January 24, 1942 – Battle Of Moscow – Withdrawal In Malaya – The Threat To Australia – Desperate Attempts In Libya.
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January 24, 1942 – With news on the events in the Far East getting attention the day before, news on the Eastern Front and the Battle of Moscow was capturing attention this day. The Russians gained their biggest territorial advance so far in the war and were continuing without stop. German dreams of capturing Moscow and ending the War in the East had evaporated. Stalin’s dreams of a grand counteroffensive that would kick the Germans out of the Soviet Union also faltered. The slaughterhouse that was the Eastern Front would continue well into 1942, and then into 1945.
Meanwhile, news from the Far East was less encouraging. Reports that British forces were continuing their withdrawal from Malaya and the threat to Australia grew even stronger. The Australian Government had decided on making another appeal to Churchill and Roosevelt for a flood of planes, tanks and guns.
News from Libya reported German tank columns were putting on their biggest offensive so far; a desperate attempt to wrest initiative from the British. Latest reports from Rome indicated the British were forced to retreat east of Ajdabiya. In addition, reports from Malta indicated the tiny island was the object of intense day-and-night bombing raids from the German Air Force.
Back to Batavia where reports of Japanese air raids on Samarinda with resulting light casualties. In Balikpapan, the story was different. On 22 January, the Japanese fleet was sighted moving south by an American PBY flying boat, and on 23 January formations of Dutch bombers attacked the convoy. Despite this, the Japanese unit successfully landed approximately 5 km (3.1 mi) southeast of Balikpapan airfield on the evening of 24 January. The assault unit landed without meeting enemy resistance and, by dawn, had occupied the airfield. The southward advance moved slowly as the bridges had been destroyed, and the unit reached the northern outskirts of Balikpapan City.
And that’s just a small portion of what happened on the January 24, 1942 as reported by NBC Red Network’s News Of The World, followed by a 1/2 hour weekly wrapup of the war.