Project 60 - "The First Fight Against Fascism" - Archives
July 1, 1942
An American submarine
operating off Luzon, sinks a Japanese transport. Unknown to the boat's
skipper, the ship was carrying Australian POWs. 849 drowned.
July 2, 1942
Army commander, Gen Auchinleck, succeeds in installing the revitalized 1st
Armored Division on the Ruweisat Ridge, the dominant feature in the middle of
the El Alamein position. Rommel attacked this feature and succeeded in taking
his feeble force of 37 tanks down to 26.
8th Army commander, Gen Auchinleck, succeeds in installing the revitalized 1st Armored Division on the Ruweisat Ridge, the dominant feature in the middle of the El Alamein position. Rommel attacked this feature and succeeded in taking his feeble force of 37 tanks down to 26.
July 3, 1942
Sevastopol falls to
the Germans. 24 days of siege end in a costly victory for the Germans. 97,000
Soviet soldiers and sailors are captured. Hitler promoted the victorious
commander, von Manstein to Field Marshal.
German forces in
Yugoslavia launch major attacks in the Kozara region against Tito's partisans.
Rommel makes one last attempt to break the British lines at El Alamein, losing 13 of his last 26 tanks. By the end of the day, he suspends offensive operations and sets the troops to building defensive positions. The First Battle of El Alamein had ended in British victory. Egypt was saved.
July 4, 1942
consisting of 35 merchants, 6 destroyers and 15 other escorts, en route to
Archangel, comes under heavy air attack. Four of the vessels are sunk. Reports
indicate that the German surface fleet, including the battleship Tirpitz,
have left their anchorages in Norway and are heading in to kill the convoy. The
convoy is ordered to scatter to avoid the confrontation with the superior German
Six B-17 from the
newly activated US 8th Air Force join RAF bombers in hitting German
airfields in Holland.
July 5, 1942
With news of the
scattered convoy and the threat of losses, Hitler orders the surface fleet back
to Norway. Air attacks, however, continue and intensify. Ultimately, only 11
merchants would make it to Archangel. 99,316 tons of material, including 430
tanks and 210 aircraft were lost.
Elements of 4th
Panzer Army reach Voronezh on the Don River.
July 6, 1942
QP13, while returning
from Russia makes a navigational error off Iceland, putting the convoy into a
British minefield. Five merchants sunk before the group maneuvered to safety.
The Germans commence
operation Swampflower against Russian partisan forces in the Dorogobuzh area.
U-132, commanded by Capt. Vogelsang, enters the St. Lawrence seaway and sinks 3 merchant ships.
July 7, 1942
Soviet forces counter-attack the German
6th Army at Voronezh, succeeding in stopping the German attacks in
the area, but not driving them back.
July 8, 1942
Army attacks southeast of Voronezh along the west bank of the Don River as the
retreating Soviet forces abandon Starii Oskol.
July 9, 1942
Hitler changes the plans for the summer offensive, directing Army Group A to Rostov and the Caucusus Mountains, while Army Group B marched on Stalingrad. The plane to destroy the southern wing of the Red Army in open battle had been abandoned to Hitler's desire to occupy land.
July 10, 1942
After days of
deceptive movements of his forces, General Auchinleck goes on the offensive.
Rommel, lured south by planned withdraws, strikes into empty ground. Meanwhile,
the British XXX Corp hits the Italians along the coast road. The attacks routed
the Italian Sabratha Division and threatened Rommel's HQ and supply lines.
July 11, 1942
Rommel calls off his
errant attack in the south and returns to his defensive positions. Panzer Army
Afrika, battered and a few miles back restores the situation at El Alamein.
Rommel lets it be known that he no longer has confidence in the Italian forces
under his command and begins deploying elements of the 164th Infantry
division with the Italians as "stiffeners".
July 12, 1942
As his southern front
crumbles, Stalin moves massive numbers of troops into the Stalingrad area,
forming a new Front (Army Group) under Marshal Timoshenko.
After two weeks of
heavy fighting, German forces in Army Group North succeed in eliminating the
Vlasov's 2nd Shock Army in the Volkhov area, taking 30,000
prisoners. Vlasov would later turn on his former comrades and support the Nazis
by leading the anti-Bolshevik Russian Liberation Army.
July 13, 1942
British positions beyond the Ruweisat ("Kidney") Ridge south of El Alamein.
His forces are bloodily repulsed.
July 14, 1942
British forces follow-up attacks on
"Kidney Ridge" at El Alamein. Minor advances are made against heavy
4th Panzer Army is redirected south to assist in taking the Caucuses with Army Group A.
July 15, 1942
Soviet forces abandon Millerovo, half
way between Kharkov and Stalingrad. Also, Kamensk on the Donetz river was
abandoned. German commanders begin to express concern in that they have captured
less than 80,000 Soviet forces since the start of the offensive, much less than
what had been planned and expected.
New Zealand forces begin attacks on
Rommel's forces at "Kidney Ridge". The attacks are met by tenacious
German resistance, but at the end of the day, the key ridge is cleared.
Meanwhile, the Italian Brescia and Pavia divisions are routed, forcing Rommel to
send German troops north to stablize the situation, ending his hopes at a
meaningful attack in the south.
British cryptographers broke the German
anti-aircraft unit ciphers. The "Weasel" cipher was particularly important
because it allowed the Allies to track the important 88mm AT/AA units.
The first 2000 Dutch Jews were deported to Auschwitz.
July 16, 1942
launches desperate attacks against the Ruweisat Ridge and Tell el Eisa, but is
unable to dislodge the Commonwealth forces.
Rommel launches desperate attacks against the Ruweisat Ridge and Tell el Eisa, but is unable to dislodge the Commonwealth forces.
July 17, 1942
New Zealand forces
succeed in routing the Germans from the "Kidney" Ridge positions. The
British take 2,600 prisoners and capture 115 guns. El Alamein, and eastern
Egypt, has been saved.
July 18, 1942
Soviet forces are in full retreat on the southern front as German forces capture Voroshilovgrad in the Donets Basin.
July 19, 1942
The French Gestapo initiated the "Family Hostage Law" whereby if any French "terrorist' identified by the German occupation forces did not surrender within 10 days of their "crime", all adult male relatives would be executed, adult females would be sent to concentration camps and children would become charges of the Germans state.
July 20, 1942
Operation Eagle commences as the
Germans attack Russian partisan positions in the Chechivichi area of
Soviet counterattacks succeeded in eliminating the German bridgehead on the east bank of the Don at Vorohezh.
July 21, 1942
16,000 Japanese troops land at Buna,
The US military reports that since the
beginning of the war, 44,143 soldiers have been killed, wounded or are missing.
Commonwealth infantry attack at El Alamein attempting to breach the Axis fixed positions.
July 22, 1942
The British 8th Army, with a
new complement of 323 tanks (against Rommel's 92) attacks. Auchinleck's
forces manage to loose 131 tanks and 2,600 prisoners were taken by the Germans.
Lt. Kurt Waldheim (who would become
Austrian PM) is awarded the Silver Medal by the Croats for his outstanding work
in determining the number of trucks needed to deport innocent civilians out of
partisan controlled areas.
German forces enter Rostov. Heavy
house-to-house fighting erupts in the city.
The Treblinka death camp is opened. The Germans begin moving the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto to the new camp, the vast majority would be murdered upon arrival.
July 23, 1942
Japanese forces begin
landing the 18th Army at Buna and Gona on the northern coast of
Papua. The operation is intended to take Port Morseby.
July 24, 1942
1st Panzer Army captures Rostov-on-Don, unhinging the Soviet defensive positions in the far south. The armies are now free to move to the Caucasus.
July 25, 1942
German forces capture Novocherkassk, northeast of Rostov.
July 26, 1942
Auchinleck suspends offensive operations at El Alamein after three days of heavy fighting which bags 7,000 Axis prisoners. Exhausted by the efforts, the British 8th Army begins to dig in.
July 27, 1942
The German 6th Army launches
attacks against the Soviet bridgeheads west of the Don at Kalach. The Soviets
hang on with grim determination and the attacks fail. The Germans cross the Don
River at Rostov and occupy Bataysk.
British Bomber Command launches an "all out effort" sending 403 bombers against Hamburg. Heavy damage was reported as 337 civilians were killed, and 14,000 were homeless after the bombs and fires destroyed 823 homes. British losses in the raid were heavy - 29 planes (7.2%).
July 28, 1942
July 29, 1942
advancing toward the Caucasus take Proletarskaya, securing a bridgehead over the
After four days of
heavy fighting, Japanese forces take Kokoda from the Australians.
July 30, 1942
suspends offensive operations against Rommel's forces at El Alamein. Although
Churchill is displeased with the halt, Auchinleck did manage to save Egypt and
the North African campaign by stopping Rommel in the actions of the last month.
July 31, 1942
Soviet forces of the West Front launch
a major attack against Army Group Center in the Rzhev area.
4th Panzer Army launches attacks aimed at breaking the Russian hold on the middle Don River.
Japanese forces cross the Own Stanley Mountains, advancing from Buna and Gona in their offensive on Port Moresby in New Guinea.
603 RAF bombers, and for the first time, over 100 heavy Lancaster bombers, hit Dusseldorf. 453 homes were destroyed, 1500 damaged and 279 civilians were killed in the terror bombing. The British losses were heavy at 29 aircraft (nearly 5%).