This Day in the War in Europe: The Beginning

parsifal

Colonel
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Apr 6, 2008
Orange NSW
26 February 1941 (Part I)
Known Reinforcements

Neutral
SC497 Class Submarine Chaser USS SC-500
SubChaser 497 Class USS 667.jpg

USSSC-661, a fellowSC-497class submarine chaser

Allied
Type IV Hunt Class Escort DD HMS BRECON (L 76)
Type IV Hunt Class Escort DD HMS BRECON (L 76).jpg


Shakespeare Class MSW Trawler OTHELLO (T 76)
[NO IMAGE FOUND]


Modified Black Swan Class Sloop HMS WREN (ii) (U 28)
Modified Black Swan Class Sloop HMS  WREN (ii)  (U 28).jpg


Losses
Lugger SCHAUMBURG-LIPPE (Ger 200 grt) was sunk on a mine in the Elbe.
[NO IMAGE FOUND]

Steamer MINORCA (UK 1123 grt) was sunk by DKM S.28 in the Nth Sea off Cromer. 17 crew and 2 passengers were lost. Two crew and one passenger were rescued. The steamer was taken in tow, but was abandoned on the 28th in a sinking condition.
Steamer MINORCA (UK 1123 grt).jpg


steamer GOTEBORG (Sd 820 grt), The Göteborg with 20 crew members and three passengers was reported missing after leaving Reykjavik on 25 Feb, 1941. It is considered likely that she was sunk by U-70 SE of Iceland the next day. It is not possible to confirm as this U-Boat was herself lost shortly afterwards. SE of Iceland.
steamer GOTEBORG (Sd 820 grt).jpg


Power barge BRACKELIER (UK 230 grt) and barge MONARCH (UK 230 grt) , under tow, were sunk on mines 80 feet off Alexandra Jetty, at the entrance to Alexandra Dock, Hull. Two crew were lost from the power barge and one crewman were rescued from barge MONARCH.
[NO IMAGE FOUND]

Steamer TENERIFFA (Nor 5655 grt) was sunk by German bombing in 51-30N, 4-55W. The entire crew was rescued. She was sunk in the Bristol Channel, after having been machine gunned and bombed by LW a/c. At 1405 hrs, 2 enemy a/c had machine gunned the ship's decks, coming in for attack 4 times and TENERIFE got 3 direct bomb hits on the starboard side, where deck plates and several plates in her side were blown out. The first hit was in No. 2 hatch, the second in the engine room and the third in No. 3 hatch. After the 4th attack, as soon as the machine gunning stopped, the crew was able to get 3 lifeboats out (the 4th having been blown away), and at 1425 they saw the ship sink in about 27 fathoms. Just 5 minutes later they were picked up by the MSW PERDITA and landed at Cardiff the next day, Feb. 27.
Steamer TENERIFFA (Nor 5655 grt).jpg



Convoy OB 290
[I consider this period the closest that Britain came to being forced to the surrender table. Things simply could not continue as they were up to and including OB 290].


(Extract from the SS SAMUEL BAKKE’S log)
Between midnight and 0200 hrs in latitude 5536N and longitude 1342W the convoy is attacked by submarine and 3 ships are for certain known to have been sunk. When the attack began Commodore Hornell gave orders for emergency turn to starboard, but no ships responded. To avoid collision orders to turn back to original course were given. The first ship sunk was the rear ship in 3rd column on our port side. The two other ships were rear ships in the 4th column. At 09:00 same day in lat. 54 37W and long. 16 20W one enemy a/c approached and made a low level attack on the port wing column. All ships within range opened fire with H. A. and machine guns, but with little effect. 3 ships were hit in this attack. One was set on fire amidships, one had her engine room flooded and the 3rd was disabled. The Swedish steamer GYDNIA picked up 93 survivors from the stricken ships and returned to England escorted by one DD.

The same day at 1845 the convoy is again attacked from the air, now by 3 enemy planes. The planes used the same low level attack method. The planes attacked from 3 directions and 3 ships were destroyed. The convoy put up a heavy barrage with their HA. and MGs but with very little effect. One plane approached us at low height from port side. Our 4" gun was manned and so were our MGs. At reasonable distance 2 rounds were fired from our 4" gun and as the plane was about 50 yards away both MGs opened up. Direct hits could be seen as the tracer bullets hit the plane, but had no effect. One bomb dropped on our after deck close to the foreward corner of Nr. 4 hatch on port side and caused a heavy dent, thereafter it hit the bulkhead at the galley and dented this heavily and also smashed the bench and other fittings in the galley, thereafter the bomb continued over the starboard side and exploded into the sea about 20 yards away.

The plane also opened heavy MG fire against our gun crew and caused considerable damage to deck house bulwalk and other materials. Ship's carpenter who manned our 4" gun reports that he is certain that our second round hit the plane, as he saw parts from the under carriage being thrown away (Note, in fact there were no losses to the attacking a/c), and parts from the plane was later found on deck. Further, the carpenter reports that he saw bombs fell from the plane on both sides of our ship. During these attacks we suffered no casualties. The 2nd engineer who was on watch in the engine room reports that he heard several bombs exploded on both sides of the vessel and that they appeared to be very close. Due to the explosions it is experienced that both stern glands are leaking badly. When the attack was over, orders were given to disperse the convoy”.

At Sea, March 5th 1941.

Signed by Captain J. Olsen

Attacks by KG 40 Kondors
Steamer SOLFERINO (Nor 2580 grt) was sunk by Kondor LR a/c in the western Approaches at 55-02N, 16-25W, The Norwegian SS SOLFERINO, in convoy from Manchester to Freetown carrying a cargo of coal, was bombed by German FW200 aircraft and sank W of Ireland. In the same attack the Dutch SS BEURSPLEIN, the Greek SS KYRIAKOULA, and the British SS LLANWERN, MAHANADA and SWINBURNE were sunk. Three crew were lost

Steamer SOLFERINO (Nor 2580 grt).jpg


The LW sank steamer MAHANADA (UK 7181 grt) in 54-07N, 17-06W,
steamer MAHANADA (UK 7181 grt).jpg


They also sank Steamer SWINBURNE (UK 4659 grt) in 54-00N, 16-58W,

Steamer SWINBURNE (UK 4659 grt).jpg


In this same attack the LW also sank Steamer LLANWERN (UK 4966 grt) in 54-07N, 17-06W
Steamer LLANWERN (UK 4966 grt).jpg


Steamer BEURSPLEIN (NL 4368 grt) was badly damaged by the LW bombing in the Western Approaches. 21 crew were lost. The ship was abandoned on fire on the 27th and later sank.
[NO IMAGE FOUND]
 
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Marcel

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February 25 Tuesday

The February Strike: In occupied Amsterdam, a general strike began in response to increasing anti-Jewish measures instituted by the Nazi occupation administration. The Strike was a general strike organized in the Netherlands against the anti-Jewish measures and activities of the Nazis. Its direct causes were the pogroms held by the Germans in the Jewish neighborhood of Amsterdam. It was the first direct action undertaken against the anti-Jewish measures of the Nazis in occupied Europe, and it was carried out by non-Jews. The first to strike were the city's tram drivers, followed by other city services as well as companies like De Bijenkorf and schools. Though the Germans immediately took measures to suppress the strike, which had grown spontaneously as other workers followed the example of the tram drivers, it still spread to other areas, including Zaanstad, Kennemerland in the west, Bussum, Hilversum and Utrecht in the east and the south.
The Ferbuari strike was the only big protest against the treatment of the Jews by non-jews in Europe during WW2. I think it doesn't get the attention it deserves. It was started when a Communist resistance group killed an NSB member (collaborator of the NAZIs).
The strike was stopped after relentless pressure from the Germans, killings and arrests.

On a personal note, my grandfather was member of the communist resistance in Groningen. He barely escaped captivity by hiding in a haystack as the story goes. His whole group was arrested following the strike and been send to Mauthausen. None survived. I think he was the only surviving member of the Noordelicht group in Hoogezand.
 

parsifal

Colonel
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Apr 6, 2008
Orange NSW
My best friend in childhood, his name was jim , had an elderly Dad who was in the Dutch resistance and was captured at about that time. sent to mauthausen as well, but managed to escape. he walked back to Holland passing himself off as a german, and spent the rest of the war in hiding. I don't know if the dad was associated with the February uprising, only that he was arrested in 1941.

His name was Splithof, and he died about 20 years ago, I recently attended the funeral of his widow, who helped keep Louie alive during the war. They were both great people.
 

Njaco

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February 26 Wednesday
MEDITERRANEAN: An attack on the British Luqa airfield on Malta by more than sixty German bombers and Stukas (7 lost) with fighter escort, destroys six RAF Wellingtons on the ground and leaves the airfield damaged. Five defending RAF Hurricanes are shot down by the escorting Bf 109s of 7./JG 26 including that of Flg. Off. Eric Taylor who is killed. F/O Taylor was the leading Malta Hurricane ace with seven victories.


Operation Abstention: Before dawn, British destroyer HMS “Decoy”, destroyer HMS “Hereward”, and gunboat HMS “Ladybird” landed 200 commandos and 24 Royal Marines on the Italian-held Dodecanese island of Castellorizo, off the coast of Turkey. These men were tasked to overwhelm and subdue the Italian garrison, establish a defensive perimeter, and prepare for the arrival of the second force slated for the next day. That second force sailing from Cyprus consisted of the light cruisers HMAS “Perth” and HMS “Bonaventure”, destroyer escorts, and the armored yacht/boarding vessel HMS “Rosaura”. Carried among them was a company of Sherwood Foresters. They would be tasked with securing and defending the island en masse, ensuring that the newly won Castellorizo remained in possession of the British Empire. Shortly thereafter the Royal Navy planned on establishing a motor torpedo base in the islands harbor, which located less than 80 miles from Rhodes, would give the British a vital forward operating base in their quest to supplant the Italians as overlords of the Dodecanese. The British destroyers HMS “Decoy” and HMS “Hereward” proceeded unmolested into Megisti harbor; their unexpected arrival no doubt shocking the 35 man Italian Garrison. The British commandos carried the day, and over a third of the Italian force became casualties. Before the radio station fell, the wireless operator was able to get off a warning to Rhodes with news about what had befallen the base; Italian reinforcements would be coming. A contingent of Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 Sparviero “Sparrowhawks” and Savoia-Marchetti SM.81 Pipistrello “Bats” were sent into battle from airbases on Rhodes by Rear Admiral Luigi Biancheri and attacked the newly won British positions just hours after the commandos had come ashore. The Italian aircraft damaged HMS “Ladybird”, which had replaced the destroyers inside the harbor to act as a communications hub for the ground contingent, forcing her withdraw back to safety in Cyprus.


Eden and Dill continue their Middle East mission with a visit to Turkey, but they get no real response to their efforts to interest the Turks in an alliance.


WESTERN FRONT: RAF Circus operation: Daylight raid by 12 Blenheim bombers to Calais heavily escorted by fighters. Major Mölders of JG 51 scores his sixtieth victory but his Geschwader loses Hans-Karl Keitel, who with eight victories in the war is killed in action.


Francisco Franco refused Hitler's 6 Feb 1941 request for Spain to enter the war. Franco belatedly replied to Hitler's three-week old letter, expressing support for the Axis but making exorbitant demands for the price of Spain's entry into the war. Franco says;
'I stand today already at your side, entirely and decidedly at your disposal,'
but refuses to enter the war.


The general strike spreads but Germans declare a state of siege and shoot protesters in Amsterdam effectively ending the February Strike.


ATLANTIC OCEAN: German submarine U-47 attacked Allied convoy OB-290 190 miles northwest of Ireland before dawn, sinking 3 merchant ships and damage 1. U-47 was attacked by depth charges, which called for assistance in the form of Fw 200 bombers of I./KG 40 based in Bordeaux, France. The aircraft attacked the convoy from 0900 to 1845 hours, sinking 8 ships.


German bombers sank 4 merchant ships and German motor torpedo boats sank 1 merchant ship at various locations on the British coast.


GERMANY: RAF Bomber Command sends 126 aircraft to attack Cologne overnight.


UNITED KINGDOM: Luftwaffe conducts night raid against Cardiff.


NORTH AFRICA: Allied Middle East command reorganizes forces in North Africa, not expecting aggressive action from Italian and German forces in Tripoli. Battle-hardened Australian 6th Division, conquerors of Libya from Bardia to Benghazi, will be sent to Greece to face the expected German invasion. They will be replaced by newly-formed Australian 9th Division, scraped together from partially-equipped infantry brigades currently training in Palestine, leaving the defense of Eastern Libya to troops “selected by the test that they are the least trained or most recently enlisted”. As Benghazi cannot be used as a supply port due to Luftwaffe bombing, troops and supplies have to travel 400 miles by road from Tobruk.


The Italians appeared to be holding Mescelit Pass in some strength and efforts were made to discover the exact strength and extent of their positions. Fighting patrols were sent out on 26 and 27 February, as a result of which the position was believed to be held by one company 107th Colonial Battalion with six mortars, four to eight machine guns and possibly some guns. An operation to outflank the Italian position was planned.


SOUTH PACIFIC: Depot Ship in Sydney’s Garden Island dockyard, formerly known as HMAS “Penguin”, was re-commissioned as HMAS “Platypus”, for seagoing service as a training /depot ship.


Establishment of first high frequency direction finding (HFDF) station at Garbutt aerodrome, Australia.

.
February2641a.jpg
February2641b.jpg
 

Marcel

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One should note that the February strike ended because the communist party who organised it has stated that the strike should not be longer than 2 days. Thus the communists stopped after that time. It took the momentum out of the action and when the Germans threatened with more pogroms, the rest lost their determination. 78 people were shot, hundreds went to camps.
 
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parsifal

Colonel
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Apr 6, 2008
Orange NSW
26 February 1941 (Part II)
Losses (Cont'd)

Steamer KYRIAKOULA (Gk 4340 grt) was sunk by the LW in the eWestern Approaches. The vessel was not hit, but the bombs fell alongside the steamer which had already been abandoned. The entire crew was rescued.
Steamer KYRIAKOULA (Gk 4340 grt).jpg



All were from convoy OB.290 whilst outward bound in the western approaches. Three crew were lost on steamer MAHANADA. The entire crew of steamer SWINBURNE were rescued. 25 crew and two gunners were lost on steamer LLANERN

Ships from OB-290 damaged by air attacks
British steamer MELMORE HEAD was damaged by LR Kondor a/c in the western approaches at 55-07N, 16-00W from convoy OB.290. The steamer was abandoned, but she did not sink. She was towed into Kames Bay on 5 March and then to Rothesay Bay where she was beached pending repair. She returned to service eventually.

British steamer LEEDS CITY was damaged in the Western approaches by Kondor LR a/c at 54-00N, 17-45W from convoy OB.290. On 6 March, the steamer was towed into the Clyde. She was repaired and returned to service.

Dutch steamer SURINAME was damaged by Kondor LR a/c in the Western approaches at 54-12N, 16-40W. The steamer arrived at St Michaels on 5 March.

Attacks on convoy OB.290, by U-47. The U-boat sank or damaged the following:

Sank Steamer KASONGO (Be 5254 grt), an ammunition ship, was sunk in the Western Approaches in 55-50N, 14-20W. Six crew were lost on steamer KASONGO, which luckily did not explode before sinking.

Steamer KASONGO (Be 5254 grt).jpg


British tanker DIALA in the Western Approaches from Convoy OB-290 was hit by U-47 at 55-50N, 14W, One crewman was lost from steamer DIALA. The steamer arrived in the Clyde on the 28th. The details of the attack n the early morning on 26 February 1941 U-47 attacked the convoy OB-290 and reported four ships of 22,000 grt sunk. In fact, the KASONGO, RYDBOHOLM and BORGLAND were sunk whilst the DIALA was damaged. One crew member from DIALA was lost. DIALA was to be lost 13 months later in the mid-Atlantic to U-587.

damaged steamer RYDBOHOLM (Sd 3197 grt) in the Western Approaches at 55-32N, 14-24W, Steamer RYDBOHOLM was sunk by bombing later on the 26th. She was abandoned and sank in 55-48N, 14-25W. Twenty six crew and two passengers were saved from steamer RYDBOHOLM.
steamer RYDBOHOLM (Sd 3197 grt).jpg


sank steamer BORGLAND (Nor 3636 grt) in 55-50N, 14W. The entire crew of steamer BORGLAND were rescued. At 0137 hrs, the BORGLAND in station #35 was struck by one torpedo on the port side in the #2 hold. The crew abandoned the slowly sinking ship with an increasing list in 55°53N/13°33W and was picked up by Corvette PIMPRNEL
steamer BORGLAND (Nor 3636 grt).jpg


UBOATS
Departures
Lorient: U-106

At Sea 26 February 1941

U-46, U-47 , U-48, U-69, U-70, U-73, U-95, U-96, U-97, U-99, U-105,U-106 , U-107, U-108, U-123, U-124, U-147, U-552, UA.
19 boats at sea


OPERATIONS
North Sea

DD GEORGETOWN, which departed Aultbrea on the 20th, was in a collision with an unknown ship. The DD arrived in the Clyde on the 28th. She was repaired in the Tyne completing in early June.

British steamer EMPIRE STEELHEAD was damaged by the LW ten miles 80° from Cromarty. The steamer was set on fire but did not sink. She was towed to an anchorage of Invergordon and eventually repaired. .

British trawler HOPTON was damaged by the LW bombing six miles ESE of Girdleness.


Northern Waters

CA NORFOLK departed Scapa Flow to meet convoys HX.112 and SC.24 in the Western Approaches.

Western Approaches

Dutch steamer AMSTELLAND was badly damaged by the LW in the Nth Western Approaches.

Channel

DDs INTREPID, ICARUS, IMPULSIVE, escorted by DDs VANSITTART and WIVERN as they laid minefield JL in the English Channel during the night of 26/27 February.
In a ML operation from North Coates, a Swordfish of 812 Sqn crashed with the crew killed.

The pilot of an RN Miles Master of 760 Sqn crashed near Somerton Erleigh. A co-passenger was unhurt.


Med/Biscay
Convoy AN.16 WITH British steamer ALAVI and four Greek ships departed Port Said for Piraeus and Port Said escorted by DD GREYHOUND. DD HAVOCK joined the convoy later. CLA COVENTRY joined on the 28th. On the 28th at 1925, cruiser COVENTRY's temporary bow was badly shaken and the cruiser was forced to hove to. At 2306, the cruiser was ordered to return to Alexandria. The cruiser arrived at Alexandria at 1500 on 1 March for repairs. GREYHOUND continued with the convoy.

The convoy arrived at Piraeus on 3 March.


Central Atlantic
Ocean boarding vessel CORINTHIAN arrived at Gibraltar from Western Patrol.

Malta

AIR RAIDS DAWN 26 FEBRUARY TO DAWN 27 FEBRUARY 1941

Weather Fine.

0730-0755 hrs Air raid alert for one JU 88 bomber escorted by six ME 109 fighters which approach the Island. Four of them attack a Gladiator over Hal Far, causing no damage. Anti aircraft guns engage and the raiders turn away without launching an attack.

1030-1055 hrs Air raid alert for a large formation of enemy fighters which approach the Island and split up as they cross the coast. One Messerschmitt attacks a meteorological Gladiator without success. Eight Hurricane fighters are scrambled and anti-aircraft guns engage; no claims

1245-1345 hrs Air raid alert for 30 JU 87 and12 JU 88 bombers, escorted by 30 mixed ME 109 and CR 42 fighters which approach the Island and carry out a heavy raid on Luqa aerodrome, dropping some 150 bombs. Six Wellingtons are burned out on the ground and seven others badly damaged, of which four will be out of action for 2-3 months. Seven others will be unserviceable for up to a month. One Glenn Martin Maryland is a probable write-off, three others will be unserviceable for at least a week, another is slightly damaged. One Miles Magister is slightly damaged.

Bombs also damage buildings, including two hangars, an officers’ mess, the airmen’s cookhouse, the NAAFI, three barrack blocks and a ration store room, and the HQ of 12 Field Regiment Luqa. One 200 gallon fuel tank is burned out, one lorry written off and several others damaged. The aerodrome surface is badly cratered and likely to be unserviceable for 48 hours. Four men of 2nd Bn Royal West Kent Regiment and two of the Royal Artillery are wounded. Four unexploded bombs lie within the camp and seven others on the aerodrome, mostly on the runways. Damage to civilian property in Luqa village is considerable. One JU 87 attacked by anti-aircraft fire drops its bombs on Gudja village before crashing nearby.

Towards the end of the attack 10 Dornier 215 and 10 Heinkel 111 bombers approach the Island but drop no bombs. Malta fighters are scrambled and engage the enemy, destroying three Junkers bombers and probably destroying seven. Anti-aircraft guns engage, launching a heavy barrage over Luqa, destroying five Junkers confirmed and four probable, and damaging several more. They also damage one Dornier 215. Three Malta fighters do not return after the raid. One civilian is killed and 14 injured.

1345-1409 hrs Air raid alert for two JU 88 bombers which fly over the Island at high altitude but drop no bombs. Three Hurricanes are scrambled but the raiders evade engagement.

1558-1700 hrs Air raid alert for one enemy Red Cross seaplane accompanied by an escort of twenty fighters on a mission to pick up casualties. They search the seas around the northern part of the Island for an hour. Eight Malta fighters are scrambled and engage the escorting Messerschmitts from time to time, along with anti-aircraft guns. One ME 109 is severely damaged.

Two German prisoners whose JU 87 crashed in the sea during this morning’s raid are rescued by the High Speed Launch, brought ashore and interrogated at Kalafrana.

1742-50 hrs Air raid alert for two enemy formations approaching the Island. Five Hurricanes are scrambled and with enemy withdraw without crossing the coast.

0625-0730 hrs Air raid alert; raid does not materialise.





 
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parsifal

Colonel
13,354
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Apr 6, 2008
Orange NSW
27 FEBRUARY 1941
Known Reinforcements

Axis
DKM Zerstorer Z-27
DKM 1936A Mob Zerstorer Z-27.jpg




Type VIIc U-559
Type VIIic U-559.jpg

4 ships sunk, total tonnage 11,811 GRT
1 warship sunk, total tonnage 1,060 tons
2 ships a total loss, total tonnage 6,117 GRT

Sunk on 30 October 1942 in the Med NE of Port Said, by DCs from the RN DDs PAKENHAM,PETARD, and HERO and the British escort DDs DULVERYTON and HURWORTH, after being located by a British Vickers Wellesley a/c from 47 Sqn. 7 dead and 38 survivors.

This was one of the vital episodes in defeating the Uboats. The sinking boat was boarded by three men from DD PETARD who had swum over to her. Lt Anthony Fasson, Able Seamen Colin Grazier and Seamen Tommy Brown. Two of them went down with the wreck when it foundered, but they had managed to pass out the ENIGMA code machine, with the current rotor settings, and the cipher books. This allowed the Allies to read naval traffic for several weeks and crack ENIGMA codes thereafter. The bravery of these three men materially affected the outcome of the war. It is hard to find individuals who had greater effect on the war than these men.

The
Wetterkurzschlüssel and Kurzsignalheft were retrieved from U-559 by Lt Anthony Fasson, Able Seaman Colin Grazier (both were posthumously awarded the George Cross) and 16 year-old Tommy Brown (who survived to receive the George Medal). Without their bravery, “Shark” (the hitherto unbreakable Uboat codes) would not have been broken before four-rotor bombes came into service, if at all. The Allies (Britain, Canada and the United States) would not then have established naval supremacy in the Atlantic until the second half of 1943 at the earliest, which would have probably delayed the D-Day Normandy landings until 1945. Few acts of courage by three individuals can ever have had so far-reaching consequences. Without Ultra, the U-boats would still have been defeated in the long run, but the cost in human life in the global conflict would have been even more terrible than it was.

Allied
Fairmile B Motor Launch HMS ML204
[NO IMAGE FOUND]

Flower Class Corvette HMS SPIRAEA (K 08)

Flower Class Corvette HMS  SPIRAEA (K 08).jpg


Losses
Steamer ADELE OHLROGGE (Ger 1371 grt) was sunk on a mine in the Jade (an area of sheltered water near the Frisian Islands).
Steamer ADELE OHLROGGE (Ger 1371 grt).jpg


AMC RAMB I (RM 3667 grt) was sunk in the Indian Ocean at 1N, 70E by NZ manned CL LEANDER, which had left convoy US 9 at Bombay on the 22nd. Intercepted RAMB Ioff the Maldives and challenged her. RAMB Iattempted to bluff LEANDER with misleading signals but, although RAMB I was not flying Italian colours, LEANDER ordered her to stop. RAMB I simultaneously raised the Italian flag and opened fire from 3,000 yards, splinters from her first salvo hitting the LEANDER. LEANDER replied with five salvoes within the next minute (an exceptional rate of fire), leaving RAMB I seriously damaged and on fire. She struck her colours and LEANDER ceased firing. RAMB I had been badly damaged and, as LEANDER closed, the captain gave the order to abandon ship. An explosion then destroyed RAMB I after the majority of the crew had abandoned her. The NZ cruiser picked up 103 survivors and took them to Addu arriving on the 28th
AMC RAMB I (RM 3667 grt).jpg

Italian ship RAMB I sinking in 1941
Trawler CHRISTABELLE (UK 203 grt) was sunk on a British mine in 61-27N, 6-05W. Ten crew were lost.
[NO IMAGE FOUND]

Steamer NOSS HEAD (UK 438 grt) was lost to unknown cause in the vicinity of Gardenstown, E. Scotland.

[NO IMAGE FOUND]

LW bombers attacked steamer ANCHISES (UK 10,000 grt) in the Western Approaches at 55-30N, 13-17W. The steamer was attacked again the next day 140 miles west of Bloody Foreland and sunk. 13 crew and three passengers were lost. Most of crew were picked up by RCN DD ASSINIBOINE. Later the Captain and a skeleton crew were taken off by corvette KINGCUP.
steamer ANCHISES (UK 10,000 grt).jpg


Steamer STANWOLD (UK 1020 grt) was lost to unknown cause ten miles WSW of Selsey.
[NO IMAGE FOUND]

LW a/c sank steamer OLD CHARLTON (UK 1562 grt) in the North sea at 51-57N, 1-40W. One crewman was lost. Steamer CATHERINE HAWKSFIELD rescued the survivors.
[NO IMAGE FOUND]

MSW trawler REMILLO (RN 266 grt) was sunk on a mine off the Humber. 1.76 miles 274° fromSpurn Point Light House. The skipper and sixteen ratings were lost on the trawler.
[NO IMAGE FOUND]

UBOATS

Arrivals
Bergen: U-74
St Nazaire: U-48


Departures
Lorient: U-37


At Sea 27 February 1941
U-37, U-46, U-47, U-69, U-70, U-73, U-95, U-96, U-97, U-99, U-105,U-106 , U-107, U-108, U-123, U-124, U-147, U-552, UA.
19 boats at sea


OPERATIONS
North Sea
British steamer NEWLANDS was damaged by German bombing in Barrow Deep (outside the thames estuary). The steamer was considerably damaged by a bomb which failed to explode
British steamer BLACKTOFT was damaged by the LW near Harwich. The steamer was taken in tow and arrived at Harwich on the 28th.


Northern Waters
CLA DIDO departed Scapa Flow to escort convoy SL.65. DD LEGION arrived at Scapa Flow at 1600 from Greenock to take part in Operation CLAYMORE. DD ARROW was transferred to the Home Flt at Scapa Flow from the Western Approaches.

West Coast
British steamer CAPECLEAR was damaged on a mine in 53-27N, 4-01W. The steamer anchored off Bar Light Vessel with engine room problems. She was docked at Liverpool on 1 March.

OB.292 departed Liverpool escort FNFL DD OURAGAN, RN DD AMBUSCADE, sloop ABERDEEN, corvette HOLLYHOCK, ASW trawlers KING SOL, DANEMAN, ST APOLLO. When the convoy was dispersed on 6 March, the escorts proceeded to escort SC.23.

Sub TAKU, which had departed the Clydeon the 24th, broke down in the Atlantic when the after hydroplane was carried away in heavy weather. Sloop ENCHANTRESS, corvette GLADIOLUS, tug SALVONIA were sent to assist the submarine. Submarine TAKU arrived at Londonderry on 10 March. She was under repair from 16 to 21 March.


OB.291 departed Liverpool, escort DD CALDWELL. On the 27th DDs VOLUNTEER and WALKER, sloop FLEETWOOD, corvette TULIP, seaplane carrier PEGASUS joined the escort, possibly one of the most experienced and well integrated ASW gps in the RN . The escorted was detached when the convoy dispersed on 3 March.


Western Approaches
RM submarine BIANCHI attacked British steamer EMPIRE ABILITY in convoy OB.290 in 54N, 14W without success

DD CHESTERFIELD, which departed Londonderry on the 27th, collided with submarine H 32 off Londonderry. The DD was able to continue on her duties. The damage was later repaired and required one week to complete.

SW Approaches
FNFL DD MISTRAL was damaged in a collision with British oiler BLACK RANGER. There was slight damage to the DD


Med/Biscay
Convoy ANF.16 of two British, one Greek, two other ships departed Ports Said escorted by destroyers VAMPIRE and HOTSPUR. The convoy was joined by anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA, and arrived at Piraeus on 2 March.

Operation ABSTENTION
This was the code name given to the British invasion of the Italian controlled island of Katelorizo or Castelorizo, off the southern coast of Turkey in late February 1941. The goal was to establish a base to challenge the Italian naval and air supremacy in the Dodecanese. It was a poor showing by the British, this time against and all Italian defence.

The operation was described by Adm Cunningham as "a rotten business and reflected little credit to everyone". An inquiry found that HEREWARDS commander made a misjudgement by rejoining DD DECOY, instead of engaging the RM forces without delay, which in turn caused the failure of the main landing and the isolation of the commandos who were spearheading the ground assault. British commanders had also been surprised by the Italian riposte, especially the frequent air attacks which were unopposed.[ Some Italian sources claim that the British forces captured the Italian cryptographic codes, but this was contradicted in 1957 by the former admiral Marc’Antonio Bragadin and British sources make no mention of capturing codes. The Italians retained control of the Dodecanese Islands until the September 1943.
Kastelorizo Map.jpg

Area map showing the location of the island

DDs DECOY and HASTY departed Alexandria at 0700. DECOY was carrying half the ROSAURA troops. CLA BONAVENTURE and RAN CL PERTH and DDs HERO and JAGUAR departing Alexandria in the forenoon. HERO was carrying half the ROSAURA troops. DDs DECOY and HERO landed the troops. RM TBs LUPO and LINCE returned to Castelorizzo. The two TBs boats and two MAS boats landed 240 troops on the island. RM DDs CRISPI and SELLA arrived later the same day to land more troops.

DD JAGUAR engaged RM DDs CRISPI inside the harbour. Both DDs launched torpedoes, but neither ship was hit. JAGUAR reported hitting CRISPI with two gunfire hits. The British ships withdrew to SudaBay.

At dawn on the 28th, CL AJAX with DD NUBIAN departed Alexandria to take charge of the Aegean forces. CLA BONAVENTURE, screening DDs DECOY and HERO, detached RAN CL PERTH and DDs HASTY and JAGUAR to join the AJAX group. At sunset on the 28th, BONAVENTURE proceeded to Alexandria. DDs HERO and DECOY were ordered to land the Commando unit for ABSTENTION at SudaBayand return to Alexandria. DDs NUBIAN, HASTY, JAGUAR carried out a sweep after dark on the 28th between Castellerizo and Rhodes.

Radio traffic from an Italian warship was detected between Castellerizo and Rhodes, but the destroyers were unable to make contact.

Cruisers AJAX and PERTH covered the passage of convoys AN.16 and ANF.16 through the Kaso Straits during the night of 28 February/1 March.

The British troops on Castellorizo surrendered to Italian forces.

DDs HERO and DECOY arrived at Suda Bay during the morning of 1 March. They sailed again that day for Alexandria, arriving on 2 March. DDs NUBIAN, JAGUAR, HASTY arrived at Alexandria at 1800 on 1 March.

Nth Atlantic
DKM BCs SCHARNHORST and GNEISENAU refuelled at sea from tankers ERMLAND and FRIEDRICH BREME. 180 prisoners from the sunken British ships were transferred to the tankers


Malta
AIR RAIDS DAWN 27 FEBRUARY TO DAWN 28 FEBRUARY 1941

Weather Fine.

0834-1000 hrs Air raid alert for 35 enemy aircraft approaching the Island from the north in five formations. Eight Hurricanes and two Fulmars are scrambled. Only one JU 88 bomber crosses the coast while the remainder circle out to sea. The bomber is engaged by anti-aircraft guns. There are no claims.

1510-1520 hrs Air raid alert for one JU 88 bomber which approaches the Island and aims 3-4 bombs at HM sloop Fermoy a mile out from St Thomas’ Bay; no hits. Four Hurricanes and Ack Ack guns engage; no claims.

0515-0630 hrs Air raid alert for 10 enemy aircraft which approach the north coast and drop parachute mines in and off Grand Harbour and Marsamxetto Harbour. Four of the mines hit land and explode; two in Valletta cause considerable damage to property, killing at least three civilians and injuring twelve. The others damage Marsamxett police barracks, army dental centre and the Malta Chronicle Printing Office and an RAF billet, killing three service personnel and injuring ten. One mine is exploded in the air by gunfire from the ground. Anti-aircraft guns claim one enemy aircraft hit and probably destroyed.



 
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parsifal

Colonel
13,354
2,111
Apr 6, 2008
Orange NSW
28 February 1941
Known Reinforcements

Allied
Flower Class Corvette HMS WOODRUFF (K-53)
Flower Class Corvette HMS WOODRUFF (K-53).jpg



Losses
RM submarine BIANCHI sank steamer BALTISTAN (UK 6803 grt) from convoy OB.290 in the Western approaches at 51-52N, 19-55W. Two crew were killed, forty five crew and four passengers were lost. Fourteen crew and four passengers were rescued.
[NO IMAGE FOUND]

U.99 attacked steamer HOLMELEA (UK 4223 grt), a straggler from OB-290 fully laden with grain and with a crew of 39 on board from dispersed convoy OB.290. U-99 had no success. However, the steamer was sunk by U.47 with gunfire in 54-24N, 17-25W. One crewman was killed and twenty seven were missing. Eleven crew were rescued.

steamer HOLMELEA (UK 4223 grt).jpg


U.108 sank steamer EFFNA (UK 6461 grt) in 61-30N, 15-45W. The entire crew of 34 was lost. The ship was carrying steel and trucks at the time of her loss. The details on the attack on this ship are that at 2332 hrs on 28 Feb 1941 the unescorted EFFNA was hit amidships by one torpedo from U-108 sth of Iceland. The U-boat had spotted the ship about 5 hrs earlier and waited for the night to attack, but a G7e torpedo fired at 2247 hrs became a surface runner and missed ahead while a G7a torpedo malfunctioned after being fired at 2328 hrs. After the third torpedo eventually hit, the ship was identified by her emergency messages and the crew was seen to abandon ship in the lifeboats. However, at least one boat went alongside again after half an hour when the ship did not settle further and some men reboarded the EFFNA. At 0036 hrs on 1 March, U-108 fired a coup de grace that hit aft and caused the ship to sink quickly by the stern after a boil
[NO IMAGE FOUND]

Steamer CABENDA (UK 534 grt) was lost on a mine in the western Approaches in 51-34N, 3-54W. One crewman was lost.

Steamer CABENDA (UK 534 grt).jpg


UBOATS

Arrivals
To Lorient, France: U-123
To St. Nazaire, France:U-96

At Sea 28 February 1941
U-37, U-46, U-47, U-69, U-70, U-73, U-95, U-97, U-99, U-105, U-106, u-107, U-108, U-123, U-124, U-147, U-552, UA

17 boats at sea

OPERATIONS
Northern Waters
DD BOREAS departed Scapa Flow for Greenockto join DD ARROW escorting depot shipTYNE. BOREAS arrived at Greenockat 1000 on 1 March. On 1 March depot ship TYNEand DD ARROW and BOREAS departedGreenock for Scapa Flow, where they arrived at 1800 on 2 March. Depot ship TYNErelieved depot shipMAIDSTONE.

C in C Home Flt Destroyers transferred his flag to depot ship TYNE on 3 March. Depot ship MAIDSTONE departedScapa Flow on 3 March escorted by DDs BOREAS and MENDIP for Greenock. The ships arrived at Greenockat 0830 on 5 March. DD MENDIP departedGreenockand arrived back at Scapa Flow on 6 March. MAIDSTONE was docked at the Clydefor refitting prior to departing forGibraltar on 21 March.

DDs NAPIER and ZULU departed Scapa Flow for Rosyth to escort BC REPULSE from Rosyth. REPULSE, escorted by DDs NAPIER, ZULU, BOADICEA departed Rosyth on 3 March. On 4 March, ZULU was detached with engine room defects and arrived at Scapa Flow on 4 March. REPULSE and DDs NAPIER and BOADICEA arrived at Greenock late on 4 March. DD BOADICEA then sailed again and arrived back at Scapa Flow during the morning of 5 March. DDs SOMALI, BEDOUIN, TARTAR, ESKIMO, and LEGION and landing ships QUEEN EMMA and PRINCESS BEATRIX departed Scapa Flow to participate in Operation CLAYMORE (the codename for a British Commando raid on the Lofoten Islands, on the 4 March, the first of 12 major incursions into Norway, and eventually tied down over 400000 German soldiers on Garrison in Norway).

Tovey departed Scapa Flow on 2 March in BB KING GEORGE V with BB NELSON, CLs EDINBURGH and NIGERIA, DDs INGLEFIELD, MAORI, PUNJABI, ECHO, and ECLIPSE. DD MAORI attacked a submarine contact on 3 March. On 4 March, the two CLs were detached to close support for the Caslon force.

CLA CURACOA arrived at Scapa Flow at 2100 from Rosyth after boiler cleaning and repairs

West Coast
OB.292 departed Liverpool

Med/Biscay
CL ORION departed Alexandria for Port Said where her catapult was removed to make way for additional close range anti-aircraft weapons.

Motor anti-submarine boat MA/SB.3 was beached after damage by a mine in the Suez Canal. There were no serious personnel casualties and she was refloated and towed to Suez on 3 March.

Nth Atlantic
Convoy SC.24 departed Halifax, escorted by armed merchant cruiser WOLFE and corvette COLLINGWOOD. The corvette was detached on 1 March and the armed merchant cruiser on 15 March. On 15 March, destroyers VANQUISHER, WHITEHALL, WINCHELSEA joined the convoy. On 16 March, corvettes CAMPANULA, FREESIA, PIMPERNEL joined the escort, and arrived at Liverpool on 19 March.

Central Atlantic
CL KENYA departedGibraltarto join convoy SL.66.

Malta
AIR RAIDS DAWN 28 FEBRUARY TO DAWN 1 MARCH 1941
Weather Fine.
No air raids.

However, from
first light enemy a/c laid mines at the entrance to the harbours and some in Grand Harbour. Both harbours were temporarily closed while the positions of mines is fixed and then cleared.

AIR HQ Maryland photoreconnaissance Reci Maddelena, Cagliari, Elmas and Alghero at the special request of SO Forces N.

KALAFRANA During the month Sunderlands of 228 Squadron carried out 12 patrols over a wide area in search of enemy shipping. Five communication flights were made by aircraft of 228 Squadron with important passengers and freight between Middle East and Gibraltar. Several Sunderlands 10 Squadron RAAF and 230 Squadron arrived and departed conveying passengers between Middle East and UK.

LUQA 69 SquadronOne Maryland photoreconnaissance Maddelena, Cagliari, Elmas and Alghero.

 
Last edited:

parsifal

Colonel
13,354
2,111
Apr 6, 2008
Orange NSW
Summary Of Losses February 1941
Allied
Allied Warships
Naval trawler ALMOND (RN 505 grt), MSW trawler ARCTIC TRAPPER (RN 352 grt), Motor anti-submarine boat MA/SB.12 (RN 39 grt), Ocean Boarding Vessel CRISPIN (RN 5051 grt), ASW trawler TOURMALINE (RN 641 grt), Special service vessel MINNIE DE LARINAGA (RN 5046 grt), Sub SNAPPER (RN 670 grt), MTB.41 (RN 40 grt), Aux MSW SOUTHSEA (RN 825 grt), MSW trawler ORMONDE (RN 250 grt), ASW trawler OUSE (RN 462 grt), ASW trawler LINCOLN CITY (RN 398 grt), Monitor TERROR (RN 8000 grt), ocean boarding vessel MANISTEE (RN 5360 grt), DD DAINTY (RN 1375 grt), Hunt Class DD HMS EXMOOR (i) (RN 1000 grt), MSW trawler REMILLO (RN 266 grt)


South African manned Naval whaler SOUTHERN FLOE (RN 344 grt)

30280(RN)), 344(SA) (Total 30624 grt Naval Tonnage)
Allied Shipping
Steamer THE SULTAN (UK 824 grt), Drifter MIDAS (UK (89 grt), steamer EMPIRE CITIZEN (UK 4683 grt), Steamer DIONE II (UK 2660 grt), Drifter IMBAT (UK 92 grt), Steamer GWYNWOOD (UK 1177 grt), steamer EMPIRE ENGINEER (UK 5358 grt), An unknown motor schooner (RN 250 grt (est), Steamer RANEE (UK 5060 grt), MV MAPLECOURT (UK 3388 grt), Steamer ANGULARITY (UK 501 grt), Hopper barges No.34 (UK 1500 grt) and No.39 (UK 1500 grt), Steamer BAY FISHER (UK 575 grt), MV COURLAND (UK 1325 grt), MV ESTRELLANO (UK 1953 grt), Steamer JURA (UK 1759grt), Steamer DAGMAR I (UK(2471grt); Steamer VARNA (UK 1514 grt), Steamer BRITTANIC (UK 2490 grt), Drifter BOY ALAN (UK 109 grt) MV BRANDENBURG (UK 1473 grt), MV CANFORD CHINE (UK 3364 grt), Steamer ICELAND (UK 1236 grt), Trawler JOHN DUNKIN (UK 202 grt), Trawler EAMONT (UK 227 grt), FV CALEDONIAN (UK 8 grt), Steamer WARLABY (UK 4876 grt), Steamer WESTBURY (UK 4712 grt), Steamer OSWESTRY GRANGE (UK 4684 grt), Steamer SHREWSBURY (UK 4542 grt), Steamer DERRYNANE (UK 4896 grt), Motor tanker CLEA (UK 8074 grt), Motor tanker ARTHUR F CORWIN (UK 10516 grt), steamer BELCREST (UK 4517 grt), Steamer ELISABETH MARIE (UK 616 grt), Steamer ALNMOOR ( UK 6573 grt), steamer HOLYSTONE (UK 5462 grt), Tkr EMPIRE OTTER (UK 4670 grt), Trawler THOMAS DEAS (UK 276 grt), Trawler NANIWA (UK 340 grt), MV GAISOPPA (UK 5237 grt), Tkr EDWY R. BROWN (UK 10,455 grt), MV SIAMESE PRINCE (UK 8456 grt), Steamer KYLE RONA (UK 307 grt), Steamer REN REIN (UK 156 grt), MV SEAFORTH (UK 5459 grt), MV BLACK OSPREY (UK 5589 grt), MV EMPIRE BLANDA (UK 5693 grt), Steamer GRACIA (UK 5642 grt), tanker HOUSANTONIC (UK 5559, Steamer RIGMOR (UK 1278 grt) grt), tanker BRITISH ADVOCATE (UK 6994 grt), Steamer FORT MEDINE (UK 5261 grt), steamer CANADIAN CRUISER (UK 7148 grt), tanker SCOTTISH STANDARD (UK 6999 grt, Tanker HARLESDEN (UK 5483grt), Steamer TRELAWNEY (UK 4689grt),British steamer KANTARA (3237grt), Steamer A. D. HUFF (UK 6219 grt), tanker LUSTROUS (UK 6156 grt), MV MARSLEW (UK 4542 grt)steamer TEMPLE MOAT (UK 4427 grt), steamer CAPE NELSON (UK 3807 grt) MV ANGLO PERUVIAN (UK 5457 grt), Steamer LINARIA (UK 3385 grt), MV SIRIKISHINA (UK 5458 grt); Steamer WAYNEGATE (UK 4260 grt), Steamer SHOAL FISHER (UK 698 grt), steamer NAILSEA LASS (UK 4289 grt), tanker BRITISH GUNNER (UK 6894 grt), steamer MANSEPOOL (UK 4894grt), steamer JONATHAN HOLT (UK 4973 grt), Sailing barge GLOBE (UK 54 grt), Steamer MINORCA (UK 1123 grt), Power barge BRACKELIER (UK 230 grt), Barge MONARCH (UK 230 grt)steamer MAHANADA (UK 7181 grt), Steamer SWINBURNE (UK 4659 grt), Steamer LLANWERN (UK 4966 grt), Trawler CHRISTABELLE (UK 203 grt), Steamer NOSS HEAD (UK 438 grt), steamer ANCHISES (UK 10,000 grt), Steamer STANWOLD (UK 1020 grt), steamer OLD CHARLTON (UK 1562 grt), steamer BALTISTAN (UK 6803 grt), steamer HOLMELEA (UK 4223 grt), steamer EFFNA (UK 6461 grt), Steamer CABENDA (UK 534 grt),

MV NICOLAS ANGELOS (Gk 4351 grt), Steamer CALATATIS (Gk 4443 grt) Steamer AGHIOS GEORGIOS (Gk 3283 grt), Steamer IOANNIS M. EMBIRICOS (Gk 3734 grt), Steamer PERSEUS (Gk 5172 grt), steamer GRIGORIOS C II (Gk 2546 grt), Steamer KYRIAKOULA (Gk 4340 grt)

Steamer KASONGO (Be 5254 grt),

MV BENJAMIN FRANKLIN (Nor 7034 grt), tanker KETTY BROVIG (Nor 7031 grt), steamer RINGHORN (Nor 1298 grt), Steamer TEJO (Nor 1409 grt), Steamer BORGESTAD (Nor 3924 grt), MV SVEIN JARL (Nor 1902 grt), Steamer TENERIFFA (Nor 5655 grt) , Steamer SOLFERINO (Nor 2580 grt), steamer BORGLAND (Nor 3636 grt)

steamer TEXELSTROOM (NL 1617 grt), ),steamer RANTAU PANDJANG (NL 2542 grt), steamer GROOTEKERK (NL 8685 grt), Steamer BEURSPLEIN (NL 4368 grt)

Steamer HUNTINGDON (NZ 10,946 grt)

314205 (UK), 27869 (Gk), 5254 (Be), 34469 (Nor), 17213 (NL), 10946 (NZ)
409955 grt (Mercantile)
Total Mercantile and Military losses: 440219 grt
Prizes captured
steamer PLM 13 (Vichy 4500 grt (est)), Steamer LORIENT (Vichy 5000 grt (est))

Neutral shipping
steamer GOTEBORG (Sd 820 grt), steamer RYDBOHOLM (Sd 3197 grt)

(4017 grt Mercantile)

Neutral warships
None
Total Neutral Mercantile + Military:4017 grt
Total Allied + Neutral: 444236 grt

Prizes taken
None

Cumulative Losses since 9/39
6,622,262 grt Allied and Neutral Mercantile and Naval tonnage losses

Axis Warships
DKM
None
RM
Sub MARCELLO (RM 1043 grt), CL ARMANDO DIAZ (RM 5321 grt), AMC RAMB I (RM 3667 grt)

10031 (RM grt),

Axis Shipping
GER
steamer RYFYLKE (Ex-Nor 1151 grt), Steamer UCKERMARK (Ger 7021 grt), Steamer ADELE OHLROGGE (Ger 1371 grt), Steamer ASKARI (Ger 590 grt), Lugger SCHAUMBURG-LIPPE (Ger 200 grt)

(10333 grt)
FI
steamer MULTEDO (FI 1130 grt), Steamer SNIA AMBA (FI 2532 grt), Coastal steamers IV NOVEMBRE (FI 61 grt), TENAX (FI 115 grt), and ROSANNA (FI 205 grt), Steamer ADRIA (FI 3809 grt); MV SAVOIA (FI 5490 grt); MV ERMINIA MAZZELLA (FI 5644 grt); Steamer MANON (FI 5594 grt); MV LEONARDO DA VINCI (FI 7515 grt);Steamer PENSILVANIA (FI 6861 grt), Steamers INTEGRITAS (FI 5952 grt), Steamer MARGHERA (FI 4531 grt), Steamer CARSO (FI 6275 grt), Steamer MONCALIERI (FI 5723 grt), Steamer JUVENTUS (FI 4957 grt), steamer SILVIA TRIPCOVICH (FI 2365 grt),


(68759 grt)

Vichy
FV RENE CAMALEYRE (Vichy 243 grt), steamer PLM 13 (Vichy 4500 grt (est)), Steamer LORIENT (Vichy 5000 grt (est))

(9743 grt)
Total Axis Mercantile (88835 grt)
Total Axis Mercantile and Naval Tonnage losses: ( 98866 grt)

Captured ships
tanker BRITISH ADVOCATE (UK 6994 grt),
steamer GRIGORIOS C II (Gk 2546 grt)

XXX (UK 6994 grt), (Gk 2546 grt)
(+) (9540 grt)



 
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Njaco

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Staff
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February 27 Thursday
GERMANY: During the night, 30 British Wellington bombers from RAF Nos. 40, 115, 214 and 218 Squadrons based at Wyton in Cambridgeshire, Marham in Norfolk, and Stradishall in Suffolk attacked battleship “Tirpitz”. The 26 aircraft that arrived attacked and reported success, though the actual results were questionable. It was reported that "weather interfered greatly with the success of the operation" with no reliable observation of results.


ATLANTIC OCEAN: German battlecruisers “Scharnhorst” and “Gneisenau” refueled from tankers “Ermland” and “Friedrich Breme” 1,000 miles west of the Azores. They also transferred 180 prisoners taken from Allied ships sunk on 22 Feb.


German submarine U-47 sank British ship “Holmelea” west of Ireland overnight; 27 were killed, 11 survived.


Norwegian tanker “Sandefjord”, captured by German cruiser “Admiral Scheer” in the Atlantic Ocean on 18 Jan 1941, arrived in France with the cargo of 11,000 tons of crude oil. She was to be renamed “Monsun” and pressed into German service.


Italian submarine “Bianchi” sank British ship “Baltistan” west of Ireland; 51 were killed, 18 survived.


MEDITERRANEAN: Operation Abstention: Before dawn, Italian torpedo boats “Lupo” and “Lince” landed a small ‘raider/recon’ party on Castellorizo. The force was made up of soldiers from the 50th Infantry Division Regina. Approximately 65 men of the 201st CN and the 13th/ IV / 9th spent several hours running reconnaissance to gauge the composition and deployment of British strength while also conducting several hit and run attacks. After approximately 5 hours the force re-embarked on to their waiting vessels, and safely departed after the successful endeavor. After moving into range, the Italian torpedo boats “Lupo” and “Lince” bombarded British positions, killing 3 and wounding 7. The second wave of the British invasion force, anchored by the Sherwood Foresters sailing aboard the boarding vessel HMS “Rosaura”, was scheduled to arrive on Castellorizo during the early morning hours of the 26th. This scheduled landing would not occur however, and the British commandos were denied the reinforcements they desperately required to help hold the island. The advancing British convoy had received reports from Castellorizo of Italian naval activity north of the harbor. The reports were about the Italian torpedo boats. Admiral Renouf feared for the vulnerability of the ‘smallish’ “Rosaura” and the troops she carried and ordered the convoy to turn around and head to Alexandria in order to transfer the troops onto larger and more heavily armed destroyers for a second attempt the next day. Renouf simultaneously ordered the destroyer “Hereward”, to engage the reported Italian maritime activity. The “Hereward” was unable to locate her adversaries, and circled back around out to sea empty handed. The British had lost the initiative. The Italians, on the other hand, were racing forward to begin the land based portion of their counter-attack. A naval flotilla, led personally by Admiral Biancheri, was sailing to deliver to Castellorizo nearly 340 soldiers and sailors, most of them hailing from the IV Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment of the 50th Infantry Division Regina. The force included about two dozen men from an anti-tank platoon with two 47-mm guns, and a mortar platoon equipped with a pair of 81-mm mortars. The Italians moved inland quickly, gaining ground as they advanced, and pushed the British back, eventually forcing most of the defenders to dig into a small area of the island known as Nifti Point. Later that night at 2300 hours, the British once again approached Castellorizo, the Sherwood Foresters having been transferred to the destroyers HMS “Decoy” and HMS “Hero”. Joining the troop carrying destroyers were two further destroyers, the “Jaguar” and “Hasty”, and the light cruisers “Bonaventure” and “Perth”. The Foresters were disembarked back onto Castellorizo after midnight from their destroyers while the reaming British vessels took up patrols off of Nifti Point. Their stay on the island was not to be long.


Italy sends Spain bill for 7,500 Million lire for military aid during Spanish Civil War.


INDIAN OCEAN: New Zealand cruiser HMNZS “Leander” sank Italian armed merchant cruiser “Ramb I” 200 miles west of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean. “Leander” intercepted “Ramb I” off the Maldive Islands and challenged her. “Ramb I” attempted to bluff “Leander” with misleading signals but, although “Ramb I” was not flying Italian colours, “Leander” ordered her to stop. The Italian flag was raised and “Ramb I” simultaneously opened fire from 3,000 yd (2,700 m), splinters from her first salvo hitting “Leander”. “Leander” replied with five salvoes within the next minute, leaving “Ramb I” seriously damaged and on fire. She struck her colours and “Leander” ceased firing. 113 survivors were picked up by HMNZS “Leander” and taken to Addu Atoll, Maldives.


NORTH AMERICA: The former US Ambassador to France made a public announcement in which he accused the United States of not doing nearly enough or working fast enough in the present international crisis.


ASIA: Vice Admiral Koki Yamamoto was named the commanding officer of the Mako naval port at Pescadores islands, Taiwan.


NORTH AFRICA: Free French Foreign Legion 14th Battalion arrived Mersa Taklai by small boats to reinforce Indian 7th Infantry Brigade.


It had been decided early in February to disband Gazelle Force. Created originally for the task of harassing the Italians north of Kassala and at the same time acting as a flank guard to the east of river Atbara, it had changed its role and acted as an advanced guard mobile troops to the 4th Indian Division in its rapid advance from Kassala to Agordat, and then further up to the gates of Keren. It was decided to form a new force by name of Kestrel in place of Gazelle Force with effect from 27 February. This was to be commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel P. S. Myburgh DSO, MC, 25 Field Regiment.


UNITED KINGDOM: SS ‘Old Charlton' (1,562t) cargo ship, Hartlepool to London with a cargo of coal was sunk by German aircraft off Felixstowe.

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February2741b.jpg
 

Njaco

The Pop-Tart Whisperer
Staff
Mod
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Feb 19, 2007
Southern New Jersey
February 28 Friday
MEDITERRANEAN: A raid on the RAF Hal Far airfield on Malta destroys almost all the aircraft on the ground leaving the Bri tish with no serviceable aircraft for operations or defense.

Greek Epirus Army attacks Italian 11th Army west of Klisura.

This day was recorded as RAF’s most successful during the Greek campaign. One squadron of RAF Hurricane fighters and one squadron of RAF Gladiator biplane fighters shot down 27 Italian aircraft over the Albanian mountains in support of Greek troops on the ground. At about 1500 hours in the air over the Kelcyre-Tepelene area, Squadron Leader H. L. I. Brown and Squadron Leader Edward 'Tap' Jones led eleven Gladiators of RAF No.112 Squadron and seven of RAF No.80 Squadron to patrol between Tepelene and the coast. They were accompanied by the 'W' Wing leader, Wing Commander ’Paddy’ Coote, flying an RAF No.80 Squadron Gladiator. Fifteen minutes later F/L 'Pat' Pattle in Hurricane V7589 led F/O Nigel Cullen (V7138), F/O Wanklyn Flower (V6749) and F/O Richard Acworth (V7288) to the same area, while F/L Young led four RAF No.33 Squadron Hurricanes to patrol near the coast. Here some S.79s were seen and chased over Corfu, two being claimed damaged, one of them by Pilot Officer D. S. F. Winsland (Winsland was later during the war shot down by Bernardino Serafini). These were probably 105o Gruppo B.T. aircraft, which reported being attacked by Spitfires, one Savoia landing at Tirana with one member of the crew dead. Meanwhile Pattle’s section spotted BR.20s of 37o Stormo B.T. flying south from Valona. Pattle selected one on the starboard flank of the formation, and after three short bursts it broke into flames and went down; a second bomber likewise burst into flames following a further attack by Pattle, and his windscreen was covered in oil from this doomed aircraft. Reducing speed, Pattle attempted to clean the screen with his scarf, but he was then attacked by five G.50bis which dived on him. After a brief skirmish he managed to get away and returned to Paramythia. Both Flower and Acworth also claimed BR.20s. although the latter thought his victim may have been a Z.1007bis. Three BR.20s were in fact shot down during this combat and a fourth force-landed near Otranto. By now the Gladiators had joined the fighting, as had CR.42s of 160o Gruppo and G.50bis of 24o Gruppo. A single Hurricane of 33 Squadron arrived late on the scene. F/O Newton scrambled from Paramythia when news of the heavy fighting was reported. On arrival over the battle area he promptly attacked a CR.42, only to find that it was an RAF No.80 Squadron Gladiator! A RAF No.112 Squadron Gladiator then got on his tail, obviously taking the Hurricane for a G.50bis, and inflicted damage on his aircraft, chasing him back towards Paramythia. A few of the Gladiators made contact with the bombers, P/O William Vale claiming an S.79 shot down, whilst F/O Edwin Banks and P/O R. H. McDonald of RAF No.112 Squadron each claimed damage to a BR.20. The Gladiators’ main claims were for nine CR.42s and two probables, plus six G.50bis and three probables after that the rest of the Gladiators made contract with the Italian fighters. The RAF made claims for 5 and 2 damaged BR.20s, 3 and 2 damaged S.79s, 13 destroyed, 3 probable and 1 damaged CR.42s and 6 and 3 probable G.50bis. In fact 4 BR.20s of 37o Stormo B.T. were lost with several damaged, 1 S.79 of 104o Gruppo was damaged, 1 CR.42 of 160o Gruppo and 2 G.50bis of 24o Gruppo were lost. Regia Aeronautica claimed 6 and 2 probable Gladiators and 1 ‘Spitfire’ while in fact only 1 Gladiator of RAF No.112 Squadron was lost. F/L Abrahams, after his victory, was attacked by another G.50bis - believed to have been flown by Tenente Mario Bellagambi - and was shot down near Sarande. He recalled:
“The old Glad suddenly went all soft. Nothing would work. I sat there and then decided I had better get out. I couldn't, so I sat there with my hands on my lap, the aircraft spinning like mad. Then, eventually, I did manage to get out. It was so pleasant sitting there in the air than I damn nearly forgot to pull the ripcord. I reckon I did the record delayed drop for all Albania and Greece. I landed, and no sooner had I fallen sprawling on the ground than I was picked up by Greek soldiers who cheered and patted me on the back. I thought I was a hell of a hero until one soldier asked me. "Milano, Roma?" and I realized that they thought I was an Iti. They didn't realize it was possible for an Englishman to be shot down. So I said "Inglese", and then the party began. I was hoisted on their shoulders, and the "here the conquering hero comes" procession started. We wined and had fun. Jolly good chaps.”

Alfonso XIII, dethroned king of Spain aged 54, dies in exile in Rome.

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Njaco

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February 28 Friday continued
MEDITERRANEAN:
Operation Abstention: Operation Abstention ended in Italian victory when the last remaining British commandos surrendered. Shortly after midnight, the commanders for both the commandos and the Foresters appreciated the extreme precariousness of their situation, and the realization of the high probability that without sufficient air support they would not be able to hold their tenuous position on Nifti Point. It was therefore decided a withdrawal from the island was necessary, and within three hours of landing, the troops were evacuated under the cover of darkness back to their waiting vessels. British soldiers would not again set foot on the island for over two more years. 40 British commandos were left behind and captured in the hastened retreat. Additionally, over two dozen men of the local population were arrested and later convicted of ‘aiding the enemy’, and eventually sent to Brindisi, Italy to serve their sentence. The failure of Operation Abstention came as a complete surprise to the British. The shocked Prime Minister stated in disbelief;
“I am thoroughly mystified at this operation.”
The disastrous operation is described by Admiral Cunningham as; "
…a rotten business and reflected little credit to everyone".

GERMANY:
During the night 23 British Hampden from aircraft from Waddington, Lincolnshire, England, (12 from RAF No.49 Sqn and 11 from RAF No. 44 Sqn) attacked battleship “Tirpitz” at Wilhelmshaven, Germany. Low clouds resulted in only 4 aircraft locating the battleship, and they failed to hit their target. This is the 16th raid in 7 months but “Tirpitz” has suffered no serious damage.

Japanese ambassador Oshima, returning to Berlin for second tour of duty, meets with Hitler.

RAF Bomber Command sends 116 aircraft to attack Wilhelmshaven overnight.

General von Manstein takes command of German LVI Korps.


WESTERN FRONT: Bread ration was reduced from 350g to 280g in Vichy France.

NORTH AFRICA: Italian forces at Kufra, Libya began surrender negotiations with Free French and British forces.

4/16 Punjab less two companies, with two companies 1st Royal Sussex under command and A Troop 12/25th Field Battery in support, was detailed to carry out an operation against Mescelit Pass. On the evening of 28 February one company made a frontal demonstration while the other moved off round the left flank, spent the night of 28 February/1 March in a deep nullah.


RAF Blenheims and single-engined Wellesleys bomb Asmara (Eritrea).

ATLANTIC OCEAN: British liner “Anchises”, damaged by a German Fw 200 aircraft of I./KG 40 on the previous day, began sinking slowly at 1130 hours. The remaining 33 crew members took to a lifeboat; 12 of them would be killed when the lifeboat was accidentally sucked under corvette HMS “Kingcup's” bow, which had arrived to rescue them. In the afternoon, German aircraft returned and completed “Anchises'” sinking with bombs.

German submarine U-108 sank British ship “Effna” 200 miles south of Iceland at 2332 hours, killing the entire crew of 33.


UNITED KINGDOM: British monthly civilian casualty figures tally at 789 killed and 1068 injured.

General Sir Henry Maitland Wilson named to command Allied ground forces earmarked for Greece.


MIDDLE EAST: Rashid Ali, the Golden Square of four colonels, and the Grand Mufti meet in secret to plan overthrow of the Iraqi government.

NORTH AMERICA: US Treasury completes secret shipment of gold reserves from New York City to Fort Knox (Kentucky).

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parsifal

Colonel
13,354
2,111
Apr 6, 2008
Orange NSW
01 March 1941
Known Reinforcements

Axis
S Boat S-41
S38 class 1941 dazzle scheme.jpg

Heavily damaged and abandoned 20-11 1941


Neutral
Gar Class USS GRAYLING (SS-209)
Gar Class USS GRAYLING (SS-209).jpg

Rammed and sunk 9 September 1943 in the Pacific


Benson Class DD USS MEREDITH (DD 434)
Benson Class DD USS MEREDITH (DD 434).jpg

Sunk by Japanese Carrier a/c from the SHOKAKU 15 October 1942 in the Solomons


Higgins Type USS PT-5
Higgins Type USS PT-5.jpg


Allied
Flower Class Corvette HMS ANCHUSA (K 186)
Flower Class Corvette HMS ANCHUSA (K 186).jpg


Fairmile B ML 146
[NO IMAGE FOUND]

Losses
MSW trawler ST DONATS(RN 349 grt) was lost in a collision off the Humberwith DD COTSWOLD, which had departed Rosyth on 28 February.The DD was repaired at Chatham from 4 to 31 March.
[NO IMAGE FOUND]

U.552 sank tkr CADILLAC(UK 12,062 grt). The ship had a crew of 42 aboard. Just 4 survived. She was fully laden with Aviation spirit enroute from Aruba to Avonmouth at the time of her loss. She formed part of Convoy HX.109 , and was lost the NW Approaches. At 2356 hrs 1941 the CADILLAC was struck on the port side amidships and further aft in the cross bunker by two G7e torpedoes from U-552 (Karl Topp) while steaming at 9 knots in fine weather about 150 miles NNE of Rockall. The tanker vibrated violently, took a list to starboard of 10-15° and the highly flammable cargo immediately caught fire, causing a massive explosion and illuminating all ships in the vicinity. With the ship settling by the bow and blazing furiously on the port side, the survivors tried to abandon ship on the starboard side. However, the small emergency lifeboat swamped during the launch as the forward fall was let go too quickly and its three occupants were thrown into the sea. The large rafts stored on the after deck proved to be far too cumbersome and heavy to launch them. 26 survivors managed to abandon ship in the starboard aft lifeboat, but it was surrounded by burning fuel and most men panicked as they could hardly breathe and see nothing except a wall of flame all around them. Some began calling for help, others were praying and then most jumped over the side and perished. Only five men stayed and took cover in about one feet of water at the bottom of the boat, which slowly drifted clear of the flames in the slight swell and the men frantically began to row away for about a mile with the only four oars left until they were completely exhausted. They then attracted the attention of DD MALCOLM by firing a rocket and were picked up at about 0130 hrs. The crew of the DD had seen a number of men swimming close to the flames but were unable to help them as they had lost their boats in the gale and stopping was too dangerous because the DD would have been an easy target being illuminated by the burning tanker. Unseen by the escorts, U-552 had remained on the surface nearby and Topp allowed his crew to come up to the bridge one at a time to have a look at the sea of flames before the U-boat subsequently left the area.

The CADILLAC was last seen still blazing with a list to starboard and down by the head at 0530 hrs on 2 March and apparently foundered later that day. The master, 31 crew members, two gunners (the ship was armed with one 4.7in, one 3in and two machine guns) and three passengers were lost. Five crew members survived, but four of them were badly burned and were landed at Stornoway in the morning of 3 March to be taken to a hospital as quickly as possible. However, the condition of one man was worse as he had no clothes on that could protect his skin and he died of his wounds the following night. The boatswain was brought to Londonderry to make a report and was then also taken to a hospital for treatment of his burns.
tkr CADILLAC (UK 12,062 grt).jpg


CA CORNWALL intercepted Vichy French steamer VILLE DE MAJUNGA (4972grt) in 34-08S, 10-18E. The steamer was taken to Capetown
[IMAGE FOUND]


UBOATS
Arrivals
Lorient: U-69, U-107


At Sea 01 March 1941
U-37, U-46, U-47, U-69, U-70, U-73, U-95, U-97, U-99, U-105, U-106 , U-107, U-108, U-123, U-124, U-147, U-552, UA.


15 boats at sea

OPERATIONS
Northern Waters
CLA CURACOA departed Scapa Flow to cover convoy WN.91 from Pentland Firth. The convoy was attacked by the LW from 1935 and 2014. Steamer FORTHBANK was damaged in 57-53N, 1-57W. Four crew were lost. She arrived at Invergordon on the 3rd, and on 13th, left under tow forLeith. The steamer went ashore on the 15th, but was refloated and arrived at Leith on the 17th. Steamer PENNINGTON COURT was also damaged by the German bombing, but was able to continue.

Tanker ATHELTEMPLAR was damaged by the LW in convoy EN.79 in 57-04N, 1-50W. DD ERIDGE departed Rosyth at 1800 for Scapa Flow and en route, was diverted to assist the damaged tanker. Burnt out, she arrived in tow of ERIDGE and minesweeper SPEEDWELL at Methil Roads on the 3rd. She was eventually repaired. ERIDGE arrived at Scapa Flow for work up exercises on the 3rd. CURACOA transferred to convoy EN.79 off Buchan Ness at 2300 on the 1st to cover this convoy to Pentland Firth.

DD QUANTOCK cleared Scapa to meet steamer BEN MY CHREE and escort her to Kirkwall

West Coast
Dutch tanker ROTULA was badly damaged by the LW ion the west coast. Sixteen crew were killed and the wreck was sunk by a British trawler.

Steamer EMPIRE SIMBA was damaged by the LW on the UK West Coast and abandoned with engine room and stokehold flooded. She was towed to Liverpool on the 4th.

Med/Biscay
CL cruiser ARETHUSA arrived at Gibraltar.

DD FIREDRAKE ran aground on the Spanish coast in the Mediterranean east ofGibraltar, , and was under repair at Gibraltar from 1 March to 24 April. She was sent to Portsmouth for further repairs, departed on 24 April and arrived at Portsmouth on 1 May. FIREDRAKE departed immediately for Chatham arriving on 2 May. Repairs were finally completed on 27 June.

Ocean boarding vessel REGISTAN departed Gibraltar for Western Patrol.

A supply convoy for the Afrika Korps departed Naples with steamers AMSTERDAM, CASTELLON, RUHR, and MARITZA, escorted by RM TBs CLIO, PEGASO, and ORIONE. The convoy arrived without event at Tripoli on the 3rd. The return convoy was steamers ALICANTE, ARCTURUS , WACHTFELS , and LEVERKUSEN escorted by RM DD VIVALDI and TBs PROCIONE, ORSA, and CALLIOPE which also passed uneventfully, arriving at Naples on the 3rd.

Minesweeping drifter PLOUGHBOY was severely damaged by the explosion of three mines close aboard at Malta. One rating was missing and nine were wounded. The drifter was beached but she was repaired.

Greek submarine PAPANICOLIS made an unsuccessful torpedo attack off Saseno.


Nth Atlantic
HX.112 departed Halifax, escorted by AMC RANPURA and corvettes BITTERSWEET and FENNEL. The corvettes were detached later that day.

BHX.112 departed Bermudaon 27 February escorted by ocean escort AMC CALIFORNIA. The convoy rendezvoused with convoy HX.112 on the 4th and the AMCs were detached at that time. On 5 March, CA NORFOLK joined the escort. The heavy cruiser were detached on the 14th. DDs SARDONYX, SCMITAR, VANOC, VICEROY, and WALKER, corvette BLUEBELL, and ASW trawler SYRINGA joined on the 15th. DD VICEROY was detached later that day. On 16 March, DD VOLUNTEER joined the escort. Corvette BLUEBELL and trawler SYRINGA were detached on the 18th and SARDONYX, SCIMITAR, and WALKER on the 19th. VANOC and VOLUNTEER were detached when the convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 20th

The USN formed Support Force, Atlantic Fleet with the following initial attachments:
Destroyer Tender PRAIRE
DesSqn 7 - PLUNKETT with the following divisions under command:

DesDiv 13 - NIBLACK (DD.13), BENSON, GLEAVES, MAYO
DesDiv 14 - MADISON (DD.14),LANSDALE, HILARY P JONES, CHARLES F HUGHES

DesSqn 30 (- DALLAS, with the following divisions under command:

DesDiv - ELLIS (DD60), BERNADOU, COLE, DUPONT
Desdiv 61 - GREER (DD.61), TARBELL, UPSHUR, LEA


DesSqn 31 - MACLEISH with the following divisions under command

DeDiv 62 - BAINBRIDGE (DD62) OVERTON, STURTIVANT, REUBEN JAMES
DesDiv 63 - MCCORMICK (DD.63), BROOME, SIMPSON, TRUXTON


Central Atlantic
SL.67 departed Freetown escort AMC CILICIA to 19 March, corvette ASPHODEL to 11 March, and ASW trawlers KELT, SPANIARD, and TURCOMAN providing local cover.

Due to DKM raider activity in the area, from 3 March BB MALAYA to 10 March and DDs FAULKNOR and FORESTER to 11 March escorted the convoy. CV ARK ROYAL with BC RENOWN joined the convoy on the 10th and continued to 19 March. CL KENYA escorted the convoy from 19 to 21 March. DDs HAVELOCK to 24 March, HESPERUS, HURRICANE, MANSFIELD, and SALISBURY to 26 March, VERITY to 24 March, VETERAN to 25 March, and WOLSEY to 26 March, corvettes ARBUTUS and CAMELLIA to 26 March, and CAM ship PEGASUS to 26 March joined the convoy on the 21st. On the 22nd, DDs CHELSEA and DOUGLAS joined to 24 March. Corvette BEGONIA joined on the 23rd to 26 March. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 26th.


Red Sea/Indian Ocean
CV FORMIDABLE, escorted by DDs JUNO and GRIFFIN, had arrived at Suez on 23 February, but was unable to enter the Suez Canal due to the minelaying activities of the RA and LW. They were sent to Port Sudan to await reopening of the Canal. On 1 March, her aircraft, based ashore, attacked Massawa.

RM submarine GUGLIEMOTTI departed Massawa on the 3rd, and with submarines ARCHIMEDE and GALILEO FERRARIS, which departed Massawa about the same time, refuelled from German tanker NORDMARK on 16 and 17 April. GUGLIEMOTTI was the first Italian submarine from Massawa to arrive at Bordeaux on 6 May after 64 days at sea. It was a remarkable feat of seamanship and endurance at the time and opened up possibilities for limited communications to and from the far east

RM submarine PERLA departed Massawa during the night of 1/2 March, and refuelled from German raider ATLANTIS on the 29th. She was the last Italian submarine from Massawa to arrive, after 80 days at sea, on 20 May 1941


Malta
AIR RAIDS DAWN 1 MARCH TO DAWN 2 MARCH 1941

Weather Fine and warm.
0823-0935 hrs Air raid alert for several enemy formations totaling 20 aircraft, including JU 88 bombers and ME 109 fighters, which circle round the Island crossing the coast at intervals. Malta fighters are scrambled and anti-aircraft guns engage; no confirmed results.

1230-1310 hrs Air raid alert for approaching enemy aircraft. Six JU 88 bombers escorted by fighters drop bombs in the sea, on Tigne, and on a line from Rocco to Tarxien. Eight Hurricanes are scrambled; no engagement. Anti-aircraft guns engage with heavy fire; no confirmed results.

OPERATIONS REPORTS 1 MARCH 1941
MSW PLOUGHBOY exploded mines at the entrance to Grand Harbour and had to be beached to prevent her from sinking. One Maltese rating was killed, nine others are wounded. Regent arrived from patrol off Tripoli with some damage from a depth charge attack, having sunk a merchant vessel.

AIR HQ 69 Sqn Maryland photorecon Taormina nth of Catania as requested by Vice Admiral Malta; enemy fighters attempted interception but failed.
 
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Njaco

The Pop-Tart Whisperer
Staff
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Feb 19, 2007
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March 1 Saturday

ATLANTIC OCEAN: German cruiser “Admiral Scheer” entered the South Atlantic from the Indian Ocean.

British minesweeping trawler HMT “St. Donats” collided with destroyer HMS “Cotswold” and sank 45 miles east of Grimsby, England.

EASTERN EUROPE: Bulgarian Prime Minister Bogdan Filov signed the Tripartite Pact, which gave Germany the option of invading Greece through Bulgaria. Bulgaria was promised territories lost to Yugoslavia and Greece after WW1. King Borris III (who married the daughter of the king of Italy) could not withstand the internal and external pressures. German troops entered Romania.

Nazi extermination camps begin full operation. These include Auschwitz, Bamberg, Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald, Chelmno, Jena, Sobibor and Treblinka. Over 2.600.000 Polish Jews are among those killed during the course of the war. Over 12.000 people would be killed daily at Auschwitz alone. By 1945 nearly 6 million Jews and more than 3 million Communists, gypsies, socialists and other dissidents will be exterminated. Concentration camps fell into varous categories. There were death or extermination camps, where the inmates were slaughtered on arrival or soon afterwards. There were labour camps, where they were fed the minimum and worked to death; and experimental camps where 'scientific' and 'medical' experiments were carried out on the hapless prisoners. There were sick camps for those who were to die when the guards decided and not before, and training camps where the SS passed on the techniques of brutality and mass murder. There were even recuperation camps, where Jews were kept in case they were needed as hostages or for exchange or sale.

Heinrich Himmler paid his first visit to Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland. During the visit, he ordered Commandant Rudolf Höss to expand the current camp to hold a total of 30,000 prisoners, expand the camp to Birkenau with capacity for 100,000 prisoners, supply 10,000 prisoners to work for the nearby I.G. Farben factory, and to expand the camp's agricultural and industrial output. Rudolf Höss and his family hosted Heinrich Himmler for dinner during Himmler's inspection.

Zhukov, having been replaced in Kiev Special Military District by Kirponos, assumes duties in Moscow as Chief of the General Staff of the Red Army, replacing Meretskov.

NORTH AMERICA: US Under-Secretary of State Sumner Welles gives full details of a likely attack of Germany on the Soviet Union to the Soviet Ambassador. The information had been first learned in August 1940, then checked carefully. Josef Stalin ignores the report.

US Navy established the Support Force Atlantic Fleet for the purpose of providing protection for merchant shipping. It consisted of destroyers and patrol aircraft. Arthur L. Bristol becomes Rear Admiral for the United States Navy's Support Force, Atlantic Fleet.

The United States Senate voted unanimously to establish a special committee to find and correct problems in American war production. This bipartisan committee became known as the Truman Committee, named for its head Harry S. Truman.

The book Germany Must Perish! by Theodore N. Kaufman was published in the United States. Nazi propaganda would use this book to support the claim that Jews were plotting against Germany.

MEDITERRANEAN: Bread rations in Italy were halved in order to increase food export to Germany.

German supply convoy departs Naples for Tripoli with four vessels escorted by three torpedo boats.

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Njaco

The Pop-Tart Whisperer
Staff
Mod
22,139
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Feb 19, 2007
Southern New Jersey
March 1 Saturday continued

NORTH AFRICA:
Free French forces from Chad captured Kufra in southeastern Libya. The Italians suffered 3 killed (all 3 were Libyan colonial troops), 4 wounded, and 282 captured (29 Italians, 273 Libyan colonial troops); the French suffered 4 killed and 21 wounded.

In Port Sudan, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, as HMS “Formidable” waited for mine clearing operations to complete in the Suez Canal, she launched 5 Albacore aircraft to bomb Massawa, Eritrea, Italian East Africa, causing little damage. Italian submarines “Gauleo Ferraras”, “Perla”, and “Archimede” departed Massawa, Eritrea for the long journey around Africa for Europe.

The 11th African Division begins a lighting pursuit of the retreating Italian forces north from Mogadishu, towards the Ogaden Plateau.

Two battalions of Indian 4th Division and 2 Free French battalions reached Mescelit Pass 15 miles northeast of Keren, Eritrea, Italian East Africa. Lacking artillery, the force's goal was only to tie down Italian forces in the region. By 0600 hours two companies 1st Royal Sussex under command and A Troop 12/25th Field Battery in support was established on the left of the Italian positions. By 0830 hours, the pass was captured without loss, the negligible opposition having been neutralized by the guns. An outline plan for a fresh attack on Keren was formulated. Both the 4th and 5th Indian Divisions were to carry it out together. The 4th Indian Division was to operate on the north and west of the road and its objectives included Mt. Sanchil, Brig's Peak, Hog's Back, Saddle, Flat Top Hill, Mole Hill and Samanna. After the left flank had thus been secured, the 5th Indian Division was to attack east of the road. In the north, the 7th Indian Infantry Brigade was ordered to launch an attack towards Keren from near the Anseba and Mescelit Junction. It was also directed to exert pressure by operating towards Keren-Habi Mantel road. The date for the attack was fixed as 15 March.

ASIA: Hiroshi Nemoto was named the commanding officer of the 24th Division in China. Lieutenant General Hiroshi Takahashi was named the chief of staff of the Japanese Chosen Army in occupied Korea. Lieutenant General Takaji Wachi was named the chief of staff of the Taiwan Army.

Chiang Kai-shek addresses session of the Peoples Political Council. Chaing Kai-shek told the opening meeting of the peoples Political Council that China would never reach a compromise with Japan. He also said any Japanese advance into the South Seas would further menace China.

The Battle of South Henan ended in Chinese victory.

GERMANY: Hans-Joachim Marseille was promoted to the rank of Oberfähnrich.

RAF Bomber Command sends 131 aircraft to attack Cologne overnight.

UNITED KINGDOM: Mr. John Winant, the new United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom, was greeted by the Duke of Kent on his arrival by air. On his way to London by rail he was met and welcomed by His Majesty the King.

WESTERN FRONT: German authorities fine city of Amsterdam 15 Million guilders for popular anti-German demonstrations.


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March0141b.jpg
 

Njaco

The Pop-Tart Whisperer
Staff
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Feb 19, 2007
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March 2 Sunday
ATLANTIC OCEAN:
German submarines U-552, U-95, and U-147 attacked Allied convoy HX-109 170 miles northwest of Outer Hebrides, Scotland, United Kingdom. At about midnight, U-552 sank tanker “Cadillac” (37 killed, 5 survived) while U-95 sank the ship “Pacific” (34 killed, 1 survived). Near the end of the day at 2212 hours, U-147 sank Norwegian ship “Augvald” (29 killed, 1 survived).

NORTH AFRICA: British 11th African Division began marching from Mogadishu, Italian Somaliland toward Jijiga, Abyssinia in pursuit of retreating Italian forces.

At Kufra, Libya, Free French Major Philippe Leclerc pledged not to lay down his weapons until the French flag once again flew over the cathedral at Strasbourg, France.

1st Royal Sussex took over the Mescelit Pass from 4/16 Punjab. Patrols were then sent forward to discover Italian dispositions and movements. Brigade d' Orient was concentrated in Chelamet area.

EASTERN EUROPE: The German Twelfth Army crossed the Danube and marched into Bulgaria, effectively controlling the country through occupation. Remaining resistance to German domination henceforth was ruthlessly squelched. The move was explained to the Russians, with whom the Bulgarians had a close affinity, as a "precautionary” measure to prevent the British from gaining a foothold in Greece. The Russians protested anyway. With German forces in Bulgaria, Greece agrees to immediate deployment of British ground troops. Moscow condemns Bulgaria for joining the Axis.

GERMANY: The RAF conducted a heavy bombing raid on Köln (Cologne), Germany.

Hitler offers Prince Paul inducements for Yugoslavia to join the Axis and cooperate against Greece.

UNITED KINGDOM: The United Kingdom severed diplomatic relations with Bulgaria.

MEDITERRANEAN: Eden conferred with Greek officials in Athens to complete plans for the introduction of British troops in Greece. The Greek government had hesitated to permit the landing of Commonwealth forces until the Germans crossed the Danube. With German forces in Bulgaria, the British quickly issued orders for the rapid deployment of their forces.

The Turkish Government imposes strict controls on international shipping in the Dardanelles. Turkey closed the Dardanelles to all ships without Turkish permits and pilots.

On the Italo-Greek Front, Italian bombers attack Larissa. RAF Hurricanes shoot down five Italian bombers.

Mussolini travels to Albania to inspect Italian forces.

WESTERN FRONT: Airline BOAC began regular, clandestine, night flights between Northern Scotland and Stockholm, using modified Whitley bombers, carrying agents, diplomats, Swedish ball-bearings and electrical equipment, etc.

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March0241a.jpg
 

parsifal

Colonel
13,354
2,111
Apr 6, 2008
Orange NSW
02 March 1941
Losses

U.95 sank steamer PACIFIC (UK 6034 grt) from convoy HX.109 180 miles WSW of Sydero Island, Faroes. One crewman was rescued but 34 perished . She was enroute from New York to Grangemouth carrying scrap steel. At 0046 hrs on 2 March 1941 the unescorted PACIFIC was hit by one torpedo from U-95 while steaming at 8.5 knots about 105 miles north of Rockall and sank by the stern in less than 90 seconds. The ship had been in convoy HX 109 but became a straggler after the steering gear broke down in heavy weather. The U-boat had spotted the vessel about two hours earlier and missed with a first torpedo at 0044 hours. The only survivor later reported that the ship sank so rapidly that none of the lifeboats could be launched and he just found himself pulled down by the suction of the sinking ship. He managed to reach the surface, clung to a hatch cover for about an hour until swimming to a raft that had floated free. The sinking was observed by the nearby Icelandic fishing trawler DORA, which had also been spotted by U-95 shortly before PACIFIC was sighted. U-95 did not attack the trawler because of her small size. A lifeboat launched by the trawler picked up one surviving crew member, who informed them that he had seen another survivor while waiting for rescue, but nobody else was found during an extensive search of the area.
steamer PACIFIC (UK 6034 grt).jpg


Steamer SIMALOER (NL 6533 grt) was sunk by the LW in the western Approaches. Two crew were killed.
Steamer SIMALOER (NL 6533 grt).jpg


U.147 sank steamer AUGVALD (Nor 4811 grt) from HX.109, 150 miles NW of Loch Ewe. One crewman was rescued. AUGVALD was bound for Hull with 7000 tons steel and tractors. Due to the bad weather, the convoy had trouble staying together and was delayed several days (1 ship stranded in Iceland, another was lost on the open sea. AUGVALD lost her port lifeboat on Febr. 26). She lost sight of the convoy on March 1 and was torpedoed the following evening by U-147 (Hardegen) in 59 30N 07 30W.
steamer AUGVALD (Nor 4811 grt).jpg


Steamer CASTLEHILL (UK 690 grt) was sunk by the LW in the Bristol Channel. One crewman was rescued.
Steamer CASTLEHILL (UK 690 grt).jpg


UBOATS
Arrivals
Lorient: U-73


At Sea 02 March 1941
U-37, U-46, U-47, U-70, U-96, U-97, U-99, U-105, U-106, U-108, U-123, U-124, U-147, U-552, UA

15 boats at sea


OPERATIONS
North Sea
MSW KELLETT was damaged in a collision with armed boarding vessel NORTHERN REWARD off Peterhead. The MSW was repaired in the Humber from 10 March to 9 April.

Northern Waters
RAN DD NESTOR arrived at Scapa Flow for work up. DD COSSACK departed Southampton for Scapa Flow on completion of refitting. On 3 March, the DD was damaged by a mine exploding close aboard 300° SW point of the Isle of Man. The DD spent no time out of service. DD COSSACK arrived at Scapa Flow at noon on the 4th.

West Coast
OB.293 departed Liverpool, escort DDs CHELSEA, VERITY, and WOLVERINE, and corvettes ARBUTUS and CAMELLIA. DD BEVERLEY joined the escort on the 4th. The escort was detached when the convoy dispersed on the 7th.


Med/Biscay
CL ORION returned to Alexandria from Port Said following the removal of her catapult to allow fitting of additional close range AA.

Convoy ANF.16, escort CLA CALCUTTA and RAN DD VAMPIRE and RN HOTSPUR, arrived at Piraeus. VAMPIRE was taken in hand at Piraeus for docking and boiler cleaning.


Central Atlantic
Ocean boarding vessel CORINTHIAN departed Gibraltar on Western Patrol.

Red Sea/Indian Ocean
NZ manned CL LEANDER, coming from convoy US.9 escort, and RAN CA CANBERRA, which had refuelled in the Seychilles on 26 February, rendezvoused 100 miles east of Addu for joint operations in the Indian Ocean.


Malta
 
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parsifal

Colonel
13,354
2,111
Apr 6, 2008
Orange NSW
03 March 1941
Known Reinforcements

Axis
Type IXC U-125
Type IXC U-128.jpg


Image of sister Boat U-128 in colour.

U-125 undertook 7 war patrols in which she sank 17 ships, total tonnage 82,873 GRT, Sunk on 6 May 1943 in the Nth Atlantic NE of Newfoundland, , by ramming from the DD HMS ORIBI and gunfire from the Corvette HMS SNOWFLAKE with 54 dead (all hands lost).

Allied
Flower Class Corvette FNFL ALYSSE (K-100)
Flower Class Corvette FNFL ALYSSE (K-100).jpg


9 February 1942 she was torpedoed and sunk in the North Atlantic, about 420 nautical miles east of Cape Race, Canada in position 46º22'N, 43º42'W by the German submarine U-654 while escorting convoy ON -60


Isles Class ASW Trawler HMS CAVA (T-145)
Isles Class ASW Trawler HMT AILSA CRAIG (T-377) sister to CAVA (T-145).jpg


Sister ship HMS AILSA CRAIG

Isles Class ASW Trawler HMS INCHOLM (T-18)
[NO IMAGE FOUND]


Losses
MGB 12 (RN 50 grt) was mined off Milford Haven. The boat finally sank on the 6th whilst in tow
[NO IMAGE FOUND]

PV COBBERS (RN 275 grt) was sunk by the LW off Lowestoft. Four crew were rescued. The skipper and 10 ratings were killed and two ratings were missing.
[NO IMAGE FOUND]

Auxiliary yacht TINY (5grt) was sunk by the LW at Sth Dock, Sutherland.
[NO IMAGE FOUND]

Steamer PORT TOWNSVILLE (UK 8661 grt) was badly damaged by the LW in 52-05N, 5-24W. Two passengers were lost. The steamer sank on the 4th.
[NO IMAGE FOUND]

Steamer KNIGHT OF MALTA (UK 1553 grt), which had departed Alexandria on the 1st escort ASW whaler SOUTHERN MAID with troops for Tobruk, ran aground during the night of 2/3 March two miles 273° from Ras Azzaz. There were no casualties. DD WRYNECK was sent to assist to assess the possibility of salvage. The cargo was salved. Salvage of the ship was abandoned after bombing attacks on corvette PEONY and tug ST ISSEY on the 10th.
Steamer KNIGHT OF MALTA (UK 1553 grt).jpg


UBOATS

At Sea 03 March 1941
U-37, U-46, U-47, U-70, U-95, U-97, U-99, U-105, U-106, U-108, U-124, U-147, U-552, UA

14 boats at sea

U-124 refuelled from the German supply ship CHARLOTTE SCHLIEMANN at Las Palmas, Spain.

OPERATIONS

North Sea
British mine destructor ship CORFIELD was damaged in a collision with British steamer CORMEAD in the Thames Estuary. The mine destructor ship was repaired at Blackwall from 5 to 14 March.


Northern Waters
DD WHADDON arrived at Scapa Flow from the Clyde to work up

West Coast
DD BURNHAM, which departed Aultbrea on the 2nd, was damaged in a collision with DD MALCOLM, which departed Aultbrea on the 3rd, in the NW Approaches. BURNHAM was repaired at Liverpool completing on 27 April. MALCOLM was repaired at Liverpool completing on 7 April.


Channel
DD BRILLIANT arrived at Portsmouth to refit prior to transfer to the Western Approaches Cmd.

Med/Biscay
BB WARSPITE, CVL EAGLE, and five DDs departed Alexandria for gunnery and flying exercises. Following the exercises, RAN DD STUART proceeded to Port Said for escort duty in convoy AN.17.

Another supply convoy for the Afrika Korps departed Naples with steamers AEGINA, ADANA, ARTA, and SABAUDIA escorted by RM DDs TARIGO and FRECCIA and TB CASTOR. The convoy arrived without event at Tripoli on the 6th.


Central Atlantic
CV ARK ROYAL with DDs FORTUNE and DUNCAN departed Gibraltar for flying exercises and returned later that day.

Submarine PANDORA departed Gibraltar and carried out lookout exercises and ASW exercises with the convoy HG.55 before the convoy sailed. HG.55 departed Gibraltar, escort sloop SCARBOROUGH, DD WRESTLER, submarine PANDORA, and corvettes COREOPSIS, GENTIAN, and JONQUIL. DD WRESTLER was detached on the 6th. Corvettes GENTIAN and JONQUIL on the 10th and corvette COREOPSIS on the 14th.

On 14 March, submarine PANDORA joined convoy OG.55. CL ARETHUSA joined the convoy on the 15th and escorted it through the day before continuing to Scapa Flow. DDs AMBUSCADE and BULLDOG and corvette HEARTSEASE joined the convoy on the 17th. On 18 March, corvettes ARABIS, MALLOW, and VIOLET and ASW yacht PHILANTE joined. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 22nd.


Pacific/Australia
NZ manned CL ACHILLES departed Wellington with convoy AP.14. The convoy was escorted to 300 miles SE of Chatham Island. The cruiser left the convoy on the 5th and returned to New Zealand.

CL DAUNTLESS arrived at Penang.


Malta
 
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Njaco

The Pop-Tart Whisperer
Staff
Mod
22,139
1,305
Feb 19, 2007
Southern New Jersey
March 3 Monday

ATLANTIC OCEAN: German battlecruisers “Scharnhorst” and “Gneisenau” reached the Cape Verde Islands area in Central Atlantic.

NORTH AFRICA: Erwin Rommel moved German 5th Light Division to a narrow pass 17 miles west of the Allied forward positions at El Agheila, Libya to block any Allied advances toward Tripoli. He also ordered the construction of defensive positions in the desert to the south to prevent the Allies from bypassing the pass.

Italian submarines “Archimede”, “Guglielmotti”, and “Ferraris” depart Massawa and attempt to escape into the Indian Ocean.

1st Royal Sussex moved forward of the Mescelit Pass and advanced as far as the Anseba road crossing. Patrols moved beyond the cross roads and reached the northern outskirts of Mendad without opposition. 4 Motor Machine Gun Company and one platoon Brigade Anti-Tank Company, were sent to Obellet, on the coast route to Massawa to protect the left flank of the line of communication. A company of the Italians in the area was driven back by this force in the direction of Massawa.

MEDITERRANEAN: Italians bomb earthquake-stricken town of Larissa, Greece. RAF Hurricanes destroy 5 Cant bombers (probably returning from Larissa) over Corfu.

German supply convoy departs Naples for Tripoli with four vessels escorted by Italian destroyers “Tarigo” and “Freccia” and torpedo boat “Castore”. Meanwhile, Italian convoy of four vessels reaches Tripoli from Naples without loss.

Turkey canceled its non-aggression pact with Bulgaria after only two weeks.

SOUTH PACIFIC: The US Marine Corps set up 8 men (6 Marines and 2 US Navy corpsmen) and 2 5-inch guns on Johnston Island.

GERMANY: RAF Bomber Command sends 71 aircraft to attack Cologne overnight.

Netherlands NSB-leader Mussert visited Göring in Berlin.

UNITED KINGDOM: Luftwaffe attacks Cardiff overnight with 47 aircraft. British vessels “Cobbers” and “Port Townsville” were sunk by Luftwaffe aircraft.

NORTH AMERICA: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an order freezing all Bulgarian assets in the United States.

A famous image of a weeping Frenchman was published in this week's issue of Life magazine. The picture is not actually a photograph, but is a still from film footage shot in Marseilles during a procession of French regimental flags on their way to Africa to preserve them from surrender.

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March0341a.jpg
 

parsifal

Colonel
13,354
2,111
Apr 6, 2008
Orange NSW
04 March 1941
Known Reinforcements

Allied
BPB 70’ type (Ex-French Order) MGB 65
[NO IMAGE FOUND]

Losses
Steamer ANONITY (UK 303 grt) was sunk on a mine 1.5 miles SE of Skegness Pier. (a coastal village between Norwich and Hull). Four crew were lost of a six man crew
[NO IMAGE FOUND]

UBOATS

Arrivals
St. Nazaire: U46

At Sea 04 March 1941
U-37, U-47, U-70, U-95, U-97, U-99, U-105, U-106, U-108, U-124, U-147, U-552, UA

13 boats at sea

OPERATIONS

North Sea
DD ARROW departed Scapa Flow to meet steamer BEN MY CHREE off Aberdeen at and escort her to Thorshavn. The ships arrived at Thorshavn on the 5th. After this duty, ARROW arrived back at Scapa Flow on the 7th.

DD ELECTRA departed the Humber after completion of repairs. The DD proceeded to Aberdeen where she rendezvoused with steamer AMSTERDAM on the 5th. ELECTRA escorted the steamer to Lerwick. On the 6th, both ships departed to return to Aberdeen. ELECTRA arrived back at Scapa Flow after this duty on the 7th.

British pilot carrier LYNDIS KITWOOD was damaged on a mine off Skegness.


Northern Waters
Operation Claymore
This operation was the first successful operation of the Nos. 3 & 4 Commando, along with a special detachment of Royal Engineers and the Royal Norwegian Navy. This was the first of four British raids of the islands. This the first raid operation was a complete success for the British as they took no casualties and managed to destroy German fish oil factories and about 3,600 tonnes of fish oil, glycerine, kerosene and paraffin which were to be shipped in Germany. They also sunk nine German merchant ships and the armed German trawler KREBS s from which they managed to rescue a set of rotor wheels for the Enigma machine as well as its codebook. This enabled the British intelligence at Bletchley Park to make further significant progress in deciphering the German naval codes


The No. 4 Commando and other troops which were chosen for the Operation Claymore gathered at Scapa Flow in the Orkney Island on 21 February 1941 but they did not set out for Norway until 1 March. While waiting to set sail, the force prepared for the mission and made plans what to do in case DesFlot 6 was unable to wait for them to return as well as how to cover each other from enemy fire during landing. They finally left Scapa Flow at zero hours on 1 March and after nine hours reached the Faroe Islands where they refuelled. The reached the Lofoten Islands only on 4 March because they were sailing northwards from the Faroes in order to avoid being detected by the German patrols. The commanders decided to launch a simultaneous landing at 06:45 hours (15 minutes later as originally planned) and five minutes later, all troops landed on target areas. The No. 4 Commando was assigned landings at Brettesnes and Svolvær.

The troops landed without casualties and met almost no resistance from the enemy. By 1300 hrs all troops returned to the ships HMS PRINCESS BEATRIX and HMS QUEEN EMMA (the No. 4 Commando boarded the latter). More than 300 Norwegian able bodied men volunteered to return with the British to join the Free Norwegian Forces in Britain.
British commandos watching the destruction of oil factories1.jpg

British commandos watching the destruction of oil factories in the Lofoten Islands during Operation Claymore.

Submarine SUNFISH acted as a beacon for the LCs. DD SOMALI remained at sea to watch for possible DKM interference. LSI QUEEN EMMA escort DDs BEDOUIN and TARTAR proceeded to Svolvaer. LSI PRINCESS BEATRIX escort DDs ESKIMO and LEGION proceeded to Stamsund.

The following axis controlled ships were sunk during the raid:

Steamers EILENAU (Ger 1404 grt), Sunk by gunfire from HM DD TARTAR at Svolvaer, Lofoten Islands, during Operation Claymore. She was raised in 1948 and scrapped
Steamers EILENAU (Ger 1404 grt).jpg


Steamer BERNHARD SCHULTE (Ger 1058 grt), sunk by demolition charges
[NO IMAGE FOUND]

Steamer FELIX HEUMANN (Ger 2468 grt) was sunk by demolition charges after capture
[NO IMAGE FOUND]

DD TARTAR sank Fish Factory ship HAMBURG (Ger 5470 grt) by gunfire
Fish Factory ship HAMBURG (Ger 5470 grt).jpg


TARTAR also sank Steamer PASAJES (Ger 1996 grt) by gunfire.
[NO IMAGE FOUND]

Steamer GUMBRINNEN (Ger 1381 grt) was sunk by with demolition charges by the Army landing party.
[NO IMAGE FOUND]

Steamer MIRA (Ex-Nor 1152 grt) was sunk by DD BEDOUIN.
Steamer MIRA (Ex-Nor 1152 grt).jpg


FV MYRLAND (Ex Nor 321 grt) joined the British force and proceeded to the Faroes, arriving on the 7th.
[NO IMAGE FOUND]

PV KREBS (DKM 550 grt (est )) Captured by the RN
[NO IMAGE FOUND]

The DDs and LSIs returned to Scapa Flow on the 6th at 1300 without damage. They returned with 314 Norwegian volunteers, 213 German prisoners, and twelve Quislings traitors. .BBs NELSON and KGV, CLs EDINBURGH and NIGERIA, and DDs INGLEFIELD, ECHO, ECLIPSE, MAORI, and PUNJABI arrived at Scapa Flow on the 6th. Also on the 6th, LSIs QUEEN EMMA and PRINCESS BEATRIX with DD LEGION departed Scapa Flow for Greenock.

West Coast
ML PLOVER laid minefield ZME.21 in the Irish Sea. The minelaying continued on the 6th with ZME.22, ZME.23 on the 14th, ZME.24 on the 20th, ZME.25/26th, and ZME.26 on the 30th all laid by PLOVER The series continued in April, completing on 21 April.

British steamer RUTH II was damaged on a mine two cables NNE of Bar Light Vessel in Mersyside. .

British steamer ANGLIAN COAST was damaged on a mine two cables 75° from Bar Light Vessel.

SW Approaches
British trawler EAST COAST was damaged by the LW off Fastnet (for those not from that part of the world, Fastnet is part of Ireland, off the SW coast).


Med/Biscay
RN CLs ORION, AJAX, GLOUCESTER and RAN CL PERTH, departed Suda Bay with troops for Piraeus. This was really the start of the build up that was to see nearly 60000 men deployed to directly support the Greeks. The reinforcement was done at the expense of operations in Libya. Though politically necessary to do this, militarily it was a disaster, the British and Greeks were not strong enough to fight the Germans on the continent, and the weakening of the forces in Cyrenaica very nearly saw the complete defeat of the Allies in the MTO, for a while at least.

This first contingent of troops were disembarked at Piraeus on the 5th. The cruisers then operate in the Aegean with four DDs to cover other troop convoys. Convoy AN.17 of four steamers departed Alexandria escorted DD HEREWARD and from Port Said and also escorted by RAN DD STUART. CLA COVENTRY departed Alexandria on the 5th and joined the convoy at daylight on the 7th. These convoy arrivals were amongst the first LUSTRE Force components (British intervention forces in Greece). The convoy arrived at Piraeus on the 8th. Convoy AN.16 of British steamer ALAVI arrived at Piraeus during the forenoon with DD GREYHOUND.

Convoy AS.16 of four British, fourteen Greek, and one other ship departed Pireaus escorted by CLA CALCUTTA and DDs GREYHOUND and HAVOCK. CLs AJAX and PERTH departed Piraeus to cover the passage of convoy AS.16 and then proceeded to Alexandria, via the west of Crete. AS.16 arrived at Alexandria on the 7th. The Port Said units arrived on the 8th.

British troopship ULSTER PRINCE, escorted by destroyer HOTSPUR, arrived at Suda Bay from Piraeus. The troopship, after unloading stores and Fleet Air Arm personnel, embarked the ABSTENTION Commando Unit.

Submarine UTMOST arrived at Malta after an operation in the Gulf of Hammamet.

Central Atlantic
CL SHEFFIELD arrived at Gibraltar and was docked for repairs after convoy SL.65 duties.

Red Sea/Indian Ocean
BS.18 departed Suez, escorted by sloop CLIVE. DD KINGSTON and RAN sloop YARRA which joined on the 8th. The convoy was dispersed on the 12th.

BM.4 departed Karachi on the 4th with steamers TALMA and VARELA, escort AMC ANTENOR from 4 March to 12 March. Further units departed Bombay on the 8th with steamers EGRA, SANTHIA, EL MADINA, FELIX ROUSSEL, NEURALIA, RAJULA, and ROHNA joining the convoy. CL EMERALD escorted the convoy from 12 to 15 March. CL DAUNTLESS escorted the convoy from 13 to 16 March. The AMC was detached on the 16th. Steamers BAHADUR, JAPAYAMUNA, and JALADUTA departed Bombay on the 7th for Penang, independently, carrying lorries, petrol, ordnance, and stores. The convoy arrived at Penang on the 18th. All but TALMA departed on the 24th, escorted by AMC ANTENOR and CL DURBAN. The convoy arrived at Singapore on the 26th.

Sinking of the KETTY BROVIG and the COBURG
On the 4th. of March, 1941, KETTY BROVIG had been alongside the DKM supply ship, "Coburg," receiving fresh water. They were in the NW corner of the Indian Ocean, when discovered by the Walrus aircraft from H.M.A.S.CANBERRA. The ships had quickly separated, BOBURG setting a course North, and the KETTY BROVIG headed Sth. CANBERRA went after COBURG and the Walrus, trying to slow down KETTY BROVIG dropped 4 bombs, the last two falling close by, in the ship's wake. She stopped, and then unexpectedly scuttled.

CANBERRA kept her distance, at about 9.5 miles, but brought the COBURG under fire. During this process COBURG was set on fire by some 8” hits into the superstructure. At that point COBURG set off scuttling charges, and subsequently sank. It was Capain Farncomb's belief, that COBURG was, in fact, a Raider, His Walrus had so described the ship on its first sighting from the air. He stayed well clear to avoid any possible use of torpedoes against his ship, a very prudent action, one would have thought.

Some 215, 8 inch shells had been used, this drew some comment after his report of proceeding arrived at Navy Office, and C in C East Indies, also put in "his two bob's worth." In general, it was thought that if Farncomb had gone closer, he would have identified COBURG much earlier, and saved a lot of expensive 8 inch shells.

At that time, Captain Burnett, was Deputy Chief of Staff; at Navy Office, he had seen, and appended his initials to the correspondence about CANBERRA and her Captain's actions, and knew what Board members had thought and said. Later he took command of HMAS SYDNEY and was faced with the same sort of situation when meeting "KORMORAN in November. SYDNEY in that action did the reverse of CANBERRA and was lost.


Tkr KETTY BROVIG (Ex-Nor 7031 grt), captured by DKM disguised raider ATLANTIS on 2 February 1941, was sighted by a walrus seaplane from RAN CA HMAS CANBERRA which also dropped four bombs in her wake. The tanker stopped and then scuttled herself as a result
Tkr KETTY BROVIG (Ex-Nor 7031 grt).jpg
+


AO COBURG (DKM 7400 grt), in company with the tanker, was pursued by the CA attacked with guns and set on fire. The COBURGs crew scuttled the ship before the CA was able to intervene.
AO COBURG (DKM 7400 grt).jpg

German Supply ship COBURG as seen from the HMAS CANBERRA’s Walrus, arrived as the COBURG was sinking. TheCOBURG has been set on fire by gunfire from H.M.A.S. CANBERRA and was subsequently scuttled.

NZ manned CL LEANDER had departed from the CANBERRA earlier on the 4th, but returned to assist in rescue of the survivors from the German ships. CANBERRA and LEANDER arrived at Mauritius on the 8th with the crews of the German ships


Malta
 
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