Operation Compass. General O'Connor’s Western Desert Force (30,000 troops, artillery, trucks and 275 tanks including 48 Matilda slow but heavily armoured “infantry” tanks) hides out all day and night in No-Man's Land. Windshields are removed from all vehicles to prevent sunglare. O'Connor’s luck holds and they are not spotted by Italian reconnaissance aircraft. They recuperate and prepare for the advance to the Italian forts using supplies hidden in advance (Forward Supply Depots hold enough fuel, food, water and ammunition for the planned 5 day raid). AfricaMap1.jpg
At 10.39 PM, U-99 sinks Dutch SS Farmsum 500 miles West of Ireland (16 killed). 19 crew abandon ship in lifeboats. 4 more die of exposure and 15 are eventually rescued with severe frostbite by destroyer HMS Ambuscade.
2 British minesweeping trawlers sink. HMT Capricornus hits a mine near the Nore Light Vessel in the Thames Estuary. HMT Cortina sinks after a collision in the Humber Estuary.
As German armed merchant cruisers and Orion prepare to raid Allied phosphate mining island of Nauru in the South Pacific, Komet stops Norwegian MV Vinni with shellfire and scuttles her after all 32 crew are taken prisoner. Germans_attacks_on_Nauru-en.svg