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WWII Timeline – Summer 1942

I’m continuing my WWII Timeline series with a look at July – September 1942 in this post.

A Timeline of WWII, Summer 1942

July 1-27, 1942

The First Battle of El Alamein began on July 1 and lasted through July 27. It was a battle fought in Egypt of the Western Desert Campaign between the Axis forces of Germany and Italy under Field Marshal Erwin Rommel and Allied forces of Britain, British India, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand of the Eighth Army.

July 2, 1942

Berlin Jews were sent to Theresienstadt, a hybrid concentration camp and ghetto established by the SS in the town of Terezín, which was located in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.

July 3, 1942

Nazi forces took Sevastopol, a port in the Crimea which was the Soviet’s main naval base on the Black Sea.

July 5, 1942

Soviet resistance in the Crimea ended.

July 6, 1942

Jewish diarist Anne Frank and her family went into hiding the day after older sister Margot learned she would be deported to a Nazi work camp. The family was living in Nazi-occupied Holland, to which they had fled in 1933 to escape Nazi persecution in their native Germany. The Frank family went into hiding as the Nazis began to purge Amsterdam of its Jewish population.

July 7, 1942

Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler allowed sterilization experiments at Auschwitz.

July 9, 1942

Nazi forces began a drive toward Stalingrad in the Soviet Union.

July 14, 1942

The deportation of Dutch Jews to Auschwitz began.

July 16/17, 1942

Almost thirteen thousand Parisian Jews were sent to Drancy Internment Camp located outside Paris.

July 17/18, 1942

Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler inspected the construction and expansion of four large gas chambers and crematories at Auschwitz-Birkenau and observed the entire extermination process of two trainloads of Jews which had arrived from Holland.

July 19, 1942

Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler ordered “Operation Reinhard,” the secretive WWII German plan to exterminate German-occupied Poland’s Jews, with their mass deportation to extermination camps.

July 21, 1942

Japanese troops landed near Gona on New Guinea.

July 22, 1942

The deportation of the first Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto to concentration and extermination camps, including the extermination camp of Treblinka, began. The deportation of Belgian Jews to Auschwitz also began.

The Treblinka extermination camp opened in occupied Poland, east of Warsaw. The camp had two buildings and ten gas chambers, each chamber holding 200 persons. Initially, carbon monoxide gas was piped in from engines placed outside the chamber, but was later replaced with Zyklon-B gas. The dead were burned in open pits.

August 1942

The deportation of Croatian Jews to Auschwitz began. 

August–November 1942

American troops halted the Japanese advance towards Australia at Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands.

August 1, 1942

As part of the U.S. effort to design an atomic bomb, the Army Corps of Engineers created the Manhattan Engineering District for the Manhattan Project. Temporary headquarters were established in the Manhattan area of New York. The project was initially named the “Development of Substitute Materials,” but the name was feared to draw attention.

Since Army Corps of Engineers districts often carried the name of the city where they were located, the project was officially named the “Manhattan District” on August 13 and informally known as the “Manhattan Engineer District” or MED. The official code name remained “Development of Substitute Materials.”

August 7, 1942

British General Bernard Montgomery took command of Eighth Army in North Africa.

The 1st Marine Division invaded Tulagi and Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands in the U.S.’s first amphibious landing of the Pacific War.

August 8, 1942

A day after landing, U.S. Marines took the unfinished airfield on Guadalcanal and named it Henderson Field after Midway hero Major Lofton Henderson.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower established his headquarters in the UK.

August 8/9, 1942

Overnight, eight Japanese warships sunk three U.S. Navy heavy cruisers and one destroyer and an Australian cruiser in under an hour. One more U.S. cruiser and two destroyers were damaged. Over 1,500 Allied crewmen were lost in the attack.

August 12, 1942

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, arriving in a B-24 Liberator, met with General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and Premier Joseph Stalin at the Moscow Conference of 1942. Churchill intended to prove to Stalin that Great Britain was committed to winning the war as an ally of the Soviet Union.

On the first day of the assembly, Churchill said,

…we will continue, hand in hand, whatever our sufferings, whatever our toils, we will continue hand in hand, like comrades and brothers until every vestige of the Nazi regime has been beaten into the ground, until the memory only of it remains as an example and a warning for a future time.

This secret mission to Moscow by Winston Churchill to meet for the first time with Joseph Stalin and establish a personal relationship made future conferences of the wartime coalition known as the “Big Three” (the UK, US, and USSR) not only possible, but productive and successful.

August 17, 1942

The US Army Air Forces made it first attack on occupied Europe. Twelve B-17E Heavy Bombers of the 97th Bomb Group of the 8th Air Force were escorted by RAF (British Royal Air Force) Spitfires against the railroad marshalling yards at Rouen-Sotteville, France. Major Paul Tibbets piloted the lead aircraft with Brigadier General Ira Eaker aboard as an observer. Six other aircraft flew a diversion mission along the French coast. The mission was deemed a success with only minor damage to two aircraft.

One hundred twenty-two U.S. Marine raiders, transported by submarine, attacked Makin Atoll in the Gilbert Islands.

August 19, 1942

In “Operation Jubilee,” 6,100 British and Canadian troops raided the port of Dieppe on the Normandy coast of northern France. In almost ten hours, 1,380 troops were killed, 1,600 wounded, and 2,000 captured. The RAF (British Royal Air Force) lost 107 aircraft and the British Royal Navy lost one destroyer. German losses were considerable smaller with 345 dead or missing and 268 wounded. The Luftwaffe (German Air Force) lost only 40 aircraft. Civilian casualties were 48 dead and 100 wounded.

The 6th German Army began an attack on Stalingrad.

August 21, 1942

U.S. Marines repelled the first major Japanese ground attack on Guadalcanal as Japan attempts to retake the airfield on Guadalcanal.

August 23, 1942

Germany staged a massive air raid on Stalingrad.

August 24, 1942

The Japanese were defeated in the Battle of the Eastern Solomons between U.S. and Japanese aircraft carriers.

August 26-28, 1942

Seven thousand Jews were arrested in unoccupied France.

August 29, 1942

According to the Red Cross, Japan refused to allow safe passage of ships containing supplies for U.S. POWs.

August 30, 1942

U.S. Troops invaded Adak Island in the Aleutian Islands.

September 2, 1942

In the Battle of Alam el Halfa (August 30 – September 5) in Egypt, German General Erwin Rommel planned an attack on the British Eighth Army led by Lieutenant-General Bernard Montgomery. The British were victorious when Montgomery drove the Axis forces back and Rommel ordered a withdrawal.

September 9, 1942

At the Auschwitz concentration/extermination camp, open pit burning of bodies replaced burial.

September 9/10, 1942

In Oregon state, a Japanese floatplane bombed U.S. forests with the intent of starting a forest fire. The damage done by the “Lookout Air Raids” was minor.

September 12-14, 1942

The Allies were victorious in the Battle of Bloody Ridge on Guadalcanal (also known as the Battle of Edson’s Ridge), a land battle of the Pacific campaign between the Imperial Japanese Army and Allied ground forces, which started on September 12 and ended on September 14.

September 13, 1942

The Battle of Stalingrad began, in which the Axis powers of Germany and its allies fought the Soviet Union for control of the city of Stalingrad in Southern Russia.

September 15, 1942

The U.S. Navy’s aircraft carrier USS Wasp and destroyer USS O’Brien were sunk and the battleship USS North Carolina was damaged when they were torpedoed by a Japanese submarine near the Solomon Islands.

September 17, 1942

Colonel Leslie Groves, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officer, was assigned the command of the Manhattan Project.

September 18, 1942

Food rations were reduced for Jews in Germany.

September 21, 1942

The Boeing B-29 Superfortress, a high-altitude long-range bomber, was manufactured in four main-assembly factories: two Boeing operated plants at Renton, Washington and Wichita, Kansas, a Bell Aircraft Corporation plant at Marietta, Georgia near Atlanta (“Bell-Atlanta”), and a Martin plant at Omaha, Nebraska. On September 21, the first prototype B-29 made its maiden flight from Boeing Field, Seattle.

[My Aunt Janet – my dad George Edwin Farrar’s sister – worked at Bell-Atlanta starting in March 1943.]

September 26, 1942

The Nazi SS began liquidating possessions and valuables confiscated from Jews who had been deported to the Auschwitz and Majdanek concentration and extermination camps. German currency was sent to the Reichs Bank. Foreign currency, gold, jewelry, and other valuables were sent to the SS Headquarters of the Economic Administration. Watches, clocks and pens were given to Nazi troops. Clothing was even distributed to the German public.

Sources:

This series of posts is based on a compilation of timelines from:

The Holocaust Encyclopedia

The History Place:

The National WWII Museum Interactive Timeline

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

World War II Chronicle by the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

The First Battle of El Alamein

Anne Frank

Manhattan Project

Moscow Conference of 1942

USAAF’s First Attack on Occupied Europe

Lookout Air Raids

Most recent post from the series:

Spring 1942

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2020


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