The remains Dornier 17s and a Junkers Ju 87 in a scrapyard in Britain, 2nd October 1940.

The remains Dornier 17s and a Junkers Ju 87 in a scrapyard in Britain, 2nd October 1940.

The fuselage of a Heinkel He 111 bomber, being transported by road to a scrap yard, October 1940.

The fuselage of a Heinkel He 111 bomber, being transported by road to a scrap yard, October 1940.

From the Naval Military and Air Situation for the week up 3rd October 1940, as reported to the War Cabinet:


General Review. There has been some activity by enemy destroyers in the Channel. U-Boats have continued to cause many casualties to shipping in the North-Western Approaches. Attacks by enemy aircraft on shipping on the East Coast have increased.

British naval forces have been active in the Eastern Mediterranean. The naval force which was operating off Dakar has returned to Freetown.

AIR SITUATION Great Britain.

31. During this period the scale of operations of the German Air Force was very similar to the preceding two weeks. Widespread night bombing in the London area was continued, but on a somewhat reduced scale, and was concentrated more on the Western outskirts of the capital, the East End and the London Docks being almost neglected. Attacks have continued against the Mersey-side Docks and in the Liverpool area. There has been a marked decrease in operations against South Wales.

Civilian Casualties.
52. The approximate figures for week ending 0600 hours the 2nd October are :— Killed, 2,000; wounded, 2,800. These figures included 1,700 killed and 1,600 wounded in London.


(a) The continuance of German attacks upon London, their appearance in daylight, and their resumption upon the provinces have had, in general, no fundamental ill-effect upon the heart of the nation. There is now a real and vindictive demand for reprisals, and the savage dislike of Germany is deepening.

(b) The most marked feature is the cool toleration of inconveniences, and even disasters, and the adjustment of ordinary life to the new conditions, but there is evidence of anxiety over the approach of winter. The recent appointments of Special Commissioners, and the announcements of the development of shelter policy and evacuation have had a reassuring effect.

(c) The dislocation of essential services by causing discomfort has affected people far more than the death and destruction resulting from the raids. Selfadjustment to loss of sleep is particularly noticeable. Many people get more than formerly, though it is less comfortable, for they go so early to their shelters.

(d) Surface shelters are not at the moment fashionable, because of the disasters which have befallen some of them. They are still, however, generally considered as much better than nothing. There is, nevertheless, evidence that larger numbers of people are remaining in their own homes for warmth and comfort, even when they do not possess cellars or ground-floor rooms.

(e) In general, there is no food complication, but there has been great difficulty over warmth and cooking in the most affected areas. The small cafes and eating houses, by ceasing to function, have much embarrassed local populations, but this situation is being rectified.

A Junkers 88 shot down near Hatfield on 3rd October 1940, see details below.

A Junkers 88 shot down near Hatfield on 3rd October 1940, see details below.

Although the massed daylight raids were drawn down, there continued to be sporadic activity during daylight hours by the Luftwaffe bomber force.This was generally un-escorted, mostly conducted by singleton aircraft or very small groups, and often of little value militarily. Although this aircraft, a Junkers 88 of Stab 1./KG 77, was a lone raider shot down on Thursday, 3 October I940 its attack had an unintended although successful outcome for the Luftwaffe.

Trying to find Reading, the crew became lost in poor visibility and accidentally stumbled upon the de Havilland aircraft factory at Hatfield. Here, the crew executed an accurate attack that killed twenty-one factory workers, injured another seventy, and destroyed eighty per cent of the materials and work in progress for the new Mosquito bomber.

It was a significant blow to an important military aircraft project.The airfield defences were alert, though, and put up a barrage of machine gun and 40mm Bofors gun fire which hit and crippled the junkers 88. The bomber crash-landed in flames at Eastend Green Farm, Hertingfordbury, where the crew scrambled clear and were captured unharmed before the fire took hold.

Picture and details from Luftwaffe Bombers in the Blitz.

Map of RAF raids on Germany 1940

RAF Bomber Command raids on Germany up to the end of September 1940.
With public demands for reprisals against Germany following the start of the Blitz, the Ministry of Information released publicity about the attacks that the RAF had made.

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UK analysis of United States war position

Lord Halifax, British Foreign Secretary in 1940

The value of the United States to us at present is as a purveyor of munitions and moral support. The Germans realise that as they cannot now hope to deprive us of American moral support, their aim must be to deprive us of munitions. They might well think that the most complete way of doing this would be to involve the United States in war with Japan; the next best to distract American attention from Europe.




Naval Intelligence monitors Gunther Prien

The Anti-Submarine Warfare Branch of Naval Intelligence monitored the patrols of individual U-boats. The October 1940 report shows the known sinkings by Kapitanleutnant Prien during his 28 day September patrol.

He started operations by sinking the Belgian Ville de Mons on the 2nd of the month, N.E. of Rockall. Proceeding westward he sank the British Titan on the 4th when N.W. of Rockall, and it is thought that he then fell in with convoy S.C.2, … sinking on the 7th the Norwegian Gro and two British ships, the Jose de Larrinaga and the Neptunian. Following the convoy south-eastwards towards Ireland until after dark on the 8th, he sank two more British vessels, the Poseidon and the Mardinian, about 100 miles N.W. of Malin Head.




First George Cross awarded – to ARP rescuer


Some days later, two five-storey buildings were totally demolished and debris penetrated into a cellar in which eleven persons were trapped. Six persons in one cellar, which had completely given way, were buried under debris. Alderson partly effected entrance to this cellar by tunnelling 13 to 14 feet under the main heap of wreckage and for three and a half hours he worked unceasingly in an exceedingly cramped condition. Although considerably bruised he succeeded in releasing all the trapped persons without further injury to themselves.




George Beardmore finds a land-mine

A photograph of an unexploded German Parachute Mine.

On leaving, Jean asked the gatekeeper: ‘Is that tub-shaped thing with the parachute attached part of the show?’ To which he replied: ‘What tub-shaped thing? I don’t know anything about a tub-shaped thing. I’ve been on fire-watch all night.’ Ten minutes later the fun began. The police arrived at the double and turned the whole street out of doors, advising them to leave doors and windows wide open and then to make themselves scarce while the bomb was de-fused.




Germany, Italy and Japan sign a pact

Signing of tripartite pact 28 september 1940

A winter of war is hard to take. More so since food is scarce in Berlin, and it is easy to see that the window displays of the stores promise much more than what is actually inside. Another thing contributing to the depressed spirit of Berlin life is die constant recurrence of air raids. Every night citizens spend from four to five hours in the cellar. They lack sleep, there is promiscuity between men and women, cold, and these things do not create a good mood. The number of people with colds is incredible.




Joseph Kennedy: The British are a lost cause

Joseph Kennedy

I cannot impress upon you strongly enough my complete lack of confidence in the entire [British] conduct of this war. I was delighted to see that the president said he was not going to enter the war because to enter this war, imagining for a minute that the English have anything to offer in the line of leadership or productive capacity in industry that could be of the slightest value to us, would be a complete misapprehension.




1,300 killed in London alone this week

A wide view of the bomb-damaged shell of the John Lewis department store on London's Oxford Street, following an air raid in September 1940.

There is little appearance of nervous or physical overstrain. Fear and shock, attendant on actual explosion, passes quickly in most cases. Without over-emphasis people take the obvious precaution to ensure such safety as they can and particularly to ensure sufficient sleep. By day they continue their ordinary business. Having adjusted their lives to such reasonable extent they regard the event philosophically, the Cockney adopting an appropriate bent to his humour, though there are signs of increased hatred of Germany, and demands for reprisals are numerous.




Raid on Gloucestershire kills 92

One of a series of detailed maps that the Luftwaffe used for their raid on the Bristol Aircraft Company, based on Ordnance Survey maps of Britain they had acquired before the war.

The sky became black with low flying planes and the noise was deafening. The two men working on the hole in the lawn which was to be our shelter, shouted to my mother and to me to come out of the house, in case it was bombed. The men almost threw us into the hole, which was concreted, and to their credit, spread their arms over the top of us. We all crouched together with our heads down, as bombs rained around us




George Cross created, Londoners remain ‘determined’

It was now recognised that many walks of civilian life were at least as hazardous as those in the military.

In order that they should be worthily and promptly recognised, I have decided to create, at once, a new mark of honour for men and women in all walks of civilian life. I propose to give my name to this new distinction, which will consist of the George Cross, which will rank next to the Victoria Cross, and the George Medal for wider distribution.