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21 Jan 1943
  • Japanese hospital ship Hikawa Maru arrived at Rabaul and departed later on the same day. ww2dbase [Hikawa Maru | CPC]
  • Soviet troops captured Voroshilovsky and Stavropol in the Caucasus region of southern Russia, claiming 500,000 German dead and 200,000 Germans captured in the last two months of fighting. ww2dbase [Caucasus Campaign | TH]
  • Allied leadership issued the directive to RAF and USAAF commanders "[y]our primary objective will be the progressive destruction and dislocation of the German military, industrial and economic system, and the undermining of the morale of the German people to a point where their capacity for armed resistance is fatally wounded." ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | CPC]
  • USS Gato attacked a Japanese convoy east of Kieta, Bougainville, Solomon Islands, damaging one transport. ww2dbase [Gato | CPC]
  • USS Pollack attacked a Japanese cargo ship off Honshu, Japan with two torpedoes; both torpedoes missed. ww2dbase [Pollack | CPC]
  • Destroyers USS Nicholas, USS O’Bannon, USS DeHaven, and USS Radford arrived at Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides. ww2dbase [Nicholas | DS]
Australian New Guinea
  • Allied aircraft attacked Rabaul, New Britain, sinking small freighter Tetsusan Maru. ww2dbase [Rabaul, New Britain | CPC]
Caroline Islands
  • Repair ship Akashi began repairing destroyers Uzuki and Suzukaze at Truk, Caroline Islands. ww2dbase [Akashi | Truk | CPC]
  • Angelo Amendolia was named the commanding officer of Alpino Bagnolini at Bordeaux, France; he replaced Ferdinando Corsi. ww2dbase [Alpino Bagnolini | Bordeaux, Aquitaine | CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler told Ambassador Hiroshi Oshima that he would welcome Japanese assistance in defeating Russia. ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | AC]
Pacific Ocean
  • Crew of Gato-class submarine USS Silversides discovered a torpedo protruding out the front of the No. 6 torpedo tube, explaining why the outer tube door was stuck open and what happened to the sixth torpedo fired the day before. In a dangerous maneuver, Silversides backed full while firing tube 6 again and successfully launched the torpedo. With one torpedo hang-fired, an air leak and another fuel leak they could not control, an explosion in their main generator, and Cream of Wheat breakfast cereal in their main induction gears, Captain Burlingame made the decision to depart his patrol area two days ahead of schedule and withdraw for repairs. ww2dbase [Silversides | DS]
United States
  • The United States Marine Corps established the Marine Fleet Air, West Coast at San Diego, California, United States to oversee all Fleet Marine Force aviation operations and to supply personnel and materiel to Marine Aircraft Wings, Pacific. ww2dbase [San Diego, California | CPC]
  • Yorktown (Essex-class) launched at Newport News, Virginia, United States sponsored by Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt. ww2dbase [Yorktown (Essex-class) | Norfolk, Virginia | DS]
Photo(s) dated 21 Jan 1943
Submarine Oberon underway off Spithead, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom, 21 Jan 1943German Army 7.5 cm Gebirgsgeschütz 36 mountain gun operating at 3,000-meter altitude in the Caucasus Mountains in southern Russia, 21 Jan 1943Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox, left, touring Guadalcanal with Adm Nimitz, Adm Halsey, and Army Gen J Lawton Collins, Jan 21, 1943. Apparently no one thought to tell Knox his helmet was on backwards.Destroyed Red October factory in Stalingrad, Russia, 21 Jan 1943

21 Jan 1943 Interactive Map

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, Hugh Martyr, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis

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Famous WW2 Quote
"The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next 500 years."

James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945

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