Skip to comments.U.S. ‘ESTABLISHED’ ON SOLOMONS; OUR BOMBERS STRIKE IN FRANCE (8/18/42)
Posted on 08/18/2012 5:36:06 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
John Toland, The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire, 1936-1945
Resistance members face severe penalties
Tuesday, August 18, 1942 www.onwar.com
Suspected Soviet partisans hung by German occupation authorities [photo at link]
From Berlin... Due to increased partisan activity in the German rear echelon on the Eastern Front, Hitler issues a directive ordering harsher measures against the local populations suspected of resistance. He also grants increased power to the SS Special Units.
In the Solomon Islands... On Guadalcanal, Japanese reinforcements are landed at Taivu and a detachment of 1,000 troops under the leadership of Colonel Ichiki starts towards the American position. The Japanese believe there are only 3,000 Americans on the Island. There are actually 10,000 and the airstrip is now ready to receive aircraft.
August 18th, 1942
UNITED KINGDOM: The government reveals that Churchill visited the Eighth Army in Egypt en-route to Moscow. (Jack McKillop)
Bomber Command flies its last operation using the Bristol Blenheim IV. (22)
Gen. Sir Harold Alexander succeeded General Auchinleck as commander of British imperial forces in the Middle East. (Dave Shirlaw)
Convoy SC-94 arrived in Liverpool after losing 11 merchantships totaling 53,412 tons. The material lost amounted to 31,250 tons of general cargo, 6,900 tons of grain, 4,000 tons of US Army stores, 4,000 tons of lumber, 4,000 tons of steel, 3,200 tons of pulp, 3,000 tons of food, 2,500 tons of iron ore, 2,000 tons of ammunition, plus a large amount of military transport vehicles carried as deck cargo. Sixty-one merchant sailors were lost.
Minesweeper HMS Lightfoot laid down. (Dave Shirlaw)
GERMANY: Hitler issues a directive which gives more power to SS Special Units and orders harsher measures against partisan activity.
RAF Lancasters and the Halifaxes of No. 35 Sqn. and Short Stirlings of No. 7 Squadron, tonight take part in the first operations by the Bomber Command Pathfinder Force, with a raid on Flensburg. (22)
U-420 and U-732 launched. (Dave Shirlaw)
U.S.S.R.: Black Sea Fleet and Azov Flotilla: Shipping loss: MS “TSch-405 “Vzrivatel”” - by field artillery, close to Eupatoria (later raised) (Sergey Anisimov)(69)
INDIA: Major General Clayton L Bissell becomes Commanding General 10th Air Force, relieving Brigadier General Earl L Naiden who now devotes full time to command of India-China Ferry Command under the 10th Air Force. (Jack McKillop)
NEW GUINEA: Japanese reinforcements land unopposed at Basabua.
AUSTRALIA: Minesweeper HMAS Fremantle is launched. (Dave Shirlaw)
SOLOMON ISLANDS: Guadalcanal: The 900 men of the IJA 28th Regiment are landed at Taivu Point, east of the US Marine perimeter at Lunga Point on Guadalcanal. These men are commanded by Col. Ichiki. His orders are to attack the estimated 3,000 marines on Guadalcanal. If not successful in overrunning the airfield, he is to continue harassing raids to prevent completion of the field, while awaiting the arrival of further reinforcements. Col. Ichiki plans to attack on his second night and requests permission to occupy Tulagi. He is a member of the “Bamboo Spear Tactics” school within the Japanese Army.
8 IJN G4M “Betty” bombers based at Rabaul, attack Henderson Field on Guadalcanal. Marine AA gunners damage 5 of the attackers. Six IJN destroyers land the Ichiki Detachment of 900 men on Guadalcanal. (Jack McKillop)
For a second consecutive day a single USAAF B-17 Flying Fortress of the Allied Air Forces attacks Kavieng, New Ireland Island; bombs fall in the airfield dispersal area. (Jack McKillop)
The US submarines USS Argonaut (SS-166) and USS Nautilus (SS-168) evacuate the Marine raiders landed on Makin Island in the Gilbert Islands yesterday.
About 120 Marine Raiders, including their commander Lieutenant Colonel Evans F. Carlson, USMC, spend the night on Butaritari Island. The Marines are disorganized and many have lost their weapons and equipment attempting to reach the two submarines that landed them yesterday.
In the middle of the night a small Japanese patrol approaches the Marine perimeter; one Marine is wounded before three Japanese are killed.
With the enemy apparently still full of fight and his raiders disorganized and weakened, Carlson called another council of war. Without much input from the others, he decided to surrender. His stated reasons were concern for the wounded, and for the possible fate of the president’s son, Major James Roosevelt, executive officer of the 2d Raider Battalion, (who was not present at the meeting). At 0330 Carlson sent his operations officer and another Marine out to contact the enemy. They found one Japanese soldier and eventually succeeded in giving him a note offering surrender. Carlson also authorized every man to fend for himself -those who wished could make another attempt to reach the submarines. By the next morning several more boatloads made it through the surf, including one with Major Roosevelt. In the meantime, a few exploring raiders killed several Japanese, one of them probably the man with the surrender note.
The situation changed during the morning. There were 70 Marines on the island and they equipped themselves with weapons lying about the battlefield. Patrols found 83 dead Japanese and 14 dead Americans; there was no organized resistance on the island. Japanese aircraft made four separate attack during the day, but they inflicted no losses on the raider force ashore. The two submarines, USS Argonaut (SS-166) and USS Nautilus (SS-168), were contacted and by 2300 hours, the remainder of the force was back aboard the ships. After returning to Pearl Harbor, it was determined that the casualties were 18 dead and 12 missing.
Only after the war would the Marine Corps discover that nine of the missing raiders had been left alive on the island. These men had become separated from the main body at one point or another during the operation.
With the assistance of the natives the group evaded capture for a time, but finally surrendered on 30 August. A few weeks later the Japanese beheaded them on the island of Kwajalein Atoll.
The raid itself had mixed results. Reports painted it as a great victory and it boosted morale on the home front. Many believed it achieved its original goal of diverting forces from Guadalcanal, but the Japanese had immediately guessed the size and purpose of the operation and had not let it alter their plans for the Solomons. However, it did cause the enemy to worry about the potential for other such raids on rear area installations.
On the negative side, that threat may have played a part in the subsequent Japanese decision to fortify heavily places like Tarawa Atoll, the scene of a costly amphibious assault later in the war. Despite the trumpeted success of the operation, the Navy never again attempted to use submarines to conduct raids behind enemy lines. (Jack McKillop)
TERRITORY OF ALASKA: In the Aleutian Islands, a US 11th Air Force B-24 Liberator takes oblique photos of Amchitka and Tanaga Islands; Heavy fog over Kiska and Attu Islands precludes armed reconnaissance. (Jack McKillop)
Submarine USS Cabrilla laid down. (Dave Shirlaw)
Destroyer USS Miller and Wadsworth laid down. Destroyer USS Abner Read launched. (Dave Shirlaw)
CARIBBEAN SEA: German submarines attack two convoys.
- U-553 attacks Convoy TAW 13, steaming south of Cuba. The submarine torpedoes and sinks a Swedish merchant vessel SS Blankaholm, a British freighter Empire Bede and an armed U.S. freighter John Hancock.
- U-162 attack Convoy TAW (S) consisting of 15 ships escorted by a USN gunboat and four submarine chasers, a RN corvette, and two USCG cutters. The submarine torpedoes and sinks an unarmed U.S. freighter. (Jack McKillop)
ATLANTIC OCEAN: Near convoy SL.119 a Liberator aircraft (Sqdn 120/F) attacked U-653. During the crash diving one man was lost. (There was a report that the man was saved by a British destroyer.) The boat was seriously damaged and had to limp back to base, reaching Brest, France on 30 August. [Matrosengefreiter Willi Pröhl] (Alex Gordon)
U-214 sank SS Balingkar, Hatarana and damaged HMS Cheshire Convoy SL-118. (Dave Shirlaw)
bump to look over later......
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