Sunday, April 10, 2011

Day 589 April 11, 1941 (Good Friday)

Libya. Rommel’s forces arrive at Tobruk in greater strength and cut the coast road East to Bardia at 1 PM, isolating the Allied garrison. All day, German tanks & armoured cars probe the perimeter in several places hoping to exploit gaps but British & Australians have been strengthening the defenses since occupying the town in January. All the German thrust are repelled. British (1st Royal Tank Regiment) and German tanks exchange fire at long range. Luftwaffe bombs Tobruk harbour damaging British steamer Draco.

Balkans. German troops continue moving South from the Monastir Gap into Northern Greece, capturing the town of Vevi. In the evening, British and ANZAC forces have their first engagement with German troops in Greece, when a combined force of 2 Australian battalions and British 1st Armoured Brigade stops Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler Regiment at Klidi Pass, just South of Vevi.

At 9 PM, U-124 sinks Greek SS Aegeon carrying 7151 tons of grain from Argentina to Britain (4 dead and 27 survivors) 200 miles Southwest of Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Overnight, ‘Good Friday Raid’ on Bristol. 153 German bombers drop high explosives and incendiary canisters, damaging the docks and causing large fires in the city centre and some suburbs. St Philip’s Bridge, carrying power for the tram network, is destroyed. Trams will never run in Bristol again.

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