Monday, December 26, 2011

Day 848 December 26, 1941

Operation Anklet. 22 warships from Britain, Norway and Poland raid the Lofoten Islands (Northwest Norway, 100 miles inside the Arctic Circle). At 6 AM, 223 British Commandos and 77 Norwegian troops land on the island of Moskenesøya from British landing ship HMS Prins Albert (escorted by Norwegian corvettes HNoMS Andenes and Eglantine), take several German & Norwegian Quisling prisoners and destroy a radio transmitter at Glåpen. British destroyer HMS Bedouin shells a radio transmitter at Flakstadøya. In Vestfjord, British cruiser HMS Arethusa and destroyers HMS Somali, Ashanti, and Eskimo capture 2 Norwegian coastal steamers and sink a German patrol boat (after capturing the Enigma machine and code settings).

Libya. After all his infantry have arrived along the coast road, Rommel withdraws his armored rearguard to Agedabia (where his advance towards Egypt started in April). British 22nd Armored Brigade follows close behind, recently re-equipped with new tanks. At 2.29 PM 20 miles East of Tobruk, Libya, 1 torpedo from U-559 stops Polish SS Warszawa carrying Allied troops to Tobruk from Alexandria, Egypt (4 crew and 19 passengers killed). 445 survivors taken off by British corvette HMS Peony which attempts to tow the damaged ship. At 7.30 PM, U-559 sinks SS Warszawa with a coup de grâce.

British submarine H31 disappears on patrol in the Bay of Biscay, cause unknown (all 22 hands lost).

Moscow Counteroffensive. Northwest of Moscow, Konev’s Kalanin Front launches an attack on German 9th Army. Konev’s goals are to unhinge North end of the German defensive line along the Ruza & Lama rivers and also to drive a wedge between Army Group North & Army Group Center.

Crimea. While German 11th Army continues to assault Sevastopol, Soviet 44th Army lands 13,000 troops on the North and East coasts of the Kerch peninsula from ships of the Azov Naval Flotilla and the Kerch Naval Base.

Malaya. Japanese advance on Ipoh along the main road from the Northwest and down a broad valley from the North, where British and Indian troops fight a delaying action at Chemor. Due to the flanking risk, British decide to withdraw from Ipoh to better positions at Kampar, 25 miles South, with mountains to the East and swamps to the West.

Borneo. Dutch Army Glenn Martin B-10 bombers from Samarinda, Dutch Borneo, sink Japanese minesweeper W6 and collier Unyo Maru off Kuching.

Philippines. MacArthur declares Manila an open city to spare the populace. Japanese bombing continues nonetheless, sinking ships in Manila Bay and damaging US destroyer USS Peary.

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