WW2 History
Second World War History > 1942 WW2 Events Timeline

1942 WW2 Events Timeline

With American onboard now, the Allies go on the offensive with the Operation Torch landings in North Africa.

Authored By Staff Writer
Total 1942 WW2 Events: 360

1942
Thursday
January 1st - July 31st

Some 800,000 of Leningrad's citizens are evacuated through the frozen passage above Lake Lagoda.

1942
Thursday
January 1st - January 31st

Over the course of the month, three Soviet armies, under the command of Major-General D.T. Kozlov, are called to the newly created "Crimea Front".

1942
Thursday
January 1st

The German U-boat fleet now numbers some 331 operational vessels.

1942
Thursday
January 1st - March 1st

Off the east coast of the United States, some 216 vessels fall prey to the German U-boat scourge in this span.

1942
Wednesday
January 7th

Along the Volkhov Front to the south of Novgorod, the Soviets launch a major offensive.

1942
Wednesday
January 7th

With progress over the Germans being made on several fronts, Soviet forces launch another offensive to try and encircle Army Group Centre.

1942
Friday
January 9th

The Japanese begin their offensive against the dug-in American forces on the Bataan Peninsula.

1942
Sunday
January 11th

Three Japanese amphibious forces take on the Dutch East Indies.

1942
Sunday
January 11th

Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaya, falls to the invading Japanese 5th Division.

1942
Thursday
January 15th

Japanese forces invade Burma beginning their assault at Victoria Point.

1942
Monday
January 19th

The Japanese Army makes short work of the light British defenses, covering some 230 miles in reaching Tavoy.

1942
Friday
January 23rd

The American defensive lines finally break.

1942
Sunday
January 25th

The Soviet movement begins losing steam after consecutive weeks of fighting. Man and machine are beginning to show their limitations.

1942
Monday
February 2nd

Adolph Hitler approves of the order for retreat for German forces at Rostov.

1942
Thursday
February 5th

Rostov is officially abandoned by General Manstein's forces.

1942
Friday
February 6th

German General Manstein meets with Hitler and proposes a new German counter-attack against the Russians.

1942
Sunday
February 8th

The Soviet Army officially retakes the Russian city of Kursk.

1942
Thursday
February 12th

German Army Group Don is renamed Army Group South.

1942
Thursday
February 12th

German Army Group B is renamed Army Group Center.

1942
Saturday
February 14th

By this time, the Japanese have captured Borneo, Celebes and Sarawak.

1942
Saturday
February 14th

RAF Bomber Command issues its "Area Bombing Directive", allowing the legitimate bombing of civilian areas.

1942
Saturday
February 14th - February 18th

Street fighting begins between the German I SS Panzer Corps and the Russian 3rd Tank Army and 40th Army forces in Kharkov.

1942
Saturday
February 14th

Russian General Vatutin and his South-West Front army reach the city of Kharkov.

1942
Sunday
February 15th

Singapore eventually falls to the might of the Japanese assault resulting in the capture of some 60,000 Allied prisoners against the cost of 2,000 Japanese soldiers.

1942
Tuesday
February 17th

Adolph Hitler meets with General Manstein to plan a German counter-offensive.

1942
Wednesday
February 18th

German forces are officially driven from the Russian city of Kharkov.

1942
Thursday
February 19th

The Japanese 1st Air Fleet conducts a surprise attack on Allied ships at Broome and Darwin. Twelve ships are sunk in the assault.

1942
Friday
February 20th

The Germans unleash their counterattack using the 4th Panzer Amry, 1st Panzer Army and the II SS Panzer Corps.

1942
Saturday
February 28th

The Germans recapture lost ground and push elements of the Russian Army back. The German army reaches as far in as the River Donets while General Vatutin's forces are surrounded.

1942
Sunday
March 1st

The Avro Lancaster heavy bomber is inducted into RAF service.

1942
Sunday
March 1st - April 30th

Hitler and his commanders flesh out Operation Blue - in invasion of the oil-rich Russian-held Caucasus.

1942
Sunday
March 1st - March 30th

The whole Soviet 2nd Shock Army is lost near Novgorod.

1942
Sunday
March 1st - March 30th

The Soviet offensive near Novgorod is stopped by German ground and air elements.

1942
Saturday
March 7th

German General Hoth and his 4th Panzer Army form up and launch an offensive against the Voronezh Front near Kharkov.

1942
Sunday
March 8th

Japanese forces, numbering two battalions strong, land at Lae and Salamaua in New Guinea.

1942
Sunday
March 8th

The British Burma Army escapes anhilation in Burma.

1942
Sunday
March 8th

Rangoon, Burma falls to the Japanese.

1942
Sunday
March 8th

By this date, the Japanese capture the Dutch East Indies with the occupations of Bali, Timor and Java.

1942
Sunday
March 8th

Japan invades New Guinea.

1942
Thursday
March 12th

Street fighting throughout Kharkov erupts once more as German forces enter Kharkov.

1942
Saturday
March 14th

The 4th Panzer Army surrounds the city of Kharkov.

1942
Wednesday
March 18th

The Germans complete the retaking of Kharkov.

1942
Wednesday
March 18th - March 26th

The Soviets and Germans both dig in within and around the city of Kharkov, preparing to fight another day.

1942
Friday
March 20th

British Convoy PQ13 sets sail for Russia but comes under fire from German U-Boats. Five of the 19 ships are lost.

1942
Saturday
March 28th

234 RAF bombers drop incendiaries on Lubeck. 12 aircraft are lost.

1942
Saturday
March 28th

The British utilize the "Gee" electronic navigation system for the first time.

1942
Thursday
April 1st

The Japanese aircraft carrier Ryujo enters the Bay of Bengal.

1942
Wednesday
April 1st - May 31st

Over a two month period, German forces are resupplied and strengthened before a major offensive - Operation Bustard - to remove the Soviets from the Kerch peninsula. Among the resupply deliveries are 33 massive artillery pieces meant to destroy the Soviet defensive works at the fort in Sevastopol.

1942
Friday
April 3rd

No fewer than five Japanese Navy aircraft carriers reach the Indian Ocean.

1942
Saturday
April 4th

A small contingent of British Royal Navy vessels operating in the Indian Ocean are warned of the arriving Japanese Navy force.

1942
Saturday
April 4th

Admiral Sir James Somerville detaches a force to intercept the arriving Japanese fleet.

1942
Sunday
April 5th

Hitler issues the official Fuhrer Directive for Operation Blue.

1942
Monday
April 6th

The Imperial Japanese Navy unleashes a surprise attack, with some 120 aircraft, on British forces at Columbo Harbor, Ceylon.

1942
Monday
April 6th

Twenty-six Allied aircraft are destroyed.

1942
Monday
April 6th

The British Royal Navy cruisers HMS Cornwall and HMS Dorsetshire are sunk by the Japanese air strike.

1942
Monday
April 6th

The British Royal Navy destroyer HMS Tenedos is sunk by the Japanese air strike.

1942
Thursday
April 9th

The HMS Hermes is one of four Royal Navy ships sunk by Japanese Navy aircraft.

1942
Thursday
April 9th

American forces fighting on the Bataan Peninsula finally surrender to the Japanese.

1942
Thursday
April 9th

An 85-strong Japanese Navy aircraft contingent attacks airfields and targets of opportunity at Trincomalee, Ceylon.

1942
Thursday
April 30th

Spring over Russia brings about seasonal rains turning once solid and dependable ground into a muddy nightmare for both armies. As such, offensives are limited or stalled altogether.

1942
Thursday
April 30th

German Army forces partially regroup and recover from the constant barrage of Soviet offensives.

1942
Thursday
April 30th

By this time, over 1 million German soldiers have been killed in action since the start of Operation Barbarossa.

1942
Sunday
May 3rd

American intelligence intercepts various Japanese communications and is able to piece together the intention to invade Port Moresby, New Guinea.

1942
Sunday
May 3rd

An Imperial Japanese Navy carrier force sets sail on patrol around the Solomons looking for American carrier battle groups.

1942
Sunday
May 3rd

Forces of the Imperial Japanese Army land at Tulagi of the Solomons island group. Subsequent develop ensures a base of operations for Japanese logistics in the region.

1942
Monday
May 4th

The Japanese invasion force leaves Rabaul, New Britain, heading towards Port Moresby, New Guinea.

1942
Monday
May 4th

USS Yorktown launched strike aircraft south of Guadalcanal. At 6:30AM, the American Navy aircraft spot and subsequently target Japanese land emplacements and sea vessels in the area.

1942
Wednesday
May 5th - May 6th

Foul weather limits detection of either carrier force across a two day span.

1942
Tuesday
May 5th

The Japanese enact an offensive to take Corregidor Island, a strategic point providing access to Manila Bay.

1942
Wednesday
May 6th

Corregidor Island falls to the Japanese, giving the invaders control over Manila Bay.

1942
Thursday
May 7th

The USS Neosho and the USS Sims are sunk by Japanese aircraft.

1942
Thursday
May 7th

The Japanese invasion of Port Moresby is called off.

1942
Thursday
May 7th

Allied Task Force 44, headed by Royal Navy Rear-Admiral Crace, moves in to intercept the Japanese invasion force. However, the force is prematurely spotted by Japanese reconnaissance aircraft resulting in a counter-assault of the Task Force by Japanese Navy warplanes. Crace and his force never make the intercept.

1942
Thursday
May 7th

The Allies spot the Japanese Covering Group escorting the invasion force.

1942
Thursday
May 7th

The USS Lexington and the USS Yorktown launch their attack planes and sink the Japanese aircraft carrier Shoho in the process.

1942
Friday
May 8th

At 6:10PM, the USS Lexington is a complete loss. She is scuttled and sunk.

1942
Friday
May 8th

Operation Blue begins.

1942
Friday
May 8th

By 6:00PM that evening, nearly all of the USS Lexington's sailors have been rescued.

1942
Friday
May 8th

German General Manstein leads his 11th Army onto the Kerch Peninsula towards the city of Sevastopol.

1942
Friday
May 8th

Lieutenant-General von Manstein launches his assault.

1942
Friday
May 8th

The Japanese invasion force heads back to New Britain.

1942
Friday
May 8th

Some 27 Japanese aircraft are launched under the cover of darkness in the hopes of locating the Allied Task Force. They come up empty and only six aircraft return safely home.

1942
Friday
May 8th

Just past dawn, the Japanese and American carrier groups spot one another.

1942
Friday
May 8th

At 9:25AM, Japanese and American warplanes take to the skies.

1942
Friday
May 8th

At 2:47PM, the American carrier USS Lexington is hit by a Japanese torpedo, causing a major explosion in her generator room.

1942
Friday
May 8th

At 11:40AM, US Navy warplanes manage to score devastating hits to the Japanese aircraft carrier Shokaku, severely damaging her.

1942
Saturday
May 9th

Despite numbers against him, Japanese Vice-Admiral Takagi is ordered to send his warplanes aloft.

1942
Saturday
May 9th

The Japanese aircraft do not locate the American fleet and any further actions are called off, effectively ending the Battle of Coral Sea.

1942
Tuesday
May 12th

Soviet ground forces launch a pre-emptive offensive against German-held Kharkov.

1942
Tuesday
May 12th

German forces enact Operation Fridericus and attempt to take Izyum.

1942
Thursday
May 14th

The convoy system is formally adopted by the United States in an effort to protect its merchant shipping in the Atlantic.

1942
Friday
May 15th

Sevastopol is cutt off from the rest of the Soviet Union by German Army elements.

1942
Friday
May 15th

Manstein's offensive results in the taking of the Kerch peninsula from the Soviets.

1942
Friday
May 15th

Burma falls to the Japanese.

1942
Friday
May 15th

Manstein begins planning his next major offensive to take Sevastopol - this becomes Operation Sturgeon.

1942
Wednesday
May 20th

The 2nd Canadian Infantry Division begins training for Operation Rutter on the Isle of Wight.

1942
Monday
May 25th

A large Imperial Japanese Naval force sails for Japan towards Midway Island. The force Is made up of four task forces. One is charged with the invasion of the Aleutian Islands off of Alaska while the other three are to take Midway Island itself and assail the responding USN fleet. One group contains the required four aircraft carriers.

1942
Tuesday
May 26th

Group Cruewell, made up of the Italian X and XI Corps, launches an assault on the northern portion of the Gazala Line in an attempt to divert Allied forces from the real attack coming from the south.

1942
Tuesday
May 26th

Rommel begins his offense against the Gazala Line, made up of some 50 miles of British defenses.

1942
Tuesday
May 26th

Beginning at 7:00PM, the German 90th Infantry Division, the 15th and 21st Panzer Divisions and the Italian XX Corps under Rommel launch their offensive along the southern portion of the Gazala Line.

1942
Wednesday
May 27th

German forces south of Bir Hacheim make progress and begin to move northwards.

1942
Wednesday
May 27th

The 1st Free French Brigade at Bir Hacheim holds off the German progress.

1942
Thursday
May 28th

The final Imperial Japanese Task Force leaves mainland Japan.

1942
Thursday
May 28th

While trying to take Sidra Ridge, German Panzer force casaulties begin to mount significantly.

1942
Saturday
May 30th

RAF Bomber Command attack Cologne with 1,046 aircraft in the first of their "1,000 Bomber" raids.

1942
Sunday
May 31st

Rommel orders his forces to begin defensive preparations across a 10 mile stretch.

1942
Sunday
May 31st

As the Allied defense along the Gazala line holds, Rommel is forced to change tactics, now concentrating his forces against the British 150th Brigade near Sidi Muftah.

1942
Monday
June 1st - June 30th

June of 1942 marks the single worst month of Allied shipping losses, totaling some 834,000 tons of goods at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

1942
Monday
June 1st

Nearly 30% of German tanks have been lost in Rommel's offensive.

1942
Monday
June 1st - June 3rd

A German pocket develops near Sidi Muftah.

1942
Tuesday
June 2nd

600 German artillery guns open fire on Sevastopol.

1942
Wednesday
June 3rd

The Northern Task Force begins its operation to take the Aleutian Island chain and divert USN forces to the region.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

At 5:00PM, the Imperial Japanese aircraft carrier Hiryu is set ablaze after being struck by no fewer than five direct bomb hits from aircraft of the USS Enterprise.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

At 9:00AM, USS Yorktown launches her aircraft with Nagumo's carrier force as the prime target.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

By 3:00PM, the crew of the USS Yorktown has abandoned their carrier. The damaged vessel is towed by USN ships.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

By 2:30PM, the USS Yorktown is severely damaged but does not sink.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

At 12:00PM, Imperial Japanese Navy bomber aircraft strike against the attacking USS Yorktown.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

The three Japanese carriers - Kaga, Soryu and Akagi - are struck with bombs and ultimately sunk.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

At 10:25AM, a follow-up strike made up of 37 Dauntless dive bombers finds the Japanese carriers - now stocked with armed and fueled aircraft on their decks.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

The initial American assault on the Japanese carrier strike force is over by 10:00AM.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

All incoming USN Devastator attackers are shot down by Japanese Zero fighters in the span of six minutes.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

The first wave of USN carrier dive-bombers has difficulty in locating their Japanese targets.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

At 9:18AM, Nagumo reacts to the American presence and changes the course of his Carrier Strike Force.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

Between 9:30AM and 10:00AM, Torpedo planes from the USS Enterprise and USS Hornet begin their attacks on the Japanese carriers.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

At 8:37AM, aircraft of the second Japanese strike force returns to their respective carriers for rearming and refueling.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

At 8:20AM, a surprised Nagumo receives his first report of American carriers in the area.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

At 7:52AM, USS Enterprise and USS Hornet launch their dive bombers and torpedo planes.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

American fighter aircraft take heavy losses but force the Japanese Navy to launch a second attack.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

At 7:28AM, a Japanese reconniassance plane spots spots ten undetermined USN surface ships 200 miles northeast of the Japanese Midway invasion force.

1942
Thursday
June 4th

At 4:30AM, the bombing of Midway Island begins with aircraft from Vice-Admiral Nagumo's First Carrier Strike Force.

1942
Friday
June 5th

The Japanese carrier Hiryu is scuttled.

1942
Friday
June 5th

The Allies attempt an offensive to drive the German pocket back from Sidi Muftah and fail. 230 Allied tanks are lost in the attack.

1942
Saturday
June 6th

The island of Kiska is taken by Japanese forces.

1942
Saturday
June 6th

The USS Yorktown, now severely damaged and in tow of US Navy forces, is targeted and sunk by a Japanese submarine.

1942
Saturday
June 6th

The British 150th Brigade is utterly destroyed under the German assault, resulting in 4,000 British prisoners of war.

1942
Saturday
June 6th

The German Luftwaffe is called in to bomb Sevastopol.

1942
Sunday
June 7th

The island of Attu is taken by Japanese forces.

1942
Sunday
June 7th

The German artillery guns cease fire on Sevastopol. The bombardment on the Soviets has spanned five days.

1942
Sunday
June 7th

The German 11th Army begins their assault on Sevastopol from the north at 2:30AM.

1942
Wednesday
June 10th

The 1st Free French Brigade at Bir Hacheim can hold no more and retreat under the mounting German pressure.

1942
Thursday
June 11th

The German Army breaks out of their pocket near Sidi Muftah.

1942
Thursday
June 11th

The German-allied Romanian Mountain Corps and 30th Army Corps launch their attack on Sevastopol.

1942
Thursday
June 11th

German forces breaking out near Sidi Muftah target the British 7th Armored Division near El Adem.

1942
Thursday
June 11th

The Allies go into full retreat as the Germans advance.

1942
Friday
June 12th - June 16th

The German offensive against Sevastopol is repulsed by the 180,000 or so Russian soldiers holed up in the city.

1942
Wednesday
June 17th

Manstein launches another assault on Sevastopol.

1942
Thursday
June 18th

The city of Tobruk, defended by the 2nd South African Division, is completely surrounded by German forces.

1942
Saturday
June 20th

At 7:00PM, the German 15th and 21st Panzer Divisions have made it past Tobruk's first line of defense, making headway into the city.

1942
Saturday
June 20th

Artillery shells and Luftwaffe bombs rain upon Tobruk.

1942
Saturday
June 20th

Rommel begins his offensive against the defenders in Tobruk.

1942
Sunday
June 21st

The 2nd South African Division under Allied General Klopper officially concede defeat and hand control of Tobruk to the Germans.

1942
Saturday
June 27th

The Soviet Army is encircled and defeated at Kharkov, netting the Germans some 250,000 Soviet prisoners.

1942
Saturday
June 27th

German forces complete their capture of Izyum.

1942
Saturday
June 27th - July 28th

Convoy PQ17 loses 34 of its 36 ships to Geman U-Boats and surface ships.

1942
Saturday
June 27th

British convoy PQ17 sets sail from Reykjavik, Iceland.

1942
Saturday
June 27th

The Romanian and German army forces capture key hilltop positions near Sevastopol.

1942
Sunday
June 28th

The German Army turns its attention towards the Volga.

1942
Sunday
June 28th

The German 2nd Army and 4th Panzer Army launch their attack towards Voronezh near Kursk.

1942
Sunday
June 28th

By this date, over 90% of the Soviet defensive fortifications have fallen to the Germans.

1942
Sunday
June 28th

German forces reach the outskirts of Sevastopol.

1942
Tuesday
June 30th

Evacuation of Russian soldiers from Sevastopol begins with help from the Soviet Black Sea Fleet under Vice-Admiral F.S. Oktyabrsky.

1942
Tuesday
June 30th

German General Paulus attacks at Belgorod.

1942
Wednesday
July 1st - July 31st

The Allies received word on the construction of a strategic Japanese airfield (Henderson Field) on the island of Guadalcanal, part of the Solomon Islands. As such, plans are set in motion to curtail construction of the endeavor. US Navy and Marine forces spring into action.

1942
Wednesday
July 1st - July 22nd

The First Battle of El Alamein takes place with Erwin Rommel hoping to put a dent in the Allied defense near El Alamain. Rommel's forces consist of his Afrika Corps and three Italian troop corps.

1942
Wednesday
July 1st

German General Erwin Rommel attempts to break through the Allied defensive perimeter at El Alamein.

1942
Wednesday
July 1st

One last German push secures strategic positions throughout the city of Sevastopol.

1942
Wednesday
July 1st - July 31st

Hitler orders two directives in the operation against Leningrad. The first calls for its immediate encirclement and the second for its immediate destruction from land and air.

1942
Thursday
July 2nd

The Soviet city of Sevastopol officially falls to the Germans.

1942
Thursday
July 2nd

The last of the Soviet forces are evacuated by sea leaving little to stop the German onslaught.

1942
Friday
July 3rd

The Allies put up a stubborn defense, repelling Rommel's offensive.

1942
Saturday
July 4th

Sevastopol officially falls to German control.

1942
Saturday
July 4th

German control and the subsequent round up on the city nets some 90,000 Soviet army prisoners of war.

1942
Monday
July 6th

The German 6th Army reaches the Don River.

1942
Monday
July 6th

The Soviet city of Voronezh falls to the German Army.

1942
Monday
July 6th

The German 6th Army moves on Stalingrad.

1942
Tuesday
July 7th

This date is set aside for Operation Rutter - the amphibious landing at the port city of Dieppe in occupied France.

1942
Tuesday
July 7th

Bad weather cancels this original date for Operation Rutter. Discussions begin on whether or not to nix the entire endeavor. It returns to the planning stages under a new name - Operation Jubilee.

1942
Tuesday
July 7th

German General Field Marshal List takes command of the new Army Goup A, made up of the 1st Panzer Army and the 17th Army.

1942
Thursday
July 9th

The German Army begins its move towards Rostov.

1942
Thursday
July 9th

German Army Group South is renamed Army Group B and placed under the control of Field Marshal von Bock.

1942
Monday
July 13th

Adolph Hitler assigns General Paulus and his 6th Army to take Stalingrad.

1942
Monday
July 13th

General von Weichs takes control of Army Group B from Bock.

1942
Friday
July 17th

Hitler diverts the 4th Panzer Army away from Stalingrad and sends them towards the Caucasus.

1942
Sunday
July 19th

German U-boats off the eastern coast of the US are relocated to better assault the merchant fleets streaming across the Atlantic.

1942
Tuesday
July 21st

Japanese Major General Horii and his 18th Army land near Buna.

1942
Wednesday
July 22nd

Major General Horii and his 18th Army march towards Port Moresby.

1942
Wednesday
July 22nd

The Japanese Army gain ground on the US, Australian and Papuan Infantry Regiment defenders.

1942
Thursday
July 23rd

Rostov falls to the German Army Group A, netting some 83,000 Soviet prisoners as a result.

1942
Thursday
July 23rd

Hitler issues a supplemental directive to Operation Blue requiring his 6th Army to take Stalingrad.

1942
Tuesday
July 28th

The macabre resolution of "not one step backwards" is issued by Stalin to his generals and troops.

1942
Saturday
August 1st

De Havilland DH 98 Mosquito twin-engine fighters are assigned as "Pathfinder" units charged with lighting up ground targets via flares and incendiary ordnance for ensuing RAF heavy bombers.

1942
Saturday
August 1st - August 30th

Churchill replaces 8th Army leader Major-General Neil Ritchie with General Bernard Montgomery.

1942
Saturday
August 1st - August 30th

German forces are strengthened by the arrival of another Italian division, a German parachute brigade and more tanks.

1942
Saturday
August 1st - August 30th

British Prime Minister relieves General Auchinleck with General Harold Alexander as Commander-in-Chief, Middle East.

1942
Saturday
August 1st - August 31st

Any further convoys passing to the Arctic to Russia are suspended for the time being as resources are pressed for service in the Allied landings occurring in North Africa.

1942
Tuesday
August 4th

Elements of the German Army cross the Aksay River towards Stalingrad.

1942
Thursday
August 6th

The German Army crosses the Kuban River near Armavir.

1942
Thursday
August 6th

US Navy and Marine forces position themselves near Guadalcanal.

1942
Friday
August 7th

Elements of the German Army attack Soviet forces near Kalach.

1942
Friday
August 7th

Amphibious forces spearheaded by the United States Marines begin against the Japanese-held island of Guadalcanal.

1942
Saturday
August 8th

The amphibious landings largely conclude by this date.

1942
Saturday
August 8th

Just outside of Guadalcanal, the islands of Tulagi and Gavutu fall to the Allies.

1942
Saturday
August 8th

Japanese bombers attack US forces at Henderson Field.

1942
Saturday
August 8th

By the end of the day and facing next to no opposition, the US soldiers capture and secure Henderson Field.

1942
Saturday
August 8th

A large contingent of Imperial Japanese Navy warships heads out of Rabaul towards Savo Island to strike at US Navy transports there.

1942
Saturday
August 8th

Naval battles ultimately ensure between the Imperial Japanese Navy and the United States Navy for control of Guadalcanal.

1942
Sunday
August 9th

Three US and one Australian cruiser are sunk by the Japanese Navy during the morning hours.

1942
Sunday
August 9th

The German German Army captures the strategic port of Yeysk and Krasnador on the Sea of Azov.

1942
Sunday
August 9th

Army Group A captures the Maikop oil field on the Black Sea.

1942
Friday
August 14th

The Japanese Army gains vital territory leading up and into the Owen Stanley Range.

1942
Friday
August 14th

German forces cross the Kuban river near Krasnador.

1942
Friday
August 14th

The Japanese Army takes control of the village of Kokoda.

1942
Friday
August 14th

The Japanese Army reaches Isurava just outside of Port Moresby.

1942
Tuesday
August 18th

A Japanese counteroffensive sees an amphibious landing take place at Taivu. This landing zone is just 32 miles east of Henderson Field.

1942
Wednesday
August 19th

By 2:00 PM, all survivors of the Dieppe invasion have been rescued. Left behind are 3,367 casualties, wounded, prisoners of war or missing.

1942
Wednesday
August 19th

By 11:00 AM, disaster has completely befallen the invaders. Many are trapped, forced back or dead to a prepared German defense.

1942
Wednesday
August 19th

At 5:35 AM, Allied armor makes it to the beach. Over half of the tanks are lost in the action.

1942
Wednesday
August 19th - September 30th

A Soviet offensive aimed at smashing through the German lines fails.

1942
Wednesday
August 19th

At 3:48 AM, several Allied invasion vessels run into a German convoy, which actively engages the ships, ruining any chance the Allies held in the element of surprise. This event is a fore-telling of the day to follow.

1942
Wednesday
August 19th

At 4:30 AM, Canadian soldiers wade ashore and take on the German coastal batteries at Berneval, Puys, Pourville and Varengville.

1942
Wednesday
August 19th

This date is targeted for Operation Jubilee.

1942
Wednesday
August 19th

At 5:20 AM, the main invasion force - made up of the 14th Army Tank Regiment, the Essex Scottish Regiment, and the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry - come ashore.

1942
Wednesday
August 19th

4,962 Canadian soldiers, along with 1,000 British troops and a 50-man contingent of American US Army Rangers set sail on no fewer than 237 boats towards Dieppe.

1942
Wednesday
August 19th

Operation Jubilee is officially put into action.

1942
Sunday
August 19th

German General Paulus and his 6th Army is ordered to attack the Soviet city of Stalingrad.

1942
Thursday
August 20th

The first of thirty-one US fighter aircraft arrive at Henderson Field.

1942
Friday
August 21st

Japanese ground forces attempt attacks against Henderson Field and American forces at Tenaru. The Japanese troops make little headway and are themselves encircled.

1942
Friday
August 21st

Nazi-allied French leader Marshal Petain celebrates the German victory over the Allied invasion at Dieppe.

1942
Saturday
August 22nd

The Japanese attackers at Henderson Field and Tenaru are ultimately destroyed, forcing Colonel Ichiki to commit ritual suicide.

1942
Saturday
August 22nd

German land forces advancing into the Caucasus are stopped.

1942
Sunday
August 23rd

US naval patrol aircraft spot the incoming Japanese convoy, radioing positions back to the main task force.

1942
Sunday
August 23rd

The Imperial Japanese Navy enacts a plan to resupply their forces at Guadalcanal under the cover of three aircraft carriers made up of the IJN Ryujo, the IJN Shokaku and the IJN Zuikaku.

1942
Sunday
August 23rd

Army Group B reaches the Volga River.

1942
Sunday
August 23rd

The Battle of the Eastern Solomons begins.

1942
Monday
August 24th

The US Navy claims a Japanese aircraft carrier. The carrier is attacked and sunk.

1942
Monday
August 24th

The Japanese Navy lose their seaplane carrier - the IJN Chitose - to American dive bombers at 5:40PM.

1942
Monday
August 24th

At about 4:41PM, the USS Enterprise is the victim of Japanese dive bombers and takes several direct hits but manages to keep fighting.

1942
Monday
August 24th

Dive bombers and torpedo bombers from the USS Enterprise manage critical hits against the IJN Ryujo and sink here where she stood at 3:50PM.

1942
Monday
August 24th

At 3:15PM, American carrier aircaft from the USS Enterprise manage hits on the IJN Shokaku.

1942
Monday
August 24th

Task Force 61, comprised of the USS Enterprise, USS Saratoga and the USS Wasp head to intercept the Japanese convoy.

1942
Monday
August 24th

US naval patrol aircraft once again spot the incoming Japanese convoy. Positions are sent to Task Force 61.

1942
Monday
August 24th

Task Force 61 sets up at locations east of Malaita Island in preparation for the battle. Aircraft are launched form the American carriers beginning what is known as the Battle of the Eastern Solomons.

1942
Tuesday
August 25th

Stalingard is officially under siege by the Germans Army.

1942
Tuesday
August 25th

The Japanese Navy completes an amphibious landing at Milne Bay to establish a beachhead and open a second front on New Guinea.

1942
Tuesday
August 25th

The Japanese Navy loses a pair of transport ships enroute to the Solomon Island chain.

1942
Tuesday
August 25th

The Battle of the Eastern Solomons ends with the Japanese Navy claiming at least 90 aircraft lost while the American Navy enjoys victory with 20 aircraft lost in the fray.

1942
Wednesday
August 26th

The 18th Australian Brigade, utilizing valuable intelligence reports, meet the arriving Japanese amphibious forces head-on and hold the Japanese beachhead at Milne Bay.

1942
Saturday
August 29th

A further 600 Japanese Army soldiers are landed at Milne Bay to help strengthen the beachhead.

1942
Sunday
August 30th

Rommel begins a new offensive starting from Bab el Qattara that becomes the Battle of Alam Halfa near El Alamein. The objective is the high ridge at Alam Halfa some 13 miles through the Allied defensive perimeter in the south.

1942
Sunday
August 30th

American General Douglas MacArthur employs his superiors for additional firepower and troop strength to help hold Papua.

1942
Monday
August 31st

By this date, the Japanese have completed their takeovers of the Caroline Islands, the Gilbert Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Marianas Islands and a portion of the Solomon Islands. This is the farthest that the Japanese Empire would reach in the Pacific.

1942
Tuesday
September 1st - September 30th

German progress throughout the Casucasus is slowed by Soviet resistance and fuel/supply shortages.

1942
Tuesday
September 1st

Germany Army elements, backed by Romanians cross the Kerch Straits.

1942
Tuesday
September 1st

The Germans establish a bridgehead over the Terek River.

1942
Tuesday
September 1st - September 30th

The month is spent ironing out plans for the Allied invasion of German-occupied North Africa.

1942
Wednesday
September 2

Rommel's assault is thwarted, his tank forces suffering high losses in the attack - and his army is pushed back to Bab el Qattara.

1942
Wednesday
Setember 2nd - September 26th

Convoy PQ18 reaches Russia despite losing 13 of her ships.

1942
Wednesday
September 2nd

Convoy PQ18 sets sail for Russia, comprised of some 40 ships and beefed up protection through 17 destroyers. The escort carrier HMS Avenger provides air cover.

1942
Thursday
September 3rd - October 23rd

General Montgomery decides to make El Alamein a war of numbers and stockpiles his supplies to eventually try to overwhelm the Germans.

1942
Thursday
September 3rd

The Germans enact an offensive aimed at the heart of Stalingrad.

1942
Friday
September 4th

With the Allied resistance holding off further advance, the Japanese Army begins a formal withdrawal of the island.

1942
Friday
September 4th

Japanese casualties at Milne Bay amount to 1,000 killed amidst the fighting.

1942
Sunday
September 6th

The strategic Black Sea port city Novorossiysk falls to the Germans.

1942
Monday
September 7th

US Marines enact a surprise amphibious landing against Japanese strongholds at Taivu.

1942
Tuesday
September 8th

The US Marine landings result in the destruction of vital Japanese supplies and the recovery of important operational data.

1942
Thursday
September 10th

100,000 incendiary bombs are dropped on Dusseldorf by no fewer than 476 RAF bombers.

1942
Saturday
September 12th

Some 6,000 Japanese Army personnel are used in a final thrust against the Americans at Henderson field. Among the attackers is the Japanese 35th Brigade.

1942
Sunday
September 13th

Japanese forces come within a half-a-mile of Henderson Field before being stopped and, ultimately, driven back.

1942
Monday
September 14th

At the end of the Henderson Field offensive, the fanatical Japanese have lost at least 1,200 soldiers in the fighting.

1942
Tuesday
September 15th - October 7th

The Japanese begin building up their forces to reclaim Henderson Field.

1942
Tuesday
September 15th

The Soviet Army is unleashed on Voronezh.

1942
Thursday
September 24th

The German Army makes headway toward Tuapse.

1942
Friday
September 25th

With winter upon the German Army once more, Hitler orders a halt to any major offensives around Leningrad.

1942
Saturday
September 26th

Despite gains along the Kokoda Trail, the Japanese supply line begins to run thin and halt any further advance.

1942
Saturday
September 26th

Australian Army forces hold fast to territory near Toribaiwa.

1942
Saturday
September 26th

The Japanese Army slowly begins to retreat back through the Kokoda Trail, finally realizing its perilous stuation.

1942
Thursday
October 1st - October 31st

With a lull in the fighting, Soviet forces near Leningrad are able to receive much needed supplies and reinforcements.

1942
Tuesday
October 6th

Malgobek falls to the German Army.

1942
Friday
October 9th

The Soviet government hands all military powers to the Soviet Army.

1942
Saturday
October 10th

Japanese reinforcements are shipped to the west and disembarked at Tenaro, some 20 miles from American forces.

1942
Sunday
October 11th

The IJN Furutaka officially sinks at 12:40AM.

1942
Sunday
October 11th

At midnight, the Japanese convoy is in retreat and gone from the region in roughly 30 minutes.

1942
Sunday
October 11th

At 11:32PM, US Navy warships fire upon IJN vessels in the convoy, sinking the IJN Fubuki and damaging the IJN Furutaka and IJN Aoba, which themselves begin sinking.

1942
Sunday
October 11th

A Japanese Navy convoy headed through the Eastern and Western Solomons is intercepted by a US Navy force, beginning what is known as the Battle of Cape Esperance.

1942
Thursday
October 15th

American soldiers of the 32nd US Division complete an amphibious assault near Pongani and Wanigela on Papua.

1942
Sunday
October 18th

The German drive against Tuapse is stopped by the Soviets.

1942
Friday
October 23rd

Some 20,000 Japanese fighters, including elements of the 2nd Division and 17th Army, undertake a new offensive under the direction of General Maruyama.

1942
Friday
October 23rd

XXX and X Corps begin their assault on Axis nothern positions.

1942
Friday
October 23rd

At 10:00PM, British XIII Corps hits the German 21st Panzer Division and Italian Brescia and Folgore Divisions in the south of the German defensive wall as a diversion to its north-bound actions.

1942
Friday
October 23rd

The Allied counter-offensive begins through Operation Lightfoot, a massive artillery bombardment of dug-in German forces.

1942
Wednesday
October 14th

Adolph Hitler stops all further offensives against Soviet targets in the region for the year and orders his commanders to hold their positions until 1943.

1942
Sunday
October 25th

Japanese Navy supply ships make their way offshore of Guadalcanal where land forces there are attempting to take Henderson Field.

1942
Sunday
October 25th

Four Allied brigades have managed to break through the German defensive lines.

1942
Sunday
October 25th

The Germans enact a new offensive in the Caucasus.

1942
Sunday
October 25th

Montgomery enacts Operation Supercharge and pulls some diversionary forces from his southern attacks to reinforce the north where losses continue to mount.

1942
Sunday
October 25th

Allied mine-clearing operations begin while combat continues

1942
Monday
October 26th

A USN Consolidated PBY Catalina flying boat scout plane spots the Japanese waterforce and relays their position.

1942
Monday
October 26th

USS Enterprise launches a wave of Dauntless dive bombers in search of the Japanese group. Some 22 total aircraft are launched.

1942
Monday
October 26th

A PBY Catalina, capable of limited bombing, misses its mark as it attempts to hit several Japanese aircraft carriers at 2:50AM.

1942
Monday
October 26th

The IJN carrier launch around 110 aircraft in response.

1942
Monday
October 26th

72 aircraft are launched as a combined force from USS Enterprise and USS Hornet.

1942
Monday
October 26th

The USS Hornet is cleared of all crew by 11:40AM.

1942
Monday
October 26th

After some 3,500 casualties are netted against the Japanese attackers, the offensive stalls and is ultimately called off.

1942
Monday
October 26th

US Navy and IJN aircraft formally meet in air to air combat by 8:15AM.

1942
Monday
October 26th

The USS Hornet takes a critical hit at 9:15AM from attacking Japanese Navy dive bombers and torpedo bombers. The IJN forces claim two torpedo hits and a further six bomb hits against her.

1942
Monday
October 26th

The crew of the USS Hornet begin evacuation procedures aboard their doomed ship.

1942
Monday
October 26th

The crippled IJN carrier Zuiho is hit by another four bombs, bringing her tenure at sea to an official close at 9:18AM.

1942
Monday
October 26th

US Navy aircraft are launched from USS Enterprise and USS Hornet but fail to locate the Japanese ships.

1942
Monday
October 26th

The Americans signal a withdrawal of all forces form the battle.

1942
Monday
October 26th

The US Navy sends Task Force 16 and 17 to intercept the Japanese resupply action.

1942
Monday
October 26th

At 7:40AM, USN dive bombers damage the IJN carrier Zuiho.

1942
Monday
October 26th

USS Enterprise receives several direct hits from IJN dive bombers against her flight deck and forward elevator.

1942
Monday
October 26th

USN bombers score several key direct hits against the carrier IJN Shokaku at 9:30AM.

1942
Tuesday
October 27th

Destroyers of the IJN come across the remains of the USS Hornet and launch torpedoes against her, sending her to the bottom of the Pacific.

1942
Sunday
November 1st

Japanese Army troops have taken to reinforcing their existing defenses at Buna, Gona and Sanananda.

1942
Sunday
November 1st

The Caucasus town of Alagir is captured by the Germans.

1942
Sunday
November 1st - January 31st

Neither force can claim much action during this span. In time, US forces number some 58,000 troops while Japan can claim 20,000-strong.

1942
Monday
November 2nd

The Caucasus town of Ordzhonikidse is captured by the Germans.

1942
Monday
November 2nd

As more and more Allied armor crosses through the German perimeter, Rommel orders his battle-weary forces on an eastward retreat, keeping his forces within easy access to the North African coast.

1942
Wednesday
November 4th

British X Corps makes a substantial gain in capturing Tel el Aqqaqir, running straight through the beleagured Axis lines, effectively ending the Battle of El Alamain in favor of the Allies. The victory is a major one for the Germans are in full retreat throughout North Africa. The action officially ends all Axis presence on the continent.

1942
Saturday
November 7th

Three Allied task forces - the US Western, Central and the British Eastern - approach the coast of North Africa.

1942
Sunday
November 8th

At Oran, French coastal guns destroya US transport with 200 soldiers aboard.

1942
Sunday
November 8th

The US Western and Central task forces tangle with Vichy French opposition.

1942
Sunday
November 8th

French General Mast surrenders to the British Eastern Task Force.

1942
Sunday
November 8th

The Allied invasion forces reach North African shores.

1942
Monday
November 9th

The first French cease-fires begin to ring out across Algeria and Morocco.

1942
Monday
November 9th

US forces tangle with a suprisingly stout French defense. It was believed that the two country's histories would have brought France to surrender rather than fight a former ally.

1942
Wednesday
November 11th

French Admiral Jean Francios Darlan joins French General Alphonse Juin in calling an all-out cease fire for French forces throughout Africa.

1942
Wednesday
November 11th

The British Eastern Task force capture the strategic airfield at Djidjelli via Bougie from Algiers.

1942
Thursday
November 12th

British paratroopers land near Bone and take the nearby airfield.

1942
Thursday
November 12th

German paratrooper forces attack the British paratroopers near Bone but are repelled.

1942
Thursday
November 12th

German paratroopers move into the area near the airfield at Bone.

1942
Sunday
November 15th

Australian forces continue their march from the west against Japanese-held areas.

1942
Sunday
November 15th

US forces continue their march from the south against Japanese-held areas.

1942
Sunday
November 15th

Army Group A reaches as far as Ordzhonikidze and Mt. Elbus.

1942
Sunday
November 15th

American paratroopers land at the airfield near Youks les Bains

1942
Monday
November 16th

Allied forces begin their move into German-held Tunisia.

1942
Monday
November 16th

British paratroopers land and capture the airfield at Soul el Arba.

1942
Tuesday
November 17th

The Allies capture Beja.

1942
Wednesday
November 18th

The Allies take Sidi Nsir.

1942
Thursday
November 19th

The Soviets push forward a new two-part offensive - Operation Uranus - north of Stalingrad and break through the Romanian-held defenses.

1942
Friday
November 20th

The Allied assault on the strategic city of Medjez el Bab begins.

1942
Friday
November 20th

German General Manstein is appointed the commander of Army Group Don.

1942
Friday
November 20th

Part 2 of Operation Uranus is enacted at the southern end of Stalingrad.

1942
Sunday
November 22nd

Two elements of the Soviet Army meets at Kalach, effectively encircling the German 6th Army at Stalingrad.

1942
Wednesday
November 25th

In an effort to resupply their troops, the German Luftwaffe is called upon to exercise airdrops of vital supplies to the German 6th Army.

1942
Thursday
November 26th

Medjez el Bab falls to the Allies.

1942
Monday
November 30th

Despite the consistent progression throughout North Africa, the Allied invasion offensive grounds to a halt in the face of growing German resistance at key junctions. The total liberation of North Africa will have to wait.

1942
Monday
November 30th

German General Paulus and his 6th Army is contained by the fierce resisting Soviets in Stalingrad, putting Hitler's plans on hold.

1942
Wednesday
December 9th

The Australian Army liberates the village of Gona from the hold of the Japanese Amry.

1942
Saturday
December 12th

While Hitler rejects any plea from the German 6th Army to retreat from their position, the 4th Panzer Army is used through Operation Winter Storm in an attempt to relieve the beleaguered German troops at Stalingrad.

1942
Monday
December 14th

Allied Australian and US forces continued their maches against the Japanese, taking territory through fierce firefights.

1942
Wednesday
December 16th

The Italian Army goes into full retreat from the Soviet advance.

1942
Wednesday
December 16th

German Army forces are called off from further offensives at Tuapse.

1942
Wednesday
December 16th

The Soviet Army puts Operation Little Saturn into effect and attacks Rostov.

1942
Monday
December 21st

Soviet relief forces and supplies headed for Stalingrad are stopped at Myshkova.

1942
Wednesday
December 23rd

All further attempts to relieve Stalingrad are put on hold, indefinitely.

1942
Thursday
December 24th

The Soviet Army launches a fresh attack at Kotelnikovo, routing its Romanian defenders and putting them into full retreat.

1942
Monday
December 28th

German Army Group A is given the official order to retreat from the Caucasus region.

1942
Thursday
December 31st

The Battle of Barents Sea takes place. Convoy JW51B comes under attack from German surface ships comrpised of the battleships KMS Admiral Hipper and KMS Lutzow along with 6 destroyers. Six British destroyers are up to the task as they repel the much larger force at the cost of two Royal Navy destroyers. No merchant vessels are lost to enemy fire. The loss in battle forces the resignation of German Navy Admiral Raeder and leaves Adolph Hitler hungry for blood.
Second World War History

EVENTS BY WAR YEAR:

1939
1940
1941
1942
1943
1944
1945


EVENTS BY DAY OF THE WEEK:

Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday


MISC:

Pearl Harbor Speech Text
WW2 War Posters
WW2 Quotes
WW2 Statistics


NATIONAL TIMELINES:

Australia
Austria
Belgium
Britain
Bulgaria
Canada
Denmark
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Holland
Hungary
India
Italy
Japan
New Zealand
Norway
Poland
Romania
South Africa
Soviet Union
United States
Uruguay

Contacting SecondWorldWarHistory.com
We can only get better if you tell us how. You can contact SecondWorldWarHistory.com at SecondWorldWarHistory at gmail dot com (replace "at" with "@" and "dot with ".") with any questions, comments or corrections. We also accept related military imagery that you approve for us to use on our website. Keep in mind, however, that due to volume, we may not directly respond to your inquiry. Please add us to your list of non-blocked recipients if you expect a response!
British Flag
German WW2 Flag
Soviet Union Flag
United States Flag
French Flag
Japanese Flag
Italian Flag
Finland Flag
Australian Flag
British Canada Flag
British India Flag
Poland Flag
Belgium Flag
Greece Flag
Holland Flag
British South Africa Flag
Norway Flag
Denmark Flag
Romania Flag
New Zealand Flag
Austrian Flag
Hungarian Flag
Bulgaria Flag
Uruguay Flag
All Events by War Year
All Events by Day of the Week
SUN
MON
TUE
WED
THU
FRI
SAT
World War 2 Posters
Pearl Harbor Speech
WW2 Weapons
spacer img

Site Disclaimer | Privacy Policy


©2014 www.SecondWorldWarHistory.com • Content ©2006-2014 SecondWorldWarHistory.com • All Rights Reserved • Site Contact Email: secondworldwarhistory at gmail dot com (replace "at" with "@" and "dot" with ".")

Top SwwH Stuff: Battle of El Alamein | WW2 Quotes | Rescue at Dunkirk | Blitzkrieg on Poland | Operation Market Garden


Most photographic images appearing on this site are courtesy of the public domain. Digital art work courtesy of Dan Alex. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value.

eXTReMe Tracker