Thursday, March 3, 2011

Day 553 March 6, 1941

Operation Lustre. British cruisers HMS York, HMS Bonaventure and HMS Gloucester leave Alexandria, Egypt, carrying troops to Piraeus, Greece (arriving March 7). Separately, freighters Clan Macauley and Cingalese leave Alexandria carrying tanks and equipment, escorted by destroyers HMS Nubian, HMS Mohawk and HMS Wryneck Prince (arriving Piraeus March 8). This pattern of troops on fast warships and freight carried by escorted steamers will be repeated every 3 days. Italian submarines Ondina, Beilul, Galatea, Malachite, Smeraldo, Nereide, Ascianghi, Ambra, Dagabur and Onice will patrol the convoy routes around Crete with little success against the convoys.

At 7.15 AM in Kaso Strait, East of Crete, Italian submarine Anfitrite approaches a convoy of emtpy freighters returning to Alexandria. Anfitrite is brought to the surface by depth charges from British destroyer HMS Greyhound, shelled by destroyers HMS Greyhound and HMS Havoc and then scuttled (39 crew taken prisoner). Convoy is then unsuccesfully attacked by Italian bombers.

British minesweeping trawler HMT Keryado hits a mine and sinks in the English Channel (9 killed but the Captain survives).

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