British infantry advancing in Italy

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

Remembering the First Fight Against Fascism

Soviet infantry crossing the Dnepr River 

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September 21 | September 22 | September 23 | September 24 | September 25 | September 26 | September 27
September 28 | September 29 | September 30 | October 1 | October 2 | October 3 | October 4 

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September 14, 1943

Heavy fighting continues at Salerno as the Germans attempt to push the Allies back into the sea. A paratroop battalion is dropped behind the German lines to help relieve the pressure.

Free French commandos are landed on Corsica to form resistance groups to harass the Germans occupying the island.

The elite British Boat Service, a watery cousin to the SAS, lands on the Aegean island of Kos.

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September 15, 1943

The Australian 7th and 9th Divisions capture Lae in New Guinea.

Mussolini returns to power in Italy (at least the northern half). It is a political move and has little real impact.

The Salerno beachhead is reinforced by the equivalent of four divisions.

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September 16, 1943

German attacks are renewed against the British 10th Corps between Salerno and Battipaglia, but failed utterly. By evening, Field Marshal Kesselring calls it quits and orders the withdrawl of German forces to the Volturno line.

After a week of very heavy fighting, Soviet ground forces link up with the beachhead at Novorossysk, capturing the town.

RAF Bomber Command makes a hash of the first use of the massive 12,000 pound "Tall Boy" bomb in raids against the Dortmund-Ems Canal.

The British battleship Warspite is damaged when two of the new German glider bombs hit the ship.

British forces occupy the Aegean islands of Leros and Samos.

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September 17, 1943

The Germans begin to withdraw from the Salerno area as the British 8th Army finally links up with the US 5th Army.

The Soviets move into Bryansk as the Germans complete their withdrawal. On the Sea of Azov, the town of Berdyansk is captured.

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September 18, 1943

British forces continue their occupation of Aegean islands moving onto Simi, Stampalia and Icaria. German aircraft hit the British airfield on Kos.

The Soviet offensive in the Ukraine continues as Red Army forces capture Pavlograd, Krasnograd, Pologi and Nogaysk.

Admiral Pownall's fast carrier force (Lexington, Princeton and Belleau Wood) attack the island of Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands chain.

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September 19, 1943  

US heavy bombers (B-24 Liberators) attack Tarawa.

German forces complete the evacuation of Corsica under pressure from French resistance fighters.

Soviet forces capture Yartsevo and Dukovschina northeast of Smolensk.

The British 8th Army continues driving north in Italy capturing Auletta.

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September 20, 1943  

British commandos launch an attack on the German battleship Tirpitz at its anchorage in Alta Fjord. The six midget (4-man crew) submarines were sent against the anchorage. Three were lost before reaching the target, but the survivors succeeded in damaging the ship, knocking it out of action for six months.

In testimony before the US Senate, General Marshal and Admiral King indicate that failure to allow draft exemptions for fathers will likely prolong the war.

After weeks of bitter fighting, Kholm falls to Red Army forces.

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September 21, 1943  

German hopes of establishing a firm defensive line along the Dnepr River are thwarted as an advance party establishes a small bridgehead over the river at Dnepropetrovsk, south of Kiev.

The British 8th and US 5th Armies realign their boundries and begin the long drive north in Italy.

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September 22, 1943

Elements of the 9th Australian Division (20th Brigade) land at Finschhafen in New Guinea.

Soviet forces take Anapa in the Kuban Peninsula and Novomoskovosk (near Dnepropetrovsk). Heavy fighting is reported at Poltava.

After two weeks of heavy fighting, the Italian "Acqui" Division surrenders to the Germans. 1500 Italians died in the fighting. Of the survivors of the fighting on Cephalonia 5000 were murdered and the rest sent to labor camps.

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September 23, 1943  

Red Army forces capture Poltava.

The British 10th Corps (5th US Army) makes contact with German rearguards in the mountain passes on the road to Naples.

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September 24, 1943  

The Australian 20th Brigade breaks the Japanese defense lines along the Buni River, capturing the Finschhafen airfield.

Red army forces capture Borispol on the road to Kiev while Army Group Center prepares to abandon Smolensk and Roslavl.

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September 25, 1943  

Red Army forces liberate Smolensk and Rostavl.

Japanese forces begin the evacuation of Kolombangara in the Solomon Islands.

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September 26, 1943  

German forces in Italy begin a planned withdrawal to fortified lines as the US 5th  and British 8th Armies move north in pursuit.

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September 27, 1943  

Elements of the British 8th Army occupy Foggia and Melfi. The capture of Foggia brought with it the massive airbase, allowing the Allies to stage future raids throughout the Balkans and southern Germany and Poland.

Soviet forces enter Dnepropetrovsk.

The people of Naples rise up against German troops in their city, harassing the retreating former ally.

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 September 28, 1943

The British 10th Corps (US 5th Army) captures Nocera and continues its advance on Naples. The US 6th Corps captures Teora and moves on Avellino.

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 September 29, 1943

The Soviets capture Kremenchug

Allied forces open fresh attacks from the Salerno area taking Pompeii on the road to Naples.

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 September 30, 1943

The US 5th Army enters Naples and captures Avellino.

The Gestapo and Danish Nazis begin the roundup and deportation of Danish Jews. Much of the plan is thwarted because anti-Nazi Danes organized a covert operation to smuggle many of the potential victims to neutral Sweden.

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 October 1, 1943

The German withdrawl comes to an end along a line running south of Rome. Meanwhile, the SU 5th Army completes the occupation of Naples while the British 8th Army continues to advance north.

Soviet forces establish several more small bridgeheads over the Dniepr River.

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 October 2, 1943

The Australian 20th Brigade, reinforced by the Australian 23rd Brigade takes Finschafen in New Guinea.

In Italy, the US 5th Army captures Benevento while the Britgish 8th Army establishes a bridgehead over the Biferno River.

The continuous manpower drain on the Germans forced them to reorganize their infantry divisions from a force of 9 infantry battalions (18,000 men) to one of 6 battalions (10,000 men).

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 October 3, 1943

As the British occupied more islands in the Aegean Sea, they began to pressure Turkey to enter the war. In an effort to force Turkey to remain neutral, the Germans launched Operation Polar Bear, a series of attacks in these islands. The first attack came from paratroops landing on the island of Kos.

During the early morning hours, British commandos land and occupy Termoli in Italy. The Germans react quickly by counterattacking with the 16th Panzer Division. The commands successfully hold out until relief comes when a linkup with the British 78th Division is made. Meanwhile, elements of the US 5th Army capture Aversa and Maddaloni.

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October 4, 1943

The Germans complete their conquest of Kos capturing 1400 British and 3150 Italians. Even more important is the destruction of the northern most British airfield in the Aegean.

Planes from the US aircraft carrier Ranger operating with the British home fleet, succeed in sinking 4 German freighters and crippling 7 others off the coast of Norway.

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:
JanuaryFebruary | March | April | May | June | July | August

Special Editions:
Pearl Harbor | The Doolittle Raid | Midway

Editor's Corner Archive:

Hitler's Angel "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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