Skip to comments.U.S. SEIZES AFRICAN BEACHHEADS AND AIRPORTS; VICHY NAVY RESISTING; ALGIERS CAPITULATES (11/9/42)
Posted on 11/09/2012 4:45:44 AM PST by Homer_J_Simpson
Vichy troops fighting at Oran
Monday, November 9, 1942 www.onwar.com
From Vichy France... Prime Minister Laval gives permission to the Germans to use airfields in Tunisia. Marshal Petain, while publicly denouncing the invasion, privately sends encouragement to Admiral Darlan to negotiate with the Allies.
In Algeria and Tunisia... The US forces at Casablanca secure their beachheads. At Port Lyautey there is heavy fighting between French tanks and General Truscott’s troops. Oran, target of the Center Task Force is still holding out, however General Anderson, who has landed to take command of 1st Army at Algiers in the east, is able to send armored columns rushing to the area for support. German troops begin to be flown into Tunisia. General Giraud arrives in Algiers. However, the Allies realize that Admiral Darlan will be better able to change French loyalty to the Allied cause and they continue to pressure him.
In North Africa... The New Zealand Division enters Sidi Barrani in pursuit of Rommel’s forces.
In New Guinea... The Australian 25th Brigade takes Gorari after heavy fighting. This action isolates the Japanese forces at Oviv, Japanese General Horii is with them.
November 9th, 1942
UNITED KINGDOM: HMC ML 087 and 096 commissioned.
Sloop HMS Crane launched.
Frigates HMS Evenlode, Fal launched.
Destroyers HMS Tumult and Ulster launched.
Submarine HMS Vampire laid down.
Minesweeper HMS Bowen commissioned.
Corvette HMS Gardenia lost in collision with the Trawler Fluellen.
Minesweeping trawler HMS Ullswater torpedoed and sunk by a German motor torpedo boat in the English Channel.
DENMARK: Copenhagen: The Germans force King Christian to appoint the pro-Nazi Erik Scavenius as prime minister.
POLAND: A concentration camp opens at Majdanek: 4,000 Jews arrive from Lublin.
ARCTIC OCEAN: Soviet submarine “M-121” of the Polar fleet and White Sea Flotilla is sunk supposedly mined, at Varanger-fjord (Sergey Anisimov)(69)
MEDITERRANEAN SEA: Minesweeper HMS Cromer mined and sunk off Mersa Matruh in the eastern Mediterranean.
At 1404, U-331 fired a spread of four torpedoes at the USS Leedstown, heard three hits and sinking noises. In fact, the ship was hit by two torpedoes amidships and was abandoned after ten minutes. After an unsuccessful bombing attack, the vessel sank at 1615. The ship was anchored near Cape Matifou, about 12 miles from Algiers. (Dave Shirlaw)
NORTH AFRICA: The beachheads are secured at Casablanca by US forces. Heavy fighting continues at Port Lyautey. Oran holds out, but the First Army has dispatched an armoured column to assist.
Vichy PM Laval agrees to allow German use of airfields in Tunisa.
General Giraud arrives in Algiers. Since Admiral Darlan is in Algiers, General Clark is pressing him to declare for the Allies. Marshal Petain is secretly giving Darlan some encouragement to negotiate.
The British cruisers HMS AURORA and HMS JAMAICA sank Vichy ship EPERVIER and damaged TYPHON which retired to Oran harbour where she was scuttled. One French account states that it was the TYPHON that was damaged in yesterdays action action and that super-destroyer EPERVIER took part only today.
In both cases the French ships were attempting to sortie from Oran. (Peter Beeston)
The New Zealand Division enters Sidi Barrani in pursuit of Rommel’s Afrika Korps.
NEW GUINEA: US infantry troops are airlifted from Port Moresby to Natunga.
AUSTRALIA: Melbourne: Conclusion to the “Brownout Strangler” killings of May, 1942.
Several other women now came forward to state that they had been attacked by an American serviceman, but had managed to escape. In one of these incidents the attacker had entered a women’s flat. A person outside in the hallway distracted the attacker and the woman screamed. The attacker left in a hurry leaving behind a GI ringlet with the initials EJL on it. In another case the attacker had tried to force a woman into her house but was confronted by the woman’s uncle who chased the attacker away.
The 15,000 servicemen at Camp Pell had been lined up by the Melbourne police so that witnesses could try to identify the murderer. 24 year old Edward Joseph Leonski of the 52nd Signal Battalion was eventually identified by the uncle of one of Leonski’s victims who had managed to escape his attack. Leonski was then also identified by Private Seymour who had seen him covered in mud near Camp Pell on the night of the third murder. Leonski eventually confessed to the crimes.
Eddie Leonski was apparently a happy go lucky sort of fellow who would often be seen walking on his hands in a hotel bar after he had become intoxicated. This was apparently nearly every night. During his general court-martial he was cheerful, always grinning and joking during the proceedings. He was often seen taking notes during his trial.
Leonski was Court Marshalled by an American military court in a hall in Russell Street, Melbourne. He was sentenced to death by hanging. General Douglas MacArthur confirmed the sentence on 4 November 1942. Leonski was hung at Pentridge Prison today. (Denis Peck)
SOLOMON ISLANDS: Guadalcanal: 1st and 3rd Btns of the 164th are shuttled west to redeploy for a new offensive west of the perimeter. Left to deal with Japanese forces, east of the Lunga perimeter, along the Metapona River are the 2nd Btn 164th and 1st and 2nd Btns 7th Marines. They have the Japanese bottled up inland along the Gavanga Creek. During the night, most of the Japanese, under Col Shoji, escape between the flanks of the 2/7 and 2/164.
CANADA: Ottawa: Within 24 hours of the severance of relations between the United States and Vichy France, Canada has broken off diplomatic relations with the Vichy government. Justifying Canada’s two years of diplomatic relations with Vichy France, the prime minister, Mr. Mackenzie King, said that they had provided the Allies with vital political information, kept alive the concept of freedom in unoccupied France and helped “pave the way and prepare the background for” the Allied landings in North Africa.
German secret agent Werner Janowski dropped ashore at Gaspe town of New Carlisle by submarine U-518; arrested a day later by RCMP; becomes double agent. (Dave Shirlaw)
U.S.A.: Destroyer USS Ordronaux launched.
Submarine USS Angler laid down.
Light cruiser USS Duluth laid down.
Destroyer escorts USS Otterstetter and Frederick C Davis laid down.
Destroyers USS Halligan and Haraden laid down.
Minesweepers USS Chickadee and Sustain commissioned.
MEXICO: Mexico City: Mexico severs diplomatic relations with France. (Dave Shirlaw)
ATLANTIC OCEAN: In the North Atlantic, U-704 fired four torpedoes at the troop transport Queen Elizabeth, but all missed.
U-67 sank SS Nidarland.
U-154 sank SS Nurmahal.
U-177 sank SS Cerion.
I see that they didn’t forget the dirty pictures in this issue.
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