Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 577 March 30, 1941

At 7.34 AM 300 miles Southwest of Iceland, U-69 sinks British SS Coultarn (3 killed, 35 crew and 4 gunners picked up by British armed merchant cruiser HMS California).

33 miles Northwest of Trapani, Sicily, British submarine HMS Rorqual sinks Italian tanker Laura Corrado with torpedoes and the deck gun.

Libya. British 2nd Armoured Division is reinforcing defenses on the narrow coastal defile at Mersa Brega. In order to prevent the Allied defenses becoming impregnable and to secure a source of fresh water running off the Green Mountain (Jebel Achdar), Rommel orders 5th Light Division commander General Johannes Streich to capture Mersa Brega.

A US/British Military Staff Conference in Washington D.C. (from January 29 to March 27) agrees on military coordination in the event of US entry into the war (ABC Staff Agreement). Accordingly, US takes possession of German, Italian, and Danish ships in American ports.

At 8.27 PM, Italian submarine Dagabur unsuccessfully attacks British cruiser HMS Bonaventure (escorting convoy GA-8) midway between Crete and Egypt.

At 11 PM 90 miles Southwest of Freetown, Sierra Leone, U-124 sinks British SS Umona (82 crew, 7 gunners and 13 passengers lost). 3 survivors are picked up on April 7 by destroyer HMS Foxhound and 2 more on April 12 by British freighter SS Lorca (all landed at Freetown).

Overnight, 100 RAF bombers drop 500 lb armour-piercing bombs on German cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau at Brest, France. The ships, which were spotted by a Spitfire on March 28, escape unharmed.

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