Sunday, September 2, 2012

Day 1098 September 2, 1942

German training submarines U-222 and U-626 collide in Danzig Bay. The Baltic Sea is used for training U-boat crews and accidents are frequent. U-222 sinks (42 killed, 3 survivors).

Black Sea. German 46th Infantry Division (dishonoured after an unauthorized withdrawal in response to the Soviet landings on the Kerch peninsula in December 1941) crosses Kerch Straits from the Kerch peninsula to Taman peninsula in 24 naval landing ferries and other small boats. Simultaneously, German 17th Army advances into Novorossisk to roll up Soviet defenses on the Eastern Black Sea coast. Overnight, Soviets begin nightly evacuations from the Black Sea ports, which are intercepted by small Italian and German surface boats. Soviet gunboats Oktybar and Rostov-Don are sunk.

At 8.44 AM 13 miles off the Japanese island of Hokkaido, US submarine USS Guardfish sinks Japanese freighter SS Teikyu Maru (previously SS Gustav Diederichsen, seized from the Danish while in port at Dairen, Manchuria, in April 1940).

Battle of Alam el Halfa, Egypt. British 4/8th Hussars armoured cars (4th Armoured Brigade) destroy 57 German trucks in a 300-truck supply column at Himeimat, deep in the desert near the Qattara Depression. Panzerarmee Afrika is subjected to heavy RAF bombing. Rommel, having lost the element of surprise, decides to withdraw due to lack of fuel and Allied air superiority.

At 12.44 PM in the Bay of Biscay, Italian submarine Reginaldo Giuliani is charging batteries on the surface when badly damaged by depth charges and machinegunning by a Short Sunderland (2 killed, several wounded including the captain).

Milne Bay, Papua. Australian General Clowes (warned by MacArthur's headquarters in Australia of Japanese reinforcements coming from Rabaul) halts the Australian advance but moves 2/9th Battalion along the coast and by barge from Gili Gili to the KB Mission. However, the 130 5th Yokosuka SNLF troops from Rabaul arrive at Milne Bay but cannot land.

Kokoda Track, Papua. Australians 2/14 and 2/16 Battalions make a fighting withdrawal half a mile from Eora to a fork where a side track comes off the main trail. Japanese 41st Regiment repeats the standard tactic of following close behind while simultaneously attacking around the flank to get behind the Australian retreat or catch them unawares from the side.

In the Northern Solomon Islands, USAAF B-17 Flying Fortress bombers hit Japanese minelayer Tsugaru which is returning from delivering troops and field artillery to Guadalcanal (14 killed, 30 wounded).

Japanese submarines begin raiding again in and around the Indian Ocean. I-29 sinks British SS Gazcon in the mouth of the Gulf of Aden (12 killed).

Overnight, RAF bombs Karlsruhe, Germany. Pathfinders accurately guide in 200 bombers causing much damage to residential and industrial areas (73 civlilans killed). 4 Wellingtons, 2 Lancasters, 1 Halifax & 1 Stirling are lost.

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