U.S.--Declaration of the United Nations is signed by 26 nations in Washington, D.C.
LUZON--South Luzon Force, upon completing withdrawal across the Pampanga at Calumpit by 0500 and destroying bridges there at 0615, is disbanded. Its components continue withdrawal toward Bataan, and Gen Jones rejoins 51st Div (PA). Japanese move through Plaridel to Calumpit but are unable to cross the Pampanga. Covering force (elements of 71st and 91st PA Divs) withdraws from river line toward San Fernando. Meanwhile, 21st and 11th Divs (PA) continue fighting withdrawals, 91st along route Bamban-Angeles-Porac and 11th on route Malagang-San Fernando-Guagua (N of Sexmoan), arriving on line Porac-Guagua during night 1-2.
MALAYA--Japanese attack Kampar position in W Malaya in force but are unable to break through. Ind 11th Div is in grave danger as enemy amphibious force lands in Utan Melentang area, at mouth of Bernam R, behind Kampar line. Ind 12th Brig Gp moves from Bidor to meet this threat. Japanese aircraft deliver first severe blow against Tengah airdrome on Singapore I.
CHINA--Chinese request lend-lease aid for construction of road across N Burma to link with Burma Road. The projected road would extend from Ledo, India, to Fort Hertz, Myitkyina, and Lungling.
BURMA--Air Vice Marshal D. F. Stevenson takes command of Allied air forces in Burma, replacing Gp Capt E. R. Manning, RAF.
LIBYA--30 Corps, Br Eighth Army, renews assault on Bardia after nightfall.
USSR--Red Army continues broad offensive throughout January with spectacular success in some sectors, but is unable to relieve besieged ports of Leningrad and Sevastopol.
U.S.--Lt Gen Hugh A. Drum, tentatively selected for field command in China, arrives in Washington, D.C., where he confers with various military leaders and finds opinions as to role of U.S. in China widely divergent.
LUZON--Defenders complete successful withdrawal through San Fernando, final elements clearing the town at 0200 and organize delaying positions along 10-mile front from Porac to Guagua. Holding this line are 21st Div (PA) on W, its left flank covered by 26th Cav (PS) at San Jose, S of Porac, and 11th Div (PA) on E. Japanese attack W flank in vicinity of Porac in afternoon and force 21st Div to fall back. Meanwhile, Japanese E of the Pampanga succeed in crossing the river and move to San Fernando, where they join with Japanese from Angeles. Japanese occupation force moves into Manila. Japanese planes begin daily attacks on Corregidor.
MALAYA--Japanese force reaches Telok Anson via Perak R and goes ashore, greatly increasing threat to Ind 3 Corps. 1st Independent Co and Ind 3d Cav Sq defending this area are forced back through Ind 12th Brig Gp, which in turn comes under severe pressure. Although enemy attacks on Kampar position are still being contained, it is decided to withdraw to Slim R after nightfall because of precarious situation along coast. Japanese landing attempt at Kuala Selangor is frustrated by arty fire late in day.
LIBYA--Bardia garrison, under pressure of S African 2d Div and 1st Army Tank Brig (30 Corps, Br Eighth Army), surrenders early in day.
ALLIED STRATEGY--Gen Wavell, as supreme commander of ABDA forces, is directed to hold Malay Barrier (line Malay Peninsula-Sumatra-Java-Australia) and operate as far beyond the Barrier as possible in order to check Japanese advance; hold Burma and Australia; restore communications with the Philippines through NEI; maintain communications within theater.
LUZON--Japanese continue determined attacks on W flank of Porac-Guagua line, where 21st Div (PA) succeeds in halting enemy below Pio; exert strong pressure on E flank in vicinity of Guagua.
MALAYA--Ind 11th Div completes withdrawal to Slim R line. Because of threat to communications in W Malaya, Kuantan force on E coast, which had previously been ordered to hold airdrome until 10 January, begins fighting withdrawal at once. Newly formed and poorly trained Ind 45th Brig, reinf, and an Ind Pioneer bn (a labor unit) arrive at Singapore and concentrate in S Malaya.
BORNEO--Japanese invade Labuan I., in Brunei Bay, without opposition. From there, detachment moves to mainland at Mempakul, thence to Weston on foot, and from Weston to Beaufort by rail.
LUZON--Continuing strong attacks against E flank of Porac-Guagua line, Japanese overrun Guagua and continue along Route 7 to Lubao, cutting planned line of retreat of 11th Div (PA). 21st Div zone (W part of line) is relatively quiet. Withdrawal from line Porac-Guagua begins under cover of darkness, 4-5, with 21st Div covering for 11th. Some cut-off elements of 11th Div make circuitous withdrawal through San Jose, while others move down Route 7 and form OPL between Lubao and Santa Cruz.
MALAYA--Ind 11th Div is under constant air attacks as it prepares defensive positions along Slim R in W Malaya. Japanese force moves S along W coast to Selangor R, then E along the river, threatening communications line at Rawang. To meet this threat, Ind 6/15 Brig Gp starts toward Batang Berjuntai.
NEW BRITAIN--Japanese begin air offensive against Rabaul, strategic base in Bismarck Archipelago, garrisoned by 1,400 men (principally 2/22d Bn of 8th Div, AIF; RAAF detachment; 100 men of NGVR; and a few RAN officers). Located at Rabaul are a fighter strip at Lakunai and a bomber strip at Vunakanu.
CHINA--Chinese halt enemy drive in Changsha area of Hunan Province.
LUZON--U.S. and Filipino troops complete withdrawal to new line extending along base of Bataan Peninsula from Dinalupihan on W to Hermosa on E. During night 5-6, withdrawal continues through Layac Junction, the funnel through which all roads into Bataan pass, final elements clearing it by 0200 after which the bridge is blown. Delaying position, called Layac line, is formed S of Layac Junction and manned by 71st and 72d Regts of 71st Div (PA), U.S. 31st Inf of Philippine Div, and 26th Cav (PS). 31st Inf, the only completely U.S. regt in the Philippines, has not yet been in action. Ration of Bataan defense force and of garrisons of fortified islands in Manila Bay is cut in half. Bataan echelon of hq is established on Bataan under Brig Gen Richard J. Marshall. Japanese continue daily air attacks on Corregidor and occasional attacks on other targets in Manila Bay area.
MALAYA--CinC Eastern Fleet moves hq from Singapore to Batavia, Java. Gen Percival, at conference in Segamat, plans for withdrawal into Johore. On Slim R front, Ind 11th Div repels enemy attack down railway.
AUSTRALIA--Gen Brett assumes duties as CG, U.S. Army Forces in Australia (USAFIA, previously USFIA).
BURMA--Hq of Ind 17th Div is established at Moulmein. Of 3 brigs that this div is to contain, only one--Ind 16th--is in Burma.
MIDDLE EAST--Gen Auchinleck is given responsibility for Iraq and Iran. Lt Gen E. P. Quinan's forces in Iraq become Br Tenth Army, corresponding to Br Ninth Army under Gen Sir Henry Maitland Wilson in Syria.
USSR--Red Army lands reinforcements on Crimean coast near Eupatoria and Sudak in effort to break siege of Sevastopol naval base, but can make little headway against firm German resistance. On central front S of Kaluga, Soviet forces hold Belev, W of Oka R. Action on northern front along Volkhov R is indecisive.
LUZON--After destructive arty exchanges in morning, Japanese having the advantage of air spotting, enemy attacks the overextended delaying line S of Layac Junction in force and makes limited penetration; enters Dinalupihan without opposition. Withdrawal of line begins during night 6-7. Japanese aerial bombardment of Corregidor ends except for nuisance raids. Enemy air attacks during first week of 1942 have resulted in little damage to fortifications.
MALAYA--On Ind 11th Div front, Ind 6/15 Brig Gp reaches Batang Berjuntai area and takes up defensive positions S of Selangor R. Kuantan force completes withdrawal from E Malaya through Jerantut during night 6-7; continues W in Raub area.
CHINA--Having accepted nomination of Chiang Kai-shek as Supreme Commander of an Allied China Theater, Chinese ask that a senior U.S. officer be sent to China to act as chief of the Generalissimo's Allied staff.
LIBYA--Br 1st Armd Div, which has recently arrived from U. K. and relieved 7th Armd Div of 13 Corps, Br Eighth Army, reaches Antelat. Port at Derna opens to traffic.
LUZON--Siege of Bataan begins as U.S. and Filipino forces complete withdrawal from Layac line. North Luzon Force becomes I Philippine Corps, containing about 22,500 men of 1st, 31st, 71st, and 91st Divs (all PA), 26th Cav (PS), miscellaneous troops, and supporting weapons. Bataan Defense
Force is renamed II Philippine Corps and consists of about 25,000 men of 11th, 21st, 41st, and 51st Divs (all PA), 57th Inf (PS) of Philippine Div, and supporting weapons. Defense of Bataan as far S as Mariveles Mts is divided about equally between the 2 corps, I Corps being responsible for W half and II Corps for E half. Service Command Area is located at S tip below Mariveles Mts and is the responsibility of Brig Gen A. C. McBride; in this area are 2d Div (PC)--organized on this date--provisional infantry units formed from air corps personnel, and provisional bn of Navy and Marine personnel. Defenses on Bataan are organized in depth: MLR extends from Mauban on W to Mabatang on E, a distance of 20 miles; OPL is disposed before the MLR; and rear line of defense, manned by USAFFE reserve (Philippine Div, less 57th Inf; tank group; SPM group), is being formed.
MALAYA--Japanese, in strong tank-infantry assault beginning before dawn, break through Slim R positions of Ind 11th Div and drive rapidly toward Kuala Lumpur, reaching positions 2 miles S of Slim village. Ind 3 Corps withdraws the Slim R line southward to Tanjong Malim, between village of Slim and road junction at Kuala Kubu. This action temporarily leaves Ind 11th Div ineffective as a fighting force. Gen Wavell arrives at Singapore.
BORNEO--Japanese in Sarawak reach frontier of Dutch West Borneo.
LIBYA--13 Corps, Br Eighth Army, patrols to Agedabia and finds that enemy has withdrawn. Convoy arrives safely at Benghazi. Because of rough seas, this port is not put into full operation.
U.S.--War Department orders that only Air Corps, AA, and service troops be sent to Australia, where emphasis will be placed on rapid build up of air forces.
LUZON--Front is quiet as Japanese regroup for drive on Bataan and U.S. and Philippine forces organize defense positions.
MALAYA--Gen Wavell visits Malayan front, where preparations are being made for withdrawal of Ind 3 Corps into Johore.
BORNEO--Japanese occupy Jesselton, British North Borneo.
LUZON--Japanese open assault on Bataan at 1500 From Dinalupihan-Hermosa area, 3 RCT's with arty support move forward, 2 against II Corps on E and 1 toward I Corps sector on W. None of the columns reaches the OPL. II Corps, defending Abucay line (from Mabatang on Manila Bay to Mt Natib) with 57th Inf (PS) on E, 41st Div (PA) in center, and 51st Div (PA) on W, opens fire on enemy combat team driving down East Road and makes patrol contact with it. To W, another Japanese column advances unmolested down trail from Dinalupihan to vicinity of Album. In I Corps area, enemy column from Dinalupihan is slowed only by demolitions while moving W along Route 7 toward Olongapo. Disposed along I Corps' Mauban line (Mt Silanganan on E to Mauban on Subic Bay) are Co K of 1st Inf (PA); 31st FA bn of 31st Div (PA) organized as infantry; and 3d Inf of 1st Div (PA). Additional troops are maintaining OPL to front.
MALAYA--Gen Percival issues instructions for withdrawal of Ind 3 Corps into Johore, where final stand before Singapore Naval Base is to be made. Corps begins withdrawal at once, executing demolition program as it goes. Ind 11th Div and line of communications troops are to delay enemy along two lines: one covering Seremban and Port Dickson, and the other covering Tampin and Malacca; Ind 9th Div is to clear Kuala Pilah and Tampin, respectively.
BORNEO--RAF planes from Malaya terminate action over Borneo with rcn flight over Kuching.
CHINA--As consideration of the U.S. role in China continues in Washington, Gen Marshall decides to recommend against sending Gen Drum to China because of the small effort that is currently to be made there.
LUZON--Gen MacArthur inspects Bataan defenses. Japanese make their first surrender demand, dropping it from the air. In II Corps area, Japanese force driving S along East Road splits, most of it moving W; both forces reach OPL along Calaguiman R below Samal and exert strong pressure against it. Enemy column pushing S in central Bataan is slowed by jungle terrain. In I Corps area, Japanese W assault force reaches Olongapo without opposition.
MALAYA--Ind 3 Corps abandons Port Swettenham and Kuala Lumpur while falling back to cover Port Dickson and Seremban area. Japanese planes, which since late December have been making night attacks on airdromes on Singapore, begin daylight raids on the airdromes.
NEI--Gen Wavell, Supreme Commander of ABDA area, flies to Java, where he confers with members of ABDA staff; establishes hq at Lembang, 10 miles N of Bandoeng.
BURMA--Commander of Ind 17th Div arrives in Burma to take charge of Tenasserim operations.
U.S.--Plan to dispatch U.S. V Corps, reinf, and air and supply forces to N Ireland (MAGNET) is approved.
LUZON--In II Corps area, Japanese advancing down E coast of Bataan drive back OPL of 57th Inf (PS), cross Calaguiman R, and after nightfall begin assault on MLR, forcing 57th Inf to fall back a little. Fighting continues throughout night 11-12. Reserves are committed and 57th Inf counterattacks, regaining most of lost ground by dawn of 12th. To W, another enemy column shifts W in sector of 41st Div (PA) and is contained by that div. Advance elements of still another column, pushing slowly S in central Bataan toward 51st Div (PA), reach, Orani R by morning.
MALAYA--Lull develops in ground action as Ind 3 Corps continues withdrawal into Johore, but enemy planes remain active and begin series of strikes against Muar.
NEI--Japanese invade NEI at 2 points. Central assault force, with air support from Jolo I., lands at rich oil center of Tarakan, off E coast of Dutch Borneo, while E assault force from Davao, Mindanao, invades Celebes at Menado and Kema. Naval paratroop force is dropped on airfield just S of Menado. Allied planes are unable to halt enemy, and the small Dutch garrisons are quickly overwhelmed. Japanese soon put Tarakan and Menado into use as air bases from which to support operations to S.
LIBYA-EGYPT--S African 2d Div of 30 Corps, Br Eighth Army, attacks Sollum, just across Egyptian border, and captures it early on 12th. 13 Corps pursues Rommel's forces toward El Agheila, a strong natural position.
USSR--Soviet forces continue to push westward on central front and cut N-S Rzhev-Bryansk RR line.
LUZON--Japanese exert strong pressure against II Corps, particularly on W, while taking up positions for concerted assault. 51st Div (PA) is hard hit and gives ground, some of which is regained after reserves are committed. In center, Japanese push back OPL of 41st Div (PA). On E coast, Japanese regain positions on S bank of Calaguiman R; to meet threat there, 21st Inf (PA) is released from reserve to assist 57th Inf (PS). In I Corps area, Japanese detachment moves by boat and seizes undefended Grande I.
LUZON--On E flank of II Corps, 21st Inf (PA) counterattacks at 0600 after arty preparation and reduces part of salient on left flank of 57th Inf (PS). Japanese are thus prevented from launching planned offensive in that area, but make progress to W against 51st Div (PA), forcing it back to MLR along Balantay R. Enemy column driving S in central Bataan, with task of turning corps' left flank, is not yet in position for attack.
MALAYA--Gen Wavell again visits front and confers with commanding officers. Withdrawal of Ind 3 Corps into Johore reaches final stage; all vehicles are being moved through Segamat. Convoy with badly needed reinforcements reaches Singapore and unloads first echelon of Br 18th Div (53d Brig Gp), AA units, and 50 Hurricane fighters with crews.
BURMA--Joint Military Council recommends construction of Ledo and Imphal roads.
USSR--Red Army has driven deep salient between German 2d Pz and 4th Armies on central front SW of Kaluga; deepens it with capture of Kirov.
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES--Anglo-American ARCADIA Conference ends in Washington. Among major decisions reached are: agreement to establish Combined Chiefs of Staff to direct British-American war effort; the main effort must be made first against Germany; occupation of French N Africa (GYMNAST) is of strategic importance in Atlantic area.
U.S.--As discussions are begun in Washington to consider who shall go to China instead of Gen Drum, Gen Marshall proposes Maj Gen Joseph W. Stilwell, who is being considered for command of GYMNAST.
LUZON--In II Corps area, strong Japanese pressure against W flank of 41st Div (PA) forces outposts to retire across Balantay R. 51st Div (PA) withdraws to S bank of river to tie in with 41st. Japanese enveloping column continues slowly down center of Bataan but is still N of MLR. In I Corps area, Japanese start S on W coast toward Moron in 2 columns, one by sea and the other along trail from Olongapo. Waterborne elements land about midway between Olongapo and Moron and continue S on foot. Gen Wainwright sends containing force to Moron.
MALAYA--Ind 3 Corps completes withdrawal into Johore and assumes responsibility for S part of Johore; assault elements (Aus 22d Brig of Aus 8th Div) are designated East Force and disposed astride Malacca-Segamat road. AIF Malaya (less Aus 22d Brig), responsible for NW Johore, is reinf by Ind 9th Div and Ind 45th Brig and is designated West Force. Aus 27th Brig and Ind 8th Brig Gps are astride main road and RR N of Segamat. Enemy is to
be kept N of line Muar-Segamat-Mersing, if possible. Japanese overtake West and East Forces. Many cyclists are killed in ambush prepared near Gemas by elements of West Force. East Force patrols encounter enemy from Kuantan in Endau area. On this date and 15th, Dutch detachment of about 80 native troops with European officers flies from NEI to Singapore and concentrates in Labis area, N Johore, for guerrilla action against enemy communications.
USSR--Moscow announces capture by Red Army of Medyn, on central front NW of Kaluga.
ALASKA--Alaskan Air Force is activated at Elmendorf Field under command of Lt Col Everett S. Davis.
LUZON--In II Corps area, Japanese, attacking vigorously at junction of 41st and 51st Divs (PA), gain foothold on S bank of the Balantay. 51st Div commits reserves and service troops to no avail. Further reinforcements, Philippine Div (less 57th Inf) from USAFFE reserve and 31st Div (-) (PA) from I Corps, are sent forward. Japanese enveloping column in central Bataan arrives in position to turn corps' W flank and pauses to reorganize. Regrouping is conducted to E as enemy threat there diminishes. In I Corps area, the 2 Japanese columns driving on Moron converge and push closer to objective.
MALAYA--Forward elements of Aus 27th Brig Gp inflict more casualties on enemy in Gemas area before pulling back to main position. On W coast, Japanese reach N bank of Muar R and land small party between Muar and Batu Pahat, threatening communications of West Force in Yong Peng area. Boundary between West Force and Ind 3 Corps is altered to give this region, which Ind 45th Brig is defending, to 3 Corps.
ABDA COMMAND--Headed by Gen Wavell, ABDA opens officially at Batavia, Java, at noon GMT. Gen Wavell is replaced as CinC India by Gen Sir Alan Hartley.
MIDDLE EAST--U.S. War Department, learning of transfer of Iraq and Iran to Middle East Command from India Command, cables the information to chiefs of U.S. Military North African Mission and U.S. Military Iranian Mission.
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES--Representatives of 21 American Republics meet in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to provide for hemispheric solidarity against attack.
LUZON--In II Corps area, 51st Div (PA) counterattacks to restore positions on corps W flank; after making limited progress on right, is subjected to severe pressure and falls back in confusion, W flank elements making futile attempt to gain contact with I Corps on rugged terrain of Mt. Natib. Entire line on Bataan is jeopardized by enemy breakthrough in this sector. Japanese encircling force, although in position to turn W flank of corps, prepares instead to advance down Abo-Abo R valley. To E, 41st Div (PA) refuses its left flank in effort to tie in with 51st Div and, with assistance of elements of 23d and 32d Regts and quickly formed prov bn, succeeds in halting enemy. U.S. 31st Inf moves to vicinity of Abucay Hacienda, on left flank of 41st Div, and prepares to counterattack; reserve force, 45th Inf (PS), also moves toward attack positions. I Corps engages enemy for first time. Japanese cross Batalan R and attack Moron but are forced back to river line by 1st Inf and elements of 26th Cav. Cavalrymen are withdrawn after engagement because of heavy losses.
MALAYA--Japanese cross Muar R and force Ind 45th Brig from Muar, on S bank; continue landings on W coast in Muar-Batu Pahat area, increasing threat to communications. 53d Brig of Br 18th Div is released to Ind 3 Corps, which places it under Ind 11th Div command; 2 bns are dispatched to positions W of Yong Peng and the third is held in reserve at Ayer Hitam. RAF, concentrated on Singapore I, prepares to withdraw to Sumatra. Singapore airdromes are still targets of daily enemy air attacks.
BURMA--46th Brig, Ind 17th Div, arrives. Japanese attack and eventually outflank Imperial forces at Myitta, threatening Tavoy.
U.S.--War Department appoints Gen Breton commander of tactical forces in ABDA area.
LUZON--II Corps counterattacks to restore W portion of line, formerly held by 51st Div (PA), and makes limited progress. U.S. 31st Inf, moving N from Abucay Hacienda area, reaches Balantay R on left but is unable to make much headway on right. Reserves move forward to plug gap between the assault bns. Japanese encircling column begins unopposed march down Abo-Abo R toward Orion. In I Corps area, Moron defenders fall back under enemy pressure to ridge S and SE of Moron.
MALAYA--Additional reinforcements are moved into Muar-Yong Peng area as enemy continues attacks and build up. West Force withdraws bn from Segamat, and East Force releases one from Jemaluang for operations in this area.
BORNEO--Japanese force lands at Sandakan, British North Borneo.
LIBYA-EGYPT--30 Corps, Br Eighth Army, receives
surrender of Halfaya garrison and takes many prisoners. 1st Free French (FF) Brig Gp was to have participated in attack on Halfaya, had the garrison not surrendered. With destruction of enemy in E Cyrenaica and reopening of communication line from there into Egypt, first phase of Libyan campaign is successfully concluded. In W Cyrenaica, 13 Corps reconnoiters enemy's El Agheila position.
LUZON--II Corps renews efforts to restore W flank positions. U.S. 31st Inf is still unable to gain Balantay R line on right and is under strong pressure along the river on left. Bn of 45th Inf (PS) reaches the Balantay to W of 31st Inf and is attached to 31st Inf. 2 other bns of 45th Inf advance toward the Balantay between 31st Inf and 41st Div (PA), but are halted short of objective. In I Corps area, Japanese increase pressure and force outposts to withdraw. Small enemy force is moving eastward unopposed to outflank E portion of line.
MALAYA--Ind 45th Brig, reinf, repels further enemy attacks in Muar-Yong Peng area and destroys a number of tanks, but landing of strong Japanese force a few miles N of Batu Pahat increases danger in this sector. In evening, Commander West Force orders withdrawal. Entire Muar front is placed temporarily under Ind 3 Corps command. During night 18-19, Ind 9th Div falls back behind Muar R, as does AUS 27th Brig Gp behind Segamat R. RAF bomber group withdraws from Singapore I. to Sumatra.
USSR--On southern front, Red Army makes deep penetration near Izyum, on Donets R in the Ukraine; gains ground E of Kursk.
LUZON--II Corps continues efforts to regain positions along Balantay R on W flank, 45th Inf (-) (PS) reaching river in region between 31st Inf (U.S.) and 41st Div (PA). 31st Inf, however, is under increasingly strong pressure. Enemy column driving down Abo-Abo R valley reaches positions near Guitol and is engaged by 31st Div and elements of 21st Div (PA). I Corps restores OPL in counterattack but is forced to abandon it after nightfall. Elements of 92d Inf (PA) are sent to block enemy infiltrators from Mt Silanganan, on corps E flank.
MALAYA--Bitter fighting continues in Muar-Yong Peng area. 53d Brig of Br 18th Div, under command of Ind 11th Div, takes responsibility for strategic positions W of Yong Peng--a defile and bridge--but loses them. Muar force (Ind 45th Brig and 2 Aus bns), now isolated, is ordered to withdraw.
BORNEO--British North Borneo is surrendered to Japanese at Sandakan.
BURMA--Japanese seize Tavoy and its airfield. Because of this, it is decided to withdraw Mergui garrison by sea to Rangoon at once, although Mergui has not yet been attacked. Balance of Ch 93d Div (6th Army) is ordered to move into Burma.
MIDDLE EAST--Gen Auchinleck issues operations instructions to Commander, British Troops in Egypt (BTE), and Commander, Eighth Army, restating that objective in Libya is Tripoli and outlining plan for defensive stand in the event the Libyan offensive cannot be continued.
USSR--Heavy fighting continues on southern front; Germans in the Crimea recapture Feodosia.
LUZON--Japanese contain repeated attacks by Philippine Div (U.S. 31st and PS 45th Regts) on W flank of II Corps while preparing for major assault to begin on 22d. After further fighting before Guitol, Japanese retire northward. In I Corps area, Japanese maintain pressure and continue infiltration into right flank from Mt. Silanganan.
MALAYA--Br 53d Brig counterattacks W of Yong Peng but is unable to recover lost ground. Muar force begins difficult withdrawal toward Yong Peng. Withdrawal of Segamat forces continues; during night 20-21, Aus 27th Brig Gp moves from Segamat R line to Yong Peng; Ind 9th Div pulls back to defensive position to E.
BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO--More than 100 Japanese carrier-based planes attack Rabaul, New Britain, causing serious damage. Kavieng, New Ireland, is also attacked by air but in much less strength.
BURMA--Japanese cross into Burma in force and begin assault on N Tenasserim, attacking 16th Brig, Ind 17th Div, on Myawadi-Kawkareik road, near Thai border E of Moulmein, in conjunction with air attacks.
USSR--Mozhaisk, about 60 miles W of Moscow, falls to Soviet forces.
LUZON--In II Corps area, Japanese continue preparations for offensive, massing assault forces on extreme W flank of corps; contain further attempts of Philippine Div to restore W flank positions. In I Corps area, small enemy force, having circled about E flank of corps, reaches West Road in area 4 miles E of Mauban and blocks it, cutting off 1st Div troops along MLR from forces to S. Forces that can be spared from other sectors attack the Japanese block from N and S but are unable to reduce it.
MALAYA--Withdrawal of defense forces from
Muar and Segamat fronts continues. Commander of West Force is placed in charge of all troops on Yong Peng-Muar road. Muar force is supplied by air. East Force patrols ambush enemy force driving on Mersing.
CELEBES SEA--Enemy convoy is observed moving S in Celebes Sea.
BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO--Japanese planes continue preinvasion bombardment of Rabaul (New Britain) and Kavieng (New Ireland). At Rabaul, the only coastal battery is destroyed.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese begin air offensive against New Guinea with 50-plane attack on Lae-Salamaua area.
CHINA--Chinese Government accepts proposal that Gen Stilwell act as chief of the Generalissimo's Allied staff and agrees to give him executive authority over Allied units. Ch 49th Div (6th Army) is authorized to move into Burma.
LIBYA--Axis forces, with strong air support, go on the offensive in W Cyrenaica, pushing rapidly eastward in 3 columns astride main road. Br Eighth Army's 13 Corps commander orders withdrawal to line Agedabia-El Haseiat at once and a further retreat if necessary; orders Ind 4th Div to check coastal advance toward Benghazi.
LUZON--Gen MacArthur orders withdrawal of entire Mauban-Abucay line southward to final defense position on Bataan, behind Pilar-Bagac road; withdrawal is to start after nightfall on 23d and be completed by daylight of 26th. In II Corps area, Japanese open offensive that forces Philippine Div back to positions E and S of Abucay Hacienda, approximately those held at beginning of counteroffensive on 16 January. In I Corps area, elements of 91st Div (PA), supported by Scouts of 26th Cav and tanks, attempt unsuccessfully to reduce roadblock on West Road and to reach 1st Div troops still fighting along MLR to N. Japanese begin series of amphibious operations, night 22-23, when bn embarks in barges at Moron and sails toward Caibobo Pt, below Bagac. U.S. PT boat encounters and sinks 2 vessels.
MALAYA--Six-day battle on Muar front ends in victory for Japanese. Ind 45th Brig, despite close air and naval support during the operation, is destroyed as a fighting body. Muar force destroys its vehicles and weapons and pushes toward Yong Peng by infiltration, leaving wounded behind. Batu Pahat defense force (detachment of Ind 11th Div) skirmishes with enemy on Batu Pahat-Ayer Hitam road. Ind 8th Brig Gp, 9th Div, having withdrawn from Segamat sector to positions astride main road between Labis and Yong Peng, is attacked by enemy. East Force repels enemy attempt to cross river at Mersing. Partly trained Ind 44th Brig, reinf, and 7,000 Ind reinforcements arrive at Singapore.
MAKASSAR STRAIT--U.S. submarine attacks enemy convoy.
BURMA--Ind 16th Brig breaks off action in Kawkareik area and falls back toward Moulmein.
LIBYA--Continuing swiftly eastward, Axis forces occupy Agedabia.
U.S.--Gen Stilwell, in Washington, accepts China assignment and takes over part of staff previously selected by Gen Drum.
LUZON--Philippine Div, on II Corps W flank, withstands increasingly heavy pressure. After nightfall, II Corps begins withdrawal to final defense line. In I Corps area, Japanese maintain heavy pressure against Mauban MLR and frustrate further attempts to reduce roadblock on West Road. In Service Command Area, enemy amphibious force heading for Caibobo Pt, having lost its way during night, arrives at 2 points on SW coast, both well S of objective. About a third land at Longoskawayan Pt; the rest land at Quinauan Pt. Gen McBride, responsible for defense of S tip of Bataan except for naval reservation near Mariveles, sends Philippine Constabulary elements to Quinauan Pt, but they make little headway. Comdr Francis J. Bridget, commanding naval reservation, dispatches sailors and marines to Longoskawayan Pt; these, reinf by personnel of U.S. 301st Chemical Co and a howitzer from the Constabulary, clear Pucot Hill, but enemy returns after nightfall.
MALAYA--Rear guards from Segamat and Muar fronts complete withdrawal through Yong Peng at midnight, 23-24; West Force then comes under command of Ind 3 Corps, which is to defend central Johore and thereby protect Singapore naval base until reinforcements arrive. Japanese are to be kept N of line Batu Pahat-Ayer Hitam-Kluang-Jemaluang, if possible. Fighting continues in Batu Pahat area, and road from there to Ayer Hitam is closed. Japanese intensify air attacks.
BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO--Japanese Fourth Fleet lands troops at Rabaul (New Britain) and Kavieng (New Ireland). Small Aus garrison of the important Rabaul base is soon overwhelmed. Kavieng is undefended. Japanese are now within easy striking distance of New Guinea.
SOLOMON IS.--Elements of Japanese Fourth Fleet invade Kieta (Bougainville) without opposition.
NEI--Japanese invasion forces move S in 2 convoys, one through Makassar Strait to Balikpapan (Borneo) and the other through Molucca Passage
to Kendari (Celebes). Unopposed landings are made at both places, but convoy off Balikpapan is attacked by Dutch planes. On Sumatra, RAF reinforcements from Middle East begin arriving at Palembang, where one of the 2 airdromes is attacked for first time by enemy planes.
BURMA--Japanese planes begin period of intensified attacks on Rangoon area in effort to destroy Allied aircraft in Burma.
LIBYA--Axis troops take Antelat and Saunnu despite opposition of 13 Corps, Br Eighth Army.
USSR--Thrusting strongly SW from Valdai Hills, NW of Moscow, Red Army seizes Cholm, German center of resistance near boundary of Center and Northern Army Groups. To SE, Rzhev, another enemy center of resistance, is being encircled.
LUZON--II Corps begins disengaging and withdrawing combat troops. Japanese maintain intense pressure on Philippine Div and attack covering force, but bulk of troops withdraw successfully. Situation in I Corps area deteriorates rapidly. 1st Div, exhausted by prolonged fighting along MLR and critically in need of supplies and ammunition, remains under pressure. Additional strength is applied against Japanese roadblock on West Road without avail. In Service Command Area Japanese cannot be ousted from Quinauan and Longoskawayan Pts. Sailors and marines succeed, however, in regaining Pucot Hill and driving enemy back to Longoskawayan and Lapiay Pts.
MALAYA--Outline plan for withdrawal to Singapore is issued. Hard fighting continues at Batu Pahat. Japanese are approaching Kluang, in Ind 9th Div sector. Additional units (Aus MG bn and about 2,000 Aus reinforcements, many of whom are poorly trained) arrive at Singapore.
MAKASSAR STRAIT--Battle of Makassar Strait, first big naval battle of the war, occurs early in morning when 4 U.S. DD's strike at enemy shipping off Balikpapan, Borneo, with good effect.
NEI--The first of a small group of U.S. P-40's reaches Java from Australia.
NEW GUINEA--Allied forces evacuate Lae and Salamaua, which are threatened by Japanese.
AUSTRALIA--Combined Chiefs of Staff order Darwin area incorporated into ABDA Command.
BURMA--Rear elements of Mergui garrison arrive at Rangoon. Moulmein is now threatened.
LIBYA--Br Eighth Army's 13 Corps prepares to counterattack or, if enemy cannot be contained, to fall back on line Derna-Mechili as Axis offensive halts briefly.
USSR--Soviet forces on Donets front in the Ukraine break through enemy positions in Izyum area and capture Barvenkova, about 40 miles E of Lozovaya; in Valdai Hills sector to N, deepen salient between Cholm and Rzhev to vicinity of Velikie Luki, where Germans are firmly established.
MIDWAY--Shelled by Japanese submarine.
LUZON--Responsibility for defense of beach area of S Bataan passes from Gen McBride of Service Command Area to commanders of I and II Corps. II Corps continues withdrawal under air attack and with Japanese in full pursuit. I Corps abandons Mauban MLR. Withdrawal of 1st Div southward begins during morning and continues through night 25-26. Diverting enemy attention, other elements of I Corps press in on roadblock on West Road from the W. In South Sector, operations against Japanese at Quinauan and Longoskawayan Pts remain indecisive.
THAILAND--Declares war on U.S.
MALAYA--Since Batu Pahat must be abandoned at once, Gen Percival orders entire line in central Johore withdrawn. Ind 3 Corps is responsible for withdrawal operation, which begins after nightfall. Meanwhile, Batu Pahat defense force fights losing battle for that town throughout day. Ind 11th Div commander sends Br 53d Brig Gp to relief of Batu Pahat defense force, but most of the column is unable to get through. To E, enemy attacks in Ayer Hitam-Kluang area are beaten off.
BURMA--Gen Wavell, visiting Rangoon, orders Moulmein held. 16th Brig, Ind 17th Div, is disposed W of Salween R, opposite Moulmein. Ind 46th Brig is ordered to Bilin area. Lull ensues as Japanese bring up reinforcements to vicinity of Paan and Moulmein, on Salween R.
LIBYA--Speeding eastward again, Rommell's forces seize Msus. Weakened 1st Armd Div of 13 Corps, Br Eighth Army, is ordered to fall back on Mechili, leaving detachment to protect withdrawal of Ind 4th Div from Benghazi and Barce. Gen Auchinleck visits Eighth Army hq, where he remains until 1 February. Gen Ritchie revokes order for general withdrawal of 13 Corps and orders Ind 4th Div, over which he takes direct control, and 1st Armd Div to counterattack in Msus area.
LUZON--Philippine II and I Corps complete withdrawal to final defense line on Bataan in morning, closely followed by Japanese. The new line, which is to be continuous for the first time, extends from Orion on E to Bagac on W and is generally behind Pilar-Bagac road. Gaps develop in each corps sector when USAFFE withdraws Philippine
Div as its reserve. Units are hastily shifted to replace 31st (U.S.) and 57th (PS) Regts in II Corps line and 45th Inf (PS) in I Corps line. II Corps, responsible for E Bataan from coast to Pantingan R, organizes its line into 4 sectors, from E to W: Sector A, 31st Inf of 31st Div (PA); Sector B, Prov Air Corps Regt; Sector C, elements of 31st Div (PA) and remnants of 51st Div (PA); Sector D, 41st and 21st Divs (PA) and 33d Inf, less 1st Bn, of 31st Div (PA). In addition, beach defense forces are organized as Sector E. 1st Bn of 33d Inf, 31st Div (PA), and regt of PA combat engineers constitute corps reserve. Japanese patrol along E slopes of Mt Samat almost to MLR but do not discover gap in line, which exists for several hours. I Corps line, extending from Pantingan R to W coast, is divided into Right and Left Sectors: Right Sector is manned by 2d PC Regt (less one bn) on E and 11th Div (PA) on W; disposed in Left Sector are elements of 1st Div (PA) on E and 91st (PA) on W. Beach defense forces make up South Sector. 26th Cav (PS) is held in corps reserve. Japanese open offensive, driving S along West Road toward Binuangan R. 91st Div (PA) contains these attacks. In South Sector, Japanese maintain beachheads at Quinauan and Longoskawayan Pts and move reinforcements toward former. USAFFE sends 88th FA (PS) to W coast from II Corps sector, one of its gun batteries to Quinauan Pt and another to Longoskawayan Pt.
MALAYA--Japanese amphibious force lands in E Malaya at Endau and moves rapidly inland. Some damage is done to the convoy by RAF planes as it approaches Endau and by naval vessels after it has anchored, but British lose HMS Thanet in the action. Ind 11th Div makes another unsuccessful attempt to relieve Batu Pahat force, which withdraws by infiltration, leaving wounded behind.
NORTHERN IRELAND--First convoy of U.S. troops arrives.
LUZON--In II Corps area, Japanese begin assault against MLR in afternoon. After feint down East Road, main attack is made against Sectors C and D. Sector C is thinly manned and in the process of being reinf by 41st Inf from Sector D. Japanese force the outposts back and get small advance group across Pilar R. In I Corps area, enemy renews efforts to break through MLR on W coast and is again brought to a halt by 91st Div (PA). In South Sector, Gen Wainwright sends 3d Bn of 45th Inf to Quinauan Pt and 2d Bn of 57th Inf to Longoskawayan Pt to dislodge or destroy enemy along SW coast. Meanwhile, after preparatory fire from all available guns is conducted against Longoskawayan Pt, infantry attacks but is unable to clear it. Scouts of 2d Bn, 57th Inf, relieve naval bn there during night 27-28. Japanese are contained but cannot be cleared from Quinauan Pt. Water-borne reinforcements for this position land short of objective, between Anyasan and Silaiim Rivers, before dawn and put beach defenders, 1st Bn of 1st Philippine Constabulary, to flight. 17th Pursuit Sq, from reserve, and 2d Bn of 2d Philippine Constabulary, from MLR to N, move against Japanese but are halted about 1,000 yards from shore. Japanese are ordered, upon reinforcing Quinauan beachhead, to drive to Mariveles.
MALAYA--Gen Percival, receiving permission from Gen Wavell to retire to Singapore at his discretion, decides to withdraw at once through Johore Bahru and across causeway to Singapore. Withdrawal is to be accomplished under cover of darkness and completed during night 30-31. East Force meets no opposition as it pulls back. While elements of Ind 11th Div's Batu Pahat force fall back to Benut, the rest move to Ponggor R mouth, from which they are withdrawn by sea during the following nights. West Force fights local actions while retiring along main road and RR.
NEI--Singkawang II airfield, Borneo, under enemy attack, is ordered evacuated.
AUSTRALIA--Gen Barnes assumes command of base facilities in Australia.
LIBYA--As 13 Corps, Br Eighth Army, prepares to counterattack in Msus area, enemy renews offensive, making main effort toward Benghazi while moving strong diversionary column toward Mechili.
USSR--On Donets front, Soviet forces seize important rail center of Lozovaya, W of Izyum.
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES--Rio Conference of American republics ends.
U.S.--Eighth Air Force is activated at Savannah, Georgia, under Brig Gen Asa N. Duncan.
LUZON--In II Corps area, 41st Inf completes movement into Sector C line, taking up positions between 31st and 51st Div elements. Japanese renew attack against corps in evening: some cross Tiawir R in front of Sector D, where they are halted; others attempt to move forward in Sector C without success. From W coast, in I Corps area, Japanese move eastward along corps' MLR to 1st Div sector, where defense preparations are not yet completed; during night 28-29, Japanese breach MLR there and pour southward through gap. As the enemy force becomes divided in dense jungle, two pockets, called Little Pocket and Big Pocket, are formed, Little Pocket about 400 yards below MLR and Big Pocket nearly a mile behind MLR. In South Sector, Scouts of 2d Bn, 57th Inf, attack Longoskawayan Pt and advance two thirds of its length before arty support is obstructed by Pucot Hill. 3d Bn of 45th
Inf (PS) attacks enemy beachhead at Quinauan Pt, but jungle terrain and enemy make progress slow and costly. At night 3d Bn is reinf by Co B of 57th Inf. In Anyasan-Silaiim sector, 17th Pursuit Sq and Philippine Constabulary elements push almost to coast of Anyasan Bay, but Constabulary, fearing counterattack, withdraws in confusion after dark.
MALAYA--East Force continues unopposed withdrawal toward Singapore. Japanese reach Benut and continue southward behind Ind 11th Div. Gap develops between the two brigs of Ind 9th Div withdrawing along RR; 22d Brig becomes isolated from main body.
LIBYA--Ind 4th Div is authorized to withdraw from Benghazi since armored elements of 13 Corps, Br Eighth Army, are too busily engaged to assist it. Ind 7th Brig, the last to withdraw, finds its line of retreat blocked but breaks out to S and eventually makes its way back to Eighth Army.
U.S.--Combined Chiefs of Staff establish ANZAC Area, covering ocean expanses between Australia, New Zealand, and New Caledonia. This area is to be under U.S. naval command.
FIJI IS.--U.S. troops arrive in islands.
LUZON--II Corps withstands further efforts of Japanese to breach MLR. In I Corps area, troops of 1st and 11th Divs operate against Little and Big Pockets, respectively, in effort to determine their strength and disposition, and evoke sharp opposition. Scouts of 1st Bn, 45th Inf, prepare to assist 11th Div in attack on Big Pocket. In South Sector, after half-hour arty preparation augmented by fire of mine sweeper offshore, 3d Bn of 57th Inf (PS) attacks and clears Longoskawayan Pt; enemy remnants are being mopped up. 3d Bn of 45th Inf (PS) continues to make slow and costly progress at Quinauan Pt. In Anyasan-Silaiim sector, Scouts of 2d Bn, 45th Inf, prepare for attack and are reinf by 1st Bn of Philippine Constabulary and 1st Bn of 12th Inf (PA), both of these having been relieved at Quinauan Pt. Co A of 57th Inf is to guard West Road.
MALAYA--Withdrawal toward Singapore continues. Additional elements of Br 18th Div arrive at Singapore; also, a sq of obsolete light tanks arrives from India, the only tanks to reach Malaya.
NEI--Japanese occupy Pontianak, on W coast of Dutch Borneo.
IRAN--Great Britain and Soviet Union sign treaty of alliance with Iran, wherein Iran agrees to remain neutral; Britain and USSR promise to withdraw their troops from Iranian territory 6 months after hostilities with Axis cease. (Persian Corridor is to become principal route for movement of supplies to USSR.)
LIBYA--Axis main forces remain in Msus area, but elements pursue Ind 4th Div of Br Eighth Army as it falls back slowly toward Derna line.
USSR--On central front, Red Army continues to deepen salient SW of Kaluga and reports capture of Sukhinichi.
P.I.--Gen MacArthur takes control of all naval forces in the Philippines.
LUZON--In Sector C of II Corps, efforts to dislodge enemy from Pilar R bridgehead fail. Indecisive fighting continues along MLR. I Corps makes slow progress against enemy pockets behind MLR. While 1st Div attempts to reduce Little Pocket, elements of 11th and 45th Regts attack Big Pocket from N and S, respectively. In South Sector, 3d Bn of 45th Inf, reinf, continues to attack Quinauan Pt beachhead. 2d Bn of same regt, reinf, supported by 88th FA battery, pushes slowly toward Silaiim R mouth.
MALAYA--British withdrawal to Singapore reaches its final stage. East Force is the first unit to cross causeway and is followed by Ind 11th Div and West Force. West Force delays withdrawal as long as possible in futile effort to recover 22d Brig of Ind 9th Div. Remnants of this brig are eventually ferried across Strait of Singapore. It is decided to withdraw Malaya Air Force to NEI except for a single squadron.
NEI--Japanese invade Ambon (Amboina), second largest naval base in NEI, and are opposed by garrison of Dutch and Australians. Allied air and naval forces have already been withdrawn because of enemy air attacks.
BURMA--Japanese open strong attack on Moulmein and seize the airdrome.
U.S.--Gen Stilwell, in memo to Gen Marshall, estimates his needs for China assignment and requests that his staff and any forces that may join it be called a task force. War Department subsequently approves designation of Stilwell's forces as U.S. Task Force in China.
LUZON--After air and arty preparation, Japanese begin attack on II Corps in evening but are halted by corps fire. Enemy regt concealed in bridgehead across Pilar R begins withdrawing under cover of darkness. I Corps continues battle against enemy pockets in sectors of 1st and 11th Divs. The pockets are now cut off from supply. In South Sector, operations against enemy beachhead at Quinauan Pt continue with little change in positions. Japanese
reinforcements are ordered to the area. 192d Tank Bn (less one co) is sent to W coast to help reduce Quinauan Pt beachhead.
MALAYA--Malaya defense force completes withdrawal to Singapore Island at 0815 and blows causeway. For defense purposes, Singapore is divided into 3 sectors. Ind 3 Corps, under command of Gen Heath, consisting of Ind 11th and Br 8th Divs and corps troops, is responsible for N area. S Area, which includes Singapore town, is the responsibility of Maj Gen F. Keith Simmons, commander of Singapore Fortress troops, who has under his command in addition to fixed defenses, 1st and 2d Malayan Brigs and Strait Settlements Volunteer Force. W Area, under command of Gen Bennett, Commander AIF, is manned by Australians and Ind 44th Brig, with attachments. Activity from this time until Japanese invasion is confined to arty exchanges, air attacks, and patrolling. Chief targets for enemy planes are docks and Kalang airdrome.
BURMA--Moulmein garrison withdraws across the Salween to Martaban. 48th Brig of Ind 19th Div arrives in Rangoon and is held in reserve. Another brief lull ensues in ground action as Japanese prepare for further attacks, infiltrating across the Salween and bombing and shelling Martaban.
ETHIOPIA--Great Britain recognizes independence of Ethiopia.
IRAN--Maj Gen John N. Greely, head of U.S. Military Mission to USSR, which is to advise and assist Russians on lend-lease matters, arrives at Basra, Iraq; from there proceeds to Tehran, Iran, where he establishes his hq.
GILBERT AND MARSHALL IS.--Units of U.S. Pacific Fleet make surprise air and naval attacks on Japanese air and naval bases at Roi, Kwajalein, Wotje, Taroa, and Jaluit Islands in the Marshall group and Makin in the Gilbert group, severely damaging enemy shipping and aircraft facilities.
LUZON--II Corps prepares to attack in Sector C to clear enemy bridgehead from which Japanese continue to withdraw. I Corps continues efforts to reduce pockets S of MLR with negligible success. In South Sector, Scouts renew battle against Quinauan Pt beachhead but progress is still limited. Scout casualties by this time are estimated at 50 percent. Japanese reinforcements for Quinauan Pt are spotted, night 1-2, and attacked by remaining 4 P-40's of FEAF, motor torpedo boats, and arty and infantry weapons from shore. Enemy is forced to land instead in Anyasan-Silaiim area.
ERITREA--Placed under command of GHQ MEF.
LIBYA--Gen Ritchie orders general withdrawal of 13 Corps, Br Eighth Army, to line Gazala-Bir Hacheim in order to avoid envelopment. Ind 4th Div; which reverts to 13 Corps command, completes withdrawal to Derna line during night 1-2.
USSR--Red Army continues powerful offensive throughout February but with diminishing success as German resistance stiffens with arrival of reinforcements. Further efforts to break through to Leningrad and Sevastopol are futile, but some success is achieved in other sectors. Soviet forces in the Crimea are reinforced.
NORWAY--Puppet government is established under Vidkun Quisling.
U.S.--Gen Stilwell is designated Chief of Staff to Supreme Commander, China Theater, and is directed by War Department to "increase the effectiveness of United States assistance to the Chinese Government for the prosecution of the war and to assist in improving the combat efficiency of the Chinese Army."
LUZON--II Corps attacks to clear bridgehead, at first employing 31st Engr Bn (PA) and then reinforcing with elements of 41st Inf after opposition proves stubborn. Enemy completes withdrawal from bridgehead during night 2-3. In I Corps area, armd platoon of 192d Tank Bn and platoon of 1st Bn, 45th Inf, attempt unsuccessfully to reduce Big Pocket. In South Sector, Co C of 192d Tank Bn assists Scouts in another attack on Quinauan Pt beachhead, but results are no more satisfactory. Other Scout bns (2d Bn of 45th Inf; 3d and 1st Bns of 57th Inf) attack abreast to clear Anyasan-Silaiim sector, making slow progress except on left, where no opposition is met.
ERITREA--Personnel of U.S. North African Mission embarked on Siboney reach Massawa.
LIBYA--Gen Auchinleck orders Br Eighth Army to hold Tobruk as a supply base for future offensive.
LUZON--II Corps, finding enemy bridgehead clear, advances OPL in that sector. I Corps continues to make little headway against enemy pockets in sectors of 1st and 11th Divs. In South Sector, Scouts and tanks are still unable to make much progress against Quinauan Pt beachhead. Progress is also limited in Anyasan-Silaiim sector although tanks of 192d Tank Bn and arty assist Scouts there.
NEI--Japanese begin preinvasion air attacks on Java. From Kendari, Celebes, enemy aircraft strike hard at Soerabaja, Madionen, and Malang.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese begin bombing Port Moresby, garrisoned by small Aus force.
BURMA--Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek agrees
to let Ch 5th Army take over Toungoo front. Balance of Ch 6th Army is ordered to move into Burma. Ind 48th Brig is ordered to zone of Ind 17th Div, under which it is to fight.
P.I.--USAFFE takes direct control of Panay and Mindoro garrisons, which were previously part of Visayan-Mindoro Force, established early in January under command of Brig Gen William F. Sharp.
LUZON--II Corps front is relatively quiet. In I Corps area, Japanese in Big Pocket repel still another tank-infantry attack. In South Sector, Scouts and tanks continue attack against Quinauan Pt and this time succeed in compressing enemy into small area at tip. In Anyasan-Silaiim sector, tank-infantry attacks against enemy still make slow progress.
MADOERA STRAIT--U.S.-Dutch naval force of 4 cruisers and. 7 DD's, under command of Rear Adm Karel W. Doorman of Royal Netherlands Navy, sets out to attack enemy shipping off Balikpapan but is detected and attacked by enemy planes in Madoera Strait and abandons mission. USS Houston and USS Marblehead are damaged in the action.
NEI--Small Aus garrison of Ambon I. (largely 2/21 Bn) surrenders to Japanese.
LIBYA--13 Corps, Br Eighth Army, completes withdrawal to line Gazala-Bir Hacheim and is fortifying it. Axis forces hold line Tmimi-Mechili. Lull ensues until summer during which both sides conduct harassing operations and prepare to renew offensive. British gradually relieve battle-weary forces with fresh troops as they become available.
U.S.--Caribbean Air Force is redesignated Sixth Air Force; Pacific Air Command becomes Seventh Air Force; Alaskan Air Force is redesignated Eleventh Air Force.
LUZON--I Corps plans to attack with all available forces against enemy pockets. In South Sector, Japanese are driven to edge of cliff overlooking beaches at Quinauan Pt. Little progress is made against enemy in Anyasan-Silaiim sector.
SINGAPORE--Convoy bringing final elements of Br 18th Div and some Ind reinforcements arrives. Slowest ship of the convoy, Empress of Asia, is sunk by enemy planes before reaching destination. Japanese air attacks on docks at Singapore prevent other ships of the convoy from unloading some of their cargo.
BURMA--Gen Wavell again visits Burma and inspects situation W of the Salween opposite Moulmein.
U.S.--Naval Coastal Frontiers are redesignated Sea Frontiers.
LUZON--In I Corps area, Japanese receive reinforcements and attack late in day to relieve pockets. While some elements increase pressure against 1st and 11th Philippine Divs, others drive toward Big Pocket until stopped by 11th Div 800 yards from objective. Small salient in corps MLR is thus formed and called Upper Pocket. In Manila Bay area, Japanese arty, emplaced along S shore of Manila Bay in vicinity of Ternate, begins daily bombardment of fortified islands. Forts Drum and Frank receive main weight of shells.
NEI--Japanese now hold Samarinda, on E coast of Dutch Borneo.
PACIFIC--ANZAC Force is placed under command of Vice Adm Herbert F. Leary, USN.
LUZON--I Corps opens all-out attack, under command of CG, Left Sector, against enemy pockets and partially encircles both. 1st Div is employed against Little Pocket. 92d Inf of 91st Div (PA) makes main attack against Big Pocket from W and is supported by elements of 11th, Philippine, and 51st Divs. In South Sector, after Scouts on left flank come up against enemy positions in Anyasan-Silaiim area and are brought to a halt, Filipino air corps troops and Constabulary bn are committed to form continuous line from Silaiim Bay to Quinauan Pt. Methodical destruction of enemy remnants at Quinauan Pt continues. Japanese relief force attempting to evacuate troops from SW coast is attacked by P-40's and shore guns and forced back to Olongapo.
MIDWAY--Bombarded by Japanese submarine.
LUZON--Lt Gen Masaharu Homma orders general withdrawal northward to more favorable positions where troops can be rested and reorganized while awaiting reinforcements for final assault on Bataan. I Corps continues battle to destroy Little and Big Pockets and completely encircles latter. Japanese escape from Little Pocket through small gap on E during night 8-9. In South Sector, resistance on Quinauan Pt ends after small naval craft from Mariveles neutralize beaches, then land party of 21st Pursuit Sq, which works inland and meets Scouts pushing toward beaches. Co of 57th Inf and platoon of 37-mm. guns are released at Quinauan for action against enemy in Anyasan-Silaiim sector. Japanese make final attempt to withdraw forces from SW coast by water and succeed in rescuing 34.
SINGAPORE--Japanese intensify bombardment and about 2045 begin landing in force on NW coast;
despite opposition at beaches, gain firm bridgehead and start toward Tengah airfield, driving wedge in Aus line in W Area.
NEW BRITAIN--Japanese seize Gasmata.
LUZON--In I Corps area, Japanese remnants from Little Pocket are destroyed while seeking to escape. 1st Div is now free to join in battle against Big Pocket, which is being compressed and from which Japanese are trying to escape. In South Sector, 2d Bn of 57th (PS) replaces 3d Bn in center of line in Anyasan-Silaiim region and makes limited progress against enemy.
SINGAPORE--Although reinforcements are sent to W Area from other sectors, Japanese reach Tengah airfield. In evening, additional enemy land in area just W of causeway. Gen Percival orders garrison to defend S part of the island, where Singapore town, Kalang airdrome, the reservoirs, and supply depots are located. Far East War Council meets for the last time.
U.K.--Pacific War Council, composed of representatives from Great Britain, Australia, Netherlands East Indies, and New Zealand, is formed in London.
CHRISTMAS I.--U.S. detachment arrives.
MIDWAY--Shelled by enemy submarine.
LUZON--I Corps is rapidly reducing Big Pocket. South Sector forces are compressing Japanese in Anyasan-Silaiim area.
SINGAPORE--Gen Wavell visits Singapore and orders the island held and all remaining RAF personnel withdrawn to NEI. Japanese deepen penetration to supply depot area. AIF Malaya, which is further reinf in W Area, falls back to line Kranji-Jurong, partially prepared switch line position; is later forced from this line.
NEI--Japanese continue conquest of Borneo and Celebes; on Celebes, land force at Makassar.
BURMA--46th Brig, Ind 17th Div, which has recently relieved Ind 16th Brig along the Salween in Martaban area, begins fighting withdrawal from Martaban toward Thaton, since Japanese have bypassed Martaban.
LUZON--I Corps makes substantial progress against Big Pocket, but enemy succeeds in withdrawing through gap on N side. In South Sector, Japanese fall back to Silaiim Pt, between Silaiim and Anyasan Rivers, under pressure.
SINGAPORE--Japanese gain further ground; drop appeals for the garrison to surrender.
BURMA--Additional enemy forces cross Salween in Paan area and engulf bn of Ind 46th Brig.
U.S.--Tenth Air Force is activated at Patterson Field, Ohio, and assigned to Gen Stilwell.
LUZON--I Corps regains important trail junction unopposed. In South Sector, Japanese try desperately to escape from Silaiim Pt; break through Philippine line, but are overtaken as they push N toward Silaiim R and are forced steadily toward the sea.
SINGAPORE--Japanese attack strongly at several points and make further gains. During night 12-13, beach defense forces on E and SE coasts are withdrawn to strengthen defense perimeter around town of Singapore. Supply situation is deteriorating rapidly.
MEDITERRANEAN--3 supply ships leave Alexandria (Egypt) for Malta, but all are lost to enemy before reaching destination.
ENGLISH CHANNEL--German warships Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, and Prinz Eugen proceed from Brest up English Channel under attack by RAF and air arm of Royal Navy.
WESTERN HEMISPHERE--U.S. and Canada approve construction of U.S. Military Highway through Canada to Alaska.
CANTON I.--U.S. detachment arrives.
LUZON--I Corps, after searching entire area of Big Pocket without finding any live Japanese, turns its full attention to the salient, Upper Pocket, in MLR. Elements released from the Big Pocket assault force join in the battle. In South Sector, troops complete destruction of enemy in Silaiim area.
SINGAPORE--Japanese further compress British on Singapore. Main thrusts are against W part of S Area; Br forward units pull back, night 13-14, to cover Alexandra area, where main ordnance depot and ammunition magazine are located. All remaining Br shipping--small ships and other light craft--sail from Singapore, night 13-14. Some personnel are withdrawn in these vessels among them Rear Adm, Malaya, and Air Officer Commanding, Far East.
NEI--Japanese overrun Bandjermasin, key point in SE Borneo.
LUZON--I Corps further reduces salient in MLR, which is now about half its original size.
ABDA COMMAND--Vice Adm Conrad E. L. Helfrich of Royal Netherlands Navy succeeds Adm Hart as commander of ABDA Combined Naval Striking Force.
SINGAPORE--Japanese continue to make main effort against W part of S Area and gain ground near Alexandra. Water supply of garrison is in danger of failing within a short time. Supplies of food and ammunition are also dwindling rapidly. Br flotilla withdrawing from Singapore is attacked by enemy naval and air forces in approaches to Bangka Strait and suffers heavily. Boat carrying Rear Adm, Malaya, and Air Officer Commanding, Far East, is driven ashore on small deserted island where the men later perish.
NEI--Japanese invade Sumatra, dropping paratroopers in Palembang area after air attack on Palembang I airdrome. Small force defending airdrome (150 Dutch infantry and about 60 RAF ground defense gunners) is forced to withdraw toward W coast, Japanese having blocked road to town of Palembang. Allied naval TF moves N to engage enemy shipping in Bangka Strait but comes under heavy air attack and retires to base. Palembang-based aircraft are attacking enemy shipping in Bangka Strait and cannot be notified in time to intercept invasion force.
IRAQ--Siboney reaches Basra where American civilian construction force debarks and proceeds by lorry to Umm Qasr, hq of Iranian District engineer, to begin construction projects. Cargo does not arrive at Umm Qasr until end of month.
LUZON--In II Corps area, Japanese attack in limited strength to ease pressure against troops withdrawing northward from I Corps sector. I Corps continues to make steady progress against salient in MLR.
SINGAPORE--Malayan campaign ends with surrender of Singapore, W anchor of Malay Barrier, to Japanese. Gen Percival meets with Japanese commander, Gen Tomoyuki Yamashita, and surrenders his forces (more than 64,000 troops--Indian, British, and Australian) unconditionally, effective at nightfall.
NEI--Japanese invasion fleet enters river mouth near Palembang, Sumatra, and unloads troops despite repeated and costly attacks by aircraft from Palembang II airdrome. Dutch and RAF personnel withdraw from Palembang, where demolition of refineries is only partially completed. Br personnel holding landing grounds in central and N Sumatra are ordered to W coast for withdrawal.
AUSTRALIA--Allied convoy with reinforcements for Koepang, Timor (Aus 2/4 Pioneer Bn and U.S. 148th FA Regt, less one bn), sails from Darwin. The units are to secure Penfoie airdrome, the only staging point on Timor for flights to Java.
BURMA--Ind 17th Div begins withdrawal behind Bilin R line, 46th Brig abandoning Thaton. Japanese follow closely and try to outflank div.
CARIBBEAN SEA--German submarines attack Aruba I., off coast of Venezuela.
LUZON--I Corps reduces salient in MLR to area 75 by 100 yards. In South Sector, enemy remnants from Silaiim Pt, attempting to escape northward, are detected about 7 miles from the point and destroyed in 2-day fight. In Manila Bay area, Japanese destroy section of pipeline on Cavite shore through which Fort Frank on Carabao I. received fresh water. Distillation plant is put into operation at Fort Frank.
NEI--Withdrawal of Br personnel and operational aircraft from Sumatra to Java is completed. Equipment is left behind at Oesthaven. Allied convoy bound for Timor is recalled to Darwin because of heavy attacks by Japanese planes.
BORA BORA--U.S. Army units arrive.
LUZON--I Corps completely restores MLR without opposition as enemy continues to withdraw.
BURMA--Japanese maintain pressure against Ind 17th Div along Bilin R and continue outflanking attempts.
MIDDLE EAST--Gen Auchinleck is ordered to release 2 more divs for action in Far East--Br 70th and Aus 9th. Aus 9th Div is subsequently allowed to remain in Middle East.
U.S.--War Department orders overseas contract activities throughout the world militarized. All civilian contract activities are to be terminated by 18 August 1942.
NEI--Japanese invade Bali, off E coast of Java, landing on SE coast, night 18-19. This completes isolation of Java. Br volunteer party from Batavia (Java) sails to Oesthaven (Sumatra), where equipment is salvaged and demolitions are performed without interference from enemy.
BURMA--Situation of Ind 17th Div deteriorates as Japanese gain foothold on W bank of Bilin R near Bilin and continue pressure on flanks. TF's are formed by Burma Army to protect Pegu from SE and sea approaches to Syriam.
BADOENG STRAIT--Combined Allied naval force under Adm Doorman, Royal Netherlands Navy, attacks enemy vessel off Bali, night 19-20. Although considerable damage is believed to have been done to enemy, Dutch DD Piet Hein is sunk and other Allied vessels are damaged.
AUSTRALIA--Darwin undergoes destructive attack by Japanese planes from carriers in Banda Sea and ground base at Kendari. Most of the shipping in the harbor, including USS Peary (DD), is destroyed. Virtually all the aircraft crowded on the airfield are demolished. This is the greatest single Japanese air effort since attack on Pearl Harbor.
BURMA--Ind 17th Div continues to defend Bilin R line throughout day but is ordered to fall back after dark. Mandalay receives its first enemy air attack.
U.S.--Grants billion-dollar loan to USSR.
LUZON--In Manila Bay area, Japanese arty bombardment of fortified islands reaches peak intensity.
NEI--Japanese invade Timor, where Aus 2/40th Bn defends Penfoie airdrome.
SOUTH PACIFIC--Newly formed U.S. naval TF, consisting of USS Lexington with screen of cruisers and DD's, heads toward Rabaul, New Britain, to disperse Japanese concentrations but when attacked by enemy planes withdraws without executing mission. Japanese suffer heavy plane losses and postpone operations scheduled against New Guinea.
BURMA--Ind 17th Div begins withdrawal behind Sittang R, 48th Brig leading.
U.K.--Maj Gen Ira C. Eaker, who is to command VIII Bomber Command, arrives by air to prepare for reception of U.S. air force (Eighth); reports to Maj Gen James E. Chaney, CG USAFBI.
LUZON--Lull settles over entire front as both sides dig in and prepare for further action. Japanese have completed withdrawal from I Corps area; diversionary forces employed against II Corps are ordered back to Balanga area.
BURMA--Removed from jurisdiction of ABDA Command and placed under command of CinC, India. 7th Armd Brig arrives at Rangoon from Middle East; is soon committed on Pegu front. Ind 17th Div continues toward Sittang bridge near Mokpalin with Japanese in close pursuit.
U.S.--President Roosevelt orders Gen MacArthur to leave the Philippines.
BURMA--Japanese open strong attacks against 2 brigs of Ind 17th Div E of Sittang R in Mokpalin area before withdrawal through Sittang bridge bottleneck can be accomplished.
U.K.--Hq of U.S. Army Bomber Command, USAFBI, is established under Gen Eaker.
INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS--U.S. and Great Britain sign mutual-aid agreement on settlement of lend-lease obligations.
U.S.--Enemy submarine shells Bankline Oil Refinery near Santa Barbara, California. This is the first attack of the war on U.S. mainland.
BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO--U.S. Fifth Air Force makes first attack against Rabaul, New Britain. 6 B-17's from Townsville, Australia, strike with unobserved results.
NEI--Japanese report conquest of Ambon completed. Gen Brett flies from Java, which is in imminent danger, to Australia.
BURMA--Violent fighting for Sittang R bridgehead continues. Ind 17th Div destroys Sittang bridge at 0530 to prevent enemy from using it, although 16th and 46th Brigs are still E of the river. Remnants of these brigs eventually cross in small craft or by swimming, but battle of Sittang bridgehead is disastrous for Ind 17th Div; 46th Brig must be broken up to provide replacements.
MIDDLE EAST--Auchinleck revises plans for defense of Northern Front, instructing Br Ninth and Tenth Armies to impose maximum delay on enemy in the event of Axis offensive.
WAKE--U.S. naval TF (Enterprise, 2 cruisers, 7 DD's), under command of Vice Adm William F. Halsey, Jr., considerably damages Japanese positions by aerial and naval bombardment.
NEI--Evacuation of Java continues. Gen Brereton and his staff leave for India.
INDIA--Gen Stilwell arrives at Karachi.
USSR--During 10-day battle on northern front, Red Army encircles II Corps of German Sixteenth Army SE of Staraya Russa. German forces to S are containing Soviet efforts to break through to Smolensk on central front and to Dnieper bend in the Ukraine.
ABDA COMMAND--Is dissolved and defense of Java is left to the Dutch, who are to be assisted by Br, Aus, and U.S. detachments.
BURMA--Japanese are infiltrating into Pegu Yomas through gap of some 30-40 miles that exists between Burma 1st Div at Nyaunglebin and Ind 17th Div at Pegu, threatening Rangoon-Mandalay road.
INDIA--Gen Stilwell, who receives rank of Lt Gen, AUS, confers with GHQ, India, at New Delhi.
P.I.--Japanese amphibious force, consisting of a bn of infantry and a FA battery, sails from Olongapo, Luzon, for Mindoro.
AUSTRALIA--U.S. TF bound for New Caledonia reaches Australia.
INDIAN OCEAN--USS Langley (ACV), with 32 fighters on board, is sunk en route to Java by Japanese planes.
BURMA--Hard fighting is developing in Waw area, NE of Pegu, as enemy continues infiltration westward from Sittang R.
LIBYA--13 Corps is responsible for defenses organized in depth over 36-mile area from Gazala to Bir Hacheim. 30 Corps prepares defensive positions on frontier and has detachment at Giarabub.
U.S.--President Roosevelt, by executive order, authorizes creation of joint Mexican-U.S. Defense Commission. Brig Gen Raymond A. Wheeler, now in Iran, is named commander of SOS CBI; Gen Wheeler is also to continue as chief of Iranian Mission.
P.I.--Japanese force lands on NE Mindoro, where a town and airfield are overrun. No effort is made to secure rest of island. Enemy blockade about the Philippines is thus tightened.
JAVA SEA--Organized Allied naval resistance collapses during Battle of Java Sea. Combined naval TF under Adm Doorman attacks Japanese convoy approaching Java and is decisively defeated. Br DD's Electra and Jupiter and Dutch DD Kortenaer are sunk, as are Dutch cruisers De Ruyter and Java. Japanese sustain some damage but not enough to interfere with their plan for completing conquest of NEI.
INDIA--Gen Wavell arrives in New Delhi from Java.
FRANCE--British successfully raid radio location station at Bruneval during night 27-28, dropping parachute force of 120.
U.S.--War Department directive gives Gen Wheeler mission of expediting flow of supplies and equipment to Gen Stilwell.
NEI--After severe air attacks on air and naval installations, Japanese 16th Army invades Java during night 28 February-1 March, going ashore on N coast and making main effort near Batavia. Allied planes attack enemy shipping before and during landing. Adm Doorman's naval force, split into small groups, heads toward Soenda Strait in effort to escape from Java Sea; some of the vessels are not heard from again. Sea Witch, with 27 crated P-40's on board, reaches Tjilatjap safely, but P-40's are destroyed to prevent them from falling into enemy hands.
BURMA--Br Imperial forces fall back on Pegu from Payagyi and Waw in anticipation of general withdrawal.
MIDWAY--MAG 22 is formed from squadrons on the island.
LUZON--Japanese 14th Army, during period 6 January to date, has suffered severe setback on Luzon and sustained almost 7,000 casualties (2,700 killed and over 4,000 wounded).
NEI--Japanese, now in undisputed control of air and sea, make rapid progress on the ground on Java. Allied planes based on Java are virtually wiped out, many of them on the ground. After a final effort to stall enemy by air, surviving air personnel begin assembling in Jogjakarta, the last remaining airfield in Java, for withdrawal to Australia. Since Java ports are untenable, Allied naval command is dissolved and ships are directed to withdraw to Australia. U.S. DD's Edsall and Pillsbury and PG Asheville, as well as a few Br corvettes, are unable to make good their escape. Of Adm Doorman's original Java Sea striking force (5 cruisers and 10 DD's), only 4 U.S. DD's succeed in reaching Australia. Cruisers Houston (U.S.) and Perth (Aus) and DD's Pope (U.S.), Encounter (Br), and Evertsen (Dutch) are lost while trying to escape.
BURMA--Burma 1st Div covers concentration of Ch 5th Army in Toungoo area. 200th Div of the army, which is already disposed in this area, regains Nyaunglebin and Pyuntaza, on Rangoon-Mandalay road. Gen Wavell arrives in Burma and orders Rangoon held as long as possible, at least until reinforcements en route (63d Brig Gp) arrive. Ind 17th Div returns toward Waw, which is to be defended.
USSR--Soviet advance comes to a halt during March. Battle line remains about the same throughout month, despite continued fighting on all fronts.
Germans are unable to relieve isolated II Corps, Sixteenth Army, SE of Staraya Russa, but succeed in withdrawing salient SW of Kaluga; contain Soviet attacks on southern front, which are extended to region E of Kharkov.
NEI--Japanese gain further ground in Java, where Dutch are continuing to resist; claim capture of Batavia, from which NEI Government has been forced to move to Bandoeng. Many ships are scuttled off Java to prevent them from falling into enemy hands.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese begin heavy air strikes on New Guinea in preparation for invasion of Huon Gulf area.
BURMA--Japanese continue to infiltrate westward between Burma 1st and Ind 17th Divs and are swinging SW on Rangoon, bypassing Pegu.
NEI--Dutch continue losing battle for Java against superior enemy forces.
AUSTRALIA--Japanese planes strike hard at Broome, where refugees from Java are concentrated, destroying many planes on ground and in water.
BURMA--Fighting continues in Waw-Pyinbon area, NE of Pegu. 63d Brig Gp arrives at Rangoon.
HAWAII--2 Japanese planes drop total of 4 bombs near Punch Bowl crater, Oahu. No damage.
MARCUS I.--U.S. planes from carrier Enterprise make surprise attack on island just before dawn, achieving satisfactory results.
P.I.--Gen MacArthur is reorganizing his forces in the Philippines in preparation for his departure. Composite Visayan-Mindanao Force is divided into 2 commands. Gen Sharp retains command of forces on Mindanao; the Visayan forces are placed under Brig Gen Bradford G. Chynoweth. MacArthur's plans envisage the formation of 2 more commands. Maj Gen George F. Moore's harbor defense forces on Corregidor and other islands in Manila Bay will constitute one, the forces on Luzon the other.
NEI--Dutch continue fighting on Java and report that destruction of principal installations has been completed.
CHINA--Gen Stilwell establishes Hq, American Army Forces, China, Burma, and India, at Chungking, using his U.S. Task Force in China and AMMISCA personnel as a nucleus. Gen Magruder's directive is altered to place AMMISCA personnel at disposal of Gen Stilwell.
NEI--Dutch continue a losing battle for Java. Batavia is reported evacuated.
NEW BRITAIN--Japanese convoy bound for Huon Gulf, New Guinea, sails from Rabaul, New Britain, during night 5-6.
INDIA--Gen Breton takes command of U.S. Tenth Air Force, which is at this time extremely small, with hq at New Delhi.
BURMA--Lt Gen Sir Harold R. L. G. Alexander arrives at Rangoon to take command of Burma Army. Gen Hutton remains as Chief of General Staff. Gen Alexander at once begins offensive to close gap between Burma 1st and Ind 17th Divs. Japanese attack Pegu from W and succeed in entering the town.
USSR--Moscow announces recapture by Red Army of Yukhnov, NW of Kaluga, on central front.
AUSTRALIA--U.S. TF sails for New Caledonia.
CHINA--Gen Stilwell confers for the first time with Chiang Kai-shek in Chungking.
BURMA--Newly arrived 63d Brig, under command of Ind 17th Div, makes futile effort to clear block on Rangoon-Pegu road and relieve Pegu garrison, which is isolated. Gen Alexander orders Rangoon evacuated since situation in lower Burma is deteriorating rapidly; denial program is to be put into effect at midnight 6-7.
NEI--Japanese conquest of Java is virtually completed. Radio and cable communications with Bandoeng cease. Final reports indicate that enemy is still advancing on all fronts, that the defenders are completely exhausted, and that all Allied fighter planes have been destroyed.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese convoy arrives in Huon Gulf during night 7-8 and under cover of naval bombardment lands assault forces at Salamaua and Lae without opposition.
NEW CALEDONIA--Maj Gen Alexander M. Patch, commander-designate of New Caledonia Task Force, arrives.
BURMA--Burma Army evacuates Rangoon, moving along Prome road except for demolition forces, which are removed by sea. Loss of Rangoon seriously handicaps supply and reinforcement of Burma Army, which must now depend on air for this. Withdrawal from Rangoon is halted at Taukkyan by enemy roadblock. Bypassed force in Pegu is ordered to withdraw.
ALASKA--Brig Gen William O. Butler assumes command of U.S. Eleventh Air Force under Alaska Defense Command (Maj Gen Simon B. Buckner, Jr.). Alaska Defense Command is in turn under Western Defense Command (Lt Gen John L. DeWitt), which was designated a theater of operations early in the war.
BURMA--63d Brig and elements of 16th, with tank and arty support, clear Japanese block on Rangoon-Prome road at Taukkyan. During period 8-13 March, heavy bombers of U.S. Tenth Air Force transport troops and supplies from India to Magwe, Burma.
MIDDLE EAST--Gen Ritchie is ordered by Gen Auchinleck to provide diversion in Libya for passage of convoy to Malta. Supply situation on Malta is very serious.
U.S.--Major reorganization of U.S. Army is effective this date. GHQ is abolished and 3 autonomous commands--Army Ground Forces under Lt Gen Lesley J. McNair, Army Air Forces under Lt Gen Henry H. Arnold, and Services of Supply (later designated as Army Service Forces) under Maj Gen Brehon B. Somervell--are given responsibility for Zone of Interior functions under Gen Marshall as Chief of Staff. Field forces remain under control of War Department General Staff. Adm King is appointed Chief of Naval Operations in addition to his post of CinC, U.S. Fleet. Adm King succeeds Adm Harold R. Stark, who will command U.S. naval forces operating in European waters.
P.I.--Gen MacArthur announces that Gen Yamashita has replaced Gen Homma as CinC of enemy forces in the Philippines.
NEI--Japanese complete conquest of Java and thereby gain control of entire NEI. With Malaya Barrier thus penetrated, Australia is in greater danger.
NEW GUINEA--Land-based planes attack Japanese convoy in Huon Gulf with unobserved results. Japanese aircraft continue neutralization of points in New Guinea.
BURMA--Burma Army forces at Taukkyan continue northward withdrawal without serious difficulty.
MIDWAY--Enemy patrol plane is shot down SW of island.
P.I.--Gen Wainwright visits Gen MacArthur on Corregidor and learns that he (Wainwright) will head Luzon Force and that his I Corps will be turned over to Gen Jones, 51st Div CG. Gen MacArthur, after his withdrawal from the Philippines, plans to remain in control of Philippine operations from Australia through Col Lewis C. Beebe, who will be deputy chief of staff of USAFFE.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese make another landing on New Guinea, at Finschhafen. U.S. planes, 104 strong, from carriers Lexington and Yorktown make co-ordinated attacks on enemy shipping and installations at Lae and Salamaua, considerably damaging shipping and airfields. A few B-17's from Townsville, Australia, follow up carrier strikes with attacks on same area. Japanese fly fighters from Rabaul, New Britain, to Huon Gulf area and continue neutralization of Port Moresby by air.
IRAN--Declared eligible for U.S. lend-lease.
P.I.--Gen MacArthur and his family and staff embark from Corregidor in 4 PT boats for Mindanao.
BURMA--Burma Army regroups in preparation for defense of upper Burma. In Irrawaddy Valley, Ind 17th Div is disposed in Tharrawaddy area. In Sittang Valley, Burma 1st Div, after successful diversionary attacks against Shwegyin and Madauk, E of Nyaunglebin, withdraws, except for 13th Brig, to positions N of Kanyutkwin. Gen Stilwell is placed in command of Ch 5th and 6th Armies. Ch 6th Army is holding Shan States. Ch 5th Army, except for 200th Div disposed in Toungoo area, is to concentrate at Mandalay.
MALTA--Military garrison is placed under command of CinC MEF. Naval and RAF garrisons are under command of CinC Mediterranean and Air Officer Commanding in Chief, respectively. Lt Gen Sir William Dobbie, Governor of Malta, remains commander in chief.
NEW CALEDONIA--U.S. TF (17,500 men) under Gen Patch reaches Nouméa to assist in defense of that area.
ANDAMAN IS.--Garrison of Andaman Is. (co of British and bn of Gurkhas) is withdrawn, since loss of Rangoon makes it unfeasible to maintain this seaplane base.
BURMA--Burma Army establishes hq at Maymyo.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese, having gained firm positions in Lae-Salamaua area, replace infantry with naval forces.
SOLOMON IS.--Japanese force from 4th Fleet sails from Rabaul, New Britain, for Buka, which is
eventually seized together with other positions in N Solomons.
INDIA--First detachment of U.S. troops (Air Forces personnel) to reach CBI arrive at Karachi, having been diverted from Java.
U.S.--Joint Chiefs of Staff decide to continue on the defensive in the Pacific with forces already there and to build up forces in United Kingdom for an offensive against Germany.
P.I.--Gen MacArthur and his party reach Mindanao.
IRAN--U.S. Iranian Mission begins releasing civilian contractors in accordance with War Department directive of 18 February calling for militarization of contract activities throughout world.
LUZON--In Manila Bay area the Japanese, having emplaced additional arty along S shore of Manila Bay SW of Ternate, renew intensive bombardment of fortified islands. Shelling is conducted daily and in great force through 21 March, despite U.S. counterbattery fire. Forts Frank and Drum are particularly hard hit.
BURMA--Gen Stilwell is notified that Gen Wavell, as Supreme Commander, India, is responsible for operations in Burma.
AUSTRALIA--From Mindanao, Gen MacArthur flies to Darwin, where he will be in supreme command of forces in SW Pacific. Formal delineation of this area has not yet been agreed upon. Col Beebe, deputy chief of staff of USAFFE, is promoted to brig gen.
CBI--Air Vice Marshal Stevenson, commanding Allied air forces, moves hq from Burma to Calcutta, India.
NEW HEBRIDES--U.S. Army troops (2 cos of 182d Inf and an engr co of Americal Div) arrive at Efate to build airfield.
BURMA--Lt Gen William J. Slim arrives in Burma to take command of Imperial troops, now formed into Burma I Corps. In Sittang Valley, Japanese begin drive on Toungoo and are opposed by Ch 200th Div.
USSR--German Army Group North is making determined efforts to break through to II Corps, Sixteenth Army, in Cholm-Staraya Russa area. Red Army maintains pressure on enemy on central and southern fronts.
P.I.--Gen Wainwright learns that he has been promoted to rank of lt gen and that Washington has placed him in command of all U.S. forces in the Philippines.
LIBYA--Complying with request of 8 March for offensive action to divert enemy's attention from Malta-bound convoy, Br Eighth Army raids landing grounds in Derna and Benghazi areas after nightfall.
P.I.--Gen Wainwright, as commander of U.S. Forces in the Philippines (USFIP), which supersedes USAFFE, establishes hq on Corregidor and appoints Gen Beebe his chief of staff. Maj Gen Edward P. King, Jr., is to be commander of Luzon Force.
AUSTRALIA--Lt Gen George H. Brett, U.S. Army, becomes commander of combined air forces, retaining command of USAFIA.
CBI--Assam-Burma-China Ferry Command is activated. It consists of 25 Pan-American transports, which are soon diverted from mission of taking supplies to China in order to supply forces withdrawing from Burma.
BURMA--Burma 1st Div, upon being relieved on Toungoo front by 200th Div, Ch 5th Army, begins movement to Irrawaddy front, leaving large area S of Toungoo undefended. Gen Stilwell, now in Burma, issues orders for Ch participation in defense of line Toungoo-Prome. Ch 5th Army is charged with defense of Toungoo. Its 200th Div is reinf by attachment of Temporary 55th Div (T-55th) of Ch 6th Army, which is to move to Pyawbwe. In army reserve, Ch 22d Div is directed to Taungdwingyi, where it is to be prepared to assist British in Prome area while Ch 96th Div is to move to Mandalay. Crippling enemy air attack on Magwe airdrome reduces the already meager air force defending Burma.
LIBYA--Br Eighth Army continues raids on forward landing grounds of Axis forces as diversion for convoy to Malta. Raids are partially successful, drawing off part of enemy's aircraft, but convoy is unable to reach Malta intact and later suffers additional damage under air attack while unloading.
U.S.--President Roosevelt sends message to Gen MacArthur in Australia expressing his desire
that Gen Wainwright control all forces in the Philippines; Gen MacArthur concurs.
BURMA--Japanese planes make another destructive attack on Magwe airdrome, forcing AVG and RAF aircraft to withdraw to Loiwing (on Ch frontier) and Akyab, respectively. Troops defending Burma are thus denied close air support. Gen Stilwell, upon arriving at front, begins planning for counterattack in support of Ch 200th Div at Toungoo. Chinese continue to withstand pressure against Toungoo from the S.
ANDAMAN IS.--Japanese invade islands without opposition.
U.S.--Pacific Theater is established as an area of U.S. responsibility by Combined Chiefs of Staff.
LUZON--Japanese begin intense air and arty bombardment of Bataan. Luzon-based Japanese Army and Navy planes begin thorough bombardment of Corregidor, continuing through end of March. During this period night air attacks are conducted for the first time.
BURMA--In surprise attack on Kyungon airfield, N of Toungoo, Japanese rout defenders (troops of Ch 200th Div and rear elements of Burma 1st Div) and cut rail line and road, thus partially surrounding Toungoo. Chinese fall back on Toungoo, while Burmese succeed in withdrawing to Irrawaddy front.
SOCIETY IS.--162d Inf, U.S. 41st Div, arrives at Bora Bora.
BURMA--Ch 200th Div is virtually besieged in Toungoo. Elements of T-55th Div arrive N of the town but do not attack. Burma I Corps is ordered to concentrate in Prome-Allanmyo area.
CELEBES--Japanese carrier force leaves Kendari for Indian Ocean.
BURMA--Continuing pressure against Chinese in Toungoo, Japanese seize the town as far as RR line. Ch 22d Div, which has previously been ordered to Pyinmana-Yedashe area, N of Toungoo, to counterattack in support of Ch 200th Div, arrives in position but fails to take the offensive.
U.S.--War Plans Division issues "Plan for Operations in Northwest Europe," calling for small-scale operation in autumn 1942 (SLEDGEHAMMER) as an emergency measure if Soviet forces show signs of collapsing or main Anglo-American invasion (ROUNDUP) in spring 1943. If SLEDGEHAMMER is not required. Build-up plan for the invasion is coded BOLERO.
BURMA--Ch 200th Div continues to resist enemy onslaughts against Toungoo. On Irrawaddy front, Japanese are massing forces S of Prome. RAF planes withdraw from Akyab to India as result of heavy enemy bombing of Akyab.
FRANCE--British conduct combined operations against harbor installations at St. Nazaire, night 27-28. HMS Campbeltown (DD) rams main lock gate and lands troops who carry out demolitions.
LUZON--Japanese, moving into position for all-out offensive against Bataan, feint against I Corps and push in OPL of Sector D on II Corps front. Increasingly heavy air and arty bombardment of Bataan is lowering efficiency of defense force as well as destroying badly needed matériel. Efforts to run the blockade and supply the garrison with necessary items have virtually failed, and supply situation is growing steadily worse.
BURMA--Gen Alexander, at request of Gen Stilwell, agrees to attack on Irrawaddy front. Rcn elements of Burma I Corps clash with enemy at Paungde, SE of Prome.
BURMA--Going on the offensive to relieve pressure on Chinese at Toungoo and restore communications, TF of Burma I Corps attacks and clears Paungde, but its situation becomes precarious as Japanese establish themselves a few miles N at Padigon and on E bank of the Irrawaddy at Shwedaung.
U.S.--Directives are drafted for Gen MacArthur as Supreme Commander, SWPA, and for Adm Nimitz as CINCPOA, for submission to Allied governments concerned. SWPA is to include Australia, Philippines, New Guinea, Bismarck Archipelago, Solomons, and most of NEI. As Supreme Commander of SWPA, Gen MacArthur is to maintain positions in Philippines and bases in Australia; guard approaches to SWPA; halt enemy's advance on Australia; protect communications within theater; support POA forces; and be prepared to take the offensive. POA comprises N, Central, and S Pacific, all under over-all command of Adm Nimitz, and the first two under his direct
command. As CINCPOA, Adm Nimitz is to maintain communications between U.S. and SWPA; support operations in SWPA; and be prepared to take offensive action. In addition to SWPA and POA, Pacific Theater is to include Southeast Pacific Area--ocean stretches W of Central and South America. Pacific War Council is established in Washington. Inter-American Defense Board holds its first meeting in Washington.
BURMA--Ch 200th Div withdraws from Toungoo under pressure. On Irrawaddy front, Burma I Corps TF falls back to Prome from Paungde area, leaving vehicles behind at Shwedaung. During night 30-31, Japanese attack Ind 63d Brig at Prome and soon breach defenses, exposing right flank of Ind 17th Div.
ASCENSION I.--First detachment of U.S. forces arrives to build airstrip on this small island, which lies about midway between South America and Africa.
BURMA--Ch 200th Div makes contact with Ch 22d Div N of Toungoo and withdraws N of Pyinmana as reserve. With loss of Toungoo, road to Mawchi is left undefended and Japanese, during next few days, overrun small Ch garrison at Mawchi; continue E, forcing elements of Ch T-55th Div back to Bawlake.
U.S.--Pacific War Council holds its first meeting at Washington, D.C.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese from NEI land at a number of points on Dutch New Guinea coast, from Sorong on NW tip to Hollandia, during period 1-20 April; landings are virtually unopposed.
BURMA--CinC India, visiting front, agrees to immediate withdrawal of Burma I Corps to Allanmyo area, N of Prome. Japanese continue to press in on Prome.
IRAQ--Dock construction project at Umm Qasr is begun after cargo of City of Dalhart is unloaded.
USSR--Stalemate exists along entire line. Germans of Army Group North are largely concerned during the month with extricating II Corps of Sixteenth Army from pocket SE of Staraya Russa.
INDIA--U.S. Tenth Air Force flies its first combat mission, attacking shipping off Andaman Is.; subsequently concentrates on enemy positions in Burma.
BURMA--Burma I Corps withdraws from Prome.
LUZON--Japanese open all-out offensive against Bataan line, which is by now understrength, undernourished, poorly clothed and equipped, and battle weary. After air and arty bombardment, lasting from 1000 until 1500, Japanese move forward, making main effort against Sector D, the W flank of II Corps, where 41st and 21st Divs (PA) are thinly spread and dazed as result of preliminary bombardment. 41st, on W, gives way and is rendered virtually ineffective as a fighting force, although regt on extreme W succeeds in withdrawing in an orderly fashion. Bn on W flank of 21st Div is forced to pull back. Effort to re-establish line of 41st Div after dark is partially successful. The only corps reserve unit, 33d Inf (PA), less 1st Bn, is released to Sector D as is Prov Tank Gp (-) of Luzon Force reserve. In I Corps sector to W, Japanese succeed in reaching MLR on E flank but are unable to pierce it.
BURMA--Burma I Corps continues northward withdrawal from Allanmyo area although not under enemy pressure. In Sittang Valley, Gen Stilwell begins deploying Chinese for stand at Pyinmana. Ch 22d Div is to fall back gradually on Pyinmana, where Ch 96th Div is to take over.
MIDDLE EAST--India is removed from U.S. Iranian Mission's sphere of responsibility, but Karachi remains base for the 2 U.S. Middle East missions. Gen Wheeler is relieved as chief of Iranian Mission.
LUZON--In II Corps area, Japanese attack is again preceded by demoralizing arty bombardment in conjunction with air attacks. MLR of Sector D collapses as 41st Div withdraws again and 21st Div is forced from MLR to reserve line in front of Mt Samat. After nightfall, Japanese regroup for assault on Mt Samat. Sector C has to refuse its left flank because of enemy breakthrough. Luzon Force sends 2 regts of Philippine Div--31st (U.S.) and 45th (PS)--to support II Corps.
INDIAN OCEAN--Japanese naval force in Indian Ocean sinks Br cruisers Dorsetshire and Cornwall near Colombo, Ceylon.
MIDDLE EAST--Col Don G. Shingler is notified that he is to head U.S. Iranian Mission, replacing Gen Wheeler. Iranian projects now have top priority, and construction project at Umm Qasr, Iraq, is suspended.
LUZON--After air and arty preparation, Japanese resume offensive in the II Corps area, concentrating
on 21st Div, which yields Mt Samat and is left virtually ineffective as a fighting force. Corps prepares to counterattack on 6th with all available forces. Japanese invasion force of 4,852 troops sails from Lingayen Gulf toward Cebu, in the Visayan Islands.
CEYLON--Japanese carrier-based planes attack Colombo.
LUZON--II Corps counterattacks N toward reserve line in Sector D but meets enemy attack head on and falls back. On corps E flank, U.S. 31st Inf and 21st Div (PA), directed to drive N in region E of Mt Samat, are unable to reach line of departure. In center, Philippine 33d Inf, followed by 42d and 43d, endeavors to drive N between Catmon and W slopes of Mt Samat, but 33d is surrounded and presumed lost and units to rear are routed. Hq of Sector D and W flank troops are thus separated from rest of II Corps. On W, Philippine 41st Inf, followed by 45th, makes limited progress, but 45th is unable to overtake 41st and 41st becomes isolated. U.S. 31st Inf and bn of 57th Inf (PS) are assigned to Sector C, where line is withdrawn to San Vicente R. Japanese receive effective air and arty support throughout day.
ADMIRALTY IS.--Small Japanese naval force from Truk lands at Lorengau.
AUSTRALIA--Main body (Hq, 163d Regt, 167th FA Bn, and other units) of U.S. 41st Div reaches Melbourne.
BURMA--Japanese land reinforcements at Rangoon. Chiang Kai-shek, visiting Maymyo, urges that Taungdwingyi be held and agrees to provide Ch div to assist Burma I Corps. Ch 200th and 96th Divs are in position to defend Pyinmana.
MIDDLE EAST--U.S. War Department decides that no fixed installations are to be established in Iranian Mission territory.
LUZON--Japanese, attacking again in II Corps area with air and arty support, force entire corps MLR back to Mamala R line; this line, too, becomes untenable, and Americans and Filipinos withdraw under cover of darkness, 7-8, to Alangan R. 26th Cav (PS), released to II Corps from I Corps reserve, establishes holding position while line is formed along the Mamala. Meanwhile, attempts by Philippine Div units to form continuous line prove futile. Philippine Constabulary regts defending beaches are ordered into battle line. I Corps is directed to withdraw southward to Binuangan R line.
LUZON--II Corps disintegrates completely under sustained enemy attacks from ground and air. Japanese soon discover gaps in Alangan R line--held by 31st Inf (U.S.), 57th Inf (PS), 26th Cav (PS), 803d Engr Bn (U.S.), 14th Engr Bn (PS), and Constabulary troops--and stream southward at will. In final effort to stem enemy advance, Prov Coast Arty Brig (AA), serving as infantrymen, forms weak line just N of Cabcaben, but other units ordered to extend this line are unable to do so. Gen King decides to surrender Luzon Force; orders equipment destroyed during night 8-9. Of the 78,000 men of Luzon Force, about 2,000 succeed in escaping to Corregidor.
U.K.--Gen Marshall and Mr. Harry Hopkins arrive in London for series of conferences with the British on BOLERO.
LABRADOR--U.S. detachment arrives.
P.I.--On Luzon, at 0330, emissaries of Gen King start to Japanese lines under white flag to arrange for surrender. Gen King surrenders Luzon Force unconditionally at 1230, and grim march of prisoners from Balanga to San Fernando follows. Fall of Bataan permits Japanese aircraft previously employed against it to devote their full attention to Corregidor. For the first time since end of March, enemy planes attack in force. Japanese arty emplaced at Cabcaben, S Bataan, opens fire on Corregidor. In the Visayan Is., Cebu I. garrison is alerted as enemy flotilla heading toward the island is spotted.
BURMA--Burma I Corps is now disposed to defend oil fields, on general line Minhla-Taungdwingyi, a 40-mile front. Chinese are not in position to support corps because of a series of contradictory orders.
CEYLON--Trincomalee undergoes heavy air attack by Japanese planes from carriers. HMS Hermes (aircraft carrier) is sunk offshore.
USSR--Strong Soviet efforts to advance from Kerch area in the Crimea make little headway against stubborn enemy forces. Germans remain on the defensive on central front, containing most of Red Army thrusts; on northern front, make slow progress against firm opposition toward encircled forces in vicinity of Cholm and Staraya Russa.
VISAYAN IS.--Japanese invade Cebu I., garrisoned by about 6,500 troops under command of Col Irwin C. Scudder. Bulk of enemy assault force goes ashore on E coast at Cebu City, the rest on W coast in vicinity of Toledo. Cebu MP Regt at Cebu City and 3d Bn of 82d Inf (PA) at Toledo fight
lively delaying actions before withdrawing inland from both towns under pressure. Gen Chynoweth, CG Visayan Force, whose hq is on Cebu, sends 3d Bn of 83d Inf to defend Cantabaco, where cross-island highway branches.
BURMA--Patrols of Burma I Corps find that Japanese are moving forward toward the Minhla-Taungdwingyi.
GERMANY--RAF Bomber Command drops first 2-ton bomb during attack on Essen, night 10-11.
VISAYAN IS.--On Cebu, 3d Bn of 83d Inf fails to stop enemy at Cantabaco, and Japanese drive rapidly eastward from Toledo with little difficulty.
BURMA--Japanese open attacks against center of line Minhla-Taungdwingyi.
USSR--Germans vigorously oppose Soviet efforts to land additional forces on Crimean coast near Eupatolia. Stalemate continues on central front. On northern front, Germans continue to make slow progress toward encircled forces.
U.S.--Gen Arnold, Chief AAF, sends Gen Marshall, attending BOLERO conference in London, air plan for BOLERO, calling for establishment of Eighth Air Force in England.
P.I.--Since Japanese now control cross-island highway on Cebu, Gen Chynoweth retreats to mountains of N Cebu, where he organizes remnants of the garrison for guerrilla warfare. Japanese, employing guns on Bataan and Cavite, intensify arty bombardment of Corregidor. Enemy aircraft continue to pound the island.
BURMA--Ch 38th Div of 66th Army, previously earmarked for defense of Mandalay, begins movement to Irrawaddy front to assist Burma I Corps in holding line Minhla-Taungdwingyi. During night 12-13, Japanese occupy Migyaungye, exposing W flank of Burma Army.
SOUTH PACIFIC--Vice Adm Robert L. Ghormley is designated Commander, South Pacific Area (COMSOPAC) and S Pac Forces.
BURMA--Gap develops in Burma I Corps line, and Japanese are moving N through it toward oil fields. Burma 1st Div, under pressure S of Magwe, is reinf by 7th Armd Brig (less 7th Hussars). Gen Stilwell's orders designed to avert threat to Lashio--93d Div (less regt) is directed to move to Taunggyi; 49th Div plus regt of 93d is to continue to guard Thailand border; T-55th Div is to remain in Mawchi-Loikaw area--are delivered to Ch 6th Army. Ch 66th Army, less 38th Div, is to concentrate below Mandalay.
U.K.--British Government and Chiefs of Staff accept BOLERO Plan, proposed by Gen Marshall, for build-up to attack Germany.
AUSTRALIA--Government approves directive of 30 March to Gen MacArthur as Supreme Commander, SWPA. This is the last of the nations concerned to do so.
BURMA--Yenangyaung oil fields are ordered destroyed, night 14-15; this is accomplished during next 48 hours. Japanese are moving around Ch T-55th Div in Mawchi-Loikaw area.
FRANCE--Pierre Laval is restored to power by Marshal Henri-Philippe Pétain.
BURMA--Japanese continue to press northward and are bypassing Burma 1st Div.
U.K.--Gen Eaker establishes hq of U.S. Bomber Command at High Wycombe. U.S. Eighth Air Force, which was originally to have supported GYMNAST, is now committed to U.K. instead.
VISAYAN IS.--Gen Wainwright places Gen Sharp in command of Visayan garrisons and orders him to reorganize Visayan-Mindanao Force for stand on Mindanao. Cebu I. is thus conceded to be lost. Japanese force of 4,160 invades Panay at dawn, most going ashore at Iloilo and the rest at Capiz. Landings are unopposed by Col Albert F. Christie's Panay Force of about 7,000 which retires to mountains to wage guerrilla warfare.
MALTA--Awarded the George Cross in recognition of its heroism under attack.
U.S.--Adm William D. Leahy, U.S. Ambassador to France, is recalled to Washington for consultation.
BURMA--On Irrawaddy front, Japanese block road N and S of Pin Chaung near Yenangyaung. Ch 38th Div leaves Kyaukpadaung at night to relieve isolated Burma 1st Div. To S, Ind 17th Div sends out strong columns from Natmauk and Taungdwingyi to ease pressure on Burma 1st Div, but Japanese are not diverted. On Sittang front, Ch 22d Div, ordered to delay for 2 weeks in preparation for trapping enemy at Pyinmana, is in Lewe area, but because of reverses suffered by Burma I
Corps, Gen Stilwell is forced to abandon plans for stand at Pyinmana. Japanese continue pressure against Ch T-55th Div in Bawlake-Mawchi area.
PACIFIC--Gen MacArthur assumes supreme command of SWPA, USAFFE becoming inactive. Gen Sir Thomas Blarney, CinC Australian Military Forces, is to command Allied Land Forces; Gen Brett is to head Allied Air Forces; Adm Leary, previously in command of ANZAC Force, is to command Allied Naval Forces. USAFIA, under Gen Barnes, has about the same supply and administrative functions. USAFIP, under Gen Wainwright, remains in the new command structure until its dissolution on 6 May.
VISAYAN IS.--Japanese make another unopposed landing on Panay, at San Jose.
JAPAN--Tokyo undergoes its first air attack of the war. 16 B-25's of 17th Bombardment Gp, U.S. Eighth Air Force, led by Lt Col James H. Doolittle, take off from USS Hornet, standing with naval TF under Adm Halsey some 800 miles from Tokyo, in morning and at 1215 begin strikes on Japanese homeland, hitting Tokyo, Kobe, Yokohama, and Nagoya with good effect. Search and fighter support are provided by planes of USS Enterprise. After the attack, all bombers head for China where they were to have come under control of Gen Stilwell, but because of poor weather conditions and the late hour, all crash-land or are abandoned by crews. One lands near Vladivostok and its crew is interned; 2 land in enemy territory and their crews are imprisoned, some of the flyers being executed on 15 October 1942. Adm Halsey's naval TF (the 2 carriers plus 4 cruisers, 8 DD's, and 2 oilers) withdraw safely. This is the first occasion on which medium land bombers are moved by carriers and launched off enemy shores.
BURMA--In Yenangyaung area, Burma 1st Div drives to outskirts of Twingon; Ch 38th Div clears portion of Pin Chaung. On Sittang front, Ch 22d Div is relieved by Ch 96th and withdraws N of Pyinmana. Ch 200th Div is ordered to Meiktila but does not move. Ch T-55th Div collapses under enemy attacks S of Loikaw, and communications between it and Ch 6th Army cease. Road to Lashio is thus uncovered. Elements of 93d Div, which were to have assisted T-55th, do not reach the T-55th in time to be of help.
SWPA--Gen MacArthur appoints staff of GHQ SWPA. Among members are Maj Gen Richard K. Sutherland, Chief of Staff; Gen Richard Marshall, Deputy Chief of Staff; Col Charles P. Stivers, G-1; Col Charles A. Willoghby, G-2; Brig Gen Stephen J. Chamberlain, G-3; and Col Lester G-4.
VISAYAN IS.--Japanese claim all of Cebu I.
BURMA--113th Regt, Ch 38th Div, drives into Yenangyaung and finds Japanese firmly established there; clears 3 of 5 enemy strongpoints. Burma 1st Div continues efforts to advance in Twingon area until ordered to withdraw northward, then escapes with heavy losses in men and equipment. Threat to Burma Road is increased as Japanese columns converge a few miles S of Loikaw.
VISAYAN IS.--Japanese conquest of Visayan Is. is virtually completed. Cebu and Panay are in enemy hands, although guerrillas continue to hold out in mountain areas. Small garrisons in hills of Negros, Samar, Leyte, and Bohol are too weak to interfere with enemy plans.
BURMA--Ch 38th Div troops withdraw northward from Yenangyaung toward Gwegyo and cover retreat of Burma 1st Div toward Mt Popa area. In Sittang Valley, Ch 5th Army troops fall back northward from Pyinmana. Japanese continue active in vicinity of Loikaw. Taunggyi-Meiktila road is left undefended as Chinese withdraw toward Hopong, closely followed by Japanese. 2 bns of Ch 93d Div reach Loikaw area but return at once to Kengtung. Ch 49th Div is ordered to move W.
BURMA--Japanese overtake Ch 6th Army at Hopong. Ch 49th Div is moving quickly W as ordered, and elements are committed in Mong Pawn-Loilem region.
BURMA--Gen Stilwell orders Ch 200th Div to move from Meiktila to Taunggyi to counter enemy moves in Loikaw-Loilem area. Ch 28th Div, 66th Army, concentrated in Mandalay area, is directed to move to Loilem via Hsipaw but does not do so. Ch 96th Div continues delaying action in Sittang Valley, while Ind 17th Div, 7th Armd Brig, and Ch 22d Div take up positions around Meiktila and Thazi.
BURMA--Ch 200th Div, reinf, of 5th Army engages enemy W of Taunggyi. Japanese seize Loilem. Ch 6th Army retires into China.
U.K.--Germans begin series of retaliation air attacks on cathedral cities, the first occurring night 23-24 against Exeter.
BURMA--Gen Alexander orders withdrawal to N bank of Irrawaddy from line Meiktila-Kyaukpadaung to start after nightfall. Ch 22d Div withdraws from Pyawbwe and is being encircled in Meiktila area by Japanese. Ch 5th Army force (200th Div and 1st and 2d Regts of T-55th) clears enemy from Taunggyi but is unable to halt drive toward Lashio. Gen Stilwell confers with Br and Ch commanders concerning defense of Lashio.
FANNING I.--U.S. detachment arrives.
MINDANAO--Japanese detachment from Cebu sails for Mindanao. Enemy forces already on Mindanao are exerting pressure against Digos defense force--101st FA (PA), less bn, and 2d Bn of 102d (PA).
BURMA--Gen Alexander decides to concentrate on defense of India rather than that of Burma.
U.S.--U.S. Army Air Services is formed under Maj Gen Rush B. Lincoln to take responsibility for air service from USAFIA.
CHINA--Gen Stilwell presents "Proposal to Organize and Train a Chinese Force in India" to Chiang Kai-shek and gains his approval in principle.
MINDANAO--Japanese are particularly aggressive against Digos defense force.
BURMA--Ch 28th Div, 66th Army, is ordered to Lashio from Mandalay, since Lashio is in great danger.
S. PACIFIC--Adm King establishes South Pacific Amphibious Force (primarily 1st Mar Div).
P.I.--On Mindanao, Japanese begin offensive to clear the island. Force of 4,852 men from Cebu lands on W coast at Cotabato and Parang and takes both towns despite opposition of 2d Bn of 104th Inf, 101st Div (PA), at Cotabato and of 2d Inf of 1st Div (PA) at Parang; 3d Bn of 102d Inf is unable to prevent elements of the Parang force from establishing contact with the Cotabato force. Enemy detachment already on Mindanao, having been relieved at Davao, turns NW toward Sayre Highway, which extends from Kabacan on S to Bugo on N. The E and the W assault forces both have air support. Preinvasion air and arty bombardment of Corregidor becomes intense.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese order landing at Port Moresby.
BURMA--Japanese overrun Lashio, terminus of Burma Road, the only land route to China, just as leading elements of Ch 29th Div, 66th Army, arrive there. Blockade of China is thus completed. Ch 200th Div reaches Loilem; subsequently withdraws from this area to China. Gen Alexander decides to make a stand on line Kalewa-Katha-Bhamo-Hsenwi and orders withdrawal to this line to begin on 2 May.
MIDDLE EAST--Gen Auchinleck issues operation instructions to commanders of Br Ninth and Tenth Armies for action in the event of enemy attack through Anatolia.
MINDANAO--From Cotabato, Japanese move E toward Sayre Highway via Route 1 and Mindanao R and reach Piket, about 8 miles from objective. Philippine forces from Cotabato move N and guard trails leading N from Route 1. The Parang detachment of Japanese, having left holding force there and moved NW during night 29-30 by boat, lands S of Malabang and at dawn attacks 61st Inf (PA), disposed along Mataling R, forcing it to withdraw 4 miles northward. Action in E Mindanao is limited and indecisive.
BURMA--Japanese complete conquest of central Burma. Br Imperial forces withdraw across the Irrawaddy over Ava bridge, which is destroyed at midnight. Ch 22d Div, after covering withdrawal, pulls back from Mandalay. Japanese follow withdrawal closely and begin action against Monywa, crossing river on night 30 April-1 May. Allied commanders agree that Ch 5th Army plus 38th Div will move from Katha to Imphal, India, if line Kalewa-Katha-Bhamo-Hsenwi cannot be held.
P.I.--On Mindanao, Japanese force driving N along Route 1 gains control of that highway as far N as Lake Lanao and virtually eliminates 61st Inf (PA). Other forces continue E unopposed toward Sayre Highway at Kabacan. Fighting in E Mindanao continues indecisive. Japanese planes and arty begin final phase of preinvasion bombardment of Corregidor.
BURMA--Japanese overrun Monywa.
INDIA--Air Service Command of Tenth Air Force is activated under Brig Gen Elmer E. Adler, with hq at New Delhi.
U.S.--Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, in letter to Gen Greely, terminates U.S. Mission to USSR since Soviet Government has refused it diplomatic clearance as a whole.
MIDWAY--Adm Nimitz visits Midway to inspect defenses.
MINDANAO--73d Inf (PA), reinf with stragglers of defeated 61st, attempts to stall enemy advancing N along Route 1. Unable to hold at SW corner of Lake Lanao, 73d withdraws N, establishes line from lake Lanao across Route 1, and delays enemy briefly. Japanese detachment from Cotabato continues E toward Kabacan. Brig Gen Joseph P. Vachon, CG of Cotabato-Davao defense sector, places all available forces at Kabacan. Digos defense force, ordered to withdraw to Kabacan, starts movement during night 2-3. Cagayan defense sector is alerted as enemy convoy heading toward Macajalar Bay is sighted.
SOLOMON IS.--After enemy invasion force is detected approaching Tulagi I., off S coast of Florida I., in S Solomons, small RAAF garrison destroys installations and withdraws to New Hebrides.
BURMA--Elements of Burma I Corps (63d, 13th, and 1st Brigs) attack into Monywa while transport moves about the town toward Ye-U. Action is then broken off and Burma 1st and 2d Brigs withdraw independently while rest of Burma Army falls back toward Shwegyin.
N ATLANTIC--HMS Edinburgh (cruiser) is sunk during enemy attacks on homeward-bound convoy from USSR.
P.I.--Japanese amphibious force from Panay goes ashore on Mindanao about 0100 at Cagayan and Tagoloan R mouth, in Macajalar Bay, and presses S along Sayre Highway. Troops of Cagayan defense sector (PA 102d Div, formed from 61st and 81st FA and 103d Inf) oppose landing but are unable to halt enemy. In a desperate effort to hold Sayre Highway, reserves--2.95-inch gun detachment and 62d and 93d Regts (PA)--are committed, but these, too, fall back under pressure. During night 3-4, Gen Sharp orders general withdrawal. Meanwhile, other Japanese forces gain control of road to N shore, routing 73d Inf, which withdraws into hills N of Lake Lanao. Still other enemy forces arrive at Kabacan after Digos force has made good its escape, but are halted there. Preinvasion air and arty bombardment of Corregidor continues without let up. U.S. submarine succeeds in withdrawing 25 persons from the island.
SOLOMON IS.--Small Japanese force invades Tulagi, which is soon converted into a seaplane base. Learning of this, Rear Adm Frank J. Fletcher, commanding naval force cruising the Coral Sea, heads for Tulagi in carrier Yorktown.
P.I.--Filipinos complete withdrawal to new defense line on Mindanao and begin organizing it. 102d Div, reorganized to include the 2.95-inch gun detachment, 62d Inf, 81st FA, and 2 PS cos of 43d Inf, is stationed in Dalirig sector and 61st FA and 93d Inf in Puntian sector. 103d Inf, isolated from rest of force, is to defend Cagayan R Valley. Japanese planes are active, but front is otherwise quiet. Japanese air and arty bombardment of Corregidor reaches peak of intensity.
SOLOMON IS.--Carrier planes from the Yorktown attack Tulagi harbor early in morning, opening series of Coral Sea actions. A number of enemy vessels are sunk or damaged before the Yorktown withdraws toward rest of Coral Sea naval force.
NEW BRITAIN--Japanese transports leave Rabaul for Port Moresby, New Guinea.
BURMA--Br Imperial forces evacuate Akyab, on Bay of Bengal. AVG abandons Loiwing for Kunming, China. Japanese occupy Bhamo and defeat Ch 29th Div at Wanting. Chiang Kai-shek orders Ch 5th Army to Myitkyina.
MADAGASCAR--Br naval and military forces under Rear Adm Syffret and Maj Gen Sturges land on N Madagascar at Courier Bay against little opposition from Vichy French.
U.S.--Lt Gen Carl Spaatz is appointed commander of Eighth Air Force, replacing Gen Duncan.
CORAL SEA--Yorktown rejoins Lexington and the combined naval force (the 2 carriers plus 7 CA's, 1 CL, 13 DD's, 2 oilers, and a seaplane tender) moves NW searching for enemy.
P.I.--After final day of intense bombardment, Japanese invade Corregidor, landing at North Pt during night 5-6. On Mindanao, Filipinos continue to organize defense line.
JAPAN--Imperial General Headquarters directs Combined Fleet to assist Army invasion of Midway and the Aleutians.
BURMA--Gen Stilwell, withdrawing toward Myitkyina, learns at Indaw that railway is blocked and enemy are in Bhamo, so decides to take his party W instead to India.
CORAL SEA--Continuing search for enemy vessels, Adm Fletcher's TF moves toward Louisiade Archipelago, leaving DD Sims and tanker Neosho behind at fueling point.
P.I.--Gen Wainwright surrenders all forces in the Philippines to Japanese unconditionally. Surrender negotiations are begun at 1030 and continued until midnight, when surrender document is signed. On Corregidor, Japanese seize Malinta Tunnel and land additional troops. Garrison of 11,000 surrenders. On Mindanao, Japanese resume attack, moving into Tankulan and pushing on toward Dalirig, which comes under arty fire.
BURMA--Ch 200th Div plus elements of T-55th, still at Taunggyi, are ordered to Myitkyina and eventually make their way to China.
LIBERIA--Initial detachment of U.S. forces arrives in Liberia.
MADAGASCAR--British hold northern ports of Diego Suarez and Antsirene.
CORAL SEA--Japanese carrier planes discover and sink DD Sims and tanker Neosho. Aircraft from Lexington and Yorktown encounter Japanese carrier Shoho off Misima I. and sink it as well as an escorting CL.
P.I.--From Manila, Gen Wainwright broadcasts terms of surrender to forces still holding out in the Philippines. On Mindanao, Japanese break off ground action but continue to employ air and arty.
MALTA--Spitfire reinforcements are being flown in from carriers Wasp and Eagle.
SWPA--Gen MacArthur recommends that an offensive be undertaken against Japanese but desires naval, air, and ground forces strengthened first.
BATTLE OF CORAL SEA--Main action occurs as Adm Fletcher's naval force encounters enemy force of 2 carriers, 4 CA's, and several DD's, main support force of a Port Moresby invasion group. In the first major naval engagement conducted entirely by carrier aircraft, Japanese carrier Shokaku is badly damaged. Both the Yorktown and the Lexington are damaged; Lexington is abandoned and sunk after the action. Both sides lose heavily in aircraft, but U.S. loss of 66 planes is considerably less than that of enemy. As a result of Battle of Coral Sea, Japanese are turned back from Port Moresby, key point in New Guinea and of vital importance to security of Australia. Coral Sea battle also marks the end of Allied defensive and paves way for a defensive-offensive period.
P.I.--Gen Wainwright dispatches messages to key officers in the Philippines, urging them to surrender their forces. On Mindanao, Japanese renew attack in evening and continue it throughout night 8-9. Defeated 62d Inf is pursued toward Dalirig.
BURMA--Japanese occupy Myitkyina.
USSR--Germans begin series of limited offensives to straighten lines in preparation for main summer offensive toward oil fields of the Caucasus. 11th Army of Army Group South leads off in the Crimea, pushing toward Kerch.
MINDANAO--Japanese take Dalirig and rout defenders. Although forces defending Puntian sector are still intact, their position is untenable and Mindanao campaign is virtually over.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese Imperial General Headquarters orders invasion of Port Moresby suspended temporarily.
TONGA IS.--U.S. troop detachment arrives at Tongatabu.
GALAPAGOS IS.--U.S. troops arrive on the Galapagos Is., off W coast of South America.
P.I.--Gen Sharp directs Visayan-Mindanao Force to surrender. These, as well as small forces holding out on Luzon and Palawan, are reluctant to yield but do so gradually during period 10 May-9 June.
BURMA--Japanese attack Br covering force at Shwegyin.
CHINA--In retaliation for the Doolittle raid, Japanese launch strong drive in Chekiang Province.
MEDITERRANEAN--3 of 4 Br DD's attempting to halt enemy convoy are lost to Axis aircraft.
BURMA--Japanese force heading for Kengtung crosses the Salween.
USSR--While Germans continue Crimean offensive toward Kerch, Red Army opens 2-pronged attack toward Kharkov, thrusting SW across upper Donets on N and northward from Izyum salient on S. Attack at first goes well.
U.K.--First large detachment of U.S. Eighth Air Force arrives.
FIJI IS.--Americans relieve NZ forces of responsibility for Fiji Is. and prepare to reinforce positions there.
AUSTRALIA--Rear echelon of U.S. 41st Div arrives.
U.S.--Legislation establishing Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) is enacted.
AUSTRALIA--U.S. 32d Div arrives.
BURMA--Br Imperial forces withdrawing from Burma reach Tamu, Assam.
NEW GUINEA--Aus 14th Brig Gp and 700 attached Aus AA troops start to Port Moresby to bolster positions there.
INDIA--Gen Alexander moves hq from Burma to Imphal area of India. Gen Stilwell arrives in India.
LIBYA--Br Eighth Army has completed most of its preparations for offensive, but Rommel's forces are showing signs of forestalling it.
USSR--Germans announce capture of town and harbor of Kerch, in the Crimea. Red Army continues offensive toward Kharkov.
INDIA--First detachment of SOS troops--393d QM Bn (Port) and 159th Station Hospital--arrives at Karachi.
USSR--Battle of Kharkov opens as Germans counterattack from Izyum area and in region E of Kharkov, bringing Soviet offensive to a halt.
POA--U.S. Seventh Air Force is alerted for possible enemy attack on Midway or Hawaii.
BURMA--Chiang Kai-shek orders Ch 5th Army, which now consists largely of Ch 22d and 96th Divs, to take up positions between Myitkyina and Fort Hertz. Ch 22d Div survivors reach Ledo area in July and August. Ch 96th eventually makes its way to China via Fort Hertz.
MIDDLE EAST--Gen Auchinleck issues instructions to Commander, Br Tenth Army, on action to be taken should the enemy attack through Iran from the Caucasus.
U.K.--U.S. Eighth Air Force detachment hq under Gen Eaker takes control of all U.S. Army air organizations in British Isles.
POA--Reinforcements are being hastily moved to Midway and the Aleutians, since Japanese plan to invade the islands is by now known. In the Aleutians, work on secret air base on Umnak I. is being rushed to a conclusion. Rear Adm John S. McCain takes command as COMAIRSOPAC.
BURMA--With conquest of Burma completed, Japanese (56th, 18th, 33d, and 55th Divs of 15th Army) take up defensive positions.
INDIA--Burma I Corps is placed under command of 4 Corps as rear guard reaches India.
POA--Rear Adm Robert A. Theobald, as commander of TF 8, becomes responsible for all forces, U.S. Army and naval and Canadian, in Alaska area.
GERMANY--Adolf Hitler decides to postpone projected conquest of Malta, Operation HERCULES, until Egypt is conquered.
NEW GUINEA--21st Troop Carrier Sq begins movement of some 300 troops and supplies to Wau to reinforce weak Aus group, called Kanga Force, defending Bulolo Valley. Kanga Force consists largely of troops of New Guinea Volunteer Reserve (NGVR).
ALEUTIANS--U.S. fighter aircraft land safely on runway at new air base on Umnak I.
USSR--Continuing counteroffensive in Kharkov area, Germans isolate Red Army forces in Izyum salient W of the Donets.
INDIA--Ch 38th Div (-113th Regt, which acts as rear guard) reaches India.
HAWAII--Naval TF under Rear Adm Raymond A. Spruance, built around carriers Enterprise and Hornet, arrives at Pearl Harbor from S Pacific.
MIDWAY--USS Kittyhawk brings in additional air and ground reinforcements.
NEW GUINEA--Aus Kanga Force is strengthened by arrival of Aus 5th Independent Co by air.
LIBYA--Rommel prepares to resume offensive, moving armored forces around S flank of Br Eighth Army to positions SE of Bir Hacheim under cover of darkness. Br Eighth Army is now disposed with 13 Corps (50th Div; S African 1st and 2d Divs; 1st Army Tank Brig; 9th Brig of Ind 5th Div) on N and 30 Corps (1st and 7th Armd Divs; 201st Gds Brig; Ind 3d Motor Brig Gp; 29th Brig of Ind 5th Div; FF 1st Brig Gp) on S.
U.K.--Anglo-American air conference opens in London to consider allocation policy. Among those attending are Gen Arnold, Rear Adm John H. Towers, and British Chief of Air Staff Sir Charles Portal. 20-year Anglo-Soviet mutual aid agreement is signed in London.
HAWAII--Adm Fletcher's naval force, based on carrier Yorktown, arrives at Pearl Harbor from S Pacific.
MIDWAY--Japanese Vice Adm Chuichi Nagumo's Carrier Striking Force leaves Japan for Midway. Enemy transports depart from Saipan and covering cruisers and DD's from Guam for same objective.
NEW CALEDONIA--Americal Div, its name a contraction of words "America" and "New Caledonia," is activated under Gen Patch.
INDIA--USAFCBI SOS Base Section 1 is activated at Karachi; Base Section 2 (Calcutta) is authorized.
LIBYA--Axis forces open offensive against Gazala-Bir Hacheim line of Br Eighth Army at dawn, making main effort on S and staging demonstration on N. In 30 Corps sector, FF 1st Brig Gp holds detached strongpoint at Bir Hacheim against attack. German armored columns disposed SE of this village sweep northward toward El Adem and Acroma and are opposed by Ind 3d Motor Brig, a few miles E of Bir Hacheim, and 7th and 1st Armd Divs to N.
POA--Main body of Japanese naval force under command of Adm Isoroko Yamamoto leaves Japan for Midway. From Pearl Harbor, Adm Spruance's naval force also heads for Midway. U.S. troop detachment (500 from the Efate garrison) arrives at Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, where bomber strip is to be built to support invasion of the Solomons.
CHINA--Chinese withdraw from Kinhwa, Chekiang Province, under pressure.
BURMA--Japanese seize Kengtung.
LIBYA--Br Eighth Army defeats enemy efforts to break out to coast in rear of Gazala positions in order to gain supply line to forces NE of Bir Hacheim.
USSR--Battle of Kharkov ends as Germans complete reduction of Red Army salient W of the Donets in Kharkov area.
LIBYA--Upon breaching mine fields in center of Br Eighth Army's position, enemy starts passing vehicles through gaps despite Br fire. Rommel's main armored forces, temporarily on the defensive until a supply route can be opened to them, fall back southward under attack by armor of 30 Corps.
POA--Adm Fletcher's Yorktown force sails for Midway from Pearl Harbor. Japanese TF (2 transports, 2 carriers, 2 CA's, 3 DD's) leaves Japan for Aleutians, where it is to create a diversion for the invasion of Midway and land small forces on W Aleutians. Initial detachment of U.S. troops arrives at New Zealand.
INDIA--Ch 113th Regt, rear guard covering withdrawal of 38th Div and 5th Army from Burma, crosses the Chindwin.
LIBYA--Axis forces, in effort to consolidate bridgehead at gaps in mine fields, move W under attack by Br Eighth Army and RAF. Gen Ritchie decides to counterattack on night of 31st, but accedes to request of corps commander to postpone attack 24 hours. 1st Armd Brig, which has recently arrived in Libya, is used to bring other units up to strength.
GERMANY--RAF opens air offensive against Germany with attack of unprecedented scale against Cologne, night 30-31. Over 1,000 planes participate; more than 2,000 tons of bombs are dropped.
LIBYA--Axis forces begin assault on Sidi Muftah, detached strongpoint of 13 Corps, Br Eighth Army, and are engaged by 150th Brig of 50th Div, to whom armored assistance is rushed. Later, 13 Corps begins preliminary phase of general counterattack but makes little headway.
AUSTRALIA--Japanese midget submarines enter Sydney harbor and sink an Aus boat.
LIBYA--Continuing attack on Sidi Muftah, enemy wipes out 150th Brig of 50th Div and much of 1st Army Tank Brig assisting it. Lull ensues as
Br Eighth Army prepares for general counterattack and enemy strengthens his salient.
POA--Naval TF's of Adms Fletcher and Spruance rendezvous 350 miles NE of Midway. The combined force (3 carriers, 7 CA's, 1 CL, 13 DD's, and 25 submarines), under command of Adm Fletcher, moves to point about 200 miles N of Midway. Reconnoitering from the Aleutians, PBY discovers 2 enemy carriers about 400 miles S of Kiska.
USSR--German 11th Army of Army Group South begins 5-day arty preparation for assault on Sevastopol in the Crimea.
ALEUTIAN IS.--Japanese carrier-based aircraft bomb and strafe Fort Mears and Dutch Harbor, Unalaska I., in several waves.
MIDWAY--Battle of Midway opens when planes based there locate and attack elements of Japanese invasion force as it approaches.
MIDDLE EAST--22d Inf Brig Gp of Br East Africa Command sails for Madagascar to relieve Br forces.
ALEUTIAN IS.--Japanese planes from carriers again attack Dutch Harbor, Unalaska I., damaging fuel installations and a station ship. Attempts of PBY's, B-17's, and B-26's to locate and attack the carriers are largely ineffective because of poor visibility, and Japanese retire southward with light losses confined to aircraft. Subsequent efforts to find the enemy TF are futile.
MIDWAY--Japanese are decisively defeated in main Battle of Midway. Enemy carrier planes (about 80 bombers and 50 fighters) strike in force, damaging installations but leaving runways intact. Midway-based planes oppose the attack and take heavy toll of enemy planes, then, together with aircraft from the 3 U.S. carriers in the vicinity, attack enemy shipping. Japanese carriers Kaga, Akagi, and Soryu are hit. Kaga sinks at once; USS Nautilus sinks the damaged Soryu; Japanese scuttle the Akagi. Japanese carrier Hiryu scores damaging hits on USS Yorktown, which is abandoned and taken under tow. The Hiryu is in turn badly damaged by planes from Enterprise and Hornet and is scuttled at dawn of 5th. Plane losses are heavy on both sides.
LIBYA--Br Eighth Army opens counterattack with infantry after nightfall in effort to reduce enemy salient in center of line.
U.S.--Declares war on Bulgaria, Hungary, and Rumania.
MIDWAY--Despite poor visibility, U.S. planes pursue enemy force retreating from Midway and score damaging hits.
LIBYA--Br Eighth Army counterattack ends in failure. 13 Corps' 69th Brig (50th Div), supported by 32d Army Tank Brig, attacks enemy salient from N while 30 Corps, employing 9th and 10th Brigs (Ind 5th Div) and 22d Armd Brig 1st Armd Div), makes main effort from E toward Sidi Muftah but is halted short of objective. British lose 2 brigs of infantry and 4 regts of arty.
MIDWAY--USS Yorktown, still under tow, is hit by torpedoes from Japanese submarine as is USS Hammann (DD), which is alongside; both vessels sink. Despite these U.S. losses, Battle of Midway is a severe setback to the Japanese and costs them the initiative.
LIBYA--Heavy, indecisive fighting occurs as enemy begins concentrating armor in Knightsbridge area, threatening Tobruk, and at the same time intensifies action against the Bir Hacheim strongpoint.
POA--Brig Gen Howard C. Davison replaces Maj Gen Clarence L. Tinker, who was lost in Battle of Midway, as commander of Seventh Air Force.
ALEUTIAN IS.--Japanese invade western Aleutians, landing some 1,800 men on Attu and Kiska.
CHINA--Continuing drive in Chekiang Province, Japanese seize Chuhsien airfield and attack city itself.
USSR--After 5 days of heavy air and arty preparation, German Army Group South renews ground assault to clear the Crimea in preparation for main offensive on the rich Caucasus, moving against Sevastopol fortress. Local actions to improve positions in other sectors continue.
SWPA--As a result of the successful Midway action, Gen MacArthur proposes to Gen Marshall that a limited offensive to regain positions in Bismarck Archipelago be undertaken.
NEW GUINEA--Small party of Americans and Australians flies from Port Moresby to reconnoiter Milne Bay area for air base site. Such a base would strengthen defenses of Port Moresby.
LIBYA--Indecisive fighting continues in vicinity of Knightsbridge and Bir Hacheim. Free French,
stubbornly defending Bir Hacheim, are forced to yield some ground; their supply situation is critical.
U.K.--European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army (ETOUSA) is established under command of Gen Chaney, superseding U.S. Army Forces in British Isles (USAFBI).
INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS--U.S. and Great Britain agree to pool food and production resources.
P.I.--Japanese conquest of the Philippines is completed, although small, isolated detachments continue to hold out. Combined U.S. and Filipino force of 140,000 is now eliminated as a fighting force. USFIP ceases to exist.
LIBYA--Free French continue to hold out at Bir Hacheim against furious ground and air attacks. Efforts to relieve them are unsuccessful.
CHINA--Chinese withdraw from Chuhsien, Chekiang Province, after 4 days of hard fighting.
LIBYA--Gen Ritchie orders evacuation of the isolated Bir Hacheim position and FF 1st Brig, assisted by 7th Armd Div, withdraws during night 10-11.
USSR--German Army Group South continues assault on Sevastopol in the Crimea, making slow progress against Red Army strongpoints; opens limited offensive NE of Kharkov to improve positions.
INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS--U.S. and Great Britain make simultaneous announcements of mutual-aid agreement with Soviet Union. The agreement permits USSR to repay lend-lease debts in kind rather than in cash.
ALEUTIAN IS.--Upon discovering enemy on Kiska, Allied aircraft begin series of long-range, small-scale attacks on the island, striking as often as the difficult weather conditions permit, in an effort to weaken enemy by attrition. Attu is beyond range of aircraft.
CHINA--Advance Section 3, under SOS, is activated in China.
LIBYA--Exploiting capture of Bir Hacheim, Axis forces surge northward toward El Adem, which protects S approach to Tobruk.
SWPA--GHQ authorizes construction of air bases at head of Milne Bay, New Guinea.
RUMANIA--U.S. air combat from Africa begins with attack on Ploesti oil fields at dawn. Heavy bomber TF (coded HALPRO), under Col Harry A. Halverson and temporarily based in Egypt, makes the attack. On return trip, several of the B-24's are forced to land in Turkey and crews are interned.
LIBYA--Indecisive tank battles occur in vicinity of El Adem and Knightsbridge.
U.S.--Gen Marshall orders establishment of a U.S. Middle East organization, U.S. Army Forces in the Middle East (USAFIME), in order to unify Middle East missions. Iraq and Iran are to come within its geographical sphere. German submarine lands 4 enemy agents on beach at Amagansett, Long Island.
LIBYA--Axis armor decisively defeats armor of Br Eighth Army, forcing British from escarpment between El Adem and Knightsbridge. Br tank strength is dangerously depleted, and 13 Corps supply line is consequently in danger. Knightsbridge garrison (201st Gds Brig) is ordered to withdraw to Acroma.
NEW ZEALAND--First echelon of U.S. 1st Mar Div (5th Marines) arrives.
LIBYA--Gen Ritchie orders withdrawal of forward divs (S African 1st and Br 50th) of 13 Corps, since tank losses in El Adem area have left them precariously situated. S African 1st Div withdraws safely to Egyptian frontier, using coastal route. 50th Div retires SE through enemy territory. Enemy turns his attention to Acroma but can make little headway against firm opposition, although favored by superior tank strength.
LIBYA--29th Brig of Ind 5th Div (30 Corps) withstands 3 tank-supported attacks on El Adem with assistance of aircraft. Maj Gen Klopper, CG of S African 2d Div, is named commander of Tobruk fortress and instructed to defend it at all costs.
LIBYA--Gen Auchinleck authorizes Gen Ritchie to organize the garrison of Tobruk as he wishes. 4 inf brigs with supporting arty and tanks are disposed within Tobruk. Rest of Br Eighth Army is to act as mobile columns outside the fortress. Gen Klopper is authorized to withdraw the garrison if necessary. Acroma garrison holds out against enemy tank attacks. Other enemy tank columns drive on
Sidi Rezegh and feint toward El Adem. El Adem garrison withdraws after nightfall.
U.S.--German submarine lands 4 enemy agents on Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
MIDDLE EAST--Maj Gen Russell L. Maxwell accepts appointment as head of USAFIME.
LIBYA--Enemy gains control of coastal road to Bardia, completing isolation of Tobruk.
U.S.--Prime Minister Churchill arrives for series of Anglo-American conferences with President Roosevelt in Washington.
LIBYA--Axis forces drive to Gambut. This is a blow to the Tobruk garrison, since air support from forward landing grounds in Gambut area is now denied the garrison.
USSR--Germans report reduction, after 12 days of hard fighting, of northern part of Sevastopol fortifications except for one coastal fort.
U.K.--Gen Spaatz, in London, takes command of U.S. Eighth Air Force.
POA--Adm Ghormley takes command of South Pacific Area and South Pacific Force.
MIDDLE EAST--USAFIME is activated by order of Gen Maxwell, with hq in Cairo, Egypt, replacing U.S. North African Military Mission.
U.S.--President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill, in a closed session in Washington, decide upon a northwest African campaign.
POA--Maj Gen Willis H. Hale becomes commander of U.S. Seventh Air Force, although Navy has operational control of the force.
LIBYA--Axis forces, with strong arty and close air support, open assault on Tobruk and penetrate deeply into the fortress, destroying tanks and arty of Br garrison. Gen Klopper receives permission to break out but is unable to do so since his transport is cut off in harbor area. 30 Corps sends 7th Armd Div to relief of Tobruk garrison, but it fails to arrive in time to assist.
USSR--Germans reach N shore of Sevastopol harbor and continue assault on last coastal fort in N fortifications.
INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS--Arnold-Portal-Towers agreement, stemming from London conference of 26 May and subsequent discussions in Washington, is signed. This agreement, which concerns U.S. air commitments and provides strong air force for BOLERO, is approved by U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff on 25 June and by Combined Chiefs of Staff on 2 July.
LIBYA--Tobruk falls to enemy. Gen Ritchie decides to withdraw to Matruh, Egypt, and orders 13 Corps to delay enemy while 30 Corps begins organization of the Matruh position.
U.S.--Japanese submarine shells Fort Stevens military reservation in Oregon at mouth of Columbia R, doing no damage. The shelling is the first foreign attack on a continental military installation since the War of 1812 and the only one of World War II.
War Department orders all units and individuals under Gen Stilwell's command assigned under a permanent change of station to American Army Forces in "India, China, and Burma" rather than to Army Group, Washington, D.C. This is the first step in the evolution of a U.S. theater of operations on the Asiatic mainland.
SWPA--Maj Gen Robert L. Eichelberger is named commander of U.S. I Corps, replacing Maj Gen Charles F. Thompson. I Corps eventually comes under operational command of Gen Blarney, Commander Allied Land Forces. Gen MacArthur authorizes small airfield at Merauke, on S coast of Dutch New Guinea, to protect Port Moresby from the W. Initial force to garrison Milne Bay, New Guinea, 2 cos and an MG platoon on loan from Aus 14th Brig at Port Moresby, sails from Port Moresby.
INDIA--First CO of USAFCBI SOS Base Section 2 assumes his duties at Calcutta.
EGYPT-LIBYA--Br Eighth Army begins withdrawal to Matruh without interference as enemy reorganizes. Small enemy force moves into Bardia. Gen Auchinleck visits Eighth Army hq,
USSR--German Army Group South begins limited attack in Izyum area to improve positions E of the Donets; continues battle for Sevastopol. Fall of the last of the northern coastal forts at Sevastopol is announced.
CBI--Gen Brereton is ordered to Middle East with all available bombers because of crisis there. Flight of 24 B-17's intended for China is diverted at Khartoum, Egypt, for the same reason.
MIDDLE EAST--U.S. Military Mission is redesignated Iran-Iraq Service Command under Hq, USAFIME, effective 24 June. Col Shingler, with hq at Basra, heads the new command.
LIBYA--Enemy continues preparations for drive into Egypt; forward elements are engaged by 7th Armd Div of 13 Corps, Br Eighth Army, near Sollum.
EGYPT-LIBYA--Rommel begins drive into Egypt, pushing rapidly NE and E against ineffective rear guard resistance to vicinity of Sidi Barrani. 10 Corps hq, which has recently arrived in Egypt from Syria, takes command at Matruh, releasing 30 Corps, which moves E to El 'Alamein to organize defenses. 10 and 13 Corps constitute mobile elements of Br Eighth Army.
USSR--German Army Group South attains its objective in Izyum area, Oskol R line; continues to make progress in battle for Sevastopol.
U.K.--Maj Gen Dwight D. Eisenhower assumes command of ETOUSA.
POA--Adm King presents his views on projected offensive to Gen Marshall.
NEW GUINEA--Gen Basil M. Morris forms new unit, called Maroubra Force, to hold Kokoda Trail over Owen Stanley Range between Port Moresby and Buna. Maroubra Force consists of Aus 39th Bn, less one co, of Aus 30th Brig and a Papuan bn of 300. Allied garrison arrives at Milne Bay.
EGYPT-LIBYA--Axis forces continue rapidly toward Matruh despite air attacks. Gen Auchinleck takes personal command of Br Eighth Army, relieving Gen Ritchie; after reviewing situation, decides to continue withdrawal from Matruh to El 'Alamein.
NEW GUINEA--Elements of Maroubra Force (Co B of Aus 39th Bn) are ordered to Kokoda.
CBI--Gen Brereton leaves for Middle East and is succeeded as commander of U.S. Tenth Air Force by Brig Gen Earl L. Naiden.
EGYPT--Enemy armor breaches mine field of Br Eighth Army S of Matruh.
U.S.--By this date the 8 enemy agents that landed on Long Island and in Florida have been arrested. They have caused no damage. All are subsequently court martialed and six are executed.
SWPA--Gen MacArthur completes plan, TULSA I, for offensive to secure New Britain-New Ireland-Admiralty Is. area.
EGYPT--10 and 13 Corps of Br Eighth Army are forced to withdraw eastward toward El 'Alamein when enemy infiltrates between them and partially envelops former in Matruh area.
MIDDLE EAST--U.S. Army Middle East Air Force is established in Middle East under command of Lt Gen Lewis H. Brereton. It at first consists of Halverson Detachment (HALPRO) and 9 B-17's.
EGYPT--Enemy overruns 29th Brig of Ind 5th Div as it attempts to cover withdrawal of 10 Corps in Fuka area. 10 Corps retires southward to El 'Alamein.
USSR--Germans launch main summer offensive. On N flank of Army Group South enemy pushes eastward toward the Don from Kursk. Battle for Sevastopol continues, with Soviet forces losing ground steadily.
U.S.--Adm King proposes to Joint Chiefs of Staff that Adm Ghormley command offensive to seize lower Solomons and that Gen MacArthur control moves against New Guinea and New Britain. This is a compromise on the question of whether the planned offensive in the Pacific shall be controlled by the Navy or by the Army.
NEW GUINEA--Co E of U.S. 46th Engrs arrives at Milne Bay to begin work on base.
CHINA--Chiang Kai-shek, meeting with Gen Stilwell, makes 3 demands "essential for the maintenance of the China Theater of War": 3 U.S. divs, 500-plane air force in China, monthly transportation by air of 5,000 tons of supplies into China.
EGYPT--Axis forces speed eastward to within 15 miles of El 'Alamein despite action of 13 Corps, Br Eighth Army.
U.S.--Hq Co of U.S. Army Forces in the South Pacific Area (USAFISPA) is organized at Fort Ord, California.
NEW GUINEA--Aus Kanga Force, guarding Bulolo Valley, conducts its first offensive action, a raid on Salamaua. This is followed a few days later by a raid on Lae.
EGYPT--Upon completing withdrawal to prepared positions at El 'Alamein, Br 30 Corps takes responsibility for N flank and 13 Corps for S flank. 10 Corps staff is withdrawn to command Delta Force, which is to defend Alexandria and the Nile Delta.
USSR--Germans broaden offensive toward the Don in Army Group South sector. While 2d Army and 4th Pz Army continue toward the river at Voronezh, 6th Army begins drive to E in region SE of Belgorod. In the Crimea, battle for Sevastopol is in
its final stage. On N front, German Army Group North eliminates last of Soviet pocket W of Volkhov.
PACIFIC--TULSA II, a modified version of TULSA I, is drawn up as planning for offensive continues. 2d Marines, reinf, 2d Mar Div, sails from California in 5 ships escorted by carrier Wasp.
MADAGASCAR--Lt Gen Sir William Platt, CinC East African Command, takes responsibility for occupied portion of Madagascar.
EGYPT--Enemy forces make their deepest penetration into Egypt with capture of fortified position of Deir el Shein, S of the El 'Alamein fortress. Ind 18th Brig Gp, which has recently arrived from Iraq, is overrun in this action.
USSR--German Army Group South completes reduction of Sevastopol fortress in the Crimea and, to the N, continues toward the Don.
U.S.--Joint Chiefs of Staff issue directive prescribing occupation of New Britain-New Ireland-New Guinea area. Offensive is to be conducted in 3 phases, during which the following are to be secured and occupied: (1) lower Solomons (Santa Cruz Is., Tulagi, and adjacent positions) (Task One); (2) rest of Solomons and NE coast of New Guinea (Task Two); (3) Rabaul, New Britain, and adjacent positions in New Guinea-New Ireland area (Task Three). Target date is set as 1 August but subsequently postponed to 7 August. Navy is to command first phase and Army the second and third. Boundary between SWPA and S Pacific is to be altered to place lower Solomons within S Pacific zone.
AUSTRALIA--Aus 7th Brig is directed to move to Milne Bay, New Guinea.
CBI--Chiang Kai-shek names Gen Stilwell CinC of Chinese Army in India, but Stilwell's power over the troops is restricted.
MAYOTTE I.--Br and E African troops land on island, at N end of Mozambique Channel, and secure it for seaplane base.
EGYPT--Br Eighth Army wrests initiative from Rommel as 13 Corps, on S flank, counterattacks northward in rear of enemy. With close air support, 13 Corps maintains pressure on enemy throughout month, gaining some ground and easing pressure against N and central sectors. Enemy makes repeated efforts to break through but is unable to do so; gradually extends positions S and E of 13 Corps to Qattara Depression.
U.S.--Gen Marshall authorizes creation of a mobile air force for SWPA and another for POA. Preparations for offensive in the Pacific continue at a rapid pace.
CBI--AVG is inducted into Tenth Air Force as its contract with China terminates.
EGYPT--30 Corps, Br Eighth Army, is strengthened by arrival of Aus 9th Div, which is concentrating in vicinity of El 'Alamein fortress. 13 Corps continues to attack on S flank, making slow progress.
WESTERN EUROPE--U.S. air operations against Europe are initiated. 6 U.S. aircraft manned by U.S. crews participate in RAF attack on airdromes in Holland.
USSR--Organized Soviet resistance in the Crimea ends. To N, German 4th Pz Army has reached the Don at Voronezh, where Red Army is resisting strongly. Army Group Center is improving positions N of Smolensk in local actions.
CBI--Gen Stilwell issues letter of instructions setting up command structure of a theater in CBI, with "Headquarters, American Army Forces, China, Burma, and India" at Chungking and branch office at New Delhi. A few days later another branch office is established at Kunming. China Air Task Force (CATF) is activated.
USSR--Voronezh falls to German Army Group South after it has been evacuated by Red Army forces.
POA--Carrier Saratoga, followed by carrier Enterprise, each with supporting ships, sails from Pearl Harbor for S Pacific. Elements of the Enterprise support force leave main force at sea and proceed to New Caledonia to embark 1st Raider Bn.
AUSTRALIA--Adm Ghormley arrives in Australia and confers with Gen MacArthur on coming offensive.
NEW GUINEA--Co B, Aus 39th Bn, leaves Port Moresby for Kokoda, traveling on foot along tortuous trail over Owen Stanley Range.
USSR--German 6th Army effects junction with 4th Pz Army NE of Valuiki.
PACIFIC--Gen MacArthur and Adm Ghormley recommend that offensive be postponed until SW
and S Pacific forces can be strengthened. Adm Nimitz issues his final plan of attack, ordering S Pacific Force to seize Santa Cruz Is. and Tulagi-Guadalcanal area in the Solomons.
CBI--Gen Chennault takes command of CATF.
USSR--Russians announce evacuation of St Oskol, SE of Kursk.
SWPA--Aus 7th Brig commander and advance elements of the brig leave Townsville, Australia, for Milne Bay, New Guinea.
USSR--German Army Group South is divided into 2 groups. Army Group A, on S consists of 1st Pz, 17th, and 11th Armies. Army Group B comprises 2d, Hungarian 2d, 4th Pz, and 6th Armies. Group A is to seize Rostov, where major Soviet forces are believed concentrated, then continue S through the Caucasus. Group B is to drive along the Don to Stalingrad, thence along the Volga to Astrakhan.
U.S.--In response to recommendation of Gen MacArthur and Adm Ghormley on 8 July, Joint Chiefs of Staff rule that offensive must be conducted as planned.
NEW GUINEA--Small Allied party flies from Port Moresby to Buna area to reconnoiter for airfield site.
EGYPT--In limited offensive, 30 Corps of Br Eighth Army seizes Tel el Eisa mounds, W of El 'Alamein. Enemy makes a number of unsuccessful attempts to reduce this salient.
USSR--While Army Group B's 4th Pz and 6th Armies drive along the Don toward Stalingrad, 1st Pz and 17th Armies of Army Group A drive on Rostov. Russians admit loss of Rossosh.
USSR--Continuing drive on Rostov, Army Group A overruns Lisichensk, on the Donets.
AUSTRALIA--U.S. 41st Div, which has been training near Melbourne, starts to Rockhampton.
NEW GUINEA--Co B, Aus 39th Bn, advancing overland from Port Moresby, reaches Kokoda.
PACIFIC--Operation Plan TULSA-II A is drawn up. U.S. 32d Div begins movement from Adelaide to camp near Brisbane, Australia. Maj Gen George C. Kenney, CG of Fourth Air Force, is directed to take command of Allied Air Forces, replacing Gen Brett.
PACIFIC--Maj Gen Millard F. Harmon is named commander of U.S. Army Forces in South Pacific Area (COMGENSOPAC). In preparation for invasion of the Solomons, ships from SWPA (TF 44) leave Brisbane, Australia, for New Zealand, where all except 1 CA, which becomes part of Air Support Force, are assigned to Solomons Amphibious Force. TF 42 (submarines) is to interdict enemy shipping in Rabaul area. Adm Ghormley alerts 7th Marines, 1st Mar Div, on Samoa to be prepared to sail for the Solomons on 4 days' notice.
EGYPT--Br Eighth Army makes limited attack along and to S of Ruweisat Ridge and gains some ground.
USSR--German Army Groups B and A continue rapidly toward Stalingrad and Rostov, respectively. 4th Pz Army is assigned to Army Group A for operations S of Rostov.
SWPA--Plan is drawn up for Operation PROVIDENCE, occupation by Allied forces of Buna area on N coast of New Guinea.
CBI--India-China Ferry Command is activated.
EGYPT--In tank-supported counterattack, enemy recovers part of ground lost in Ruweisat Ridge area.
USSR--Russians admit loss of Boguchar and Millerovo. German Army Group A continues rapidly toward Rostov, 1st and 4th Pz Armies reaching Kamensk, on the Donets.
U.S.--Breaks off consular relations with Finland, effective 1 August 1942. Gen Harmon, with small forward echelon of USAFISPA, starts air journey from Washington to S Pacific.
PACIFIC--Adm Ghormley issues Operation Plan No. 1-42, covering Task One of projected offensive. TF's 61 and 63 are formed. TF 61, under Vice Adm Frank J. Fletcher, is the Solomons Expeditionary Force, which includes Air Support Force under Rear Adm Leigh Noyes and Amphibious Force commanded by Rear Adm Richmond K. Turner. TF 63, under Adm McCain, consists of all Allied land-based aircraft in S Pacific.
EGYPT--30 Corps of Br Eighth Army enlarges salient W of El 'Alamein with capture of ridge 3 miles W of railway station. 13 Corps exerts pressure against S flank of enemy.
SWPA--Movement order for Operation PROVIDENCE, occupation of Buna area, New Guinea, is issued. Serial One is to leave Port Moresby on 31 July. D Day is to be 10-12 August.
U.K.--Gen Marshall, Adm King, and Harry Hopkins arrive in England to urge that SLEDGEHAMMER be undertaken in 1942.
USSR--Continuing southward on broad front, Germans take Voroshilovgrad, coal and coke center of Donets basin, and to SE reach the Don at Tsimlyansk.
SWPA--From Rabaul, Japanese invasion force of about 1,800 men sails for Buna, New Guinea. Lugger arrives at Buna with supplies and MG's of Co B, Aus 39th Bn.
CBI--Gen Stilwell submits to Chiang Kai-shek a plan, dated 18th, calling for Allied co-operation in regaining Burma as a necessary preliminary to getting aid to China.
PACIFIC--USAFIA, largely a supply organization, is discontinued, and U.S. Army Services of Supply, Southwest Pacific Area (USASOS SWPA) is established under command of Gen Richard Marshall. GHQ SWPA moves forward in Australia from Melbourne to Brisbane to be nearer scene of offensive. Maj Gen Alexander A. Vandegrift, CG 1st Mar Div, issues tactical orders for invasion of Solomons.
CBI--Dr. Lauchlin Currie arrives in China to discuss U.S.-Chinese relations with Stilwell and the Chinese.
PACIFIC--Solomons Expeditionary Force (TF 61) is ordered to rendezvous SE of Fiji Is. on 26 July. Allied planes sight and attack enemy convoy approaching New Guinea, despite poor visibility, which prevents Japanese naval planes at Lae, however, from supporting enemy. After naval gunfire bombardment of Buna, Japanese begin landing near Gona, night 21-22, forestalling Allied Operation PROVIDENCE, which was to have secured the same general area. Japanese naval forces at Salamaua provide diversion by raiding Mubo and Komiatum, and enemy submarines become increasingly active.
EGYPT--Br Eighth Army opens attack against center of enemy's line late in day, employing infantry to clear mine fields for passage of armor.
PACIFIC--98th Sq of 11th Heavy Bombardment Gp lands in New Caledonia. Solomons Amphibious Force, with 1st Mar Div embarked, sails from Wellington, New Zealand. 3d Defense Bn, final reinforcing unit, begins voyage from Pearl Harbor to join 1st Mar Div.
NEW GUINEA--Allied planes continue to attack enemy shipping off N coast, setting fire to a transport. Upon landing, Japanese Navy units move to Buna and Army forces to Giruwa. Advance force pushes inland at once from Giruwa to reconnoiter trail to Port Moresby and reaches Soputa area. Gen MacArthur orders Gen Morris, commander of New Guinea Force, to reinforce Kokoda as quickly as possible.
EGYPT--Br Eighth Army continues attack, gaining some ground but failing to break through enemy line. 23d Armd Brig, which has recently arrived from England, passes through gaps made by infantry in mine fields but is unable to gain ground and loses many tanks. NZ 6th Brig and bn of Ind 161st Brig are virtually destroyed by enemy counterattacks.
USSR--German Army Group A opens all-out assault against Rostov.
U.K.--British refuse U.S. proposal to launch Operation SLEDGEHAMMER.
NEW CALEDONIA--42d Sq of 11th Heavy Bombardment Gp arrives.
NEW GUINEA--Continuing along Kokoda Trail, Japanese clash with Aus Maroubra Force near Awala, forcing Australians back toward Wairopi.
FIJI IS.--431st Sq of 11th Heavy Bombardment Gp arrives.
NEW GUINEA--Lt Col William T. Owen, CO Aus 39th Bn, flies to Kokoda, which is in imminent danger. Outnumbered Maroubra Force, fighting delaying action as it falls back toward Kokoda, crosses Kumusi R and destroys Wairopi bridge across it.
USSR--Rostov falls to German Army Group A.
U.S.--Combined Chiefs of Staff agree upon command setup for TORCH, as GYMNAST is renamed.
POA--Adm McCain issues orders for Solomons offensive to TF 63. 26th Sq of 11th Heavy Bombardment Gp arrives at Efate, New Hebrides.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese cross Kumusi R over improvised bridge and outflank Maroubra Force, which falls back to Oivi, 6 miles from Kokoda.
USSR--Germans claim capture of Novocherkassk, NE of Rostov.
POA--Gen Harmon takes tactical command of all U.S. Army forces in S Pacific and establishes provisional CP at Suva, Fiji Is. Solomons Expeditionary Force (TF 61), except for party bringing 3d Defense Bn across the Pacific, assembles SE of Fiji Is.
NEW GUINEA--New Guinea Force flies 30 men from Co D, Aus 39th Bn, to Kokoda; 15 of these are sent forward to Oivi. After Japanese surround Oivi position, small defense force at Kokoda (platoon of Co B and 15 men of Co D) abandons it for prepared positions at Deniki.
EGYPT--30 Corps, Br Eighth Army, launches attack on N flank after nightfall.
POA--S Pacific commanders of island bases are informed by COMSOPAC that Gen Harmon will be responsible for training Army ground and air personnel. TF 61 sails to Koro, Fiji Is., to rehearse for invasion of Solomons.
NEW GUINEA--Aus Oivi force, having broken through enemy during night 26-27, joins elements of Maroubra Force at Deniki. New Guinea Force, upon learning of evacuation of Kokoda, recalls 2 air transports bound for Kokoda with reinforcements and supplies.
EGYPT--30 Corps, Br Eighth Army, continues attack but is unable to make progress. 13 Corps, in support of 30, feints and patrols.
USSR--German Army Group B continues to clear Don bend near Stalingrad. 6th Army begins battle to reduce Soviet bridgehead across the Don at Kalach, W of Stalingrad.
PACIFIC--Gen Harmon arrives at New Caledonia. Gen Kenney, commander-designate of Allied Air Forces, arrives in Australia. Expeditionary Force (TF 61) begins rehearsal at Koro, Fiji Is., for invasion of Solomons. Adm Fletcher issues Operation Order No. 1-42 to TF 61.
JAPAN--Tokyo orders all-out offensive for E New Guinea, including amphibious assaults on Milne Bay and attack on Port Moresby by land and sea.
NEW GUINEA--Maroubra Force recaptures Kokoda in counterattack, but this position is in great danger as Japanese reinforcements move forward from beachhead.
CHINA--Japanese campaign in Chekiang Province, conducted in retaliation for Doolittle raid on Japan, ends.
POA--Gen Harmon shifts USAFISPA CP from Suva, Fiji Is., to Nouméa, New Caledonia.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese recapture Kokoda, again forcing defenders back to Deniki. Lull ensues as Japanese consolidate and strengthen positions. Allied planes frustrate efforts of 2 enemy transports to unload troops and supplies on N coast. One returns to Rabaul without unloading. The other is disabled and subsequently sinks; troops embarked reach Giruwa by small craft.
CBI--Gen Stilwell broadens plans for offensive with "Pacific Front" proposal calling for recapture of Burma by Allied forces from Yunnan and Manipur.
U.S.--Women's Reserve is established by law in Navy and called WAVES from expression "Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service."
POA--Adm Turner issues Operation Plan No. A3-42 to Solomons Amphibious Force.
NEW GUINEA--Co C of Aus 39th Bn completes march to Deniki.
NEI--Japanese invade Aru, Kei, and Tanimbar Is.
EGYPT--Gen Auchinleck decides to remain on the defensive until reinforcements arrive.
USSR--German Army Group A establishes bridgehead across Manych R SW of Proletarskaya; Army Group B continues reduction of Kalach bridgehead across the Don W of Stalingrad. On central front, Soviet forces begin attacks in Rzhev area.
POA--Adm Turner's Amphibious Force, covered by Adm Noyes' Air Support Force and Adm McCain's TF 63, begins voyage to the Solomons from Fiji Is. B-17's of TF 63, from New Hebrides bases, start 7 days of attacks on Guadalcanal and Tulagi in preparation for invasion.
NEW GUINEA--Additional elements (Co A of Aus 39th Bn) of Maroubra Force reach Deniki.
CHINA--Chiang Kai-shek formally approves Gen Stilwell's proposal of 18 July for offensive and modifies the 3 demands of 29 June.
EGYPT--Activity on both sides is confined to patrolling, arty exchanges, and preparations for renewing offensive.
USSR--German Army Group A, to which 1st Pz Army reverts, is fanning out S of Rostov and has cut Novorossisk-Stalingrad RR with capture of rail junction of Salsk; forward elements reach Kuban R. Heavy fighting continues in Don bend opposite Stalingrad as German Army Group B continues efforts to isolate Soviet forces. Red Army continues local attacks in Rzhev sector.
USSR--German Army Group A continues rapidly southward into Kuban area, where it is attempting to establish bridgehead, and overruns Voroshilovsk. Soviet forces continue to resist Army Group B in Don bend opposite Stalingrad and to attack Germans in Rzhev sector.
SWPA--Gen Kenney assumes command of Allied Air Forces, succeeding Gen Brett.
USSR--German Army Group A establishes bridgehead across the Kuban in Armavir-Nevinnomyssk area, threatening Maikop oil fields; claims capture of Kropotkin. Red Army units continue to fight losing battle inside Don bend near Stalingrad.
POA--Allied invasion force continues toward Solomons undetected.
NEW GUINEA--New Guinea Force takes command of all Aus and U.S. forces in Australian New Guinea (Papua and NE New Guinea).
CBI--Dr. Currie leaves China for Washington to present Gen Stilwell's "Pacific Front" plan and Chiang Kai-shek's modified demands to President Roosevelt and Combined Chiefs of Staff.
USSR--On Novorossisk-Stalingrad RR, Germans claim capture of Tikhoretsk and Russians admit loss of Kotelnikov: German Army Group A overruns Armavir, on Kuban R. Soviet resistance to Army Group B in Don bend near Stalingrad is growing weaker.
ALEUTIAN IS.--Kiska undergoes its first bombardment by surface forces. TF of cruisers and destroyers under Rear Adm W. W. Smith, part of Adm Theobald's North Pacific Force (TF 8), bombards shore installations with unobserved results. This action had been planned for 2d July but was postponed because of weather conditions.
SOLOMON IS.--After preparatory bombardment of landing areas, U.S. 1st Mar Div (-7th Marines), reinf, invades S Solomons with close air and naval support. Unloading operations are delayed by enemy air attacks during which USS Mugford (DD) is damaged.
At 0910, 5th Marines (-2d Bn) lands unopposed on N coast (Beach Red) of Guadalcanal about 6,000 yards E of Lunga Pt and establishes beachhead between Tenaru and Tenavatu Rivers. 1st Marines and supporting weapons follow 5th Marines ashore. 1st Bn of 5th Marines drives W along coast toward Lunga R; 1st Marines pushes SW toward Mt Austen. Advance halts for night after each of the assault forces has gained about a mile, 1st Bn of 5th Marines reaching mouth of Ilu R.
At 0740, 1st Bn of 2d Marines begins landing on S coast of Florida I., Co B near Haleta and rest at Halavo. The bn meets no opposition and is later withdrawn. At 0800, 1st Raider Bn, followed by 2d Bn of 5th Marines, lands on S coast (Beach Blue) of Tulagi without opposition. Marines clear NW end of island without difficulty, but Raiders meet bitter opposition from enemy in caves and dugouts on SE end in afternoon and are forced to halt some 1,000 yards from SE tip. Co G of 5th Marines helps hold this perimeter against enemy attacks.
At noon, 1st Para Bn invades twin islets of Gavutu and Tanambogo, which are joined by causeway, E of Tulagi; clears most of the 2 islets despite enemy fire. From Florida I., Co B of 2d Marines makes unsuccessful attempt to land on N coast.
NEW GUINEA--Activity is confined to patrol clashes. By this time all 5 rifle cos of Aus 39th Bn are at the front and Maroubra Force contains 480 men. Because of Solomons offensive, Japanese recall convoy heading for Buna from Rabaul.
EGYPT--Prime Minister Churchill visits Br Eighth Army front.
ALLIED COMMAND--President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill agree on Gen Eisenhower, CG ETO, as commander of TORCH.
SOLOMON IS.--Japanese planes continue to attack Allied shipping, destroying USS George F. Elliott (AP) and damaging USS Jarvis (DD). Jarvis heads for Nouméa but is never heard from again.
Abandoning thrust toward Mt Austen on Guadalcanal, 1st Mar Div advances W in 2 columns. 1st Bn of 5th Marines crosses Lunga R and secures coastal village of Kukum. To S, 1st Bn of 1st Marines takes airfield and reaches E bank of Lunga R. Both Kukum and the airfield are found to have been hastily evacuated.
On Tulagi, 1st Raider Bn and 5th Marines finish clearing the island by 1500.
On Gavutu-Tanambogo, 1st Para Bn, assisted by 3d Bn of 2d Marines from div reserve, completes capture of Gavutu-Tanambogo.
BATTLE OF SAVO I.--During night 8-9, Japanese naval force of cruisers and DD's attacks Allied warships off Savo I. and inflicts heavy damage before retiring to Rabaul. As a result of the action, HMAS Canberra and USS Astoria, Quincy, and Vincennes are lost and other vessels are damaged.
EGYPT--Gen Alexander flies to Cairo, where he learns that he is to relieve Gen Auchinleck as CinC MEF. Lt Gen W. H. E. Gott, CG of Br 13 Corps, who was to have been given command of Br Eighth Army, is killed in airplane accident.
USSR--Surovikino, W of Stalingrad, falls to German Army Group B.
SOLOMON IS.--Amphibious and Air Support Forces of TF 61 retire, former with more than half the 60 days' supplies and elements of landing force still embarked. Of the original landing force of over 19,000, almost 17,000 are now ashore. Guadalcanal beachhead is being consolidated and work is begun on uncompleted airstrip, where air warning system is established. During 8 and 9, 2d Marines completes northern attack with occupation of Mbangai, Makambo, and Kokomtambu islets.
NEW GUINEA--Maj Gen Sydney F. Rowell, CG Aus I Corps, is designated to command New Guinea Force.
USSR--Krasnodar and Maikop fall to German Army Group A.
NEW IRELAND--U.S. submarine sinks Japanese cruiser Kako off the island.
NEW GUINEA--Maroubra Force counterattacks toward Kokoda with 3 cos. One seizes Kokoda airfield, but the others are unable to advance.
EGYPT--Gen Alexander receives directive calling for destruction of Rommel's army in Egypt and Libya.
USSR--Soviet resistance in foothills of Caucasus range is increasing, but forward elements of German Army Group A reach Pyatigorsk.
U.S.--Adm Leahy makes the first of many suggestions that Burma Road be reopened.
NEW GUINEA--U.S. Advanced Base in New Guinea, a logistical agency, is established by USASOS with hq at Port Moresby, which is to become a large supply and communications center. Maroubra Force abandons Kokoda airfield, night 11-12, since it is untenable.
MEDITERRANEAN--Enemy U-boats heavily attack Malta-bound convoy and sink HMS Eagle (aircraft carrier).
MIDDLE EAST--Iran-Iraq Service Command is redesignated Persian Gulf Service Command (PGSC); remains directly under Hq USAFIME.
USSR--Threat to Stalingrad increases as German Army Group A eliminates Soviet bridgehead in Don bend near Kalach.
NEW HEBRIDES--Elements of original Guadalcanal invasion force (1,390 of 2d Marines) debark at Espiritu Santo.
GUADALCANAL--TF 63, under Adm McCain, is given responsibility for getting aviation supplies, ammunition, and ground crews from Espiritu Santo to Guadalcanal. First U.S. plane, a PBY, lands on airfield, called Henderson Field after Midway hero Maj Lofton Henderson. Patrol led by 1st Mar Div Intelligence Officer embarks at Kukum to make contact with enemy in Matanikau area; upon landing, night 12-13, is wiped out, except for 3 persons, by enemy.
EGYPT--Lt Gen Sir Bernard L. Montgomery, who is to head Br Eighth Army, arrives from U.K.
USSR--Prime Minister Churchill arrives in Moscow where, during a 4-day visit, he discusses the subject of a second front in Europe with Marshal Joseph Stalin. On central front, local Soviet attacks against Rzhev reach their climax without achieving a decisive victory. Elements of German Army Group A, driving toward the Kuban in region E of Sea of Azov, reach Slavyansk.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese convoy, with 3,000 construction troops embarked, reaches Basabua, a short distance from Gona. Japanese attack Maroubra Force at Deniki in strength, forcing it back beyond Isurava, 5 miles from Deniki. After this victory, which firmly secures Buna-Kokoda track, enemy pauses to consolidate.
JAPAN--Imperial General Headquarters orders 17th Army at Rabaul to take responsibility for ground operations on Guadalcanal.
MIDDLE EAST--Col Shingler becomes CO of Persian Gulf Service Command.
EGYPT--Gen Montgomery takes command of Br Eighth Army.
USSR--Germans claim capture of Elista, in Kalmyk district S of Stalingrad.
U.S.--Directive is sent to Gen Eisenhower as CinC TORCH.
GUADALCANAL--Marine rations are cut. First destroyer-transports arrive with supplies and aviation ground crews.
MIDDLE EAST--Gen Alexander takes command of MEF from Gen Auchinleck.
EGYPT--Gen Montgomery is rapidly reorganizing and strengthening Br Eighth Army, for which 10 Corps is to serve as reserve. Considering 'Alam el Halfa ridge, far in rear of El 'Alamein Line, of vital importance, 44th Div and 10th Armd Div (-9th Brig) are ordered to this area from Delta region, where they have been training. 132d Brig of 44th Div is attached to NZ 2d Div.
USSR--Germans report capture of Georgievsk.
EGYPT--Enemy installations on Egyptian front are bombed for first time by U.S. medium bombers in support of Br Eighth Army.
GILBERT IS.--Lt Col Evans F. Carlson's 2d Mar Raider Bn, consisting of 221 marines, moves by 2 submarines to Makin and begins 2-day raid on Butaritari I., during which scattered enemy forces are engaged and radio station is destroyed. Enemy planes attack the Raiders on both days. 30 marines are lost in the action.
GUADALCANAL--Adm Ghormley shifts responsibility for establishing line of communications to Guadalcanal from TF 63 to Adm Turner's TF 62. Henderson Field becomes operational. Japanese land reinforcements near Taivu Pt and in Kokumbona area, night 17-18.
USSR--German Army Group A establishes bridgeheads across Kuban R.
FRANCE--U.S. Eighth Air Force conducts first attack against Europe. Sq of B-24's, escorted by RAF Spitfires, bombs rail center at Rouen.
NEW GUINEA--Large Japanese detachment, embarked on 3 escorted transports, reaches Basabua undetected and goes ashore. Gen Rowell assumes command of New Guinea Force, replacing Gen Morris.
CBI--Maj Gen Clayton L. Bissell is given command of U.S. Tenth Air Force.
GUADALCANAL--5th Marines, in limited offensive, clears coastal villages of Matanikau and Kokumbona, then returns to Lunga Pt. Cos L and B attack Matanikau from E and S. Co I, moving forward by sea, clears Kakumbona. While patrolling to locate enemy radio station, Co A of 1st Marines encounters and virtually wipes out party of 34 Japanese--recently landed Army forces--near Taivu Pt.
NEW BRITAIN--Japanese reinforcements, about 1,500 in 4 transports screened by DD's, leave Rabaul for Guadalcanal.
NEW GUINEA--Leading elements of Aus 7th Div (21st Brig) arrive at Port Moresby, from which they start at once toward Isurava to bolster Maroubra Force.
EGYPT--Gen Alexander directs Gen Montgomery to hold current positions at El 'Alamein while preparing for offensive.
FRANCE--Canadian (Cdn) and Br troops, 5,000 strong, raid Dieppe for 9 hours, damaging military installations at great cost in casualties. 50 U.S. Rangers accompanied the expedition; of these, 6 were wounded and 7 were reported missing. Many German planes are destroyed by supporting Allied fighters.
U.S.--Twelfth Air Force is activated at Bolling Field, Washington, D.C.
NEW HEBRIDES--Advanced supply depots are established at Nouméa and Espiritu Santo.
GUADALCANAL--First planes (advance echelon of MAG 23, 1st Mar Air Wing) arrive for duty at Henderson Field. The group consists of VMF 223 (19 F4F-4's) and VMSB 232 (12 SBD-3's). Supply and evacuation between Guadalcanal and Espiritu Santo is begun by MAG 25. 1st Mar Div units along Ilu R exchange fire with enemy moving up from E, beginning in evening.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese order amphibious assault on Milne Bay by about 1,500 men from Kavieng, New Ireland, and from Buna.
USSR--German Army Group B makes slow progress toward Stalingrad against stubborn resistance
and gains foothold across the Don in Kletskaya area. In the Caucasus, Soviet rear guards continue strong delaying action.
GUADALCANAL--In predawn attack toward airfield, about 200 Japanese attempt to gain W bank of Ilu R; the few who succeed are killed or driven back by 2d Bn of 1st Marines. Japanese remaining E of the Ilu are surrounded and destroyed in concerted attacks by 2d and 1st Bns, 1st Marines. 1st Bn crosses river upstream and attacks enemy from rear while 2d, with light tank platoon spearheading, attacks at river mouth. Japanese sustain almost 800 casualties; 15 of the enemy are captured; 35 marines are killed and 75 wounded. Lunga garrison, already strengthened by raiders and parachutists, is further increased by 2d Bn of 5th Marines from Tulagi. Rations and aviation supplies in limited quantities are landed.
SWPA--Operation Plan TULSA II-B is drawn up as planning for offensive continues.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese convoy reaches Basabua and lands reinforcements, completing quota for overland drive on Port Moresby. Aus 18th Brig reaches Milne Bay, where it joins Aus 7th Brig, CMF, which reached there in July.
USSR--Elements of German Army Group A, clearing E coast of Black Sea, overrun Krymskaya.
BRAZIL--Angered by the recent sinking of 5 of her ships by enemy, Brazil declares war on Germany and Italy. United Nations shipping is thus able to make full use of the comparatively short S Atlantic route via Ascension I.
ALEUTIAN IS.--After consideration of the relative merits of Tanaga and Adak as an advanced air base from which to attack Kiska, Adak has been chosen. Directive for its occupation on 30 August is issued.
SOLOMON IS.--On Guadalcanal, first U.S. Army planes, 5 P-400's of 67th Fighter Sq, arrive for duty at Henderson Field, flying there from New Hebrides. Ships bringing supplies are thus afforded greater protection, but shipments remain small. CO and staff of 2d Marines arrive on Tulagi from New Hebrides.
NEW GUINEA--Maj Gen Cyril A. Clowes takes command of Milne Force, which by this time comprises 9,458 men (7,429 Australians, 1,365 Americans, 664 RAAF). The U.S. component consists largely of engineers and AA personnel. Japanese Maj Gen Tomitaro Horii leaves for the front to take personal charge of operations. His forces now total over 11,000 men.
USSR--German Army Group B presses in steadily on Stalingrad, spearhead reaching the Volga; Army Group A gains additional ground along E coast of Black Sea and captures Elbrus.
BATTLE OF EASTERN SOLOMONS--American naval TF's, centering about CV's Enterprise and Saratoga, intercept Japanese fleet units (3 carriers, 8 BB's, 4 CA's, 2 CL's and 21 DD's, plus the 4 transports with reinforcements for Guadalcanal) well E of Guadalcanal. Major air battle ensues (U.S. carrier planes being assisted by a few land-based planes), and Japanese sustain heavy losses before retiring northward. Japanese carrier Ryuju, 1 CL, and 1 DD are sunk, and other vessels are damaged. Japanese lose 90 planes; Americans, 20 planes.
GUADALCANAL--Henderson Field is subjected to almost daily air attacks and Lunga perimeter is bombarded from sea at frequent intervals. Marine fighters intercepting enemy aircraft over Henderson Field shoot down 21 for loss of 3. 11 dive bombers from the Enterprise land on the field and remain for 3 months.
NEW GUINEA--Gen Horii orders general offensive. Japanese amphibious forces leave for Milne Bay, those from New Ireland in 2 transports and the force from Buna in 7 large landing barges. Barges are detected by coastwatcher in afternoon.
BATTLE OF EASTERN SOLOMONS--U.S. carrier forces are unable to locate enemy fleet units, but U.S. Marine and Army land-based bombers attack Japanese transport force continuing toward Guadalcanal and cause it to delay landings and retire northward. Enemy transport and DD are sunk and cruiser is damaged.
NEW GUINEA--Enemy amphibious force bound for Milne Bay from Buna is stranded on Goodenough I., D'Entrecasteaux Is., when P-40's from Milne Bay destroy all 7 of their beached barges. Aircraft from Australia and Milne Bay attack enemy convoy proceeding from New Ireland toward Milne Bay but are hampered by weather conditions and fail to stop it. After shelling beaches, Japanese begin landing, night 25-26, at 3 points E of Rabi, their intended landing site, and push W at once. Elements of Aus 61st Militia Bn stationed at K. B. Mission, E of Rabi and in path of Japanese advance, engage enemy who retires at dawn of 26th to landing point. Other elements of 61st Bn are moving
from Ahioma to head of Milne Bay at Gili Gili by sea and lose to the enemy 1 of 2 ketches loaded with troops.
MIDDLE EAST--Col Shingler is directed by Gen Maxwell to take responsibility for construction, maintenance, supply, and administration of installations in new PGSC area, which comprises Iraq, Iran, and parts of Saudi Arabia bordering on Persian Gulf.
GUADALCANAL--5th Marines, 1st Mar Div, prepares for limited attack to eliminate resistance on W flank of Lunga perimeter.
NEW GUINEA--Planes from Milne Bay and Port Moresby attack Japanese in Milne Bay, destroying most of their supplies on shore and damaging large transport. After nightfall, enemy convoy bringing rest of 1,170-man force from New Ireland arrives safely in Milne Bay. Japanese make another night attack, 26-27, to W, forcing Aus militia back to Gama R line; at dawn of 27th Japanese retire once more to landing point. Meanwhile, Japanese forces in Isurava area renew overland drive on Port Moresby at dawn and force Australians (depleted 39th Bn, 30th Brig Hq, 2 cos of 53d Bn) back steadily by overwhelming pressure. Japanese supply lines, which are becoming overextended, are frequently attacked by air.
INDIA--Training center for Ch troops is activated at Ramgarh, Bihar Prov, with Col Frederick McCabe as commandant.
GUADALCANAL--1st Bn of 5th Marines lands about 1,000 yards W of Kokumbona and starts E along shore while Co I of 3d Bn pushes W from Kukum by overland trail to intercept enemy withdrawal inland. 1st Bn is halted by enemy fire about 1,500 yards E of Kokumbona. 9 more P-400's of 67th Fighter Sq arrive at Henderson Field.
NEW GUINEA--Fresh AIF troops (2/10th Bn of 18th Brig) advance unopposed to K. B. Mission during day. After nightfall, Japanese, with tanks, renew attack and split defending force, which withdraws. Japanese overland drive on Port Moresby continues, with Australians falling back gradually. Reinforcements (21st Brig) are moving to forward area to assist Australians.
USSR--German Army Group B continues battle for Stalingrad; Army Group A presses closer to oil prize of Grozny, seizing Prokhladny and reaching Terek R.
GUADALCANAL--1st Bn of 5th Marines, in flanking movement without enemy contact, returns with Co I of 3d Bn to Kukum area.
NEW GUINEA--Milne Force withstands determined frontal assaults against No. 3 airstrip. Aus 7th Brig, reinf by Americans of 709th Airborne AA Battery and of 43d Engrs, staunchly defends the strip. Other Australians continue fighting withdrawal across Owen Stanley Range.
USSR--German Army Group A begins assault on Novorossisk, on Black Sea.
NEW GUINEA--Orders for Aus 18th Brig to clear N shore of Milne Bay are revoked when another enemy convoy is detected approaching that area. 775 Japanese reinforcements are unloaded from the convoy. Fighting continues along overland trail to Port Moresby, but because of situation at Milne Bay and in the Solomons, South Seas Detachment is ordered to halt upon reaching S foothills of Owen Stanley Range. Aus 21st Brig relieves 39th Bn and elements of 53d Bn.
ALEUTIAN IS.--U.S. occupation force lands on Adak without opposition.
GUADALCANAL--Japanese bombers attack shipping off coast and sink Colhoun (APD). Rear echelon of MAG 23 (12 dive bombers and 18 fighters) arrives at Henderson Field.
NEW GUINEA--After quiet day, Japanese attack at night in effort to secure No. 3 airstrip but are repulsed and retreat at dawn of 31st, leaving many dead. Enemy continues to gain ground in overland drive on Port Moresby.
EGYPT--During night 30-31, Axis forces open offensive against El 'Alamein Line, making main effort against 13 Corps, Br Eighth Army, on S while conducting 2 unsuccessful diversionary thrusts against 30 Corps.
SOLOMON IS.--USS Helm (DD) tows 3 harbor patrol boats to Tulagi. USS Saratoga (CV) is damaged by enemy torpedo while patrolling W of Santa Cruz Is. and is forced to retire to Tongatabu for emergency repairs; on 12 September leaves there for Pearl Harbor where she remains until November.
NEW GUINEA--Australians take the offensive in Milne Bay area against demoralized enemy. 18th Brig drives E to K. B. Mission. While tide has turned against enemy in Milne Bay area, other forces
continue across Owen Stanley Range toward Port Moresby. Gen Horii is ordered to go on the defensive upon crossing the range.
INDIA--Gen Stilwell agrees to SOS proposal that main base in India be established at Calcutta rather than Karachi.
EGYPT--Axis forces, against strong opposition, breach mine field on S flank of 13 Corps, Br Eighth Army, and German armor then drives through and attacks W toward W end of 'Alam el Halfa ridge until halted short of it with heavy losses. Air and arty are employed against enemy with good effect. Heavy attacks by U.S. and Br planes throughout August have seriously affected Rommel's supply position.
USSR--Although Soviet resistance along Terek R has stiffened considerably, German Army Group A secures foothold across it in Mozdok area.
JAPAN--Foreign Minister Shigenori Togo resigns and Premier Hideki Tojo is asked to assume duties of Foreign Ministry.
SOLOMON IS.--USS Betelgeuse lands 200 men of 6th Naval Construction Bn in Lunga area. Throughout September, Americans on Guadalcanal lack adequate fighter strength, although carrier planes that can be spared are employed at Henderson Field. Trickle of supplies to the garrison increases only slightly.
NEW GUINEA--Australians continue to make progress in Milne Bay area and to fall back slowly along trail over Owen Stanley Range. As diversion for Milne Bay forces, Japanese from Salamaua attack Aus Kanga Force guarding Bulolo Valley and seize Mubo.
MAURITIUS, RODRIGUEZ, AND SEYCHELLES ISLANDS--Transferred from command of Br Army Hq, India, to East Africa Command. These, with Madagascar, are formed into "Islands Area" under Maj Gen G. R. Smallwood.
EGYPT--Br Eighth Army repels further enemy attempts to reach W end of 'Alam el Halfa ridge and prepares for counterattack to close gap in mine field on S flank. 30 Corps is thinned out to reinf 13 Corps; 10 Corps is ordered forward.
USSR--Army Group B continues to batter defense ring about Stalingrad. Anapa, important Black Sea port, falls to Army Group A.
SAMOA--7th Marines and part of 5th Defense Bn embark for New Hebrides.
NEW GUINEA--Australians continue to clear N coast of Milne Bay but are unable to stem Japanese drive toward Port Moresby. About 1,000 Japanese reinforcements from Rabaul land at Basabua, night 2-3.
EGYPT--Massing armor S of 'Alam el Halfa ridge, enemy halts to await frontal counterattack, but Br armor remains in prepared positions.
USSR--Army Group A continues to press toward Novorossisk and Grozny. Threat to Novorossisk increases as German and Rumanian forces from the Crimea cross Kerch Strait and join other Axis forces in the area.
SWPA--Gen Kenney, Commander Allied Air Forces, makes Fifth Air Force, the U.S. component, a separate command in order to achieve greater efficiency. Fifth Air Force is given responsibility for operations in NE area; RAAF is to defend the Australian continent, particularly the Darwin area.
EGYPT--Aircraft continue to harass enemy, who begins to fall back, concentrating on supply transport, which Axis can ill afford to lose. During night 3-4, attack of 13 Corps to close gap in mine field is begun by NZ 2d Div, reinf, and evokes furious opposition.
USSR--Germans continue to push toward Stalingrad, Grozny, and Novorossisk against stubborn resistance; are reported at W suburbs of Stalingrad.
SOLOMON IS.--1st Raider Bn patrols Savo I., finding it free of enemy, and returns to Guadalcanal. U.S. destroyer-transports Little and Gregory are sunk by enemy warships in Sealark Channel, night 4-5.
NEW GUINEA--Continuing E along Milne Bay, Australians reach Goroni. After nightfall, Japanese place wounded on board ship for withdrawal.
EGYPT--13 Corps, Br Eighth Army, is still strongly opposed as it attempts to close gap in mine field.
U.S.-U.K.--Final decision is made that TORCH is to include landings at Algiers and Oran in Algeria and at Casablanca, Morocco.
SWPA--U.S. 32d and 41st Divs are assigned to Gen Eichelberger, CG U.S. I Corps.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese continue evacuation of Milne Bay under cover of darkness. About 1,300 of original force of some 1,900 are withdrawn by sea. Australians, following withdrawal closely, capture supply dump at Waga Waga.
EGYPT--Enemy opposition to 13 Corps, Br Eighth Army, as it continues battle to close gap in mine field is unabated.
NEW GUINEA--Aus 18th Brig continues to clear enemy from Milne Bay against light, scattered resistance. In Owen Stanley Range 2/14th and 2/16th Bns of 21st Brig, Aus 7th Div, fall back to Efogi Spur, beyond The Gap, where 2/27th Bn of same brig is already established.
EGYPT--13 Corps, Br Eighth Army, continues offensive, making slow progress southward against firm opposition.
USSR--Germans announce capture of Novorossisk, leading port on E coast of Black Sea. Fierce fighting continues around Stalingrad.
NEW GUINEA--Organized resistance in Milne Bay sector ceases; stragglers are eventually mopped up by Australians. Decisive defeat of Japanese removes threat to Port Moresby from Milne Bay area, but enemy drive along trail over Owen Stanley Range toward Port Moresby is still unchecked.
EGYPT--Gen Montgomery halts battle of 'Alam el Halfa before original positions have been restored, leaving enemy in possession of 4-5 mile stretch of desert on S flank. Lull ensues in ground action during which Br Eighth Army prepares intensively for offensive. Deceptive measures are taken on a comprehensive scale to conceal plans from enemy.
USSR--Soviet forces continue stubborn resistance to Army Group B in Stalingrad area and to Army Group A in vicinity of Novorossisk.
GUADALCANAL--Prov bn composed of depleted 1st Raider and 1st Para Bns moves E from Lunga Pt by sea to destroy enemy force at Tasimboko, near Taivu Pt. Debarking E of Tasimboko, the bn moves W, clashing with outposts of strong enemy force that has landed recently near Taivu Pt. Japanese holding force is driven from Tasimboko. Raiders sustain 8 casualties and kill 27 Japanese. Henderson-based aircraft support raiders. Japanese in Taivu Pt area constitute main body of new assault force, smaller group of which is in vicinity of Kokumbona.
NEW GUINEA--Gen Horii, with 5 reinf bns in assault, attacks 21st Brig of Aus 7th Div on Efogi Spur, forcing 2/27th Bn off trail and encircling 2/14th and 2/16th Bns.
U.S.--Japanese plane, launched from submarine off coast, drops incendiary bomb on mountain slope near Brookings, Oregon, causing small forest fire. This is sole bombing by plane of continental U.S. during the war.
NEW GUINEA--25th Brig of Aus 7th Div is rushed toward Owen Stanley Range front. 16th Brig of Aus 6th Div is ordered to Port Moresby.
MADAGASCAR--Br forces of East Africa Command renew offensive in order to insure safety of certain military objectives and gain air and sea control of Mozambique Channel. 29th Independent Inf Brig makes surprise landing, night 9-10, on W coast in vicinity of Majunga and seizes Majunga virtually unopposed. After being passed through by E African 22d Brig Gp, which starts toward Tananarive, 29th begins re-embarking for another landing. As diversion for Majunga landing, small landings are made on Nosy Be I., off NW coast, and at Morondava, on W coast; forces on N part of island move southward along W and E coasts.
GERMANY--RAF BC, during heavy attack on Duesseldorf, night 10-11, drops first 2-ton incendiary bomb.
ALEUTIAN IS.--Completion of runway on Adak permits stepped up air offensive against Kiska, some 250 miles distant.
GUADALCANAL--From 29 August to date, about 6,000 Japanese have arrived, landing mostly at night from DD's and destroyer-transports.
NEW GUINEA--Gen MacArthur submits to Gen Blarney a plan for accelerating operations. While Australians, upon receiving reinforcements, are to attack to drive enemy back along Port Moresby-Kokoda trail, an RCT of U.S. 32d Div is to execute wide flanking movement to E to get behind Japanese at Wairopi and thus hasten their expulsion from New Guinea. Aus 2/14th and 2/16th Bns break through enemy forces and fall back to Nauro; then yield Nauro under pressure and take up positions on ridge N of Ioribaiwa, where 2/1st Pioneer Bn and 3d Bn of 14th Brig are established.
NEW HEBRIDES--7th Marines and elements of 5th Defense Bn arrive at Espiritu Santo. Adm Turner, after conferring with Gen Vandegrift on Guadalcanal, recommends to Adm Ghormley that 7th Marines be used to strengthen Lunga defenses.
GUADALCANAL--Prov raider-parachute bn conducts reconnaissance in force along ridge, later
called Bloody or Edson's, S of OPL and about 800 yards E of Lunga R, to close the route of approach to Henderson Field; despite enemy fire, reaches southernmost knoll. Fire fight continues throughout night 12-13, and enemy succeeds in infiltrating.
U.K.--Gen Eisenhower officially announces assumption of command as CinC Allied Expeditionary Force for TORCH, and Allied Force Headquarters (AFHQ) is activated in London.
GUADALCANAL--Adm Ghormley orders 7th Marines to reinforce garrison. Air defense is strengthened by arrival of 12 dive bombers and 6 TBF's. Japanese launch air, naval, and ground attacks against Lunga perimeter in attempt to recapture airfield. Prov raider-parachute bn is unable to advance on Bloody Ridge and digs in on central knoll, about 250 yards N of previous bivouac area. After nightfall, main enemy assault force of at least 2 bns drives northward to northernmost knoll where Prov raider-parachute bn, with close arty support, holds firm against further determined attacks. Other Japanese, about 2 cos, attack 3d Bn of 1st Marines on E flank along Ilu R, night 13-14, but are unable to break through.
CHINA--Gen Stilwell presents to Chiang Kai-shek a proposed plan of operations for China Air Task Force, calling for defense of ferry route from India to China as primary mission.
MADAGASCAR--Gen Platt, CG E African Command, establishes hq ashore at Majunga. E African 22d Brig continues toward Tananarive, hampered chiefly by roadblocks.
LIBYA--During night 13-14, small raiding parties of Br MEF move against Tobruk and Benghazi in effort to destroy enemy supplies and installations at the ports. The Tobruk raid is made by land and sea, overland party moving from Egypt. From Kufra, motorized column moves overland more than 500 miles to Benghazi. The raids prove costly and accomplish little.
N ATLANTIC--Large Allied convoy to USSR suffers heavy losses during enemy air attacks.
ALEUTIAN IS.--Kiska undergoes its first major air raid, by 12 heavy bombers with 28 fighters from Adak.
NEW HEBRIDES--TF 65, organized to transport 7th Marines to Guadalcanal, leaves Espiritu Santo.
GUADALCANAL--Japanese break off attacks on Bloody Ridge at dawn and withdraw under air attack, leaving about 600 dead; Marine casualties are 143. 2d Bn of 5th Marines starts relief of Prov raider-parachute bn. On E flank along the Ilu, 3d Bn of 1st Marines moves 6 light tanks against enemy, but 3 are disabled; Japanese continue sporadic fire in this sector. In afternoon, Japanese attack 3d Bn of 5th Marines on ridge commanding coastal road to W sector of perimeter but are driven off. 3d Bn of 2d Marines arrives on Guadalcanal from Tulagi.
NEW GUINEA--Advance elements (2/31st and 2/33d Bns) of 25th Brig, Aus 7th Div, reach Ioribaiwa, where they take over defense of ridge from Aus 21st Brig. Japanese, with 2 full regts in line, force a further withdrawal, to Imita Ridge, the last before Port Moresby, lying 32 miles from that objective. This is the last withdrawal of Aus forces on this front.
LIBYA--To assist withdrawal of Benghazi raiding party, diversionary raids are made on Gialo and Barce.
S. PACIFIC--Japanese submarines attack U.S. warships on patrol S and E of the Solomons, sinking CV Wasp and damaging BB North Carolina; latter is forced to return to Pearl Harbor for repairs.
GUADALCANAL--5th Marines, 1st Mar Div, extends positions S of Henderson Field to include Bloody Ridge. Enemy SE of Lunga perimeter continues to fire intermittently on 3d Bn of 1st Marines.
NEW GUINEA--First elements (Co E and attachments) of 126th Inf, U.S. 32d Div, fly to Port Moresby from Brisbane, Australia. This is the first U.S. infantry force to arrive in New Guinea.
ALEUTIAN IS.--Enemy, during period 27 August-16 September, transfers Attu garrison to Kiska.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese overland drive on Port Moresby grinds to a halt at Ioribaiwa. Australians are firmly entrenched on Imita Ridge, to S, where they are preparing for counteroffensive.
CHINA--Gen Chennault presents to Gen Bissell a plan for employment of CATF that calls for defense of India-China ferry route as primary mission; suggests that CATF operate directly under Stilwell and that it be detached from U.S. Tenth Air Force.
MADAGASCAR--French Governor General requests peace terms.
USSR--Army Group B penetrates NW suburbs of Stalingrad.
NEW GUINEA--In preparation for wide flanking movement to E, Allied rcn parties move E along S coast from Port Moresby. Party of 126th Inf, U.S. 32d Div, under Capt William F. Boice, leaves by lugger
for Kapa Kapa to reconnoiter inland from there to Jaure. Another party, headed by SWPA Engineer officer Brig Gen Hugh J. Casey's deputy, Col Leif J. Sverdrup, who is already charged with locating and developing landing fields, moves towards Abau in order to reconnoiter trail inland from there. Japanese at Ioribaiwa are in a precarious position. Although within sight of Port Moresby, troops are in no condition to attack without reinforcements and supplies, neither of which can be spared.
MADAGASCAR--French plenipotentiaries receive and reject terms for cessation of hostilities.
GUADALCANAL--Improved Allied supply situation permits restoration of full rations to garrison. TF 65 arrives off Kukum and unloads rest of 1st Mar Div--4,180 of 7th Marines, reinf--plus vehicles, equipment, ammunition, and supplies. This is the first ammunition to arrive in response to request of 22 August, 3 other vessels unload aviation gasoline. TF 65 retires to Espiritu Santo with 1st Para Bn, American wounded, and 8 Japanese prisoners. Marines are patrolling aggressively from defense perimeter.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese Imperial General Headquarters orders current positions held as long as possible and Buna-Gona beachhead held as primary defensive position. Gen Horii prepares to thin lines gradually.
AUSTRALIA--Main body of 126th Inf (less arty), U.S. 32d Div, embarks at Brisbane for New Guinea.
MADAGASCAR--29th Independent Inf Brig of Br E African Command lands without opposition on E coast at Tamatave and moves inland toward Tananarive virtually unopposed. E African 22d Brig continues toward Tananarive from W coast.
GUADALCANAL--Gen Vandegrift establishes continuous defense lines, divides Lunga area into 10 sectors.
NEW GUINEA--127th Inf of U.S. 32d Div is ordered to Port Moresby.
INDIA--Base Section 2, SOS, at Calcutta, receives its first troops from Karachi.
USSR--Stubborn street fighting is in progress in Stalingrad. Town of Terek falls to German Army Group A.
U.K.--Outline plan for TORCH is issued; D Day is set for 8 November.
U.S.--Combined Chiefs of Staff approve plan drawn up in Washington by SOS, "The Plan for Operation of Certain Iranian Communication Facilities between Persian Gulf Ports and Tehran by U.S. Army Forces." The plan gives U.S. direct responsibility for moving supplies through Persian Corridor to USSR.
GUADALCANAL--1st Mar Div begins limited operation to W of Lunga perimeter to eliminate enemy within striking distance of Henderson Field; 1st Bn, 7th Marines, is directed to advance along N slopes of Mt Austen, cross the Matanikau, and push W to Kokumbona; 1st Raider Bn is to establish patrol base at Kokumbona at point where inland trails intersect coastal road.
NEW GUINEA--Gen Blarney arrives in Port Moresby to take direct command of New Guinea forces. Lt Gen Edmund F. Herring becomes Commander, Advance New Guinea Force, succeeding Gen Rowell. 128th Inf of U.S. 32d Div reaches Port Moresby by air and is assigned to garrison force under operational control of Aus 6th Div.
MADAGASCAR--E African 22d Brig enters Tananarive, which has been declared an open city.
USSR--German Army Group B continues to make slow progress in Stalingrad against bitter opposition. Army Group A assembles an assault force for drive on Black Sea port of Tuapse.
GUADALCANAL--1st Bn of 7th Marines engages in fire fight with enemy on NW slope of Mt Austen.
GUADALCANAL--2d Bn of 5th Marines joins 1st Bn, 7th Marines, on NW slope of Mt. Austen to continue attack against enemy in Matanikau-Kokumbona area. 2 cos of 1st Bn, 7th Marines, return to Lunga perimeter. Patrol of 1st Bn, 1st Marines, reconnoiters Koli Pt without incident.
NEW GUINEA--25th Brig, Aus 7th Div, opens counteroffensive to drive enemy back along Port Moresby-Kokoda trail, attacking strongly for Ioribaiwa.
MADAGASCAR--E Africa 22d Brig establishes contact with 29th Independent Brig, giving British control of central part of island.
GUADALCANAL--2d Bn, 5th Marines, and elements of 1st Bn, 7th Marines, reach the upper Matanikau
and push N along E bank, encountering enemy fire from vicinity of Matanikau village. Arty and aircraft are employed against the enemy position. 1st Raider Bn passes through 5th Regt sector to join in attack.
MADAGASCAR--Gen Platt moves hq from Majunga to Tananarive.
GUADALCANAL--1st Raider Bn attempts to attack enemy strongpoint in Matanikau village area from rear but is unable to cross river. 2d Bn of 5th Marines attacks frontally at river mouth but cannot force crossing. 1st Bn of 7th Marines lands near Pt Cruz and takes ridge inland from beach but is prevented by fire from advancing farther; with naval and air support, returns to shore and re-embarks for Kukum. 2d Bn, 5th Marines, covers withdrawal of 1st Raider Bn and returns during night to Lunga perimeter.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese abandon Ioribaiwa Ridge under Aus pressure and are in full retreat.
NEW GUINEA--Main body of 126th Inf, U.S. 32d Div, reaches Port Moresby and is assigned to New Guinea Force to assist in advance on Wairopi.
SOLOMON IS.--Troop strength of Guadalcanal garrison is now 19,261; 3,260 troops are on Tulagi. 6th Naval Construction Bn is constructing airstrip.
MADAGASCAR--Continuing S from Tananarive, Br forces occupy Fianarantsoa. 2 cos of Pretoria Regt and a few armd cars from Diego Suarez land on SW coast at Tulear in order to secure the port, airfield, and seaplane base site for patrolling Mozambique Channel.
U.K.--U.S. fliers of 3 RAF Eagle Sqs are transferred to USAAF.
ALEUTIAN IS.--Enemy makes the first of a number of nuisance raids on Adak.
NEW GUINEA--GHQ issues plan for encirclement and reduction of Buna-Gona beachhead. Upon securing Kumusi R line from Wairopi southeastward, Goodenough I, and N coast from Milne Bay to Cape Nelson, concerted assault is to be made on Buna-Gona area. Advance will be along 3 routes: Kokoda Trail, where Australians are now pursuing enemy; from S coast to Jaure along either Rigo or Abau track, both of which are being reconnoitered; NW along coast from Milne Bay.
MIDDLE EAST--Letter of Instructions is issued to Brig Gen Donald H. Connolly, commander-designate of PGSC. CG USAFIME is to exercise administrative supervision over PGSC.
USSR--Bitter fighting continues within and near Stalingrad throughout October, German Army Group B making limited progress against determined resistance. Red Army efforts to relieve the besieged city, which is under severe air and arty bombardment, prove futile. Drives of German Army Group A are virtually halted by Soviet resistance. Red Army contains attacks toward Grozny oil fields. In NW sector of this front, fierce battles occur in Novorossisk-Tuapse area along Black Sea coast. German offensive is steadily losing momentum because of fuel shortage, heavy losses in manpower, difficult terrain, and firm opposition.
ELLICE IS.--5th Defense Bn force from Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, occupies Funafuti.
MADAGASCAR--Br forces take Antsirabe.
INDIA--India Air Task Force is activated in upper Assam under Brig Gen Caleb V. Haynes to protect the India end of the Hump ferry route.
USSR--On Caucasian front, Army Group A captures Elkhotovo, within 7 miles of Darg Kokh. Fierce fighting continues in Stalingrad area.
NEW GUINEA--Capt Boice's rcn party (elements of 126th Inf, U.S. 32d Div) reaches Jaure, completing rcn of Kapa Kapa-Jaure trail, which is found to be difficult but practicable.
ENGLISH CHANNEL--Small Br party raids Sark I.
U.S.--Second Protocol for U.S. aid to USSR, covering period to 1 July 1943, is signed in Washington. 3,300,000 tons are to be sent by N Soviet ports and 1,100,000 by Persian Gulf route.
POA--Gen Harmon recommends to Adm Ghormley that projected invasion of Ndeni, Santa Cruz Is., scheduled to follow capture of Tulagi and Guadalcanal airfield, be postponed and that Guadalcanal be reinf; that naval operations in the Solomons be increased; and that adequate airdrome construction
personnel and equipment be sent to Guadalcanal. Adm Ghormley decides to proceed with plan to occupy Ndeni as landing field site and agrees to reinf Guadalcanal with an Army regt and to improve airdrome facilities. 164th Inf of Americal Div is chosen to reinf Guadalcanal and 147th Inf (less 2 bns) to occupy Ndeni.
NEW GUINEA--Fifth Air Force completes movement of reinf Aus 18th Brig to Wanigela. Channel from Milne Bay to Cape Nelson has now been charted in order to permit shipment of supplies by water.
EGYPT--Gen Montgomery issues instructions for El 'Alamein offensive in Western Desert.
USSR--Oil city of Malgobek, near Grozny, falls to Army Group A.
GUADALCANAL--1st Mar Div, with air and arty support, opens offensive to extend perimeter westward beyond arty range of Henderson Field, moving 3 columns forward toward the Matanikau, line of departure, from Kukum area. While 5th Marines (less bn) moves along coast to conduct holding action at Matanikau R mouth, 7th Marines (less bn), followed by Whaling Group (3d Bn of 2d Marines and div scout-sniper detachment under Col William J. Whaling), advances SW with mission of crossing river and enveloping Pt Cruz. 5th Marines column soon meets opposition and drives enemy back almost to Matanikau R mouth. The other 2 columns reach Hill 65, overlooking Matanikau R, with little difficulty and halt for the night. After nightfall, attack preparations are simulated at river mouth and 5th Marines is reinf by co of 1st Raider Bn.
NEW GUINEA--U.S. 32d Div force (platoon of Co E, 126th Inf; AT and Cannon Cos; native carriers) under Capt Alfred Medendorp begins difficult march from Kalikodobu, 40 miles SE of Port Moresby, toward Jaure. The force is dependent upon airdrops for most of its supplies.
GUADALCANAL--Marine attack across Matanikau R is postponed because of heavy rains, but 5th Marines and raiders reduce enemy bridgehead on E bank in costly fighting. When Japanese plans for counteroffensive are discovered, 1st Mar Div CG changes plan of attack. Instead of driving toward Kokumbona and the Poha, marines are to raid Pt Cruz area in force and return to Lunga perimeter.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese withdrawal across Owen Stanley Range toward Kokoda slows as preparations are made for stand at Templeton's Crossing, N of Myola.
CBI--Gen Chennault delivers Wendell L. Willkie a letter for President Roosevelt asking for increased authority and air power in order to destroy Japanese Air Force in China, then attack Japanese Empire.
GUADALCANAL--Rear echelon of 2d Marines, 2d Mar Div, arrives. 164th Inf of Americal Div sails to Guadalcanal from Nouméa, New Caledonia. Whaling Group and 7th Marines force cross the Matanikau and, with arty assistance of 11th Marines, drive N to coastal area; retire eastward across Matanikau R mouth, covered by 5th Marines, concluding 3-day action during which Japanese lose nearly 700 men as against 65 marines killed and 125 wounded.
FRANCE--In heaviest daylight raid to date, about 100 U.S. heavy bombers with strong RAF and U.S. fighter support attack industrial targets at Lille. Many enemy planes are encountered and more than 100 are damaged or destroyed.
GUADALCANAL--In anticipation of enemy counteroffensive, marines strengthen defense positions and patrol aggressively. 3 bns of 1st and 7th Marines plus elements of Special Weapons Co take responsibility for E bank of the Matanikau, where permanent positions are established at river mouth. By this time, 12 P-39's of 67th Fighter Sq are at Henderson Field. B-17's are occasionally staging through the field.
NEW GUINEA--Main body of 2d Bn, 126th Inf, U.S. 32d Div, with supporting units, leaves Kalikodobu on foot for Jaure.
BATTLE OF CAPE ESPERANCE--After Japanese naval force moving toward Guadalcanal is spotted by U.S. planes in afternoon, TF of 4 cruisers and 5 DD's under Rear Adm Norman Scott, standing off Rennell I. to protect convoy bringing elements of Americal Div to Guadalcanal, moves toward Cape Esperance to engage enemy and at 2346 opens fire. During 34-minute battle, the TF sinks Furutaka (CA) and Fubuki (DD) and damages Aoba and Kinugasa (CA's). Enemy retires northward, leaving DD's Natsugumo and Murakumo to rescue survivors. U.S. losses are light: Duncan, Boise, Salt Lake City, and Farenholt are damaged; of these, only the DD Duncan sinks, on 12th.
MADAGASCAR--Gen Platt, CG E African Command, relinquishes command on island to Maj Gen Smallwood, General Officer Commanding Islands Area.
BATTLE OF CAPE ESPERANCE--Henderson-based planes conclude action against retiring enemy naval force, sinking DD's Murakumo and Natsugumo.
SOLOMON IS.--4 boats of MTB Sq 3, the first naval craft to be permanently based at Tulagi except for harbor patrol boats, are towed in.
CBI--Gen Stilwell requests that a second 30 Chinese divs be equipped.
GUADALCANAL--Japanese aircraft, long-range arty from Kokumbona area, and naval TF that includes 2 BB's alternate in bombarding Henderson Field during day and throughout night 13-14, severely damaging field and sharply reducing U.S. air strength. First ground force units of U.S. Army, 164th Inf of Americal Div, arrive on McCawley and on Zeilin, which also bring 210 men of 1st Mar Air Wing and 85 Marine casuals plus weapons and supplies. Unloading despite air attacks, the vessels embark 1st Raider Bn and sail for New Caledonia. Troop strength of 1st Mar Div is thus brought up to 23,088, excluding forces on Tulagi. 1st Mar Div CG divides Lunga perimeter into 5 regimental sectors, massing greatest strength on W.
CHINA--Gen Stilwell presents to Chiang Kai-shek President Roosevelt's reply of 12 October to the Generalissimo's 3 demands.
GUADALCANAL--Further enemy bombardment of Henderson Field puts it out of action temporarily, forcing aircraft to use Fighter Strip No. 1, a rough runway SE of Henderson. Strength of operational aircraft is reduced during 13th and 14th from 90 to 42. Supply of aviation gasoline is critically low, but SBD's and P-39's take to the air in effort to halt enemy convoy of transports escorted by DD's proceeding toward Guadalcanal. The planes fail to stop the convoy but sink a transport and set another vessel on fire.
NEW GUINEA--Fifth Air Force begins flying coastal force (128th Inf of U.S. 32d Div and 2/6th Aus Independent Co, under command of Brig Gen Hanford MacNider) to Wanigela. Australians advancing along Kokoda Trail are meeting stubborn opposition in vicinity of Templeton's Crossing.
GUADALCANAL--Japanese 17th Army issues tactical orders for assault on Lunga Pt, setting date tentatively for 18th. 5 escorted enemy transports unload final elements of assault force (3,000-4,000 men) and most of cargo at Tassafaronga. Aircraft from Guadalcanal and New Hebrides join in attacks on enemy, sinking 2 vessels and damaging others. Vitally needed gasoline arrives from Espiritu Santo on Army and Marine transport planes and on seaplane tender MacFarland.
GUADALCANAL--Japanese begin march along narrow trail from Kokumbona assembly area toward attack positions E of Lunga R. Japanese arty shelling of Lunga perimeter increases in volume and accuracy. U.S. patrol craft attack enemy coastal positions from Kokumbona to Cape Esperance. Operational aircraft number 66 after arrival of 20 F4F's and 12 SBD's. Seaplane tender MacFarland is seriously damaged by enemy aircraft in Sealark Channel but is salvaged by crew.
NEW GUINEA--Bitter fighting is in progress on Kokoda Trail at Eora Creek, where Japanese commit reinforcements. Abel's Field at Fasari, on upper Musa R near Mt Sapia, becomes operational. Field is named for Cecil Abel, a missionary who constructed it with assistance of native labor and equipment dropped by Fifth Air Force. First luggers reach Wanigela and continue toward Pongani with men and supplies.
U.K.--Convoys for TORCH begin assembling at Firth of Clyde.
POA--Adm Halsey succeeds Adm Ghormley as Commander, South Pacific Area.
NEW GUINEA--Air movement of most of 128th Inf, U.S. 32d Div, to Wanigela is completed. Elements are left at Port Moresby temporarily when Wanigela field becomes unserviceable because of rains. Hard fighting continues on Kokoda Trail in vicinity of Eora Creek.
U.S.--War Department agrees to equip 30 more Chinese divs.
POA--U.S. 25th Div is alerted for movement to Guadalcanal.
NEW GUINEA--Col Sverdrup's rcn party completes march along Kapa Kapa trail, which is so poor that it is rejected as a possible route of advance, to upper Musa R, where Abel's Field is already in use; searches for additional airfield sites.
MADAGASCAR--Troops of Br E African Command continue to clear S part of island and in 2 pronged attack overcome opposition at Andriamanalina.
POA--Gen Vandegrift, reporting to Adm Halsey aboard his flagship in Nouméa harbor, requests and is promised more support for Guadalcanal. Adm Halsey orders 147th Inf, which had been earmarked for invasion of Ndeni, Santa Cruz Is., to Guadalcanal. The Ndeni operation is never undertaken.
GUADALCANAL--Japanese attack is postponed to 22d, since main enveloping force has not yet reached line of departure, but patrol of supporting coastal force is taken under fire at mouth of Matanikau R and retires after 1 of its 2 tanks is hit.
NEW GUINEA--16th Brig of Aus 6th Div enters fight for Kokoda Trail, relieving 25th Brig of Aus 7th Div; continues action to clear Eora Creek area. U.S. 32d Div party under Capt Medendorp, having left elements at Laruni, where dropping ground is staked out, arrives at Jaure, where Capt Boice's party is searching for airfield sites.
CBI--Ch troops begin moving by air into India to meet Ramgarh requirements. Ch 22d and 38th Divs are being brought up to strength.
IRAQ--Gen Connolly reaches Basra, where he assumes command of PGSC, replacing Col Shingler, who remains as acting chief of staff until relieved by Col Stanley L. Scott on 20 November. Strength of PGSC at this time is about 400 officers and men of SOS and AAF and just under 1,000 American civilians.
EGYPT--Allied air action is intensified in effort to attain high degree of air superiority before Gen Montgomery's El 'Alamein offensive opens. Air superiority is achieved by assault date, 24 October.
U.S.--Adm King informs Adm Nimitz that Joint Chiefs of Staff have agreed to strengthen air forces in S Pacific by 1 January 1943.
GUADALCANAL--Japanese coastal force, with support of arty and 9 tanks, attempts to cross to E bank of the Matanikau but pulls back after losing a tank to U.S. fire.
NEW GUINEA--From Jaure, 50-man patrol of Cannon Co, U.S. 32d Div, sets out for Kumusi R Valley, where it subsequently establishes defense line and is joined by Medendorp's main group, the entire force being called Wairopi Patrol. Australians maintain pressure on enemy along Kokoda Trail, slowly gaining ground in flanking attacks.
GUADALCANAL--Japanese postpone attack on Lunga perimeter until 23d, since main assault force is still short of line of departure, but continue arty fire against Marine positions along Matanikau.
NEW GUINEA--To secure NE coast of Papua, 2/12th Bn of Aus 18th Brig embarks in 2 DD's at Milne Bay and during night 22-23 lands at a points on Goodenough I., from which submarines have withdrawn 60 of the 353 Japanese stranded there on 25 August.
INDIA--Combined planning staff conference opens to consider offensive in Burma.
ALGERIA--In preparation for TORCH, Maj Gen Mark W. Clark, deputy commander to Gen Eisenhower, and small U.S. party arrive in Algeria by submarine under cover of darkness to meet secretly with pro-Allied French party headed by Brig Gen Charles E. Mast. During the meeting Gen Mast assures Gen Clark and U.S. Consul General Robert Murphy that French will co-operate under leadership of Gen Henri Giraud.
EGYPT--U.S. advanced base hq becomes Desert Air Task Force Hq under command of Gen Brereton. Br Eighth Army moves secretly into assault positions during night 22-23.
U.K.--TORCH cargo convoy leaves for Africa.
U.S.--Forces from U.S. begin movement to N Africa in preparation for TORCH. First detachment of Western Naval Task Force, under Rear Adm Henry K. Hewitt, sails from Hampton Roads, Virginia.
GUADALCANAL--After quiet day, Japanese arty opens up at 1800 with heaviest fire to date, after which assault force (tank co and inf regt) makes determined but futile efforts to cross Matanikau R mouth and overrun 3d Bn of 1st Marines. Japanese sustain heavy losses: 600 are estimated killed and at least 8 tanks are knocked out. 1st Marines casualties are 25 killed and 14 wounded. Main enemy enveloping force, which was to have attacked simultaneously with coastal force, is not yet in position and postpones for another day its attack on S perimeter.
EGYPT--Br Eighth Army opens El 'Alamein offensive at 2140. More than 1,000 guns pound enemy batteries until 2200, then switch to enemy forward positions as Br troops move forward, 30 Corps on N making main effort and 13 Corps conducting diversionary
actions on S. Heavy fighting continues throughout night.
U.S.--Final detachment of Western Naval Task Force sails from Hampton Roads for N Africa. Covering group of warships sails from Casco Bay, Maine.
GUADALCANAL--Japanese column is observed E of the Matanikau on foothills of Mt Austen in afternoon and bombarded by arty and aircraft with unobserved results. Shortly after midnight 24-25, regt of main Japanese assault force attacks S flank of Lunga perimeter, where 1st Bn of 7th Marines is thinly spread along 2,800-yard front, 2d Bn having been withdrawn to plug gap between Lunga perimeter and forward positions along the Matanikau. Marines, assisted by fire of adjacent troops--2d Bn of 164th Inf--and reinf during night by 3d Bn of 164th Inf, hold against repeated attacks, and enemy retires morning of 25th.
NEW HEBRIDES--2 U.S. naval carrier forces, based on Enterprise and Hornet, rendezvous NE of New Hebrides and come under command of Rear Adm Thomas C. Kinkaid.
NEW GUINEA--Organized resistance on Goodenough I. ceases; 250 Japanese are withdrawn to Rabaul by DD after nightfall. After exhausting overland journey, head of 2d Bn, 126th Inf, U.S. 32d Div, reaches Jaure. From there the force is to move to Buna area via Natunga and Bofu, AT and Cannon Cos protecting its rear and harassing enemy in Wairopi area.
EGYPT--30 Corps, with 4 divs in assault, secures 2 corridors through enemy mine fields on N flank of Br Eighth Army, Aus 9th and Br 51st Divs gaining one on N and NZ 2d and S African 1st Divs one on S. 10 Corps armor then begins passing through: 1st Armd Div, debouching through N corridor, breaks through mine field during night 24-25, but 10th Armd Div, using S corridor, is unable to reach W edge of mine field. On Eighth Army S flank, 13 Corps' 7th Armd and 44th Divs succeed in breaking through mine fields N of Himeimat, night 24-25, and establish small bridgehead; to S, FF 1st Brig pushes W but is driven back.
ITALY--RAF Lancasters, after flight of some 1,400 miles from Britain, attack Milan in force. This is the first daylight attack on Italy by Br planes from home bases.
BERMUDA--Air group for TORCH (carriers) sails for N Africa.
GUADALCANAL--Japanese arty and aircraft are very active during day but ground attacks are withheld until night 25-26, when 2 enemy regts attack 1st Bn of 7th Marines and 3d Bn of 164th Inf on S flank of Lunga perimeter and other enemy forces attack 2d Bn of 7th Marines E of Hill 67 and Matanikau R. Both attacks are repulsed and lull in ground action follows.
EGYPT--As El 'Alamein battle continues, Gen Montgomery decides to make main effort on N flank of 30 Corps and withhold attacks of 13 Corps in order to preserve strength of 7th Armd Div. On N flank of 30 Corps, Aus 9th Div drives N toward coastal road to Rahman; 1st Armd Div, attempting to push W in Kidney Ridge area, is unable to advance. Series of determined enemy counterattacks with strong tank support is repulsed. In 13 Corps sector, 50th Div attempts to improve positions in Munassib area with little success.
NEW HEBRIDES--172d Regt of U.S. 43d Div arrives at Espiritu Santo, but vessel bringing it, President Coolidge, is sunk off coast by U.S. mines.
BATTLE OF SANTA CRUZ IS.--Adm Kinkaid's naval force, upon learning of presence of Japanese naval units near Santa Cruz Is., moves forward and engages in naval air battle. 3 Japanese carriers and 2 DD's are damaged and 100 planes are destroyed. Cost is high, however, since carrier Hornet and DD Porter are sunk; 4 vessels, one of them the carrier Enterprise, are damaged; 20 planes are lost to enemy and 54 from other causes. This is the last time during the Guadalcanal Campaign that Japanese use carrier aircraft in close support.
GUADALCANAL--Operational aircraft on Henderson Field now total 29.
EGYPT--El 'Alamein battle continues but with decreasing momentum. 30 Corps, Br Eighth Army, improves positions in vicinity of Miteiriya Ridge and during night 26-27 succeeds in taking Kidney Ridge. Gen Montgomery decides to regroup for next phase, the breakout attack, and withdraws NZ 2d Div into reserve. Allied planes continue effective support of ground operations and disperse enemy force concentrating for attack. Enemy air action, which has been rather light thus far, increases.
USSR--Hard fighting continues in Stalingrad. In the Caucasus, Nalchik falls to Army Group A.
U.K.--TORCH troop convoy leaves for Africa.
CBI--Generals Wavell and Stilwell agree that Stilwell shall conduct offensive in Hukawng Valley of N Burma and occupy area Myitkyina-Bhamo; make contact with Ch forces from Yunnan. Americans are to be responsible for construction of Ledo
Road to Myitkyina; the road is eventually to link with Burma Road.
EGYPT--Enemy counterattacks strongly against Kidney Ridge, committing reinforcements that have moved up from the S, and is repulsed with heavy losses. Br Eighth Army continues regrouping for breakout assault. 7th Armd Div, reinf by brig of 44th Div, brig of 50th Div, and Greek Brig, is transferred from 13 to 30 Corps. 1st Armd Div of 10 Corps is withdrawn into reserve.
NEW GUINEA--2d Bn of 126th Inf, U.S. 32d Div, and portable hospital begin difficult march from Jaure toward Natunga and Bofu, preceded by Cos E and F, which are to secure dropping grounds.
EGYPT--After probing Br positions in Kidney Ridge area, enemy begins forming for attack but is forced by Allied aircraft to abandon it. During night 28-29, Aus 9th Div of 30 Corps, Br Eighth Army, begins northward attack toward the sea in effort to eliminate enemy's coastal salient and secure coastal road and RR. Narrow wedge is driven almost to the road despite stubborn opposition from Thompson's Post, key point in enemy's coastal positions.
WESTERN HEMISPHERE--Alaska Military Highway opens to traffic.
ALEUTIAN IS.--Japanese reoccupy Attu.
GUADALCANAL--Japanese, having suffered heavy casualties in recent battles, begin general withdrawal about this time toward Koli Pt and Kokumbona. 1st Mar Div prepares for offensive to drive enemy westward beyond Poha R. 2d Marines (-3d Bn) is ordered to Guadalcanal from Tulagi to assist in the offensive; 3d Bn, which has been operating as mobile reserve in Lunga area, is to return to Tulagi for garrison duty. Attack is to begin on 1 November after outposts have been established W of the Matanikau and bridges have been constructed across the river.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese commit fresh forces from beachhead to hold heights at Oivi in order to cover withdrawal across Kumusi R.
EGYPT--Australians withstand determined enemy attacks against their wedge in N sector of 30 Corps and Br Eighth Army front. Gen Montgomery, learning of the presence of strong German reinforcements on N coast, alters breakout plan. Instead of pushing W along coast, he decides to shift axis of advance S in order to drive against Italians.
EGYPT--Br Eighth Army renews assault on N flank of 30 Corps during night 30-31. Aus 9th Div drives N to the sea, then pushes E, trapping large enemy force. Allied planes provide excellent tactical support, attacking accurately in small area to neutralize Thompson's Post. Most of the pocketed enemy force subsequently succeeds in escaping when tanks from W break through to assist.
GUADALCANAL--1st Mar Div completes preparations for offensive. 5th Marines and 2d Marines (-) move into attack positions along the Matanikau. During night 31 October-1 November, Co E of 5th Marines crosses the Matanikau and outposts W bank, and 1st Engr Bn constructs 3 footbridges.
GUADALCANAL--1st Mar Div, with arty, naval gunfire, and air support, launches attack toward Poha R. 5th Marines, followed by 2d Marines (less 3d Bn) in reserve, crosses footbridges over Matanikau R and drives W about 1,000 yards in 2 columns to positions short of Pt Cruz, 1st Bn, the right flank column, meeting considerable delaying opposition along coast. Whaling Group (3d Bn of 7th Marines and scout-sniper detachment) crosses the river upstream and advances W on inland route to protect left flank of 5th Marines. To forestall expected enemy landings in Koli Pt area, E of Lunga perimeter, 2d Bn of 7th Marines starts E toward Metapona R.
USSR--Close combat between Soviet garrison of Stalingrad (62d and 64th Armies) and German 6th and 4th Pz Armies of Army Group B continues, but the garrison has proved itself capable of weathering maximum effort of enemy. In the Caucasus, Red Army has frustrated every enemy effort to reach Grozny and is containing attacks toward Tuapse, but German Army Group A captures Alagir, blocking Ossetian Highway, which extends from Alagir to Kutais.
GUADALCANAL--5th Marines envelops enemy on coast at Pt Cruz. 3d Bn joins 1st Bn in coastal battle E of Pt Cruz while 2d Bn, on left, drives N to coast W of Pt Cruz and turns E, trapping enemy. 2d Marines (-3d Bn) moves forward on left of 5th Marines to continue westward attack. Stores, ammunition, and 1 Army and 1 Marine Corps 155-mm gun battery arrive at Lunga Pt. The 2 batteries are the heaviest U.S. arty to reach the island and the first
capable of countering enemy fire effectively. E of Lunga perimeter, 2d Bn of 7th Marines crosses Metapona R mouth and establishes itself near Tetere village. During night 2-3, Japanese 17th Army lands supplies and about 1,500 men E of Koli Pt to supply and reinf Japanese already there; orders an airfield constructed.
NEW GUINEA--Aus 25th Brig, which has reentered battle for Kokoda Trail, seizes Kokoda and its airfield, greatly facilitating supply and reinforcement of Australians in this area. Piecemeal movement by night of 128th Inf, U.S. 32d Div, less elements still at Port Moresby, by lugger from Wanigela to Pongani and Mendaropu is completed by this time and supplies are being accumulated. Gen MacArthur sets 15 November as tentative date for attack to reduce Buna-Gona beachhead and agrees to proposal by Gen Blarney that troops be transferred by air to Pongani.
EGYPT--Br Eighth Army's 30 Corps opens breakout assault, called SUPERCHARGE, at 0100. NZ 2d Div, in the lead, advances W under cover of arty barrage and secures new corridor through enemy mine fields. 9th Armd Brig passes through corridor in mine field and establishes bridgehead across track extending S from Rahman. At daybreak, the armd brig meets furious opposition from enemy AT screen and sustains over 75% casualties, but maintains the bridgehead. 10 Corps armor begins debouching through the bridgehead, and 1st Armd Div becomes strongly engaged near Tel el Aqqaqir.
GUADALCANAL--5th Marines completes reduction of Japanese pocket at Pt Cruz. 2d Marines takes the lead, 1st Bn and Whaling Group attacking W of Pt Cruz. E of Lunga perimeter, 2d Bn of 7th Marines encounters enemy moving W along coast from Tetere and is forced to retire to W bank of Nalimbiu R and await reinforcements. When information of enemy landing reaches div hq in afternoon, naval and air support is provided immediately; 1st Bn of 7th Marines is dispatched by landing craft to Koli Pt.
CBI--Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek agrees conditionally to plans formulated during recent conference in India, promising 15 divs from Yunnan, provided Allies furnish strong sea and air forces. Gen Stilwell is to command Chinese Army in India (CAI) during Burma operations. Chiang's promise of the Yunnan divs leads to accelerated planning for reorganization of Yunnan force, called Y-Force.
EGYPT--1st Armd Div of 10 Corps, Br Eighth Army, is unable to penetrate enemy's AT screen. Since enemy is obviously withdrawing, Gen Montgomery orders attack to outflank the screen. During night 3-4, 51st Div and brig of Ind 4th Div drive quickly to Rahman track S of Tel el Aqqaqir, breaking through the screen in S sector and forcing enemy to turn it. Allied aircraft fly over 400 sorties against enemy retreating along coastal road.
GUADALCANAL--Lunga perimeter command is reorganized and garrison is reinf. 2 sectors are established, the commander of each being responsible to div hq. Brig Gen William H. Rupertus, Asst CG of 1st Mar Div, is assigned sector E of Lunga R and Brig Gen Edmund B. Sebree, Asst CG of Americal Div, the W sector. 8th Marines, reinf, of 2d Mar Div debarks from naval TF in Lunga-Kukum area and is attached to 1st Mar Div. 1st Mar Div halts westward offensive short of Kokumbona because of enemy threat E of perimeter. 2d Marines (-3d Bn), reinf by 1st Bn of 164th Inf, after driving 2,000 yards W of Pt Cruz, breaks off attack and digs in at Pt Cruz; 5th Marines and Whaling Group return to positions E of the Matanikau. E of perimeter, Gen Rupertus and Hq and 1st Bn, 7th Marines, arrive in Koli Pt area to assist 2d Bn, 7th Marines. 164 Inf (-1st Bn) and Co B of 8th Marines march to W bank of Nalimbiu in region S of 7th Marines and elements start N along the river. Meanwhile, the naval TF transporting 8th Marines lands forces at Aola Bay to establish airfield. Aola Force (1st Bn of 147th Inf; elements of 2d Raider Bn; 5th Defense Bn detachment; Battery K of 246th FA Bn, Americal Div; and 500 naval construction troops) establishes beachhead a little E of Aola R without opposition. Work is begun at once on airfield, but site is later found unsuitable. 2d Raider Bn is ordered to Koli Pt.
NEW GUINEA--Aus 16th Brig begins attack on Oivi and finds enemy prepared for firm stand. Col. Sverdrup by this time has cleared sites for 3 more airfields in general vicinity of Dyke Ackland Bay, the most important of these at Pongam. Fifth Air Force completes movement of rear elements of 128th Inf, U.S. 32d Div, to Wanigela.
MADAGASCAR--Governor General again seeks peace terms and accepts those rejected on 17 September.
MIDDLE EAST--Lt Gen Frank M. Andrews relieves Gen Maxwell as CG USAFIME. Gen Maxwell becomes CG SOS USAFIME.
EGYPT--Enemy, now in full retreat, is pursued W by Br Eighth Army and harassed by aircraft. 10 Corps armor clashes with Axis rear guards S of Ghazal.
GUADALCANAL--164th Inf (-1st Bn) crosses flooded Nalimbiu about 3,500 yards S of Koli Pt and drives N along E bank in effort to outflank enemy facing 7th Marines.
NEW GUINEA--Aus 16th Brig continues attack on Oivi against determined resistance. Aus 25th Brig moves against Gorari from Kokoda.
INDIA--Rcn of Ledo area, terminus of Ledo Road to Myitkyina, Burma, and base from which operations in N Burma, RAVENOUS, are to start, is begun.
MADAGASCAR--Hostilities cease at 1400.
EGYPT--Br Eighth Army regroups and continues pursuit of enemy. 10 Corps, now consisting of 1st and 7th Armd and NZ 2d Divs, pushes rapidly W, overcoming rear guard resistance near Fuka. 30 Corps takes up positions between El 'Alamein and Matruh. 13 Corps is given task of mopping up battle zone.
NW AFRICA--As convoys from U.S. and U.K., with assault forces for TORCH, continue toward NW Africa, Gen Eisenhower flies to Gibraltar and establishes AFHQ CP. U.S.-Br staff consists of: Adm Sir Andrew B. Cunningham, naval CinC; Brig Gen James H. Doolittle, U.S. air forces; Air Marshal Sir William L. Welsh, Br air forces (Eastern Air Command); Lt Gen K. A. N. Anderson, Br ground forces.
GUADALCANAL--7th Marines establishes bridgehead on E bank of Nalimbiu. 164th Inf (-) continues toward Koli Pt, 3d Bn reaching it after nightfall. Aola Force transports complete unloading operations and withdraw.
NEW GUINEA--Gen MacArthur arrives at Port Moresby, where advance echelon of GHQ opens, to direct operations.
EGYPT--10 Corps, Br Eighth Army, continues close pursuit of enemy, advance elements approaching Matruh bottleneck as heavy rains begin.
USSR--Fighting continues in Stalingrad area but on a diminishing scale. In the Caucasus, Red Army is strongly countering enemy efforts to reach Ordzhonikidze.
GUADALCANAL-- 164th Inf enveloping force completes northward movement along E bank of the Nalimbiu to Koli Pt and joins 7th Marines. Combined force then moves E along coast without opposition to within a mile of Metapona R.
CBI--Gen Stilwell, with approval of Foreign Minister T. V. Soong, sends for Gen Wheeler to survey Ch supply situation in preparation for projected campaign in spring of 1943.
EGYPT--Br pursuit of enemy is delayed in Matruh area as heavy rainfall immobilizes supporting vehicles. Enemy seizes opportunity to withdraw some forces. By this time, 4 German and 8 Italian divs are ineffective as fighting units. British have taken 30,000 prisoners, among them 9 generals.
NW AFRICA--Gen Giraud arrives at Gibraltar for conference with Gen Eisenhower, having traveled from France by submarine and plane. TORCH invasion armada from U.S. and U.K. closes in along N African coast. U.S. transport Thomas Stone is torpedoed off SE Spain and disabled; troops aboard are transferred to landing boats but do not reach Algiers until after its surrender.
GUADALCANAL--7th Marines (-) and 2d Bn of 164th Inf, latter being attached to 7th Marines as reserve, move E along coast to surround enemy now disposed astride Gavaga Creek, W of Tetere. 1st and 2d Bns of 7th Marines take up positions on W and E banks, respectively, of the creek. "Tokyo Express" has been landing reinforcements along coast from Kokumbona to Cape Esperance during the period 28 October to date.
NEW GUINEA--Final elements of TF Warren (1st Bn of 128th Inf, U.S. 32d Div) are flown from Port Moresby to Wanigela; from there are moved forward by boat.
EGYPT--Br Eighth Army, although still delayed by rainfall, clears opposition in Mersa Matruh area.
NW AFRICA--Allied troops invade French NW Africa, landing on Algerian and Moroccan coasts. Warships and carrier planes provide close support.
ALGERIA--Eastern Naval Task Force lands Eastern Assault Force (RCT 39, U.S. 9th Div; RCT 168, U.S. 34th Div; 11th and 36th Brigs, Br 78th Div; Br 1st and 6th Cdo Bns), under command of Maj Gen Charles W. Ryder, USA, E and W of Algiers, beginning at 0100; 11th Brig and RCT 168 go ashore W of Algiers near Castiglione and Sidi Ferruch, and RCT 39 lands E of Algiers near Cap Matifou. As troops move forward toward Algiers against little or no resistance, 2 Br DD's, with 3d Bn of RCT 135, U.S. 34th Div, embarked, make frontal attack on Algiers Harbor in effort to take it intact; one DD is forced to withdraw; the other enters harbor and lands troops about 0530, but is forced to retire under heavy fire, leaving troops ashore. Eastern Assault Force takes Blida and Maison Blanche airfields; pushes to edge of Algiers, which capitulates at 1900. Center Naval Task Force lands Center Assault Force (U.S. II Corps assault force, consisting of 1st Div, 1st Ranger Bn, and CCB of 1st Armd Div), under Maj Gen Lloyd R. Fredendall, USA, E and
W of Oran, beginning at 0130, a half hour behind schedule. Rangers and RCT's 16 and 18 of 1st Div land E of Oran in Arzew area; take Arzew, where harbor is secured by U.S.-Br naval landing party without opposition; thrust SW toward Oran to St Cloud, which enemy retains, and Fleurus; elements drive SE along coast to La Macta. Passing through beachhead, TF Red of CCB seizes Tafaraoui airport, 15 miles S of Oran, enabling 31st Fighter Gp planes to support operations from there. W of Oran, RCT 26 of 1st Div lands at Les Andalouses; takes Bou Sfer and Aïn et Turk but is halted short of Oran. TF Green of GCB, 1st Armd Div, debarks at Mersa Bou Zedjar, 16 miles W of Les Andalouses, and heads for La Senia airport, clearing Lourmel and reaching Sebkra d'Oran. 2d Bn of 509th Para Inf (trained as 2d Bn, 503d Para Inf) is dropped to assist in capture of La Senia and Tafaraoui airports, but drops are scattered and paratroopers arrive too late to help. Meanwhile, HMS Walney and Hartland, carrying detachments of 3d Bn, 6th Armd Inf Regt, 1st Armd Div, and Br naval landing party, are sunk by enemy fire while attempting to take Oran Harbor intact.
MOROCCO--Western Naval Task Force, scheduled to land troops at 0400, is delayed at least an hour in landing Casablanca assault forces; engages French fleet at Casablanca. Northern Attack Group TF (60th Inf of 9th Div and 1st Bn of 66th Armd Regt, 2d Armd Div) under Maj Gen Lucian K. Truscott, Jr., USA, lands on beaches N and S of Sebou R at Mehdia; attempts to reach Port-Lyautey and airfield 2 miles N but meets considerable opposition and cannot reach objective. TF of Center Attack Group (3d Div and 1st Bn of 67th Armd Regt, 2d Armd Div) under Maj Gen Jonathan W. Anderson, USA, lands NE of Fedala, sustaining serious loss of landing craft (242, 64 percent), and takes D-Day objectives. Surprised Fedala garrison surrenders and advance is continued toward Casablanca. Southern Attack Group's landing force (47th Inf of 9th Div; 2d and 3d Bns of 67th Armd Regt, 2d Armd Div; and special units) under Maj Gen Ernest N. Harmon, USA, secures 5,000-yard beachhead in Safi area and takes Safi. 2 U.S. DD's, with Cos K and L of 47th Inf, 9th Div, and naval contingent aboard, enter Safi Harbor ahead of landings; after silencing batteries with gunfire, land assault force, which takes harbor facilities without opposition.
GERMANY--Hitler reaffirms his intention of taking Stalingrad, despite very heavy losses in men and equipment, lack of reserves, and overextended supply lines.
FRANCE--Vichy France breaks off diplomatic relations with U.S.
GUADALCANAL--7th Marines, committing 2d Bn of 164th Inf to its S, completes encirclement of enemy along Gavaga Creek except for small gap on S at creek line; repels spirited attempts of enemy to break out. In preparation for renewing attack on Kokumbona, 164th Inf units (Hq, AT Co, and 3d Bn) and Co B of 8th Marines are withdrawn from Koli Pt area to Lunga perimeter.
NEW GUINEA--Advance elements of 2d Bn, 126th Inf, U.S. 32d Div, arrive at Natunga. Airlift of 126th Inf, less 2d Bn, from Port Moresby to forward area begins. Leading elements of 1st Bn, under Lt Col Edmund J. Carrier, are flown to Abel's field, since Pongani Field is temporarily unserviceable, and start toward Pongani on foot. Rest of 1st Bn (Cos D and C, less 2 platoons), under Maj Richard D. Boerem, is flown to Pongani and starts march toward Natunga.
EGYPT--Br Eighth Army resumes pursuit of enemy as weather improves. NZ 2d Div reduces opposition at Sidi Barrani and continues W.
TUNISIA--Germans invade Tunisia without opposition from French, initial elements landing on El Aouïna airport, Tunis.
ALGERIA--Gen Giraud arrives on front. Gen K. A. N. Anderson takes command of Br First Army at Algiers and prepares to move light forces as rapidly as possible to Tunis and Bizerte in order to forestall enemy seizure of these important objectives. Enemy sinks U.S. transport Leedstown off Algiers. Flanking attack on Oran continues to meet resistance as it reaches outskirts of city, but La Senia airport is captured and Fr resistance at St Cloud is bypassed and contained.
MOROCCO--Western Task Force establishes hq at Fedala, where Adm Hewitt, USN, transfers to Maj Gen George S. Patton, Jr., USA, command of troops ashore. French continue to resist strongly at approaches to Port-Lyautey and airport. 3d Div delays advance on Casablanca to await unloading of heavy equipment and arty. RCT 47, 9th Div, organizes Safi beachhead.
GUADALCANAL--7th Marines (-) and 2d Bn of 164th Inf continue reduction of pocket astride Gavaga Creek; make unsuccessful attempt to close gap in line. Westward offensive toward Kokumbona is renewed under command of CO, 2d Marines. 1st Bn of 164th Inf and 2d Marines (-3d Bn) attack W from Pt Cruz with 8th Marines protecting left rear.
NEW GUINEA--Aus 16th Brig forces Japanese from Oivi toward Kumusi R mouth.
EGYPT--Br Eighth Army clears Halfaya Pass.
ALGERIA--Adm François Darlan broadcasts from Algiers order for Fr forces in N Africa to cease resistance. Troops of 1st Div and of CCB, 1st Armd Div, converge on Oran; RCT 16 has leading elements within the city by 0830; CCB columns enter Oran from S before French CG surrenders at 1230.
MOROCCO--French resistance in Port-Lyautey area ends. By noon, Twelfth Air Force fighters are landing on airfield from USS Chenango. U.S. forces from Fedala close in on Casablanca and prepare for concerted assault at dawn on 11th. CCB, 2d Armd Div, breaks off drive toward Marrakech from Safi area and marches toward Mazagan in order to conserve strength for attack on Casablanca.
GUADALCANAL--Westward offensive toward Kobumbona is halted because of strong indications of an all-out enemy attempt to recover Lunga area. After reaching positions a little beyond those gained on 4 November, assault force begins withdrawal across the Matanikau. E of Lunga perimeter, 2d Bn of 164th Inf closes gap on S flank of U.S. line about enemy along Gavaga Creek and drives N to beach while 7th Marines closes in from E and W. Naval force bringing reinforcements and supplies from New Hebrides arrives and begins unloading; when the 3 transports of the force are damaged by enemy aircraft, the group retires to join naval forces approaching from New Caledonia.
NEW GUINEA--Hq of 126th Inf, 32d Div, is flown to Pongani.
EGYPT-LIBYA--10 Corps, Br Eighth Army, drives last of enemy from Egypt and enters Libya, taking Bardia without opposition. 1st and 7th Armd Divs continue pursuit of enemy in Libya. NZ 2d Div pauses at frontier to reorganize.
NW AFRICA--In response to Adm Darlan's order of 10th, all resistance of Fr forces in NW Africa ceases by 0700.
MOROCCO--Western Task Force cancels attack on Casablanca because of armistice; 3d Div enters city at 0730. CCB of 2d Armd Div receives surrender of Mazagan and establishes bridgehead at Azemmour without opposition. Enemy torpedoes and sinks U.S. transport off coast.
ALGERIA--Br First Army lands elements of 36th Brig, 78th Div, at Bougie, 110 miles E of Algiers, without opposition. Hart Force--mobile TF based on 11th Brig of 78th Div--moves out of Algiers toward Bône, traveling overland.
FRANCE--Axis troops march into unoccupied France.
GUADALCANAL--Enemy pocket along Gavaga Creek is completely eliminated. The action has cost Japanese 450 killed, and the few who have eluded the trap are being harassed, while retiring toward Mt Austen, by Col Carlson's 2d Raider Bn marching W from Aola Bay. Kokumbona assault force completes withdrawal across the Matanikau. Transports and cargo ships from New Hebrides and New Caledonia arrive off Lunga Pt and begin unloading; withdraw at 1815 under DD escort after all troops, totaling about 6,000 and including RCT 182 of Americal Div, and part of the supplies are ashore, because of news that heavy Japanese naval force, including 2 BB's, is moving S toward the island. Warships remain to engage enemy.
NAVAL BATTLE OF GUADALCANAL--During night 12-13, Japanese warships are located by radar between Savo and Cape Esperance and naval battle ensues during which 2 enemy DD's are sunk and 4 damaged. Japanese retire northward without having accomplished mission of neutralizing Henderson Field before arrival of transport force. U.S. losses are heavy: AA cruisers Atlanta and Juneau and DD's Barton, Cushing, Laffey, and Monssen are sunk; 5 other vessels are seriously damaged.
NEW GUINEA--Gorari falls to Aus 25th Brig. Japanese succeed in withdrawing main forces across flooded Kumusi R, night 12-13. 2d Bn of 126th Inf, U.S. 32d Div, moves toward Gora and Bofu, Co E in the lead, reaching Bofu. 3d Bn of 126th, upon reaching Pongani by air, starts toward Natunga.
CBI--Gen Stilwell, in memorandum to Foreign Minister Soong, suggests that a commander be chosen at once for Y-Force; that units to participate in offensive be designated and reorganized; that available 75-mm guns be sent to Yunnan; and that incompetent commanders be removed.
MIDDLE EAST--U.S. Ninth Air Force is established by order of Gen Andrews, CG USAFIME. Gen Brereton activates Hq Sq, Ninth Air Force, and IX Air Service Command. Hq and Hq Sq of 19th Bombardment Wing arrive by sea.
MOROCCO--U.S. transports Hugh L Scott and Edward Rutledge are lost off Morocco to enemy torpedoes.
ALGERIA--Br First Army takes Bône, 150 miles E of Bougie, without opposition, but enemy planes make damaging attacks later in day. 6th Cdos land by sea and secure port. U.S. transport planes drop 2 cos of 3d Para Bn at Duzerville airdrome, 6 miles SE of Bône. Paratroop Task Force (60th Troop Carrier Gp and 2d Bn of U.S. 509th Para Inf) is placed under operational control of Br First Army at Algiers.
SOLOMON IS.--Crippled Japanese BB Hiei is attacked by air near Savo throughout day and is subsequently scuttled.
GUADALCANAL--8 P-38's of 339th Sq, 347th Fighter Gp, arrive on fighter strip just E of Henderson Field after flight from Milne Bay.
NEW GUINEA--Australians destroy enemy rear guard at Kumusi R crossing.
LIBYA--Tobruk falls to 10 Corps, Br Eighth Army.
ALGERIA--Gen Eisenhower flies to Algiers to conclude agreement with Adm Darlan. Allied convoy arrives at Bône and unloads 17/21 Lancers Regimental Gp (later called Blade Force), 1st Para Brig (-), transport of 78th Div (-), and Advance Hq of Br First Army. Main body of 36th Brig, 78th Div, advances to Djidjelli, 40 miles E of Bougie.
GUADALCANAL--Japanese continue attempts to neutralize Henderson Field with naval gunfire in preparation for landing of reinforcements. Enemy cruiser-DD force opens fire early in the morning, but bombardment is cut short by PT boats. The enemy group, as well as large convoy loaded with some 10,000 troops, is later attacked by aircraft with excellent results. Planes of carrier TF under Adm Kinkaid, based on USS Enterprise, the last carrier in S Pacific, join land-based planes in attacking enemy vessels. 1 enemy CA is sunk and 3 other warships are damaged. Of 11 transports in the transport convoy, 7 are sunk, but the others continue to Tassafaronga after nightfall to unload about 4,000 troops and a few tons of supplies. In another effort to neutralize Henderson Field, Japanese move powerful warship force forward. Elements of Adm Kinkaid's naval force intercept enemy warships, night 14-15, and in long-range gun battle sink a DD and badly damage BB Kirishima, which is scuttled by her crew. U.S. losses in this engagement are 3 DD's sunk and 2 other warships damaged.
NEW GUINEA--New Guinea Force issues attack plan for reduction of Buna-Gona beachhead. Advance elements of 126th Inf, U.S. 32d Div, are consolidating positions at Natunga. TF Warren (128th Inf of 32d Div and Aus 2/6th Independent Co) is consolidating and patrolling in Oro Bay-Embogu-Embi area. On Kokoda Trail, Aus 25th Brig starts crossing improvised bridge at Wairopi, and Fifth Air Force drops bridging equipment.
GUADALCANAL--The 4 surviving transports of Japanese convoy are sighted at Tassafaronga and attacked by arty, naval gunfire, and aircraft from Henderson Field and the New Hebrides. All 4 are destroyed and supplies on beach are fired. This decisive defeat almost isolates Japanese on Guadalcanal.
LIBYA--10 Corps, Br Eighth Army, seizes Martuba airfields.
ALGERIA-TUNISIA--Br First Army reaches Tunisia at Tabarka, 80 miles W of Tunis. Tabarka is occupied by 36th Brig, 78th Div. 2d Bn of U.S. 509th Para Regt lands in Algeria at Youk-les-Bains, near Tébessa and 100 miles S of Bône.
NEW GUINEA--U.S. 32d and Aus 7th Divs move forward to eliminate Buna-Gona beachhead, 32d toward Buna and 7th toward Gona and Sanananda. Japanese, expected to be few and dispirited, are prepared for a determined stand and have organized a series of strong positions favored by terrain for defense. Col Yosuke Yokoyama commands all forces W of Girua R (Gen Horii having been lost at sea while withdrawing from Kokoda Trail battle) and Capt Yoshitatsu Yasuda those E of river. In Aus 7th Div sector on W, 25th Brig moves toward Gona and 16th toward Sanananda. To E, U.S. 32d Div's 126th Inf heads for Buna along axis Inonda-Horanda-Dobodura, and Warren Force (based on 128th Inf) moves along coast toward Cape Endaiadere. Although by evening Aus arty is employed to support coastal advance, Warren Force suffers severe blow when small craft bringing urgently needed supplies are destroyed by enemy planes; among personnel embarked on these is Maj Gen Edwin F. Harding, CG U.S. 32d Div, who swims to shore.
NEW BRITAIN--Japanese establish 8th Army Area at Rabaul under command of Lt Gen Hitoshi Imamura. This command comprises 2 armies: 17th, charged with operations in the Solomons, and 18th, to operate in New Guinea.
TUNISIA--Br First Army continues movement into Tunisia. 1st Para Bn lands at Souk el Arba, 30 miles S of Tabarka. Several thousand Germans form bridgehead in Bizerte-Tunis area. Fr 19th Corps reports contact with German patrol on Bédja-Djebel Abiod highway. Fr forces at Oued Zarga and Mateur drive off enemy patrols.
MEDITERRANEAN--Allied aircraft from Martuba protect Malta-bound convoy, which departs from Port Said.
NEW GUINEA--Aus and U.S. forces continue toward Japanese beachhead in Buna-Gona area. U.S. 32d Div's TF Warren suffers another setback as
Japanese planes put 2 more supply luggers out of action, leaving only 1 serviceable and necessitating supply of vital items by air until more luggers become available. Wairopi Patrol reports to Aus 7th Div at Wairopi. Japanese reinforcements arrive at Basabua by DD in evening.
TUNISIA--CG Br First Army orders 78th Div to concentrate for advance on Tunis. 36th Brig of 78th Div makes contact with Germans W of Djebel Abiod, 70 miles W of Tunis. To S, 2d Bn of U.S. 509th Para Regt occupies Gafsa airfield.
GUADALCANAL--Gen Sebree, CG of W Sector, begins moving forces toward line of departure W of the Matanikau (from Pt Cruz southward along ridge containing Hills 80, 81 and 66) in preparation for full-scale westward offensive. 2d Bn of 182d Inf, covered by 8th Marines, which remains E of the Matanikau, crosses the river about 700 yards from its mouth and takes Hill 66, southernmost point of the line of departure.
NEW GUINEA--Aus 16th Brig drives to Popondetta, where airfield construction is begun, and continues toward Soputa without making contact with the enemy. U.S. 32d Div's 126th Inf is ordered to establish contact with Australians. Because of supply problems, TF Warren remains in place.
TUNISIA--36th Brig of 78th Div, Br First Army, repels German attack at Djebel Abiod, but Hart Force (11th Brig), spearheading drive, becomes isolated in region E of Djebel Abiod. Germans attack Fr forces of 19th Corps at Medjez el Bab, 35 miles SW of Tunis and 30 miles S of Mateur.
GUADALCANAL--1st Bn, 182d Inf, crosses Matanikau and moves W along shore with Co B, 8th Marines, covering left flank; digs in just E of Pt Cruz. Gap of over 1,000 yards separates 1st and 2d Bns of 182d Inf W of the Matanikau. During night 19-20, Japanese move forward from Kokumbona and open fire on 1st Bn.
NEW GUINEA--Forward elements of Aus 25th Brig encounter enemy one mile S of Gona; Aus 16th Brig makes contact with Japanese just outside Soputa. After establishing contact with Australians near Popondetta, 126th Inf of U.S. 32d Div heads for Buna but, since Japanese appear to be concentrated W of Girua R, is directed to assist Maj Gen George A. Vasey's Aus 7th Div instead. Gen Harding thus loses half his assault force; left flank of TF Warren is left exposed. 1st and 3d Bns of 128th Inf, Warren Force, attack in parallel columns, 1st Bn from Boero and 3d Bn from Simemi. Both meet accurate enemy fire from concealed positions and suffer heavy casualties; maximum gain of 200 yards is made on right along coast.
TUNISIA--Gen Louis Jacques Barré, Fr 19th Corps, rejects German ultimatum to evacuate Medjez el Bab, where German tank-infantry assaults supported by arty and air are repulsed by French aided by U.S. arty and Br troops.
USSR--Red Army opens winter offensive. After 7½-hour arty preparation, 6 corps of Don Front attack from Serafimovich bridgehead across the Don NW of Stalingrad and make deep penetration in Kletskaya area. This is the beginning of a pincers movement to isolate Axis forces attacking Stalingrad. Offensive is well timed and indirectly aided by Allied offensive in NW Africa.
GUADALCANAL--Japanese attack left flank of 1st Bn, 182d Inf, early in day and force it back, but 1st Bn recovers lost ground with assistance of air and arty and drives forward until stopped by enemy fire just W of Pt Cruz. Enemy retains Pt Cruz itself. 164th Inf moves forward during night 20-21 to bridge gap between assault bns of 182d Inf.
NEW GUINEA--Advance elements of Aus 25th Brig enter Gona but are driven out after nightfall. 126th Inf of U.S. 32d Div, upon reaching Popondetta, is sent on to Soputa to assist Aus 16th Brig. Aus 16th Brig clears enemy rear guard from Soputa and continues along Sanananda track to its junction with main trail to Cape Killerton but is halted at enemy's forward defense line. TF Warren continues to meet heavy fire, which pins down 3d Bn of 128th Inf on left; 1st Bn is halted after 100-yard advance in coastal area. Col Carrier's detachment (elements of 1st Bn, 126th Inf) and Aus 2/6th Independent Co arrive at front and prepare to join in attack along coast.
LIBYA--Benghazi falls to 10 Corps, Br Eighth Army.
TUNISIA--Fr 19th Corps units, together with British and attached U.S. forces, withdraw from Medjez el Bab to Oued Zarga, 10 miles W, where forward elements of Blade Force, Br First Army, are located. Main body of Blade Force is concentrated in Souk el Arba area. Br 1st Para Bn is holding Bédja.
USSR--Continuing offensive, 3 Soviet corps of Stalingrad Front penetrate German positions S of Stalingrad.
GUADALCANAL--1st Bn, 182d Inf, clears enemy from Pt Cruz but is unable to advance any farther. To S, 164th Inf attacks from Hills 80-81 ridge line
but is halted after negligible gains by Japanese, whose defenses are skilfully organized in depth and mutually supporting.
NEW GUINEA--126th Inf, U.S. 32d Div, upon reaching Soputa, is attached to Aus 76th Brig, which continues costly and fruitless efforts to advance toward Sanananda. 2d Bn of 128th Inf, U.S. 32d Div, begins drive on Buna Mission, moving from Ango along Dobodura-Buna track; upon reaching trail junction, called the Triangle, where trails to Buna Mission and Buna Village converge, is halted by well-organized bunker positions that are made more formidable by swampy terrain on both sides of the Triangle. Since no further progress can be made with forces present, 2d Bn of 126th Inf is ordered to cross Girua R and assist. Attack of Warren Force is delayed by series of mishaps, but gets under way by 1630 after air and arty preparation, which is of little benefit. Casualties are again heavy and gains negligible. 3d Bn, 128th Inf, attempting to take bridge between airstrips, is pinned down by enemy fire. Aus 2/6th Independent Co tries to secure E end of New Strip by infiltration and knocks out a few MG positions in the area. Along coast, 1st Bn of 128th Inf and Col Carrier's detachment of 1st Bn, 126th, attack abreast, gaining a few yards and destroying some MG nests. Situation improves somewhat as additional guns are brought forward and airstrip at Dobodura becomes operational.
LIBYA--B-24's of IX Bomber Command, staging out of Gambut, make successful attack on Tripoli harbor.
TUNISIA--Elements of Hart Force succeed in rejoining 36th Brig of 78th Div, Br First Army. Enemy withdraws to E bank of river at Medjez, but 78th Div is too weak to follow up and is ordered to await reinforcements. 2d Bn of U.S. 509th Para Inf withdraws from Gafsa to Fériana, 40 miles N.
GUADALCANAL--182d and 164th Regts again meet strong resistance while attempting to push W and are unable to advance. 8th Marines prepares to attack through 164th Inf.
NEW GUINEA--While Aus 25th Brig continues toward Gona, U.S. 126th Inf (-) attacks through Aus 76th Brig toward Sanananda. Maj Boerem's detachment (elements of 1st Bn) moves along road as 3d Bn advances on flanks along secondary trails. After nightfall, fresh Japanese forces attack Co L, flanking on right, to insure safety of food supply dump in line of advance and are driven off. From Soputa, 2d Bn of 126th Inf moves forward to assist 2d Bn of 128th, crossing to E bank of Girua R on rafts during evening. On Warren Force front, 3d Bn of 128th Inf secretly pulls back to positions just behind 1st Bn, though Co I holds former position astride trail just W of New Strip.
TUNISIA--36th Brig of 78th Div, Br First Army, repels attack at Djebel Abiod. 11th Brig of 78th Div completes concentration at Bédja. Fr and U.S. troops reoccupy Gafsa.
USSR--Red Army forces of Don and Stalingrad Fronts make junction at Kalach, encircling 6th Army of German Army Group B at Stalingrad.
U.S.--Bill authorizing Women's Reserve, U.S. Coast Guard (SPARS) is signed by President Roosevelt.
GUADALCANAL--After 30-minute arty preparation, 8th Marines passes through 164th Inf to continue attack westward but is unable to advance. Since the offensive has proved too costly to be continued for the time being, attack is halted along Hills 66-80-81-Pt Cruz line to await reinforcements. By this time, 84 U.S. (Army, Navy, and Marine Corps) and New Zealand planes are operating from Guadalcanal.
NEW GUINEA--Main body of Aus 25th Brig arrives at front and begins assault on Gona against determined resistance. 3d Bn of 126th Inf, U.S. 32d Div, continues toward Sanananda; Co L, on right is pinned down by fire at edge of food dump. Airfield at Popondetta becomes operational, and 4 guns are flown in and emplaced just S of Soputa. 2d Bns of 126th and 128th Regts are combined to form Urbana Force under command of CO, 128th Inf. 2d Bn of 128th Inf is slowed by extremely difficult terrain as it advances against the Triangle along main track and swamps on either side of it. Warren Force commander, Gen MacNider, is wounded while inspecting front and replaced by Col J. Tracy Hale, Jr. After ineffective preparatory fire against enemy bunkers, 1st Bn of 128th Inf and Col Carrier's detachment of 1st Bn, 126th Inf, attack along coast toward Cape Endaiadere, gaining some 300 yards against intense fire. Aus 2/16th Independent Co makes limited progress toward E end of New Strip.
LIBYA--Upon being outflanked by 7th Armd Div of 10 Corps, Br Eighth Army, enemy withdraws from Agedabia for El Agheila, where he hopes to make a successful stand.
ALGERIA--AFHQ is moved from Gibraltar to Algiers.
TUNISIA--Verbal agreement is reached that all troops N of Le Kef-Zaghouan line are to be under command of Br First Army and those S of it under Fr command.
SENEGAL--Dakar falls to Allied forces without a shot.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese continue to repel efforts of Aus 25th Brig to take Gona. 3d Bn of 126th Inf, U.S. 32d Div, pushes on toward Sanananda: 2 Aus cos join Co L in battle for food dump on right; on left, Cos I and K reach clearing W of Killerton trail, some 1,200 yards N of original starting point, but are driven back into swamp by enemy infiltrators. Urbana Force launches co-ordinated assault on the Triangle at 1428 after ineffective air and brief mortar preparation. While Co F of 126th Inf makes frontal assault in which Co H of 128th joins, Co E of 126th takes over left flank positions along Entrance Creek and Cos E and G of 128th attack on right flank. The attack, although carefully planned, is a failure. Warren Force front along coast is quiet.
CBI--Gen Stilwell is informed by U.S. War Department that little more aid, aside from existing commitments, can be provided for N Burma offensive.
LIBYA--Front is quiet generally as Gen Montgomery plans an assault on El Agheila bottleneck. Br Eighth Army forces must be regrouped and supplies and reinforcements amassed.
TUNISIA--Br First Army is ordered to advance on Tunis, with Tebourba and Mateur as first objectives. Main body of CCB, U.S. 1st Armd Div, begins move from Tafaraoui, Algeria, to Tunisia; forward elements (1st Bn of 1st Armd Regt) arrive at Bédja and are attached to Blade Force.
USSR--Soviet forces of Stalingrad Front are exploiting their breakthroughs; on central front, are attacking in vicinity of Veliki Luki and Rzhev.
NEW GUINEA--Firm Japanese opposition on entire front has resulted in virtual stalemate. Arty fire is exchanged and patrols are active in some sectors.
TUNISIA--Br First Army attacks toward Tunis. On N, 36th Brig of 78th Div advances from Djebel Abiod toward Mateur. In center, Blade Force penetrates enemy positions between Mateur and Tebourba; attached elements of CCB, U.S. 1st Armd Div, raid Djedeïda airfield, 5 miles E of Tebourba, destroying 30 planes. 11th Brig of 78th Div recaptures Medjez el Bab.
NEW GUINEA--Stalemate continues on Gona front. Further frontal and flanking attacks of 126th Inf, U.S. 32d Div, toward Sanananda make limited progress: 1st Bn (-) is pinned down on Soputa-Sanananda track after 100-yard advance; on left, 3d Bn (-) drives E to within 700 yards of Killerton trail; on right, Co L and Australians finally overrun the bitterly contested food dump. Urbana Force halts frontal and right flank attacks on the Triangle and prepares to make strong effort on left, since enemy is disposed in less strength W of Entrance Creek and terrain is more favorable. Warren Force, under personal observation of Gen Harding, makes determined effort to advance after strong air and arty preparation. Japanese retire into bunkers during bombardment and emerge afterward to meet attack. 3d Bn of 128th Inf (-) and 1st Bn of 126th (-) advance abreast, latter on left followed by 1st Bn of 128th. Little is accomplished by the attack. Co I of 128th Inf and Aus 2/6th Independent Co, charged respectively with securing W and E ends of New Strip, are unable to advance. Japanese retain air superiority over Buna front and sink lugger bound for Hariko with ammunition. 127th Inf, U.S. 32d Div, reaches Port Moresby from Australia.
TUNISIA--Br First Army continues to advance. Blade Force engages in its first armored battle on plain S of Mateur
NEW GUINEA--Three-day lull begins as preparations are made for renewing attack. Col John W. Mott, Gen Harding's chief of staff, arrives on Urbana front and takes command.
TUNISIA--Tebourba, 20 miles W of Tunis, falls to 11th Brig of 78th Div, Br First Army. German counterattack on the town, supported by tanks and dive bombers, is thrown back. CCB, U.S. 1st Armd Div, is detached from U.S. II Corps, which operated as Center Task Force at Oran, and attached to Br First Army.
FRANCE--Fr fleet is scuttled in harbor of Toulon by order of Adm Jean de Laborde to prevent it from falling into German hands.
SOLOMON IS.--Enemy submarine torpedoes Alchiba, off Guadalcanal, leaving only 4 undamaged cargo ships in S Pacific Force.
NEW GUINEA--Capt Medendorp's detachment (Cannon and AT Cos of 126th Inf, U.S. 32d Div) arrives on Sanananda front from Wairopi and takes up positions just behind Cos I and K, W of Killerton trail.
CHINA--Gen Wheeler reports to Gen Stilwell on Chinese SOS.
FRENCH SOMALILAND--Nearly one third of Vichy-controlled garrison of Djibouti crosses into British Somaliland and declares its adherence to the Allies.
TUNISIA--Br First Army's 11th Brig of 78th Div and elements of CCB (2d Bn of 13th Armd Regt), U.S. 1st Armd Div, reach outskirts of Djedeïda, 15 miles W of Tunis. This is the point nearest Tunis to be reached until final phase of campaign. To S, Germans evacuate Pont-du-Fahs, 35 miles SE of Tunis. At Gafsa, elements of U.S. 1st Div (3d Bn of RCT 26) are attached to 2d Bn, U.S. 509th Para Regt.
GUADALCANAL--3d Bn of 147th Inf, elements of 246th FA Bn, part of 9th (Mar) Defense Bn, and additional Seabees are landed in Koli Pt area, where an airfield, Carney, is to be constructed; Aola Bay area has been rejected as unsuitable for an airfield site.
NEW GUINEA--Allied bombers intercept enemy force of 4 DD's, proceeding without air cover, in Vitiaz Strait and turn it back, thus preventing reinforcement of Gona with fresh troops from Rabaul. Col Kiyomi Yazawa and part of enemy force that had withdrawn along W bank of the Kumusi to positions N of Gona reach Giruwa from there by barge. Lt Gen Robert L. Eichelberger, engaged in training U.S. 41st Div at Rockhampton, Australia, is ordered to New Guinea.
TUNISIA--Br First Army is stalled at Djedeïda by firm opposition, although 11th Brig of 78th Div continues fighting there. Elements of Br 1st Para Brig are dropped by U.S. transports at Depienne, 10 miles NE of Pont-du-Fahs, to take Oudna airdrome and threaten Tunis from S, but vigorous opposition prevents paratroopers from attaining their objective.
USSR--Red Army offensive, which continues to gain ground in Stalingrad sector, is expanded to the Caucasus, where attacks are begun against Terek bridgehead.
BATTLE OF TASSAFARONGA (LUNGA PT)--U.S. naval TF takes up position at entrance to Savo Sound to prevent enemy landings in Tassafaronga area; makes contact and, opens fire on enemy naval force during night 30 November-1 December, sinking DD and damaging another vessel. Enemy retires without effecting landings. USS Northampton (CA) is badly damaged and abandoned, and 3 other cruisers are damaged during the action.
NEW GUINEA--Gen Eichelberger, CG I Corps, flies from Australia to Port Moresby. Aus 21st Brig, having rested and reorganized after action in Owen Stanley Range, takes over attack on Gona front, relieving Aus 25th Brig. In Sanananda sector, left flank elements of 126th Inf, U.S. 32d Div, establish block behind enemy on Soputa-Sanananda trail, but frontal attacks along the trail in center and flanking attacks on right make little headway. Urbana and Warren Forces each make concerted attacks but gain little ground. Urbana Force fails in 3 attempts to take Buna Village; elements protecting flank and rear seize crossing over Siwori Creek and outpost region between there and Buna Creek, but are unable to clear Coconut Grove or advance beyond the Triangle. Warren Force, attacking toward Cape Endaiadere on right and NE edge of New Strip on left, encounters enemy's MLR in Duropa Plantation and is unable to breach it. Bren carriers that were to have spearheaded assault in this sector fail to arrive.
TUNISIA--As 11th Brig, Br 78th Div, continues losing battle at Djedeïda, Br First Army prepares for attack on Tunis by Blade Force and CCB of U.S. 1st Armd Div on 2 December. CCB is concentrated in Medjez el Bab area and Blade Force in vicinity of Chouïgui. By this time, Axis forces have about 15,500 fighting troops in Tunisia.
GUADALCANAL--8th Marines, 2d Mar Div, is withdrawn from forward positions W of Matanikau R, leaving Americal Div units to hold W sector.
NEW GUINEA--Gen Eichelberger flies to Dobodura and takes command of all troops in Buna area. Aus 21st Brig, after turning back from Giruwa 3 barge loads of Japanese attempting to reinforce Gona, attacks and captures Gona, forcing Japanese back to Gona Mission for final stand. Elsewhere, Japanese show no signs of weakening. Enemy exerts heavy pressure against roadblock (called "Huggins" after Capt Meredith M. Huggins) on Soputa-Sanananda trail and withstands frontal and flanking attacks toward it. Urbana Force makes another futile attempt to reach Buna Village after arty and mortar preparation with all available weapons. Warren Force continues attacks toward Cape Endaiadere on right and New Strip on left with little success; 1st Bn of 126th gets elements to NE edge of New Strip.
CBI--Airlift to China is removed from authority of Gen Stilwell and made part of Air Transport Command (India-China Wing, ATC).
BURMA--Japanese, having rested and refitted, start back into battle line Tengchung-Myitkyina-Kamaing-Kalewa-Akyab.
TUNISIA--Enemy forestalls offensive, intended for 2d, counterattacking strongly toward Tebourba with tanks and infantry supported by aircraft. Blade Force falls back with heavy tank losses. CCB, U.S. 1st Armd Div, is attached to Br 78th Div to help
hold Tebourba area and moves forward to vicinity of Tebourba. Concentration of 78th Div, the first full div of 5 Corps, Br First Army, on Tunisian front, is now complete.
U.K.--Lt Gen Ira C. Eaker replaces Gen Spaatz as head of U.S. Eighth Air Force. Gen Spaatz flies to Algeria.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese try to reinforce bridgehead. 4 DD's, with about 800 men embarked, reach Basabua early in morning, but are forced by Allied aircraft to move on and land troops near Kumusi R mouth, about 12 miles N of Gona. Japanese maintain pressure on roadblock on Soputa-Sanananda trail, which supply party reaches, and whittle down its perimeter. Efforts to reach the block frontally and from right flank are again unsuccessful. Urbana Force attacks again toward Buna Village, in greater strength and after increased preparatory fire, but is halted short of objective. Since simultaneous attacks against Cape Endaiadere and New Strip have proved unfeasible, Warren Force concentrates on New Strip, leaving holding force (Co B, 128th Inf) on coastal track, where it fails to deceive enemy with feint toward Cape Endaiadere. Warren Force attacks after air and ground bombardment, which does little damage to enemy, but results are negligible. Gen Eichelberger visits Urbana front while his staff officers inspect Warren front. Afterwards, Gen Eichelberger relieves Gen Harding of command of U.S. 32d Div and designates Brig Gen Albert W. Waldron as his successor.
TUNISIA--Br First Army withstands another attack on Tebourba. Br tank losses are now about 40. U.S. forces (2d Bn of U.S. 509th Para Regt with 3d Bn of RCT 26, U.S. 1st Div) in conjunction with Fr troops attack Faïd Pass, 65 miles NE of Gafsa.
NEW GEORGIA--Japanese are discovered to be constructing airfield at Munda Pt, which becomes target for almost daily air attacks.
GUADALCANAL--Movement of Aola Force, less 2d Raider Bn, to Koli Pt, where airfield is to be constructed, is completed. Aola Force is joined by 18th Naval Construction Bn and rest of 9th Defense Bn.
NEW GUINEA--Situation of 126th Inf roadblock on Soputa-Sanananda trail remains precarious as Japanese continue to attack it repeatedly from all sides and to prevent forward movement of Allied units attempting to reach it. On Urbana and Warren fronts, troops are being rested and regrouped in preparation for all-out attack on 5 December. Lt Col Melvin McCreary replaces Col Mott as commander of Urbana Force. Col. Clarence A. Martin succeeds Col Hale as commander of Warren Force. Gen Eichelberger requests that 126th Inf hq be moved E of Girua R and is promised Aus troops and tanks. Japanese are successfully supplied by air.
TUNISIA--Germans continue to attack Tebourba and occupy it during night 3-4. 11th Brig, Br 78th Div, whose positions are penetrated, withdraws with heavy losses to region N of Medjez el Bab. CCB, U.S. 1st Armd Div, engages enemy on El Guessa heights, SW of Tebourba. To S, Fr and U.S. forces capture Faïd Pass.
GUADALCANAL--Carlson's raiders (2d Mar Raider Bn) reach Lunga perimeter, having marched W from Aola Bay. During the month-long journey, more than 400 enemy dead have been counted for loss of 17 raiders.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese maintain pressure against block on Soputa-Sanananda trail, Col McCreary is replaced by Col John E. Grose as commander of Urbana Force. Hq of 126th Inf moves from Sanananda to Urbana front; U.S. troops of this regt that are W of the Girua R remain under operation control of Aus 16th Brig and pass to command of Maj Bernd G. Baetcke. Advance elements of 127th Inf, U.S. 32d Div, reach Dobodura. Lines on Urbana and Warren fronts are rearranged to permit units operating under bns other than their own to return to parent bns.
ITALY--20 B-24's of IX BC, in first attack by U.S. bombers on Italy, damage docks and shipping at Naples.
U.S.--Selective Service System is placed under War Manpower Commission by Presidential executive order.
S. PACIFIC--AAF units in S Pacific are to be designated Thirteenth Air Force, although this air force has not yet been formally activated.
NEW GUINEA--In Gona area, Aus 21st Brig maintains pressure on enemy; Aus 25th Brig withdraws for Port Moresby. Bn of 21st Brig, supported by elements of Aus 39th Bn, 30th Brig, moves E to keep enemy from Basabua anchorage while rest of the 39th Bn advances W because of enemy landings at Kumusi R mouth. Roadblock on Soputa-Sanananda trail remains under severe pressure, and food and ammunition of garrison are dwindling rapidly. Japanese turn back supply party attempting to reach the block and again repel frontal and flanking attacks toward it. After air and arty preparation, Urbana and Warren Forces launch all-out attacks. Some Urbana Force elements drive to
within 50 yards of Buna Village; others break through to the sea; still others invest W bank of Entrance Creek except for Coconut Grove. Buna Village is completely isolated. Warren Force attack, although preceded by Bren carriers, is a total failure except on left, where slight progress is made toward bridge between strips. Warren Force suffers heavily from enemy as well as intense heat. Brig Gen Clovis E. Byers, I Corps chief of staff, replaces Gen Waldron, who is wounded, as commander of 32d Div.
TUNISIA--Combined Chiefs of Staff approve Gen Eisenhower's plan to attack on 9 December. Br First Army is handicapped by lack of advanced airfields, overextended supply lines, and lack of reserves. While preparations are being made for the attack, Allied aircraft are conducting strikes against ports to limit enemy's build-up.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese frustrate effort to supply beleaguered roadblock on Soputa-Sanananda trail with rations and ammunition. The garrison is near the end of its resources. Urbana Force prepares for another attack on Buna Village and places first "time on target" fire of the campaign on Buna Mission. Since frontal attacks by Warren Force have been futile and costly, it is decided to soften enemy positions by attrition and infiltration while awaiting arrival of tanks.
TUNISIA--German attack penetrates positions of CCB, U.S. 1st Armd Div, on El Guessa heights.
NEW GUINEA--Aus 30th Brig relieves Aus 16th Brig on Sanananda front where troops are greatly weakened by malaria as well as protracted fighting. Cos C, D, and L of U.S. 126th Inf are relieved in front line by Aus 49th and 55/53d Bns. Americans, except for those garrisoning the roadblock and holding positions W of it, are ordered to rear of Aus forces. Fresh Aus troops attack at once toward the block but cannot reach it; further effort to supply the block is also futile. Col Clarence M. Tomlinson takes command of Urbana Force, relieving Col Grose. After heavy air and arty preparation, Urbana Force again attacks Buna Village and clears trench at S edge. Elements on coast repel enemy attacks from the village and mission. Warren Force patrols intensively. Gen Eichelberger, who is in the process of moving his hq from Henahambuti to Simemi Village and of combining hqs of I Corps and 32d Div into Hq Buna Force, selects Brig George F. Wootten, CG Aus 18th Brig, who is at Milne Bay, to command future operations of Warren Force.
U.S.--JCS present to President Roosevelt proposal for recapture of all Burma, Operation ANAKIM. President agrees that Gen Stilwell must be provided means for his part of the operation--N Burma, Operation RAVENOUS.
GUADALCANAL--RCT 132 (-) of Americal Div arrives.
NEW GUINEA--Allied planes intercept convoy of 6 DD's, with fighter cover, attempting to reinforce beachhead and force it back to Rabaul. Japanese sustain heavy casualties while trying unsuccessfully to withdraw from Gona to Giruwa. Allied supply party reaches roadblock on Soputa-Sanananda trail against bitter opposition. Urbana Force, continuing battle for Buna Village, concentrates on bunker position on S edge. Newly arrived flame thrower proves so ineffective that the weapon is not used again during the campaign. Japanese fail in attempt to reinforce garrison of village with troops from mission. On Warren front, preparations are made to move guns closer to enemy bunkers as 2 more 25-pounders arrive by sea. Brig Wootten is ordered to Port Moresby. Navy agrees to provide corvettes for movement of fresh troops to Warren front.
TUNISIA--Gen Eisenhower gives Gen K. A. N. Anderson permission to withdraw Br First Army to more favorable positions from which to prepare for attack.
GUADALCANAL--Gen Patch, CG Americal Div, relieves Gen Vandegrift, CG 1st Mar Div, of responsibility for Guadalcanal. 1st Mar Div is gradually withdrawn during the month for rehabilitation.
NEW GUINEA--After preparatory bombardment from air and ground, Aus 21st Brig launches final assault on Gona area and by 1630 overcomes resistance in hand-to-hand combat. Hundreds of Japanese dead are found. Leading bn (3d) of 127th Inf, U.S. 32d Div, completes air movement to Urbana front and prepares for final assault on Buna Village.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese remaining on coast NW of Gona, now greatly depleted in strength by air attacks as well as pressure of Aus 39th Bn, are ordered to establish defensive perimeter around Napapo and await reinforcements. On Sanananda front, Allied supply party reaches roadblock and finds garrison in desperate need of relief. On Urbana front, 3d Bn of 127th Inf, U.S. 32d Div, begins relief of 2d Bn of 126th Inf, which by now is also greatly
understrength. Warren Force continues to bombard and probe enemy line in effort to soften it. Aus 2/6th Independent Co is detached and returns to Aus 7th Div. Japanese are again supplied by air. Brig Wootten reports to Gen Blarney for instructions.
TUNISIA--German tank-infantry columns attack Medjez el Bab from NE and E and are repulsed. Medjez garrison of 4 Fr bns has been reinf by 1st Gds Brig (-). During night 10-11, 11th Brig of Br 78th Div and CCB of U.S. 1st Armd Div begin withdrawal to Bédja area to refit, CCB sustaining heavy loss of equipment as it withdraws.
NEW GUINEA--On Urbana front, 3d Bn of 127th Inf completes relief of 2d Bn, 126th, in line. Brig Wootten inspects Warren front, where positions are virtually static. The first of a number of freighters to bring supplies and personnel to Oro Bay arrives night 11-12 and unloads 4 light tanks of Aus 2/6th Armd Regt and supplies.
MIDDLE EAST--U.S. military personnel begin arriving in Iraq and Iran.
LIBYA--Gen Montgomery issues orders for attack on El Agheila on 14th. Air action is stepped up in preparation for the offensive.
TUNISIA--Another German attack on Medjez el Bab from N and E is repulsed. Br 6th Armd Div begins arriving in forward area. CCB, U.S. 1st Armd Div, is relieved in Bédja area by 11th Brig, Br 78th Div, and is placed in 5 Corps reserve.
USSR--Red Army retains the initiative, making progress in Stalingrad sector and in the Caucasus; sharp thrusts are continued against enemy on central and northern fronts without materially changing situation. German 6th Army, isolated between Don and Volga Rivers on Stalingrad front, is under strong pressure. German Army Group A withdraws MLR in vicinity of Terek R in the Caucasus.
GUADALCANAL--2d Mar Div begins relief of Americal Div W of the Matanikau. Enemy party raids Fighter Strip 2 under cover of darkness. 2d Mar Div Signal Co and 18th Naval Construction Bn arrive.
NEW GUINEA--From Oro Bay, tanks are moved forward by sea to Hariko and hidden. Corvettes with Aus forces embarked (18th Brig Hq, 2/9th Bn, and CO of 2/10th Bn) arrive off Soena Plantation after nightfall; withdraw to Porlock Harbor after a few troops are unloaded because of news that Japanese naval force is moving on Buna.
TUNISIA--Blade Force, Br First Army, is dissolved, component elements reverting to parent units. Br 6th Armd Div is in contact with enemy E and SE of Medjez el Bab.
USSR--Germans open counterattack toward Stalingrad from Kotelnikov in effort to relieve isolated 6th Army.
GUADALCANAL--3d Bn of 182d Inf and Co C of 2d Mar Engr Bn arrive.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese convoy of 5 DD's, bringing some 800 men (among them Maj Gen Kensaku Oda, Gen Horii's successor as commander of South Seas Detachment), is detected off Madang while proceeding toward beachhead and unsuccessfully attacked by Allied planes. Further futile efforts are made to supply roadblock on Soputa-Sanananda trail, which is now out of contact with rest of front. Buna Village is subjected to heavy fire in preparation for attack on 14th; after nightfall, Japanese garrison, now reduced to about 100, evacuates the village and swims for Giruwa. Corvettes return to Oro Bay under cover of darkness and finish unloading Aus troops.
LIBYA--Germans begin withdrawing from El Agheila positions early in morning, leaving rear guards and numerous mines to delay Br pursuit. 51st Div, Br Eighth Army, penetrates E sector of defenses. Western Desert Air Force harasses withdrawing enemy.
TUNISIA--5 Corps, Br First Army, is ordered to be prepared to renew drive on Tunis. Lull ensues as preparations are made for attack.
GUADALCANAL--Additional elements of Americal Div arrive.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese convoy reaches Mambare R mouth early in morning and unloads without being detected. Allied planes subsequently deliver damaging attacks on troops, supplies, and landing craft. On Sanananda front, supply party succeeds in breaking through to roadblock. W of the block, Co K and Cannon Co are relieved by Australians and move to rear. On Urbana front, Cos I and K of 127th Inf move cautiously to Buna Village after arty and mortar preparation and find it void of Japanese. Recently landed Aus forces move to Hariko from Oro Bay. Aircraft establish record for Papuan campaign by bringing 178 tons of matérial to Dobodura and Popondetta airfields.
LIBYA--Br Eighth Army continues to pursue enemy, Br 7th Armd Div taking the lead in westward push while NZ 2d Div advances rapidly SW into desert in effort to get behind enemy.
NEW GUINEA--Aus 2/7th Cav Regt begins arriving at Soputa. On Urbana front, 2d Bn of 128th Inf, employing small force of 80-odd men immediately available, attacks and encircles Coconut Grove, last enemy position on W bank of Entrance Creek. After nightfall, Dutch freighter unloads additional tanks and cargo at Oro Bay. The tanks are moved forward to Hariko and, with others already there, are organized into X Sq of Aus 2/6th Armd Regt.
LIBYA--While 7th Armd Div, Br Eighth Army, engages enemy rear guards from E, NZ 2d Div drives rapidly to coast in Merduma area to block enemy's escape on W.
TUNISIA--Br First Army is slowly building up strength. 6th Armd Div completes concentration in Tunisia and is followed early in February 1943 by 46th Div. Tanks and selected personnel of 1st Bn, 1st Armd Regt, are sent back to Oran to rejoin 1st Armd Regt, U.S. 1st Armd Div. U.S. Ninth Air Force opens offensive against Tunisian ports with raid on Sfax.
GUADALCANAL--Gen Patch orders 132d Inf, Americal Div, to occupy Mt Austen, which dominates the island, as a preliminary to major offensive to be undertaken in January. The Mt Austen sector is to be controlled by Col John M. Arthur, USMC, commander of W sector.
NEW GUINEA--Gen Eichelberger takes command of U.S. 32d Div after Gen Byers is wounded while observing operations on Urbana front. Hq of Advance New Guinea Force moves from Popondetta to Dobodura. On Urbana front, 2d Bn of 128th Inf renews attack on Coconut Grove and clears it by noon; establishes bridgehead across Entrance Creek, where engineers repair bridge, from which to attack the Triangle. Platoon of Co F, 126th Inf, called Schwartz patrol, is ordered to Tarakena, W of Siwori, to protect left flank.
BURMA--In Arakan coastal sector, Eastern Army of India Command, under Lt Gen N. M. S. Irwin, opens limited-objective offensive for Akyab I., at end of Mayu Peninsula, which at this time is lightly held by enemy. Lacking resources for an amphibious assault, as planned originally, advance is made overland by Ind 14th Div, which consists at this time of 4 Ind brigs and is later strengthened by 4 more Ind brigs and one Br brig. Ind 123d Brig, leading off, finds Maungdaw free of enemy and occupies it.
LIBYA--Enemy, by breaking into small detachments, is able to withdraw from El Agheila positions after hard fighting, but loses about 20 tanks and some 500 captured.
USSR--Red Army opens strong offensive on middle Don against Italian 8th Army, which is forced to give ground. As a result, Germans are forced to abandon efforts to relieve 6th Army on Stalingrad front. In the Caucasus, Germans withdraw Terek bridgehead.
GUADALCANAL--Mt Austen operations open with rcn in force of NE slopes by elements of 3d Bn, 132d Inf; no enemy are encountered. Advance elements of 25th Div (RCT 35) arrive.
NEW GUINEA--On Urbana front, Cos G and E of 128th Inf make fruitless and costly attack on the Triangle, which they dub "Bloody Triangle." In this action, Co G loses 10 of its 27 effectives. Orders are issued for capture of Musita I., between Buna Village and Mission, on 18th and the Triangle on 19th to pave way for assault on main objective, Buna Mission. Brig Wootten takes command of Warren Force and prepares for attack on 18th. Tanks of X Sq start toward line of departure at 1800, the noise of their motors covered by mortar fire.
BURMA--Continuing drive toward Akyab, Ind 14th Div seizes Buthidaung without opposition.
TUNISIA--Lull continues on Br First Army front. 2d Bn of U.S. 509th Para Regt and 3d Bn of RCT 26, U.S. 1st Div, raid Maknassy, 30 miles NE of Tébessa.
U.S.--JCS authorize occupation of Amchitka, less than 100 miles from Kiska, provided it is suitable for an advanced air base from which Kiska can be attacked.
ALEUTIAN IS.--Rcn party surveys Amchitka and reports that the operation is feasible.
GUADALCANAL--3d Bn, 132d Inf, advances up NW slopes of Mt Austen to Hill 35, where enemy fire is encountered.
NEW GUINEA--Aus 39th Bn, which has been joined by elements of 2/14th Bn, has reduced enemy strength at Napapo to about half and is being relieved for action on Sanananda front by Aus 2/16th and 2/27th Bns. Australians, supported by fire of Americans, begin concerted attack on Sanananda front. 2/7th Cav Regt, having moved elements into roadblock against firm opposition, attacks N along Soputa-Sanananda trail, bypassing resistance just ahead of the block. Aus 30th Brig attacks at track junction, employing 2 bns in frontal assault and another in region E of track, but makes little headway. Urbana Force attempts to clear Musita I. Elements of Co L, 127th Inf, reach the island by means of cable, but withdraw upon meeting heavy resistance. On Warren front, concerted assault against Cape Endaiadere
and New Strip is spearheaded by tanks, which prove invaluable in reducing concrete and steel fortifications. After preliminary air and ground bombardment, Aus 2/9th Bn begins attack on Cape Endaiadere and soon breaks through main enemy positions and reaches objective; then drives W along coast until halted near Strip Pt by new line of bunkers. 3d Bn of U.S. 128th Inf mops up and establishes defensive perimeter in Duropa Plantation. Americans and Australians attack New Strip from S and E. While 1st Bn, 126th Inf, pushes toward bridge between the strips, elements of Aus 2/9th Bn, reinforced during day by 1st Bn of 128th Inf, reduce strongpoint at E end of New Strip and pursue enemy W along N edge of strip toward bridge. Australians sustain heavy casualties and lose 3 tanks in the action, which is otherwise highly successful. Advance elements of Aus 2/10th Bn arrive at front by sea during night 18-19.
LIBYA--Continuing pursuit of enemy, NZ 2d Div of Br Eighth Army clashes sharply with rear guards at Nofilia. After the action, pursuit is largely abandoned for administrative reasons.
GUADALCANAL--After air and arty preparation, 3d Bn of 132d Inf attempts unsuccessfully to advance from Hill 35; 3d Bn CO is killed by enemy fire. Reserve bn (1st, 132d Inf), less one co, advances to positions E of 3d Bn.
NEW GUINEA--Continuing assault on Sanananda front, Australians reduce several enemy positions just beyond track junction in frontal drive; flanking elements reach positions near roadblock. Enemy attack on the block is repulsed. Aus cavalrymen destroy enemy force 300 yards N of the block and establish new perimeter, which they call Kano Urbana Force, after air and mortar preparation, attacks the Triangle, Cos E and G of 126th Inf driving S on it while Co F blocks from below. Attack is soon halted by cross fire, which causes heavy casualties. Bn commander is lost in this action. Troops on Warren front regroup. Rest of Aus 2/10th Bn arrives at front after dark. U.S. troops to operate Oro Bay port and engineers charged with construction of road from Oro Bay to Dobodura airfields land at Oro Bay, night 19-20. Additional cargo is also brought ashore.
USSR--Soviet forces continue to gain ground in broad offensive. Assault forces from middle Don reach Kantemirovka, on Voronezh-Rostov RR N of Millerovo.
GUADALCANAL--Enemy riflemen harass flanks and rear of 132d Inf on NW slopes of Mt Austen. 1st Bn attempts unsuccessfully to locate enemy's E flank. U.S. engineers complete construction of jeep road to Hill 35.
NEW GUINEA--Australians on Sanananda front continue to reduce enemy positions beyond track junction; consolidate new Kano perimeter. On Urbana front, 2d Bn of 126th Inf, except for Co F at tip of Triangle, is withdrawn as reserve, and 127th Inf takes over attack. After preparatory bombardment, Co E attacks the Triangle under cover of smoke but is unable to advance; another attack is also unsuccessful. During this action, its first, Co E sustains 39 casualties. The decision is made to bypass the Triangle in the future. Gen Eichelberger replaces Col Tomlinson with Col Grose as commander of Urbana Force. On left flank of Urbana Force, Schwartz patrol, having clashed with enemy W of Siwori Village on 18th and 19th, is reinf with 20 men from 2d Bn, 126th Inf. Warren Force, attacking after heavy arty preparation, clears most of region E of Simemi Creek. Enemy retains only small finger of land at creek mouth. Efforts to cross 125-foot bridge W of New Strip are futile as are attempts by engineers to repair it.
U.S.--JCS direct Amchitka to be occupied as near 5 January as possible.
GUADALCANAL--Ordered to cut Maruyama Trail, Co C of 132d Inf pushes 1,000 yards S without making contact with enemy or finding trail.
NEW GUINEA--From Napapo, Gen Oda and his staff arrive at Giruwa. On Sanananda front, Australians continue to batter enemy positions in front of track junction. 49th Bn succeeds in entering the roadblock and protects supply line to it. Cavalrymen push N from Kano position toward Sanananda. Urbana Force, feinting toward the Triangle, draws enemy from bunkers and kills many with arty fire. In preparation for drive through Government Gardens to sea, Co K of 12th Inf crosses Entrance Creek in rubber boats under fire, night 21-22, to establish bridgehead above the Triangle. On left flank, Schwartz patrol meets firm resistance at Tarakena, about a mile W of Siwori, and retires eastward; 30 more men of 2d Bn, 126th Inf, reinf the patrol. Warren Force finishes clearing region E of Simemi Creek and begins to cross after patrol discovers suitable site some 1,300 yards below its mouth. The crossing is undetected by enemy.
LIBYA--Light forces of Br Eighth Army, pursuing enemy westward, overtake rear guard at Sirte and are halted.
NEW GUINEA--Gen Oda takes responsibility for Japanese beachhead from Col Yokoyama and
personally directs operations on Sanananda front. Aus reinforcements (21st Brig hq and 39th Bn of 30th Brig) reach Soputa from Gona; relieve U.S. 126th Inf forces of roadblock on Soputa-Sanananda trail. Aus 21st Brig takes command of 49th Bn, 2/7th Cav, and U.S. forces from the roadblock. 30th Brig, which is responsible for clearing pockets at track junction, retains command of 36th and 55/534 Bns and rest of U.S. forces on this front. Firm opposition of seasoned Japanese troops limits efforts to advance N along the track and to clear track junction. On Urbana front, Co I of 127th Inf follows Co K across Entrance Creek, strengthening bridgehead. Other elements of 127th Inf begin to clear Musita I. after engineers repair bridge to it. On Warren front, Aus 2/10th Bn (-Co C) continues to cross Simemi Creek near Old Strip, while 2/9th plus Co C of 2/10th mops up E of the creek.
TUNISIA--5 Corps, Br First Army, renews drive on Tunis, night 22-23. 2d Coldstream Gds of 1st Gds Brig attacks Djebel el Ahmera (later known as Longstop Hill), 6 miles NE of Medjez el Bab, and partially occupies it.
USSR--In the Caucasus, Soviet forces begin strong attacks SE of Nalchik as enemy starts withdrawal of spearhead in the area. Red Army offensive continues to gain ground on Stalingrad front and in middle Don sector. Sharp Soviet thrusts toward Velikie Luki, on central front, are gaining ground.
NEW GUINEA--Virtual stalemate exists on Sanananda front, where Japanese are stubbornly defending their well-organized positions. On Urbana front, 127th Inf completes capture of Musita I. and begins firing on Buna Mission at close range; prepares to drive E across Government Gardens to sea. Warren Force continues movement across creek, where engineers repair bridge under fire, and takes up positions for concerted assault on Old Strip. Aus 2/9th Bn and 3d Bn of U.S. 128th Inf hold their positions along coast and finish mopping up region E of the creek. During night 23-24, 2 enemy vessels sink barge loaded with ammunition and strafe beach at Hariko; vessel bringing more tanks and supplies to Warren Force unloads at Oro Bay.
TUNISIA--3-day period of torrential rain begins. Elements of RCT 18, U.S. 1st Div, relieve 2d Coldstream Gds on Djebel el Ahmera and are forced to withdraw under German counterattack.
GUADALCANAL--3d Bn of 132d Inf, followed by 1st Bn in reserve, moves W without incident to Hill 31, W of summit of Mt Austen; upon attacking S toward Hill 27, is stopped short by fire from enemy strongpoint, called Gifu, between Hills 31 and 27. The Gifu position, with fixed defenses and interconnecting pillboxes, is held by about 500 Japanese.
NEW GUINEA--After arty preparation, Urbana Force, employing 127th Inf, begins drive toward the sea through Government Gardens, where enemy defenses are organized in depth and concealed by high kunai grass. Progress is very slow. Platoon of Co L discovers weak spot and drives through to line of coconut trees near coast; is surrounded there and suffers heavy casualties before escaping by circuitous route. As a diversion, elements move to Mission side of creek from Musita I. and from shallows between Buna Village and Buna Mission, but withdraw because of intense opposition. Warren Force opens attack on Old Strip after arty preparation. Aus 2/10th Bn, disposed along N edge of strip, is supported by 3 tanks while making main effort. 1st Bns of U.S. 126th and 128th Regts attack in parallel columns along S edge of strip; later 1st Bn of 128th Inf follows 1st Bn of 126th. Attack gains some 450 yards, but Japanese fire prevents movement onto the strip and knocks out the tanks.
ALGERIA--Darlan is assassinated in Algiers.
TUNISIA--Decision is made at conference between Gen Eisenhower and Gen K. A. N. Anderson to abandon attack on Tunis until after rainy season. Br First Army regains positions on Djebel el Ahmera.
GUADALCANAL--Further efforts of 3d Bn, 132d Inf, to advance toward Hill 27 are frustrated by strong opposition from Gifu strongpoint.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese beachhead is supplied by submarine. Urbana Force, with 7 cos in assault, continues efforts to secure corridor to sea through Government Gardens. After arty and mortars thoroughly cover Buna Mission, troops on Musita I. feint toward the Mission. Main attack, by Cos A and F, then opens without preparatory fire, and advance elements succeed in reaching line of coconut trees near coast where they establish defense perimeter and repel counterattacks. Other elements of 127th Inf press forward toward Cos A and F; still others continue reduction of enemy positions in Government Gardens, assisted by diversionary thrusts against the Triangle. Warren Force continues to make slow progress astride Old Strip, runway of which remains under intense fire. Co C of Aus 2/10th Bn is disposed on extreme left in an attempt to turn enemy's right flank.
LIBYA--Sirte falls to Br Eighth Army upon being outflanked by light armd force.
TUNISIA--Germans recapture Djebel el Ahmera, concluding seesaw battle for this hill dominating exits of Medjez el Bab. 1st Gds Brig withdraws to Medjez el Bab area, night 25-26. RCT 18 of U.S. 1st Div, upon relief by 1st Gds Brig, moves to Teboursouk.
GUADALCANAL--After arty and air preparation, 3d Bn of 132d Inf renews attack to S, making limited progress against strong opposition from Gifu strongpoint. 3d and 1st Bns, latter on E, dig in for night on line between Hill 31 and Gifu. Advance elements of 2d Mar Air Wing, which is to relieve 1st Mar Air Wing, arrive at Henderson field.
NEW GUINEA--On Urbana front, 127th Inf renews attack to open corridor to sea. Co C is prevented by stubborn opposition from reaching Cos A and F near the coast, but patrol gets through. Warren Force, assisted by 25-pound gun emplaced at SE end of Old Strip, succeeds at last in forming continuous line across the strip. Advance elements on flanks push to NW end and begin reduction of enemy positions there. Japanese planes from Rabaul, the first to be based there, attack Dobodura but are driven off by Fifth Air Force. Under cover of darkness, 26-27, additional Allied tanks and troops are landed at Oro Bay.
FRENCH SOMALILAND--Fighting French force from British Somaliland moves into French Somaliland to seize 2 rail bridges and thus insure safety of rail line from port of Djibouti to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Action is accomplished without bloodshed.
GUADALCANAL--While 3d Bn, 132d Inf, conducts holding attack that gains little ground, 1st Bn, to E, moves S to locate enemy flanks, elements running into Gifu strongpoint instead of outflanking it.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese under Maj Gen Tsuyuo Yamagata at Napapo are ordered to move to Giruwa by sea. On Urbana front, Co B of 127th Inf breaks through to Cos A and F near coast, and Co C engages in clearing bunkers N of the gardens. Japanese defense of Old Strip slackens as withdrawal is begun. Warren Force finishes clearing runway except for stubborn bunker position to rear of dispersal bay. 52 Japanese planes raid Buna without causing serious damage; 14 are shot down. Additional Allied tanks and cargo are unloaded at Oro Bay, night 27-28. RCT 163, U.S. 41st Div, arrives at Port Moresby from Australia.
BURMA--Ind 14th Div continues unopposed drive on Akyab astride Mayu R and range E of river, Ind 123d Brig reaches vicinity of Rathedaung. In coastal sector, Ind 47th Brig arrives at Indin and gets patrol to Foul Pt, at tip of Mayu Peninsula. Advance then halts for various administrative reasons, one being the difficulty of bringing reinforcements and supplies forward.
LIBYA--Br Eighth Army patrols cross Wadi Tamet.
TUNISIA--Br First Army repels enemy attack in Medjez el Bab area.
GUADALCANAL--Patrols of 132d Inf probe Gifu line but are unable to find gaps. Since effective strength of the assault bns now totals only 1,541, 132d Inf CO is promised fresh 2d Bn.
NEW GUINEA--Japanese garrison of Buna is ordered to withdraw to Giruwa, assisted by detachment at Giruwa, which is to attack through U.S. left flank. Urbana Force's 127th Inf gains broad corridor from Entrance Creek to line of coconut trees. Co K makes futile attempt to establish bridgehead on Mission side of Entrance Creek: some elements attempting to land from boats are turned back by fire; others begin crossing bridge between Musita I. and the Mission, but bridge becomes unusable before many are across. Volunteers from Co E enter the Triangle in evening and find strong defenses there deserted. Warren Force overcomes all organized resistance at Old Strip and swings N toward coast. Aus 2/12th Bn arrives at Oro Bay from Goodenough I, night 28-29.
CBI--Chiang Kai-shek radios President Roosevelt that although Chinese army in Yunnan will be ready for offensive by spring of 1943 as planned, the offensive cannot be undertaken unless there are additional naval forces for Bay of Bengal.
FRENCH SOMALILAND--Joins Fighting French.
LIBYA--Br Eighth Army patrols reach positions overlooking Wadi el Chebir without enemy opposition.
NEW GEORGIA--Enemy completes airfield at Munda despite frequent Allied air attacks.
GUADALCANAL--At conference at Gen Patch's CP, the decision is made to continue attack on Mt Austen. Patrol of 1st Bn, 132d Inf, finds safe route to Hill 27, S of Gifu.
NEW GUINEA--Gen Yamagata, charged with rescue of Buna garrison, arrives at Giruwa. On Urbana front, Co B of 127th Inf drives from line of coconut trees to sea SE of Buna Mission, completing corridor from Entrance Creek to coast and cutting off Japanese at Buna Mission from those at Giropa Pt. Patrol wades shallows between spits extending from Buna Village and Buna Mission
without opposition. Warren Force attacks northward toward coast in area between Simemi Creek and Giropa Pt, 4 tanks spearheading. Little headway is made because of poor tank-infantry co-ordination and determined opposition; positions are consolidated at edge of coconut trees. Aus 2/12th Bn arrives at front.
LIBYA--Advance elements of Br Eighth Army (armd cars of 4th Light Armd Brig) come to a halt just W of enemy's Buerat position. Buerat and Bu Ngem are found to be free of enemy. Lull follows as British prepare to attack.
USSR--Kotelnikov, SW of Stalingrad, falls to Red Army.
GUADALCANAL--In preparation for renewing attack on Hill 27, 2d Bn of 132d Inf begins movement to forward positions. 1st and 3d Bns continue to patrol.
NEW GUINEA--Urbana Force maintains pressure against Buna Mission from SE and prepares to envelop it by attacking eastward from Buna Village and Musita I. Warren Force regroups. Advance elements of 163d Inf (1st Bn and hq), U.S. 91st Div, are flown to Dobodura and Popondetta from Port Moresby.
TUNISIA--RCT 18, U.S. 1st Div, moves to Medjez el Bab.
GUADALCANAL--2d Bn of 132d Inf reaches Hill 11, E of the Gifu strongpoint, line of departure for enveloping movement.
NEW GUINEA--Urbana Force begins envelopment of Buna Mission. Co E, 127th Inf, and Co F, 128th, cross shallows E of Buna Village before dawn and, although Japanese offer strong opposition upon being alerted, advance about 200 yards along spit extending from Buna Mission. Other elements of Urbana Force maintain pressure on enemy from SE and finish clearing Government Gardens, but enemy retains positions in swamp N of gardens. Patrol contact is made between Urbana and Warren Forces. Warren Force finishes regrouping. Fresh Aus 2/12th Bn is disposed on left, 3d Bn of U.S. 128th Inf in center, and Aus 2/10th on right. With arrival of additional cargo at Oro Bay by sea, supplies moved in this manner since the first vessel arrived on 11 December total some 4,000 tons.
N ATLANTIC--Enemy naval force engaging USSR-bound convoy sustains damage to 1 cruiser and at least 3 DD's.
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