Sunday, October 23, 2011

Day 786 October 25, 1941

500 miles West of Gibraltar, Italian submarine Galileo Ferraris is homing in on convoy HG-75 when attacked by a British Catalina seaplane from Gibraltar. Although depth charges fail to explode, Galileo Ferraris is damaged by machinegun fire. British destroyer HMS Lamerton arrives but is hit with a 4 inch shell from Galileo Ferraris. The superior firepower of HMS Lamerton forces the submarine to scuttle (6 killed, 44 crew rescued). U-563 attempts to attack convoy HG-75 again but is counterattacked with depth charges by British corvette HMS Heliotrope. U-563 is driven under but is undamaged.

Odessa massacre continues. Romanian troops shell the fourth warehouses at Dalnik building, containing all the male Jews.

Operation Cultivate. Overnight, British minelaying cruiser HMS Latona and destroyers HMS Hero, Hotspur & Encounter leave Alexandria, Egypt, for Tobruk, Libya. At 9.05 PM, they are attacked by 10 German Stukas and 2 Italian S.79 medium bombers 35 miles East of Tobruk. HMS Latona, carrying 1000 Polish troops into Tobruk, is hit by a 500-kg bomb which destroys the engine room (20 crew and 7 soldiers killed, HMS Hero and Encounter take off survivors and return to Alexandria). HMS Latona sinks at 10.30 PM when fire ignites the magazine. HMS Hero is damaged by near misses of 3 bombs (under repair at Alexandria for 4 weeks). 7234 Australian 9th Division troops and 727 wounded have been taken out of Tobruk during Operation Cultivate, and 7138 replacements brought in.

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