Project 60 - "The First Fight Against Fascism" - Archives
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
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space as the Soviets have withdrawn into the city.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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
launched from submarines, bombard the woods near Brookings, Oregon forests with
incendiary munitions, starting several small fires.
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.
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
RAF Bomber command
raids Dusseldorf causing extensive damage.
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
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.
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.
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
German forces north
of Stalingrad open a new offensive in the northwest suburbs as fighting in the
center city bogs down.
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.
September 22, 1942
The Germans take “The Grain
Elevator” with heavy losses and consolidate their hold on the southern part of
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.
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.
relieves his Chief of Staff, General Halder. And replaces him with General
Group A launches a fresh series of attacks along the Black Sea coast, targeting
the port of Tuapse.
bombers hit Bengazi in North Africa.
September 25, 1942
Australian troops launch their
counteroffensive against the Japanese along the Kokoda Trail.
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.
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.
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.