Sunday, January 8, 2012

Day 862 January 9, 1942

Battle of Bataan, Luzon, Philippines. Japanese 48th Division is withdrawn, having fought down from Lingayen Gulf since December 22, 1941, and replaced by raw recruits of 65th Brigade. At 3 PM, the Battle begins with an attack on the Abucay-Mauban line East of Mount Natib that is repelled by 25,000 US & Filipino troops of General George Parker’s II Philippine Corps.

Java Sea between Java and Borneo. Japanese submarine I.65 damages a tanker which escapes and sinks Dutch freighter SS Benkoeln (101 survivors on rafts rescued by American destroyer USS Paul Jones next day). Japanese submarine I.58 sinks Dutch SS Camphuijs (survivors also rescued by USS Paul Jones next day).

US submarine USS Pollack sinks Japanese merchant ship Teian Maru near Tokyo Bay, Japan.

Mediterranean. Italian mines sink British submarine HMS Triumph, returning to the Greek island of Milos to pick up British agents dropped off on December 26, 1941 (all 59 hands lost). 70 miles Northwest of Mersa Matruh, Egypt, a British Sunderland aircraft (230 Squadron) depth charges U-568 causing minor damage.

200 miles Northwest of Moscow, Soviet Northwest Front is fully engaged. 3rd and 4th Shock Armies (read: hastily-assembled, poorly-trained troops with little equipment, ammunition or food) cross the icy marshes of Lake Seliger in waist-deep snow. 4th Shock, attacking Southwest towards Andreapol, is decimated by German machineguns at Peno but sheers weight of numbers overcomes the Germans. 3rd Shock fails to make progress attacking West towards Kholm. Further North, Soviet 11th Army approaches the town of Staraya Russa, defended by the experienced but exhausted German 18th Motorised Division, resting after the battles at Tikhvin.

WWI-era British destroyer HMS Vimiera sinks on a mine in the Thames estuary while escorting a coastal convoy (96 killed, 14 survivors).

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