13 Jul 1943
  • Hitler called off the Kursk offensive but the decision had already been taken from him by the Soviets who pounded the retreating German forces both north and south of the salient with tanks, artillery, and tank-busting aircraft. Apart from the Soviet Army, the victory at Kursk was as much a triumph for the Soviet workforce which has endured long shifts in appalling conditions to arm, clothe, and feed their fighting men. ww2dbase [Battle of Kursk | AC]
  • Operation Fustian: After sun down, 1,900 men from the UK 1st Airborne Division set out to capture the Primosole Bridge over the Simeto River in Sicily, Italy by parachute and glider. Less than 200 men with three anti-tank guns reached the bridge. They overpowered the guards and removed demolition charges placed by Italian engineers. However, unbeknown to the Allies, the machine gun battalion of a German parachute division had just been dropped on to that very area. The two parachute forces were immediately locked into battle, but the tiny British unit, though heavily outnumbered, would remain at the bridge awaiting arrival of reinforcements. Elsewhere, British troops captured Augusta and Ragusa in Sicily, Italy. ww2dbase [Invasion of Sicily and Italy's Surrender | AC]
  • British Air Vice Marshal Harry Broadhurst moved his Western Desert Air Force Headquarters to Pachino, Sicily, Italy with three squadrons of Spitfire VC fighters under command. Over the next week Luftwaffe operations would be reduced from 275-300 sorties per day to less than 150. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Pierre Charles Cournarie was named the Governor-General of French West Africa. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • USS S-28 departed Dutch Harbor, US Territory of Alaska for her sixth war patrol. ww2dbase [S-28 | Unalaska | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Wing Commander John Nettleton, who won the Victoria Cross for leading the ill-fated Augsburg, Germany raid from RAF Waddington in Apr 1942, failed to return from mission to Turin, probably shot down by a night fighter over the English Channel. ww2dbase [English Channel | AC]
British Western Pacific Territories
  • Shortly after midnight, cruisers USS Honolulu, USS St. Louis, and HMNZS Leander escorted by destroyers USS Nicholas, USS O'Bannon, USS Radford, USS Jenkins, USS Chevalier, USS Gwin, USS Woodworth, USS Buchanan, and USS Maury engaged Japanese cruiser Jintsu and destroyers Yukikaze, Hamakaze, Yugure, Mikazuki, and Kiyonami in New Georgia Sound north of Kolombangara. Japanese Type 93 torpedoes damaged Honolulu, St. Louis, and Leander. Destroyers Woodworth and Buchanan were damaged in a collision. Jintsu was sunk by cruiser gunfire and a torpedo. Destroyer Yukikaze was damaged. Destroyer USS Ralph Talbot went to the aid of USS Gwin, badly damaged by a torpedo, and took aboard 155 officers and men. USS Maury took another 53 officers and men. Ralph Talbot then scuttled Gwin with torpedoes. The Japanese were able to land 1,200 men nevertheless. ww2dbase [St. Louis | Nicholas | Yugure | Ralph Talbot | Yukikaze | Hamakaze | Maury | Jintsu | Walden Ainsworth | Solomon Islands Campaign | Honolulu | New Georgia Sound, Solomon Islands | DS]
  • During the Battle of Kolombangara, cruiser USS St. Louis was struck by a Japanese torpedo in the port bow, causing moderate damage. Down by the head, St. Louis withdrew to Tulagi Harbor, Solomon Islands. ww2dbase [St. Louis | Solomon Islands Campaign | New Georgia Sound, Solomon Islands | DS]
  • During the Battle of Kolombangara, cruiser USS Honolulu was struck by a Japanese torpedo in the starboard bow, causing 60 feet of the bow to fold and collapse downward so the deck was nearly vertical. Another torpedo crashed through Honolulu’s stern but did not explode. Down by the head, Honolulu withdrew to Tulagi Harbor, Solomon Islands. ww2dbase [Walden Ainsworth | Honolulu | Solomon Islands Campaign | New Georgia Sound, Solomon Islands | DS]
Caroline Islands
  • Japanese hospital ship Hikawa Maru departed Truk, Caroline Islands. ww2dbase [Hikawa Maru | Truk | CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler told Erich von Manstein that the forces to repel the Allied thrust through Italy and the Balkans would have to be found from the Eastern Front. ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | AC]
  • In Bremen, Germany, Atlas Werke AG held its final General Meeting. Shortly after, Krupp would take over Atlas's operations and would rename the company Maschinenbau Kiel GmbH. ww2dbase [Atlas Werke AG | Bremen, Weser-Ems | AG]
Marshall Islands
  • On the 47th day of drifting at sea in teh Pacific Ocean, Louis Zamperini and Russell Phillips were found and captured by the Japanese Navy in the Marshall Islands. ww2dbase [Louis Zamperini | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 13 Jul 1943
Two survivors of the sunken Jintsu, dressed in US Navy uniforms, aboard USS Nicholas (DD-449), 13 Jul 1943Enlisted WAVES member checking a label on a Naval air station weather board, United States, 13 Jul 1943Cruiser USS St. Louis and New Zealand cruiser Leander firing during Battle of Kolombangara, 13 Jul 1943Following a torpedo hit to USS Honolulu’s bow on 13 Jul 1943 in the Battle of Kolombangara, the leading 36-feet of the bow structure collapsed to hang straight down. Photo taken at Tulagi. Photo 2 of 2.
See all photos dated 13 Jul 1943

13 Jul 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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