Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Day 1094 August 29, 1942

At 2.37 AM in the North Atlantic 660 miles West of Trinidad, U-66 sinks American SS Topa Topa (18 crew and 7 gunners killed, 35 survivors picked up next day by British SS Clan Macinnes and landed at Port of Spain on September 9).

36 miles Northwest of El Alamein, British destroyers HMS Eridge and HMS Aldenham shell German/Italian airfield at El Daba, Egypt. 2 miles off the coast, an Italian torpedo boat badly damages HMS Eridge (5 killed). HMS Eridge is towed to Alexandria but declared a total loss and used as a base ship.

Milne Bay, Papua. Both sides recover from the battles of the last 3 days. Japanese are unable to return to the attack being desperately short of food, water and equipment. At 8 PM, 1 Japanese cruiser and 9 destroyers enter Milne Bay and unload 769 SNLF troops and supplies at Waga Waga. These new reinforcements quickly move up to join the initial landing party at the Gama River. The Japanese ships then inaccurately bombard the Allied airfield at Gili Gili and retire from the Bay at 11 PM.

Kokoda Track, Papua. Japanese 3rd Battalion 144th Regiment makes another flanking movement to get behind the Australians and stumbles directly into their positions at the Isurava Rest House. Australian Private Bruce Kingsbury (2/14th Battalion) wins the Victoria Cross leading a charge carrying a Bren gun during which he is killed. Japanese bring up more mountain guns and mortars which pound the Australian positions. Meanwhile, 2/16th Battalion holds the Japanese advance on the side track.

At noon in the Gulf of Papua West of Port Moresby, Japanese submarine RO-33 torpedoes Australian troopship Marita (evacuating troops to Cairns, Australia, due to Japanese bombing) which is damaged but stays afloat. Australian destroyer HMAS Arunta counterattacks with depth charges, sinking RO-33 (all 42 hands lost).

Siege of Leningrad Day 356. Soviet 8th Army advances another 1 mile into the Sinyavino gap against German 18th Army. 8th Army’s advance is slowing in the face of increasing German resistance, so 4th Guards Rifle Corps is sent into the salient which is now 4 miles deep.

Stalingrad. 4th Panzer Army sidesteps Soviet defenses in the hills and lakes around Tundutovo and charges across the open Kalmyk steppe while von Richthofen’s Stukas shoot up anything in their way. The back door to Stalingrad lies open.

Overnight, 100 Soviet Petlyakov Pe-8, Ilyushin Il-4 and Yermolayev Yer-2 bombers mount the heaviest Soviet raid of the war on Berlin, while 7 Pe-8s bomb Konigsberg.

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