Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Day 606 April 28, 1941

Greece. During the day, German bombing sinks Greek torpedo boat Kyzikos and 2 steamers. Overnight, 4170 Allied troops are evacuated from the Peloponnese peninsula. 2 German companies (5th Panzer Division) drive into the port of Kalamata and capture the quay as the evacuation begins. Royal Navy warships sail back to sea, having embarked only 322 men. Most Allied troops are too exhausted to resist but there are several independent small group actions. Sergeant Jack Hinton of 2nd New Zealand Division wins the Victoria Cross for leading an attack to retake the quay, clearing out 3 machine-gun nests and a mortar with grenades and capturing a 6 inch gun. He is shot in the stomach and taken prisoner (he will receive his medal from King George at Buckingham Palace on May 11 1945, after his release). Allied forces recapture the quay (41 Germans killed, 60 wounded, 100 taken prisoner) but it is too late, the warships are gone.

General Paulus (German Deputy Chief of Staff), who arrived yesterday, orders Rommel to delay his planned attack on Tobruk, reflecting concerns that Rommel is being too reckless. From 6 AM, Luftwaffe bombs Tobruk harbour and defensive positions, to cover the continued buildup of German and Italian troops and armour around the perimeter.

150 miles South of Iceland, U-123 sights convoy HX121 and calls in 5 other submarines. At 4.15 PM, U-552 sinks a tanker, then at 7.25 PM U-96 sinks 2 tankers and a freighter (most crewmen rescued by British rescue ship Zaafaran). U-552 and U-96 are both depth charged by the convoy escorts. U-65 is sunk by depth charges from the British destroyer HMS Douglas (all 50 hands lost).

In the Arabian Sea 1200 miles East of Mogadishu, Somaliland, German armed merchant cruiser Pinguin shells British SS Clan Buchanan (carrying military equipment from USA) from 5 km. Radio signals reporting the attack are sent before the crew of 110 are taken prisoner and is Clan Buchanan scuttled. Royal Navy ships respond to the signals and set out to hunt for Pinguin.

RAF Short Stirlings of No.7 Squadron bomb Emden in a daylight raid.

British minesweeping trawler HMT Caroline sinks on a mine off Milford Haven, Wales (the Dutch crew are all lost).

Overnight, Malta is heavily bombed. Destroyer HMS Encounter is badly damaged in drydock by a bomb penetrating her deck and minesweeper HMS Fermoy is destroyed.

No comments:

Post a Comment