Saturday, September 22, 2012

Day 1119 September 23, 1942

North Atlantic. 200 miles East of the tip of Greenland, U-617 attacks convoy SC-100 from USA to Britain, sinking British tanker MV Athelsultan at 00.19 AM (51 killed, 10 survivors picked up by British corvette HMS Nasturtium and Canadian corvette HMCS Weyburn) and British SS Tennessee at 1.42 AM (15 killed, 20 survivors rescued by HMS Nasturtium and US Coast Guard cutter USCGC Ingham). At 00.26 AM 500 miles South of Greenland, U-211 torpedoes US tanker MV Esso Williamsburg carrying 110,043 barrels of Navy fuel oil, which explodes bowing the tanker apart (all 42 crew and 18 gunners lost, including several escapees in lifeboats who are never seen again). 580 miles Southeast of Newfoundland, U-582 sinks Norwegian MV Vibran (all 35 crew, 2 gunners and 11 passengers lost).

U-177 has bad day in the Norwegian Sea 50 miles North of the Faroe Islands, while breaking out into the Atlantic on the first patrol (6 days out from Kiel, Germany). At 6.05 AM, Bootsmannmaat Erwin Henning is lost overboard and at 1.30 PM U-177 is bombed on the surface causing a crash dive (no damage).

Soviet submarine M-60 hits a mine and sinks in the Black Sea, near Odessa, Ukraine.

At Stalingrad, Siberian troops of Soviet 284th Rifle Division cross the Volga River and are immediately thrown into the defense of the ferry landing area against German troops coming out of the Tsaritsa gorge. However, Germans capture the landing stage and split the Soviet defenses in two, with the bulk of 62nd Army North of the Tsaritsa gorge and a smaller contingent to the South.

Rommel leaves North Africa to recuperate in Germany for 6 weeks, suffering from exhaustion, sinusitis, high blood pressure and various stomach ailments. First, he must visit Rome to meet with Mussolini, perhaps to explain why Il Duce is not already in Cairo.

40 miles off the coast of British Guyana, U-515 sinks Norwegian SS Lindvangen at 6.15 AM (15 killed, 8 survivors picked up by British examination vessel HMS Helene) and immobilises American SS Antinous at 11.03 AM (all 35 crew and 13 gunners abandon ship but reboard at 8 PM ).

380 miles Southwest of Freetown, Sierra Leone, U-125 chases British SS Bruyère for 8 hours and finally sinks her with 2 torpedoes at 11.34 PM (all 45 crew and 6 gunners in 4 lifeboats picked up by British corvette HMS Petunia, destroyer HMS Decoy and armed trawler HMS Sir Wistan between September 28 and 30).

At 6.30 PM, Australian destroyer HMAS Voyager runs aground at Betano Bay, East Timor, while maneuvering to disembark Australian 2/4th Independent Company. A high tide overnight fails to float her free, as the stern and propeller shafts are embedded in sand.

East African 22nd Infantry Brigade captures the capital of Madagascar, Tananarive (now Antananarivo).

Overnight 185 miles North of Iceland, HMS Somali (torpedoed 3 days ago by U-703) breaks apart and sinks while under tow by HMS Ashanti (77 killed, 35 rescued by HMS Ashanti). .

Overnight, RAF bombs the small German ports of Wismar (83 Lancasters, 4 lost) and Flensburg (28 Halifaxes, 5 lost). Another 24 Stirling bombers attack Vegesack, near Bremen, Germany (1 lost).

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