17 September 1942

17 September 1942

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17 September 1942

September 1942

> October


The Vicky French troops on Madagascar reject the Allied armistice terms

Occupied Europe

Quisling introduces the death penalty in Norway


Masayuka Tam becomes the new foreign minister

Russian Army Repels Hitler's Forces: August 1942-January 1943

The British Royal Air Force (RAF) attacked Düsseldorf, Germany, on September 10, 1942. Learn about this and the other important World War II events that occurred during the month of September 1942 below.

World War II Timeline: September 10-September 20

September 10: Düsseldorf is in flames following an intense, one-hour RAF raid that dropped more than 100,000 firebombs on the German city.

September 12: The British liner Laconia is torpedoed and sunk off Ascension Island in the South Atlantic. To the horror of the attacking U-boat crew, some 1,500 Italian POWs are among the victims. The U-boat crew attempts to rescue the Italians but comes under heavy American aircraft fire, leading Nazi Germany to decide to repudiate a 1936 accord calling for the rescue of vanquished crews.

September 13: Operation Torch planning gets underway in London, with U.S. general Dwight Eisenhower in command.

Some 1,200 Japanese die in a desperate bid to wrest control of Guadalcanal's Henderson Field from the U.S. Marines.

All Vichy French men 18 to 50 years of age, and single women ages 20 to 35, are ordered to labor for the Reich's war machine.

September 14: The U.S. emerges victorious from the Battle of Bloody Ridge at Guadalcanal when a large Japanese contingent is forced into retreat by 11,000 U.S. Marines.

September 15: The carrier USS Wasp goes down in waters south of Guadalcanal after being torpedoed by a Japanese submarine.

September 18: The shipping lanes into Charleston, South Carolina, are mined by a Nazi German U-boat.

September 20: General Dwight Eisenhower and his military team decide to schedule Operation Torch, the invasion of the French protectorate of Morocco and the colony of Algeria, for November 8.

The situation in Stalingrad has so deteriorated that Nazi German and Soviet troops are engaging in house-to-house combat on the streets of the devastated city.

World War II Headlines

Below are more highlights and images that outline the events of World War II, as well as more information about the Japanese army.

The USS Enterprise survives bombing: Above, a gun position lies in ruins after bombs struck the USS Enterprise on August 24, 1942. A veteran of Midway and the Doolittle Raid, the "Big E" survived thanks to efficient damage control. The carrier was struck again in the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, but went on to participate in the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, the "Great Marianas Turkey Shoot," the Battle of Leyte Gulf, and numerous other engagements, receiving 20 battle stars for World War II service. Though struck by a kamikaze off Okinawa in May 1945, the Enterprise survived the war and was decommissioned in 1947.

Finland fights alongside Nazi Germany: A Finnish combat patrol breaks into a Soviet position in 1942. Finland had lost some 16,000 square miles to a 1939-1940 Russian onslaught known as the "Winter War." From 1941 to 1944, in hopes of regaining that territory and perhaps more, Finland allied with Nazi Germany against Russia. Though they were dependent on Nazi Germany for food, fuel, and weapons, the Finns did not go along with most Nazi policies. They maintained a democratic government, kept armed forces from falling under Nazi German control, and did not persecute native Jews.

Japanese airmen lose their edge: Japanese naval pilots in the Pacific were without equal at the start of 1942. Training was highly selective. Of 1,500 naval pilot applicants in early 1937, only 70 were accepted and only 25 graduated. The lengthy program required 260 to 400 hours of basic flight training, followed by gunnery, combat tactics, and carrier operations. This training regimen broke down in the latter months of 1942, as pilot losses soared in the battle for air supremacy over the Solomons. The qualitative edge dulled and then vanished as veteran Japanese pilots were killed and the vacuum was filled by hastily trained replacements.

Japanese repulsed on Papua New Guinea: Two Japanese Type 95 Ha-Go light tanks are bogged down along a narrow jungle road following a failed amphibious assault at Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea. About 2,400 Japanese Special Naval Landing Force troops attacked the Australian base on August 25, 1942, intending to seize its strategically important airdrome. The Japanese light tanks inflicted severe casualties on an Australian infantry battalion. But Australian Kitty Hawk (Curtiss P40) ground attack aircraft retaliated with a vengeance, forcing enemy landing operations farther and farther from the air base. Encountering fierce resistance from a superior Australian force, the Japanese commander ordered a withdrawal on September 5.

Find a timeline and headlines of the major World War II events that occurred in late September and early October 1942 in the next section.

Learn more about the significant events and players of World War II in these informative articles:

The Japanese Army had spent decades preparing for confrontation with the Soviet Union on the plains of Manchuria. The China war and the war in the Pacific brought not only different battle environments but different enemies -- one the Japanese failed to fully understand.

In the Pacific, the Japanese war plan called for a wave of attacks on American, British, and Dutch forces throughout the Pacific. Planners anticipated a short, intense conflict that would end to their advantage with a negotiated peace. Little consideration was given to the possibility of failure or to contingency planning should Japan unexpectedly find itself involved in a protracted war.

This heady optimism was inherent in the very fiber of the Japanese army. Rank and file were certain that their "warrior spirit" would prevail over weak-willed Westerners, even if faced by superior numbers or firepower. Emphasis was largely on offensive action.

The Japanese soldier -- whether a general conducting a campaign or a private manning a machine gun -- was expected to fulfill his duty or die in the attempt. To question orders was a shameful sign of weakness. Since failure was not allowable, there was little call for tactical flexibility or deviation from the plan once underway.

The result was disaster. Campaigns such as those in Guadalcanal and New Guinea were pressed long after they were lost. Japanese troops in the field launched attacks that followed failed plans and satisfied their warrior code but had little impact beyond their own destruction.

The absence of long-range programs such as army pilot rotation also began to bear bitter fruit as the war dragged on past expectations. Lack of search-and-rescue capability meant that highly trained pilots who went down with their planes were lost. As the small pool of experienced pilots died in combat, they were replaced by rookies who were easy game for enemy fighters.

In their failure to appreciate their enemy's resolve and their own flawed mind-set, the Japanese contributed to their own defeat.

Soviet Union invades Poland

On September 17, 1939, Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov declares that the Polish government has ceased to exist, as the U.S.S.R. exercises the 𠇏ine print” of the Hitler-Stalin Non-aggression pact—the invasion and occupation of eastern Poland.

Hitler’s troops were already wreaking havoc in Poland, having invaded on the first of the month. The Polish army began retreating and regrouping east, near Lvov, in eastern Galicia, attempting to escape relentless German land and air offensives. But Polish troops had jumped from the frying pan into the fire𠅊s Soviet troops began occupying eastern Poland. The Ribbentrop-Molotov Non-aggression Pact, signed in August, had eliminated any hope Poland had of a Russian ally in a war against Germany. Little did Poles know that a secret clause of that pact, the details of which would not become public until 1990, gave the U.S.S.R. the right to mark off for itself a chunk of Poland’s eastern region. The “reason” given was that Russia had to come to the aid of its 𠇋lood brothers,” the Ukrainians and Byelorussians, who were trapped in territory that had been illegally annexed by Poland. Now Poland was squeezed from West and East—trapped between two behemoths. Its forces overwhelmed by the mechanized modern German army, Poland had nothing left with which to fight the Soviets.

As Soviet troops broke into Poland, they unexpectedly met up with German troops who had fought their way that far east in a little more than two weeks. The Germans receded when confronted by the Soviets, handing over their Polish prisoners of war. Thousands of Polish troops were taken into captivity some Poles simply surrendered to the Soviets to avoid being captured by the Germans.

The Soviet Union would wind up with about three-fifths of Poland and 13 million of its people as a result of the invasion.

3. The Bombing of Fort Stevens and the Lookout Air Raids

Soldiers inspect a crater caused by the Japanese attack at Fort Stevens.

The only attack on a mainland American military site during World War II occurred on June 21, 1942, on the Oregon coastline. After trailing American fishing vessels to bypass minefields, the Japanese submarine I-25 made its way to the mouth of the Columbia River. It surfaced near Fort Stevens, an antiquated Army base that dated back to the Civil War. Just before midnight, I-25 used its 140-millimeter deck gun to fire 17 shells at the fort. Believing that the muzzle flashes of the fort’s guns would only serve to more clearly reveal their position, the commander of Fort Stevens ordered his men not to return fire. The plan worked, and the bombardment was almost totally unsuccessful𠅊 nearby baseball field bore the brunt of the damage.

I-25 would later make history again when it executed the first-ever bombing of the continental United States by an enemy aircraft. In what became known as the Lookout Air Raids, I-25 returned to the Oregon coast in September 1942 and launched a Yokosuka E14Y floatplane. After flying to a wooded area near Brookings, Oregon, the floatplane dropped a pair of incendiary bombs in the hope of starting a forest fire. Thanks to light winds and a quick response from fire patrols, the bombing failed to have its desired effect, as did a second bombing over Brookings later that month. The pilot of the Japanese floatplane, Nobuo Fujita, would later make several goodwill visits to Brookings during the 1960s, and was even proclaimed an honorary citizen of the town upon his death in 1997.

Records of the office of the Judge Advocate General (Army)

Established: In the War Department by an act of July 17, 1862 (12 Stat. 597), renaming the office of the Judge Advocate of the Army. Judge Advocate General's Department established in the War Department by an act of July 5, 1884 (23 Stat. 113), consolidating the Bureau of Military Justice and the Corps of Judge Advocates of the Army.

Predecessor Agencies:

In the War Department:

Of the Office of the Judge Advocate General:

Of the Judge Advocate General's Department:

Transfers: To Services of Supply (SOS), effective March 9, 1942, by Circular 59, War Department, March 2, 1942, as part of a War Department reorganization authorized by EO 9082, February 28, 1942 to Army Service Forces (ASF, formerly SOS) by General Order 14, War Department, March 12, 1943 to War Department General Staff (WDGS) as an administrative staff and service, with JAG reporting directly to the Secretary of War with respect to courts-martial and legal matters, effective June 11, 1946, upon abolishment of ASF by Circular 138, War Department, May 14, 1946, as part of a War Department reorganization authorized by EO 9722, May 13, 1946 with WDGS (redesignated Army Staff) to Department of the Army by Circular 1, Department of the Army, September 18, 1947, implementing Circular 225, War Department, August 16, 1947, issued pursuant to a reorganization of the armed services under the National Security Act of 1947 (61 Stat. 495), July 26, 1947.

Functions: Supervises the system of military justice throughout the army, performs appellate review of records of trials by court-martial as provided by the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and furnishes the army's legal services. Serves as legal adviser to the Secretary of the Army and all army offices and agencies.

Finding Aids: George J. Stansfield, comp., "Preliminary Checklist of the Records of the Office of the Judge Advocate General (War), 1808-1942," PC 29 (December 1945) Patricia Andrews, "Supplement to Preliminary Checklist 29, Records of the Office of the Judge Advocate General (War)," NM 33 (1964) and supplement in National Archives microfiche edition of preliminary inventories.

Related Records: Record copies of publications of the Office of the Judge Advocate General (Army) in RG 287, Publications of the U.S. Government.


History: A single judge advocate for the army authorized by an act of March 3, 1797 (1 Stat. 507), but the number and status of judge advocates subsequently varied until the office of Judge Advocate of the Army was created by act of March 2, 1849 (9 Stat. 351). Name changed to Judge Advocate General, 1862. SEE 153.1.

Bureau of Military Justice, headed by Judge Advocate General, established by an act of June 20, 1864 (13 Stat. 144). Consolidated with the Corps of Judge Advocates of the Army to form the Judge Advocate General's Department, 1884. SEE 153.1.

153.2.1 Correspondence and related records

Textual Records: Letters and reports sent, 1842-89, with indexes. Press copies of letters sent by the Judge Advocate General, 1882- 95, with indexes. Selected letters sent by the Judge Advocate General as head of the system of military justice and legal adviser to the Secretary of War, 1889-95, with indexes. Letters received by the Judge Advocate of the Army and the Judge Advocate General, 1854-94, with registers, 1854-89, and indexes, 1871-76, 1885-88. General correspondence, 1894-1912. Correspondence relating to the Judge Advocate General's opinions and decisions and to administrative and operational matters, 1912-42. Opinions and decisions of the Attorney General concerning administration of military justice and legal actions of the War Department, 1821-70. Papers and other records of Brig. Gen. Norman Lieber, 1867-98 Brig. Gen. George B. Davis as Judge Advocate General, 1901-10 Col. Blanton Winship of the Judge Advocate General's Department, 1903-19 and Col. Mark Guerin, Judge Advocate of the 6th Corps Area, 1918-24. Office files relating to maritime affairs, 1918-23 and to the Commission for Adjustment of British Claims, 1932-33.

153.2.2 Orders and related records

Textual Records: General orders, circulars, and general courts- martial orders of the Judge Advocate General's Office, 1860-1944 (160 ft.).

153.2.3 Court-martial case files and related records

Textual Records: Case files of general courts-martial, courts of inquiry, and military commissions (5,133 lin. ft.), 1809-1939 with index, 1891-1917. Court-martial case files of German saboteurs, 1942-44 Eddie Slovik, 1944-45 and David Watson and Jack and Kathleen Durant, 1946-47. Copies of records of general courts-martial and courts of inquiry, 1808-15 (8 vols.). Registers of court-martial cases, 1809-90. Case files lost during the Civil War but later recovered by the Judge Advocate General, 1861-65. General courts-martial case number ledgers, 1918-50. General courts-martial offense ledgers, 1917-50. Ledger of general courts-martial convictions in the American Expeditionary Forces, 1917-19. Applications for and correspondence regarding clemency for prisoners sentenced by general courts-martial to the U.S. Military Prison at Fort Leavenworth, KS, 1887-89. Clemency orders issued by the Assistant Secretary of War, 1894-97.

Microfilm Publications: M592, M1002, M1105, T1027, T1103.

Maps (14 items): Published maps relating to the G.K. Warren court of inquiry, 1879-80. SEE ALSO 153.19.

Finding Aids: National Archives card index to case files predating 1862.

153.2.4 Records of the general court-martial of Lt. William
Calley at Fort Benning, GA (Nov. 1970-Dec. 1971) for offenses
alleged against the inhabitants of My Lai 4, Republic of Vietnam
("My Lai Massacre," March 16, 1968)

Textual Records: Article 32 proceedings, December 1969. Court- martial proceedings, November 1970-December 1971. Appellate proceedings before the Army Court of Military Review and the U.S. Court of Military Appeals, 1971-74. Records relating to Presidential review of the case, 1974. Records relating to clemency requests, 1972-81.

Motion Pictures (1 reel): Communist atrocities in Vietnam, entered as a defense exhibit, n.d. SEE ALSO 153.20.

Video Recordings (7 items): Defense exhibits, 1969-71.

Sound Recordings (76 items): Proceedings of the general court- martial, November 1970-March 1971 (63 items). Appellate hearings before the Army Court of Military Review, December 1972 (9 items). Vietnamese-language radio broadcasts concerning Communist atrocities, entered as defense exhibits, n.d. (4 items).

153.2.5 Records of the Lincoln assassination investigation

Textual Records: Reports, correspondence, and testimony of persons connected with the assassination trial, April 1865. "Military Commission Record Book," containing abstracts of letters, testimony, and reports regarding suspects in the assassination, 1865. Records of Judge Advocate Col. H.L. Burnett, who investigated the assassination, including letters sent, April-July 1865 a register of letters received, April-August 1865 and an endorsement book, April-June 1865.

Microfilm Publications: M599.

153.2.6 Records of other investigations

Textual Records: Records of an investigation by the Provost Marshal, Department of the Missouri, into the activities of the Order of American Knights, 1864. Records of the Paxton Hibben and William Mitchell cases and the Martin-Mitchell controversy, 1923- 27.

153.2.7 Records relating to the military justice system

Textual Records: Card file used in revising the manual on courts- martial that shows changes made in army regulations, 1904-13. Correspondence, reports, and working papers relating to revisions of the manual for courts-martial, 1919-27. Records relating to military justice and the revision of military law ("Decker Collection"), 1948-56. Report made to the Judge Advocate General, relating to criticisms of the system of military justice, February 13, 1919. Records from a study of the European administration of military justice, 1918-20.

Microfilm Publications: M1739.

153.2.8 Personnel records

Textual Records: Lists of personnel and letters sent by the Acting Judge Advocate General, concerning civilian personnel, 1877-98. Office orders completed biographical questionnaires and records relating to war risk insurance, the French and Creary retirement cases, and department personnel, 1918-28.

153.2.9 International claims records

Textual Records: Case files relating to claims of Mexican citizens as a result of the U.S. landing at Veracruz (1914) and General John J. Pershing's Punitive Expedition (1916), 1914-36. Records relating to cases before the Netherlands Claims Commission, created in 1932 to hear Dutch claims arising from army ordnance purchases during World War I, 1932-40.


History: Appointed in 1864, with headquarters in Louisville, KY, to review records of courts-martial and military commissions in the Departments of Arkansas, Kansas, the Ohio, the Tennessee, the Cumberland, and the Missouri before they were forwarded to the Judge Advocate General.

Textual Records: Registers and indexes of court-martial case files received, 1864-67. Endorsement book, 1864-66.


History: Functioned as a field office of the Judge Advocate General from March 7, 1918, to October 6, 1919. Reviewed general court-martial cases in which death, dismissal, or dishonorable discharge sentences were imposed, and military commission cases originating in the American Expeditionary Forces.

Textual Records: Orders, reports, and correspondence regarding cases examined and reviewed, 1918-19.

Related Records: Case files received by this office were forwarded to the Judge Advocate General and are in the court- martial case files, 153.2.2.

1692-1950 (bulk 1800-1942)

History: Judge Advocate General assigned responsibility of maintaining and administering original deeds and other title papers to War Department real property, 1894. Function vested in Military Reservation Division, 1942. Redesignated Lands Division after World War II.

Textual Records: "Reservation Files," relating to real estate no longer owned by the Department of the Army, 1692-1950 (bulk 1800- 1950), including, for Fort Wadsworth, NY, Fort Monmouth, NJ, and West Point, NY, a few colonial period legal documents, 1692-1763.

Maps (347 items): Former military reservations and other army- held lands in the United States that were relinquished to other government agencies, 1840-1930. SEE ALSO 153.19.


History: Established March 1942, superseding Litigation Section, established December 1941, and predecessor Claims and Litigation Section. Exercised supervision over litigation in which the War Department was involved and maintained liaison with the Department of Justice. Inherited records of predecessor units, including Civil Affairs Section, established 1925.

153.6.1 Records of the Civil Affairs Section

Textual Records: Correspondence regarding cases tried in the U.S. Court of Claims, 1925-31. Correspondence, chiefly with Members of Congress, and other records relating to the payment of claims to individuals authorized by private Congressional acts, 1926-37.

153.6.2 Other records

Textual Records: Records of hearings, correspondence, and other material relating to cases tried in the U.S. Court of Claims, 1925-42. Files of cases involving the War Department tried in the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia, 1923-40. Records concerning suits brought by persons ordered excluded from west coast defense areas during World War II, 1942-47.


History: Established in the War Department to cooperate with the Board of Survey of the Department of Justice as the Joint Board of Survey of war transactions, with subcommittees investigating frauds arising out of war contracts, February 1923. Most work of the joint board was completed in 1925.

Textual Records: Minutes of the joint board, 1923-25. Records relating to review of contractual transactions by both boards, 1923-26.


History: Established after the Judge Advocate General assumed the legal work formerly handled by the War Department Bureau of Insular Affairs, 1914. Discontinued following the transfer of responsibility for management of insular affairs from the War Department to the Department of the Interior, by Reorganization Plan No. II of 1939, effective July 1, 1939.

Textual Records: Memorandums of the section chief concerning legal matters related to the administration of insular possessions, 1931-39. Cards listing legal cases handled by the section, 1925-36. Section chief's office files, 1920-34. Files concerning cases involving residents of Puerto Rico brought before the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court, 1915-34. Files concerning similar cases involving residents of the Philippine Islands, 1915-33.


History: Established in the Office of the Judge Advocate General, July 11, 1921, to succeed the Central Patent Section of the Supply Division, WDGS.

153.9.1 Records of the Central Patent Section

Textual Records: Patent case files, 1921-40. U.S. Court of Claims case files, 1921-42. Selected case papers, 1917-40. Correspondence concerning Muscle Shoals, AL, 1918-34. Records relating to the settlement of German and Austrian patent claims, 1928-33.

153.9.2 Records of the Patent Section and the Central Patent
Section, Supply Division

History: Patent Section organized in Supply Branch of Purchase, Storage, and Traffic Division, WDGS, January 1919, to handle matters concerning departmental use of patented articles and War Department employees' rights to patents on inventions. Succeeded by the Central Patent Section, Supply Division, WDGS, 1920.

Textual Records: Correspondence and records of action on specific patent cases, 1919-21. Air Service contract files, 1919. Administrative information files on contracts involving the use of patented materials, 1919. Notes on conferences and personnel, 1921.

153.9.3 Records of the Munitions Patent Board

History: Established to coordinate War and Navy Department patent policies, September 1918. Ceased to function, 1921.

Textual Records: Patent case files, 1918-21.

153.9.4 Records of the Patents Branch, Office of the Chief of

History: Established in the Procurement Division, Office of the Chief of Ordnance, March 1918, to perform functions related to ordnance patents and inventions, contracts for patent rights, and royalty and other payments. Functions related to contract matters and the payment of compensation for inventions transferred to Patent Section, Purchase, Storage, and Traffic Division, WDGS, January 1919.

Textual Records: Office files of the section chief, 1917-19. Photostatic copies of drawings of ordnance equipment, 1919. Index to contracts in the contract file of the Office of the Chief of Ordnance, 1917-19. Correspondence relating to investigations of infringements on ordnance patents, 1918-19.

153.9.5 Records of the Interdepartmental Patents Board

History: Established by EO 3721, August 9, 1922, to study policies concerning government employees' patent rights to inventions. Abolished, 1933.

Textual Records: Minutes of meetings, 1922-23. Correspondence, 1922-23.

153.9.6 Records of the Commission for Adjustment of Foreign Claims

History: Established by General Order 9, War Department, February 28, 1922, pursuant to an act of March 2, 1919 (40 Stat. 1273), to hear and determine questions arising out of the "Bolling Agreement" of June 1917 and other assigned matters relating to foreign claims. Dissolved, June 26, 1924.

Textual Records: Administrative correspondence, 1922-24. Claims case files and exhibits, 1922-24. Files of aeronautical patents information, 1919-24.

153.9.7 Records of the Commission for Adjustment of British Claims

History: Established by letter of the Adjutant General, June 7, 1932. Submitted final report, February 11, 1933.

Textual Records: Correspondence of the chairman, 1932-34, with supporting reference materials, 1917-34. General administrative records, 1932-34. Case files, 1932-33. Correspondence relating to claims made after the establishment of the commission, 1932-33.


153.10.1 General records

Textual Records: Records relating to patent legislation, 1926-61. Records relating to Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD) and National Defense Research Committee patent cases, 1941-52. OSRD patent application lists, 1941-50. Records relating to the Joint Army-Navy Committee to Study Radar Patent Pooling, 1944-46. Records relating to the Patent Interchange Agreement and the British-American Patent Interchange Committee, 1932-50.

153.10.2 Records of the Classified Inventions Branch

Textual Records: Records relating to patent applications tendered to the Federal Government under secrecy orders, 1941-49.

153.10.3 Records of the Procurement and Claims Branch

Textual Records: Correspondence and other records relating to contracts and patents, 1943-49. Records concerning patents and the Office of Alien Property Custodian, 1942-51. Records dealing with patent rights and lend-lease, 1945-54. Records relating to the Surplus Property Act of 1944, 1944-46. Records relating to royalty adjustments, waivers of indemnity, and contract liabilities, 1936-47. Records pertaining to the release of technical and industrial information, 1944-45. Records regarding patent procurement regulations, 1944-52. Records pertaining to patent deviations, 1945-51. Patent deviation case files, 1943-57.


Textual Records: Records relating to offshore procurement agreements, 1952-55.


Textual Records: General records relating to the seizure and operation by the War Department of industrial facilities during World War II, 1942-46. Records relating to individual facilities seized, 1942-46.

Subject Access Terms: Gaffney Manufacturing Company Hughes Tool Company International Nickel Company Montgomery Ward and Company S. A. Woods Machine Company Western Electric Company.


History: Established in the Judge Advocate General's Department to coordinate U.S. activities with respect to investigation and prosecution of war crimes and criminals, October 6, 1944. Attached to the Civil Affairs Division, Army Staff, 1946-49. Residual functions absorbed by the International Affairs Division, Judge Advocate General's Department, 1955.

Motion Pictures (2 reels): Investigation of atrocities against POWs in Korea, 1952-54. SEE ALSO 153.20

153.13.1 Records relating to World War II war crimes

Textual Records: Letters sent, 1948-51, and received, 1944-51. Treaty Analysis Project File of the State Department, compiled in conjunction with the War Crimes Division, 1944-48. Safehaven reports, 1944-45. Law library file, 1944-49. Prisoner-of-war investigation reports, 1943-47. Case files and dossiers for war crimes trials held by military commissions in China, the Far East Command, and the European and Mediterranean Theaters of Operations, 1944-49, with name indexes. General and administrative records pertaining to war crimes trials ("Set-Up Files"), 1944-49. Records of the United States Commissioner, United Nations War Crimes Commission, 1943-50. Records relating to European war crimes cases, 1944-50. Records relating to the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, 1946-48. Records relating to lesser Japanese war crimes trials, 1946-49. Case files of the Japanese Clemency and Parole Board for War Criminals, 1952-57, with index. Records relating to Philippine war crimes, 1942-47. Records relating to war crimes committed in the China Theater, 1945-48.

Motion Pictures (1 reel): Rome March, from case 16-194, U.S. v. Kurt Maelzer, n.d. SEE ALSO 153.20.

Photographic Prints (798 images): Two personal albums of Ilse Koch, used as an exhibit in her July 1947 war crimes trial, 1912- 41 (IK, 450 images). Six photograph albums containing photographs depicting German and Japanese atrocities and war crimes trials and documenting the recovery of property looted by the Nazis, 1944-46 (WC, 348 images).

Related Records: National Archives Collection of World War II War Crimes Records, RG 238.

Subject Access Terms: Berlin (photographs) Buchenwald (photographs) Darmstadt (photographs) Dresden (photographs).

153.13.2 Records relating to the Korean War

Textual Records: Records of the War Crimes Division, Judge Advocate Section, Korean Communications Zone, consisting of war crimes case files, 1952-54 historical reports, 1952-54 and reports of interrogations of American prisoners of war repatriated in Operation Big Switch, 1953-54. Records of the Post Capture Offenses Division, Judge Advocate Section, Korean Communications Zone, consisting of case files, 1951-53, with index and historical report, 1953.

Motion Pictures (2 reels): Investigation of atrocities against POWs in Korea, 1952-54. SEE ALSO 153.20.


Textual Records: Reports and related records of the courts- martial ("Lichfield Trials") of U.S. servicemen stationed at Camp Lichfield, England, 1945-47. Records of the Judge Advocate General's Task Force to Study Procurement Irregularities in the Western Area Command, 1950-55.


Textual Records: Records of the Department of the Army Emergency Legislative Program, 1949-58.


Textual Records: Army JAG central files of legal opinions and actions concerned with organization matters, originated by the Administration Law Division, the Procurement Law Division, the Criminal Law Division, and the International Affairs Division ("Mixed Files"), 1918-78 (361 ft.). Records relating to international agreements, national jurisdictions, and other legal matters ("Country Files"), 1954-61.


Textual Records: Records relating to the exercise of jurisdiction by foreign tribunals over U.S. military personnel ("Morale and Impact Reports"), 1955-60. Statistical reports, 1954-63. Records relating to foreign criminal tribunal legal costs, 1956-60. Reports of visits to foreign penal institutions, 1955-63. Reports of U.S. military personnel confined in foreign penal institutions, 1954-63.


Textual Records: Records of the Judge Advocate General School, Charlottesville, VA, 1951-67. Records of the Judge Advocate General's School Library, consisting of a collection of publications and issuances relating to the World War I draft and Veterans' Bureau, 1917-40.


SEE Maps UNDER 153.2.3 and 153.5.


SEE UNDER 153.2.4, 153.13.1, and 153.3.3.




SEE Photographic Prints UNDER 153.13.1.

Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States. Compiled by Robert B. Matchette et al. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1995.
3 volumes, 2428 pages.

This Web version is updated from time to time to include records processed since 1995.

This page was last reviewed on August 15, 2016.
Contact us with questions or comments.

September 24-26, 1942 Snowstorm: Earliest Measurable Snow for the Area

From September 24th through the 26th, 1942, an early season winter storm moved through the Northern Plains, Upper Mississippi River Valley, and Great Lakes, dropping measurable snow as as it went. In many places across Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and northern Illinois, this was their earliest measurable snow on record. The highest snowfall total was 9 inches at Sauk Centre, MN. Parts of northern Missouri saw their earliest traces of snow.

Meteorological setup

Prior to the storm's passage through the Northern Plains, Upper Mississippi River Valley, and Great Lakes, an abnormally cool air mass resided across these regions. High temperatures were mainly in the 30s and 40s. This was 20 to 30 degrees below the late September normals.

A surface low pressure system moved southeast through southern Alberta and western North Dakota during the evening of September 24th and the early morning hours of September 25th. This low then moved east southeast across southern North Dakota and northeast South Dakota during the late morning and afternoon of the 25th. By 7:30 PM, the low was located just north of Aberdeen, South Dakota.

During the late evening of the 25th and early morning hours of the 26th, the surface low continued to move east southeast across southern Minnesota and southern Wisconsin. By 7:30 AM on September 26th, the surface low was located near Madison, WI. This low then began moving east northeast across southeast Wisconsin and central lower Michigan during the late morning and afternoon. By 7:30 PM on the 26th, the low was located just north of Georgian Bay.

September 25, 1942 at 730 PM

What happened in the states impacted?

North Dakota.

The highest snowfall recorded in September occurred on the 25th and 26th - heaviest in the central part of the state. Many tree branches and shrubs were broken by the weight of the snow. Threshing was seriously delayed by the wet weather. Following the snow, a severe freeze on the 26th through 28th froze the ground to a depth of 3 inches in a few localities. Gardens were destroyed and considerable corn and flax were damaged. Parshall's (Mountrail County) low temperature on the morning of the 26th fell to 4 degrees.

On the 25th and 26th, a destructive sleet, snow, and windstorm in west-central counties caused a loss estimated at $25,000 to overhead wire systems. Also, there was damage to trees and shrubbery from the weight of moist snow. The snowfall was the heaviest ever experienced so early in the season in this section of the state. At Bird Island 8.0 inches of snow fell, and at Sauk Centre an unofficial measurement of 9.0 inches was reported. The snow fell across most of the state, and new records for September snowfall were established at all southern stations and at some northern stations.

  • In Winona and along the river the snow melted rapidly on the pavement. At both Lewiston and St. Charles, the snow was three inches deep on the lawns.
  • Storm damage also crippled wire service mounted in Minnesota through the morning hours of the 26th.
  • Mankato reported 2 inches of wet snow. This downed many telephone wires, and tree branches broke under the weight of snow which brought down even more wires.
  • Fairmont reported crop damage to soy and lima beans. In addition, there were many wires down.
  • Albert Lea reported 2 inches of snow. This caused damage to the potato and onion crops along with much wire damage.
  • Austin reported 4 inches of snow. This brought down some power and telephone lines. Telephone service between Rochester and Minneapolis was out during the morning of the 26th.
  • Minneapolis and St. Paul had slippery snow-covered streets. Several Friday night (September 25th) football games across the state were cancelled.

Snow fell over most of the state, but as temperatures were slightly above freezing at the surface, much of it melted as it fell. However, in a large section of north central Iowa a considerable portion accumulated on the ground. Four inches of snow were reported at Forest City, Mason City, and Allison. The snow also fell more rapidly than it melted along the Missouri border with 4 inches at Millerton. At that town it was estimated that only about half of the total snowfall accumulated on the ground.

The snow bent down soybeans, making combining difficult. Most trees still retained their summer foliage so that the snow flakes clung to the leaves instead of sifting down through the branches, especially at Forest City, Centerville, Millerton, and Mason City. At Cresco the weight of the snow caused a large tree to fall across Highway 9 and two men from Calmar, Iowa were killed when their tuck hit the fallen trunk. There was some damage to light and communication wires, especially in the vicinity of Estherville and Mason City.

Snowfall varying from a trace to 3 inches fell from the 25th through the 26th over much of the north and central portions of the state. The heaviest snow was found between Monmouth and Kankakee. Both Dwight and Kankakee received the most snow (2.5 inches) in this band.

Unprecedented snow fell on the 26th and 27th. Traces were generally found across southeastern part and in the river valleys of southwest Wisconsin. Meanwhile 1 to 6 inches of snow fell across the remainder of the state. The highest snowfall totals were reported at Tomahawk (5.7 inches) and Deerskin Dam (6.3 inches). The average snowfall for the state was 0.8 inches. The previous highest average for September was 0.1 inches in September 1899, 1908, and 1913.

On the 26th and 27th, unusually early snow fell across almost all parts of the state. Much of the snow melted as it fell. However, snowfall totaling more than 2 inches were reported at several stations in Upper Michigan and a few locations in northern lower Michigan. The greatest accumulated snowfall occurred at Dukes (8 inches).

On the 25th and 26th, measurable snow fell across the northeast part of the state. The heaviest totals was 4.0 inches in LaPorte and Wheatfield.

Local snowfall amounts.

Location State Total
-------- ----- --------
Grand Meadow MN 5.0 inches
Medford WI 4.5 inches
Austin MN 4.0 inches
Neillsville WI 4.0 inches
Spring Grove MN 4.0 inches
Waukon IA 3.5 inches
Mauston WI 3.2 inches
Stanley WI 3.2 inches
Blair WI 3.0 inches
Lewiston MN 3.0 inches
St Charles MN 3.0 inches
Cresco IA 2.5 inches
New Hampton IA 2.5 inches
Mather WI 2.0 inches
Reads MN 2.0 inches
Elkader IA 1.5 inches
Hillsboro WI 1.5 inches
Postville IA 1.5 inches
Fayette IA 1.0 inches
Osage IA 1.0 inches
Viroqua WI 1.0 inches
Charles City IA 0.4 inches
Rochester MN 0.3 inches
La Crosse WI 0.2 inches
Winona MN 0.2 inches
Decorah IA Trace
Hatfield WI Trace
Lancaster WI Trace
Mondovi WI Trace
Oelwein IA Trace
Richland Center WI Trace
Wisconsin Dells WI Trace
Sparta WI Trace

World War I

Germany was the first country to employ submarines in war as substitutes for surface commerce raiders. At the outset of World War I, German U-boats, though numbering only 38, achieved notable successes against British warships but because of the reactions of neutral powers (especially the United States) Germany hesitated before adopting unrestricted U-boat warfare against merchant ships. The decision to do so in February 1917 was largely responsible for the entry of the United States into the war. The U-boat campaign then became a race between German sinkings of merchant ships and the building of ships, mainly in the United States, to replace them. In April 1917, 430 Allied and neutral ships totaling 852,000 tons were sunk, and it seemed likely that the German gamble would succeed. However, the introduction of convoys, the arrival of numerous U.S. destroyers, and the vast output of American shipyards turned the tables. By the end of the war Germany had built 334 U-boats and had 226 under construction. The peak U-boat strength of 140 was reached in October 1917, but there were never more than about 60 at sea at one time. In 1914–18 the destruction—more than 10,000,000 tons—caused by the U-boats was especially remarkable in view of the small size (less than l,000 tons), frailty, and vulnerability of the craft.

17 September 1942 - History


The fourth and final bear market of the 1930s was preceded by a brief buying panic that began in August of 1939. That was the same month that Germany and Russia stunned the world with a nonaggression pact leading many observers to fear that a second world war was imminent. On September 1, 1939, those fears were realized as German divisions rumbled into Poland. After four years of failed appeasement with Germany, France and Britain declared war two days later. Nearly a decade of worldwide aggressions and confrontations had finally culminated into the second world war of the century. The U.S. immediately declared its neutrality, but Wall Street was giddy with the prospects of providing the combatants with the materials needed for war. Brokerage houses encouraged the buying frenzy by publishing statistics on how well the so-called "war bride" stocks performed at the outbreak of the first world war. The press was enthusiastic as well with Business Week presenting an article titled "War makes it sellers' market" in early September. By mid-September, Nation magazine ran an article titled "Boom is on." From a low of 131 in late August, the Dow rallied to a peak of 155 (a gain of almost 20%) by the middle of September (including a one day gain of 7.3% near the outbreak of the war). The rally was substantial, but the Dow was still below 1937's peak of 194 and 1938's peak of 158. Unfortunately for the Bulls, the buying panic was now over and the Dow would not trade at 1939's peak of 155 again until near the end of the war in 1945.

In the first few weeks of World War II, Germany's new blitzkrieg tactics quickly overran Poland. By mid-September, Russia entered the war by invading Poland from the east. French and British forces were unable to lend Poland their promised assistance and the gallant Poles were forced to capitulate to the overwhelming German-Russian forces by the end of September. During the "phony war" or the six month lull that followed the conquest of Poland, the Dow traded in a narrow 10 point range (145 to 155) as its initial exuberance at the outset of World War II faded. Wall Street was unmoved by Germany's successful incursions into Denmark and Norway in April of 1940, but its indifference would not last for long. One of the Dow's quickest, and most severe collapses in its history began with Germany's blitzkrieg into the Low Countries (Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg) beginning in early May. The day before the "lightning war" into those countries commenced, the Dow stood at 148 which was only 7 points below its peak at the outset of the war eight months ago. In just one month's time, Allied forces were thoroughly routed and forced from the European continent in a humiliating evacuation at Dunkirk near the Belgian border. By mid-June, the German army marched into Paris and the French subsequently surrendered. During this period, the Dow plunged 25% to 111 as previously giddy investors realized that U.S. companies would have a hard time selling war products to defeated nations. The Dow's terrible decline was almost certainly exacerbated by a rumor (probably spread by the bears) that the New York Stock Exchange would be shut down. The rumor became so widespread that an early-June edition of Time magazine had an article titled "Stockmarket to be closed?" which speculated on its veracity.

Over the summer and fall of 1940, the Dow stabilized and rallied back up to 135 (a 22% gain) as Britain fought off the Germans (Battle of Britain) to remain in the war. For the next year, the Dow traded between 115 and 135 as German forces scored additional victories in the Balkans and North Africa. In June of 1941, Germany began a massive invasion of Russia (Operation Barbarossa) which compelled the Soviets to join the Allies. Although neutral, U.S. sentiments were beginning to lean heavily in favor of the Allies and President Franklin Roosevelt (re-elected for an unprecedented third term in November of 1940) initiated the Lend-Lease program with Britain and Russia. On December 7th, 1941, Japan (already allied with Germany and Italy) launched a devastating surprise attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet stationed at Pearl Harbor. The U.S. declared war on Japan the following day and three days later, Germany and Italy declared war on the U.S. Despite the apprehension that many Americans must have felt at this time, Wall Street had already discounted U.S. entry into World War II. The Dow set a new low of 106 in late December which was just 5 points lower than its bottom set in June of 1940 when most of continental Europe was conquered by the Germans.

The secular bear market that began at the height of optimism in 1929, finally reached its bottom at the height of despair in the early spring of 1942. After crippling the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, the Japanese went on to score major victories in the Philippines and the Dutch Indies to become the dominate power in the resource rich region. In Europe, Germany controlled much of the continent and had just missed capturing the Russian capital of Moscow during the previous winter. Britain was the last major power in the region and Germany's "Fortress Europe" was believed to be impregnable. Fascism and totalitarianism enveloped the majority of European nations and democracy and liberalism appeared to be endangered species. Even the U.S. itself wasn't immune as Japanese, German, and Italian Americans were deprived of their constitutional rights and forced into internment camps. Investors who once thought that the good times would never end in 1929, now feared that stocks and the economy would remain depressed indefinitely. The Dow reflected this sentiment and fell to its final low of 92 in late April with volume on the NYSE reaching only 300,000 shares traded. This incredibly low volume (even lower than at the 1932 bottom which had over 700,000 shares traded) was indicative of a complete disdain for common stocks by investors.

Another indication of a lack of interest in stocks was the relatively small amount of press the stock market received. Unlike the late 1920s, and even the 1930s, there were very few articles written concerning the stock market. The few that were written were of course bearish. In early March of 1942, Business Week ran an article titled "Wall Street Woes" and Nation had another titled "Wall Street in Two Wars." Investor enthusiasm was so low, even a 9 1/2 percent dividend yield (compared to the Dow's recent yield of less than 2%) wasn't able to entice them to buy stocks. Lack of interest in stocks practically dried up business on Wall Street. A New York Stock Exchange seat was sold for a mere $17,000 compared to a peak price of $625,000 in 1929. The leading economic experts at the time felt that a falling birthrate and a very heavy tax rate would perpetuate the gloom for many years even considering that the discount rate was cut from 1% to an all time low of 1/2%. All of this pessimism developed as the Dow fell to its lowest level since 1934 a level which was originally reached in the early 1920s.

The Baedeker Raids of 1942

The Baedeker Raids or Baedeker Bombings took place between April and June 1942. The Baedeker bombing raids on old historic English cities were named after the Baedeker travel guidebooks that the Germans used to identify their targets, which were three-starred, i.e. worth visiting, old English cities.

On March 28 th 1942, Bomber Command attacked the city of Lűbeck. A great deal of damage was done to the most historic part of the city known as the ‘Old Town’. In total, over 1,000 people were killed and the ‘Old Town’, which was primarily made up of old wooden buildings, was all-but destroyed by incendiary bombs. Hitler was incensed and ordered retaliatory raids against similar targets.

Just under a month later, on April 23 rd , Exeter was the first of these cities to be attacked. A great deal of the city was damaged and 70 people were killed. On the following day, Baron Gustav Braun von Sturm stated that:

“’We shall go out and bomb every building in Britain marked with three stars in the Baedeker Guide.”

The task was given to Luftflotte 3.

Exeter was bombed again that evening. Exeter was attacked for the third time on May 3 rd .

Between April 24 th and April 29 th , Bath (April 25 th and 26 th ), York (April 28 th ) and Norwich (April 27 th and 29 th ) were bombed. Following Bomber Command’s ‘1000 Bomber’ raid on Cologne, the Luftwaffe targeted Canterbury, which was bombed on three occasions with the city suffering major destruction (May 31 st , June 2 nd and June 6 th ).

The attack on Bath resulted in 417 deaths with over 19,000 buildings being destroyed or damaged.

In total, 1,637 civilians were killed with 1,760 injured. Over 50,000 homes were destroyed or damaged. Some famous historic buildings were destroyed, such as the Guildhall in York, but many were not and as such the Luftwaffe failed in its aim – which was to hit hard cities that were quintessentially ‘English’ – old-timbered homes in a city dominated by a cathedral. The destruction of Canterbury Cathedral would have been a blow to British morale – but it was barely touched by any of the raids.

Luftflotte 3 paid a heavy price after being tasked for these raids. Many of its bombers were shot down. What the raids also highlighted was how ineffective these raids were in terms of the impact they had. Morale in the five historic cities did not break down.

In reality the last attack on Canterbury was the last of the Baedeker raids. However, a few Luftwaffe fighter aircraft did make hit-and-run attacks on historic towns on the Kent coast and in East Anglia. These were invariably small-scale as the aircraft involved could not carry large amounts of bombs. The worst of these raids was on Deal in Kent when over 30 people were killed.

Watch the video: Η Πολιορκία του Λένινγκραντ 8 Σεπτεμβρίου 1941 - 27 Ιανουαρίου 1944