1940

Jul

6

1940

HM Submarine Shark surrendered and sunk

HMS-Safari

One of the seaplanes now signalled us by light to “stop or steer to.. Stavanger”. No notice was taken of this signal but about a quarter of an hour later, after continuous attacks from the 109’s, our ammunition being expended and having many wounded or dead (l could not tell which), I reluctantly decided to capitulate.

Jul

4

1940

HMS Foylebank bombed in Portland Harbour

HMS Foyle Bank Anti Aircraft ship

When out of the sun they came, enemy dive bombers. Diving straight down onto the guard ship, machine gunning and bombing. Hell let loose, about 20 planes, they appeared to have caught us napping. I immediately told my crew that we were going in to pick up the hands and ratings who were jumping and being blown into the water alongside of her. There was a barge with work people alongside of Foyle Bank, a bomb dropped alongside the barge turning it upside down.

Jul

3

1940

The British fire on the French at Mers el Kebir

The French destroyer Mogador on fire

FOXHOUND’s signal, summarising Admiral Gensoul’s reply (vide paragraph 37 above) and indicating the apparent intention of the French ships to put to sea and fight, was received in HOOD at 1227. Orders were then given to mine the entrance to the port and the Admiralty informed that I was preparing to open fire at 1330. A signal was also made to FOXHOUND asking Captain Holland if, in the light of his discussions, he saw any alternative to opening fire with main armament.

Jul

2

1940

The Arandora Star torpedoed and sunk

Arandora Star

About 90 Life Rafts were carried on the upper deck, more than half of these were thrown overboard as soon as way was lost, but at that time , nobody would go over the side, they were getting into the boats. The boats were eventually cleared with the help of the guard but they were immediately filled to capacity hy prisoners going down the side ladders and falls. The balance of the rafts were then thrown over. The Ship took a list to Starboard which steadily increased and at about 0715 it was apparent that she was about to sink.

Jul

1

1940

RAF attack German ships at Kiel

Aerial view of Kiel naval base 1940

The bombs dropped by the first aircraft started five large fires which provided illumination for the rest. Direct hits were seen on the ship with one 2,000-lb. bomb and with 500-lb. and 250-lb. bombs, and oil fires were started which were visible eighty miles away.

Jun

30

1940

British coastal defences prepare for invasion

The crew of a coastal gun emplacement 'somewhere in England' prepare for action.

All forward companies have completed very good defensive positions. In the interior there is plenty of room and the men are very comfortable when they have to sleep at their posts. On the exterior there is a diversity of camouflage varying from rubbish heaps to innocent looking fishing huts. Along the beach both at Dunwich and Southwold, also Walberswick, there is an imposing array of concrete anti-tank obstacles, which in some places pass right in front of the section post.

Jun

30

1940

The Germans occupy the Channel Islands

German troops soon made themselves comfortable on the Channel Islands

The islands were demilitarised by the British but this was not communicated to the Germans – they were not ‘invited in’. As a consequence the Germans bombed St Peter Port on 28th June and 44 civilians were killed. Subsequently the islanders were instructed to paint white crosses on the aerodromes and fly white flags – and the occupation proceeded without further casualties.

Jun

29

1940

Baptism of fire in the western desert

A 3-inch mortar crew of the 2nd Cameron Highlanders training at Mena Camp near Giza, Egypt, 4 June 1940.

We parked by the side of the road and the officer in charge of the party went off in search of orders. I decided to have a closer look at the damage and so I dismounted and wandered off a little way down the street. I heard the noise of aircraft very high in the sky and I saw people running for cover and then suddenly there was a succession of tremendous explosions and it seemed as if the whole world had gone mad all around me. The noise was ear-splitting, the ground shook and the air was filled with flame and smoke.

Jun

28

1940

Italo Balbo shot down over Tobruk

Italo Balbo, the Commander in Chief of Italian Forces was killed when his plane was shot down, while attempting to land at Tobruk.

Italo Balbo’s plane was shot down by Italian guns as he into land at Tobruk in North Africa just moments after a British air raid on the Italian base. Subsequent conspiracy theories have suggested that he had argued with Mussolini over the North African strategy and was assassinated as a consequence.

Jun

27

1940

Bombing of Britain intensifies

The Scharnhorst in a United States identification manual: On 21. June RAF Coastal Command planes spotted Scharnhorst group off the Isle of Utsire, and around 15:00 six Swordfish torpedo planes attacked, but were easily repulsed by anti-aircraft fire. At 16:30 nine Beauforts attacked with 227-kilogram armor-piercing bombs, but were also driven off by anti-aircraft fire and German fighters. In these attacks the ship expended 900 rounds of 105 mm, 1.200 rounds of 37 mm and 2.400 rounds of 20 mm ammunition. When German interception of British radio messages revealed that much of the British Home Fleet was at sea, the Scharnhorst was ordered into Stavanger

There were extensive enemy raids over Great Britain on the nights of the 21st/22nd, 24th/25th, 25th/26th and 26th/27th June. On the first of these nights about 40 aircraft were engaged, coming from bases in France, Belgium and Holland. Bombs were dropped at points on the East Coast from Tyneside to Clacton and, while the enemy’s objectives may have been aerodromes and R.D.F. stations, little damage was done except to small houses, to transport facilities at Grimsby and to electric pylons near Ravenscar.