Skip to comments.RED ARMY CAPTURES KOTELNIKOV; ALLIES LOSE KEY HEIGHT IN TUNISIA (12/30/42)
Posted on 12/30/2012 6:08:52 AM PST by Homer_J_Simpson
German losses mount in the east
Wednesday, December 30, 1942 www.onwar.com
German armor abandoned in the snow [photo at link]
On the Eastern Front... The Soviets retake Remontnoe, 40 miles northwest of Elista.
In the Arctic... The Battle of the Barents Sea. German Admiral Kummetz sets sail from bases northern Norway with the pocket battleship Lutzow, the heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper and six destroyers to an effort to intercept the Arctic convoy JW-51B. The British convoy escort includes seven destroyers and five other warships under Captain Sherbrooke. There is a covering force of two light cruisers and two destroyers led by Admiral Burnett. The British battleship Anson and an escort, commanded by Admiral Fraser, is also in the area but is forbidden to risk air attack near Norway.
December 30th, 1942 (WEDNESDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: London: Sir Neville Henderson, Britain’s last envoy to Nazi Germany and the man whose name was firmly joined to the policy of appeasement, has died in London at the age of 60. He went to Berlin in May 1937 and was soon caught up in the diplomatic turmoil of Hitler’s repeated territorial demands. During the Sudeten crisis of 1938 Henderson, at a private party, told the Germans there that Britain would not risk even one sailor of airman for Czechoslovakia. On his return to London after the outbreak of war he wrote an account of his work for peace and understanding; he called his book Failure of a Mission.
Destroyer HMS Haldon commissioned.
Submarine HMS Simoon commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)
FRANCE: The USAAF Eighth Air Force VIII Bomber Command flies Mission Number 27: 40 B-17 Flying Fortresses bomb the submarine base at Lorient with the loss of three B-17s to German fighters. The submarine base shows the cumulative effect of repeated bombardment. (Jack McKillop)
GERMANY: U-844, U-963, U-964 launched. (Dave Shirlaw)
U.S.S.R.: Remontnoe, 40 miles northwest of Elista falls to the Red Army.
ARCTIC OCEAN: The Battle of the Barents Sea is set as German Admiral Kummetz sails with Lutzow, Admiral Hipper and six destroyers for convoy JW-51B. The British close escort of eleven ships is commanded by Commander H. T. Rust in the minesweeper HMS BRAMBLE with corvettes HMS HYDERABAD and HMS RHODODENDRON and trawlers HMS VIZALMA and HMS NORTHERN GEM.
The fighting destroyer escort consisted of HMS ONSLOW, HMS OBEDIENT, HMS OBDURATE, HMS ORIBI, HMS ORWELL and HMS ACHATES, commanded by Captain R. St.V. Sherbrooke. This force originally included HMS BULLDOG, but she was forced to turn back due to poor weather. (Ric Pelvin)
Their close covering force of two cruisers and two destroyers is under Admiral Burnett and Admiral Fraser with battleship Anson and other ships is distant escort.
The Germans are held at bay by the British. The ADMIRAL HIPPER is badly damaged. The only success of the operation was the sinking of the destroyer HMS Achates and minesweeper HMS Bramble, destroyers HMS Onslow, Obedient, Obdurate and Orwell were damaged in the action. Admiral Fraser with battleship Anson and other ships of the distant escort, did not take part in the battle. (Dave Shirlaw)
MALTA: No. 23 Squadron RAF make the first night fighter sortie armed with the new de Havilland Mosquito Mk II. Over the next three months they will shoot down 17 enemy aircraft. (22)
TUNISIA: Regimental Combat Team 18, U.S. 1st Infantry Division, moves to Medjez el Bab. (Jack McKillop)
Thirteen USAAF Twelfth Air Force B-17 Flying Fortresses with P-38 Lightning escort, attack docks and the marshalling yard at Sfax and B-25 Mitchells, escorted by P-38s, follow with an attack on the same marshalling yard. DB-7 Bostons hit a troop concentration near Gabes, this attack being followed by an A-20 Havoc raid on the airfield. During the afternoon, more DB-7s, with P-38 and P-40 escort, hit Gabes, concentrating on the airfield. A-20s hit a fuel dump at El Aouinet and on the return flight, escorting P-40s strafe near El Guettar. P-40s and F-4 Lightnings fly uneventful reconnaissance missions. (Jack McKillop)
ALGERIA: Algiers: General Giraud, the new French high commissioner here since the death of Admiral Darlan, tonight announced the arrest of 12 prominent people, “to prevent further assassinations”. Those arrested, he said, were plotting further assassinations, including attempts on the lives of both Giraud himself and President Roosevelt’s representative, Robert Murphy.
NEW GUINEA: In Papua New Guinea, the Urbana Force (two battalions of the U.S. 126th and 128th Infantry Regiments, 32d Infantry Division) maintains pressure against Buna Mission from the southeast and prepares to envelop it by attacking eastward from Buna Village and Musita Island. Warren Force (based on the U.S. 128th Infantry Regiment, 32d Infantry Division) regroups. Advance elements of the 163d Infantry Regiment (1st Battalion and headquarters), U.S. 41st Infantry Division, are flown to Dobodura and Popondetta from Port Moresby. (Jack McKillop)
In Papua New Guinea, USAAF Fifth Air Force A-20 Havocs strafe forces in the Duvira Creek area while B-24 Liberators carry out single-bomber attacks on the airfield at Lae, Madang Village, and troops and vehicles at Wewak. A B-17 Flying Fortress strafes a schooner in Jacquinot Bay. (Jack McKillop)
AUSTRALIA: Prime Minister John Curtin complains to the press about “buggers in Australia who won’t work. Coal mines are idle, and everyone is thinking about holidays just at a time when a few extra tons in our war effort would have a crucial effect. We are like people who have just got contagion out of the house, and just over the back fence. Apparently we are not worrying about how dirty the yard is.” (Jack McKillop)
SOLOMON ISLANDS: In preparation for renewing their attack on Hill 27 on Guadalcanal, the 2d Battalion, 132d Infantry Regiment, Americal Division, begins a movement to forward positions. The 1st and 3d Battalions continue to patrol. (Jack McKillop)
BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: USAAF Fifth Air Force B-17 Flying Fortresses bomb shipping at Rabaul on New Britain Island and sink a merchant cargo ship. (Jack McKillop)
TERRITORY OF ALASKA: ALEUTIAN ISLANDS: USAAF Eleventh Air Force B-25 Mitchells and 14 P-38 Lightnings approach Japanese-held Kiska Harbour at minimum altitude for a bombing and strafing attack. Two ships and three submarines, newly arrived, are covered by “Zeke” fighters (Mitsubishi A6M, Navy Type 0 Carrier Fighters). Four of the “Zekes” engage the approaching P-38s in a dogfight; two P-38s are shot down and four “Zekes” are listed as probable’s. The B-25s meanwhile attack the ships with unobserved results; one B-25 is shot down off Little Kiska Island. A USN PBY Catalina picks up survivors, but fails to return to base. Kiska Harbour is then attacked once more by five B-24 Liberators, four B-25s and four B-26 Marauders. They claim hits on both vessels observing explosions on the smaller ship. A B-24 photographs Amchitka while a weather reconnaissance of Near Island is cancelled due to weather. Aerial reconnaissance observes for the first time Japanese use of a smoke screen at Kiska Harbour. (Jack McKillop)
U.S.A.: The second prototype Boeing XB-29 heavy bomber, s/n 41-003, makes its first flight today. (Jack McKillop)
Frank Sinatra opens at New York’s Paramount Theatre for what is scheduled to be a four-week engagement (his shows turns out to be so popular that he is booked for an additional four weeks). An estimated 400 policemen are called out to help curb the excitement of the teenage girls (bobbysoxers) attending the show. It is said that some of the teenage girls are hired to scream, but many more screamed for free. Sinatra is dubbed “The Sultan of Swoon,” “The Voice that Thrills Millions,” and just “The Voice.” Whatever he was, it is at this Paramount Theatre engagement that modern pop hysteria is born. (Jack McKillop)
LST-314 is launched from the New York Navy Yard. (J.J. McKenna)
Submarine USS Paddle launched.
Destroyer escorts USS Marchand and Swasey laid down.
Destroyer USS Albert W Grant and Bryant laid down. (Dave Shirlaw)
ATLANTIC OCEAN: At 2138 on 29 Dec 1942, U-225 missed HMS Fidelity (special service vessel, previously the French “Rhin”), which was straggling from Far East convoy ONS-154 station #54. U-615 missed the same ship with five torpedoes between 2200 and 2300 hours on the same day. Fidelity suffers an engine failure and is awaiting a tug to take her to Gibraltar when she is spotted by U-435 (Kapitanleutnant Siegfried Strelow). At 1638 hours today, the vessel was finally hit by two torpedoes from U-435 and sank immediately. The landing craft HMS LCV-752 and LCV-754 on board were lost with the ship. Fidelity had a crew of 284 men and was transporting 51 Royal Marines for Indochina. The day before, she picked up 44 survivors from Empire Shackleton, which had been sunk the day before by U-225, U-123 and U-435. One of the seaplanes carrying two men and the MTB with eight men floated free from the fast sinking ship and carried the only survivors. The men on the aircraft were picked up by destroyer HMCS St Laurent and the others by corvette HMCS Woodstock. Fidelity had the appearance of a tramp steamer but was designed for special operations and equipped with a concealed aircraft catapult and two landing craft. (Alex Gordon and Dave Shirlaw)(108)
At 0819, the unescorted Paderewski was torpedoed by U-214 about 40 miles off Trinidad. The ship was hit by a coup de grâce at 0919 and was sunk by gunfire (23 rounds from the deck gun of which 13 were hits and the 2cm AA gun). Three crewmembers were lost, Wlodzimierz Szewczuk, Dmitro Romanciw and Marian Rojek. The survivors were picked up by a fishing boat and two American patrol boats and landed at Trinidad in the evening. (Dave Shirlaw)
Nice try Holy Father not much of a foreseer.