Thursday, December 30, 2010

Day 488 December 31, 1940

As the year ends, Germany controls Europe from the English Channel to the Russian border and from the Arctic in Norway to the shores of the Mediterranean (with allies Italy, Vichy France and Balkan states). Italian and Vichy French colonies cover the North coast of Africa.

Greek submarine Katsonis sinks Italian tanker Quinto with the deck gun off the major Albanian port of Vlorë, directly across the Adriatic Sea from Brindisi, Italy. Vlorë is also bombed by RAF.

RAF mounts daylight bombing raids on Dutch ports of Rotterdam & Ijmuiden, the Rhine bridge at Emmerich, Germany (just across the border from Netherlands) and Köln, Germany.

Overnight, destroyer HMS Dainty captures Italian schooners Tiberio and Maria Giovanni between Bardia and Tobruk, Libya. HMS Dainty escorts the schooners to Sollum, Egypt.

Happy New Year! All 33 crew and 2 passengers drown in the freezing water 200 miles South of Iceland when U-38 sinks Swedish MV Valparaiso at 11.12 PM. Around the same time 200 miles off Dakar, Senegal, U-65 hits British tanker British Zeal with 2 torpedoes (she is in ballast and does not explode). The crew abandons ship, then reboards and takes British Zeal safely to Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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