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

June, 1943

June 1, 1943

The Soviets raid airfields and facilities at Smolensk, Orel and Bryansk in an attempt to disrupt the German buildup for the Kursk Offensive.

Germany begins operations with a U-boat festooned with Anti-aircraft guns. Initially, the Allies were surprised by the new platform but quickly adopted newer, less risky tactics for dealing with the threat.

June 2, 1943

As the Pope calls for warring parties to obey the "laws of humanity" in running aerial bombing campaigns, Germans bomb Kursk, Russians bomb Kiev and Roslavl, while British and US bombers hit multiple targets in Germany and France.

Japanese forces abandon their offensive along the Yangtze River and begin to withdraw under heavy pressure from the Chinese National Army.

June 3, 1943

French resistance fighters supported by British SOC agents sabotage the The Michelin tire works at Clermont-Ferrand, badly damaging the facility.

German submarines lay a minefield off Halifax, Nova Scotia, which was discovered only after the 2000-ton merchant Halma was sunk.

June 4, 1943

In a rare attempt at long range strategic bombing, the Germans raid the new Soviet tank factory at Gorki.

The bombardment from sea and air of the island of Pantelleria in the Sicilian Channel continues.

June 5, 1943

After management blocks meaningful negotiations, 500,000 US coal miners strike.

Operations outside the North Atlantic prove to be more successful for the Germans as U-513 sinks 4 ships off the coast of Brazil.

The bombardment of the island of Pantelleria continues.

June 6, 1943

The bombardment of the island of Pantelleria continues into its third consecutive day.

June 7, 1943

Professor Clauberg informs Himmler that experiments of using X-ray exposure for mass sterilization was nearly ready for common use, stating " one doctor, with perhaps, ten assistants, can probably effect several hundred, if not one thousand sterilizations on a single day."

Most striking coal minors in the United States return to work as negotiations resume.

For the fourth strait day, the island of Pantelleria is bombarded from sea and air.

June 8, 1943

The battleship Mutsu sinks in Hiroshima Bay after her magazine explodes.

The bombardment of the island of Pantelleria continues into its fifth consecutive day.

June 9, 1943

German and Russian forces on the eastern front launch a series of probes against each other. Soviet thrusts along the Mius River gain some ground while a German attack near Lisichansk does not.

The Axis "Operation Black" against the Yugoslavian partisans succeeded in trapping Tito and a battalion of his troops. A breakout was made which left 100 partisans dead, Tito wounded and his forces scattered. However, they regrouped and fought on.

For the sixth strait day, the island of Pantelleria is bombarded from sea and air.

June 10, 1943

The Pointblank Directive is issued by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to British and American bomber forces in Europe. The document outlines the priorities and aims of the bomber offensive leading up to the cross channel invasion of France. However, the plan is not specific enough and this allows both the US Air Force and British Bomber Command to conduct their independent operations as they see fit.

Pantelleria is bombed for the seventh strait day.

June 11, 1943

The Allies launch "Operation Corkscrew", a landing on the bomb range formally known as Pantelleria. The 11,000 man Italian garrison on the island, incessantly bombed by the Allies since the fall of Axis forces in Tunis, surrendered. Although more than 5000 tons of bombs were dropped on the island, there was less damage than expected.

The US 8th Air Force sends 200 B17s to bombard the German naval base at Wilhelmshaven while RAF Bomber command hits Munster and Dusseldorf in their continuing operations against the Ruhr.

June 12, 1943

There is a major air battle near Guadalcanal. The attacking Japanese forces suffer heavy losses.

Enemies pass each other in the night as RAF bombers hit Bochum in the Ruhr and Lufwaffe bombers hit Plymouth, England.

June 13, 1943  

8th Air Force send sixty B-17s against Kiel and 102 against Bremen. While the Bremen raid was lightly defended, 22 bombers sent against Kiel were shot down.

The island of Lampedusa in the Sicilian Channel surrendered to Allied forces.

June 14, 1943

RAF Coastal Command begins daily anti-submarine patrols over the Bay of Biscay. The new tactic is designed to simplify detection of the boats as the leave and return from their land bases.

Indian nationalist Chandra Bose meets with Tojo in Tokyo where they discussed raising an Indian national army to fight against the British in Burma and India.

The island of Linosa in the Sicilian Channel surrendered to Allied forces.

June 15, 1943

SS Colonel Paul Blobel began work on the mass graves outside Lvov, Poland. Himmler, seeing that Hitler's hold on power was waning decided to eradicate the evidence of the mass murders to be destroyed. Blobel was ordered to dig up the graves and burn the bodies. Concentration camp laborers were forced to dig up the decaying bodies, extract gold teeth from the corpses and burn the remains before reburying.

Germany runs tests flights on the first jet reconnaissance plane in the world - the Arado 234.

The German surface raider Michel sinks 2 ships off the coast of Australia.

German U-boats hit a convoy in the Atlantic but fail to cause major damage after a running battle of 5-days.

The government of Turkey reaffirmed its neutrality in the war by making statements supporting the 1941 German-Turkish treaty of amity and restating it's friendly relations with the Soviet Union.

June 16, 1943

The Japanese launched a 94-plane raid against Allied shipping at Guadalcanal. 93 of the intruders were destroyed. Six US fighters were shot down. The raid succeeded in forcing two transports to beach and damaged one other.

Operation Husky - the invasion of Sicily begins as the first convoys destine for the Italian island leave American ports.

June 17, 1943

Preparations for the Allied invasion of Sicily continue as the British battleships Valiant and  Warspit are transferred from the Scapa Flow in the North Sea to North Africa.

June 18, 1943

Field Marshal Sir Archibald Wavell replaced Lord Linlithgrow as Viceroy of India. General Sir Claude Auchinleck took Wavell's old job of Commander in Chief in India. These "promotions" were generally viewed as resulting in a loss of confidence by Churchill in these two generals.

Allied air raids on Sicily begin in earnest in continuing preparations for the invasion.

June 19, 1943

RAF Bomber Command hits the Schneider armaments factory in Le Creusot.

June 20, 1943

Bomber Command hits Friedrichshaven in yet another night raid but, for the first time in the war, continued on to Africa in a shuttle raid. The intended target for the attack was the radar facilities and fabrication plants. However, unknown to the Allies, a production line for making V-2 rockets was being built. Damage to this facility forced the line to be abandoned.

June 21, 1943

American forces of the 4th Marine Raider Battalion land at Segi Point in the southern part of New Georgia in the Solomons. There is no Japanese garrison there.

Bomber Command hits Krefeld in the Ruhr but loses were heavy (44 planes downed).

Himmler orders the elimination of Jewish ghettos in Russia. In Lvov, 20,000 Jews would be murdered over the course of the next week.

June 22, 1943

US bombers hit the Rhur (the synthetic rubber plant at Huels) for the first daylight-bombing raid in the region.

June 23, 1943

The attacks in the Solomon Islands continue as American forces land on Woodlark Island.

Churchill orders that air supply for Tito's partisans take the highest priority, promising the delivery of 500 tons of ammunition and supplies a month.

June 24, 1943

Bomber Command continues its campaign against the Ruhr, hitting Elberfeld in a heavy raid.

Indian nationalist Bose made a radio broadcast from Tokyo stating "civil disobedience must develop into armed struggle."

June 25, 1943

Allied air attacks on Sicily increase as raids concentrate on airfields around Messina.

June 26, 1943

An uprising of Jews in the Czestochowa ghetto is crushed as Germans bring overwhelming force against the town. The Germans captured thirty grenades, eighteen pistols and two rifles.

June 27, 1943  

Marines on New Georgia, make another landing up the coast from Segi Point and move inland toward Viru Harbor.

June 28, 1943

The buildup of forces on Kiriwina and Woodlark islands continues as Seabees begin construction of airfields.

Bomber Command hits Cologne, gutting the famous cathedral in the city.

June 29, 1943

Operation CARTWHEEL, the first major offensive in the Pacific, opens as US Marines land on New Guinea near Lae. The goal of the offensive is the major military strongpoint at Rabul. Meanwhile, US Navy cruisers and destroyers bombard Japanese positions at Shortland.

Roosevelt appointed Herbert Pell as the representative of the United States on the United Nations Commission for the Investigation of War Crimes.

June 30, 1943

Operation CARTWHEEL continues as American forces land on Rendova, Vangunu,  Sasavele, Baraulu, and Torbriand in the New Georgia group. The vanguard of the attack came from 6000 men of the 43rd Infantry Division. The attack on Rendova went well as the garrison was surprised. Harassing fire from Japanese coastal guns on nearby Munda Point and air raids were an annoyance, but didn't hinder the American buildup. Vangunu island proved to be a tougher fight.

McKechnie Force, a mix of Australians and Americans land at Nassau Bay in New Guinea. Japanese resistance was very serious.
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