World War Two 1943

World War Two 1943

The year 1943 marked a shift in the successes of both sides during World War Two. As Allied forces strengthened and began to target the opposition more efficiently, they began to enjoy more frequent, consistent and notable gains, ultimately leading to the downfall of Italy before the year drew to a close.

Although both sides suffered losses, the Axis defeats were often so significant that they left Germany struggling to keep an upper hand, particularly after the Kingdom of Italy surrendered in September 1943. This specific event forced the Nazis to deliver supplies and troops south in a bid to prevent an attack on Berlin, which impacted on the nation's ability to ensure continued strength in the East and West of Europe.

Other notable defeats for the Axis forces include the D-Day landings, where Allied forces struck against the Germans in Normandy and rendered their France-based U-boat bases inoperable. This marked the biggest invasion by sea in history and was the start of Operation Overlord, which would eventually see the Allied forces arrive in Berlin and end the war. Additionally, the year of 1943 marked a turning point in the US bid to retake many of the territories taken by Japan the previous year.


See also:


World War Two 1940

World War Two 1941

World War Two 1942

World War Two 1944

World War Two 1945

1943 Event
4 January Operation Koltso (Ring) was approved by STAVKA (the high command of the armed forces in the Soviet Union). This consisted of the German 6th Army’s being destroyed at Stalingrad unit by unit on 10 January.
8 January STAVKA requested that Friedrich Paulus, commander of the 6th Army at Stalingrad would surrender - however Paulus refused.
10 January Operation Ring started from 8am with a huge artillery attack on the 6th Army. The German troops in Stalingrad were sought out unit by unit as planned.
12 January Leningrad managed to gain a rail line and linked it to the outside.
13 January The Kharkov struggle started happening again - two Soviet armies launched an attack on the Germans there.
14 January The Casablanca conference of Allied leaders started. Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt attended.
22 January The Germans evacuated Tripoli in Libya, and the British captured the city on 23 January.
31 January Friedrich Paulus surrendered at Stalingrad. The German 6th Army’s final surrender happened on 2 February.
2 February The first Allied merchant ship unloaded its cargo in Tripoli and this vastly improved Montgomery's supply lines.
5 February The Americans drove the Japanese out of Guadalcanal.
8 February The Russians retook the city of Kursk.
9 February Guadalcanal was taken by American forces.
14 February British General Orde Wingate’s ‘Chindits’ began their first long-range penetration patrols.
16 February The Russians retook Kharkov.
20 February The Germans set a counter-offensive against the Russians, led by Erich von Manstein.
2 March The Germans completely damaged the Russian 3rd Tank Army.
3 March Manstein massed four Panzer corps south-west of Kharkov to inflict another huge attack on the Russians.
15 March The Germans re-captured Kharkov.
31 March A ‘spring thaw’ in the weather meant Manstein was unable to make any more gains. However, in five weeks, Manstein succeeded in driving the Russians back 100 miles on the south-eastern Russian front.
13 April The Katyn Forest massacre was originally broadcast on Radio Berlin. This was a number of executions carried out in Poland, 1940, by the Soviet NKVD. The Germans found mass graves and in 1943 Joseph Goebbels chose to use the discoveries as anti-Bolshevik propaganda.
19 April The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising began.
13 May The German Afrika Korps and Italian troops in North Africa surrendered to the Allies.
5 June The German attempt to sever the Kursk salient, known as Operation Citadel began.
9 July Operation Husky was launched - the Allied invasion of Sicily.
12 July The 'greatest' tank battle in history occurred at Kursk.
16 July The Germans started retreating from the Kursk salient.
17 July

Allied planes bombed the Italian mainland and Sicily.

Mussolini met with Hitler at Feltre.

24 July

The Grand Council of Fascism came to an agreement that Italy’s military power should lie with the king - Victor Emmanuel.

The RAF and USAAF air attack on Hamburg, Operation Gomorrah, began. The Operation lasted eight days and caused so much destruction that it was later given the label ‘Hiroshima of Germany’. More than 40,000 people died and around 37,000 were wounded.

25 July Mussolini was arrested.
3 August Italy made the first step in the direction of a peace settlement with the Allies.
6 August German troops started moving into Italy to increase the likelihood of a peace settlement which would remove the Italians from the war.
22 August The Germans started moving away from Kharkov and the Russians ventured into the city the following day.
26 August The Russians campaign to liberate eastern Ukraine began.
3 September Invasion of Italy by Britain and America.
8 September American/British forces landed at Salerno.
12 September The Waffen-SS commandos launched the Gran Sasso raid to rescue Benito Mussolini from the Campo Imperatore Hotel in the Apennine Mountains - this turned out to be successful.
25 September Smolensk was set free.
1 October British troops entered Naples.
9 October Northern Caucasus’ liberation was finalised.
6 November German troops were made to leave Kiev.
20 November The Battle of Tarawa began, and ended with the deaths of more than 1,000 US Marines.
23 November Japan was driven out of the Gilbert Islands.
28 November The Tehran conference began.
26 December 'Scharnhorst' got sunk in the north of Norway.

See also: World War Two 1944

MLA Citation/Reference

"World War Two 1943". 2023. Web.