ETO - UK: Day 75 of 258 of the Blitz. The Luftwaffe launches a major raid against Birmingham, inflicting heavy damage in places.
MTO: Greek successes continue in northern Greece and Albania. The Italians are driven back across the Kalamas River.
East Africa: Day 163 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
CBI - China: Day 1,232 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 370 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.
CBI - Thailand: Day 50 of 221 of the Franco-Thai War (Vichy France vs Thailand).
1941 — , November 19
USA: The New York Times report on Occupied Europe estimates that 82,000 Poles have been shot or hanged since Poland's occupation by the Germans.
Russian Front - Finland: Day 151 of 164 of the Battle of Hanko. The Soviets will be forced off their leased naval base.
Russian Front: Day 151 of 167 of Germany's Operation BARBAROSSA.
Russian Front - North: Day 73 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - Center: Day 49 of 98 of the Battle of Moscow.
Russian Front - South: Day 21 of 248 of the Siege of Sevastopol, Crimean Peninsula.
MTO - Libya: Day 224 of 256 of the Siege of Tobruk.
East Africa: Day 528 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
CBI - China: Day 1,597 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
PTO - Australia: The cruiser HMAS SYDNEY and German raider KORMORAN sink each other off Western Australia. There are no survivors from HMAS SYDNEY.
1942 — , November 19
Russian Front - South: Day 89 of 165 of the Battle of Stalingrad, bloodiest battle in human history. The 5-day Soviet counter-offensive Operation URANUS begins, which will turn the tide at Stalingrad.
T-34 in Stalingrad
Recognizing that German troops were ill prepared for offensive operations during the winter of 1942, and that most of them were redeployed elsewhere on the southern sector of the Eastern Front, the Soviets decided to conduct a number of offensive operations between November 19, 1942 and February 2, 1943. These operations opened the Winter Campaign of 1942-1943 (19 November 1942 - 3 March 1943), which involved some 15 Armies operating on several fronts.
On 19 November 1942, the Red Army launched Operation URANUS. The attacking Soviet units under the command of General Nikolay Vatutin consisted of three complete armies, the 1st Guards Army, 5th Tank Army, and 21st Army, including a total of 18 infantry divisions, eight tank brigades, two motorized brigades, six cavalry divisions and one anti-tank brigade. The preparations for the attack could be heard by the Romanians, who continued to push for reinforcements, only to be refused. Thinly spread, deployed in exposed positions, outnumbered and poorly equipped, the Romanian 3rd Army, which held the northern flank of the German 6th Army, was overrun.
Behind the front lines, no preparations had been made to defend key points in the rear such as Kalach. The local response by the Wehrmacht was both chaotic and indecisive. Poor weather prevented effective air action against the Soviet offensive.
On 20 November, a second Soviet offensive (two armies) was launched to the south of Stalingrad against points held by the Romanian 4th Army Corps. The Romanian forces, made up primarily of infantry, were overrun by large numbers of tanks. The Soviet forces raced west and met on 23 November at the town of Kalach; sealing the ring around Stalingrad. The link-up of the Soviet forces, not filmed at the time, was later re-enacted for a propaganda film and shown worldwide.
ETO - Germany: US 8th Air Force heavy bombers attack the German submarine yards at Vegesack, Bremen, and Kiel.
Russian Front - North: Day 438 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 1 of 59 of the Battle of Velikiye Luki, near Leningrad. This stalemate does help ease the siege a little, but mostly it keeps German troops from being sent to other fronts.
Russian Front - North: Day 199 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket, USSR lays siege to the Kholm Pocket but the Germans hold out for a about a year and a half.
Russian Front - South: Day 145 of 150 of Germany's CASE BLUE, the failed offensive to take the Caucasus oil fields.
Russian Front - South: Day 90 of 165 of the Battle of Stalingrad, bloodiest battle in human history.
Russian Front - South: Day 1 of 5 of the USSR's Operation URANUS. This quick, successful offensive drive will eventually turn the tide at Stalingrad.
MTO - Tunisia: Day 3 of 178 of the Battle of Tunisia. British troops engage a German tank column only 30 miles from Tunis. US 12th Air Force provides air support.
CBI - China: Day 1,962 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
PTO - Alaska: Day 166 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands. The US and Canada will defeat the Japanese invaders.
PTO - Malaya: Day 274 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island, a long guerrilla war ending in Japanese victory.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 1 of 66 of the Battle of Buna-Gona. The US and Australian troops begin their assault on the last major Japanese stronghold in northern Papua New Guinea.
PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 105 of 187 of the Battle of Guadalcanal.
1943 — , November 19
ETO: US 8th Air Force B-17s attack targets of opportunity on the German-Dutch border.
ETO - Germany: Day 2 of 135 of the Battle of Berlin (RAF bombing campaign). Leverkusen is the main target. A number of other towns are bombed.
Russian Front - North: Day 803 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 564 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket. USSR lays siege to the Kholm Pocket but the Germans hold out for a about a year and a half.
Russian Front - South: Day 88 of 122 of the Battle of the Lower Dnieper River, USSR.
MTO - Italy: US 12th Air Force and the RAF provides air support.
CBI - China: Day 2,327 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 18 of 49 of the Battle of West Changde.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 62 of 219 of the Battle of Shaggy Ridge.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 59 of 162 of the Battle of the Huon Peninsula.
PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 19 of 295 of the Battle of the Bougainville Islands.
1944 — , November 19
MTO: German hospital ship TÜBINGEN is accidentally sunk by RAF heavy fighters in the Adriatic Sea, creating a great deal of diplomatic fuss.
19 Nov 44: German Hospital Ship Tübingen, attacked by the RAF, shortly before sinking
The Tübingen was attacked by two British Beaufighters which, after passing over the ship, proceeded to attack it a number of times. The British certainly had to have been aware that the ship was indeed a hospital ship, as the weather was clear and the sea was calm. The British attacked the ship upwards of nine times, hitting it with air launched rockets. Before the Tübingen sank, lifeboats were launched, saving the majority on board. The ship burned out after the attack and sunk claiming 6 dead.
After the sinking, there was a great deal of diplomatic fuss over the attack, with the British claiming that the ship was sunk in error, and the Germans making some very solid and substantiated claims to the contrary. For the British, this was not their finest hour.
ETO - France: Day 111 of 284 of the Battle of Brittany.
ETO - France: Day 66 of 236 of the Siege of Dunkirk.
ETO - France: US 95th Division fights its way into the suburbs of Metz. The French 1st Armoured Division reaches the Rhine.
ETO - Germany: Day 62 of 145 of the Battle of Hürtgen Forest.
ETO - Germany: Fearing imminent capture by the Gestapo for having helped many Jewish families, Heinz Heydrich commits suicide to protect his family. His assassinated brother SS General Reinhard Heydrich was the main architect of the Holocaust. Upon discovering his brother's involvement in the Final Solution, Heinz had dedicated himself to helping as many Jews as he could.
Heinz Siegfried Heydrich, brother of Reinhard
Reinhard Heydrich's younger brother Heinz was a lieutenant in the SS. Originally, he was very proud of his Nazi association and his older brother's position within the organization. Heinz was a journalist by trade, and published Die Panzerfaust, the party newspaper.
But the 27 Mar 42 assassination attempt and subsequent death of his brother Reinhard was an event that changed everything for Heinz. Almost overnight, he received a bundle of his brother's personal papers and files, which included detailed plans about the "Final Solution" in which Reinhard had been heavily involved. Heinz was horrified. He understood for the first time the enormity of the systematic extermination of the Jews. He burnt most of the papers in disgust.
Thereafter, Heinz did everything he could to help many Jews escape by forging identity documents and printing them on quality Die Panzerfaust presses. Being the brother of a prominent SS general (albeit, a dead one), and being the editor of the party newspaper meant that he had a lot of influence, which he exploited to help as many Jews as possible escape from Germany by printing fake travel documents which he forged, signed and stamped and gave to Jewish families.
When on 19 Nov 44 an economic commission headed by a State Attorney investigated the editorial staff of Die Panzerfaust, Heinz Heydrich thought he had been discovered and shot himself in order to protect his family from the Gestapo. Ironically, the attorney knew nothing about the forgeries and was only looking into paper supply shortages common throughout the Reich.
Related Heydrich dates...
20 Jan 42: Nazi conference coldly plans the Final Solution of mass murder
27 May 42: SS leader Reinhard Heydrich mortally wounded by Czech patriots
19 Nov 44: Reinhard's brother Heinz (a good Nazi) commits suicide
Righteous people and the saving of Jews from the Holocaust...