Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day 565 March 18, 1941

At 4 AM, U-105 attacks convoy SL-68 West of Senegal. British SS Medjerda, laden with 6450 tons of iron ore, is hit with 1 torpedo and sinks in 30 seconds (all 52 crew and 2 gunners lost).

Battle of Keren, Eritrea. British and Indian troops hold onto Fort Dologorodoc in the face of Italian counterattacks and shelling from across the Dongolaas Gorge. The road through the Gorge is blocked by rocks blasted from the hillsides. Indian sappers and miners determine that they can reopen the road in 48 hours, if the Italian shelling and machinegun fire is suppressed.

Libya. Rommel flies back to Germany to confer with Hitler. British armed boarding vessel Rosaura sinks on a mine off Tobruk, carrying Italian POWs back to Alexandria (14 crew, 5 guards and 59 POWs lost). Fairey Swordfish torpedo bombers from Fleet Air Arm 830 Naval Air Squadron, Malta, bomb the harbour at Tripoli (1 Swordfish shot down, 2 aircrew taken prisoner).

British bombers return to the Albanian port of Vlorë and sink Italian torpedo boat Aldebaran.

In mid-Atlantic 1050 miles Southwest of Cape Verde Islands, German armed merchant cruiser Kormoran and U-124 finally find calm waters to transfer 7 torpedoes to U-124.

German 1st S-boat Flotilla (6 Motor Torpedo Boats) raids shipping on the East coast of England, sinking French steamer Daphne II off the Humber Estuary.

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