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8th May 1942

WWII Timeline




Events On This Day

Heavy raid by the British Royal Air Force (RAF) bombers on Warnemünde, near Rostock, in face of intense opposition. Airfields in the Low Countries and Northern France and shipping off Norway also attacked.

Russian Front. The Wehrmacht open an offensive on the Kerch Peninsula.

In Africa. Benghazi raided by the British Royal Air Force (RAF) bombers.

In the Mediterranean. Sixteen enemy aircraft destroyed or damaged over Malta.

In the Indian Ocean. Japanese bombed and machine gunned Chittagong area of Bay of Bengal.

In Burma. Japanese enter Myitkyina. Announced from Delhi that Japanese have occupied Akyab.

In Australasia. Washington and Australia stated that in Coral Sea battle, in progress since 3 May 1942, Japanese losses believed to be one aircraft-carrier, one heavy cruiser, one light cruiser, two destroyers, four gunboats and two transports or cargo vessels sunk, and damage to another aircraft-carrier, one heavy cruiser, one light cruiser, one seaplane tender and two transports or cargo vessels.

Luftwaffe carried out a night raid on Norwich.

German naval commandant orders night closing of Bergen waters as from 5 May 1942.

Fifth Air Force. Main action of Battle of the Coral Sea occurs as Allied and Japanese carrier forces clash. Allied bombers join Navy aeroplanes in attacking enemy's main support force which has swept around South of San Cristobal. The carrier Shokaku is severely damaged by aircraft from carriers Lexington and Yorktown. The Lexington is damaged so severely that it later is sunk by United States naval fire. The Yorktown also suffers damage from aircraft. Both sides lose heavily in aircraft, United States losses totalling 66 and the Japanese considerably more. The Allies turn back the sea assault against Port Moresby, a key base in New Guinea and of great importance to the security of Australia. The battle is the first major naval engagement in history in which the opposing warships do not exchange a shot. The Coral Sea battle marks the end of the period in which the Allied forces in Southwest Pacific Area
(SWPA) are only on the defensive and paves the way for offensive operations. The reconnaissance work of the Army Air Forces proves of greater importance than its bombardment operations, which have no real effects on the battle. Lack of Navy-Army Air Forces coordination is apparent from the Coral Sea action, and this eventually leads to better interservice communication.

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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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