Skip to comments.BRITISH RING FOE’S BASE IN EGYPT; SEIZE 4,000 AND DOWN 22 PLANES (12/11/40)
Posted on 12/11/2010 5:25:32 AM PST by Homer_J_Simpson
British capture 14,000 Italians
Wednesday, December 11, 1940 www.onwar.com
In North Africa... Sollum is bombarded by ships from Cunningham’s fleet. Wavell’s attacks have ruined five of the seven Italian divisions they have met and they are all rapidly retreating from Egypt. Some 14,000 more prisoners are taken, many of whom come from the Catanzaro Division which is expelled from positions near Buq Buq.
December 11th, 1940
UNITED KINGDOM: Birmingham: German raiders devastate a large area in attacks tonight.
Battleship HMS King George V commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)
U-172 laid down.
U-147 commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)
ROMANIA: Bucharest: Associated Press reports that Romania has promised to deliver three million tons of oil to Germany in 1941. It is pointed out in the dispatch that the amount would be nearly twice as much as the total exported this year and twice as much as that sold to the Reich in 1936, when exports were at their peak.
NORTH AFRICA: Flg Off C H Dyson of 33 Sqn. RAF, flying a Hurricane, destroys seven Italian aircraft in a single action before being shot down himself. This is a record for an Allied pilot in the war. He is uninjured and returns to base six days later.
LIBYA: Ships of the British Mediterranean fleet shell Sollum.
Sidi Barrani: At dawn today Scottish troops appeared from a ridge overlooking the town of Sidi Barrani and charged into the ruins. After an hours of fierce hand-to-hand fighting, the Italian blackshirts began to hold up white flags. The first phase of the assault was complete and 15,000 Italians have been taken prisoner, including three generals.
Wavell telegrams to Dill:
Sidi Barrani area was attacked by 4 Indian Div., and 4 Armoured Brigade.
Maktila garrison withdrew west during night 9/10 December to dig in near Sidi Barrani. Enemy still in position between Sidi Barrani and Buqbuq. Patrols 11 Hussars have been 15 miles west of Buqbuq.
Navy bombards Sollum area.
3rd Coldstream Guards capture two Libyan battalions between Maktila and Sidi Barrani.
Later 4 Armoured Brigade is directed west of Buqbuq. 7 Armoured Brigade and Support Group is moving west of Sofafi camps to cut off enemy in that area.
AUSTRALIA: Destroyer HMAS Napier commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)
Corvette HMCS Dunvegan launched Sorel, Province of Quebec.
Destroyer HMCS St Clair arrived Clyde for duty with EG-4 at Greenock.
Corvettes HMCS Eyebright, Mayflower, Spikenard and Orillia arrived Halifax incomplete from builders to avoid St Lawrence River freezing. (Dave Shirlaw)
U.S.A.: Destroyer USS Farenholt laid down. (Dave Shirlaw)
U-94 sank SS Empire Statesman in Convoy SLS-56.
U-96 sank SS Rotorua and Towa in Convoy HX-92.
U-65 was the first U-boat to cross the Equator, in Grid FC 39. (Dave Shirlaw)
Day 468 December 11, 1940
Operation Compass. British 7th Armored Brigade (7th Armored Division) charges Northwest to the Egyptian coast at Buq Buq & takes the surrender of Italian 64th Infantry Division. Battleships HMS Barham & HMS Valiant, escorted by anti-aircraft ship HMS Coventry & 7 destroyers, bombard Italian positions further West at Sollum, Egypt, to prevent reinforcements being sent forward. Aircraft from aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious, escorted by 2 cruisers & 3 destroyers, attack Italian-held El Adem airfield at Tobruk, Libya. In 3 days, British have captured 237 guns, 73 tanks & about 38,000 Italian prisoners (as famously put by a Coldstream Guards officer 5 acres of officers & 200 acres of other ranks). However, the British advance begins to lose steam; Indian 4th Infantry Division is ordered to Sudan by General Wavell, to take part in offensives against Italian forces in East Africa. They will be replaced by raw The Australian 6th Division.
U-96 attacks convoy HX-92 125 miles Northwest of Outer Hebrides, Scotland. At 3.12 PM, U-96 sinks British liner Rotorua (16 crew, 2 gunners, convoy HX-92 commodore Rear-Admiral Fitzgerald and 3 service personnel passengers killed). 108 survivors are picked up by British armed trawlers HMT Varanga, HMT Ebor Wyke & HMT Alsey. 2 crew are taken prisoner by the U-boat and landed at Lorient on 29 December. At 10.42 PM, U-96 sinks Norwegian SS Towa carrying 7778 tons of grain and 48 trucks (18 killed, 19 survivors picked up by destroyer HMS Matabele). At 7.12 PM, U-94 sinks British MV Empire Statesman carrying iron ore (all 31 hands lost) 225 miles West of Ireland.
278 German aircraft bomb Birmingham, dropping 277 tons of high explosive bombs and 685 incendiary canisters.
The article about hitler was interesting when he was quoted as saying the battle was between capitalism and totalitarian socialism and only one system would survive.
That is how you handle enemy agents in civilian clothing committing espionage or sabotage in your country. A secret trial and then the high jump with hempen cravat.
Tough luck for them that they didn’t come along 70 years later.
Tough luck for us that our government doesn’t have the guts to deal with traitors and spies.
Great stuff. Worth the wait. ;-)
Very instructive... a year before Japan bombs Pearl Harbor, they’re still buying a LOT of steel and iron from the US. Great.
I also love reading about how the British cabinet was ‘considering’ confiscation of property and and ‘forced’ labor.. scary that they had so little faith in their people.. but, I assume it gets worse before this is over..
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