Sunday, November 22, 2009

Day 84 November 23, 1939

Between 1 - 3.30 PM, LtCmdr Ouvry and CPO Charles Baldwin defuse and recover a 7 ft long German magnetic mine (660 lbs of explosive) using specially-designed non-magnetic brass tools. Churchill hosts a party at the Admiralty. Ouvry, Lewis and Baldwin will receive medals from King George VI; the first Royal Naval decorations of the war.

Photos of Ouvry and his mine

A nice summary of the disarming and recovery of the magnetic mine by Ouvry, Lewis, Baldwin and others. Also the subsequent discovery of the mechanism of these mines and ways to combat their threat.

In a David and Goliath battle near Iceland, merchant cruiser HMS Rawalpindi (armed with only four 6 inch guns) is sunk by battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau (265 lives lost). The Germans rescue 37 survivors and HMS Chitral saves 11. As Rawalpindi radioed their position, Scharnhorst and Gneisenau terminate their raiding mission.

U-33 torpedoes German merchant ship Borkum (captured by HMS California, Nov 18), killing 4 German sailors but none of the British prize crew. U-33’s commander von Dresky finds no glory on this sortie; in addition to Borkum, he has sunk only 5 tiny trawlers, picking up no survivors.

1 comment:

  1. Hans Wilhelm was regarded as a gallant and skilled commander. Thoughtfull and considerated of his enemy. Sent on a highly secret mission to the Clyde when a previous Uboat has failed. Despite high danger and under attack attempted to continue his mission untill no hope except to save his crew.