Monday, December 26, 2011

Day 849 December 27, 1941

Operation Anklet, Lofoten Islands, Northwest Norway. A German seaplane bombs cruiser HMS Arethusa which is damaged by near-misses requiring 14 weeks of repair. Without air support, Admiral Hamilton decides to re-embark the Commandos (no casualties during the raid) and return to Scapa Flow. They return with 200 Norwegian volunteers for the Free Norwegian Forces, in addition to 29 German POWs.

Operation Archery. At dawn, British cruiser HMS Kenya and 4 destroyers shell German defenses on Vaagso Island, Southern Norway. 560 British Commandos and 12 Norwegian troops land, despite stiff resistance from 150 German mountain troops on leave from USSR. They complete their mission to destroy fish-oil stores and production facilities (which the Germans use to manufacture high explosives) and, in addition, capture a complete German Naval Code plus 98 German POWs & Norwegian Quisling collaborators. British have 21 killed & 57 wounded and Norwegians 1 killed, while Germans lose 120 killed. Several Norwegians volunteers return with the Commandos to serve in the Free Norwegian Forces. Raids such as Archery and Anklet are of little military value but have significant psychological effect, convincing Hitler of an Allied attack through Norway; he will station up to 15 divisions (300,000 troops) there throughout the war.

Crimea. German 46th Infantry Division (11th Army) attempts to eliminate Soviet beachheads on the Kerch peninsula but Soviet 51st Army continues to bring reinforcements and supplies ashore.

Libya. British 22nd Armored Brigade attempts to outflank Rommel at Agedabia by crossing the desert to El Haseiat 30 miles inland, but they are attacked in their flank en route by Afrika Korps tanks.

Borneo. In the morning, British and Indian troops withdrawing from Kuching cross the border into Dutch Borneo. Japanese troops occupy tiny Tambelan Islands, between Borneo and Singapore, part of the Dutch East Indies (this is the first Dutch territory occupied by the Japanese).

Philippines. US and Filipino forces withdraw to D3 line (Santa Ignacia/Gerona/Guimba/San Jose) 30 miles South of the Japanese landings at Lingayen Gulf. This is the third of 5 defensive lines on the approach to Manila. Japanese continue bombing Manila and shipping in Manila Bay. 6 US Catalina flying boats bomb Japanese warships at the island of Jolo (4 Catalinas shot down by Japanese fighters).

Hong Kong. Japanese General Sakai, commander of Hong Kong Operation, parades 38th Infantry Division in triumph through Victoria, Hong Kong.

Malaya. While the main Japanese force approaches Kampar along the road from Ipoh on the West side of the peninsula, Japanese troops advance from Kota Bharu down the East coast toward Kuantan.

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