Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Day 1038 July 4, 1942

In the Barents Sea 90 miles Northeast of Bear Island, German He115 torpedo bombers harass Convoy PQ 17 from dawn at 3 AM until 6.30 PM, sinking British SS Navarino. American SS William Hooper (3 dead and 55 survivors) and SS Christopher Newport (3 dead and 47 survivors) are badly damaged, abandoned and sunk later in the day by U-334 and U-457, respectively.

Case Blue. General von Bock wins his argument with Hitler to commit 4th Panzer Army to the conquest of Voronezh. At the same time, Soviet 5th Guards Tank Army is committed to the defense of Voronezh. Hitler, however, orders the infantry of General Paulus’ 6th Army to march South without tank support down the “Donets corridor” (between the Donets River and the Don River) to Stalingrad.

First Battle of El Alamein. British General Auchinleck (C-in-C Middle East Command), in command of 8th Army, estimates that German and Italian forces are at the end of their advance, exhausted and out of supplies. Auchinleck also believes that he enjoys a numerical superiority in tanks. Parts of 1st South African and 2nd New Zealand Divisions attack to clear out the open desert between El Alamein and Ruweisat Ridge, overrunning German positions and capturing 600 prisoners (who are left unguarded and promptly march back to their own lines).

In the Caribbean, U-129 sinks Soviet tanker MV Tuapse which had left the Black Sea in January to avoid German dive bombers (8 dead, 36 survivors) and U-575 sinks American SS Norlandia (9 killed, 21 survivors).

While escorting seaplane tender Kamikawa Maru (damaged yesterday by US bombers) 5 miles south of Agattu Island in the Aleutians, Japanese destroyer Nenohi is torpedoed by US submarine USS Triton, then capsizes and sinks in 7 minutes (188 killed, 38 survivors rescued by Japanese destroyer Inazuma).

In the Indian Ocean 1500 miles East of Madagascar, German armed merchant cruiser Thor stops Norwegian tanker MV Madrono (in ballast from Melbourne, Australia, to Abadan, Iran). MV Madrono is renamed Rossbach and sent to Japan with most of her crew on board, arriving on August 5.

1 comment:

  1. Didn't we also make the first us bombing raid on german occupied europe on July 4 1942?