WWII in real time

Constant shellfire churns Stalingrad's earth to dust; Russian journalist Vasily Grossman watches as "corpses jump high in air, buried again as they fall."

If Wehrmacht can hold the blood-drenched hill, their artillery will dominate Stalingrad & smash Soviet reinforcements as they're ferried across Volga.

Battle rages for Mamayev Kurgan hill, the high ground overlooking Stalingrad- Red Army & Germans swap control of the summit almost daily. https://t.co/EhAAD9ZYo0 RealTimeWWII photo

British, South African, & black King's African Rifles troops have fought for four months to beat Vichy French & African soldiers in Madagascar. https://t.co/h1AbI31dRQ RealTimeWWII photo

British troops are now occupying Tananarive, capital of Madagascar- Allied forces claim "peaceful intent" as they take control of the French colony. https://t.co/lHd8Gfho6m RealTimeWWII photo

Halder: "Farewell to the Führer. My nerves are worn out, his too". Hitler now demands "fanatical faith in the Idea" from all the German General Staff. https://t.co/xvW50r0LK8 RealTimeWWII photo

General Halder's most recent "defeatist" act that enraged Hitler was calculating total German casualties in USSR so far. 1,637,280 killed, missing, or wounded. https://t.co/LvoAK6QNd8 RealTimeWWII photo

Adolf Hitler has had an explosive break with German High Command, sacking his Chief of General Staff Franz Halder, for "pessimism" over the military situation in USSR: https://t.co/zHH3gsagZ2 RealTimeWWII photo

Wehrmacht have stormed a landing stage on the Volga & seized the riverbank in centre of Stalingrad- city's Soviet defences are now cut in two by Germans.

Stalingrad's Tsarita Gorge, cutting west from the river Volga, is now the only part of the city not choked with rubble from smasher buildings- turning it into a potential route to the river for the Germans, & a fierce battleground: https://t.co/SxGPX7cWLA RealTimeWWII photo

American Superfortress bomber has been in design since 1939, aiming for an operational range of 2,667 miles: allowing USA to bomb Nazi Europe if Britain fell to Germans. In theory, B-29 can fly higher (31,850ft) & faster (350mph) than almost any Axis fighter plane. https://t.co/UfWy7SBsda RealTimeWWII photo

The world's largest bomber has made its first test flight: Boeing B-29 "Superfortress" can carry its own weight, 20,000lbs, in bombs. https://t.co/2N7lVhYG0R RealTimeWWII photo

Japanese troops in Papua New Guinea are starving & diseased- 10 die to malaria for every 1 shot by Australians. Supplies must be carried by hand along 60 mile jungle track.

Japanese invaders of Guinea are now just 25 miles off Port Moresby, crucial gateway to north Australia; Aussies are throwing in all available troops.

Andrei Khozyainov, Soviet soldioer in Stalingrad: "Little ammo, no water. Heat, thirst, smoke. We have to piss in the machineguns to keep the barrels cool."

Improvised stronghold in Stalingrad’s grain elevator defies German infantry charges & artillery shelling; the stored corn within has caught fire. https://t.co/gH5yTQdLPl RealTimeWWII photo

Stalingrad's civic monuments have become fortresses- a few dozen Red Army men hold out in the city's concrete grain elevator. https://t.co/mljMURk0ga RealTimeWWII photo

Chuikov: "Most of the divisional commanders didn’t really want to die in Stalingrad. The second something went wrong, they’d start saying: 'Permit me to cross the Volga.' I would yell 'I’m still here' & send a telegram: 'One step back and I’ll shoot you!'"

Chuikov has sited his command post on the west bank of the Volga, close to front line, ferociously enforcing Stalin's order "Not one step back!" & denying his officers permission to retreat.

Red Army General Vasily Chuikov is newly appointed commander of forces in Stalingrad, leading shattered remnants of two Soviet Armies: "I understand my orders just fine... I’ll either keep them out of Stalingrad or die trying." https://t.co/zLDpIXjdAm RealTimeWWII photo

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