January 23, 1942 – News From Batavia – Word From Moscow – Pessimism From London.
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January 23, 1942 – Busy day on war fronts. From Batavia, the latest communique from the Netherlands/Indies fighting forces outlined a series of attacks which took place the previous morning on a northern seaport in Sumatra. Sixteen persons were wounded and the attacks were carried out by six Japanese aircraft which dropped some sixty bombs. Later, the port city was again bombed; this time, by three Japanese aircraft. Damage was done to some warehouses and ships, but no casualties. The two raids made a total of four raids by the Japanese in four days. It was construed as the precursor to a Japanese invasion at almost any time. Meanwhile, American and Netherlands Royal Air Force fighters and bombers attacked several ships off Batavia, sinking at least one Battleship, a heavy cruiser, a regular cruiser and one transport ship. In total, 12 direct hits were scored on some 8 ships – there were no allied losses.
Meanwhile, news from Russia reported Ski troops were making their way across waist-high snow drifts on the Moscow front in their pursuit of retreating German armies. Russian vanguards were said to have intercepted the Germans west of Borodino and claimed to have spread terror and confusion in the Nazi ranks.
In London, word from authoritative quarters said the news from Singapore meant a general withdrawal of British forces from Malaya at all poins of resistance. The British were falling back on east, west and center and Japanese were apparently trying to snap a pincer movement to cut off retreating British forces. Further reports indicated heavy fighting along the Singapore front with Japanese air attacks against Imperial troops said to be heavy. It was assessed that the Japanese were making steady progress, but that their exact positions were unknown.
And that’s just a small slice of the news being reported, this January 23, 1942 by NBC Red Network’s News Of The World.