Thursday, October 13, 2011

Day 776 October 15, 1941

Convoy SC-48 left Sydney, Australia, on October 5, then traveled up the East coast of USA and entered the North Atlantic through the Labrador Straits. At 8.15 AM, U-553 makes contact 500 miles West of Ireland, sinking British MV Silvercedar (21 lost, 26 survivors) and Norwegian SS Ila (14 lost, 7 survivors). Another ship in the convoy, MV Silverelm, tries to ram U-553 and later in the day Canadian destroyer HMCS Columbia counterattacks with depth charges. Several U-boats in the area are ordered to converge on convoy SC-48. En route, U-558 sinks unescorted Canadian MV Vancouver Island at 11.17 PM (some of the 65 crew, 8 gunners and 32 passengers are seen to escape in lifeboats but are never found alive).

Siege of Odessa ends. At noon, Soviet troops start blowing up port facilities & coastal artillery batteries and boarding 30 transport ships. Overnight, Black Sea Fleet evacuates the garrison of 35,000 men to Sevastopol on the Crimean peninsula.

Operation Typhoon, assault on Moscow. 1st Panzer Division advances Northwest from Kalinin towards Torshok to attack Soviet Northwestern Front from the rear; however, they are now heading away from Moscow and this will prove costly in the long run.

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