Friday, December 30, 2011

Day 853 December 31, 1941

As the year ends, Germany and allies Italy, Vichy France and the Balkan states control Europe from the Arctic Circle to the Mediterranean and from the English Channel to deep in USSR (a line from Leningrad in the North to the Sea of Azov in the South).

Siege of Leningrad Day 115. 52,000 civilians died in December from starvation and cold.

On the West side of Malaya - Battle of Kampar. Japanese attack 4000 foot high Gunong Brijang Melaka on the East of the road. They are stopped by fire from 4.5 inch howitzers of the 155th Field Regiment (Lanarkshire Yeomanry) brought down by artillery spotters on the mountain. Appreciating the formidable defenses at Kampar, Japanese also take to the water off the West coast of Malaya to make landings further South (using 40 motor launches hauled overland from Songkhla, Thailand, as well as 20 boats left behind by the British at Penang). On the East coast of Malaya, Indian 9th Division at Kuantan withdraws South of Kuantan River to keep the vital airfield out of Japanese hands. Japanese are held trying to cross the River but then switch focus to the coast and meet less resistance advancing down the beach.

56 Japanese troop transports leave Formosa (now Taiwan), escorted by 3 cruisers and 16 destroyers, for landings in Malaya.

Civilians start evacuating Singapore to Australia on British troopship Orion and and to Capetown, South Africa, on Dutch passenger liner Marnix Van Sint Aldegonde (escorted by British destroyers HMS Thanet and HMS Tenedos).

Luzon, Philippines. Japanese Lingayen Force takes Sibul Springs at the East end of D5 line and reach Baliuag, 20 miles North of Manila, where they are held by US and Filipino forces withdrawing to Bataan. Citizens in Manila destroy alcohol, fearing the drunken Japanese rampage that occurred in Hong Kong.

At the Arcadia Conference, Churchill and Roosevelt agree on 'Germany First' strategy and form a Combined US/UK Chiefs of Staff.

Japanese submarines shell the Hawaiian islands of Kauai and Maui.

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