Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day 448 November 21, 1940

German raider armed merchant cruiser Pinguin shadows British refrigerated freighter Port Brisbane all day in the Indian Ocean, 1000 miles West of Australia. Port Brisbane, carrying a cargo of 5000 tons of frozen meat, 3000 tons of wool, butter and cheese from Adelaide to Britain, is armed with two 6-inch guns. Well after dark, Pinguin approaches Port Brisbane and, seeing her armaments, shells her to a standstill (killing the radio operator). After scuttling charges placed on board fail to do the job, Pinguin sinks her with a torpedo. 60 crewmen and 1 woman passenger are taken prisoner. 27 crew escape in a lifeboat and are picked up by Australian cruiser HMAS Canberra, which has been sent to locate Pinguin. However, Pinguin gets away.

At 7.40 AM, 200 miles Northwest of Ireland, U-103 surfaces and fires torpedoes at convoy OB-244 sinking British SS Daydawn (2 killed, 36 crew picked up by the British corvette HMS Rhododendron) and Greek SS Victoria (all 27 crew picked up by destroyer HMS Castleton). A ship in the convoy tries to ram the U-boat but U-103 dodges the attack and fires a torpedo at the ship which glances off and does not explode.

A German aircraft inadvertently bombs the British Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) at Bletchley Park, with no casualties. It is probably returning from Coventry, dumping unreleased bombs, and there are no indications the Germans know the importance of the site. Diplomatic section suffers a direct hit, damaging the telephone exchange and typists’ room and a bomb damages the nearby vicarage. A bomb lands near Hut 4, lifting it off the foundations. 3 other bombs fail to explode.

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