Monday, October 10, 2011

Day 771 October 10, 1941

The remnants of the Soviet Western Front, Southwestern Front and Reserve Front (troops that avoided encirclement at Kiev, Bryansk and Vyasma or escaped from these pockets) are reformed into a new Western Front under the command of General Zhukov. They are positioned to hold a line from Tula (South of Moscow), through Naro-Fominska and Mozhaysk to Volokolamsk (Northwest of Moscow) – the Mozhaysk Line. Defensive fortifications will be hastily built, mainly by civilians. In addition, Soviet 32nd Rifle Division (full-strength Division with 15,000 fresh, well-trained troops) begins arriving at Mozhaysk by train from Siberia.

At Gzhatsk (now known as Gagarin, 32 miles East of Vyasma and 40 miles from the main defensive line at Mozhaysk), Soviet 18th and 19th tank Brigades hold up the German spearhead, SS Reich Division which suffers about 500 casualties.

At 5.43 AM 150 miles Northeast of the Cape Verde Islands, U-126 sinks British SS Nailsea Manor carrying 6000 tons of military stores, including 1000 tons of ammunition and a landing craft (LCT-102 crated in four sections). All 36 crew, 5 gunners and a Royal Navy Petty Officer (in charge of the landing craft) abandon ship in haste due to the cargo of ammunition and are picked up by British corvette HMS Violet.

British submarine HMS Thunderbolt sinks Italian steamer Citta di Simi, just off the Northeast corner of Crete.

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