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26th October 1942

WWII Timeline




Events On This Day

United States of America. Navy Department. Announced that aircraft-carrier USS Wasp was sunk by torpedo on 15 September 1942 While in operations off Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands, the Japanese submarine I-19 scored three hits on the carrier.

Russian Front. The Wehrmacht ground forces drove wedge into Stalingrad defences, but were forced to withdraw after five hours fighting. In the Caucasus, Army Group A takes Nalchik.

In Africa. Fighting keeps going all along the front, particularly grievous in the gap opened in the Afrika Corps line by the British around Kidney Ridge. The Australian 9th Division launches its attack in the north the switch forces the Afrika Corps to move their military reserve some way to the north. Nevertheless, the British action has slowed down substantially compared with the first days. Bernard Law Montgomery summons his generals and advocates them to restart the advance with the determination of the first few hours. In the capital of the United Kingdom they are awaiting for decisive news, which does not arrive, Sir Winston Leonard Spenser Churchill is enraged, and is said to have called out, ‘Is it really impossible to find a general who can win a battle. Field Marshal Erwin Rommel gets back to his military headquarters. Field Marshal Erwin Rommel ascertains immediately how dangerous the situation is and organises countermeasures. The first priority is to move the 21. Panzer-Division from the southern sector to the northern.

In China. United States of America air force bombers again raided Hong Kong.

In Australasia. In sea and air battle off Solomon islands, 2 Japanese aircraft carriers, 2 battleships and 3 cruisers were damaged and 100 aircraft destroyed United States of America destroyer Porter and aircraft-carrier sunk.

United States Army, Middle East Air Forces (USAMEAF). Momentum of British drive decreases in El Alamein battle. 30 Corps takes Kidney Ridge, and General Montgomery decides to regroup for a break out assault. Allied aircraft continue strong support to ground forces and disperse enemy concentrations preparing for attack. B-25 Mitchell medium bombers hit transport, troop concentrations, and tanks. P-40 fighters fly sweeps over El Daba area and attack motor transport and other targets. Enemy air action increases and considerable aerial combat ensues. United States fighters claim 4 aeroplanes shot down. More than 30 B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombers and B-24 Liberator heavy bombers attack shipping off coast of Libya.

Tenth Air Force. Japanese again hit airfields in Assam connected with India-China transport route, concentrating on Sookerating. A freight depot, containing food and medical supplies for China, is destroyed but no United States aeroplanes are lost. Due to lack of warning, no fighters intercept the attacking force. Chine Air Task Force (CATF) medium bombers move to West China to carry out naturalisation of Lashio, whether the Japanese have aircraft they are using against the Dinjan area. P-40 fighters continue to hit Hong Kong-Canton area, using dive bombing tactics for first time in the area.

Fifth Air Force. United States Army Air Force (USAAF) B-25 Mitchell medium bombers hit Salamaua and airfield at Lae. A-20 Havoc light bombers, escorted by P-40 fighters, bomb and strafe trails in Missima-Kaile-Deniki area.

South Pacific (SOPAC). Carrier aircraft from the USS Hornet a Enterprise fight fierce air action with Task Force in Rattle of Santa Cruz Island. B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombers also attack the Task Force but report no hits. With 3 of his carriers hit and almost 100 aeroplanes lost, Vice Admiral Nagumo retires toward Truk. USS Hornet is severely damaged a is sunk the following day by Japanese aircraft and destroyer with bombs and torpedoes.

M362 Minesweeper
Commissioned 26 October 1942

M413 Minesweeper
Launched 26 October 1942

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Sources

The Second Great War.
Edited by Sir John Hamilton

The War Illustrated.
Edited by Sir John Hamilton

2194 Days Of War.
ISBN-10: 086136614X

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