On 15 January
1943, Twelfth Air Force. United States Army Air Force (USAAF) B-26 Marauder medium
bombers attack rail road and highway bridge across Oued el Akarit, North North
West of Gabes. Escorting P-38 Lightning fighters fight long battle with fighters.
2 medium bombers and 2 P-38 Lightning fighters are shot down. B-25 Mitchell medium
bombers and B-26 Marauder medium bombers fly 3 counter-shipping missions North
and Northeast off Tunisia, claiming 1 vessel left in flames. Escorting fighters
strafe trucks and claim 10 aircraft shot down. Fighters fly several reconnaissance
and patrol operations, intercept enemy aeroplanes attacking airfields in Labasse
area, and escort transport aircraft.
On 18 January 1943, Russian Front.
Russian officials announce that the Soviet ground forces has broken the Wehrmacht's
siege of Leningrad as part of Operation Iskra, opening a narrow land corridor
to the city. Georgy Zhukov is promoted to Marshal of the Soviet Union.
Takes command of the Pocket Battleship Admiral
on 1 February 1943 to 4
On 2 February 1943, Russian Front. Battle of Stalingrad
comes to an end with all remaining Wehrmacht forces in Stalingrad capitulated
eight more generals captured from the 6. Armee. Z33
Commissioned 6 February 1943
On 9 February 1943, Twelfth
Air Force. United States Army Air Force (USAAF) B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombers
bomb Kairouan airfield. Fighters strafe antiaircraft and machine guns and trucks
in Faid Pass, buildings near Mezzouna, trucks in Station de Sened area, and fly
escort and reconnaissance missions. Hans
Takes command of the battleship Tirpitz
on 24 February 1943 to 1 May 1944
on 1 March 1943 becomes the Inspector-General of the Armoured Troops
for the Wehrmacht Armee.
On 15 March 1943, Russian Front. Wehrmacht ground
forces recapture Kharkov after four days of bitter house-to-house fighting against
Russian troops, ending the month long Third Battle of Kharkov. Z38
Commissioned 20 March 1943
On 21 April 1943, North Africa.
The Afrika Corps attacked First Army positions near Mejez-el-Bab, but withdrew,
losing 33 panzers. The British Eighth Army troops captured Takrouna, North West
On 11 May 1943, Eleventh Air Force. The following missions
support United States forces landing on Attu. 1 air-ground liaison sortie by 1
B-24 Liberator heavy bombers, and B-24 Liberator heavy bombers supply sortie dropping
supplies to ground forces, and 5 attack missions, flown by 11 B-24 Liberator heavy
bombers and 12 B-25 Mitchell medium bombers . First attack mission cannot find
target and instrument bombs targets which include runway, radar, submarine base,
and camp area. Because of poor visibility next 2 missions hit Kiska, where runway
and Main Camp are attacked. 2 B-24 Liberator heavy bombers then bomb Chichagof
Harbour area through fog while another drops leaflets on Attu.
Chastise was an attack on German dams carried out on 16-17
May 1943, by the British Royal Air Force (RAF) Lancaster bombers, later known
as the Dambusters , using a specially developed bouncing bomb invented and developed
by Barnes Wallis. The Möhne and Edersee Dams were breached, causing catastrophic
flooding of the Ruhr valley and of villages in the Eder valley, while the Sorpe
dam sustained only minor damage eight out of 19 Lancaster's lost. Z34
Commissioned 5 June 1943
On 5 July 1943, Russian Front.
Battle of Kursk, The Wehrmacht ground forces launched a new offensive in Kursk,
Orel and Bielgorod sectors, 586 Wehrmacht panzers tanks and 203 Luftwaffe disabled
Northwest African Air Forces (NAAF). During 9
July 1943, Northwest African Strategic Air Force (NASAF) Wellingtons bomb Catania,
Syracuse, Syracuse Isthmus, seaplane base and railroad station at Syracuse, and
Caltagirone Northwest African Air Forces (NAAF) Troop Carrier Command flies airborne
operations to drop British and United States paratroops on Sicily. United States
Seventh and British Eighth Armies make amphibious landings on South and Southeast
coast of Sicily. Northwest African Tactical Air Force (NATAF) A-36 Apache dive
bomber hit railroads, road junctions, trains, and vehicles while P-40 fighters
fly cover for amphibious landings. Northwest African Tactical Air Force (NATAF)
light bombers and medium bombers hit airfields at Sciacca, Canicatti, Ponte Olivo,
and Trapani, and towns and surrounding areas of Caltagirone and Palazzolo. Throughout
the day Northwest African Strategic Air Force (NASAF) B-17 Flying Fortress heavy
bombers and B-25 Mitchell medium bombers bomb Milo and Sciacca airfields, Gerbini
satellite fields, and towns of Palazzolo and Caltanissetta. P-38 Lightning fighters
on sweep strafe radar installation.
On 24 July 1943, Operation Gomorrha
begins, Trondheim and Heroya bombed by United States Army Air Force (USAAF) Flying
Fortresses heavy bombers in their first attack on Norway. 791 British Royal Air
Force (RAF) Lancasters, Halifaxes, Stirlings, Wellingtons attacked Hamburg during
the night in heaviest raid of the war to date, 2,300 tons of bombs dropped in
50 minutes, for the loss of 12 bombers.
On 1 August 1943, Operation Tidal
Wave, Ninth Air Force. United States Army Air Force (USAAF) 177 B-24 Liberator
heavy bombers, of IX Bomber Command including heavy bombers on loan from Eighth
Air Force are dispatched to bomb oil refineries at Ploesti and nearby Campina.
The operation (TIDALWAVE) is costly, 54 planes and 532 airmen being lost, but
damage to the targets is severe. More than 230 P-40 fighters, largest Ninth Air
Force total to date, attack Adrano, area near Randazzo, Messina, Milazzo, Taormina,
and shipping in Straits of Messina. Z39
Commissioned 21 August 1943
On 3 September 1943, Twelfth
Air Force. United States Army Air Force (USAAF) P-40 fighters on sweep over Sardinia
hit Pula and Capo Carbonara radar installations. A-20 Havoc light bombers, A-36
Apache dive bomber fighters (and The British Royal Air Force (RAF) light bombers)
hit gun positions throughout toe of Italy, attack airfields at Crotone and Camigliatello,
and hit railway yards at Marina di Catanzaro and Punta di Staletti, troop concentration
near Santo Stefano d'Aspromonte and road junctions and bridges at Cosenza. British
Eighth Army lands on toe of Italy between Reggio di Calabria and Villa San Giovanni
(Operation BAYTOWN). Italian government signs surrender terms. T33
Launched 4 September 1943 Fritz
Takes command of the Battleship Scharnhorst
on 13 October 1943 to 26 December
President Roosevelt, Mr Churchhill and Chiang Kai-shek confer
in Cairo. Talks last until 26
and concern OVERLORD, possibility of expanding operations in
Mediterranean Theatre of Operations (MTO), and future operations against Japan.
It is decided to make amphibious landing and offensive in Burma (CHAMPION) and
to base B-29 Superfortress heavy bomber's in China-Burma-India (CBI) (TWILIGHT).
Tehran Conference begins and lasts until 30
. President Roosevelt, Mr Churchill, and Stalin discuss further
action against Germany. OVERLORD and ANVIL are given priority over all other operations.
Stalin agrees to commit Soviet forces against Japan after Germany's defeat.
On 2 December 1943, A Luftwaffe bombing raid on the harbour of Bari, Italy,
sinks an United States ship carrying a mustard gas stockpile, causing many fatalities.
Launched 11 December 1943 Scharnhorst
Sunk 26 December 1943
For a complete list of sources