Saturday, June 11, 2011

Day 651 June 12, 1941

As part of the effort to cleanse the Atlantic of German supply ships refueling surface raiders and U-boats, British cruiser HMS Sheffield sinks German tanker Friedrich Breme with shellfire (2 killed, 86 crew rescued including 10 wounded).

Indian and Free French forces under French General Paul Legentilhomme (Gentforce) capture Deraa, Sheikh Meskine and Ezraa in Southwest Syria on the road to Damascus but are held up at Kissoué.

British submarine HMS Taku sinks Italian steamer Silvio Scaroni 70 miles West of Benghazi but is counterattacked by Italian torpedo boats Pallade and Polluce without success. British submarine HMS Torbay sinks Italian schooner Gesue E Maria off Greek island of Skiros. Dutch submarine O.24 sinks Italian tanker Fianona and tiny auxiliary patrol ship Carloforte 10 miles North of the Italian island of Elba.

In the middle of North Atlantic, U-48 sinks British SS Empire Dew (23 killed, 18 picked up by Norwegian destroyer St. Albans) and U-371 sinks British SS Silverpalm (all 68 hands lost) while U-558 sinks British SS Susan Mærsk (all 24 hands lost) and Norwegian tanker Ranella (all 29 hands escape in 2 lifeboats, sailing 300 miles South to the Azores in 12 days). West of Ireland, U-552 sinks British MV Chinese Prince (45 killed, 19 picked up by corvettes HMS Arbutus and Pimpernel).

Operation Sommerreise. German heavy cruiser Lützow and escort cruisers Emden and destroyers pass through the Kattegat between Denmark and Sweden.

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