Siege of Leningrad Day 87. Overnight, Soviet evacuation convoy from Hango runs into the Corbetha minefield in the Gulf of Finland. 1 minesweeper is sunk and several more damaged. Troop transport ship Josif Stalin is unable to follow the narrow channel cleared by the remaining minesweepers and hits 4 mines in quick succession. Many of the troops on board abandon ship although Josif Stalin does not sink (4000 drown or freeze to death, 1830 picked up by various small ships in the convoy). The wreck of Josif Stalin drifts South and is captured by German ships near the Estonian coast 2 days later with 2000 survivors on board.
Operation Typhoon. West of Moscow, German 4th Army’s advance around Naro-Fominsk peters out in the face of Soviet counterattacks. 4th Army also fails to support Guderian’s flank for 2nd Panzer Army’s attack on Tula which consequently fails. Guderian and others will blame von Kluge’s defensive posture for the failure of Typhoon.
Operation Crusader. Rommel’s attempt to reach the garrisons at Bardia, Sollum and Halfaya Pass is blocked by Allied infantry and artillery.
At 9.47 PM 1250 miles West of South Africa, U-124 sinks unarmed neutral American SS Sagadahoc despite the US flag visible on the side (1 killed). 34 survivors in 2 lifeboats are questioned by the Germans and rescued a week later by Allied merchant ships. SS Sagadahoc is the 4th and final American merchant ship sunk by U-boats prior to America joining the war.