Skip to comments.AMERICANS REPEL JAPANESE TEST PUSH, BOMB FOE’S POSITIONS ON GUADALCANAL (10/23/42)
Posted on 10/23/2012 4:45:01 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
John Toland, The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire, 1936-1945
British attacking at El Alamein
Friday, October 23, 1942 www.onwar.com
Knocked out Panzer III provides cover for British infantry In North Africa [photo at link]
... The Battle of El Alamein. The British go on the offensive. General Montgomery’s attack begins before midnight. Planning for the battle has been detailed and training of the troops precise. An elaborate and extensive artillery campaign has been worked out and deceptive measures have been taken to confuse the enemy as to the timing and locations of the attack. Montgomery’s plan is to have the infantry of British 30th Corps push through the minefields and enemy infantry positions with British 10th Corps, with two armored divisions, to move through and hold off any counter attacks while the infantry clears and widens the gap. The final phase calls for the German armor to be engaged and destroyed in the open. The British have a numerical superiority in tanks of 2 to 1 in guns, tanks and men. They also dominate the air. The Germans and Italian units are short of supplies. They are so short of fuel that the armored group has been split into 2 groups to enable motorized units to reach battle sites. The German and Italian units have also been interspersed so that a consistent strength front is presented to the British. The attack begins falling on the German 164th Division and the Italian Trento Division, support by the Italian Littorio and German 15th Panzer Divisions. British diversionary attacks in the south keep the 21st Panzer in its position for the time being. British forces make progress but do not make their time table to push their armor through the minefield. General Stumme, commander in Rommel’s medical absence dies of a heart attack while visiting the front lines. In the confusion following his death, German responses to the attack are slowed.
In Algeria... In preparation for Operation Torch, British General Clark lands in Algeria for discussion with French General Mast and Robert Murphy, an American diplomat. Murphy has been conducting the negotiations with the French leaders in Morocco and Algeria concerning the coming invasion. French Generals Mast and Bethouart, Chiefs of Staff at Algiers and Casablanca have given their support. However, support of the Allies is less prevalent with the more senior French officials and soldiers. It is nonexistent with the Navy, who have not forgiven the British for the bombings of French ships at Mers-el-Kebir and Dakar. The purpose of this particular meeting is to ensure the cooperation of General Mast with the allied effort and to gain his acceptance of French General Giraud as the French leader. Mast agrees.
In Burma... Much of the British force has advanced to Cox’s Bazaar and their forward units have reached Buthidaung. They engage the Japanese who have retreated from Akyab. After a brief engagement the Japanese hold the position.
October 23rd, 1942
UNITED KINGDOM: Convoy HX-212 arrived Liverpool having lost 5 of its 43 ships to U-boats. U-436, KpLt Günther Seibicke, Knights Cross, CO, sank 2 ships and shared in the sinking of a third. U-606 and U-624 each sank a ship and shared in the sinking of another.
Destroyer HMS Limbourne commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)
NORTH AFRICA: The invasion transports are bound from the US and UK for the “Torch” landings. There are 21 German U-Boats operating in the Gibraltar area. Due to their pre-occupation with convoy SL-125 they do not sight the invasion ships.
ALGERIA: General Mark Clark is landed by submarine to see French General Mast. Mast agrees to accept the authority of General Giraud, who is to be smuggled out of Vichy France and into North Africa. This compromise, like most, turns out to be unworkable.
FRENCH MOROCCO: Admiral Darlan arrives in Rabat to rally Vichy colonies.
EGYPT: Montgomery launches the Second Battle of El Alamein with a heavy artillery barrage.
BURMA: Advance units of British forces reach Buthidaung. A brief skirmish with the Japanese, who have advanced from Akyab, leaves the Japanese units in control of Buthidaung.
SOLOMON ISLANDS: General Vandegrift leaves Guadalcanal for a conference with Admiral Halsey at Noumea. General Gieger, USMC, is in charge. General Gieger has been in command of the Cactus Airforce and the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. A raid of 12 Zeros on a fighter sweep and then16 Bettys with 17 Zeros escorting is intercepted by 24 Wildcats and 4 P-39s, commanded by Lt. Col. Harold Bauer, USMC, MOH. Losses: 6 Zeros; 1 Betty; 1 Wildcat scrapped and 6 more damaged. Capt. Joe Foss, USMC, MOH claims 4 and lands with a “dead stick” in one of the damaged Wildcats. Capt. Foss will later serve as Governor of South Dakota.
The Japanese soldiers south of Henderson Field drop their packs and move out for the starting points. Many scouts fail to return, others report jungle in every direction. By midafternoon, most advance units are still in thick jungle. General Kawaguchi changes his part of the attack plan, moving east. Maruyama orders no changes allowed. Kawaguchi argues. Maruyama dismisses him from command.
At dusk, the Japanese artillery barrage begins. The attack at the mouth of the Matanikau begins with tanks moving out. Marine anti-tank guns take on the tanks. 4 batteries of Marine Artillery respond. This attack is held. The attacks by Col. Oka and General Maruyama which are supposed to start at the same time do not. They are still fighting the jungle.
PACIFIC OCEAN: Submarine USS Kingfish (SS-234) sinks a converted gunboat at 33-12 N, 135-14 E. (Skip Guidry)
NEWFOUNDLAND: Corvettes HMCS Ville de Quebec, Summerside and Alberni departed St John’s for Liverpool with Convoy HX-212 and subsequent support of Operation Torch, North African Landings. (Dave Shirlaw)
AA cruiser USS Flint laid down.
Minesweeper USS Knave laid down.
AA cruiser USS Oakland launched. (Dave Shirlaw)
ATLANTIC OCEAN: The Canada Atlantic Transit Co. merchantman Canatco (2,415 GRT), was lost when she grounded on Gannet Rock and sank off the Labrador coast, in position 53.56N, 056.25W. She was proceeding as part of convoy LN-11 at the time of her loss. The Flower-class corvette HMCS Arrowhead rescued the crew. There was no loss of life in this incident.
U-129 sank SS Reuben Tipton.
U-161 damaged HMS Phoebe.
U-504 sank SS City of Johannesburg.
U-615 sank SS Empire Star.
U-621 sank SS Empire Turnstone in Convoy ONS-136. (Dave Shirlaw)
To which President Roosevelt was heard to comment:
“Capt. Joe Foss, USMC, MOH claims 4 and lands with a dead stick in one of the damaged Wildcats. Capt. Foss will later serve as Governor of South Dakota.”
Gov. Foss is also the man who at the age of 86 at Phoenix Airport was stopped and questioned for 45 minutes by Homeland Security regarding The Congressional Medal of Honor he was carrying. He was on his way to give a speech at West Point and the screeners didn’t know what it was, and kept debating whether the sharp edges could be used as a weapon.
It’s gonna be SHTF for the next couple of days on the Canal.