Project 60 - "The First Fight Against Fascism" - Archives
January 1, 1943
Soviet pressure far to the north
against Rostov, forces 1st Panzer Army to abandon the Caucasus and begin
withdrawing from the Terek front.
Soviet forces enter Velikiye Liki and
heavy street fighting begins as the Germans tenaciously fight for every
January 2, 1943
Elements of the US 1st Corp
attack and dislodge the last Japanese defenders at Buna although fighing
continues around Sanananda.
January 3, 1943
Soviet forces from the 44th and 58th Armies capture Malgobek in the Caucasus as Army Group A begins a general withdrawal from the region.
January 4, 1943
forces capture Mozdok and Nalchik in the Caucasus and Chernyshkovskii on the
Naval forces use proximity air burst fuses for the first time in the war. These
were the first rounds to sense when they were close to the target (something
solid like the ground or an airplane) and detonate before striking the target
increasing their leathal effect several fold.
January 5, 1943
Japanese forces begin to withdraw from Guadalcanal.
forces continue their advance in the south taking Prokhlandny, Morozovsk and
January 6, 1943
Admiral Raeder is sacked as commander of the German Navy as Hitler threatens to scrap the surface fleet because of their recent inept performance against convoy JW-51B.
The first of 15 trains for the month arrived at Auschwitz from Belgium. Despite the reverses on all battle fronts, the Germans were able to continue and increase the pace of genocide. Of the 24,000 people delivered to Auschwitz in January 1943, 20,000 were gassed upon arrival.
January 7, 1943
forces launch new attacks against Mount Austen.
January 8, 1943
Rokossovsky, commander of the Don Front, offered General von Paulus surrender
terms at Stalingrad. The terms guaranteed "their lives and safety
and after the end of the war their return to Germany". He also promises
that "...medical aid will be given to all wounded, sick and
frost-bitten...". Paulus, influenced by his chief of staff, a die-hard Nazi
named Schmidt, rejected the offer, condemning 250,000 men to their death.
January 9, 1943
Fighting around Buna and Sananada continues as the Australian 17th Brigade is airlifted to Wau, establishing a forward base for continued offensive operations in New Guinea.
January 10, 1943
US forces on Guadalcanal hit the Gifu
strongpoint with heavy air and artillery support and continued ground attacks by
the 35th Infantry Regiment.
January 11, 1943
Soviet forces launch attacks south of
Lake Lagoda, succeeding in driving a very thin land corridor to the city.
Supplies are rushed into the city while wounded and non-combatants are shipped
out. All of this was done under constant artillery fire against the cordon.
January 12, 1943
The Voronezh and Bryansk Fronts open a
fresh set of offensives against the Hungarian 2nd and German 2nd
Armies. The Hungarian forces are overrun quickly and Soviet spearheads head for
In heavy fighting, the Don Front
overruns the western portion of the Stalingrad pocket. Since the start of
Operation Ring, the front has lost 26,000 men and 125 tanks. German losses have
been as heavy.
January 13, 1943
The first of seven airfields in the Stalingrad pocket is captured.
January 14, 1943
The Casablanca Conference between Roosevelt and Churchill begins as the western Allies plan the coming offensives throughout the world. To the disappointment of both leaders, the planned invasion of Sicily and the cross-channel attack into France were both postponed, the later until 1944. The leaders also agreed to increase the terror bombing of German cities by RAF Bomber command and to begin daylight ?precision bombing? of German industrial targets by US bomber forces.
January 15, 1943
German, Italian and Croat forces under
General Alexander von Lohr, launch ?Operation White?, the largest campaign
to date against Tito?s partisans in Yugoslavia.
The Red Army, after two weeks of
desperate street fighting, captures Velikiye Luki in the Valday Hills northwest
January 16, 1943
The main German airfield at Pitomnik is
captured by the Soviets. The Germans in the Stalingrad pocket how had only one
airfield, Gumrak, operationg. Night landings were no longer possible and
supplies had go be parachuted in. The daily deliveries were down to 60 tons, 20%
of the 6th Army?s minimal needs.
RAF Bomber Command, after four months
of terrorizing other cities, returned to Berlin with a heavy raid of 201
bombers. The attack did little damage (being beyond the range of radar
navigation aides), however, one load of incendiary bombs hit the Deutchlandhalle,
Moments before the bombs landed, the 10,000 people enjoying the circus and all
of the animals had completed the evacuation. The empty hall was quickly consumed
January 17, 1943
General Rokossovsky suspends his offensive against the Stalingrad pocket temporarily to regroup. Outside the pocket Millerovo and Zimoviki are captured.
January 18, 1943
Soviets announce that the siege of
Lenningrad has been raised. Despite this, rations in the city are still very
limited and German artillery can still reach any part of the city. Attempts to
widen the corridor (only 6 miles wide) fail, at a heavy cost in men and
In the Caucasus, Cherkessk, 250 miles southeast of Rostov, is captured by the Red Army
The Germans counter attack in Tunisia. Free French defenders give ground but the attack is thrown back by British reinforcements.Australian troops capture Cape Killerton and Wye Point in Papua, New Guinea.
British and American tankers at Bou
Arada, Tunisia are confronted for the first time by the vaunted ?Tiger?
tank. The heavily armored tank is equipped with the feared 88mm gun and has no
equal in the Allied armory.
January 19, 1943
The Soviet winter offensive builds in
strength and success as they claim capturing over 52,000 since the start of the
offensive. Voronezh Front continues to advance towards Kharkov. Meanwhile in the
north, 59th Army captures Novgorod.
January 20, 1943
The Germans launched a daylight raid
against London. In the attack, a school was hit killing 44 children and a
January 21, 1943
The Soviets capture the rail
communications center of Voroshilovskii in the Caucasus.
The British code breakers at Bletchley
Park broke the ?Procupine? key, which allowed them to read all Luftwaffe
transmissions in southern Russia for nearly a month.
January 22, 1943
Von Paulus radios Hitler from
Stalingrad saying, ?Rations exhausted. Over 12,000 wounded unattended in the
pocket.? Hitler responded by stating, ?Surrender is out of the question.?
On the battle front, a massive artillery barrage, followed by heavy infantry
assaults results in the capture of the airfield at Gumrak and the Soviet 21st
and 62nd Armies linked up, cutting the pocket into two, north and
south of the city.
January 23, 1943
Soviet forces recapture Armavir,
securing the line of communications with the Maikop oil fields in the Caucasus.
At Stalingrad, the last German airplane, an He-111 carrying 19 wounded soldiers
and seven bags of mail, flies out of the pocket as the last German airfield in
the pocket falls to Russian attacks.
The British 8th Army
January 24, 1943
The Soviet attacks continue as
Starobelskii, 250 miles west of Stalingrad, is liberated by Vatutin?s
Southewest Front. Hitler reissues his orders not to surrender Stalingrad
forbidding even small groups of soldiers from attempting to breakout of the
pocket. In the meantime, Paulus orders that food should not be distributed to
the 30,000 wounded and sick at Stalingrad. The Trans-Caucasus Front attacks
begin to slow as they approach the Kuban peninsula. German resistance at
Novorussisk and Krasnodar is particularly successful.
The Allies declare that New Guinea is
cleared of Japanese resistance. In total, the Allies suffered 3000 casualties
and the Japanese lost over 7000. Of the 350 prisoners captured, the vast
majority were Chinese and Korean laborers.
January 25, 1943
German forces withdraw from Armavir and
The Casablanca Conference ends with the
announcement that Churchill and Roosevelt would accept only the unconditional
surrender of Germany, Japan, and Italy.
January 26, 1943
Soviet forces occupy Voronezh.
The British 8th Army takes
Zaula in Libya. They are now only 100 miles from Tunisia.
January 27, 1943
The first ?all-American? daylight
bombing raid on Germany occurs as 64 B-17 and B-24 bombers hit warehouses at
Wilhelmshaven. The Americans claimed 22 German fighter kills and lost only 3
January 28, 1943
a review of war plans presented to the Diet by Premier Hideki Tojo reiterated
Japan?s official neutrality toward the Soviet Union, announced plans to
recognize the independence of the Burmese State, to grant independence to the
Philippines if their people were prepared to cooperate, and to aid India in her
fight for freedom against the British Empire.
January 29, 1943
The British 8th Army begins to cross
the Tunisian frontier from Libya.
Admiral D?nitz takes over from Admiral
Raeder as Commander-in-Chief of the German Navy.
January 30, 1943
British Mosquito light attack bombers
hit Berlin in the first British daylight raid against Berlin. The attacks
disrupted the Nazi party?s 10th anniversary celebration taking
place at the same time. After a delay of an hour due to the raid, Goering gave
his speech saying ?'A thousand years
hence Germans will speak of this battle with reverence and awe.? Meanwhile,
Paulus radioed Hilter saying, ?'The swastika flag is still flying above
Stalingrad. May our battle be an example to the present and coming generations,
that they must never capitulate even in a hopeless situation, for them Germany
will emerge victorious.? Hitler decided to promote
von Paulus to Field Marshal. No German Field Marshal had ever been captured and
Hitler hoped von Paulus would commit suicide.
January 31, 1943
The Soviet government announced that at
1945 hours, after surrounding the Univemag department store building,
Chuikov?s 62nd Army, the defenders of Stalingrad, accepted the
surrender of Field Marshal von Paulus and 16 other generals. The northern pocket
continued to fight on.
The British 8th Army
captures Zuara near the Tunisain border.