Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Day 864 January 11, 1942

Japanese invasion of Dutch East Indies begins.
Tarakan. At midnight, 6500 Japanese troops land on the tiny oil-rich island of Tarakan, 1 mile off Dutch Borneo. They come ashore on the sparsely defended East side of the island and fight their way across. Japanese destroyer Yamakaze and patrol boat P38 sink Dutch minelayer HrMs Prins van Oranje, which is trying to escape from Tarakan.
Celebes. At 3 AM, 2,500 Japanese marines land on the island of Celebes, at Menado and Kema, swiftly overcoming the Dutch defenders. At 9 AM, 334 Japanese paratroops (flown 380 miles from Davao, Philippines) capture the seaplane base at Kakas and the airfield at Menado. Paratroops at Menado react to their heavy losses (35 killed, 90 wounded) and murder several Dutch POWs. Japanese have already occupied most of British Borneo on the North coast of the island.

Malaya. British flee the capital, Kuala Lumpur, heading South by road towards Singapore (200 miles away). At 8 PM, Japanese occupy Kuala Lumpur unopposed, capturing more large stocks of supplies and ammunition.

500 miles southwest of Oahu, Hawaii, Japanese submarine I-6 torpedoes US aircraft carrier USS Saratoga (6 killed), which reaches Pearl Harbor for repairs under her own steam despite 3 flooded boiler rooms (her 4 double 8-inch gun mounts are also removed for use as shore batteries).

Eastern Front. Soviet 39th Army continues advancing West and South around Rhzev, capturing large German supply dumps at Sychevka. Konev sends 11th Cavalry Corps charging on horseback through this gap in German 9th Army defenses, hoping to achieve a rapid encirclement of Rhzev.

Mediterranean. 30 miles North of Tobruk, Libya, a British Swordfish aircraft (815 Squadron) damages U-577 with depth charges.

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