Project 60 - "The First Fight Against Fascism" - Archives
April 1, 1942
The United States
begins to remove any person of Japanese ancestry, including citizens, from
coastal areas of the Pacific. Similar actions were not taken on the Atlantic
coast or of people of German or Italian descent.
Axis air raids on the
Maltese port of La Valetta are renewed.
April 3, 1942
Japanese bombers hit
Mandalay, killing 2000 and destroying much of the city.
April 4 1942
Heavy fighting is reported on Bataan as US-Filipino forces are forced back to make their final stands.
April 5, 1942
The Pearl Harbor
carriers were back in action on this day. In a raid by over 200 aircraft, the
Royal Navy cruisers Cornwall and HMS Dorsetshire and destroyer Tenedos
are attacked and sunk off Ceylon. In another set of raids targeting Colombo
and Trincomalee in the Bay of Bengal, 23 merchant ships are sunk. In all 800
British sailors and 112,000 tons of shipping were lost. The Japanese had 36
planes shot down.
April 6, 1942
Red Army forces make limited advances against very stiff German resistance in the Smolensk area.
German bombers hit the port facilities in Alexandria, Egypt
April 7, 1942
Red Army troops force a very narrow
corridor to Leningrad, opening a tenuous rail link to the city. Trains ran into
the city with desperately needed supplies and came out with civilians and the
wounded, all under heavy artillery fire from the Germans.
In Germany, Karl Friedrich Stellbrink,
a protestant theologian, was arrested along with three Catholic priests for
criticizing Nazi rule. They were all executed seven months later.
King George awards the defenders of
Malta the ?George?s Cross? as the 2000th air raid against the
April 8, 1942
2000 of Bataan?s defenders escaped to
the dubious safety of Corregidor Island.
April 9, 1942
Japanese forces clear the Bataan
Peninsula after three months of heavy combat.
76,000 US-Filipino troops are captured. This was the largest capitulation
US forces in World War II.
Japanese aircraft from the carriers Soryu,
Hiryu and Akagi sink the British carrier Hermes, the
destroyer Vampire and three other ships in Indian Ocean.
With the breakdown of autonomy
negotiations in India, British forces crack down on dissidents. Mahatma Gandhi
Heavy fighting is reported in the
Crimean peninsula as Red Army forces attack at Kertsj. The attacks fall on
stubborn German defenses and fail. In other attacks, Russians made headway
against the Germans in the Orel area.
April 10, 1942
The Bataan Death March starts as the
prisoners begin a 65 mile march
from Mariveles to San Fernando. Little water or food were given ot the
prisoners. Those not able to keep up were beaten or bayoneted on the roadside.
Japanese forces begin landing troops on
Cebu and Billiton Islands in the Philippines
April 11 1942
The Russians land troops near Eupatoria
in the Crimea. Fast response on the Germans part bottles up the Red Army forces
on their beachhead.
April 12, 1942
Major action on the east front comes to
an abrupt halt as the Spring thaw turns the landscape into a quagmire. In any
case, the Soviets had extended their winter offensive to the limits of their
thin and tenuous supply lines. The dry weather would see the initiative back in
the hands of the Germans.
As the ?Bataan Death March?
continues, 400 Filipino captives are hacked to death by sword wielding Japanese
April 13, 1942
The destroyer Roper sinks U-85
south of Norfolk, Virginia becoming the first US warship to sink a German
Thirty-five hostages are killed in
Paris for retaliation for underground attacks.
Marshal Petain, France?s greatest
hero from World War I, destroys his reputation by becoming the ceremonial head
of the pro-Nazi Vichy government. Laval remained as chief of the government?s
administration and the real leader.
April 15, 1942
The French underground attacks a German
command post in Arras.
4000 Japanese land on Panay Island in the Philippines. The 7000 strong American-Filipino force is ordered to the mountains to form guerrilla bands.
April 17, 1942
In a daring and rare daylight raid,
twelve RAF bombers hit the Augsburg diesel-engine factory. The planes flew into
Germany at 500? and although 7 of the bombers were shot down, the raid created
such a sensation that the group leader, John Nettleton was awarded the Victoria
Cross. Nettleton would die a year later in a raid over Turin.
April 18 1942
bombers launch the first airraid against the Japanese home islands (see
US officials order a blackout of all
coastal areas on the eastern seaboard in an attempt to reduce the effectiveness
of German U-boats.
The Germans scored a success against
partisans in the Dorogobuzh area. The great Russian partisan, Colonel Yefremov,
severely wounded in heavy fighting, took his own life rather than being captured
by the Germans. Before pulling he
pulled the trigger he extolled those around him to "kill every one of the
forces rout the 55th Chinese Division at Lashio in Burma.
April 19, 1942
Resistance to the Japanese on Cebu Island ends as the US-Filipino garrison surrenders.
April 20, 1942
An assassination attempt is made against the leader of the French fascists, Doriol. It fails.
April 21, 1942
Spain pledges to send troops to support
Germany?s war effort against Russia. Berlin
radio quoted Se?or Su?er as saying that Spain hoped the Axis powers would win
the war because "a victory of the Allies would be tantamount to a victory
The German submarine U-459 sets sail.
Unarmed, this floating gas station, known as a ' Milch cow', heads toward
American waters to fuel armed craft to extend their patrol time.
April 22, 1942
British forces abandon the Yenangyaung
oil fields in Burma.
April 23, 1942Luftwaffe begins the 'Baedeker' raids on historic cities in Britain, with Exeter, Norwich, York and Bath all raided during the following week. However, losses were so high that the raids had to be abandoned after that time.
April 24, 1942
The last of the Bataan Death March
survivors arrive at Camp O?Donnell. Approximately 45,000 Filipino and 9,300
Americans survived the forced march. 8,000 Filipinos and 650 Americans succumb
to lack of food or water or the abuses of the Japanese captors.
April 25, 1942United States troops landed on Free French‑controlled New Caledonia.
April 26, 1942
General Alexander decided that the
defense of Burma was hopeless and ordered his British and Indian forces back to
April 27, 1942Roosevelt announced that the American economy was to be placed on a full war footing and production non-essential civilian goods would be greatly curtailed.
For the fourth consecutive night, RAF bombers returned to Rostov. After a ?disappointing? initial raid, the British succeed in destroying about 70% of the city and badly damaging the Heinkel factory.
April 28, 1942
Chiang Kai-shek informed the American government, that as a result of the Doolittle Raid, Japanese forces had landed in several coastal areas and razed towns, killing all of the men women and children, where they suspected the locals assisted the American fliers.
April 29, 1942
The Belgian resistance destroys
Tenderloo chemical works, killing more that 250.
The Japanese begin an intensive
bombardment of Corregidor Island
in Manila Bay
Hitler and Mussolini meet in
Berchtesgaden. Among the topics discussed was the recent increase in tension
between Hungry and Rumania over long standing territorial disputes. It had
already been decided that Hungarian and Rumanian troops would not be stationed
in adjacent sectors for fear they would turn their guns on each other rather
than the Russians.
April 30, 1942
Japanese continue to advance out of Lashio in Burma, driving the Chinese back
along the Burma Road into China while British and American forces retreat