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October 25th, 1942 (SUNDAY)

UNITED KINGDOM: From tomorrow, British cake will become even plainer than it is already. Confectioners will be allowed to add only one layer of jam or chocolate to cakes after baking. White sugar icing has been forbidden since 1940. Cake must now contain no more than 20% fats or 30% sugar. The maximum price will be 1/6 a pound.

The milk allowance is being cut to 2.5 pints a week for adults. A further cut to two pints a week is expected. Pregnant women get an extra pint a day.

Destroyer HMS Wessex laid down.

RAF Bomber Command forms No. 6 (Royal Canadian Air Force) Group, Bomber Command. All squadrons in the Group are manned by Canadian airmen.

FRANCE: During the day, RAF Bomber Command dispatches 12 Douglas (A-20) Bostons to Le Havre to attack the large merchant ship there but they have to turn back because of lack of cloud cover.

U.S.S.R.: The German III Panzer Corps begins their attack south of the Terek River in  the Caucasus.

ITALY: Milan: The RAF completes an overnight attack, after a daytime raid yesterday.

EGYPT: General Montgomery issues decisive orders for the British X Corps  to advance in the Battle of El Alamein. By the end of the day X Corps has  lost about 250 tanks, but 15th Panzer Division has only 40 tanks left. 
 The 9th Australian Division attacks in the northern end of the El Alamein  battlefield. It makes impressive gains which attract Rommel's attention  when he returns from Germany. 

At about 0100 on 25 October, Lumsden asked for a postponement of the attack. Montgomery summoned his corps commanders to a conference at 0330. After listening to what they had to say, Montgomery reiterated his orders for the armoured attack to go through, and took Lumsden (X Armoured Corps) aside to reinforce this.

So X Armoured Corps pressed the attack in the early hours of the morning, took heavy casualties, and then withdrew, but without telling Montgomery!

Only Freyberg's own armour - his attached 9th armoured brigade and his divisional cavalry regiment - stayed on the front line. Montgomery visited the front-line at dawn to confront a livid Freyberg. Freyberg said his New Zealanders would carry the attack themselves with just infantry and artillery, and use his own armour for exploitation. Lumsden lamely agreed.

Montgomery disagreed. He decided to withdraw X Armoured Corps, hoping that a rest and refit would give Lumsden and his divisional commanders the chance to find their lost backbone. He kept Freyberg on the defensive and switched the emphasis of the attack to 9th Australian Division in the north. Morshead would thrust west and north over several days towards the Mediterranean, threatening to cut off and annihilate 125th PzGren Regt on the German extreme left flank.

This is probably where Rommel lost the battle. In retrospect he should have abandoned 125th PG Regt to its fate, but Rrommel and the Axis commanders did not believe they were going to lose the battle. So he tried to save 125 PzGren Regt by throwing in his reserves. In an incredibly violent battle along the Ruweisat Ridge over several days the Australians and Axis beat each other to pulp. British armour under Australian command fought ferociously, the battlefield littered with burning Valentine and German tanks (contrast the poorer performance by X Armoured Corps to the south, with better tanks). (Michael Alexander)

     U.S. Army, Middle East Air Force B-25 Mitchells disperse motor transport and other targets in support of ground forces; P-40s on escort attack vehicles and other targets; fighters claim several airplanes destroyed in combat.

INDIA: Japanese aircraft attack airfields connected with the India-China air transport route, heavily bombing Dinjan and Chabua fields and scoring hits also at Mohanbari and Sookerating; ten US aircraft are destroyed and 17 badly damaged; nine Japanese aircraft are downed.

CHINA: Twelve B-25 Mitchells and seven P-40s of the USAAF Tenth Air Force's China Air Task Force (CATF), hit Kowloon Docks at Hong Kong; 21 aircraft intercept and a B-25 and a P-40 are shot down; this marks the first loss of a CATF B-25 in combat; the Japanese interceptors are virtually annihilated; during the night of 25/26 October, six B-25s, on the first CATF night strike, continue bombing Hong Kong, hitting the North Point power plant which provides electricity for the shipyards; three other B-25s bomb the secondary target, the Canton warehouse area, causing several large explosions and fires.

NEW GUINEA: In Papua New Guinea, USAAF Fifth Air Force A-20 Havocs bomb and strafe the Isurava-Kokoda Track, the west bank of the Kumusi River, and the area north of Asisi as Australian ground forces push toward Kokoda in the Owen Stanley Range.

SOLOMON ISLANDS: With the Japanese Army bogged down in the jungles of Guadalcanal for the  past several days, the Japanese Navy must take action or return for fuel. 

Their carriers Shokaku, Zuikaku, Zhiho and Junyo with supporting ships are  steaming NE of Guadalcanal. The US Navy has Hornet and Enterprise with  escorts. The Japanese have 199 operational aircraft with the US carriers showing  133 operational aircraft.

With both sides receiving assistance from land based aircraft, they have spotted both sides carriers. The Battle of the Santa  Cruz Islands will occur tomorrow.

 The Japanese Army on Guadalcanal finally reach the Marine Defensive Line,  south of Henderson Field in force, between Midnight and 1:00 am. The  battle first involved 1st Battalion 7th Marines and the machineguns of Sgt  John Basilone kept the Japanese off balance. Sgt. Basilone is awarded the  MOH for action this night. As the battle progressed, Lt. Col. (Chesty)  Puller brought in his reserves, platoons of 3rd Btn, 164th USA. By 2:00 the entire 3rd Btn is ordered to the line. The soldiers are placed with  Marines rather than as a unit. The attack continues until dawn with the  center of the line pulling back and absorbing the attack. Isolated small  groups of Japanese have gotten through the line. Marine patrols find 67  during the day. 300 more Japanese have fallen in front of the Marine  Lines. Artillery and mortars have claimed uncounted soldiers in the jungle  and woods beyond the perimeter. 

 The daylight occupies the Americans with 4 air strikes, between 2:20 pm and  3:15 pm, from Rabaul and naval bombardments. The first was from a cruiser,  5 destroyers and a minelayer. The Japanese move in and sink the tug  Seminole and gunboat YP-284 during a ferry run from Tulagi. Shortly after  beginning their bombardment, a Marine battery hits a gun mount on Akatsuki.  They retire under a smoke screen. During this retirement the Cactus AF has  4 Wildcats of VMF-121 strafe them.

 The second Japanese bombardment fleet is spotted by the Cactus AF and 5  SBDs of VS-71 attack at 1:00 pm. Light Cruiser Yura is struck with a 1000  pound and a 500 pound bomb. Destroyer Akizuki suffers a near miss. 2 more  attacks from the Cactus AF do no damage. Then an attack from 5 SBDs of  VS-71, 4 P-39s with bombs and 3 Wildcats, followed immediately by an attack  from 6 B-17s finishes off Yura and damages another destroyer.

 The Japanese raid, at 3:00 pm hits the Henderson Field graveyard of wrecked  aircraft. Losses include 10 Zeros, 2 Bettys and 2 Wildcats. The Wildcat  pilots are rescued. 

 Today will become known as Dugout Sunday on Guadalcanal.

 At 7:30 Japanese artillery begins firing on Marine positions near the coast  on the west side of the perimeter. Between 8:00 and Midnight the Japanese  column fights the jungle to reach their attack positions. 

 The Marines of 1st - 7th Marines and soldiers of the 3rd -164th sort out  their units and settle their sector, south of Henderson Field. At 8:00 pm  Japanese artillery fire hits this sector, for about 1 hour. Then 3 hours of  small actions against the 3rd - 164th line. Groups of 30 - 200 attack  piecemeal.

 At 7:30 Japanese artillery begins firing on Marine positions near the coast  on the west side of the perimeter. Between 8:00 and Midnight the Japanese  column fights the jungle to reach their attack positions.

The US Army 147th Regiment lands on Guadalcanal.

BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: Thirteen USAAF Fifth Air Force B-17 Flying Fortresses bomb shipping at Rabaul, New Britain Island.

PACIFIC OCEAN: 1100 hours: USS Nautilus (SS-168) sinks a sampan at 41-45 N, 145-32 E. USS Whale (SS-239) sinks a armed tanker at 33- N, 135- E, off Hinominsaki. (Skip Guidry)

- USS Whale (SS-239) lays mines off Honshu, Japan, at the entrance to Inland Sea and later sinks an armed tanker about 68 nautical miles (125 kilometers) south-southeast of Tokushima, Shikoku, Japan, in approximate position 33.00N, 135.00E. (Skip Guidry)

     In the Coral Sea during the afternoon, a USAAF B-17 Flying Fortress on a sea-search mission sights a powerful Japanese Task Force northwest of Santa Cruz Island, Solomon Islands, heading for Guadalcanal. With the Japanese Army bogged down in the jungles of Guadalcanal for the past several days, the Japanese Navy must take action or return for fuel. Their aircraft carriers HIJMS Shokaku, Zuikaku, Zhiho and Junyo, with supporting ships, are steaming northeast of Guadalcanal. The USN has the aircraft carriers USS Hornet (CV-8) and Enterprise (CV-6) with escorts. The Japanese have 199 operational aircraft with the U.S. carriers showing 133 operational aircraft. With both sides receiving assistance from land based aircraft, they have spotted both sides carriers. The Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands will occur tomorrow.

ATLANTIC OCEAN: U-67 sank SS Primero. After achieving a hit on the ship Primero, U-67 collided with her victim and damaged her periscope.

The commander and the I WO of U-441 were swept overboard in the North Atlantic, but both were rescued by the crew within eight minutes.

BERMUDA: A squadron of US aircraft carriers sails for North Africa to take part in the TORCH landings.


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