Air attacks on Britain have decreased

The destroyer HMS Beagle escaped serious damage when she was bombed off Dover on the 19th July

Extracts from the Weekly Resume of the NAVAL, MILITARY AND AIR SITUATION up to 12 noon July 25th, 1940, as reported to the War Cabinet:

NAVAL SITUATION.

General Review.

COASTAL convoys and patrol and minesweeping forces have been constantly attacked by enemy aircraft, particularly in the vicinity of Dover. There has been little U-boat activity. Minelaying by enemy aircraft has continued to increase in intensity. There has been a successful cruiser action in the Mediterranean.

3. In an enemy raid on Dover on the 19th July, H.M. Destroyer Beagle was heavily bombed and slightly damaged by near misses, and on the 20th July, while on passage to Devonport she was again attacked off Portland, when further minor damage was caused. No casualties were sustained in these attacks, during which two of the attacking aircraft were shot down by pom-poms.

In a dive bomber attack on Dover later on the 19th July, H.M. Destroyer Griffin was damaged and rendered unseaworthy, and the R.F.A. Oiler War Sepoy had her back broken, necessitating the pumping out of her oil. On the same day H.M. A/S Trawler Crestflower was sunk by bombs off St. Catherine’s Point, Isle of Wight, and Motor A/S Boat No. 8 was attacked with machine-gun fire by enemy aircraft off Aldeburgh with the loss of two ratings killed and two officers and one rating wounded

MILITARY SITUATION.

United Kingdom.

25. Eight regular battalions from India arrived in England on the 17th July.

Germany.

26. There are indications that many fresh German troops are arriving in Holland; and that Belgium, especially Brussels, is full of troops, of which a high proportion belong to the Air Force.

Italy.

27. The military situation in Italy remains obscure. On the Italo-Yugoslav frontier there is still a concentration of some 15 to 16 divisions, which is probably adequate for an offensive against Yugoslavia.

Middle East.

Egypt.

28. Our policy of limited offensives in the Western Desert is being continued. In a successful action on the 18th July our armoured forces attacked an Italian column near Fort Capuzzo and destroyed 5 field guns, 3 anti-tank guns and 12 lorries.

Libya.

29. The first indications of the eastward movement of an Italian formation from Tripolitania to Cirenaica have been received. As far as is known, a large garrison is still being maintained in Western Libya, and it is considered probable that the Italian authorities remain uneasy about the attitude of the French in Tunisia and Algeria. Italian efforts to relieve the garrison of Fort Capuzzo continue. If the water pipe-line between Bardia and Fort Capuzzo is still out of action the situation of the garrison is probably becoming difficult.

Somaliland.

30. Patrols of the Somaliland Camel Corps have been active, and enemy posts at Farenji, Walid Hor and Qoljeit have been successfully attacked.

AIR SITUATION.

General Review.

35. Weather has again interfered with operations throughout the week. The activity of our day-bombers has been severely restricted, though extensive operations have been possible at night and have been governed by the same policy as those of last week, apparently with considerable success. Fighter operations have increased in intensity and have produced satisfactory results.

36. The scale of air attack on this country has again tended to decrease during the week and has almost exclusively consisted of attacks on convoys by large mixed formations of bombers and fighters. These attacks were not always developed or pressed home. Enemy reconnaissance and mine-laying operations have been at a high level and his transport aircraft have again been busy throughout the week.

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