World War II Timeline: September 21, 1942-October 2, 1942
Britain and the United States lowered their military induction minimum age to 18 in October 1942. Learn about this and the other important World War II events that occurred during 1942 below.
World War Timeline: September 21-October 2
September 21: The women and children of Stalingrad are evacuated from the dying city.
Boeing Field in Seattle is the site of the maiden voyage of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress, a high-altitude, long-range bomber.
September 24: Soviet pilot Olga Yamschchikova becomes the first woman to record an aerial "kill" when she downs a Nazi German plane over Stalingrad.
September 25: Madagascar becomes controlled by British forces after Vichy governor general Armand Léon Annet refuses to accept peace terms and the British gain control of the island nation's main port.
September 29: The RAF's Eagle Squadrons, comprised of American pilots, are officially transferred to U.S. command.
September 30: In a speech delivered at the Berlin Sportpalast, Adolf Hitler mocks the Allies, calling them "military idiots."
October: Britain and the United States begin sending troop and materiel convoys to North Africa in preparation for Operation Torch.
Both Britain and the United States lower their military induction minimum age to 18.
October 1: Bell test pilot Robert M. Stanley puts the XP-59 Airacomet, the first U.S. jet, through its paces in the skies over the Mojave Desert.
The Lisbon Maru, a Japanese ship carrying 1,816 Allied prisoners of war, goes down with its human cargo when the USS Grouper torpedoes it and the Japanese crew seals the exits before abandoning ship.
October 2: The Queen Mary, sailing in an evasive zigzag pattern off the coast of Ireland, accidentally slices through its escort, the Curacao, which sinks, claiming 338 lives.
World War II Headlines
Below are more highlights and images that outline the details of World War II, including Nazi Germany's most feared tanks and Allied raids over Germany.
Japan firebombs Oregon to create panic: On September 9, 1942, the Japanese submarine I-25 surfaced off the coast of Oregon. The sub carried a Yokosuka E14Y, a small, folding-wing seaplane type dubbed a "Glen." Not long after the aircraft was catapulted from the I-25's deck, Chief Warrant Officer Fujita Nobuo and Petty Officer Okuda Shoji dropped two incendiary bombs on Mount Emily, near Brookings, Oregon. Their hope was to ignite colossal forest fires and create panic. However, the incendiaries had little effect.
Robert Capa photographs the war: The American public's window to World War II was provided by civilian photojournalists and military photographers whose work appeared in the illustrated news magazines of the day. Some, such as Hungarian-born Robert Capa, became famous. Capa first received acclaim for his coverage of the Spanish Civil War. During World War II, he worked for Collier's magazine and later for Life. He risked his life by jumping into Sicily with an airborne unit in 1943, and landed under fire at Normandy on June 6, 1944. Though Capa survived the war, he was killed while on assignment in Indochina in 1954.
Adolf Hitler ousts the respected field marshal Wilhelm List: Competent field marshal Wilhelm List was commander-in-chief of Army Group A in the Caucasus in 1942 when Adolf Hitler unreasonably commanded him to push on to the Soviet city of Grozny and its nearby oil centers. Faced with fierce Soviet resistance along a sprawling front, List failed to carry out the Führer's orders. Hitler angrily relieved List of his command on September 9, creating a rift between himself and some of his highest officers.
The massive Tigers are Nazi Germany's most feared tanks: The Tiger I was Germany's most famous and feared tank. After its introduction on the Leningrad and Tunisian fronts in 1943, Allied soldiers' first instinct was to identify every enemy tank as a Tiger. This huge, fearsome weapon's 88mm gun could destroy any Allied tank at long range, and its armor was virtually impenetrable frontally. Its elite crews appreciated these qualities, but because it was underpowered and mechanically unreliable, they nicknamed it "furniture van." By war's end, the Henschel company had built about 1,350 Tigers.
Allied raids over Ruhr, Germany: By late 1942, American assembly lines were able to build enough bombers and fighter planes to support the United States' entry into the air war over Europe. Allied commanders began formulating a plan for around-the-clock bombing over the industrial centers in the Ruhr area of western Germany. In this new campaign, the Royal Air Force continued its blanket bombing of German cities at night while American planes struck industrial centers that were important to the Nazi German war effort during the day.
Krupp arms the military in Nazi Germany: Inspectors test shells at the Krupp munitions works in Nazi Germany. Krupp made an enormous contribution to rearming Germany before and during World War II. The firm supplied the Third Reich with staggering amounts of military hardware ranging from submarines to artillery. But Krupp's wartime profits came at a steep human cost. Some 100,000 slave laborers, about 23,000 of whom were prisoners of war, worked for Krupp under brutal conditions. After the war, the company's CEO, Alfried Krupp, was convicted of crimes against humanity.
Check out the next page for details on the major World War II events that occurred during October 1942.