World War II Timeline: April 26, 1943-May 7, 1943
In late April 1943 Britain launched the deceptive Operation Mincemeat, ultimately fooling Adolf Hitler in a major strategic victory for the Allies. This and other events from World War II are summarized on the following timeline.
World War II Timeline: April 26-May 7
April 26: Angered by the investigation and accusations surrounding the Katyn massacre, Soviet officials sever diplomatic relations with Poland's government-in-exile.
A United States force reaches Alaska and begins its assault on the Japanese-held Aleutian island of Attu.
April 28-30: German panzer units attack Djebel Bou Aoukaz, Tunisia, in what will be Nazi Germany's last offensive armored maneuver in North Africa.
April 30: The British launch Operation Mincemeat by releasing a corpse -- which is dressed as a British officer and carries falsified war plans -- off the coast of Spain. The "plans," which indicate that the Allies will attack Greece and Sardinia, and not Sicily as long suspected, will successfully divert Axis defenses from several key fronts.
May: War shortages affect civilians on both sides of the Atlantic, as Canada introduces meat rationing while Nazi Germany further reduces the size of existing rations.
Due to improved Allied interception technology, Nazi Germany will lose a third of its U-boats out on patrol this month. This leads German admiral Karl Dönitz to implicitly concede an Allied victory in the Battle of the North Atlantic when he repositions his fleet to the south.
May 1: German and Italian forces retreat in Tunisia.
May 2: The war reaches Australian shores once more when Japanese aircraft pound the port city of Darwin in the Northern Territory.
May 7: A day after destroying Germany's 15th Panzer Division, the Allies score a major victory with the fall of the Tunisian capital of Tunis. Approximately 250,000 Axis soldiers will surrender in the upcoming days.
World War II Headlines
The following headlines and images detail events of World War II and the 1943 activity of the Allies and Nazi Germany.
U.S. bonds finance the war: Treasury Department workers such as these received, checked, and counted a million Series E bonds daily, sealing them into packages of 4,000 for distribution. Sold at 75 percent of its face value, a "war bond" matured in 10 years to $25, $50, $75, $100, $200, $500, $1,000, or $10,000. War bonds were promoted on posters, in ads contributed by radio stations and print publications, at sports events, and via celebrity appearances. More than 85 million Americans (most of the population) spent a total of more than $185 billion on War Bonds -- at a time when the median annual income was about $2,000. The bonds helped finance the war effort and took cash out of the economy to control inflation.
Britan's Operation Mincemeat utterly fooled Adolf Hitler. On the next page a World War II timeline from May 1943 looks at the events that followed.