Skip to comments.TANK BATTLE RAGES IN TUNISIAN HILLS AS AIR STRUGGLE GROWS IN INTENSITY (12/8/42)
Posted on 12/08/2012 5:55:31 AM PST by Homer_J_Simpson
Australians attacking Japanese
Tuesday, December 8, 1942 www.onwar.com
Australian 21st Brgade motar fires near Gona [photo at link]
In New Guinea... In yet another bloody engagement, the Japanese positions at Gona are attacked by the Australian 21st Brigade.
In Tunisia... German forces, led by General Gause capture Bizerta capture 4 French destroyers, 9 submarines and 3 other warships.
From London... The British Parliament lowers to age for conscription by six months to 18.
December 8th, 1942
UNITED KINGDOM: The British Parliament lowers the conscription age, by 6 months, to 18. The manpower shortage in Britain is becoming severe.
Messages exchanged between President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill, pledging their two nations to complete defeat of Japan. (Dave Shirlaw)
U.S.S.R.: Polar Fleet and White Sea Flotilla: Shipping loss. SKR-14 (ex-RT-86 “Indiga”) - wrecked close to vill. Rosta (later raised)
Baltic Fleet, Ladoga and Onega Flotillas: Shipping loss. Floating Base “Kahanovich” - wrecked, in Leningrad. (Sergey Anisimov)(69)
SPAIN: Madrid: General Franco says that the world has a choice between communism and fascism, and he chooses the latter.
MEDITERRANEAN SEA: Three Italian midget submarines attempt to attack British shipping in Gibraltar harbour, but fail.
NORTH AFRICA: General Gause leads German forces in capturing Bizerta, Tunisia. They capture 4 French destroyers, 9 submarines and 3 other warships.
CHINA: Taihu: Kuomintang forces shoot down a plane carrying top Japanese officers to Wuhan.
SOLOMON ISLANDS: The US 132nd Infantry Regiment lands on Guadalcanal. This brings the Americal Division to full strength there.
ATLANTIC OCEAN: U-254 (Type VIIC), Kptlt Hans Gilardone, CO, was rammed and sunk by U-221, Kptlt. Hans-Hartwig Trojer, Knights Cross, CO, while both boats were manoeuvring on the surface in preparation for attacks on the 26-ship New York City to Liverpool convoy HX-217. U-254 sank southeast of Cape Farewell, Greenland in position 58.20N, 033.25W with the loss of 41 of her crewmembers. Four men, including the CO, survived. The convoy was attacked and two of its 26 merchant ships were sunk, including the large tanker, Empire Spencer (8,194 GRT), carrying 10,000 tons of benzene. (Dave Shirlaw)
U-611 (Type VIIC) Sunk in the North Atlantic southeast of Cape Farewell, at position 57.25N, 35.19W, by depth charges from a British Liberator aircraft (Sqdn. 120/B). 45 dead (all crew lost). (Alex Gordon)
Interesting article on Army over reach in New York over Air Raid Warning system.
Good article by Baldwin on naval & merchant marine construction. We might have “delayed” a few launches just to show off for Pearl Harbor Day, but there is a very pointed message to the Japanese and Germans: You can’t match our building program, and you can’t sink the ships as fast as we are making them.
The USN of 1944 will be, for the most part, the fleet that was built since 1939. The IJN will be stuck with what they started the war with. They simply are not building warships, and the few resources they have are being concentrated in “super ships” like Musashi and Taiho.
As for the merchant shipping tonnage war against Japan, Japan will end the year 1942 with a net loss of only 89,000 tons against a total shipping tonnage of about 5.9 million tons. They started the war with less than what was needed to maintain imports to the Home Islands and also maintain a far-flung maritime empire. The 1943 forecast in Baldwin’s article is that one millions tons of shipping sunk will start to strangle Japan, and that is a pretty good number. Despite a continuing plague of defective torpedoes, we will actually sink about 1.5 million tons of non-tanker shipping, while the Japanese will only build about 400,00 tons, leaving Japan with a net 4.1 million tons of non-tanker shipping. It’s going to be noticed, as imports of raw materials to the Home Islands will see a substantial drop. In 1943, Japan will go on a tanker building binge, and despite a loss of 150,000 tons, she will see a net increase in tanker tonnage to 863,000. Stats are provided from Clay Blair, Jr. “Silent Victory” which I consider THE reference on United States submarine operations.
The naval construction of 1942 will play a substantial part in the pivotal year of 1943, when the IJN will go from fighting it out with the USN on an even basis, to being hunted down. I’m glad Baldwin touched on this today, as the production of American shipyards was a major ingredient for victory.