Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Day 80 November 19, 1939

In response to Germany laying magnetic mines in the English Channel, First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill wants mines dropped by air into the Rhine in the Ruhr area to disrupt river shipping. He also proposes launching time-activated mines into the Rhine along the French/German border between Strasbourg and the Lauter River, to float downstream.

A deadly game of cat and mouse in the Bay of Biscay. U-41 hunts the British steamer SS Darino. Over 8 hours U-41 misses with 3 torpedoes. At 1:50 AM, Darino is sunk by a fourth torpedo (16 lives lost). 11 crew are picked up by U-41, transferred to an Italian merchant ship and later landed at Dover. Nearby, U-49 stalks Convoy HG-7 from Durban to Dunkirk via for 3 hours. U-49 fires 2 torpedoes that miss the British steamer SS Pensilva (cargo of maize) but a third torpedo sinks her at 12.19 PM. The Captain and crew are rescued by the destroyers HMS Echo and Wanderer and returned to England.

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