Jon made me aware of this, and it is a riveting resource. Basically Google appears to have scanned or linked a lot of old newspapers. You can search these by date and/or keyword. So a search for ‘Tobruk Nov 1941’ brings up this:
Article on New Zealanders by Correspondent
Or you can search a free newspaper such as the Calgary Herald by date. And then simply click on the headline:
Article about British Push
If this is Google’s world domination, please sir, can we have some more???
In the older post at this link, I have given the strength of the transport groups in Greece on 5 December 1941. I have now come across some further info on what these planes achieved.
On 6 December 1941, 60 planes arrived from Greece, Tatoi and Heraklion, at Derna between 0742 and 1140, i.e. one plane every two minutes. These planes carried the following during the day:
- 57,000 ltr of B4 to Derna
- 2,000 ltr of Rotring (engine oil – see this link)
- 2 DB 601 E and 1 DB 601 E aircraft engines (one should probably be ‘N’)
- To Heraklion, load of 164th Infantry Division, and Rear Party of 5th Mountain Division
- 4,000 ltr of B4 to Larissa for use of fighters flying through to Africa, and 200 ltr of Rotring
- 36 men of Res.Flak.Rgt. 806 to Malemes
- One plane-load of cigarettes from Sofia
A single plane could carry 9 barrels of fuel.
My guess is that these planes managed one run a day, by the time they had been unloaded, re-loaded, returned, and loaded again, and serviced. There is some reference to planes force landing on the way back due to lack of fuel, which would indicate to me that they were not refueled in North Africa.
An ULTRA intercept of 7 Dec 41 reports on message intercepted in Rhodes. It refers to a sub being attacked by a Sunderland. Any information about the sub and/or the plane involved would be most welcome. The message is below:
AM WH199 MEDITERRANEAN CX/MSS/ZTPI/2869
AIR OPERATIONS (501/5)
Following partly illegible message seen at Rhodes on morning of 4/12:-
“…………… for damage to forward ballast tank, hydrophone (?) and aerial R…. by machine gun bullets received on the night 1/2 December during a combat with an aircraft type Sunderland. We replied with gun and machine gun fire. The aircraft is to be considered almost certainly brought down. The verification of damage is being carried out.
(A) as far as legible.
Pse insert ‘R’ afer ‘aerial’ line 2
OK at THKS 0321 Hrs AM
Was this a German or Italian sub? I don’t think any Sunderlands were lost, apart from the quite famous case of the Malta Sunderland shot down by two Bf 110s of ZG 26 (see this link).
Any info would be much appreciated.