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.

No comments:

Post a Comment