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1942

Jan 2  Japan captures Manila.

Jan 4  The Red Army is counterattacking and retakes Kaluga about 100 kilometers southwest of Moscow.

Jan 11  Japan declares war against the Netherlands and lands forces in the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) and Borneo. Japan lands forces on New Guinea, threatening Australia.

Jan 18  The Red Army cuts the main supply route for the German 2nd and 10th Corps at Demyansk, about 100 miles south of Leningrad, forcing the Luftwaffe to begin flying in supplies.

Jan 19  Japan invades Burma. Second Generation Japanese members of Hawaii's National Guard are discharged and classified as "enemy-aliens."

Jan 21  In Libya, Germans under the command of Erwin Rommel start a drive to push the British eastward toward Egypt and the Suez Canal.

Jan 23  On the US mainland, Japanese-Americans are segregated out of US Army units.

Jan 25  Fuel supply ends for Leningrad's last operating power station. Young volunteers forming a chain must haul water from the Neva River for the bakeries making what bread they can for the city's starving inhabitants. With no place for warmth, crows, gulls and pigeons have disappeared. Sparrows and starlings have starved and some have been seen dropping like stones, freezing to death in flight across the Neva. What is bad for the birds is bad for people. People are eating their pets. Evidence of cannibalism has appeared.

Feb 2  Many in Egypt, including its king, Farouk, look forward to Germany driving out the British. The British surround Farouk's palace with tanks and force the king to appoint Nahas Pasha prime minister of Egypt.

Feb 2  A column in the Los Angeles Times argues that a Japanese-American "almost inevitably ... grows up to be a Japanese, not an American."

Feb 3  At West Hollywood Grammar School, in California, there are children from the hills above Sunset Boulevard, including Beverly Hills, and there are children from the community of adobe homes with dirt floors just below Santa Monica Boulevard, next to the streetcar barns. The children I knew didn't think anything about economic status. Being friendly and doing well on the playground is what mattered. It did not registered that friends, Sanchez and Enriquita, were living in a house with a dirt floor. I had never been there. We were not that close. It did not register either that the Japanese gardener on our block was no longer around.

Feb 8  Japan lands a force at Singapore.

Feb 16  In Tokyo, Prime Minister Tojo describes a "new order of coexistence" for East Asia.

Feb 18  Japan lands troops on the island of Bali.

Feb 23   A Japanese submarine shells an oil refinery near Santa Barbara, California, causing little damage.

Feb 26  The German physicist Werner Heisenberg informs the Hitler regime about a new wonder weapon (Wunderwaffen) –an atomic weapon.

Feb 28  Japan lands troops on Java.

Mar 2  The western halves of California, Oregon and Washington and the southern third of Arizona are designated as military areas. 

Mar 7  Japanese troops land in New Guinea.

Mar 8  The Japanese have taken control of the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia). They announce a new era of peace and prosperity and the closing of all banks and European schools. Dutch males are put into camps.

Mar 17  General Douglas MacArthur arrives in Australia, from the Philippines.

Mar 21  Jews are removed from their ghetto in Lublin, Poland, and sent to extermination camps.

Mar 23  The US government begins moving Japanese-Americans to internment camps from war zone areas on the Pacific Coast, but not from the Territory of Hawaii, where they are more numerous.  

Mar 27  The deportation of Jews from France to the extermination camp at Auschwitz, in Poland, begins. From elsewhere in Europe, since February, box cars carrying Jews have been arriving at Auschwitz. The Jews there are sixty percent of the prison population. 

Mar 28  Subhash Chandra Bose was disappointed by Hitler and critical of Hitler's treatment of Jews and invasion of the Soviet Union. On a submarine, Bose has journeyed to Japan, and, in Tokyo, Bose calls for the creation of an army for the liberation of India.

Mar 31  A campaign to free Leningrad has failed, with an official death toll of 20,000. Soviet officials are ashamed of events regarding Leningrad and of all failures. Some claim that the death toll was as high as 300,000.

Apr 9  Russian troops attack at Kerch on the eastern edge of the Crimean Peninsula.

Apr 10  The 65-mile Bataan Death March begins.

Apr 18  Sixteen small bomber aircraft from a US aircraft carrier strike Tokyo and other cities, doing little material damage, but it gives Americans a couple of days with something to cheer about.

Apr 27  In Belgium, Jews are ordered to wear stars.

May 1  Heavy fighting also continues around Leningrad.

May 1  Daily air battles around Port Moresby, in New Guinea just north of Australia, have reduced the Australian air squadron there to just three airworthy machines.

May 6  A force of about 1,000 Filipinos and Americans on the island fortress of Corregidor Island, in Manila Bay, surrender to the Japanese.

May 8  A seven-day naval battle in the Coral Sea is somewhat of a draw, except that it averts a seaborne invasion near Port Moresby.

May 8  Rather than Moscow, Hitler aims to secure the oil fields and passes in the Caucasus region of the Soviet Union. A part of this southern strategy is to take the port of Sevastopol in the Crimea. His commander on the Eastern Front, Halder, dislikes Hitler's new offensive, questioning the wisdom of such a deep penetration into Soviet territory.  

May 12  A German U-boat sinks an American cargo ship at the mouth of Mississippi River.

May 12  The Soviet Army launches an assault to take back the city of Kharkov, about 640 kilometers (400 miles) west of Stalingrad.

May 12  1,500 Jews are gassed at Auschwitz.

May 14   British troops retreating from Burma reach India.

May 15  Gasoline rationing begins in 17 states in the United States. 

May 20  Japan has finished its conquest of Burma.

May 20  The Germans have eliminated the Soviet army in the Crimea.  Around 170,000 Russians have been taken prisoner.

May 29   Germans have encircled the Kharkov region of the Soviet Union. The Red Army has lost over 250,000 men including many as prisoners.

Jun 1  The Unites States begins sending Lend-Lease materials to the Soviet Union.

Jun 2  Two Czech commandos, who have parachuted into their homeland, wound Germany's governor in Prague, Reinhard Heydrich.

Jun 4-7  The Battle of Midway, a clear sign of progress for the US in the first year of their war. Japanese have attempted to lure the US naval fleet into a trap in order to eliminate US aircraft carriers and naval supremacy in the Pacific. And they planned to push their defense perimeter farther eastward across the Pacific – a step toward invading the Hawaiian Islands. Superior intelligence sources have given the United States an advantage. The US outmaneuvers the Japanese and wins the Battle of Midway, permanently damaging the striking power of Japan's navy. From now on the US Navy will be on the offensive in the Pacific.

Jun 7  Japan invades Attu and Kiska islands in the Aleutians.

Jun 10  Reinhard Heydrich dies of his wounds. The Germans retaliate by massacring 173 male residents of Lidice. 

Jun 11  Germans court-martial their army captain, Michael Kitzelmann, winner of an Iron Cross Second Class for bravery. To his fellow officers he has called those Germans committing atrocities "criminals." He is shot by a firing squad.

Jun 12  In Amsterdam, Anne Frank receives a diary as a present for her thirteenth birthday.

Jun 21  A Japanese submarine lobs 17 shells at Fort Stevens, Oregon, where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean. No damage done. No return fire.

Jun 21  Rommel defeats the British at Tobruk and races into Egypt. The war between Germany and the Soviet Union enters its second year. The Soviet Union will lose 8.7 million military personnel in the war, which is to last 46 months. This is more than 6,200 lost per day. The Germans would lose 2,415,690 military men against the Soviet Union – an average of about 1, 700 per day.

Jun 22  Germans begin "resettling" Jews from the Warsaw ghetto (a walled Jewish community equivalent to 11 kilometers or 7 miles square). Anyone trying to leave the ghetto or refusing resettlement is to be shot.  Exempt are those Jews working for German institutions and companies.

Jul 1  In the Crimea, German troops capture the naval base and port city of Sevastopol.

Jul 13 At  Rovno, in the Polish Ukraine, Germans execute 5,000 Jews. At Josefov, in Poland, Germans shoot 1,500 Jews.

Jul 15  The Burma Road to China having been cut, US transport planes make their first flight of supplies from India, across high mountains, "the hump," to China.

Jul 16  A half-dozen German Catholic church leaders protest. In Paris, French police gather 12,887 and send them to the Drancy Internment Camp outside the city. Jews from the Netherlands are being sent to their deaths.

Jul 18  A German jet-propelled aircraft makes its first flight.

Jul 21  The Japanese begin landing a force of 8,000 men in New Guinea, at Buna, a hundred miles northeast of Port Moresby. Fighting by Australians to stop Japan's advance toward Port Moresby begins.

Jul 24  In southern Russia, Germans capture Rostov-on-Don, clearing their way to the Caucasus.

Jul 27  The British have stopped Rommel's drive to the Suez Canal – the 1st Battle of Alamein – about 100 miles short of Alexandria, Egypt. Rommel will not occupy the grand suite reserved for him at Cairo's famous Shepherd's Hotel.

Jul 28-31  Germans kill an estimated 10,000 Jews in Minsk, Byelorussia.

Aug 3   The filming of "Casablanca" with Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart, is finished. 

Aug 4  The first train load of Jews from Belgium departs for Auschwitz.

Aug 7  The Nazi 36th Police Battalion, made up of ethnic Estonians, massacre some 2,500 Jews at Novogrudok, Byelorussia.

Aug 7  United States Marines land on Guadalcanal, the first US amphibious landing of the war.

Aug 8  With the Japanese at India's border, Britain has attempted to negotiate with India's leaders. Mahatma Gandhi has asked all Indians to be ready to sacrifice their life for freedom from British rule, to "do or die, " and he has asked the British to "quit India." The All-India Congress agrees with the "quit India" declaration and demands complete independence for India immediately.

Aug 9  The British imprison Gandhi and fifty members of the All-India Congress, including Jawaharlal Nehru. The British declare all Congress Committees illegal. 

Aug 10-11  Following a minor fight between rival gangs of Chicanos, thirty-four members of the "38th Street Gang" are arrested. A young Mexican national, José Diaz,  is found dead, evidence eventually suggesting that his death is not related to the gang fight. In Los Angeles newspapers, Diaz's death is associated with a crime wave by "Mexican Goon Squads" and "Pachuko Killers." Police respond by rounding up and incarcerating around 600 "Zoot Suiter" Mexicans, charging them with suspicion of assault or suspicion of robbery. Some support the round up as necessary for national security, claiming that the "zoot-suiters" are a pro-fascist "fifth column" within the United States.

Aug 11  Vichy government official Pierre Laval publicly declares that "the hour of liberation for France is the hour when Germany wins the war."

Aug 13  The "Quit India" movement begins, with calls for boycotting British goods and disassociation with British factories, public services and other programs. Demonstrations and labor strikes against the British break out across India.  

Aug 13  Walt Disney's animated feature "Bambi" premiers at Radio City Music Hall in New York.

Aug 22  Brazil declares war on Germany and Italy.

Aug 23  On this warm day In southern Russia, by the Volga River, Germans begin to assault the major Soviet industrial city of Stalingrad.

Aug 26  In Vichy France, 7000 Jews are rounded up.

Aug 26  A Russian offensive west of Moscow has pushed the Germans back 15-20 miles.

Aug 26  Japanese troops land at Milne Bay in New Guinea.

Aug 31  The British army under General Bernard Law Montgomery defeats Field Marshal Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps in the Battle of Alam Halfa in Egypt.

Aug  Colonel Anwar Sadat, 24, has been dismissed from Egypt's army and imprisoned by the British for plotting with the Germans.

Sep 1  The German army has reached as far south as Mozdok, about 100 kilometers (62 miles) northwest of Groznyy, at the edge of the Caucasus Mountains – one richest petroleum-producing areas of the Soviet Union. 

Sep 4  Soviet planes bomb Budapest, the first air raid on Hungary's capital.

Sep 9  A Japanese float plane, launched from a submarine, drops incendiary bombs on a US forest near Brookings, Oregon. The forests fail to ignite. Blackout drills are stepped-up along the the US Pacific Coast.

Sep 23  The Russians launch a counter-offensive at Stalingrad. For Germany the tide of war now turns to defeat.

Sep -- More than 400 villagers die of bubonic plague in China's eastern Zhejiang province after Japanese warplanes drop "germ" bombs.

Sep -- In Albania the Communist Party organizes a National Liberation Movement as a popular front resistance organization.

Oct -- Conducting war against the Soviet Union was not the snap Hitler had imagined. Germany has discovered a great need of additional labor power. The country's number two, Hermann Georing, issues a directive that rather than executing hostile Belarussian men they are to be sent as forced laborers to Germany. The policy of exterminating all Jews has been amended for the same reason.

Oct 23  At El Alamein, in Egypt, the British begin an offensive with perhaps the greatest artillery barrage since World War I.

Oct 27  In Starachowice, Poland, Germans separate weak Jews from the strong. The strong are sent to work and the weak are sent to the extermination camp at Treblinka.

Oct 29  The Alaska highway is completed. Nazis murder some 16,000 Jews in the Soviet city of Pinsk.

Oct  Captain E Duran Ayres, chief of the Foreign Relations Bureau of the Los Angeles sheriff's office, submits to a committee of the Grand Jury a report that describes Mexicans as essentially Orientals and therefore with less regard for human life than Europeans. Mexicans, he claims, have inherited "naturally violent" tendencies from Mexico's "bloodthirsty Aztecs."  The Aztecs, he observes, tore out the hearts of their victims with stone knives. Mexicans, he adds, have "a desire to use a knife or some lethal weapon." They have a desire to kill or at least to "let blood."  In Los Angeles the "Sleeply Lagoon" trial begins. Twenty-four are charged with the murder of José Diaz. The actor Anthony Quinn helps organize a defense committee.

Nov 4  The British offensive at El Alamein ends after thirteen days – a major victory for British forces commanded by Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery.  German forces under Erwin Rommel retreats during the night, eastward to Tunesia's highlands.

Nov 8  United States and British forces, under the command of General Eisenhower, land at Casablanca, in the French colony of Morocco. The British land at Oran and British and Americans land at Algiers in the French colony of Algeria, at the rear of Rommel's army in Tunisia. Resistance to the invasion is light despite General Eisenhower having estimated a less than 50 percent chance of success. Vichy France breaks diplomatic relations with the United States. In a Munich beer hall, Hitler proclaims the fall of Stalingrad. 

Nov 11  In response to the Anglo-American landings in Morocco and Algeria, German troops are being flown from Sicily to Tunsia. Germans and Italians move to take control of what had been unoccupied France. Montgomery's army has moved from Egypt into eastern Libya and retake Tobruk. Also on this day, 745 French Jews are deported to Auschwitz.

Nov 13-15  A series of combined air and sea engagements produce losses for both sides. Japan navy gives up trying to send reinforcements to Guadalcanal and the army gives up hope of retaking the island. US killed in action in and around Guadalcanal at this point is close to 1,500.

Nov 14   Last Vichy French troops in Algeria surrender. In Operation Torch the United States Army has lost 526 killed, 837 wounded and 41 missing.

Nov 19  The Red Army opens its winter offensive with a pincer movement around the German army at Stalingrad. They overrun and scatter the Romanian 3rd and 4th Army.

Nov 29  Germans begin in earnest an attempt to deliver supplies to over 200,000 men trapped at Stalingrad.

Dec 1  In the United States, nationwide gasoline rationing begins.

Dec 2  At the University of Chicago, Enrico Fermi and others initiate a self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction.

Dec 10  With torpedoes, the Italian navy sinks four supply ships in the port of Algiers. Montgomery's army, after a rest and refitting, starts to advance westward across Libya.

Dec 12  In the United States, J. Edgar Hoover's FBI restarts its file on Charlie Chaplin, which describes Chaplin as wanting more help for the Soviet Union's war effort and tolerance and understanding for its Communist system. 

Dec 16  Mussolini believes that a two-front war is not winnable and sends an envoy to Hitler to discuss a possible peace settlement with the Soviet Union. Soviet forces overrun Italian and Roman troops at the River Don, about 160 kilometers (100 miles) northwest of Stalingrad. Along the southern front in Russia, Germans forces are spread thin and without reserves for adequate backup counter-offensives.

Dec 16  The deportation of persons of mixed "Gypsy blood" from Germany to Auschwitz begins.

Dec 17  Britain's foreign secretary, Anthony Eden, tells the House of Commons about Germany's policy of exterminating Jews. He reads a United Nations (Allied) declaration condemning the policy "in the strongest possible terms." Members of the House rise for a minute of silence in sympathy with the victims.

Dec 21  British troops re-enter Burma.

Dec 25  Pope Pius XII issues an encyclical vaguely critical of Germany but with no explicit mention of Jews. It is the position of the Holy Sea in the interest of remaining neutral regarding the war not to mention particular atrocities. The Pope's message is that Jesus "promises mercy, love, and peace" to the countless who have been suffering "in the tempestuous strife and hate of our stormy days."

Dec 30  Five thousand screaming girls shout "Frankie! Frankie!" when Frank Sinatra appears with Benny Goodman's band at New York's Paramount Theater.

Dec 31  Germany's attempt to send supplies to Stalingrad is failing. Soviet anti-aircraft fire and fighter plane interceptions are downing German transport aircraft. Only ten percent of the needed supplies are being delivered.

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Copyright © 2006-2015 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.