Saturday, August 25, 2012

Day 1091 August 26, 1942

At 4.23 AM 60 miles East of Barbados, U-162 sinks Norwegian tanker MV Thelma with 3 torpedoes and the deck gun (2 killed, 31 survivors picked up after 2 days by a British warship).

Invasion of Milne Bay, Papua. At dawn, Japanese troops advance 2 miles through the marshy terrain of Milne Bay, cut at right angles by rivers running from the small mountains of the Stirling Range, and reach the Australian defenses at the KB Mission. The Japanese have 2 Type 95 Ha-Go light tanks but they are held by Australian reserve troops of 25th and 61st Infantry Militia Battalions who call in air and artillery support. Japanese try to outflank the KB Mission by coming ashore further along the coast in landing barges but these are sunk by Allied bombers and fighters that also destroy much of the Japanese equipment at their original landing site at Waga Waga. In the evening, Japanese warships enter Milne Bay and shell the Australian positions. Overnight, Japanese troops launch sporadic attacks as the Australians withdraw 1 mile West to the Gama River.

Kokoda Track, Papua. Japanese General Horii sends 2500 troops forward from Buna with a mountain gun and mortars to attack Australian positions at Isurava. They are held by 400 Australian who are well dug in, having had 2 weeks to prepare. Morii sends up more troops to flank the defenders.

Soviet submarine K2 sets out to patrol the Barents Sea but is never heard from again (probably lost on a mine near Tanafjord, Northern Norway).

At 8.13 AM off the coast of China 85 miles North of Taiwan/Formosa, US submarine USS Haddock sinks Japanese freighter SS Teishun Maru which is on lease from the Vichy French-Indochina Navy.

At 11.24 AM, 160 miles South of Freetown, Sierra Leone, U-130 sinks British SS Beechwood (1 killed, captain taken prisoner by U-130, 42 survivors picked up by British fleet oiler RFA Fortol).

At 6.40 PM in the Mediterranean 14 West of Gaza, Palestine, U-375 torpedoes British SS Empire Kumari which is towed to Haifa Bay but sinks next day (3 killed, 89 survivors rescued by British corvette HMS Gloxinia).

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