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WWII Timeline – Fall 1942

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

A Timeline of WWII, Fall 1942

October 5, 1942

In the Ukraine, two employees of a German construction firm accidentally came across an execution squad killing Jews from the Ukraine’s small town of Dubno. One, an engineer named Hermann Graebe, gave an eyewitness account of the executions. (See link to The History Place article in Sources at the bottom of this page for Graebe’s account).

October 11/12, 1942

Cruisers and destroyers of the U.S. Navy were victorious over the Imperial Japanese Navy in the Battle of Cape Esperance, also known as the Second Battle (or Sea Battle) of Savo Island, off Guadalcanal.

October 12-14, 1942

On October 12 at the Mizocz Ghetto in the Ukraine, the Ukrainian Auxiliary Police and the German police prepared to liquidate the ghetto. The 1,700 Jews of Mizocz fought back and half of them were able to escape or hide during the two-day uprising. On October 14, those recaptured were taken to a ravine and shot.

October 13, 1942

The 164th Infantry Regiment, the first of the U.S. Army troops, landed on Guadalcanal.

October 14/15, 1942

Overnight, Japanese warships bombed Henderson Field on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. The next morning they sent troops ashore.

October 18, 1942

Hitler issued the Commando Order through the High Command of the German Armed Forces, an order to execute all captured British commandos.

October 22, 1942

The Nazi SS suppressed a Jewish revolt at Sachsenhausen (Oranienburg) of those about to be sent to Auschwitz.

October 23, 1942

The Second Battle of El Alamein began.

October 23–24, 1942

British troops were victorious over the Germans and Italians at El Alamein in Egypt. Axis forces retreated across Libya to the eastern border of Tunisia.

October 25, 1942

Deportations of Norway’s Jews to Auschwitz began.

October 26, 1942

The U.S. aircraft carrier USS Hornet was lost in the Battle of Santa Cruz off Guadalcanal between U.S. and Japanese warships.

The War Production Board gave the Manhattan Project its highest wartime priority rating.

October 28, 1942

The first SS transport from Theresienstadt Concentration/Transit Camp arrived at Auschwitz. It carried 1,866 people of which only 247, mostly men, were chosen as prisoners by the SS. The remainder (1,619) were executed in the gas chamber.

November 1942

One hundred seventy thousand Jews were killed in a mass execution near Bialystok, Poland.

November 1, 1942

The Allies broke through the Axis lines at El Alamein in “Operation Supercharge.”

November 4, 1942

Nazi troops began their retreat from El Alamein.

November 8, 1942

The U.S. invasion of North Africa known as Operation Torch began. Allied (U.S. and British) troops landed on Algerian and Moroccan beaches in French North Africa. Vichy French troops failed to defend their territory and the Allies advanced to the western border of Tunisia.

November 11, 1942

Axis (German and Italian) forces invaded unoccupied Vichy (southern) France.

November 14/15, 1942

The U.S. Navy cruiser USS Juneau was sunk by Imperial Japanese Navy warships off Guadalcanal. Five brothers, the sons of Thomas and Alleta Sullivan of Waterloo, Iowa, who served together on the Juneau, were all killed. The five Sullivan brothers were George Thomas (27), Francis Henry “Frank” (26), Joseph Eugene “Joe” (24), Madison Abel “Matt” (23), and Albert Leo “Al” (20).

November 16, 1942

Robert Oppenheimer was appointed the director of the Los Alamos, New Mexico atomic bomb facility.

November 19, 1942

Under General Zhukov, the Soviet Red Army began a counter-offensive against the Germans at Stalingrad in the USSR.

November 23/24, 1942

The Japanese attacked Darwin, Australia in an air raid.

November 23, 1942–February 2, 1943

In the Soviet counter-offensive against the Germans, Soviet troops broke through the Hungarian and Romanian lines northwest and southwest of Stalingrad. They trapped the German Sixth Army in the city. Adolf Hitler forbid the Sixth Army to retreat and they surrendered on January 30 and February 2, 1943.

November 30, 1942

The naval battle of Tassafaronga (also known as the Fourth Battle of Savo Island or the Battle of Lunga Point) took place off Guadalcanal between U.S. Navy and Imperial Japanese Navy warships. Five U.S. cruisers and four destroyers engaged eight Japanese destroyers. The U.S. sank one Japanese destroyer and the Japanese sank one U.S. cruiser and damaged three others. The rest of the Japanese ships escaped undamaged.

December 1942

After the exterminations of 600,000 Jews at the Belzec extermination camp, operations at the camp ceased and it was dismantled, plowed over, and planted.

December 2, 1942

Professor Enrico Fermi set up an atomic reactor at the University of Chicago and conducted the world’s first nuclear chain reaction test.

December 10, 1942

The first transport of Jews from Germany arrived at Auschwitz.

December 13, 1942

German General Erwin Rommel withdrew his forces from El Agheila in Libya in the Western Desert Campaign.

December 16, 1942

Soviets forces defeated Axis (Italian) troops on the River Don in the USSR.

December 17, 1942

British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden reported the mass executions of Jews by the Nazis in the British House of Commons. He said the Nazis were,

now carrying into effect Hitler’s oft repeated intention to exterminate the Jewish people of Europe.

The United States then declared that the Nazi crimes would be avenged.

December 20-24, 1942

The Japanese attacked Calcutta, India in a series of air raids.

December 28, 1942

The Nazis began sterilization experiments on women at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

December 31, 1942

The German Navy and British Navy engaged in the Battle of the Barents Sea north of North Cape, Norway.

Emperor Hirohito of Japan gave his permission to Japanese troops to withdraw from Guadalcanal.

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.

German Eyewitness Account of Einsatz Executions/SS Mass Murder

Mizoch Ghetto

Theresienstadt Concentration and Transit Camp

Most recent post from the series:

Summer 1942

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2020


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