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This is a timeline of events that stretched over the period of World War II.

Contents

January 1942

1: The "United Nations" is established: 26 Allied nations sign a Joint Declaration against the Axis. The term "United Nations" is first officially used to describe the Allied pact.
2: Manila is captured by Japanese forces. They also take Cavite naval base, and the American and Filipino troops continue the retreat into Bataan.
5: The beginning of a major Red Army offensive under General Zhukov.
6: The British advance continues to El Agheila, on the western edge of Libya.
: in his State of the Union speech, President Roosevelt promises more aid to Britain, including planes and troops.
7: Siege of the Bataan Peninsula begins.
: Heavy air attacks on Malta; it is estimated that the bomb tonnage dropped on the island is twice that dropped on London.
9: Japanese advances in Borneo meet with little opposition.
11: Japanese troops capture Kuala Lumpur, Malaya; Japan declares war on the Netherlands and invades the Netherlands East Indies.
12: Japanese invade Indonesia, landing on the island of Celebes.
13: Red Army take Kirov and Medya, as their counter-offensive continues.
: The German U-boat offensive comes closer to the US shores.
19: Japanese forces take prisoner large numbers of British troops north of Singapore.
20: Nazis at the Wannsee conference in Berlin decide that the "final solution to the Jewish problem" is relocation, and later extermination.
: Japanese bomb Singapore as their troops approach the city.
21: Rommel begins a surprising counter-offensive at El Agheila; his troops, with new reinforcements and tanks, capture Agedabia, then push north to Beda Fomm.
23: The Battle of Rabaul, New Guinea begins.
: The United States of America deploys the V Corps to the European Theater.
24: American troops land in Samoa, as part of a strategy to stop the Japanese advance in the Pacific.
25: Thailand declares war on the United States and United Kingdom; Japanese troops invade the Solomon Islands.
26: The first American forces arrive in Europe landing in Northern Ireland.
27: The British withdraw all troops back into Singapore.
28: Brazil breaks off relations with the Axis powers.
29: Rommel enters Benghazi, Libya in his drive east. For the next few months, the two sides will rest and rearm.
30: Hitler speaks at the Berlin Sports Palace and threatens the Jews of the world with annihilation; he also blames the failure of the offensive in Soviet Union on the weather.
31: The Japanese take the port of Moulmein, Burma; they now threaten Rangoon as well as Singapore.
: On the Eastern front, the Germans are in retreat at several points.
: The last organised Allied forces leave Malaya, ending the 54-day battle.

February 1942

1: Vidkun Quisling becomes Minister-President of Norway despite strong opposition
1: Rommel's forces reach El Gazala, Libya, near the border with Libya; during a "Winter lull" he will remain there.
2: General Joseph ("Vinegar Joe") Stilwell is named Chief of Staff to Chiang Kai-Shek and Commander-in-Chief of the Allied forces in China.
3: Japanese air power is thrown against Java, especially the naval base at Surabaya. Port Moresby, New Guinea is bombed, increasing the threat to Australia.
7: Americans continue their defence of Bataan against General Homma's troops.
8: The German armies in Soviet Union are driven from Kursk, an important point in the German strategy.
9: British troops are now in full retreat into Singapore for a final defence.
9: Top United States military leaders hold their first formal meeting to discuss American military strategy in the war.
10: The cruise liner "Normandie" catches fire and capsizes in New York harbour. Although the cause is probably a welder's torch, various conspiracies are imagined in the media.
11: The "Channel Dash." The Scharnhorst and Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen rush out of Brest through the English Channel to northern ports, including Wilhelmshaven, Germany; the British naval units fail to sink any of them.
13: The battle for Bataan continues.
15: Singapore surrenders to Japanese forces; this is arguably the most devastating loss in British military history.
16: Being discussed in high American government circles are plans for the internment of Japanese-Americans living generally in the western US.
17: Orders are given for Rangoon to be evacuated as Japanese forces approach.
19: Japanese aircraft attack Darwin, in Australia's Northern Territory.
19: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066 allowing the United States military to define areas as exclusionary zones. These zones affect the Japanese on the West Coast, and Germans and Italians primarily on the East Coast.
19: A military conscription law is passed in Canada.
20: Japanese troops cross the important Salween River in Burma.
20: Japanese invade Bali and Timor by a combined use of paratroops and amphibious troops.
21: The American Air Corps is now firmly established at bases in the UK.
22: President Franklin Delano Roosevelt orders General Douglas MacArthur out of the Philippines as American defence of the nation collapses.
23: A Japanese submarine (I-17) makes the first attack on the American mainland by shelling an oil refinery at Ellwood, California.
25: The internment of Japanese-American citizens in the Western United States begins as fears of invasion increase.
25: Princess Elizabeth registers for war service
27: Battle of the Java Sea. Under a Dutch Admiral, the combined forces lose one aircraft tender (the Langley), six destroyers, and five cruisers off Java.
28: Japanese land forces invade Java.

March 1942

1: A Red Army offensive in the Crimea begins; in the north, the siege of Leningrad continues with all its horrors.
3: Japanese aircraft make a surprising raid on the airfield and harbour at Broome, Western Australia.
4: By Executive decree, all Japanese-Americans, especially on the West coast, find themselves subject to relocation in special camps.
5: New conscription laws in the United Kingdom include women and men up to the age of 45.
6: Rangoon falls to the Japanese.
: Malta receives more fighters for its on-going defence.
8; The Japanese land at Lae and Salamaua, on Huon Bay, New Guinea, beginning their move toward Port Moresby, New Guinea, and then Australia.
9: It appears that the Japanese are in control of Java, Burma, and New Guinea.
: The Secretary of War reorganises the General Headquarters (GHQ), United States Army into three major commands - Army Ground Forces, Army Air Forces, and Services of Supply, the later of which is later redesignated Army Service Forces. At the same time, the four Defense commands and all Theaters Of Operations (TOPNS) are subordinated to the War Department General Staff.
11: General MacArthur is ordered by President Roosevelt to leave the Philippines; he will travel to Australia by PT boat and aircraft. He tells General Wainwright and the Filipino people "I shall return."
: The Japanese land on Mindanao, the southernmost island in the Philippines.
12: American troops begin to land in Noumea, New Caledonia; it will become an important staging base for the eventual invasion of Guadalcanal.
13: RAF launches a massive air raid against Essen, Germany.
14: Japanese land troops in the Solomons, underscoring Australia's dangerous situation, especially if, as it is soon made clear, an airfield is built on Guadalcanal.
: A Red Army offensive is started to retake Kharkov, lost to the Germans about a month ago.
: The Japanese are now threatening American forces around Manila Bay; the retreat to Corregidor begins.
17: U.S. General Douglas MacArthur arrives in Australia, after leaving his headquarters in the Philippines.
: The United Kingdom institutes rationing of electricity, coal, and gas; the clothing ration is decreased as well.
20: The bombing of Malta begun in December continues; an invasion is a possibility.
22: A fractured convoy reaches Malta, after heavy losses to the Luftwaffe and an Italian sea force. Continued heavy bombing attacks on the island with slight opposition from overtaxed RAF air forces.
25: RAF sends bomber raids against targets in France and Germany.
26: Jews in Berlin must now clearly identify their houses.
28: The RAF sends a monster raid against Lübeck, destroying over 30% of the city, and 80% of the medieval centre. Hitler is outraged.
: British commandos launch the a raid on Saint-Nazaire. HMS Campbeltown, filled with explosives on a time-delay fuse, rams the dock gates and commandos destroy other parts of the naval service area. The port is completely destroyed and does not resume service till 1947; however, around two-thirds of the raiding forces are lost.

April 1942

2: Over 24,000 sick and starving troops (American and Filipino) are now trapped on Bataan.
2: Japanese make landings on New Guinea, most importantly at Hollandia.
3: Japanese forces begin an all-out assault on the United States and Filipino troops on the Bataan Peninsula.
4: Germans plan "Baedeker raids" on touristy or historic British sites, in revenge for the Lübeck bombing.
5: On Bataan, the Japanese overwhelm Mt. Samat, a strong point on Allied defensive line.
5: The Japanese Navy attacks Colombo in Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Royal Navy cruisers HMS Cornwall and HMS Dorsetshire are sunk southwest of the island.
6: Japanese naval forces are observed on the Indian Ocean; they put troops ashore in the Solomon Islands.
8: Heavy RAF bombing of Hamburg.
8: German summer offensive in the Crimea opens up.
8: American forces are strained for one last offensive on Bataan.
8: With the withdrawal of the HMS Penelope from Malta Force K in malta comes to a close.
9: The Japanese Navy launches air raid on Trincomalee in Ceylon (Sri Lanka); Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Hermes and Royal Australian Navy destroyer HMAS Vampire are sunk off the country's East Coast.
9: Bataan falls to the Japanese. The "Bataan Death March" begins, as the captives are taken off to detention camps in the north. Corregidor, in the middle of Manila Bay, remains a final point of resistance.
10: Japanese land on Cebu Island, a large middle island of the Philippines.
15: Malta is awarded the George Cross by King George VI for "heroism and devotion".
17: French General Henri Giraud, who was captured in 1940, escapes from a castle prison at Konigstein by lowering himself down the castle wall and jumping on board a moving train, which takes him to the French border.
18: Doolittle Raid on Nagoya, Tokyo and Yokohama; his B25's take off from the USS Hornet. The raids are a great boost of morale for Americans whose diet has been mostly bad news.
19: At a press conference, President Roosevelt explains with some amusement that the Doolittle bombers took off from "Shangri-La", an allusion to James Hilton's popular novel.
23: Beginning of so-called Baedeker Raids by the Luftwaffe on English provincial towns like Bath, Norwich, and York; attacks continue sporadically until June 6.
24: Heavy bombing of Rostock, Germany by RAF.
26: Hitler assumes a kind of supreme authority over Germany.
27: Rostock is bombed for fourth night in a row.
27: A national plebiscite is held in Canada on the issue of conscription. French Canadians are main, though not the only, objectors to the draft.
29: The "Baedeker raids" continue, focused on Norwich and York.
29: Japanese cut Burma Road with the capture of Lashio.

May 1942

1: Rommel readies for a new offensive during the early part of this month.
: Japanese take Mandalay and other ports in Burma.
3: The Japanese forces land on Tulagi Island in the Solomons, not far from Guadalcanal.
4: The Battle of the Coral Sea begins: it will last four days and is a first in that the ships on both sides never are in sight of the other; the USS Lexington is sunk, but the Americans can claim an overall victory.
5: Heavy Japanese artillery attack on Corregidor.
: British forces begin "Operation Ironclad": the invasion of Madagascar to keep the Vichy French territory from falling to a possible Japanese invasion.
: The city of Exeter is bombed by the Luftwaffe, another "Baedeker Raid".
6: On Corregidor, the last U.S. forces in the Philippines surrender to the Japanese. About 12,000 are made prisoners.
8: The Battle of the Coral Sea comes to an end. This is the first time in naval history where two enemy fleets fought without seeing each other. In addition to the loss of the Lexington the Yorktown is badly damaged; it returns to Pearl Harbor for repairs.
: The Germans take the Kerch peninsula in the eastern Crimea.
9: On the night of 8/9 May 1942, gunners of the Ceylon Garrison Artillery on Horsburgh Island in the Cocos Islands rebelled. Their mutiny was crushed and three of them were executed, the only British Commonwealth soldiers to be executed for mutiny during the Second World War.
11: Another first: An allied ship on the St. Lawrence River, Canada is sunk by a U-boat.
12: Second Battle of Kharkov - In the eastern Ukraine, the Soviet Army initiates a major offensive. During the battle the Soviets will capture the city of Kharkov from the German Army, only to be encircled and destroyed.
15: In the United States, a bill creating the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC) is signed into law.
16: United States 1st Armored Division arrives in Northern Ireland.
18: The Red Army are in a major retreat at Kerch, after large numbers surrender.
20: The Japanese conquest of Burma is complete; it is called a "military catastrophe".
21: Invasion of Malta postponed indefinitely.
22: The battle of Kharkov continues; for the Germans it is an important step on the way to Stalingrad.
: Mexico declares war on the Axis.
25: In preparation for the next battle, the Japanese naval strategists send diversionary forces to the Aleutians.
26: The Anglo-Soviet Treaty: their foreign secretaries agree that no peace will be signed by one without the approval of the other. (An important treaty since Himmler and others will attempt to separate the two nations at the end of the war.)
: Rommel begins a Spring offensive at the Gazala line (west of Tobruk). The battle lasts well into June and ends with a total victory for Rommel.
27: Reinhard Heydrich, head of Reich Security, is fatally hurt in Prague during Operation Anthropoid by Czechoslovak soldiers; he will die on June 4 from his wounds.
: British use American Sherman tanks in attempts to stop Rommel's attacks on the Gazala line.
: The USS Yorktown, damaged at the Coral Sea, limps into Pearl Harbor; it is ordered to get repaired and ready as fast as possible for the impending battle.
29: The Jews in France are ordered to wear the yellow Star of David.
: Japanese forces have large successes south of Shanghai.
: Rommel turns his troops to Bir Hachim on the south edge of the Gazala line; once it is taken, he can move north and destroy the Allied emplacements in the line.
30: "The Thousand Bomber Raid" on Cologne, revealing new area bombing techniques.
: The USS Yorktown leaves Pearl after hasty repairs and moves to join the USS Enterprise for the next expected battle.
31: Huge German successes around Kharkov, with envelopment of several Red Army armies.
: Japanese midget subs enter Sydney harbour and sink one support ship; fears of invasion grow.

June 1942

The state of the allies and axis powers in June 1942.
1: First reports in the West that gas is being used to kill the Jews sent to "the East".
: Mexico declares war on Germany, Italy, and Japan.
2: Further heavy bombing of industrial sites in Germany, centred mainly on Essen.
3: The British coal industry is nationalised.
4: The Battle of Midway begins; The Japanese attack installations on the island, but only manage to detect one of the three nearby American carriers. American planes sink all four Japanese carriers present at the battle.
: Reinhard Heydrich dies in Prague from medical complications that had arisen from injuries suffered from an attempted assassination by Czechoslovak patriots two weeks earlier (Operation Anthropoid)
5: United States declares war on Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania.
7: Japanese forces invade Attu and Kiska. This is the first invasion of American soil in 128 years.
: The Battle of Midway comes to a close; the USS Yorktown sinks; four Japanese carriers and one cruiser are sunk. The battle is viewed as a turning point in the Pacific war.
: The Greek People's Liberation Army makes its first appearance at Domnista, where Aris Velouchiotis proclaims the start of armed resistance against the Axis.
8: Malta receives a squadron of Spitfires.
: A Japanese submarine fires several shells into a residential area in Sydney but with little effect.
9: Nazis burn the Czech village of Lidice as reprisal for the killing of Reinhard Heydrich. The men and boys are killed and the women and children are taken off to concentration camps.
10: Rommel pushes the Free French forces out of Bir Hakeim, a fortress south-west of Tobruk.
12: Heavy fighting in Sevastopol with serious losses of life on both sides.
: Rommel finally pushes Allies out of Gazala line.
13: The United States opens its Office of War Information, a centre for production of propaganda.
16: Two convoys moving toward Malta suffer heavy losses; German air forces continue to bomb the island itself.
17: The British pull out of the areas called "Knightsbridge" and "the Cauldron" in the Western desert area between Tobruk and El Gazala. Tobruk is now surrounded.
18: Manhattan Project is started, the beginning of a scientific approach to nuclear weapons.
: Winston Churchill arrives in Washington for meetings with Roosevelt.
: The siege of Tobruk intensifies; some defending forces are pulled back to Egypt.
21: Afrika Korps recaptures Tobruk, with 35,000 men captured; the road to Egypt is now open as the British retreat deep into Egypt. Tobruk's loss is a grievous blow to British morale. German land forces have been assisted by Luftwaffe attacks.
23: Marsa Matruh, Egypt falls to Rommel, about 140 miles from Alexandria.
24: British fall back to El Alamein, 60 miles from Alexandria, for a "final stand".
25: General Eisenhower arrives in London ready to assume the post of Commander of American forces in Europe.
: Another massive "Thousand Bomber" raid, this time on Bremen; the raiders suffer grievous losses.
26: The Germans drive toward Rostov.
27: Doomed convoy PQ17 sets sail from Iceland; only 11 of 37 ships will survive.
28: Operation Blue, the German plan to capture Stalingrad and the Soviet Union oil fields in the Caucasus, begins. Generally, forces are shifted to the South.
30: Rommel reaches El Alamein.
: United States of America deploys II Corps to the European Theater.

July 1942

1: First Battle of El Alamein begins as Rommel begins first assault on British defences.
1: Sevastopol falls to the Germans; the end of Red Army resistance in the Crimea.
2: Churchill survives a censure motion in the House of Commons.
2: Allies experience heavy June losses of shipping to U-boats, including those of PQ17.
3: Guadalcanal is now firmly in the hands of the Japanese.
4: First air missions by American Air Force in Europe.
11: Rommel's forces are now stalemated before El Alamein, largely because of a lack of ammunition.
12: It now becomes clear that Stalingrad is the largest challenge to the invaders.
15: The only action around El Alamein is light skirmishing.
16: On order from the Vichy France government headed by Pierre Laval, French police officers round up 13,000-20,000 Jews and imprison them in the Winter Velodrome. (See Rafle du Vel'd'Hiv.)
18: The Germans test fly the Messerschmitt Me-262 using only its jet engines for the first time.
19: Battle of the Atlantic - German Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz orders the last U-boats to withdraw from their United States Atlantic coast positions in response to an increasingly effective American convoy system.
20: After landing in the Buna-Gona area, the Japanese in New Guinea move across the Owen Stanley mountain range aiming at Port Moresby in the south-eastern part of the island, close to Australia; a small Australian force begins rearguard action on the Kokoda Track.
22: The systematic deportation of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto begins. Treblinka, "a model" concentration camp is opened in Poland.
24: Germans take Rostov-on-the-Don; the Red Army is in a general retreat along the Don River.
26: A second attack by the British under Auchinleck fails against Rommel. First Battle of El Alamein may be said to be over.
27: Heavy RAF incendiary attack on Hamburg.
29: The Japanese take Kokoda, halfway along the Owen Stanley pass to Port Moresby.
30: Continuing stalemate at El Alamein between Rommel and Auchinleck.

August 1942

1: The Germans continue their successful advance toward Stalingrad.
3: A convoy to Malta is decimated by the Luftwaffe and U-boats
5: The U.S. planning team for Operation Torch, which includes George S. Patton; James Doolittle; Kent Lambert; and Hoyt S. Vandenberg, meets in Washington, D.C. to join the combined planning team from London, England.
7: Operation Watchtower begins the Guadalcanal Campaign as American forces invade Gavutu, Guadalcanal, Tulagi and Tanambogo in the Solomon Islands.
8: In Washington, DC, six German would-be saboteurs are executed (two others were cooperative and received life imprisonment instead).
8: The naval Battle of Savo Island, near Guadalcanal; the Americans lose three cruisers, the Australians one.
9: In their retreat out of the Crimean peninsula, the Red Army destroy oil refineries.
9: Numerous riots in favour of independence in India; Mahatma Gandhi is arrested.
10: Rommel begins an attack around El Alamein, but by September he is back to his original lines.
11: The HMS Eagle, a carrier on convoy duty to Malta, is torpedoed and sinks with heavy loss of life.
12: At a conference in Moscow, Churchill informs Stalin that there will not be a "second front" in 1942.
12: American forces establish bases in the New Hebrides islands.
12: Fighting increases as the Germans approach Stalingrad.
13: General Bernard Montgomery appointed commander of British Eighth Army in North Africa; Churchill is anxious to see more offensive action on the part of the British.
13: Disastrous end to the Malta convoy, but one tanker and four merchant ships get through.
15: Operation Pedestal arrives at the island fortress of Malta.
17: Major US Air Force bombing on Rouen, France and its rail network.
18: Japanese reinforce New Guinea; Australians also land troops at Port Moresby. Meanwhile, American planes have destroyed Japanese air power at Wewak, New Guinea.
19: Operation Jubilee, a raid by British but mainly Canadian forces on Dieppe, France, ends in disaster; they come under heavy gunfire and eventually most are killed or captured by the German defenders.
20: Henderson Field on Guadalcanal receives its first American fighter planes.
21: Japanese counter-attack at Henderson Field; in another foray at the Tenaru (or Ilu) River, many Japanese are killed in a banzai charge.
22: Brazil declares war on the Axis countries, partly in response to numerous riots by a populace angry at the sinking of Brazilian ships.
23: The Germans get closer to Stalingrad.
24: The naval battle of the Eastern Solomons; the USS Enterprise is badly damaged and the Japanese lose one light carrier, the Ryujo.
26: Battle of Milne Bay begins: Japanese forces land and launch a full-scale assault on Australian base near the eastern tip of New Guinea.
27: Marshal Georgii Zhukov is appointed to the command of the Stalingrad defence; the Luftwaffe is now delivering heavy strikes on the city.
28: Incendiary bombs dropped by a Japanese seaplane causes a forest fire in Oregon.
30: The Battle of Alam Halfa, Egypt, a few miles south of El Alamein begins. This will be Rommel's last attempt to break through the English lines; British air superiority plays a large role.
30: Luxembourg is formally annexed to the German Reich.

September 1942

3: The Battle of Stalingrad proper may be said to have begun on this date, with German troops in the suburbs; even civilian men and boys are conscripted by the Red Army to assist in the defence.
4: There is IRA rioting in Belfast during the night.
Manhattan Engineering District is formally created, full-effort production of the atomic bomb is begun.
5: Australian and U.S. forces defeat Japanese forces at Milne Bay, Papua, the first outright defeat for Japanese land forces in the Pacific War. Their evacuation and the failure to establish an airbase eases the threat to Australia.
6: The Black Sea port of Novorossisk is taken by the Germans.
9: A Japanese plane drops more incendiaries on Oregon, but with little effect.
10: RAF blasts Düsseldorf with large incendiary bombing.
: (to the 14th). The Battle of "Bloody Ridge", Guadalcanal: Americans drive off Japanese forces attempting to recapture Henderson Field.
12: RMS Laconia, carrying civilians, Allied soldiers and Italian POWs, is torpedoed off the coast of West Africa and sinks.
13: The Battle for Stalingrad continues; it is now totally surrounded by the Germans. On the Soviet Union side General Vasily Chuikov is put in charge of the defence.
14: The Japanese retreat again from Henderson Field, Guadalcanal.
: The Japanese are now within 30 miles of Port Moresby, New Guinea, on the Kokoda trail.
: Continued convoy losses in the Atlantic.
15: Americans send troops to Port Moresby as reinforcements for the Australian defenders.
: Light carrier USS Wasp is sunk by a Japanese submarine off Guadalcanal.
18: Battle of the "grain silo" in Stalingrad; the Germans are beaten back. The Red Army begins ferrying troops across the Volga at night.
20: RAF bombs Munich and Saarbrücken.
: The Greek PEAN group blows up the offices of the pro-Nazi ESPO group in central Athens, thwarting attempts to raise a Greek volunteer legion for the Eastern Front.
23: General Rommel leaves North Africa for medical treatment in Germany.
24: United States of America deploys the I Corps to the Pacific Theater.
27: The Battle of Matanikau River, Guadalcanal; Japanese naval bombardment and landing forces nearly destroy Henderson field in an attempt to take it, but the land forces are soon driven back.
28: The Japanese continue their retreat back down the Kokoda trail in New Guinea.
30: The Eagle Squadron (American volunteers in the RAF) are officially transferred to the US Army Air Force.
: Hitler speaks to the nation and boasts that Stalingrad will be taken.

October 1942

3: First successful launch of A4-rocket at Peenemünde, Germany. The rocket flies 147 kilometres wide and reaches a height of 84.5 kilometres and is therefore the first man-made object reaching space.
4: British Commandos raid Sark, a Channel Island, capturing one German soldier.
6: By mutual arrangement, the Allies agree on a strategy whereby Americans will bomb in the daytime and the RAF at night.
11: Battle of Cape Esperance - On the Northwest coast of Guadalcanal, United States Navy ships intercept and defeat a Japanese fleet on their way to reinforce troops on the island. With the help of radar they sink one cruiser and several Japanese destroyers.
12: The Red Army methods of ferrying troops across the Volga and into Stalingrad directly seems to be a success, as the German advance comes to a halt.
: The US 100th Infantry Battalion, a force of over 1,400 predominantly Nisei became active.
13: Heavy bombardment of Henderson Field, Guadalcanal by the Japanese navy.
14: A German U-boat sinks the ferry SS Caribou, killing 137.
18: Hitler issues Commando Order, ordering all captured commandos to be executed immediately.
: Admiral William "Bull" Halsey is given command of the South Pacific naval forces.
21: Heavy RAF activity over El Alamein.
22: Conscription age in Britain reduced to 18.
: American General Mark Clark secretly lands in Algeria to confer with Vichy officials and Resistance groups in preparation for impending Allied invasion.
23: Second Battle of El Alamein begins with massive Allied bombardment of German positions. Then Australian forces, mainly, begin advance while offshore British naval forces support the right flank (n.b. the ongoing concurrent victories being prepared at Guadalcanal and Stalingrad).
24: US Navy Task Force 34, consisting of aircraft carriers, a variety of support ships, including Troop Ships and other vessels, set sail from Hampton Roads, Virginia with Patton's forces for Operation Torch, the landing in North Africa. The other two task forces of Operation Torch, the first American-led force to fight in the European and African theatres of war, depart Britain for Morocco.
: Crisis at El Alamein: British tanks survive German 88mm fire; Montgomery orders the advance to continue despite losses.
25: Rommel hurriedly returns from his sickbed in Germany to take charge of the African battle. (His replacement, General Stumme, had died of a heart attack).
: The Japanese continue their attacks on the Marines west of Henderson field.
26: The naval Battle of Santa Cruz. The Japanese lose many aircraft and have two aircraft carriers severely damaged. The USS Hornet is sunk and the USS Enterprise is damaged.
29: The Japanese continue to send troops as reinforcements into Guadalcanal.
: In the United Kingdom, leading clergymen and political figures hold a public meeting to register outrage over Nazi Germany's persecution of Jews.
: United States 1st Armored Division moves from Northern Ireland to England.
31: The British make a critical breakthrough with tanks west of El Alamein; Rommel's mine fields fail to stop the Allied armour.

November 1942

The state of the allies and axis powers in November 1942.
1: Operation Supercharge, the Allied breakout at El Alamein, begins.
3: Second Battle of El Alamein ends - German forces under Erwin Rommel are forced to retreat during the night.
8: Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of Vichy-controlled Morocco and Algeria, begins; French resistance coup in Algiers, consisting of about 400 fighters neutralise the Vichyist XIXth Army Corps and the Vichyist generals (Juin, Darlan, etc.), contributing significantly to the immediate success of the operation.
: the United States Combat Command "B" of the 1st Armored Division Landed east and west of Oran as part of Operation Torch.
10: In violation of a 1940 armistice, Germany invades Vichy France ; they are responding to the fact that French Admiral François Darlan has signed an armistice with the Allies in North Africa.
: Oran, Algeria falls to US troops; 17 French ships are sunk at Oran, causing a rift between the French and the Allies. There are more Allied landings near the Tunisian border.
: Montgomery begins a major British offensive beginning at Sollum on the Libya/Egypt border. The British reach Bardia on the 11th, Tobruk on the 12th, and Benghazi on the 18th.
: Lieutenant General Montgomery is knighted and made a full General.
: Churchill speaks: "This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."
11: Convoys reach Malta from Alexandria; an official announcement proclaims that the island is "relieved of its siege".
12: Battle of Guadalcanal - A climactic naval battle near Guadalcanal starts between Japanese and American naval forces. Notably, the USS Juneau is sunk with much of its crew, including the five Sullivan brothers.
: The Red Army makes an attempt to relieve Stalingrad at Kotelnikov.
13: British Eighth Army recaptures Tobruk.
13: In the Battle of Guadalcanal - aviators from the USS Enterprise sink the Japanese battleship Hiei.
14: The USS Washington sinks the Japanese battleship Kirishima.
15: The naval battle of Guadalcanal ends. Although the United States Navy suffers heavy losses, it still retains control of the sea around Guadalcanal.
: The British move westward in Tunisia .
:British Eighth Army recaptures Derna.
17: Japanese send reinforcements into New Guinea; Americans are stymied at Buna.
18: Heavy British RAF raid on Berlin with few losses.
19: At Stalingrad the Soviet Union forces under General Georgy Zhukov launch Operation Uranus aimed at encircling the Germans in the city and thus turning the tide of battle in the USSR's favor.
20: The Allies take Benghazi, Libya; the Afrika Corps continues the retreat westward.
21: The Red Army attempt at encirclement of Stalingrad continues with obvious success.
21: American army moves to shove Japanese off the extreme western end of Guadalcanal.
22: Battle of Stalingrad - The situation for the German attackers of Stalingrad seems desperate during the Soviet counter-attack Operation Uranus and General Friedrich Paulus sends Adolf Hitler a telegram saying that the German 6th Army is surrounded.
: Red Army troops complete the encirclement of the Germans at Kalach, west of Stalingrad.
23: "Der Kessel"-- the Cauldron, a description of the heavy fighting at Stalingrad; Hitler orders General Paulus not to retreat, at any cost.
25: The encirclement of Stalingrad continues to stabilise. Hitler reiterates his demand of Paulus not to surrender.
: Operation Harling: a team of British SOE agents, together with over 200 Greek guerrillas from both ELAS and EDES groups, blow up the Gorgopotamos railway bridge, in one of the war's biggest sabotage acts.
27: At Toulon, the French navy scuttles its ships (most notably the Dunkerque and Strasbourg) and submarines to keep them out of German hands; the French have declined another option --to join the Allied fleets in North African waters.
29: The Allied offensive in Tunisia meets with only minimum success.
30: The naval battle of Tassafaronga Point (off Guadalcanal); this is a night action in which Japanese naval forces sink one American cruiser and damage three others.

December 1942

The state of the allies and axis powers in December 1942, showing allied progress in Northern Africa.
1: Gasoline rationing begins in the United States.
: The US cruiser Northampton is sunk as Japanese destroyers attempt to come down "the Slot" to Guadalcanal.
2: Heavy fighting in Tunisia, as German forces are pushed into the final North African corner.
: Below the bleachers of Stagg Field at the University of Chicago, a team led by Enrico Fermi initiate the first nuclear chain reaction. A coded message, "The Italian navigator has landed in the new world" is sent to President Roosevelt.
4: The first US bombing of mainland Italy --Naples.
6: RAF bombs Eindhoven in Holland.
7: On the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, the USS New Jersey, America's largest battleship is launched (commissioned five months later).
: British commandos conduct Operation Frankton a raid on shipping in Bordeaux harbour.
9: The Marines turn over Guadalcanal to the American army.
12: Rommel abandons El Agheila and retreats to Tripoli; the final stand will be at the Mareth line in southern Tunisia.
: In a large operation named "Winter Storm", the Germans attempt to break through to forces trapped in Stalingrad.
13: The Luftwaffe flies in meagre supplies to the beleaguered Stalingrad troops.
14: Naval action off Cape Bon, northern Tunisia; British destroyers sink two Italian cruisers.
15: American troops finally push Japanese out of Buna, New Guinea.
22: The Germans begin a retreat from the Caucusus.
: The battle for "Longstop Hill" begins; a key position outside Tunis, the Germans eventually take it and hold it until April.
: The remainder of the United States 1st Armored Division arrived at North Africa for Operation Husky.
24: French Admiral Darlan, the former Vichy leader who had switched over to the Allies following the Torch landings, is assassinated in Algiers.
The United States of America reorganizes its Combat Arms Regiments with their Organic Battalions into Separate Groups and Battalions
25: The British take Sirto, Libya.
: American bombers hit Rabaul.
26: Heavy fighting continues on Guadalcanal, now focused on Mount Austen in the West.
31: As the year comes to an end, things look bright for the Allies: Rommel is trapped in Tunisia, the Germans are encircled at Stalingrad, and the Japanese appear ready to abandon Guadalcanal.

See also

External links

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