Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Day 1059 July 25, 1942

At 1.44 AM 75 miles Southeast of Trinidad, U-160 torpedoes Dutch SS Telamon which sinks in 3 minutes (23 killed, 14 survivors picked a few hours later by British SS Canadoc).

North Atlantic. At 3.52 AM 580 miles East of St. John’s Newfoundland, U-552 attacks convoy ON-113 damaging British tanker MV British Meriton on her maiden voyage (1 killed, 32 crew in 2 lifeboats rescued by Canadian corvette HMCS Brandon) and British SS Broompark (4 crew killed, 38 crew and 7 gunners taken off by HMCS Brandon). SS Broompark is taken in tow by tug USS Cherokee, but sinks 3 days later only 40 miles from St. Johns. At 9.55 AM 75 miles South of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, U-89 sinks Canadian fishing boat MV Lucille M. with 20 incendiary and 15 high-explosive rounds from the deck gun (all 11 crew escape in a lifeboat and reach Nova Scotia).

Case Blue. German troops and tanks begin crossing the River Don in force at several points up to 100 miles East of Rostov, as Soviets pull back South of the Don. However, in contrast to Hitler’s notion that Stalingrad can be easily taken, 6th Army makes no progress in the face of stiffening resistance West of the “Don Bend” from Soviet 62nd and 64th Armies.

US B-17 bombers attack Tobruk, Libya, denying Rommel use of the port to supply his offensive at El Alamein, Egypt.

South Atlantic. At 4.53 PM 900 miles West of Freetown, Sierra Leone, U-130 sinks Norwegian tanker MV Tankexpress (all 39 crew in 3 lifeboats rescued 250 miles from Freetown a week later on August 1 by British destroyer HMS Lightning). At 11.05 PM 185 miles Southwest of Freetown, U-201 sinks British minesweeping trawler HMS Laertes (19 killed).

South Pacific. Invasion of Papua. After 2 ambushes in 2 days, Japanese overestimate the Australian forces defending the Kokoda track, over the Owen Stanley mountains to Port Moresby. They halt their advance and reorganize to face this unexpected resistance. At 11.30 PM 74 miles Southwest of Nouméa, New Caledonia, Japanese submarine I-169 sinks Dutch passenger/cargo liner MV Tjinegara (carrying 477 horses, road grading equipment and 2000 cases of beer for US Army from Brisbane, Australia, to Nouméa). All 24 crew and 12 gunners are picked up 18 hours later by US Destroyer USS Worden but the horses all drown.

Overnight, Luftwaffe bombers attack Middlesbrough, Northeast England, badly damaging shops and the Leeds Hotel in the city centre.

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