Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Day 605 April 27, 1941

Greece. Dutch liner SS Slamat leaves Nauplia harbour with 211 crew and 500 Allied troops at 4 AM, too late to escape an attack by 9 Stukas at 7 AM. British destroyers HMS Diamond and HMS Wryneck are sunk by more Stukas while rescuing survivors. Of 983 on board SS Slamat, HMS Diamond and HMS Wryneck, only 66 survive. 2nd Panzer Division motorcycle troops enter Athens and hoist the Nazi flag over the Acropolis. However, 4200 troops including British 1st Armoured Brigade are evacuated from beaches South of Athens. All day, 5th Panzer Division crosses the Corinth Canal and, at 5.30 PM, Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler Regiment crosses onto the Peloponnese peninsula at Patras. Allied troops evacuate from the Peloponnese to Crete by boat but Greek Cretan 5th Division are left behind, trying to return home for the defense of their island. German bombing sinks 5 steamers.

At 1.30 AM 300 miles West of Ireland, U-110 sinks British SS Henri Mory (26 crew and 2 gunners lost, 3 crew picked up by HMS Hurricane, 1 man rescued after 8 days by British steamer Lycaon). At 2.42 AM 100 miles Southwest of the Faroe Islands, U-147 sinks Norwegian SS Rimfakse (11 crew lost, 8 survivors on a raft picked up by British SS Hengist). 80 miles South of Iceland, U-552 sinks British trawler Commander Horton at 2.10 AM (all 14 crew killed) and British MV Beacon Grange at 4.12 PM (2 killed, 74 crew and 8 gunners picked up by the Belgian trawler Edouvard Anseele).

At Tobruk, German high-level bombers draw the fire of British anti-aircraft guns guarding the harbour while 24 dive bombers attack the AA gun emplacements (4 guns are destroyed, 8 killed, 1 bomber shot down). To prevent this happening again, the AA guns are moved and concealed while dummy emplacements are constructed to confuse the bombers (during raids, explosives are set off to simulate firing of the dummy guns).

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