Sunday, August 5, 2012

Day 1071 August 6, 1942

North Atlantic. Overnight 520 miles Southeast of the tip of Greenland, U-71, U-210, U-379, U-454, U-595, U-597, U-607 and U-704 converge on convoy SC 94, following U-593’s radio signals. U-454 and U-595 are severely damaged by convoy escorts and return to base. Canadian destroyer HMCS Assiniboine brings U-210 to the surface with depth charges, after radar contact by British corvette HMS Dianthus, and then sinks U-210 with 4.7 inch gunfire and ramming (6 killed, 37 survivors). At 5.19 PM 180 miles East of Tobago, U-66 sinks tiny Polish freighter MV Rozewie (3 dead, captain taken prisoner by U-66, 15 survivors picked up on August 10 by Norwegian SS Sørvangen). At 7.08 PM 525 miles Southeast of Nova Scotia, U-86 sinks American 3-masted schooner Wawaloam with the deck gun after wasting 3 torpedoes (all 7 hands picked up on August 11 by Irish SS Irish Rose).

At 7 AM 85 miles East of Cape Greco, Cyprus, U-77 sinks Egyptian sailboat Ezzet and damages Egyptian sailboat Adnan.

Churchill makes changes to Middle East Command (including removing Iraq and Persia into a separate Command) after consulting General Sir Alan Brooke, Chief of the Imperial General Staff, and Field Marshal Jan Smuts, Prime Minister of South Africa. British General Auchinleck is replaced as commander of 8th Army by his subordinate General William “Strafer” Gott and as C-in-C Middle East by General Sir Harold Alexander. Auchinleck is offered the Persia-Iraq Command but, to Churchill’s disappointment, he refuses. Persia-Iraq Command instead goes to General Henry Maitland Wilson.

Eastern Front. 130 miles West of Moscow, Soviet 20th, 31st, 29th and 30th Armies compress the Rzhev salient. General Zhukov’s 20th and 31st Armies, attacking from the South, advance 25 miles towards Rzhev. In the Caucasus (Case Blue), German 17th Army captures Tikhoretsk, having advanced 100 miles in 12 days since crossing the River Don on July 25.

U-612 sinks after a collision with U-444 as the U-boats maneuver in the Baltic Sea near Gotenhafen, Germany (2 dead, 43 survivors). U-612 is quickly raised and will return to service in May 1943 as a training boat. U-578 departs from St. Nazaire, France, but then disappears in the Bay of Biscay (all 49 hands lost).

2 fresh Australian battalions are sent from Brisbane to Port Moresby, Papua, and 1 battalion to Milne Bay. In the Gulf of Papua, Japanese submarine RO-33 shoots up Australian passenger/cargo ship MV Mamutu with the deck gun and then machineguns passengers and crew as they abandon ship (114 killed, 27 survivors drift to shore on life rafts dropped by a US B-17).

Overnight, 216 RAF bombers attack Duisburg, Germany, just over the Dutch border, but most miss the target (18 buildings destroyed and 24 civilians killed). 2 Halifaxes, 2 Stirlings and 1 Wellington are lost.

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