Monday, November 21, 2011

Day 814 November 22, 1941

At 0.38 AM, a Swordfish of 830 Squadron torpedoes Italian cruiser Abruzzi which loses her stern but is able to reach Messina, Sicily, under her own steam. The Swordfish is shot down (1 killed, 1 aircrew taken prisoner by Italian destroyer Pessagno).

Operation Crusader. New Zealand 2nd Division captures Fort Capuzzo (which has changed hands 11 times since June 1940). Battle of Sidi Rezegh continues with confused fighting between German Panzers and British tanks. British tanks attack the heavier Panzers piecemeal instead of in a concerted manner; consequently, the British are outgunned and outnumbered. Brigadier Jock Campbell wins the Victoria Cross for leading 9 tanks into attack, sitting on top of his armored staff car.

Siege of Leningrad Day 76. The ice of Lake Ladoga is 20 cm thick. 60 trucks cross the lake on the Road of Life carrying 33 tons of flour and 2.5 tons of sugars and fats, arriving in Leningrad the following day.

Royal Navy is aware from Ultra decrypts of Enigma messages that German armed merchant cruiser Atlantis is at large in the South Atlantic and sends cruisers HMS Devonshire, Dorsetshire and Dunedin to search. HMS Devonshire locates Atlantis refueling U-126. Atlantis is scuttled while U-126 dives (later rescues survivors from Atlantis). In a voyage lasting 622 days since March 31, 1940, Atlantis has sailed 102,000 miles and sunk or captured 22 ships (total 145,697 tons).

British destroyer HMS Sardonyx rams anti-submarine trawler HMT St. Apollo near the Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides. St. Appollo sinks and Sardonyx is badly damaged.

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