Sunday, June 13, 2010

Day 289 June 15, 1940

Another German pincer closes on France. At dawn, German 7th Army under General Friedrich Dollmann crosses the Rhine from Germany 40-50 miles North of Swiss border and penetrates the Maginot Line, fanning out on the Alsace plain to join up with Guderian’s Panzers making their way South towards Switzerland.

At 1 AM, U-38 attacks convoy HX-47 60 miles West of the Scilly Isles, sinking Norwegian tanker Italia carrying 13,000 tons of aviation spirit (19 dead, 16 escape the inferno in lifeboats) and Canadian SS Erik Boye carrying 3568 tons of wheat (all 21 crew abandon ship in 1 lifeboat). Survivors from both ships are picked up in the afternoon by British sloop HMS Fowey and landed at Plymouth on June 16.

Operation Ariel begins evacuating Allied troops from the ports of Cherbourg. Over the next 3 days, 23,630 men, mostly British, are embarked from Cherbourg.

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