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12 Apr 1943
  • British War Office circulated the "German Long-Range Rocket Development" report, which warned of potential danger from these potential new weapons. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Germans announced the discovery of over 4,000 bodies of Polish officers, reportedly deported by the Soviets in 1940, in a mass grave near Smolensk, Russia. ww2dbase [Katyn Massacre and Related Atrocities | TH]
  • Adolf Hitler named Martin Bormann his secretary. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Joseph Stalin informed Winston Churchill his delight to see German industry in shambles. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | CPC]
  • British RAF Desert Air Force assumed leadership roles in Operation Flax in North Africa. On the same day, troops of British 8th Army captured Sousse, Tunisia. ww2dbase [Conclusion of the Desert War | CPC]
  • Isherwood was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Isherwood | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Alpino Bagnolini heard bombs detonating while submerged in the Atlantic Ocean at 0010 hours. ww2dbase [Alpino Bagnolini | CPC]
Australian New Guinea Australian Papua
  • Isoroku Yamamoto personally observed the launch of a strike at Vunakanau field near Rabaul, New Britain, which ultimately consisted of 17 G4M bombers of 751 Air Group and 26 G4M bombers of 705 Air Group with 130 fighters in escort. At 0945 hours, the attack was detected by the radar station at Dona on the coast of Australian Papua. The attack destroyed 3 B-25 bombers and 1 Beaufighter at Schwimmer Airfield near Port Moresby, Australian Papua; nearby Berry Airfield suffered destroyed buildings and Ward's Airfield suffered 5,000 drums of gasoline destroyed. The Japanese lost 6 bombers and 2 fighters in combat; 2 additional bombers were lost after making crash landings. ww2dbase [New Guinea-Papua Campaign, Phase 2 | Port Moresby | CPC]
  • B-17 bombers took off from Jackson Field (previously known as Seven Mile airdrome) near Port Moresby, Australian Papua. Pilot Kenneth McCullar's B-17 "Blues in the Nite" caught fire on takeoff, veered off, and crashed, killing all aboard. Those that took off successfully attacked the Japanese base at Rabaul, New Britain. ww2dbase [Port Moresby | CPC]
Caroline Islands
  • Repair ship Akashi began repairing destroyer Amagiri at Truk, Caroline Islands. ww2dbase [Akashi | Truk | CPC]
Hawaii Japan
  • USS Flying Fish sank a Japanese freighter off the coast of Honshu, Japan, hitting her with 1 of 4 torpedoes fired. ww2dbase [Flying Fish | CPC]
United States

12 Apr 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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Winston Churchill, on the RAF

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