January 9thJapan started her attack on the Philippines
January 10thThe Allies in the south-west Pacific set up a combined command ABDA (American, British, Dutch and Australian) under the command of General Sir Archibald Wavell.
January 11thThe Japanese begun their campaign in the Dutch East Indies by attacking the islands of Tarakan and Manado.
January 14thThe ‘Tirpitz’ moved into Trondheim, Norway, as Germany built up her strength on the Artic Convoy routes.
February 15thSingapore surrendered to the Japanese on ‘Black Sunday’.
February 19th135 Japanese planes attacked Darwin in northern Australia. 240 people were killed and 10 wounded.
February 27thBattle of Java Sea – an attempt by the Allies to stop the Japanese attacking Java. It failed.
March 6thThe ‘Tirpitz’ sailed to intercept Convoy PQ-12 but was driven off by torpedo-bombers from ‘HMS Victorious’.
March 8thDutch East Indies surrendered unconditionally.
March 12thDouglas MacArthur, under orders from Roosevelt, left the Philippines for Darwin, Australia.
March 17thThree US fighter squadrons arrived in Darwin and Japanese attacks on the city decreased.
March 20thGermany’s all-out aerial assault on Malta started.
April 9thThe Allied forces at Bataan surrendered and the Philippines fell to Japan. 78,000 prisoners were forced on the 65 mile ‘death march’.
April 18th16 B-25 bombers, launched from aircraft carriers, carried out the first air raid on Japan.
April 20th47 Spitfires are sent to Malta but almost all are destroyed on landing.
May 6thCorregidor surrendered to the Japanese
May 7thStart of the Battle of Coral Sea
May 8thBattle of Coral Sea ends in US victory
May 15thThe Red Army failed to re-take Kharkov
June 4thAmerica defeated the Japanese attempt to capture Midway Island.
June 7thThe Siege of Sebastopol started in the Crimea.
June 10thThe massacre of Lidice occurred.
June 21stTobruk captured by Rommel. Churchill called the defeat a “disgrace”.
June 25thGeneral Auchinleck took over command of 8th Army in North Africa.
June 27thConvoy PQ-17 sailed from Iceland for Archangel. The convoy included 33 merchant ships.
June 28th7,000 prisoners from the 8th Army were captured by Rommel
June 30thRussia started to evacuate Sebastopol.
July 4thConvoy PQ-17 was attacked by torpedo-bombers and dive-bombers. Two merchant ships were sunk and two more damaged. The Admiralty gave the order for the convoy to scatter.
July 5thGermany launched an all-out assault on Convoy PQ-17.
July 10thOnly two out of the 33 ships reached Archangel. More get to Archangel in later days. the convoy lost a total of 23 merchant ships that carried 430 tanks, 210 planes, 3,350 vehicles and nearly 100,000 tons of cargo.
August 7thThe Americans landed at Guadacanal.
August 17thThe start of the Allied attack on Dieppe. There was a day’s delay in leaving from British ports due to bad weather.
August 19thThe decision was made to evacuate the survivors from Dieppe.
August 19thThe Russians started their first attempt to free Leningrad. This attempt ended in failure by September 26th.

The Germans launched their first attempt to take Stalingrad.

August 23rdThe German Army reached the backs of the River Volga in Stalingrad.
August 25thHeavy Russian fighting halted the German advance in Stalingrad.
September 13thThe Japanese launched heavy attacks against the Americans at Guadacanal but sustained heavy casualties.
September 25thThe “final” German attack on Stalingrad started but was halted by the Russians.
October 4thThe fourth German attack on Stalingrad started. It led to three weeks of intense fighting.
October 23rdBritain attack on the German army started at El Alamein in North Africa.
November 4thWith Montgomery victorious at El Alamein, Rommel started his retreat in North Africa.
November 8thThe start of Operation Torch – the Allied invasion of North Africa. Allied troops landed near Casablanca, Oran and Algiers. With a large Allied army in the west of North Africa and with Montgomery advancing from the east, Rommel was caught between two major forces.
November 19thThe German advance in south Russia was held up at Stalingrad.
November 24thThe Russians launched an attack that would encircle the Germans at Stalingrad.
December 12thThe Germans launched ‘Operation Winter Storm’ to relieve the VI Army in Stalingrad. It fails after 11 days, leaving the VI Army trapped in Stalingrad.
December 31stThe Japanese planned to withdraw their troops from Guadacanal after suffering heavy losses in a number of battles.

The Russians at Stalingrad had pushed all German troops away from Stalingrad leaving the city open to a major attack.

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