Monday, February 6, 2012

Day 891 February 7, 1942

Siege of Leningrad Day 153. Eastern Front. Soviet offensive Northwest of Moscow to relieve Leningrad is also stalling out. Germans hold another salient South of Lake Ilmen, from their railhead at Staraya Russa to Demyansk. Soviet 11th Army, 34th Army, and 3rd Shock Army press in on the German defenses.

Dutch East Indies. Japanese aircraft bomb Palembang on Sumatra destroying 34 RAF aircraft. 30 miles off the North coast of Java, Japanese submarine I-55 sinks Dutch passenger ship Van Cloon with shellfire (all 187 on board rescued by American yacht USS Isabel). I-55 is attacked by USS Isabel and a PBY Catalina floatplane. Van Cloon will be raised and commissioned into Japanese Navy as transport ship Tatebe Maru. USAAF B-17 bombers from Java unsuccessfully attack Japanese shipping off Balikpapan, Borneo.

Singapore. Japanese shelling is getting heavier. In the evening, 400 Japanese Imperial Guards Division troops land unopposed on the island of Pulau Ubin in the Strait of Johore separating Singapore from Malaya. Pulau Ubin lies Northeast of Singapore and the landings are a feint for the main assault to come at the Western end.

Japanese submarine I-25 launches its floatplane to reconnoiter Sydney, Australia.

Libya. Panzer Army Afrika reaches the British defensive line running from Gazzala on the coast 30 miles inland to the fort at Bir Hacheim. Neither side has the resources and spirit to attack so here they will wait, recover and resupply. Despite losing many ships in recent months to German submarines and air attack, Royal Navy continues efforts to disrupt Rommel’s supply lines across the Mediterranean. British destroyers HMS Zulu and HMS Lively from Malta seek Italian merchant ships running to Libya but sink only trawler Grongo and tiny steamer Aosta (survivors rescued by Italian motor torpedo boats).

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