Saturday, December 18, 2010

Day 476 December 19, 1940

Overnight, British battleships HMS Valiant and HMS Warspite shell Italian positions at Valona, Albania, in support of Greek advances.

7 miles North of Cape Juby, Morocco, U-37 mistakenly torpedoes and sinks submarine Sfax (4 killed, 69 survivors) and the support ship Rhône (11 dead) belonging to her ally Vichy France. U-37’s log does not record this incident, stating “Nothing to see”.

Operation Compass. Gunboat HMS Aphis continues the bombardment of Bardia. General O’Connor reports that Western Desert Force’s casualties in the first 10 days of the campaign are 141 killed and missing plus 387 wounded.

200 miles West of Ireland, Italian submarine Bagnolini sinks British SS Amicus (all hands lost). British convoy escort destroyers HMS Veteran and HMS Verity collide in Lough Foyle near the Royal Navy base at Londonderry, flooding HMS Verity's engine room (under repair at Londonderry and Belfast until March 5 1941).

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