Saturday, May 12, 2012

Day 986 May 13, 1942

Overnight, German armed merchant cruiser Stier attempts to break out into the Atlantic through the English Channel, escorted by torpedoboats Iltis, Kondor, Falke and Seeadler. 14-inch batteries at Dover fire on the convoy, without effect. British motor torpedo boats sneak up in dense fog off Cap Gris Nez and attack (MTB220 is hit and sinks). Torpedoboat Iltis is torpedoed by MTB.221 and sinks (115 killed) and MTB.219 sinks torpedoboat Seeadler (85 killed, some by machinegun fire from Stier as she passes in the confusion). Stier reaches Boulogne undamaged and torpedoboats Kondor and Falke return to the battlescene for survivors, rescuing 88 Germans and 3 from British MTB220.

In the middle of the Atlantic 980 miles West of Ireland, U-94 attacks convoy ONS-92 again, sinking Swedish SS Tolken and British SS Batna (British rescue ship Bury picks up 75 survivors). U-128 attacks convoy SL-109 300 miles Northwest of the Cape Verde Islands sinking British SS Denpark (21 killed, 25 survivors picked up by the Danish merchant Nordlys and British merchant City of Windsor).

In the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Louisiana, U-507 damages US tanker SS Gulf Prince carrying 71,000 barrels of crude oil at 12.30 PM and U-506 sinks US tanker SS Gulf Penn carrying 104,181 barrels of fuel oil at 9.38 PM. In the Caribbean 100 miles East of Bonaire, U-69 sinks American SS Norlantic (7 killed, 17 survivors in 2 lifeboats picked up by Dutch schooner Mississippi on 16 May, 2 men on a raft rescued by freighter Marpesia on May 24 and 3 men on a raft rescued by tug Crusader Kingston off the coast of Nicaragua on June 19 having drifted 1000 miles in 37 days). 200 miles East of Barbados, U-162 sinks US tanker SS Esso Houston while U-156 sinks British SS City of Melbourne and Dutch MV Koenjit.

20 miles off the Southeast coast of Japan US submarine USS Drum sinks Japanese cargo ship Shonan Maru.

Kharkov offensive. Soviets continue making slow progress towards Kharkov out of the Izium salient, advancing another 10km. German generals, including General Paulus, hold off launching a major counteroffensive, awaiting Luftwaffe aircraft from Fliegerkorps VIII to arrive from the Crimea.

HMS Trinidad sails from Murmansk, USSR, for Britain after temporary repairs to torpedo damage caused by one of her own torpedoes during an engagement on March 29 with the German destroyers Z 24, Z 25 and Z 26.

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