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

September, 1942


September 1, 1942

El Alamein: With the promised fuel for his tanks lying at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea, Rommel is forced to suspend the bulk of his attack but did move 15th Panzer Division against the British at the Alam Halfa Ridge. The Germans succeeded in reaching postions just south of the ridge before being stopped for lack of fuel.

September 2, 1942

After being pummeled from the air by RAF bombers, Rommel decides to abandon the attack completely and return to his defensive lines.

At Stalingrad, von Paulus, finally feeling his northern flank in the city was secure, launches his armor south to meet 4th Panzer Army. However, the trap closes on empty  space as the Soviets have withdrawn into the city. Meanwhile, Luftwaffe bombardment of the city intensified as the Germans turn their attention to the ferries operating over the Volga, the lifeline to the defenders of Stalingrad.

In a militarily insignificant attack, Soviet bombers hit Warsaw.

September 3, 1942

At El Alamein, New Zealand troops, in pursuit of the retreating DAK, engage in heavy fighting.

Stalin orders Zhukov to make immediate counter attacks against the Germans as they now have established positions in Rynok, just north of Stalingrad on the Volga River.

British commandos land at a lighthouse in the German held Channel Islands, killing the garrison, destroying the radio equipment and carrying away the code books. Hitler, outraged, orders efforts to strengthen the “Atlantic Wall”, the defense of the French coast, to be redoubled.

September 4, 1942

Thirty-two British and Australian bombers flew from England toward their new base in Russia where they were to assist in protecting convoys. Nine of the planes were forced down due to lack of fuel of combat damage. A Russian fighter shot down one bomber and the survivors were strafed while they struggled in the water.

Japanese forces recapture Lachi from the Chinese.

Heavy fighting between the Japanese and Australians at Milne Bay continues as Japanese forces begin to withdraw their wounded from the beachhead.

September 5, 1942

Zhukov launches his first counter-attack against the German forces along the Volga. The attack fails. Meanwhile, German forces enter Novorossiysk, forcing the Soviet Black Sea Fleet to abandon its last decent base on the Black Sea. Also, in a move to improve morale, Soviet bombers launch pinprick raids against Budapest, Vienna and Breslau.

September 6, 1942

German forces capture Novorossiysk.

September 7, 1942

Japanese resistance at Milne Bay ends. However, attacks in the Owen Stanley Range pick up again as the Japanese aim for capturing Port Morsby.

German forces launch massed attacks against the southern portion of Stalingrad.

Hitler, blaming the field commander for his own decisions to divert forces from the southern drive, relieves General List.

September 8, 1942  

Japanese forces open a new offensive on the Kokoda Trail in an attempt to force the Owen Stanley Ridge in their bid to take Port Morseby.

US Marines and paratroopers attacked the Japanese postions at Taivu Point on Guadalcanal.

September 9, 1942

Field Marshal List is sacked as commander of Army Group A as Hitler loses patience with the gains being made by this force.

Japanese aircraft, launched from submarines, bombard the woods near Brookings, Oregon forests with incendiary munitions, starting several small fires.

British troops fighting the French on Madagascar take control of the Mozambique Channel.

September 10 1942

Red Army forces attacking out of Leningrad halt their operations after taking heavy losses in attack. At Stalingrad, Russian forces fall back deeper into the city as German pressure continues and bloody house-to-house fighting continues.

The German U-boat, U-69, laid 12 mines in the Chesapeake Bay. It would be the last such mission on the Virginia coast in the war.

September 11, 1942

Attacks in the southern sector at Stalingrad continue with heavy fighting reported. German forces approach “The Grain Elevator”, a massive concrete structure dominating the area, and are stopped cold by the fanatical defense of a mere 40 Russian Marines.

RAF Bomber command raids Dusseldorf causing extensive damage.

Australian forces stop the latest Japanese offensive at Ioribaiwa, on the Kokoda Trail, a mere 32 miles from Port Morseby.

September 12, 1942

The German U-boat, U-156, torpedoed and sank the 19,695-ton British transport Laconai. To the horror of the German crew, the ship carried 1800 Italian POWs, captured in North Africa and heading for Canada. The German skipper, Captian Hartenstein, attempted to save as many as possible, cramming 200 liberated prisoners into his boat. He then, over open channels, reported the incident, calling for assistance and guaranteeing not to attack Allied ships who respond. Later, American planes operating out of Ascension Island attacked the submarine on the surface even though it displayed a huge Red Cross flag. Of the original complement of 2732 on the Laconai, 1111 survived. The incident led to the German “Laconia Order”, prohibiting U-boat skippers from picking up any survivors from their victims.

September 13, 1942

British Commandos from the land, sea and air, hit the German installations at Tobruk, Bengazi and Brace. The attacks were a dismal failure and resulted in heavy losses to the British. The Royal Navy destroyers Sikh and Zulu, along with the AA-ship Coventry were sunk in action in the Tobruk operations, and several hundred marines were killed. Damage to Tobruk’s depots and port installations were minimal. The raid on Brace succeeded in shooting up the town and some of the 30 planes at the field with no losses. The attack on Bengazi was a bloody affair as surprise was lost almost at the start of the attack and the commandos withdrew.

Two Japanese battalions were destroyed (1200 Japanese casualties) in heavy fighting at Henderson Field on Guadalcanal.

After days of heavy house-to-house fighting in Stalingrad, a massive and concentrated effort began as 6th Army hits the center of the city.

September 14, 1942

Japanese forces struck Marine positions on “Bloody Ridge” on Guadalcanal. The vicious fighting, often hand-to-hand left 600 Japanese dead and 143 Marine losses.

The German 51st Corps succeeds in driving through the city to the banks of the Volga, splitting the Soviet defenses. Heavy counterattacks by the 62nd Army fail to restore the situation.

September 15, 1942

Fierce fighting at Stalingrad centers on Mamayev Kurgan, the dominant high ground overlooking city and the important ferries over the Volga.

The aircraft carrier USS Wasp , conducting air operations in support of the Marines on Guadalcanal, is torpedoed by a Japanese submarine I-19off Espirtu Santo. Two of the torpedoes strike the ship and detonate the aircraft fuel tanks and magazine. The forward part of the ship was torn by explosions as flames raced out of control. Within an hour of being hit, the order to abandon ship was made. Less than an hour later, the crew was off. Wasp sank during the night after fire completely gutted the ship. 1,941 men were saved.

Elements of the US 32nd “Red Arrow” Division begin landing at Port Morseby as McArthur prepares to expel the Japanese from New Guinea.

September 16, 1942

Heavy fighting at the central railway station and yard at Stalingrad takes place. The buildings and yards change hands several times during the day. Losses are heavy on both sides in the fierce fighting.

Japanese forces abandon Attu and move to Kiska. 

September 17, 1942

The Governor General of Madagascar calls on the British invasion force to negotiate an surrender. The demands of the British were deemed unacceptable and the negotiations broke down quickly.

German forces north of Stalingrad open a new offensive in the northwest suburbs as fighting in the center city bogs down.

Colonel Leslie Grove is placed in charge of the Manhattan Project.

September 18, 1942

4000 Marines are landed on Guadalcanal and for the first time in a month, full food rations were provided to the troops.

In an attempt to relieve pressure on Stalingrad, Red Army forces from the Voronezh Front, 250 miles from the city, open a massive offensive.

Col. Groves purchases 1250 tons of high quality Belgian Congo uranium ore stored on Staten Island. The race to the A-bomb is on.

British forces land on the east coast of Madagascar and occupy Tamatave.

A German U-boat laid a dozen mines off Charleston, South Carolina. None were ever struck.

September 19, 1942

Col. Groves purchases 52,000 acres of land in Tennessee. The site will be the massive weapons grade uranium enrichment facility known as Oak Ridge.

September 20, 1942

Newly appointed commander, Dwight Eisenhower, declared that November 9 would be the date for the Anglo-American invasion of North Africa – Operation Torch.

September 21, 1942

RAF Bomber command hits Munich and the Saar Valley in heavy raids.

British forces launch their first land offensive against the Japanese hitting in the Arakan in Burma.

September 22, 1942  

The Germans take “The Grain Elevator” with heavy losses and consolidate their hold on the southern part of Stalingrad.

Wilhelm Kube, the killer of thousands of Jews and Russians in Minsk, was killed when his Byelorussia maid, Elena Mazaniuk, put a bomb under his bed. She made good her escape and joined the partisans.

September 23, 1942

US Marines on Guadalcanal begin attacks to clear the area around Henderson Field of Japanese infantry. Marines from the newly arrived 7th Marines make a landing behind Japanese positions along the Matanikau River. The Marines drove inland only to be cut off. Direct fire from the destroyer Ballard blasted a path through the Japanese so the Marines could withdraw.

Soviet launch a series of counterattacks at Stalingrad. Nearr the southern landing areas, attacks along the Volga fail to dislodge the Germans in the area. Attacks in the northwest suburbs also grind both sides to a halt. Fighting is serious with heavy losses on both sides.

Leslie Groves is promoted to Brigadier-General and recruits J. Robert Oppenheimer as Scientific Director of the Manhattan Project.

Exhausted by months of command in the harsh North African desert, Field Marshal Rommel takes a medical leave. Command of Panzer Army Afrika is give to General von Thoma.

British troops continue to fight Vichy forces in Madagascar, occupying the capital.

September 24 1942

Olga Yamschchikova, a fighter pilot in the Red Air Force, shot down a German Ju-88 twin-engine bomber over Stalingrad, becoming the first female to score an aerial victory.

Hitler relieves his Chief of Staff, General Halder. And replaces him with General Zeitzler.

Army Group A launches a fresh series of attacks along the Black Sea coast, targeting the port of Tuapse.

British bombers hit Bengazi in North Africa.

Soviet partisans score a major victory when they attacked and destroyed the German supply and staging base at Ryabchichi on the Smolensk-Bryansk railroad.

September 25, 1942

Australian troops launch their counteroffensive against the Japanese along the Kokoda Trail.

In a daring daylight raid, RAF Mosquito fighter-bombers strike the Gestapo Headquarters in Oslo, Norway. Although they miss the building, the surrounding area is heavily damaged. Many Germans fled from the city in panic.

September 26, 1942

After spending several days regrouping, the German 6th Army launches its latest “final attack on Stalingrad”.

September 27, 1942

German forces attacking in the center of Stalingrad succeed in taking most of the strategically important hill mass at Mamayev Kurgan. To the north, other attacks work their way through the worker’s housing for the Red October factory complex. Fighting is brutally savage and casualties are extremely heavy.

Japanese forces, hit hard by the Australian attacks, abandon Ioribaiwa in New Guinea and are in headlong retreat.

September 28, 1942

The main body of the US 32nd Infantry Division reach Port Moresby and are immediately ordered into the attack on Wairopi.

September 29, 1942

Soviet forces north of Moscow open a massive offensive in the Rhzev area. The Germans retreat and the Soviets liberate 25 villages.

American pilots, many who had been flying with the RAF since the opening of the war, and who defended the skies of England during the Battle of Britain against Germany, are officially transferred to USAAF commands.

Chinese forces inflict heavy losses on the Japanese in action round Kinhwa.

In response to the now nightly bombing of his cities by RAF bomber command, Hitler orders the construction of massive “Flak Towers” in Berlin, Munich, Vienna, Linz and Nuremberg.

September 30, 1942

British cartographers break the “Osprey” key to the Enigma code. From this point until the end of the war, the British were able to read the most secret messages of the Todt Organizations, the group responsible for engineering projects in the Reich.

Turkey and Germany sign a trade agreement. Germany will have a supply of chrome and Turkey gets arms.
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