Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Day 620 May 12, 1941

3 ex-US Coast Guard Cutters are commissioned into Royal Navy at New York as convoy escort ships HMS Sennen, Walney & Totland with crews from battleship HMS Malaya (which is under repair in USA).

The British convoy carrying 135 infantry tanks, 82 cruiser tanks, 21 light tanks and 43 Hurricane fighters through the Mediterranean (Tiger convoy) arrives at Alexandria, Egypt. Churchill’s gamble has paid off and Allied forces in North Africa can face the Afrika Korps on level terms.

British gunboat HMS Ladybird is severely damaged by German dive bombers in Tobruk harbour (4 killed, 14 wounded). She settles on an even keel in 10 feet of water allowing her 3 inch gun, still above water, to be used in an anti-aircraft role.

British submarine HMS Rorqual sinks 2 small Greek vessels carrying German troops, off the island of Lemnos in the Aegean Sea. At 8.30 PM, Italian torpedo boats Pleiadi and Pegaso sink British submarine HMS Undaunted off Tripoli, Libya (all 32 hands lost).

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