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German infantry in Stalingrad, October 1942
The German 6th Army undertakes the attack on Stalingrad .
Accompanying letter from Reinhard Heydrich to Under-Secretary of State Martin Luther (February 26, 1942) to send the minutes of the Wannsee Conference
The “ final solution to the Jewish question ” is organized at the Wannsee Conference .
The flags of the 26 signatory nations on a poster from the United States Office of War Information
26 states sign the United Nations Declaration .
Battle of Midway
The Battle of Midway marks a turning point in the Pacific War .
1942 in other calendars
Armenian calendar 1390/91 (July turn of the year)
Ethiopian calendar 1934/35 (10/11 September)
Baha'i calendar 98/99 (20/21 March)
Bengali solar calendar 1346/47 (April 14 or 15)
Buddhist calendar 2485/86 (Southern Buddhism); 2484/85 (alternative calculation according to Buddha's parinirvana )
Chinese calendar 77th (78th) cycle

Year of the Water Horse壬午 ( since February 15 , before that Metal Snake辛巳)

Chuch'e ideology (North Korea) Chuche 31
Chula Sakarat (Siam, Myanmar) / Dai calendar (Vietnam) 1304/05 (New Year's April)
Dangun era (Korea) 4275/76 (October 2nd/3rd)
Iranian calendar 1320/21 (around March 21)
Islamic calendar 1360/61 (18/19 January)
Japanese calendar 昭和Showa 17;
Koki 2602
Jewish calendar 5702/03 (September 11/12)
Coptic calendar 1658/59 (10/11 September)
Malayalam calendar 1117/18
Minguo Calendar (China) Year 31 of the Republic
Seleucid era Babylon: 2252/53 (April turn of the year)

Syria: 2253/54 (October turn of the year)

Suriyakati Calendar (Thai Solar Calendar) 2484/85 (April 1)
Tibetan calendar 1688
Vikram Sambat (Nepalese calendar) 1998/99 (April)


politics and world affairs

Second World War

Political and diplomatic developments
The 33 convicted members of the Duquesne spy ring (FBI photo).
  • January 2: The largest espionage case in US history ends with 33 German agents of the Duquesne spy ring being sentenced to prison terms totaling over 300 years. J. Edgar Hoover describes the dismantling of the spy ring as the greatest counterintelligence success in United States history .
  • January 25 Thailand declares war on Britain and the United States, entering World War II on the side of the Axis powers .
  • January 29: Half a year after the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran , the new Shah Mohammad Reza Shah signed an agreement in which the USSR and Great Britain were assured all possible non-military support.
  • February 1: The US government broadcaster Voice of America broadcasts its first program in German via British transmitters.
  • February 15: The Vichy regime legislates for abortion to be a "crime against state security" and imposes the death penalty on those who perform abortions on pregnant women .
Internees in front of barracks in Minidoka
First assembly of AVNOJ in Bihać
German-Soviet War
Red Army offensive south of Lake Ilmen, 7 January to 21 February 1942
Kholm cauldron
January 18 to May 5, 1942
  • January 18: The Battle of Cholm begins with a partisan attack on the German occupiers . Several thousand German soldiers ("Scherer Combat Group") are surrounded and only released after 105 days.
  • January: In the Battle of Moscow , Soviet advances are made at Vyazma, Rzhev and Mozhaisk.
Unloading of Junkers Ju 52 at Demjansk
Map of the Battle of Kharkov
  • May 12th to 28th: After initial Soviet successes, the Battle of Kharkov leads to the encirclement of a large part of the attacking units by a German counterattack. The victory at Kharkov is one of the last victorious pocket battles of the Wehrmacht. With this victory, the Germans gained the strategic prerequisites for the summer offensive of 1942.
The destroyed port of Sevastopol
The War in the West
Burning British landing craft on Dieppe beach
Siege of Malta
The War in North Africa
Rommel in his "Greif" command vehicle, photo taken by the Wehrmacht propaganda company, June 1942
Montgomery watches his armored units advance
  • October 23: The British under Bernard Montgomery counterattack at El-Alamein - even later than suggested by Auchinleck. The Second Battle of El Alamein ends in Allied victory on November 4th. A halt order from Hitler dated November 3 is ignored by Rommel with the backing of Field Marshal Albert Kesselring . After their withdrawal, the German and Italian units reach the Libyan border on November 6th.
Allied invasion of Morocco and Algeria
Second Sino-Japanese War
Chinese soldier in the Third Battle of Changsha
Southeast Asia and Pacific War
The Pacific and Southeast Asia in 1942
Japanese Army Paratroopers during the Battle of Palembang
Yamashita and Percival at the surrender negotiations
Darwin Harbor during the air raid
Japanese landings on Java
Generals Jonathan Wainwright and Douglas MacArthur in the Philippines
Battle of the Coral Sea
Burning oil tanks on Midway
Amphibious landing units on the way to Guadalcanal beach
The fighting on Guadalcanal 1942
Bombing next to the USS Enterprise during the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands
  • October 26: The Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands is the fourth carrier battle of the Pacific War. The Japanese are victorious, but suffer disproportionately high losses of experienced aircrew and are unable to drive the Allies from Guadalcanal as planned.
  • November 13: The naval battle of Guadalcanal begins. Japan's last attempt to control the waters around Guadalcanal ends in defeat on November 15. The Tokyo Express , which is actually supposed to provide Japanese supplies, now begins the gradual withdrawal of the Japanese troops, mainly using fast destroyers, in the direction of New Guinea .
  • November 30: The Battle of Tassafaronga ends in Japanese victory.
  • December 15 Final ground fighting begins inside Guadalcanal.
U-boat War in the Atlantic
bomb war
Lübeck Cathedral with Museum am Dom after the attack
The "Final Solution to the Jewish Question"/ Resistance to National Socialism
Villa of the Wannsee Conference
Heydrich's car after the assassination
Riegner Telegram
Other events related to the war in Europe
  • 1 September: Beginning of resettlement of the market town of Neweklau and 71 surrounding villages to create the Beneschau SS military training area .
  • 3 October 3:58 p.m.: First successful test launch of the A4 /V2 rocket in Peenemünde . It achieves a peak height of 84.5 kilometers and a range of 190 kilometers. This successful launch was preceded by three false starts on March 16, June 13 and August 17 of the same year.
  • November 30th: The starvation diet decree of the Bavarian State Minister of the Interior legalizes malnutrition and thus leads to the death of many thousands of psychiatric patients in Bavaria.

Other events worldwide


Construction of the Alaska Highway

science and technology

Pit River Bridge June 1942


Visual arts

Invitation to the opening of "Art of this Century"


Movie logo
title of the movie


Music, theater and variety shows

Bing Crosby 1942



  • January 9: Off Menorca , the Lamoricière , a passenger ship owned by the French shipping company Compagnie Générale Transatlantique , sinks after water entered the hull in a severe storm. 301 people die.
  • February 18: The destroyer Truxtun ( USA ) runs aground in bad weather during an escort operation in Placentia Bay ( Canada ), breaks up and sinks. Over 100 dead
  • February 24: The Bulgarian steamer Struma with 764 Jewish refugees on board is sunk by a Soviet submarine near the Bosphorus . There is only one survivor. The goiter had previously been forced to return to the Black Sea by Turkish authorities. The refugees were not allowed to continue their journey or to land
  • 22 August: Destroyer escort Ingraham (USA) sank west of Halifax in the North Atlantic after colliding with tanker Chemung . Of the 200 man crew on the destroyer, 189 men died and the tanker was badly damaged.
  • 2 October: The anti-aircraft cruiser Curacoa sank off the north coast of Ireland after colliding with the troop transport passenger ship Queen Mary (both Great Britain ). 331 of the cruiser's 430-strong crew die
  • November 23: The British passenger and cargo steamer Tilawa is sunk by two torpedoes in the Indian Ocean by the Japanese submarine I-29 . 280 passengers and crew die.
  • December 20: 7.3 magnitude earthquake in Erbaa , Turkey, killing around 3,000

Minor accidents are listed in the sub-articles of Disaster .

nature and environment

  • January 21: −30.5 degrees Celsius is the coldest temperature ever recorded in Munich .


Nobel prizes

Nobel prizes are not awarded.




  • 0February 1: Klaus Peter Arnold , Austrian geographer, historian and tourism scientist († 2017)
  • 0February 1: Hans Peter Heinzl , Austrian cabaret artist († 1996)
  • 0February 1 Terry Jones , British comedian, director and writer († 2020)
Terry Jones











Exact date of birth unknown


January February

March April

Robert Bosch, 1888

May June

July August

September October

November December

Exact date of death unknown


  • Dirk Black: We from the year 1942 - childhood and youth , Wartberg Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, Gudensberg-Gleichen 2005, ISBN 3-8313-1542-6

web links

Commons : 1942  - Collection of images, videos and audio files