Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Day 933 March 21, 1942

USSR. German troops surrounded at Demyansk (since February 8) attempt to breakout Northwest towards Staraya Russa through the "Ramushevo corridor". The German assault is led by General Walther von Seydlitz-Kurzbach (promoted to General of the Artillery for his efforts) who will later advocate a similar breakout from Stalingrad.

25 miles off Southport, North Carolina, U-124 almost sinks US tanker Esso Nashville at 6.08 AM (all 37 hands rescued) and hits US tanker MV Atlantic Sun causing little damage at 10.05 AM.

Mediterranean. British aircraft carriers HMS Argus and HMS Eagle depart Gibraltar, escorted by battleship HMS Malaya, cruiser HMS Hermione and 9 destroyers, to fly off Spitfire fighters to Malta. The British force is attacked by Italian submarines Mocenigo and Dandolo without success and turns back. Off the coast of Libya, Italian submarines Onice and Platino spot British convoy MW10 from Alexandria, Egypt, to Malta. Italian battleship Littorio, 3 cruisers, 10 destroyers leave bases at Taranto and Messina, Sicily, to intercept. 3 Italian submarines and 3 U-boats are also deployed. The Italian battle fleet is likewise spotted by British submarine P36. Another clash seems likely in the Gulf or Sirte, between Italy and Libya.

Burma. 151 Japanese bombers with fighter support attack Chinese Air Force 1st American Volunteer Group “Flying Tigers” airfield at Magwe, Northern Burma, destroying 15 aircraft in the air and on the ground (2 Japanese aircraft shot down). Having advanced 160 miles North of Rangoon in pursuit of the retreating British, Japanese 55th Division troops in the Sittang River valley run into a forward Chinese outpost at Oktwin, 8 miles South of the main Chinese defenses at Toungoo.

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