Siege of Leningrad Day 90. Soviets finish the ‘corduroy’ road of logs 200 miles through the forest from the railhead at Zabor’ye to Lake Ladoga, bypassing the German-held railhead at Tikhvin. Thousands of local peasants have died as forced labor during the 1 month construction.
Moscow counteroffensive. At 6 AM, Red Army attacks Reinhardt’s 3rd Panzer Army around the Klin bulge, North of Moscow. Reinhardt’s Panzers are on the Moskva/Volga canal near Yakhroma and Soviet 1st Shock Army fixes these with a frontal assault, while Soviet 30th Army (3 rifle divisions and 56 light tanks) crushes the 60 km left flank held by only 2 German infantry divisions. At midday, Reinhardt orders a withdrawal to Klin. Around Tula, South of Moscow, Soviet 10th Army attacks Guderian’s 2nd Panzer Army. Further South, Soviet 3rd and 13th Armies (Southwestern Front) attack German 2nd Army, threatening to outflank 2nd Panzer Army. Field Marshal von Bock is confused by the Soviet action (describing it as ‘unpleasant’) and does not realize his whole Army Group Center is under attack
British submarine HMS Perseus hits an Italian mine while recharging her batteries on the surface, 2 miles off Greek island of Kefalonia in the Ionian Sea, and sinks to 170 feet (all 59 crew and 1 passenger killed). Navy Stoker John Capes, a passenger en route to Alexandria, Egypt, escapes the sunken wreck in a Davis Submarine Escape Apparatus and swims to Kefalonia. He will be hidden by Greek islanders until he is taken off the island by the Royal Navy in May 1943 and finally returned to submarine duty in Alexandria.
A Bulgarian aircraft sinks Soviet submarine ShCh-204 in the Black Sea, 24 miles South of Varna, Bulgaria.
In the North Atlantic, South of Iceland, U-131 sinks British SS Scottish Trader with 6 torpedoes (all 37 crew and 6 gunners lost).
Japanese aircraft cruiser Ryujo, 4 cruisers and 9 destroyers depart Palau, heading for the Philippines 500 miles West.