Year 1943

1943 – The Turning Point of WW2

 department store on Red October Square in Stalingrad

Surrender of the German southern group on 31 January 1943 at the department store on Red October Square in Stalingrad.

Germany’s plans and hopes for the year 1943 after the Stalingrad disaster.

At the beginning of 1943, the German leadership looked to the future with good and bad prospects.
The good prospects consisted of two circumstances: The disasters, which had reached their peak with the surrender of the German Sixth Army in Stalingrad, could be stopped. Secondly, new weapons were finally ready for use, including the much-anticipated Panther and Tiger tanks. In the meantime, the course of the fighting on the Eastern Front could be reversed by the counterattack and the reconquest of Kharkov, which raised new hopes for a renewed summer offensive in the East.

However, the outlook in North Africa in March – the month of the great German victories in the East – was grim for the Axis forces. But at least a quick Allied victory in North Africa was prevented, which might have enabled an Allied invasion of Northwest Europe for the summer or autumn of 1943.
Even if now after a successful allied offensive in Tunisia still further invasions in the Mediterranean area should follow, nevertheless an enormous time-saving was maltreated.

Furthermore, new weapons from the armament factories appeared in ever larger numbers. The construction of submarines had reached a level that made it possible to keep one hundred of them at sea at a time.
The new, heavy Tiger tanks overcame their initial technical problems and the medium Panzer V Panther was also delivered in the meantime. There was also a good chance that the monthly output of these and other important weapons – especially StuG assault guns – would increase steadily in the course of 1943.

Of the greatest importance, however, were the effects of mobilization on the strength of the army. The combination of rationalization in industry and the massive use of prisoners of war and forced laborers made it possible to strengthen the army, so that in the summer of 1943 the German armies in the East were almost as strong as two years earlier.

The attempts of the Finns, Hungarians and Romanians to find a way out of the war were effectively undermined by the German leadership. It could be expected from the submarine war that it would rather restrict the Western Allies during 1943 and there was an expectation that the situation on the southern section of the Eastern Front would recover in the course of this year. The units now free by the evacuations of the front bulge of Demyansk and Rzhev at least allowed the great attack on a section of the Eastern Front.
Fighting in this theater of war would continue to be a priority and would continue with great intensity.

The pressure that Nazi Germany would put on the Western Allies through the submarines and on the Soviet Union on the land front could allow Hitler and his regime to fight through, at least until the alliance of Great Britain, the Soviet Union and the United States of America is broken.


Diary October 20, 1943

'Ranger' Mosquito night intruders

WW2 War Diary for Wednesday, October 20, 1943: Air War Germany: 285 RAF and RCAF Lancaster bombers raid Leipzig in severe weather (1,085t bombs dropped). Mosquitoe bombers attack Berlin. 17 planes lost. Britain: Attempted night raids on London and Hull… learn more

Diary October 19, 1943

Beaufighter firing rockets

WW2 War Diary for Tuesday, October 19, 1943: Air War Mediterranean: B-25 Mitchell bombers and Beaufighters attack convoys north of Crete (October 19 and 20). German prison ship Sinfra sunk (566 men rescued). Politics Britain: London Protocol signed; Britain, USA… learn more

Diary October 18, 1943

Entrance to the underground headquarters of the RAF Bomber Command

WW2 War Diary for Monday, October 18, 1943: Air War Germany: 349 RAF bombers attacking Hannover (night October 18-19) and dropping 1,697t of bombs. Home Fronts Germany: Hitler confers with two Bulgarian Regents. learn more

Diary October 17, 1943

auxiliary cruiser 'Michel'

WW2 War Diary for Sunday, October 17, 1943: Sea War Pacific: German disguised raider Michel sunk off Yokohama by US submarine Tarpon. Exchange of Japanese and Allied civilian internees aboard liners Teia Maru and Gripsholm at Marmagao (Portuguese India). Arctic:… learn more

Diary October 16, 1943

Troops of the SS division Prinz Eugen

WW2 War Diary for Saturday, October 16, 1943: Occupied Territories Yugoslavia: Sixth German offensive against Tito’s Partisans in Bosnia (ends inconclusively, mid-January 1944). Eastern Front Southern Sector: Fierce fighting in Melitopol. Air War Eastern Front: Luftwaffe flies many hundreds of… learn more

Diary October 15, 1943

Canadian infantrymen of the British 8th Army

WW2 War Diary for Friday, October 15, 1943: Mediterranean Italy: British 8th Army captures Campobasso and Vinchiaturo – important road junctions south of Rome and the Gustav Line. learn more

Diary October 14, 1943

B-17 force landing in Switzerland

WW2 War Diary for Thursday, October 14, 1943: Air War Germany – SECOND SCHWEINFURT RAID (‘Black Thursday’): 291 B-17 Fortress bombers despatched; 228 drop 483 t bombs on target. 60 planes lost. 8th AF temporarily abandons deep-penetration strategic raids. Eastern… learn more

Diary October 13, 1943

Italian troops loyal to Mussolini

WW2 War Diary for Wednesday, October 13, 1943: Politics Italy: Badoglio Government in Southern Italy declares war on Germany. She is not regarded as a full Ally and is classed as a ‘Co-Belligerent’. learn more

Diary October 12, 1943

Heavy US artillery Italy

WW2 War Diary for Tuesday, October 12, 1943: Mediterranean Italy – BATTLE OF VOLTURNO RIVER (October 12-19): Allied land attack followed by sea-borne operation (October 13). Air War Pacific: 350 Allied planes raid Rabaul. learn more

Diary October 11, 1943

Nakajima Ki-49 Donryu

WW2 War Diary for Monday, October 11, 1943: Air War Southeast Asia: Japanese bomb Madras (India). learn more

Diary October 10, 1943

Russian Cossacks in German service.

WW2 War Diary for Sunday, October 10, 1943: Occupied Territories Russia: Hitler orders transfer of all Russian volunteers serving in the Wehrmacht to Western Europe. Air War Germany: 236 USAAF bombers attacking Muenster. learn more

Diary October 9, 1943

B-17 shot down over the sea

WW2 War Diary for Saturday, October 9, 1943: Air War Germany: 8th USAAF raids Gdynia, Anklam an Marienburg with 378 bombers. 457 RAF bombers attacking Hannover and dropping 1,667t of bombs. Sea War Mediterranean: Stukas sink destroyer Panther and severely… learn more

Diary October 8, 1943

Re-deployment of a German 2-cm AA gun

WW2 War Diary for Friday, October 8, 1943: Mediterranean Italy: 5th US Army takes Caserta. Sea War Black Sea: 240 German barges, Siebel Ferries, etc. – used in Kuban evacuation – safely withdrawn from Kerch Straits to Sebastopol. Home Fronts… learn more

Diary October 7, 1943

Fw 190 fighter-bomber rolls on a runway in southern Italy

WW2 War Diary for Thursday, October 7, 1943: Mediterranean Italy: US 5th Army enters Capua, on river Volturno, 32 km north of Naples. Eastern Front Central Sector: Russians capture Nevel, west of Velikie Luki. Sea War Mediterranean: British cruisers Penelope… learn more

Diary October 6, 1943

MTB's of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

WW2 War Diary for Wednesday, October 6, 1943: Sea War Black Sea: 3 Russian destroyers sunk by Stukas. Stalin imposes strict curbs on subsequent operations by Black Sea Fleet. Pacific: Americans land on Kolombangara Island. Battle of Vella Lavella (October… learn more

Diary October 5, 1943

Fw 190 G of Schlachtgeschwader 2 'Immelmann'

WW2 War Diary for Tuesday, October 5, 1943: Air War Eastern Front: Stuka units re-designated Schlachtgeschwader and restricted to low-level night ground-attack duties. Sea War Atlantic: U-boat U-389 sunk by RAF B-24 Liberator with depth-charges. Pacific: 6 carriers of TF… learn more

Diary October 4, 1943

US escort carrier 'Card'

WW2 War Diary for Monday, October 4, 1943: Sea War Atlantic: Planes from US carrier Card sink ‘U-tanker’ U-460 and U-boat U-422 and damage U-264 near Azores. Passing convoy escapes attack. Arctic – Operation Leader: Planes from USS Ranger hit… learn more

Diary October 3, 1943

Ju 88 approaching the island of Kos

WW2 War Diary for Sunday, October 3, 1943: Sea War Mediterranean: Operation Eisbaer (‘Polar bear’). Germans land on Kos (Aegean), capturing 1,388 British and 3,145 Italians. Far East China: New Japanese drive in Central China. learn more

Diary October 2, 1943

German tank unit equipped with Panzer III 1943

WW2 War Diary for Saturday, October 2, 1943: Eastern Front Central Sector: Great Russian Smolensk offensive grinds to a stop, midway between that city and Vitebsk-Orsha. Mediterranean Italy: 5th US Army captures Benevento, northeast of Naples. Sea War Mediterranean: Royal… learn more

Diary October 1, 1943

American soldiers in southern Italy

WW2 War Diary for Friday, October 1, 1943: Mediterranean Italy: Allied 5th Army enters Naples. Politics USSR: Harriman appointed US Ambassador in Moscow. learn more