Saturday, April 23, 2011

Day 602 April 24, 1941

Luftwaffe again mauls shipping off the Greek coast, sinking hospital ship Andros and 11 freighters. Bombers further damage British cruiser HMS York at Suda Bay, Crete. Submarine HMS Rover, moored alongside to supply electrical power for York’s anti-aircraft guns, is also damaged & out of service until March 1942. Greek torpedo boats Aigli, Alkyoni and Arethousa are scuttled to prevent capture. At 7 PM, Greek luxury yacht Hellas is bombed at Piraeus while boarding 500 British civilians and 400 wounded Allied soldiers (500 die as Hellas catches fire and slowly rolls over). Allied rearguard at Thermopylae holds off German attacks all afternoon (destroying 15 tanks) and then withdraws at midnight. Evacuation of Allied troops begins (Operation Demon) and 13,500 troops are taken from Raphtis (South of Athens) and Nauplia (Peloponnese peninsula) overnight.

At 7 AM, Italian infantry attack the Tobruk defenses at 2 points after an artillery barrage at dawn. Advancing in suicidally close formation, they are broken up by Australian small arms fire from the forward gun pits and British artillery fire from the rear. The attacks are over within an hour (107 Italian POWs captured).

No comments:

Post a Comment