The first clash between Japanese and British forces within Burma occurred when a column of the 3rd Battalion of the Japanese 112th Infantry Regiment was engaged by the British 6th Burma Rifles (plus two companies of the 3rd Burma Rifles and elements of the Kohine battalion BFF) at the town of Tavoy (population 30,000 and strategically important as it was the start of a metal road to Rangoon). By the 18th the Japanese had taken the town, having lost 23 dead and 40 wounded, but the morale of the defenders had been badly damaged and the Japanese column was able to move on to Mergui without serious opposition.
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While in landing pattern at Martuba airfield in Libya, Hans-Joachim Marseille in his Bf 109 fighter encountered five Hurricane fighters that tried to jump him; he was able to break off from his landing approach, out-maneuver his attackers, and shot down two of them in return (his 37th and 38th kills). Later in the day, several British Blenheim bombers, escorted by P-40 and Hurricane fighters, attacked Martuba; Marseille shot down two of the fighters, bringing his score to 40 kills. At the end of the day, against orders, he flew over an enemy airfield to drop a note that stated Flight Sergeant Hargreaves (his 37th kill) was captured and uninjured; this personal mission led to Marseille being grounded by his commanding officer Gerhard Homuth.
During the day, Japanese troops captured Tengah airfield at Singapore while behind the front 10,000 additional troops arrived at the beachheads. At 2100 hours, the Japanese 4th Imperial Guard Regiment landed at Kranji in northern Singapore, but the attempt was driven off by Australian 27th Brigade's heavy machine gun and mortar fire before the Australians fell back in anticipation of another landing.