Europe 1942: Battle of Stalingrad
A week after their defeats in Africa, Germany suffered an even greater disaster on the Eastern Front when the four month long stalemate at Stalingrad was ended by a huge Soviet offensive which successfully isolated the German Sixth Army.
9–17 Nov 1942 Reinforcement of Tunis▲
Alarmed by the collapse of Vichy French resistance following Operation Torch in early November 1942, the Germans rushed to reinforce Tunis, capital of French Tunisia. Still confused about who to support, Tunisian officials stood by as the Germans started landing aircraft at Tunis on 9 November, with German and Italian troops soon following. It took the Allies almost two weeks to respond, by which time three German and two Italian divisions were installed in the city and pro-Axis Vichy units had agreed to form a defensive line in the mountains.
10–11 Nov 1942 Case Anton▲
In response to the Allied landings in Vichy French North Africa, Adolf Hitler ordered the occupation of Vichy France to prevent it or its fleet also falling into Allied hands. The Vichy Armistice Army offered little resistance and within a day German tanks had reached the Mediterranean coast, while Italy occupied Corsica. Although Vichy France objected to the violation of the armistice of 1940 and scuttled its fleet, it also disbanded its army and became a German puppet state under its Chief of State Philippe Pétain.
10 Nov 1942 Darlan deal▲
Vichy French Admiral François Darlan, who happened to be visiting Algiers at the time of the November 1942 Torch landings in Morocco and Algeria, quickly negotiated a deal with the invading Allies. In return for Allied recognition of Darlan as High Commissioner of France for Africa, Darlan ordered all French forces in North Africa to join the Allies. Despite denouncement of the deal by both Vichy France and Charles de Gaulle, his orders were obeyed, bringing an end to fighting in the region.
19–23 Nov 1942 Operation Uranus▲
By November 1942 the Axis forces in the Caucasus were spread thin over a nearly 500 km front, with the German Sixth Army tied down in street fighting in Stalingrad. Exploiting this situation and the German army’s poor preparation for winter, the Soviets mounted offensives north and south of Stalingrad, hitting the depleted Romanian and German units guarding the flanks of the city. Crushing Axis resistance between them, the two Soviet armies joined at Kalach after just three-days fighting, completely encircling almost 300,000 Axis troops at Stalingrad.
20 Nov 1942 End of siege of Malta▲
On 16 October 1942 the Germans called off their last major air attack on Malta. Although further offensives on the island were intended, the Allied victories in North Africa in early November meant that none were made. The lifting of the siege was confirmed to the Allies on 20 November, when, in Operation Stone Age, a convoy reached Malta from Alexandria without significant damage.