Skip to comments.PLANES BLAST AXIS LINE IN EGYPT; GUADALCANAL REPELS 5 THRUSTS (10/26/42)
Posted on 10/26/2012 4:40:03 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
John Toland, The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire, 1936-1945
* This part of Baldwins report on the war in the PTO ruffles Australian feathers. Read about it in tomorrows installment.
Costly Japanese naval victory
Monday, October 26, 1942 www.onwar.com
USS Hornet under attack during the Battle of Santa Cruz [photo at link]
In the Solomon Islands... The Battle of Santa Cruz. Both American and Japanese forces launch at dawn. Two hours later the Japanese attack reach and seriously damages the USS Hornet. Both attacks have been launched at the extreme edge of the aircrafts’ range and the Japanese have the advantage as their range is longer. When the American planes find part of the Japanese force, there is not enough fuel left for an organized attack, however, the cruiser Chikuma of Admiral Abe’s Vanguard Group is damaged. The remainder of the planes attack the carrier Shokaku and damage it heavily. A second wave of Japanese attackers severely damages the USS Enterprise but many of the planes are shot down by the antiaircraft guns of the South Dakota. The third wave of Japanese planes from the Junyo suffer the same fate. Enough though the Enterprise is made partially operational, Admiral Kinkaid decides to withdraw. The battle is considered a Japanese victory. The damaged USS Enterprise is now the only American carrier in the Pacific. However, the victory is costly as again loss of Japanese aircrew is high and the lost of aircraft has removed the effectiveness of the undamaged aircraft carrier Zuikaku. The loss of planes and crew also mean that no attack on Henderson Field airstrip is possible.
In North Africa... Battle of El Alamein. British General Montgomery halts the attack against Rommel’s forces to regroup his forces. Rommel freshly back from Germany, begins quick counterthrusts moving the 21st Panzer and Ariete up from the south. Convinced that the main Allied attack will come along the coast, he moves the 15th Panzer there to counter it, with the 90th Light as support.
In London... British Prime Minister Winston Churchill is furious at reports that Montgomery has halted the advance in North Africa. He fears that there will be a repetition of the losses of men and materiel that has plagued the British fighting in Africa.
On the Eastern Front... In the Caucasus, the Germans capture the town of Nalchik, southeast of Pyatigorisk. The German 3rd Panzer Corps are threatening four Soviet divisions.
October 26th, 1942
UNITED KINGDOM: USAAF 31st Fighter Group personnel board ship to travel to Gibraltar.
ASW trawler HMS Lancer launched.
Submarine HMS Templar launched.
Submarine HMS Thurough laid down.
HMC ML 086 commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)
Submarines Vesihiisi and Iku-Turso are ordered to hunt Iku-Turso shoots torpedo against Soviet submarine Shtsh 320 at 23.58 and the enemy sub sinks at 00.01 at Marhällan. (Dave Shirlaw)
U.S.S.R.: Nalchik, south of Pyatigorsk, in the Caucasus falls to the Germans.
Again, the Romanian 2nd Mountain Division played a central role in these operations, taking 3,000 Soviet prisoners (and helping the Germans to trap an even larger Soviet force) while suffering 820 casualties.
NORTH AFRICA: General Montgomery halts most of his forces to regroup, after making little headway during the second day of his offensive at El Alamein. Most of the action has revolved around Rommel’s reactions and German counterattacks, as Rommel moves his forces north.
Capt. Thomas W. Clark, a P-40 pilot with the 65th FS/57th FG, USAAF, becomes the first USAAF fighter pilot in the ETO or North Africa, when he downs two Italian Mc.202s, to score a double victory. (Skip Guidry)
CHINA: USAAF bombers raid Hong Kong and Canton.
SOLOMON ISLANDS: Guadalcanal: Shortly after midnight, the main attack against the Lunga Perimeter begins again. The front manned by the 3rd Btn, 164th Regiment is under heavy attack by the Japanese 16th Infantry Reg. 37mm canister fire from two guns of Weapons Co. 7th Marines stops the attack cold. Some survivors succeed in infiltrating the defence lines and are hunted down. This attack, like last night, is short the right wing which is still lost in the jungle. It has turned to the east (right) due to reports of US forces and is not in position. The reports are false.
Near the coast, just east of the mouth of the Matinakau River, Col. Oka finally reaches a position to attack. This attack falls on the 2nd Btn, 7th Marines. The Japanese are heard approached late last night. At 3:00 am the attack begins. The mortar fire of the Battalion and machine gun fire from Sgt. Mitchell Paige (MOH) the 2-7 hold off the Japanese regimental sized attack until 5:00 am. IJA 3rd Btn, 4th Inf. finally scales the steep slope and replaces Co F from the crest of the ridge. 17 men under Maj. Conoley attacked at 5:40 am. They eject the Japanese from the hill. This unit is drawn from communication specialists, cooks, bandsmen, and several riflemen.
They receive assistance from Sgt Paige, Co. G 7th Marines and Co. C 5th Marines. At 8:00 am General Hyakutake stops the attack.
Losses for the past five days: US 86 KIA, 192 WIA; Japanese 1553 south of Henderson Field, 800 near the Matinakau River.
All through the night the Japanese and US Naval forces dodged each other waiting on daybreak and reports from scout planes. Japanese scouts launched between 4:15 am and 4:45 am. US scouts launch at 4:50 am. Sunrise is 5:28am. Both sides mishandled spotting reports and the Japanese launch their strike first at 7:25am, their second strike flies off at 8:10 am; 110 aircraft. The US strikes launch between 7:50 am and 8:10 am; 75 aircraft. Sixty miles from the US fleet the two strikes pass each other.
USS Hornet struck by 3 550 pound bombs and one Val (dive bomber), then 2 torpedoes and another Val, between 9:12 am and 9:25 am. 11 SBDs from Hornet strike Shokaku with 4 500 pound bombs. Hornet’s 2nd strike hits cruiser Chikuma with 2 bombs and 1 torpedo. The 2nd Japanese strike hits Enterprise with 2 bombs and 1 near miss; their torpedo planes missed the coordinated attack that hit Hornet but launch 5 torpedoes which miss Enterprise. Cruisers Portland and San Juan report dud torpedo hits or near misses afterwards. A 3rd wave attacks Enterprise about 11:30 am and scores damage from 1 near miss, 1 hit for minor damage on San Juan and several near misses and 1 hit on South Dakota. Damaged Enterprise withdrew after recovering aircraft. Hornet is abandoned at 4:27 pm. US attempts to scuttle her fail (9 US torpedoes and 300 US 5” shells) and at 9:00 pm two Japanese torpedoes finish Hornet. Aircraft Losses: 27 Zeros, 40 Vals, 29 Kates, 1 Judy for 97 of 199 aircraft. 32 Wildcats, 31 SBDs, 18 TBFs for 81 of 136 aircraft.
The Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands is over. Hornet is sunk and Enterprise damaged. There are no US carriers operational in the South Pacific.
The USS ENTERPRISE’s carrier air group is also thus disbanded with the sinking. (Jack McKillop)
Destroyer USS Porter was torpedoed by the Japanese submarine I-21. The crew abandoned her, and she was scuttled by gunfire from USS Shaw. USS Porter received 1 Battle Star for her services before her loss.
On the island, US forces now have just 29 aircraft left in operation.
PACIFIC OCEAN: 0900 hours: S-31 sinks an armed transport at 50-10 N, 155-44 E. (Skip Guidry)
CANADA: Minesweeper HMCS Esquimalt commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)
U.S.A.: Minesweeper USS Lance laid down.
Light fleet carrier USS San Jacinto laid down.
Light cruiser USS Vicksburg laid down. (Dave Shirlaw)
ATLANTIC OCEAN: Merchantmen Betty H. is sunk from convoy by submarine torpedo.
SS Anne Hutchinson is torpedoed. Constructive total loss.
U-509 damaged SS Anglo Mærsk in Convoy SL-125.
In the North Atlantic, U-552 transferred an ill crewmember to U-87, which then returned to base. (Dave Shirlaw)
The Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, 26 October 1942, sometimes referred to as the Battle of Santa Cruz or in Japanese sources as the Battle of the South Pacific, was the fourth carrier battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II and the fourth major naval engagement fought between the United States Navy and the Imperial Japanese Navy during the lengthy and strategically important Guadalcanal campaign. In similar fashion to the battles of Coral Sea, Midway, and the Eastern Solomons, the ships of the two adversaries were rarely in direct visual range of each other. Instead, almost all attacks by both sides were mounted by carrier or land-based aircraft.
In an attempt to drive Allied forces from Guadalcanal and nearby islands and end the stalemate that had existed since September 1942, the Imperial Japanese Army planned a major ground offensive on Guadalcanal for 2025 October 1942. In support of this offensive, and with the hope of engaging Allied naval forces, Japanese carriers and other large warships moved into a position near the southern Solomon Islands. From this location, the Japanese naval forces hoped to engage and decisively defeat any Allied (primarily U.S.) naval forces, especially carrier forces, that responded to the ground offensive. Allied naval forces also hoped to meet the Japanese naval forces in battle, with the same objectives of breaking the stalemate and decisively defeating their adversary.
The Japanese ground offensive on Guadalcanal was defeated by Allied ground forces in the Battle for Henderson Field. Nevertheless, the naval warships and aircraft from the two adversaries confronted each other on the morning of 26 October 1942, just north of the Santa Cruz Islands. After an exchange of carrier air attacks, Allied surface ships were forced to retreat from the battle area with one carrier sunk and another heavily damaged. The participating Japanese carrier forces, however, also retired because of high aircraft and aircrew losses plus significant damage to two carriers. Although an apparent tactical victory for the Japanese in terms of ships sunk and damaged, the loss of many irreplaceable, veteran aircrews by the Japanese provided a significant long-term strategic advantage for the Allies, whose aircrew losses in the battle were relatively low, and were quickly redeemed. As such, it is considered a Japanese Pyrrhic victory, and as a result of the battle the Japanese carriers played no further significant role in the Guadalcanal campaign, which was ultimately won by the Allies.
Looking at the ad on page 8 - so all I need to do to become an effective speaker is flip people off? I’d consider that communication, not speech, but I’ll concede it can be effective.
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