Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Day 1066 August 1, 1942

At 00.23 AM 30 miles South of Belushya Guba (capital of the mountainous Novaya Zemlya archipelago in the Barents Sea), U-601 sinks Soviet collier SS Krest’janin (7 killed, 38 survivors in 2 lifeboats reach Belushya Guba).

Eastern Front. At the Rzhev salient, 130 miles West of Moscow, Soviet General Konev’s Northern pincer (29th and 30th Armies) makes good progress but heavy rains delay the start of Zhukov’s Southern pincer (20th and 31st Armies). Zhukov uses the time to mount large-scale deceptive troop and tank movements 75 miles further South at Yukhnov. The Germans are fooled, launching air strikes and beginning to move forces South to face the expected attack.

Case Blue. German 4th Panzer Army turns Northeast towards Kotelnikovo, 100 miles Southwest of Stalingrad. Attacking from this unexpected direction (a fortunate outcome of Hitler’s contradictory orders), 4th Panzer meets little Soviet resistance. Further South in the Caucasus, 1st Panzer Army captures Salsk, having advanced 90 miles in a week since crossing the River Don. Fuel shortages hamper the use of tanks and most of the progress is made by light motorised infantry.

North Atlantic. Southeast of Barbados, U-155 sinks Dutch SS Kentar carrying 1500 tons of manganese ore at 2.20 AM (17 killed, 62 survivors rescued after several days, but some die of exposure) and British SS Clan MacNaughton at 6 PM (5 killed, 77 survivors). 100 miles East of Trinidad, Italian submarine Tazzoli sinks Greek SS Kastor (4 killed, 31 rescued).

In the Tsugaru Strait between the Japanese islands of Honshu and Hokkaido, US submarine USS Narwhal sinks Japanese freighter Meiwa Maru and small tanker Koan Maru.

After months of denials and numerous Japanese ships not sunk by malfunctioning torpedoes, US Bureau of Ordnance finally concedes that the standard-issue Mark 14 torpedo runs deep. Other problems include magnetic triggers that explode prematurely and contact triggers that fail to detonate on contact (duds).

At 1.35 PM 35 miles northwest of Beirut, Lebanon, U-77 sinks Egyptian sailboat St. Simon with 7 rounds after the crew abandons ship.

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