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Today in
World War II History

Today in World War II History—January 6, 1943

French Gen. Philippe Leclerc in command in France, 1944 (US Office of War Information photo)

French Gen. Philippe Leclerc in command in France, 1944 (US Office of War Information photo)

80 Years Ago—Jan. 6, 1943: British & Indian troops renew offensive on Arakan Peninsula in Burma.

In Africa, Free French troops advancing north from Chad under Gen. Philippe Leclerc take Oum-el-Arameb in southern Libya.

Today in World War II History—January 5, 1943

Cutaway and exploded view of a typical VT Fuze (VT Fuze Mk 53 Mod 5), 1950s (US Navy diagram)

Cutaway and exploded view of a typical VT Fuze (VT Fuze Mk 53 Mod 5), 1950s (US Navy diagram)

Patch of the US Fifth Army, WWII

Patch of the US Fifth Army, WWII

80 Years Ago—Jan. 5, 1943: US Fifth Army is established in Oujda, Morocco, under Lt. Gen. Mark Clark.

In the Solomon Islands, light cruiser USS Helena is the first ship to use Mk. 32 VT proximity-fuzed 5-in shells in combat, shooting down a Japanese D3A bomber with second salvo.

Scientist George Washington Carver dies in Tuskegee, AL, age 81.

Today in World War II History—January 4, 1943

California Governor Earl Warren with a small boy dressed as a prospector, during the California Centennial Celebration, 1948-50 (California State Archives: VB3:P37(2))

California Governor Earl Warren with a small boy dressed as a prospector, during the California Centennial Celebration, 1948-50 (California State Archives: VB3:P37(2))

80 Years Ago—Jan. 4, 1943: Polish resistance attacks Germans in Czestochowa but fails, 251 killed.

In Italy, the mayors of Florence and Padua are fired by the Fascist Party for failing to implement antisemitic laws.

Earl Warren is inaugurated for first of three terms as California governor, but declines to have a ceremony due to the war.

Josef Stalin appears on the cover of Time Magazine as 1942 Man of the Year.

Today in World War II History—January 3, 1943

German Army 7.5 cm Gebirgsgeschütz 36 mountain gun in the Caucasus Mountains, southern Russia, 21 Jan 1943 (German Federal Archive: Bild 183-B23252)

German Army 7.5 cm Gebirgsgeschütz 36 mountain gun in the Caucasus Mountains, southern Russia, 21 Jan 1943 (German Federal Archive: Bild 183-B23252)

80 Years Ago—Jan. 3, 1943: Soviets take Mozdok and Malgobek in the Caucasus region of Russia.

In Tunisia, Germans defeat French and take Fondouk Pass.

Today in World War II History—January 2, 1943

80 Years Ago—Jan. 2, 1943: In Libya, the port of Tripoli is closed to Axis ships due to Allied bombing.

New songs in Top Ten: “Moonlight Becomes You,” “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To.”

Today in World War II History—January 1, 1943

Program for the 1943 Rose Bowl Game (Savannah Morning News)

Program for the 1943 Rose Bowl Game (Savannah Morning News)

80 Years Ago—Jan. 1, 1943: The Rose Bowl returns to Pasadena: Georgia beats UCLA 9-0 in both schools’ first appearance in the Rose Bowl and UCLA’s first bowl game.

Incoming California Gov. Earl Warren (and future Supreme Court Justice) serves as Tournament of Roses grand marshal, but the parade is canceled again due to the war; Tournament theme is “We’re in to Win.”

Premiere of Disney cartoon “Der Fuehrer’s Face,” starring Donald Duck.

Today in World War II History—December 31, 1942

Painting of the Battle of the Barents Sea, 31 December 1942, by Irwin J. Kappes, 2009; the ship depicted is the German destroyer Friedrich Eckoldt (Via Wikipedia Creative Commons)

Painting of the Battle of the Barents Sea, 31 December 1942, by Irwin J. Kappes, 2009; the ship depicted is the German destroyer Friedrich Eckoldt (Via Wikipedia Creative Commons)

80 Years Ago—Dec. 31, 1942: Battle of the Barents Sea: German cruiser force fails to stop Allied convoy JW-51B, the last major German naval sortie with surface ships; this defeat will lead to Grand Adm. Erich Raeder’s resignation from command of the German Navy.

Submarine USS Nautilus evacuates 29 civilians from Teop Island in the Solomons, including 14 nuns who had evaded the Japanese for 9 months.

Times Square New Year’s ball drop is replaced with a moment of silence due to the blackout.

Today in World War II History—December 30, 1942

Diagram of combat box bomber formations used by US Eighth Air Force, summer 1943 (US Army Air Forces diagram)

Diagram of combat box bomber formations used by US Eighth Air Force, summer 1943 (US Army Air Forces diagram)

80 Years Ago—Dec. 30, 1942: US Eighth Air Force based in England first uses “combat box” formation to better protect bombers from German fighters.

Henry Kaiser opens Kaiser steel plant in Fontana, CA.

Frank Sinatra performs at New York’s Paramount Theater to screaming fans, his breakout performance.

Today in World War II History—December 29, 1942

German mountain troops in the Caucasus region of southern Russia, winter of 1942-43 (German Federal Archive: Bild 101I-031-2417-09)

German mountain troops in the Caucasus region of southern Russia, winter of 1942-43 (German Federal Archive: Bild 101I-031-2417-09)

80 Years Ago—Dec. 29, 1942: German army begins retreat from the Caucasus region.

Japanese begin withdrawal from Buna area of New Guinea.

Today in World War II History—December 28, 1942

British troops parading in Djibouti, French Somaliland, Dec 1942 (public domain via WW2 Database)

British troops parading in Djibouti, French Somaliland, Dec 1942 (public domain via WW2 Database)

80 Years Ago—Dec. 28, 1942: French Somaliland switches allegiance from Vichy to Free French, the final French territory in Africa to do so.

Nazi doctors at Birkenau concentration camp begin sterilization experiments on female prisoners.

The Sound of Light by Sarah Sundin
“Sundin’s craft is inimitable, and her literary finesse radiates from every page.”
—Booklist starred review for The Sound of Light
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