Friday, January 13, 2012

Day 867 January 14, 1942

Operation Drumbeat. At 8.34 AM 60 miles from Montauk Point, Long Island, U-123 sinks Panamanian tanker MV Norness (2 dead, 39 survivors picked up by American destroyer USS Ellyson, Coast Guard cutter USCGC Argo and fishing boat Malvina).

450 miles Northwest of Ireland, U-43 attacks convoy ON 55 sinking Greek SS Maro (all hands lost), British SS Empire Surf (45 killed, 6 survivors) and Panamanian SS Chepo (17 killed, 21 survivors).

Malaya. At 4 PM, Japanese infantry on bicycles and a few tanks stream across the Gemencheh Bridge over the Kelamah River into an Australian ambush. Australians dynamite the bridge, slaughter the trapped Japanese troops with machinegun and small arms fire and then withdraw through the jungle. Japanese have killed 140-700 (estimates vary) while Australians lose 1 killed plus 6 captured by the Japanese and executed. Japanese have the bridge repaired by midnight. On the West coast, Japanese Imperial Guards occupy the town of Malacca unopposed and prepare to assault Muar held by the novice 45th Indian Brigade.

At 11 PM, German battleship Tirpitz leaves Wilhelmshaven, Germany, and sails to Trondheim, Norway, escorted by 4 destroyers. RAF is unable to attack during the journey due to bad weather and Royal Navy Home Fleet responds too slowly.

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