Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Day 871 January 18, 1942

Siege of Leningrad Day 133. Soviet 54th Army breaks through German defenses at Pogost’e, 25 miles Southwest of Leningrad. However, Germans experiment with Gr.38 High Explosive Anti-Tank rounds and, over the next 3 days, destroy four Kv-1 and five T-34 Soviet tanks which have previously been impervious to ant-tank fire. 30 miles further South, Soviet 2nd Shock Army breaches German line on the Volkhov River near Spasskaya Polisk.

Malaya. At 6.45 AM on the road North of Bakri, 9 Japanese tanks rush ahead without infantry and are all destroyed by Australian anti-tank guns but, overnight, Japanese Imperial Guards get through the jungle around the Allies at Bakri. Further South, Japanese threaten to turn the whole Allied position on the West coast by advancing along the coast undetected and also landing troops at Batu Pahat. They can now move inland to cut off the general Allied retreat.

Following the capture of the island of Tarakan, Dutch Borneo, on January 12, Dutch implement their destruction plan to deny Japanese use of oil installations at Balikpapan (265 miles further South on the mainland of Dutch Borneo).

US submarine USS Plunger sinks Japanese freighter Eizan Maru 23 miles off the coast of Honshu, Japan.

Operation Drumbeat. Off Newfoundland, U-86 sinks Greek SS Dimitrios G. Thermiotis at 6.13 AM (all 33 hands lost) and U-552 sinks American SS Frances Salman at 6.44 AM (all 28 hands lost). At 8.33 AM off Diamond Shoals, North Carolina, U-66 sinks American tanker SS Allan Jackson carrying 72,870 barrels of crude oil (22 killed; 13 survivors, 8 injured, rescued from the burning oil by US destroyer USS Roe).

In Gibraltar harbor, a bomb planted by Spanish saboteurs or Italian manned torpedoes sinks British anti-submarine trawler HMS Erin and minesweeping trawler HMS Honjo (8 killed) and badly damages another anti-submarine trawler HMS Imperialist.

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