Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day 810 November 18, 1941

Operation Typhoon. 70 miles West of Moscow, General Erich Hoepner’s 4th Panzer Army attacks with 3 Panzer divisions (over 400 tanks) and 3 infantry divisions from Volokolamsk into the junction between Soviet 30th and 16th Armies. 30th Army falls back North to Klin while 16th Army falls back South to Istra, opening a yawning gap between the two. 120 miles South of Moscow, Guderian’s 3rd Panzer Army is still held up at the city of Tula. An attempt to encircle and bypass Tula is broken up 30 miles Southeast at Uzlovaya by 413th Rifle Division (one of the fresh units moved from Siberia for the defense of Moscow).

Operation Crusader. British 8th Army under General Alan Cunningham attacks from Egypt into Libya. Infantry of New Zealand 2nd and Indian 4th Divisions attack German border positions at Bardia, Sollum and Halfaya Pass in order to tie these garrisons down. To the South, tanks of 7th Armored Division swing through the desert to bring German armor to battle at Gabr Saleh and Sidi Rezegh. However, Rommel has just arrived back from vacation in Italy and is planning his own offensive to storm Tobruk. He is convinced this is a diversionary attack and does not send out his Panzers. Overnight, British cruisers HMS Naiad & HMS Euryalus and destroyers HMS Kipling & HMS Jackal shell German positions at Halfaya Pass.

25 Japanese submarines leave Japan to patrol the Hawaiian Islands. 5 of the submarines carry “midget submarines” to sneak into Pearl Harbour.

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