Monday, September 17, 2012

Day 1114 September 18, 1942

At 1.52 AM 25 miles of the coast of British Guyana, U-175 sinks Canadian SS Norfolk (6 killed, 13 survivors rescued by Spanish freighter Indaucha).

In the last act of convoy PQ-18, Luftwaffe bombers sink American SS Kentucky in the Barents Sea at the mouth of the Kola Inlet.

Fighting continues at Stalingrad with house-to-house and even room-to-room combat. Soviet General Vasily Chuikov orders his troops to remain in permanent contact with the Germans (“hugging tactics”) to reduce the effectiveness of German artillery and aerial bombardment. However, the German assault has been held by Soviet 62nd Army mainly due to their reinforcement by 13th Guards Rifle Division 3 days ago. The cost to 13th Rifles is severe and only 320 of the 10,000 men sent into Stalingrad will survive the battle. North of the city, 3 Soviet Armies (including 1st Guards Army) attack XIV Panzer Corps (part of General Paulus’s 6th Army) but they are decimated on the open steppe by the Luftwaffe.

At 9.21 AM 1100 miles East of Nova Scotia, U-380 sinks Norwegian MV Olaf Fostenes (all 33 crew and 3 gunners in 2 lifeboats are rescued after 8 days by British destroyer HMS Firedrake).

US Marine 1st Division on Guadalcanal is reinforced by the arrival of 4157 troops (7th Marine Regiment and one battalion of 11th Marine Regiment) as well as vehicles, fuel, ammunitions and supplies including food. The weakened troops who have been on the island since August 7 are revitalised by the return to full rations.

British 29th Infantry Brigade lands at Tamatave on the East coast of Madagascar, as South African 7th Motor Brigade is making slow progress in the 400 miles overland route from Diego Suarez in the North.

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