Sunday, February 27, 2011

Day 547 February 28, 1941

At 11.30 AM, British liner SS Anchises (damaged yesterday by a Fw200 from I./KG 40) is slowly sinking in 40 foot seas. The remaining 33 crew abandon ship in a lifeboat after corvette HMS Kingcup arrives to rescue them but the lifeboat is sucked under Kingcup’s bow (12 killed). In the afternoon, SS Anchises is sunk in another bombing attack.

Operation Abstention is abandoned. HMS Decoy and HMS Hereward land 200 more British troops on the island of Castelorizo but Italians have 2 torpedo boats (Lupo and Lince), 2 destroyers (Crispi and Sella) and 2 MAS torpedo motorboats in the area with more soldiers on board. British decide to evacuate the island but 40 Commandos are left behind and captured by Italians. The disastrous operation is described by Admiral Cunningham as "a rotten business and reflected little credit to everyone".

Kufra oasis, Sahara Desert, Southeastern Libya. After 10 days besieged by Free French forces, the Italian garrison at El Tag fort begins negotiating terms for surrender.

1 squadron of RAF Hurricanes and 1 squadron of RAF Gladiators shoot down 27 Italian aircraft over the Albanian mountains, in support of Greek troops on the ground.

At 11.32 PM 200 miles South of Iceland, U-108 sinks British SS Effna (all 33 hands lost).

Overnight, 23 RAF Hampden bombers from Waddington, England, unsuccessfully attack German battleship Tirpitz at dock in Wilhelmshaven, Germany. This is the 16th raid in 7 months but Tirpitz has suffered no serious damage.

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