlerís allies to seek an end to the war.

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February 9, 1943

Organized Japanese resistance on Guadalcanal came to an end. In all, the Japanese lost 10,000 men killed and the Americans 1,600. Guadalcanal was the first strategic defeat for the Japanese in the war.

Belgorod, northeast of Kharkov, is liberated.

Attacks on SC-118 end, as 15 merchants are lost in the five-day running battle with Hitlerís U-boats.

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February 10, 1943

Volchansk and Chuguyev are taken by the Red Army. Soviet forces are only 20 miles from Kharkov.

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February 11, 1943

Lozovaya is captured by Vatutinís Southwest Front.

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February 12, 1943

Krasnodar in the Kuban is captured by Red Army forces. Forces west of the Don River liberate Shakhty, Kommunarsk and Krasnoarmeskoye.

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February 13, 1943

The Soviets forces take Novocherkassk.

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February 14, 1943

A major German attack is launched into the US 2nd Corps. The Americans, positioned poorly between Faid and Sbeitla break retreat in disorder as General Arnimís forces led by the 10th and 21st Panzer Divisions shatter their lines. The Americans suffer heavy losses.

Russians recaptured Rostov, cutting off the German 17th Army in the Kuban peninsula forcing the Germans to lines of communications west over the Kerch Straits into the Crimean Peninsula. The Soviets now control the entire length of the rail line from Vornezh to Rostov. Drasnyy Sulin and Shakhty are also liberated.

Advancing in two columns , Wingateís Chindits cross the Chindwin River.

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February 15, 1943

Rommelís forces join the attack in Tunisia against the Americans at Kassarine as elements of 15th Panzer Division attack and capture Gafsa. The bulk of Rommelís forces have taken up strong positions to the east as the last forces from Libya enter the Mareth Line.

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

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

1943 Archive:

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 nationís actions have been and appear to be heading when compared this way..."

Afghanistan and Vietnam: When the ďwar against terrorismĒ 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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