Sunday, October 16, 2011

Day 777 October 16, 1941

At 1.14 AM 400 miles West of Ireland, U-568 sinks British SS Empire Heron in convoy SC-48 (42 dead, 1 survivor rescued by HMS Gladiolus).

Evacuation of Odessa. At 5.10 AM, the last ships depart, leaving only blazing ruins for the Germans and Romanians. The ‘Soviet Dunkirk’ is an unqualified success, although empty transport ship Bolshevik is sunk by German torpedo bombers (16 killed, 31 crew and 5 passengers rescued by Soviet motor torpedo boats). 121,000 troops and civilians have been evacuated from Odessa along with 400 artillery pieces, 1000 trucks and 20,000 tons of ammunition. The defense of Odessa has cost Soviet Coastal Army and Black Sea Fleet 16,578 killed and 24,690 wounded.

Operation Typhoon. SS Reich Division and 10th Panzer Division attack the Mozhaysk line at Borodino, the site of the 1812 Napoleonic battle, 125 km West of Moscow (allegedly, Soviet troops are shown 1812 Russian battle standards to motivate them). However, the Panzers lack infantry support and are turned back by Soviet rifle divisions (Feldmarschall von Kluge is resting 4th Army’s 11 infantry divisions after the battles around Vyasma). In Moscow, foreign diplomats and government staff are evacuated 1500 miles East to the reserve capital, Kuibyshev.

Returning from a raid on Mannheim, Germany, RAF Pilot Officer AJ Heyworth flies a Wellington bomber of No. 12 Squadron Bomber Command 500 - 600 miles on 1 engine (about 5 hours). He lands with the other engine on fire.

German raider Kormoran meets supply ship Kulmerland off Cape Leeuwin, Southwestern Australia. Kulmerland has sailed 5000 miles from Japan in 45 days, carrying 4,000 tons of diesel oil and 6 months supply of provisions which will take 7 days to transfer to Kormoran.

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