Sunday, March 18, 2012

Day 931 March 19, 1942

Siege of Leningrad Day 193. 50 miles Southeast of Leningrad, Soviet 2nd Shock Army is surrounded on the Volkhov River. 2nd Shock Army’s breakthrough of the German line on January 18 has become a deep salient pointing Northwest from Spasskaya Polisk on the Volkhov River towards Leningrad but they have been unable to widen the gap in the German line. A German counterattack launched on March 15 now closes the door behind them.

25 miles South of Cape Fear, North Carolina, U-124 sinks US tanker Papoose at 4.31 AM (2 killed, 32 survivors picked up by US destroyer USS Stringham 10 hours later) and US tanker W.E. Hutton carrying 65,000 barrels of heating oil at 5.38 AM (13 killed, 23 survivors rescued 12 hours later by British merchant MV Port Halifax). 87 miles Northwest, U-332 sinks American SS Liberator carrying 11,000 tons of sulphur at 4.19 PM (5 killed by the explosion and sulphur fumes, 30 survivors in 2 lifeboats picked up by US fleet tug USS Umpqua).

Philippines. The situation on Bataan is becoming critical. As food supplies dwindle, American and Filipino troops are put on quarter rations (35 ounces per day, about 1000 calories). Quinine to prevent malaria runs out, leading 1000 men per day to report sick with malaria, and dysentery is also endemic. Fighting strength is reduced by about 50% due to disease. Despite the departure of General MacArthur, many of the troops continue to believe that a relief force is on the way, unable to accept they have been abandoned. Although MacArthur plans to retain command of Bataan from Australia, US Army Chief of Staff General Marshall promotes General Wainwright to Lieutenant General and appoints him in overall command of US forces in the Philippines (USFIP).

No comments:

Post a Comment