Project 60 - "The First Fight Against Fascism" - Archives
March 1, 1942
A US Hudson of squadron VP-82, based at Argentia in Canada, sinks U-656 off Cape Race, Newfoundland.
March 2, 1942
Japanese forces land
at Mindanao in the Philippines.
The US Government opened its racist attack on the Japanese by barring all persons of Japanese ancestry, including US citizens, from Pacific coastal areas. A similar ruling for those of German or Italian ancestry in Atlantic coastal areas, of course, never materialized.
March 3, 1942
RAF Bomber Command,
under its new C-in-C, Air Vice Marshal Harris, attacks the Renault plant in the
Paris suburb of Bilancourt with 235 bombers. Damage to the facility was
extensive as 300 bombs were reported to have hit the factory, destroying 40% of
the plant. 623 French workers were killed and over 1500 injured.
March 4, 1942
US carrier based
aircraft raided the Marcus Islands in the central Pacific. Damage to the
Japanese base was heavy.
The only Allied
surviving ships from the disastrous Battle of the Java Sea, the US destroyers Edwards,
Alden, Ford, and Paul Jones, arrive in Freemantle, Australia.
were taken out of the Baranowicze ghetto and killed, ending a two day orgy of
killing which claimed 12,000 lives.
March 5, 1942
Attacks by the Soviet
Central Front succeed in liberating Yukhnov.
March 6, 1942
The evacuation of Rangoon begins in earnest as all facilities which may be of any use to the Japanese are ordered destroyed.
March 7, 1942
The Government of the
Dutch East Indies flees Java for Australia.
at Taukkyan hamper British troops, attempting to retereat from Rangoon.
Japanese naval forces
shell Christmas Island.
March 8, 1942
landings at Lae and Salamaua in New Guinea.
Rangoon falls to the
advancing Japanese forces, cutting off the supply line between the Allies and
the Nationalist Chinese forces. British forces were able to clear the roadblocks
at Taukkyan and continue their retreat northward.
March 9, 1942
The last organized resistance to the Japanese on Java ends. 100,000 Dutch, British, Australian and American soldiers were taken prisoner and 80,000 Dutch civilians were intured. By the end of the war, 8,500 of the Dutch POWs and 10,500 of the civilian internees would be dead.
March 10, 1942
Stillwell is named Chief of Staff of allied armies in the Chinese theatre of
Japanese forces land on Buka in the Solomon Islands.
Aircraft from the British carrier Victorious engaged the German battleship Tirpitz in the North Atlantic. The attack failed to do any damage to the enemy.
carrier aircraft engage Japanese shipping and troop concentrations on New Guinea
as Japanese forces take the port city of Finschhafen.
March 11, 1942
The cruiser HMS Naiad
is torpedoed by U-565 south of Crete. She sank taking 77 of her crew down with
March 12, 1942
The Japanese Imperial
Guard Division lands without opposition on the north coast of Sumatra.
March 13, 1942
Red army launches a
major offensive on the Kerch peninsula against the German 11th Army.
The second Nazi death
camp opens at Belzec opens as the first 6000 Jews arrive to be killed. 360,000
people would be killed at this camp by the end of the war.
March 14, 1942
The US Joint Chiefs of Staff formalized plans to maintain a strategic defensive posture in the Pacific while building up forces in England for an offensive against Germany.
March 15, 1942
U-503 is sunk near
the Grand Banks, off Newfoundland, by another aircraft from the US squadron,
March 16, 1942
US bombers based in Australia begin operations against Japanese positions in the Philippines.
March 17, 1942
MacArthur arrives in Australia and assumes command of all allied forces in the
Southwest Pacific area of operations.
March 18, 1942
Lord Mountbatten is named commander of the British commandos.
March 19, 1942
An offensive by Army
Group North to destroy the Soviet 2nd Shock Army, commanded by General Vlasov,
begins in the Novgorod-Gruzino area. The Germans initial attacks succeeded in
cutting off the overextended Soviet positions, but Vlasov?s army clung
tenaciously to their swampy positions.
Operation 'Munich' is
launched. Joined by a new air detachment, German troops attack partisan bases
around Yelnya and Dorogobuzh. Another
anti-partisan sweep, Operation 'Bamberg?, begins near Bobruisk. SS Police
troops attack Russian villages and German security forces burn many villages,
killing 3,500 people. Both operations succeeded only in infuriate the Russian
civilians. Many of them joined the partisans, making the whole exercise very
counter-productive. The 3rd Panzer Army diaries says "There are indications
that the partisan movement in the region of Velikiye Luki, Vitebsk, Rudnya,
Velizh, is now being organized on a large scale. The fighting strength of the
partisans hitherto active, is being bolstered by individual units of regular red
in China is extended to include the Chinese 5th and 6th
Armies operating in Burma.
March 20, 1942
The Red army
offensive in the Crimea ends in defeat and heavy losses.
Heavy air attacks on
Malta begin as Axis forces hope to eliminate the island as useful British base
of operations in the central Mediterranean Sea.
March 21 1942
The United States
agrees to provide $500,000,000 in aid to China.
The British 8th
Army launches raids against Derna and Benghazi in North Africa in an attempt to
divert German attention from a desperately needed convoy heading to Malta.
Nonetheless, the convoy came under very heavy fire and of the 26,000 tons of
supplies, only 5,000 would reach the embattled island.
March 22, 1942
American forces on the Bataan peninsula were issued an ultimatum to surrender.
March 23, 1942
Japanese forces occupy the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal.
March 24, 1942
Government refuses to hold an inquiry into the loss of Singapore during a Lords
The Japanese begin an
intensive bombing campaign of Bataan and Corregidor. General Homma's 14th Army
receives reinforcement ready for its final offensive against the Bataan and
Corregidor. This takes the form of the Japanese 4th Division, which has been
shipped from Shanghai.
Chinese and Burmese forces in the Toungoo area are surrounded and supporting forces forced back to the Irrawaddy River as Japanese forces continue to advance.
March 25, 1942
Attacks by Japanese
forces inflict heavy losses against the Chinese 200th Division
surrounded at Toungoo.
March 26, 1942
Japanese forces capture most of Toungoo.
The first ?special train? of Jews, 999 Slovenian women, arrives at Auschwitz.
March 27, 1942
Chinese forces rally
and hold on at Toungoo.
The first contingent of French Jews, 1112 men and women, arrives at Auschwitz.
March 28 1942
raid the port facilities at St. Nazaire. The purpose of the daring raid was to
destroy the lock at the port, the only one capable of providing shelter to the
battleship Tirpitz. By wrecking the port, Tirpitz could not
operate in the Atlantic. A force of 210 men in 18 small craft and the ex-US
destroyer Campbeltown, headed to the port. The keystone of the
plan was to ram Campbeltown into the dock gate and flood
the lock system. At 0120, the lead gunboat was spotted and the floatilla was
flooded with light. The British attempted to bluff their way with confusing
signals and false colors, but the Germans were not fooled for long and opened
fire at 0128. Campbeltown, under intense fire and taking heavy casualties
stormed through the smoke and confusion and rammed the gate, buckling 35 feet of
her bow. The commandos scrambled ashore and started setting charges throughout
the facility. A wild melee started throughout the town. Shortly after 0200, the
charges were detonated and the facility destroyed. The commandos regrouped for
the withdraw only to find that their transports were largely destroyed during
the fight. The commandos were stranded, most were killed or captured. The next
morning, the commander of the Campteltown was being berated by his
interigators for thinking that a destroyer could damage the heavy lock gates. A
short time later, the delayed charges blew and the lock was utterly destroyed.
Delayed charges continued t odetonate for several days. The raid, although heavy
in losses, did succeed. Tirpitz would never enter the waters of the
Under the new
tactical doctrine of area saturation bombing, introduced by Air Vice Marshal
Harris, the RAF launches a heavy incendiary attack (234 bombers) against L?beck
on the Baltic that devastates 265 acres of the city.
The defenders of
Bataan began slaughtering horses and mules to provide food for the troops as the
Japanese blockade prevented any resupply.
March 29, 1942
Escorts of the Arctic
convoy, beat off a German destroyer
attack, sinking U-26, and succeeded in reaching the port of Murmansk.
text of the "Draft Declaration of Discussion, with Indian Leaders,"
taken to India by Sir Stafford Cripps was published simultaneously in India and
Great Britain. The British Government had decided to lay down in clear terms the
steps to be taken for the earliest possible realization of self-?government in
India. "The object is the creation of a new Indian union which shall
constitute a Dominion, associated with the United Kingdom and the other
Dominions by a common allegiance to the Crown but equal to them in every
respect, in no way subordinate in any aspect of its domestic or external
March 30, 1942
Japanese forces in Burma broke through the allied defenses at Prome.
March 31, 1942
Six-thousand Jews from Stanislawow arrive at Belzec to be killed. New rules went into effect at Auschwitz whereby those ?fit for work? would be sent to Birkenau as forced labor rather than directly to the gas chambers.