Skip to comments.EACH SIDE MAKES A GAIN IN STALINGRAD; RUSSIANS BALK ATTACKS TO NORTHWEST (9/28/42)
Posted on 09/28/2012 4:16:09 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
Red Army attacking near Rzhev
Monday, September 28, 1942 www.onwar.com
Soviet infantry ride a lend-lease Valentine tank into battle at Rzhev [photo at link]
On the Eastern Front... Soviet forces cross the Volga near Rzhev in an offensive against the German forces of Army Group Center.
September 28th, 1942
UNITED KINGDOM: Destroyer HMS Caprice laid down.
Battleship HMS Howe commissioned.
Trawler HMS Manitoulin commissioned and loaned to RCN. (Dave Shirlaw)
GERMANY: U-549 and U-749 laid down
U.S.S.R.: Russian forces cross the Volga River near Rzhev in the central sector.
The Stalingrad front is renamed by Soviet commanders as the Don front, and General Eremenko’s south-east front becomes the new Stalingrad front.
On Lake Ladoga Italian 12th Naval Flotilla MAS 529 attacks a Soviet tugboat towing three small barges and escorted by a gunboat, but the torpedoes fail to explode (or the aim is faulty). (Arturo Lorioli)
NETHERLANDS EAST INDIES: Japanese reinforcements land on the north coast of Java.
NEW GUINEA: Australian forces occupy Ioribaiwa. The Japanese have abandoned it.
The main body of the US 126th Infantry Regiment, 32d Infantry Division, arrives at Port Moresby and is assigned to the New Guinea Force to join the Australian advance on Wairopi.
US Fifth Air Force P-40s and P-400 Airacobras bomb and strafe Wairopi bridge, the village of Kagi, Myola Lake area, and targets of opportunity along the Buna-Kokoda trail while a B-17 bombs Lae Airfield.
SOLOMON ISLANDS: Guadalcanal: General Vandegrift writes of the recent action on the banks of the Matanikau River: “The great lesson however is to be found embodied in the passage in the Field Service Regulations which warns against ‘drifting aimlessly into action’ for in last analysis it is to be observed that this battle was unpremeditated and was fought without definite purpose other than the natural one of closing with the enemy at once and upon every occasion.”
The IJN dispatches 27 G4M “Betty” bombers escorted by 42 A6M “Zeke” fighters to bomb Henderson Field. All 19 USMC and 15USN F4F Wildcats intercept the incoming force; 4 G4Ms are shot down and 3 later ditch in the sea returning to base. No US aircraft are lost. US reinforcements in the form of 6 USN SBD Dauntlesses, 3 from Scouting Squadron Three (VS-3) and 3 from VS-71, and 4 TBF Avengers from Torpedo Squadron Eight (VT-8) arrive at Henderson Field.
TERRITORY OF HAWAII: The Combat Intelligence Unit at Pearl Harbor issues a prediction that the Japanese would try to recapture the southern Solomons and to extend their control on new Guinea. They also note that because the enemy is having good success with copying our communications methods and therefore ‘we will continue to be unable to read his mail [ i.e., use cryptoanalysis] to any great extent.”
The first fuel storage vault at Pearl Harbor is completed.
The idea of underground oil storage at Pearl Harbor arose in 1938. $4 million was appropriated in 1940. The Bureau of Yards and Docks studied semi-buried and fully buried tank designs. Its final decision was an unprecedented tunnel-type storage with twenty vertical cylindrical vaults of prestressed concrete, 250 feet high by 100 feet wide, inside Red Hill on Oahu. Capacity was 5.4 million barrels of fuel oil and 600,000 barrels of diesel oil. Work began in December 1940. (Edward S. Miller)
TERRITORY OF ALASKA: ALEUTIAN ISLANDS: The US Eleventh Air Force flies two bombing missions to Kiska and Attu Islands by an LB-30 and seven B-24 Liberators and a B-17 Flying Fortress escorted by 17 fighters; installations on Kiska Island and a freighter nearby are bombed; one of the B-24s and the LB-30 bomb the village and Chichagof Harbor on Attu Island and on returning silence AA guns on a freighter; one A6M “Zeke” and 2 A6M2-N “Rufes” are shot down with the loss of one P-39Airacobra. (Jack McKillop)
CANADA: Corvette HMS Honesty (ex-USS Caprice) launched Kingston, Ontario (Dave Shirlaw)
U.S.A.: Lieutenant General Henry H. “Hap” Arnold, Commanding General U.S. Army Air Forces, gives highest priority to the development of two exceptional aircraft—the Northrop B-35 Flying Wing and the Consolidated Vultee B-36 Peacemaker—intended for bombing runs from bases in the United States to targets in Europe. (Jack McKillop)
ATLANTIC OCEAN: U-595 had a serious fire in the control room while at sea. The boat headed back to base due to damages sustained, reaching it the same day.
U-514 attacked SS Lages and Ozório. Both constructive total losses.
U-516 sank SS Antonico. (Dave Shirlaw)
The articles in the Times really don’t do justice to the incredible scope of the titanic struggle on the Eastern Front. The “rasputitsa” is coming soon in the north and central sectors of the front, but there is still heavy fighting in the Leningrad sector around the Sinyavino Heights and along the Volkhov River, in the central sector around the Rzhev salient, in the land bridge between the upper Donetz and Don Rivers west of Voronezh, and of course in Stalingrad and the Caucasus.
The Soviet-German “war within a war” always fascinated me because of its scope, fluidity, and yes, brutality. It was a total war of extermination between two brutal dictators. I liken it to a high stakes poker game, where both players have piled the bodies of their soldiers on the table as their playing chips. I don’t believe there has been a war like it ever before, and I hope there will not be one like it again.
Nice little coincidence having General Vandergrift make a statement on the Field Service Regulations. I will be discussing the FSR-5 (1923), the FSR-5 (1939) and the FSR-15 (1923), next Monday. I’m added this quote to my notes.
The Times report that the Soviets killed 4,000 Germans probably wasn’t far from the truth.
I don’t think it’s his Nazi friends that Charles Bedaux has to worry about.