Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 442 November 15, 1940

19 days after the Italian invasion from Albania, Greeks have cleared the invaders from their soil. Reinforced with troops from the border with Bulgaria, Greece now has a numerical advantage. Greek forces go on the offensive, taking advantage of confusion caused by the Italian retreat to attack their defenses on the Albanian border. In addition, Greece receives reinforcements from Britain. A convoy of 5 transports and numerous British war ships leaves Alexandria, Egypt, for Pireaus, Greece, with 4230 troops, 700 trucks and other vehicles, plus petrol and supplies, arriving safely tomorrow.

200 miles Southwest of Sierra Leone, U-65 sinks British SS Kohinur at 3.11 PM (17 killed and 68 escape in lifeboats). Norwegian tanker Havbør stops to pick up the Kohinur survivors. Only 31 have been taken on board when Havbør is torpedoed by U-65 at 6.16 PM which ignites her cargo of 11,500 tons crude oil, killing 28 of her crew and all 31 rescued from Kohinur. (The remaining 36 survivors from Kohinur are picked up next day by British merchant City of Pittsburg and taken to Freetown, Sierra Leone). 5 of Havbør’s crew jump overboard and swim away from the burning oil holding onto a plank (1 dies of burns the next day, 4 are found on November 24 by British SS Baron Ardrossan and taken to Freetown).

British tug HMS Guardsman sinks on a mine in the mouth of the Thames Estuary (2 crew lost).

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