Friday, June 29, 2012

Day 1033 June 29, 1942

At 1.25 AM 50 miles Southwest of Barbados, U-126 shells Canadian sailing ship Mona Marie after all 8 crew abandon ship.

Overnight, Luftwaffe and German artillery lay down a barrage on Soviet defenses South of Sevastopol as a distraction, while, at 1 AM, German 16th and 65th Infantry Regiment in 130 rubber assault boats cross 600 yard-wide Severnaya Bay from the North. They land behind the main Soviet defenses on the Inkerman Heights. Soviets are caught completely unaware and do not respond until 2 PM, after German troops secure and rapidly expand a bridgehead on high ground.

Case Blue. Soviet 40th Army falls back in disarray and is in danger of being surrounded by German 4th Panzer Army attacking from Kursk towards Voronezh. Fearing that the German offensive is the start of a drive on Moscow, Stalin rushes in forces from nearby Southwest front and the Stavka reserve. 7 Soviet tank corps (1st, 2nd, 4th, 11th, 16th, 17th, 24th) comprising 1000 tanks converge on Voronezh for a counterattack.

Egypt. Pushing East, German 90th Light Division reaches Sidi Abd el Rahman, only 20 miles from El Alamein, where British 8th Army has begun preparing a defensive line on the narrow coastal strip between the Mediterranean and the Qattara Depression which is impassable by tanks due to fine powdery sand, salt lakes, high cliffs and escarpments. Mussolini flies to Libya, piloting his own aircraft carrying his white horse, in preparation for a triumphant parade into the Egyptian capital, Cairo. British fleet at Alexandria evacuates submarine depot ship HMS Medway, escorted by cruiser HMS Dido and 7 destroyers, towards Haifa, Palestine.

At 2.45 PM 100 miles North of Tobruk, Libya, British submarine HMS Thrasher sinks Italian freighter Diana, carrying supplies to Rommel. Italian motor torpedo boats attack unsuccessfully with 17 depth charges.

U-67, U-153, U-158 and U-505 each sink 1 Allied freighter or tanker on the US East coast, in the Gulf of Mexico or in the approaches to the Caribbean, including American SS Thomas McKean heading to Iran with 9000 tons of Lend-Lease supplies for USSR (including tanks and 11 aircraft). U-754 sinks British passenger/cargo ship MV Waiwera 400 miles Northwest of the Azores (6 crew and 2 military personnel lost, 72 crew, 7 gunners and 18 military personnel picked up by freighter Oregon Express and landed at New York).

In Washington, Admiral King proposes an invasion of the Eastern Solomon Islands, including Guadalcanal, to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Overnight, 253 RAF bombers (108 Wellingtons, 64 Lancasters, 47 Stirlings, 34 Halifaxes) return to Bremen, Germany, damaging Focke-Wulf aircraft factory and A.G. Weser U-boat construction yard. 4 Stirlings, 4 Wellingtons, 3 Halifaxes are lost.

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