Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Day 879 January 26, 1942

Siege of Leningrad Day 141. Trucks bring in 2000 tons per day on Road of Life across frozen Lake Lagoda and the bread ration has doubled, but civilians are still dying at the rate of 4000 per day. Scurvy is a problem so pine needles are extracted to produce vitamin C. Road of Life capacity now allows civilians to be evacuated from Leningrad (440,000 will be transported out before the Ice Road melts on April 15).

Malaya. All along the Batu Pahat-Ayer Hitam-Jemaluang line, British, Indian and Australian troops begin to withdraw, in many cases taking to the jungle to avoid Japanese road blocks behind the Allied positions (an indication of the disintegrating defenses). 1500 troops of British Brigade (part of Indian 11th Division) are cut off at Rengit on the East coast. Adding to the British woes, Japanese land reinforcements on the East coast from the Gulf of Siam. At 11 AM, Japanese 18th Division comes ashore at Endau, 80 miles North of Singapore, from troop transports Kansai Maru and Kanbera Maru escorted by cruiser Sendai and 6 destroyers. They are spotted by RAF air reconnaissance and attacked without success at 3 PM by 12 Vickers Vildebeest (ancient single-engine biplane torpedo bombers of RAF 100 Squadron and 36 Squadron from Singapore). Despite escort from Brewster Buffalo and Hurricane fighters, 5 Vildebeests are shot down. At 5.30 PM, 9 Vildebeests and 3 Fairey Albacores attack, again unsuccessfully (another 6 Vildebeests, 2 Albacores and 1 Hurricane shot down). At 4.30 PM, WWI-era destroyers HMS Thanet and HMAS Vampire leave Singapore to make a night attack on the troop transports at Endau.

Battle of Bataan. Overnight, US and Filipino troops complete their withdrawal from the Abucay-Mauban line. MacArthur states there will be no further retreat from the Orion-Bagac line "With its occupation, all maneuvering possibilities will cease. I intend to fight it out to complete destruction."

Northern Ireland. Convoy AT10 arrives carrying the first US troop sent to Britain (3900 troops of US 34th Division).

Operation Drumbeat. At 5.56 AM 100 miles off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, U-125 sinks American SS West Ivis (all 45 hands lost). At 8.42 AM 325 miles Southeast of Nova Scotia, U-106 sinks British SS Traveller carrying 600 tons of explosives which detonates as Traveller sinks (all 52 hands lost). At 6.58 PM 200 miles South of Newfoundland, U-582 sinks British tanker SS Refast (10 killed, 32 survivors rescued by British SS Mariposa). Of note, SS Refast was the first American ship attacked in WWI (then SS Gulflight of Gulf Oil Co, New York) when damaged by torpedoes from U-30 on May 1, 1915.

No comments:

Post a Comment