Sunday, June 17, 2012

Day 1022 June 18, 1942

Overnight, British destroyer HMS Albrighton and steam gun boats SGB 7 and SGB 8 cross the English Channel and attack a German convoy in the Baie de la Seine (2 supply ships escorted by 6 motor torpedo boats and 1 armed trawler). SGB 7 sinks 1 German supply ship with a torpedo but is then herself sunk (4 killed, 7 crew taken as German POWs).

At 2.45 AM 12 miles off the coast of Colombia, U-159 sinks Dutch SS Flora with shellfire. All 37 crew escape in a motorboat and a lifeboat and reach Colombia next day, but 1 man dies of wounds.

At 5 AM 80 miles off the coast of Panama, U-172 uses 40 rounds from the deck gun to sink British tanker MV Motorex, carrying 20,000 barrels of diesel oil from Texas via the Panama Canal (1 dead, 20 survivors).

In the North Atlantic 500 miles West of Newfoundland, U-124 fires 6 torpedoes at convoy ONS-102 at 6.22 AM, damaging American SS Seattle Spirit (4 killed). 51 survivors abandon ship and are picked up by convoy escort Canadian corvette HMCS Agassiz, which also sinks the wreck of SS Seattle Spirit with shellfire.

Operation Pastorius. U-584 lands another 4 German saboteurs (including 1 US citizen) at Ponte Vedra Beach, near Jacksonville, Florida. The saboteurs board trains to Chicago and Cincinnati.

At Sevastopol, Germans have control of most of the ground North of Severnaya Bay but there are still several powerful Soviet Forts. At 11 AM, German 132nd Infantry Division attacks Coastal Battery No.12 (Kartashevsky's Battery) on the Black Sea coast, using flamethrowers to clear out trenches and bunkers by 7 PM. 2 miles inland German 24th Infantry Division overruns Soviet defenses at Bartenyevka. Soviet Navy is still trying to bring in reinforcements and evacuate wounded, but Leningrad-class “destroyer leader” Kharkov is badly damaged by German bombers.

Libya. Rommel moves North from the desert to cut off Tobruk. German troops and tanks reach the Mediterranean coast, cutting the supply road from the next port Bardia (70 miles West near the Egyptian border) and capturing RAF Gambut, a small airfield 40 miles West of Tobruk, making resupply by air much more difficult.

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