Thursday, June 14, 2012

Day 1019 June 15, 1942

Between midnight and 5 AM, U-552 sinks 4 British freighters and Norwegian tanker Slemdal in convoy HG-84 in the Atlantic 400 miles West of Brest, France (total of 15,858 tons of shipping).

Malta resupply convoys.
At 5.39 AM in the Strait of Sicily, Italian cruisers from Sicily shell the Harpoon convoy from Gibraltar. British cruiser HMS Cairo is hit by two 6-inch shells (damaged in the bow but able to proceed, 2 killed), destroyer HMS Bedouin is immobilised by 12 6-inch shells and sinks after being hit by an Italian torpedo bomber (28 killed, 213 rescued and taken POW by the Italians) and destroyer HMS Partridge is also hit. Italian destroyer Vivaldi is hit by British gunfire and catches fire but is taken in tow. German bombers attack the merchant ships damaging freighter Burdwan and Chant and tanker Kentucky, which are abandoned and then sunk by the Italian warships. Overnight, the convoy reaches Malta but runs into a minefield entering the Grand Harbour. Polish destroyer ORP Kujawiak sinks (13 killed, 20 wounded) while British destroyers HMS Badsworth (9 killed) and HMS Matchless and the freighter Orari are damaged. Of the 6 merchant ships in the convoy, 4 have been sunk and only Troilus and Orari arrive at Malta.
Operation Vigourous from Alexandria, Egypt. At dawn, British Beaufort torpedo bombers from Malta (217 Squadron) attack the Italian battlefleet from Taranto, immobilizing cruiser Trento at 5.15 AM. At 9.10 AM a torpedo from British submarine HMS Umbra detonates the magazine and Trento sinks (over 360 crew killed). Vigourous convoy turns around due to the presence of the Italian battlefleet and returns to Alexandria. Axis aircraft attack all day, hitting British destroyer HMS Airedale in the magazine which then explodes (44 killed, 133 rescued) and damaging British cruiser HMS Birmingham and Australian destroyer HMAS Nestor which sinks next day.

Libya. General Auchinleck (C-in-C Middle East Command) has promised Churchill to defend a line at El Adem, West of Tobruk. However, his subordinate General Ritchie withdraws 8th Army into Egypt and orders 2nd South African Division under General Klopper to hold Tobruk in another siege.

At Sevastopol, Crimea, Soviet cruiser Molotov and destroyer Bezuprechny land 3855 troops and evacuate 2908 wounded, as well as bombarding German positions.

Baltic Sea. Yesterday, Soviet submarine M-95 left Moshchny Island (Finnish: Lavansaari Island) in the Gulf of Finland. M-95 is damaged by a mine in the recently-laid German Seeigel mine barrage near Hogland Island (Finnish: Suursaari Island) and then sunk by Finnish bombers (all 19 hands lost).

Convoy KN-109 blunders into a minefield (laid by U-701 on June 11) 5 miles off Virginia Beach, Virginia, sinking British anti-submarine trawler HMT Kingston Ceylonite (33 killed, 18 survivors) and US tanker Robert C. Tuttle (1 dead, 46 survivors). US tanker Esso Augusta and destroyer USS Bainbridge hit mines and are badly damaged (no casualties).

Caribbean. 90 miles West of Grenada, U-502 sinks 3 steamers (2 American, 1 Panamanian, total 18,713 tons). 50 miles off Costa Rica, U-172 sinks Norwegian SS Bennestvet. 20 miles off the North coast of Colombia, U-68 mistakenly sinks Vichy French tanker SS Frimaire (all 60 hands killed).

10 miles off Lubang Island, near Manila Bay, Philippines, US submarine USS Seawolf sinks Japanese auxiliary gunboat Nampo Maru.

No comments:

Post a Comment