The timeline below describes day-to-day World War II events in early September 1943, including operations in Italy and the Pacific.
World War II Timeline: September 1-September 7
September: The efficacy of Allied forces in India is jeopardized by a devastating famine in the Bengal province.
September 1: The U.S. military introduces its F6F Hellcat fighter during an attack on the Japanese base on Marcus Island.
September 2: The Polish government-in-exile publishes a report detailing atrocities against concentration camp inmates. The atrocities include bizarre medical experiments on healthy inmates at Ravensbrück and human skin "tanneries" at Dachau and Buchenwald.
September 3: A substantial Allied force lands in southern Italy and captures the town of Reggio in the province of Calabria.
Italy signs a treaty with American officials in Sicily, effectively surrendering to the Allies. The treaty will be kept secret for a time, both to aid Allied operations in Italy and prevent immediate Nazi reprisals against the Italian people.
September 6: For the first time in this war, Allied merchant ships are able to safely operate in Italy's Strait of Messina.
U.S. General Joseph Stilwell, Chiang Kai-shek's chief of staff, suggests that the Chinese Nationalists join forces with the Communists to defeat the Japanese. Chiang is disgusted by the suggestion and will ask the U.S. high command to recall Stilwell.
September 7: Corsicans take up arms against the Axis troops that have been occupying their French Mediterranean island.
Hitler permits his German troops, badly battered by the Red Army as they attempted to hold the Ukraine, to retreat to the Dnieper River.
World War II Headlines
The headlines and images below present more World War II history from 1943.
Gruesome experiments conducted at Ravensbrück in Nazi Germany: During the course of the war, the Nazis built concentration camps throughout Europe. Ravensbrück, a camp primarily for women from many different nationalities, religions, and lifestyles, was located about 60 miles north of Berlin. As in most of the other camps, the Ravensbrück prisoners were required to do heavy labor or work in sweatshops making military supplies. Medical experiments were also conducted on helpless inmates. Two types were performed at Ravensbrück: testing the effects of sulfanilamide drugs on infected wounds, and studying the regeneration of bones, nerves, and muscles. This picture of Polish inmate Bogumila Babinska, smuggled out of the camp, shows the effect of four deep cuts on her thigh muscles.
Anne Frank writes diary: A German Jewish girl in Amsterdam, Anne Frank was given a diary for her 13th birthday on June 12, 1942. Three weeks later, her family went into hiding to escape deportation to a labor camp in Nazi Germany. Anne faithfully kept a diary during her two years in hiding. "It's a wonder I haven't abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical," Anne wrote less than a month before her arrest. "Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart." Anne died at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in February or March 1945. The Diary of Anne Frank is one of the best-selling books of all time, with more than 25 million copies published.
Reich minister of the interior Wilhelm Frick falls from power: Nazi Wilhelm Frick became Reich minister of the interior in 1933. He drafted anti-Jewish laws and other legislation that sent political foes to concentration camps. In 1943, after losing a power struggle with Heinrich Himmler, Frick was demoted to the ceremonial post of protector of Bohemia and Moravia. He refused to defend himself at the 1946 Nuremberg Trials, where he was found guilty and hanged. Frick's final words were "long live eternal Germany."
Adolf Hitler's chief architect, Albert Speer, helps German economy: Albert Speer (right) watches a 1943 weapons demonstration with Adolf Hitler (center). Soon after joining the Nazi Party in 1931, Speer became the Führer's chief urban architect. Speer designed monumental structures -- such as the Nuremberg parade grounds -- to exploit classical themes for Nazi spectacles. Appointed armaments minister in 1942 and given economic responsibilities in 1943, the ever-efficient Speer used concentration camp labor to increase war production, thus strengthening the economy. At the Nuremberg Trials, Speer professed both remorse and ignorance concerning the most inhumane Nazi practices. He kept a diary during his 20-year jail term and became a successful memoirist after his 1966 release.
The battle for control of Italy dominated wartime operations in September 1943. See the timeline in the next section for more World War II history.
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