July 12, 1942 – news from the battle fronts around the world this day. From Alemein came news of gains made by Australian troops, while British armored columns engaged German armored groups. Elements of the German 164th Light Division and Italian 101st Motorised Division “Trieste” arrived to plug the gap torn in the Axis defenses. That afternoon and evening, tanks from the German 15th Panzer and Italian Trieste Divisions launched counter-attacks against the Australian positions around Alemein, the counter-attacks failing in the face of overwhelming Allied artillery and the Australian anti-tank guns.
At first light on 11 July, the Australian 2/24th Battalion supported by tanks from 44th Royal Tank Regiment attacked the western end of Tel el Eisa hill (Point 24). By early afternoon, the feature was captured and was then held against a series of Axis counter-attacks throughout the day. A small column of armor, motorized infantry, and guns then set off to raid Deir el Abyad and caused a battalion of Italian infantry to surrender. Its progress was checked at the Miteirya ridge and it was forced to withdraw that evening to the El Alamein box. During the day, more than 1,000 Italian prisoners were taken.
From the Pacific came word of renewed high-altitude Japanese bombing of Port Moresby, while Allied bombing of Japanese bases in New Guinea, the Solomon islands and Timor. Although the allied bombings concentrated on specific targets, the Japanese bombings were more wide-spread – and there was still an issue of sheer numbers of Japanese bombers compared to allied bombers as well as frustration the Allies were still in a defensive position rather than an offensive one.
Back home – it was still about rationing, particularly sugar – and even though there was a 5% surplus of sugar, it wasn’t thought to be sufficient to withstand any further shortages owing to the increased loss of shipping of those goods to the States. There was also news on the proposed new Tax Bill in Congress and the possibility of raising the Sales Tax, not with much success.
And that was a small slice of what went on this July 12, 1942 as presented by the Sunday Edition of News Of The World.