Thursday, March 10, 2011

Day 558 March 11, 1941

At 8 AM, U-74 shells Icelandic trawler Frodi with the deck gun 192 miles Southeast of Iceland. Frodi is badly damaged (5 killed) but reaches the island of Vestmannaeyjar next day.

At 3.46 PM 200 miles West of Senegal, U-106 sinks British MV Memnon (3 crew and 2 RAF personnel killed). 69 survivors in lifeboats meet varied fates. 4 are taken prisoner by German battlecruiser Gneisenau. 43 land at Bathurst, Sierra Leone, on March 24. 22 make land in Senegal on March 21, are imprisoned by Vichy French but then put back in their lifeboat and sent to Sierra Leone.

President Roosevelt signs Lend-Lease Bill into law allowing Britain (and other countries) to get weapons and munitions from America on credit instead of paying in gold under "cash and carry", as required by the Neutrality Acts. This is just in time, as Britain is beginning to run out of gold.

Rommel’s armour arrives in Libya. 5th Light Division’s Panzer Regiment completes unloading from freighters at Tripoli, parades through the town (they go around several times to create the illusion of greater strength) and then heads East to Sirte.

Overnight, 135 Luftwaffe aircraft drop 122 tons high explosive bombs and 830 incendiary canisters on Birmingham in the English Midlands. 6 Handley Page Halifax bombers of 35 Squadron raid Le Havre, France, from RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire (operational debut of the Halifax).

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