Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Day 781 October 20, 1941

Siege of Leningrad Day 43. Soviet General Fedyuninsky launches an attack with 70,000 troops plus 97 tanks and all available heavy artillery along the Southern shore of Lake Ladoga, to breakout and form a corridor to the rest of USSR. They make little progress against dug-in German troops on the swampy terrain. German Field Marshal von Leeb makes his own move in the area, heading Southeast from Lake Ladoga to the important rail and road junction at Tikhvin to cut off the supply route to Leningrad.

At 5.54 AM 80 miles off Sierra Leone, U-126 torpedoes British tanker SS British Mariner (3 killed, 48 survivors). British Mariner is towed to Freetown but declared a total loss and will be used as oil hulk. U-126 stalks another tanker but is chased away by a convoy escort.

Operation Cultivate. Overnight, British cruiser HMS Latona and destroyers HMS Kingston, Encounter & Nizam make the round trip overnight from Alexandria, Egypt. In addition, cruisers HMS Ajax, Hobart and Galatea (escorted by destroyers HMS Griffin and HMS Jaguar) shell German coastal guns near Tobruk to protect ships in the Cultivate convoys.

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