Friday, May 6, 2011

Day 615 May 7, 1941

Royal Navy knows that German weather ships in the North Atlantic receive encrypted signals using the German naval Enigma codes. Off Iceland, British destroyer HMS Somali captures German weather ship Munchen and her Enigma code book.

In the Arabian Sea 400 miles off Somaliland, German armed merchant cruiser Pinguin shells small British tanker British Emperor, which send a stream of radio signals reporting the attack as the crew is taken off. British Emperor is finally sunk with torpedoes but Royal Navy cruiser HMS Cornwall homes in on the signals to hunt for the raider.

150 miles South of Iceland at 11 PM, U-94 sinks British SS Ixion and Norwegian SS Eastern Star (all hands rescued). Convoy escorts destroyer HMS Bulldog and sloop HMS Rochester drop 98 depth charges over 4 hours but U-94 suffers only minor damage. Italian submarine Tazzoli sinks Norwegian SS Ferlane off West Africa (all hands rescued). German bombers sink British minesweeper HMS Stoke at Tobruk (21 killed, survivors rescued by gunboat HMS Ladybird).

Iraq. 20th and 21st Indian Brigades move out of Basra and capture the nearby port of Ashar.

Overnight, British cruiser HMS Ajax and destroyers HMS Havock, Hotspur & Imperial (en route to meet the Tiger convoy) take a detour to bombard Benghazi, Libya, sinking Italian steamers Tenace & Capitano Cecchi.

Overnight, Luftwaffe bombs Liverpool for the last of 7 nights (75% of the port capacity has been destroyed). Destroyer HMS Hurricane is hit by bomb at Gladstone Dock, causing structural damage (under repair until December). Hull is also bombed.

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