Monday, December 13, 2010

Day 471 December 14, 1940

Operation Compass. A Vickers light tank (3rd The King's Own Hussars, 7th Armored Brigade) captures Fort Capuzzo, in Libya just across the border with Egypt. Royal Navy starts shuttling Italian POWs back to Alexandria, Egypt. Armed boarding vessel Fiona and auxiliary schooners Farouk and Fawzia deliver 3100 POWs from Mersa Matruh and then return. Italian submarine Naiade, sent out yesterday to harass British warships, is detected by destroyers HMS Hereward and HMS Hyperion 20 miles Northeast of Bardia, Libya, and brought to the surface with depth charges. Naiade is scuttled and all 41 crew are rescued by HMS Hereward. 8 Fairey Swordfish torpedo bombers from 830 Naval Air Squadron at Malta attack the harbour at Tripoli, Libya.

RAF bombs Italian naval base at Naples, damaging Italian cruiser Pola.

400 miles West of Ireland, U-100 sinks British steamers SS Kyleglen at 8.16 AM (all 36 hands lost) and SS Euphorbia at 7.55 PM (all 34 hands lost). At 8.55 AM, 200 miles South of Iceland, U-96 stops British liner Western Prince with a torpedo (14 killed). After allowing 100 crew and 55 passengers to abandon ship in lifeboats, U-96 sinks Western Prince at 10.21 AM. 154 survivors are picked up by British steamer Baron Kinnaird and 1 by destroyer HMS Active.

HMS Branlebas, a torpedo boat captured from the French off Portsmouth on July 3 1940, sinks in rough weather in the English Channel 30 miles Southwest of Plymouth (97 hands lost, Free French destroyer Mistral rescues 3 survivors).

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