Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Day 1032 June 28, 1942

Eastern Front. Germans launch their much-delayed Spring offensive (Case Blue). While Stalin believes they will renew the attack on Moscow, Hitler has other plans. He intends to use his Southern 5 Armies (2nd, 6th & 17th, 4th Panzer & 1st Panzer) to swing South and capture the Caucasus oilfields, immobilising Soviet industry and the Red Army. The offensive starts with German 2nd Army and 4th Panzer Army attacking East towards Voronezh and North towards Orel, further convincing Stalin that the attack is aimed at Moscow. The Panzers are accompanied by Luftwaffe spotters radioing in airstrikes on any Soviet tanks that come out to meet them.

Sevastopol. Overnight, Italian MAS fast torpedo boats fake a landing at Cape Fiolent, South of Sevastopol, to distract from German preparations to mount an assault from the North across Severnaya Bay. Soviet defenses are now concentrated on the Inkerman Heights, anticipating a German attack up the Chernaya River Valley, but unprepared for an attack across Severnaya Bay. In the Black Sea, Soviet Flotilla Leader (large destroyer) Tashkent is badly damaged by German bombers but manages to reach the Caucasus port of Novorossisk.

Royal Navy Home Fleet (British aircraft carrier HMS Victorious, British battleship HMS Duke of York, US battleship USS Washington and escorting cruisers and destroyers) leaves Scapa Flow, Scotland, to provide distant cover to convoy PQ-17 from Iceland to Arkhangelsk, USSR.

Egypt. British 8th Army continues its fighting withdrawal to El Alamein, pursued by Panzerarmee Afrika. On the coast, German 90th Light Division reaches Fuka, 45 miles East of Mersa Matruh.

In the Mediterranean 14 miles Southwest of Haifa, U-97 attacks a 3 ship convoy from Port Said to Cyprus, sinking British SS Zealand (14 dead, 19 survivors) and Greek SS Memas (8 killed, 17 survivors).

U-154, U-203, U-332, U-505 and U-701 each sink 1 American freighter or tanker on the US East coast or in the approaches to the Caribbean.

In the Philippine Sea, between Guam and the Philippines, US submarine USS Stingray attacks a Japanese convoy and sinks gunboat Saikyo Maru.

Allies step up bombing of Japanese bases in the South Pacific. US 5th Air Force B-17 bombers from Australia attack Rabaul, New Britain, and Lae, New Guinea. PBY floatplanes of VP-14 attack Tulagi Island, Soloman Islands.

In the Mozambique Channel, Japanese submarine I-10 sinks British merchant ship Queen Victoria.

Overnight, Luftwaffe bombs Weston-super-Mare in Southwest England on faulty intelligence that Churchill is staying in the town on his return from USA (102 civilians killed, 400 injured).

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