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This is a timeline of events that occurred during World War II in 1943.


January 1943

2: The Japanese are now cleared out of Buna, New Guinea after a fierce two-month struggle; it becomes clear that the American campaign was badly mismanaged.
7: Japanese land more troops at Lae, New Guinea.
9: United States Western Task Force reverts to I Armored Corps status.
10: Soviet troops launch an all-out offensive attack on Stalingrad; they also renew attacks in the north (Leningrad) and in the Caucasus.
13: The Soviet Union prematurely announces that the Leningrad siege has been broken.
14: Casablanca Conference of Allied leaders begins. Churchill and Roosevelt discuss the eventual invasion of mainland Europe, the impending invasion of Sicily and Italy, and the wisdom of the principle of "Unconditional Surrender."
15: The British start an offensive aimed at taking far-off Tripoli.
16: Iraq declares war on the Axis powers.
: RAF begins a two-night bombing of Berlin.
18: The Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto rise up for the first time, starting the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
: Besieged defenders of Leningrad link up with relieving forces.
19: General Georgy Zhukov is promoted to Marshal as the Stalingrad struggle grinds to a close.
21: Last airfield at Stalingrad is taken by Red forces, ensuring that Goering's aircraft will be unable to supply German troops any further; Hitler still demands that Paulus continue the fight.
: Red Army armies have more victories in the Caucasus.
Field Marshall Paulus and his staff surrender in Stalingrad
23: Allies capture Tripoli, Libya.
: Japanese continue their fight in western Guadalcanal; they now seem to have given up completely on the Papua campaign.
24: German forces in Stalingrad are in the last phases of collapse.
25: United States XIV Corps arrives in Pacific Theater.
26: French forces enter Tripoli.
27: 50 bombers mount the first all American air raid against Germany. (Wilhelmshaven, the large naval base, is the primary target).
28: A new conscription law in Germany: men between 16 and 35 and women between 17 and 45 are open to mobilization.
29: The naval battle of Rennell Island, near Guadalcanal; the USS Chicago is lost.
: Another two-day bombing of Berlin by the RAF.
30: The last Japanese have cleared out of Guadalcanal by a brilliant evacuation plan undetected by the Americans.
31: Large parts of the German 6th Army at Stalingrad, including the now Field Marshal Paulus, surrender.

February 1943

2: In the Soviet Union, the Battle of Stalingrad comes to an end with the official surrender of the German 6th Army.
2: Rommel retreats farther into Tunisia, establishing his troops at the Mareth line. Within two days, Allied troops move into Tunisia for the first time.
5: The Allies now have all of Libya under control.
5: Essen is bombed, marking the beginning of a four-month attack on the Ruhr industrial area.
7: In the United States, it is announced that shoe rationing will go into effect in two days.
8: The Chindits (a "long range penetration group") under British General Orde Wingate begin an incursion into Burma.
: Nuremberg is heavily bombed.
: United States VI Corps arrives in North Africa.
9: Guadalcanal is finally secured; it is the first major achievement of the American offensive in the Pacific war.
: The Battle of Kursk begins. The Red Army take Belgorod.
: Munich and Vienna are heavily bombed, along with Berlin.
11: U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower is selected to command the Allied armies in Europe.
13: Rommel launches a counter-attack against the Americans in western Tunisia; he takes Sidi bou Zid and Gafsa. The Battle of the Kasserine Pass begins: inexperienced American troops are soon forced to retreat.
14: Rostov-on-Don is liberated by the Red Army;
16: Soviet Union reconquers Kharkov, but is later driven out in the Third Battle of Kharkov.
18: In a speech at the Berlin Sportpalast German propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels declares a "Total War" against the Allies; The Nazis arrest the members of the White Rose movement, an anti-Nazi youth group.
: Chindits under Wingate cut the railway line between Mandalay and Myitkyina.
21: Americans take the Russell Islands, part of the Solomons chain.
26: Rommel retreats northward from the Mareth line in Tunisia.
28: The SS United Victory, the first Victory ship is launched; this class of transport will prove to be crucial in hauling men and supplies across the oceans.
: Operation Gunnerside, 6 Norwegians led by Joachim Ronneberg successfully attack the heavy water plant Vemork.

March 1943

1: Heinz Guderian becomes the Inspector-General of the Armoured Troops for the German Army.
1: Battle of the Bismarck Sea. United States and Australia naval forces, over the course of three days, sink eight Japanese troop transports near New Guinea. Heavy losses of Japanese lives.
2: Wingate's Chindits continue their localised strikes in Burma.
5: In early March, Rommel stirs up small attacks near the Mareth line, southern Tunisia.
5: German advances around Kharkov threaten Red Army earlier gains.
5: Continued RAF bombing of the Ruhr valley, particularly Essen.
6: Battle of Medenine, Tunisia. It is Rommel's last in Africa as he is forced to retreat.
8: Continuing German counter-attacks around Kharkov.
9: Members of The Calcutta Light Horse carry out a covert attack against a German merchantship, which had been transmitting Allied positions to U-boats from the Mormugao Harbour in Portugal's neutral territory of Goa.
10: The USAAF 14th Air Force is formed in China, under General Claire Chennault, former head of the "Flying Tigers."
10: The US House of Representatives votes to extend the Lend Lease plan.
11: The Germans enter Kharkov and the fierce struggle with the Red Army continues.
13: German forces liquidate the Jewish ghetto in Kraków.
14: The Germans succeed in taking Kharkov, lost to the Red Armies about a month ago.
16: The first reports of the Katyn massacre in Poland seep to the West; reports say that more than 22,000 prisoners of war were killed by the NKVD, who eventually blame the massacre on the Germans.
16: Stalin for the ninth time demands a "Second Front," accusing his allies of treachery.
17: Devastating convoy losses in the Atlantic due to increased U-boat activity; the middle of the Atlantic apparently is not sufficiently covered by planes or ships.
18: General Patton leads his tanks of II Corps into Gafsa, Tunisia.
19: First Warsaw Rising, carried out by the Jews in the ghetto; the outcome is probably inevitable.
19: The Bermuda Conference opens, the subject being the plight of the European Jews; the Allies come to no solid conclusion.
20: Montgomery's forces begin a breakthrough in Tunisia, striking at the Mareth line. (This defensive line was originally built by the French to hold off Italian tanks and infantry.)
23: American tanks defeat the Germans at El Guettar, Tunisia.
26: The British break through the Mareth line in southern Tunisia, threatening the whole German army. The Germans move north.
26: Battle of the Komandorski Islands. In the Aleutian Islands United States Navy forces intercept Japanese attempting to reinforce a garrison at Kiska. Poor leadership on both sides leads to a stalemate of sorts, and the Japanese withdraw without achieving their goal.

April 1943

1: Allies continue to squeeze the Germans into the corner of Tunisia; the seaport of Sfax is bombed. It will be taken on the 10th.
6: Hitler and Mussolini come together at Salzburg, mostly for the purpose of propping up Mussolini's fading morale.
7: Allied forces--the Americans from the West, the British from the East--link up near Gafsa in Tunisia.
7: Bolivia declares war on Germany, Japan, and Italy.
8: The Red Army attacks in an attempt to free all of the Crimea of German forces; they take Kerch in the East on the 11th, and the Germans retreat westward to Sevastopol.
11: The Germans offer an official surrender of Sfax, but heavy fighting continues as other units move north.
12: The last units of the Afrika Korps surrender in the northern corner of Tunisia.
13: Radio Berlin announces the discovery by Wehrmacht of mass graves of Poles purportedly killed by Soviets in the Katyn massacre.
15: Heavy RAF raid on Stuttgart.
18: Admiral Yamamoto, chief architect of Japanese naval strategy, is killed when his plane is shot down by American P38's over Bougainville. He was on an inspection tour.
18: The "Palm Sunday massacre": large numbers of German troop-transport aircraft are shot down before reaching Tunisia, where they were to pick up the isolated German troops.
19: The Warsaw Ghetto uprising continues, with new German army units sent in to fight the Jewish Resistance.
19: The Seraph sets sail, bound for near the Spanish coast, in Operation Mincemeat.
26: The British finally take "Longstop Hill" in Tunisia, a key position on the breakout road to Tunis.
28: Allies attempt to close the mid-Atlantic gap in the war against the U-boats with long-range bombers.
30: Operation Mincemeat: Lt. Jewell's crew releases Martin's body near the Spanish coast. Later, the body washes up on the Spanish coast and is discovered by a local fisherman.

May 1943

1: Allies close in on the cornered Germans in the Tunis area.
2: Japanese aircraft again bomb Darwin, Australia.
7: Tunis captured by British First Army. Meanwhile the Americans take Bizerte.
9: German and Italian forces in Tunisia announce surrender to British.
11: American troops invade Attu Island in the Aleutian Islands in an attempt to expel occupying Japanese forces. The battle is difficult, including banzai charges.
12: Trident Conference begins in Washington, D.C. with Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill taking part. The discussions are mostly on future strategy.
13: German Afrika Korps and Italian troops in North Africa surrender to Allied forces. Allies take over 250,000 prisoners.
15: The French form a "Resistance Movement."
16: The Dambuster Raids by RAF 617 Squadron on two German dams, Mohne and Eder; the Ruhr war industries lose electrical power.
16: The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising ends. The ghetto is destroyed.
17: Surviving RAF Dam Busters return.
19: Winston Churchill addresses a joint session of the U.S. Congress. He praises the partnership of the two Allies.
19: Propaganda Minister Goebbels announces that all the Jews have left Berlin.
22: Allies begin heavy bombing of Sicily and Sardinia, both possible landing sites.
24: Admiral Karl Dönitz orders the majority of U-boats to withdraw from the Atlantic because of heavy losses to new Allied anti-sub tactics.
24: Josef Mengele becomes Chief Medical Officer in Auschwitz.
29: RAF bombs Wuppertal, causing heavy civilian losses.
30: The Japanese abandon Attu Island in the Aleutians.
31: American B-17's bomb Naples.

June 1943

4: General Henri Giraud becomes Commander of the Free French forces in North Africa.
8: Japanese forces abandon Kiska Island in the Aleutians, their last foothold in the Western hemisphere. The event is almost to the year of their landing.
11: British forces take Pantelleria and Lampedusa, small islands between Tunisia and Sicily, after several days of bombardment.
13: Heavy US aircraft losses over Kiel.
17: Allies bomb Sicily and the Italian mainland, as signs increase of a forthcoming invasion.
20: Operation Cartwheel opens with landings by the United States 4th Marine Raider Battalion at Segi Point on New Georgia in the Solomon Islands. It will not be secured until August.
The state of the allies and axis powers in July 1943.
22: The Red armies begin a major offensive.
23: American troops land in the Trobriand Islands, close to New Guinea. The American strategy of driving up the Southwest Pacific by "Island Hopping" continues.
24: Continuing attacks against the Ruhr industrial valley. One result is the evacuation of large numbers of German civilians from the area.
30: American troops land on Rendova Island, New Georgia, another part of Operation Cartwheel.

July 1943

July 1943
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4: Exiled Polish leader General Władysław Sikorski assassinated during his visit in Gibraltar.
6: The Battle of Kula Gulf near the Solomons ends inconclusively.
7: Rocket scientist Wernher von Braun briefs the V-2 rocket to Hitler, who approves the project for top priority.
10: Operation Husky is launched. The Allied invasion of Sicily to liberate Europe began.
12: The tank Battle of Prokhorovka, the largest tank battle in human history and part of the Battle of Kursk, is the pivotal battle of Operation Citadel.
13: The Japanese won a tactical victory at the Battle of Kolombangara.
19: The Allies bomb Rome for the first time.
21: The Operation Bellicose targeting of Friedrichshafen Würzburg radars is the first bombing of a V-2 rocket facility.
22: The fall of Palermo in the Allied invasion of Sicily inspired a subsequent Coup d'état against Mussolini.
23/24: The RAF bombs Kiel in the first major raid on a German city since April 1943 and the heaviest RAF raid of the war.
24: The Operation Gomorrah firestorm bombing of Hamburg begins (at the time the heaviest assault in the history of aerial warfare.)

August 1943

August 1943
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2: John F. Kennedy's PT-109 is rammed in two and sunk off the Solomon Islands.
3: The publicized "slapping incident" resulted in General Patton being relieved of duty for 10 months.
6: The United States won the Battle of Vella Gulf off Kolombangara in the Solomons.
7: The Allies won the Battle of New Georgia in the Solomons.
15: The Land Battle of Vella Lavella island in the Solomons began as part of Operation Cartwheel
17: Operation Husky completes the Allied invasion of Sicily.
:: 60 Allied bombers are lost in the Schweinfurt-Regensburg mission.
:: Operation Crossbow begins as Operation Hydra bombs the Peenemünde V-2 rocket facility.
19: Roosevelt and Churchill signed the Quebec Agreement during the Quebec Conference.
23: Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev liberated Kharkov in the Ukraine.
:: The Battle of Kursk became the first successful major Soviet summer offensive of the war.
29: During the Occupation of Denmark by Nazi Germany, martial law replaced the Danish government.

September 1943

September 1943
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3: Mainland Italy is invaded as Allied forces under Bernard L. Montgomery land at Reggio de Calabria. An Italian Armistice is signed and Italy drops out of the war.
:: Nazi Germany begins the evacuation of civilians from Berlin.
4: Soviet Union declares war on Bulgaria.
:: The 503rd Parachute Regiment under American General Douglas MacArthur lands and occupies Nadzab, just east of the port city of Lae in northeastern Papua New Guinea. Lae falls into American hands and Australian troops take Salamau.
8: United States General Dwight D. Eisenhower publicly announces the surrender of Italy to the Allies.
::The USAAF bombs the German General Headquarter for the Mediterranean zone at Frascati.
9: The Allies land at Salerno, Italy; meanwhile the British troops take Taranto in the heel of the Italian "boot." Allied strategy aims at a "drive" up the "boot".
:: Red Army executes an offensive at Kiev, capital of the Ukraine.
:: Iran, seeing the successes of the Allies in Italy, declares war on Germany.
10: Germans occupy Rome, now that Italy has surrendered to the Allies. The Italian fleet meanwhile surrenders at Malta and other Mediterranean ports.
12: Mussolini is rescued from a mountaintop captivity ordered by the Fascist Council (see above entry for July 24) by German paratroopers led by Otto Skorzeny. Mussolini is then set up by Hitler, who remains loyal to his old friend, as the head of "Salo," a quasi government: "the Italian Social Republic."
13: German and Italian troops are fighting each other in Greece.
:: The Salerno beachhead is in jeopardy, as German counterattacks increase.
14: British troops take Bari, an important port in southeastern Italy. American troops meanwhile land on Sardinia and in effect take it.
15: Mussolini proclaims the "Italian Social Republic." (See above September 12 entry.)
:: Chiang Kai-shek, newly elected president of China, asks that General Stilwell, American military advisor/commander, be recalled for suggesting an alliance with the Communists.
16: British forces land on various Italian-held Greek islands in the Aegean Sea, beginning the Dodecanese Campaign.
:: British and American troops link up near the Salerno beachhead.
20: Allied forces approach Naples.
21: British midget submarines attack the German battleship Tirpitz, at anchor in a Norwegian fjord, crippling her for six months.
:: The battle of the Solomons can now be considered at an unofficial end.
:: The Cephallonia massacre begins: After resisting for a week, the Italian Acqui division on the Greek island of Cephallonia surrenders to the Germans. During the next days, over 4,500 Italians are executed, and further 3,000 lost during transport at sea.
22: Australian forces land at Finschhafen, a small port in New Guinea. The Japanese continue the battle well into October.
25: The Red Army takes Smolensk, an important city west of Moscow; they also reach the suburbs of Kiev.
27: Chiang Kai-shek has Mao Zedong's brother executed.
28: The people of Naples, sensing the approach of the Allies, rise up against the German occupiers. The uprising is put down with many civilian deaths. Allied forces do not show.
:: The Germans take over the island of Corfu from the Italians, the previous occupiers.
29: News arrives that the Danes are secretly sending their Jewish countrymen to Sweden by means of dangerous boat crossings; thousands have been saved already.

October 1943

October 1943
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1: Neapolitans complete their uprising and free Naples from German military occupation.
3: Churchill appoints Lord Louis Mountbatten the commander of South East Asia Command.
4: Corsica is liberated by Free French forces.[citation needed]
5: The Allies cross Italy's Volturno Line.
6: The Naval Battle of Vella Lavella completes the second phase of Operation Cartwheel.
7: 98 American civilian prisoners were executed on Wake Island.
9: United States VII Corps arrives in European Theater.
12: Operation Cartwheel begins a bombing campaign against Rabaul.
13: Italy declares war on Germany.
14: 229 of 292 B-17s reached the target in the Second Raid on Schweinfurt.
18: Chiang Kai-shek takes the oath of office as president of China.[citation needed]
18: The Third Moscow Conference convened.
19: The German War Office contracts the Mittelwerk to produce 12,000 V-2 rockets.
22/23: The Bombing of Kassel causes a seven day firestorm.
25: The Red Army takes Dnipropetrovsk.[citation needed]
29: Troops replace striking London dockworkers.[citation needed]
31: Heavy rains in Italy slow the Allied advance below Rome.[citation needed]

November 1943

November 1943
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1: In Operation Goodtime, United States Marines land on Bougainville in the Solomon Islands. The fighting for this island will continue to the end of the war.
2: In the early morning hours, American and Japanese ships fight the inconclusive Battle of Empress Augusta Bay off Bougainville, but the Japanese are unable to land reinforcements.
2: British troops, in Italy, reach the Garigliano River.
6: The Red Army liberates the city of Kiev. This is an anniversary of the Russian Revolution in 1917.
9: Allies take Castiglione, Italy.
9: General De Gaulle becomes President of the French Committee of National Liberation.
11: American air power continues to hit Rabaul.
12: Germans overrun British forces on the Dodecanese islands, off Turkey.
14: Heavy bombers hit Tarawa, in the Gilbert Islands in the Pacific.
15: Allied Expeditionary Force for the invasion of Europe is officially formed.
15: German SS leader Heinrich Himmler orders that Gypsies and "part-Gypsies" are to be put "on the same level as Jews and placed in concentration camps."
16: Anti-German resistance in Italy increases; there are explosions in Milan.
16: The Battle of Leros ends with the surrender of the British and Italian forces to the Germans.
16: 160 American bombers strike a hydro-electric power facility and heavy water factory in German-controlled Vemork, Norway
16: Japanese submarine sinks surfaced USA submarine USS Corvina near Truk
18: 440 Royal Air Force planes bomb Berlin causing only light damage and killing 131. The RAF lose nine aircraft and 53 aviators.
20: Battle of Tarawa begins - United States Marines land on Tarawa and Makin atolls in the Gilbert Islands and take heavy fire from Japanese shore guns. The American public is shocked by the heavy losses of life.
20: British troops under Montgomery continue their slow advances on the eastern side of Italy.
22: US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and ROC leader Chiang Kai-Shek meet in Cairo, Egypt, to discuss ways to defeat Japan.
23: Heavy damage from Allied bombing of Berlin. Notably, the Deutsche Opernhaus on Bismarckstraße in the Berlin district of Charlottenburg is destroyed.
24: Heavy bombing of Berlin continues.
25: Americans and Japanese fight the naval Battle of Cape St. George between Buka and New Ireland. Admiral Arleigh Burke's destroyers distinguish themselves.
25: Rangoon is bombed by American heavy bombers.
26: The Red Army offensive in the Ukraine continues.
27: The Casablanca Conference ("Sextant") ends; Roosevelt, Churchill, and Chiang Kai-shek complete the Cairo Declaration, which deals with the overall strategic plan against Japan.
27: Huge civilian losses in Berlin as heavy bombing raids continue.
28: The Teheran Conference . US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet Leader Joseph Stalin meet in Teheran to discuss war strategy; (on November 30 they establish an agreement concerning a planned June 1944 invasion of Europe codenamed Operation Overlord). Stalin at last has the promise he has been waiting for.
29: Second session of AVNOJ, the Anti-fascist council of national liberation of Yugoslavia, is held in Jajce, Bosnia and Herzegovina, determining the post-war order of the country.
30: In Malaya, Japanese introduce the GOVERNMENT NOTIFICATION No. 41 to encourage families to grow their own food crops and vegetables. Families who are successful will be awarded prizes while family who fail to comply this notification or leave their vacant lands unplanted will be punished. This notification was written by Itami Masakichi (Penang Shu Chokan) on 25 November 2603/1943

December 1943

December 1943
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The state of the allies and axis powers in December 1943.
3: Edward R. Murrow delivers his classic "Orchestrated Hell" broadcast over CBS Radio describing a Royal Air Force nighttime bombing raid on Berlin.
4: Bolivia declares war on all Axis powers.
: In Yugoslavia, resistance leader Marshal Tito proclaims a provisional democratic Yugoslav government in-exile.
12: Rommel is appointed head of "Fortress Europa", chief planner against the expected Allied offensive.
13: German soldiers carry out the Massacre of Kalavryta in southern Greece.
: United States VIII Corps arrives in European Theater.
14: United States XV Corps arrives in European Theater.
16: Kalinin is retaken in a large Red Army offensive.
24: US General Dwight D. Eisenhower becomes the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe.
26: German battle cruiser Scharnhorst is sunk off North Cape (in the Arctic) by an array of British cruisers and destroyer torpedoes.
26: American Marines land on Cape Gloucester, New Britain.
27: General Eisenhower is officially named head of Overlord, the invasion of Normandy.
28: In Burma, Chinese troops have some success against the Japanese.

See also

External links



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