Monday, July 23, 2012

Day 1058 July 24, 1942

Invasion of Papua. At Gorari Creek (in the coastal plain on the Kokoda track), Australian 39th Battalion Company B, under Captain Sam Templeton, ambushes 500 Japanese troops with 2 Lewis machineguns (15 Japanese killed). Templeton (whose instructions to his hopelessly outnumbered troops are “Your action should be contact and rearguard only - no do or die stunts”) then pulls back 2 miles to higher ground at Oivi.

Around the Northernmost Japanese island of Hokkaido and the nearby Southern Kuril Islands, US submarine USS Narwhal sinks Japanese guard boat Shinsei Maru No.83 and tiny Japanese merchant ships Nissho Maru and Kofuji Maru. All these ships are sunk with the deck gun.

Case Blue. German troops overrun Rostov-on-Don, which has not been contested by the Red Army, forcing several more crossings over the River Don. SS Wiking motorised infantry Division (consisting of volunteers from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, the Netherlands and Belgium commanded by German officers) captures the airfield and 125th Infantry Division advances into the city centre.

In the North Atlantic 560 miles East of St. John’s Newfoundland, Canadian destroyer HMCS St. Croix sinks U-90 (which departed Kiel, Germany, on June 30 on the first patrol) with depth charges (all 44 hands lost).

At 6.17 PM 30 miles East of Cape Greco, Cyprus, U-77 sinks Syrian sailboat Toufic El Rahman with 25 rounds after the crew abandons ship.

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