1942

Mar

14

1942

Australia looks to United States in Pacific war

14th March 1942: Australia looks to United States as lead nation in Pacific

There is no belittling of the Old Country in this outlook. Britain has fought and won in the air the tremendous battle of Britain. Britain has fought, and with your strong help, has won, the equally vital battle of the Atlantic. She has a paramount obligation to supply all possible help to Russia. She cannot, at the same time, go all out in the Pacific.

Mar

13

1942

Desperate conditions on the Eastern Front

13th March 1942: Desperate conditions for the Wehrmacht on the Eastern Front

The next day he found a Red Army corpse frozen stiff He tugged at his legs, but in vain. He grabbed an ax and took the man off at the thighs. Fragments of fleshflew everywhere. He bundled the two stumps under his arm and set them down in the oven, next to our lunch. By the time the potatoes were done, the legs were thawed out, and he pulled on the bloody felt boots. Having the dead meat next to our food bothered us as little as if someone had wrapped his frostbite between meals or cracked lice.

Mar

12

1942

Warship Week raises millions for the war effort

12th March 1942: Warship Week raises millions for the war effort

There was a long tradition of Royal Navy warships being ‘adopted’ by local areas – formal or informal links would be established between a town and a particular ship. Often the ships company would visit the ‘adopted’ area and there might be a parade. The ship’s Arms or a plaque would be displayed in the town council.

Mar

11

1942

U.S. forces continue the bitter fight for Bataan

11th March 1942: U.S. forces continue the bitter fight for Bataan

No man gave up. No man thought of surrendering. We had seen the mutilated bodies of our friends when they fell into Japanese hands. We knew the Japanese were not taking prisoners on the line and we felt sure no prisoners would be taken at all. So we held on for our lives, and prayed and waited for the help that was surely coming from the States.

Mar

10

1942

First Lancaster bombing raid

10th March 1942: First Lancaster bombing raid

The principal target on three nights was Krupps’ Works at Essen, a total of 336 aircraft dropping 397 tons of H.E. bombs (including 37 of 4,000 lbs.) and nearly 78,000 incendiaries. Our bombers included Lancasters, which were taking part for the first time in offensive operations. Fifteen of our aircraft are missing.

Mar

9

1942

Fleet Air Arm attacks the Tirpitz

9th March 1942: Fleet Air Arm aircraft attack the Tirpitz

Subsequently this ship was identified as the Tirpitz, which was located and attacked with torpedoes by aircraft of the Home Fleet at 0930 on the 9th, about 80 miles west of the Lofoten Islands. No hits were claimed and Tirpitz was last seen steering towards Vestfjord. The Home Fleet has returned to Scapa.

Mar

8

1942

A different look at the war in the desert

8th March 1942: Cecil Beaton takes a different look at the war in the desert

The Bedouins, in the wadis near the shore, watching the battle wage backwards and forwards along the tableland, consider the protagonists mad. They see first one army then another retiring in haste, leaving behind a wonderful amount of loot. The Bedouins steal forward and sell their spoils to the conquering army.

Mar

7

1942

Mussolini – the Italians are not up to this war

7th March 1942: Mussolini – the Italians are not up to this war

The Duce, who is dissatisfied with the way things are going, said, “This war is not for the Italian people. The Italian people do not have the maturity or the consistency for such a tremendous and decisive test. This war is for the Germans and the Japanese, not for us.”

Mar

6

1942

Can Churchill survive defeats in the Far East ?

6th March 1942: Can Churchill survive defeats in the Far East ?

Although the British are keeping a stiff upper lip, the surrender of their troops at Singapore has shattered confidence to the core – even in themselves but, more particularly, in their leaders. They don’t intend to take it lying down and I am satisfied we will see the rebirth of greater determination.

Mar

5

1942

War Cabinet discusses Japanese atrocities in Hong Kong

5th March 1942: War Cabinet discusses Japanese atrocities in Hong Kong

Two things will be clear from it, to the House, to the country and to the world. The Japanese claim that their forces are animated by a lofty code of chivalry, Bushido, is a nauseating hypocrisy. That is the first thing. The second is that the enemy must be utterly defeated.