July 1940

Jul

19

1940

HMS Sydney successfully attacks Italian cruiser

The famous Australian cruiser HMS Sydney

As soon as Sydney opened fire on the leading enemy cruiser, the Colleoni, our destroyers closed in support, and the Italian cruisers endeavoured to escape back through the Antikithera Channel. Early in the action a hit by Sydney in Colleoni’s engine room brought her to a standstill, and Sydney, leaving our destroyers to complete her destruction with torpedoes, continued the engagement with the other cruiser.

Jul

18

1940

Berliners celebrate their victorious Army

Massed crowds watch a Wehrmacht victory parade through Berlin

Jul

18

1940

Mediterranean fleet bombed

HMS Eagle

During the operations in the Eastern Mediterranean last week the Fleet and the slower of the two convoys from Malta to Alexandria which the Fleet was covering were continually bombed without success. Eight heavy air attacks were made on H.M. Ships Royal Sovereign, Malaya and Eagle between 1100 and 2100 on the 11th July, and on the 12th July H.M.S. Warspite was attacked 22 times, a total of 260 to 300 bombs being dropped. Fighters from H.M.S. Eagle shot down 4 or 5 bombers with the loss of one machine rendered unserviceable.

Jul

16

1940

The invasion threat to London

Watching out for raiders over london.

They are certainly formidable obstructions to most of us especially in the hours of darkness when one is confronted by barriers in the most unexpected places. I am told that Winston is mainly responsible for them and takes the deepest interest in them. He appears to spend a lot of time inspecting our defences all over the country.

Jul

14

1940

Air combat over the Channel at Dover

The Junkers 87 'Stuka' dive bomber was vulnerable to attack and invariably had fighter protection, in this case the Me 109.

“Now then, oh, there’s a terrific mix-up over the Channel! It’s impossible to tell which are our machines and which are the Germans. There was one definitely down in this battle and there’s a fight going on. There’s a fight going on and you can hear the little rattles of machine-gun bullets. Crump! That was a bomb, as you may imagine.”

Jul

13

1940

German bombing of Britain intensifies

A Dornier 17 begins its bombing run, summer 1940.

The R.A.F. say that that is what happened before the German attack in France. Desultory bombing and then one morning a very heavy attack on everything. It may be coming again. The seemingly desultory bombing may be a method of testing our defences. Certainly the Germans have never been up against such a good fighter defence, such A.A. fire, and such a warning system.

Jul

11

1940

The Mediterranean war hots up

The Italian cruiser Zara.

THE British Mediterranean Fleet and Italian fleet have been engaged with indecisive results. Italian air action against British naval forces in the Mediterranean has been generally ineffective. Further steps have been taken to prevent important units of the French Fleet falling into enemy hands. There has been increased enemy air activity against ports and shipping in the Channel, and E-boats have also attacked shipping in this area with some success.

Jul

10

1940

Churchill considers the prospects for invasion

Local Defence Volunteers soon to be renamed Home Guard

40 destroyers are now disposed between the Humber and Portsmouth, the bulk being in the narrowest waters. The greater part of these are at sea every night, and rest in the clay. They would therefore probably encounter the enemy vessels in transit during the night, but also could reach any landing point or points on the front mentioned in two or three hours. They could immediately break up the landing craft, interrupt the landing, and fire upon the landed troops

Jul

7

1940

The Death of a Soldier

The French soldier Jean Pilloud died on the 7th July 1940. We know little of the circumstances.

The French soldier Jean Pilloud died on the 7th July 1940. We know little of the circumstances.

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.