HMS Dasher - lost in accident

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

Remembering the First Fight Against Fascism

The real Bridge over the River Kwai

March 23, 1943  

Patton’s drive on El Guettar is stopped by determined German and Italian resistance with the 10th Panzer Division taking serious losses. Montgomery redirects his main attack toward the Tebaga Gap, sending General Horrocks’ 1st Armored Division to reinforce the New Zealand Corps.

Return to the top

March 24, 1943

Wingate is ordered to end his Chindit operations and return to India. The group breaks into smaller march columns. Most of the force would be back in India in April.

Montgomery continues his attacks in Tunisia, sending the 4th Indian Dividision on a flank attack toward Ksar el Hallouf and Ben Zelten. It fails to dislodge the Axis forces.

Return to the top

March 25, 1943

Pressure from the British 1st Armored Division at Tebaga Gap and the US II Corps at Maknassy forces General von Arnim to withdraw from the Mareth Line.

Greek partisans succeed in taking over Samos Island from the Italian garrison.

Return to the top

March 26, 1943

The British 1st Armored Division, supported by heavy air support break the Axis rearguard at the Tebaga Gap and advance toward El Hamma.

An American squadron under Admiral McMorris (2 cruisers and 4 destroyers) engages Admiral Hosogaya’s Japanese squadron (4 cruisers and 5 destroyers) off the Komandorski Islands in the Barents’s Sea. A traditional gun engagement begins and a cruiser on each side (Nahi for the Japanese and Salt Lake City for the USN) is badly damaged. After a brief exchange of gunfire which results in the damage of a cruiser on each side, Hosogaya decides to break off despite his clear advantage in firepower.

Return to the top

March 27, 1943

As Patton begins a new attack near Fondouk, British armor is stopped in front of El Hamma as German infantry hold the road open for the retreating Axis forces heading toward new positions at Wadi Akarit

The British escort carrier Dasher is lost as a result of an accidental aviation fuel explosion. The detonation blew apart the aft elevator and the ship sank by the stern in three minutes. Of the crew of 555 British sailors, 379 were lost in the accident

Return to the top

March 28, 1943

British 8th Army forces complete the capture of the Mareth line as Free French forces operating in southern Tunisia, clear several towns.

Return to the top

March 29, 1943

With the Wadi Akarit line fully manned, the New Zealand Corps enter Gabes. The new Axis defense is a strong natural barrier, but preparations for the line were poor and the forces to defend it depleted.

Return to the top

March 30 1943

The light cruiser HMS Glasgow successfully intercepts the German blockade runner Regensburg in the Denmark Strait. Rather than be captured, the Germans fire the ship. Only 6 of her crew survived.

Stalin was informed that the Murmansk convoys were being suspended due to the losses sustained by the merchant ships.

Return to the top

March 31, 1943

Attacks against the German 17th Army in the Kuban peninsula result in the fall of Anastasyevsk to the advancing Soviet forces.

British 8th Army forces capture Cap Serrat in Tunisia.

Return to the top

April 1, 1943

British coastal fighters and torpedoe planes engage the Italian blockade-runner Pietro Orseolo off the coast of Spain. Escorting German destroyers destroy five of the attacking aircraft, but the US submarine Shad hits the ship with a torpedo, causing substantial damage.

Return to the top

April 2, 1943

American bombers make a series of raids on Kiska and Attut islands in the Aleutians.

Return to the top

April 3, 1943

Patton’s thrust by II Corps around El Guettar are stopped by determined Axis defenses.

Return to the top

April 4, 1943

In their now nearly continuous operations over Germany, British Bomber Command has a particular “success” against Kiel, dropping 1300 tons of bombs on Kiel during a night raid, killing 26 civilians.

German aircraft begin dropping mines in the Thames Estuary near London.

Return to the top

April 5, 1943

Japanese forces on the Mayu peninsula drive northwestward, in the direction of India overrunning a British brigade HQ.

As Italian units take up defensive postions at Wadi Akarite, the Geramn 15th Panzer and 90th Light Divisions move to counterattack Patton’s II Corps at El Guettar. Meanwhile, the British 8th Army makes a tentative move to dislodge the Axis by sending the 4th Indian Division on a flank move against the Djebel Fatnassa position.

USAAF Bombers hit the Renault factory in Paris, killing 228 French civilians.

Bomber command launched a daylight raid over Antwerp. The intended target, the Minerva aircraft factory, was generally missed due to a navigation error. Most of the bombs fell on residential areas. 936 Belgian civilians, including 209 children, were killed in the raid.

While returning from a raid over Naples, the US bomber “Lady Be Good” gets lost and flies over 200 miles into the Libyan desert. Low on fuel and thinking they were over water, the crew bails out. This began a nine-day trek across the desert which would end in death for the crew.

April 6, 1943

After making good progress, the 4th Indian Division attacks Diebel Fatnassa. The attack goes poorly and draws the German 15th Panzer and 90th Light divisions south, and away from Patton’s forces at El Guettar.

Return to the top

April 7, 1943

The Japanese concentrate the last of their highly trained aviators and send the fleet carriers Shokaku, Junyo and Hiyo south to raid the Americans in the Solomon Islands. During the first of 10 days of bombing, 180 aircraft bomb Guadalcanal and Tulagi. The attacks sink a destroyer, the USS Aaron Ward, a NewZealand corvette, the Moa, and a merchant ship.

Attacks by Patton’s II Corp succeed in forcing the Axis forces to abandon the Wadi Akarit line. Elements of the US 9th Infantry Division and the British 8th Army meet up on the coastal road.

Return to the top

April 8, 1943

Japanese forces in Burma, planning to advance into northern Burma, begin building a series of new rail lines. 60,000 Allied prisoners of war are employed in this work.

Return to the top

April 9, 1943

Axis forces continue to retreat in Tunisia as the British 8th Army occupies Mahares, 50 miles north of Gabes.

Return to the top

April 10, 1943

A force of 84 USAAF B-24 bombers attack and sink the Italian heavy cruiser Trieste in a raid on La Maddalena, The Gorizia is also damaged in the raid.

The British 8th Army enters Sfax, while the British 9th Corps moves out of the Fondouk Pass, having failed to move quickly enough to trap the retreating Axis forces.

Return to the top

April 11, 1943

In northern Tunisia, the British First Army takes Kalrouan, 100 miles South of Tunis.

The Japanese air campaign in the Solomons, now in its fourth day, hits Oro Bay, sinking two Allied merchant ships.

Return to the top

April 12, 1943

The British 8th Army takes Sousse.

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

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 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

Return to the top


Privacy Policy
. .