Monday, December 14, 2009

Day 106 December 15, 1939

Graf Spee has 2 days to leave Montevideo. Captain Langsdorff buries his 36 dead sailors; released British prisoners lay wreathes at the funeral. Graf Spee readies to leave, taking on fuel from a German tanker while the crew repairs damage. As only HMS Cumberland and the damaged light cruisers Ajax and Achilles are positioned to prevent a break out, British diplomats spread rumors that several vessels including battleship Renown and aircraft carrier Ark Royal are nearby. British ships start leaving Montevideo at regular intervals to prevent Graf Spee sailing (she is required to give enemy merchant ships 24 hours head start). SS Ashworth sails at 5 PM.

Southwest of Ireland, U48 stops neutral Greek steamer SS Germaine. The crew is ordered into the lifeboats and rescued by Norwegian SS Vinland. As her cargo is destined for Britain, Germaine is torpedoed.

Finland. Entire Soviet divisions are surrounded North of Lake Lagoda near Tolvajärvi and Suomussalmi.

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