Thursday, April 26, 2012

Day 971 April 28, 1942

Burma. With the decision made to retreat to India, British and Indian troops begin an orderly withdrawal despite being harassed by Japanese 33rd Division. Indian 17th Division crosses West over the Irrawaddy River by ferry and boat at Sameikkon, with 38th Chinese Division and British 7th Armoured Brigade holding the East bank of the river from Sagaing to Ondaw.

Allied convoy PQ 15 from Iceland to Murmansk, USSR, is joined by the ocean escort consisting of battleships HMS King George V, USS Washington, aircraft carrier HMS Victorious, 5 cruisers, 12 destroyers and 4 submarines. German aircraft spot the convoy 200 miles Northwest of Tromsø, Norway.

In the Mediterranean off Cape Bon, Tunisia, Italian submarine Corallo stops Tunisian fishing boats Dar El Salam and Tunis (at only 41 tons, one of the smallest boats sunk in WWII), and sinks them with the deck gun after taking off the crews. British tug HMS West Dean is sunk by bombing at Malta.

At 3.35 PM 30 miles Southeast of New York, U-136 sinks Dutch SS Arundo (6 dead, 37 survivors picked up by US destroyer USS Lea).

Overnight, RAF targets Kriegsmarine ships at dock in Kiel and Trondheim. 88 bombers (62 Wellingtons, 15 Stirlings, 10 Hampdens, 1 Halifax) attack Kiel in bright moonlight but against strong anti-aircraft and fighter defenses (no ships hit but all 3 shipyards damaged, 15 civilians killed and 74 injured, 5 Wellingtons and 1 Hampden lost). At Trondheim, 23 Halifax and 11 Lancaster bombers attack the Tirpitz (no hits, 2 Halifaxes lost). Baedeker Blitz; Luftwaffe again switches focus and bombs the historic city of York in Northeast England.

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