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1943CE

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§Of World Interest

Doctors used antibiotics for the first time.

Jacques-Yves Cousteau co-invents, with Emile Gagnan, the first commercially successful open circuit type of scuba diving equipment, the Aqua-lung.

§Africa

§Libya

Tripoli was controlled by Italy until 1943. On January 23rd, British forces captured Tripoli from the Nazis. After that, it was occupied by British forces until its independence in 1951.

§Morocco

January 14 – The Casablanca Conference, where Franklin D. Roosevelt becomes the first President of the United States to travel by airplane while in office (Miami, Florida to Morocco to meet with Winston Churchill to discuss World War II).

June 22 – The U.S. Army 45th Infantry Division lands in North Africa, prior to training at Arzew, French Morocco.

§Tunisia

February 14 - Battle of the Kasserine Pass: German General Erwin Rommel and his Afrika Korps launch an offensive against Allied defenses in Tunisia; it is the United States' first major battle defeat of the war.

§Asia

§China

January 11 - The United States and United Kingdom give up territorial rights in China.

May 9–12 – Japanese troops carry out the Changjiao massacre in Changjiao, Hunan, China.

October 18 – Chiang Kai-shek takes the oath of office as president of China.

§Central Pacific

§Tarawa Atoll

November 20-23 - Battle of Tarawa. Nearly 6,400 Japanese, Koreans, and Americans died in the fighting, mostly on and around the small island of Betio, in the extreme southwest of Tarawa Atoll. Of the 3,636 Japanese in the garrison, only one officer and sixteen enlisted men surrendered. Of the 1,200 Korean laborers brought to Tarawa to construct the defenses, only 129 survived. All told, 4,690 of the island's defenders were killed.[32] The 2nd Marine Division suffered 894 killed in action, 48 officers and 846 enlisted men, while an additional 84 of the wounded survivors later succumbed to what proved to be fatal wounds. Of these, 8 were officers and 76 were enlisted men. A further 2,188 men were wounded in the battle, 102 officers and 2,086 men. Of the roughly 12,000 2nd Marine Division marines on Tarawa, 3,166 officers and men became casualties. Nearly all of these casualties were suffered in the 76 hours between the landing at 0910 November 20 and the island of Betio being declared secure at 1330 November 23.

§Europe

§Bulgaria

August 28 - Tsar Boris III died under unclear circumstances.

§France

January 22 - Battle of Marseille begins. Nazis, assisted by French police, organized a raid to arrest Jewish people.

January 24 - Battle of Marseille ends with 30,000 people expelled from their neighborhood and 2,000 Jews eventually sent to the extermination camps.

May 21 - Riom Trial ends, attempt by Vichy France regime to prove that the leaders of the French Third Republic had been responsible for France's defeat by Germany in 1940.

October 21 - Lucie Aubrac and others in her French Resistance cell liberate Raymond Aubrac from Gestapo imprisonment.

November 22 - Lebanon gains independence from France

§Germany

On January 12th, Jan Campert, Dutch journalist and writer, died in the Neuengamme concentration camp in Hamburg. He had been arrested and held at Neuengamme for aiding the Jews. Campert is best known for his poem "De achttien dooden" ("The Eighteen Dead"), which describes the execution of 15 resistance fighters and three communists by the German occupier. Written in 1941, the poem was illegally published in 1943.

January 14 - First heavy air raid over Berlin.

January 27 - Wilhelmshafen is heavily bombed by US planes in daylight raids. Start of a heavy air campaign against the German war industries and German cities.

February 22 – Members of White Rose are executed in Nazi Germany.

March 1 – Heinz Guderian becomes the Inspector-General of the Armoured Troops for the German Army.

April 13 – WWII: Radio Berlin announces the discovery by Wehrmacht of mass graves of Poles killed by Soviets in the Katyn massacre.

May 16 - Operation Chastise by RAF 617 Sqdn are carried out on German dams.

June 4 - In Tegel, near Berlin 32 resistance fighters of the "Stijkel" group are executed.

In the summer of 1943, during a long heatwave, the RAF, supported by the US Eighth Army Air Force, flew a series of raids on Hamburg. The aim of Op­eration Gomorrah, as it was called, was to destroy the city and reduce it as completely as possible to ashes.

July 25 - In the early hours, nearly 800 RAF Halifaxes and Lancasters launched a 50-minute bombing raid on the Third Reich’s second largest city, Hamburg. The pilots used the neo-Gothic spire of St Nikolai’s church in the city’s historic heart as a landmark and killed 1,500 people.

July 27 - In an early morning raid, be­ginning at 1 a.m., 10,000 tons of high explosive and incendiary bombs were dropped on the densely populated residential area east of the Elbe. ... A now familiar sequence of events occurred: first all the doors and windows were torn from their frames and smashed by high-explosive bombs weighing 4,000 pounds, then the attic floors of the buildings were ignited by lightweight incendiary mixtures, and at the same time fire-bombs weighing up to 15 kilo­grams fell into the lower stories. Within a few min­utes huge fires were burning all over the target area, which covered some 20 square kilometres, and they merged so rapidly that only quarter of an hour after the first bombs had dropped the whole airspace was a sea of flames as far as the eye could see. Another five minutes later, at 1.20 a.m., a firestorm of an intensity that no one would ever before have thought possible arose. The fire, now rising 2,000 metres into the sky, snatched oxygen to itself so violently that the air currents reached hurricane force, reso­nating like mighty organs with all their stops pulled out at once.

"The fire burned like this for three hours. At its height the storm lifted gables and roofs from buildings, flung rafters and entire advertising hoard­ings through the air, tore trees from the ground and drove human beings before it like living torches. Behind collapsing facades the flames shot up as high as houses, rolled like a tidal wave through the streets at a speed of over 150 kilometres an hour, spun across open squares in strange rhythms like rolling cylinders of fire. The water in some of the canals was ablaze. The glass in the tramcar windows melted; stocks of sugar boiled in the bakery cellars. Those who had fled from their air-raid shelters sank, with grotesque contortions, in the thick bubbles thrown up by the melting asphalt. No one knows for certain how many lost their lives that night, or how many went mad before they died. When day broke, the summer dawn could not penetrate the leaden gloom above the city. The smoke had risen to a height of 8,000 metres, where it spread like a vast, anvil-shaped cumulonimbus cloud. A wavering heat, which the bomber pilots said they had felt through the sides of their planes, continued to rise from the smoking, glowing mounds of stone.

"Residential districts with a street length of 200 kilometres in all were utterly destroyed. Horribly disfigured corpses lay everywhere. Bluish little phosphorus flames still flickered around many of them; others had been roasted brown or purple and reduced to a third of their normal size. They lay doubled up in pools of their own melted fat, which had sometimes already congealed. In the next few days, the central death zone was declared a no-go area. When punishment labour gangs and camp inmates could begin clearing it in August, after the rubble had cooled down, they found people still sitting at tables or up against walls where they had been overcome by monoxide gas. Elsewhere, clumps of flesh and bone or whole heaps of bodies had cooked in the water gushing from bursting boilers. Other victims had been so badly charred and reduced to ashes by the heat, which had risen to 1,000 degrees or more, that the remains of families consisting of several people could be car­ried away in a single laundry basket.

"The exodus of survivors from Hamburg had be­gun on the night of the air raid itself. It started, as Nossack writes, with 'constant movement in all the neighbouring streets ... going no one knew where.' The refugees, numbering one and a quarter million, dispersed all over the Reich as far as its outer bor­ders.

Under his diary entry for 20 August 1943, Friedrich Reck describes a group of forty to fifty such refugees try­ing to force their way into a train at a station in Up­per Bavaria. As they do so a cardboard suitcase 'falls on the platform, bursts open and spills its contents. Toys, a manicure case, singed underwear. And last of all, the roasted corpse of a child, shrunk like a mummy, which its half-deranged mother has been carrying about with her, the relic of a past that was still intact a few days ago.' "

October 16 - First German V bomb is tested in Zempin.

October 22 – WWII: The RAF delivers a highly destructive airstrike on the German industrial and population center of Kassel.

November 23 – The Deutsche Opernhaus on Bismarckstraße in the Berlin neighborhood of Charlottenburg is destroyed. It is rebuilt in 1961 and called the Deutsche Oper Berlin.

November 25 - Goebbels delivers a speech on Germany's revenge and new weapons of mass destruction.

§Great Britain

January 13 - The age for the call up of single girls is lowered to 19.

February 2 - Churchill is said to be on the mend after a severe fever.

March 3 – 173 people are killed in a crush while trying to enter an air-raid shelter at Bethnal Green tube station in London.

April 20 - The limited recruitment of women into the Home Guard is announced.

May 13 - For the first time in the war the British now claim more German prisoners than the Germans claim British prisoners.

June 1 - Eden announces Empire casualties in the first three years of the war are 92,089 killed, 226,719 missing, 88,294 wounded and 107,891 captured.

June 4 - The House of Commons rejects any lifting of the economic blockade against occupied Europe.

June 18 - RADAR (RAdio Detection And Ranging) becomes the official term for Radiolocation.

August 27 - Brenden Bracken, the British Minster of Information, makes the first ministerial statement on Hess since May 1941 and claimed that Hess came to find British Quislings to overthrow Churchill, "a Nazi of very low mentality" who "babbled like an excited schoolboy."

November 15 - The allied expeditionary air force is formed in Britain for the invasion of Europe.

November 17 - A storm of protest erupts in Britain over the release of Sir Oswald Mosley, the British Fascist, on health grounds.

December 2 - Ernie Bevin announces the conscription to mines as coal output continues to flag in Britain.

December 9 - The announcement of the Council of Freedom in Denmark is announced in Britain.

§Italy

March 28 – In Italy a ship full of weapons and ammunition explodes in the port of Naples, killing 600.

July 10 - British, American and Canadian troops invade Sicily.

July 19 - First Allied air raid over Rome.

July 31 - Fascist council in Italy is canceled. Mussolini is arrested.

In September, the coastal town of Brindisi became the temporary capital of Italy.

September 2 - British troops land in Calabria, Italy.

September 3 – WWII: Mainland Italy is invaded by Allied forces under Bernard L. Montgomery, for the first time in the war.

September 8 - Italy surrenders unconditionally. Germans in Italy continue to fight the Allied troops.

September 12 – WWII: German paratroopers rescue Mussolini from imprisonment, in "Operation Oak".

September 27 – WWII: The 4-day Naples Uprising begins.

October 1 – WWII: American forces enter liberated Naples.

October 7 – WWII: The Naples post office explosion kills 100.

October 13 - Italy declares war on Germany.

December 2 – A Luftwaffe bombing raid on the harbour of Bari, Italy, sinks an American ship with a mustard gas stockpile, causing numerous fatalities (though the exact death toll is unresolved, as the bombing raid itself causes hundreds of deaths too).

§Netherlands

January 16 - The first Jews arrive in camp Vught after having been in camp Amersfoort.

January 21 - Patients of the Jewish Mental Hospital in Apeldoorn deported to Auschwitz.

January 26 - "Stahl- und Eisen Aktion", third raid on Dutch factories takes place.

March 1 - Dutch police re-organized.

March 1 - The "Landwacht", a nazi police organisation is established

March 13 - Students have to sign a declaration of loyalty to be able to continue their study.

March 15 - Shops and factories not related with food or war production have to close down.

March 22 - Working hours are extended to 54 hours a week.

March 24 - Nearly all Dutch doctors denounce their license to practice their profession.

March 27 - The registrars office in Amsterdam is set afire. A reward of fl.10,000 offered for tips leading to the arrest of the perpetrators.

March 30 - Nazis agree to the terms of Dutch doctors. Doctors resume their work.

March 31 - Allied bombardment of the Ford factories in Rotterdam. Many civilian casualties.

April 1 - Jews living in the province of Noord Brabant must report to camp Vught.

April 4 - Arrest of members of the resistance organisation "Nationaal Comité".

April 6 - Official end of the doctors resistance.

April 8 - Rotterdam bombed by English planes. Many civilian casualties.

April 8 - Resistance group who set fire to the registrars office in Amsterdam is exposed.

April 13 - A decree is released that all Jews must have left the Netherlands by 23-04-1943, with exception of those in mixed marriages.

April 17 - Bank notes are worthless after this date.

April 24 - Queen Wilhelmina declares that the hunt for people and the help of the Dutch nazi gangs is criminal and unprecendented in Dutch history.

April 28 - 112 civilians are arrested.

April 29 - Again a decree that former Dutch military personnel has to be taken to Germany as POW. They must report in Amersfoort at 07-05-1943.

April 29 - Start of the "April-Mei Strike".

April 30 - Martial law is declared for the provinces Noord-Holland, Gelderland, Overijssel and Limburg.

May 1 - "April-Mei Strike" is at its peak.

May 1 - Martial law is declared for the whole country.

May 1 - General curfew is declared. After 20.00 hours no one allowed on the streets, with the exception of persons with a permit.

May 4 - Again resistance fighters are executed, shortly after their verdict came in.

May 5 - By order of Heinrich Himmler most Jews must be deported by year's end.

May 6 - Railway sabotage at the lines between Rijssen and Wierden by the resistance to prevent Dutch soldiers to be taken to Germany as POW.

May 6 - Students who failed to sign the declaration of loyalty to the nazis must report for the "Arbeitseinsatz", forced labour.

May 7 - All men between the age of 18 - 35 years must report for the "Arbeitseinsatz", with the exception of Germans, civil servants, clergy men and former soldiers.

May 12 - Dutch bishops publish a letter of protest against the acts of terror by the nazis.

May 13 - All radiosets have to be handed over to the German authorities.

May 16 - Protestant churches protest against deportation of labourers and the Arbeitseinsatz

May 19 - Prime minister Gerbrandy in exile, calls upon soldiers and labourers not to report for the Arbeitseinsatz and declares civil servants are not allowed to cooperate with the nazis to implement these measures.

May 19 - Dutch churches protest against the sterilisation directives.

May 26 - Intensive razzia's - raids among the Jews of Amsterdam.

June 15 -All boys in the age of 18 and 19 must report to be sent to Germany, with the exception of miners, pupils and students who signed the declaration of loyalty.

June 23 - Dutch doctors protest against the death penalty.

June 26 - The resistance establishes an illegal distribution office to provide people in hidding, with false papers they need, to escape deportation or capture by the nazis.

June 26 - Many doctors are arrested because of their protest.

July 17 - Amsterdam bombed by the US Air force.

July 25 - The members of the resistance group `Zwaantje` are arrested.

August 25 - Expansion of work hours from 54 to 72 per week.

August 28 - Coastal area near Hoek van Holland, Scheveningen, IJmuiden and Den Helder are closed to civilians.

September 29 - Round-up of the last Jews of Amsterdam.

October 18 - Famous Dutch writer A.M. de Jong is murdered in Blaricum, as a matter of revenge by the N.S.B.

November 14 - First raid by the resistance on a ammunition depot in Den Bosch.

December - Finally, all Jews of mixed marriage are called up for labor camp duty. The "Jewish Question" in the Netherlands is considered solved.

§Poland

The Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto rose up for the first time on January 18th, starting the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. After almost four months without any deportations, the Germans suddenly entered the Warsaw ghetto intent upon a further deportation. Within hours, some 600 Jews were shot and 5,000 others rounded up.

The Germans expected no resistance, but preparations to resist had been going on since the previous autumn. The first instances of Jewish armed resistance began that day. The Jewish fighters had some success: the expulsion stopped after four days and the ŻOB and ŻZW resistance organizations took control of the Ghetto, building shelters and fighting posts and operating against Jewish collaborators.

March 13 - German forces liquidate the Jewish ghetto in Kraków. Hans Finke and 963 prisoners arrive in Auschwitz. 473 people are put to death in the gas chambers. 491 are assigned to slave labor.

March 26 - Operation Arsenal: The Operation Arsenal, code name: "Meksyk II" (Polish: Akcja pod Arsenałem) was the first major operation by the Szare Szeregi (Gray Ranks) Polish Underground formation during the Nazi occupation of Poland. It took place on March 26, 1943 in Warsaw. Its name was coined after the Warsaw Arsenal, in front of which the action took place.

The plan was to free the troop leader Jan Bytnar "Rudy", who was arrested together with his father by the Gestapo. 28 scouts led by Warsaw Standard Commander Stanisław Broniewski "Orsza" taking part. The initiator and the commander of the "Attack Group" was Tadeusz Zawadzki "Zośka".

The successfully conducted operation led to the release of Jan Bytnar and 24 other prisoners, including another Storm Group troop leader, Henryk Ostrowski "Henryk", and 6 women, in an attack on the prison van that was taking the inmates from Pawiak Prison to Gestapo Headquarters at Szucha Avenue.

Jan Bytnar died four days later on account of injuries sustained due to German torture. Both of his "interrogators" were assassinated by Szare Szeregi within two months.

April 19 - The final battle started on the eve of Passover, when a Nazi force consisting of several thousand troops entered the ghetto. After initial setbacks, the Germans under the field command of Jürgen Stroop systematically burned and blew up the ghetto buildings, block by block, rounding up or murdering anybody they could capture. Significant resistance ended on April 28, and the Nazi operation officially ended in mid-May, symbolically culminating with the demolition of the Great Synagogue of Warsaw on May 16. According to the official report, at least 56,065 people were killed on the spot or deported to German Nazi concentration and death camps, most of them to Treblinka.

May 8 - The Naliboki massacre was the mass killing of about 128 Poles by Soviet partisans at the village of Naliboki in Nazi-occupied Poland (now Belarus)

May 16 - Marco Nahon arrives at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

May 23 - 45 Jewish children who had survived the Kielce ghetto and concentration camps were brought to the Pakosz cemetery in Kielce, Poland and were murdered by German Nazis. The children ranged in age from 15 months to 15 years old.

May 24 – Holocaust: Josef Mengele becomes the chief medical officer of Auschwitz.

Late June - The Częstochowa Ghetto Uprising was an insurrection in Poland's Częstochowa Ghetto against German occupation forces during World War II. It resulted in some 2,000 young Jews losing their lives. August 16 - The Białystok Ghetto Uprising of World War II, was a Jewish insurrection in the Białystok Ghetto against the Nazi German occupation authorities, launched on the night of August 16, 1943. The Uprising was the second largest ghetto uprising organized in Nazi occupied Poland after the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of January 1943. It was led by the Anti-Fascist Military Organisation (Antyfaszystowska Organizacja Bojowa), a branch of the Warsaw Anti-Fascist Bloc. The revolt began upon the German announcement of mass deportations from the Ghetto. The main objective was to break the German siege and allow the maximum number of Jews to escape into the neighboring Knyszyn (Knyszyński) Forest. A group of about 300 to 500 insurgents armed with 25 rifles and 100 pistols as well as home-made Molotov cocktails for grenades, attacked the overwhelming German force with a great loss of life. Leaders of the uprising committed suicide. About 150 combatants managed to break through and run into the Knyszyn Forest where they joined other guerrilla groups.

August - the headquarters of the Armia Krajowa ordered Kedyw to prepare an armed action against German border guarding stations on the frontier between the General Government and the territories annexed by Germany.

August 2 - Treblinka prisoners in the work details rebelled. They seized small arms, sprayed kerosene on all the buildings and set them ablaze. A number of guards were killed but many more prisoners perished. Of 1,500 prisoners, about 600 managed to escape the camp, but only 40 are known to have survived until the end of the war.

August 19 - Last Jewish transport to Treblinka. All of the deportees on the transport are killed upon arrival.

September 7 - Operation Bürkl (operacja Bürkl), or the special combat action Bürkl (specjalna akcja bojowa Bürkl), was an operation by the Polish resistance conducted on September 7, 1943. It was the second action of Operation Heads, a series of assassinations of notorious SS officers in Warsaw carried out by the Kedyw's special group Agat ("Anti-Gestapo") between 1943 and 1944, and their first success.

The goal of the operation was to "liquidate" Franz Bürkl, a notorious Sicherheitspolizei officer who had been sentenced to death by the Polish Special Courts for the murder of at least several dozen people. Bürkl was ambushed in broad daylight on the city's main Marszałkowska Street by a group of five young AK fighters armed with Sten submachine guns and Filipinka hand grenades. The assassins, led by 21-year-old Jerzy Zborowski, were recruited for Agat from the underground scouting organization Szare Szeregi. Bürkl and seven other German policemen were killed in the 90-second shoot-out. While the operation resulted in no losses for the resistance, the Nazis killed 20 inmates of Pawiak in a public execution in reprisal.

October 19 - Killing operations at Treblinka II were ended on October 19, 1943, following a revolt by its Sonderkommandos. Several German guards were killed when 300 prisoners escaped. The camp was then dismantled and a farmhouse was built in an attempt to hide the evidence of genocide.

§Switzerland

April 16th, Dr. Albert Hofmann accidentally discovered the psychedelic properties of LSD. His research in lysergic acid, the central shared component of ergot alkaloids, eventually led to the synthesis of LSD-25 in 1938. It was five years later, on repeating synthesis of the almost forgotten substance, that Dr. Hofmann discovered the psychedelic effects of LSD after accidentally absorbing some through his fingertips on April 16th.

In his autobiography, LSD, My Problem Child, Hofmann wrote:

"I was forced to interrupt my work in the laboratory in the middle of the afternoon and proceed home, being affected by a remarkable restlessness, combined with a slight dizziness. At home I lay down and sank into a not unpleasant intoxicated-like condition, characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination. In a dreamlike state, with eyes closed (I found the daylight to be unpleasantly glaring), I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors. After some two hours this condition faded away."

Three days later, on April 19 (later known as Bicycle Day, after his bicycle ride home that day while under LSD's influence), Hofmann deliberately consumed 250 micrograms of LSD, and experienced far more intense effects (see: LSD for details). This was followed by a series of self-experiments conducted by Hofmann and his colleagues. He first wrote about these experiments on April 22 of the same year.

He became director of the natural products department at Sandoz and went on studying hallucinogenic substances found in Mexican mushrooms and other plants used by the aboriginal people. This led to the synthesis of psilocybin, the active agent of many "magic mushrooms."

Hofmann also became interested in the seeds of the Mexican morning glory species Rivea corymbosa, the seeds of which are called Ololiuhqui by the natives. He was surprised to find the active compound of Ololiuhqui, ergine (lysergic acid amide), to be closely related to LSD.

§Yugoslavia

December 4 - In Yugoslavia, resistance leader Marshal Tito proclaims a provisional democratic Yugoslav government in-exile.

§India

February 10 – March 3 – Mohandas Gandhi keeps a hunger strike to protest his imprisonment.

§North America

§United States

On January 4th, Earl Warren, future Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, became governor of California.

January 7 - Electrical engineer Nikola Tesla is found dead in his New York hotel room at age 86. He was alone, rather poor and surely forgotten. He kept his notes locked, and rumors exist that secret agents of various governments took these notes right after his death, at least to investigate his strange claims towards the end of his life (e.g., death rays that could make whole armies vanish in seconds, communication with other planets, and oscillator that could split the earth) A few efforts have been carried out to establish proper fame for Tesla, but he still remains largely unknown.

On February 9th, shoe rationing went into effect.

February 11 – General Eisenhower is selected to command the Allied armies in Europe.

March 26 – WWII – Battle of the Komandorski Islands: In the Aleutian Islands, the battle begins when United States Navy forces intercept Japanese troops attempting to reinforce a garrison at Kiska.

May 11 – WWII: American troops invade Attu in the Aleutian Islands, in an attempt to expel occupying Japanese forces. Japan had taken this island the previous year. The battle to retake the Aleutian islands claimed more American lives than the Battle of Pearl Harbor.

May 12 – The Trident Conference begins in Washington, D.C., with Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill taking part.

May 19 – Winston Churchill addresses a joint session of the U.S. Congress.

May 29 – Norman Rockwell's illustration of Rosie the Riveter first appears on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post.

May 31 – The Zoot Suit Riots erupt between military personnel and Mexican American youths in East Los Angeles.

September 8 - United States General Dwight D. Eisenhower publicly announces the surrender of Italy to the Allies.

§U.S. Entertainment

March 4 – The 15th Academy Awards ceremony is held in Los Angeles.

March 31 – Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! opens on Broadway, heralds a new era in "integrated" stage musicals, becomes an instantaneous stage classic, and goes on to be Broadway's longest-running musical up to that time (1948).

December 3 – Edward R. Murrow delivers his classic "Orchestrated Hell" broadcast over CBS Radio, describing a Royal Air Force nighttime bombing raid on Berlin.

December 4 - The Great Depression officially ends in the United States: With unemployment figures falling fast due to World War II-related employment, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt closes the Works Progress Administration.

§U.S. Industry

The TWA Constellation flown in prototype January 9 has a pressurized cabin that permits it to fly at altitudes of 25,000 to 35,000 feet and at speeds of up to 340 miles per hour

President Roosevelt orders Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes to take over strike-threatened soft coal mines. United Mine Workers boss John L. Lewis defies threats to send in troops, saying, "They can't dig coal with bayonets."

The Federal Communications Commission votes 5 to 2 May 3 to make NBC divest itself of one of its two radio networks to avoid a monopoly in broadcasting, Life Savers cofounder and Rexall Drug Store chain owner Edward J. Noble writes a check for $8 million October 12 to acquire NBC's 16-year-old Blue Network, which comprises three wholly owned stations and more than 200 affiliates

The United States Army contracts with the University of Pennsylvania's Moore School to develop the computer ENIAC.

Styrofoam is invented by Dow Chemical engineer Ray McIntire

August - The 1,383-mile "Big Inch" pipeline completed and carries 300,000 barrels (12 million gallons) of Texas crude oil daily to New Jersey and Pennsylvania refineries through 20- and 24-inch pipes, doing the work of 25,000 railcars in constant service.

§Russia

Soviet officials announced they had broken the Wehrmacht's siege of Leningrad on January 18th. German casualties took a sudden jump with the defeat of the Sixth Army at Stalingrad in January 1943, when 180,310 soldiers were killed in one month.

January 13 - Operation Little Saturn: The second stage of operations opened with an attack by four armies of General Golikov's Voronezh Front that encircled and destroyed the Hungarian Second Army near Svoboda on the Don. As a consequence the Hungarian Second Army, as most other Axis armies in the Army Group B, ceased to represent a meaningful fighting force.

January 17 - On the evening of January 17, the commanding officer of the corps General Gabriele Nasci finally ordered the full retreat.

February 2 – WWII: In Russia, the Battle of Stalingrad comes to an end with the surrender of the German 6th Army commanded by Friedrich Von Paulus.

By February first the Alpini reached the Kharkov area, where the Axis forces successfully organized a line of defense. But they did pay a high price in Russia. The 4 Alpine Division Cuneense was annihilated. Only about one tenth of the 3 Alpine Division Julia survived (approximately 1200 survivors of 15000 troops deployed) and only about one third of the 2 Alpine Division Tridentina survived (approximately 4250 survivors of 15000 troops deployed).

February 5 - Troops of the Voronezh Front were approaching Kursk and Kharkov important for their oil supplies. Without these important oil centers Russia would be wiped out.

February 14 – Rostov-na-Donu, Russia is liberated.

February 16 – WWII: The Soviet Union reconquers Kharkov, but is later driven out in the Third Battle of Kharkov

March 22 – WWII: The entire population of Khatyn in Belarus is burnt alive by the German occupation forces.

May 15 – The Comintern is dissolved in Moscow.

§Scandinavia

§Denmark

August 29 – WWII: Germany dissolves the Danish government after it refuses to deal with a wave of strikes and disturbances to the satisfaction of the German authorities

October 1-2 - The Germans seized fewer than 500 Jews. They were sent to Theresienstadt and remained there until the Spring of 1945

§South America

§Argentina

On January 11th, General Juanto died and was succeeded by Ramón Castillo.

June 4 – A military coup d'état in Argentina ousts Ramón Castillo.

§Bolivia

December 20 – A military coup is staged in Bolivia. Enrique Peñaranda, President of Bolivia, is overthrown by Gualberto Villarroel López.

§Brazil

The Estado Novo in 1943 ordered the compulsory enlisting of workers in the Serviço Especial de Mobilização de Trabalhadores para a Amazônia (SEMTA; "Special Service of Mobilization of Workers for the Amazon"), based in the northeast, in Fortaleza. The choice of the Northeast as the center was a response to a devastating drought in the region and to the unprecedented crisis that the farmers in the region confronted.

April 3 – Shipwrecked steward Poon Lim is rescued by Brazilian fishermen after being adrift for 130 days.

§South Pacific

§Australia

May 14 – The Australian Hospital Ship Centaur is sunk off the coast of Queensland, by a Japanese submarine.

§Singapore

October 10 - The Kempeitai, Japanese Military Police occupying Singapore, arrested and tortured fifty-seven civilians and civilian internees on suspicion of their involvement in a raid on Singapore Harbor that had been carried out by Anglo–Australian commandos from Operation Jaywick. Six Japanese ships were sunk, but none of those arrested and tortured had participated in the raid, nor had any knowledge of it. Fifteen of them died in Singapore's Changi Prison.

After the war ended, twenty-one of the Kempeitai involved were charged with war crimes. Eight received the death sentence, seven were acquitted, and the remainder were given prison sentences varying from one year to life.

§Solomon Islands - Guadalcanal

The Japanese abandoned further efforts to retake Guadalcanal and successfully evacuated their remaining forces from the island by February 7, 1943, leaving the island in Allied hands. Japanese strength on the island waned due to attrition and shortages of supplies brought on by the build-up of Allied ships and aircraft. The U.S. XIV Corps began offensive operations on 10 January 1943, and by 8 February they had forced the remaining Japanese to be evacuated from Cape Esperance. January 15, the Japanese are driven off Guadalcanal. American authorities declared Guadalcanal secure on 9 February 1943, after more than six months of combat: General Alexander Patch signaled his superiors: "Tokyo Express no longer has terminus on Guadalcanal."

The lack of supply on both sides meant that combat was especially intense and characterized by extreme desperation. The Japanese used fear as a tactic by placing the severed heads of dead Americans on pikes and planting them around the Marine perimeter. Additionally, neither side took many prisoners. Disease also played a significant role in the ground campaign, as both the Japanese and American forces were weakened by malaria in the insect-infested jungles. Both sides had difficulty maintaining their supplies to the island, the Japanese particularly, to the extent that island became also known as 'Starvation Island' to them.


Marines rest at Guadalcanal

The Guadalcanal campaign marked the first significant strategic combined arms victory by Allied forces over Japanese forces in the Pacific theatre. This campaign marked the beginning of the transition by Allied forces from defensive operations to the strategic offensive while the forces of Japan were thereafter forced to cease strategic offensive operations and instead concentrate on strategic defense.

The Guadalcanal campaign was costly to Japan both strategically and in material losses. Japan lost control of the Solomons Islands and the ability to interdict Allied shipping to Australia. Japan's major base at Rabaul was now directly threatened by allied air power. Most importantly, scarce Japanese land, air, and naval forces had disappeared forever into the Guadalcanal jungle and surrounding sea. The Japanese aircraft and ships destroyed and sunk in this campaign were irreplaceable, as were their highly-trained and veteran crews. It thus can be argued that this Allied victory was the first step in a long string of successes that eventually led to the surrender of Japan and the occupation of the Japanese home islands.

The Battle of Guadalcanal was one of the first prolonged campaigns in the Pacific. The campaign was a battle of attrition that strained the logistical capabilities of both sides. For the U.S. this need prompted the development of effective combat air transport for the first time. Japan was forced to rely on reinforcement by barges, destroyers, and submarines, with very uneven results. Early in the campaign the Americans were hindered by a lack of resources due to the "Germany First" policy of the United States. However, as the campaign continued, and the American public became more and more aware of the plight and perceived heroism of the American forces on Guadalcanal, more forces were dispatched to the area. This spelled trouble for Japan as its military-industrial complex was unable to match the output of American industry and manpower. Thus, as the campaign wore on the Japanese were losing irreplaceable units while the Americans were rapidly replacing and even augmenting their forces.

After Guadalcanal the Japanese were clearly on the defensive in the Pacific. The constant need to reinforce Guadalcanal had weakened Japanese efforts in other theatres, contributing to a successful Australian counteroffensive in New Guinea which culminated in the capture of the key bases of Buna and Gona in early 1943. In June, the Allies launched Operation Cartwheel, which initiated a strategy of isolating the major Japanese forward base, at Rabaul, and concentrated on cutting its sea lines of communication. This prepared the way for the island hopping campaigns of General Douglas MacArthur in the South West Pacific and Admiral Chester Nimitz in the Central Pacific towards Japan.

According to U.S. historian Gerhard L. Weinberg, Guadalcanal's broader effect on the war has often been overlooked. Japan's leaders planned a major offensive in the Indian Ocean and so notified their German ally, but the ships and planes required for the undertaking were instead drained into the Guadalcanal quagmire. At the time Guadalcanal began, Britain was struggling to hold the Afrika Korps away from the Suez Canal. Resupply and reinforcements who contributed to the victory at El Alamein could be sent because the Indian Ocean was still open to Allied shipping.

In addition, vital Lend-Lease supplies from the U.S were able to travel through the Indian Ocean and across Iran just as the Soviet Union was struggling to defeat Germany's Operation Blue. British power in India was at its weakest in 1942; the Axis' one and only chance of toppling the Raj, and severing the last supply routes to Nationalist China, slipped away in the Southwest Pacific.

§Deaths

  • January 7 - Nikola Tesla, alone in room 3327 of the New Yorker Hotel, died from coronary thrombosis, aged 86.

§Sources

Pages: 26-29

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