21 Mar 1943
  • USS Pollack continued to chase the Japanese freighter she had attacked between Jaluit and Makin Atolls in the Gilbert Islands and Marshall Islands area, further damaging the ship. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The submarine Cod was launched, sponsored by Mrs. G. M. Mahoney. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Finback damaged a Japanese cargo ship in the Southwestern Pacific, hitting her with two of three torpedoes fired. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Cornelia Fort was killed during an aircraft ferrying mission in Texas, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • New Zealand troops under Lieutenant General Bernard Freyberg bypassed the Mareth Line defenses in Tunisia by moving his forces through Wilder's Gap to the west. They engaged surprised German defenses at the Tebaga Gap. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Lieutenant Colonel Derek Seagram won a posthumous Victoria Cross for leading an attack on the Mareth Line in Tunisia. He inspired his men by being first across the scaling ladders over the German anti-tank ditches but was mortally wounded in the fighting. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Kurt Fricke was made the commanding officer of Naval Group Command South. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
British Western Pacific Territories
  • PBY Catalina aircraft delivered a group of US Marine Corps scouts at Segi Plantation, New Georgia for a reconnaissance mission; they would later report that Segi's beaches would not accommodate a large landing force. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Caroline Islands Germany
  • Adolf Hitler, Hermann Göring, Wilhelm Keitel, Karl Dönitz, Heinrich Himmler, Fedor von Bock, Erhard Milch, and others visited the Zeughaus in Berlin, Germany to inspect an exhibition featuring captured Soviet weapons. It was Hitler's first public event in four months. At the Zeughaus, Colonel Rudolf von Gersdorff wore an overcoat packed with explosives with the intention of killing Hitler, but Hitler's schedule changed unexpectedly, and Hitler's early departure from the exhibition caused the assassination attempt to be called off. After departing from the exhibition, the group of German leaders attended a memorial ceremony for the Heroes' Memorial Day. ww2dbase [Main Article | Event | TH, CPC]
  • The 1,474-ton Greek merchant steamer Varvara, damaged by German air attack on the previous day, sank near the Tripoli harbour entrance, Libya. ww2dbase [HM]
Pacific Ocean
  • USS Wahoo sank freighter Hozen Maru in the Yellow Sea near the coast of Korea, hitting her with 1 of 3 torpedoes; about 33 survived. Four hours later, she sank freighter Nittsu Maru, hitting her with 2 of 3 torpedoes; she encountered 3 survivors, all of whom refused to be rescued. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The BI-3 rocket-powered prototype aircraft took its third flight at Sverdlovsk (now Yekaterinburg), Sverdlovsk Oblast, Russia. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • No. 617 Squadron RAF was established at RAF Scampton, England, United Kingdom under the command of Wing Commander Guy Gibson for the purpose of launching an attack upon the Ruhr dams in Germany. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
Photo(s) dated 21 Mar 1943
German 7.5 cm PaK 40 camouflaged in snowy terrain, Russia, 21 Mar 1943Göring, Keitel, Dönitz, Himmler, Milch, Bock, Oberlindober, and other German leaders at a ceremony to honor those who died in combat, Berlin, Germany, 21 Mar 1943Overhead view of the progress of the salvage work on the sunken battleship USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 21 Mar 1943, a year and a half after the attack. Note flag flying from staff amidships.

21 Mar 1943 Interactive Map

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, Hugh Martyr, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis

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Famous WW2 Quote
"All that silly talk about the advance of science and such leaves me cold. Give me peace and a retarded science."

Thomas Dodd, late 1945