Saturday, October 22, 2011

Day 784 October 23, 1941

Siege of Leningrad Day 46. Soviet breakout along the Southern shore of Lake Ladoga peters out in the face of stiff German resistance. Meanwhile, the German advance on the rail and road junction at Tikhvin continues. General Mikhail Khozin, commanding Soviet 54th Army which is attacking from the East to link up with the breakout, realizes the danger and diverts 2 rifle divisions to defend Tikhvin.

Operation Typhoon. 3rd Panzer Division (part of Panzergruppe 2 which had been involved in the destruction of the Bryansk pocket) moves through Bolkhov to outflank Soviet defenses at Mtensk 27 miles away. The road to Tula (the last Soviet defenses before Moscow) is now open.

Odessa massacre. Romanians continue murdering Jewish civilians in retaliation for the Soviet time-bomb blast yesterday. 19,000 Jews are herded to a square, doused with petrol and burned. Another 20,000 are taken to the village of Dalnik. Groups of 50 are shot in antitank ditches but this is too slow; the rest are locked in 4 warehouses and machine-gunned from outside. The survivors, many wounded, are left until the following day.

The 4-man watch (Oberleutnant zur See Werner Grüneberg, Fähnrich zur See Herbert von Bruchhausen, Oberbootsmannmaat Karl Heemann, Matrose Ewald Brühl) is all swept overboard off U-106 in the Bay of Biscay, 2 days after leaving base at Lorient, France.

Soviet submarine SC.323 sinks German merchant SS Baltenland in the Baltic Sea.

Overnight, British warships leave Alexandria, Egypt, to shell Axis positions on the Mediterranean coast. Cruisers HMS Ajax, Neptune & Hobart (escorted by destroyers HMS Eridge & Avonvale) bombard Bardia, Libya, while destroyers HMS Napier, Nizam, Jupiter & Hasty shell Sollum, Egypt. All return safely to Alexandria next day.

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