Categorized | Carousel, Historical

This Week in World War II: 75 Years Ago

Konstantin Rokossovsky, from the site Pravda.

By: Phil Kohn. Dedicated to the memory of his father, GM3 Walter Kohn, U.S. Navy Armed Guard, USNR, and all men and women who have answered the country’s call in time of need. Phil can be contacted at ww2remembered@yahoo.com.

There is heavy fighting at Buna, Papua-New Guinea. On January 8, 1943, at Stalingrad, Lt. Gen. Konstantin Rokossovsky, commander-in-chief of the Red Army’s Don Front, orders a cease-fire, and issues a surrender ultimatum to Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus and the German Sixth Army. Rokossovsky guarantees the Germans’ “lives and safety, and, after the end of the war, their return to Germany.” He also promises that “medical aid will be given to all wounded, sick and frost-bitten.” Gen. Paulus, skeptical of the Soviets’ honesty and influenced by his chief of staff (Lt. Gen. Arthur Schmidt, a die-hard Nazi) as well as a directive by telephone from Hitler, rejects Rokossovsky’s demand.

German U-boats on January 9 destroy the seventh tanker of the convoy designated TM-1, sailing from the Caribbean to the Mediterranean. The attacks on the nine-vessel convoy, carrying 100,000 tons of oil, began on January 3. Japan’s puppet government in China declares war on both Great Britain and the U.S. SS commander Heinrich Himmler visits the Warsaw Ghetto and is furious to find that some 40,000 Jews are still living there despite his two previous orders to clear the area. He demands that the Warsaw Ghetto be liquidated by February 15.

On January 10, Soviet troops launch an all-out offensive at Stalingrad, with attacks from west, north and east of the city. On Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, the Allies launch an offensive.

The Red Army moves into the Caucasus on January 11. President Roosevelt submits his budget to Congress. Of the $109-billion plan, $100 billion is identified with the war effort. In New York City, left-wing Italian journalist Carlo Tresca is shot to death in broad daylight on Fifth Avenue. (It is much later determined that he was likely murdered by organized-crime elements seeking to curry favor with the Mussolini regime.) The U.S. and Great Britain sign treaties with China, giving up territorial rights in that country that they have held for decades.

Gen. Jacques Leclerc drives the last German forces out of the Fezzan region of southwestern Libya on January 12, with his Free French forces attacking from Chad. U.S. Army troops land on Amchitka, in the Aleutian Islands. In U.S. meat markets, “frankfurters” are being replaced by “victory sausages,” a mix of meat and soy meal. On the Don River in the Soviet Union, the defensive lines of the Second Hungarian Army are broken by the Red Army. Some 40,000 Hungarians are killed, and another 70,000 taken prisoner. Prime Minister Winston Churchill secretly flies from London to Casablanca, Morocco, where he will meet with President Roosevelt to refine their war plans.

In Papua-New Guinea on January 13, the Japanese lose control of the Kokoda Trail — the major route across the Owen Stanley Range from the north side of the island to Port Moresby. To make 500,000 additional men from German factories available to the armed forces, Hitler mandates that all German women between the ages of 17 and 45 must register for war work.

U.S. troops on January 14 land on the Rat Islands, just east of Japanese-occupied Attu and Kiska Islands in the Aleutians. President Roosevelt arrives in Morocco, and the Casablanca Conference of Allied leaders begins. Among topics discussed is the eventual invasion of mainland Europe. The conference, however, highlights the differences among the Allies on how to defeat Hitler in Europe. Regarding the Pacific War, Roosevelt and Churchill are united: “There are many roads which lead right to Tokyo. We shall ignore none of them.” In getting to Morocco, Franklin Roosevelt becomes the first U.S. president to travel in an airplane while in office. In Berlin, the German Army General Staff proposes strengthening the Eastern Front by conscripting people from the Baltic States for police and army-support duties, thus freeing soldiers to fill out the battle lines.

Leave a Reply

Please complete the simple math problem below. This \"CAPTCHA\" helps stop automated spam. * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Browse Current Issue - Click Here

Perth Amboy Calendar

MON. Jan 22
• City Council, Caucus,
4:30 p.m.
City Hall, High St.

WED. Jan 24
• City Council, Regular,
7 p.m.
City Hall, High St.

THURS. Jan 25
• Historic Preservation Commission
7 p.m.
City Hall, High St.

MON. Jan 29
• Special Public Meeting, RE: Discussion of Rezoning Ordinance
6 p.m.
City Hall, High St.

 

Stay informed! Attend public meetings. All are welcome!

South Amboy Calendar

WED. Jan. 31
• City Council, Regular,
7 p.m.
City Hall, N. Broadway

WED. Feb. 7
• City Council, Business,
6 p.m.
City Hall, N. Broadway

Stay informed! Attend public meetings. All are welcome!