Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Day 962 April 19, 1942

At 2.15 AM, U-130 surfaces and uses the 88mm deck gun to shell the Bullen Baai Company petroleum storage facility, near Willemstad on the Dutch island of CuraƧao in the Caribbean (no damage done). Dutch return fire with their 120 mm naval gun battery forcing U-130 to submerge.

Burma. At 8 AM, Chinese 113th Regiment (38th Division) attacks into Yenangyaung, eliminating 3 Japanese strong points by 11.30 AM. Japanese move to defend the breach which opens a gap allowing British 1st Burma Division to break though, cross the Pin Chaung River and meet up with their Chinese rescuers. 90 miles East, Japanese 55th Infantry Division charges North from Toungoo and captures Pyinmana on the road to Mandalay.

Bataan Death March. The first wave of American and Filipinos are moved on the last leg of the journey to POW Camp O’Donnell. At San Fernando, they are loaded into railway cars and moved to Campos. With 100 men to a railway car for the 4 hour journey, many die from the heat. With no way to dispose of corpses or feces from the men suffering dysentery, the foul conditions contribute to the spread of disease. Arriving at Campos, they are marched another 9 miles to Camp O’Donnell. POWs will continue to straggle along the route Balanga-Orani-Lubao-Campos-Camp O’Donnell by foot, truck and train for 3 more weeks. 605 out of 11,796 US POWs (5.5%) and 5-10,000 out of 66,304 Filipino POWs (7.5 – 15%) die. Despite claiming ignorance of the events, Japanese commander in the Philippines, General Masaharu Homma, will be tried as a War Criminal for allowing the Death March to happen and shot on April 3 1946.

Soviet 33rd Army, which has been trapped near Vyazma for a month, is annihilated. Their commander General Mikhail Grigoryevich Yefremov, already severely wounded in the back, shoots himself in head when surrounded by a German patrol.

Mediterranean. Off Sfax, Tunisia, British submarine HMS Umbra sinks Italian vessel Assunta de Gregori. Off Palestine, U-81 sinks a tiny sailing boat with gunfire at 4.51 PM and rams the sailing vessel Hefz el Rahman at 10 PM.

No comments:

Post a Comment