Saturday, December 3, 2011

Day 826 December 4, 1941

Operation Typhoon is over as German Army Group Center moves to the defensive. West of Moscow, von Kluge pulls 4th Army back across the Nara River, returning to their Winter quarters. South of Moscow, Guderian’s attempt to encircle Tula fails as Kampfguppe Eberbach (2nd Panzer Army) is dislodged from the Tula/Moscow rail line. Guderian too pulls back his forces around Tula which are exposed in forward positions they cannot hold.

Operation Crusader. British send 4th Armoured Brigade East to counter Rommel’s threat to Bardia and Sollum. This exposes 70th Division's 14th Infantry Brigade from Tobruk which is still holding Ed Duda ridge and they are duly attacked by Rommel although with no success. With Panzer divisions still repairing their tanks, Rommel realizes he cannot simultaneously prevent a Tobruk breakout and relieve the isolated garrisons, so he turns around the motorized infantry heading to Bardia, Sollum and Halfaya Pass and sends them back towards Tobruk.

18 Japanese troop transports escorted by 2 cruisers and 12 destroyers leave Japanese-occupied Hainan Island, China (at the head of the South China Sea). They are carrying 26,640 troops for landings in Malaya. Meanwhile, Japanese carrier fleet approaches Hawaii undetected from the North.

British submarine HMS Perseus sinks Italian freighter Eridano 6 miles off the island of Lefkada, Greece, in the Ionian Sea.

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