Sunday, March 6, 2011

Day 554 March 7, 1941

2 German submarines are lost when U-47 U-70 U-90 & UA attack convoy OB-293, 320 miles Northwest of Scotland. They sink British SS Terje Viken (largest whaling factory ship in the world, 4th largest merchant ship sunk in WWII) & British tanker MV Athelbeach (and damage 2 other merchant ships). U-47 is lost by unknown causes (all 48 hands lost). U-70 is rammed by Dutch tanker Mijdrecht (after torpedoing her). 4 hours of depth charging by British corvettes HMS Camellia and HMS Arbutus forces U-70 to the surface and the crew abandons ship (20 killed, 25 picked up and taken prisoner). 200 miles further West, U-37 sinks Greek steamer Mentor. In the same area, British submarine HMS Porpoise unsuccessfully attacks a German submarine.

German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau find a convoy of 12 freighters 550 miles Northwest of Dakar, Senegal, but it is escorted by British battleship HMS Malaya. Under orders not to engage British capital ships, they do not attack the convoy but instead report its position to German submarines in the area.

British motor torpedo boat MTB.28 is destroyed by fire at Portsmouth.

Overnight, 5 British steamers are sunk (52 merchant seamen and 4 gunners killed) in attacks on convoys FN.426 and FS.429 by 12 German motor torpedo boats off East Anglia, England. Another steamer, SS Dotterel, is damaged and runs aground (8 killed, patrol sloop HMS Sheldrake takes off 19 survivors but 1 officer and 2 ratings from Sheldrake are lost in the process).

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