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WWII Timeline – Winter 1943

I’m continuing my WWII Timeline series with a look at January – March 1943 in this post.

A Timeline of WWII, Winter 1943

1943

The Nazi SS Einsatzgruppen passed the one million mark in number of Jews murdered. Slave laborers were used to dig up the buried bodies and burn them to remove all traces of the crime.

January 2, 1943

The Allies took Buna in New Guinea in the War in the Pacific. 

January 2/3, 1943

The Germans began to withdraw from the Caucasus (also known as Caucasia), an area located between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, and mainly occupied by Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Russia.

January 10, 1943

The Soviets began an offensive against the Germans in Stalingrad, Russia.

January 14-24, 1943

Both US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill attended the Casablanca Conference at the Anfa Hotel in Casablanca, Morocco to plan the Allies’ European strategy for the next phase of World War II.

Roosevelt announced the war could only end with  the unconditional surrender of Germany, Italy, and Japan, which Churchill endorsed.

Generals Charles de Gaulle and Henri Giraud also attended, representing the Free French forces, but Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin declined due to the ongoing Battle of Stalingrad.

January 18, 1943

Jews in the Warsaw (Poland) Ghetto began their first resistance in an uprising after realizing that “resettlement” was a German ruse to lead them to their deaths.

January 22, 1943

The Allies defeated the Japanese at Sanananda on New Guinea.

January 23, 1943

General Bernard Montgomery’s British Eighth Army took Tripoli in North Africa.

January 27, 1943

The US Eighth Army Air Force conducted its first bombing raid from bases in England against Germany. The target was the port of Wilhelmshaven.

January 29, 1943

The Nazis ordered the arrest of all Gypsies and sent them to extermination camps.

January 30, 1943

Senior Nazi official Ernst Kaltenbrunner succeeded Reinhard Heydrich, who had been assassinated in June 1942, as head of the RSHA (Reichssicherheitshauptamt, the Reich Main Security Office).

February 1943

The Romanian government proposed the transfer of 70,000 Jews to Palestine to the Allies, but Britain and the US did not respond.

Greek Jews were ordered into ghettos.

February 1, 1943

Japan began the evacuation of Guadalcanal.

February 2, 1943

After the capture of German commanding officer Field Marshall Friedrich Paulus on January 31, the remainder of his 6th Army surrendered to the Soviets in Stalingrad. It was the first big defeat of Hitler’s armies.

February 8, 1943

In Burma, also known as Myanmar, in Southeast Asia, British-Indian forces began guerrilla operations against the Japanese.

February 9, 1943

The Japanese resistance on Guadalcanal ended.

February 14-25, 1943

The Battle of Kasserine Pass, between US 1st Armored Division and German Panzers, took place in Tunisia, North Africa. Kasserine Pass is a two-mile-wide gap in the Grand Dorsal chain of the Atlas Mountains.

February 16, 1943

The Soviets recaptured Kharkov.

February 18, 1943

The Nazis arrested the White Rose resistance leaders in Munich. The White Rose group was a non-violent, intellectual group of students who attended the University of Munich.

In Oak Ridge, Tennessee, construction began on a uranium enrichment facility.

A prototype of Boeing’s B-29 Superfortress bomber that took off from Boeing Field in Seattle crashed into the Frye Packing Plant. The crew of eleven and nineteen of the meat-processing factory workers perished. Although the event could not be concealed, the identity of the aircraft (which was the type to later drop the first atomic bombs on Japan, the Enola Gay) remained classified until the end of World War II.

February 22, 1943

White Rose anti-Nazi resistance leaders Christoph Probst and Hans and Sophie Scholl were tried and sentenced to death by guillotine. Their sentences were carried out that day at Stadelheim Prison in Munich.

February 251943

Twenty-four hour or “round-the-clock” bombing schedule started with USAAF planes bombing Germany in the daytime while the RAF bombed at night.

February 27, 1943

Jews working in the Berlin armaments industry were sent to Auschwitz.

March 1943

The deportation of Greek Jews to Auschwitz began and lasted until August, totaling 49,900 persons.

March 1, 1943

American Jews held a rally at Madison Square Garden in New York City with hopes of pressuring the U.S. government to help the Jews of Europe.

The U.S. began processed food rationing.

March 2, 1943

German forces began their withdrawal from Tunisia, Africa.

March 2-4, 1944

Aircraft of the US Fifth Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force attacked a Japanese convoy moving troops to Lae, New Guinea, defeating the Japanese in the Battle of the Bismarck Sea in the southwest Pacific.

March 13, 1943

An attempt on Adolf Hitler’s life failed when a bomb made of plastic explosives failed.

March 14, 1943

Between June 1942 and March 1943, the Jewish Krakow Ghetto was liquidated with inhabitants either killed in the streets, sent to the Płaszów slave-labor camp, Auschwitz concentration camp, or Belzec extermination camp.

March 15, 1943

German forces re-captured Kharkov, the second largest city in the Ukraine (also known as Kharkiv), from the Soviets.

March 16-20, 1943

At the climax of the Battle of the Atlantic, twenty-seven merchant ships were sunk by German U-boats, Unterseeboot (undersea boat/German submarines) in one week.

March 21, 1943

Another attempt on Adolf Hitler’s life, this time by suicide bomber, failed when Hitler left the area before the bomb could be detonated.

March 17, 1943

Bulgaria openly opposed deportation of its Jews.

March 20-28, 1943

General Bernard Montgomery’s British Eighth Army broke through the Mareth Line in Tunisia, Africa.

March 22, 1943

Gas chamber and Crematoria IV became operational at Auschwitz.

March 31, 1943

Gas chamber and Crematoria II became operational at Auschwitz.

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.

Wikipedia:  Krakow Ghetto

Auschwitz Concentration Camp: The Gas Chambers and Crematoria

B-29 Prototype Crash

Plots to Kill Hitler

Most recent post from the series:

Fall 1942

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2020


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