NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)
12th September, 1942 : In an ironic twist to the submarine war, 1,800 Italian prisoners of war were torpedoed by their allies. A German U-boat scored a direct hit on the British transport ship Laconia, but it was only as it was going down that most of the 3,000 people on board were Italians. Only about 1,000 were saved. However, the mistake underlies the success of the U-boat offensive. The Allies have lost five million tons of shipping so far this year, and in June alone a ship went down every four hours.