Monday, November 21, 2011

Day 817 November 25, 1941

British battleship HMS Barham is sailing with the Mediterranean Fleet from Alexandria hunting Italian convoys heading for Libya. At 4.29 PM 70 miles North of Sidi Barrani, Egypt, U-331 sinks HMS Barham with 3 torpedoes. HMS Barham rolls over in 4 minutes and her magazines explode (862 crew lost, 449 survivors rescued by destroyers HMS Jervis, Jackal, Nizam & Hotspur). VIDEO of sinking.

Operation Typhoon. 35 miles Northwest of Moscow at Peshki, 2nd Panzer Division (4th Panzer Army) advancing along the railway line from Solnechnogorsk towards Moscow encounters Soviet 146th Tank Brigade sporting new British Matilda tanks (some of the earliest Allied lend-lease supplies to see combat in USSR). 30 miles West of Moscow, 10th Panzer and SS Reich Divisions (4th Panzer Army) unsuccessfully attack Istra which is held by 78th Rifle Division fresh from Siberia. 100 miles South of Moscow, XXIV Panzer Corps (part of Guderian’s 2nd Panzer Army) spreads out from Venyov. 17th Panzer Division advance North towards Kashira, while 4th Panzer swings back West to encircle Tula and cut the rail line to Moscow.

Operation Crusader. Rommel’s “dash to the wire” on the Egypt/Libya border sows much confusion in the British camp. Rear echelon troops turn and run for Egypt and even British 8th Army commander General Cunningham considers abandoning the attack. German General Johann von Ravenstein with 21st Panzer Division misses 2 huge Allied supply dumps that would have deprived Allies of critical fuel and supplies. Meanwhile, British 7th Armored Division has regrouped and repaired many of their damaged tanks. Instead of panicking at the chaos behind them, they attack the depleted German forces and take control of Sidi Rezegh. Overnight, Rommel and Crüwell cross the frontier into Egypt then cannot find their way back through the wire and are forced to hide out until morning as British trucks rumble by.

Soviet patrol vessel CKP-25 rams U-578 in the Arctic Sea, doing only slight damage.

No comments:

Post a Comment