75 Years Ago—Feb. 9 1943: US secures Guadalcanal; in the campaign, 1700 Americans and 40,000 Japanese were killed. President Roosevelt orders a 48-hr work week in war plants.
Posts Categorized: Today WWII History
75 Years Ago—Feb. 8, 1943: First Chindit Raid begins: Brig. Orde Wingate’s Chindits (British and Indian troops) leave Imphal, India to raid Japanese supply lines in Burma. Soviets launch offensive in Ukraine, take Kursk. USS Hunter, the US Navy Training School for WAVES at Hunter College, opens in the Bronx, NY.
75 Years Ago—Feb. 7, 1943: In Allied Convoy SC-118 off Iceland, a wolf-pack attack by German U-boats leads to the loss of seven Allied ships and one U-boat. US announces shoe rationing will begin on February 9—three leather pairs per person per year. (See Make It Do—Shoe Rationing in World War II).
75 Years Ago—Feb. 6, 1943: In Italy, Mussolini removes his son-in-law, Count Galeazzo Ciano, as foreign minister and takes over his duties. US movie premiere of Disney’s Saludos Amigos in Boston (premiered in Rio de Janeiro 8/24/42).
75 Years Ago—Feb. 5, 1943: Nazis begin liquidating Bialystok ghetto; 1000 Jews killed, 10,000 sent to Treblinka extermination camp.
75 Years Ago—Feb. 4, 1943: Gen. Bernard Montgomery’s British Eighth Army crosses from Libya into Tunisia. US European Theater of Operations (ETO) branches into North African Theater of Operations (NATO) in North Africa and Mediterranean under Lt. Gen. Dwight Eisenhower and ETO (Britain, Iceland, and continental Europe except Spain and Italy) under Gen. Frank Andrews.
75 Years Ago—Feb. 3, 1943: US Army troop transport Dorchester is sunk by German U-boat U-223 off Greenland, 675/904 killed; four chaplains of different faiths give away their life jackets and go down with the ship, arms linked and offering prayers. Britain allows 5000 Bulgarian Jews, mostly children, to emigrate to Palestine.
75 Years Ago—Feb. 2, 1943: German Sixth Army surrenders to Soviets in Stalingrad—91,000 prisoners are taken, of whom only 5000 survive the war. Australians counterattack at Wau, New Guinea.
75 Years Ago—Feb. 1, 1943: Japanese begin evacuation of 13,000 troops from Guadalcanal. Mussolini dismisses Gen. Ugo Cavallero as head of Italian armed forces (Comando Supremo), replaces him with Gen. Vittorio Ambrosio. US forms 442nd Regimental Combat Team for Japanese-American soldiers, including internees.
75 Years Ago—Jan. 31, 1943: Karl Dönitz takes command of German Navy and is promoted to Grossadmiral, maintaining his position as Commander of U-Boats. Soviets take southern pocket in Stalingrad and capture Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus, commander of German Sixth Army. Germans take Faïd and Pichon Passes in Tunisia.