Project 60 - "The First Fight Against Fascism" - Archives

January, 1942

January 1, 1942

Twenty-six nations sign on to the Atlantic Charter. In documents drafted for the occasion, the term ?United Nations? is used for the first time. The signatories agreed to fight to ?ensure life, liberty, independence and religious freedom, and to preserve the rights of mean and justice.?

British forces blow up and abandon the oil fields in Sarawak as Japanese forces press their advance.

Jean Moulin, the former mayor of Chartres, France, was parachuted back into France after spending four months in Britain organizing support for the resistance.

British forces attack Bardia in a daring night attack. The Libyan city would fall the next day.

In a dramatic naval action, a convoy heading for Russia from Britain was engaged by the German cruisers Lutzow and Admiral Hipper. Although out-gunned by his enemy, the British escort commander, Capt. Robert Sherbrooke, bravely took his destroyers into action and beat off the German attack. In the action, Sherbrooke was wounded in the head, ultimately loosing an eye, but continued to direct the action to its successful conclusion. For his bravery he was awarded the Victoria Cross.

January 2, 1942

Japanese forces enter Manila and begin massive air and artillery attacks on Corregidor.

Chinese forces enter Burma to assist the British in defending their supply lines through that country.

Japanese aircraft cause heavy damage in raids on Singapore.

British operations planners were directed to begin planning for a ?second front? in northwest Europe. This was the genesis of the Normandy invasion.

The Soviet 39th Army breaks thought the German lines northwest of Rzhev. A furious Hitler orders that ?not one inch of ground is to be given up?.

January 3, 1942

Chinese forces begin a major attack against Japanese forces at Changsha, Hunan.

General Marshall was informed that there were not sufficient forces available to send a relief force to the Philippines. The defenders would be sacrificed.

January 4, 1942

Japanese aircraft hit the important naval and air staging base at Rabul in the Bismarck Archipelago for the first time in the war.

The Soviets recapture Borovsk as their winter offensive continues.

January 5, 1942  

Stalin, buoyed by the successes of the limited counter attacks around Moscow, orders an all out offensive over the entire front.

Having achieved success in their landings on the Kerch Peninsula, the Soviets reinforce the beachhead and attempt to break out to relieve Sevastopol. The attacks meet heavy German resistance. A landing attempted at Eupatoria is repulsed.

US and Filipino forces establish a defensive line around Layac, securing the retreat route onto the Bataan Peninsula.

British forces attack isolated German positions at Halfaya Pass near the Libyan-Egyptian border while 200 miles to the west, the 8th Army pursuit of the beaten Afrika Korp is coming to an end east of El Agheila.

January 6, 1942

US and Filipino forces withdraw from Layac. 80,000 allied troops are now bottled up in Bataan.

Japanese amphibious forces land at Brunei Bay in Borneo.

January 7, 1942

The Japanese follow-up the withdrawal of the US and Filipino forces at Bataan.

British defenses in central Malaya collapses as the 11th Indian Division is routed.

General Wavell, who a year ago defeated the Italians in Libya, arrives in Singapore to take command of a seriously deteriorating situation for the British.

German forces in Yugoslavia attack and drive Tito?s partisans our of the Olovo area. Despite the heavy losses, the partisans successfully withdraw 50 miles south to Foca

The Soviet Northwest Front launch a major counter-offensive at Novgorod.

January 8, 1942

Japanese forces take Jesselton in Borneo and penetrate the defenses of Kuala Lumpur in Malaya.

January 9, 1942

Soviet forces break through German positions in the Smolensk area after extremely heavy fighting.

Japanese forces launch heavy attacks on US/Filipino lines at Bataan.

January 10, 1942

Commonwealth forces abandon Kuala Lumpur and Prot Swettenham in Malaya as Japanese aircraft launch strong air raids on Sinapore?s airfields.

Col-General Ernst Udet, the great World War I fighter ace, commits suicide because, in his mind, he failed in his job as head of aircraft production to provide for the German forces.

January 11, 1942  

The Japanese declare war on the Netherlands as it invades the Dutch East Indies.

The Japanese 5th Division captures Kuala Lujmpur and now stands 150 miles from Sinapore.

Soviet attacks succeed in reaching and cutting the railroad between Rzhev and Bryansk severely crippling the German defenses in the area.

Japanese forces launch more fruitless attacks to dislodge the US/Filipino forces at Bataan as the Japanese succeed in sinking 15 blockade runners (40,000 tons of shipping) attempting to get supplies to the beleaguered forces.

British forces launch fresh attacks on the German units cut off at at Sollum and Halfaya Pass.

Japanese forces land and take Tarakan in Dutch Borneo.

January 12, 1942

Chinese forces, after nine days of hard fighting succeed in routing a Japanese force of 70,000 at Changsha, Hunan.

The commander of Army Group South, Walther von Reichenau, dies of a stroke.

Von Leeb, commander of Army Group North requests permission to withdrawal from the Dymyansk area. Hitler refused condemning 100,000 troops to become surrounded. Von Leeb resigns and takes no further part in the war.

5000 deported German and Austrian Jews were executed at Kovno. The deportation of 20,000 Jews in Odessa began. They were ruthlessly marched north to Balta where most would die of starvation before the end of the year.

German submarines begin operations off the east coast of the United States, as U-123 sinks the 9000 ton British merchant Cyclops. By the end of the month 46 ships would be sunk (totaling nearly 200,000 tons). 

Sollum, Libya is captured by the British.

January 13, 1942

The Soviet offensive continues and intensifies. Heavy fighting is reported at Mozhaisk, 65 miles west of Moscow and the Soviet Central Front breaks the lines at the border between the 2nd Panzer and 4th Armies, taking Kirov.

A reinforcement convoy with 50 Hurricane fighters and desperately needed anti-aircraft guns arrive in Singapore to bolster the British defenses.

The Japanese attack east of Mount Natib in heavy fighting against the US-Filipino 2nd Corps.

January 14, 1942  

The ARCADIA conference ends with the British and American strategists adopting the ?Germany first? strategy whereby the bulk of the effort in the war would be concentrated on defeating Germany before Japan. Also, it was decided that the first target for western offensive action would be to clear North Africa to reduce the threat to Atlantic shipping.

The Roosevelt administration prohibited US businesses from dealing with 1,800 European companies. Editor?s Note: This seems to have had little or no effect on the dealings of one Prescott Bush, father of a President and grandfather of a resident. He would not stop dealing with the Nazi?s for nearly a year and then the government had to shut him down.

Japanese forces attack on the western end of the Bataan lines against the 1st US-Filipino Corps.

German U-boats continue to operate off the US coast as the Panamanian tanker Norness was sunk of Cape Hatteras.

In Byelorussia, 807 Jews were marched to a pit and gunned down at the village of Ushachi. A similar incident occurred at Kublichi, where 925 Jews were slaughtered.

Elements of the US 34th Infantry division arrive in Britain, the first US troops to be deployed to Europe.

January 15, 1942

Japanese forces attack along the entire Bataan front taking heavy losses and making limited gains.

German forces withdraw in the Kaluga sector under heavy pressure from advancing Soviet units.

January 16, 1942

The Japanese 15th Army crosses the Thai-Burma border.

Japanese forces break through the western US/Filipino defenses threatening the Bataan position. US-Filipino forces take heavy losses.

The RAF, outnumbered and taking serious losses, evacuate their surviving aircraft to Sumatra as Japanese air raids intensify at Singapore.

January 17, 1942

Free French forces stormed the last German positions at Halfaya Pass, clearing the Germans from eastern Libya. Allied forces took 5500 Germans prisoner in the week long battle.

The British destroyer Matabele was sunk while escorting merchants to Murmansk. All 247 men of her crew were lost.

While flying home from the United States, Churchill?s pilot makes a navigational error, bringing the plane within 6 miles of Brest in German occupied France. The Germans caught the plane on radar and dispatched fighters to shoot down what they thought to be an intruder. The intercept failed.

January 18, 1942

The Central and Southwest Fronts launch fresh attacks against German forces defending the Donets River and succeed in making substantial headway. In the Moscow area, Soviet paratroops are dropped behind the German lines. Further to the north In the Demyansk area, Luftwaffe transports and bombers begin dropping supplies to elements of the 2nd and 10th Corps, cut off in the frozen swamps south of Lake Illmen.

January 19, 1942

Soviet attacks in the Moscow area succeed in recapturing Mozhaisk, eliminating the last potential threat to Moscow from ground attack. In the Crimean Peninsula, German forces counterattack and take Feodosiaya from the Russian marines.

Japanese forces cross the Muar River in Malaya and are 80 miles from Singapore.

Rommel receives a convoy of 46 desperately needed tanks to reinforce his depleted forces at Benghazi just as they are preparing to abandon the port.


January 20, 1942

In the Berlin suburb of Wanssee, a conference was held to determine the fate of million?s of people. The Wannsee Conference was convened to discuss the ?Final Solution? to the Jewish Question. The chair of the committee was none other than SS Obergruppenf?hrer Reinhard Heydrich, a Nazi sociopath second only to Hitler himself. At this meeting, the broad plan for the execution of all Jews was finalized. In cold, calculated, and efficient language these savages in uniform plotted the extermination of 11 million soles. Wilhelm Stuckart, the lawyer who created the 1935 Nuremberg Laws quietly and logically argued his case for determining how much ?Jewish blood was enough to taint German purity? when determining those with ?mixed blood? should be ?sent east? (to the death camps). Of course, he indicated, these ?mixed bloods? would have to be sterilized.  It was also decided that ?Final? solution would be to gas, rather than shoot, starve, or otherwise kill the Jews would be the most efficient mechanism to complete the task. Adolf Eichmann was given the task of executing these protocols.

Never in the course of human history has such an atrocity been committed on the face of this earth. A translation of the only surviving minutes to the meeting can be found at ?

British forces occupy Benghazi.

January 21, 1942  

Rommel, after a retreat of 500 miles and only a few days to regroup his shattered forces, launches a counter-offensive against the British in Liybia. 21st Panzer Division takes Mersa Brega and 15th Panzer moves east beyond the British flank and then turns north toward Agebadia. The scattered screening forces of the British 1st Armored Division are routed.

London and the southern ports of England are once again subjected to attacks by the Luftwaffe as the Germans open a series of new raids.

Japanese aircraft hit allied positions in New Guinea for the first time in the war.

General ?Vinegar Joe? Stillwell is appointed as Chief of Staff to Chiang Kai-shek.

January 22, 1942

Rommel?s forces, now designated the Panzer Army Africa, capture Agedabia and trap elements of the British 1st Armored division in the Antelat-Sannu area. The British loses are heavy. 

Constant pressure and mounting casualties forces MacAurthur to withdraw his Bataan forces to the Mauban-Abucay line along the Pilar-Bagac road. This is the last practical defense line available to the doomed defenders. During the night the Japanese land forces at Quinauan and Longoskawayan Points, deep in the US/Filipino rear. Allied reserves are able to contain the Japanese beacheheads.

Australian troops, having been cut off on the retreat to Singapore, were forced to abandon their wounded and infiltrate the Japanese lines across a swamp. That night, the Japanese came across the wounded men by the road. They were smoking and, completely unafraid, waiting to be taken captive. The Japanese shot and bayoneted the defenseless men.

January 23, 1942

Japanese forces make landings at Rabaul (New Britian), Kavieng (New Ireland), Kendari (Celebes) and at Bouganinville Island (Solomons).

Rommel?s Italian allies refuse to advance further to the east. Rommel, decides to continue the attack with the Germans only.

At Novi Sad on the Danube River in Hungary, local soldiers marched 550 Jews and 292 Serbs onto the ice of the river and began shelling the location. The ice broke and the captives froze and drown in the icy waters.

Russian forces capture Kholm, northwest of Moscow and nearly surround the German forces clinging to Rzhev.

January 24, 1942

The Special Court of Inquiry into the Pearl Harbor disaster, headed by Justice Roberts is submitted. The conclusion of the commission was that Admiral Kimmel and General Short, the local Navy and Army commanders at Pearl Harbor neglected to coordinate security precautions and were largely responsible for the events of December 7. The report did not adequately address the failure of Washington intelligence groups in the fiasco. Editor?s Note: It is interesting that in six weeks, FDR?s administration was able to assess this disaster, while the current occupant of the Whitehouse has yet to even start an inquiry into the 9-11 tragedy after nearly four months.

German troops begin to regroup and attack in the Moscow area. Sukhinichi, a town near Kaluga, is recaptured by the Germans.

The Commonwealth defenses in Singapore are reinforced by the arrival of the British 18th Division.

Japanese forces land at Blikpapan in Dutch Borneo.

Four US Navy destroyers intercept a Japanese convoy destined to invade Java. In the action, the Japanese loose 1 destroyer and 4 of the 16 transports while the Americans loose nothing.

January 25, 1942

German forces advancing across the open desert threaten to cut off the 4th Indian Division in the Behghazi area.

Japanese forces land at Lae in New Guinea. Balikpapan in Borneo is secured. The oil fields here would supply 70,000 barrels a day (90% of their total petroleum output).

January 26, 1942

The 6000 Japanese troops take Rabul on the island of New Britain. Most of the 1000 Australian defenders were killed after they had surrendered.

January 27, 1942

Rommel, his forces dispersed in the advance, launches a feint against Mechili, threatening to encircle the Commonwealth forces at Benghazi. The British panic and order the hurried evacuation of the port.

Japanese troops land at Pemangkat in Dutch Borneo and Russel Island in New Guinea.

The US Navy submarine Seawolf arrives at Bataan with its feeble supply of ammunition. All of the surviving pilots are evacuated when the submarine left that night.

Soviet forces capture Lozovaya on the Donets front.

January 28, 1942  

Rommel?s forces reoccupy Bengazi and capture a huge quantity of supplies that the British were unable to withdraw or destroy.

January 29, 1942

Churchill ?survives? a vote of no confidence in the House of Commons by a the margin of 464 to 1.

British Bomber Command, deviating from their nightly terror bombing of German cities, launches a 16-plane raid against the German battleship Tirpitz in Norway. Only two planes reach the target area and no damage was reported to the Tirpitz.

US and Filipino forces destroy the Japanese beachhead at Point Longoskayan.

Soviet forces attack and inflict heavy losses on the Germans southwest of Kaluga, recapturing Sukhinichi (the third time the town changed hands in less than a week).

January 30, 1942

In celebrations of his ninth anniversary of seizing power in Germany, Hitler, in a capacity crowd at the Sports Palace in Berlin said, ?? the result of this war will be the complete annihilation of the Jews.?

Japanese forces capture the naval base of Amboina between the Celebes and New Guinea.

Heavy fighting is reported at Moulmein, Burma as Japanese forces take the city.

January 31, 1942

In their first offensive action of the war, US Navy carriers launch airraids against Japanese bases at Kwajalein, Wotje and Maloelap in the Marshall Islands. The carrier Enterprise was damaged by a Japanese torpedo bomber.

Japanese forces drive the British defenders off the mainland of Malaya and lay siege to Singapore.

Officials in Leningrad reported that as of 1/31/42, 200,000 civilians had died of starvation and exposure since the start of the siege five months ago. However, some relief was finally coming to the city as the ?Ice Road? across Lake Ladoga was finally bringing in badly needed supplies and evacuating those not critical to the defense of the city.

The Australians defending Dutch Timor surrendered to the Japanese. In the next week over half of the captives would be beheaded or bayoneted after capture.



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