Monday, March 5, 2012

Day 917 March 5, 1942

British submarines have a busy day in the Mediterranean. Overnight, HMS Torbay enters the harbour on the Greek island of Corfu and, at 7.30 AM, sinks Italian merchant ship Maddalena G. and possibly one other (Lieutenant Commander Miers, commanding HMS Torbay, wins the VC for this attack). HMS Torbay escapes back to the Ionian Sea and is inaccurately attacked from 8.30 to 10 AM with 40 depth-charges but sustains no damage. HMS Uproar sinks Italian merchant Marin Sanudo 18 miles West of the Italian island of Lampedusa (depth charged by Italian torpedo boats Cigno and Procione, causing no damage). At 3 PM, HMS Thorn sinks Italian auxiliary patrol vessel AS91/Ottavia with the deck gun off the Greek island of Kefalonia (an Italian destroyer drops 2 depth charges, causing no damage).

Java. Japanese 2nd Division enters the capital Batavia, capturing the few remaining Dutch troops, and closes in on Buitenzorg (now Bogor) 25 miles South to cut off the retreat from Batavia.

4 Japanese troop transports leave Rabaul, New Britain, escorted by 6 cruisers and 8 destroyers for the invasion of New Guinea.

Burma. General Hon. Sir Harold Rupert Leofric George “Hap” Alexander is appointed General Officer Commanding Burma Command, replacing General Hutton who becomes his Chief of Staff. Despite Wavell’s orders to the contrary, Alexander immediately decides to abandon Rangoon as there is no hope of defending the city. He plans to convince the Japanese that Rangoon will be defended (and cover the British retreat North) by counterattacks against Pegu, 40 miles Northeast of Rangoon.

At 11.35 AM off Nova Scotia, U-404 sinks US steamer Collamer. At 3.33 PM 50 miles East of the Bahamas, U-128 sinks Norwegian tanker O.A. Knudsen. At 10.44 PM 30 miles North of Turks and Caicos Islands, U-126 sinks US steamer Mariana (all 36 hand lost). At 11.07 PM 100 miles off Sierra Leone, West Africa, U-505 sinks British SS Benmohr (all 56 hands rescued by a British Sunderland flying boat).


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  2. This is also the Seabee's Birthday.