Sunday, May 6, 2012

Day 979 May 6, 1942

British invasion of Madagascar (Operation Ironclad). The British make no progress from the East all day. The commandos are held on the neck of land leading to Diego Suarez while 29th Independent Brigade infiltrates the Vichy lines on the approach to Antsirane but cannot dislodge them. 13th Infantry Brigade Group, 5th Infantry Division, lands in support in Ambararata Bay. In a daring move to break the deadlock, British destroyer HMS Anthony runs the gauntlet of French shore batteries defending Diego Suarez Bay under cover of dark at 8 PM, landing 50 Royal Marines commanded by Captain Martin Price on the quay at Antsirane. They storm the French naval depot, capturing rifles & machineguns and releasing 50 British prisoners. HMS Anthony escapes back to sea despite heavy fire from the French coastal guns. The main Vichy forces retreat South.

Corregidor, Philippines. Overnight, initial Japanese landings end in slaughter due to accurate US machinegun fire and shelling from 37mm and 75 mm guns, plus a 50-foot down which the Americans rain grenades (1200 killed, 800 get ashore). However, subsequent waves gain a foothold allowing the landing of tanks at 9.30 AM. By 10.30 the tanks approach the Malinta tunnel, with the US headquarters and hospitals holding 1,000 wounded, and General Wainwright (Allied commander in the Philippines) broadcasts his surrender which will come into effect at noon. Before then, US troops destroy all munitions especially artillery. US river gunboats USS Luzon and USS Oahu are scuttled to prevent capture by the Japanese (USS Luzon River will be raised by the Japanese, repaired and renamed Karatsu). At midnight, General Wainwright surrenders Corregidor and the rest of the Philippines to the local Japanese commander Colonel Sato (General Homma on Bataan refuses to accept the surrender from Wainwright).

Battle of the Coral Sea. American and Japanese carriers groups search for each other all day with air reconnaissance. At 8PM, Japanese fleet carriers Shōkaku and Zuikaku & US carriers USS Lexington and USS Yorktown are only 80 miles apart, unaware of each other’s presence.

50 miles Northeast of Cam Rahn Bay, French Indochina, US submarine USS Skipjack sinks Japanese freighter Kanan Maru. US submarine USS Triton attacks an escorted convoy off the East coast of China, sinking freighters Taiei Maru and Taigen Maru.

50 miles East of Cape Fear, North Carolina, US naval auxiliary USS Semmes accidentally rams and sinks British anti-sub trawler HMS Senateur Duhamel (lent to the United States Navy in February to combat U-boats on the US East coast).

5 miles East of Palm City, Florida, U-333 damages US tanker SS Java Arrow and sinks US tanker SS Halsey and Dutch freighter SS Amazone. In the Gulf of Mexico 50 miles South of Biloxi, Mississippi, U-507 sinks American SS Alcoa Puritan. In the middle of the Caribbean off Grand Cayman, U-125 sinks US MV Green Island and British SS Empire Buffalo. 15 miles Southeast of Great Inagua Island, Bahamas, U-108 sinks Latvian SS Abgara.

Overnight, RAF unsuccessfully attacks Stuttgart for the third night running with bomber crews distracted by decoy fires 15 miles North near Lauffen.

No comments:

Post a Comment