Sunday, June 6, 2010

Day 280 June 6, 1940

Rommel quickly learns to use his tanks to bypass Weygand‘s hedgehogs. The Panzers make rapid progress as there is no secondary defensive line and infantry contain & reduce the hedgehogs. 5th and 7th Panzer Divisions make an initial breakthrough between Abeville and Amiens. Elsewhere, camouflaged hedgehogs in wooded areas continue to confound the Germans, with fire coming suddenly from the side or rear. French 75mm field guns (1898 vintage), obsolete as artillery, turn out to be as effective as German 88mm Flak used in flat fire anti-tank role.

Evacuation of Narvik. Another 5100 men embark overnight. About 15,000 Allied troops leave aboard 6 fast liners (Monarch Of Bermuda, Batory, Sobieski, Franconia, Lancastria & Georgic) escorted by destroyer HMS Arrow & sloop HMS Stork. They rendezvous with WWI-era cruiser HMS Vindictive (Arrow & Stork turn back for Narvik). Only Vindictive will escort the troopships back to the Clyde.

At 1.13 PM, U-46 hits British armed merchant cruiser HMS Carinthia (a converted Cunard liner) with one torpedo, west of Galway Bay (4 lives lost). Carinthia stays afloat for another 30 hours, but sink while under tow by rescue tug HMS Marauder.

Norwegian submarine B.3 departs Harstad for Tromso but is crippled by an explosion. Unable to reach England, B.3 will be scuttled on June 9 in Gavlfjord near Tromso.

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