Saturday, January 16, 2010

Day 138 January 16, 1940

Bitter cold and heavy snow force postponement of the planned German invasion of France, Holland and Belgium scheduled for Jan 17. However, Hitler cancels the attack altogether, fearing that the plans fell into Allied hands following the plane crash at Mechelen-sur-Meuse, Belgium on Jan 10 (the Mechelen incident). Mobilization of Belgian and Dutch troops convince the Germans that the plans have been recovered intact, despite Allied deception that the plans were successfully burned by Luftwaffe Major Reinberger after the crash.

U-44, still in the Bay of Biscay, torpedoes Greek steamer SS Panachrandos at 6.11 AM. Panachrandos sinks within three minutes with all 31 hands lost.

At 4.19 PM, British tanker SS Inverdargle (with a cargo of 12,000 tons of aviation fuel) strikes a mine and sinks in the Bristol Channel (all 49 hands lost) just 30 miles from her destination at Avonmouth Docks.

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