Thursday, April 28, 2011

Day 607 April 29, 1941

Allied resistance on mainland Greece effectively ends at 5.30 AM when 8000 British, ANZAC, Greek and Yugoslav troops surrender at Kalamata, Peloponnese peninsula. The evacuation is over, although men will be collected from various small Greek islands over the next few days. Germans take 6508 British, 2030 Australian, 1614 New Zealand prisoners, plus 3806 Cypriots and Palestinians. Allied support of the British government commitments to Greece (executed mainly by NZ and Australian troops) has cost 2250 killed and wounded and 14,000 taken prisoner (out of 58,000 sent to Greece). In addition, 104 tanks, 192 field guns, 164 anti-tank guns, 40 anti-aircraft guns, 1812 machine guns, 8000 trucks are lost plus 209 aircraft destroyed (72 lost during the combat phase, 55 bombed on the ground by Luftwaffe, 82 destroyed or abandoned during the evacuation). Germany has overrun Greece in 23 days with 1318 killed and 3360 wounded (plus 166 killed and 392 wounded in Yugoslavia). In contrast, the Greco-Italian war in Northern Greece and Southern Albania (which was ended by the German invasion) costs Greece and Italy each about 14000 killed with 60,000 wounded. Most British troopships crowding Suda Bay, Crete, are sent on to Alexandria, Egypt, avoid attack by Luftwaffe bombers which sink 2 Greek steamers.

Tobruk. Rommel is still prevented from launching an attack by General Paulus (OKH Deputy Chief of Staff). German bombers again attack the defensive perimeter, to cover the troop movements around the perimeter, and the harbour sinking HMS Chakla (previously an Indian passenger ship commissioned into the Royal Navy).

Iraq. More Indian troops (20th Infantry Brigade) arrive at Basra from Bombay, to reinforce British and colonial forces.

500 miles West of Ireland, U-75 sinks British liner City of Nagpur with 4 torpedoes from 2.30 - 6 AM (15 crew and 1 passenger killed; 171 crew, 8 gunners and 273 passengers picked up from lifeboats by destroyer HMS Hurricane). British steamer Ambrose Fleming is sunk by German motor torpedo boats in the North Sea 10 miles off the English coast (10 crew and 1 gunner lost).

Overnight, Luftwaffe bombs Plymouth, England, damaging cruiser HMS Trinidad (under construction) and sinking auxiliary patrol vessel Pessac.

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