Allied 8th Army in Egypt- with troops from UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Poland & France- all ready for offensive versus Rommel and the Germans & Italians under his command.

Biggest concentrated artillery bombardment since First World War is smashing Axis lines around El Alamein, Egypt. One British artilleryman: "The heavens were ablaze & the sky was lit by thousands of searing flashes."

Egyptian desert is thundering with a vast artillery barrage; 1000 guns are firing, marking the beginning of an Allied offensive to smash Afrikakorps.

First snow of the year fell in Stalingrad today, as Red Army & Axis continue their vicious battle for control of the city- winter is coming.

German crew refuse to release panicking Soviet prisoners locked in Palatia's hold as she sinks, shooting Russians who get in their way. Nearby ships only rescue rafts if they have Germans onboard. 986 people, mostly non-Germans, drown.

A New Zealand Air Force torpedo bomber has attacked & sunk the German ship MS Palatia off the coast of Norway. Onboard are almost a thousand Soviet prisoners of war, being sent for slave labour in Nazi-occupied Norway.

Japanese gunners must carry their disassembled artillery, one piece each, silently through dense jungle; 10,000-strong assault force eat on the move, sleep on trail.

Japanese on Guadacanal continue their secret march on the "Maruyama Road": a jungle track 32km long, 55cm wide, each man carrying his rifle, 12 days food & 1 artillery shell apiece.

Japanese General Masao Maruyama is leading 10,000 elite troops, nicknamed the "Emperor's Own" along a narrow Guadacanal trail through the jungle, to assault US Marines.

Japanese engineers are cutting a narrow jungle path across Guadacanal, hoping to sneak up on US Marines & force Americans off the Solomon Isles.

German forces have captured Stalingrad's Tractor Factory (now almost totally ruined), gaining a crucial strongpoint in the north of the city. New York Times map shows Red Army pushed to the edge of the Volga:

UK government is denouncing new German plans to kill captured Allied "commandos" as "Nazi war crime"; promise "summary justice" will be used to revenge the dead.

Hitler particularly infuriated by British commandos tying hands of captives during raids, & possibly shooting those trying to escape. 1,376 Allied prisoners of war in Germany are now kept in shackles; Canada has retaliated by shackling German PoWs.

Hitler: "Sabotage & terror troops of the British & their accomplices, who act not as soldiers but as bandits, will be ruthlessly eliminated." Read more of secret German order: combinedops.com/Hitlers_Comman

Hitler issues "Commando Order": any Allied soldiers captured on sabotage missions behind German lines, even if in uniform, must be "be slaughtered to the last man".

British brides ordered to avoid long prewar dress styles, save cloth for military uniforms, & try new "austerity wedding pattern".

UK has launched a "clothing austerity" campaign. British women are being urged to raise hemlines, narrow their skirts, and use less fabric to help the war effort:

With a spearhead of over 100 tanks, Wehrmacht have finally smashed through Red Army's defence of Stalingrad's northern factories:

The fresh German assault in Stalingrad is surrounding dozens of Soviet regiments, trapped in ruins but continuing to fight. One radios: "Ammunition & water are sufficient. Death before surrender!"

General Paulus, commander of Wehrmacht on the Volga, has been ordered to crush last remnants of the the Red Army in Stalingrad- Hitler is becoming obsessed with city.

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