Wehrmacht History 1935 to 1945


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1943 WWII Timeline

Day by day


Z33 Destroyer


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.

Richard Rothe-Roth
Takes command of the Pocket Battleship Admiral Scheer on 1 February 1943 to 4 April 1944

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 Destroyer
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 Karl Meyer
Takes command of the battleship Tirpitz on 24 February 1943 to 1 May 1944

Heinz Guderian 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 Destroyer
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 of Enfidaville.

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.

Operation 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 Destroyer
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 or destroyed.

Northwest African Air Forces (NAAF). During 9-10 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 Destroyer
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 Torpedo boat
Launched 4 September 1943

Fritz Hintze
Takes command of the Battleship Scharnhorst on 13 October 1943 to 26 December 1943

President Roosevelt, Mr Churchhill and Chiang Kai-shek confer in Cairo. Talks last until 26 November 1943 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 November 1943. 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.

T35 Torpedo boat
Launched 11 December 1943

Scharnhorst Battleship
Sunk 26 December 1943


Z33 Destroyer
Z38 Destroyer
Z34 Destroyer
Z39 Destroyer
Scharnhorst Battleship


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