Thursday, October 14, 2010

Day 411 October 15, 1940

Battle of Britain Day 98. Cloudy in the Straits of Dover but clear over Southern England. Luftwaffe makes 6 fighter-only sweeps, 5 coming in over Kent or up the Thames Estuary to London from 8.15 AM to 4 PM and 1 over Southampton at 12.15 PM. German losses are 16 fighters and 3 bombers while RAF loses 15 fighters (6 pilots killed). Overnight, there is very heavy bombing of London, concentrated on railway lines, dockyards and the old City. In clear moonlight, 400 Luftwaffe bombers drop 530 tons of high explosive bombs (400 killed, 900 injured). German bombers from Cherbourg attack Bristol and bomb Birmingham heavily.

At 1 AM, 100 miles South of Taranto, Italy, British submarine HMS Triad, running on the surface, encounters Italian submarine Enrico Toti. HMS Triad fires first, scoring 2 hits with 4-inch shells from the deck gun but missing with a torpedo. Enrico Toti cannot dive due to a mechanical breakdown but hits Triad with 2 shells and machinegun fire, forcing Triad’s gun crews to take cover below deck. As HMS Triad dives, she is hit by a torpedo & sinks at 1.30 (all 59 hands lost).

Italian submarine Foca sinks while laying a minefield off Haifa, Palestine (now Israel). Italian submarine Comandante Cappellini (one of only 2 submarines to serve in Italian, German and Japanese navies) sinks Belgian steamer Kabalo 800 miles West of Casablanca, Morocco (1 killed, survivors picked up by American steamer Pan American).

U-93 and U-138 attack convoy OA-228 100 miles Northwest of the Outer Hebrides, Scotland. Just after midnight, U-93 sinks British SS Hurunui (2 killed, 72 survivors). Between 5.10-5.15 AM, U-138 sinks British SS Bonheur (all crew picked up by anti-submarine trawler HMS Sphene) and damages British tanker MV British Glory (3 killed). At 7.33 PM, U-103 sinks British SS Thistlegarth, 100 miles Northwest of the Outer Hebrides (29 crew members and 1 gunner lost, 9 crew picked up by corvette HMS Heartsease).

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