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Italy Falls to the Allies: February 1943-June 1943

World War II Timeline: March 2, 1943-March 13, 1943

In March 1943 the Nazis began shutting down the Jewish ghettos in Poland, sending the residents to death camps such as Auschwitz. The timeline below summarizes this and other World War II events from March 1943.

World War II Timeline: March 2-March 13

March 2: In the wake of a devastating defeat at the hands of the Red Army, Benito Mussolini pulls Italy's surviving troops from the Eastern front.


An Allied attack on a Japanese troop convoy en route to New Guinea culminates in the Battle of the Bismarck Sea. The Japanese will suffer heavy losses.

March 3: Nearly 180 Londoners die after a woman trips entering an Underground station serving as an air raid shelter. The crowd rushing to get under cover presses in and suffocates the fallen.

March 5: The British Royal Air Force (RAF) introduces its latest weapons technology, the OBOE navigation system, in an air raid over Essen, Germany, home of the Krupp plant.

The Reich war machine orders the Vichy government to deliver an additional 100,000 slave laborers.

The RAF conducts test-flights of the Gloster Meteor, its first fighter plane powered by a jet engine.

March 6: General George Patton assumes control of the U.S. Second Army Corps on the same day that German general Erwin Rommel loses his last North African battle. Rommel, accused of "pessimism" by the Führer, will be succeeded by General Jürgen von Arnim.

The Allies lose 13 supply ships when a North Atlantic convoy is attacked by German U-boats.

March 10: Congress moves to extend the Lend-Lease Act, which would allow the United States to continue to supply the Allies with war materials without any expectation of repayment.

March 13: Some 14,000 Jews are sent to Auschwitz and other death camps as the Nazis begin to shut down the Jewish ghetto in the Polish city of Kraków.

An attempt on Adolf Hitler's life fails when the chosen weapon, a bomb made of plastic explosives, fails to detonate.

World War II Headlines

Below are more images and headlines detailing World War II events and the Axis and Allied campaigns of 1943.

U.S. Coast Guard contributes to war effort: On April 17, 1943, U.S. Coast Guardsmen watch the explosion from a depth charge they have dropped on the German submarine U-175. Spotting the U-boat on sonar as it maneuvered to attack an Allied convoy in the mid-Atlantic, the Coast Guard cutter Spencer took the submarine by surprise. Coast Guardsmen boarded the badly damaged submarine when it surfaced and rescued the surviving 41 German crewmen. In the Atlantic, the Coast Guard sank 13 U-boats and captured two Nazi surface ships. In the Pacific, they sank at least one Japanese submarine.

Allied make significant gains in North Africa: In the fall of 1942, General Montgomery's Eighth Army inflicted a significant defeat upon General Rommel's Afrika Korps at El Alamein in Egypt. At last the tide of German successes had turned, as Alamein now opened the way for a general advance westward by the British. Simultaneously, Anglo-U.S. landings (Operation Torch) at Casablanca, Oran, and Algiers were largely unopposed by the Vichy French defenders. Tripoli fell on January 28, 1943, and in February the Allies entered Tunisia -- where U.S. forces suffered a costly reverse at Kasserine Pass. However, the end was in sight, and the remaining Axis forces in North Africa surrendered on May 12.

Next is another World War II timeline tracing major events of March 1943, including an attempt on Adolf Hitler's life.

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