Friday, February 18, 2011

Day 538 February 19, 1941

Docks at Swansea, Wales, are important for unloading food, fuel and raw materials coming into Britain and for coal exports. At 7.30 PM, Luftwaffe begins a unique raid for 3 consecutive days (known locally as the “3 Day Blitz”). While the city is bombed, mainly with incendiary canisters, the docks are almost unscathed and nearby oil refineries at Llandarcy are not targeted.

British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden & Chief of the General Staff (CIGS) Sir John Dill meet CIC Middle East General Wavell & Mediterranean Fleet commander Admiral Cunningham in Cairo to discuss sending aid to Greece. Under pressure from Eden, General Wavell agrees it can be done while maintaining efforts in Italian East Africa and holding gains made in Libya. Meanwhile, Rommel’s Africa Korps patrols are moving out of Tripoli looking for forward Allied positions in the desert.

German Motor Torpedo Boats S.28, S.101, S.102 raid the coast of Norfolk, England, sinking British SS Algarve off Sheringham (all hands lost). British submarine HMS Tigris sinks French steamers Jacobsen and Guilvinec 60 miles west of Bayonne, France.

At 8.18 AM West of Scotland, U-69 sinks British SS Empire Blanda (36 crew and 3 gunners lost). The U-boat is almost hit by falling debris. At 10.22 PM 360 miles Northwest of Ireland, U-103 torpedoes Norwegian MV Benjamin Franklin in the engine room. All 36 crew abandon ship (7 picked up 7 days later by corvette HMS Pimpernel, 28 picked up by Egyptian steamer Memphis but die when she sinks in bad weather 100 miles from the British coast on February 28, 1 picked up by another ship which is then torpedoed). A second torpedo detonates 1700 barrels of acetone, disintegrating the ship.

No comments:

Post a Comment