Second World War History site logo

World War 2 Events of 1943 - (January 1st - December 31st, 1943)


Timeline detailing the events of World War 2 Events of 1943 in day-by-day format.
  World War 2 Events of 1943: Aerial bombing was consistent throughout the war.  
Picture of the World War 2 Events of 1943

1943 finally showcased consistent and notable Allied gains against the Axis powers - Italy would fall before the end of the year.



1943 included losses for both sides but some for the Axis were not easily recoverable. One of the key disasters was the loss of the Kingdom of Italy which surrendered in September of that year. This forced the Germans to funnel more men and equipment south while also remaining attentive to developments in the East and West. The Road to Rome was open and this meant that the passage to Berlin was next in line. ©www.SecondWorldWarHistory.com


There are a total of (127) World War 2 Events of 1943 events in the SecondWorldWarHistory.com database. Entries are listed below by date-of-occurrence ascending (first-to-last). Other leading and trailing events are also included for perspective.




January 1st
1943

German forces at Terek retreat.

January 1st
1943

The H2S navigation system is delivered to the RAF for installation into bombers.

January 3rd
1943

American forces lay claim to Buna.

January 8th
1943

Soviet generals send in the formal request for surrender of the German 6th Army at Stalingrad, a request which is formally rejected.

January 10th
1943

The decision to abandon Guadalcanal is made by Japanese autorities.

January 10th
1943

Soviet General Rokossovsky unleashes hell on the German 6th Army through thousands of artillery cannons and Katyusha rockets.

January 12th
1943

German Caucasus elements make it to their bridgehead over the Kuban River.

January 12th
1943

Soviet troops make headway against the defensive lines at the Don River held by Hungarian and Italian troops.

January 12th
1943

The Soviets enact Operation Spark and cut a path through the German lines clearing a path to Leningrad. This offers the citizens of the city some much needed foot rations.

January 13th
1943

German Army elements at Terek retreat to the Nagutskoye-Alexsandrovskoye position.

January 14th
1943

U-boat bases at Cherbourg and Lorient are targeted by the Royal Air Force.

January 14th
1943

In an effort to replenish and build up their army ranks along the East Front, German Generals proposed conscription service of the Baltic people for service .

January 17th
1943

The Japanese begin to withdraw their battered army units from Guadalcanal.

January 17th
1943

The German Panzer Corps at the Don are officially surrounded.

January 19th
1943

The Soviets retake the city of Shlusselburg.

January 25th
1943

A Soviet offensive splits the German 6th Army at Stalingrad.

January 25th
1943

German forces at Armavir retreat.

January 25th
1943

German forces at Voronezh retreat.

January 31st
1943

German General Paulus formally surrenders his southern Stalingrad army to the Soviets.

January 31st
1943

Sananada is officially in Allied hands.

January 31st
1943

The Kokoda Trail is firmly in Allied hands by this date.

February 1st
1943

A Presidential directive calls for some 250 American aircraft to begin offensive actions in the Atlantic.

February 1st
1943

A massive evacuation effort sees some 11,000 Japanese personnel moved fom Tenaro, Gaudalcanal.

February 2nd
1943

The German Army north pocket at Stalingrad formally surrenders to the Soviet Army.

February 2nd
1943

The liberation of Stalingrad is officially over.

February 7th
1943

The last remnants of the Japanese Army on Guadalcanal is evacuated from the island.

February 7th
1943

Gaudalcanal officially falls to the Americans.

February 14th
1943

At 4AM, elements of the 10th Panzer Division and 21st Panzer Division under General von Arnim, launch their attack at Allied forces near Sidi Bou Zid and Bir el Hafey.

February 15th
1943

German General Erwin Rommel commences with his assault through Operation Morgenluft. His attack takes him towards Gafsa, Feriana and Thelepte.

February 18th
1943

General von Arnim and General Rommels forces finally meet at Kasserine.

February 19th
1943

American armored forces hold up the German advanced at Kasserine Pass.

February 20th
1943

US forces move in to stop the German advance around Tebessa.

February 20th
1943

The British 6th Armored Brigade moves towards Thala and Sbiba.

February 20th
1943

Allied units move from Le Kef for the counter-attack.

February 20th
1943

The Americans fold under the immense German assault and Kasserine Pass falls to the invaders.

February 21st
1943

The German forces at Kasserine Pass under Rommel await the Allied counter-offensive that never materializes.

February 22nd
1943

Allied forces hold the Germans in check at Sbiba, Tebessa and Thala, inflicting 2,000 German casualties and forcing Rommel to call for a retreat.

February 25th
1943

Kasserine is now firmly in Allied control, the Germans having retreated and Rommel's attention now elsewhere.

February 25th
1943

Rommel relocates his forces east and plans his defense against Montgomery and his 8th Army at the Mareth line.

March 1st - March 31st
1943

The German battleship KMS Scharnhorst makes its way to Norway, building up the already potent German Navy force that includes the KMS Tirpitz and KMS Lutzow.

March 1st - July 31st
1943

Any further British convoy runs to Russia are postponed as supplies are funneled to other areas of the Atlantic.

March 4th
1943

RAF Bomber Command numbers total some 950 bombers of various types. Most important are the Avro Lancasters.

March 5th
1943

For the first time, RAF bombers make use of the "Oboe" navigational aid in a large-scale operation.

May 1st - May 31st
1943

By the end of May, 43 U-boats are sunk to just 34 merchant vessels.

May 1st
1943

Allied aircraft are fitted with U-boat detecting radar systems.

May 16th
1943

RAF bombers make their most famous raid of the war to date - this through Operation Chastise - as 19 Lancasters attack the dams at Mohne, Eder, Sorpe and Schwelme supplying power to the Ruhr industrial sector. 9,000lb bouncing mines are used in the successful attack.

May 19th
1943

Some 33 U-boats assail an Allied convoy. However, the streamlined Allied response nets zero ship losses and fatalities. The U-boats come up empty.

May 24th
1943

Due to dwindling results, German Admiral Karl Donitz calls back his U-boats from operations in the Atlantic.

June 1st - June 30th
1943

British and American authorities work together to formulate the Pointblank Directive - a combined air bombing campaign against the air production facilities of the German Luftwaffe.

June 1st
1943

The German U-boats are unleashed once more, this time operating in substantially smaller groups.

June 6th
1943

The Allied D-Day landings in the North of France eventually render the French-German U-boat bases inoperable.

July 1st
1943

No fewer than eight German U-Boats shadow convoy PQ17.

July 5th
1943

The Germans enact Operation Citadel - the assault on the Kursk salient. The operation begins at 4:30am but major elements are delayed until 5:00am thanks to intense artillery attacks by the prepared Russians.

July 6th
1943

Soviet Marshal-General Rokossovsky and his Central Front army engage in a counter-attack against the German offensive. The counter-attack fails but is enough to slow the German 9th Army some. A measly 6 miles of territory is gained by the Germans.

July 7th
1943

German General Hoth and his 4th Panzer Army move into the salient, covering some 20 miles of territory. Their advantage brings them near Pokrovka.

July 9th
1943

The Allied invasion fleets sail out to Sicily.

July 10th
1943

US 82nd Airborne Division and British 1st Airborne Division paratroopers land at strategic locations across Sicily prior to the invasion force's arrival.

July 10th
1943

Operation Husky begins. Target - German-held Sicily. Some 2,590 naval vessels take part in the invasion which encompasses two army groups of American and British forces invading at two different coasts of the island.

July 10th
1943

Soviet resistance to the German offensives is so intense that German General Hoth is forced to bring up his reserves and commit them to the fight. The advancing Germans are slowed evermore by the stinky Soviet defenders, also made up of deadly anti-tank teams.

July 10th
1943

15th Army Group begins their initial assault to the south.

July 10th
1943

The British 5th Division takes Cassibile.

July 11th
1943

The Soviet Bryansk Front northeast of Kursk moves in on German General Model's 9th Army.

July 11th
1943

Soviet generals Zhukov and Vassilevky are given total control of the actions in and around Kursk by Stalin himself.

July 11th
1943

The Hermann Goring Panzer Division engages the US 1st Infantry Division at Gela. US forces are assited by offshore bombardment from Royal Navy ships and repel the German attack.

July 12th
1943

The Soviets commit more tanks against Hoth and his 4th Panzer Army.

July 12th
1943

A huge battle involving more than 1,000 tanks of the German and Soviet armies duke it out near Pokrovka.

July 12th
1943

Soviet General Sokolosky moves against German Army Group Center and the 9th Army in a counter-offensive.

July 13th
1943

Allied airborne elements parachute into Sicily and capture key bridges. However, a German counter-attack drives back any gains of the day.

July 13th
1943

By this date, some 478,000 Allied troops have landed on Sicily.

July 13th
1943

Adolph Hitler orders an end to Operation Citadel.

July 14th
1943

German Paratroopers repel Allied forces from the Primasole bridge.

July 14th
1943

British and American forces finally meet at Comiso and Ragusa.

July 14th
1943

The Allies control key airfields across the island, allowing air support more resources from which to work with.

July 15th
1943

Fighting in the Kursk salient officially ends.

July 17th
1943

The Primsole bridge is recaptured from the Germans.

July 22nd
1943

US General George C. Patton and his fabled 7th Army move along the west of the island at speed, claiming the Sicilian capital of Palermo in the process.

July 23rd
1943

German Army forces are pushed back to their original starting positions by this date.

July 25th
1943

With Mussolini deposed back in Rome, Hitler has few options but to plan a retreat for his overwhelmed forces in Sicily. As such, he orders an official withdrawel.

July 27th
1943

44,600 Hamburg civilians are killed by RAF bomber attacks.

July 27th
1943

RAF bombers make use of "Window" foil strips to disrupt enemy tracking radars.

August 3rd
1943

Soviet forces of the Steppe, Voronezh and South-West Fronts initiate a new offensive against German Army Group South just outside of the Kursk salient.

August 5th
1943

Soviet Army forces move towards Kharkov, liberating the city of Belgorod in the process.

August 5th
1943

After some time, the British finally capture the port at Catania. Though a vital and strategic victory, their advance delays the operation some.

August 8th
1943

In an attempt to cut off the retreating Germans, the US 7th Army conducts a flanking amphibious attack.

August 11th
1943

The evacuation of Axis forces from Sicily begins.

August 11th
1943

The US 7th Army undertakes another amphibious jump to head off the German retreat.

August 12th
1943

Some 100,000 Axis soldiers are successfully rescued from Sicily. The rest are captured by advancing Allied forces.

August 15th
1943

The Aleutian Islands Campaign comes to a close. The Japanese invasion is ultimately repelled.

August 15th
1943

One last amphibious assault by the 7th Army is conducted. The Germans now in full retreat to the northern tip of Sicily.

August 17th
1943

At approximately 6:00PM, elements of the 1st Bomber Group begin landing back at their UK bases. Some 36 aircraft are missing.

August 17th
1943

Bad weather delays the original 5:30AM launch time of the operation.

August 17th
1943

Aircraft of the 4th Bombardment Wing take-off at 6:20AM in an effort to reach its target in daylight.

August 17th
1943

German Luftwaffe defense fighters attack the 4th Bombardment Wing formations passing over Germany.

August 17th
1943

At 11:18AM, the 1st Bombardment Wing finally takes off.

August 17th
1943

Some 250 German fighters, already alerted to the bomber group presence, are launched to repel subsequent air attacks.

August 17th
1943

Sometime between 11:46AM and 12:09M, the 4th Bomber Group makes their bombing run on targets at Regensburg.

August 17th
1943

At approximately 3:00PM, the 1st Bomber Group finally reaches its targets after incurring heavy losses from German fighters. Their bombing run ensues over Schweinfurt.

August 17th
1943

At around 4:50PM, elements of the 4th Bomber Group begin landing at their pre-determined bases in North Africa. Twenty-four aircraft from the group are noted lost.

August 17th
1943

With only limited-range Allied fighter escorts, the first major air raid on Schweinfurt and Regensburg is launched. The air raid consists of 230 aircraft from the 1st Bombardment Wing and 146 aircraft of the 4th Bombardment Wing.

August 17th
1943

The US 3rd Division gives the official "all clear" from their position in Messina. Operation Husky is a success and Sicily is firmly in Allied hands.

August 23rd
1943

Kharkov is retaken by the Soviet Army.

August 30th
1943

German Army Group Center is in full retreat.

September 22nd
1943

Royal Navy midget submarines attack the German battleship KMS Tirpitz. Though not sunk to action, she takes on enough damage to sideline her for six months.

September 30th
1943

The German Army falls as far back as the Dniepr River.

September 30th
1943

By this date, the Soviet Army has established no less than five bridgeheads crossing the Dniepr River, keeping the Germans at bay for the time being.

October 14th
1943

Some 291 USAAF bombers of the 13th Bombardment Wing are once-again launched against Schweinfurt. Though 30% of German ball-bearing production is knocked out, 60 American aircraft do not return to home bases in the UK. The high level of losses in these raids forces the USAAF to temporarily suspend long-range bombing attacks into Germany.

November 1st - November 30th
1943

In this month, Allies convoys in the Artic resume their activities.

November 10th
1943

The combined force of US Army and Marine Corps troops numbering 35,000 personnel heads towards Betio on the Tarawa Atoll.

November 13th
1943

US Navy warplanes and warships begin the bombardment of Japanese positions at Makin and Tarawa in preparation for the planned amphibious assaults.

November 18th
1943

444 RAF bombs drop ordnance on the German capital of Berlin with only 9 loss to enemy fire.

November 20th
1943

At 9:10AM, the first US Marine soldiers make it ashore at Betio during the initial amphibious landings. Nearly half are cut down in low waters by the waiting Japanese defenders.

November 20th
1943

US tanks and armored vehicles finally make it ashore and strengthen the US Marine presence on the beaches.

November 20th
1943

By the end of the first day of operations, some three US Marine battalions have made it onto the beaches.

November 20th
1943

US Navy warplanes and warships conclude their bombardment of Japanese positions.

November 21st
1943

US forces take Apamama after the suicide of its 22-strong Japanese garrison.

November 21st
1943

US forces continue their progress against the Gilberts though a dogged Japanese resistance makes for slow progress.

November 21st
1943

US forces officially take Makin and give the "Makin Taken" signal.

November 21st
1943

US forces at Makin kill some 800 defending Japanese soldiers, leaving just a lone survivor.

November 21st
1943

Another US amphibious landing, this consisting of both Army and Marine elements, makes it to the shores on Makin.

November 22nd
1943

By night time hours, the Japanese enact a counter-attack against US forces, hoping to regain lost ground and take their invaders by surprise.

November 22nd
1943

By 8PM on this date, US forces lay claim to portions of the Gilberts at its east and central regions.

November 23rd
1943

The Japanese assault is repelled with a tremendous loss of life for the IJA. The dead number some 500 personnel in hours of fighting.

November 23rd
1943

With the fall of Betio, the Gilbert Islands are now under control of US forces.

November 23rd
1943

The final Japanese defenders at Betio capitulate.

November 30th
1943

The British and Americans devise Operation Argument to counter the Luftwaffe threat through a round-the-clock bombing offensive; bad weather postpones any action.

December 26th
1943

At 7:30 PM, the KMS Scharnhorst is lost to action by Royal Navy surface warships, leaving just 36 of her crew alive.

December 26th
1943

The German battleship KMS Scharnhorst and 5 destroyers engage convoy JW55B.