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

November, 1942

November 1, 1942

Marines open a new set of attacks along the Poha River on Guadalcanal.

November 2, 1942

Operation Supercharge, the breakout and pursuit from El Alamein, commences as Montgomery launches the fresh 151 and 152 Infantry Brigades supported by the 9th Armored Brigade forward. This draws the last of the German armor into a counterattack, which is then countered, by attacks by 1st Armored Division. During the night, Rommel decides to begin his retreat from El Alamein. The beginning of the end of Axis hopes in North Africa had come.

November 3, 1942

Rejecting out of hand Field Marshal Rommel's proposal to withdraw the Afrikakorps to the Fuka line, Hitler orders him to stand fast stating, “…you can show them no other road than to victory or death.” The British 9th Armored Brigade, dispite taking severe losses, holds the gap in the minefields open as the British 10th Corp moves through the corridors. Some Axis units begin to retreat as their forces are now down to about 40 tanks.

Australian troops capture Kokoda, ending the last glimmer of Japanese hopes of taking Port Morseby.

November 4, 1942

Rommel re-issues his orders for retreat as his panzer forces are now down to 12 tanks. British pursuit is great ly hindered by congestion in the minefield corridors but RAF air attacks are intense. The Italian 20th Motorized Corps is destroyed and the British take 10,724 Axis prisoners, including nine generals.

November 5, 1942

The British attack Rommel’s rearguard position at Fuka and breakthrough. 10,000 more prisoners are captured as the remnants of the Afrika Korp stream westward. The battle is  now almost 100 miles to west of El Alamein.

US forces land a large cache of machine pistols, grenades, pistols and radios in Algeria for the French resistance in preparation for the TORCH landings

November 6, 1942

The advance toward Baku comes to a halt before Ordshonikidse in the Caucasus, as the 13th Panzer Division is hit by superior Soviet numbers and struggles to prevent being cut off.

In a speech to the Congress of Soviet Deputies, Stalin warns the United States and Britain that 'the absence of a second front against Fascist Germany may end badly for all freedom loving countries, including the Allies themselves'. He declares that 'the aim of the coalition is to save mankind from reversion to savagery and mediaeval brutality'. He further points out that the Soviets faced 240 Axis divisions on the Russian front while Allied forces in North Africa faced a mere 15 divisions.

The British War Office announced that hostilities had ceased in Madagascar at 2:00 p. m., and that an armistice had been signed.

Further progress made by the Eighth Army with 10,000 further Axis prisoners being claimed.

November 7, 1942

In a last gasp, Japanese forces launch a banzai attack on the Australians on the Kokoda-Gona trail. 580 Japanese soldiers died in the attack.

The US troop transport Thomas Stone off the coast of Spain, en route to North Africa, is torpedoed but stays afloat. The soldiers on board transfer to landing craft and continue their mission.

November 8, 1942  

INVASION! US and British forces land in French North Africa. It is the largest amphibious invasion in history (so far). 107,000 troops, carried in 370 transports supported by 300 warships stage landings at Algiers, Oran and Casablanca. German forces were slow to react because they thought the landings were a faint and the real attack would come at Sardinia.

Mersa Matruh is re-taken by British.

November 9, 1942

In North Africa, naval battles off Oran and Casablanca, result in the sinking of three French destroyers. US troops advancing on both sides of Oran, take 2000 French prisoners after stiff resistance. Montgomery continued his pursuit of Rommel across Egypt. Meanwhile,German paratroops were landed at Bizerta, Tunisia without opposition from the French

The Germans opened the death camp at Majdanekkk outside Lublin, Poland. In the first day of operations, 4000 Jews were murdered.

November 10 1942

In North Africa, Americans capture Oran after heavy fighting. Heavy fighting is also reported at Port Lyautey in Morocco. Petain takes command of all Vichy forces. British successes in Egypt continue with the capture of Sidi Barrani and advance beyond Halfaya Pass. The French commander in Algiers, Admiral Darlan, calls for all French forces in North Africa to lay down their arms.

German U-boats mine the entrance to New York harbor.

Churchill, speaking of the recent victories for the Allies at the Lord Mayor’s Luncheon stated, “Now this is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end, but it is perhaps the end of the beginning.”

November 11, 1942

At Stalingrad, heavy attacks in the factory district result in the German capture of the Red October Factory and the Barrikady Factory is cut off. The Germans also capture another 500 yards of precious ground along the Volga River. Ice was beginning to form on the Volga and the floating chunks brought shipping to a standstill.

After days of struggle, the 13th Panzer-Division of 3rd Panzer Korps abandons it’s attempts to stabilize the situation and retreat from Ordshonikidse in order to avoid being cut off. The advance toward Baku has ended in failure.

German forces begin the occupation of those parts of France controlled by the Vichy government. In a letter to Marshal Petain, Hitler declares that the purpose of this move is "to protect France" against the allies.

The British 8th Army crosses the border into Libya.

US forces occupy Casablanca as French resistance ends. British forces are landed at Bougie, 110 miles east of Algiers.

November 12, 1942

In North Africa, the British 8th Army retakes Sollum and Bardia in Libya, while Panzer Army Afrika continues its withdrawal toward Tripoli. British forces land at Bone, 260 miles east of Algiers, securing a forward port for the Allies for the battle of Tunisia.

US Marines on Guadalcanal surround Japanese forces along the Gavaga Creek, killing 450 enemy soldiers. 6000 men from the Americal Division reinforce the US forces on Guadalcanal. 

In New Guinea, the US 32nd Division forces the Japanese to withdraw across the Kumusi River as they occupy Bofu and Pongani.

November 13, 1942

The climactic battles for control of the sea around Guadalcanal begins as a US Navy cruiser force (5 cruisers and 8 destroyers) under Callaghan runs into Abe’s IJN force (2 battleships, a cruiser, 14 destroyers) meet off Savo Island during the early morning hours. The confused night action resulted in heavy losses as four USN destroyers (Cushing, Laffey, Barton, Monssen) and two cruisers (Atlanta, Jeneau) were all sunk. The Japanese lost two destroyers (Akatsuki, Yudachi) and the battleship Hiei was heavily damaged. The Hiei was sunk later in the day north of Savo Island by US aircraft from Enterprise which were now operating from Henderson Field.

The Eighth Army captures Tobruk as the Africa Korp continues to run.

November 14, 1942

The sea battle off Guadalcanal continues as the Japanese cruiser force under Admiral Mikawa makes a run to bombard Henderson Field at dawn. Forty planes were knocked out in the bombardment, but the field stayed open. Later in the day, the Japanese commander, Admiral Tanaka, thinking that Henderson Field had been put out of action, attempted to run supplies and reinforcements to Guadalcanal during daylight hours. 11 transports carrying 10,000 troops, with a heavy escort of surface ships and aircraft moved toward the island and were attacked by aircraft from Henderson. In the battle one cruiser (Kinugasa) was sunk, but more importantly, seven transports were destroyed.

November 15, 1942

During the early morning hours off Guadalcanal, the Japanese made another attempt to bombard Henderson Field. The Japanese force of oen battleship, 4 cruisers and 9 destroyers ran into an American force of 2 battleships and 4 destroyers. In the confusing night action, the US Navy lost three destroyers (Walke, Preston, Benham) while the Japanese lost the battleship Kirishima and a destroyer sunk. By dawn, the four surviving  Japanese transports were able to offload their cargo, but were  sunk off Tassafaronga Point later in the day. The supplies landed were also destroyed on the beach. The Japanese had failed miserably, and with heavy losses, to reinforce their beleaguered forces on Guadalcanal.

The British aircraft carrier Avenger is torpedoed off the Algerian coast and sinks.

British forces take Tabarka, Tunisia.

November 16, 1942

US paratroops land and take Souk el-Arba in Tunisia. Meanwhile, Vichy French troops, once loyal to the Germans, switch sides attack Axis positions in Tunisia.

General Groves and Robert Oppenheimer select the site of the boys' school Los Alamos in New Mexico for “The Project”. Oppenheimer begins to tour the United States recruiting top scientists and persuading them to move to New Mexico. Edward Teller is among the first group of 100 to accept. 

US and Australian forces join up for the assault on the last Japanese stronghold in Northern Papua, the Buna-Gona bridgehead.

November 17, 1942

Elements of the British 78th Infantry Division tangle with German paratroops 70 miles west of Tunis, the first combat action in Tunisia.

November 18, 1942

Marshal Petain grants law-making power to Prime Minster Laval, enabling him to issue decrees solely on his own authority. Petain is becoming less important in the government although his influence and prestige remain.

November 19, 1942

Operation Uranus, The Counterattack at Stalingrad, Begins. At 0730 hours, the massed guns of Vatutin’s Southwest Front opened fire on the positions of the 3rd Rumanian Army along the Don River 70 miles northwest of Stalingrad. The barrage lasted 80 minutes and was followed up by an immediate infantry assault. Elements of the Red Army’s 5th Tank Army overran the Rumanian left wing. 21st Army, spearheaded by the new 4th Tank Corp struck the right wing. The Rumanians held briefly, but they too were soon routed. By the end of the day’s fighting, the Soviets had scored a clean breakthrough, shattering the Rumanian forces. 1st Tank Corp was advancing southeast to the Don River in a deep flanking move. 26th Tank Corp was heading to the important supply center and major Don crossing point  at Kalach. Meanwhile, 4th Tank Crop was aimed at Golobinsky, to hit the immediate area behind Stalingrad. All the Germans had to stem the red tide was the much depleted 48th Panzer Corp. The Battle of Stalingrad had entered a new phase.

Russian attacks launched in the Caucasus intended only to pin the Germans in place, unexpectedly resulted in gaining substantial ground as the Germans retreated.

In North Africa, British engage a German tank column only 30 miles from Tunis while the British 8th Army occupies Cyrenne in Libya.

The Germans launch limited attacks in Tunisia at Djeb el Abiod and Medjez el Bab
but were stopped by British and Free French forces.

An attempt to destroy the German Norsk Hydro heavy-water facility at Vemork Norway ends in failure as all of the 34-manNorwegian-British team are either killed in a glider crash or captured and executed by the Germans.

US forces in New Guinea begin attacks on heavily fortified Japanese positions at Buna, New Guinea.

November 20, 1942

Yeremenko’s Stalingrad Front opened it’s offensive. This attack started with a massive barrage by 1000 Katyusha rocket launchers aimed at the Rumanian 4th Corps. This formation had the unenviable task of defending the yawning gap between the German 6th Army in Stalingrad and the 4th Panzer Army far to the South in the Caucasus. The attack was spearheaded by the 64th and 57th Armies supported by 13th Tank Corp and 51st Army supported by the 4th Mechanized Corp. This attack succeeded in routing the Rumanians and in this case, the only reserves were the 29th Motorized Division. The division temporarily checked the advance of the Soviet 13th Tank Corps, but the division was ordered back to Stalingrad as the threat to the rear of the 6th Army became acute. By the end of the day, the Soviet columns were well on their way to Kalach on the Don River 60 miles west of Stalingrad. The Soviet spearheads in the north continued their headlong advance toward the vital link in the line of supply for the German 6th Army.

In North Africa, the Eighth Army reaches Benghazi, while in Tunisia Heavy artillery and determined attacks drive the Free French forces out of Medjez el Bab in Tunisia.

Australian forces break Japanese defenses at Gona but lose the gains to Japanese counterattacks.

November 21, 1942

Von Paulus attempted to move his HQ, already far to the rear of Stalingrad, further back from the fighting, claiming that the new location offered excellent communications. When Hitler heard this, he saw a commander attempting to save his skin and ordered von Paulus to move his HQ once again, this time into the forming pocket at Stalingrad. This confusion slowed the German response to the crisis.

November 22, 1942  

After driving into Ostrov with the 26th Tank Corp, the local commander, Major-General Robin, ordered an attempt to be made to capture the vital bridge at Kalach by a coup de main. The commander of the 14th Motorized Rifle Brigade, Lt.-Col. G.N. Filippov set off at 0300 with his scratch force of two companies of infantry and 5 tanks and headed toward Kalach. After a three-hour drive, lights blazing to fool the Germans into thinking the column was friendly, the force rolled up onto the bridge and secured both sides. Despite heavy artillery barrages and desperate counter attacks, the force held, and during the day, the rest of 26th Tank Corp came forward. Meanwhile, 4th Mechanized Corps came up from the south, closing the ring. The German 6th Army, 300,000 men strong, were cut off and surrounded at Stalingrad.

888 Jewish men, women and children living in the Dunilowicze, Poland, were herded into a large barn which was set on fire by Nazis. Those attempting to escape were machine gunned.

November 23, 1942

The Red Army makes it’s first installment of payback to the Axis when 24,000 Rumanian soldiers surrounded at Raspopinskaya in the initial stages of the Stalingrad Counter Offensive, surrender. Meanwhile, von Paulus appeals to the German high command to be allowed to breakout from Stalingrad.

In North Africa, Montgomery calls a halt to the pursuit of Germans in order to regroup for his advance to Tunisia.

November 24 1942

Hitler orders von Paulus to hold Stalingrad, promising his forces would be supplied from the air.

The Australians are thrown back after attempting to take Buna, New Guinea

November 25, 1942

Operation Mars Begins: The long awaited offensive against the Germans opposite Moscow begins. The Red Army forces of the Kalinin and Western fronts directed attacks against the west, north and east faces of the Rzhev bulge and the German 9th Army defending it. On the eastern face, the Western Front’s 20th and 31st Armies (200,000 men, 500 tanks) hit the German 39th Panzer Korp (40,000 men) along the Vazusa and Osuga Rivers. Resistance by the 102d Infantry Division stopped the attacks cold with heavy losses to the attackers. On the western face, Kalinin Front’s 41st and 22d Armies strike across the Belyi and Luchesa Rivers, achieving some success in penetrating the German front. Finally, in the north, the 39th Army (80,000 men, 200 tanks) hit the German 23d Corps, but the German 14th Motorized Division stopped these attacks. Editor’s Note: There has long been the misconception that Zhukov planned and executed the counterattack at Stalingrad. This is not true. His major area of interest at this time was actually in the Moscow area. He saw this operation as primary and the offensive in the south as secondary. It was not until Operation Mars fell apart and the southern offensive well under way that his attentions were directed to that location.  

Greek resistance fighters succeed in blowing up the massive viaduct on the Athen-Salonika railway. This destroyed the main supply route for Rommel’s beleaguered forces in North Africa.

November 26, 1942

Operation Mars continues as Konev (West Front) commits his second echelon and mobile forces to the breakthrough operations on the eastern face. Casualties in the lead 20th and 31st Armies are devastatingly high and little headway is made against the German defenders. The Soviet follow-up forces is being jammed into a desperately small bridgehead and German artillery plays havoc with their approach march. The Germans countered by releasing the 9th Panzer Division to shore up their defense. On the western face, 1st Mechanized Corp is committed. This attack was very successful tearing a hole in the German lines 20 kilometers wide and 30 deep. The Germans countered by committing the 1st Panzer Division and the elite Grossedeutschland Divisions.

Red Army forces close with the Don River capturing Krasnoye, Generalov and Selo.

The British 78th Division retakes Medjex el Bab, Tunisia while US tank forces raided the airfield at Djebeida destroying 30 planes on the ground.

The Germans make the first large deportation of Jews from Norway.

November 27, 1942

The Germans formed Army Group Don under the command of von Manstien. He is tasked with holding the line between Army Group South and Army Group A as well as conduct a relief attack to Stalingrad. Meanwhile, Red Army infantry and artillery pours across the Don River as new lines facing Stalingrad and facing outward against the expected relief attempt begin to form.

On the eastern end of the Rzhev salient, after regrouping from the disorganized approach march and river crossing against constant artillery attack, Konev and Zhukov launch their reserves against the German 39th Panzer Corps. Soviet casualties were appallingly high, but the bulk of the 6th Tank Corp and some elements of the 2nd Guards Cavalry Corp slipped between German strongpoints into the rear of German lines. To the west, German resistance in the city of Belyi has been fierce. Russian reserves are being bled white in futile attacks against the city. Meanwhile, the breakthrough south of the city goes unexploited for lack of troops.

As German troops march into Toulon, Admiral Labrode orders the scuttling of his fleet. Seventy-five warships are sunk. Four of the French submarines were able to escape and join the Allies.

British forces captured Tebourba, 22 miles from Tunis.

November 28, 1942

In the Rzhev battles along the eastern face, local German counterattacks slow the Soviet attacks. The advanced elements of Konev’s forces (6th Tank and 2nd Guard Cavalry Corps) are isolated from the rest of the Front.

Rommel proposes to Hitler that the campaign in North Africa be terminated because there was no hope of adequately supplying the troops there. Hitler would have none of it claiming there was a “political necessity” for the decision to stay in North Africa.

November 29, 1942

Konev’s tank and cavalry force, cut off in the Rzhev battle begin breakout operations moving west in an attempt to meet up with the 1 Mechanized Corp still advancing on that front. The carnage was incredible but large portions of the trapped forces escaped.

A British paratroop battalion land in the Oudna area while heavy German pressure at Djedeida force the Allies to withdrawal.

November 30, 1942

Nazi interests in the Silesian-American Corporation, long managed by Prescott Bush and his father-in-law George Herbert Walker, were seized under the Trading with the Enemy Act.

The Battle of Tassafaronga, yet another night action of Savo Island, is fought. In the action, US Naval forces attempted to interdict yet another attempt by the Japanese to reinforce Guadalcanal. Admiral Wright’s force of 5 heavy cruisers and 7 destroyers use radar to attack the Japanese and for once get the first shots. However, the initial salvo is ineffective sinking only one Japanese destroyer. In the ensuing melee, the heavy cruiser USS Northampton is sunk and the other three cruisers are heavily damaged. The tactical defeat for the Americans is however a victory as the supplies destine for the island were turned back.

Soviet forces begin to probe German positions along the lower Chir River. Von Manstein has managed to form up a scratch defense that manages to hold against the limited attacks.

In a secret directive to mental asylums in Germany declared that those inmates unable to provide meaningful service to the fatherland would be starved to death.

The British 123rd Brigade makes headway in attacks in the Arakan region of Burma, reaching Bawali Bazaar.

As the attacks by the 20th and 31st Armies against the Rzhev salient falter, Zhukov reinforces failure by committing the 29th Army and 5th Tank Corp to the area.
Privacy Policy
. .