Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Day 761 September 30, 1941

German bombers attack shipyards at Tyneside, Northern England, badly damaging submarine HMS Sunfish which will require repairs at Portsmouth until October 9 1943.

In the Mediterranean 250 miles East of Gibraltar, Italian submarine Adua unsuccessfully attacks British warships returning from Malta (Operation Halberd). British destroyers HMS Gurkha and HMS Legion sink Adua with depth charges (all 46 hands lost).

Soviet Black Sea Fleet proposes evacuating to the Crimean peninsula from the port of Odessa which is now surrounded by German and Romanian troops.

Overnight, RAF again bombs the German ports of Stettin and Hamburg.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Day 760 September 29, 1941

Soviet foreign minister Molotov, British Minister of Supply Lord Beaverbrook and American envoy Averell Harriman meet in Moscow to discuss lend-lease aid to USSR to aid the fight against Germany.

Soviet submarine ShCh-319 attacks German minesweepers M151 and M203 off Liepāja, Latvia, but then goes missing presumably lost to a mine.

At 6.45 PM, convoy PQ.1 departs Hvalfjörður, Iceland (11 steamers escorted by British cruiser HMS Suffolk, destroyers HMS Antelope & HMS Impulsive and 4 minesweepers) and will arrive at Murmansk, USSR, on October 11.

Overnight, RAF bombs the German ports of Stettin and Hamburg.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Day 759 September 28, 1941

Convoy QP.1 (14 British and Soviet merchant ships escorted by British cruiser HMS London and 4 minesweepers) departs Archangel at midday and will arrive in British water on October 10. This convoy and PQ.1 leaving tomorrow in the opposite direction mark the beginning of regular supplies from Britain to USSR.

In the Mediterranean, British submarine HMS Tetrarch damages German steamer Yalova 20 miles South of Naples. Yalova beaches herself, but will be finished off by submarine HMS Talisman on October 3. Operation Halberd. Malta relief convoy arrives from Gibraltar, delivering 50,000 tons of supplies enabling the isolated island to hold out until May 1942. British corvette HMS Hyacinth sinks Italian submarine Fisala 35 miles of the coast of Palestine.

Day 758 September 27, 1941

Ethiopia. After a lengthy siege, British King's African Rifles capture Wolchefit Pass from the Italians (11 miles North of Gondar, the last Italian stronghold in East Africa).

Overnight, U-66 torpedoes unescorted and unarmed neutral Panamanian tanker I.C. White (3 dead and 34 survivors).

600 miles North of the Azores, U-201 takes over the attack on convoy HG-73 sinking 2 merchant ships and British anti-aircraft ship HMS Springbank (32 dead, 201 survivors rescued by HMS Jasmine, which also scuttles Springbank by gunfire, HMS Hibiscus and HMS Periwinkle).

Liberty Fleet Day in USA. SS Patrick Henry and 13 other Liberty ships are launched for supply to Britain under lend-lease to replace shipping lost to U-boats. Another 312 Liberty ships are on order, although 2710 will be built during WWII.

Operation Halberd. The Malta resupply convoy from Gibraltar is attacked by Italian bombers between Sardinia and Tunisia. British battleship HMS Nelson is hit in the bows by a torpedo and SS Imperial Star is sunk carrying 8,000 tons of supplies. Between Sicily and the Italian mainland, British submarine HMS Upright sinks Italian submarine chaser Albatros (42 survivors rescued by U-371).

Operation Supercharge. Overnight, British minelaying cruiser HMS Abdiel and destroyers HMS Kandahar, Jaguar & Griffin make the last trip from Alexandria to Tobruk carrying troops and supplies. Since September 17, Royal Navy has carried 6308 British troops and 2100 tons of supplies into Tobruk and removed 5444 troops mostly Australian 9th Division, 544 wounded, and 1 POW.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Day 757 September 26, 1941

Most fighting ceases around Kiev, Ukraine. German Field Marshal von Rundstedt has been able to feed fresh infantry into the cauldron. In contrast, surrounded Soviet forces are staving and running out of ammunition, having not received supplies, and they are leaderless following the death of General Mikhail Kirponos in a German ambush on September 20. 4 Soviet Armies have been destroyed, comprising 850,000 men. 150,000 escaped the encirclement and about 300,000 are taken prisoner by the Germans – only 6,000 will return from captivity.

500 miles North of the Azores, U-124 and U-203 each sink 3 merchant ships in convoy HG-73 (total 12,828 tons) until both U-boats run out of torpedoes. U-203 is counterattacked with 26 depth charges by HMS Larkspur but not damaged.

in the Mediterranean, British submarine HMS Tetrarch sinks steamer Citta Di Bastia in an Italian convoy from Piraeus to Crete. Operation Supercharge. Overnight, British minelaying cruiser HMS Latona and destroyers HMS Jackal, Kimberley & Hasty make the round trip from Alexandria to Tobruk carrying troops and supplies.

Day 756 September 25, 1941

German and Romanian troops under German General Erich von Manstein seize the 7 km-wide Perekop Isthmus, linking the Crimean peninsula to the Ukrainian mainland. Soviet forces are now isolated on the Crimea itself and the major Ukrainian Black Sea port of Odessa.

At 7.44 AM 500 miles North of the Azores, U-124 sinks British SS Empire Stream carrying 3730 tons of potash (8 dead and 27 survivors picked up by British corvette HMS Begonia and landed at Milford Haven on September 30).

To prevent a breakout by Soviet Fleet from the Gulf of Finland, newly-formed German Baltic Fleet (battleship Tirpitz, battlecruiser Admiral Scheer, cruisers Köln and Nürnberg, 3 destroyers and 5 torpedo boats) patrols the Baltic Sea. Admiral Scheer is damaged when 2 depth charges explode on the deck (returns to Blohm & Voss shipyard at Hamburg via the Kiel Canal for repairs until October 24).

John F Kennedy enlists in the US Navy.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Day 755 September 24, 1941

350 miles West of the Portuguese island of Madeira, U-107 and U-67 sink 4 British freighters in convoy SL-87 (remarkably only 16 killed, 197 survivors mostly rescued by British sloop HMS Gorleston). Just after midnight, U-67 sinks SS St. Clair II. At 6.31 AM, U-107 sinks SS John Holt, SS Lafian and MV Dixcove.

Convoy ON.18 becomes the first westbound convoy escorted by the United States Navy. ON.18 (which left Liverpool on September 21 escorted by British destroyers HMS Leamington, Saladin, Skate and Veteran) is met in mid-Atlantic by US destroyers USS Madison, Gleaves, Lansdale, Hughes and Simpson.

600 miles West of the Maldives, Greek steamer Stamatios G. Embiricos mistakes German raider Kormoran for a British ship. Kormoran stops and scuttles the Greek ship which is to low on fuel to be used by the Germans. Kormoran picks up all 31 crew including 25 who try to row away in 2 lifeboats.

Operation Supercharge. Overnight, British minelaying cruiser HMS Abdiel and destroyers HMS Napir, Kingston & Hotspur make the round trip from Alexandria to Tobruk carrying troops and supplies.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Day 754 September 23, 1941

Siege of Leningrad Day 16. Stukas attack Soviet warships at Kronstadt again and shipyards at Leningrad. WWI-era battleship Marat is hit with 2 1,000kg bombs, causing the forward magazine to explode, and sinks in 11 meters of water (326 killed). Marat will be refloated and her rear turrets used as a floating battery, firing 1971 12-inch shells in the defense of Leningrad. Soviet cruisers Maksim Gorki (damaged) and Kirov are attacked by German bombers while, under repair at Leningrad, and submarines P-2 & M-74 are sunk in the dockyards.

Day 753 September 22, 1941

British cruiser HMS London departs Scapa Flow carrying the Anglo American supply mission (Lord Beaverbrook and Averell Harriman) to Archangel, USSR, escorted by both British and Soviet destroyers. Beaverbrook and Harriman will arrive on September 27 and travel to Moscow to discuss Lend-Lease with the Soviet leaders.

At 2.33 AM 200 miles East of Iceland, U-562 sinks British SS Erna III (all 25 hands lost). U-103 and U-68 attack convoy SL-87 300 miles West of the Canary Islands. At 2.22 AM, U-68 damages British MV Silverbelle which sinks on September 29. At 11.46 PM, U-103 sinks British ships MV Edward (all 63 rescued) and SS Niceto de Larrinaga Blyden (2 killed, 53 rescued).

In the Black Sea near Odessa, Stukas bomb Soviet destroyers Bezuprechny (at 1.00 PM, badly damaged and towed to Odessa), Besposhchadny (at 5.30 PM, slight damage by near misses from 84 bombs) and Boyki (minor damage).

Operation Supercharge. Overnight, British minelaying cruiser HMS Abdiel and destroyers HMS Kandahar, Jaguar & Griffin make the round trip from Alexandria to Tobruk carrying troops and supplies.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Day 752 September 21, 1941

In the Black Sea, Soviet cruisers Krasni Kavkaz and Krasni Krym, escorted by destroyers Boyki, Besposhchadny, Bezuprechny and Frunze, carry 1617 troops of 3rd Naval Rifle Regiment from Sevastopol to attack Romanian 15th Infantry Division near Odessa, simultaneous with a land attack by Soviet 157th and 421st Rifle Divisions. Destroyer Frunze is sunk by Stukas during the day but the landings go ahead overnight.

Siege of Leningrad Day 14. At Kronstadt, Stukas hit Soviet WWI-era battleship Oktyabrskaya Revolutsia with 6 medium bombs (damaged but remains afloat) and destroyer Stereguschy is also hit and capsizes.

U-boat and air attacks continue on convoy OG-74, 500 miles West of Brest, France. Between 10.50 and 11.20 PM, U-201 sinks British SS Runa, SS Lissa and SS Rhineland at 11.20 PM. A German Fw200 bombs British rescue ship, killing 16 survivors rescued from SS Baltallinn and SS Empire Moat which were torpedoed by U-124 yesterday. Walmer Castle is scuttled by British corvette HMS Marigold and sloop HMS Deptford which take off the remaining crew and passengers.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Day 751 September 20, 1941

Between 1.13 and 3.27 AM 200 miles East of Iceland, U-552 sinks 2 tankers and a cargo ship in convoy SC-44 and U-74 sinks escort catapult armed merchant SS Empire Burton. 102 survivors are picked up by British corvette HMS Honeysuckle.

500 miles East of Brazil, U-111 sinks British MV Cingalese Prince (57 dead, 20 survivors rescued after up to 12 days in lifeboats).

At 11.31 PM 500 miles West of Brest, France, U-124 sinks British SS Baltallinn (7 killed) and SS Empire Moat in convoy OG-74. 60 survivors picked up British rescue ship Walmer Castle. A Grumman F4F Wildcat (Martlet Mk II in British terminology) from escort carrier HMS Audacity shoots down a Folfwolf Condor trying to shadow convoy OG-74 (first kill by a carrier-based aircraft).

Operation Supercharge. Overnight, British minelaying cruiser HMS Abdiel and destroyers HMS Jervis, Kimberley & Hasty carry 1000 troops and 120 tons of stores to Tobruk. They unload in 30 minutes and return to Alexandria.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Day 750 September 19, 1941

Battle of Kiev, Ukraine. German infantry of 2nd, 6th and 17th Armies pour into the Kiev pocket to annihilate the Soviet Southwestern Front (850,000 troops under General Mikhail Kirponos). Yesterday, Kirponos finally received permission to abandon Kiev. He withdraws leaving the city to the Germans but the Luftwaffe continues bombing, following Hitler’s order “to reduce the city to rubble”.

At 6.03 AM 125 miles East of Iceland, U-74 sinks Canadian corvette HMCS Lévis which is escorting convoy SC-44 (18 crew members killed, 40 survivors picked up by Canadian corvettes HMCS Mayflower & HMCS Agassiz). U-372 claims a final victim in convoy SC-42, sinking British SS Baron Pentland at 2.33 PM 100 miles East of Iceland. Baron Pentland’s back had been broken on 10 September by a torpedo from U-652 (2 crew lost, 31 crew and 8 gunners picked up by HMCS Orillia and landed at Reykjavik) but she remained afloat on her cargo of timber.

Operation Supercharge. British cruisers HMS Ajax, Neptune & Hobart return to Alexandria, Egypt, with 6000 troops of British 70th Infantry Division. Over the next few nights, these men will be shuttled to Tobruk to replace Australian 9th Division. To reduce German air attacks, this has to be done using fast warships during moonless periods of the month.

Overnight, Italian submarine Sciré launches 3 manned torpedoes into Gibraltar Harbour sinking oiler RFA Denbydale & oil storage tanker SS Fiona Shell (1 killed) and damaging cargo ship Durham (beached and then towed back to Falmouth). All 6 Italian frogmen swim to Spain and return to a hero’s welcome in Italy.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Day 749 September 18, 1941

Siege of Leningrad Day 11. Panzergruppe 4 begins redeploying South, in compliance with Führer Directive 35 of September 6 to send “essential units of the motorized forces” to support the drive on Moscow (Operation Typhoon). Fieldmarshall Ritter von Leeb, in command of Army Group North, is forced to order his remaining forces to establish siege lines around Leningrad.

President Roosevelt requests another 6 billion dollars from the US Congress for supplies for Britain and USSR under Lend-Lease.

British aircraft locate a convoy of 3 Italian troopships escorted by 4 destroyers from Taranto, Italy, to Tripoli, Libya. Submarines HMS Upholder, Upright, Ursula & Unbeaten attack. 70 miles East of Tripoli, HMS Upholder sinks troopships Neptunia and Oceania over 4 hours (384 killed, 6,500 troops rescued). HMS Ursula attacks the final troopship Vulcania without success.

Operation Supercharge, reinforcement and resupply of Tobruk. Overnight, British minelaying cruiser HMS Latona and destroyers HMS Napier, Havock & Nizam make the round trip from Alexandria to Tobruk carrying supplies and some troops. HMS Nizam is damaged on the wreck of Italian steamer Serenitas at Tobruk but returns to Alexandria (repaired in 14 days).

Friday, September 16, 2011

Day 748 September 17, 1941

First operational sortie by the British de Havilland Mosquito (a photo-reconnaissance mission). 3 Messerschmitt Bf109s attack but the unarmed wooden twin-engine Mosquito is able to outpace them.

German Nobel prize-winning physicist Werner Heisenberg attends a conference in German-occupied Copenhagen, Denmark. He warns his mentor Niels Bohr (a Danish Jew who is also a Nobel laureate) that Germany has an atomic weapons program. As proof, he gives Bohr a drawing of a reactor, which will end up in Allied hands and spur their development of atomic weapons.

Operation Supercharge. Australian 9th Division continues to be withdrawn from Tobruk, following Australian Government’s request that all Australian forces in the Middle East fight under one command. British cruisers HMS Ajax, Neptune & Hobart sail from Alexandria, Egypt, to Beirut, Lebanon, to embark British 70th Infantry Division to relieve Australian 9th Division. Overnight, British minelaying cruiser HMS Abdiel and destroyers HMS Jervis, Jaguar & Hasty make the round trip from Alexandria to Tobruk carrying supplies.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Day 747 September 16, 1941

Siege of Leningrad Day 9. German XXXXI corps reaches the shore of the Gulf of Finland at Strelna isolating Soviet 8th Army in the Oranienbaum pocket. 8th Army is separated from the main garrison in Leningrad but still protects the causeway to the island fortress and naval base at Kronstadt.

Kiev, Ukraine. Kleist's Panzergruppe 1 (from the South) and Guderian's Panzergruppe 2 (from the North) meet at the town of Lokhvitsa, 120 miles East of Kiev. They have trapped 850,000 troops of the Soviet Southwestern Front in and around Kiev.

Convoy SC-42 has almost reached safety when U-98 sinks British MV Jedmoor at 11.16 PM 100 miles Northwest of Isle of Lewis, Scotland (31 dead and 5 survivors rescued by 2 merchant ships).

Italian submarine Smeraldo sinks in the Mediterranean, cause unknown (all 45 hands lost).

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Day 746 September 15, 1941

Siege of Leningrad Day 8. Soviet 8th and 42nd Armies batter the flanks of German XXXXI corps pressing towards the Southern shores of the Gulf of Finland. Neither side gains the upper hand. Soviet Generals Shcherbakov and Ivanov, commanding 8th and 42nd Army, respectively, are on the verge of giving up and are replaced by Zhukov.

800 miles West of Ireland, U-94 sinks 3 stragglers from convoy ON-14; at 08.16 AM, British SS Newbury (all 39 crew and 6 gunners abandon ship in lifeboats, but are never found), at 8.38 PM, Greek SS Pegasus (all 29 crew abandon ship in 2 lifeboats, 1 capsizes drowning 16, 13 survivors rescued by a Swedish), at 11.48 PM, British SS Empire Eland (all 33 crew and 5 gunners abandon ship in lifeboats, but are never found).

Overnight, British destroyers Napier, Nizam & Havock make the round trip from Alexandria to Tobruk carrying supplies.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Day 745 September 14, 1941

Siege of Leningrad Day 7. German XXXXI motorised corps (Armeekorps [mot]) under General Georg-Hans Reinhardt attempts to pinch off a Soviet salient 50 miles along the South shore of Gulf of Finland from Leningrad. Soviet General Zhukov who took command yesterday launches counterattacks into the flanks of XXXXI AK [mot] to hold the salient, desperate to obey Stalin's orders to attack immediately no matter the cost.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Day 744 September 13, 1941

Overnight, first snowfall on the Eastern Front begins a long, cold Winter.

Siege of Leningrad Day 6. General Georgy Zhukov, hero of the 1938 Soviet victory over Japan at Khalkhin Gol, flies from Moscow. On Stalin’s orders, he replaces his superior Marshall Kliment Voroshilov who is unable to control the numerous military and civilian groups defending Leningrad.

British Submarine HMS Tigris sinks Norwegian coastal steamer Richard With off Breisund in Northern Norway. Finnish coastal defense ship Ilmarinen hits a mine and sinks in the Gulf of Finland (271 killed, 132 survivors). Soviet motor torpedo boat sinks German auxiliary patrol boat VP 308 (previously trawler Oscar Neynaber) off Porkkala peninsula in the Gulf of Finland.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Day 743 September 12, 1941

After the loss of 13 ships in 2 days, convoy SC-42 is reinforced by the arrival of 3 corvettes (British HMS Gladiolus, Canadian HCMS Wetaskiwin & Free French Mimosa) and 8 destroyers (5 British HMS Douglas, Veteran, Leamington, Saladin & Skate and 3 American USS Sims, Russell & Charles F. Hughes). Catalinas of 209 Squadron provide air escort during daylight. The escorts prevent the U-boats from sinking any ships for the next 5 days.

Siege of Leningrad Day 5. Daily bread ration is cut to 500g for manual workers, 300g for office workers and children under 12. Food rations will be reduced further in coming months.

Operation EGV2. Fairey Albacore aircraft from British carrier HMS Victorious (escorted by cruisers HMS Devonshire & Suffolk and HMS destroyers Somali, Matabele & Punjabi) damage the Glomfjord hydroelectric power plant, Norway. They also attack ships at Bodo (20 miles away) with torpedoes.

Day 742 September 11, 1941

America takes one more step closer to war. In response to German torpedo attack on USS Greer on September 4, President Roosevelt uses one of his fireside chats to announce that American warships will attack German or Italian submarines on sight.

Siege of Leningrad Day 4. German artillery batters the city daily at 8-9AM, 11-noon, 5-6PM and 8-10PM, to disrupt the schedule of normal life, but starvation and the coming winter are the main problems facing the population. Leningrad has livestock, grain, flour & fats for 30-40 days and sugar for 60 days. There is little firewood already cut & stored for heating. Some food, supplies and ammunition arrives across Lake Ladoga by boat until the lake freezes over in November.

Attack on convoy SC-42 continues, 100 miles East of Greenland. U-82, U-202, U-207, U-432 and U-433 sink 7 merchant vessels (total 29854 tons). British destroyers HMS Leamington and HMS Veteran sink U-207 (all 41 hands lost).

65 miles Southwest of Benghazi, Libya, British submarine HMS Thunderbolt sinks German SS Livorno in a convoy from Naples, Italy.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Day 741 September 10, 1941

100 miles East of Greenland, U-81, U-82, U-85, U-432 and U-652 attack convoy SC-42, sinking 6 merchant vessels (total 25000 tons) and damaging 2 more. At 11.30 PM en route to join convoy SC-42, Canadian corvettes HMCS Chambly and HMCS Moosejaw sink U-501 by depth charges and ramming (11 dead, 37 survivors. Canadian sailor William Brown who boarded the sinking submarine is also lost).

300 miles North of Brazil, U-111 sinks Dutch MV Marken (all 37 crew escape in lifeboats, are given food by U-111 and rescued on September 21 by a Spanish steamer).

Mediterranean. Off Sirte, Libya, British submarine HMS Thunderbolt sinks tiny Italian boat SS Svam I. Off Haifa, Palestine, Italian submarine Topazio sinks brand new British ferry Murefte en route from the Tyne shipyards to Istanbul, for delivery to the Government of Turkey (1 killed, survivors picked up by Egyptian SS Talodi).

In the Ukraine, Kleist's Panzergruppe 1 (from the South) and Guderian's Panzergruppe 2 (from the North) have both crossed the Dneiper River and are closing East of Kiev to encircle Soviet Southwestern Front (850,000 men).

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Day 740 September 9, 1941

In the Mediterranean 2 miles East of Corsica, Dutch submarine O.24 sinks Italian SS Italo Balbo. British aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal (escorted by cruiser HMS Hermoine and destroyers HMS Gurkha, Forester, Lively & Lance) flies off 14 Hurricane fighters to Malta.

At 6.55 AM 50 miles East of Greenland, U-81 sinks British SS Empire Springbuck (all 42 hands lost).

German cruiser Admiral Scheer is moved back to Swinemünde on the German Baltic coast from Oslo, Norway, after RAF bombing attempts.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Day 739 September 8, 1941

Siege of Leningrad Day 1. Germans reached Lake Ladoga at Orekhovets severing the last land connection to Leningrad, in Northwest USSR, trapping 2,950,000 civilians and 450,000 soldiers and sailors. Hitler has decided “to wipe the city of Petersburg (Leningrad) from the face of the earth" by artillery bombardment and aerial bombing. German Generals are instructed not to accept the capitulation of the city. Luftwaffe incendiary bombs destroy food storage warehouses with 3000 tons of flour and 2500 tons of sugar.

In the Atlantic, 275 miles Northeast of the Azores, British destroyers HMS Croome brings Italian submarine Maggiore Baracca to the surface with depth charges, then rams and sinks her (23 killed, 34 survivors picked up). HMS Croome suffers damage to her stern (under repair at Gibraltar until October 4).

British Flying Fortress bombers again unsuccessfully attack German cruiser Admiral Scheer in Oslofjord, Norway.

British sloop HMS Rosemary and Polish destroyer Burza collide at Milford Haven, Wales (both ships suffer minor damage, repaired in 12 days).

British destroyers HMS Kipling, Kimberley & Decoy are damaged by German bombing carrying supplies from Alexandria, Egypt, to the besieged garrison at Tobruk, Libya.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Day 738 September 7, 1941

German motor torpedo boats S.48, S.49, S.50, S.52, S.107 attack a convoy off the coast of Norfolk, England, sinking British SS Duncarron (9 killed) and Norwegian SS Eikhaug (15 crew lost, 4survivors picked up).

50 miles West of Benghazi, Libya, British submarine HMS Thunderbolt sinks Italian SS Sirena in a convoy from Tripoli for Benghazi.

At 1.30 AM, British cruisers HMS Nigeria and HMS Aurora intercept a German convoy in the Hammerfjord in the far North of Norway, sinking German gunnery ship Bremse. HMS Nigeria's bow is damaged (either by ramming the Bremse or on a Soviet mine) and returns to Scapa Flow at only 8 knots. HMS Nigeria will be under repair at the Tyne shipyards until December 15. Nearby, Fairey Albacore aircraft from British carrier HMS Victorious (Operation EGV1) achieve little success against German shipping near Tromso, Norway.

Overnight, 200 RAF bombers attack Berlin for 4 hours. Flight Lieutenant Peter Stevens (a German Jew born Georg Franz Hein, flying in the RAF) crash-lands his damaged Handley Page Hampden bomber near Amsterdam. He is captured next day and spends the rest of the war in POW camps.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Day 737 September 6, 1941

All Jews in Germany over the age of 6 are ordered to wear a yellow Star of David.

German Chief of Staff General Jodl visits Helsinki to ask the Finns to continue their offensive into Leningrad. However, Finnish commander Mannerheim and President Ryti have previously agreed only to restore the 1939 borders. Despite this, Ryti will spend 5 years in prison as a War Criminal after the war.

British minesweeping trawler HMT Brora becomes grounded on the island of South Harris, Outer Hebrides, Scotland, while acting as escort to SS Northern Star. She rolls over at low tide and sinks. Another minesweeping trawler HMT Strathborve sinks on a mine in the Humber Estuary (15 killed or missing).

At 11.30 PM, U-141 sinks another tiny fishing boat this time British trawler King Erik (all 15 hands lost).

Day 736 September 5, 1941

British ships returning from Spitsbergen, Norway (Operation Gauntlet), are alerted to a German convoy. Cruisers HMS Nigeria and HMS Aurora refuel from oiler Oligarch and steam off to intercept while the destroyers continue back to Britain.

British Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bombers unsuccessfully attack German cruiser Admiral Scheer in Oslofjord, Norway.

In the Atlantic, U-501 sinks Norwegian SS Einvik 360 miles Southwest of Iceland (all 23 crew reach Iceland in 2 lifeboats, 7 and 8 days later) and U-141 sinks tiny Icelandic trawler Jarlinn with 1 torpedo (all 11 hands lost). Italian submarine Baracca sinks Panamanian SS Trinidad 535 miles Northwest of Porto, Portugal (10 survivors reach Porto after 20 days in lifeboats).

In the Mediterranean 2 miles East of Corsica, Dutch submarine O.21 sinks Italian SS Isarco (22 survivors picked up O.21 and taken to Gibraltar). In the Aegean Sea 22 miles Northwest of the Greek island of Lesbos, British submarine HMS Perseus hits Italian tanker Maya which is beached.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Day 735 September 4, 1941

Finnish troops recapture the frontier station at Beloostrov on the Gulf of Finland, 20 miles from Leningrad which is now almost entirely encircled.

190 miles Southwest of Iceland, U-652 is locates by a British bomber which drops 4 depth charges and then signals US destroyer USS Greer to pursue. Over the next 2 hours, U-652 fires 2 torpedoes at USS Greer which responds by dropping 19 depth charges. Although there is no damage, this is the first German attack on a US naval vessel. President Roosevelt will use the incident to convince Americans to go to war.

German cruiser Admiral Scheer is moved from the Baltic Sea to Oslo, Norway.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Day 734 September 3, 1941

Soviet POWs at the Auschwitz main camp are used in trials of the poison gas Zyklon-B in underground cells in Block 11. This poison gas was produced by the German company "Degesch" (Deutsche Gesellschaft zur Schädlingsbekämpfung).

Planned Operation EGV.1 (air strike against German installations at Tromso, Norway, from British aircraft carrier HMS Victorious) is canceled due to lack of cloud cover.

At midday British steamer Fort Richepanse is slightly damaged by German bombers and then sunk at 20.42 by U-567, 450 miles West of Ireland (41 killed, Polish destroyers Piorun and Garland rescue 22 survivor).

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Day 733 September 2, 1941

RAF bombs targets in Northern France in daylight raids, responding to criticism of lack of accuracy in night bombing.