Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Day 542 February 23, 1941

Operation Canvas. General Cunningham splits his force in Italian Somaliland. He sends 12th African Division North up the Juba River towards the Ethiopian border while the motorized Nigerian Brigade of the 11th African Division races up the coast road towards Mogadishu.

A German Focke-Wulf Fw200 Kondor leads U-69, U-73, U-96, U-107, U-123 and Italian submarines Bianchi and Barbarigo to convoy OB-288, 300 miles South of Iceland. Just before midnight, U-69 sinks British SS Marslew (13 killed, 23 rescued) and U-96 sinks British SS Anglo-Peruvian (29 lost, 17 rescued). U-107 and Bianchi hit British ocean boarding vessel HMS Manistee which keeps moving, leading to an all night chase.

50 miles off Sfax, Tunisia, British submarine HMS Upright sinks Italian steamer Silvia Tripcovich.

In Athens, there is confusion among Greek and British commanders as to the best defense against a German invasion from Bulgaria. The Greeks insist on holding the fortified Metaxas Line along their Eastern border with Bulgaria, while the British propose a line further Southwest along the Vermion Mountains and the Haliacmon River. The meeting breaks up without agreement.

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