Saturday, November 12, 2011

Day 805 November 13, 1941

At 00.42, U-126 sinks British MV Peru (all 50 hands rescued by South African whale factory ship Uniwaleco).

Operation Perpetual. Returning from delivering Hurricanes to Malta, British aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal is torpedoed 150 miles East of Gibraltar at 4.37 AM by U-81 (Able Seaman Mitchell is killed, 1487 crew taken off 13 hours later by destroyer HMS Legion). Destroyer escorts counterattack, dropping 130 depth charges, but U-81 escapes. HMS Ark Royal is taken in tow by tugs but sinks with almost all of her aircraft at 8.13 AM next day, only 35 miles from Gibraltar.

Siege of Leningrad Day 67. German 12th Panzer Division cannot reinforce or supply Tikhvin so General von Arnim organizes his tired troops into a hedgehog defense (small, mutually-defending strongpoints, often hidden, designed to frustrate the movements of a larger army). Soviet General Kirill Meretskov (reinstated after his poor performance against Finland in the Winter War and subsequent interrogation by NKVD) begins an attack with 4th, 52nd and 54th Armies including 3 fresh divisions brought in from Siberia and the Far East.

Operation Typhoon. Overnight, temperatures fall to -22C (-8F). As the mercury drops, the Rasputitsa comes to an end and Germans gear up for the second phase of the assault on Moscow. However, the bitter cold will cause them other problems, from frozen engine and gun lubricants to the death of thousands of thoroughbred German horses pulling wagons and artillery.

Overnight, Soviet destroyers Gordy and Surovy sail from Suursaari in the Gulf of Finland to evacuate troops from Hango Peninsula (escorted by minelayer Ural, 4 T-class minesweepers & 4 MO-class submarine hunters). Surovy, T-206 and MO-301 sink on Finnish mines laid yesterday. Next day, Gordy sinks in the Corbetha minefield. The remaining ships arrive at Hango and wait, eventually return to Kronstadt on November 25.

No comments:

Post a Comment