Sunday, March 20, 2011

Day 568 March 21, 1941

At 0.46 AM 500 miles west of Cap Blanc, French West Africa, U-105 resumes her attack on convoy SL-68 sinking British steamers Clan Ogilvy (61 killed, 24 survivors) and Benwyvis (34 killed, 21 survivors including 1 man rescued after 28 days in an open boat). At 10 PM, U-105 returns to SL-68 and sinks British SS Jhelum (8 killed, 49 survivors who float 650 miles Southeast and land in Senegal are taken prisoner by Vichy French). In 5 days, U-105 and U-106 have sunk 7 freighters and damaged 1 freighter & battleship HMS Malaya. Convoy SL-68 continues on unmolested.

Convoy AS.21 from Piraeus, Greece, to Alexandria, Egypt, is bombed by Luftwaffe 60 miles South of Crete. Greek steamer Embiricos Nicolaos is sunk (2 killed). Norwegian tanker Solheim is damaged by near misses and abandoned (1 man lost). Greek destroyer takes survivors from both ships back to Piraeus.

At noon, Nigerian Brigade of the 11th African Division attacks prepared Italian defenses at the Marda Pass, 8 miles West of Jijiga, Eastern Ethiopia, on the road to the capital Addis Ababa. They are held all day by fire from dug-in Italian machineguns and artillery, but the Italians abandoned this strong defensive position and withdraw overnight.

In preparation for the German invasion of USSR, Alfred Rosenberg is appointed head of the Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories.

Germans bomb shipping near Plymouth (sinking British minesweeping trawler HMT Asama), Bristol (sinking steamer Millisle, 10 killed) and Swansea (sinking steamer London II, 4 killed).

At 7 PM, German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau are met by torpedo boats Iltis and Jaguar, providing anti-submarine escort on the final leg of the voyage to Brest, France.

Overnight, Luftwaffe bombers rain incendiary canisters on Plymouth which torch residential and shopping areas.

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